Delaware Elections 2024 Overview

We last covered Delaware’s Elections in our November, 2023 Navigator. Since then, there have been some updates, changes and further running announcements from candidates, including Governor Carney, who is running for Wilmington City Mayor.

In this edition, you will find Primary Election candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, dates and deadlines, and we’ll even cut to the Maryland Primary Election Results!

As always, reach out to our Delaware lobbyist, Alex Shull McKitrick for any questions about Delaware.

2024 Session: Adjourned

The gavel fell on Maryland’s legislative session, marking adjournment sine die on April 8, and lawmakers concluded a session defined by a flurry of bills, intense debates, and pivotal decisions. From addressing pressing issues, to shaping the state’s future trajectory, the 2024 session was full of legislation aimed at serving Marylanders and shaping the state’s landscape for years to come.

Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act HB153/SB1188
Signed in law by Governor Moore on April 9th.
In the early hours of March 26, 2024, the Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River following a collision with a large container ship, resulting in profound loss of life and significant disruptions to the operations of the Port of Baltimore. In response, the State legislature swiftly introduced the PORT Act, a pivotal piece of legislation designed to provide crucial support to individuals and businesses affected by the Port’s halted operations, while also honoring the memory of those tragically lost. The PORT Act established the Fallen Transportation Workers Scholarship Program, aimed at extending tuition assistance to students who are dependents or surviving spouses of the workers tragically killed. Additionally, recognizing the challenges faced by those temporarily laid off due to this catastrophic event, the legislation waived the work search requirement for Unemployment Insurance benefits. An emergency bill, it went into effect immediately on April 9, 2024.

Horse Racing- Racing Facility Ownership and Construction HB1524
Hours before adjournment on Monday, April 8, the Maryland legislature ushered through a transformative bill poised to reshape the state’s racing industry and pave the way for the State’s acquisition of Pimlico Racecourse, home of the Preakness. With the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority slated to assume control of Pimlico starting July 1, 2024, plans are underway to relocate the Preakness to Laurel Park for 2025 and 2026, facilitating the much-needed reconstruction and rejuvenation of Pimlico. Anticipation mounts for the grand return of the Preakness to its historic grounds in 2027, as Laurel Park prepares to bid its final farewell upon the event’s homecoming to Pimlico. Upon receiving the Governor’s signature, this legislation will go into effect June 1, 2024.

Renter’s Rights and Stabilization Act of 2024 HB693/SB481
This Departmental bill lays the groundwork for the establishment of the Office of Tenant and Landlord Affairs within the Department of Housing and Community Development, mandating the creation and dissemination of a comprehensive Maryland Tenants’ Bill of Rights. The office’s core mission is to empower tenants by furnishing them with the necessary resources to comprehend their rights under state law and offer guidance on avenues for reporting any violations thereof. The legislation stipulates that prior to offering a rental property to the public for sale, the property owner must extend the right of first refusal to the tenant, affording them a 30-day window to submit a written offer to purchase the property. Upon receiving the Governor’s signature, this legislation will go into effect October 1, 2024.

Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2024 HB947
This landmark legislation sets forth stringent measures to prevent firearm industry members from knowingly contributing to public harm through the sale, manufacture, importation, or marketing of firearm-related products. It mandates that the industry implements reasonable controls pertaining to the sale, manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of such products. Moreover, the law grants authority to the Attorney General, County Attorneys, or the Baltimore City Solicitor to initiate legal action against any firearm industry member found in violation. In such proceedings, the designated authorities are empowered to pursue injunctive relief, restitution, compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and any other appropriate relief. Upon receiving the Governor’s signature, this legislation will go into effect June 1, 2024.

Governor Moore signed over one hundred bills hours after adjournment Sine Die, on April 9, 2024. He can sign bills until May 28th. If he doesn’t sign a bill, it will still go into effect. The tentative dates for upcoming bill signings are: April 25th, May 9th, and May 16th.

2024 Session Updates

The lobbying team at Compass Advocacy has been diligently advocating for our clients during this legislative session. Whether it’s been engaging legislators, testifying in committees, hosting advocacy days, or closely monitoring legislation, Compass can do it all!

