§ 5001 Legislative findings.
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that the good order of the State depends upon the steady employment in useful occupations of the citizens of the State. Such steady and useful employment can be made available by encouraging the economic development of the State through the inducement of a full range of commercial, industrial, agricultural and other enterprises to locate, remain and expand in the State. Uncontrolled industrialization and expansion, however, may contribute to possible dangers to the public health and welfare through the pollution of the air, water and soil of the State. The reduction, abatement and prevention of the pollution of the state's environment and the protection of its natural resources are important concerns to be considered in the process of encouraging the economic development of the State.
(b) The General Assembly further finds that promotion of the State as a destination for tourists and other travelers will help to enhance the state's economy and provide employment and recreational opportunities for citizens of the State.
(c) The General Assembly further finds that promotion and assistance to small and minority-owned businesses is vital to the overall balance between large and small firms, and that it is in the state's interest to insure a strong and diversified business community.
(d) The General Assembly further finds and declares that the creation of an office for economic development with powers and duties as specified by this chapter can best accomplish the orderly development of the State while insuring that the protection and enhancement of its resources and environment will continue to be a critical concern.
§ 5002 Definitions.
(a) "Board" means the Tourism Advisory Board created by this chapter.
(b) "Council" means the Council on Development Finance created by this chapter.
(c) "Director" means the Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.
(d) "Office" means the Delaware Economic Development Office.
(e) "Plan" means the Comprehensive State Plan for Economic Development created by § 5005 of this title.
(f) "State" means the State of Delaware.
§ 5003 Delaware Economic Development Office — Created; purposes.
(a) There is hereby created an office of economic development which shall be known as the Delaware Economic Development Office.
(b) The Office shall be in the Executive Department responsible to the Governor.
(c) The Office shall serve as the Governor's staff agency in all general and economic development matters, and it shall function, as required, as an advisory, coordinating or implementing agency:
(1) To harmonize its activities with similar activities of other departments, boards, commissions, agencies or instrumentalities of federal, state, county or municipal government;
(2) To render, as necessary, assistance to all units of government and to private enterprise;
(3) To stimulate public interest and participation in the orderly growth and development of the State; and
(4) To insure that all private and public development activities are carried out in conformity with state law.
§ 5004 Delaware Economic Development Office — Appointment, qualifications and compensation of Director; Acting Director.
(a) The Office shall be headed by the Director. The Director shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall serve at the Governor's pleasure. The Director shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the position, and preference shall be given to a resident of this State, provided the resident is acceptable and equally qualified. The Director shall be paid an annual salary established by the Governor within the limitation of the funds appropriated therefor.
(b) In the event of the death, resignation, temporary incapacity or removal of the Director, and prior to the appointment of a successor, the Governor may appoint any qualified employee of the Office or any of its subdivisions to serve as Acting Director. The Director may, during an absence from the State, appoint any qualified employee of the Office or any of its subdivisions to serve as Acting Director during such absence. In either case, the Acting Director shall have all the powers and shall perform all the duties and functions of the Director during the Director's absence or incapacity or until a successor is duly appointed and qualified.
§ 5005 Delaware Economic Development Office — Powers, duties, and functions of Director.
The Director shall have the following powers, duties, and functions:
(1) To supervise, direct and account for the administration and operation of the Office, its subdivisions, offices, functions and employees.
(2) To serve as Chairperson of the Delaware Economic Development Authority and to supervise the administration of the Authority and to perform all duties heretofore vested in the Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development as shall be related to the Authority.
(3) To appoint and remove the staff of the Office in accordance with this chapter and such other limitations as may be imposed by law.
(4) To advise the Governor and other officials of the state government on all matters of economic development and to consult with them on matters of economic development affecting the duties and responsibilities of their offices.
(5) To have access (or to designate staff members who shall have access) to information, reports and data which relate to economic development which are in the possession of departments, boards, commissions, agencies or instrumentalities of the State or in the possession of county, municipal or other local agencies and instrumentalities.
(6) To hold hearings on matters of general economic development or such other matters as may be required by law after notice thereof to interested parties.
(7) To attend and participate in meetings of federal, county or municipal economic development bodies, interstate agencies and other entities, whether public or private. The Director may cooperate with such instrumentalities in matters affecting the duties and responsibilities of the Office.
