What’s going on in the Delaware legislature? Those guys love to make laws, let’s check up on what they’re up to. The 3/26/16 Edition

Prizes with savings accounts, payment for giving birth, a state dog just like the Governor’s and much more, all legislated recently by the Delaware legislature. Click and see what damage they’ve wrought.

dellegis3.26.16doverleghallsfThey’re taking a spring break so let us catch up on laws passed, or laws considered, or whatever they’re doing up there in Dover Leg Hall.

HB293-Worker’s Comp and Auto insurance.

This is a bit confusing but first, I note that Rep. Smyk and Schwartzkopf are sponsors of this bill. Both of these fellows are former cops.

This bill allows State of Delaware employees injured in a motor vehicle collision during the course and scope of employment the ability to continue to access the State of Delaware’s automobile insurance coverage, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. This amendment is made in response to the recent Delaware Superior Court decision of Simpson v. State of Delaware and Government Employees Insurance Company, 2016 WL 425010 (Del. Super. Ct. Jan. 28, 2016). In the Simpson decision, the Court noted the need for clarification, as the exclusivity provision in 19 Del. C. § 2304 could operate to unfairly deprive an employee of much-needed benefits.

Now I don’t know why someone receiving Worker’s compensation for an on-the-job injury would not be able to purchase auto insurance but the Superior Court of Delaware says clarification is needed.

Heh. The Superior Court of Delaware needs to learn this concept of justice, that when someone has a legal survey it should at least be looked at, not cast aside as if of no import.

Speaking of Rep. Steven Smyk

I’m going to do my best Donald Trump imitation here and say that I do very much like Smyk, that he is my elected Representative in Delaware’s House and that he is a member of my church.

But I am at odds with my good Representative about this minimum wage thing.

Smyk guests on WGMD’s Mike Bradley show on Wednesdays and he’s very good at it. This past week Smyk lambasted the minimum wage proposal as if, go to hell, he didn’t vote FOR the thing last year. Even at that Smyk wouldn’t commit to NOT voting for the minimum wage bill should it come to the House.

Smyk is strongly aligned with the police union and unions love increases in minimum wage.

I’m jus’ sayin’.

HB200-Handicapped Parking Enforcement now a property owner problem?

I have a handicapped parking placard and my experience is that most Delawareans are very respectful of handicapped parking spaces. I almost never find a non-handicapped car parked in a handicapped spot.

This House Substitute to House Bill No. 200 adds provisions to Title 21 defining accessible parking spaces, incorporating federal standards for accessible parking spaces found in the Americans with Disabilities Act and applicable regulations. The Act also provides additional requirements that enhance these standards and better reflect the needs of persons with disabilities in Delaware. The Act increases the penalty associated with violating the statute that prohibits individuals who do not possess a parking placard or special license plate from parking in accessible parking spaces, or in the access aisles located next to accessible parking spaces. This Act adds provisions in Titles 9 and 22 to require county and municipal governments to adopt regulations and ordinances incorporating these requirements for accessible parking spaces, including the requirement that property owners have a permit and process to ensure compliance for new or modified accessible parking spaces, in order to increase compliance and uniformity statewide.

I note that bit about forcing the counties and towns to create ordinances using this law and what the hell, property owners should be policing handicapped cars on their parking lots?

sb211-Could My Fence Guy Be Subject to This?

dellegis3.26.16fencessfWhoever built my fence over 15 years ago, and GOT a legal survey although Sussex county courts totally ignore it….DO NOT EVER GET A LEGAL SURVEY IN SUSSEX COUNTY, IT IS USELESS!!!

Wait until you don’t like where you neighbor’s fence is then go get a custom-made one. Then make the person with the fence from eons ago pay all your legal fees.

Yeah, you can do that in Sussex county.

Now I don’t know what these “deed restrictions” are, or if a fence would qualify.

But damn if somebody didn’t build my fence back when I was living in Maryland with no idea about any of it.

But hey, Superior Court (more on this bastion of INJUSTICE later) said too bad you didn’t build it, throw away that legal survey you got when you bought the place, and tear your fence down. They pay your tormentors their legal fees for their precious nine square feet of land.

