TITLE 29

State Government

Departments of Government

CHAPTER 87. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Subchapter I. General Provisions


A Department of State is established having, in addition to the other powers, duties and functions vested in the Department by this chapter, the power to perform and the responsibility for the performance of all the powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in the Secretary of State pursuant to Chapter 23 of this title.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8701; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

(a) The administrator and head of the Department shall be the Secretary of State and preference shall be given to a resident of this State provided that such person is acceptable and equally qualified. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor as provided in the Constitution and shall be paid an annual salary not in excess of $25,000.

(b) In the event the position of Secretary is vacant, the Governor, by appointment, shall have the power to fill the position or positions of assistant to the Secretary of State and division director as are vacant. Persons so appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and upon the position of Secretary being filled such persons may be removed by the Secretary with the written approval of the Governor.

(c) In the event of death, resignation, temporary incapacity or removal of the Secretary and prior to the appointment of a successor, the Governor may appoint the assistant to the Secretary of State or the director of any division of the Department to serve as Acting Secretary. The Secretary may, during an absence from the State, appoint the assistant to the Secretary of State or the director of any division of the Department to serve as Acting Secretary during such absence. In either case the Acting Secretary shall have all the powers and shall perform all the duties and functions of the Secretary during such absence or incapacity or until the successor is duly qualified and appointed.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8702; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Secretary of State shall have, in addition to the other powers, duties and functions as provided by law, the following powers, duties and functions:

(1) To supervise, direct and account for the administration and operation of the Department, its divisions, subdivisions, offices, functions and employees;

(2) To appoint and fix the salary of, with the written approval of the Governor, the following division directors, who may be removed from office by the Secretary with the written approval of the Governor, and who shall have such powers, duties and functions in the administration and operation of the Department as may be assigned by the Secretary:

a. A Director of the Division of Corporations, who shall be known as the Director of Corporations and who shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office;

b. A Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, who shall be known as the Director of Historical and Cultural Affairs and who shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office;

c. A Director of the Division of Public Utility Control who shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office;

d. A Director of the Division of Professional Regulation who shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office.

(3) To appoint such additional personnel as may be necessary for the administration and operation of the Department within such limitations as may be imposed by law;

(4) To establish, consolidate or abolish such divisions, subdivisions and offices within the Department or transfer or combine the powers, duties and functions of the divisions and offices within the Department as the Secretary, with the written approval of the Governor, may deem necessary, provided that all powers, duties and functions required by law shall be provided for and maintained;

(5) To make and enter into any and all contracts, agreements or stipulations, and to retain, employ and contract for the services of private and public consultants, research and technical personnel and to procure by contract, consulting, research, technical and other services and facilities, whenever the same shall be deemed by the Secretary necessary or desirable in the performance of the functions of the Department and whenever funds shall be available for such purpose. All necessary legal services shall be provided pursuant to Chapter 25 of this title;

(6) To delegate any of the Secretary's powers, duties or functions to a director of a division except the power to remove employees of the Department or to fix their compensation;

(7) To establish and to promulgate such rules and regulations governing the administration and operation of the Department as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary and which are not inconsistent with the laws of this State;

(8) To maintain such facilities throughout the State as may be required for the effective and efficient operation of the Department;

(9) To adopt an official seal or seals for the Department.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8703; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 10.;

The Division of Corporations is established and shall have the power to perform and shall be responsible for the performance of all the powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in the Secretary of State pursuant to subtitle I of Title 6 and Title 8.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8704; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is established and shall have the power to perform and shall be responsible for the performance of all the powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in:

(1) The Department of State pursuant to subchapter II of Chapter 5 of this title relating to Historical Buildings, Sites, Objects and Archaeological Resources, and the State Museum pursuant to subchapter III of Chapter 5 of this title; and pursuant to Chapter 53 of Title 7, relating to archaeological resources and activities in the State;

(2) The Lewes Memorial Commission;

(3) The Delaware Day Commission;

(4) The Portrait Commission;

(5) The Delaware Archaeological Board; and

(6) The Governor pursuant to Chapter 53 of Title 7 relating to granting permits to survey and excavate archaeological resources in the State.

(b) The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is hereby authorized to retain revenue received from land and building rentals, including but not limited to Buena Vista, Belmont Hall, Dayett Mills, The Lindens, McCrone House, John Dickenson Plantation and the Meeting House Galleries, to support these operations. The Division is further authorized to use revenues derived from future property and building acquisitions for operational support of those facilities and properties as they are acquired. Spending authority shall be subject to the requirements of the annual appropriation act.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8705; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 91, § 74; 73 Del. Laws, c. 310, § 12; 75 Del. Laws, c. 153, § 16.;

The Delaware Public Archives is established as a Division and shall have the power to perform and shall be responsible for the performance of all the powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in the Delaware Public Records Law as described in subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of this title.

72 Del. Laws, c. 91, § 75.;

(a) The Government Information Center shall have the following functions and duties:

(1) To publish, maintain and continuously update content on the State's Internet portal to facilitate convenient and comprehensive access to government information;

(2) To provide convenient access to a complete collection of on-line information and resources published by state government and a comprehensive and current collection of online information and resources published by local, state and federal agencies of interest to the public;

(3) To provide information and resource materials related to Internet content management and online publishing services to state agencies, state and local governmental units and their subdivisions and, at the Department's discretion, to not-for-profit and other organizations to ensure every Delaware citizen easy access to online government information;

(4) To promote increased usage of Delaware's diverse collection of online resources and encourage community input in identifying and assessing areas for improvement;

(5) To recommend statewide web publishing standards and projects consistent with information technology standards articulated by the Department of Technology and Information;

(6) To promote adherence to statewide standards that improve citizen access to information and to institute and maintain a training and information program on Internet publishing and content management to bring approved and current practices, methods, procedures and devices for the efficient and economical management of Internet content to the attention of all agencies and political subdivisions;

(7) To coordinate efforts to ensure that content on state websites is readily accessible to individuals with disabilities;

(8) To receive, accept, administer and expend any money, materials or other aid granted, appropriated or otherwise provided by local, state or federal governments, or by any source, public or private, in accordance with the terms thereof, and for the purposes provided hereinafter;

(9) To recommend legislation in concert with affected state agencies to ensure that citizens achieve convenient and meaningful access to statewide Internet content;

(10) To enter into contracts or agreements to provide or to obtain services and materials; provided that such contracts or agreements relating to information technology will follow the business policies and procedures established by the Department of Technology and Information;

(11) To perform all other activities pertinent to the organizational function of the Government Information Center; and

(12) To set reasonable fees for and make available for all political subdivisions in this State either the electronic procurement advertising system, required by § 6902(10) of this title if practicable or in lieu thereof another website allowing for the public posting of local government bid opportunities, and the website designed pursuant to §§ 10004(e)(4), 10115(b) and 10124(1) of this title. The fees establish pursuant to this paragraph shall approximately and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Government Information Center's activities required in providing such websites for political subdivisions in this State.

(b) In lieu of the requirements of § 8731(b) of this title, state agencies that publish on-line copies of publications, reports, forms and other materials may provide the Department with electronic addresses to access such materials for the purpose of making accessible to Delaware and other citizens resource materials published electronically at the expense of the State. The Administrator of the Government Information Center shall disseminate policies and procedures for providing such access and shall publish a comprehensive online directory of all government forms, publications and other such information available to the public through the State's websites.

