General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., May 10, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 10, 2017

The death penalty is likely to be restored in Delaware unless there is an effective groundswell of opposition, something that was sorely lacking as the House considered HB 125.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why the Delaware Chapter of the ACLU chose to sit this out.  There are a lot of our readers who donate and are members of the ACLU.  They must be wondering just what their money is for if not to help organize opposition to something like the death penalty. I know I’m wondering about that.  Anyway, the vote was 24-16 to restore the death penalty.  The D’s who voted yes were Reps. Carson, Jaques, Longhurst, M. Smith, Mitchell, Mulrooney, Osienski, Paradee, Q. Johnson, and Schwartzkopf. Remember their names.

SS1/SB 5 passed the Senate despite very little action from both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.  There are too many people just sitting back mere months after the Women’s March. Get off your asses.  You. Have. Been. Warned. A big shoutout to Cathy Cloutier, who was the only R to vote for the bill.  Her vote was decisive b/c Bob Marshall, who represents constituents who would be disproportionately impacted by a repeal of Roe v Wade, went ‘not voting’ on the bill.

Stephanie Hansen’s first bill passed the House yesterday, and goes to the Governor.  SB 41  ‘requires carriers to provide coverage for medically necessary inpatient treatment of alcohol and drug dependencies and prohibits carriers from imposing precertification, prior authorization, pre-admission screening, or referral requirements for the diagnosis and treatment, including in-patient treatment, of drug and alcohol dependencies.’  Not just a good bill, but a campaign promise kept.

HB 120 (Longhurst), which ‘requires health insurance policies to cover any medically appropriate drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of stage 4 metastatic cancer without requiring a patient to first prove that the patient failed to respond to a different drug or drugs’, also passed the House and heads to the Senate.

Here is yesterday’s entire Session Activity Report.

There is a really bad bill on today’s House Committee schedule.  If you think that Delaware is, or fast becoming, a police state, have I got a bill for you. From the same ex-cop who brought you the Extreme Crimes Prevention Act, we have HB 124 (Smyk). Nothing says ‘police state’ more than arming cops with destructive military weaponry.  Which is what this bill would facilitate:

Importers, manufacturers and dealers of “destructive weapons” are licensed and regulated under Federal law. Under existing Delaware law, importers, manufacturers and dealers of destructive weapons are not permitted to deliver them to purchasers in Delaware who are otherwise permitted to own such weapons, such as military or police forces. This Bill will permit properly licensed importers, manufacturers and dealers to possess and store destructive weapons in this State and engage in activities associated with the sale and delivery of such weapons to (or from) qualified purchasers.

What the fuck could possibly go wrong?  The Dover asylum is being run by its worst inmates.  Mostly ex-cops. In, of course, the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Other items of interest on the House Committee docket:

*Well, we’ve gotta lead with marijuana legalization.  HB 110 (Keeley):

The Delaware Marijuana Control Act regulates and taxes marijuana in the same manner as alcohol. It allows adults over the age of 21 to legally possess and consume under 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use. It does not permit people to grow their own marijuana.

Step One is to get the bill out of committee.  Here are the members of the Revenue & Taxation Committee:

Chairman: Helene M. Keeley
Vice-Chair: Bryon H. Short
Members: Paul S. Baumbach
Andria L. Bennett
Stephanie T. Bolden
James Johnson
Quinton Johnson
Charles Potter Jr.
Sean Matthews
Michael Ramone
Ronald E. Gray
Jeff N. Spiegelman
Lyndon D. Yearick

Those members in bold lettering are on the bill as sponsors.  If your legislator is on the committee but not a sponsor, please call them and politely encourage them to support the bill.

*I like HB 141 (Lynn), which ‘authorizes the Family Court to interview a child outside the presence of the parties for the purpose of obtaining the child’s testimony and ascertaining the truth of a matter asserted by a party to a Protection from Abuse proceeding.’ Judiciary Committee.

*Beer gardens are fast becoming a ‘thing’ in Delaware, particularly in Wilmington. HB 158 (Keeley) ‘creates a new type of liquor license for beer gardens. Beer gardens are outdoor venues that operate at least 5 months, of each year and are independent of any other licensed establishment.’ The legislation limits the number of beer gardens and provides for a $2000 biennial licensing fee. Business Lapdog Committee.

*Real good elections bill from Rep. Bentz.  HB 90 (finally!) creates in-person early voting in Delaware.  Specifically, ‘registered voters will be allowed to vote in-person for at least 10 days prior to an election, up to and including the Saturday and Sunday immediately prior to the election at locations determined by the Commissioner’. House Administration Committee.

Highlights from the Senate Committee meeting schedule are as follows:

*Here’s a bill which deserves the support of every progressive.   SB 65 (McDowell)  makes it unprofessional conduct or a ground for discipline for individuals granted a certificate to practice medicine or  nursing or mental health professionals to engage in conversion therapy with a child or to refer a child to a practitioner in another jurisdiction to receive conversion therapy.  Health, Children and Social Services Committee.

*Nominees before the Executive Committee include that of Mike Hare, political ally of Mike Purzycki and Buccini-Pollin mover and shaker, to the Del-Tech Board of Trustees. Somehow, it makes sense.

*HB 99 (K. Williams) requires that ‘a resident 65 years of age or older claiming a tax credit against school taxes must be a resident of the state for at least 10 years before qualifying for such credit. The current requirement is only for 3-year residency’.  Bill passed the House with only 2 no votes. Education Committee.

While the House doesn’t run an Agenda on Wednesdays, today’s Senate Agenda features two more terrible bills from ex-cop Steve Smyk.  HB 122 and HB 123, to be exact. Both easily passed the House, and both will easily pass the Senate.  No way Jellyfish John won’t sign them. Demagoguery at its finest.

And so it goes. Civil liberties circling the drain in Delaware.  One bad bill after another.  Insufficient action from its citizens and their advocates.



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  1. MD says:

    “Remember their names”? Why?

  2. RE Vanella says:

    Because they are at heretofore personally associated with a vile, barbarous regression in policy. That’s why. (But I think you knew that was why, huh?)

    Supporting state sanction murder is disgusting enough. But to revive the practice after it was eliminated is particularly heinous and shameful. They should all be ashamed as human beings.