Del. 2013 Legislative Session Ends - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. 2013 Legislative Session Ends, Social Change Highlights Six Months of Work

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware lawmakers worked into the wee hours of the morning Monday as the 2013 legislative session came to an end.

It was a landmark year on a number of issues. Highlights of the session included major social legislation. Those were big wins for some. But others say lawmakers took their eyes off the most important ball.

Gov. Jack Markell praised lawmakers' work as he signed Delaware's three major spending bills into law around 2 AM Monday.

"Legislators produced tremendous results this session, proving that we can make substantial progress on factors important to our state's economic growth, improve our education system, and make Delaware a more welcoming place," he said.

But Republican lawmakers disagree on that first item, saying the legislature didn't pay enough attention to the economy - in favor of social change.

"We didn't focus on that at all," said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford. "Instead we raised taxes, and we did not look at the economic benefits of coming to Delaware."

"Dealing with those sort of things took us away from what our focus should have been - the economy and jobs," House Minority Leader Rep. Danny Short, R-Seaford.

Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, says items like worker's compensation reform show there was attention paid to the economy. And he says the social items tackled were important.

"They were issues that have been lingering for a very long time," he said. "Sen. Blevins and I very early on decided we would tackle these issues and give them the fair shot that they had been denied for so long."

That included legalizing same-sex marriage, prohibiting discrimination against transgender people and gun control laws, like expanded background checks, in the wake of the massacre at sandy hook elementary school. Multiple gun control proposals, however, did not reach passage, like bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. And lawmakers were also unable to move through bills repealing the state's death penalty and adding new casinos in New castle and Sussex Counties.

Earlier this year Delaware lawmakers did make permanent a series of once-temporary tax increases.

The legislature is off until January of next year. When members come back, they can act on bills that were still on the table when the clock ran out on 2013's session.

On their last day, Delaware lawmakers gave approval to a permanent plan to allow video gambling at veterans and fraternal lodges, passed a bill to put stricter regulations on abortion clinics and approved some non-controversial bills to increase penalties for gun crimes in Delaware.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Elderly Couple Dead in Berlin Murder-Suicide

    Elderly Couple Dead in Berlin Murder-Suicide

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-04-16 18:01:06 GMT
     An elderly couple is dead following a murder suicide in Berlin on Wednesday morning, according to the Worcester County Sheriff's Office. More
     An elderly couple is dead following a murder suicide in Berlin on Wednesday morning, according to the Worcester County Sheriff's Office. More
  • More Store Closures Coming To Delaware

    More Store Closures Coming To Delaware

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:33:00 GMT
    SEAFORD, De.- Another major store is closing in Delaware. This time it’s the Sears in Seaford. This comes shortly after news broke that the Kmart store in Dover was closing. Both stores will be closing its doors this summer. It’s all part of changes coming to the Sears Holding Corporation. Customers were not too happy about their local store closing. "I hate it. I don't like it at all,” said Ruth Sneller of Seaford. “Just means we have to go somewhere else to buy especially appliances an...More
    SEAFORD, De.- Another major store is closing in Delaware. This time it’s the Sears in Seaford. This comes shortly after news broke that the Kmart store in Dover was closing. Both stores will be closing its doors this summer. It’s all part of changes coming to the Sears Holding Corporation. Customers were not too happy about their local store closing. "I hate it. I don't like it at all,” said Ruth Sneller of Seaford. “Just means we have to go somewhere else to buy especially appliances an...More
  • Two Ships Collide in VA Shipping Channel

    Two Ships Collide in VA Shipping Channel

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:20 AM EDT2014-04-16 05:20:21 GMT
    The Coast Guard says two ships have collided in a main shipping channel off the Virginia coast while a 751-foot cargo ship ran aground in high winds gusting up to 70 mph.More
    The Coast Guard says two ships have collided in a main shipping channel off the Virginia coast while a 751-foot cargo ship ran aground in high winds gusting up to 70 mph.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service