Daily Report for 4/14/2021

Governor's Actions

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 33 w/ HA 1 + SA 1SignedK. JohnsonThis bill changes the relationship between physicians and physician assistants from supervisory to collaborative, in recognition of the evolving role of physician assistants and reflecting the education, training, and experience required for licensing, which emphasizes the team-based practice model. The bill retains a 1:4 ratio of physician assistants to physicians, unless a regulation of the Board increases or decreases the number. This limit of 1:4 does not apply to physicians and physician assistants who practice in the same physical office or facility building, such as an emergency department. This bill adds 2 physician assistants members recommended by the Regulatory Council for Physician Assistants to the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline in lieu of 2 public members. The bill authorizes physician assistants to participate as uncompensated volunteers in public or community events.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS.
HB 51SignedLynnThis Act clarifies Delaware’s driving under the influence (“DUI”) law related to intensive inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment for felony DUI offenders. The current law has resulted in differing interpretations regarding treatment; specifically, whether treatment must be completed while incarcerated (Level V) or at home confinement (Level IV), rather than at community supervision (Level III or Level II). This has resulted in extending incarceration for some offenders or requiring out-of-state offenders to reside in Delaware to complete the mandated drug and alcohol abstinence program and drug and alcohol treatment program under § 4177(d)(9) of Title 21. Specifically, this Act clarifies when the required intensive inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, as approved by the Court or the Department of Correction, can take place. The required program may be completed while the offender is on any level of supervision, not just Level V or IV. The treatment program may also be completed by an offender after arrest and prior to adjudication. permits the Superior Court to sentence felony DUI offenders to commence intensive treatment at any level of supervision, including community supervision. This Act also requires offenders to complete treatment within 9 months of the date of sentence or the date of release from Level V or Level IV, unless the Superior Court has granted the offender an extension for good cause. If an offender does not complete the treatment as required, the Superior Court must impose the portion of the minimum sentence suspended by the Court for the offender’s participation in the program. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DRIVING A VEHICLE WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
SB 32SignedBrownA 2019 study found the following: (1) Black women are 80% more likely to change their natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work. (2) Black women are 50% more likely to be sent home or know of another Black woman sent home from work because of her hair. (3) Black women are 30% more likely to be made aware of a formal workplace appearance policy. Delaware law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in a variety of settings. This Act makes clear that race also includes traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and a protective hairstyle, which includes braids, locks, and twists. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DISCRIMINATION.
SS 1 for SB 52SignedHockerSenate Bill No. 52 revises Chapter 26 of Title 14, regarding the Sussex County Vocational-Technical High School District (“District”). Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 52 differs from Senate Bill No. 52 because it does not change the preferences for student admissions or the eligibility standards for accepted students. Like Senate Bill No. 52, Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 52 does all of the following: 1. Revises the tax rate for the District and clarifies the acceptable use for the tax revenue. 2. Repeals § 2602(b) of Title 14 because the Tax Rate Review Committee has not been active in decades and it has effectively been replaced by the citizen budget oversight committee created under § 1508 of Title 14. 3. Revises the number of students who may be enrolled in the District. 4. Makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE SUSSEX COUNTY VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT.
SB 57SignedParadeeThis Act amends the Charter of the Town of Wyoming (“Charter”) to clarify the authority of the Town in certain areas and to improve the operations of the Town. Specifically, in this Act: (1) Section 1 changes when newly elected Town Council members take office. Instead of waiting from the date of the election in February until May to take office, new council members would take office at an organizational meeting to be held as soon as possible following the sixth day from the certification of the election. (2) Section 2 simplifies the process for filling a vacancy on Town Council. (3) Section 3 is correlated with Section 1 and clarifies when new council members take office. Additionally, this Section establishes at will employment for all employees who do not have an employment contract. (4) Section 4 clarifies that the Mayor is authorized to vote as a member of Council in all situations and not just to break a tie and establish a majority vote. (5) Section 5 authorizes the Town to hire a Police Chief pursuant to an employment contract and allows the Town to not renew an employment contract without a finding of just cause or holding a hearing under Chapter 93 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code. (6) Section 6 establishes procedures for the Town to hire a Town Manager. (7) Section 7 authorizes the Town to issue quarterly supplemental tax assessment invoices for those properties that have had quarterly supplemental tax assessments completed by Kent County. Invoices paid within 30 days of the mailing of the supplemental tax invoice are to be given a 3% discount, and any invoices paid more than 90 days after the mailing of the supplemental tax invoice are subject to penalties and collection procedures outlined in the Charter. (8) Section 8 allows the Town to make allowances for delinquent taxes. This Section amends the Town’s ability to recover costs associated with collection proceedings to more closely reflect the monition method of collecting outstanding taxes. This Section clarifies that costs or assessments are subject to the lien process. (9) Section 9 authorizes the Town to enforce the removal of snow, ice, and dirt from sidewalks and gutters and authorizes the Town to assess individual members of a homeowners’ association for expenses incurred by the Town to bring property owned by the association into compliance with Town and State laws when the homeowners’ association fails to pay the amounts or has ceased to operate. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 1 of Article IX of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to amend a municipal charter. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform the Charter to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF WYOMING.
SB 39SignedGayThis bill clarifies that Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) may be entered for multiple charges arising from a single arrest. Changes to the legislation also allow for a defendant to be permitted Probation Before Judgment more than once in a five year period so long as offenses are in different titles of the Code. For example, a defendant who was granted PBJ in 2017 for speeding (title 21) would be eligible for PBJ on a title 11 charge (e.g. bad check) or title 4 (e.g. underage consumption of alcohol) in 2019. This bill also allows persons who have been adjudicated delinquent of a crime as a juvenile to be eligible for Probation Before Judgment. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PROBATION BEFORE JUDGMENT.

