Session cancellation kills two resolutions


September 9, 2021

The Senate Republicans were prepared to run two resolutions Tuesday, Nov. 9, during a special session. 


The session was called by Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola to vote on House Concurrent Resolution 42, which deals with the removal of public officials.


On November 1 during a special session, the Senate had passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 63, asking the Delaware Supreme Court for advice on removing an elected official. The vote passed strictly along party lines, 14 to 7.


If the House members passed SCR 63, there would have been no reason for the Senate to reconvene. However, the House passed its own resolution (HCR 42). 


Before Tuesday’s special session the House and Senate leadership came to an agreement that removed the need for another vote. They agreed to work with a retired judge to get more of an unofficial recommendation about the requirements for removing an elected official from office.


The reason the Democrats were seeking advice was because Delaware Auditor Kathy McGuiness (a Democrat herself) was indicted on two felonies and three misdemeanors on October 11. McGuiness has denied any wrongdoing and is still in her post.


 


Redistricting passes along party lines


The original purpose of the November 1 special session was to vote on redistricting. 


That vote also passed strictly along party lines.  Republican senators were not happy that the size of their districts were larger than the districts of the Democrats. This dilutes the amount of time legislators and their assistants can spend helping constituents. 


Adding to this discrepancy is the fact that the Democrats have support staff numbering 24 while the support staff for the Republican senators is nine.


The Republicans are looking into the possibility of a lawsuit to challenge the new district maps.


 


Regulation 815 and masks


I was planning to introduce a resolution to inform the Delaware Department of Education that the wording in regulation 815 regarding Covid-19 mitigation and prevention must make it clear that this is only a temporary measure.


Following is some of the wording from the resolution:


WHEREAS, on October 1, 2021, the Delaware Department of Education proposed an update to Regulation 815: Health Examinations and Screening; and


WHEREAS, the proposed section “6.0. COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention” as currently written, has been interpreted by some of our constituents to require the implementation of a permanent face covering or mask requirement for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, faculty, staff, and visitors inside school buildings.


NOW, THEREFORE:


BE IT KNOWN that Senate objects to any policy that would lead to a permanent masking of Delaware’s students, faculty, staff and visitors inside school buildings and that the Senate strongly requests the Delaware Department of Education to remove any language in the Regulation 815 update that would lead citizens to believe the regulation would permanently require K-12 students, staff, faculty and visitors to wear a face covering or mask while in a school building.


 


Veterans Day November 11


The second resolution that would have run if the session had not been cancelled was authored by Senator Colin Bonini. The resolution on behalf of the Republican senators recognizes the service and sacrifice of the many veterans who have safeguarded our state and our country.


Following is some of the wording from the resolution: 


WHEREAS, for more than two centuries, individuals from all walks of life have taken up arms and sworn an oath to support and defend the principles upon which our country was founded; and 


WHEREAS, throughout our history, courageous men and women have donned the uniform of our Armed Forces and built a noble tradition of faithful and dedicated service to our Nation; and


WHEREAS, Veterans Day has been set aside as both a national and state holiday to honor those Americans who answered the call of duty, preserving our freedoms and often making the ultimate sacrifice; and


WHEREAS, we can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to those heroic men and women who served, were wounded, or even died in battle; and


NOW, THEREFORE:


BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the 151st General Assembly of the State of Delaware hereby recognizes November 11, 2021, as Veterans Day and honors the extraordinary contributions and service of veterans in Delaware.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate encourages Delawareans to participate in local Veterans Day activities honoring the men and women who have stood watch over America.








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