By Tyler Micik
The General Assembly will complete its first leg of the 152nd Session on Friday evening. This wraps up a busy session, filled with legislation that, on behalf of our members, the State Chamber was actively engaged. It was one that saw many changes and firsts, including arguably the youngest and most diverse General Assembly in Delaware’s history with the addition of nine new legislators—three seats in the Senate and six in the House.
Despite some concerns from members in both the House and Senate over the 10% increase from last year’s budget, the General Assembly passed a $5.6B operating budget (HB195) for Fiscal Year 2024—yet another record-breaking budget in our state’s history. A $194.5M supplemental budget (HB196) in one-time measures and contingency funds also passed.
Part of the State’s Chamber’s mission is to bring the business community and policymakers together at the table to solve problems and help shape policy decisions. A prime example of this collaboration was the enactment of HB102 and HB104, which were part of a larger package of four bills (HB101 – HB104) sponsored by Representative Bush. Both bills, often referred to as Ready in 6 bills, are aimed at improving and expediting the permitting process for economic development projects in the state. Additionally, language from HB101 was incorporated into SB160 (Bond Bill) as a pilot project via epilogue language (section 14, page 11). The State Chamber played a role in championing these bills because these improvements are a method to enhancing Delaware’s competitiveness to win projects that would produce jobs and opportunities for Delawareans.
An overview of bills that passed are:
Other bills signed by the Governor:
Bills headed to the Governor for signature:
Bills that didn’t make it through this year:
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Any bills that were introduced and did not make it to the Governor’s desk will be carried over to next year for consideration. This summer and into the fall we will be ramping up our Member-to-Member program, which brings policymakers to your place of business so that you can share how your company operates, express your compliments and concerns, and discuss the impact policy proposals—like the ones mentioned above—have on your business and employees. Like customer relationships, establishing and maintaining relationships with elected officials is important because it helps create a better understanding for all parties and leads to better policy decisions.
These conversations will highlight important pending legislation which will be worked on this offseason and resurface again next year like:
For more information on the State Chamber’s positions and actions related to any of the bills mentioned, reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The General Assembly will be on recess until January 2024. The State Chamber will continue to do our part to help bridge all sides and advocate for Delaware employers and their employees. We encourage you to participate in our Member-to-Member meeting program, join a State Chamber Committee, and attend our events this fall. These conversations will help create a shared vision of Delaware’s future for years to come.
*This recap was updated after session adjourned on June 30, 2023.