General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., Jan. 9, 2019

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 9, 2019 23 Comments

Yesterday was All Ceremony. Congratulations to all. Let’s get down to business.

According to press reports, the General Assembly has two must-pass bills for January: The second leg of Delaware’s equal-rights amendment, and legislation permitting the new arena for Delaware’s minor league pro basketball team to sell alcohol.  Never too early to give Buccini/Pollin a bouquet of money. Accordingly, each of the two House committees considering these bills will meet today.  Here are the notices for both the House Administration Committee and the Business Lapdog Committee.  It appears that the ERA bill, at least, will be run in the House on Thursday.

Uh-oh, a word of caution here. Normally, committees post agendas of what bills will be considered. In this case, however, and probably b/c the House is just organizing, what the notices provide are lists of all bills in committee. In theory, any of those bills could be considered. In practice, of course, that’s not gonna happen. For example, you can bet that Pete ‘n Val will bury Rep. Kowalko’s bill creating a couple of new upper tax brackets.  However, there is one bill that Speaker Pete could try to sneak through in January. This bill, which is in the House Administration Committee.  It may merely reflect boilerplate changes. However, does anybody remember this? Yes, I’m at least a little suspicious. Why? Because charter changes like this one proposed for Rehoboth Beach generally go through the Housing and Community Affairs Committee. So why did Pete put it in his own committee?  Will he sneak this bill out of committee today? Worth keeping an eye on.

As I write this, some Senate Committee assignments are beginning to trickle in. The Senate Education Committee membership, as first reported by Kevin Ohlandt, has been confirmed.  I’m vamping until the rest of the appointments are posted.  So far, the only other committee with a full membership is the Senate Agriculture Committee. This…is…painful. But, hey, this is why you (don’t) pay me the big bucks. How painful is it, El Som? Thanks for asking. Well, we know that the Senate Executive Committee is comprised of the members of leadership. However, so far, only Senators McBride and Poore’s names appear there.  Is someone chiseling (always an apt legislative word) these appointments in stone or something before they’re released to the unwashed masses?

OK, you’ve convinced me. I’m posting this now.  More word on committee assignments if and when Sen. McBride deigns to make them public. Check back here often. Or, check back here. Hey, I’ve got stuff to do.


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  1. One of the big committees was just posted. The Senate Finance Committee, whose members serve on the Joint Finance Committee, will consist of Senators McDowell (chair), Ennis, Paradee, Sturgeon (!?), Lawson and Richardson.

    I’m sure a lot of you know the answer to this question, but does this mean that Laura Sturgeon is no longer teaching? We’re talking six weeks of all-day budget hearings from Tuesday through Thursday each week.

    BTW, Tizzy Lockman will chair the Senate Sunset Committee. Awaiting word on the other members…

  2. SussexWatcher says:

    The assignments were posted late last night on Facebook:

  3. Uh-oh, I see a concern if you’re looking for an assault weapons ban to pass. Despite the presence of Darius Brown and Bryan Townsend on the Senate Judiciary Committee, McBride has once again stacked that committee with three gun nuts–Ennis, DelCollo and Lawson. If McBride puts it in the Health & Social Services Committee, we’re likely OK. But this worries me.

    I think that either Lockman or Brown should have been on Health & Social Services, but that’s more a quibble. Both are on the Corrections Committee, and that’s a big plus, IMHO.

    I like the Capital Improvements (Bond Bill) membership as well, with Sokola, Brown, Townsend and Walsh as the D members.

    There’s also a real solid Transportation Committee, which will nicely complement an upgraded House Transportation Committee this term.

    All in all, reasonable assignments, with the glaring exception of the Judiciary Committee membership and how it could impact the passage of gun legislation.

  4. Delawaredude says:

    Ummm can someone explain to me why Darius brown who is not an attorney is chairing the judiciary committee?? I’m a little lost on this one

    • The issues that come before that committee are generally not so complicated or obtuse that a lawyer needs to chair the committee. There indeed have been times when there were no lawyers serving in the Senate.

      In this case, however, there are two attorneys serving on the committee–Bryan Townsend and Anthony Delcollo. Plus, Senate attorneys are assigned to work with various committees, so all the legal angles are covered.

      • Delawaredude says:

        I don’t elect The 20 something no life experience senate staffer I want to hold the senators responsible, especially the chairs. I think you are simplifying it a bit to much, there are attorneys in the caucus and one should chair that committee

  5. He has more life experience than you or I do in certain areas, areas that are germane to what the Judiciary Committee will consider. And there are two lawyers on the committee. Meaning, they know the law. Sounds like your issue is more with the particular person who is the chair rather than the composition of the committee.

    BTW, the vice-chair of Judiciary? Bryan Townsend. He’s an…what’s the word I’m looking for…attorney.

    • Delawaredude says:

      So ummm whats the phrase im looking for…make him the chair

      • Alby says:

        So um…do you intend to sound racist, or is it just a side benefit?

        • Delawaredude says:

          Do you intend to sound dumb? Because I like Darious Brown but because I stated that hes not qualified to be he Judiciary Chair since he doesn’t have a JD im a racist? You must be one of those vote for LBR people because she was black. Thanks for giving me a carney lackey

          • Alby says:

            And has been demonstrated to you, a JD has never been a requirement for the job.

            I didn’t say you were a racist. I said given your idea of a necessary qualification you sound like one.

            But thanks for demonstrating that you’re a simple-minded asshole who not only makes up qualifications for the job that don’t exist but who can’t read accurately either.

          • Yo, delawaredude, here’s what YOU wrote:

            “I don’t elect The 20 something no life experience senate staffer I want to hold the senators responsible, especially the chairs.”

            That may not be a diss, but it sure reads like one. Your syntax is so bad that it reminds me of, nah, it can’t be him, Sam Guy. Who got blown out by Darius Brown.

            Regardless, forget the fact that your sentence is unintelligible. Why don’t you just go back in time and find the LAST time a lawyer headed the Judiciary Committee?

            • Alby says:

              Historically, the General Assembly has had very few lawyers among its members compared to other state legislatures in the region. Back in the ’80s there was only a single one IIRC.

              • Pretty sure that Newark’s Steve Amick was the only lawyer for quite some time. And, when he was in the Senate, he was always in the minority. I really liked Steve, one of the last of the ‘good government’ R’s.

  6. BTW, the previous judiciary chair? Margaret Rose Henry. Not a lawyer.

  7. Gary Myers says:

    Didn’t the Senate always have an Energy Committee and wasn’t McDowell always the Chair? I don’t see Energy listed as a committee and McDowell is not listed a Chair of any committee except Finance. Cutting back prior to retirement?

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