Legislative Briefs

May 3, 2013

Atkins’ bill would allow flag flying in all communities

House Bill 44, sponsored by Rep. John Atkins, D-Millsboro, would allow a property owner or tenant to display an Ameri­can flag on a pole attached to a building or on a flagpole as long as the pole conforms to setback requirements and does not ex­ceed 25 feet in height.

The law would supersede homeowners’ association or community restrictions or cov­enants.

HB 44 was passed the House in a 33-7 vote April 18. The mea­sure now awaits a hearing in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

Briggs King holds May meet and greets

Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, has scheduled two meet and greets with constitu­ents.

She will be available at 8 a.m., Wednesday, May 8 at George­town Family Restaurant on East Market Street in Georgetown and at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 23, at the Long Neck CHEER Center in the Shoppes at Long Neck.

Bill would ban guns on school property

A proposal in the General Assembly would ban the pos­session of firearms in schools and on school property. House Bill 67, sponsored by Rep. Darryl Scott, D-Dover, would create a new crime called possession of a firearm or destructive weapon in a safe school zone. If the bill were approved, violators would face felony charges. Under HB 67, firearms possessed on private property, such as residences, businesses or in motor vehicles on public roadways are exempt from the ban. Firearms in mo­tor vehicles that are on school property to facilitate attendance at a legitimate school function are also exempt.

Attorney General Beau Biden is supporting the measure. “Having a clear ban on guns in schools will help keep our chil­dren safe,” Biden said.

HB 67 was released from the House Education Committee April 24 and awaits a House vote.

Senate approves bill to reduce foreclosures

A measure adding four years to a program aimed at helping people who face foreclosure cleared the Senate April 23 in a unanimous vote. Senators added a technical amendment to the bill, so it must return to the House for final passage.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington South, would extend an existing program that requires banks to meet with borrowers facing fore­closure in an effort to keep the borrowers in their home. The program was scheduled to end in January; Keeley’s bill would extend the program until 2018.

In a press release, Keeley said as many as 1,500 people could benefit by the extension. “The banks for 12 months performed very few foreclosures in the state of Delaware,” Keeley said. “Now we’re seeing an up tick in those foreclosure notices that are go­ing out, and those homeowners should be afforded the opportu­nity to go to mediation because not only does it save someone’s home, it keeps families together, and it keeps neighborhoods to­gether.”

The Attorney General’s Of­fice developed the program and helps oversee it through its Of­fice of Foreclosure Prevention.


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