75 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 131; 78 Del. Laws, c. 288, § 8.;

The following positions set forth in this chapter shall be exempt from Chapter 59 of this title:

(1) Secretary of State;

(2) Assistant to the Secretary of State;

(3) Director of Corporations;

(4) State Bank Commissioner;

(5) Director of Division of the Arts;

(6) Director of Libraries;

(7) Chief of Human Relations;

(8) Director of Historical and Cultural Affairs;

(9) State Archivist and Records Administrator;

(10) Executive Director of the Public Employment Relations Board;

(11) Director of Professional Regulation;

(12) Director of the Public Service Commission; and

(13) Public Advocate.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8708; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1C; 67 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 27; 68 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 257, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 91, § 76; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 18.;

The Department, through appropriate divisions, subdivisions and offices, shall have the power to perform and shall be responsible for the performance of all the powers, duties and functions vested by law in the Secretary of State, the Public Archives Commission and the State Archivist, the Lewes Memorial Commission, the Delaware Day Commission, the Portrait Commission and the Delaware Archaeological Board immediately prior to the effective date of this chapter and which are not otherwise specifically transferred to the Department by this chapter.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8709; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

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 Department or to any division or subdivision thereof shall continue to exist with respect to such act or acts as hereafter performed by the Department or by the division, subdivision or office to which such function is transferred, and each such appeal shall be perfected in the manner heretofore provided by law.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8710; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

(a) All books, records, papers, maps, charts, plans and other material including, but not limited to, any equipment in the possession of any agency of the State and used in connection with a function transferred by this chapter to the Department shall on the effective date of this chapter be delivered into the custody of the Department. All investigations, petitions, hearings and legal proceedings pending before or instituted by any agency from which functions are transferred and not concluded prior to the effective date of this chapter 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 Department. All orders, rules and regulations made by any agency from which functions are transferred and governing such functions and which are in effect upon the effective date of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect until revoked or modified in accordance with law by the Department. All contracts and obligations of any agency made or undertaken in the performance of a function transferred to the Department and, being in force on the effective date of this chapter, shall, notwithstanding this chapter, remain in full force and effect and be performed by the Department.

(b) Employees of any commission, board, department, council or agency, whose functions are consistent with and have been transferred to the Department by this chapter, shall continue and be deemed to be the employees of the Department on the effective date of this chapter and, where applicable, with all the benefits accrued as merit employees as of the effective date of this chapter.

(c) 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 to the Department, be construed as referring and relating to the Department of State as created and established in this chapter.

(d) 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 same are consistent with this chapter, and in connection with a function transferred to the Department, be construed as referring or relating to such person or persons and their powers, duties and functions as established and created in this chapter.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8711; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

The Secretary of the Department shall make an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly of the Department's operation and render such other reports as the Governor or General Assembly may from time to time request or as may be required by law.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8712; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

Any misnomer shall not defeat or annul any gift, grant, devise or bequest to the Department 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 Department or to any commission, board, department, authority, council or agency, to which, by this chapter, the powers, duties and functions have been transferred to the Department, the estate or interest therein expressed or described.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8713; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

(a) The Secretary, in cooperation with the division directors, shall prepare a proposed budget for the operation of the Department to be submitted for the consideration of the Governor and the General Assembly. The Department shall be operated within the limitation of the annual appropriation and any other funds appropriated by the General Assembly.

(b) Special funds may be used in accordance with approved programs, grants and appropriations.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8714; 57 Del. Laws, c. 570, § 1.;

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.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8716; 57 Del. Laws, c. 608, § 7.;

(a) There is established within the Department of State the Division of the Public Advocate. The Public Advocate shall be a person qualified by training and/or experience to perform the duties of the office. Beginning in the 149th General Assembly, the Public Advocate shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the majority of the Senate to serve a term of 4 years at the pleasure of the Governor. The Public Advocate shall be a full-time employee of the State.

(b) No person shall be eligible for appointment to be Public Advocate who owns or controls, in that person's own name or as a fiduciary, or whose spouse or minor child residing in that person's household owns or controls any stock, note or debenture in any public utility, or who holds any office or position with any public utility or whose employment or vocation depends directly upon or is under the control of a public utility.

(c) In the event of death, resignation, temporary incapacity or removal of the Public Advocate and prior to the appointment of a successor, the Governor may appoint an Acting Public Advocate. The Acting Public Advocate shall have all the powers and shall perform all the duties and functions of the Public Advocate during such absence or incapacity or until a successor is duly qualified and appointed.

(d) The Public Advocate shall comply with and be held strictly accountable for compliance with the highest standards of Chapter 58 of this title and § 22, Article II of the Delaware Constitution. The Division of the Public Advocate is an agency subject to Chapters 64 and 100 of this title.

(e) The Public Advocate shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To appear before the Public Service Commission on behalf of the interest of consumers in any matter or proceeding over which the Commission has jurisdiction and in which the Public Advocate deems the interest of consumers requires such participation.

(2) To advocate the lowest reasonable rates for consumers consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and consistent with an equitable distribution of rates among all classes of consumers; provided, however that the Public Advocate shall principally advocate on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers and shall not be required to advocate for any class of commercial or industrial consumers that the Public Advocate determines in his or her sole discretion on a case by case basis has the ability to advocate on its own behalf before the Public Service Commission.

(3) To appear on behalf of the interest of consumers in the courts of this State, the federal courts and federal administrative and regulatory agencies and commissions in matters involving rates, service and practices of public utilities.

(4) To hire, from time to time, as needed, in connection with proceedings before the Commission, experts in the utility regulation field, including, but not limited to, economists, cost of capital experts, rate design experts, accountants, engineers and other specialists. A budget for compensation and/or expenses of these experts shall be provided annually through the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the Public Advocate from applying to the General Assembly for additional funds in specific instances, including emergencies, and from receiving such additional amounts as the General Assembly shall determine.

(5) To have the same access to and the same right to inspect any and all books, accounts, records, memoranda, property, plant facilities and equipment of the public utilities as is afforded by law or by rule of the Public Service Commission to any other party in interest.

(6) To have full access to the records of the Public Service Commission.

(7) To call upon the assistance of the staff and experts of the Public Service Commission in the performance of duties.

(8) To appoint, fix the compensations and terms of service and prescribe the duties and powers of such staff as may be necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Division of the Public Advocate, within the conditions and limitations imposed by the merit system of personnel administration.

(9) Upon request of the Governor, the Secretary of the Department, or the General Assembly, the Public Advocate shall provide guidance on matters relating to energy policy and utility consumers, and shall consider such other matters as may be referred to the Public Advocate or the Division by the Governor, the Secretary of the Department, or the General Assembly. The Public Advocate may study, research, plan and make advisory recommendations to the Governor, the Secretary of the Department, or the General Assembly on matters it deems appropriate to advocate on behalf of public utility consumers.

(f) The Public Service Commission shall notify the Public Advocate of all hearings and meetings of the Commission and shall forward to the Public Advocate copies of all applications submitted by public utilities and all formal complaints and petitions filed with the Commission. No formal action taken by the Commission without proof of the receipt of notice by the Public Advocate shall have any legal effect.

(g) The Public Advocate shall be entitled to be present and be heard at any public meeting of the Public Service Commission.

(h) When the Public Advocate shall determine to intervene in a matter before the Public Service Commission, the Public Advocate shall file a statement to that effect with the Public Service Commission. Thereupon, the Public Advocate shall be deemed a party in interest and shall have full power to present evidence, subpoena and cross-examine witnesses, submit proof, file briefs, appeal and do any other act appropriate for a party to the Commission.

(i) The Public Advocate shall make an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly of the Division's activities, and shall render such other reports as the Governor or General Assembly may from time to time request or as may be required by law.

71 Del. Laws, c. 138, § 17; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 7, 17(3); 79 Del. Laws, c. 139, § 1.;

The Division of Public Utility Control is established within the Department of State having powers, duties and functions as follows:

(1) The administrative, ministerial, budgetary and clerical functions, including but not limited to appointment, removal, compensation and duties of employees as provided by law, of the public service commission, except to the extent such powers, duties and functions are vested in the Public Service Commission under Chapter 1 of Title 26.

(2) Such other powers and functions as the Secretary of State may assign which are not otherwise inconsistent with Title 26 or the other laws of the State.

63 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 2c; 71 Del. Laws, c. 138, § 18; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, §§ 8, 9, 17(3).;

(a) The Office of State Bank Commissioner established by Chapter 1 of Title 5 is continued.

(b) The Commissioner shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of 4 years and shall hold office until a successor shall be duly appointed. The Commissioner shall be a person qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office.

