On this last day of session for the 145th General Assembly, the following bills were passed and are now awaiting Governor Markell’s signature to become law……
Senate Bill 315 AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR CERTAIN GRANTS-IN-AID FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2011; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS, AMENDING THE FISCAL YEAR 2011 APPROPRIATIONS ACT; AND TITLE 1 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE HOLIDAYS.
House Bill 56 w/ HA 2: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. This Bill amends the Public Employment Relations Act to clarify the police officers and other law enforcement officers provided for in paragraph 9 must be certified as required by the Delaware Police Training Program.
This Bill also creates a new paragraph 13 for Probation and Parole Officers of the Department of Corrections.
House Bill 172 with HA 1 and HA 2: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DISCLOSURE OF COUNCIL OR BOARD MEMBERSHIP. This bill requires that a person elected to a state office or appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective state office, or who has filed as a candidate for an elective state office disclose the name and address of every nonprofit organization, civic association, community association, foundation, maintenance organization, or trade group incorporated in the State or having activities in the State, or both, of which the person is a council member or board member
HB 236 with HA 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SPECIAL ELECTIONS. This bill is a total rewrite of the special election chapter. It provides that the officer issuing the writ do so within 10 days of the vacancy, that he/she sets the date of the special election not less than 30 nor more than 35 days following the issuance of the writ, establishes a nomination deadline of 25 days prior to the date of election, provides for unaffiliated candidates, establishes requirements for notices, and otherwise updates the chapter.
HB 361: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DUTIES OF A CANDIDATE. his act makes it clear that a candidate for State office has a duty to file the financial disclosure reports which are required to be filed pursuant to Chapter 58 of Title 29.
HB 415 with HA 1: AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 64A, TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY. This Act codifies an agreement between the Department of Technology and Information and the Division of Communications of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) to transfer to DSHS the authority to enter into leases and license space for communication facilities on telecommunication towers and other facilities constructed for the 800 MHz Trunked Radio System.
HB 480 with HA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 3, 7, AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL. This legislation implements DNREC’s reorganization by separating the current Division of Air and Waste Management into the Division of Waste Management and Division of Air Quality; changes the name of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation to the Division of Watershed Stewardship; changes the name of the Division of Water Resources to the Division of Water and authorizes the Secretary to create an Office of Environmental Protection to include the Divisions of Waste Management, Air Quality and Water and an Office of Natural Resources to include the Divisions of Watershed Stewardship, Division of Parks and Recreation and Division of Fish and Wildlife.
HB 493 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD. This bill exempts a person using a two-way communication device mounted or attached to a motor vehicle during their course of employment with a business or government entity while talking to a central dispatch, base of operation, or with other employees of such business or government entity.
HB 494 w/HA 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD. This Act excludes two-way radio communications devices with a fixed placement in the vehicle from the list of prohibited devices.
HB 500 A BOND AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND CERTAIN OF ITS AUTHORITIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2011; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS OF THE STATE; APPROPRIATING FUNDS FROM THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND; APPROPRIATING SPECIAL FUNDS OF THE DELAWARE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY; DEAUTHORIZING AND REAUTHORIZING CERTAIN FUNDS OF THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND; APPROPRIATING GENERAL FUNDS AND SPECIAL FUNDS OF THE STATE; REVERTING AND REPROGRAMMING CERTAIN FUNDS OF THE STATE; DIRECTING THE DEPOSIT OF CERTAIN FUNDS TO THE GENERAL FUND; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; AMENDING CERTAIN PERTINENT STATUTORY PROVISIONS; AND AMENDING THE LAWS OF DELAWARE. This Bill is the Fiscal Year 2011 Bond and Capital Improvements Act.
HJR 14 REQUESTING DELAWARE’S U.S. DELEGATION TO SUPPORT FEDERAL LEGISLATION THAT ADDS UNPAID COURT-ORDERED RESTITUTION, FINES, FEES AND COSTS TO DELINQUENT OBLIGATIONS THAT CAN BE INTERCEPTED THROUGH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY OFFSET PROGRAM. This Joint Resolution requests Delaware’s U.S. delegation to immediately enact legislation implementing a court fee intercept program to intercept federal tax refunds to pay overdue State court-ordered restitution, fines, fees and costs.
