Delaware House Agenda for June 26, 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Primary Sponsor: Paradee
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RETIREMENT PLANS.
Synopsis: This bill would direct the Office of the State Treasurer to add a Roth option to state sponsored 403(b) and 457(b) savings plans that are offered to eligible teachers and state employees. This bill would not require the state to contribute any additional funds into the retirement plans. The Roth option has been proven to be a more tax-friendly way to save for most individual investors than the traditional, non-Roth, tax-deferred method of saving that is currently offered in state sponsored retirement plans. The change is a simple administrative change. The majority of states have already moved forward to add the Roth option to their plans. It only seems fitting that the state that was so honorably served by William V. Roth, Jr. should offer a Roth option to its employees.
Primary Sponsor: Miro
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES.
Synopsis: This bill prohibits the use of a wearable computer with a head-mounted display while driving.
Primary Sponsor: B. Short
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO INSURANCE CONTRACTS.
Synopsis: Sections 1 and 2 of this bill require individual and group life insurers to provide notice of cancellation of life insurance coverage due to nonpayment of premiums and to retain proof of mailing of such notices for a one-year period. Sections 3 and 4 of this bill require individual, group and blanket health insurers to provide notice of cancellation or nonrenewal of health insurance coverage due to nonpayment of premiums and to retain proof of mailing of such notices for a one-year period. Sections 5 and 6 of this bill require casualty and property insurers to retain proof of mailing notices of cancellation and/or nonrenewal for a one-year period. Section 7 of this bill precludes an insurance carrier from refusing to renew a policy based on a combination of claims unless 3 or more claims occur within a 48 month period. Notices to be provided pursuant to this bill may be provided in electronic form, subject to the requirements of 18 Del. C. § 107.
Primary Sponsor: D.E. Williams
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DIAMOND STATE PORT CORPORATION.
Synopsis: This bill adds 2 members to the current 15 member Diamond State Port Corporation Board of Directors. Four of the Governor’s appointments are transferred to the Senate pro tempore and Speaker of the House who will each appoint 3 directors. Their original General Assembly appointees will serve staggered term lengths.
Primary Sponsor: Briggs King
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PARAMEDIC SERVICES.
Synopsis: This Bill, modeled after similar legislation enacted in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, clarifies paramedic immunity when consent to render care is unable to be obtained.
Primary Sponsor: Heffernan
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 6, 10, 11, 12, 16, 19, 21, 25, AND 28 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REMOVAL OF INSENSITIVE AND OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE.
Synopsis: People First Language (“PFL”) legislation is part of a national movement to promote dignity and inclusion for people with disabilities. PFL specifies that the order of terms used to describe any individual places the person first, and the description of the person second. For example, when using PFL, outdated terms such as “the disabled” would be phrased as “persons with disabilities.” This language emphasizes that individuals are people first, and that their disabilities are secondary.
In compliance with PFL guidelines, this Act amends current references to persons with disabilities throughout the Code by placing the person first and the disability second. Also pursuant to PFL, this Act removes offensive and/or insensitive language from the Code and replaces that language with respectful language. For example, the Act replaces antiquated and offensive terms such as “mental retardation” and “mental illness” with more appropriate terms like “intellectual disability” and “mental condition,” respectively.
This effort was initiated during the 146th General Assembly and this bill continues the process of making additional PFL changes to the Code.
Primary Sponsor: Bolden
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES.
Synopsis: This Legislation provides a mechanism for financial institutions to freeze transactions that they suspect are financial exploitation of an elderly person. It requires the financial institution to report the suspected financial exploitation to proper agencies. If DHSS discovers financial exploitation of an elderly person, the banks have clear authority to hold transactions upon receipt of that information. It also updates the definition of exploitation and creates a definition of financial exploitation for any adult who is impaired. It amends the existing immunity provision to provide immunity for holding transactions and eliminates very open ended immunity language that could be claimed as a safe harbor by the person who engaged in any abuse because they cooperate with the investigation.
Primary Sponsor: Dukes
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF DELMAR.
Synopsis: This amendment to the Town of Delmar Charter clarifies how a member of the Town government can be disqualified and removed from office. Also the Town Council shall determine the salary for the Mayor and members of Council by a two-thirds vote of the elected members of Council. This amendment has been approved and requested by the Town of Delmar Council and a public hearing on this amendment was held by Council on July 29, 2013.
Primary Sponsor: Poore
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE EDUCATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Synopsis: Section 1 of the Act would permit the state’s most severely cognitively disabled students, with the consent of their parents, IEP teams, and school districts, to receive special exemptions from taking either of the state’s standardized assessments. The academic progress of those students would still be measured in order to ensure that they are being challenged and provided meaningful instruction. Sections 2 and 3 of the Act attempt to ensure that evidence-based interventions are provided for young students who have dyslexia and related disabilities, to ensure that they are receiving necessary assistance in learning to read.
Primary Sponsor: Ennis
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MANUFACTURED HOMES AND MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES.
Synopsis: This legislation will require manufactured home community owners to provide prospective tenants with a copy of the proposed rental agreement, a copy of the rules, standards and fee schedule of the manufactured home community, a copy of the Manufactured Home Owners and Community Owners Act, and a summary of the Act written by the Attorney General at the time the prospective tenant obtains an application for tenancy in the community, to ensure that prospective tenants have ample time and opportunity to review the documents prior to entering the community.
