by James DeChene
This week in Dover saw the announcement of a 19 bill criminal justice reform package highlighted at a press conference Thursday. While the vast majority of these bills have yet to be introduced, we know several are designed to help those with arrests or records navigate an easier path to employment. One bill involves mandatory expungements for single misdemeanor offenses and for arrests with no conviction if no further offense takes place for 5 years. Another eases licensing requirements for electrical, HVAC and certain other professions requiring professional licensure. The Chamber has been supportive of those efforts in the past, and awaits review of the current language.
It was a light week on the Senate side, as much of their business was put on hold due to a significant number of members out sick. We hope they feel better soon are able to make it back to Leg Hall for work.
In the House, the National Popular Vote interstate compact passed and now is headed to the Governor for signature. The bill would change how Delaware awards its Electoral College delegates during a Presidential election. Current policy awards Delaware’s three votes to the winner of the popular vote in Delaware. The new proposal would award Delaware’s three votes to the winner of the national popular vote. This process would change once enough states (representing at least 270 electoral votes) agree to participate.
Next week we expect the Tobacco to 21 bill (raising the age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21) in the Senate. Also, we expect HB47, the bill to revoke the youth and training wage rates related to minimum wage, to be heard in the House Economic Development next Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. If your company would be impacted by this change, I urge you to come and make comment during the hearing to let legislators know how this would impact your business.
by James DeChene
The General Assembly was back in session this week, returning from the Joint Finance Committee. This week in Dover saw two bills related to taxes tabled in committee. The first proposed a reduction to the realty transfer tax by 1% and the second would have allowed for itemized deductions in Delaware. Both are on hold for now.
Also a bill on the National Popular Vote passed in the Senate. The bill is now headed to the House, and if passed there, it would enter Delaware into an interstate compact that would change how Delaware would award its Electoral College delegates.
A new federal court ruling could require companies over 100 to report pay by gender starting as soon as May 31, 2019. For more info on the issue and the ruling, click here.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.