State Legislature in Delaware convenes for 151st session
The Delaware State Legislature opened for its 151st legislative session today.
Many new legislators were welcomed including the first transgender state senator and first Muslim state representative
The representative, Medinah Wilson-Anton, made sure to note that as she introduced herself to the legislature. I’m very proud to be the first Muslim elected to the general assembly and like representative Moore said, I’m very excited to be a part of this really diverse class.
“We have a more diverse general assembly than I can recall so some if was very historic doing business the way they are and the way some things have changed during the session,” says State Representative Ruth Briggs of the 37th district
Due to the Pandemic, both houses will meet online for at least the entire month of January, and quite possibly longer.
Not all legislators are in favor of that, not knowing if in person sessions will begin soon or not.
” I really do think it should be sooner rather than later. Just so many things you can exchange when you actually see someone its much more difficult when you’re muted and you can only speak when you’re recognized and you have 41 people trying to be recognized.”
The other barrier, some legislators note, is that public input isn’t as accessible.
” I also feel very remised that the public doesn’t have the ability to join in a regular way. I’m not getting any feedback from the public.
The public can see and hear us but I’m not able to judge their impressions and have discussions with them,” Briggs adds.
And perhaps, some magic is lost, especially for newly elected officials.
“It’s just such a big day, the first year you’re sworn in and I just feel bad for the new legislators and senators that can’t do that today,” says State Representative Ronald Gray of the 37th district.
Many issues will be up for debate, like marijuana legalization, minimum wage increase and assisting Delaware residents who have been economically effected by the pandemic. 47ABC will keep you updated as the session wares on.
Dodge Landesman 47ABC.