What You Need to Know:

The following summary consists of bills we've highlighted that are specific to our focus, expertise, and interests, or made it to our watch list.

Green = We SUPPORT the bill Red = We OPPOSE the bill Blue = We have NO OFFICIAL Stance

 Bill statuses will be listed as follows: 

Human Flourishing

** NEW **

Bill Status: In COMMITTEE

Artificial intelligence is increasingly dominating conversations, and ranges from ChatGPT to complex or even illegal activities such as unsolicited surveillance and child exploitation. AI has and will continue to increase productivity, but has also created significant risks and dangers to society. 

HB 333 puts together a Commission of 17 members to make recommendations about the utilization and safety of AI usage in Delaware.

Check out the panel the Heritage Foundation put together a panel to discuss these possibilities: “AI & Human Flourishing: A Pipe Dream

** 2023: July - December **

Bill Status: PASSED

Every 2 minutes a child is trafficked in the US. This, along with several other staggering statistics, is highlighted in HCR 77. As a concurrent resolution, HCR 77 doesn’t make legal changes; it is simply a statement from both chambers to recognize January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

The statistics in HCR 77 highlight the need to address issues that may contribute to human trafficking. For example, the Human Trafficking Hotline shows the rise in pornography as the main venue for sex trafficking over the last few years.

This is an area where lawmakers can begin to bring change. HB 265 is a step in the right direction toward addressing the harms of pornography.

Bill Status: PASSED

America was the first country to recognize modern-day Israel as an independent state in 1948. Israel they officially became our ally the following year and have been ever since.

Because of America’s Judeo-Christian foundations, there are deep cultural and historical ties that connect America to Israel. Hamas issued an attack on Israel October 7, 2023, just as Israel was ending their holy festival Sukkot. Innocent civilians were murdered, kidnapped, raped … absolutely atrocious acts were committed.

Many Marxist groups stood against Israel, failing to even recognize the Oct. 7th attack or any of the following injustices. They viewed the attack as a conflict between the “oppressed” – who were the Hamas terrorists in their perspective – who rightly opposed the “oppressors,” whom they considered to be Israel.

Though the Delaware Legislature is not a body for foreign policy, they stood to recognize the humanity of Israel and the inhumane attack against them by Hamas.  Though there was unexpected opposition to the resolution, presented by Rep. Wilson-Anton, it passed unanimously.  

** 2023: January - June **

Bill Status: In COMMITTEE

Cost-of-living pay increases are intended to help offset inflation. However, if the tax bracket is not adjusted to reflect the inflation as well, individuals find themselves in higher tax brackets without the net income to support it. 

HB 149 considers inflation and adjusts the tax brackets accordingly to keep individuals with lower incomes from paying taxes that are typically above their bracket. 

Bill Status: PASSED

When we think of ‘abuse,’ we tend to think of it in terms of what may cause physical or even emotional damage. DelCode currently also includes “intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying or taking the tangible property of another” as abuse. HB 151 expands that particular line to also include not just the destruction of tangible property, but “legal documents” also. 

It also includes in the definition of abuse “causing or attempting to cause an adult to be financially dependent” through restricting that adult’s access to their economic resources. 

This is a major addition to the Code that will affect Family Court proceedings moving forward. It is not an uncommon practice for individuals to freeze bank accounts or remove financial access from their spouse in divorce proceedings in custody battles. HB 151 limits such behavior.

Bill Status: In COMMITTEE

The term “women’s healthcare” is often applied to major abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, even though those providers do not provide true women’s healthcare – such as mammograms.

HB 253 requires insurance companies, including those that provide state health plans, to cover mammograms for women over 40. Interestingly enough, the authors of HB 253 didn’t feel the need to define woman, or apologize for using the term. It simply affirms what we all know – that women and men are biologically different.

Bill Status: In COMMITTEE

The first 10 Amendments of the US Constitution are considered the Bill of Rights. Much of what’s located there are repeated in Article I of the Delaware Constitution as a Bill of Rights specifically for Delawareans.

HB55 specifically focuses on protecting the homeless population from discrimination, violation of privacy, and other concerns.

Bill Status: In Senate COMMITTEE

During COVID shutdowns, government officials issued mandates that changed the way many aspects of daily life were able to operate. For example, limits were imposed on the visitors patients were allowed to receive – even patients who were not diagnosed with COVID, and even if those visitors were close family members, spouses, caregivers, religious counselors, and others. 

The ‘No Patient Left Alone Act’ is intended to prevent the negative consequences that harmed those patients from happening in the future. In order to do so, it severely limits the ways in which hospitals are able to prohibit visitation during a ‘State of Emergency.’ HB 242 would allow hospitals to regulate the number of visitors allowed, but mandate that they must allow at least one daily.  

HB 242 would also ensure that that religious counselors and doulas are always allowed and not included in the daily limit. Hospitals may provide health screening as deemed necessary, while also being required to offer an alternative method for in-person visitation if a potential visitor is denied for health reasons. The Department of Health is charged with implementing, operating, and enforcing the ‘No Patient Left Alone Act.’

Bill Status: PASSED 

Suicide prevention is a major conversation because of the high rate of mental health issues in Delaware. HB 160 creates a crisis unit of mental health professionals and personnel that are accessible through a hotline number, which is 988.

This hotline requires significant financial support, and instead of using taxes, HB 160 requires phone providers (business, home, and mobile) to apply a .60/month surcharge to customers that are Delaware residents. Per the bill language, “each provider collecting the surcharge is fulfilling a government function.” While this is funding a good cause, when agencies are empowered by the government to tax or act as an extension of the government, it can become easy to blur lines between private entities and government agencies. For example, can you tell if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a government agency or private, government empowered entity? 🤔

Bill Status: PASSED 

During visits to the hospital or a doctor’s office, treatments may often be provided from a container/dispenser intended as a sample. The amount may be more than what is needed for in-office treatment, but not enough to prescribe for the designated treatment. As a result, the leftovers are typically discarded in office while the patient has to fill a prescription and wait for its completion. 

SB 148 legalized the ability of medical professionals to send the patient home with the remaining in-office treatment. While this may help to reduce in office waste of topical medications, patients should be aware of the extreme side effects that can come from topical steroid withdrawals. This Act applies to more than just topical steroids, but they have the greatest likelihood of producing unintended negative consequences as a result. 

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