Session might be the busiest season, but we like to be where the magic happens!

Maryland Session Update:

Today is Crossover! 69th Day of Session:
Each Chamber to send to other Chamber those bills it intends to pass favorably. Opposite Chamber bills received after this date subject to referral to Rules CommitteesBudget

Tax Legislation
  • HB1515 – Services Tax
    • This bill did not move out of committee this past weekend. In the off-chance it were to move out of the House today, it would be sent to Senate Rules, where it would likely die. We anticipate to deal with more tax issues within the next year, or next session.
  • SB766 – Tax Omnibus Bill “Fair Share for Maryland Act”
End of Life Options Bill
iGaming Bill
Renewable Energy & Solar Bills 
  • SB1054 Local Government – Building Permits for Residential Solar Energy and Residential Energy Storage Systems
  • SB1082 Solar Energy & Energy Storage – Development and State Procurement
  • HB1328 Solar Energy and Energy Storage – Development and State Procurement
  • SB1083 Public Utilities – Electric Distribution System Planning
  • HB1221 Battery Storage and Solar Arrays Safety Training Grant & Fund
  • HB1407 Solar Siting
  • SB532/HB468 Battery Storage
Voir Dire Bill
  • SB0827 Courts and Judicial Proceedings – Jury Examination and Workgroup to Study the Voir Dire Process

 

Delaware Session Update:

Delaware’s Legislative Session runs from January 8-June 30, 2025.

Offshore Wind

  • There is a procurement bill coming, though there is no bill number yet, stay tuned!

Budget and cost of healthcare has been a big topic

Education funding

Cannabis in Delaware

 

Read More Here: http://mailchi.mp/compassadvocacy/compass-gr-march-navigator-9656172

DC & Federal Lobby Days

Lobby days present advocates with a prime opportunity to interact directly with legislators and key decision-makers. This direct engagement offers a unique platform to voice concerns, share personal anecdotes, and present compelling arguments in favor or against a cause. By participating, advocates wield significant influence over policy decisions.

Navigating the process of engaging with federal lawmakers may initially appear daunting, especially if you’re unsure where to begin. However, Compass Advocacy specializes in managing various federal client portfolios and can provide valuable assistance. With a proven track record, we’ve successfully facilitated engagements between federal lawmakers and constituents nationwide. Whether it’s organizing fly-ins to Washington, D.C. for lobby days alongside state delegations or arranging site visits across the country, Compass Advocacy stands ready to connect you with the decision-makers most pertinent to your cause.

Below pictures from a lobby day with a client – hosted a lobby day with several constituents from around the country. Snow or shine, we’ll be lobbying on the hill!

Interim 2023: In Case You Missed It

Here’s what happened in between 2023 & 2024 session. there were congressional candidate announcements, deaths, & more…

Maryland General Assembly

A few moves in the MGA create a whole trickle down effect:
  • She began her position on December 18
  • She was in her 5th year in the MD Senate & 16 years in the House of Delegates
  • Senator Griffith was the Chair of Finance – leaving a vacancy to be filled

  • Beidle, Anne Arundel Democrat, Senator since 2019, and elected as Delegate in 2007

  • Fills Sen. Griffith’s vacancy
  • Serves on Judicial Proceedings
  • Senator Alonzo Washington moves from Judicial Proceedings to Finance

  • District 25
  • Serves on Ways & Means

Delegate Barve leaves the House of Delegates in May 2023 to join the Maryland Public Service Commission

Delegate Marc Korman replaced Barve as Environment & Transportation’s Chairman

  • Delegate Korman, D, Montgomery County
  • Served as House Majority Leader

Delegate David Moon moves into the House Majority Leader position

Delegate Sandy Bartlett now serves as Vice-Chair of House Environment & Transportation


Del. Dana Stein sworn in as Speaker Pro Tempore, replacing Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes


Delegate Regina Boyce now serves as Vice-Chair of Environment & Transportation

State of the Budget

Governor Moore introduced his second budget last week. The state is currently facing some substantial structural deficits over the next few years due to increases in mandated spending. The Governor’s budget decreases those deficits by about 30%. Now, the budget is in the hands of the legislature, and they will hold hearings and make decisions over the next couple months.
Need to know more? Email Tyler Bennett

2024 Congressional Race

Scroll through the list of candidates for Maryland’s Congressional District 3
U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes’ seat (he’s retiring after 9 terms)

In Memory

Former Senator, Doug Peters, passed away at the end of December 2023

Read more about his life here 

Delaware 2024 Election Overview

There is much to cover since the end of Delaware’s 2023 Session!

