The Delaware General Assembly recessed on Friday, June 30 for the year. Here is a list of bills that ABC was watching throughout the session. If you have any questions, please e-mail email@example.com
Mini Bond includes pilot program for DBE/PLA requirements signed into law
SB 35 – a bill that mandates union-only project labor agreements and DBE requirements on six state-funded construction projects was signed into law by the Governor. ABC offered several amendments to remove this language but was unsuccessful. For a copy of SB 35, please click here. The bill targets 6 projects. The Office of Management and Budget will do the following: DBE requirements on the new Hodgson school; PLAs on the DNREC Lab, Hospital for the Chronically Ill, and the OMB Food Building. DelDOT will use both the PLAs and DBE requirements for 2 jobs, but they have not been identified. ABC is hiring an analytical firm to evaluate the success of this pilot program over the next two years.
Prevailing Wage on Custom Fabrication stalls in House
SB 102 – a bill that closes a loophole in the prevailing wage statute that was being used to pay workers below the prevailing wage by performing work offsite instead of onsite, regardless of whether it was necessary to do so passed the the General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. ABC opposed this bill due to increased costs for state construction. For a copy of this bill, click here.
Recreational Marijuana Bill signed by Governor
For a copy of HB 1, click here. For a copy of HB 2, click here. HB 1 – This Act removes all penalties for use or possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana and marijuana accessories. It further specifies that the adult sharing of a personal use quantity or less of marijuana is legal activity for those 21 years of age or older and that those 21 or older may possess, use, display, purchase, or transport accessories and personal use quantities of marijuana without penalty. The definition of “personal use quantity” of marijuana is updated to include not only 1 ounce or less of leaf marijuana, but also equivalent amounts of marijuana product in other forms. HB 2 – The Delaware Marijuana Control Act regulates and taxes marijuana for recreational use in much the same manner as alcohol. It creates a framework for production, manufacture, and sale in a legal recreational marijuana industry.
Ready in Six bills signed by Governor
HB 102 – expedites the issuance of a temporary entrance permit for commercial and economic development projects. HB 104 – The state’s pre-application process for land use process, known as PLUS, was created 20 years ago and has served to increase coordination among state and local agencies. In doing so, it has fulfilled its intent of providing predictability and consistency for the development community, especially in the area of major projects. Given that success, this bill assists in expediting the process for economic development projects in the State of Delaware with some exemptions from the PLUS process. A project located in Investment Level 1 or 2 under the Strategies for State Policies and Spending that is consistent with local zoning and any local comprehensive plan that will create full-time jobs is exempt from the pre-application process unless required by the local government or requested by the applicant. ABC supported both of these land use bills. For a copy of HB 102 click here. For a copy of HB 104 click here.
Tax Credit for Union dues signed into law
SS 2 to SB 72 – the bill creates a tax credit for resident individuals equal to the annual cost, not to exceed $500, to the individual to maintain membership in a labor organization was signed by the Governor. ABC strongly opposed the passage of this legislation. For a copy of the bill, click here. Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 72 made the annual cost to a resident individual to maintain membership in a labor organization an itemized tax deduction, not to exceed $500. Senate Amendment No. 1 to SS 1 for SB 72 sunset this itemized deduction when the federal tax deduction for costs to maintain membership in a labor organization is restored. Like SS 1 for SB 72, Senate Substitute No. 2 for Senate Bill No. 72 creates an itemized tax deduction for the annual cost to a resident individual to maintain membership in a labor organization. SS 2 for SB 72 differs from SS 1 for SB 72 as follows: 1. It does not allow an individual to take this deduction if the individual has taken a deduction on their federal income tax return for any cost to maintain membership in a labor organization. 2. It clarifies that this exemption does not include payments that are not deductible under federal law for amounts paid to or through a labor organization for employee benefits, pension contributions, other compensation, or that were used in connection with lobbying.
State Capital Budget highest ever at $1.45 billion
The state’s capital projects budget passed the General Assembly on June 30, 2022. The bond bill total is $1.45 billion, which is the largest in state history. Here is the breakdown: The bill puts almost $368 million into transportation and infrastructure; $130 million into K-12 and higher education; $261 million into the Office of Management and Budget; $71 million for DNREC; $166 million for State Department; and $20 million each for University of Delaware, Delaware State and Delaware Tech. For a full copy of the State bond bill, click here.
