Delaware Politics

Governor Jack Markell Signs Eight Bills into Law

A recap of the bills signed into law by Governor Jack Markell on June 25th, 2014

Governor Jack Markell Signs Eight Bills into Law

Governor Jack Markell signed eight bills into law yesterday:

HB 240

The use of electric lights to attract fish while fishing was banned to control fishing harvest before the establishment of management measures such as fishing size and creel limits and closed seasons. The current law prevents the use of electric lights needed to aid in targeting invasive finfish species such as snakeheads at night. This bill continues the illegality of using electric lights for commercial fishing.

HB 253 w/ HA 1

This bill creates a “Stop Child Abuse” license plate, with proceeds going to the Protecting Delaware’s Children Fund. The initial fee is $50, including a $15 administrative fee. Annual renewal will cost $40 in addition to the regular registration fee.

HB 256 w/ HA 1 + SA 1 + HA 2

This Act will make changes to Delaware’s law prohibiting Sexual Solicitation of a Child to ensure the safety of Delaware’s children from sexual predators, including the persons that promote sexual solicitation of a child and the persons that solicit children. This Act specifies that a person commits the offense of Sexual Solicitation of a Child or Promoting Sexual Solicitation of a Child through any method of electronic communications, in addition to other forms of communication. Further, for the offense of Sexual Solicitation of a Child, the Act defines “child” to include those who represent themselves to be younger than 18 years old and those who the person believes to be younger than 18 years old in addition to those who are, in fact, younger than 18 years old. This will facilitate law enforcement efforts to stop sexual predators before they have harmed a child. Additionally, this Act elevates the offense from a Class C felony to a Class B felony where the solicitor actually meets in person or attempts to meet in person with a child, as defined by the Act, to engage in a prohibited sexual act, or where the promoter actually meets in person or attempts to meet in person with another person and a child for the person to engage in a prohibited sexual act with the child.

HB 258 w/ HA 1

This bill allows for the insurance cards in an electronic format to be used as proof of insurance. Using an electronic format would not act as consent to access other contents on the device, nor would it expand or restrict investigative or search authority. Law enforcement officers, justice of the peace, and other state officials are not liable for any damage to the device that is the result of the insured using it to present proof of insurance.

HB 337 w/ HA 1

This bill promotes uniformity in the timing of the application process for school districts, charter schools, magnet schools, and career and technical education schools.

SB 209 w/ SA 1

This bill requires the Department of Education to promulgate regulations to further define the meaning and process for consideration of impact in the charter school application review process, to be considered and approved by the State Board no later than its October 2014 meeting. It also clarifies the conditions that an authorizer may place on an approved application, and provides that the State Board of Education may place or modify conditions to address considerations of impact.

SB 219

Delaware, like other states, is seeing a dramatic increase in heroin and opioid abuse and as a result is experiencing an increase in the number of people overdosing on these substances. This Legislation will increase the amount of the life-saving drug Naloxone in the community and specifically in the hands of the people most likely to discover someone who has suffered an overdose and who will be able to administer a dose of the medication while waiting for first responders to arrive. This will improve the chances that people who overdose will survive and be connected to treatment programs. Friends and family members of people with addictions to opioids can purchase Naloxone when a prescription is written for the person with the addiction. This Legislation will allow DHSS to create a community-based program that will put Naloxone into the hands of friends, family, and maybe service providers at no or low cost. DHSS will seek grant funding to support a community-based program.

SB 241 w/ SA 2, SA 3

This Act reorganizes the provision of many forensic sciences into a new Division of Forensic Science organized within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The proposed new Division of Forensic Science would consist of the operations previously organized in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner within the Department of Health and Social Services. 

Section 1 of the Act reorganizes the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as the Division of Forensic Science. The Division shall be led by the Director of the Division of Forensic Science, who shall appoint the Chief Medical Examiner and assistant medical examiners and other personnel in the Division. The Director and the Chief Medical Examiner shall be subject to the same personnel policies as other division directors in the department. Employees of the Division must seek prior written approval of the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to maintain employment outside of the Division. 

Section 1 further creates the Commission on Forensic Science, which shall provide oversight and supervision for the Division.

Sections 2 through 5 strike provisions relating to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner from the chapter governing the Department of Health and Social Services, including certain employment provisions applicable to the Chief Medical Examiner.

Sections 6 through 8 create the Division of Forensic Science within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Sections 9 through 18 make conforming changes to other titles of the Delaware Code to reflect the new organization of the Division of Forensic Science, including working with the courts and law enforcement (sections 9, 10 and 11), participation on the Criminal Justice Council (section 12), providing fatal incident reviews to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (section 13), investigation of deaths (sections 14 and 15), and operating a vehicle or vessel under the influence (sections 16 through 18).

Section 19 provides that the Commission on Forensic Science shall study whether any forensic sciences should be consolidated with the Division of Forensic Science, and whether death investigations should occur outside the Division, and requires the Commission to report to the Governor and General Assembly by January 31, 2015. Sections 20 and 21 provide that the Act shall take effect July 1, 2014 or ten days following its enactment, whichever is later, and that provision of the Act are intended to be severable.

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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