2019 Legislative Recap

The Delaware General Assembly recessed on Sunday, June 30, 2019 for the year.  Here is a list of bills that ABC was watching throughout the session.  If you have any questions, please e-mail ecapodanno@abcdelaware.com

 

Mandatory apprenticeship program becomes law
Senate Substitute 1 to Senate Bill 48 with House Amendment 1, passed the General Assembly.  This Act requires that bidders for public works contracts that are above a minimum value and required to provide the prevailing wage include approved craft training programs for journeyman and apprentice levels if the contract is not for a federal highway project. This Substitute Act differs from Senate Bill No. 48 as follows: 1. Creates a definition of "craft training.” 2. Eliminates requirements that conflict with the prevailing wage requirements. 3. Increases the number of total employees that require a contractor or subcontractor to provide craft training, from 6 to 10. 4. Requires the craft training requirement to be in the final contract. 5. Requires the suspension of a contractor or subcontractor who fails to comply with the craft training requirement and prohibits a contractor or subcontractor who fails to comply with the craft training requirement from bidding on a public works project for 5 years. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.  For a copy of this legislation, click here

ABC supported workplace fraud reform becomes law

Senate Substitute 1 to Senate Bill 95, passed the General Assembly.  This act that provides a fair bidding environment for contractors who obey the law and protects the interests of workers and taxpayers by implementing recommendations from the review of the Workplace Fraud Act required by Senate Resolution No. 26 of the 149th General Assembly by making changes to the Workplace Fraud Act and creating the Delaware Contractor Registration Act. The bill includes ABC language that will sub to sub contracting in the same core business in all trades unlimited. This Substitute Bill differs from Senate Bill No. 95 as follows: 1. Clarifies the definition of “contractor” and “independent contractor”. 2. Narrows the information required for registration to requirements that are applicable to the contractor and to information the Department of Labor (Department) does not already have. 3. Requires the contractor to disclose if the contractor or a person holding a financial interest in the contractor's business has been convicted of home improvement fraud or new home construction fraud or found to have engaged in a prohibited trade practice. 4. Creates lower registration fees for contractors that do not have public works contracts. 5. Defines the circumstances when the Department can require a surety bond and when the surety bond must be released. 6. Clarifies the opportunity and process to request a hearing if the Department decides to take an action to against a contractor. 7. Makes this Act effective on October 1, 2020 and states that the Department will conduct education and information sessions statewide regarding this Act. For a copy of the legislation click here  

 

State Capital Budget increases 5% to $862million

The States capital projects budget passed the General Assembly on June 30, 2019.  The bond bill total is $862 million which is a 5% increase over last year.  Here is the breakdown:  $154 million for school construction; $425 million for transportation projects; $43 million for DNREC; $107 million for the Office of Management and Budget; and $10 million each for Delaware State University, University of Delaware and Delaware Tech.  The rest of the bond bill went to Corrections, Delaware State Housing Authority and State.  For a full copy of the State bond bill, click here

 

HVAC licensing changes for criminal convictions becomes law
HB 124, a Bill modifies the impact of criminal history on an applicant’s eligibility for licensure passed the General Assembly. It gives the Board discretion to grant waivers for felony convictions for crimes committed against a person where more than 3 years have elapsed, and more than 2 years have elapsed for other felonies. The Board is precluded from considering a conviction where more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of conviction. For a full copy of this legislation, click here

 

Electrical licensing changes for criminal convictions becomes law
SB 43, a bill that modifies the impact of criminal history for applicants for licensure to the Board of Electrical Examiners (Board) passed the General Assembly. Specifically, this Act: (1) Permits the Board to grant waivers for felony convictions for crimes committed against a person where more than 3 years have elapsed, and more than 2 years have elapsed for other felonies. (2) Permits the Board to grant waivers for felony and misdemeanor convictions if the applicant is on Level I or II probation. (3) Precludes the Board from considering a conviction where more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of conviction. (4) Requires an applicant to submit evidence that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. For a full copy of this legislation, click here

 

Increase in Unemployment weekly benefit becomes law

HB 198, a bill that would increase the maximum weekly benefit amount that would be payable to claimants seeking unemployment compensation benefits from the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance from $330 a week to $400 a week passed the General Assembly. The funds necessary to pay the increased weekly benefit amounts would be paid from the Unemployment Trust Fund. This bill would also freeze the taxable wage base used by employers to determine what portion of employee’s wages are subject to unemployment insurance tax assessments, for the period July 1, 2019 to October 29, 2020, to allow the Division of Unemployment Insurance and the Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council to analyze whether to revise the taxable wage base formula into the future. For a full copy of this legislation click here

 

Unemployment updated collections procedures becomes law

Senate Substitute 1 to Senate 128 with Senate Amendment 1 passed the General Assembly.  The bill expands the collection procedures available to the Division of Unemployment Insurance to more closely match the collection procedures currently available to the Division of Revenue providing the Division of Unemployment Insurance with streamlined procedures to allow it to more quickly and easily execute on judgments for unpaid unemployment insurance tax assessments. These procedures include obtaining warrants for the levy and sale of property; extending liens; garnishments of wages, bank accounts, and other property; and denying or suspending professional licenses of judgment debtors. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Substitute differs from Senate Bill No. 128 as follows: 1. Provides authority for appeals tribunals to hear protests under § 3368 of Title 19 and hearings under § 3369 of Title 19. 2. Aligns the length of a lien of a judgment under Chapter 33 of Title 19 with the length of a lien of judgment obtained by the Division of Revenue. 3. Removes debts owed due to overpayments from garnishment. 4. Makes clarifications and technical corrections.  For a full copy of the legislation, click here

 

Changes to Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education approved

SB 138, a bill that is the result of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee’s review of the Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education (“DACCTE”) passed the General Assembly. The bill does the following: - Clarifies that no more than 2 members may represent any 1 membership qualification. - Adds 2 nonvoting members, a representative from the Department of Education and a student enrolled in a career and technical education (“CTE”) program. - Removes the requirement that the chair represent the private sector. - Limits the chair to 2, 5-year terms. - Requires DACCTE to submit an annual report that includes advocacy efforts, a needs assessment for statewide CTE programming, and reports from on-site school monitoring visits. - Requires at least 3 meetings per year take place after regular business hours and in each of the 3 counties. - Adds quorum and member removal provisions. - Conforms existing law to the drafting standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. For a full copy of the legislation, click here

Governor signs $4.4 billion budget – up 4.2% over last year

Governor John Carney signed the $4.4 billion fiscal year 2020 budget. The budget contains a $1,000 raise for state workers, 2% for teachers, money for schools with lower performance scores and higher poverty rates and dental funding for those on Medicaid. The budget will fund a $100 million, three-year plan to invest in improving student performance in areas with high poverty rates. Carney also signed a separate supplemental appropriations bill earmarking $62 million in one time spending for various programs and projects. For a copy of the full budget, click here