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Courtesy of Dallas Federal Reserve Bank

A very conservative bank, in a very conservative state, came up with a very conservative total on how much damage Republican policies cost the once great United States of America. $14 Trillion.

When even very astute conservatives blame their own policies for RUINING the financial health of this nation, one has no choice but to take notice.

$14 Trillion. How much is $14 Trillion? 7 years of total Government spending, INCLUDING all the entitlements involved with Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits. How much is $14 Trillion? $14 Trillion would pay off every mortgage existing now in the United States of America. It would pay off the entire student college loan debt fourteen times over! How much is $14 Trillion? it would pay down 7/8ths of the entire National Debt! How much is $14 Trillion? It is 7/8ths of our yearly GDP, seven eights of every single dollar spent per year in the USA by you, me, our rich uncles, our poor aunts, and our government….

That is how much the Bush Era cost America…. $14 Trillion.

So let’s look at this once touted Republican agenda.

Did the tax cuts work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did deregulating derivatives work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did less regulation of the financial sector work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did funding two wars and Medicare Prescription Drug benefits by borrowing money work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did it work to give banks huge incentives to invest dangerously? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did it work to pass laws forbidding workers to strike? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did de-regulating oil hedge funds work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did cutting back government spending work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did removing limits to keep down the scalping of student loan interest rates work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Does keeping minimum wage at low slave levels work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did re-making our medical care into a for-profit system work? No, it cost us $14 Trillion.
Did subsidizing Halliburton with $39.5 billion work? No, they cost us $14 Trillion.
Did letting the rich get richer; forcing the poor to get poorer, work? No. It cost us $14 Trillion.

Just think. Back in 2001 when Republicans began pushing their tax policies, did you know that doing so would begin to cost us 8 years in our future, $14 Trillion? 7/8ths of our nation’s yearly output? If you read the Congressional Record from back then, the Democrats and the CBO certainly did, though their lowballs of $10 Trillion came in a little under. But it was rather obvious that tinkering with the Clinton dynamo would be risky, that things were working so well, that getting to the destination of having a national debt at zero ought to be achieved before we began going the opposite direction.

But Republicans always when given a choice, choose to respond to lobbyist’s entreaties of support, instead of looking for support from everyday normal American people, so those warnings were all for naught.

And unfortunately still are. Even after a conservative bank, in a conservative state, published their conservative estimate, that the Republican policies cost this nation $14 Trillion Dollars….

In their own words….

“It is crucial to identify the primary causes and implement effective policy to avoid future episodes whose magnitude could exceed even the staggering costs and consequences of the most recent financial crisis.”

That primary cause back then, as well as today, is any policy Conservative! Especially those of the Tea Party!

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I woke up.  The sun was shining.  Birds were chirping as normal.  I had electricity, … and most importantly… internet access.  I skimmed the news.  No catastrophic events.  No rioting in the streets.  The biggest news was that Rick Perry was still a dick.  But, we already knew that…  I checked social media.  Nothing happening. Everything was normal…  The Dow Jones even opened this morning with a 100 point jump!

(Sigh of relief)….

I guess the world doesn’t end the night after DOMA gets repealed…  Gee!  Who would have thunk?

SB 51 now has an amendment. In the House!   This amendment corrects a lot of wrong with just a few words.

Here are the changes….

AMEND Senate Bill No. 51, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 1, by striking lines 94 through 105 in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

(d) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall establish rigorous exit requirements, which shall include but not be limited to achievement of passing scores on both a content-readiness exam and a performance assessment.

(e) The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.

 

If this is done, we can all have the  best of both worlds.  One, we as parents of Delaware’s children, now have oversight.  We have someone we can go to when we see issues that are not right.  Before, we had to take whatever… If that whatever was bad, we were all simply screwed… Parental oversight is important.  Not just in the creation or planning of great policies, but in their implementation.   Parents are the front line in education. They are the first to know if their child is thriving, or failing… Long before the child or teachers even have a clue.