Leadership Changes:

This is how it went down last June:

  • Speaker of the House, Peter Schwartzkopf who served as Speaker for a decade, stepped down.
  • He recommended Majority Leader Longhurst, and that night, she was elected to Speaker position
  • This left a vacancy in Majority Leader role
  • Democratic caucus members elected Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown as House Majority Leader

House Democrats Elect All-Female Leadership Team, Setting Historic Firsts in Delaware

Valerie Longhurst
Speaker of the House
District 15

Valerie J. Longhurst is the first female Speaker of the House in Delaware history. She was first elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in November 2004 to represent the 15th District. The district consists of 24,000 people living in Bear and St. Georges. In 2008, she was elected as the House Majority Whip and served for four years. After the 2012 election, her caucus elected her House Majority Leader. In June 2023, she was elected Speaker of the House. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-15/

https://apnews.com/article/delaware-legislative-session-house-speaker-longhurst-6a2be3b6d0bc8336b70edb57dd05d1a6


Melissa Minor Brown
Majority Leader
District 17

Rep. Melissa ‘Mimi’ Minor-Brown is determined to make a difference by using her platform as a springboard for change, advocacy, and empowerment for her community. Rep. Minor-Brown knows what it means to work hard. She is an American success story, pulling herself up as a single teenage mother to evolve into a licensed practical nurse, to a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Executive Leadership, graduating Cum Laude from Wilmington University, to now serving as a legislator in Delaware’s House of Representatives. On a broader scale, Rep. Minor-Brown serves as the Region III Chair for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-17/


Governor’s Race

Governor John Carney’s two terms as Delaware Governor ends in 2024! Below are the candidates for Governor in Delaware.

Bethany Hall Long
Lt. Governor (2017-2024)

Dr. Bethany Hall-Long has served as Delaware’s 26th Lieutenant Governor since 2017. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served in the Delaware House of Representatives from 2002-2008 and in the Delaware Senate from 2008-2017. –https://ltgov.delaware.gov/biography/

In the news:
How Hall-Long’s refusal to release audit findings sparked elections reform talks

Check out her campaign website here.


Matt Meyer
Newcastle County Executive (2017-2024)
In 2016, Matt Meyer was a sixth and seventh grade Math teacher when he first ran for public office, defeating a heavily-favored three-term incumbent in a grassroots campaign to serve as the Chief Executive of Delaware’s largest county. – https://www.newcastlede.gov/125/Matt-Meyer—County-Executive
Check out his campaign website here.

Lt. Governor’s Race

Kyle Evans Gay
DE State Senator
District 5

After becoming a vocal advocate for the successful Equal Rights Amendment to the Delaware Constitution, Sen. Gay was elected to the Delaware Senate in 2020, becoming the first Democrat to represent the Fifth Senate District in more than 40 years.She currently serves as the chair of the Senate Elections & Government Affairs Committee, vice-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee, and a member of both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. – https://legis.delaware.gov/AssemblyMember/151/Gay

Check out her campaign website here.

Debbie Harrington
Retired Army Colonel
As a Social Justice Advocate, Debbie Harrington, has been the “boots on the ground” in Delaware communities, organizing food donations, back to school supplies, health fairs, financial literacy seminars and environmental protection initiatives. She still serves on boards where she has been able to affect education and health policies for all people. She is known for getting the hard jobs done. – https://debbiefordelaware.com/meet-debbie/
Check out her campaign website here.

Sherry Dorsey Walker
DE State Representative
District 3
Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, is the first Person of Color elected to the Delaware House of Representatives from the 3rd District in 2018. As well, she is First Woman and the First Person of Color elected in the 6th District to the Wilmington City Council in 2012. She earned a Masters in Film from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware in English/Journalism. She is a proud product of St. Elizabeth School, where she attended for 12 years. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-3/
Check out her campaign website here.