(c) The Commissioner shall receive, in full compensation for the Commissioner's services, such salary as shall be fixed by the Governor within such limitations as may be prescribed by law.

(d) The Governor, upon due notice and hearing, may remove the Commissioner from office for cause.

(e) Upon the resignation, death, disability or removal of the Commissioner, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the Governor for the unexpired term. In the event of the death, resignation, disability or removal of the Commissioner, all the powers necessary to perform all the duties and functions of the Commissioner during such incapacity or until a successor is duly appointed and qualified shall be conferred upon the senior Deputy Commissioner appointed by the Commissioner pursuant to § 103 of Title 5. The senior Deputy Commissioner shall be the Deputy Commissioner who has served the longest as a Deputy Commissioner.

(f) In addition to the powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in the State Bank Commissioner by law, the Commissioner shall have the power to perform and shall be responsible for the performance of all the powers, duties and functions heretofore vested in the Board of Bank Incorporation pursuant to Title 5.

(g) [Deleted.]

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8809; 57 Del. Laws, c. 581, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1A; 66 Del. Laws, c. 203, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 24, § 19.;

(a) The Council on Banking is established, and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the State Bank Commissioner and shall consider matters relating to the administration of the banking laws and the strengthening and improving of banking in this State and such other matters as may be referred to it by the Governor, the Secretary of the Department or the State Bank Commissioner. The Council may study, research, plan and advise the Commissioner, the Secretary and the Governor on matters it deems appropriate to enable the office of State Bank Commissioner to function in the best possible manner.

(b) The Council on Banking, upon the effective date of this chapter, shall be composed of the members of the Bank Advisory Board whose terms, as of the effective date of this chapter, have not expired, with the exception of the State Banking Commissioner whose term as a member of the Bank Advisory Board shall end as of the effective date of this chapter. Each member of the Bank Advisory Board shall serve as a member of the Council for the period of the member's unexpired term unless the member vacates the position by resignation, death or incapacity. The Council shall be composed of 7 members. The Governor shall appoint new members. The terms of the newly appointed members shall be staggered. The first 2 appointees shall serve for a term of 1 year, the next 2 appointees shall serve for a term of 2 years and the next 3 appointees shall serve for a term of 3 years. Thereafter all new appointees shall serve for a term of 3 years.

(c) At least 3, but no more than 4, of the newly appointed 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 newly appointed 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 Council.

(d) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Council.

(e) A Chairperson of the Council shall be chosen by the members of the Council from among its members and shall serve in that capacity for a term of 1 year and shall be eligible for reelection.

(f) 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.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8810; 57 Del. Laws, c. 581, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1A; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) There is hereby established the Delaware Commission of Veterans' Affairs, hereafter referred to as the "Commission."

(b) The Commission shall be composed of 17 Commissioners all of whom shall be appointed by the Governor for terms of 4 years, and shall be veterans who are residents of the State of Delaware. The 17 Commissioners shall consist of 2 at large Commissioners and 15 Commissioners which represent statewide veteran membership organizations incorporated in the State of Delaware, chartered by Congress or authorized under Title 38 of the United States Code, to represent veterans. Each membership organization shall submit a letter of recommendation which shall included at least 3 nominees 60 days prior to the expiration of a members term or immediately upon a vacancy. Commissioners who are appointed to represent a statewide veterans organization shall, during the course of their term remain members in good standing of the nominating organization. For purposes of this section, a veteran is any person who has served honorably on active duty in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Delaware National Guard or the Coast Guard or served as a Merchant Marine between December 7, 1941, and August 15, 1945, for a minimum period of 2 years and has been honorably discharged or relieved from active duty. The minimum period of 2 years of active duty may be waived if:

(1) Earlier release was granted because the individual was wounded or injured in the line of duty and rendered unfit for further service; or

(2) The individual was released prior to 2 years of active duty for the convenience of the government.

65 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 4; 69 Del. Laws, c. 228, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 308, § 1.;

(a) The Commission shall assume all duties and responsibilities of the current appointed Veterans' Affairs Committee.

(b) The Commission shall hire through the State Merit System employment process and employ an Executive Director, a clerical assistant and such other personnel as are necessary to perform those duties prescribed by the Commission. All employees of the Commission, including the Executive Director, shall be veterans as defined in § 8720(b) of this title. Said employees shall report to the Secretary of State on all administrative matters and shall report to the Commission on all substantive matters.

(c) The Commission shall have the power of oversight in the administration of the Delaware State Veterans' Home and shall have the authority to promulgate such rules, regulations and policy as is necessary to the operation of a veterans' home provided, however, such rules, regulations and policy are not inconsistent with the other provisions of this chapter.

(d) The Commission shall have the power to operate and/or administer a Delaware Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in the State and shall have the authority to promulgate such rules and regulations governing the operation of a cemetery as it deems necessary; provided, however, such rules and regulations are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(e) The Commission shall establish a repository for all veterans' "Statement of Service" or similar documentary verification of active armed service.

(f) The Commission shall establish and administer the "Delaware Veterans Trust Fund" which will provide financial assistance or grants to honorably discharged veterans to cover costs associated with medical and dental needs; medical transportation; homelessness support; home repairs and safety modifications; household utilities; and educational or retraining programs.

(g) The Commission shall represent the State in concert with other states' veterans' agencies and the U.S. Veterans' Administration on matters of mutual interest and concern.

(h) The Commission shall coordinate with and advise all departments and agencies of the State on all matters pertaining to education, training, employment, medical and financial benefit programs for veterans, their dependents and survivors.

(i) The Commission shall initiate, review, and/or sponsor state legislation pertaining to veterans.

(j) The Commission and/or its Executive Director shall augment, not replace nor infringe upon, the functions of the service officers (representatives) of veterans' organizations; provided, however, the Commission may appoint a service officer in each county, such service officer to be accountable and responsible to the Commission.

(k) The Commission shall submit to the Governor and to the General Assembly an annual report of the Commission's activities and recommendations.

65 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 42, §§ 1, 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 225, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 228, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 358, §§ 1, 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 288, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 183, § 1.;

The Commission is hereby authorized to develop and promulgate bylaws, rules and regulations not inconsistent with the law, which are necessary for the enforcement and implementation of §§ 8720, 8721, 8722, 8723, 8724 and 8725 of this title and all applicable federal rules and regulations.

65 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1.;

(a) Any veterans' organization as defined in § 8720(b) of this title may petition the Governor to remove from the Commission a member which said organization recommended, provided the reasons for said removal are clearly stated in said petition.

(b) In the event any Commissioner fails to attend 3 successive scheduled meetings without just cause such failure shall be sufficient grounds for the representative of the particular veterans' organization to be removed by the Governor.

(c) Prospective members of the Commission shall be recommended by the respective veterans' organizations and appointed by the Governor as vacancies occur.

(d) The names of prospective members of the Commission shall be submitted to the Governor by letter from the senior official of each respective statewide veterans' organization.

(e) The members of the Commission shall elect 1 of their members to serve as Chairperson and 1 as Vice-Chairperson who shall not serve more than 2 consecutive terms. Such elections shall be held annually in September.

(f) The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall serve as voting members of the Commission.

(g) The Executive Director shall attend all meetings of the Commission, keep a full and true record of its proceedings, preserve at its general office all its books, documents and papers, and perform such other duties as the Commission may prescribe.

(h) The Commission shall hold monthly meetings at such time and location as prescribed by the Chairperson. Special meetings may be called by the Chair or a majority of the Commission membership.

(i) A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the Commission members.

(j) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary travel expenses incident to their duties as members of the Commission to the extent that funds are available and in accordance with state law.

(k) The Commission's executive offices shall be located in Dover, Delaware.

65 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 225, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 1.;

Annually, the Commission shall submit a proposed budget to the Department of State for review and approval by that Department. The Department of State shall then recommend to the General Assembly that the Commission's budget be included as a line item within said Department's funding.

65 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1.;

(a) Unless otherwise indicated, the duties, responsibilities and authority set forth in §§ 8721 and 8723 of this title are reserved specifically to the Commission.

