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News & Updates

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

February Legislative Roundup

The primary purpose of the Legislative Roundup is to inform party members and readers of pending legislation before the Delaware General Assembly, educate them about the legislative process in Delaware, and provide general information about Libertarian stances and beliefs based on the national platform and prior actions of the Libertarian Party of Delaware State Board.  Unless explicitly stated, the Libertarian Party of Delaware and its State Board takes no position on any pending legislation described below.


HB94

This bill would tie the minimum wage for tipped workers to the regular minimum wage, fixing it at 65% of the regular minimum wage.  The Libertarian Party opposes government interference in the voluntary transactions of individuals, including those between an employer and an employee freely agreeing to whatever wage they determine themselves to be mutually beneficial.  This bill is currently in the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Williams.

HB88

This bill would remove provisions allowing a "training and youth minimum wage" $0.50 below the regular minimum wage to be paid to employees under 18 and during the first 90 days of employment for adults.  The Libertarian Party opposes government interference in the voluntary transactions of individuals, including those between an employer and an employee freely agreeing to whatever wage they determine themselves to be mutually beneficial.  This bill is also currently in the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Williams.

HB105

This bill is the FY2022 Delaware Appropriations Act.  It is currently assigned to the House Appropriations Committee sponsored by House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokala.

SB50

This bill is the FY2022 Bond and Capital Improvements Bill.  It is currently assigned to the Senate Capital Improvement Committee sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokala and House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf

HB81

This bill would allow microbreweries to share brewing equipment so long as they maintain separate premises to sell their products to consumers and wholesalers.  The Libertarian Party opposes State micromanagement of private businesses.  Current statutes appear to prohibit any sharing of microbrewing equipment so despite the continued micromanagement under this legislation, it is an improvement over the status quo.  It is currently assigned to the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee, sponsored by Rep. Paul Baumbach.

HB75

This bill is the second leg of an amendment to the Delaware Constitution removing language regarding the circumstances when it is permissible to vote in elections by absentee ballot, leaving it to the General Assembly to determine by statute.  The Delaware Constitution requires two successive General Assemblies to pass a bill in order to amend it.  The first leg of this amendment was passed as HB73 under the 150th General Assembly.  This bill was passed out of the House Administration Committee on January 21st, 2021 and is awaiting a vote by the full House before moving to the Senate.  Bills to amend the Delaware Constitution must pass by a 2/3 vote.  HB75 is sponsored by Rep. David Bentz.

HB64

HB64 would create new tax brackets increasing taxes in Delaware on income over $125,000/yr to 7.1% up to $250,000/yr; income over $250,000/yr to 7.85% up to $500,000/yr; and income over $500,000/yr to 8.6%.  The Libertarian Party opposes taxation in general and views progressive income taxation in particular as a penalty for productivity.  This bill is currently assigned to the House Revenue & Finance Committee sponsored by Rep. John Kowalko.  Legislation to increase taxes requires a 3/5 vote in both chambers of the General Assembly.

SB17

This legislation, known as "The Woman's Ultrasound Right to Know Act", would compel a physician to offer a patient ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services prior to terminating a pregnancy and create a Class A Misdemeanor as well as civil causes of action for medical malpractice and wrongful death should the fail to do so.  The Libertarian Party opposes government interference in doctor/patient relationships, and while recognizing that good faith views can be held on all sides of the abortion debate ultimately believes that government should be kept out of the matter.  This bill is currently assigned to the Senate Legislative Oversight & Sunset Committee sponsored by Senator Bryant Richardson.

HB40

This legislation is identical to SB17, but is assigned to the House Health & Human Development Committee sponsored by Rep. Richard Collins.

HB30

This legislation would move the state primaries for local offices currently held in September back to April, aligning it with the date of the presidential primaries.  It would also move back the deadline for "minor parties" to hold their conventions and complete their nomination papers from the current date in July to the date of the primary.  The Libertarian Party objects to interference by politicians in the incumbent so-called "major" parties interfering with the operations of so-called "minor" parties like the LP.  This legislation is not without its opportunities for the Libertarian Party of Delaware to take advantage, but it is also the case that "insurgent" candidates in major party primaries receive an advantage from the longer primary season including the summer months that they would lose under this bill, tipping the balance further in favor of the incumbents currently occupying the General Assembly.  This bill is currently assigned to the House Administration Committee sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Bolden.

HB15

This legislation is functionally equivalent to HB75, removing language from the Delaware Constitution regarding absentee voting and empowering the General Assembly to set the conditions for doing so by statute.  It is assigned to the House Administration Committee sponsored by Rep. David Bentz.

HB49

HB49 was endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Delaware and would require the General Assembly to approve any State of Emergency lasting longer than 30 days, invalidates States of Emergency declared for similar but non-weather related reasons within six months of a prior emergency, and requires the precise delineation of facilities and businesses required to be closed under any non-weather related emergency order.  This bill is assigned to the House Administration Committee sponsored by Rep. Richard Collins.

SB58

SB58 would exempt the current COVID-19 related emergency from provisions in the Delaware Code allowing executive agencies to impose quarantine and isolation procedures as well as enforcing vaccinations.  The Libertarian Party believes in medical freedom and due process all the time, even during a State of Emergency.  Not just this one.  This bill is currently assigned to the Senate Executive Committee sponsored by Senator Dave Lawson.

SCR8

SCR8, while only a "concurrent resolution" originating in the Delaware Senate, purports to declare gun violence in Delaware as a "public health crisis".  The Libertarian Party of Delaware's State Board released a statement in opposition to SCR8, as has the Delaware Chapter of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus.  This resolution is in the House having been passed by the Senate, and is sponsored by Senator Marie Pinkney.

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