Delaware Politics

Delaware House Agenda for June 25th, 2014

Delaware House Agenda for June 25, 2014

Delaware House Agenda for June 25th, 2014

HB 363

Primary Sponsor: Walker

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONTRACTUAL LIMITATION PERIODS.

Synopsis: Delaware common law currently permits contracting parties to effectively opt into a 20 year limitations period by entering into a contract under seal. Absent compliance with the requirements for a contract under seal, the statute of limitations for breach of contract claims is generally three years or, in the case of contracts governed by Article 2 of the Delaware UCC, four years. Subsection (c) gives clear statutory authorization to the parties’ freedom to contract beyond the three or four year statutory period without resorting to the use of a sealed instrument, as long as the contract involves at least $100,000 and is in writing. Examples of a “period” that may be specified in a written contract, agreement or undertaking would include, without limitation, (i) a specific period of time, (ii) a period of time defined by reference to the occurrence of some other event or action, another document or agreement or another statutory period and (iii) an indefinite period of time.

HB 13 w/ HA 2 + SA 1

Primary Sponsor: Kowalko

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LOBBYISTS.

Synopsis: This bill prohibits a former member of the General Assembly from acting as a lobbyist for a period of one year after such person’s term of office ends. Any person who knowingly violates this section shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor. This bill shall take effect January 1, 2015.

HB 228 w/ HA1, HA 1 to HA 1 + SA 1

Primary Sponsor: Hudson

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE CHILD PLACEMENT REVIEW ACT.

Synopsis: The intent of this bill is to make adjustments to the existing code to be consistent with current practices, clarify ambiguities, and eliminate sections that no longer apply.

HS 1 for HB 218

Primary Sponsor: Spiegelman

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRESCRIPTIONS.

Synopsis: This Bill requires that person be afforded an option to prohibit or limit another person from receiving a prescription from a pharmacy on his or her behalf. The Department of State is tasked with establishing any rules and regulations necessary to ensure that a person be afforded this option. All pharmacies would be required to provide this option beginning on January 1st.

HB 292 (F/N)

Primary Sponsor: Scott

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LIMITATIONS UPON TAXING POWER.

Synopsis: This Bill adds Serenity Place, Inc., a Dover rehabilitation entity, to the list of tax exempt organizations. 

HB 377-HA 1, HA 2 (2/3)

Primary Sponsor: Spiegelman

Title: AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF TOWNSEND.

Synopsis: This Act reincorporates the Town of Townsend.

HB 385

Primary Sponsor: Wilson

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO INDUSTRIAL HEMP.

Synopsis: Section 7606 of the federal Farm Bill exempts the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes from the provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act, the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Chapter 81 of Title 41 of the United States Code, and any other Federal law so long as such growth and cultivation is also permitted under state law. This Bill authorizes the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp by the Department of Agriculture and higher education institutions for research purposes in the State of Delaware. Any higher education institution wishing to grow or cultivate industrial hemp in Delaware must be certified by the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture is authorized to develop such rules, regulations, and standards as are necessary to further the objectives of this Act. 

HB 397

Primary Sponsor: Mitchell

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS.

Synopsis: This bill will provide that when a municipal department is conducting an internal affairs investigation of a Council on Police Training Certified Police Officer pursuant to Delaware Code a certified officer from another department can conduct the investigation. This is necessary when the department is a small department who does not have the necessary staff to conduct the investigation. 

HB 412

Primary Sponsor: B. Short

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 12 AND 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FIDUCIARY RELATIONS AND PROPERTY.

Synopsis: Section 1 of the Act moves the definition of “good faith”, applicable throughout Title 12, from Section 3580 to Section 101 of Title 12.

Sections 2 and 3 of the Act is intended to (i) reorganize and clarify section 3303 but not substantively alter the current statute; and (ii) eliminate the requirement in section 3322 that a fiduciary appointing an agent pursuant to the statute may only do so when the fiduciary reasonably believes the appointment would improve investment performance or administrative efficiency but retain the requirement that the fiduciary must reasonably believe the appointment is in the best interest of all interested persons.

Section 4 of the Act is intended to (i) clarify but not substantively alter the provisions of sections 3521 through 3523, as amended in January, 2014, by reorganizing the substantive provisions of those sections as new sections 3521 through 3526; (ii) revise section 3528 to clarify that an appointment in further trust made pursuant to that section may be made to a further trust for the benefit of an open class of beneficiaries even if the class remains open beyond the time when the class would have closed pursuant to the terms of the governing instrument for the initial trust, as might happen, for example, if the initial trust were of limited duration and the further trust were of unlimited duration; (iii) revise section 3536 to clarify existing law regarding when a trust is considered self-settled for purposes of determining creditor rights and broaden the statutory protection from creditor claims afforded to trustors to include all trusts in which the trustor holds an interest that is contingent upon surviving the trustor’s spouse; (iv) revise section 3544 to take into account recently enacted section 3338 permitting the appointment of successor trustees in certain circumstances; and (v) revise section 3580 to clarify that the various provisions of subchapter VII of Chapter 35 of Title 12 making reference to trustees shall be deemed to refer also to fiduciaries and nonfiduciaries, such as direction advisers described in section 3313 of Title 12, not technically designated as trustees but nevertheless performing, or directing others in the performance of, some or all of the duties customarily performed by trustees.