(b) The Commission may request the advice, opinion or assistance of other appropriate state agencies as necessary to properly discharge its duties and responsibilities.

(c) The Department of State shall provide reasonable office and meeting facilities and other logistic support as requested by the Commission.

(d) The Department of State shall maintain an overview of the Commission's operation in order to insure proper use of, and accountability for, state funds appropriated for that purpose.

(e) The General Assembly hereby directs the Delaware Commission on Veterans Affairs to return/replace all memorials and plaques purchased/donated by veteran's family members to their original location within the cemetery or to a site agreeable to the veteran's family members. The General Assembly further directs that, after July 1, 2003, no plaque or memorial will be removed or relocated for any purpose without the approval of the Co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Capital Improvement Program. Existing memorial works are historical, cultural and aesthetic resources.

65 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 98, § 56.;

(a) "Council" means the Delaware State Arts Council created by this chapter.

(b) "Director" means the Director of the Division of the Arts.

(c) "Division" means the Division of the Arts.

(d) "State" means the State of Delaware.

67 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2.;

The Division of the Arts is established and it shall function, as required, as an advisory, coordinating or implementing agency:

(1) To promote and encourage public interest in the cultural heritage of our State and to expand the State's cultural resources, and to promote public education in all fields of artistic and cultural activities, including but not limited to, music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture and allied arts and crafts;

(2) To encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression;

(3) To encourage, promote and provide technical and professional assistance to arts programs of individuals, organizations and institutions in the State;

(4) To make such surveys as may be deemed advisable of public and private institutions engaged in artistic and cultural activities, and to make recommendations concerning appropriate methods to encourage participation in and appreciation of the arts to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the State; and

(5) To cooperate with and assist public and private institutions and organizations with a view toward mutual promotion and improvement of the performing and fine arts.

67 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2.;

(a) The Delaware State Arts Council is hereby established for the purpose of promotion and encouragement of the arts and shall provide guidance to the Director on matters of arts policy and shall consider such other matters as may be referred to it by the Governor, by the Secretary of the Department or by the Director. The Council may study, research, plan and advise the Director, the Secretary and the Governor on matters it deems appropriate to enable the Division to function in the best possible manner.

(b) The Delaware State Arts Council shall be composed of Delaware citizens broadly representative of all fields of the performing and fine arts known for their interest in these areas appointed by the Governor. Each such citizen shall serve as a member of the Delaware State Arts Council for the period of the unexpired term unless the member vacates the position by resignation, death or incapacity. The Council shall be composed of not more than 15 members. When the number of members has been reduced to less than 15 by reason of the expiration of terms, resignation, death or incapacity, the Governor shall appoint new members. The terms of newly appointed members will be staggered so that no more than one third will expire annually. All new appointees shall serve for a term of 3 years and no member shall serve more than 2 consecutive terms.

(c) The Governor may appoint members for terms of less than 3 years to ensure that the Board members' terms expire on a staggered basis.

(d) Members of the Council and Chairperson shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties related to the Council.

(e) A Chairperson of the Council shall be designated in addition to the members of the Council by the Governor and shall serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the Governor.

(f) Any appointment, pursuant to this section, to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of a member's term shall be filled only for the remainder of that term.

67 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 258, §§ 1, 2.;

(a) The Director is hereby authorized and directed to establish a special fund of the State to encourage instrumentalities, agencies and political subdivisions of the State and private and public nonprofit associations in the development of the arts in the State and to enhance the appreciation of artistic expressions by citizens of the State.

(b) The Director may contract with any instrumentality, agency or political subdivision of the State, and with any private or public nonprofit association, to accomplish any work authorized by this chapter.

(c) The Director and the Council shall establish such rules and regulations as are necessary to determine the eligibility of any instrumentality, or agency 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 shall be responsible for fiscal matters and auditing of funds appropriated 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.

67 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2.;

The Division shall be exempt from Chapter 69 of this title.

67 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 2.;

(a) In addition to any other power granted or duties imposed under this title, the Division of Libraries shall exercise general direction and control over the furnishing of library services within this State. The Director of the Division shall be the State Librarian, who shall be a graduate of a school accredited by the American Library Association. The Division of Libraries shall have the following functions and duties:

(1) To provide information, resource materials and library services to state agencies, state and local governmental units and their subdivisions and, in the Department's discretion, to organizations in need of library services;

(2) To coordinate library services of the several counties in order to assure to every Delaware citizen free and equal access to services, resources and guidance in the use of such for continuing self-educational, political, cultural, economic, recreational and intellectual enrichment;

(3) To receive, accept, administer and expend any money, materials or other aid granted, appropriated or otherwise provided by local, state or federal governments, or by any source, public or private, in accordance with the terms thereof, and for the purposes provided hereinafter;

(4) To foster the recruitment, development and maximum utilization of library personnel throughout the State;

(5) To encourage broad community participation in library development, program planning and the implementation of such plans;

(6) To establish and promote cooperation among all types of libraries at all service levels;

(7) To ensure the State's compatibility to and reciprocity within a national information resources network;

(8) To provide access to a complete collection of current documents published by state government and a comprehensive collection of current local, state and federal documents of interest to the State;

(9) To coordinate the provision of accessible library and information services for individuals with disabilities and to serve as the Delaware Regional Library for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped;

(10) To stimulate every Delaware citizen to fully utilize the State's cultural resource materials and to maintain the individual's right of access to those materials;

(11) To offer resources which supplement and reinforce local libraries;

(12) To collect, compile, research, publish and disseminate information, including statistics, affecting the efficient operation of the State's library system;

(13) To recommend legislation to achieve meaningful statewide library development and use;

(14) To establish, interpret and administer standards of effective library services;

(15) To enter into contracts and agreements to provide or to obtain library services and materials; and

(16) To perform all other activities pertinent to the organizational function of library services.

(b) Every state agency shall provide and deposit with the Department sufficient copies of all publications issued by such agencies for the purpose of making accessible to Delaware and other citizens resource materials published at the expense of the State. The Administrator of Libraries shall recommend the number of copies required for deposit, consistent with state interests. From time to time listing of such documents received under the terms of this section shall be published.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8610; 57 Del. Laws, c. 583, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 4; 65 Del. Laws, c. 290, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 6; 69 Del. Laws, c. 346, § 1.;

(a) There is hereby established the Council on Libraries.

(b) The Council on Libraries shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Department and shall consider matters relating to libraries and library standards throughout the State and such other matters as may be referred to it by the Governor, the Secretary of the Department or the General Assembly. The Council on Libraries may study, research, plan and make advisory recommendations to the Governor, the Secretary of the Department or the General Assembly on matters it deems appropriate to provide the best possible library service in Delaware.

(c) The Council on Libraries shall be composed of 2 members who shall be elected annually by each County Library Advisory Board and who shall serve at its pleasure and 7 members appointed by the Governor. Of the 7 members appointed by the Governor, 3 members shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years; at no time shall there be more than a bare majority representation of 1 major political party, but any person who declines to state a political affiliation shall be considered eligible for appointment as a member; and after the initial appointments, all terms shall be for 3 years. No member shall be appointed for more than 2 consecutive terms. The Chairperson of the Council shall be chosen by the members of the Council from among its members and shall serve in that capacity for a term of 1 year and shall be eligible for reelection.

(d) Members of the Council on Libraries shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties.