Maybe this legislation will stop this sort of horror.

This Act requires a person applying for a building or construction permit to certify that the construction project does not violate any deed restriction applicable to the property and that the person understands a violation of a deed restriction may result in legal action and require the person to be liable for court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the person authorized to enforce the deed restrictions.

sb212–Superior Court Needs Help Dishing out INJUSTICE

This Act permits the Superior Court to temporarily assign duties to a retired Commissioner at the designation of the President Judge with the approval of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A retired Commissioner must have been in good standing at the time of his or her retirement, agree to the assignment, and not be involved or employed in any position that would create a conflict, including the private practice of law, holding any state office, or being employed by the State in any capacity.
The ability to temporality assign duties to a retired Commissioner will enable the Superior Court to maintain its current workflow without interruption in the event a Commissioner was unavailable for a period of time. In addition, both the Family Court and the Court of Common Pleas currently have the ability to temporarily assign duties to a retired Commissioner. This Act is substantively similar to those provisions; however, it differs stylistically to conform to the guidelines of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.

Now we will have RETIRED judges tearing down widows’ fencing and forcing them to pay thousands in legal fees.

INJUSTICE is the product of Delaware’s Superior Court.

Delaware names official state dog

***UPDATE 3/27/16…I have been informed that Governor Markell does NOT have a Golden Retriever.  I read somebody’s Facebook post who so asserted and silly me, learning, always learning, assumed it was true.  But hey, if you got to have a state dog (and what is THAT about?), a Golden Retriever is as good as any even if the Governor does not own one.

It just doesn’t seem fair that Governor Markell’s dog is a Golden Retriever.

dellegis3.26.16goldenretrieversfYes, they are lovely dogs. And as I understand it, this designation will only last a year.

hb294-Good Idea but enforcement seems odd.

So there will be a list of assholes who don’t pay their child support somewhere. Attorneys or insurance companies must first check this list before giving money for awards for lawsuits and such.

Currently in the State of Delaware there are high arrearages in child support owed and past due. In many circumstances persons’ who are owing support have received monetary awards in the form of a court settlement, judgment or under a workers compensation claim. This Bill requires the Division of Child Support Enforcement to maintain an active list of persons who are in arrears of their child support duties. Any attorney or insurer will now be required to consult this list before releasing any funds to clients or prevailing parties to verify that no support is owed. If support is owed, the total amount of support in arrears must first be paid before any funds (except the first $1,000) may be released to the prevailing party.

Now I think this is a good idea but LAWYERS are going to enforce this thing?

Color me skeptical.

Random Acts of Kindness

Actually, it is kind of corny. But I just today found out
“Random Acts of Kindness Day” is Today in DE

But I just learned the story behind this day and what a tragedy befell the Peterman family.

On April 13, 2009, Madison Peterman, Sandy Peterman, and Hannah Davies were killed when a propane truck collided with their vehicle on Delaware 1, northeast of Milford.

Sandy Peterman was the wife of State Rep. Jack Peterman, and Madison was his 9-year-old granddaughter.

In the years that followed that devastating day, the Peterman Family began to celebrate Madison’s life by performing random acts of kindness on her birthday, March 25th. With the help of Madison’s mother, Carrie Peterman, and family friend Vicki Taylor, the event grew into a community observation.

On Thursday, State Rep. Bobby Outten, R-Harrington, sponsored House Resolution 25, declaring March 25, 2016 “Random Acts of Kindness Day” in Delaware. Rep. Outten introduced the measure on behalf of all state representatives, including Rep. Peterman, who was unable to attend as he continues his convalescence from recent cancer surgery.

The measure passed unanimously.

“I’d like to ask all the members of the House to engage in random acts of kindness on Friday,” said State House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford, speaking on the House floor. “If you are in line at the drive-thru, pay for the car behind you. If you see some veterans at the coffee shop, pay for their meal. You’ll be surprised what those small actions can lead to.”

