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Weed, taxes, police reform likely to dominate end of GA session

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

With the year-long campaign to pass paid family and medical leave in the rearview mirror, the General Assembly returns to work Tuesday with two months left to focus on the rest of its progressive agenda. When the House of Representatives and Senate reconvene, they will be kicking off a two-month stretch to the end of the 151st General Assembly on …

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Sen. Darius Brown’s committee positions reinstated

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

Sen. Darius Brown, D-Wilmington State Sen. Darius Brown has been reinstated as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and member of the Senate Capital Improvement Committee. Brown, D-Wilmington, was removed from the Judiciary Committee in May 2021 after being arrested on misdemeanor offensive touching and disorderly conduct charges. He was removed from the Capital Improvement Committee in Nov. 2021 after …

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Paid leave bill heads to Carney for signature

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

Photo/Kristina Paukshtite, Pexels The bill to create a paid family and medical leave program in Delaware passed in the House of Representatives Thursday by a margin of 29 to 11. Three Republicans, Reps. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, Kevin Hensley, R-Odessa, and Mike Ramone, R-Hockessin, voted in favor of the legislation.  Because the House voted to add an amendment, the bill …

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Bill banning use of gender for car insurance rates passes Senate

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

A lengthy and heated debate on the Senate floor Tuesday preceded the passage of a bill that would make it illegal for car insurers in Delaware to use gender as a factor when determining customers’ premiums. Senate Bill 231, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Talleyville, came at the recommendation of State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro, who said in a …

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Bill aims to reduce regulatory burden on small businesses

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

A proposed bill in the House of Representatives would require state agencies to consider the burden new regulations would impose on businesses and take steps to minimize those impacts. Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, before adopting a new regulation, state agencies would be required to complete an economic impact statement. The statement would identify affected businesses, determine the cost of …

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State Representative calls $300 relief check a bribe

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

The bipartisan proposal to give every adult Delawarean $300 in direct relief was formalized Friday after lawmakers filed the bill, which they dubbed the 2022 Delaware Relief Rebate Program.  House Bill 360 will result in the issuance of a one-time payment to every Delaware resident taxpayer who filed personal income tax returns for tax year 2020, and adult residents who …

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House to hold committee hearings in hybrid format indefinitely

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

The Delaware House of Representatives will conduct committee hearings in hybrid format indefinitely, Democratic leaders announced Thursday.  The hybrid format allows members of the public to attend hearings and offer comments in-person, or from the comfort of their homes.  During the pandemic, the General Assembly conducted the majority of its committee meetings and floor sessions virtually.  The House and Senate …

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Lawmakers work to ensure low-income, disabled get relief checks

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

When Bridgeville resident Debra Dawson learned that Delaware lawmakers had announced a plan to give every Delawarean $300 in direct financial relief, she was elated.  Dawson, 61, relies entirely on Social Security Disability Insurance to live. She worked since she was 16 and paid into the system for decades. In 2012, a series of debilitating health events forced Dawson into …

Inspector General 1

Smith, Kowalko both draft bills to create inspector general

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines

Two bills set to be filed in the General Assembly would create an inspector general’s office in Delaware to investigate claims of waste, fraud, abuse and corruption within state government.  Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, said while Delaware already has a state auditor and attorney general, the inspector general’s office would “fill a gap in their coverage.”   “The inspector general …

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General Assembly votes to remove earnings cap on police, fire disability pay

Charles Megginson Government, Headlines, Police & Fire

The State Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday to remove the cap on the amount of money a police officer or firefighter can earn when out of work on disability. All 21 senators signed on as co-sponsors.  Under current law, when an officer or firefighter is out on disability, any earnings greater than that which they collected at the time …