2018 Update—March 18th to 30th

On Tuesday the 20th in Dover I attended the kids caucus, and held two meetings with manufactured home owners and their advocates. The legislative session was cancelled on the 21st due to snow. On Thursday I met with the Delaware Electric Cooperative, and with a proponent of improved non-profit partnerships on state initiatives before session. On Friday I taped two segments on Comcast Newsmakers, and had an afternoon call on HB160, the Delaware End of Life Options Act. On Saturday I attended and addressed an American Lung Association Youth Summit for KBG, the Kick Butts Generation, involving students who seek to reduce our dependence on tobacco.

On Sunday the 25th I addressed a women’s group to discuss HB160. On Tuesday I led House efforts to proclaim April 2018 Sikh Appreciation and Awareness Month (HCR67), including being fitted with a turban and joining Delaware Sikhs in a meeting with the Governor. On Wednesday I attended the rally to promote HB399, the Delaware Equal Rights Amendment. After this I led House efforts to proclaim Wednesday to be Delaware Rare Disease Day (HCR65), including joining families affected by diseases too rare for pharmaceutical companies to strive to cure in meeting with the Governor. That evening after session I joined Rep David Bentz for my monthly Facebook Town Hall. On Thursday I attended a Common Cause program on verified voting systems, then attended a press conference on Equal Pay Day.

On the 20th we passed HB328 (Osienski), to make it a crime for a drone to spy on Delaware residents. We also passed HB287 (Williams), to provide an alternative diploma to students who complete their IEP (individualized education program) and yet their IEP does not meet the requirements for a high school graduation diploma. We also passed HB330 (Schwartzkopf), which raises the age to 21 for a person to purchase a rifle or ammunition (with some exceptions including those in the military).

On the 27th we passed HB302 (Bentz), which provides a path to remove firearms from persons who mental health professionals pose an immediate risk of inflating harm on themselves or others. We passed HB239 (Ramone) which ensures that an election is used when the office of New Castle County Executive becomes vacant. On Thursday we passed HB399 (Longhurst) to begin the process to add a person’s gender to the Delaware Bill of Rights as ensuring equal rights. We passed SB31 (Simpson) to add handguns to the list of firearms a farmer can use when following DNREC’s “Deer depredation program,” which helps to manage our state’s deer population. We passed HB49 (Jaques) which adds a school safety requirement for new construction and significant renovations of traditional public schools. We passed HB339 (J Johnson) which ensures that juveniles are not housed in a prison while awaiting trial, and instead are housed in a facility that provides educational and rehabilitative programs.

Emails—During the past two weeks there have been many emails related to legislation to address gun violence. There have also been many emails on manufactured housing.

I have had emails related to local resident concerns—one on a disagreement between two neighbors on an easement between their properties, several on potholes, some on repaving projects, a legislative initiative related to local swim clubs, emails related to the upcoming Newark City Council election and candidates and upcoming Christina School District board candidates, a Delaware affinity license plate for PTA members, one on an issue that a state employee is having with her supervisor related to ACA accommodations, some on traffic concerns, one from the mother of an inmate at Baylor prison concerning correctional officer conduct, one related to City of Newark regulations enabling cellular providers to eliminate dead zones in the city, and one on custom duties recently applied to a Newark company’s imports.

I have had emails about upcoming proposals—one on rewriting the criminal code, one on the just-announced Wilmington Port deal, two on programs to have the state partner with non-profit and for-profit entities working on state priorities, one on home health aid legislation, and on the upcoming Delaware voting system replacement.

I have had some emails related to state financial matters—requesting a list of one-time expenses requested in the past to use when forming this year’s budget, and related to my draft legislation to revamp our resident personal income tax system.