legislature

4 bills awaiting their fate in legislature as session end nears

Sam Haut Government, Headlines

legislature

Several bills may not get passed as the legislature nears its end for the year.

Several bills that have been making their way through the legislature are still in limbo despite being passed by committees and either the Delaware Senate or House of Representatives earlier in the session.

House Bill 80, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, D-New Castle, would require doula services to be covered by Medicaid starting Jan. 1, 2024. A doula provides support for a woman giving birth.

House Bill 78, sponsored by Rep. Eric Morrison, D-Glasgow, would update the definition of catalytic converters, limit who is able to buy and sell them, increase the penalties for taking catalytic converters, and require they be held for longer before being sold.

Senate Bill 44, sponsored by Darius Brown, D-Wilmington, would create the Office of New Americans to provide immigration information and to help immigrants in Delaware.

House Bill 89, sponsored by Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, would increase the amount of refunded tax for those who meet the federal Earned Income Tax Credit from 4.5% to 7.5%.

HB 80

A fiscal note for HB 80 anticipates that paying for doula services will cost $301,325 for the 2024 fiscal year, $102,600 for the 2025 fiscal year, and $153,975 for the 2026 fiscal year.

The bill was introduced on March 3, passed out of the Health & Human Development Committee on March 15, then most recently passed out of Appropriations Committee on June 6.

It awaits a vote in the House, and has 21 additional sponsors and cosponsors, 19 Democrats and two Republicans.

HB 78

There were two amendments to the catalytic converter bill, both by Morrison, that were approved.

One adds a vehicle’s VIN when a scrap metal processor buys a catalytic converter. The other removed a section that made illegally possessing a catalytic converter contraband, because that crime doesn’t exist in Delaware Code. 

The bill was introduced on March 7, passed the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee on March 28, unanimously passed the House on April 6, and passed the Senate Environment, Energy & Transportation Committee on May 3. 

Related Story: Catalytic converter theft focus of newly filed bill

Most recently, an amendment was placed June 13 by Sen. Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown. It would require car recyclers to keep records of catalytic converters they get and have a 48-hour waiting period required for someone to pay for a catalytic converter, not including holidays or weekends once the bill is signed into law.

SB44

The Office of New Americans bill awaits consideration by the Senate, and has 18 additional sponsors and cosponsors, 16 Democrats and two Republicans.

In a fiscal note for the bill, it would cost $543,620 in the 2024 fiscal year, $581,877 in the 2025 fiscal year, and $591,441 in the 2026 fiscal year, increasing 2% annually.

SB 44 was introduced on Feb. 17 and approved by the Senate Elections & Government Affairs Committee March 15.

It awaits consideration by the Senate Finance Committee, and has eight additional sponsors and cosponsors, all Democrats.

HB 89

A fiscal note on the refunded tax bill anticipates it would lead to a $24.9 million decrease in the general fund for the 2024 fiscal year, a $55.7 million decrease in the general fund for the 2025 fiscal year, and a $57.2 million decrease in the general fund for the 2026 fiscal year.

The bill was introduced March 17 before being reported out of the House Revenue & Finance March 28 and out of the House Appropriations Committee. It unanimously passed the House April 5. 

Over on the Senate side, it was reported out of the Senate Executive Committee April 26 and out of the Senate Finance Committee May 2.

The bill awaits consideration in the Senate. It has 43 additional sponsors and cosponsors, 26 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

The last day of the legislative session this year is June 30.

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