The first half of the 151st General Assembly, much like 2020, was unpredictable. Heading into the year, the thought was the state’s finances would be short due to the economic shutdown stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we had a greater than $1 billion surplus. Our caucus was prepared to return to the chamber in person when the Senate initially convened early January. We ended up not returning to the building until May.
Despite the challenges we faced as a state and as a Republican caucus, a lot of good was accomplished. I was able to usher through Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 65, also known as FAST, which will provide students pursuing a career in a trade the financial assistance needed to obtain their certifications. This will ultimately fill much needed blue-collar jobs and add a boost to our economy.
Even though Democrats hold majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives, Republican lawmakers were able to convey strong arguments for why bills such as Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 6 overly restricted the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Although easily passing the Senate, SB 6 was heavily amended in the House and SB 3 has yet to be released from the House Appropriations Committee. The amended version of SB 6 has yet to be heard by the Senate and likely will not be until January at the earliest.
I look forward to continuing to serve the great people of the 19th District and Delaware during the six month break from session. The two chambers will convene later this fall to approve the new district maps that result from the census. I will be sure to keep you informed of that process and other legislative matters should they arise between now and when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.