(e) A vacancy prior to the expiration of the term of a member of the Council on Libraries shall be filled only for the remainder of that term.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8611; 57 Del. Laws, c. 583, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 5; 68 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Human Relations is established, and shall be responsible for the performance of all the administrative, ministerial, fiscal and clerical functions of the State Human Relations Commission. The Director of the Division may appoint and remove employees of the Division as provided by law.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the membership, remuneration, organization, meetings, powers, duties and functions of the State Human Relations Commission shall remain as prescribed in Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6 and Chapter 30 of Title 31.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8604; 57 Del. Laws, c. 583, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 7; 75 Del. Laws, c. 356, §§ 1, 2.;

Repealed by 76 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 13, effective July 17, 2008.;

(a) The Division of Professional Regulation shall have the powers, duties and functions set forth in this section. The Division shall be responsible for the administrative, ministerial, budgetary, clerical and exclusive investigative functions (including but not limited to the appointment, removal, compensation and duties of employees) as provided by law of the following commissions, boards and agencies, with the exception that the Secretary of State shall not be precluded from entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services for the purpose of allowing employees of the Department of Health and Social Services to function as inspectors, investigators and administrative support for the Board of Pharmacy:

(1) Board of Accountancy as set forth in Chapter 1 of Title 24;

(2) Board of Landscape Architecture as set forth in Chapter 2 of Title 24;

(3) Board of Architects as set forth in Chapter 3 of Title 24;

(4) Board of Podiatry as set forth in Chapter 5 of Title 24;

(5) Board of Chiropractic as set forth in Chapter 7 of Title 24;

(6) Licensing of deadly weapons dealers as set forth in Chapter 9 of Title 24;

(7) State Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene as set forth in Chapter 11 of Title 24;

(8) Board of Electrical Examiners as set forth in Chapter 14 of Title 24;

(9) Commission on Adult Entertainment Establishments as set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 24;

(10) Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline as set forth in Chapter 17 of Title 24;

(11) Board of Nursing as set forth in Chapter 19 of Title 24;

(12) Board of Occupational Therapy Practice as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 24;

(13) Board of Examiners in Optometry as set forth in Chapter 21 of Title 24;

(14) Board of Pharmacy as set forth in Chapter 25 of Title 24;

(15) Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers as set forth in Chapter 26 of Title 24;

(16) Board of Professional Land Surveyors as set forth in Chapter 27 of Title 24;

(17) Real Estate Commission as set forth in Chapter 29 of Title 24;

(18) Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals as set forth in Chapter 30 of Title 24;

(19) Board of Funeral Services as set forth in Chapter 31 [repealed] of Title 24;

(20) Board of Veterinary Medicine as set forth in Chapter 33 of Title 24;

(21) Board of Examiners of Psychologists as set forth in Chapter 35 of Title 24;

(22) Board of Geologists as set forth in Chapter 36 of Title 24;

(23) Board of Examiners of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers as set forth in Chapter 37 of Title 24;

(24) Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners, as set forth in Chapter 39 of Title 24;

(25) Board of Cosmetology and Barbering as set forth in Chapter 51 of Title 24;

(26) Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators as set forth in Chapter 52 of Title 24;

(27) Board of Pilot Commissioners as set forth in Chapter 1 of Title 23;

(28) Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition as set forth in Chapter 38 of Title 24;

(29) Board of Massage and Bodywork, as set forth in Chapter 53 of Title 24;

(30) Board of Charitable Gaming as set forth in Chapter 15 of Title 28;

(31) Board of Plumbing Examiners, as set forth in Chapter 18 of Title 24;

(32) Council on Real Estate Appraisers as set forth in Chapter 40 of Title 24;

(33) Manufactured Home Installation Board as set forth in Chapter 44 of Title 24; and

(34) Board of Home Inspectors as set forth in Chapter 41 of Title 24.

(b) The Division of Professional Regulation shall have the powers, duties and functions related to the regulation of amateur and professional boxing and combative sports entertainment as set forth in Chapter 1 of Title 28.

(c) The Division of Professional Regulation, with the approval of the Secretary of State, shall establish, for all commissions, boards and agencies and activities administered pursuant to this section, such appropriate fees as shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of each such board or commission, or of the Division on behalf of such board or commission. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity, but no fee shall be charged for a purpose not specified in the appropriate chapter of the Delaware Code. No application fee shall be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each calendar year the Division of Professional Regulation, or any other state agency acting in its behalf, shall compute for each separate service or activity, the appropriate fees for each agency. All revenue generated by any of the activities performed by or on behalf of the boards or commissions listed in this chapter shall be deposited in an appropriated special fund account in the Division of Professional Regulation. These funds shall be used to fund all costs necessary to defray the expenses of each board or commission or of the Division on behalf of such board or commission, up to the budget authority for any fiscal year or portion thereof.

(d) The Division of Professional Regulation shall have the following powers, duties and functions relating to the administration of examinations for all boards, commissions and other agencies listed in this section:

(1) To designate, approve, arrange for and contract for an examination site, for each examination held by such agency;

(2) To deposit all fees received for testing into a special account to be used for the sole purpose of covering the costs of all agency examinations, including test validation;

(3) To pay examination services and other expenses directly related to the administration of examinations;

(4) To review, approve and execute all contracts for examination services;

(5) Review and approve, subject to Sunset Committee review, the content and validity of any examination written, developed or used by a board or commission listed in this section;

(6) Supervise the administration and proctoring of all tests for all boards and commissions;

(7) To contract for a treatment provider for licensed persons, provided however that such treatment provider shall not be employed by or under contract with any professional organization representing licensees regulated by the Division of Professional Regulation or any board in Title 24; and

(8) Permit potential complainants access to an Investigator with the Division of Professional Regulation to discuss issues or concerns regarding their reports or complaints.

(e) The Division of Professional Regulation shall establish a uniform policy for the reimbursement of expenses for members of all boards and commissions listed in this section, which policy shall be set forth in the Division's rules and regulations. In establishing this policy, the Director of Professional Regulation may consider the limits of available appropriations and the need to allocate travel funds for board and commission representation at appropriate national or regional meetings of state professional regulatory boards. In addition to the rate of compensation established in the Delaware Code for each board or commission, each member of a board or commission listed in this section may receive reimbursement or partial reimbursement for necessary expenses to attend meetings. Such expenses shall not exceed the mileage rate paid to state employees, per mile actually traveled, or the cost of public transportation and no more than $10 per meeting for all other miscellaneous expenses.

(f) The Division of Professional Regulation shall establish policies governing the appropriate times, locations and notice for meetings and public hearings of all boards and commissions listed in this section so as to promote public participation. Such policies shall be set forth in the rules and regulations of the Division. Meetings and hearings may only take place in facilities approved by the Division.

(g) The Director of Professional Regulation shall ensure that all regulatory actions taken by boards and commissions listed in this section are in conformance with the Administrative Procedures Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The Director shall review and approve all legal notices, public notices and agendas for conformance with these requirements.

(h) The following procedure shall be followed for the investigation of complaints against licensees of boards, agencies and commissions listed in subsection (a) of this section and otherwise regulated by the Division of Professional Regulation:

(1) Any person who desires to file a complaint against any licensee regulated by a board, commission or agency covered pursuant to this chapter must do so in writing.

(2) The complaint shall state the name of the licensee and sufficient facts as determined by the Division which allegedly constitute the basis for the written complaint. If any of these elements are missing in the written complaint, the Division of Professional Regulation may, in its discretion, sua sponte dismiss the complaint.

(3) The complaint shall be filed with the Director of the Division. The Director shall, within 15 days of the receipt of the complaint, fill out a complaint card, assign a complaint number and log the complaint in the Division of Professional Regulation's records. A record of the complaint shall be kept with the Division for a period of 5 years. The Division shall also assign an investigator employed by the Division to investigate the complaint after this procedure is complied with.

(4) The Division of Professional Regulation shall thereafter mail a copy of the complaint to the licensee named in the complaint at the licensee's address of record in the Division's files. The Division of Professional Regulation may, in its discretion, withhold the name of the complainant. The named licensee, if the licensee chooses, may file an answer to the complaint within 20 calendar days with the Division.

(5) The Division shall, thereafter, provide a copy of the complaint to the board, commission or agency which regulates the named licensee in the complaint. The board, agency, or commission shall maintain a record of the same.

(6) The Division of Professional Regulation shall suspend its investigation and withhold from the respondent reports of unlicensed practice or misconduct if a request to do so is made in writing by the Delaware Department of Justice or a federal law-enforcement authority due to the potential effects of such conduct on a pending criminal investigation. Such written request shall suspend any duty to investigate, advise the complainant or respondent, provide a copy of the complaint to the board, commission or agency which regulates the named licensee, or undertake any other duties that would interfere with the ability of law enforcement to investigate the allegations successfully. The suspension shall remain in effect until the Delaware Department of Justice or federal law enforcement informs the Executive Director in writing that action by the Division of Professional Regulation will not interfere with a pending law-enforcement investigation.

