Lawmakers take oaths Jan. 10 but already working

Posted on 12-06-2022

Even though Delaware’s state senators and representatives won’t be formally sworn in until Jan. 10, their work begins the day after election day — and so do their paychecks. 

Delaware is one of just four states where lawmakers assume office the day after an election. Three other states’ lawmakers assume office on election day, while eight others assume office sometime before the end of the year.

In the remaining 34 states, there’s a “lame-duck” period during which outgoing legislators remain in office until new members are sworn in sometime in January.

Until Delaware lawmakers take the oath of office, they are known as representatives-elect or senators-elect.

“Between now and Jan. 10, they’re answering constituent calls, going to meetings and that type of stuff, but they haven’t formally taken their oath of office,” said Rich Puffer, chief clerk of the Delaware House of Representatives.

Some of the meetings they’ve attended have been with their caucuses — the House and Senate Republicans and Democrats. Each of the four caucuses met to select its leaders for the next General Assembly.

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Charlie Megginson
Charlie Megginson covers government and politics for Delaware LIVE News.
Reach him at (302) 344-8293 or Follow him on Twitter @cmegginson4