General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., June 27, 2013

Filed in Delaware by on June 27, 2013

Now the days dwindle down to a precious few two…

Today and Sunday, and it’s a wrap for the first session of the 147th Delaware General Assembly. We are not in the denouement phase just yet, but we’re getting there. The Senate will give final approval to the Budget Bill today, the House will likely approve the Bond Bill today, and Grant-In-Aid may wait until Sunday, or may not. The Bond Bill unanimously passed the Senate yesterday, so everybody must have gotten something.

So much action yesterday. The Beaudhisatva’s got some work to do if he wants to get his bail reform constitutional amendment through. Yesterday’s Senate vote left the measure two votes shy of securing the necessary 2/3 majority. Quite the interesting dynamic to that roll call. Since you can check out all the results for yourselves, I’m gonna highlight bills that did not have near-unanimous support, but passed.

Whoa! Looky here. Talleyville firefighters will no doubt be intrigued to learn that only one senator voting against SB 53(Ennis), which ‘creates a presumption that a covered firefighter who has heart disease, hypertension, lung disease or certain cancers contracted the occupational disease arising out of and in the course of actions in the line of duty’.  That senator? Pope Pompous I, formerly Monsignor Lavelle. Clip ‘n save.

Not sure why Senate Rethugs would vote en masse against SB 115(Henry), but they did. Seems like the bill would serve to protect the public from licensees who present a threat to the public, which even R’s would likely favor. What am I missing?

SB 125(Poore) is more typical of Rethug proclivities. It would help manufactured homeowners, which is why four of them voted no. If you guessed Bonini, Da Pope, Lawson, and Simpson, you’re correct.

SB 136(Henry), which related to parental rights in adoptions, barely attained a Senate majority. Understandable, considering the subject matter.

Also barely squeaking through, following parliamentary maneuvering, was SB 141(Marshall), which allows law enforcement officers to purchase firearms as undercover officers using CFRP (Community Firearms Recovery Program) funds. Since it deals with the City of Wilmington, all R’s, plus Venables, reflexively voted no.

On the House side, the Atkins flagpole bill was passed, and goes to the Governor. Several ‘not votings’, the roll call here. Wouldn’t shock me if the Governor’s lawyers have some questions about this one.

Here’s a pretty damned good bill that faced opposition from some of the usual suspects. HB 180(J. Johnson) requires all commercial vehicles, except farm vehicles, registered with a gross vehicle weight of 26000 lbs. or over in the State of Delaware to be equipped with an audible reverse warning signal, backup camera or other warning device that adequately places an individual within 50 feet of such vehicle on notice that such commercial vehicle intends to and/or is in the process of reversing. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? The answer is found here in the roll call. All Rethugs, plus Atkins.

Today’s Senate Agenda looks pretty tame. I like SB 142(Marshall), which ‘limits the interest rate that can be charged on pension loans or advances, and any type of lending agreement against the pension and/or pension payments of an individual borrower or borrowers, to the legal interest rate…’.   Other than the Budget Bill, the second half of the Agenda consists of bills held over from the previous agenda. Keep in mind that, at this stage, bills can pop up and be considered under MTSR, aka ‘Motion to Suspend Rules’, at any time. Especially when a bill returns from the other house with amendments.

An interesting House Agenda today. Because of the legislature’s traditional plantation mentality when it comes to Wilmington, the city has often been prevented from doing things on its own. HB 198(Brady) would enable municipalities to take their own initiatives concerning recycling. In the case of Wilmington, it appears to be a ban on the dissemination of plastic bags. Good, hope the bill passes.

I also like HB 56(D. Short), which ‘sets certain regulations for motor vehicle data-reporting devices to prohibit the use by insurance companies of such data for anything other than consideration for premium discounts, requires disclosure to the insured of others who may gain access to such data, and otherwise prohibits insurance companies from releasing such data to others.’

You already know my opinion concerning SB 20(Henry), which establishes yet another strata of ‘victims’ who are deemed more important than the rest of us. Seeing as how the only senator who agreed with me was Colin Bonini, you can well guess this bill’s fate in the House today.

I think we all know each other’s opinions about SB 27(Sokola), which encourages the development of public school accelerated learning programs.  I love threads like yesterday’s analysis of this bill. Agree or disagree, we’ve got some damned knowledgeable experts out there. Thanks!

The rest of today’s House Agenda consists largely of Senate bills that garnered unanimous, or near unanimous, Senate support.

Hey, here’s a just-introduced bill that I hope gets passed before June 30. SB 150(Poore) reflects the Joint Sunset Committee’s review of the Sustainable Energy Utility. By now, the tragicomic performance of this pet project of Sen. McDowell’s has become the stuff of legends, and not of the heroic kind. I know that a lot of you have done some serious writing on this issue, so I encourage you to link to the bill, and come back with your comments. To me, it looks like a serious agency reorganization that just might well force the Utility to live up to its public purpose. Whaddayathink?

Save some of that grey matter for Sunday, when the session will head into the…:


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