AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR EMERGENCY INTERIM SUCCESSION FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Part II, Title 29, Delaware Code, is amended by enacting a new Chapter 17 as follows:
CHAPTER 17. EMERGENCY INTERIM LEGISLATIVE SUCCESSION
§ 1701. Short Tile
This chapter shall be known as the "Emergency Interim Legislative Succession Act."
§ 1702. Declaration of policy
The General Assembly declares: (1) that recent technological developments make possible an enemy attack of unprecedented destructiveness, which may result in the death or inability to act of a large proportion of the membership of the General Assembly; (2) that to conform in time of attack to existing legal requirements pertaining to the General Assembly would be impracticable, would admit of undue delay, and would. jeopardize continuity of operation of a legally constituted General Assembly; and (3) that it is therefore necessary to adopt special provisions as hereinafter set out for the effective operation of the General Assembly.
§ 1703. Definitions
As used in this act:
(a) "Attack" means any action or series of actions taken by an enemy of the United States resulting in substantial damage or injury to persons or property in this State whether through sabotage, bombs, missiles, shellfire, or atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological, or biological means or other weapons or methods.
(b) "Unavailable" means absent from the place of session other than on official business of the General Assembly, or unable, for physical, mental or legal reasons, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of a member of the General Assembly, whether or not such absence or inability would give rise to a vacancy under existing constitutional or statutory provisions.
(c) "Member" means a member of the General Assembly as set forth in Article III, of the Constitution of the State of Delaware.
§ 1704. Designation of emergency interim successors to members
Each member shall designate not fewer than three nor more than seven emergency interim successors to his powers and duties and specify their order of succession. Each member shall review and, as necessary, promptly revise the designations of emergency interim successors to his powers and duties to insure that at all times there are at least three such qualified emergency interim successors.
§ 1705. Status, qualifications and term of emergency interim successors
An emergency interim successor is one who is designated for possible temporary succession to the powers and duties, but not the office, of a member. No person shall be designated or serve as an emergency interim successor unless he may under the constitution and statutes hold the office of the member to whose powers and duties he is designated to succeed, but no constitutional or statutory provision prohibiting a member from holding another office or prohibiting the holder of another office from being a member shall be applicable to an emergency interim successor. An emergency interim successor shall serve at the pleasure of the member designating him or of any subsequent incumbent of the legislative office.
§ 1706. Contingent method of designating emergency interim successors
Prior to an attack, if a member fails to designate the required minimum number of emergency interim successors within thirty days following the effective date of this act or, after such period, if for any reason the number of emergency interim successors for any member falls below the required minimum and remains below such minimum for a period of thirty days, then the required minimum number of emergency interim successors shall be designated as follows:
The President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall designate as many emergency interim successors for the members of the Majority Party in the Senate as are required to achieve such minimum number. The Minority Leader of the Senate shall designate as many emergency interim successors for the remaining members of the Senate as are required to achieve such minimum number. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall designate as many emergency interim successors for the members of the Majority Party in the House of Representatives as are required to achieve such minimum number. The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives shall designate as many emergency interim successors for the remaining members of the House of Representatives as are required to achieve such minimum number. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives shall not assign to any of their designees a rank in order of succession higher than that of any remaining emergency interim successor previously designated by a member for succession to his own powers and duties. Each emergency interim successor designated by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives shall serve at the pleasure of the person designating him, but the member for whom the emergency interim successor is designated or any subsequent incumbent of his office may change the rank in order of succession or replace at his pleasure any emergency interim successor so designated.
§ 1707. Recording and publication
Each designation of an emergency interim successor shall become effective when the member or President Pro Tempore of the Senate, or Minority Leader of the Senate, or Speaker of the House, or Minority Leader of the House making the designation files with the Secretary of State the successor's name. address and rank in order of succession. The removal of an emergency interim successor or change in order of succession shall become effective when the member or President Pro Tern-pore, or Minority Leader of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or Minority Leader of the House of Representatives so acting files this information with the Secretary of State. All such data shall be open to public inspection. The Secretary of State shall inform the Governor, the state office of Civil Defense, the Clerk of the House concerned and all emergency interim successors, of all such designations, removals and changes in order of succession. The Clerk of each House shall enter all information regarding emergency interim successors for the House in its public journal at the beginning of each General Assembly and shall enter all changes in membership or order of succession as soon as possible after their occurrence.
