DFPC~#8 DE Legislative Update-“One of the worst nights in the Delaware Legislature.”

Posted on 06-20-2022

“One of the worst nights in the Delaware Legislature.”   That was the sentiment expressed to us directly by tenured Senators and House members last week, as some were leaving after midnight on Thursday.

The disrespectful tone in debates and disregard for input across the aisle was reflective of the types of policies being proposed and passed during these final weeks of session. 

Rules and standards of protocol are in place for a reason. When elected officials ignore or dismiss the standards they agreed to uphold, they are blatantly putting themselves above the system and disrespecting colleagues and the constituents they represent.

As you review this legislative update, know that many of these bills are being rammed through without consideration or compromise, as dissenters were and are bullied into silence. This is only expected to escalate in the 6 legislative days left of this session.   Note: Each bill mentioned below is linked in the title.
As you read, remember: Every bill is an idea that is based on a premise. Bills are policies that advance an overall worldview. It’s critically important to step back, look at the big picture, and ask the right questions to determine what that worldview actually is.   This update covers bills that were either recently filed or advanced in the legislative process since update #7. To see other bills in previous updates, click here.    (REMINDER: The highlighted bills on the ‘watch list’ below are specific to DFPC’s focus, expertise, and interests. To view the actual bill language or see the sponsors, the bill title is linked for your convenience.

  Life   ·         SB 235: Unborn Child Protection Act   On June 7th, Senator Richardson’s Unborn Child Protection Act was heard in committee, right before the Unity Rally for Life Rally, which was great. The expert testimonies were powerful and clear, pointing to the humanity of preborn children. Watch for more on that. 

As we await the Supreme Court decision expected this week that could overturn Roe v. Wade, know that Delaware is on track this session to be one of the most radical pro-abortion states in the country. There is much work to be done to change hearts and minds, and reach abortion-minded women in Delaware with the gospel. 

There is a need for sidewalk counselors at the abortion clinics in Delaware. It has been proven that an effective presence on the sidewalks surrounding abortion clinics actually saves lives and creates opportunities for healing. To serve as a sidewalk counselor at the Dover abortion clinic, REGISTER HERE for the class on June 25th.   ·         HB 455: Delaware Abortion #AfterRoe   In contrast to SB 235 which would have limited abortions, HB 455 would make Delaware an abortion hotspot in our country.

I mentioned HB 320 in a previous update, which allows APRNs and physician assistants to prescribe dangerous chemical abortion pills. The bill’s supporters reassured that this would only open APRNs up to provide chemical abortions.

Now, HB 455 is being FAST TRACKED through Delaware’s House, to allow those APRNs along with nurse practitioners, midwives, and physician assistants to perform any type of abortions — including surgical.

HB 455 makes it clear that “reproductive health services” is their code specifically for “abortion.”   EDUCATION   ·         HCR 90: LGBTQ History in 7-12th Grade   Resolutions are statements of what the legislature values, rather than changes of policies. Furthermore, unlike bills, resolutions can be brought to the floor without being placed on the agenda first. As a result, legislators may not have advance notice when resolutions are being heard.

House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 90 says that LGBTQ history should be taught to students from 7th-12th grade. 

The bill includes the two specific examples of the Stonewall riots of 1969 and the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting. 

This resolution will take effect in the 2024-25 school year.   What does this mean now for …
Parents: Now more than ever, it’s crucial to know what’s being taught in your child’s school. What’s most concerning is the wide open door this presents for more school-sanctioned, sexually-charged conversations with students. 

Watch especially for inappropriate material like what we saw earlier this year in Smyrna High School. If you hear of an incident like this in your child’s school, let us know using our incident report form. See our Parental Rights resource page for more tools and information.

Christian Schools: HCR 90 is an encouragement to guide the Department of Education’s standards for Delaware schools. Respond to this email to learn more about how to connect with the Delaware Christian Educator Network (DCEN) to be alerted to how issues like this will directly affect your school.   ·         SB 279: DE Education Right to Know   SB 279, would provide more opportunities for parents to be aware of their child’s curriculum, but the sponsors once again deemed it “unnecessary.”    Senator Bonini’s comments in the hearing highlighted our main question: If there is truly transparency, why are parents consistently finding information that they were unaware of?    Note that the Department of Education and the Delaware State Education Association were both opposed to this bill — the very organizations that this bill would be seeking to hold accountable. No surprise there. 😒

The House counterpart, HB 326, also did not make it out of committee.   Constitutional Amendment   While most bills require a simple majority, constitutional amendments need a 2/3 vote. A constitution holds greater legal weight than statutes, and changes to the constitution should be treated very seriously and made only when absolutely necessary. 

Not only has a seemingly unprecedented number of constitutional bills been filed this session; many of these amendments have massive negative implications. The one mentioned below is by far THE worst.   ·         HB 460: Right to Privacy   There isn’t a red tint dark enough to show how heavily we oppose this bill.

The most dangerous bill this session, HB 199, was filed but never actually made it to the committee. But HB 460 is equally dangerous but just goes about it differently. 

HB 460 would enshrine the “right to privacy” in Delaware’s Constitution. Remember that rights protected in the Constitution are given the highest weight of the law.

This so-called right to privacy will clash with religious liberty, parental rights, the right to and dignity of human life, and many others.

