Legislative Update

May 24, 2013
Governor signs beer bill into law

Flanked by liquor store and Delaware craft brewery owners at Fordham and Old Dominion Brewing companies in Dover, Gov. Jack Markell signed into law House Bill 31, which allows Dela­ware liquor stores to fill and sell growlers of draught beer on site. A growler is a glass or ceramic jug filled with draft beer, typi­cally sold in a half-gallon size.

Until May 16, craft breweries could sell growlers only at their breweries or brewpubs.

Neighboring states Pennsyl­vania and New Jersey already allow liquor stores to sell growl­ers, while Maryland’s law is on a county-by-county basis.

“While it’s nice to recognize American Craft Beer week, this bill is part of a larger effort to move Delaware small and me­dium- sized businesses forward,” Markell said in a press release.

“It didn’t make sense to me that I could drive right over the Pennsylvania state line to buy a growler of Delaware-made craft beer but would have to drive the length of the state if I wanted to buy the same growler in Dela­ware,” said Rep. Deb Heffernan, D-Brandywine Hundred South, who sponsored the bill.

“This is an economic develop­ment bill that increases access to fresh, locally brewed beer across Delaware.”

Under HB 31, liquor stores will be able to purchase a growler filler permit for $150 every two years, allowing them to fill, cap and sell growlers to go. Dela­ware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Jack Cordrey said he expects that his office will be able to start issuing growler filler permits within a week.

Teacher preparation bill to become law

An educator preparation plan, proposed by Gov. Jack Markell in his 2013 State of the State address, passed the Delaware House May 16 and now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.

Senate Bill 51 strengthens licensure requirements for prospective teachers while im­proving teacher training and better tracking data on teacher preparation programs.

The bill raises the bar for enter­ing the teaching profession, with program entry requirements and required content exams and performance assessments be­fore licensure; improves teacher training with high-quality stu­dent teaching experiences; and better tracks data on preparation programs, with required report­ing of program effectiveness.

“I want to thank our lawmak­ers for recognizing we need new teachers to be prepared to make a difference on their first day in the classroom. The single most important school factor in a child’s aca­demic success is teacher quality,” Markell said in a press release.

The bill passed the Senate on May 2; it is set to become effec­tive July 1, 2014.

Lopez to lead Future Caucus

The Republican State Leader­ship Committee announced May 17 Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, will serve as an executive com­mittee member of the Future Majority Caucus.

The FMC is part of an initia­tive that began during the 2012 election cycle to create a long­term, sustained commitment to support and elect Hispanics, women, African-Americans and Americans of Asian descent to state offices.

'Sen. Lopez will be an out­standing leader for the Future Majority Caucus, helping us sup­port candidates who reflect the full diversity of our nation,' said RSLC President Chris Jankowski.

'The key to growing our Re­publican Party is identifying candidates like Sen. Lopez from across our country who believe in the principles of smaller government, lower taxes and supporting job creators who can lead the way in our states.' Lopez, currently serving his first term in the Senate, repre­sents the 6th District, which includes all or parts of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Milton and Dewey Beach.