On Monday the 20th I attended a planning meeting for the new trail being developed in the White Clay Creek State Park. I had session in Dover Tuesday through Thursday. On Tuesday the 22nd I met with many Eagle Scouts, including two new Eagle Scouts from Newark. On Wednesday I attended the bill signing of SB 325, which permits law enforcement more time to ensure that dangerous people are unable to purchase firearms.
On Thursday I spent some hours with over twenty Mandela Washington Fellows, young civic leaders from across Africa. On Saturday the 25th I went to the annual meeting of the Barbara Gittings Stonewall Democrats in Rehoboth.
On Monday the 27th I attended the grand opening of the Alder Creek affordable housing community on Cleveland Avenue, and that evening attended an Iftar dinner at the American Turkish Friendship Association facility on Possum Park Road. Tuesday morning I attended a meeting of the broad team which oversees the annual student survey which informs policy makers throughout the state. I had session in Dover Tuesday through (very, very late) Thursday. On Wednesday before session I attended a press conference announcing the development of a state-wide policy for body-worn cameras used by law enforcement. On Thursday before session began, I joined the bill signing on a package of bills on women’s issues, an event at which Lilly Ledbetter spoke and thanked Delaware for our leadership. On Friday night I attended a second Iftar dinner, this time at the Tarbiyah school on Old Baltimore Pike.
Emails and Legislation
In the past two weeks I have had many, many emails. Most were on legislative issues.
I worked with colleagues to identify a consensus on HB 52, the CARE act which provides effective guidance to those who assist patients being discharged from hospitals. This required substantial effort, as several stakeholder groups began at very differing positions on the legislation. I shared my support of HB 427, which ensures that dangerous dog laws are valid and consistent, of HB 234, which ensures that all public high schools provide health clinics, HB 265, which improves treatment of stroke victims, HB 178 (feral cat bill), HB 401 (increased boating fees to pay for improved waterway maintenance), SB 55 (assistance to those with disabilities), and SB 223 (meningitis testing).
By the end of session, I was pleased that the General Assembly successfully passed SB 52 (CARE Act), HB 400 (granting access to medical marijuana to terminally ill patients), SB 274 (permitting electronic kiosks for sale of cell phones and electronics), and HB 381 (prior authorization of insurance coverage). I was disappointed that several of my bills did not make it, including the Earned Income Tax Credit bill (HB 253), manufactured housing titles (HB 403), charity writeoff for Habitat and Food Bank (HB 206), school board member terms (HB 374), Ada Leigh Soles librarian scholarship broadening (HB 348), and improved lobbyist oversight (HB 385).
While there were many emails on HB 167 (campaign finance reform), my HB 403 (manufactured housing), HCR 93 (manufactured housing task force), HB 283 (apprentices), SB 254 (bingo), HB 366 (requiring disclosure to patients of hospitals’ service offerings), SB 290 (campaign finance), HB 354 (using bank settlement funds to boost law enforcement for increased drug law enforcement), SB 134 (homeless individual’s bill of rights), HB 202 (plastic bag fee), and HB 444 (fantasy sports) these bills did not make it through the General Assembly this year.
After much turmoil, two bills were passed which are designed to keep the WEIC, Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s work to proceed. There were several questions about the budget, especially related to DIMER, DIDER, DIVME, programs which support Delaware students being able to go to medical/dental/veterinarian schools, given that Delaware has no such schools. I dug pretty deeply into the three money bills, and had several questions and concerns. Most of these were successfully addressed by colleagues.
I am working on a joint letter related to medical aid in dying.
I am involved with two working groups, which will be working towards proposals to address the following issues—safety inspections in municipalities, and direct shipment of wine.
I have worked with the City of Newark and DART to identify a temporary solution to the eliminated bus service to Fairfield. I worked with colleagues to request that the Department of Parks dedicate the Boundary Line Trail in honor of Wendell Cassel. I was able to obtain answers to how maternity/paternity leave is handled for state employees.
While time writing laws in Dover is intense and satisfying, I am looking forward to spending more time in our community over the coming six months.