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Carney signs pair of bills addressing racial inequity in Delaware

carney bill signing.jpg
Mark Arehart
Delaware Public Media
Gov. Carney signs HB 375 establishing the Racial Equity Consortium at Delaware State University.

Gov. John Carney was joined by members of the state’s African American Task Force Tuesday as he signed two bills addressing racial inequity.

The new laws come at the recommendation of the state’s African American Task Force.

The first, House Bill 447, seeks to help people more easily get offenses expunged from their records - addressing cases or charges more than seven years old with no resolution.

“We recognize that there’s low-level offenses that have been nolle prossed, that people have not been convicted of, but are still on their record, that come up and become an issue of concern that prohibit them from employment, education and housing. So, this bill removes those things,” Co-sponsor State Sen. Darius Brown said.

The second piece of legislation signed is House Bill 375, which establishes the Racial Equity Consortium at Delaware State University.

That group will work on racial justice issues and leveraging existing resources in tandem with the African American Task Force.

“Whether that’s education, infrastructure, environment, social justice, criminal justice, we believe that this work of the consortium is integral to make sure that there’s equity in the public policy work that we do,” Brown said.

The consortium starts its work this fall in Dover.

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.