By Tyler Micik
Today wraps up the final week before the General Assembly goes on break for two weeks, returning on April 25th.
Two bills of importance, House Bills 102 and 104, passed the House and now move to the Senate for debate. The bills are part of a larger package of four bills, sponsored by Representative Bush, which are aimed at improving and quickening the permitting process for economic development projects in Delaware.
HB 102 expedites the issuance of temporary entrance permits for commercial and economic development projects. HB 104 accelerates 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.
According to the KPMG report released in 2019, Analysis of Delaware Permit Competitiveness, the state’s PLUS process adds approximately three months to the permitting process. This report was commissioned by the Ready in 6 Coalition--of which the Delaware State Chamber is a member--to identify strategies like this to streamline the permitting process in a way that doesn’t comprise public health or safety. The report concluded that concludes that 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.
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.
The State Chamber supports all four bills because they are a crucial step in strengthening Delaware's competitiveness when it comes to attracting economic development projects and creating good jobs.
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