(7) At the board, agency or commission's next regularly scheduled meeting, it may assign a board member to assist the Division with the investigation of the complaint. This board member shall maintain strict confidentiality of the facts of the investigation and shall not discuss any issue of fact or law of the investigation with any other board member or the public. In addition, if a hearing is held, the investigating board member shall excuse himself or herself as a board member but may otherwise assist in the presentation of the complaint before the board.

(8) The investigator assigned by the Division of Professional Regulation shall direct the investigation of the complaint but shall maintain contact with the investigating board member regarding the investigation. The investigator shall issue a final report at the conclusion of the investigator's investigation. The report shall list the evidence reviewed, the witnesses interviewed and cite the law or regulation alleged to have been violated and the facts to support such finding. The report shall contain a written recommendation to either prosecute or dismiss the complaint approved by the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation.

(9) The Director of the Division of Professional Regulation may forward the complaint and written report to the Department of Justice for review by a Deputy Attorney General. If deemed warranted, the Deputy Attorney General may file a formal written complaint against the named licensee with the board, commission or agency which regulates the licensee and request a hearing before the board, commission or agency. If the Deputy Attorney General assigned to the case recommends not to prosecute or otherwise not file a formal complaint, the Deputy Attorney General shall notify the Director of Professional Regulation in writing.

(10) If the Deputy Attorney General assigned to the case recommends dismissal or no prosecution, the Division shall, thereafter, dismiss the complaint which shall constitute a final order. The Division shall, thereafter, file a copy of the Attorney General's recommendation and an investigator's report with the board, commission or agency which regulates the licensee for informational purposes only.

(11) The Division Director or the Division Director's designee is empowered to issue subpoenas for named respondents, witnesses, documents, physical evidence or any other source of evidence needed during the investigation of the complaint and/or for a public hearing on the complaint. If the party or person subpoenaed fails to comply, the Division may compel compliance with said subpoena by filing a motion to compel in the Superior Court which shall have jurisdiction. The Superior Court may order costs, attorney's fees and/or a civil fine not to exceed $1,000 if the motion to compel is granted.

(i) This chapter does not preclude a commission, board or agency under the jurisdiction of this section from, if its enabling legislation so provides, revoking or immediately suspending a practitioner's license if the Board finds the health, welfare and safety of the public is in immediate or imminent danger.

(j) This chapter shall supersede any provisions of any commission, board or agency's procedures named in this section, except the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, for handling complaints against practitioners prior to July 20, 1989.

(k) The Division of Professional Regulation shall provide at least once every fiscal year training to members appointed to the regulatory boards listed in subsection (a) of this section. The training shall outline the legal responsibilities of Board members to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.

(l) The provisions of §§ 516(g) and 2216 of Title 13 and § 547 of Title 30 shall supersede any provisions of this section to the contrary and any provisions or procedures, by statute or regulation, of any commission, board or agency named in this section with respect to matters involving any applicant or licensee under § 516(g) or § 2216 of Title 13 and § 547 of Title 30. Upon receipt of notification from the Family Court pursuant to § 516(g) of Title 13, or notice from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to § 2216 of Title 13 or notice from the Director of the Division of Revenue pursuant to § 547 of Title 30 regarding a licensee or applicant, the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation shall forthwith suspend, or deny to such licensee or applicant the issuance or renewal of, any license, permit, certificate, approval, registration or other similar form of permission or authorization to practice or engage in any profession, occupation or business of any commission, board or agency named in this section (but not including any license issued on behalf of a nonprofit applicant by the Board of Charitable Gaming as set forth in Chapter 15 of Title 28).

(m) The social security number of the applicant shall be included on the application for issuance or renewal of any license, permit, certificate, approval, registration or other similar form of permission or authorization to practice or engage in any profession, occupation or business of any commission, board or agency named in this section (but not including any license issued on behalf of a nonprofit applicant by the Board of Charitable Gaming as set forth in Chapter 15 of Title 28).

(n) Unless otherwise provided by law, any Board within the Division of Professional Regulation may adopt through its rules and regulations the Voluntary Treatment Option for Chemically Dependent or Impaired Professionals for the treatment of chemically dependent or impaired persons regulated by such Board. The Voluntary Treatment Option for Chemically Dependent or Impaired Professionals shall be available to a regulated professional of a participating Board, provided the regulated professional has not committed any offense, other than the status of being chemically dependent or impaired, which otherwise constitutes a ground for discipline under applicable laws governing the regulated professional. The participating Board may defer and ultimately take no disciplinary action with regard to an eligible chemically dependent or impaired regulated professional who voluntarily signs an agreement, in a form satisfactory to the participating Board, agreeing to the terms and conditions specified in the Voluntary Treatment Option. The Board, where it deems appropriate, may proceed with disciplinary action with regard to a disciplinary offense alleged to have occurred prior to the professional's entry into the Voluntary Treatment Option. Any person regulated by a participating Board may refer himself/herself into this Voluntary Treatment Option. Any member of the public, or member of the participating professions regulated by the Division of Professional Regulation, may make a written report, signed by the complainant, of chemical dependency or impairment affecting any person regulated by a participating Board within the Division of Professional Regulation to the appropriate Board chairperson, that Board chairperson's designate, or designates, or directly to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or the Director's designate. Failure to provide such a report may be considered grounds for disciplinary action against a regulated professional so failing to report, if such grounds for disciplinary action are provided in the participating Board's statutes, rules or regulations. When a report is received indicating that a regulated professional of a participating Board may be chemically dependent or impaired, the Boards or Commissions subject to this Voluntary Treatment Option for Chemically Dependent or Impaired Professionals shall follow the following procedures:

(1) If the report is received by the chairperson of the regulatory Board, that chairperson shall immediately notify the Director of Professional Regulation or the Director's designate of the report. If the Director of Professional Regulation receives the report, the Director shall immediately notify the chairperson of the regulatory Board, or that chairperson's designate or designates.

(2) The chairperson of the regulatory Board or that chairperson's designate or designates shall, within 7 days of receipt of the report, contact the individual in question and inform that individual in writing of the report, provide the individual written information describing the Voluntary Treatment Option, and give that individual the opportunity to enter the Voluntary Treatment Option.

(3) In order for the individual to participate in the Voluntary Treatment Option, the individual shall agree to submit to a voluntary drug and alcohol screening and evaluation at a specified laboratory or health care facility. This initial evaluation and screen shall take place within 30 days following notification to the professional by the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates.

(4) A regulated professional with chemical dependency or impairment due to addiction to drugs or alcohol may enter into the Voluntary Treatment Option and continue to practice, subject to any limitations on practice the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or the Director's designate may, in consultation with the treating professional, deem necessary, only if such action will not endanger the public health, welfare or safety, and the regulated professional enters into an agreement with the Director of Professional Regulation or the Director's designate and the chairperson of the participating Board or that chairperson's designate for a treatment plan and progresses satisfactorily in such treatment program and complies with all terms of that agreement. Treatment programs may be operated by professional Committees and Associations or other similar professional groups with the approval of the Director of Professional Regulation and the chairperson of the participating Board.

(5) Failure to cooperate fully with the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate in regard to the Voluntary Treatment Option or to comply with their requests for evaluations and screens may disqualify the regulated professional from the provisions of the Voluntary Treatment Option, and the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates shall cause to be activated an immediate investigation and institution of disciplinary proceedings, if appropriate, as outlined in subsection (h) of this section.