HS 1 for HB 435 w/HA 1, HA 2 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC. This Substitute bill prevents unreasonable deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance charges for chiropractic care. Some managed care providers have arbitrarily classified chiropractors as “specialists” in order to charge copayments and deductibles that are in excess of those charged for primary care medical doctors. This Act establishes that the maximum amount of any deductible, copayment, or coinsurance charge for chiropractic care shall be the lesser of either: (i) the deductible or copayment for a primary care physician, or (ii) 15% of the fee due to be paid to the chiropractic under the insurance policy for the treatment provider. The provisions of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2011.
SB 228 w/SA 1, SA 2 + HA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE FOR PURPOSES OF REGULATING DISCOUNT MEDICAL PLANS. This Act establishes a regulatory system for medical discount plans, i.e. plans sold to individuals which offer them a discount on medical services with certain health care providers. The emergence of medical discount plans in Delaware has created confusion, as they are often mistaken for health insurance, and this legislation seeks to ensure that medical discount plans are not misrepresented as insurance. This legislation also provides a specific set of rules that entities selling medical discount plans must follow in order to protect consumers, and a regulatory structure which will allow the state to enforce those rules.
SB 246 w/HA 1, HA 2 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS, PRIVATE SECURITY AGENCIES AND BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENTS. This Bill creates a Delaware Board of Examiners of Bail Enforcement Agents empowered to enforce standards upon bail enforcement agents. This 9 member board will supplant the primary responsibility of the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security regarding licensure and disciplinary regulatory authority. Regulations proposed by the Board would still be subject to the approval of the Secretary. The Bill also requires that licensees operating a bail enforcement company obtain insurance and file proof of insurance with the Board.
SB 269 w/HA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CARELESS OR INATTENTIVE DRIVING. This Bill amends the careless or inattentive driving law by enhancing the penalty for a careless or inattentive driver who contributes to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user in a public right of way. The Bill defines vulnerable uses in public right of ways.
SS 1 for SB 171 w/SA 2, SA 1 + HA 2, HA 3 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PARENTAGE. This Act identifies circumstances where it sometimes is appropriate to reconsider previous establishments of paternity beyond the ordinary statutes of limitation. These include where a child has extraordinary medical needs, where a wife fails to disclose that a child born during the marriage is not her husband’s, where all parties agree, and where the best interest of the child otherwise demands. The Act also requires paternity adjudicated without genetic testing to be supported by an affidavit of the mother that there are no other possible fathers.
HB 85 w/HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE. This bill implements recommendations of the Delaware Health Care Commission and its Small Business Health Insurance Committee to reform rating rules for small employer group health insurance. A comprehensive review of the current law revealed that it is complicated, difficult to understand, and does not achieve the goal of making premiums more predictable from year to year. The bill compresses rate variations between high risk and low risk groups, reduces rating factors from seven to three, limits annual increases and decreases due to changes in health status to 15 percent, and prohibits the sale of ‘stop-loss’ coverage in the small group market.
HB 92 w/HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES AND FEES. The act defines a new class of occupational license tax licensee for direct care workers and provides for the license fee of such direct care workers to be reduced, if the gross receipts of such direct care workers for the 12 months, beginning July 1 and ending June 30, preceding the year of license application or renewal are less than $10,000 or direct care workers would be exempted if they are employed by or under contract with a Personal Assistance Services Agency (PASA).
HB 276 w/HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 11, 16, 17 AND 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, GRAFFITI, AND OTHER INJURY TO A SCENIC AND HISTORICAL HIGHWAY OR A SCENIC BYWAY. This bill adds a mandatory $500 penalty to criminal and/or civil charges of injuring, damaging, littering, or applying graffiti to or along a scenic and historical highway or a scenic byway, as defined in 17 Del.C. § 101(a)(9), as follows: § 101(a)(9) A “Scenic and Historic Highway” or “Scenic Byway” is a transportation route which is adjacent to or runs along or next to an area that has particular intrinsic scenic, historic, recreational, cultural or archaeology qualities for which such transportation route is managed in order to protect such characteristics and to encourage development of tourism and recreational resources.”