Congressional Race to Watch

 

Colleen Davis
DE State Treasurer
Colleen C. Davis was elected State Treasurer in November 2018 and re-elected to a second term in 2022. Since taking office, Treasurer Davis has focused on three main priorities: bolstering retirement security and readiness, creating pathways to economic empowerment, and promoting a culture of financial excellence. Highlights of her first term include maintaining Delaware’s AAA bond rating, increasing return on the state’s investments by more than $58 million, and creating Delaware Expanding Access to Retirement & Necessary Savings (EARNS), an Auto-IRA program for Delaware private-sector workers not otherwise covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. – https://treasurer.delaware.gov/about-colleen-davis/
Check out her campaign website here.

Sarah McBride
DE State Senator

District 1As a state senator, McBride has passed legislation expanding access to health care, requiring mental health and media literacy education in public schools, promoting green technologies, and protecting workers and families. In just her first term, McBride also passed the landmark Healthy Delaware Families Act, providing paid family and medical leave to workers throughout the First State and marking the largest expansion of Delaware’s social safety net in decades. She currently serves as chair of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee, and a member of the Senate Banking, Business, Insurance & Technology, Education, Executive and Judiciary committees. – https://senatedems.delaware.gov/members/senate-district-1/

Check out her campaign website here.


Eugene Young
Director of Housing Authority
Delaware’s Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, Eugene R. Young, Jr. was appointed to
his current position by Governor John Carney in May of 2021. In cooperation with other state agencies and advocates, Director Young drives DSHA’s mission to provide and assist others to provide, quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. – https://leadershipdelaware.org/teams/eugene-young-jr/

Check out his campaign website here.


Local Government Relations

When we say we offer
LOCAL government relations services,
what do we mean…?

Navigating the Mid-Atlantic with Compass Advocacy

Whether you call them counties, boroughs, parishes, or municipalities– each local jurisdiction plays a crucial role in governing daily life.. These local jurisdictions vary by state, county, and city all across the country. Just to make matters more confusing, each local government has a different way of governing. They have different names, different structures, responsibilities, and strategies for getting things done. At Compass Advocacy, we provide state and local government relations services, where we foster strong connections with decision-makers in local governments across the Mid-Atlantic region, aiming to simplify and guide you through the intricate processes.


Maryland Local Government 

Understanding the three forms of Maryland government is key: County Commissioners, Code Home Rule, and Charter. From Calvert to Washington, our expertise spans various counties, ensuring comprehensive government relations management.

County Commissioners: Empowered by the General Assembly, this form allows legislation for specific counties.  While a board of county commissioners exercises both executive and legislative functions defined by State law, and may enact ordinances, its legislative power is limited to those areas authorized by the General Assembly, enabling legislation, or public local laws.

Our reach extends to these counties:Calvert, Carroll, Garrett, St. Mary’s, Somerset, and Washington.


Code Home Rule: Since 1915, counties have had the option of governing under code home rule, which enables them to exercise broad local legislative authority.

Our reach extends to these counties: Allegany, Caroline, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Worcester.


Charter: The charter government separates the executive branch from the legislative branch. Most typically, it consists of a county executive and a county council.

Our reach extends to these counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Talbot, and Wicomico.

Delaware Local Government 

The state of Delaware government affairs comprises  three counties: New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Our services extend to facilitate effective state government relations.

New Castle County

New Castle County manages local affairs by the County Executive and Council . The County Council is the legislative body and is made up of 12 members elected from each of the 12 districts, and the council president who is elected at-large. The county council is responsible for passing laws that help with the health and welfare of residents including topics like the budget, planning and zoning, and public entities such as public libraries.


Kent County
Distinguished by its name, the Levy Court, Kent County’s Levy Court consists of six commissioners elected by the district and one who is elected at large. They largely deal with zoning and development issues.


Sussex County
Sussex County, Delaware is governed by a County Council and a County administrator. The County Council consists of five members elected from five geographic districts. Each member serves a 4-year term. The County Council is responsible for the budget, policies impacting residents’ health and safety and growth and development goals for the county. The County Administrator is appointed by the Council and oversees the budget and policy implementation on behalf of the Council. Unlike other DE local governments, the County Administrator oversees services such as public safety, planning and zoning, and tax collection.

