Delaware House of Representatives

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Delaware House of Representatives

Seal of Delaware.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 14, 2014
Website:   Official House Page
Leadership
House Speaker:  Peter Schwartzkopf (D)
Majority Leader:   Valerie Longhurst (D)
Minority leader:   Daniel Short (R)
Structure
Members:  41
  
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art II, Delaware Constitution
Salary:   $41,680/year + expenses
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (41 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (41 seats)
Redistricting:  Delaware Legislature has control
The Delaware House of Representatives is the lower house of the Delaware General Assembly, the state legislature of Delaware. The state House of Representatives is made of 41 representatives elected from individual legislative districts for a two-year term with no term limits.[1] Each member represents an average of 21,901 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 19,112 residents.[3]

As of October 2014, Delaware is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

See also: Delaware State Legislature, Delaware State Senate, Delaware Governor

Sessions

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.

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through July 1.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2014 legislative session included raising the minimum wage, gun control, the 2015 budget, campaign finance and the economy.[4]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through July 1.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included gun control, gay marriage, and budgetary problems.[5]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in session from January 10 through June 30.

Major issues

Legislators focused more on economic rather than social issues this session, including reforms to Medicaid and addressing the budget deficit.[6]

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the General Assembly was in session from January 11 through June 30.

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the General Assembly was in session from January 12th to June 30th.

Role in state budget

See also: Delaware state budget

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[7][8]

  1. In July and August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
  2. In October, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
  3. Budget hearings are held with the public in November.
  4. On or before February 1, the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
  5. The legislature must pass a budget with a simple majority by June 30. The fiscal year then begins in July.

The governor is constitutionally and statutorily required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.[8]

Delaware is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[8]

Delaware maintains two major governmental funds: the General Fund and the Special Fund. Within the Special Fund, there are four category types: Appropriated Special Funds (ASF), Non-appropriated Special Funds (NSF), Federal Funds and Bond Funds.[9]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Delaware was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.[10]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: Following the Money 2014 Report

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[11] According to the report, Delaware received a grade of D+ and a numerical score of 63, indicating that Delaware was "lagging" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[11]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Delaware was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[12]

Elections

2014

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives will take place in 2014. A primary election took place September 9, 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was July 8, 2014.

2012

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives were held in Delaware on November 6, 2012. All 41 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 6, 2012. The primary date was held on February 7, 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.

2010

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Delaware State House were held in Delaware on November 2, 2010. Elections were held in all of Delaware's 41 representative districts.

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
     Democratic Party 24 26
     Republican Party 17 15
Total 41 41


In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in house campaigns was $2,583,173. The top 10 overall contributors were:[13]

2008

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 9, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,334,401. The top 10 contributors were:[14]

2006

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,156,700. The top 10 contributors were:[15]

2004

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 11, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,020,644. The top 10 contributors were:[16]

2002

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 7, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,824,680. The top 10 contributors were:[17]

2000

See also: Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Delaware House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 9, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,452,617. The top 10 contributors were:[18]

Qualifications

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.

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

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.[19]

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Delaware

The Delaware General Assembly is responsible for redistricting.

2010 census

Delaware received its 2010 census data on March 1, 2011. The state population increased by over 115,000 (nearly 15%), topping 900,000 residents.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

Representatives

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of October 2014
     Democratic Party 27
     Republican Party 14
Total 41


The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Delaware State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Delaware State House.PNG

Leadership

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.[23][24]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Delaware House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Peter Schwartzkopf Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Whip John Viola Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Leader Daniel Short Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Whip Deborah Hudson Ends.png Republican

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Delaware legislature are paid $42,750 per year. Legislators are allowed a maximum of $7,334 in expenses annually.[25]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Delaware legislators assume office the day after their election.

