CHAPTER 515

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A GOVERNOR'S ACTION FORCE ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION COSTS AND PRESCRIBING CERTAIN POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR SUCH ACTION FORCE AND MAKING A SUPPLEMENTARY APPROPRIATION TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT.

WHEREAS, the capital funds for construction of the public schools in one of the largest items of capital expense in the State budget; and

WHEREAS, construction costs nationally are escalating at the rate of 1-1.5% per month; and

WHEREAS, the sequential procedures for planning and approval of school construction is cumbersome and forces a long time lag between an estimate for bond funding and final bidding on construction; and

WHEREAS, the Governor, General Assembly, the State Board of Education and the citizens of Delaware are concerned over the rapid increase in the cost of school construction and are determined that prompt action be initiated to effect changes that will provide significant savings while continuing to meet the needs of Delaware children with quality education;

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. An Action Force for School Construction (hereinafter known as the "Action Force") shall be organized, consisting of representatives from a broad cross section of those groups interested in and concerned with school construction.

Section 2. The Action Force shall study appropriate methods for improving the planning process for school construction and methods of reducing the cost of school construction as detailed in, but not limited to:

(a) "The Proposed State Board of Education Program —School Construction Cost Inflation", (2/8/70, revised 3/8/70).

(b) Report of the Governor's Economy Committee.

(c) Recommendations of the special report by Senator Hale (3/8/70), entitled, "A Study of State Aid for School Construction in Delaware".

Section 3. The Action Force shall have such duties and responsibilities as follows:

(a) The Action Force shall keep records of its proceedings and make the same available at all times to the Governor and his staff.

(b) The Action Force shall make reports and recommendations, including drafts of required legislation on the implementation of the purposes of this Act at such times and in such form as the Governor may request; provided, however, that in any event, the chairman of the Action Force shall submit to the Governor the following progress reports in such form as the chairman shall determine on or before the following dates:

(1) Preliminary report, no later than November 15, 1970.

(2) Completed recommendation, including draft legislation no later than February 1, 1971.

(c) The Action Force shall work with the appropriate committee of the General Assembly once its recommendations are in final form and approved by the Governor. This shall include especially any committee or joint committee that may be established by the General Assembly to deal with this specific subject.

(d) The chairman of the Action Force, with the concurrence of the committee, is hereby authorized to employ such personnel, staff and consultants, upon such terms and conditions, with the appropriations authorized by law, as he shall determine in his discretion.

(e) All State agencies, boards, commissions, and departments shall make available to any member of the Action Force or any other person duly authorized by the chairman of the Action Force, all records, books, accounts, documents or any other information thereof, except to the extent that disclosure of any such information shall be otherwise prohibited by law and the personnel of all such agencies, boards, commissions, and departments are directed to cooperate with the members of the Action Force and its authorized personnel in providing the Action Force with the information which I shall require.

Section 4. It is hereby appropriated to the Office of the Governor the sum of $35,000 to carry out the purposes of this Act. This appropriation shall be considered a supplementary appropriation and the funds hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the funds of the State Treasury from funds not otherwise appropriated and shall be additional to any other funds appropriated to the Office of the Governor. The funds appropriated hereby shall be used only for the purposes specified, and any unexpended funds shall revert to the general funds of the State Treasury on June 30, 1971.

Approved June 5, 1970.