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May 6, 2024

Senate Republicans Issue Statement Announcing Opposition to House Bill 350

On Friday, May 3, 2024, Senate Republicans issued the below statement announcing their opposition to HB 350 as currently drafted. The bill would create a review board to oversee hospitals’ budgets and financial plans and recently passed the Delaware House of Representatives.

“Just after 9:30 p.m. last Thursday, April 25, 2024, the House of Representatives passed House Substitute 2 for House Bill 350 with House Amendment 1 (HB 350). The passage came after nearly four hours of contentious debate, strong public opposition from each of Delaware’s non-profit hospital systems, and healthcare officials cautioning supporters that the legislation could lead to a shortage of healthcare workers and, ultimately, services.

“Reducing the cost of healthcare is a laudable goal and one each of us in the Delaware General Assembly should support. However, the blame for increased costs should not be placed at the feet of our hospitals, which, according to testimony from the Delaware Healthcare Association, operated on a negative 2.55% margin last year.

“In Vermont, legislation has been introduced to overhaul its Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB). This group and its responsibilities serve as one of the models of HB 350 and the proposed Diamond State Hospital Cost Review Board. The UVM Health Network had its recent proposed budget denied and revised by the GMCB, and now faces major financial challenges and had to reduce the number of open positions available.

“HB 350 is slated to be heard in the Senate Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. We strongly oppose HB 350 and the government’s intended takeover of hospitals’ budgets. Rarely has the government imposed stronger restrictions or, in cases like this, directly interjected itself into the private industry and improved the conditions it wished to correct. This will no doubt hinder or, worse, destroy Delaware’s non-profit hospitals.”

The Second Floor Podcast:

Government Takeover of Hospitals

37th District State Representative Valerie Jones Giltner has 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry as a nurse and consultant. She and Senator Brian Pettyjohn join The Second Floor to discuss House Bill 350 and how it will severely harm healthcare in Delaware.

Public comment registration, the livestream link, and additional information about HB 350 can be found here.

Offshore Wind Public Forum

On Wednesday, May 1st, Senate Republican Leader Gerald Hocker and Representative Ron Gray held a public forum at the Indian River High School in Dagsboro regarding the proposed offshore wind farm off the coast of Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland. There, constituents listened to panelists both in support and opposition to the project, and were able to have their questions answered during Q&A following presentations.

Legislation Introduced to

Limit Late-Introduction of Bills

Senator Eric Buckson and House Republican Leader Mike Ramone recently introduced a constitutional amendment that would prohibit most bills from being introduced after the second Friday in June. The "money bills", such as the budget, are exempted from this since the mark up period can run late into the legislative session. There will be a process established to allow for a bill to circumvent this requirement so long as 3/4 of the chamber opposite of the bill’s House of origin approves its introduction. Currently, over a dozen states have similar provisions in place.

As of this writing, SB 242 has not been released from the Senate Executive Committee. Senator Hocker and Senator Pettyjohn, the two Republicans on the committee, did sign the "bill backer" authorizing its release. Two additional signatures are required.

Honoring the National Guard

Association of Delaware

In April, Senator Lawson introduced House Concurrent Resolution 120 in the Senate. HCR 120 honors the men and women of the National Guard Association of Delaware for their service in advocating, organizing, training and equipping the National Guard in support of the defense of our state and our nation.

51st Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service

Members of the Senate Republican Caucus joined law enforcement, LEO families and supporters at the annual Law Enforcement Officers Memorial service last Wednesday. The event is hosted each year by the Delaware State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police to honor the men and women who lost their lives protecting Delaware's communities.

Thank you to the men and women in blue who serve, and especially to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Delaware State Police Reports Increase in Suspected Drug Overdoses

The Delaware State Police (DSP) and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) are urging heightened awareness following a surge in suspected drug overdoses, particularly in Sussex County.


Between April 26 and 30, 2024, troopers recorded a significant increase in overdoses, tragically resulting in at least one fatality and severe medical emergencies.


Many affected individuals exhibited symptoms resistant to Naloxone, with some requiring intubation, and experiencing uncontrollable convulsions despite administering anti-seizure medication. Repeat doses of Naloxone may be necessary in these incidents to restore normal breathing.


To read the full release, please click here.

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