D.C. Local Government 

D.C. local government functions like many local governments with Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. However, their relationship with the federal government sets them apart from other local state jurisdictions.

Executive- The Mayor
The current DC Mayor is Muriel Bowser. Who is responsible for the daily administration of the district government and is elected by 4-year terms. This includes overseeing government agencies such as the Metropolitan Police Department, public schools, the Health Department, and the Department of Planning and Economic Development. The Mayor approves or vetoes laws passed by the Council and is ultimately responsible for executing those laws.


Legislative- The Council of the District of Columbia
The city of DC is split into 8 wards, or districts, divided up by population. The council is made up of 1 member from each ward, as well as 5 at-large members, including a chairman, that represent the entire district. Members serve four-year terms, with staggered elections taking place every two years. The Council is responsible for making laws on behalf of DC residents on a variety of topics including crime, education, parking, and the budget.

In 2016, DC finally got control over its budget, separating it from the federal budget. Once the budget has passed the council, it is now submitted to Congress for a 30-day passive review, not requiring Congress to act for the budget to take effect.


National Representation

Taxation without representation! Famously, DC has no voting representation in the federal government. Due to their incorporated status, DC is only allowed to elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton currently serves on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

https://mailchi.mp/compassadvocacy/compass-gr-august-navigator-9086948

Understanding State and Local Government in Maryland, Delaware and D.C

At Compass Government Relations, we specialize in government affairs, government consulting, and lobbying services, ensuring effective state and federal government relations management. For detailed insights, explore our Compass Navigator or contact us today to learn more about our state and local government relations services!

Maryland Session 2024 – Legislative Aide Internship

Compass Legislative Internship Job DescriptionCompass Government Relations Partners are looking for a reliable and motivated intern with an interest in government, policy, and Maryland politics. Interest and experience in social media content creation is a plus. Excellent candidates for this position are personable, and willing to follow directions working individually or as part of a team. Candidates should excel in a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment, and possess excellent writing and time management skills.

Candidates will be required to work a minimum of 15 hours/week required during Session (January-April), &
should have availability Tuesdays-Fridays from 9:00am – 4:00pm.

 

To apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and 2 professional references to compass@compassadvocacy.com with subject line: “Compass Intern Application”.
Application Deadline: October 30, 2023.

Federal Government Relations: Lobby Days

“All politics is local”
– Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill
At any level of government, from local to federal, curating relationships with your legislators is essential to the successful pursuit of your legislative priorities.

Lobby days provide advocates with the opportunity to directly engage with legislators and decision makers. Direct engagement with policymakers and their staff allow the unique opportunity to express concerns, share personal stories, and make persuasive arguments in support of the cause. This allows you, the advocate, to influence legislation directly.

Engaging with your federal lawmakers may seem like an insurmountable task if you don’t know where to start. But Compass Advocacy manages several federal client portfolios — we can help! Our government relations services have had immense success engaging federal lawmakers across the country with constituents in their own district.

From fly-ins to DC for a lobby day with State delegations, to site visits across the country, Compass is ready to get you in front of the decision makers that matter most for your cause! If you’re in need of a government affairs consultant, contact our team today.

Delaware General Assembly 2023 Highlight

“In just the last few years, we have set new renewable energy standards for our utilities to follow, passed legislation to enable and expand community solar development, adopted a statewide climate action plan, reactivated and empowered a new energy advisory council, promoted the adoption of electric vehicles, and created new avenues for historically disadvantaged communities to reap the benefits of solar power. Now, we are working to create greenhouse gas reduction targets,  transition our state school bus fleet to electric and consolidate the oversight and planning of Delaware’s energy policy into a single office with new resources and direction.” she said.

“Thankfully, my legislative colleagues and Governor John Carney recognize that, as the lowest lying state in the nation, Delaware simply can’t afford to view renewable energy and environmental issues as a niche interest any longer.”

– Senator Stephanie Hansen,
Chair of the Delaware Senate’s Environment, Energy & Transportation Committee

 

Read More About Delaware Here!

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