(8) To establish, consolidate or abolish such subdivisions within the Office or transfer or combine the powers, duties and functions of the subdivisions within the Office as the Director may deem necessary, provided that all powers, duties and functions required by law shall be provided for and maintained.
(9) To make and enter into any and all contracts, agreements or stipulations, to retain, employ and contract for the services of private and public consultants, professional, research and technical personnel, including the temporary exchange of personnel from all public or private entities, and to procure by contract consulting, research, professional, technical and other services, whenever they shall be deemed by the Director necessary or desirable in the performance of the functions of the Office and whenever funds shall be available for such purpose. Legal services shall be procured pursuant to Chapter 25 of this title.
(10) To delegate any of the Director's powers, duties or functions to a member of the staff authorized by this subchapter, except the power to remove employees of the Office or to fix their compensation.
(11) To establish and promulgate such rules and regulations governing the administration and operation of the Office as may be deemed necessary by the Director and which are not inconsistent with the laws of this State.
(12) To occupy and/or maintain such facilities as may be required for the effective and efficient operation of the Office.
(13) To adopt an official seal or seals for the Office.
(14) To exercise all other powers necessary and proper for the discharge of the Director's duties and such other powers as may be delegated by the Governor, not inconsistent with state law.
(16) To develop a 5-year Comprehensive State Plan for Economic Development.
a. The Plan shall include all of the following:
1. Description of the Office's vision, goals, objectives, and strategies.
2. Identification of business sectors, including those sectors which have potential growth in this State's economy and global business image.
3. Strategies to encourage the creation and expansion of businesses in this State and the relocation of businesses to this State.
4. Potential partners for the implementation of the strategy required in paragraph (16)a.3. of this section, including federal and local governments, local and regional organizations for economic development growth, chambers of commerce, private businesses and investors, and nonprofit entities.
5. Strategies for talent development necessary to encourage economic development growth in this State, taking into consideration factors such as this State's education and training opportunities and available workforce.
6. Strategies to engage women, veterans, and minorities in developing businesses.
7. Strategies to improve and develop tourism.
8. An analysis of current and projected economic indicators, which shall be completed through the Office's coordination with the appropriate state agencies and shall include:
A. Unemployment rate.
B. Average annual wage.
C. Gross domestic product.
D. Number of jobs created.
E. Number of jobs retained.
9. An analysis of the return on investment produced through the Strategic Fund.
b. At least 2 months prior to submitting the Plan as required in this chapter, the Office shall hold a public meeting to allow public input regarding the Plan. The meeting shall be held in all 3 counties in this State. The Office may hold separate meetings in each county or hold 1 meeting and, through the use of technology, provide the public with access to attend and participate in the meeting simultaneously from each of the three counties.
c. The Plan shall be submitted every 5 years to the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, for public distribution, to the Director of the Division of Research of Legislative Council and the Director of Public Archives. The Office shall also publish the Plan on the Office's public website.
§ 5006 Delaware Economic Development Office — Powers and duties.
The Office shall:
(1) Be responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the State, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State at every economic level, provided that such development is carried out with a view to preserving existing agriculture, commercial, industrial and recreational opportunities to be had within the State and conserving the natural resources and wildlife of the State.
(2) Act as the Governor's principal staff agency in economic development matters; make studies and investigations, insofar as they may be relevant to the state's economy, of the resources of the State and of existing and emerging problems of agriculture, industry, commerce, transportation and other matters affecting the development of the State and, in making such studies, seek the cooperation and collaboration of the appropriate departments, boards, commissions, agencies and instrumentalities of federal, state and local government, educational institutions and research organizations, whether public or private, and of civic groups and private persons and organizations; render advice and act as the Governor's designated agency in the execution of such matters relating to its powers as the Governor may request.
(3) Provide information to, and cooperate with, the General Assembly or any of its committees in connection with studies relevant to the overall development of the state's economy.
(4) Cooperate with, and within the limitations of its appropriations, provide requested assistance to county or local governments in the State, or any of their instrumentalities; and cooperate with and assist departments and other agencies or instrumentalities of federal, state and local government, as well as regional, metropolitan, county, municipal or other local or private agencies in the execution of their functions with a view to harmonizing their development activities with the overall development plans and policies of the State. Whenever cooperation or assistance under this subdivision includes the rendering of technical services, such services may be rendered free or in accordance with an agreement for reimbursement.
