General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., April 19, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on April 19, 2018

Senate President Pro-Tempore Dave McBride had an idea. It was, and remains, a good idea. He would post the Senate agendas for the entire week well in advance of Tuesday’s sessions.  He has done so. Problem is, bills have been dropping from those agendas regularly.  Yesterday, it was Ernie Lopez’s ‘DNREC, Get Off Of My Lawn’ bill.  Today, it’s one of the keystones of a gun control package.  It’s not McBride’s fault that Pete Schwartzkopf opened the door to the numerous NRA-backed amendments to HS1/HB330.  After all, Schwartzkopf’s substitute bill carved out several exceptions to the minimum purchase age requirements. With, of course, no reciprocal promise from the Forces Of Evil that they would compromise on the bill in any manner. Once he did that, he should have known (and perhaps did) that the Forces Of Evil would look to further emasculate the bill in the Senate with the goal of killing it altogether.  Jeez, it’s as if the recent mass carnage never happened.  This time was gonna be different, right? Not so much, apparently.  Mark Brainard was right: The General Assembly needs a giant enema.

Yesterday’s Session Activity report doesn’t really tell us much, as bills that were released from committees yesterday don’t show up on the report until they’re read into the record today.

Today’s truncated Senate Agenda features four House bills.  I suppose that this modest move towards transparency is the most notable of the bunch.  Rep. Collins, the developers’ fixer, cast the only no vote in the House.  I don’t look for any no’s in the Senate.

There’s meatier fare on today’s House Agenda.  I’ll skip those that I’ve already discussed, and instead focus on the following three:

HB 314 (Mulrooney)  anticipates an upcoming Supreme Court ruling that may significantly weaken the power of public employee unions.  The bill ‘allows public employers and employee organizations to manage membership status and authorizations in a manner that will meet public employee’s desires while not disrupting the public employer’s or employee organization’s operations’.  The Rethug shoehorning of Justice Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court was forced with this decision in the forefront of their priorities.  I suspect the bill will pass in both chambers with next to no R support.

HB 310 (M. Smith) doesn’t impress me much, if at all.  Despite the Act’s long-winded title, “The Certification of Adoption of Sustainability and Transparency Standards Act”, it strikes me as a Big Nothing.  Check this out from the synopsis:

…establishes a voluntary disclosure regime to foster dialogue around sustainability and responsibility among participating Delaware business entities and their various stakeholders. Because issues relating to sustainability and responsibility are fact-specific and fact-intensive and may vary greatly depending on, among other things, the size of the entity, the nature of its business and operations, and the industry in which it operates, the Act does not prescribe specific standards, measures of performance or criteria for evaluating performance. Rather, consistent with the enabling approach of Delaware business laws generally, the Act requires the governing body of each entity seeking certification under the Act to adopt principles, guidelines and standards to guide its business activities in a sustainable and responsible manner, as well as metrics for assessing whether it has met its objectives.

…the Act does not contemplate that State officers will make qualitative judgments regarding the standards or metrics that an entity adopts. The Act also does not contemplate or require that State officers determine qualitatively whether an entity has been operated in a sustainable and responsible manner.

In other words, the Act doesn’t do a fucking thing, other than to presumably enable a business entity to claim that they’ve met some sustainability standard that doesn’t exist via some certificate from the Secretary of State’s office that makes no judgment.  What am I missing here? Anybody?  

Finally, we’ve got HB 331 (Kowalko).  The bill ‘creates regulations concerning the use, distribution and education of Benzodiazepine and Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics. It require Practitioners to obtain consent from a minor’s parent or guardian prior to prescribing these drugs, and require pharmacist to include a cautionary statement explaining the risks associated with the long term use of these drugs.’  OK, I did some research. We’re talking tranquilizers like Valium or Xanax.  They are among the most prescribed drugs in America.  Based on that, the bill makes sense to me.

Well, this week certainly underwhelmed. Right back at’cha next Tuesday.


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  1. Here’s a good explanatory article on the bill that would ban marriages of those under 18 years of age:

    The bill is on today’s House Agenda.