Governor signs $5.6 billion budget
Governor John Carney signed the fiscal 2023 operating budget, a $5.1-billion spending plan that invests in public schools, higher education and health care services. For a copy of the full budget, please click here. The fiscal 2024 budget represents a 9.9% increase from the current budget. Other notable highlights in HB 195 include: Over $48.7 million added to cover the state’s share of state employee and state retiree health insurance premiums to ensure existing health benefits remain intact; $160 million added to cover inflation and volume increases in statewide Medicaid service needs; $8 million to increase home health and personal care Medicaid reimbursement rates; $29 million to cover projected growth in our schools as the pre-k to 12 population reaches over 141,000 enrolled students, $20 million for the Redding Consortium and Wilmington Learning Collaborative to target education and support services for Wilmington students; $10.2 million to increase Purchase of Care payments made to childcare providers to reach 100% of Benchmark Rate of the 2021 Market Rate Study; $6.1 million to double the number of half-day pre-k seats available through the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP); and $2.2 million to begin implementation of House Bill 2 – creating the Office of the Marijuana Commissioner and providing the startup needs across state agencies for marijuana regulation.
Clean Construction Materials for Public Works stalls in the House
HB 8 – An act that would direct state agencies to collaborate on the development and implementation of clean construction preferences that will allow for the incorporation and consideration of sustainability and carbon impact data in the award of public works contracts stalled in the House. For a copy of this bill, click here. ABC has requested that the bill include more construction professionals to provide insight and knowledge on the proper materials.
State Council on Apprenticeship and Training Re-formed
HB 178 – An act updates the makeup and duties of the Council of Apprenticeship and Training to meet the current needs of the DOL, the apprenticeship workforce, and employers. It clarifies the duties of the Council, the membership of the Council, and term limits for council members. ABC supported this legislation and hopes that member sponsors will serve on the council. For a copy of the bill, click here.
Public Works bidder pre-qualification timeline extended
SB 73 – An act that modifies the Public Works’ Bidder Prequalification period and changes from the existing 12-month valid period to a 24-month valid period was signed by the Governor. ABC supported this legislation. For a copy of the bill, click here.
Riparian Buffer requirements tabled
HB 246 – An act which would make minimum riparian buffer areas uniform throughout the State in unincorporated areas and incorporated municipalities that do not hold a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System(“MS4”) permit was tabled in the House. ABC asked that a committee be formed during the summer to address this issue. This Act creates a new Chapter 10A of Title 9 which sets forth the following minimum riparian buffer areas: (1) 300 feet to the streamline, as defined by the mean high water line, of any tidal water body, tidal steam or tidal marsh; (2) 300 feet to the shoreline, as defined by the mean highwater line, of any nontidal freshwater body, lake, pond, or blue-line stream; and (3) 50 feet to the shoreline or top of bank, as defined by a greater than 50% change in slope in a distance of less than 10 feet of any non-blueline stream, creek or drainage ditch. The Act sets forth permitted uses not subject to the minimum buffer requirements. The Act requires the three Counties to adopt substantive and technical rules and regulations to implement the minimum riparian buffer areas and establish rules for specified uses. The Act requires all three Counties, by June 30, 2024 to amend their land use laws by adopting the minimum riparian buffer areas and adopting rules and regulations. The Act permits the Planning and Land Use Departments, in conjunction with the County Planning Directors, to create a coordinated program that educates and trains the public about the requirements of this Act. For a copy of this bill, click here.
Pre-Permit community Outreach in underserved communities tabled
HB 248 – An act that establishes a pre-permit community outreach process for any qualified project, as defined in DNREC Regulations, that wishes to apply for a permit within 3 months, in an underserved community was tabled in the House. ABC opposed this bill as it will slow down economic development in the State. DNREC will have an environmental justice area viewer, or similar tool, as a link on its website. Under this Act the applicant must (1) identify a facility community liaison; (2) must schedule a community meeting in or within 3 miles of the boundaries of the underserved community;(3) must provide a written overview of information to be provided in the permit application, the operation the applicant seeks to have permitted, including any renewal, new or change to any amounts or contents of emissions, and the community liaison’s contact information to all residences within the underserved community, (4) must publish the community meeting notice on-line and in at least 1 newspaper and, if available, 1 in the predominate non-English language if the underserved community is identified as limited English proficiency, at least 30 days prior to the scheduled community meeting. The community meeting must allow for interaction and questions and answers. The community meeting must be recorded or transcribed and made publicly available. Any written materials and oral and visual presentations must be accurate, free of technical language, and comprehensible to readers at a sixth-grade level. The applicant must also provide an Underserved Community Outreach Report to DNREC as part of the permit application and review process by DNREC. For a copy of this bill, click here.
Realty Transfer Tax decrease tabled
HB 36 – An act that decreases by 1% the rate of the realty transfer tax to be received by the State, thereby returning it to the rate that was applicable prior to August 1, 2017 was tabled in the House. The Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Act will apply to documents recorded and permits applied for after the effective date of the Act. ABC supported the passage of this legislation. For a copy of the bill, pl