Two, this policy allows for necessary changes which will improve teaching to be allowed to go forward.  The testing is a good tool. but not one we should be using as our sole criteria to evaluate ourselves and our educational process.  Put in proper perspective,  it is like rating a carpenter on the quality of hammer he uses…  Not his output, not his accuracy, not his speed, but on whether he sprang for a ‘highly rated’ hammer or not… 

With this amendment, we can proceed.   The tests can continue, and we can do what we were told they would be properly used for…. to find the weaknesses in our children’s learning and work to repair them… 

As long as a teacher does not have to worry over her job by my child taking a test, I as a parent don’t have to worry whether all my child is learning is… how to take that test…. I would much rather know the she doesn’t understand indirect objects, or can’t tell the difference between a preposition and an adverb.  That is useful, and the tests can continue, if they are used properly.

 

This amendment assures they will. 

Can the House please vote unanimously on this Bill as did the Senate? 

 

Paul Baumbach today is the hero of every parent of a school aged child…… 

Economic growth was only 1.5%.

A.  It is growth, not a negative set back.  If you look at this chart that is bad number on the global scale only if you look at China…..  most of the world consistently works fine beneath the growth level of 1.5%.   Almost all nations are in negative territory, meaning they went backwards.   We did not go backwards. we went forwards…  Woo hoo!

B.  In todays current economic reality, a 1.5 growth rate is higher than last August when Eric Cantor caused the crash after they refused to raise the debt ceiling and Standard and Poors devalued America’s rating.  In 2011, growth was 0.4, 1.3, 1.8, and finally a whooping fourth quarter of 3.0.  Todays released figures are above two of last years quarters and just shy of a third.  Woo Hoo!

C.  Ronald Reagan had growth less than 1.5% for 7 quarters  during his first term.  Standing out are Reagan’s GDP’s of -10.10. -5.7, -5.6, -2.2, -1.9. not to mention the remainder 2 quarters that had positive growth under 1.5%…   George W Bush had 12 quarters under these levels including 6 that were in negative territory.  Comparatively, a growth level of 1.5 is still healthy.  Woo Hoo!

D.  Growth by its very own nature, levels out.  Look at your kids.  When they are small, they grow leaps and bounds.  When they are 21, it is less than an eighth of an inch.  It is when they grow smaller on you that you have to watch out.  Our economy did not get smaller.  Woo Hoo!

E.  Why did we not grow?  Here is why.  Growth was curbed as consumers limited new spending and as business investment slowed …  The reason consumer spending was down, is because consumer savings… is up.  You can’t spend what you save, right?    OOOOHHHH.. State and local governments also cut spending…… You can’t spend when you don’t assess the wealthy for their fair share now, can you?

See the problem?  Mitch McConnell. Eric Cantor… John Boehner….  It is truly a Republican problem… All of it.  Vote every Republican out of office… Then, you will see growth.

“About a year after TARGET created their pregnancy-prediction model, a man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry, according to an employee who participated in the conversation.

“My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”

The manager didn’t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the man’s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture and pictures of smiling infants. The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again.

On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.” –Courtesy of New York Times

With computers, our habits can give away our deepest secrets… On one hand this is abominable. Strangers knowing of a teen age pregnancy before anyone else…. On the other hand, it’s nothing new. I remember stories of the old lady in our town who was always right…. “yep, she’s pregnant…”

It comes from knowledge… If someone knows enough about human nature, it is easy to make predictions that come true more often than not.

Sports betters know this. Vast resources at their disposal… With enough knowledge about human nature, it is easy to make predictions that come true more often than not.

What is known about you?

“If you use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail they’ve sent you or visit their Web site, they’ll record it and link it to your Guest ID,” Pole said. “They want to know everything they can.”

Linked to your Guest ID is demographic information like your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit. They can buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year you bought (or lost) your house, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, whether you prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, your political leanings, reading habits, charitable giving and the number of cars you own.

Is this advantageous to us?

It can be. Using the pregnancy example, if we get a coupon for calcium, magnesium, and zinc, coupled with a free bottle of unscented lotion, we might purchase those, helping ourselves and our fetus, long before those items would have crossed our paths otherwise…

But it can be a two edge sword. Walgreens could put those offers in our mailbox, and we would capitalize upon them, never realizing Walmart always sold them for less at regular price, just 14 miles up the road….

