by James DeChene
Several bills important to the business community were acted upon this week in Dover.
On Wednesday, Governor Markell signed HB235, the Delaware Competes Act, into law. As mentioned previously, the Chamber strongly supported this legislation that modifies how Corporate Income Tax is calculated, phasing out the multifactor apportionment calculation, and phasing in a single sales factor apportionment.
There was spirited floor debate on Sen. Marshall’s SB 39, legislation increasing the minimum wage. As amended, the bill would raise Delaware’s minimum wage from $8.25 by $.50 in 2017, and then again for the next 3 years, topping out at $10.25. A provision to index to COLA after 2020 was stripped out of the language in order for the bill to pass, and the final vote was 11-8. The bill now heads to the House, where it will be heard in the House Economic Development, Banking, Insurance & Commerce Committee. Stay tuned for more intel as the process continues.
A bill supported by the State Chamber, HB 253, which changes the earned income tax credit from nonrefundable to refundable and capable of exceeding the tax amount otherwise due. The credit is reduced from 20% of the corresponding federal earned income credit to 6% for 2017. That percentage increases 1% each year until it reaches 15% in 2026.
The House Administration Committee heard legislation creating paid Family Medical Leave of up to 12 weeks for state employees who have at least 12 months in their position in order to qualify. The Chamber has concerns with this bill, as it continues a progression of measures increasing the cost of public employees in Delaware.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.