Current members

Current members, Delaware House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed Office
1 Charles Potter, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
2 Stephanie Bolden Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
3 Helene Keeley Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
4 Gerald Brady Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
5 Melanie George Smith Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
6 Debra Heffernan Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
7 Bryon Short Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
8 S. Quinton Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
9 Rebecca Walker Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
10 Dennis E. Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
11 Jeffrey Spiegelman Ends.png Republican 2013
12 Deborah Hudson Ends.png Republican 1995
13 John Mitchell, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
14 Peter Schwartzkopf Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
15 Valerie Longhurst Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
16 James Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
17 Michael Mulrooney Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
18 Michael Barbieri Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
19 Kimberly Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
20 Stephen T. Smyk Ends.png Republican 2013
21 Michael Ramone Ends.png Republican 2009
22 Joseph Miro Ends.png Republican 1999
23 Paul S. Baumbach Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
24 Edward S. Osienski Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
25 John Kowalko, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
26 John Viola Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
27 Earl Jaques, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
28 William Carson, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
29 William C. Paradee III Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
30 William Outten Ends.png Republican 2005
31 Darryl Scott Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
32 Andria L. Bennett Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
33 Harold J. Peterman Ends.png Republican 2011
34 Donald Blakey Ends.png Republican 2007
35 David Wilson Ends.png Republican 2009
36 Harvey R. Kenton Ends.png Republican 2011
37 Ruth Briggs King Ends.png Republican 2009
38 Ronald E. Gray Ends.png Republican 2013
39 Daniel Short Ends.png Republican 2003
40 Timothy D. Dukes Ends.png Republican 2013
41 John Atkins Electiondot.png Democratic 2009

Standing committees

See also: Joint committees, Delaware General Assembly

The Delaware House of Representatives has 25 standing committees:[26]

History

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Delaware
Partisan breakdown of the Delaware legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, 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 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 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 had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Delaware, the Delaware State Senate and the Delaware House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Delaware state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Delaware state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. For twelve out of the twenty years observed during the study, Delaware ranked in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking. The state dropped out of the top-10 for a period between 1996 and 1999, hitting the rank of 16th before climbing back into the top-10 for eight more years. It again dropped out of the top-10 in 2008 and has remained out of the top rankings since then. Delaware has never had a Republican trifecta, but has had a Democratic trifecta since 2009. In the state’s longest period of divided government, there was a Democratic governor, a Democratic state senate and a Republican state house. Delaware achieved its highest SQLI ranking (3rd) in 2003 and 2004 under divided government, and its lowest ranking (20th) in 2012 under a Democratic trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 16.75
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 7.94
Chart displaying the partisanship of Delaware government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links

References

  1. Delaware General Assembly," "Delaware House of Representatives," accessed December 16, 2013
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed January 6, 2014
  3. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
  4. delaware.newszap.com, "Delaware lawmakers to revisit guns, minimum wage," accessed January 15, 2014
  5. Beaumont Enterprise, "Budget, guns among issues facing Del. lawmakers," January 8, 2013
  6. Delaware First Media, "Legislators begin to form 2012 agenda," January 8, 2012
  7. National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  9. State of Delaware Office of Management and Budget, "Budget and Accounting Policy Manual: Chapter 3 - Delaware's Accounting Framework," accessed April 14, 2014
  10. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  12. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  13. Follow the Money: "Delaware House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  14. Follow the Money, "Delaware 2008 Candidates," accessed July 8, 2013
  15. Follow the Money, "Delaware 2006 Candidates," accessed July 8, 2013
  16. Follow the Money, "Delaware 2004 Candidates," accessed July 8, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "Delaware 2002 Candidates," accessed July 8, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "Delaware 2000 Candidates," accessed July 8, 2013
  19. Delaware Legislature, "Delaware Election Code," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statutes § 7101 and § 7104, Delaware Code)
  20. Delaware Online, "Delaware grows 15 percent, tops 900,000," December 22, 2010
  21. Sussex Countian, "Redistricting looms in 2011 General Assembly session," January 12, 2011
  22. Dover Post, "UPDATE: House passes redistricting legislation, Senate vote up next," June 29, 2011
  23. Rules of the 145th Delaware General Assembly
  24. Delaware House Leaders
  25. NCSL.org, "2013 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  26. Delaware House committees