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From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short

From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short - January 6, 2023

Usually, the first meeting of the year for DCA’s Government Relations Committee is relatively quiet. The General Assembly isn’t in session yet. The meeting is usually spent reviewing the implications of election results and House and Senate committee assignments while attempting to identify what’s coming down the pike in the next six months of session. This year our meeting ran long as we covered a whole host of issues that are either related to initiatives from the prior General Assembly session, proposed building moratorium ordinances for New Castle County, and Delaware Department of Natural Resources regulatory considerations.

It’s going to be a busy start to the New Year as meetings continue with the Carney Administration regarding CWA/DBE pilot project language to be presented to the General Assembly and the moratorium ordinance going through the state’s Planning Land Use Service (PLUS) process. Both of which are likely to occur in January. We are also working closely with the recently appointed Director of the Delaware Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Office as it begins its work to stand up this huge initiative.

Yesterday was the 152nd General Assembly’s second legislative pre-file opportunity. A review of the 20 pieces of legislation thus far introduced has only one that seems to directly address our industry. Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker has introduced HB 27 whose synopsis describes the bill as raising, “the public bidding threshold for procurement of goods, contractual services, professional services, and public works contracts by the government of New Castle County to match the bidding thresholds established by the State’s Contracting and Purchasing Advisory Council.”

What else is going on in just the first month of the new year? The governor will give his State-of-the-State in two weeks with his budget proposal following the week after. Also, in the last week of January, the mini-bond bill, which is likely to have the CWA/DBE pilot project language in it, is expected to be considered by the General Assembly. Along with all this activity, there are many many newly elected officials in the General Assembly and the New Castle County Council for DCA to connect with to ensure they know we are a resource for them as they consider public policy that impacts the construction industry. In the 62-member General Assembly there are 9 new members and 2 new members on the 13 member New Castle County Council.

There’s no shortage of work, but that’s what DCA is here for. Stay tuned!

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