Delaware lawmakers return, focused on 2020
DOVER, Del. – With the stroke of a gavel the 150th session of Delaware’s general assembly picked up right where it left off. The same faces taking their respective seats for the first time in 2020 with many of same issues to tackle like the idea of bringing back the death penalty.
Capital punishment was ruled unconstitutional by Delaware’s Supreme Court in 2016, but the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd at the hands of inmates during the James T. Vaughn hostage situation and the lack of punishments associated with that has lawmakers on both sides pushing for it’s return.
“I think it’s time that we reconsider that and I think it’s been written well by our attorney and our house attorney,” said House Minority Leader Danny Short (R).
“Without having a death penalty we empower some of these people to be the most important people in prison, the most powerful person in prison because they can kill anybody whenever they want,” said Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf (D).
Another big topic is how lawmakers will handle gun control in the new year Republicans like Sen. Brian Petty John (R) maintain they won’t vote for bills like a long gun ban.
However they are in favor of legislation that would return the responsibility of background checks to state police. A move they say would crack down on people who try to buy guns that aren’t legally allowed to.
“If there is a person that’s going from dealer to dealer to dealer shopping for guns or trying to game the system, trying to get a large number of firearms and try to skirt around some of the checks that are in place, they can be more readily identified,” said Sen. Brian Petty John (R).
A move like that would require money and the good thing for lawmakers is that they’re working with a estimated surplus of $200 million.
The question now though is, how to spend that money responsibly without jeopardizing the future.
“Ss much as we want to be there and help everybody we can’t be all things to all people, we need to be smart and we need to be prudent in regards to those finances and making sure again that at the end of the day we’re putting money away.