Sussex County Delaware

New Bills Introduced
in Delaware House

Delaware General Assembly ...

Bills Cover Cell Phones,
Internet, License Plates

A number of new bills covering everything from Internet tax incentives to license plates were introduced in the Delaware House o Representatives on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2002.

Following is a synopsis of the bills introduced that affect Sussex Countians:

  • House Amendment 1 to House Bill 360 -- Studying Drivers' Use of Hand-Held Cell Phones
    Prime Sponsor -- State Rep. Deborah Hudson (R-Fairthorne)
    The primary objective of House Bill 360 is to prohibit the use of hand-held wireless phones by driving motorists. The amendment would eliminate the main goal of the bill while preserving a proposal to study what role mobile phone usage plays in contributing to traffic accidents. "I think we need more information on this issue before we go ahead and ban drivers from using mobile phone handsets," Rep. Hudson said. "I just don't want to put the cart before the horse."

  • House Bill 390 -- License Plate Contest
    Prime Sponsor -- State Rep. Deborah Hudson
    The bill seeks to establish a competition where Delaware residents would submit designs for a new patriotic-theme license plate. The winning design would be used to create the special edition plate, which could then be purchased by motorists for $35. "This bill would allow Delaware motorists to display their patriotic feelings in a tasteful and practical way," Rep. Hudson said. "Just as importantly, it will not cost any tax dollars to implement this."

  • House Bill 395 -- "First State" Nickname
    Prime Sponsor -- Wayne Smith (R-Clair Manor)
    Introduced on behalf of Mrs. Anabelle O'Malley's 1st grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, the bill seeks to make "The First State" the official nickname of Delaware.

  • House Bill 398 -- Internet Tax Incentives
    Prime Sponsor -- State Rep. Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley)
    "What this bill does is provide tax incentives for services sold solely over the Internet," said Rep. Lavelle in describing H.B. 398. "The idea is to get Internet commerce companies to base their operations here, providing high-quality, high-tech jobs." He says the bill targets companies that conduct business primarily on the Internet and would not reduce tax revenues from Internet commerce companies already based in Delaware.

  • House Amendment 1 to House Bill 377 -- Revisions to Delaware Emergency Health Powers Act
    Prime Sponsor -- State Rep. Deborah Hudson
    The amendment seeks to make several substantial revisions to the proposed Delaware Emergency Health Powers Act. The act, which is model legislation from the Centers for Disease Control, would broaden the power of the state to respond in the advent of a health emergency. The amendment would make the following changes to the proposed act:
    1. It would allow for judicial review of the governor's declaration of a 'state of emergency.'
    2. It would bar the state from taking over the operations of hospitals and certain other health facilities.
    3. It would not allow the state to take away the license of doctors and other medical providers who do not assist with the treatment, examination, vaccination or testing of any individual during a declared public health emergency.

The bills were introduced in a "pre-file," a process that allows lawmakers to introduce new legislation while the General Assembly is not in session.

The 141st General Assembly is currently in recess while the Joint Finance Committee conducts state budget hearings.

Lawmakers will return to Dover when the General Assembly resumes work March 12.

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