So, one, we are being manipulated. Two, we always are being manipulated. The only difference is that we are being placed in a controlled environment like rats in a maze, instead of having occurrences that are random be what manipulate us.

This opens the door to two questions. One, is it ethical? And two, what defense do we take when it goes so horribly wrong?

Ethics.

Ethics is a relative term. Things ethical in the frames of past history, are not ethical today. We can turn up our nose and say, that was so not ethical, because we live in an environment where that action is not relevant.

Slavery today is completely unacceptable…. There is no rational that allows for it… That wasn’t always the case. In the frame of their own time, slavery was acceptable. It was always done.. It was condoned by ALL major religions. You could capture someone and make them your slave; that was your right given to you by your God.

Bottom line; ethics IS dependent on majority rule. Is it ethical to drive a gasoline engined car? Of course… today. The time will come when us doing so, will be seen as barbaric, crude, and disgusting…. None of us have those qualms now…. It was the same with slavery.

Ethics, if deemed to be decided by majority rule, seems to smile on marketers …. How many of us have not looked forward to a new release from a major artist, that we just “randomly” got an alert for? ….

The new Batman movie. Does anyone on the top of their head know it’s release date? As it gets close… you will…. and that is a service that we are grateful for….

Now, the second aspect is far scarier… Let me throw this out…. Imagine how easy rounding up the Jews would be if done today?

“There a girl, under puberty, associated with the owners of this address… who has the track record of purchasing items matching a Jewish profile. Check it out.”

We’re toast.

We have a horrible weapon. A tool… Just like a gun… If it is in the hands of a nice person, there is nothing to fear… If in the hands of a not-so-nice person… we’re toast. We have no defense against that……

Like guns, the constraining method must not be to attack the weapon, but go after those individuals who will misuse and abuse that very privilege a weapon affords them….

If data gets misused, there must be astronomical penalties to punish those who did… Those penalties tend to keep honest people honest…

If I shoot someone, destroy their life, my life as an independent person is over. Likewise, if confidential information is misused against someone, and metaphorically “destroys their life”,…. the life of that entity as an independent functionary….. also needs to be over….

Specifics.

If a company tries to bad-mouth a former employee, and it is false, that employee should be able to accumulate a damage claim that will take all profit out of that company for years.

Bottom line, the company will instill internal controls to prevent such an occurrence.

If a politician is proven to use confidential information to achieve a result that otherwise would not have occurred, his opponent should take over that office.

Bottom line, the entire political organization will be working full tilt to prevent such an occurrence….

With penalties so steep, it naturally occurs to someone who is considering using confidential information in a nefarious way….. to pass.. and not do it…

Life will go on. Perhaps with some abuses (people are still getting shot) but no major loss to the entire structure of society…..

So how did the story end up with that company that sent a pregnancy flier to the pregnant teen age high schooler?

They discovered that if they disguised it in a certain way…

They realized soon after perfecting this model, that they had on their hands, a public-relations disaster. So the question became: how could they get their advertisements into expectant mothers’ hands without making it appear they were spying on them? How do you take advantage of someone’s habits without letting them know you’re studying their lives?

“Then we started mixing in all these ads for things we knew pregnant women would never buy, so the baby ads looked random. We’d put an ad for a lawn mower next to diapers. We’d put a coupon for wineglasses next to infant clothes. That way, it looked like all the products were chosen by chance.

“And we found out that as long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn’t been spied on, she’ll use the coupons. She just assumes that everyone else on her block got the same mailer for diapers and cribs. As long as we don’t spook her, it works.”

In this case it was the cost of a public relations disaster. Price tag: millions.

Having the threat of legal action along the same price level, should do the trick, and keep honest people honest….

Currently the arsenal is not complete. The Internet has opened a vacuum. Corporate entities are rushing to fill it first; hence the SOPA AND PIPA being stealthed through Congress and ACTA snaking its way through corporate controlled governmental committees….

People need protection too. Start asking your legislators where they stand…. Tell them you want strong laws with strong penalties applied to the misuse of your own personal life history…..

