The General Assembly
CHAPTER 9. Legislative Bills, Laws, Journals and Committees
(a) Whoever wilfully adds to, alters, defaces, erases, obliterates, mutilates, blots, blurs, steals, hides, conceals, destroys or misplaces, with intent to conceal, any act passed by the General Assembly of this State or any bill pending before either branch of the General Assembly or any committee thereof or any joint committee of the 2 Houses is guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 and costs of prosecution and shall also be imprisoned not less than 1 year nor more than 10 years.
(b) A bill within the meaning of this section shall be taken as pending from the time of its introduction until signed by the Speakers of both Houses. The bill shall then be taken for an act.
(c) Alterations or amendments made in the regular course of proceedings shall not be construed as a violation of this section.
(d) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent or limit either House from punishing for contempts according to parliamentary usage, nor shall any such punishment for contempts prevent or limit prosecutions under this section.19 Del. Laws, c. 276, §§ 1-4; Code 1915, § 363; Code 1935, § 4; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 901; 65 Del. Laws, c. 425, § 1;
All bills and resolutions passed by the General Assembly which are published in the Session Laws shall be preserved by being printed or stenciled or typewritten and not copied or transcribed with the pen. The original of all bills and resolutions shall be produced in such a manner as approved by the State Archivist and Records Administrator and the Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee for permanency and legibility.27 Del. Laws, c. 12, § 1; Code 1915, § 366; Code 1935, § 337; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 902; 53 Del. Laws, c. 7, §§ 2, 3; 59 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 382, § 4;
(a) A Bill Clerk for the House of Representatives and 1 for the Senate shall be appointed by joint resolution at each session of the General Assembly.
(b) The Bill Clerks shall have general supervision over all bills and resolutions introduced at any session of the General Assembly. When any bill or resolution has passed both Houses, the Bill Clerks shall attach a parchment backing to the bill or resolution, initial, seal or stamp each and every page of each and every bill or resolution so passed and present them to the presiding officers of the 2 Houses for their signatures. The Bill Clerks shall then certify with the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House, on the backing of each bill or resolution, that the bill or resolution is the same as that which passed both Houses, and they shall then deliver the bill or resolution to the Chairpersons of the Passed Bill Committees of their respective Houses. The Bill Clerks, in addition to the duties prescribed in this section, shall be Clerks of the Passed Bill Committees.27 Del. Laws, c. 12, §§ 2, 3; Code 1935, § 337; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 903; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
(a) If a bill or resolution is amended before final passage, the Passed Bill Committees shall have prepared a corrected copy of the bill or resolution which may be typed, printed or stenciled.
(b) The Chairpersons of the Passed Bill Committees shall deliver the bill or resolution to the Governor and take the Governor’s receipt therefor and report to their respective Houses the bills or resolutions so delivered.
(c) The Chairpersons of the Passed Bill Committees shall report to their respective Houses any bill or resolution which may become law without the Governor’s signature, in accordance with § 18, article III of the Constitution of the State. The House in which such act or resolution originated shall file it, under the hands of the presiding officer and clerk, with the Secretary of State, who shall publish the same as a law in the same manner as if the Governor had signed it.
(d) The Chairpersons of the Passed Bill Committees shall report at least weekly to their respective Houses the acts and joint resolutions that have been signed by the Governor.27 Del. Laws, c. 12, §§ 3-7; Code 1935, § 337; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 904; 53 Del. Laws, c. 7, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
(a) The legislative journals shall be published following each general election for the 2-year period immediately preceding such election and the pages shall be 6 inches by 9 inches.
(b) The full title of any bill, joint resolution or concurrent resolution shall be printed not more than 3 times in either journal, once when introduced or presented in either House, once when voted upon in either House and once in the index. In the event, however, that a substitute bill should change the wording of the title of any bill, then the full title of the substitute bill shall be printed 3 times only in the same manner as an original bill. The full title of a resolution not hereinbefore mentioned shall be printed in its respective journal only twice, once when introduced and once in the index.