(5) Provide information to officials of departments, boards, commissions, agencies and instrumentalities of state and local government, to civic and other groups, and to the public at large in order to foster public awareness and understanding of the objectives of a strong state economy and to stimulate public interest and participation in the orderly and integrated development of the State.
(6) Accept and receive, in furtherance of its function, funds, grants and services from the federal government or its agencies, from departments, agencies and instrumentalities of state or local government or from private and civic sources.
(7) Collect, compile and audit the information and data necessary to discharge its principal functions. Where such data cannot be secured from federal, state or local agencies or private organizations, the Office may engage in the required research. Before publishing any historical information, the information shall be reviewed and approved by the Department of State of the State.
(8) Perform and be responsible for the performance of all powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in the Division of Economic Development of the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development immediately prior to November 1, 1981.
(9) Exercise all other powers necessary and proper for the discharge of its duties.
§ 5007 Council on Development Finance.
(a) The Council on Development Finance is hereby established and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Director and shall consider matters relating to the financing and modernization of agricultural, industrial, commercial, emerging technologies and other facilities in the State and such other matters as may be referred to it by the Governor, or by the Director. The Council may study research, plan and advise the Director and the Governor on matters relating to economic development and strategic opportunities.
(b)(1) The Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the Controller General shall appoint 1 designee from each of their respective offices to support the staff of the Council. Upon request of the Council, the designees shall assist the Council by providing relevant analysis and research. The designees must be available to attend all Council meetings.
(2) The chair of the Council, with prior notice to the Controller General, may engage professional contractual services when necessary to provide analysis and research for specific applications recommended to the Council by the Delaware Economic Development Office. The Office of the Controller General shall administer contracts for such services.
(c) The Council shall be composed of 9 members who are Delaware residents. The Governor shall appoint 7 members: 2 members from New Castle County, 1 member from Kent County, 1 member from Sussex County and 3 at-large members. The President Pro Tempore of the state Senate shall appoint 1 member of the Senate and the Speaker of the state House of Representatives shall appoint 1 member of the House of Representatives. Council members shall serve for 3-year terms and may be reappointed.
(d) At least 3, but no more than 4 members of the Council shall be affiliated with 1 of the major political parties and at least 2, but no more than 3 of the members shall be affiliated with the other major political party; provided however, that there shall be more than a bare majority representation of 1 major political party over the other major political party. Any person who declines to announce a political affiliation shall also be eligible for appointment as a member of the Council.
(e) In making appointments to the Council, the Governor shall appoint professionals possessing 1 or more of the following designations: a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the State, an officer of a bank or trust company located in the State, an expert in private equity or a venture capital expert.
(f) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident of their duties as members in accordance with state law.
(g) Chairperson of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor. Such Chairperson shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
(h) Any appointment, pursuant to this section, to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the member's term shall be filled only for the remainder of that term. However, a person who is appointed to fill such a vacancy may be reappointed.
(i) The Council shall conduct its business only when a quorum is present. A quorum shall consist of 5 of the 9 members being physically present. Upon written request from the Council, the Governor may declare a vacancy for any member who is absent from 4 consecutive Council meetings. The Council Chair should schedule meetings so that they are centrally located and geographically balanced in number.
§ 5008 Tourism Advisory Board.
(a) The Tourism Advisory Board is hereby established and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Director and shall consider matters relating to the promotion of the State as a destination for tourists and other travelers and such other matters as may be referred to it, by the Governor, or by the Director. The Board may study, research, plan and advise the Director, and the Governor, on matters it deems appropriate to enable the Office to function in the best possible manner.
(b) The Tourism Advisory Board shall be composed of 7 members who shall be appointed by the Governor and serve for a term of 3 years.
(c) Members of the Board shall be residents of the State who are engaged in the tourist industry or who provide direct service to tourists and other travelers. At least 2 members shall be appointed from each of the 3 counties of the State. For purposes of this section, a member's residence shall be considered the member's principal place of business. At least 3, but no more than 4, members of the Board shall be affiliated with 1 of the major political parties and at least 2, but not more than 3, of the members shall be affiliated with the other major political party; provided, however, that there shall be no more than a bare majority representation of 1 major political party over the other major political party. Any person who declines to announce a political affiliation shall also be eligible for appointment as a member of the Board.
