CHAPTER 296 - LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU

AN ACT CREATING A "LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU OF DELAWARE" AND DEFINING ITS POWERS AND DUTIES AND MAKING AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. There is hereby created a State Bureau to be known as "Legislative Reference Bureau of Delaware". The said Bureau shall be composed of the Governor, the President pro tern of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. They shall serve as Members thereof during the term of office for which they have been elected and until their successors have been elected and qualified.

Section 2. Duties of the Bureau:

(a) The said Bureau shall prepare or cause to be prepared and drafted such bills, amendments, joint resolutions, resolutions, memorials and revisions and substitutes thereto, which are proposed to be introduced into the General Assembly, as may be requested by any Member of the General Assembly, the Governor, any State Officer and/or any State department, bureau, commission or other State agency, and otherwise render assistance, aid, information, counsel, and advice in the preparation and drafting of any such proposed legislation.

(b) The Bureau shall, between Sessions of the General Assembly, select such subjects and chapters of the statutory law as are deemed most in need of a revision, or as may be referred to said Bureau by the Governor, any State Officer, or any Member of the General Assembly, or any State department, bureau, commission or other State agency, and shall prepare and draft such bills or amendments ready for presentation at the next regular or special Session of the General Assembly.

(c) In connection with such bills, revisions or amendments, the Bureau shall have full authority to recommend, and shall be charged with the responsibility of recommending, the revision, amendment, simplification, and rearrangement of existing statutory law and the elimination and repeal of such law as may be deemed to be obsolete, antiquated, superseded or duplicated. Any such revisions reported to the General Assembly may be accompanied by explanatory statements of changes in existing statutes, or parts of statutes which such revisions, if enacted, would affect.

(d) It shall be the duty of the Bureau to collect or cause to be collected all available information, relating to any matter which is the subject of proposed legislation by the General Assembly; to examine acts of any other State and to investigate all available sources of information with the view of being able to present to the next General Assembly final drafts of bills and amendments to the laws in clear, concise, understandable and unambiguous language.

() The said Bureau shall be charged with the duty of answering any and all inquiries for abstracts, excerpts or copies of the laws of Delaware and of furnishing such other information which may properly be sought by or referred to it by any State Officer, Department, Commission, Bureau or other agency, or which may be requested by foreign State Officers, Departments or other agencies of such foreign States. Said Bureau shall also procure, and provide State Officers and other agencies of the State with, similar abstracts, excerpts or copies of the laws of other States and with such other information as may reasonably be requested from time to time. In general, the said Bureau shall act as a reference bureau for all matters relating or pertaining to legislative matters and subjects, whether enacted by this or' any other State or whether proposed by this or other States, at the request of any Member of the Legislature or of any State Officer, Department, Commission or other State agency.

Section 3. All State officers, departments, bureaus, commissions or other State agencies shall refer to the Bureau any bills or amendments to laws which they or any of them have drafted, or caused to be drafted, or which they desire to be drafted, between Sessions of the General Assembly, in order to give the Bureau ample time for a full, complete and thorough study and examination, and the redrafting and revision thereof if necessary, of proposed legislation, with the end in view that all such bills and amendments proposed shall be in final draft form ready for presentation to the next General Assembly at the earliest possible date after the convening thereof, together with a copy of the same for each Member thereof.

Section 4. The Governor shall appoint an attorney-at-law, who is licensed to practice law in Delaware, as the executive director of the said Bureau whose duty it shall be to carry out or cause to be carried out the objects and purposes of this Act under the supervision and direction of the Bureau.

The executive director may employ a competent stenographer and such other assistants as may be required, by and with the approval of the Bureau.

Any office equipment of the General Assembly such as typewriters, ditto machines, files and other office equipment and supplies may be used by, and shall be under the custody and control of, the said Bureau.

The executive director of the Bureau shall be the chief attorney for the Senate and the House of Representatives when in Session, but he shall not receive any additional compensation for his services as such other than as herein provided. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall provide the chief attorney with such other assistants, when in Session, as in their judgment may be necessary to facilitate the business before them. The chief attorney shall be available daily in such office or offices as may be provided for him when the Senate and/or the House of Representatives are in Session; and when the General Assembly is not in Session the office of the Bureau shall be open during regular office hours.

Section 5. The executive director of the Bureau shall receive an annual salary of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) payable monthly. He shall be appointed by the Governor and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.

The salary of the secretary and such other assistants as may be required shall be fixed by the executive director subject to the approval of the Bureau and shall be payable monthly.

Section 6. Whenever any State officer, department, bureau, commission or other State agency shall draft, or cause to be drafted, a bill or an amendment to the laws of the State intended to be introduced in the General Assembly for action thereon, such proposed bill or amendment so drafted shall be submitted to the Bureau before the convening of the General Assembly in ample time for the examination, study, correction and redrafting thereof if necessary, by the executive director.

Section 7. There is hereby appropriated to the "Legislative Reference Bureau of Delaware" the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1945 and ending June 30, 1946, and the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1946 and ending June 30, 1947, to be paid by the State Treasurer from time to time upon vouchers signed by the Chairman of the Bureau.

Section 8. This Act shall be known as a Supplementary Appropriation Act, in so far as it relates to the appropriation herein provided, and shall be paid by the State Treasurer from the General Funds of the State, not otherwise appropriated.

Approved April 20, 1945.