Your state taxes - how will legislators allocate and spend it?

The proposals are in and the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is making final decisions. Therefore, during this 2-week window, bills are on pause. Hearings and floor votes resume on Tues, June 8th. Pay attention; things will move quickly. The last day of session this year is June 30th. 

Summarized below are the new bills we're watching, and bills that have moved in the legislative process. (Click on the bill title to read it directly.) If you missed previous updates, click here.


HCR 24 is a resolution, not a bill. (Remember, a resolution presents a declaration of support to the General Assembly for agreement. Resolutions start with "WHEREAS" clauses that state the premise of what is being proposed. Pay special attention to the premise of any resolution or bill. Always. The premise should be rooted in facts, not political rhetoric.)

HCR 24 begins by commending SB 56 which would evenly distribute funding among public schools regardless of the amount of funding they receive from their districts. This mirrors similar funding policies in other states.

The language that needs be monitored and fully defined are phrases like "need for racial justice in schools" and "the movement towards racial justice." 

Redefinition of terms

You should read this bill for yourself. Most people are completely unaware of the law that currently exists.  

This bill changes the definition of a hate crime (line 2) to now include "groups" (line 2b).

It also now defines a hate crime as someone who commits a crime that is motivated by a "belief or perception" about a protected class. 

Why is motivation based on perceptions and biases a consideration when a crime is committed? Could it be that the goal is to judge perceived biases as well as the crime committed? This is the same motivation behind the push to criminalize "hate speech."

Do you see how confusing this can get? It makes right and wrong very subjective. We urge legislators to proceed with extreme caution here and ask good questions for clarity. 

Parental Rights

This bill lists the factors for courts to consider when a child is in need of placement for 60 days or more, other than with the custodial parent(s). 

The last point includes as part of the list "any other factor affecting the best interest of the child." 

Caution: This is the phrase that cost parents in other states the custody of their children when the state decided that it was in the "best interest" of the child to allow that child to "transition" gender against parental wishes.
It is a great idea to secure a parent's right to view the inspection records of their child's potential care facility. 

Yes! And if a legislator can support this bill, then they will support securing this same level of transparency for public school parents too?

If these legislators legitimately care about the "right to know," then they would require an abortion doctor to offer the option to a woman to see the ultrasound of her unborn baby before consenting to an abortion. 

I hope you agree. I covered this hypocrisy in Update #9.
Line 279 of this bill adds children, defined as individuals under 18 years old, to the list of people eligible to request termination of their own parent's custody rights.

This could be problematic in a culture where children are being conditioned to distrust their parents. For example, parents who oppose the idea of their elementary-age children "transitioning" their gender could risk losing custody at their child's own wishes.

This bill makes it possible for children to leave their families simply because they want the freedom to do as they please, to their own detriment.

Limited Government

We all watched as our civil liberties were limited by our Governor citing "emergency powers" -- including the rights secured in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

The FOIA allows citizens to "observe the performance of public officials and to monitor the decisions that are made by such officials in formulating and executing public policy." This includes the right to access all committee hearings and floor sessions, and though not stated explicitly, could also mean being allowed inside the property itself at Leg Hall. 

HB 203 places a higher burden of proof on the Governor to justify a suspension of this right during emergencies.

Election Integrity

These four bills directly address the voter identification process, and they have each been recently assigned to a committee.

Proof of identification is required to go to an emergency room, begin a new job, start school, or buy alcohol. The claim that asking for identification when voting is racist, is 👏 racist 👏 itself👏. And you can tell anyone making this claim that I said that 😉. Just like everyone else, minor communities are required to provide identification in other aspects of society. It should be no different in voting. 

HB 187 will require proof of identity to vote. HB 189 specifies the forms of identification required to request an absentee ballot, and requires that a copy of the ID be submitted with the actual absentee ballot. 

Under HB 188, people convicted of fraudulent voting will be guilty of a felony, fined up to $2,000 and prevented from voting for the next five years. 

Finally, HCR 23 would require a review of the current process of verifying absentee ballot signatures.

These measures will help mitigate the damage of previous expansions on voting practices, such as automatic voter registration.
The current deadline to vote is four Saturdays before Election Day. This bill would allow individuals to register on Election Day ... directly in their polling place. 

If anyone has experienced the long lines during an election cycle, I don't have to tell you why this could be problematic. 

Let's just agree that this will eliminate the ability to spot invalid registrations prior to when the vote is submitted. 
State and county elected officials are required to have primary residence in the district they represent or seek to represent. This bill will require proof of residence. It will apply to state and county candidates and incumbent elected officials. 

Law Enforcement

Growing up, I learned that real-life heroes wore uniforms, not capes. Those heroes included soldiers, firefighters, and police officers. I count my own father among these heroes, having served 20+ years as a Sergeant First Class in the Army and another 15 years on the police force.

Today, children are absorbing the media's narrative that our men and women in blue are "the bad guys." Honor and respect towards police are often equated with white supremacy 🤔. Media portrays law enforcement as a threat instead of a source of protection.

While the following proposed police reforms may be warranted, it is important to understand the narrative and potential motivation behind these bills.

SB 147 adds what is called the "reasonableness standard" to the use of deadly force by an officer. Even this civil rights activist experienced that the margin for what is and is not reasonable leaves no room for error. Determining the reasonableness of an action is more difficult than it would seem. 

If deadly force is used, SB 148 requires that the races of the officer and individual be listed in the records. If it isn't already being recorded, then how do we know the statistics of the number of unarmed whites versus blacks killed by police officers?

Lastly, if an officer is disciplined for any reason, SB 149  would require that all of their disciplinary records be made public.

Here's the question -- is this really about transparency or is it about making a point?

2nd Amendment Rights

IN PROCESS:  SS 1 for SB 3 and SB 6 - HA 1 w/ SA 1
Since Legislative Update #7, both bills have been moved to the Appropriations Committee because of their fiscal mandates (see here and here).

SB 6 w/ SA 1 may be amended to allow current Delaware manufacturers of large magazines (17+ rounds of ammo) to sell to out-of-state buyers. It will protect those individuals' livelihoods in light of the original bill's prohibition on large magazines in our state.

What's Next ...

As we prepare for Memorial Day this Monday, I am reminded that though my father came home, so many brave soldiers do not. 

To every soldier still in service, our veterans, and all families left behind, may Christ be with you and keep you. 
With Honor and Gratitude, 
Nandi Randolph
Policy Analyst
Delaware Family Policy Council
PS. CALL TO ACTION! June 10th is Pro-Life Unity day. Stand with us on June 10th, 1-2pm in your life green rally shirt.

Please register and we'll send you rally details. Bring your own lime green shirt, or purchase the official rally shirt HERE.
P.S.S.  (REMINDER: The highlighted bills on the 'watch list' above are specific to DFPC's focus, expertise, and interests. To view the actual bill language or see the sponsors, the bill title is linked for your convenience. Green means we support the bill; red means we oppose it. IMPORTANT: if you click on a bill that you support, take a minute to thank the legislators who are sponsoring it.)

If you missed any, HERE is the link to the previous Legislative Updates. 

To see which hearings are coming up and when, check the Legislative Calendar or the Senate and House agendas.

The left side of the homepage also lists the committee hearings in chronological order. When you select the name of a committee from this list, you will be taken to the "meeting link" to register and view that committee's hearing. When prompted, enter your name, email, and address to receive an email with the Zoom link. 

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