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.