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From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short

From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short - January 13, 2023

New Year, new session, and lots of new faces in Legislative Hall. This week the Delaware General Assembly commenced the 152nd session. Legislative Hall, which is undergoing a renovation, was filled with the family and friends of Senators and Representatives. On Tuesday, all members took their oath of office, often with loved ones standing by their side on the chamber floor. The galleries above each chamber were filled with onlookers. As is customary, the day is filled with pomp and circumstance but little legislative work. Chamber rules are voted on along with some other administrative types of measures.

Representative Pete Schwarzkopf was again elected to serve as Speaker of the House. A position he has held since 2012. Senator Dave Sokola was again chosen to lead the Senate as President Pro Tempore. A position he has held since 2021. Each of these leaders have new members serving in their chambers with the percentage of turnover since 2018 rising to 53% following the 2022 elections. I anticipate the number of new members growing further with additional members retiring in 2024.

As you can imagine, much of this week is organizational for the House and Senate but they will be down to real legislative work next week as committee’s are filling with legislation for consideration. One hearing that is of particular interest to the industry will occur next Thursday at 10 am as the Capital Improvement Committee holds its first bill drafting session of what is referred to as the mini-bond bill. The mini-bond bill is historically just a reallocation of funds but this year is anticipated to have epilogue language establishing Community Workforce and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises pilot project language. Office of Management and Budget Director, Cerron Cade, is scheduled to be at DCA next Wednesday to discuss the epilogue language with our contractor members

Senator Jack Walsh, who has served on the committee for years, has just been appointed the committee Chair for the Capital Improvement Committee, replacing Senator Nicole Poore. Representative Debra Heffernan, who has served in the committee’s leadership since 2018, will be the committee’s Co-chair this year. This bi-partisan committee is comprised of both Senators and Representatives alternating the positions of Chair and Co-chair between the chambers.

Beginning next week, the Punchlist will provide a link to my legislative status report. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding the status of legislation.

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