To celebrate their lives by promoting acts of kindness, random and even to strangers, is noble and I’m sure God approves.

sb217-Animal Control at State Lever Made Official

This bill reassigns the responsibility of dog control and dangerous dog management from the counties of this state to the Delaware Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare, and updates procedures for handling dangerous and potentially dangerous dog hearings for a more fair and equitable process. The bill also reassigns the responsibility for stray livestock response from the Delaware SPCA to the Delaware Department of Agriculture, with support from animal welfare officers of the Department of Health and Social Services. The bill replaces the variety of terms used for persons enforcing dog control, rabies, and dangerous dog laws throughout the Delaware Code to one consistent term, animal welfare officer, and provides clarity on provisions to protect outdoor dogs from severe cold or hazardous weather. Finally, the bill removes animal control constable from the roles that can be appointed by the county under Title 10. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the guidelines of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual, especially with regard to adding serial commas throughout.

Below is the flyer re the upcoming hearings for this new state agency. Yes I have questions and yes I will be there.
dellegis3.26.16animalcontrolflyersf
sb218-When is an Accountant REALLY and Accountant

This Act updates the Delaware Code relating to the Board of Accountancy by modernizing the current accountancy licensing standards using the Uniform Accountancy Model Act language as jointly drafted by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as a framework.

This Act also makes a greater distinction between a CPA who passed the CPA exam only and a CPA who passed the CPA exam, met the experience requirements, and received a permit to practice. This provides the public with the significant distinction between a CPA who is a certificate holder only, and a CPA who is a permit holder. It also provides for a peer review for those accounting firms that perform attest services as a requirement for permit renewal as a mechanism to ensure practice competency.

Despite my ability with words, thou shalt bow before me, I earned my living as an Accountant, specializing in payroll but I balanced the general ledger, produced income statements and balance sheets.

I never got a CPA and fooey, you don’t need one to do the job.

THIS law seems to be trying to make being an Accountant a more formal thing. And there is a certain amount of sense in that just because someone has a CPA does not mean they know anything.

Many states, not that I am espousing this, require not only a CPA certificate, but a certain amount of experience for being able to call one’s self a CPA and set up a private practice.

hb226-Prizes for Savings

Where is this bank giving our prizes for savings’ accounts?

Evidently it is illegal in Delaware for prizes attached to bank accounts but now it is.

This Bill authorizes the use of “prize-linked” savings accounts in the State of Delaware. These accounts have been used in a number of countries and several U.S. states to promote savings, especially among persons with low-income and first time savers. A deposit into the program makes the entrant eligible for a prize. The principal in the account remains untouched. The first large-scale program of this nature in the U.S. was launched in Michigan about 6 years ago, and the program has subsequently expanded to Nebraska, North Carolina and Washington. At the end of 2014, federal legislation was passed allowing federally charted banks and credit unions to offer this type of savings account in any state that does not prohibit it. This bill explicitly authorizes such programs in Delaware and clarifies that such programs do not constitute prohibited gambling or lottery practices.

hb165 pay to have babies!

If you’re planning on getting pregnant, here’s the plan. Get a state job, there’s plenty of them around. Work dellegis3.26.16storkbabysfthere for about four months or so. Get pregnant.

Comes time to give birth, you get 12 weeks of paid leave. If married, which you should be if pregnant, have spouse also get job with state and BOTH OF YOU GET OFF FOR TWELVE WEEKS!

This legislation requires that all full-time employees of the State, including employees of school districts, continuously in the employ of the state for at least one year, shall be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child 6 years of age or younger. Both parents would be eligible for such leave. Employees shall continue to have the right, as they do under current law, to use accrued sick leave for maternity and paternity purposes. This legislation leaves intact the rights of persons adopting a child over 6 years of age to take unpaid leave. Due to lack of adequate paid family leave policies, many parents must return to work sooner than is optimal for the health of mothers (in the case of biological birth) and children. Granting paid leave will contribute to the establishment of parent-child bonds, breastfeeding establishment, and allow infants to receive vaccines and develop stronger immune systems prior to entering daycare. Further, a more generous leave policy will increase the productivity of workers and reduce employee turnover.

Then you take maternity leave and go get another job.

I’m jus’ sayin’.

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.
Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

One thought on “What’s going on in the Delaware legislature? Those guys love to make laws, let’s check up on what they’re up to. The 3/26/16 Edition

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