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Delaware Legislature : Proposed Laws/Bills

Resources on: Laws, Bills, General Assembly, Government etc.

How to Find Bills

To begin, you'll need to know the General Assembly that the bill was created in, to see a list of the General Assemblies, their numbers and years go here.

If you know which Chamber the bill originated in and the bill number it should be fairly simple to access the bill and synopsis online unless it was created prior to the 138th General Assembly.

If you don't know the originating Chamber or the number, you can still search by the subject of the bill.  Occasionally you may have to try different search words (i.e. Guns, firearms, weapons, etc)

The Bill Tracker and Search is found here.

Types of Bills

  • Resolution: This is an expression of the opinion, sentiment or will of one Chamber of the General Assembly. It does not become a statute nor does it go beyond the authority of that Chamber. Resolutions are used to deal with internal matters of a Chamber
  • Concurrent Resolution: This expresses the opinion, sentiment or will of both Chambers of the General Assembly but still does not have the force of law or become a statute
  • Joint Resolution: This type of Resolution is the most formal and is used to employ temporary measures which are valid only if passed by both houses and signed by the Governor. It has the force of law while in effect.
  • Bill: A proposed law.
  • Constitutional Amendment: This is a proposed amendment to Delaware's Constitution which must be passed in the exact form in two successive General Assemblies (it is said to have two "legs"). The Governor may neither sign nor veto a Constitutional Amendment
  • Engrossed Bill: Is a passed bill with its amendments included

Life of a Bill

1. Introduction into either the House or Senate Chamber

2. Assigned to a Committee that is relevant to its subject, the Committee debates the bill and decides whether to release the bill as is or if changes need to be made.

3. When the bill is released from Committee, it goes back to the originating chamber where it is voted on. Amendments can be added that change certain parts or they may be technical amendments to correct grammer or wording.

4. If the bill passes the originating Chamber either in it's original state or with amendments, it will then move onto the other Chamber where it is assigned to a Committee to be debated.

5. Once released from Committee, the bill will be voted upon and amendments can be added. If amendments are added (or a substitute is created) it will have to go back to its originating chamber to be voted on again.

6. Once a bill passes both Chambers it needs the Governor's signature to become law or the Governor can veto the bill.

How a Bill Becomes a Law