(6) The Voluntary Treatment Option may require a regulated professional to enter into an agreement which includes, but is not limited to, the following provisions:

a. Entry of the regulated professional into a treatment program approved by the participating Board. Board approval shall not require that the regulated professional be identified to the Board. Treatment and evaluation functions must be performed by separate agencies to assure an unbiased assessment of the regulated professional's progress.

b. Consent to the treating professional of the approved treatment program to report on the progress of the regulated professional to the chairperson of the participating Board or to that chairperson's designate or designates or to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or the Director's designate at such intervals as required by the chairperson of the participating Board or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or the Director's designate, and such person making such report will not be liable when such reports are made in good faith and without malice.

c. Consent of the regulated professional, in accordance with applicable law, to the release of any treatment information from anyone within the approved treatment program.

d. Agreement by the regulated professional to be personally responsible for all costs and charges associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option and treatment program or programs. In addition, the Division of Professional Regulation may assess a fee to be paid by the regulated professional to cover administrative costs associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option. The amount of the fee imposed under this subparagraph shall approximate and reasonably reflect the costs necessary to defray the expenses of the participating Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its services on behalf of the Board in addition to the administrative costs associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option.

e. Agreement by the regulated professional that failure to satisfactorily progress in such treatment program shall be reported to the participating Board's chairperson or such chairperson's designate or designates or to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or such Director's designate by the treating professional who shall be immune from any liability for such reporting made in good faith and without malice.

f. Compliance by the regulated professional with any terms or restrictions placed on professional practice as outlined in the agreement under the Voluntary Treatment Option.

(7) The regulated professional's records of participation in the Voluntary Treatment Option will not reflect disciplinary action and shall not be considered public records open to public inspection. However, the participating Board may consider such records in setting a disciplinary sanction in any future matter in which the regulated professional's chemical dependency or impairment is an issue.

(8) The participating Board's chairperson, that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or that Director's designate may, in consultation with the treating professional at any time during the Voluntary Treatment Option, restrict the practice of a chemically dependent or impaired professional if such action is deemed necessary to protect the public health, welfare or safety.

(9) If practice is restricted, the regulated professional may apply for unrestricted licensure upon completion of the program.

(10) Failure to enter into such agreement or to comply with the terms and make satisfactory progress in the treatment program shall disqualify the regulated professional from the provisions of the Voluntary Treatment Option, and the participating Board shall be notified and cause to be activated an immediate investigation and disciplinary proceedings as appropriate.

(11) Any person who reports pursuant to this section in good faith and without malice shall be immune from any civil, criminal or disciplinary liability arising from such reports, and shall have that person's confidentiality protected if the matter is handled in a nondisciplinary matter.

(12) Any regulated professional who complies with all of the terms and completes the Voluntary Treatment Option shall have that professional's confidentiality protected unless otherwise specified in a participating Board's rules and regulations. In such an instance, the written agreement with the regulated professional shall include the potential for disclosure and specify those to whom such information may be disclosed.

(o) The Secretary of State shall, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, also have the power to establish specific biennial renewal dates for professional licensure registration of Title 23 and Title 24 professional licensing boards in such manner as to promote the efficient administration of professional licensure renewal throughout each biennial period, and to provide for the imposition of licensure and related fees in accordance with § 2320(c) of this title.

(p) Continuation and issuance of licenses and permits for deployed active duty, activated Reserve and National Guard military personnel.

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of Title 24 to the contrary, all licenses and permits issued by boards and commissions administered by the Division of Professional Regulation ("Division") pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall not expire for a qualifying person as defined in paragraph (p)(7) of this section herein, as follows:

a. For 180 days after the date the qualifying person returns from active deployment, if continuing education credits are not a requirement of the license or permit renewal; or

b. For 270 days after the date the qualifying person returns from active deployment, if continuing education credits are a requirement of a license or permit renewal.

(2) A qualifying person who held or holds a valid license or permit at the time of deployment, which license or permit does not require continuing education requirements, who wishes to renew said license or permit, shall submit to the appropriate board or commission, the required documentation and information necessary, as required by Title 24, for renewal of the same type of permit or license within 90 days after the qualifying person has returned from active deployment.

(3) A qualifying person who held or holds a valid license or permit at the time of deployment, which license or permit has continuing education requirements, who wishes to renew said license or permit, shall submit to the appropriate board or commission the required documentation, including proof of having met the continuing education requirements and information necessary, as required by Title 24, for the same type of permit or license, for renewal within 180 days after the qualifying person has returned from active deployment.

(4) A qualifying person selected for active deployment may apply for a license or permit expiration extension prior to deployment, as allowed by paragraphs (p)(2) and (3) of this section herein. Should a qualifying person hold a license or permit which would have expired during the qualifying person's period of deployment, said qualifying person may apply to renew said license or permit as allowed by paragraphs (p)(2) and (3) of this section herein. The intent to extend or renew such permit or license shall be made by the qualifying person to the Division on a form stipulated by the Division, accompanied by a copy of official deployment documents, or other official verification acceptable to the Division.

(5) The protection from license or permit expiration provided under this subsection does not void or limit the obligations of the qualifying person to meet all requirements of licensure, as required in the section or sections of Title 24 applicable to the profession or professions for which the license or permit is sought.

(6) Notwithstanding any provision of Title 24 to the contrary, all boards and commissions administered by the Division pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall accept the military training, education, or experience of a qualifying person so long as such training, education, or experience is substantially equivalent to the requirements established by law and regulations of the respective board or commission and the applicant complies with all other requirements for licensure, including, without limitation, any requirement for examination.

(7) As used in this section "qualifying person" means a member of the active duty military, National Guard or the military reserve who is reassigned to a duty station in this State or deployed by the President of the United States or the Governor of this State.

(q) Notwithstanding any provision of Title 24 to the contrary, a qualifying person, as defined in paragraph (p)(7) of this section, or the spouse of a qualifying person, may apply for reinstatement of any license or permit issued by boards and commissions administered by the Division of Professional Regulation ("Division") pursuant to subsection (a) of this section within 2 years of the lapse or expiration of any such license or permit. The qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person shall submit to the appropriate board or commission the documentation and information necessary, as required by Title 24, for reinstatement of the same permit or license and pay all applicable fees. An application to reinstate such license or permit shall be made by the qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person to the Division on a form designated by the Division, accompanied by a copy of official verification that he or she is a qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person and that the qualifying person is assigned to a duty station in this State acceptable to the Division. This subsection shall not apply to a license or permit that was suspended or revoked unless said license or permit was reinstated prior to its lapse or expiration.

(r) Notwithstanding any provision of Title 24 to the contrary, a qualifying person, as defined in paragraph (p)(7) of this section or the spouse of a qualifying person, may apply for a provisional license or permit issued by boards and commissions administered by the Division of Professional Regulation ("Division") pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, effective for a period up to 6 months during the pendency of an application for a permit or license by endorsement or reciprocity pursuant to Title 24. A provisional license issued under this subsection expires 6 months from the date of issuance and cannot be renewed. The qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person shall submit to the appropriate board or commission the documentation and information necessary, as required by Title 24, for endorsement or reciprocity of the same permit or license and pay all applicable fees. An application to receive such provisional license or permit shall be made by the qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person to the Division on a form designated by the Division, accompanied by a copy of official verification that he or she is a qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person, and that the qualifying person is assigned to a duty station in this State acceptable to the Division. The qualifying person or the spouse of a qualifying person must be the holder of an active license or permit in good standing in another State, District of Columbia, or territory of the United States in which the requirements for licensure or certification are substantially similar to this State, with no unresolved complaint, review procedure, or disciplinary proceeding.

(s) The Division of Professional Regulation may investigate complaints of unauthorized practice of the professions governed by the boards, agencies and commissions named in subsection (a) of this section. The Division may issue citations for unlicensed practice discovered during an investigation into a complaint of unlicensed practice, a complaint otherwise under investigation, or an inspection as follows:

(1) Upon discovery of the unlicensed practice of a profession or the unlicensed operation of any facility governed by the boards, agencies and commissions named in subsection (a) of this section, the Division may issue a citation to the person engaging in the unlicensed practice of the profession, or the owner, operator, manager or person otherwise responsible for any facility that is operating without a license or permit required by such board, agency or commission.

(2) The citation shall be prepared on a form approved by the Director of the Division and shall clearly state the violation(s) and the penalty. The penalty for the first occurrence of unlicensed practice by an individual or unlicensed operation of a facility shall be no more than $250.

