LWVDE Action Alert on Legislation June 10, 2018

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Top priorities for action in the closing days of the 149th Session, plus one we urge NO ACTION

LWVDE urges all members to contact their legislators to act on our remaining 12 top priority bills before June 30. Please note:  We had other very high priority bills but, recognizing the reality of the legislative process, we did not include bills we believe do not have a reasonable chance to be enacted in the few remaining days of the 2018 Session. All are important--but if you could contact your own legislators on even one or two bills of your choice it would greatly enhance the efforts of the League's registered (VOLUNTEER) lobbyists.  You are free, even encouraged, to say you are a League member and to pick more than one or two! A few need action in both Houses. The Funding for New Voting Equipment requires action by the House and Senate in a final appropriations bill.

Needs Funding

Funding for New Voting Equipment. It is critical that the General Assembly include funding in the budget for new equipment that can be in place for the 2020 election. Any new equipment must be capable of providing a paper backup to be used in recounts and audits of election results. [Funding must be added to the budget by the Joint Bond Bill or Joint Finance Committee by June 30 to provide for manufacture and delivery for 2020. None is currently provided.]

Needs Action in House

HB 63 is the first leg of a constitutional amendment that would eliminate restrictions on voting by absentee ballot, leaving the determination of needed restrictions up to the General Assembly in the future. [Must be voted on in the House and get through Committee and final passage in the Senate.]

HB 90 provides for in-person early voting at least 10 days prior to an election, including the Saturday & Sunday immediately prior to the election in at least one location in each county and the city of Wilmington. [Must be voted on in the House and get through Committee and final passage in the Senate.]

HB 300 makes it a crime to sell, transfer, buy, receive or possess a trigger crank or bump-fire device designed to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle, making the weapon function more like an automatic weapon. This bill has been back and forth between the House and Senate with multiple amendments. [Ready for final passage if the House will accept a Senate amendment that lowers the punishment for a first offense.]

SB 171 requires the Department of Correction to provide those being released from prison after 6 months of incarceration following conviction, with a Personal Credential Card that the ex-offender may use to receive a free certified copy of his/her birth certificate & one identification card or driver's license, if otherwise eligible to receive those documents. [Ready for House consideration on final passage.]

SB 172 increases the transparency of school spending by requiring establishment of a statewide uniform approach to the reporting of expenditures at the school level. This would allow the public to see how their dollars are being spent at each school, compare schools in a variety of categories, such as student demographics and student outcomes, thereby leading to data-driven decision making. [Passed Senate, ready for final consideration in House.]                                                                                                              

SB 183 relates to Limited Liability Companies (LLCs).  We are particularly supporting Section 8 that, upon motion by the Attorney General, authorizes the Court of Chancery to cancel the certificate of formation of any domestic limited liability company for abuse or misuse of its limited liability company powers, privileges or existence. Although LLCs are a legitimate corporate form, some are involved in illegal activities. [Passed Senate; needs release from House Judiciary and passage in the House.]

HCR 34, a concurrent resolution, establishes a Legislative Task Force to investigate the cost of special education and make recommendations related to cost efficiency. We OPPOSE this resolution because it singles out special ed and assumes it is not cost-effective. This type of study should be undertaken by a subject matter expert, rather than allowing legislators to “feel good” that they are doing something that will make a change.  In fact, task forces like this rarely lead to change and just waste the time of all involved. [Has been reported out of Committee unanimously, awaiting full House action, after which it would move to the Senate Education Committee.]

Needs Action in Senate

HB 113 makes Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) refundable in Delaware. This would target aid to some of the lowest-income workers and provide work incentives, drafted in a way that makes the expense of the program practically revenue-neutral. [Has passed the House; must get out of Senate Finance Committee on June 13 and be passed by the Senate.]

House Substitute 1 for HB 222 allows law enforcement to seek a one-year lethal violence protection order where a family member or law enforcement officer provides a preponderance of evidence that a person poses a danger to self or others by owning, possessing, controlling, purchasing or receiving a firearm. [Passed House, ready for Senate Committee and floor action.]

HB 366 requires safe storage of firearms. Has passed House but failed to be released from Senate Judicial Committee. [Need reconsideration in Senate Judicial Committee and Senate passage.]

SB 227 requires individual, group, and State employee insurance plans to reimburse primary care physicians, certified nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other front-line practitioners for chronic care management and primary care at no less than the physician Medicare rate for the next 3 years. Insurance companies are paying them as low as between 65% and 85% of Medicare rates. (The State may not regulate self-insured companies.)  It also makes changes in the duties and authority of the Health Care Commission to develop recommendations to strengthen the primary care system in Delaware. [Ready for Senate floor action, scheduled for June 13, then to House.]