New Legislation Introduced

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
SA 1 to SB 87PassedGayThis Amendment adds language requested by the Gift of Life Program, to make Delaware law consistent with similar laws in other states. 
SB 104CommitteeTownsend This Act clarifies various aspects of the State’s procedures to operate its unclaimed property program, including promoting and determining holder compliance, processing owner claims, and preventing fraudulent claims. Sections 1, 13, and 15 confirm current examination practice and address recent court decisions that, to determine a holder’s compliance, the State Escheator may request and review records to verify the completeness and accuracy of the holder’s records, even if such records may not identify property reportable to the State, and that the State may initiate an examination to determine compliance for any reason and is under no obligation to provide a detailed or specific reason or justification. Section 2 clarifies that the dormancy period for various types of bonds is 3 years, which confirms current practice to treat these property types similar to securities-related property. This section also clarifies and addresses recent changes made by the SECURE Act that impact the escheatment of Individual Retirement Accounts. This Section takes effect on August 1, 2021, for the next annual reporting period. Section 3 clarifies that holders whose business is described in 30 Del. C. § 2906 (“the business of operating a restaurant, snack bar, soda fountain, take-out food service, catering service, private eating or drinking club, or other eating establishment or service”) do not have to report and remit unredeemed gift card property that had an original issue amount of $5 or less. This Section further clarifies that no report is required from any holder for unredeemed gift cards having an aggregate face value of less than $5000 for the reporting period. Sections 4 and 13 clarify and confirm current practice that owner notification (“due diligence”) letters may be sent at any time during an examination at the holder’s initiative or at the direction of the State Escheator. Section 13 expressly allows the State to mail owner notification letters during an examination. Sections 5 and 24 clarify and confirm current practice that the State Escheator is only required to publish or provide upon request only last known address identifiers, which currently is considered city and state, rather than a property owner’s full address. Section 6 limits the scope of the State’s holder indemnification to property claimed by other jurisdictions and excludes penalties, as defined, imposed by other jurisdictions from the State’s indemnification obligations. Sections 7 and 14 clarify and confirm current practice by aligning the scope (included years and legal entities) of a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (“VDA”) or a subsequent examination, which is to be determined as of the earlier of the following: the date the VDA invitation letter is delivered, the date a holder elects to enter the VDA program, or the date the notice of examination is delivered. Sections 8 and 9 clarify and confirm current practice related to the return of securities-related property to owners. Section 8 makes a technical correction to change the imprecise 18-month time limit to an exact time period of 558 days (31 days multiplied by 18 months), to allow owners the maximum amount of time under the law to file a claim to recover their securities or market value as of the date of the claim, rather than the liquidated cash value. Because an owner’s right may be significantly altered after the expiration of this time period, precise calculation of this time period to the owner’s benefit is necessary. The 558-day period is the current standard applied by the State Escheator to determine the return of securities or market value as of the date of the claim versus liquidated cash value, and codification of the 558-day period avoids additional software development costs. This Section also clarifies that claimants receive any dividends that the State received while it held the security. Sections 8 and 9 clarify that the 558-day time limit begins to run based on the notice provided as required by the statute in effect when the property was delivered to the State and ends based on the claimant’s first documented contact with the State if the claim is made within 60 days of