(d) The Director of the Office, or such person designated by the Director, shall serve as Secretary to the Board, and shall maintain minutes of all meetings and such other records as are deemed necessary by the Director.
(e) Members of the Board shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members in accordance with state law.
(f) A Chairperson of the Board shall be chosen by the members of the Board from among its members and shall serve in that capacity for a term of 1 year and shall be eligible for reelection.
(g) Any appointment, pursuant to this section, to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the member's term shall be filled only for the remainder of that term.
§ 5009 Delaware Economic Development Office — Staff.
(a) The Director and all employees of the Office shall be exempt from Chapter 59 of this title.
(b) The Division of Economic Development of the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development and all positions therein classified as equal to or higher than pay grade 21 of the state classified service, pursuant to Chapter 59 of this title are hereby abolished. All positions within the Division classified as equal to or less than pay grade 20 shall remain as classified positions and any incumbent employee classified as equal to or less than pay grade 20 affected by this chapter shall continue to retain all rights, protections and privileges of the state classified service, pursuant to Chapter 59 of this title.
(c) Any person classified as pay grade 21, or higher, of the state classified service, employed by the Office of Management, Budget and Planning or the Division of Economic Development of the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development immediately prior to November 1, 1981, who is transferred to the Delaware Economic Development Office on or after November 1, 1981, and who is subsequently discharged by that Office, shall receive first preference in all other state employment opportunities which arise after such discharge and for which opportunities such person is qualified. Each such person shall also have the right of first refusal until permanent employment is obtained. Chapter 59 of this title and the rules created pursuant thereto shall apply with regard to the reemployment of such personnel.
(d) In the event of any conflict between or among any personnel who are given a first preference in state employment opportunities or a right of first refusal by any provision of this chapter or by any other law of the State, such conflict shall be resolved according to the rules of the state classified service at the time such conflict arises. This subsection shall apply only if at least 1 person governed by a provision of this chapter is a party to such a conflict.
§ 5010 Delaware Economic Development Office — Collection and distribution of information; sale of publications.
(a) The Office may collect and disseminate any data or other information including, but not limited to, the population, demographics and economy of the State. The Office shall take such steps as the Director deems appropriate to emphasize the investment, business, employment and recreational opportunities and advantages of the State, and the potential for future development within the State.
(b) The Office may elect to publish any information on its own or to use any of the accepted advertising media to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The Office may also distribute information and materials donated to, or purchased by, the Office, from private or public agencies, organizations, corporations or individuals.
(c) The Director may offer such publications and other materials described in this chapter for sale if deemed by the Director to be in the best interests of the State, provided that the price so charged for the sale of said publications and materials shall not exceed their original cost with the addition of a charge for postage and handling, if applicable.
(d) Such moneys as received by the Office from the sale of publications and materials shall be deposited with the Treasurer of the State in a special fund of the State upon which the Director may draw to replace such publications and materials offered for sale. Unexpended funds remaining in the special fund at the close of the fiscal year, and not previously expended or encumbered, shall not revert but shall remain on deposit in such special fund for future use pursuant to this section.
§ 5011 Delaware Economic Development Office — Preparation of annual capital budget.
§ 5012 Assistance for tourism and business promotion.
(a) The Director is hereby authorized and directed to establish a special fund of the State to encourage instrumentalities and political subdivisions of the State and private and public nonprofit associations to attract new investors and businesses to the State, and to promote the State as a destination for tourists and other travelers.
(b) The Director may contract with any instrumentality or political subdivision of the State, and with any private or public nonprofit association, to accomplish any work authorized by this chapter, provided that the said instrumentality or political subdivision of the State, private or public nonprofit association, contributes an equal share to the cost of the project.
(c) The Director shall establish such rules and regulations as are necessary to determine the eligibility of any instrumentality or political subdivision, private or public nonprofit association for participation in contracts authorized by this section. A private or public nonprofit association shall submit a letter of exemption from the Internal Revenue Service as proof of nonprofit status.
(d) The Director may, if the Director deems it necessary, limit the amount of money granted to any single project funded under this section. Expenditures from this special fund shall be in accordance with state law and shall be limited to appropriations provided therefor. Moneys on deposit in this special fund which are unexpended or unencumbered shall not revert at the end of each fiscal year.
