By Tyler Micik
The General Assembly carried on with their work this week with three legislative days left next week. They voted on several bills the State Chamber is following and continued to introduce a few new bills despite the short timeline. Of note was SB250, the state operating budget which appropriates approximately $5.1 billion to fund state government operations. The bill marks the first time the budget has surpassed the $5 billion mark. In addition, SB251 appropriates $378,613,700 for one-time projects through the Office of Management and Budget. Both bills passed and move to the Governor for signature. Other notable bills included:
HB409: Sick and Safety Leave. The bill requires all employers to provide employees with one hour of sick/safety leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours per year, which can be carried over from one year to the next and capped at 80 hours. Any employee who’s worked at least 90 days would be eligible for the benefit and are to be paid at their normal wage rate. Employers with less than 10 employees would be required to provide time off, but it would not have to be paid. The bill was voted on in the House Economic Development, Banking, Insurance & Commerce Committee on Tuesday but has not been released and remains in committee. The State Chamber testified in opposition to the bill.
HB484: Temporary Entrance Permits. The bill expedites the issuance of a temporary entrance permit for certain development projects. The bill was released from the House Economic Development, Banking, Insurance & Commerce Committee and moves to the House for a full vote. The State Chamber testified in support of the bill because it’s a crucial step in improving the permitting process.
HB487: Craft Training Requirements in Public Works Contracts. The bill removes the “buy-out” for contractors to avoid participating in apprentice programs by paying into the Apprenticeship and Training Fund, which was created in 2021. The bill was introduced and assigned to the House Administration Committee. The State Chamber is opposed to the bill. It’s scheduled for committee on Wednesday, June 29 at 1pm. You can view the meeting notice here.
HB488: Credit Card Surcharges. This bill prohibits a seller from imposing a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means. The bill was introduced and assigned to the House Administration Committee. The State Chamber is opposed to the bill.
SS1 for SB35: Wage Payment Collection Act. The Act defines specific violations of wage payment and collection laws under Chapter 11 of Title 19 as wage theft, provides specific penalties for these violations, and creates a new criminal offense of wage theft, with a mechanism for the Department of Labor to refer completed investigations to the Department of Justice for prosecution. The bill was released from House Appropriations and moves to the House for a full vote. The State Chamber is opposed to the bill.
HB205: Delaware Expanding Access for Retirement and Necessary Saving (EARNS). Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis’ proposal to establish a voluntary employee IRA savings program. The bill passed the Senate and moves to the Governor for signature. The State Chamber is neutral on the bill.
HB449: Elevator Mechanics. The Act creates a new chapter in Title 24 and establishes a regulatory State Board of Elevator Mechanics consisting of five members appointed by the Governor. Additionally, it sets forth grounds for discipline, including suspension and revocation of a license. An amendment was added to the bill that would exempt those in a manufacturing or industry facility who meet certain requirements. The bill passed the Senate and moves to the Governor for signature. The State Chamber is neutral on the bill given the amendment.
The State Chamber is continuing to monitor several other bills that did not see movement this week, including HB420, HB435, HB220, SB305, HB466 and SB280. Next week are the last days before the 151st General Assembly adjourns. Expect a robust update next week!