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Government News

Statehouse Business: Week 6

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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.

Signed by governor

HB264 (Baumbach)

Signed by Carney on Feb. 20. Approved in 40-0-0-1 House vote on Jan. 16 and Senate in a 21-0-0-0 vote on Jan. 23.

This act revises the process by which the New Castle County tax rate for owners of real property in municipalities is calculated to reflect fire company contributions made by the municipality. This process does not consider as an in-kind contribution from New Castle County or a municipality the property tax that a fire company does not pay because real property owned by fire companies is exempt from taxation. Because no property tax is due, it is not an amount that either New Castle County or a municipality is waiving. This act is effective immediately for New Castle County’s fiscal year 2021.

HB212 (Cooke)

Signed by Carney on Feb. 20. 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.

Legislature

House and Senate are currently in recess. The Joint Finance Committee is meeting to review the governor’s budget proposal. The state departments and agencies that were reviewed this week included:

Delaware State Housing Authority

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control

Department of Justice

Office of Defense Services

Delaware Courts

Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families

*Note: The statehouse was closed Monday for Presidents Day.

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