§ 5013 Assumption of powers of Office.
The Office shall have the power to perform and shall be responsible for the performance of all powers, duties and functions heretofore vested by law in the Division of Economic Development of the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development immediately prior to November 1, 1981, and which are not otherwise specifically transferred by this chapter.
§ 5014 Rights of appeals continued.
Any and all rights of appeal now existing by law with respect to any act or acts constituting the exercise of any function or functions transferred by this chapter to the Office, to any subdivision thereof or to any council or board created by this chapter shall continue to exist with respect to such act or acts as hereafter performed by the Office, by the subdivision, by the council or by the board to which such function is transferred by this chapter, and each such appeal shall be perfected in the manner heretofore provided by law.
§ 5015 Transition provisions.
(a) All property, including all books, records, papers, maps, charts, plans, equipment and other materials owned by or in the possession of any agency of the State and used in connection with a function transferred by this chapter to the Office shall, on November 1, 1981, be delivered into the custody of the Office. All investigations, petitions, hearings and legal proceedings pending before, or instituted by, any agency from which functions are transferred by this chapter and which are not concluded prior to November 1, 1981, shall continue unabated and remain in full force and effect, notwithstanding the passage of this chapter and, where necessary, may be completed before, by or in the name of the Office. All orders, rules and regulations made by any agency from which functions are transferred by this chapter and which govern such functions, and which are in effect upon November 1, 1981, shall remain in full force and effect until revoked or modified in accordance with law by the Office. All contracts and obligations of any agency made or undertaken in the performance of a function transferred by this chapter to the Office and being in force on November 1, 1981, shall, notwithstanding this chapter, remain in full force and effect and be performed by the Office.
(b) All definitions and references to any commission, board, department, council or agency which appear in any other act or law shall, to the extent that they are consistent with this chapter and in connection with a function transferred by this chapter to the Office or to any subdivision thereof or to any council or board created by this chapter, be construed as referring and relating to the Office, to the appropriate subdivision thereof or to the council or board as created and established by this chapter.
(c) All definitions and references to any director, commissioner, executive secretary, commission, board or council member or other similar person which appear in any other act or law shall, to the extent that they are consistent with this chapter and in connection with a function transferred by this chapter to the Office or to any subdivision thereof or to any council or board created by this chapter, be construed as referring to or relating to the equivalent person or persons and their powers, duties and functions as established and created in this chapter.
§ 5016 Reports.
(a) The Office shall submit an annual report on or before September 1 of each year. The annual report shall detail the status of the Office's efforts to meet the vision, goals, objectives, strategies, and economic indicators included in its comprehensive economic development planning.
(b) The Office shall submit a summary of the work of the Council on Development Finance on or before October 15 of each year.
(c) The Office shall also submit special reports upon the request of the Governor, the General Assembly, the Council on Development Finance, the Tourism Advisory Board, or at the discretion of the Director of those aspects of the Office's work which may be deemed of current interest. Copies of all reports shall be made available for general distribution or sale and published on the Office's public website.
(d) In preparing any reports on its operations, the Office may seek the advice of outside experts in the fields of tourist and travel promotion or general economic development.
(e) The Office shall submit all reports, when due, to the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, for public distribution, to the Director of the Division of Research of Legislative Council and the Director of Public Archives. The Office shall also publish the reports on the Office's public website.
§ 5017 Misnomer of Office in donation.
Any misnomer shall not defeat or annul any gift, grant, devise or bequest to the Office if it sufficiently appears by the will, conveyance or other writing that the party making the same intended to pass and convey thereby to the Office, the estate or interest therein expressed or described.
§ 5018 Budget.
The Director shall prepare a proposed budget for the operation of the Office to be submitted for the consideration of the Governor and the General Assembly. The budget may be presented in any manner consistent with guidelines provided by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; provided, however, that at least 1 budget unit, or successor budgetary component, shall detail the Governor's proposed budget for the support of tourism. The Office shall be operated within the limitation of the annual appropriation and any other funds appropriated by the General Assembly. Special funds may be used in accordance with approved programs, grants or appropriations.
§ 5019 Supremacy.
All other laws or parts of laws now in effect inconsistent with this chapter are hereby repealed, superseded, modified or amended so far as necessary to conform to, and give full force and effect to, this chapter.