May 20, 2019
State Chamber Update
As we head into the final two-week break, before the final four weeks of this year’s session, it’s a good time to review what will and may be considered by the General Assembly before they break in the early hours of July 1.

The legislation to legalize recreational marijuana was introduced last week, and for employers remains largely the same as what the Chamber and others opposed last session. With limited protections for employers and without the existence of an immediate test for impairment (like a breathalyzer), the bill will continue to be opposed by the Chamber. 71% of our members oppose the legalization, and over 50% would have to change their workplace drug policies to reflect legalization.

Budget markup happens over the next two weeks, and we’re watching to see if the Joint Finance Committee will set aside the approximately $92 million in the Governor’s Recommended Budget to help smooth shortfalls in the outyears. We’re also working on finalizing an important bill for the construction industry that the Chamber has been involved in for over a year. There are a few bills related to easing restrictions for professional licensing for those with arrest convictions, and bills related to school funding and new personal income tax brackets we’re watching. In addition, we continue our efforts to find creative ways to address health care costs for businesses in Delaware, an issue that remains a top priority for our members.

The Chamber will continue to keep you updated as June progresses. Check out James DeChene’s blog posts and videos highlighting the latest from Dover. As always, we invite members to share their thoughts on legislation that impacts your business.
News You Can Use
On Tuesday, existing home sales figures for April will be released, and Thursday will bring us weekly jobless claims. We end the week on Friday with durable goods orders data from April.

And finally, from the Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April 2019 was 3.2%, down from 3.3% in March 2019. There were 15,800 unemployed Delawareans in April 2019 compared to 18,700 in April 2018. The US unemployment rate was 3.6% in April 2019, down from 3.8% in March 2019. In April 2018 the US unemployment rate was 3.9%, while Delaware’s rate was also 3.9%. In April 2019, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 465,100, up from 464,800 in March 2019. Since April 2018, Delaware’s total nonfarm jobs have increased by a net gain of +4,100, a rise of 0.9%. Nationally, jobs during that period increased 1.8%.
Michael J. Quaranta
Delaware State Chamber of Commerce
O. A. Newton has been delivering exceptional Material Handling Systems worldwide for plastics processors, wood-composite lumber companies, tire manufacturers and many more for the past three decades.
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