The recession has popped a lot of dreams… It has forced a re-evaluation of priorities. It has put reality in the forefront.

So wiping off the table of everything, everything, and sitting down to a blank space, and asking myself, … what do I want, by the time I die.

It is:

A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement,”

After watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” you can be sure it can’t happen on a Republican’s watch….. For that dream to happen, we need protection from corporations and Big Money; not giving them more and more of what we make.

We need more money funneled away from big business, to be reinvested into the Middle Class… Since they haven’t done it voluntarily, we’ll have to force it.

Republicans can’t force anyone to do anything. They are putz’s. It will take a government of all Democrats to make Americans who die, at least die happy that they were able to secure:

“A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement”.

And what happens in 2012? No, not the end of the world…. but the end of the world as we know it…..

For in 2012, pieces of the Affordable Care act begin to go into effect….. How awesome is that? And in our own lifetimes too?

What to expect…..

In 2012, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, additional benefits for the 150,000 Medicare enrollees in Delaware include lower prescription drug costs through a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs in the coverage gap – or “doughnut hole” – as well as wellness checkups and access to certain preventive care with no copayments, a benefit that all Medicare Advantage plans will offer starting in 2012. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get free preventive screenings for heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic conditions. In 2011 alone, over 20 million Medicare beneficiaries received an annual wellness checkup or received other preventive services with no deductible or cost sharing.

Thank you President Obama. Thank you Democratic Party of the USA…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How bad would we have been for us if Republicans had stopped this as they tried soooo hard to do?

It’s going to be a great year!!!!!

The global markets lost 1% today… Actually that is pretty good. The losses stemmed over the fact that Republicans won’t allow new revenue to enhance our failing budget…….

Like George Washington, they want to apply more leeches (tax cuts) which eventually will bleed the father of our country dry, and kill him dead.

There are great ideas to get around the impasse……

One was so close last week in which Obama and Boehner had come almost to a 4$ Trillion Deal… It was so, so close. Boehner was about to become the Alexander Hamilton of the 21st Century: Historians would forever know him as the man who brought America back from economic ruin…….

But Boehner’s owner, jerked hard on his leash… cracking Boehner’s trachea. He then spun Boehner to the ground, and applied zip strips to his wrists and ankles. He then tazed Boehner repeatedly. For the first time in his life, Boehner did not cry. He was then strapped to a board, tilted backwards into a tank of water, and held for 45 seconds, over 111 times. He was then blindfolded and pummelled with cans of Pepsi, embedded in old cotton socks, leaving no evidence. He then poked with a tube, in his (you know where) and the other end was attached to a fire hydrant.

The next morning, Boehner said the deal was off; he refused to return Obama’s calls.

Leaks from those working for his owners, tell us the taxes on the wealthy 1% were the sole reason Boehner was given “the treatment”… It’s a damn shame; for a package of $3 trillion in cuts, (yes, includes modifications to SS and Medicare) and a Trillion in tax increases on the top 1%… would shake the dynamics of our economy.

It would spur investment here in America.
It would therefore create jobs.
It would stop the uncertainty where America was financially headed.
It would prevent the immediate loss to our economy of $4 billion a day.
It would reduce the deficit over time, and save money spent paying interest, which could then be used for services.
It would be the proper step at this time in the direction we need to go.

But, if the US defaults on its debt, nothing in the financial markets is sacred, and when nothing is sacred, that… causes panics…

And a panic in 1929… caused the Great Depression. A panic in 2008, caused the mess we’re in right now.

The world’s managed wealth is $122 trillion… A one percent drop.. is $1.2 trillion. That is the amount, that one half, of one third our government,… cost the world today.

They are kids, playing with a live junction box… Sticking a screwdriver in the wrong hole, burns down the entire house……

(At $50,000 a job, today’s loss is the financial equivalent of putting 24 million human beings out of work)

Here is Rick Carroll, Republican candidate for the 4th District, being set up in the puppet chair, having his strings pulled… Dare you to try not blinking before he does…

http://www.delawarefirst.org/government_and_politics/gop-weekly-message-september-17-2010/

The word “response” in his video title, is a misnomer. There is no mention of Markell, and barely any mention of the able Democratic leadership that brought open government finally to Legislative Hall. There is only one line about…”Democrats in Washington.”

