Hot topics for Del. legislation: Min. wage, gun control, school funding
DOVER, Del. – The 150th general assembly reconvenes on Tuesday in Dover and there are quite a few pieces of legislation that lawmakers expect to be front and center.
Representative Ruth Briggs-King tells 47 ABC there will be a lot of discussion about education funding. She says that one third of the state’s budget is already spent on education. The Indian River and Sussex Tech School Districts are just two places that are pushing for funding for major projects. But now lawmakers have to see if they can address those concerns or if the court will decide.
“The bigger discussion is, how do we fund capital improvement for schools and new schools? And there’s been meetings all year long even when we are in recess to talk about school funding,” says Representative Ruth Briggs-King, a Republican who represents District 37. “And is there a need for real property reassessment in Delaware?”
Two other topics that are expected to be discussed include assisted suicide, or death with dignity, and legalization of recreational marijuana. We’re told the assisted suicide bill did not get out of committee last year but is still being discussed. As for recreational marijuana, lawmakers say the support just hasn’t been there during the last two sessions when it was introduced.
Lawmakers say they’re also watching a few different firearms bills this year in Delaware that are still pending in the Senate executive committee. One bill would create a magazine limit which critics say may restrict a lot of modern guns which have magazines that would fall within those limits. Another bill would require a permit to purchase a firearm which opponents say would create a financial barrier for gun ownership. A third piece of legislation would ban long guns altogether.
They are not your long guns. They are not your A.R. 15’s. They are not those types of rifles, that are looking to be banned,” says Senator Brian Pettyjohn, a Republican representing District 19. “So the question is: why ban something if it’s not being used in the majority, actually in any, of the crimes that are being committed here in Delaware?”
There’s also a bill to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour meaning a one dollar increase, every year, until it gets to 15. That bill is still pending in committee. Officials will also be deciding on how to fund new family court buildings in both Dover and Georgetown.