Chamber Legislative Update

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General Assembly back in session.  

The 150th General Assembly commenced its first session on Tuesday January 8, with the swearing in of new and re-elected legislators.  In the House, there are 13 new members, in the Senate, there are four, two of whom previously served in the House. 

The December 20 meeting of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) indicate an additional $66 million in revenue.  The additional revenue brings the budget surplus for Fiscal Year 2020 to $184 million. DEFAC is the body which provides the revenue forecasts that state government uses to craft its budget.   

If the end of the 149th General Assembly is any indicator, a budget surplus does not necessarily indicate a smooth session.  On June 30th of last year, the House ended up in session until about 8:00 a.m. over a dispute concerning the minimum wage. Ultimately the stalemate was ended by the adoption of an amendment providing for a training wage, introduced by Representative Mike Ramone (R-Limestone Hills).  

Minimum Wage and the Training Wage 

This past week, the Chamber was advised that legislation is forthcoming which will strike Representative Ramone’s training wage language from Delaware’s minimum wage statute.  The Chamber will oppose the legislation.  At the end of the 149th General Assembly, after 8:00 a.m. on July 1, HB 483, compromise legislation, was passed which  created a training minimum wage and a youth wage that is not more than $0.50 less than the minimum wage rate that becomes effective January 1, 2019. The increase in the regular minimum wage to $8.75 was effective January 1, 2019.  The Chamber will oppose any effort to repeal the training or youth wage from the Code.  

Partial Federal Government Shutdown Continues

The partial federal government shutdown, which began at midnight on December 22, is, as of this past weekend, the longest in U.S. history.  Some 800,000 federal employees missed their first paycheck due to the shutdown; and it appears that they may well miss a second.

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