2020 Legislative Recap
The Delaware General Assembly recessed on Tuesday, June 30 for the year. Here is a list of bills that ABC was watching throughout the session. There is a limited number due to the General Assembly not be in session the full term due to COFID-19. If you have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
SB 239 extends Workplace Fraud to July 2021
Senate Bill 239 was passed in the Delaware General Assembly to extend the effective date for the Delaware Construction Registration Act to July 1, 2021. This act revised the Workplace Fraud Act last June to allow sub to sub-contracting in the same core business. The contractor registry would be used by the Department of Labor to list construction companies that are following the new law. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it necessitates moving the implementation of the law back a year to 2021. ABC is in support of this legislation as long as enforcement of the Workplace Fraud Act is done under the new set of rules established by legislation passed in June 2019. For a copy of the bill, please click here.
Senate tables changes to apprenticeship
Senate Bill 252 that would have made changes to the public works procurement statute which requires contractors bidding on public works projects to commit to craft training of apprentices and journeyman was tabled for the year. This bill would have required contractors to have apprentices in every trade in their contract. ABC's position was that you would only be required to have one apprentice in one trade. It also provided the option, to contractors and subcontractors bidding on public works projects, to meet the craft training requirements by paying annually into a state apprenticeship and training fund for as long as the contractor is working on the qualifying contract. For a copy of the bill, click here.
State Capital Budget set at $708 million.
The States capital projects budget passed the General Assembly on June 30, 2020. The bond bill total is $708 million which is a 18% decrease over last year and 21% less than the Governor's proposal in January. This was due to COFID-19 and removing $231 million in cash and moving it to the operating budget to help balance it. Here is the breakdown: $168 million for school construction; $364 million for transportation projects; $27 million for DNREC; $42 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.
Governor signs $4.52 billion budget
Governor John Carney signed the $4.52 billion fiscal year 2020 budget. By law, state officials can spend no more than 98 percent of projected revenues. Those estimates took a major hit in March and April due to the economic disruption produced the government-ordered shutdowns related to the COVID-19 outbreak. As usual, more than one-of-every-three dollars in the new state budget is dedicated to public education. The FY 2021 budget contains $1.6442 billion for schools -- more than 36.3 percent of the total. Nearly 27.4 percent of the budget ($1.2396 billion) is earmarked for the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), including almost $754 million for Medicaid. Despite some cuts, the governor and state officials say they are happy with the spending plan. Schools are fully funded, and state workers won't have to worry about layoffs, furloughs or cuts to their benefits - at least for another 12 months. For a copy of the full state budget, click here.
Middletown State Rep. Quinn Johnson retiring
Middletown state Rep. Quinn Johnson is not running for re-election. After the state House passed the grants-in-aid and bond bills in a virtual session, the co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee, he announced he was retiring after 12 years of public service. He called it a "difficult" decision, but one that's best for his family. "My family...sacrificed a tremendous amount; they are often told that you can't do things; they've got to sit there and listen to you take phone calls; they've got to sit there...and go on vacations without you," the Democrat, who represents the 8th District said. "Everyone will know when the time comes...it's time for me to give back my time to my family that they have sacrificed over the last 12 years." Johnson's retirement means the Joint Finance Committee will get two new co-chairs next year. Co-chairman Sen. Harris McDowell is also retiring from the state legislature.