2017 Update—June 16th to July 7th

On Saturday the 17th in the morning I met with a colleague to discuss HB160 (the End of Life Options act) and that afternoon I attended the annual meeting of the Barbara Gittings Stonewall Democrats in Rehoboth. On Sunday I attended and addressed the annual Zakat Foundation Iftar program in Newark. On Monday the 19th I met with distributors regarding the proposed alcohol tax, had a conference call about HB160, and that evening Pam and I joined two families for an Iftar dinner. On Tuesday the 20th before caucus I visited with the Food Bank of Delaware. On Wednesday we had a Lobby Day for supporters of HB160, which included a meeting with the Governor. That evening I attended an Iftar dinner at the Tarbiyah mosque in Newark. On Thursday the 22nd I met with two dozen participants in the Young African Leaders Institute program during their field trip to Legislative Hall. On Wednesday the 5th I hosted a meeting on the proposed Florida T intersection at Library and Cleveland Avenues.

During these weeks we had eight legislative days in Dover, including several late nights (getting home at 11pm, 2am, and 7:30am). These marathon sessions were required to reach an agreement on revenues and a budget for the new fiscal year.

My Legislation—During the 2017 session I had the following bills passed by the House and Senate: HB34 (Ada Leigh Soles librarian scholarship), HB61 (charity refund donation for Food Bank of Delaware and Habitat for Humanity), HB94 (Delaware library consortium update), and HB 180 (data breach notification/protection). The House passed HB113 (Earned Income Tax Credit reform), HB 163 (charity refund donation for Beau Biden Foundation) and HB 177 (municipal board of adjustment prerequisite, requested by the City of Newark), and the House Health Committee released HB 160 (End of Life Options Act). I successfully added an amendment to HB87 (correcting an error in this captive insurance bill), SB48 (Naloxone dispensing by pharmacists, removing a blanket immunity) and to SB75 (removing a double-jeopardy situation from a human trafficking bill).

Emails—In the past three weeks I had many emails regarding the budget and revenue bills (on itemized deductions, alcohol and tobacco taxes, reduced/eliminated funding for non-profits, reduced funding for our public schools, and for our public libraries, continued funding for Catholic school nurses and drivers education.

I had many emails, phone calls, and meetings on proposal I developed as an alternative to the Governor’s personal income tax plan, to address many of the shortcomings of the Governor’s plan. Most were incorporated in changes to HB240, however the General Assembly ultimately failed to pass HB240 in any form.

I had emails on specific legislation including HB190 (Coastal Zone Act), SB48 (pharmacist immunity for dispensing Naloxone), HB222 (lethal violence protection orders), SB47 (manufactured housing), HB172 (definition of waste and abuse in bill on insurer’s rights to recover overpayments), SB65 (conversion therapy), HB204 (bail/pre-trial reform), HB148 (529 plan contribution deductibility), SB24 (PTSD/medical marijuana bill), HB89 (changing the date for our primary elections to April), SB3 (stillbirth certificate), and HB249 (fantasy sports).

I have had emails about community issues (yard waste dumping, trimming underbrush obscuring sight lines for traffic, speed concerns at an intersection, and access to affordable housing in Newark)

I have had emails about resident issues with Christina School District.

I have had emails regarding the University of Delaware and the transparency of the operations of their Board of Trustees, and regarding the release of voter information to the federal government.