Many Issues Face Del. Lawmakers as Session Begins - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Many Issues Face Del. Lawmakers as Legislative Session Begins

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DOVER, Del.- Tuesday marked the start of the 147th legislative session in Dover.

The state House and Senate will focus their attention on crafting a state budget first and foremost. But there will be a number of issues that will generate discussion.

"I think one of the issues is the gaming in the American Legion and VFW's and Moose Halls," said Rep. Debbie Hudson, R-Wilmington. "I think that that's going to pop up immediately, perhaps [Wednesday]."

"Education reform, of course," Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover, said. "I mean that we are in year three of the latest reform. There's a growing concern among Delaware parents that they're not getting the value for their money."

"There are many issues I have," said Sen. Robert Marshall, D-North Wilmington. "I'll be introducing next week one increasing the hourly minimum wage. If you go to low end hourly wage earner, they will tell you an additional 50 cents to dollar an hour will make a difference."

Gun control will likely come before the general assembly, too, following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Lawmakers are looking at guns and schools from a lot of different angles. Senator Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, actually recommended making changes to schools - by adding "panic" exits to first floor classrooms.

Marshall plans to introduce a bill next week that would ban assault weapons in Delaware. He is also pushing for a statewide gun buy-back and looking to allow cities and counties to issue gun licenses.

"I don't need - and most hunters NRA members will tell you - you don't need to own a semi-automatic or an assault weapon that can cut a deer in half with 30 quick rounds," Marshall said.

"I don't believe any of the situations that have happened in the United States recently would have been solved by some of these potential bills," said Hudson.

"I actually think the focus should be on the mental health side of the issue," Bonini said. "Bringing more help to those in need - that to me is the lesson learned from some of these tragedies.

Many lawmakers are also expecting Gov. Jack Markell to come out with a proposal of his own in the very near future.

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