such contact. Section 10 clarifies procedures for the denial of a claim and the investigation of potentially fraudulent claims. Section 11 makes a technical correction to change the imprecise 4-month time limit to an exact time period of 120 days for claimant appeals to the Tax Appeal Board. Section 12 clarifies that the State may send Verified Report and Compliance Review notices to the appropriate legal entity, which may include an agent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the reporting legal entity. Section 14 establishes a permanent expedited examination program for any company whose examination began after February 2, 2017. Companies who complete their examinations within the parameters of the permanent expedited examination program will receive the benefit of a waiver of penalties and interest, except for a nominal, non-waivable 1% interest assessment. Companies who receive a notice of examination after August 1, 2021, and who do not complete an expedited examination are subject to a minimum, non-waivable 20% interest assessment, up to an assessment of full interest and penalties under the statute. Section 16 clarifies that the Secretary of State may send notices inviting holders to participate in the VDA program by any commercially reasonable means that includes evidence of delivery. This Section establishes that holders will have a 90-day period during which holders may enter the VDA program or may request to expedite their examination conducted by the State Escheator. Holders who neither enter the VDA program nor elect to expedite their examination will be referred to the State Escheator for a conventional examination. Section 17 prohibits the use of documents obtained in an examination initiated by Delaware to be used in a multistate examination, unless the holder agrees to such use in writing. This Section applies to examinations initiated after August 1, 2021. Sections 18 and 20 make a technical correction for consistent nomenclature of the “statement of findings” and “request for payment” issued at the conclusion of an examination. Section 19 requires exclusively hourly compensation to be paid to third-party audit firms, except for examinations of accounts or policies of insurance and securities-related property. This Section also requires third-party audit firms to comply with the State’s standard non-disclosure agreement requirements, regardless of whether the holder under examination agrees to such requirements. Finally, this section clarifies which senior unclaimed property positions in the Department of Finance are prohibited from vendor employment for a 2-year period. Sections 21 and 22 simplify and clarify the application and possible waivers of interest and penalties for past-due property. To encourage voluntary annual compliance and participation in the Secretary of State’s VDA program, under this Act, interest and penalties may be waived by the State Escheator, or Secretary of State for VDAs, in all circumstances, except the following: 1) Past-due property determined in an expedited examination as established by the Act will be subject to a nominal, non-waivable 1% per incident interest assessment; and 2) Past-due property determined in a conventional, non-expedited examination initiated after August 1, 2021, will be subject to a minimum, non-waivable 20% per incident interest assessment. Section 23 clarifies and confirms current practice regarding limitations on finder agreements to locate property. Section 24 expressly applies the confidentiality requirements of § 1189 to state contractors, such as third-party audit firms. This Section also excludes policies and procedures related to the determination of claims and fraud prevention measures from disclosure as a public record under the Freedom of Information Act. Sections 1, 4, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, and 22 of this Act shall apply retroactively to any claims, examinations, or litigation pending as of the effective date of this legislation. Sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 24 of this Act take effect on August 1, 2021. This bill also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.