HB 326 w/HA 2 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HEALTHCARE MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE INSURANCE AND LITIGATION . Consistent with Delaware’s Child Victim’s Act, this Act clarifies that civil actions based on sexual abuse of a patient by a healthcare provider may be filed at any time after the commission of the abuse. This Act also creates a 2-year “look-back” provision in cases of abuse which was unknown and could not reasonably have been discovered by the patient.
HB 378 w/HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESOURCE STANDARDS. This bill strikes § 1500(8) of Title 26 of the Delaware Code which has the unintended consequence of mandating a decoupled design mechanism.
HB 392 w/SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES. This bill requires a landlord to make a community center available to a tenant’s association or, if none, a group of tenants to use to hold meetings addressing matters affecting or relating to the tenants’ rights, obligations, and/or privileges in and/or relating to the manufactured home community. Use of the community center by the tenants for such meeting shall be at no charge and shall be permitted within a reasonable amount of time after the tenant’s association or group of tenants have made a request to the landlord.
HB 399 w/HA 1, HA 3 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION. This Bill will create the Inspire Scholarship Program. Inspire scholarships are available to Delaware students with excellent credentials and economic need to attend Delaware State University. The intent of this program is to increase the number of students in Delaware who attend college and complete degree programs. The amounts available to these grant recipients are subject to available funds and are capped at the grant amount available to SEED grant recipients. Inspire scholarship recipients must continue to make excellent academic progress toward a degree and must complete at least ten hours of community service per semester.
HB 420 w/HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE This Act is intended to prohibit the practice of “post-claims underwriting” by health insurers, as defined in Title 18 of the Delaware Code. Underwriting is the practice of determining, based upon information provided by an applicant for an insurance policy about the applicant’s health and background, whether the insurance company should offer the applicant a policy and, if so, what should be the terms and the cost of the policy. Health insurance underwriting normally is completed prior to the issuance of an insurance policy. Post claims underwriting is a practice whereby an insurance company fails to properly complete underwriting prior to issuing a policy, and instead waits until a claim is filed to determine that the insured was originally ineligible for the policy and rescind the policy, notwithstanding the fact that the insured has, in some instances, been paying premiums on the policy for several months or years. This Act prohibits rescissions of health insurance policies, as defined in the Act, based upon post-claims underwriting. This Act does not apply in instances where the insured knowingly misrepresented or omitted information which materially affects the risk of hazard assumed by the insurer.
HB 431 w/HA 1, HA 1 to HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 189, VOLUME 43, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF WYOMING. This bill repeals the current Town of Wyoming Charter and adopts a new Town of Wyoming Charter. This bill carries over without significant changes many sections and subsections of the former charter to the new charter and such sections are not mentioned in the synopsis.
SECTION 3. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT; QUALIFICATIONS FOR TOWN COUNCIL; COMPENSATION. Crimes that disqualify an individual for running for Mayor or Council in section 3.2 are expanded to include any felony, crime of moral turpitude, crime of dishonesty, or crime involving fraud, bribery or embezzlement (the only original limitation was being convicted of “a felony of any crime involving moral turpitude”). The age requirement to run for mayor is clarified as being 21 years of age “by the date of the election”. (The former charter made no mention of when a candidate must be 21.) The mayoral term of office in section 3.3 is expanded from 2 to 3 years.