All bills and resolutions shall elsewhere be designated by initial letters and number only.
(c) The journal text of the House of Representatives shall be prepared by the Clerk of the House and the journal text of the Senate shall be prepared by the Secretary of the Senate. The index for the house journal shall be prepared by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and the index for the senate journal shall be prepared by the Secretary of the Senate.
(e) Committee action on bills and resolutions shall show the title to the bill or resolution by initial and number only and action taken without naming the members of the committee.
(f) The rules of the Senate and of the House shall be printed in its respective journal in full.
(g) The yeas and nays which are required to be published in the journal shall be line in compact form. The certificate of election of no more than 1 member from each county shall be printed in full. A brief record that certificates of election of all other members were duly received and found to be correct shall suffice. Not more than 1 member’s constitutional oath of office and not more than 1 attache’s or employee’s oath shall be printed in full. A brief record that all other oaths were administered shall suffice.
(h) The printing shall be done in accordance with contract made by the Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee and under the superintendence of the Clerks of the respective Houses. The Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House, as soon as their respective journals have been printed and published, shall deliver the originals together with all communications, petitions and other related papers not otherwise provided for to the State Archivist and Records Administrator for proper disposition thereof.Code 1852, §§ 31, 32; 17 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2; 23 Del. Laws, c. 82; Code 1915, § 375; 40 Del. Laws, c. 76; Code 1935, § 344; 47 Del. Laws, c. 181; 48 Del. Laws, c. 146; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 905; 55 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 5; 59 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 8; 61 Del. Laws, c. 46, §§ 1-3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 382, § 5;
(a) The Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee shall as soon as practicable after the adjournment of the General Assembly have printed accurately in volume form, with an index thereto, copies of all bills enacted, all resolutions enacted requiring the approval of the Governor, executive orders and proclamations of the Governor, other than proclamations directing the repeal of corporate charters which are promulgated pursuant to legislative enactment, municipal charters or amendments to municipal charters adopted pursuant to a referendum and filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 22 and other legislative and executive papers as may be required by Legislative Council. The printing of the Session Laws shall be done under contract made by the Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee and in accordance with the specifications furnished by the Director. In the preparation of such Session Laws for printing, the Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee in conjunction with the Delaware Code Revisors may correct obvious typographical errors but if there is any doubt as to whether a typographical error exists, the Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee and the Delaware Code Revisors shall print the law as enacted without correction.
(b) The Secretary of State shall maintain and annually promulgate in such manner as the Secretary of State shall determine an Executive Register containing copies or abstracts of all official acts of the Governor and an index thereto, excepting therefrom acts and resolutions of the General Assembly.21 Del. Laws, c. 9, §§ 1, 2; 23 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 5; 24 Del. Laws, c. 14; Code 1915, § 368; 36 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 2; Code 1935, § 338; 46 Del. Laws, c. 4; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 907; 49 Del. Laws, c. 66; 50 Del. Laws, c. 453, § 1; 50 Del. Laws, c. 584, § 1; 51 Del. Laws, c. 134, § 4; 55 Del. Laws, c. 350, § 1; 55 Del. Laws, c. 384, §§ 1, 2; 56 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 9; 61 Del. Laws, c. 257, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
The Director of Research of the Legislative Council or the Director’s designee shall exclude from the publication of the Session Laws of this State all acts of a private nature, unless such acts contain a provision directing their publication.13 Del. Laws, c. 1, § 1; Code 1915, § 371; Code 1935, § 340; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 908; 59 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 10; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
Private acts such as are not of a public nature, nor published as such, shall be recorded in the Recorder’s office in 1 of the counties of this State within 12 months after their passage or they shall be void. Any person may, within that time, cause a copy, attested by the Secretary of State under the Secretary’s seal of office, to be recorded, and the record thereof or an office copy of such record shall be evidence.Code 1852, § 30; Code 1915, § 374; Code 1935, § 343; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 909; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
The Secretary of State shall demand and receive for the use of the State, on certifying any act or resolution of a private nature, a fee of $10, except that on certifying all acts of a private character pertaining to the acknowledgment or recording of deeds or other papers or to titles or conveyance of real estate the Secretary shall demand and receive for the use of the State a fee of $20 in each case.13 Del. Laws, c. 1, § 4; 18 Del. Laws, c. 9; 19 Del. Laws, c. 551; 20 Del. Laws, c. 180; Code 1915, § 373; Code 1935, § 342; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 910; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
(a) Where an agency adopts a new rule or regulation, or makes a substantive change or amendment to its rules or regulations at any time during the legislative interim between July 1 and the second Tuesday in January, and the chairperson of a standing committee of either house believes in good faith that such rule, regulation, amendment or change impacts upon or is within the subject-matter jurisdiction of such standing committee, the chairperson may schedule a meeting of the committee to consider such rule, regulation, amendment or change.