The “right to privacy” is used to support … the “right” to abortion, based on the premise used in Roe v. Wade. the “right” to assisted suicide. a direct invitation and open door for teachers to potentially teach comprehensive sex education (based on the cases mentioned in HB 460’s synopsis). a child’s right to “privacy” — meaning, parents can be excluded from their child’s medical information or school information. Remember our discussion about HB 400? et cetera …   The most dangerous implications of HB 460 are that it will enshrine abortion in Delaware constitution, and severely restrict parental rights when they conflict with their child’s “privacy.”   Gun Control   Gun control has been a hot topic in the legislature this week. The right to bear arms is secured by the U.S. Constitution’s 2nd Amendment, as well as Article I of Delaware’s Constitution. Here is a quote from a 2010 Supreme Court case:   “The Second Amendment applies to the states, thereby invalidating Chicago’s law prohibiting residents from possessing handguns.” – McDonald v. City of Chicago   When tragedy happens, we need to remember this simple principle: law-abiding citizens obey laws; criminals do not. Therefore, strict gun control prevents law-abiding citizens from defending themselves and others, rather than preventing criminals from committing crimes. I wish we could end the discussion on that note, but let’s continue.    ·         HB 450 w/ HA 1: Ban on Gun Possession   Click on this bill title to see the list of handguns, shotguns, and rifles being banned. HB 450 prevents the possession, sale, transfer, and manufacturing over 60 different firearms that many Delawareans currently own legally.    Rep. Smith proposed an amendment to exempt Delawareans with a license to carry; that amendment was defeated. This bill essentially overrides a license to carry! 

Four Democrats in the House and one in the Senate joined all the Republicans to vote no on this unconstitutional bill. The bill passed and now awaits Governor Carney’s signature.   In conjunction with HB 450 is HB 451, which bans the purchase, selling, possession, or control of a firearm or ammunition for those 18-21 years old. Its only exemptions are for those who are in law enforcement, military personnel, or have a concealed carry license.    ·         SB 8 w/ SA 1: Ban on Machine Guns   SB 8 would ban both machine guns and items like “glock switches,” which can convert a handgun to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull.   ·         SB 302: Gun Retail Liability   SB 302 would allow gun retailers and manufactures to be held liable for a crime committed by a gun they’ve sold, even in the event of a straw purchase. 

For reference, a straw purchase is when an individual who can legally pass the required background check to purchase a gun does so and then sells that gun purposefully to someone who could not. It is the straw purchaser who should be punished for disregarding the legal process — but SB 302 targets the gun retailer/manufacturer, who did their legal duty in this scenario.

This policy is not about protecting victims of gun violence. It is vilifying the usage of guns altogether and attempting to make them obsolete — at least for the law-abiding citizen. It doesn’t prevent criminals from doing what they do … crime.   Election Integrity/Ethics in Public Policy   ·         HS 1 for HB 25 w/ HA 1: Same-Day Voter Registration   The current deadline to vote is four Saturdays before Election Day. This bill would allow individuals to register on Election Day … directly in their polling place. 

We’ve already discussed how this could be problematic given the long lines during an election cycle.

This legislation creates potential for fraud because voters cannot be properly vetted. A Republican Representative proposed an amendment to protect against that fraud … and the House Democrats defeated it.    ·         SB 320 w/ SA 2, SA 27: Mail-In Voting   Mail-in ballots are another major source of election fraud. And yet SB 320 would expand the practice of mail-in voting, and engrain it more permanently in Delaware Code.   Let’s be clear here – expansion of government is never the answer!   ·         HB 395 w/ HA 1: Legislator Domicile   HB 395 would ensure that legislators actually live in the districts they are elected to represent. Moving out of their district is considered a resignation from office based on this policy. Finally!    Parental Rights and Families   ·         SB 322: Changing Tables in Men’s Rooms   Some dads will really appreciate this convenience.

However, the bill sponsors subscribe to the same ideology that replaces “Mother” with “birthing person” and says men can be pregnant. 

As much as we advocate for involved fathers, we know this legislation is merely another way to further affirm trans ideology that says gender is not biological, and that trans “men” can give birth.

The presence or absence of the “Y” chromosome tells the truth of the matter. End of story. The unique and complementary involvement of a father and mother in their children’s lives is a beautiful design that is unrivaled when done well.    ·         HB 432: Acknowledgment of Paternity by a Minor   This prohibits a minor from voluntarily acknowledging their paternity of a child. Representative Eric Morrison supported this bill, arguing that a minor is not mature enough to make such a big decision. 

Hmm, does that argument sound familiar? 🤔

The irony is, Rep. Morrison and other supporters of this bill were very much in support of allowing minors to choose gender transition services and abortions without parental notification (HB 400). Are minors mature enough to make those life-altering decisions?

Minors need protection from decisions, not consequences.   ·         SB 307: Predator Grooming Prevention   This policy acknowledges that sexual predation does not just happen, but that “grooming” generally takes place first. Victims are less likely to tell and more likely to stay victims longer when they are groomed. By defining grooming and providing criminal redress for the behavior, it has the potential to protect more vulnerable young people.   Human Flourishing   ·         HB 469: Marijuana Illegal while Driving   As many times as we have worked to push back the legalization of recreational marijuana, it keeps coming back. One bill actually managed to pass the Legislature this year but was vetoed by Governor Carney shortly after. 

We don’t know where that legalization battle will end up, but HB 469 will ensure that it is made clear that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. No matter where you stand on the issue, this is a good policy. We should all be able to agree that any substance that can slow your reaction time should not be consumed while operating a vehicle. 

Check out StopthePot.org to see the information regarding increased traffic fatalities following legalization in other states. We need to protect Delaware!     Reminders …   Legislative session officially ends on June 30th. Pray with us that the legislators with righteous convictions will have the courage and the discernment to stand firm on supporting good policy and opposing bad policy, even in the face of opposition and fatigue.    Shortly after session closes, our Patriot Academy will be taking over the Legislature and going through critical leadership training and skills. Cultivating effective and courageous leaders is a major part of our mission. Click here to learn more.  
For Faith, Families, and Freedom, 

  Nandi Randolph
Policy Analyst
Delaware Family Policy Council
  P.S.  Be Informed. Read about previous legislative updates HERE  

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