13 legislative days remain
By Tyler Micik
Today ends the first of two weeks in which the General Assembly is on break for Joint Finance Markup. They’ll return to session on Tuesday, June 6, a day before the State Chamber’s End-Of-Session Policy Conference. When the General Assembly returns, there will be 13 legislative days remaining, and there are many bills they're still working through. Here’s an overview of the bills the State Chamber is following and their status:
DATA PRIVACY & TECHNOLOGY
Pending legislation, which has not been introduced yet, includes mandatory paid sick and safety leave and a bill that would redefine domestic violence, sexual offense, and stalking as it applies to employment discrimination in a more holistic and trauma-informed way rather than relying upon the definitions in the criminal code.
If you have feedback on any of these bills, we want to hear from you! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS WEEK IN DOVER
By Tyler Micik
Another busy week wrapped up in Dover! After next week, the General Assembly will go on break for JFC markup. They return on June 6, the day before our End-of-Session Policy Conference. Notable bills that saw movement this week include:
HB102 (Entrance Permits) – Passed the Senate and now heads to the Governor for signature. This bill is part of a package of four bills sponsored by Rep. Bush that are aimed at improving Delaware’s permitting process. HB104 is on the Senate Ready List and HB101 and HB103 await consideration in the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee. The State Chamber supports all four bills in the package.
SS1 for SB72 (Personal Income Tax) – Released from Senate Labor Committee and now moves to Senate Finance. This bill differs from the original bill, SB72, in that it provides members of a labor organization to claim a tax deduction, rather than a tax credit for their membership expenses. Sen. Poore, the bill sponsor, announced the change from a tax credit to a deduction at the beginning of the bill’s committee hearing on Wednesday. The State Chamber was opposed to the original bill and is reviewing the substitute bill.
Several bills in a package of eight environmental bills aimed at trying to cut emissions and reduce the state’s carbon footprint (which the Governor announced during a press conference on May 2nd) saw movement as well. The State Chamber is in the process of reviewing the bills and gathering feedback. Those bills include:
HB8 (Clean Construction Preferences for Public Works) – Released from House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and placed on the House Ready List. The bill directs 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. The bill also establishes a Clean Construction Preferences Committee, which would be tasked with reviewing clean construction preferences annually and providing contractors with data and best practices on the types of construction materials they should consider using on public works contracts.
HB9 (Statewide Fleet) – Released from House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and now moves to House Appropriations. The act requires that all passenger and light duty vehicles owned and operated by the State be zero emission vehicles by 2040.
HB10 (Electric School Buses) – Released from House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and now moves to House Appropriations. The act establishes targets for annual purchase of electric school buses through fiscal year 2030 and requires the Department of Education to submit an annual implementation report through 2029 as well as a comprehensive report in 2030 detailing future recommendations for electric vehicle purchases and other measures to reduce the carbon and environmental impact of the State’s school transportation fleet.
SB103 (EV Charging for Residential Dwellings) – Released from Senate Environment, Energy and Transportation Committee and now placed on the Senate Ready List. The act requires newly constructed single-family and multi-family residential dwellings to be built in a manner that would make it easier and more convenient for residents that own an electric vehicle to charge one in their homes. Placing the proper electrical equipment in the dwelling at the time of construction versus trying to install it post construction could save Delawareans time, money, and help avoid potential cosmetic issues that come with adding in the needed electrical equipment.
Other bills in the package, which did not see movement and await consideration in committee include:
HB11 (Solar Roofs for Commercial Buildings) – Requires new commercial buildings with a foundation footprint of 50,000 square feet or greater to meet certain requirements to ensure that their roof can support solar energy infrastructure.
HB12 (EV Rebate Program) – Creates an Electric Vehicle Rebate Program which may incentivize Delawareans to purchase and lease new and used electric vehicles. All-electric vehicles shall receive a rebate of no more than $2,500 and hybrid vehicles shall receive a rebate of no more than $1,000.
HB13 (Availability of Residential EV Charging Stations) – Directs DNREC, in consultation with DOT, to publish an assessment of the availability of residential charging stations for electric vehicles, which shall include strategies to deploy additional charging stations in high-need areas. This act further directs DNREC to develop an incentive program that will improve the electric vehicle charging infrastructure based on gaps identified in the report, with a focus on single-family homes without access to designated off-street parking and multi-family dwellings.
In addition to the bills listed above the State Chamber continues to follow other legislation. To find out more about the bills the State Chamber is following or if you have feedback on any of the bills mentioned above please contact me.
This Week in Dover
By Tyler Micik
Today we celebrated National Small Business Week by hosting Small Business Day in Dover with our Small Business Alliance (SBA) committee. The event began with a workshop around key issues impacting the small business community—economic development, child care, data privacy, and more. We also focused on the importance of building meaningful relationships with members of the General Assembly. Then attendees were joined by the House Small Business Caucus where several topics impacting the business community were discussed such as affordable housing, the worker shortage, and recreational marijuana, among others. The event ended with scheduled meetings between policymakers and attendees and a tour of Legislative Hall.
Two bills that the State Chamber is prioritizing saw movement this week. House Bill 102 (Entrance Permits) and House Bill 104 (PLUS) were released from committee in the Senate and now head to the Senate for a full vote. Both are part of a package of four bills sponsored by Rep. Bush that are aimed at improving Delaware’s permitting process.
According to a 2019 KPMG report, Analysis of Delaware Permit Competitiveness, Delaware has an opportunity to be more competitive if its permitting processes were strengthened through streamlined communication between state agencies, greater transparency and cost predictability, and a fast-track approval program for high-priority projects, among other recommendations. Delaware is in a fight for economic development projects. This package of bills goes a long way towards Delaware’s ability to compete for projects, which in turn may create good paying jobs and opportunities for Delawareans.
The other two bills in the package, House Bills 101 and 103, have been introduced and await consideration in the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee.
Also of note, House Bill 99—the Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act—was released from House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and has been placed on the House Ready List. The legislation creates a framework for implementing the Governor’s Climate Action Plan. The State Chamber testified saying the following statement:
“The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce is not yet in a position to support House Bill 99. We hope to continue working with the sponsors to enact legislation that improves the environment while allowing Delaware’s economy to prosper for the benefit of all employers and their employees. We acknowledge the intent of the legislation to create a framework for addressing climate change. However, further amendments are needed to ensure the bill provides certainty and predictability to the business community and all stakeholders. We’re all in this together. We all want clean air and clean water and all of us, businesses included are good environmental stewards and we hope the General Assembly will enact policy in a balanced way that makes progress, embraces new technology, and creates jobs.”
With 18 legislative days left of session, the State Chamber continues to follow these bills and other legislation that could impact the business community. To learn more about the SBA or bills we’re following, reach out to me at email@example.com.
small business day in dover | may 4, 2023