The 151st General Assembly’s legislative session is less than a month from its closing, and we’re making the final push to urge members of the General Assembly to support this year’s priority legislation.
In addition to reading our legislative updates below, you can view the current status and find more information about these bills on our legislation page.
SB 101 creates a right to legal counsel for eviction defense for covered individuals, subject to a 3 year phase-in period. Currently, 86% of landlords have representation from an agent or attorney in evictions court, but only 2% of tenants have representation. This legislation covers tenants whose household income is not greater than 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
SB 101 is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance committee.
SB 56 codifies additional funding for public schools to support the needs of low-income and English learner students as a result of our litigation in 2020.
SB 56 passed both chambers and is ready for Governor Carney’s signature.
HB 86 would provide increased funding for kindergarten through third grade special education students as a result of our litigation in 2020.
HB 86 is currently awaiting House floor vote.
Criminal Justice Reform
SB 111 would create an automatic expungement process for all records eligible for mandatory expungement. SB 112 expands the eligibility of juvenile and adult records for mandatory expungement.
SB 111 and 112 have passed the Senate and are currently awaiting hearings in the House Appropriations committee.
SB 147 and 148 creates a requirement for the use of force, both non-lethal and lethal, that states an officer must “reasonably believe” that they are in danger in order to justify use of force. The current law uses the term “believes,” which leaves unlimited room for an officer to justify the use of force, whether it was warranted or not. The bills also expand the Attorney General’s authority to investigate non-lethal uses of force and require race data be tracked in these incidents.
SB 147 and 148 are currently awaiting hearings in the Senate Judiciary committee.
SB 149 removes the confidentiality clause from the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) and makes police disciplinary records public. SB 149 also enables the creation of community oversight boards at a state, county, or municipal level with the power to hear and decide police disciplinary matters, gather data about misconduct, provide reports of trends in discipline, make recommendations regarding policy/training, and issue subpoenas.
SB 149 is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary committee.
HB 195 requires certain police officers and other employees of the Department of Corrections to use body-worn cameras to record interactions with members of the public. This bill would also require the Council on Police Training to create regulations for body-worn camera use to ensure consistent use in 2022.
HB 195 is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Appropriations committee.
Senate Bill 5: Automatic Voter Registration
SB 5 will create an automatic voter registration system at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, and potentially other state agencies.
SB 5 is currently awaiting Governor Carney’s signature.
HB 75 will permanently guarantee the right to no-excuse mail-in voting by amending the Delaware State Constitution and providing the General Assembly with power to regulate the circumstances, rules, and procedures for absentee voting.
HB 75 has been reported out of the House Administration committee and is currently awaiting House consideration.
To support our priority legislation, you can take action and get involved at the links below.