Section 5 of the Act is intended to revise Chapter 5 of Title 25 to (i) employ uniform terminology to describe general and nongeneral powers of appointment; (ii) revise section 505 to (1) make the language of current section 505, regarding the exercise of powers of appointment in favor of trusts, applicable to nongeneral powers; (2) create a new rule for general powers exercisable in favor of the powerholder or the powerholder’s estate patterned upon § 19.13(a) of the Restatement of Property (Third) Wills and Other Donative Transfers (the “Restatement”); and (3) create a new rule for general powers exercisable only in favor of the powerholder’s creditors or the creditors of the powerholder’s estate patterned upon § 19.13(b) of the Restatement; and (iii) allow powerholders, having a nongeneral power of appointment over property of a trust exempt from generation-skipping transfer tax, the option of exercising the power in a manner designed to trigger estate inclusion under § 2041(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 6 of the Act provides for the effective date of the Act.

HB 395

Primary Sponsor: Carson

Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FINFISHING.

Synopsis: This bill changes “shared rigging” to “fixed rigging” as it relates to certain requirements for fishing nets set in a series.

HJR 15

Primary Sponsor: Spiegelman

Title: RECOGNIZING JULY 4TH, 2014 AS THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF LOU GEHRIG RETIRING FROM BASEBALL AND HIGHLIGHTING AWARENESS OF LOU GEHRIG’S DISEASE IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

Synopsis: This resolution recognizes July 4th, 2014as the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig retiring from baseball and highlights awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease in the State of Delaware.

SS 1 for SB 36

Primary Sponsor: Marshall

Title: AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE I, §12 OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION OF 1897, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CRIMINAL PROCEDURES.

Synopsis: This Act is the first leg of a constitutional amendment that will modernize the bail provisions within the Delaware
Constitution and clarify the power of the General Assembly and the Courts to define certain felony offenses for which and circumstances under which, pre-trial release on bail may not be available.
This Act provides that the constitutional amendment to Art. I, Sec. 12 of the Delaware Constitution proposed bill
will: (1) retain the express declaration of a general right to have bail set in a criminal case; (2) provide that the only crimes
for which bail must be withheld is (a) capital murder where the evidentiary proof is positive and presumption of the accusation great and (b) Class A or B violent felony offense and under procedures prescribed by law; and (3) ensures that one condition precedent to bail being withheld in non-capital cases must be a finding that no bail condition or combination of bail conditions other than detention will ensure the safety of another person or the community.
This change alone does not allow that any person charged with a non-capital crime can be held without bail and no person could be subject to a detention hearing in a non-capital case until the General Assembly revised Chapter 21 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code and the General Assembly and Courts “prescribed by law” the circumstances and procedures under which detention without bail may occur.
With this change, though, Delaware may move forward toward the type of modern bail system that has been increasingly adopted by other states through amendment of their state constitutions, when needed, and the development of statutory procedures that provide, in extreme cases, pre-trial detention without bail. Under current Delaware law, the only circumstance in which one may be detained without bail is when he or she is charged with capital murder. 
This Act would have no effect on bail procedures and standards in capital cases. The fact that bail can only be withheld in capital cases, however, is inconsistent with the evidence-based and informed decision-making that the General Assembly looks to adopt through the Justice Reinvestment Act. While granting of bail upon assessment of the needs of the accused and the community is always preferable, there will be that occasion where the pretrial risk assessment that informs release decisions suggests that detention is the appropriate course. A Delaware state court judge cannot order detention in such cases but only attempt to set the bail so high that a defendant cannot make it. This is the first step toward completing the pre-trial bail continuum.
Any legislation subsequently enacted or court procedures adopted pursuant to this bill would have to require individualized, fact-governed decision-making by the Court regarding detention in order to pass muster under the United States and Delaware State Constitutions.
This bill also requires trial to be held within 90 days for persons being held without bail on non-capital offenses unless the person requests a delay. If trial is not held within 90 days with no request for delay, the person shall be entitled to bail. 

SJR 10

Primary Sponsor: Lopez

Title: ESTABLISHING A JOINT EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE TO STUDY AND MAKE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE NEED FOR A UNIFIED STRATEGY TO COMBAT LYME DISEASE.

Synopsis: This resolution establishes the Lyme Disease Prevention Task Force to promulgate a unified strategy to combat Lyme Disease in Delaware.

SJR 13

Primary Sponsor: McDowell

Title: THE OFFICIAL GENERAL FUND REVENUE ESTIMATE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2014.

Synopsis: This Resolution provides the official revenue, refund, and unencumbered funds estimates for Fiscal Year 2014.

SJR 14

Primary Sponsor: McDowell

Title: THE OFFICIAL GENERAL FUND REVENUE ESTIMATE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2015.

Synopsis: This Resolution provides the official revenue, refund, and unencumbered funds estimates for Fiscal Year 2015.

SB 255

Primary Sponsor: McDowell

Title: AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2015; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; AND AMENDING CERTAIN PERTINENT STATUTORY PROVISIONS.

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Dennis Foley

Written by Dennis Foley

Dennis Foley is an award-winning journalist with a strong background in radio and digital reporting, web development, and multimedia production. Dennis is a Long Island native with several youthful years in New Hampshire as well. Professionally, Dennis has won several Associated Press awards as both a news anchor and as a news director. He also reported live during ABC News Radio's Edward R. Murrow award-winning coverage of Hurricane Sandy from Long Island. Dennis' prior stops have included WRHU-FM (Hempstead/Long Island, NY), New Hampshire Public Radio (Concord, NH), ABC News Radio (New York), WRIV (Riverhead, NY), and KEEL (Shreveport-Bossier, LA). He is excited to join 92.7 WGMD and continue the great legacy the station has as being Delmarva's news authority! Feel free to follow Dennis on Twitter: @DennisJFoley