Delaware Public Media

Legislative Update

Daily during Morning Edition & All Things Considered (during General Assembly session)

Delaware Public Media Political Reporters cover the state's General Assembly each and every day lawmakers are in session.  You can hear in-depth reports on what's happening at Legislative Hall during both Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

Gray fox hearing slated for elementary school

Apr 15, 2015
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Elementary school children lobbying to keep Delaware’s state wildlife animal from being hunted will have home field advantage next week.

Fourth graders at Joseph McVey Elementary School in Newark have been urging state lawmakers to let up on their efforts to allow the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to regulate the hunting and trapping of the gray fox.

"Right-to-Work" bill returns to General Assembly

Apr 8, 2015
Delaware Public Media

Republicans are reviving efforts to spur the manufacturing sector in Delaware by preventing unions from requiring all workers at a plant to pay dues.

Known as “right-to-work” legislation, this specific proposal would allow the head of the state economic development office to create certain zones where that law would be applicable. Companies building there would also be exempt from the gross receipts tax for five years.

Delaware Public Media

Newly proposed recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to make oil train tankers safer aren’t alleviating all concerns of one Delaware lawmaker.

NTSB urged the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to require thicker tank shells, heat shields, bigger pressure relief valves Monday. The board also wants all new cars to be in place or old ones retrofitted within five years.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hell hath no fury like a 4th grader scorned.

A class of elementary school students at McVey Elementary School in Newark was behind a 2010 law dubbing the gray fox as Delaware’s state official wildlife animal.

Now just a few years later, lawmakers in Dover are trying to allow state environmental officials to create rules and regulations regarding the hunting and trapping of that same animal.

Delaware Public Media’s James Dawson tells us that in response,  a new crop of 4th graders has taken up the gray fox cause:

E-cigs bill on its way to House floor

Apr 2, 2015

After a two-day hearing that included nearly two hours of public comment Wednesday, a bill that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigs in indoor public places is headed to the House.

Death penalty repeal passes Delaware's state Senate

Apr 2, 2015
Delaware Public Media

The push to repeal Delaware’s death penalty has won a victory again in the Senate, but still faces poor odds in the House.

The margin was nearly identical to the Senate vote a similar bill in 2013.

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media

Around two dozen people gathered Wednesday at Legislative Hall in support of an opt-out bill that would allow parents to exempt their kids from standardized testing.


Senator David Lawson (R-Marydel), who is cosponsoring the bill with Representative John Kowalko (D-Newark South), said standardized testing has changed from when he was in school decades ago.


Motorcycle helmet bill alive, but in limbo

Apr 1, 2015
Delaware Public Media

Some consider it a defeat, some view it as progress.

The House Public Safety Committee Wednesday didn’t have enough votes to table a bill that would mandate all motorcycle riders wear helmets in Delaware.

But, not enough lawmakers supported it getting out of committee either.

That leaves it stuck in a sort of legislative limbo. Should supporters rally enough committee members to their side, they can move the bill to the full House floor without another hearing.

11 bills focused on women's issues unveiled

Mar 31, 2015
James Dawson, Delaware Public Media

A bi-partisan group of women in the General Assembly has joined forces to tackle a series of issues – including paid parental leave for state workers and strengthening required reporting of sexual assault on college campuses.

It’s part of a package of 11 bills sponsored by nearly every woman in both parties, though Republicans are distancing themselves from ones that could affect the budget.

State lawmakers lobby for federal oil by rail law

Mar 30, 2015
Delaware Public Media

A group of 30 mostly Democratic state lawmakers sent a letter to Delaware’s congressional delegation airing their concerns about the increasing number of trains carrying crude oil throughout the First State. 

The group of representatives and senators led by Rep. Ed Osienski (D-Newark) and Senate Majority Leader David McBride (D-Hawks Nest) are calling for Congressman John Carney and Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons to support a new bill boosting oil-by-rail safety measures.