David P. Sokola
- District 8
This Act is the second leg of an amendment to the Delaware Constitution to make necessary technical corrections identified by the General Assembly's Division of Research. The first leg of this constitutional amendment was House Bill 452 of the 151st General Assembly published in Chapter 351 of Volume 83 of the Laws of Delaware. On passage of this second leg by this General Assembly this amendment will become part of the Delaware Constitution. Specifically, these technical corrections consist of the following: Section 1 and Section 12 of this Act work in concert to transfer the date of the commencement of the terms of the members of the General Assembly from the Constitution’s Schedule to Article II (relating to the General Assembly) to avoid confusion and for ease of locating this information. Section 2 of this Act deletes § 24 of Article II of the Delaware Constitution to remove antiquated language to conform the Delaware Constitution to existing practice. This Section dates back to the Delaware Constitution of 1792 when the State Treasurer was also considered what we now know as the State Accountant, the Budget Director, the Director of Revenue, and the Secretary of Finance. The purpose of this Section was to provide the General Assembly with one, detailed report indicating that the State’s books were balanced and finances were being managed properly. Over time, as other, more specific roles were created within State government, the State Treasurer’s role in these aspects were shifted to other executive branch officers. Today, this constitutional requirement is now being met by several different state agencies in several different forms, all culminating in final products overseen by entities like the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC), the Cash Management Policy Board, and the General Assembly itself, and take the form of final reports issued to the General Assembly, administrative paperwork, and legislation like the annual appropriations act and annual capital improvement act. Section 3 of this Act corrects a codification error. The sentence stricken in Section 3 of this Act was originally to be struck by Chapter 607, Volume 50 of the Laws of Delaware in 1956. However, the sentence remains in the Delaware Constitution to this day. See Opinion of the Justices, 405 A.2d 694, 697 fn. 6 (1979). Section 4 of this Act updates the name of the State officer and State agency involved in determining whether the Governor is able or unable to discharge the Governor’s duties, which has changed since the adoption of this Section in 1969. Section 5 and Section 13 of this Act work in concert to transfer the date of the commencement of the terms of certain State and County elective executive branch officers from the Constitution’s Schedule to Article III (relating to the Executive) to avoid confusion and for ease of locating this information. Section 6 of this Act designates § 2 of Article V to make an internal reference clear. Section 7 of this Act makes changes to ensure the accurate adoption of an amendment to the Constitution proposed in 1998 by 71 Del. Laws, ch. 398. The amendment proposed in 1998 was proposed by Senate Bill No. 277 of the 139th General Assembly, which was later replaced by Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 277. Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 277 passed the General Assembly. When the 140th General Assembly concurred in the proposed amendment, the General Assembly used the language of Senate Bill No. 277 instead of Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 277. See 72 Del. Laws, ch. 437 (Senate Bill No. 394 of the 140th General Assembly). This change ensures the original intent to concur in the language of Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 277 is achieved. To properly achieve this change, the version of § 6 of Article V that existed before the passage of 72 Del. Laws, ch. 437 is shown as struck through in this Section. Section 7 of this Act also makes additional technical corrections to conform existing law to current practice and to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. Sections 8 and 9 of this Act hyphenates “three fourths” to ensure consistent hyphenation of the supermajority vote requirements throughout the Constitution. Section 10 also makes additional technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual; specifically, to ensure use of the serial comma in two places in this Section. Section 10 of this Act corrects an incorrect reference to another provision of the Delaware Constitution. The reference to “Section 30” has existed in Section 7 of Article XV of the Delaware Constitution since its adoption in 1897; however, in 1951, a constitutional amendment was adopted to reorganize Delaware’s Judiciary. See 48 Del. Laws, ch. 109. That reorganization resulted in deletion and renumbering of Sections originally contained in Article IV of the Delaware Constitution, as adopted in 1897, but did not account for the internal reference to Section 30. Section 11 of this Act hyphenates “two thirds” to ensure consistent hyphenation of the supermajority vote requirements throughout the Constitution. House Bill No. 130 of the 151st General Assembly proposes an amendment to this Section and makes a technical correction to the first “two thirds” but not the second. This Section is intended to ensure that, on the 152nd General Assembly’s concurrence in House Bill No. 130 and this Act, the correct hyphenation of “two thirds” is achieved throughout this Section. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 1 of Article XVI of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to amend the Delaware Constitution.
Passed By Senate. Votes: 21 YES
Reported Out of Committee (Executive) in Senate with 1 Favorable, 6 On Its Merits
Introduced and Assigned to Executive Committee in Senate
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