Last-minute maneuvering cuts off hospital bill debate

Five-person rule used to end it
May 3, 2024

A House rule used to end debate was approved April 25 during discussion of a bill to set spending limits on hospitals.

The bill ultimately passed 21-16 with four absent, but not before questioning by Republicans was cut short.

The House took a break about 9 p.m. and returned about 9:30 p.m. at which time Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville, was recognized as having the floor. He requested witness Dave Bentz return for questions, but six Democrats remained standing – Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark; Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton, D-Newark; Rep. Stephanie Bolden, D-Wilmington; Rep. Eric Morrison, D-Glasgow; Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark; and Rep. Kendra Johnson, D-New Castle.

Wilson-Anton made a motion to call the previous question under House Rule 40a7, and it was quickly seconded. The rule allows five people to make a motion to end debate. Minority Leader Rep. Mike Ramone, R-Pike Creek, tried to make a point of order because Gray had the floor, but was told the motion is not debatable.

The motion carried with no Republican support. Rep. Stell Parker Selby, D-Milton, voted against the measure; Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, was absent.

The bill awaits action in the Senate Executive Committee.

Senate passed

• SB 249 passed the Senate 19-1 with one absent April 25 to amend law relating to captive insurance to provide the insurance commissioner with additional flexibility to approve those types of financial institutions that would be authorized to hold required capital and surplus of captive insurance companies. 

• SB 213, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, passed the Senate 19-1 with one absent April 25 to allow Millville to impose and collect a lodging tax. 

• SB 214 passed the Senate 19-1 with one absent April 25 to allow Millsboro to impose and collect a lodging tax.

Bills in committee

House Administration Committee

• SS 1 for SB 221 with SA 2, filed by Sen. Dave Wilson, R-Lincoln, unanimously passed the Senate April 24 to require the Department of State to provide a state or U.S. flag to be draped over the coffin of Delaware National Guard, fire or police department member who has served at least 10 years, if requested by next of kin

House Education Committee

• SB 251 with SA 1 unanimously passed the Senate April 24 to revamp and rename the Delaware Institute of Veterinary Medical Education to the Delaware Veterinary Medicine Education Advisory Council, and provides the council work with both the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture to establish a robust program that assists Delaware students interested in practicing veterinary medicine, encourages the students to return to Delaware to practice, and develops programs of education and training in veterinary medicine-related fields and research.

House Labor Committee

• SB 233 with SA 1 passed the Senate 15-6 April 17 to establish employment protections for certain service employees during changes of ownership.

Senate Education Committee

• SB 279 would add that ballistic-resistant film may be used in addition to ballistic-resistant glass for a safety feature of a new school or major renovation.

• HB 308 passed the House 36-1 with four absent April 23 to mandate employees of institutions of higher education and students receive training in sexual assault prevention. 

Senate Finance Committee

• SS 2 for SB 4 would make changes to probation that include prohibiting an individual sentenced to Accountability Level I – Restitution Only from having the individual’s probation level increased based on the individual’s reasonable inability to pay the restitution order; prohibiting incarceration for technical violations, except in certain circumstances and for certain periods of time; and requiring that any sentence imposed for a technical or nontechnical violation be the least restrictive and imposed as a last resort.

Senate Judiciary Committee

• HB 336 passed the House 38-0 and three absent April 23 to amend the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act.

• HB 337 passed the House 38-0 and three absent April 23 to amend the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

• HB 338 passed the House 38-0 and three absent April 23 to amend the Delaware Statutory Trust Act.

• HB 339 passed the House 38-0 and three absent April 23 to amend the Delaware Revised Uniform Partnership Act. 

Senate Labor Committee

• HB 318 with HA 1 passed the House 37-3 April 23 to increase the exemption in bankruptcy and other debt proceedings for a debtor’s personal residence from $125,000 to $200,000. It also increases the exemption for tools of the trade and for a vehicle from $15,000 to $25,000, and it exempts workers’ compensation awards under the laws of other states from attachment in bankruptcy or other proceedings in the same manner that a workers’ compensation award made under Delaware law is exempt. The amendment clarifies that permissible bankruptcy exemptions may be found in parts of Delaware law.

Senate Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee

• SB 277 would prevent the Board of Massage and Bodywork from issuing initial certifications to practice as a certified massage technician for applications received after Dec. 31, 2024.


• HCR 112 calls on the General Assembly to encourage the Delaware medical community to educate the citizens of Delaware about the forced organ harvesting that occurs in China, in the event they decide to travel to China for an expedited transplant. This resolution also calls on the United States Government to pass laws and regulations prohibiting American medical and pharmaceutical companies from collaborating with Chinese groups that are found to have involvement with forced organ harvesting, as well as banning entry into the United States individuals who have participated in the forced organ harvesting, and allowing prosecution of those persons involved.


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