§ 1708. Oath of emergency interim successors
Promptly after designation each emergency interim successor shall take the oath required for the member to whose powers and duties he is designated to succeed. No other oath shall be required.
§ 1709. Duty of emergency interim successors
Each emergency interim successors shall keep himself generally informed as to the duties, procedures, practices and current business of the General Assembly, and each member shall assist his emergency interim successors to keep themselves so informed.
§ 1710. Place of meeting of the General Assembly
Whenever in the event of an attack, or upon finding that an attack may be imminent, the Governor deems the place of session then prescribed to be unsafe, he may change it to any place within or without the State which he deems safer and convenient.
§ 1711. Convening of General Assembly in event of attack
In the event of an attack, the Governor shall call the General Assembly into session as soon as practicable, and in any case within ninety days following the inception of the attack. If the Governor fails to issue such call, the General Assembly shall, on the ninetieth day from the date of inception of the attack, automatically convene at the place where the Governor then has his office. Each member and each emergency interim successor, unless he is certain that the member to whose powers and duties he is designated to succeed or any emergency interim successor higher in order of succession will be available, shall proceed to the place of holding the General Assembly as expeditiously as practicable. At such session or at any sessions, in operation at the inception of the attack, and at any subsequent sessions, limitations on the length of session and on the subjects which may be acted upon shall be suspended.
§ 1712. Assumption of powers and duties of member of emergency interim successor
If in the event of an attack a member is unavailable his emergency interim successor highest in order of succession who is not unavailable shall, except for the power and duty to appoint emergency interim successors, exercise the powers and assume the duties of such member. An emergency interim successor shall exercise these powers and assume these duties until the incumbent member, an emergency interim successor higher in order of succession, or a member appointed or elected and legally qualified can act. Each house of the General Assembly shall, in accordance with its own rules, determine who is entitled under the provisions of this act to exercise the powers and assume the duties of its members. All constitutional and statutory provisions pertaining to ouster of a member shall be applicable to an emergency interim successor who is exercising the powers and assuming the duties of a member.
§ 1713. Privileges, immunities and compensation of emergency interim successors
When an emergency interim successor exercises the powers and assumes the duties of a member, he shall be accorded the privileges and immunities, compensation, allowances and other perquisites of office to which a member is entitled. In the event of an attack, each emergency interim successor, whether or not called upon to exercise the powers and assume the duties of a member, shall be accorded the privileges and immunities of a member while traveling to and from a place of session and shall be compensated for his travel in the same manner and amount as a member. This section shall not in any way affect the privileges, immunities, compensation, allowances or other perquisites of office of an incumbent member.
§ 1714. Quorum and vote requirements
In the event of an attack, (1) quorum requirements for the General Assembly shall be suspended, and (2) where the affirmative vote of a specified proportion of members for approval of a bill, resolution or other action would otherwise be required, the same proportion of those voting thereon shall be sufficient.
§ 1715. Termination of operation of provisions of this act
The authority of emergency interim successors to succeed to the powers and duties of members, and the operation of the provisions of this act relating to quorum, the number of affirmative votes required for General Assembly action, and limitations on the length of sessions and the subjects which may be acted upon, shall expire two years following the inception of an attack, but nothing herein shall prevent the resumption before such time of the filling of legislative vacancies in the General Assembly and the calling of elections for the General Assembly in accordance with applicable constitutional and statutory provisions. The Governor, acting by proclamation, or the General Assembly, acting by concurrent resolution, may from time to time extend or restore such authority or the operation of any of such provisions upon a finding that events render the extension or restoration necessary, but no extension or restoration shall be for a period of more than one year.
§ 1716. Separability
The various provisions of this article shall be construed as separable and severable, and should any of the provisions or parts thereof be construed or held unconstitutional or for any reason be invalid, the remaining provisions of this article shall not be thereby affected.
Approved July 11, 1961.