(b) Where more than 1 committee wishes to hold a meeting to consider the same rule, regulation, amendment or change, all such standing committees shall become a joint committee and shall remain in being as a joint committee for that purpose until the 1st day of the next following General Assembly session, or until the adjournment of such joint committee. A standing committee may withdraw from the joint committee at any time. Each such joint committee shall be co-chaired by a House standing committee chairperson and a Senate standing committee chairperson.
(c) Each such joint committee shall have the power, by a majority vote of its members, to draft a committee report setting forth its suggestions and recommendations, and to request the President pro tempore of the Senate or the Speaker of the House to call a special session to consider committee recommendations. Each committee report shall be forwarded to the Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee.68 Del. Laws, c. 159, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 260, § 3;
(a) Each bill, resolution or other legislative matter assigned to a standing committee shall pass through a prescribed deliberative process before being brought to the floor of either House, unless it is sooner petitioned out of committee. Such deliberative process shall include regularly scheduled preannounced meetings whereby the committee receives testimony from the general public, including those affected by the proposed legislation; considers an analysis of the proposed legislation; and by notice to the sponsor, makes time available for each formal sponsor to explain the legislation and answer possible committee questions.
(b) Each Thursday each standing committee shall release a committee agenda which shall include, among other things, all matters to be considered by the committee at its next meeting; a listing of all bills being held in committee; and any other announcements from the committee including the times, places and dates of future meetings.
(c) Minutes shall be taken at each formal standing committee meeting, and the results of any committee votes shall be recorded. Committee members who dissent from any committee decision shall be permitted, in the minutes, to state such dissent and the reasons therefor.61 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1;
The General Assembly shall not take action on any proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States unless approved by 2/3 of the members elected to each branch of the General Assembly in a roll call vote. Such proposal shall be entered on the journals of each branch with the “ayes” and “nays” taken thereon. However, should the 2/3-vote requirement that the United States Congress presently requires to initiate an amendment to the United States Constitution change, this section shall simultaneously change so as to be compatible with the vote requirements of the United States Congress.62 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 1;
(a) All legislation proposing new fees or increases in existing fees charged by any state agency shall include therewith an explanation of:
(1) The purpose of the proposed new fee or fee increase;
(2) A general identification of the persons, business entities or organizations affected by the legislation;
(3) Impact of the proposed new fees or fee increases on these affected persons, business entities or organizations;
(4) Intended use by the agency of the revenues generated by the new fees or fee increases.
(b) (1) The Office of the Controller General shall conduct such review or audit of the information offered by the agency pursuant to subsection (a) of this section as is deemed necessary to evaluate the reasons presented for the new fees or fee increases, and shall issue a written report of its findings.
(2) The written report of the Office of the Controller General’s findings shall be attached to the legislation by the sponsor of the legislation prior to the legislation’s initial committee consideration in the House of origin.
(c) Each House may waive the requirements of this section as to any specific legislation pending before such House by a vote of the majority of all members elected to such House.68 Del. Laws, c. 216, § 1;