General Assembly Vote Tracker

Two More Criminal Justice Reform Bills Pass the Senate

Senate Bills 41 and 118 passed unanimously yesterday. Now both go to the House for consideration, but prospects do look good for passage there in the next two weeks.

Senate Bill 41 would reduce the number of teens tried as adults by establishing in the Delaware Criminal Code that the age of offense, not the age of arrest, determines jurisdiction for a young person facing charges.

Currently, if a person commits a delinquent act before age 18 but is arrested after age 18, the offense is automatically heard before the adult court of jurisdiction. This bill would reverse this procedure so that if the offense occurs before the age of 18 and the arrest is after a person’s 18th birthday, but before their 21st birthday, the Family Court will have jurisdiction.

WHERE IS THE BILL?  Passed Senate 19-0-2.

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Brown, McBride, Brady, Longhurst, Hansen, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Baumbach, Chukwuocha, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Q.Johnson, Kowalko, Lynn

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS – Briggs King, Ramone

YES VOTES – SENATE — Bonini, Brown, Delcollo, Ennis, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Lockman, Lopez, McBride, McDowell Paradee, Pettyjohn, Poore, Richardson, Sokola, Sturgeon, Walsh, Wilson ||| HOUSE — 

NO VOTES – SENATE —   ||| HOUSE —

ABSENTCloutier, Townsend


Senate Bill 118 would reform the hiring process in another licensed profession, this time that of realtors.  The General Assembly has already passed similar bills in the licensed professions of electrician by removing barriers to employment for people with prior convictions who are looking to turn their lives around through employment in the field of real estate.  State law currently bars real estate brokers from being granted a license in Delaware if they have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor related to their profession. The Delaware Real Estate Commission, however, can grant a waiver if the applicant’s felony conviction occurred more than five years ago or they are no longer incarcerated, on work release or probation for a misdemeanor.

The legislation would reduce that felony waiver requirement to three years in instances where the underlying crime was committed against a person and two years in all other instances. For misdemeanor offenses, the legislation would remove the waiver requirement entirely for applicants on probation at Level II supervision or lower.  The bill also would cap the period in which the commission can consider someone’s criminal history at 10 years so long as the applicant has no other criminal convictions during that time.

“These are important bills that deserve support,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings. “Together with other criminal justice reform measures, they will create opportunity, right-size penalties, and bring us closer to the type of justice system that Delawareans expect and deserve. I am grateful for the General Assembly’s partnership on our broader mission to modernize Delaware’s criminal and juvenile justice systems, and to the legislators who have worked so hard as sponsors and advocates for criminal justice reform.”

“My work in the Senate is focused squarely on expanding economic opportunities for working families and providing people who have made poor decisions with a second chance to turn their lives around,” said Sen. Darius Brown, the prime sponsor of Senate Bills 41 and 118. “Both of these bills continue that effort by creating a fairer criminal justice system and helping people find the kind of gainful employment that can lift them out of poverty and avoid becoming repeat offenders.”

“I am proud of the work we are doing to even the scales of justice and provide second chances to people who have paid their debt to society,” said Senate President Pro Tem David McBride, D-Hawk’s Nest. “The bills we passed today will open up work opportunities for those seeking to turn their lives around while reducing the number of teenagers caught up in the criminal justice system. That’s a pretty good day’s work, if you ask me.”

WHERE IS THE BILL?  Passed Senate 19-0-2

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Brown, McBride, Brady, Longhurst, Hansen, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Baumbach, Chukwuocha, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Q.Johnson, Kowalko, Lynn

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS – Briggs King, Ramone

YES VOTES – SENATE — Bonini, Brown, Delcollo, Ennis, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Lockman, Lopez, McBride, McDowell Paradee, Pettyjohn, Poore, Richardson, Sokola, Sturgeon, Walsh, Wilson ||| HOUSE — 

NO VOTES – SENATE —   ||| HOUSE —

ABSENTCloutier, Townsend

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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