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Statehouse Business: Week 3

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DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Delaware Business Times will recap each week of the 2020 Delaware General Assembly by tracking bills of interest in the state’s business community as they proceed through the legislative process.

A bill is first assigned to either a House of Representatives or Senate committee for hearings on its proposal within 12 days of introduction. After the hearing, the committee may vote to send the bill to the floor of the chamber for a full vote among members. If approved on the House or Senate floor, the bill is sent to the opposite chamber for a committee and floor vote. If approved there, Gov. John Carney will either sign or veto the bill.

Bills will be listed along with their primary sponsor.Committee votes are tracked in three numbers: Favorable, On Its Merits (meaning no opinion but willing to let full chamber weigh in) and Unfavorable. Full chamber votes are tracked in four numbers: Yes, No, Not Voting and Absent. There are 21 members of the Delaware Senate and 41 members of the Delaware House of Representatives.

Headed to Governor:

HB275 (Schwartzkopf)

Approved by Senate in 19-1-0-1 vote on Jan. 30. House approved bill in 40-0-0-1 vote on Jan. 16.

This bill permits the owner of a beer garden or food establishment to permit leashed dogs on licensed outdoor patios of food establishments and in beer gardens.

SB198 (Paradee)

Approved by House in 37-0-2-2 vote on Jan. 28. Senate approved bill in 21-0-0-0 vote on Jan. 16.

This act repeals the authority granted to Kent County Levy Court to impose a lodging tax to benefit the Kent County Regional Sports Complex Corporation, also known as DE Turf. This authority was granted during the first session of the 150th General Assembly.

HB212 (Cooke)

Approved by the House in 40-0-0-1 vote and Senate in 21-0-0-0 vote on Jan. 30.

This bill defines “industrial landfill” in conformity with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Regulations Governing Solid Waste. This bill also establishes a height restriction, or vertical limit, for an industrial landfill at 130 feet above the mean sea level of the area.

SB200 (Townsend)

Approved by House in 40-0-0-1 vote on Jan. 30. Senate approved bill in 21-0-0-0 vote on Jan. 16.

This Act supports the ongoing work of the Primary Care Reform Collaborative to achieve better health for Delawareans at a lower cost by facilitating the sharing of de-identified health expenditure information and fostering transparency that is critical to the effective delivery of primary care in Delaware. Specifically, this Act requires the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) to provide access to the Delaware Health Care Claims Database to two additional state agencies, the Department of Insurance and Delaware Health Care Commission.

Passed by House:

HB263 (Bentz)

Approved in 40-0-0-1 vote on Jan. 30. Awaiting committee assignment in Senate.

This act requires that individual, group, and State employee insurance plans cap the amount an individual must pay for insulin prescriptions at $100 a month and must include at least one formulation of insulin on the lowest tier of the drug formulary developed and maintained by the carrier.

HB281 (Schwartzkopf)

Approved in 37-0-0-4 vote on Jan. 28. Assigned to Senate Transportation Committee.

This bill increases the minimum amount of property damage that triggers the mandatory reporting of a vehicular collision to police from $500 to $2,000. This bill also increases the minimum amount of property damage requiring police agencies to investigate from $1,000 to $2,000. This increase makes Delaware more consistent with other states and reflects the Legislature’s intention in 1997 to increase the amount annually by $100.

Passed by Senate:

SB112 (Lockman)

Approved in 20-0-0-1 vote on Jan. 28. Assigned to House Sunset Committee (Policy Analysis & Government Accountability) Committee

The Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee approved a project to work with the Governor’s Office throughout 2018 and 2019 to identify antiquated boards, commissions, and councils that need statutory updates or outright repeals. The Council on Development Finance was identified as needing to simplify the party balance requirement to make it easier to fill vacancies and update language regarding appointments and quorum.

Introduced:

HB288 (Baumbach)

Assigned to House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee on Jan. 28.

This act, the Interstate Compact Prohibiting Company-Specific Subsidies (“Compact”), is an interstate compact designed to eliminate and prohibit corporate welfare. This act provides that no participating state under the Compact (“member state”) may offer or provide company-specific tax incentives, grants, or any other company-specific subsidy to an entity whose headquarters, manufacturing facilities, office space, or other real estate developments are located in any other member state or to incentivize an entity located in any other member state to relocate its headquarters, manufacturing facilities, office space, or other real estate developments to its state. Furthermore, the Act establishes a board of compact administrators to enforce and govern the Compact. Lastly, this act will become effective upon the adoption of the Compact by two or more member states.

HB289 (K.Williams)

Assigned to House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee on Jan. 30.

This bill clarifies when an employer may pay a training wage in lieu of the minimum wage. A training wage is only during the first 90 days after the employee is initially hired by the employer. This bill defines that as the first time an employee is trained for the duties of a position or a substantially similar position.

HB291 (Osienski)

Assigned to House Labor Committee on Jan. 30.

This bill creates a financial incentive for employers to train and retain apprentices in apprenticeship programs. The purpose of this financial incentive is to encourage employers to create employment opportunities in Delaware and to train Delaware’s workforce to qualify for those employment opportunities.

HB296 (Smyk)

Assigned to House Housing & Community Affairs Committee on Jan. 30.

This bill increases the amount that a tenant may deduct from rent in order to have necessary work done on the rental premises if the landlord fails to repair or maintain the premises after proper notice. The original amount of $200 was selected at the time that the Landlord Tenant Code was drafted in 1996. The amended amount of $400 reflects inflation of rent and cost of repairs.

SB210 (Lopez)

Assigned to Senate Elections, Govt. & Community Affairs Committee on Jan. 29.

This act amends the Charter of Lewes to give the City Council the authority to impose and collect a lodging tax. This act requires a two-thirds majority because it revises a municipal charter.

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