General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Wed., Jan. 17, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 17, 2018

That was a pretty good day–bail reform passed and was sent to the Governor. And Earl Jaques’ Impenetrable Fortresses bill proved not to be bullet-proof. Off the Agenda, back on the Ready List. Perhaps because it has a Fiscal Note? So, I went to scope out the Fiscal Note.  Fiscal projections are the same for each of the next three fiscal years. And I quote from Da’ Note: ‘Indeterminable’.  I love this job.

Yes, the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act was introduced yesterday.  This is similar to the bill that then-AG Biden was pushing for back in 2013, and is designed to keep guns away from the dangerously mentally ill.  While the (very long) synopsis demonstrates how difficult it is to thread the legal needle, the bill’s sponsorship points toward passage.  When you’ve got R’s like DelCollo, Hocker, Richardson, Lavelle and others, you’ve got some NRA stalwarts on board.

Here is yesterday’s Session Activity Report.

There are some real interesting bills in committee today.  Uh, almost all of them in the House.  Feel free to scour the Senate Committee Meeting notices for yourself. Actually, The Senate Executive Committee will consider the nomination of Wali Rushdan for a spot on the State Board of Education.  He seems like a very high-caliber nominee to me. What do the education mavens think?

Some fascinating stuff on the House side,  starting with a strong nominee for Strangest Bedfellows Of The Year Award.  When the potheads and the NRA come together, there must be a reason. And there is. HB 234 (Smyk) ‘clarifies that the felony of Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited shall not apply to persons who are prohibited from possessing a deadly weapon solely by their possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana, when such possession qualifies as a civil penalty under Title 16’.  In other words, don’t let a little weed come between you and your guns.  A couple of cop ignoramuses (ignorami?) have been pushing for such a ban.  Because, as we all know, no one is more likely to start a lethal rampage than some pot-crazed maniac.  Look at the sponsors: Smyk-Keeley, Pettyjohn-Townsend.  You may never see another bill like it.

Gee, looks like somebody is spreading some money around. HB 53 (Miro). Probably somebody who sells ‘sparklers and other nonexplosive, nonairborne novelty items that are regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.’  Probably a Rethug, since all the sponsors are R’s.  Don’t care about the bill one way or another, which would legalize the use and sale of these items. Just pointing out ‘special interest’ legislation when I see it.

We’ve talked about HB 278 (Baumbach) before. The bill changes school board member terms from 5 years to 4 years. Seems to have broad support across the education spectrum. Anyone know why it was 5 years to begin with? Can’t think of any other elective 5-year position.

Remember last week when John Carney announced he would support paid family and medical leave for state employees? In reality, he was announcing support for this bill,  which had been introduced last April and had languished in Pete ‘n Val’s House Administration Committee ever since.  Well, it’s on today’s committee agenda, and it would ‘require that all full-time employees of the State, including employees of school districts, continuously in the employ of the state for at least one year, shall be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child 6 years of age or younger’. Now that the Governor has blessed the bill, it will likely come out of committee.

Not so sure about this one, though, although it’s a real good bill. HB 92 (Rep. K. Williams) ‘provides that every member of the General Assembly or person elected to state office shall disclose as part of their financial disclosure if they have received more than $10,000 in the last 10 years due to the sale of land, development rights, an agricultural conservation easement, a forest preservation easement or any other type of easement to the State of Delaware, any county, any municipality, any public instrumentality, or any government agency or organization.’  In the name of transparency, it should come out.  It comes down to whether Pete ‘n Val, and/or one of their cronies, has an interest in keeping this information hidden.  Bill’s been in committee since the end of March of 2017, so there could well be a reason they’ve kept it buried.

And then we come to today’s Housing And Community Affairs committee meeting. We might as well call HB 239 (Ramone)  the ‘Build A Wall Around Karen Hartley Nagle’ Act.  Under current law, should a vacancy occur for the position of New Castle County Chief Executive, the President of County Council fills the position until the next general election. That’s how Paul Clark got the position in the first place when Chris Coons was elected to the Senate.  HB 239 changes that. As in ‘Initially the County Chief Administrative Officer will fill the position. Thereafter a special election shall be held to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term of office.’ While the bill is worth considering, the Rethugs didn’t circulate it for D sponsorship, so regard it for what it is: campaign brochure fodder.

And, finally, kids, without looking, see if you can figure out what HB 266 is really about, just based on its title: An Act To Amend Titles 22 & 9 Of The Delaware Code Relating To Enterprise Zones.  Uh, would it help if I told you that these refer to enterprise zones that would be created in…Sussex County?  While you try to figure out what the bill is really about, I’ll provide you with the synopsis:

This act allows Sussex County government to create Enterprise Zones within the unincorporated areas of Sussex County. The act also allows any municipality, a portion of which is located in Sussex County, to create Enterprise Zones.


Ding! Time’s up.  The body of the bill reveals the legislative intent right away:

(b) Within an enterprise zone, no person shall be required, as a condition or continuation of employment, to:

(1) become or remain a member of a labor organization;

(2) pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other similar charges, however designated, of any kind or amount to a labor organization, or;

(3) pay any charity or other third party, in lieu of such payments, any amount equivalent to or pro rata portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges required of members of a labor organization.

Ay-yup. The Koch Brothers are at it again.  Right to work for less. Bill’s not going anywhere.  A couple of things: (1) Stephanie Bolden, I assume your name appears as a sponsor by mistake, right? The only D on the bill? (2) Noted Sussex Countian Greg Lavelle is also a sponsor.

Coming tomorrow: The State Of The State.


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  1. Bot says:

    If I’m reading the NJ report correctly, the Beau Biden bill and the bill you linked aren’t the same thing. They appear to be competing approaches.

  2. jason330 says:

    “HB 92” It does sound like it has someone in mind. Based on nothing other than the fact that he claims to be a farmer…it makes me think of Bill Powers for some reason.

  3. You’re right. The one I linked to is the bill that was introduced by Bennett and DelCollo back in December. Here is the Bentz bill:

    Shoulda’ known that, if there were R’s on the bill, it wasn’t the right bill…

  4. SussexWatcher says:

    HB 92 targets Rep. Dave Wilson, Republican, who has some land in farmland preservation.

  5. Not sure it’s targeting anybody. Could be targeting lots of anybodys.

  6. “He seems like a very high-caliber nominee to me. What do the education mavens think?” I would think so if he exhibited a bit more transparency and did more in public education.