SECTION 4. MANNER OF HOLDING ELECTIONS AND MAKING NOMINATIONS. The election provisions governing Wyoming elections are heavily revised to be consistent with 15 Del C. Ch. 75 (“Municipal Elections”), and no inconsistencies are intended. The Town is required to post or publish notices of elections 20 days prior to the election date in five public places and in 2 newspapers. Pursuant to the Municipal Elections law, notice must be posted in the required manner, the Town must follow certain procedures to solicit candidates for elections, and candidates are required to make appropriate filings with the state. The right to vote is restricted to U.S. citizens, 18 years of age or older, who are domiciled in the Town at least 30 days prior to the election, who have not been adjudged mentally incompetent, and who have not been disenfranchised under the Delaware Constitution. “Domiciled” is defined and the Charter requires voters to present photo identification and proof of residency at the time of voting pursuant to the Municipal Elections law. The Town may either enact an ordinance regarding voter registration or adopt the Kent County voter registration list. The conduct of the elections and absentee voting must be in accordance with the Municipal Elections law, and pursuant to the same law, voting machines must be used. Recounts and contests of elections must be done pursuant to the Municipal Elections law. The Election Board may consist of either 3 or 5 members, none of whom may be close relatives of any council members or candidates for office. The Election Board’s powers are set forth, including the right to break a tie vote in a municipal election by the toss of a coin. The period of time the Election Board must keep ballots after an election is increased from 10 days to 30 days (or if the election is contested or an appeal is filed, until the reviewing body or court decides otherwise).
SECTION 5. ORGANIZATION AND ANNUAL MEETING OF COUNCIL. The list of individuals who may “swear in” a Town official under section 5 is expanded to include state and county officials presently in office.
SECTION 10. FORFEITURE OF OFFICE. The reasons a council member must forfeit office are changed from just being convicted of “any felony or crime involving moral turpitude” to being convicted of “a felony, of any crime involving moral turpitude, of any crime of dishonesty, or of any crime involving fraud, bribery, or embezzlement.” The former charter required forfeiture if three consecutive council meetings are missed without being excused by Council, but forfeiture is now required if three council meetings are missed in a 12-month period without being excused by Council.
SECTION 11. FILLING VACANCIES. This section is new to the Charter. Pursuant to section 11, if a vacancy occurs on council more than four months prior to the next annual election, Council has 45 days to fill the vacancy by a majority vote. If two candidates for a vacant seat receive equal number of council votes, the tie shall be broken by a toss of a coin. All vacant seats are only filled temporarily until the next regular election at which time the voters will elect an individual to fill the seat for the remainder of the original term.
SECTION 12. CONTRACTS WITH THE TOWN. The ability of Council to approve contracts with council members through unanimous is eliminated, and the Charter now outlines that all contracts and conflicts of interest are governed by 29 Del.C. Ch. 58 (“Laws Regulating the Conduct of Officers and Employees of the State”), and any contracts that would otherwise violate this statute must be brought before the State Public Integrity Commission.
SECTION 13. REGULAR MEETINGS OF COUNCIL. The Town must post notice of temporary changes of meeting locations in five places in Town (the former charter does not specify the number of locations where such notice must be posted).
SECTION 14 OFFICERS. In section 14.1, the Town Collector of Taxes is changed from being the Town Clerk to the Town Finance Clerk. Section 14.4 amends the powers of the Mayor to include the authorization to act in cases of sudden emergency without prior Council approval, provided that Council may cancel or further implement the Mayor’s actions at a meeting within 15 days of the Mayor’s actions. In section 14.6 and 14.7, the bonding requirement for the Town Treasurer and Collector of Taxes is increased from $2,000 and $1,000 respectively, to $30,000. However, bonding shall not be required for either position if the Town maintains a general public employee bond that covers both. The age requirement for the Finance Clerk is increased from 18 to 21. The requirement that the Council select a Town Solicitor for a one-year term in section 14.9 is eliminated, leaving undefined the term for which the solicitor may be elected. The powers of police officers originally found in two places in the Charter are combined in one place in 14.10. Unnecessary language regarding the procedures whereby individuals are sentenced or imprisoned is deleted, and language in the current Charter granting the police authority to act 1 mile beyond the Town limits is also deleted.