(3) Any person or facility cited may, within 30 days of the issuance of the citation, admit such violation and remit payment of the penalty to the Division or deny such violation and request a hearing to contest the citation. Denials and requests for hearing must be made within 10 days of the issuance of the citation. Failure to deny and request a hearing within 10 days of any citation will be deemed an admission of the violation. Any admitted violations may be referred to appropriate law-enforcement agencies, including the Delaware Department of Justice, for criminal prosecution.

(4) Any person or facility who either admits, or after a hearing is found guilty of, engaging in unlicensed practice may be fined up to $1,000 per day for every day such unlicensed practice occurs after such admission or finding.

(5) The Division will not issue a license or permit to any applicant with unpaid penalties issued pursuant to this paragraph (s).

(6) The Division of Professional Regulation shall notify the Department of Finance of any person who admits or is found to have engaged in the unlicensed practice of a profession and who the Division has reason to believe should have had a business or occupational license to conduct business.

(t) The Division shall, upon receiving a complaint involving potential criminal conduct, immediately report the complaint to appropriate law-enforcement agencies, including the Delaware Department of Justice.

(u) The Division shall subscribe to and maintain a subscription to a national licensing data-bank reporting service in order to receive proactive notification of all disciplinary actions taken against medical licensees in states outside Delaware. Upon receipt of a disciplinary notification concerning an individual who is certified by the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, the Division may take the appropriate steps for investigation and, if appropriate, referral to the Department of Justice.

(v)(1) There is hereby created within the Department of State the full-time position of hearing officer. With respect to case decisions arising under Title 29, Chapter 101, subchapter III, the hearing officers shall have:

a. All powers and duties conferred or imposed upon such hearing officers by law or by the Rules of Procedure for any board or commission under Titles 23, 24, and 28;

b. The power to administer oaths and affirmations;

c. The power to hear and determine any prehearing matter pending before any board or commission under Titles 23, 24, and 28. In such circumstances, the hearing officer's decision has the same authority as a decision of the board or commission and is subject to judicial review on the same basis as a decision of the board or commission;

d. The power to conduct hearings, including any evidentiary hearings. The testimony or evidence so taken or received shall have the same force and effect as if taken or received by the board or commission. Upon completion of such hearing or the taking of such testimony and evidence, the hearing officer shall submit to the board or commission findings and recommendations thereon. The findings of fact made by a hearing officer on a complaint are binding upon the board or commission. The board or commission may not consider additional evidence. When the proposed order is submitted to the board or commission, a copy shall be delivered to each of the other parties, who shall have 20 days to submit written exceptions, comments and arguments concerning the conclusions of law and recommended penalty. The board or commission shall make its final decision to affirm or modify the hearing officer's recommended conclusions of law and proposed sanctions based upon the written record.

(2) Hearing officers shall be appointed by the Secretary of State and shall serve for a term of 5 years; provided however, that the initial hearing officers may be appointed to terms shorter than 5 years, but not less than 3 years, to ensure staggered term expirations. Appointees shall be residents of the State, shall be duly admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of this State and shall not engage in the practice of law nor any business, occupation or employment inconsistent with the expeditious, proper and impartial performance of their duties. Individuals appointed as hearing officers under this section shall take the oath or affirmation prescribed by Article XIV, § 1 of the Delaware Constitution before they enter upon the duties of their office.

(3) Reappointments shall be at the discretion of the Secretary of State.

(4) The removal of a hearing officer by the Secretary of State during the term of appointment may be made for just cause. For the purposes of this subsection only, "just cause" shall be defined as including, but not limited to, reduction in force, inefficiency or unsatisfactory performance of duties.

(w) Any board, commission, committee or council listed in subsection (a) of this section shall have the authority to delegate to the Director or his or her designee the authority to issue permits and licenses administratively using specific criteria agreed upon by each such entity and the Director.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 8808; 57 Del. Laws, c. 581, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 511, § 64; 60 Del. Laws, c. 716, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 722, § 3; 62 Del. Laws, c. 68, § 114; 62 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 9; 62 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 57; 63 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 2; 63 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1C; 65 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, §§ 1-5; 66 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 124; 66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 9; 66 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 3; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(b); 66 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 144, §§ 6-8; 67 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 369, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 173(b); 68 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 236, § 2; 68 Del. Laws, c. 290, § 103; 69 Del. Laws, c. 306, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 196, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 242, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 452, § 11; 70 Del. Laws, c. 582, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 138, § 16; 71 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 216, §§ 55, 89; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 5; 71 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 460, § 5; 72 Del. Laws, c. 265, § 5; 73 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 381, § 7; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, §§ 5, 6, 17(3); 75 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 8; 75 Del. Laws, c. 215, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 280, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 365, §§ 1-4; 76 Del. Laws, c. 245, § 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 13; 76 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 319, §§ 1, 9; 77 Del. Laws, c. 325, §§ 23-26; 77 Del. Laws, c. 463, § 3; 78 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 170, §§ 2-4; 78 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 265, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 168, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 329, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 1.;

(a) The Office of the Commission for Women is hereby established as a unit of the Department of State, with a Director reporting to the Secretary of State.

(b) The Office of the Commission for Women shall function in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of State and the Governor and shall:

(1) Promote and facilitate the full participation of women in all sectors of society;

(2) Cooperate and collaborate with other State agencies, individuals, organizations and institutions towards the elimination of gender-based bias and discriminatory policies and practices;

(3) Work with appropriate federal agencies and agencies and organizations of other states which are concerned with the status of women;

(4) Serve as a clearinghouse for providing information on the status of women to the general public, to state agencies and to the women of the State; and to refer complaints and inquiries to the appropriate state departments or agencies or community organizations;

(5) Contract for the production, distribution and marketing of educational and informative videos and printed materials, consistent with the purpose of the Office, such terms and conditions as deemed appropriate by the Department of State with all revenues from said contracts being deposited in an appropriate special fund for the purpose of reproducing, marketing and distributing copies of video and printed materials.

(6) Assist the Delaware Commission for Women, as established in subsection (c) of this section, in the implementation of all of its duties and responsibilities.

(c) The Delaware Commission for Women is hereby established and shall consist of 25 members appointed by the Governor. The membership shall be broadly representative of all fields of interest of the women of Delaware. At least 4 members shall be from each of the 3 counties of the State and 4 members shall be from the City of Wilmington. No more than 13 members shall be members of any 1 political party. The Commission shall be administered by the Office of the Commission for Women and shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly through the Office of the Commission for Women.

(1) The term of a member shall be 3 years. All members are eligible for reappointment.

(2) The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Governor from among the 25 members, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Commission may elect such officers as it deems necessary.

(3) Members shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Commission in accordance with state law.

(4) If any member fails to attend 4 successive meetings of the Commission, that member's position may be deemed vacant and upon recommendation of the Director of the Office of the Commission for Women, the Governor shall appoint a replacement. Any appointment to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the term shall be filled only for the remainder of the term. Members who are appointed to serve out the term of a vacant position are eligible for reappointment.

(5) The Commission shall adopt such bylaws as it deems necessary for the administration of its duties.

(6) The duties of the Commission shall be as follows:

a. To foster an understanding of and appreciation for the many contributions of the women of Delaware to their home, community, State and nation;

b. To organize and administer task forces in conjunction with the Office of the Commission for Women addressing matters of concern to the women of the State, hold hearings, conduct forums and discussion groups, issue reports and compile and distribute statistics and information;

c. To make recommendations to the Governor, General Assembly and Office of the Commission for Women for action which may be taken to end discrimination practices and further the welfare of the women of the State;

d. To review legislation pending in the General Assembly dealing with issues of particular interest to the women of Delaware and to make recommendations concerning such legislature, including providing reports, statistics and testimony in support of opposition to pending legislation;

e. To perform such other functions and duties as imposed upon it by law or as are assigned to it by the Governor and the General Assembly.

63 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 370, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 149, §§ 17-19; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 310, § 21; 76 Del. Laws, c. 4, §§ 1, 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 372, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 13.;

Transferred.