SB 103CommitteeTownsend This Act adopts an express reporting requirement for virtual currency, with an exemption for game-related digital content with minimal or no value; defines virtual currency and game-related digital content; requires the liquidation of and conversion to U.S. dollars of virtual currency prior to reporting and remitting this property to the State; and limits the exposure of both the State and the reporting holder to claims by the putative owners of this property type for subsequent gains in value, given the volatility inherent in this property type’s value. Liquidation of and conversion to U.S. dollars of virtual currency prior to reporting and remitting also promotes ease of administration and the return of the cash value to owners. This Act incorporates in part some of the concepts from the 2016 Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission, as well as legislation adopted by Kentucky in 2019. These changes take effect on August 1, 2021. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.
SB 106CommitteeWilsonThis Act makes students who attend homeschools eligible for the same services for children with disabilities as students who attend private schools in a manner that allows federal funds to pay for the services. This Act is the result of discussions regarding Senate Bill No. 19, which would make homeschool students eligible for speech therapy services, and accomplishes the goal of Senate Bill No. 19 because through meaningful consultation, speech therapy services are often included in the services provided to students who attend private schools. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES IN HOMESCHOOLS.
SB 14CommitteeEnnisThis bill provides a mechanism to grant pension increases to retired State Employees, retired Judges, and retired “New” State police. This bill dedicates a minimum of 3.0% of payroll to be deposited annually to the Post Retirement Fund. The bill also provides for biennial pension increases beginning July 1, 2021.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE EMPLOYEES' PENSION PLAN.
SB 107CommitteePinkneyThis Act requires that individual, group, State employee, and public assistance insurance plans provide coverage for a medically necessary insulin pump at no cost to a covered individual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18, TITLE 29, AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO INSURANCE COVERAGE OF INSULIN PUMPS.
SB 108CommitteeRichardsonThis Act requires a physician to offer a patient ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services before terminating a pregnancy and provides civil and criminal penalties for the failure of a physician to comply with this requirement. The patient is free to choose not to view the ultrasound or listen to the heartbeat. This Act is known as "The Woman's Right to Know Act." This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 AND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE OFFER OF AN ULTRASOUND AND AUSCULTATION SERVICES BEFORE TERMINATING A PREGNANCY.
SB 110CommitteeEnnisThis Act clarifies when a manufactured home community owner can recover the cost of a capital improvement from the homeowners in the community and makes the amount the community owner collects a capital improvement assessment fee that ends when the cost of the capital improvement is recovered, instead of a permanent rent increase. A homeowner or homeowner association may dispute a capital improvement assessment fee under the existing rent increase dispute resolution process. This Act also repeals the definition of “market rent” because that term is not a factor considered for justifying a rent increase under current law. This Act also clarifies when a capital improvement assessment fee or rent increase takes effect. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS IN MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES.

Legislation Passed By Senate

No Legislation Passed By Senate

Legislation Passed By House of Representatives

No Legislation Passed By House

Senate Committee Assignments

Committee
Banking, Business & Insurance
Education
Elections & Government Affairs
Health & Social Services
Housing
Judiciary
Legislative Oversight & Sunset

House Committee Assignments

Committee
Administration
Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce
Health & Human Development
Judiciary
Natural Resources
Public Safety & Homeland Security

Senate Committee Report

No Senate Committee Report

House Committee Report

No House Committee Report

Senate Defeated Legislation

No Senate Defeated Legislation

House Defeated Legislation

No House Defeated Legislation

Nominations Enacted upon by the Senate

No Records