SECTION 15. ASSESSMENT OF TAXES. References to the Town Board of Assessment are eliminated, and section 15 requires the Town to adopt the Kent County assessment lists. The Town shall not have authority to hear assessment appeals except with regards to additions made to tax bills by the Town for other charges owed to the town. The posting date of the assessment list is changed from April 15 to June 1, and the locations where public notice must be posted are expanded from two public places to five public places. The Town’s taxing authority is expanded to include telephone facilities, television facilities, and gas facilities. The authority to tax farmland and to exempt farmland from taxation is simplified and clarified. The Town’s authority to exceed the $600,000 limit of revenue it can annually raise through taxes via a referendum is eliminated from the Charter.
SECTION 17. COLLECTION OF TAXES AND OTHER CHARGES. A provision is added to Section 17 allowing courts to award the Town its costs and attorneys fees associated with bring actions to enforce Town ordinances or to collect amounts due to the Town when the Town is the prevailing party; provided that the Town shall have made written demand for payment or compliance, including notice that the Town may be entitled to collect its costs and reasonable attorneys fees if it is the prevailing party, to the responsible party prior to the filing of such legal action or proceeding.
SECTION 18. ENUMERATION OF SPECIFIC POWERS OF COUNCIL. The transfer tax that may be charged by the Town is increased from 1 percent to 1 ½ percent. Language stating that the Levy Court shall appropriate funds to the Town is deleted, as is language stating that the Town may regulate the operation of public utilities. The requirement that building setbacks be no more than 10 feet is eliminated (setbacks are to be governed by the Town’s zoning ordinance). The limit of fines for violating ordinances in 18.21 is increased from $500 to $1000, but imprisonment as a penalty is restricted to only civil contempt charges (under the existing charter, imprisonment could be a penalty for any ordinance violation). The Town is authorized to enact civil penalties for ordinance violations and establish voluntary assessment procedures. A detailed list of businesses that may be licensed or taxed by the Town is removed, and the Town is granted general authority to license and tax businesses.
SECTION 19. USE OF TOWN MONEY. Section 19 no longer includes the requirement that all Town bills be approved by Council and that all proposed uses of money be recorded in the minutes.
SECTION 20. FISCAL YEAR, ANNUAL STATEMENT. The Town’s annual statement of the receipts and disbursements of Town moneys shall be posted in 5 public places, but unlike under the former charter, such posting need not occur 10 days prior to the annual Town election (statements are not ready at that time).
SECTION 21. POWER TO BORROW MONEY AND USE BONDS. The Town’s current borrowing procedures are eliminated and replaced with new borrowing procedures. The short term borrowing limit for the Town (to be repaid within five years) is $125,000 (accumulated outstanding principle) with at least four members of council voting in favor. (Previously, Council could borrow $125,000 per fiscal year with a majority vote of council.) The total borrowing limit of the Town is reduced from 10% (in the former Charter) to 5% of the assessed value of real property in Town. In order to borrow in excess of $125,000, notice, hearing, and a public election are required. At such an election, any entity or person owning property in Town is entitled to one vote and all Town residents are entitled to one vote. Section 21 defines the municipal purposes for which borrowing may occur, and it authorizes the Town to refinance bonds without public hearing and public election. To pay off bonds, the Town may tax all real estate or only real estate directly benefited by the borrowing. Section 21 authorizes the Town to prescribe the form of bond and protects council members from being personally liable for repaying the bond. Section 21 also authorizes the Town to sell bonds at public or private sale, and it creates a statute of limitations of 60 days (from the date notice is published in a newspaper) after which the issuance of bonds cannot be contested.
SECTION 23. STREETS AND ALLEYS. This section is new to the Charter. To alter streets under these new procedures, the Town must adopt a resolution setting forth the details of a hearing whereat the matter will be discussed. Property owners affected by the proposed change must be notified. Section 23 dictates, in accordance with state law, compensation for property that is condemned or acquired; this section also outlines how abandoned or vacated streets may be disposed of by the Town.
SECTION 32. FINES. The limit on fines that may be imposed by the Town is reduced from $5,000 to $1,000.
