Delaware House of Representatives
|Delaware House of Representatives|
|2013 session start:||January 8, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Peter Schwartzkopf , (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Valerie Longhurst, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Daniel Short, (R)|
| Democratic Party (27) |
Republican Party (14)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Delaware Constitution|
|Salary:||$41,680/year + expenses|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (41 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (41 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Delaware Legislature has control|
Article II of the Delaware Constitution establishes when the Delaware General Assembly, of which the House is a part, is to be in session. Section 4 of Article II states that the General Assembly is to convene on the second Tuesday of January of each calendar year, and it is not to extend beyond the last day of June.
Section 4 also allows the General Assembly to be convened into special session by the Governor of Delaware or by the mutual call of the presiding officers of both Houses.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 8 through June 30.
Major issues for the 147th legislative session include gun control, gay marriage, and budgetary problems.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 10 through June 30.
Legislators focused more on economic rather than social issues this session, including reforms to Medicaid and addressing the budget deficit.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the General Assembly was in session from January 11 through June 30.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the General Assembly was in session from January 12th to June 30th.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Delaware House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 41||John Atkins||0.8%||8,773||Richard Collins|
|District 11||Jeffrey Spiegelman||2.4%||8,618||Lynne Newlin|
|District 10||Dennis E. Williams||4.2%||10,657||Robert Rhodunda|
|District 20||Stephen Smyk||6.4%||12,158||M. Marie Mayor|
|District 33||Harold Peterman||6.8%||9,032||John Klevin Robbins|
|District 29||William C. Paradee III||8.6%||9,541||Lincoln Willis|
|District 37||Ruth Briggs King||9.7%||9,165||Elizabeth McGinn|
|District 23||Paul Baumbach||14.5%||8,329||Mark Doughty|
|District 34||Donald Blakey||16%||10,022||Theodore Yacucci|
|District 38||Ronald Gray||22.2%||12,937||Shirley Price|
The primary nomination process for candidates wishing to run in these elections was to gain the party's nomination at state conventions held by the state's two major political parties in May. Candidates wishing to run as independents could submit nominating signatures up through July 30. The primary election day was September 14, 2010.
The partisan breakdown of the House before and after the election was as follows:
|Delaware House of Representatives|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in house campaigns was $2,583,173. The top 10 overall contributors were: 
|2010 Donors, Delaware House of Representatives|
|Ellis, David E||$83,043|
|LaVelle, Gregory Francis||$52,700|
|King, Stanley & Ruth||$30,000|
|Manolakos, Nick T||$25,665|
|Delaware Racing Association||$21,503|
|Delaware Association of Realtors||$20,731|
|Kenton, Harvey & Jeanne||$20,000|
|Delaware Education Association||$19,203|
|Gallogly, Kay Wilde||$17,920|
|Delaware Citizens for Economic Development||$14,700|
Article II, Section 3 of the Delaware Constitution states: No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-four years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State three years next preceding the day of his election, and the last year of that term an inhabitant of the Representative District in which he shall be chosen, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this State.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the State House, the House Speaker must call for a special election. The election must be called for no later than 30 days after the vacancy happened. The Governor may make the declaration if the House is not in session. The date of the election must be set no later than 10 days after a declaration was made.
- See also: Redistricting in Delaware
The Delaware General Assembly is responsible for redistricting.
Delaware received its 2010 census data on March 1, 2011. The state population increased by over 115,000 (nearly 15%), topping 900,000 residents. Significant population shifts threatened to radically alter state House and Senate districts. According to the Delaware Population Consortium, there was a large shift to the southern part of the state, with Sussex County growing by 25% while New Castle County only saw 7% growth.
With a comfortable majority in the House, Democrats controlled the redistricting process, although Republicans did construct a counter-proposal to Democratic maps. The House passed its redistricting map on June 28, 2011 on a party line vote. House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf said that no substantial changes were made to the map after public hearings were held. Of the 15 Republican House members, 10 voted no and 5 did not vote. Schwartzkopf said he was not surprised by the Republican vote against the map.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of May 2013|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, deciding all questions of order, signing all bills and resolutions passed by the House, and appointing all committees and subcommittees.
|Current Leadership, Delaware House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Peter Schwartzkopf||Democratic|
|State House Majority Leader||Valerie Longhurst||Democratic|
|State House Majority Whip||John Viola||Democratic|
|State House Minority Leader||Daniel Short||Republican|
|State House Minority Whip||Deborah Hudson||Republican|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2012, members of the Delaware legislature are paid $42,750 per year. Legislators are allowed a maximum of $7,334 in expenses annually.
When sworn in
Delaware legislators assume office the day after their election.
The Delaware House of Representatives has 25 standing committees:
- Agriculture Committee
- Appropriations Committee
- Capital Infrastructure Committee
- Corrections Committee
- Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee
- Education Committee
- Energy Committee
- Ethics Committee
- Gaming & Parimutuels Committee
- Health & Human Development Committee
- House Administration Committee
- House Rules Committee
- Housing & Community Affairs Committee
- Joint Finance Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Labor Committee
- Legislative Council Committee
- Manufactured Housing Committee
- Natural Resources Committee
- Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee
- Revenue & Finance Committee
- Sunset Committee (Policy Analysis & Government Accountability)
- Telecommunication Internet & Technology Committee
- Transportation/Land Use and Infrastructure Committee
- Veterans Affairs Committee
Partisan balance 1992-2013
In May 2013 Ballotpedia conducted a study of the partisan control of state government from 1992-2013. During those 22 years, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Delaware State House of Representatives for five years and the Republicans for 17 years. During the final five years of the study, Delaware was under Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 579 Democratic and 482 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the Delaware House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Delaware House of Representatives
- Delaware House of Representatives on Wikipedia
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ Beaumont Enterprise, "Budget, guns among issues facing Del. lawmakers," January 8, 2013
- ↑ Delaware First Media, "Legislators begin to form 2012 agenda," January 8, 2012
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Delaware House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Delaware Legislature "Delaware Election Code"(Referenced Statutes § 7101 and § 7104, Delaware Code)
- ↑ Delaware Online, "Delaware grows 15 percent, tops 900,000," December 22, 2010
- ↑ Sussex Countian, "Redistricting looms in 2011 General Assembly session," January 12, 2011
- ↑ Dover Post "UPDATE: House passes redistricting legislation, Senate vote up next," June 29, 2011
- ↑ Rules of the 145th Delaware General Assembly
- ↑ Delaware House Leaders
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ Delaware House committees
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