The General Assembly is supposed to reconvene today after a six week break for Joint Finance and Bond Committee hearings. I imagine they still will, since Kent County on south got nothing from this supposed “blizzard.” I have been updating the Vote Tracker on some newly filed bills that are of interest from a progressive and liberal point of view.
Rep. Earl Jaques has reintroduced a bill to provide for a Constitutional Amendment to the Delaware Constitution that would provide for No-Excuse Absentee Voting. Rep. Kowalko has reintroduced two bills from the last session that were never voted on: HB72, which removes the exemption of the University of Delaware and Delaware State University from Freedom of Information Act requests, and HB71, which includes officers on the Cash Management Policy Board as public officers, thus apply the rules of financial disclosure to them.
Rep. Mike Ramone’s HB 36 was been substituted, I suppose to address a concern to allow it to pass, as it was made more lenient. The original bill provided a simple punishment of a $50.00 and 25 hours of community service work for the first offense of either buying or possessing tobacco, and the second offense involving $50 and 50 hours of service. The substitute bill maintains the same penalties for purchasing tobacco as a minor, but if you are in mere possession of tobacco as a minor or if you consume it as a minor, the new punishment would be attending an educational course relating to the health issues and dangers associated with the consumption and use of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes for the first offense, and for a second violation be ordered to perform 25 hours of community service work, and for all subsequent violations be ordered to perform 50 hours of community service work.
SB17, the Bryan Townsend sponsored bill that provides for research or transplantation of organs and other anatomical gifts as authorized under federal law among donors who have tested positive for exposure to HIV and intended recipients who have also tested positive for exposure to HIV, has been assigned to Health & Human Development Committee in House on 3.9.17 It passed the Senate 19-0-1 back in January.