Vote Tracker

JFC Funds the Tenant Right to Counsel Bill, but now the House has to pass it

Three of the Delaware Senate Democrats top legislative priorities were funded by the Joint Finance Committee this week, including bills to provide low-income tenants’ with a right to legal representation, protect children and families from exposure to lead, and streamline the First State’s transition to renewable energy sources. 

The funding approved by the budget-writing committee means all three bills are prepared for a final vote before the Legislature recesses on June 30. 

“Funding programs that will keep families in their homes, protect the health and safety of our children and mitigate the impacts of climate change are all huge accomplishments for our Caucus and the residents of Delaware,” Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola said. “I know there are a lot of beneficial programs vying for limited resources to consider, so I want to thank the members of the Joint Finance Committee for working to make sure these initiatives made the final cut and will be included in the operating budget we vote on in June.” 

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC), a 12-member panel of representatives and senators from both parties, voted Tuesday to allocate $1.3 million in next year’s Operating Budget Bill to cover operational costs associated with Senate Bill 1S, legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend

SENATE BILL 1S – TENANT RIGHT TO COUNSELCurrrent Status – Senate Passed 19-0-1-1. Out of Committee 5/18/23
House SponsorsMinor-Brown, Lambert, Baumbach, Dorsey Walker, Griffith, Harris, Longhurst, Moore, Morrison, Phillips, Romer, Williams, Wilson-AntonSenate SponsorsTownsend, Hoffner, Pinkney, Gay, Huxtable, Lockman, McBride, Poore, Sokola, Sturgeon, Walsh
House Yes VotesSenate Yes VotesBrown Gay Hansen Hoffner Huxtable Lockman Mantzavinos McBride Paradee Pinkney Poore Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh // Buckson Lawson Pettyjohn Richardon
House No VotesSenate No Votes
House Absents or Not VotingSenate Absent or Not VotingHocker Wilson

 Senate Bill 1S would allow the state to contract with one or more nonprofits to offer free legal representation to tenants facing eviction whose household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. The bill also would establish a residential eviction diversion program modeled after Delaware’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, which has helped more than 62% of participants stay in their homes. 

“The funding allocation approved by JFC this week will be critical in helping our state avoid the immense societal cost we incur when 14 Delaware renters are evicted from their homes on an average day,” Sen. Townsend said. “Under this bill, hundreds of families will be able to avoid the trauma of moving their children from school to school, damage to their personal credit, the loss of property and lost employment.”  

Passed unanimously by the Senate in March,  Senate Bill 1S is currently awaiting a final vote in the House after being released from committee.

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

0 comments on “JFC Funds the Tenant Right to Counsel Bill, but now the House has to pass it

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: