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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

March 2021 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.

SB46

SB46 would allow venues to be licensed as a "bottle club" when renting out space for weddings and other social functions, thereby allowing guests to bring alcoholic beverages onto the premises.  The Libertarian Party supports the expansion of freedom for private property owners to engage in peaceful activity on their own property, but does not believe licensing should be necessary in order to do so.  This bill is currently assigned to the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee after being passed by the Senate unanimously and is sponsored by Senator Dave Lawson.

SB60

SB60 would enable nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medicinal cannabis to adult patients while the amendment SA1 also adds pediatric psychiatrists and developmental pediatricians for pediatric patients.  The Libertarian Party supports the full legalization of cannabis and opposes the interference of government with the medical decisions of doctors and patients.  This bill has been passed unanimously by the Senate and reported out of the House Health & Human Development Committee, and is now awaiting a vote by the House.  It is sponsored by Senator Ernesto Lopez.

HB98

HB98 would allow alcoholic liquor importers to receive and process orders on Sundays and Holidays.  The Libertarian Party opposes restrictions on peaceful business operations whether it be receiving and processing orders or selling and delivering orders.  This bill passed the House unanimously and is currently assigned to the Senate Banking, Business & Insurance Committee.  It is sponsored by Representative William Bush.

HB125

HB125 would impose a ban on so-called "ghost guns", expanding the federal and existing state bans on firearms with their serial numbers defaced to apply to any firearm or firearm receiver without a serial number, including those manufactured for personal use by home hobbyists.  Furthermore, it would prohibit possession or distribution of computer-aided design files for producing firearms in a 3D printer.  The Libertarian Party opposes gun control measures and the Kent County affiliate passed a motion opposing this bill in particular.  HB125 has been reported out of the House Administration Committee and is pending a vote in the House.  It is sponsored by House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst.

HB150

HB150 is the bill to legalize cannabis in Delaware.  While loaded up with regulations, licenses, and taxes that Libertarians find distasteful, and not including provisions for home cultivation, this bill would still put a complete stop to the arrest of individuals with less than one ounce of cannabis for personal use and end confiscation, putting a dent in the black market and representing a step forward in ending the War on Drugs in Delaware.  The State Board passed a resolution in support of HB150.  This bill has been reported out of the House Health & Human Development Committee and is now awaiting a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee due to the attached fiscal note.  It is sponsored by Representative Edward Osienski.

HB198

HB198 would require each school district and charter school to establish and implement a curriculum on "Black History" for students in grades K through 12.  The Libertarian Party platform specifically states that, "We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant."  We also advocate that government should neither deny or abridge any individual's human rights based on ethnicity, national origin, or any other criteria.  We support a broad and diverse education, including in history.  However we believe that education decisions are best made by parents, students, and teachers rather than by politicians and bureaucrats, especially at the state or federal level, and that the imposition of requirements at these levels and the reporting overhead that comes with them takes valuable resources out of the classroom and squanders them on regulatory compliance instead of education.  This bill was reported out of the House Education Committee and is awaiting a vote in the House.  It is sponsored by Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker.

SB3

SB3 would impose a "permit to purchase" requirement on all transfers of handguns in the state.  The requirements to receive such a permit under the bill are onerous, expensive, and time consuming.  There is no requirement in the legislation to actually issue a permit to qualified applicants or make any determination as to their eligibility in a timely manner.  Residents of other states with permit to purchase requirements have died waiting for their application to be processed even when those states had deadlines for responding.  The Libertarian Party opposes gun control measures and the State Board has passed a resolution opposing this one.  SB3 has been released from the Senate Judiciary Committee, amended, substituted, and passed by the Senate.  It is in the House awaiting a committee assignment and is sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth Lockman.

SB6

SB6 would create new criminal offenses for possession of a "large capacity magazine" defined as any ammunition feeding device that can or can be "readily converted" such that it can accept more than 17 rounds of ammunition.  It exempts certain individuals including retired law enforcement and other government agents.  The Libertarian Party opposes gun control measures, especially ones that carve out special protections for current or former agents of the State.  The State Board passed a resolution opposing SB3.  It has been reported out of the Judiciary Committee, amended, and passed by the Senate.  It is in the House awaiting a committee assignment.  It is sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola.

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