SECTION 33. SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT. The Town is expressly authorized to regulate subdivision and land development. The Town may regulate combining and partitioning land, as well as subdivision and site plans, and it may require impact fees, dedication of land, or money in lieu of land in order to pay for municipal and public improvements having a rational nexus to the proposed development. The Town may adopt procedures to insure compliance with ordinances and to secure financial guarantees for the completion of improvements, and the Town may require all plans, plots, and plats be approved by the Town before being recorded at the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent County.
SECTION 34. ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY. The annexation procedures are altered to require that notice of the annexation be published in 4 public places and on each parcel proposed for annexation (the former charter authorized posting in a newspaper or on property in both the Town and annexation area). The annexation procedures are clarified to require a special election where all the owners of record of the territory proposed for annexation did not request annexation (in the former charter, a special election was only required if five or more property owners, but not all of the property owners, requested annexation). For annexations where special elections are required (i.e. where all of the record owners have not requested annexation), an annexation shall only be approved pursuant to a majority vote of the Town residents and a majority vote of the residents of the territory proposed for annexation.
SECTION 36. ACTIONS OR SUITS. No one may bring suit against the Town, its officers, employees, or agents, without first notifying the Town in writing, within one year of the incident resulting in the injury, of the time, place, cause, character, and extent of the injury or damages suffered.
SECTION 37. SURVIVAL OF POWERS AND VALIDATING SECTION. This section clarifies that outstanding bonds shall not be affected by adopting a new Charter.
This Charter deletes provisions in the existing charter which authorized the Town to operate its own water system or sewer system and to have a board of health.
HB 437 w/HA 1 + SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING LICENSES.This bill allows an active duty member of the U.S. armed services to be deemed a resident of the State for the purpose of obtaining a Delaware hunting, trapping, or fishing license.
SB 24 AN ACT CONCURRING IN A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE IV OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION OF 1897, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY AND THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE OF THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT. This is the second leg of a Constitutional Amendment that will make the Chief magistrate a State Judge under Article IV.
SB 253 w/SA 2, SA 3, SA 4 AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF MAGNOLIA. This Act reincorporates the Charter of the Town of Magnolia. The following are substantive changes thereto:
Provisions Removed from Charter
The authority to have an Alderman.
Annexation authority and procedures.
The requirement that council candidates own real property in town (or be married to someone who does), and the requirement that council candidates and voters not have any delinquent taxes. (It’s believed these provisions are unconstitutional.)
The authority for the Town to operate a sewer system.
Provisions Added to Proposed Charter
The Town’s short-term borrowing limit was increased from $10,000 to $15,000, while the Town’s total indebtedness limit was decreased from 25% to 15% of the total value of assessed real property in town. A section of enumerated town powers was included that was largely absent before. The election procedures were revised to conform to the Delaware Municipal Election laws. The authority to impose impact fees, grant licenses and franchises was included. Authority was included for the mayor to act in emergency situations without getting council approval. Procedures were added for filling vacancies on council that arise mid-term. The Town Clerk to have delinquent tax collections powers as conferred upon the Kent County Government.
Authority was added to regulate subdivision and land development and to construct and operate a water system and electric distribution system. A requirement was added that the Town may not be sued in certain instances unless the Town is notified within one-year of the time the injury occurs. A provision clarifying the Town’s authority to collect unpaid debts was also included. The annual tax limit was changed from a flat $20,000 limit to 2% of the total assessed valuation of all taxable real estate. The Mayor may be compensated pursuant to a majority vote of Council. Punishment for ordinance violations is limited to a $1,000 fine and/or 30-days imprisonment per offense.
SB 292 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND COUNTY ADMINISTRATORS. This Act aligns Sussex County’s fiscal tax year with the County’s budget year of July 1 to June 30. Additionally, the Act places Sussex County’s fiscal tax deadline date closer to the tax billing date of the local school districts, on whose behalf Sussex county collects local property taxes.
