YES & NO IN DOVER
Updated: Jan. 31, 2014
The Delaware General Assembly has rushed into legislation where politicians often fear to tread.
With a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House of Representatives, a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all urging bills upon the legislature, it has taken up the most liberal agenda in Dover since the 1960s.
It is the sort of lawmaking that can get the voters' attention and have the opposition researchers working overtime. It can defeat legislators.
Here is a summary of some of the legislation and the votes.
Death penalty repeal. (Senate Bill 19): To eliminate the death penalty, except for 17 inmates currently on death row. Sponsored by Karen Peterson, Democratic senator from Stanton. Senate status: Passed 11-10. House status: In committee.
Gay marriage (House Bill 75): To legalize gay marriages and convert civil unions to marriage without requiring clergy to perform them. Sponsored by Melanie George Smith, Democratic representative from Bear. House status: Passed 23-18. Senate status: Passed 12-9. Governor signed May 7, 2013.
Transgender rights (Senate Bill 97): To prohibit discrimination against transgender Delawareans and make violence against them a hate crime with increased punishment. Sponsored by Margaret Rose Henry, Democratic senator from Wilmington. Senate status: Passed 11-7 with two not voting and one absent. House status: Passed 24-17 with an amendment and returned to the Senate. Final Senate status: Passed 11-9 with one not voting. Governor signed June 19, 2013.
Background checks (House Bill 35): To extend background checks on gun purchases to private sales, with certain exceptions like family members. Sponsored by Valerie Longhurst, House Democratic majority leader from Bear. House status: Passed 24-17. Senate status: Passed 13-8. Governor signed May 8, 2013.
Income tax (House Bill 50): To extend a tax enacted because of a revenue shortfall during the Great Recession by setting the rate on personal income above $60,000 a year at 6.6 percent, higher than the pre-recession rate of 5.95 percent but lower than the rate of 6.95 percent set in 2009. Sponsored by Longhurst. House status: Passed 26-15. Senate status: Passed 13-8. Governor signed March 28, 2013.
Minimum wage (Senate Bill 6): To raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 an hour by June 2015. Sponsored by Bob Marshall, Democratic senator from Wilmington. Senate status: Passed 13-8. House status: Passed 27-14. Governor signed Jan. 30, 2014.
SENATE: 13 Democrats, 8 Republicans
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 27 Democrats, 14 Republicans
Source: Delaware General Assembly