Inside this issue
  SB 35 - State PLA bill passes  

Senate Bill 35, the bill that will mandate union only project labor agreements on state funded construction projects passed the House last night by a vote of 25 Yes and 16 No.   ABC offered several amendments to remove the PLA language and add DBE requirements on all the jobs, but they were defeated by the same vote margin.  For a copy of SB 35, please click here.

ABC Delaware members stay strong on SB 35 with members from the Delaware Hispanic Commission in Legislative Hall

The bill targets 6 projects.  The Office of Management and Budget will do the following: DBE requirements on the new Hodgson school; PLAs on the DNREC Lab, Hospital for the Chronically Ill, and the OMB Food Building.  DelDOT will use both the PLA's and DBE requirements for 2 jobs, but they have not been identified.  

The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.  We anticipate that he will sign into law. We appreciate all the help that ABC members provided during the process.  We are investigating the viability of a legal challenge and will let everyone know where we are next week.



  HB 1 & 2 - Marijuana Legalization  

Legislation that would make Delaware the latest state to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adult users was filed this week.

Collectively, House Bills 1 and 2 comprise the Delaware Marijuana Control Act, with HB 1 legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and HB 2 regulating the legal industry of growing and selling cannabis.  

HB 1 would remove all penalties for possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana, except for those who are under 21 years of age. Possession of more than a personal use quantity of marijuana and public consumption would remain unclassified misdemeanors. A personal use quantity would be defined as one ounce or less of leaf marijuana, 12 grams or less of concentrated cannabis, or cannabis products containing 750 milligrams or less of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.  For a copy of HB 1, click here.

HB 2 would create a legal framework to regulate the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana, provide opportunities for small businesses to be licensed, and ensure people disproportionately affected by the prohibition of marijuana have access to this new market. The legislation also contains a new framework for directing some of the state proceeds from sales and licensing to justice reform efforts. For a copy of HB 2, click here.

HB 2 would regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase a personal use quantity of marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana store.



  HB 36 - Realty Transfer Fee Reduction  

HB 36 is an act that decreases by 1% the rate of the realty transfer tax to be received by the State, thereby returning it to the rate that was applicable prior to August 1,2017. The Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Act will apply to documents recorded and permits applied for after the effective date of the Act.  For a copy of HB 36, click here



  SB 27 - Unpaid wages claims  

SB 27 is a bill that increases the statute of limitations for filing an action for recovery upon a claim for unpaid wages from 1 year to 2 years, making it consistent with the statute of limitations under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§201, et seq. For  copy of SB 27, click here.

Many employees who are terminated spend the first period of unemployment attempting to secure other employment. After this focus on finding employment ends, 1 year may have passed or be about to pass, preventing employees who are owed wages from a previous employer from seeking legal redress.

This Act applies to claims when the date of the accruing of the cause of action on which the action is based is on or after the effective date of this Act.



  HB 49 - Workers Comp increase  

HB 49 is a bill that provides post-pandemic related relief to both claimants receiving unemployment benefits and employers who are assessed unemployment taxes. This bill will increase the maximum weekly benefit amount payable to claimants seeking unemployment compensation benefits from the Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Unemployment Insurance from $400.00 a week to $450.00 a week. The funds necessary to pay the increased weekly benefit amounts will be paid from the Unemployment Trust Fund. Delaware currently pays unemployment claimants less per week in benefits than claimants are paid in each neighboring state. The maximum weekly benefit amount has not changed since 2019.  For a copy of HB 49, click here.

The Governor’s agreement to allow federal pandemic funds to be used to replace the funds in the Unemployment Trust Fund that were depleted from the surge of pandemic related claims has made the Unemployment Trust Fund sufficiently solvent so as to allow the Department to offer unemployment tax relief measures to Delaware employers for a one-year period during calendar year 2023, at a time when employers continue to face post-pandemic rising economic challenges, supply chain problems, and difficultly in staffing. This Act will provide temporary relief to employers who pay unemployment tax assessments by reducing the new employer tax rates, reducing or holding constant overall employer tax rates, and reducing the maximum earned rate. This Act will also temporarily simplify the tax rate schedules that are used to calculate unemployment assessments paid by employers. The Department estimates that these unemployment tax assessment changes will reduce the tax obligation of employers an estimated $50 million in 2023. The various tax assessment relief provisions set forth in Sections 2 and 3 of this Act are retroactive to January 1, 2023 and are intended to be in effect for the full calendar year 2023.



  Deadline for Electronically Submitting 2022 OSHA Form 300A Data Is March 2  

On Jan. 9, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a press release reminding certain employers that the deadline to submit the calendar year 2022 Form 300A is March 2.  

Electronic submissions are required for establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to maintain OSHA injury and illness records and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injury and illness.

Visit OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application webpage for more information on submitting data online. The steps to create an ITA account and connect it to a account are explained in the Create an ITA Account and Create a Account job aids. You can also watch OSHA’s how-to video, which explains the account creation process.

To learn more, see OSHA’s Frequently Asked Questions.   



ABC Legislative Committee

Thursday, February 23, 8:30 a.m., ABC Boardroom

Women in Construction Dinner

Tuesday, April 4, 4:00 p.m., Wild Quail Country Club, Dover

HobNob on the Green

Thursday, May 4th, 11:30 a.m., The Green at Legislative Hall