SB 306 w/SA 1, AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 20, CHAPTER 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. Currently, including during the recent snowstorms, when the Governor restricts vehicles from the State’s roadways due to unsafe conditions, a criminal sanction is the only available penalty for drivers who are caught by law enforcement on the roads. This legislation would create a three-tiered driving restriction system for future storms or other emergencies: A Level 1 Driving Warning with no penalties, a Level 2 Driving Restriction with motor vehicle violations and a Level 3 Driving Ban for the most severe conditions with the current criminal sanctions under 20 Del. C. § 3125. Additionally, the bill provides that an employer may not terminate, reprimand or in any way discipline an employee for failing or refusing to report to work during a Level 3 Driving Ban. During a Level 2 Driving Restriction, an employer who requires an employee, who has not been pre-designated as essential personnel, to report to work shall be liable for the expenses incurred as a result of any emergency response to remove the employee, a passenger and/or the motor vehicle that becomes inoperable on the State’s roadways.
Author: Senator DeLuca
SB 307 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21, CHAPTER 41 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD This Bill is a companion bill to Senate Bill 306 which creates a 3-tiered driving restriction system for future storms or other emergencies. A person who violates a Level 2 Driving Restriction or Level 3 Driving Ban pursuant to §3116(b)(12), Title 20 of the Delaware Code shall be guilty of Operation of a Motor Vehicle During an Emergency and will be fined no less than $25.00 nor more than $115.00. A person convicted of a subsequent offense shall be fined no less than $50.00 nor more and $200.00, or imprisoned for not less than 10 nor more than 30 days, or both.
SB 312 w/SA 2 AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWS OF DELAWARE RELATING TO THE RE-INCORPORATION OF THE CITY OF MILFORD. This Charter replaces the current City of Milford Charter in its entirety. A Charter Committee, the Mayor and City Council, with participation from the public, met in numerous meetings beginning in September 2008 to reorganize and revise their charter. Most of the existing charter has remained the same though some revisions were made and the charter was reorganized. This bill is a result of that effort and the following summarizes those changes from the previous charter:
SB 315 AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR CERTAIN GRANTS-IN-AID FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2011; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS, AMENDING THE FISCAL YEAR 2011 APPROPRIATIONS ACT; AND TITLE 1 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE HOLIDAYS.This Act provides supplementary appropriations to certain Grants-in-Aid for Fiscal Year 2011.
SB 320 w/SA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11RELATING TO SENTENCING AND GOOD TIME. The ability of inmates to earn good time credits was a mechanism established to assist and encourage appropriate behavior by inmates while they are incarcerated. This general concept has been modified by the General Assembly over time to prohibit good time credit for specific offenses. Unfortunately, this ad hoc application has caused significant administrative issues to arise that are difficult to address with limited staff and is inconsistent with the original intent and purpose of good time credit. This legislation proposed by SENTAC will ensure a fair and consistent application of credit time and will restore its original purpose as a tool for prisoner management. The legislation has no effect on the procedures used to award good time credit by DOC or the ability of the Commissioner to forfeit good time credit to reflect inappropriate prison behavior. The legislation will however restore the ability of inmates (other than ones serving a life sentence) to be awarded good time credit regardless of the statutory offense for which they are incarcerated subject to the limitations set forth in subparagraph (b). SENTAC has prepared this legislation as a result of its belief that it reflects the appropriate management of limited DOC resources and will result in financial savings to the State. The inmates will be supervised during their conditional release period by DOC probation officers.
SB 322 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TITLES AND CONVEYANCES. This Bill prohibits individuals or private entities from charging Private Transfer Fees on real property. This bill does not change the ability of the State of Delaware or its political subdivisions from levying transfer taxes as authorized by statute. This bill is patterned after similar legislation adopted in nine states.
SB 323 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24, CHAPTER 17, OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE MEDICAL PRACTICE ACT. Sections 1 and 2 of this Bill clarify the definition of acupuncture. Section 2 of this Bill allows acupuncture detoxification specialists to be licensed to perform the limited auricular point protocol for treatment of alcoholism, nicotine dependency, substance abuse, or chemical dependency. Acupuncture detoxification specialists are subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Medical Practice and the Acupuncture Advisory Council.