Primary Sponsor: Cloutier
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TANNING FACILITIES.
Synopsis: This Bill adds to current tanning bed restrictions by banning all minors from using tanning devices in tanning facilities. It also mandates warning signs and statements in tanning facilities.
Primary Sponsor: Henry
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DRUG TESTING OF UNIFORMED SERVICES EMPLOYEES
Synopsis: This legislation authorizes and requires the Justice of the Peace Court to conduct drug testing of its uniformed services employees.
Primary Sponsor: Henry
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONTRIBUTIONS BY ENTITIES TO POLITICAL COMMITTEES.
Synopsis: This bill requires entities contribute more than $100 to a political committees during an election cycle to disclose the name and address of a “responsible party”—that is, someone who shares or exercises direction or control over the entity’s activities. In so doing, this bill provides voters with additional information about where political money comes from, so they can better decide how to cast their votes.
In addition, to help political committees and contributors accurately interpret and apply the law relating to the attribution of entity contributions, this bill requires the Elections Commissioner to adopt a uniform summary of the law in this area, with illustrative examples of how the law applies in specific cases. The Elections Commissioner is required to post the summary on its web site, and political committees are required to provide the summary to entity contributors at the request of such contributors.
Primary Sponsor: Hall-Long
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STUDENT ATHLETES.
Synopsis: This bill outlines procedures for dealing with Sudden Cardiac Arrest in student athletes. This legislation will be known as the Grace Firestone Act.
Primary Sponsor: Townsend
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RULES OF THE ROAD.
Synopsis: This bill repeals the provision of the Delaware code requiring the revocation of the driver’s license of any individual of a drug offense, regardless of whether the offense is related to the operation of a motor vehicle.
Primary Sponsor: Blevins
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12, CHAPTER 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE AND VOLUME 78, CHAPTER 317 OF THE LAWS OF DELAWARE RELATING TO ABANDONED PROPERTY.
Synopsis: This Act codifies the longstanding practice of the Department of Finance and the Secretary of State to hold as confidential the financial information obtained during the course of examinations, settlements, or voluntary self-disclosure agreements that are conducted pursuant to Title 12, Chapter 11 of the Delaware Code.
The Act also changes the penalty for failing to file an abandoned property report from 5% per month to the lesser of 5% per month or $100 per day. The maximum penalty changes from 50% of the amount required to be shown on the report to $5,000. The Act also eliminates the assessment of interest on outstanding unpaid amounts.
Finally, the Act extends the period that a holder may submit and the Secretary of State may accept a letter of intent to enter into an unclaimed property voluntary self-disclosure agreement from June 30, 2014 to September 30, 2014 and extend the sunset of the Secretary of State’s voluntary self-disclosure program by one year from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016 in order to provide sufficient time for all holders to complete and the Secretary of State to process all such voluntary self-disclosures agreements.
Primary Sponsor: Sokola
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS.
Synopsis: This bill aligns language within Title 14, Chapter 5 with changes to education and charter policy made throughout the chapter as well as elsewhere in the title. These changes remedy inconsistencies in language between different sections of Delaware Code as a result of recent changes to licensure, certification, accounting system, as well as aligning all sections of Chapter 5 with specific dates and deadlines established through multiple bills in the past year. This bill organizes required reporting for charter schools within the chapter subsection referencing reports and also addresses the sunset of single gender charter school language from June 2013.
Primary Sponsor: Poore
Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
Synopsis: This bill specifies that probation and parole officers are included in the definition of “law-enforcement officer” for the purposes of the Delaware Criminal Code in Title 11 of the Delaware Code.
Primary Sponsor: McBride
Title: AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE AND APPROVE THE CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY IN NEW CASTLE COUNTY TO THE COLONIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT AND PROVIDING FOR THE FUTURE SUBDIVISION AND CONVEYANCE OF A PORTION OF THIS REAL PROPERTY TO FAITHFUL FRIENDS.
Synopsis: This legislation authorizes the conveyance of the Airport Road Division of Motor Vehicles facility over to the Colonial School District. The legislation also directs the Colonial School District to subdivide, and convey a portion of the parcel to be transferred to Faithful Friends.
Primary Sponsor: Townsend
Title: RESOLVED THAT THE DELAWARE GENERAL ASSEMBLY EXPRESS ITS OPPOSITION TO THE FEDERAL MANDATE THAT THE STATE ENACT AND ENFORCE A LAW REQUIRING REVOCATION OF THE DRIVER’S LICENSE OF A PERSON UPON CONVICTION OF ANY DRUG OFFENSE AND URGING THE GOVERNOR TO CERTIFY HIS OPPOSITION TO THE SAME TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.
Synopsis: This resolution declares that the Delaware General Assembly is opposed to the federal mandate that it enact and enforce a state law, which would require the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license of any individual convicted of any violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act or another drug law; to urge the Governor of Delaware to submit a written certification stating the Governor’s opposition to such a law along with this resolution to the United States Secretary of Transportation; and accordingly to prevent the United States Secretary of Transportation from withholding a percentage of federal transportation apportionments pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 159.
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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