So let’s get their logic. We are going to send Rick Carroll to Dover to fix what Obama has undone for the wealthiest 1% of Americans!

Here is the message.

America is overtaxed, over regulated, and undermined… hmm…

Over taxed?

This link is the chart that proves every Republican platform that says cutting taxes is what we need…. is a lie… Cutting taxes is not what we need… CUTTING TAXES KILLS ECONOMIES…

Republican response… Blah, Blah, Blah…

kavipsian economist responds with a question… (One that should be asked in every town meeting by the way) … if what you say is true, why is it that when implemented, like in the 1920’s, the Bush 1 years, and this past Republican administration, we get terrible Depressions and Recessions, and when taxes and regulations are increased, as they were under FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, and Clinton, we get richer, we grow, we have jobs with raises, and we even lower the National Debt and get a budget surplus? What you are saying goes against what history tells us? If it didn’t work 3 times, why will it finally work the fourth?

(Where’s Eileen when you really need her….)

Republicans: “blah, blah, blah..”

kavipsian Economist: “show me where it’s true…”

Republican: We can’t show you because there is no evidence that it works yet. That is exactly why we need to keep trying. All our funding comes from the top 1% of Americans and if we say what you’re implying, they will cut of all our funding.

kavipsian Economist: ” So, you are agreeing it isn’t true?”

Republican: I can’t answer that question because of financial obligations but you can…. Is there any historical proof that cutting taxes grows the economy?

kavipsian Economist: “No.”

Republican: “There you go, you just answered the question by yourself; now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go drum up some more contributions. This recession has cut into our money supply…”

So why when you give the wealthy more money, does the economy falter? Because you don’t control how they spend it. Which is preferable: investing in America and getting a 3% return, or investing overseas and getting a 17% return? That’s why giving the wealthy more money hurts America.

Now why does heavier taxing grow the economy? Because you are controlling how they spend it. Which is preferable. Work hard, and pay the Federal Government 40% of all you make, or… invest most of that back in your business, lower reported profit, and pay 40% on the little bit of income you report, if you report any at all… This is what happened from the end of WWII up to the Kennedy Tax cut. And happened again, immediately after Bill Clinton took office….

It works like this. To keep my money out of the IRS, I expand my business. I pay people with money I would normally pay the IRS so it really doesn’t cost me to do so… Those people spend, requiring more businesses to hire just to accommodate that extra spending,
which continues as a domino effect causing jobs to open up, which of course sends money to the Federal government. What Clinton was so masterful at, and didn’t happen on any previous Democrats watch, was as more people got back to work, he cut back on Federal Spending . After all, you really don’t need it to stimulate the economy when the private sector is roaring.

As more people work, more people spend, requiring more workers, resulting in more people spending, requiring even more workers, resulting in even more spending… requiring… And eventually, the debt gets paid down. Those receiving the cash, now need to invest it somewhere…. which causes more jobs, which causes more spending.

In sound byte from. Republicans suck money out of the economy; Democrats pump it back in….

Who benefits from Rick Carrolls spouted philosophy? Only those people who have so much money, they’d rather invest in the 3rd world than put it back into America.

It’s happened 3 times already. They’re fools if they think we’ll let them do it to us again…. The funny thing is, we all remember the great Clinton years. Let’s do what he did, expire the tax cuts, raise the rate to 40% for the top 1%, and watch them scurry to invest that money back into our economy.

And Delaware? Since the Democrats wiped out the local Republican party, Delaware spends less per it’s GSP (Gross State Product) than any other US State…. You can’t cut spending any more… We are the best, and that is solely because we have a Democrat for a Governor, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic House.

If one looks at this chart, they find that the heavily Democratic states spend much less per GSP than the heavily Republican ones …

If the media would do their job, and ask Republicans why,… what they are proposing ruins this nation each time it is implemented, … there would be no Republican Party. It’s all based on a lie…

No?

Prove it… Your history bets you can’t.

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.