CHAPTER 171

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 122

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend § 3001, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3001. Creation; composition; State Human Relations Commission composition; vacancies; compensation compensation; removal; quorum.

(a) There is created a State Human Relations Commission which shall consist of 28 members. The State Human Relations Commission consists of 18 members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor and, collectively, meet all of the following criteria:

(1) Broadly represent the various racial and cultural groups of this State.

(2) All reasonable efforts must be made to ensure that each county is represented by at least 5 members. Each county of the State shall be represented by 7 members, and 7 members shall be selected without regard to the county in which they reside. The members shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be broadly representative of various racial and cultural groups of the State. Seven of the original members shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, 7 for a term of 2 years, 7 for a term of 3 years and 7 for a term of 4 years. Thereafter, all appointments shall be made for terms of 4 years.

(b) Commission appointments are for 4-year terms. The Governor may appoint a member for a term of less than 4 years to ensure that no more than 5 members’ terms expire in 1 year. In the event of death, removal or resignation of a member, a successor shall be appointed to serve for the unexpired term.

(c) Members shall serve A Commission member serves without compensation but shall be is reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses; provided, however, expenses, except that those Commissioners a member designated by the Chairperson Chair to serve on hearing panels shall be is compensated the sum of $50 per day day, up to a maximum of $500 $1,500 in a calendar year year, for each day spent in attendance of attending a hearing.

(d) Any member of the Commission who fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings, without reasonable excuse to the Chairperson, or fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall automatically upon such occurrence be deemed to have resigned from office and the Chairperson shall immediately notify the Governor that a vacancy on the Commission exists and that a replacement must be appointed. The notice shall identify the member deemed to have resigned and the reason therefore. A Commission member may be removed at any time for gross inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.

(1) A member is deemed in neglect of duty if the member, without good cause, is absent from 3 consecutive meetings or attends less than 50% of meetings in a calendar year.

(2) A member deemed in neglect of duty is considered to have resigned. The Commission Chair shall immediately notify the Governor of the resignation.

(e) The Commission shall adopt bylaws that provide for operating procedures procedures, such as: as election of officers, appointment of committees, designation of a quorum, conducting of meetings, and other matters that will promote the Commission’s efficient operation of the Commission in the performance of its duties under this chapter.

(f) A majority of appointed members must be present at a meeting in order to have a quorum and conduct official business.

Section 2. Amend § 3002, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3002. Chairperson Chair and executive committee; meetings.

(a) The Governor shall designate 1 of the members of the Commission to serve as its Chairperson The Commission shall elect a Chair from among the members of the Commission.

(b) The Chairperson of the Commission may appoint an executive committee of not less than 7 members. The Chairperson shall serve as Chairperson of the executive committee. An executive committee of the Commission consists of 7 members. The Commission Chair shall serve as Chair of the executive committee. The Chair may appoint the remaining 6 executive committee members after consultation with the Commission regarding which members to appoint.

(c) There shall be a meeting of the The executive committee or of the Commission shall meet at least once a month.

Section 3. Amend § 3003, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3003. Responsibilities.

The Commission shall be is responsible for carrying out public information and education programs, for preparing reports and recommendations, and for making surveys and studies necessary for the performance of its duties under this chapter. The Commission may delegate 1 or more of its responsibilities under this section to the Division; provided, however, that such Division of Human Relations, but the delegation shall must specifically state the responsibility the Division must undertake.

Section 4. Amend § 3004, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3004. Powers and duties.

The Commission shall cooperate with the Governor, the General Assembly, public agencies, officials, firms, corporations, civic groups groups, and individuals in promoting amicable relationships among the various racial and cultural groups within the State. To this end the Commission may do any of the following:

(1) Act as conciliator in matters involving race, age, marital status, color, sex, disability, creed, national origin or ancestry; provided, however, that the members of groups protected under the laws enforced by the Commission. The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act in Chapter 100 of Title 29 shall do not apply to meetings that involve conciliation or mediation; mediation.

(2) Make such Complete investigations, surveys surveys, and studies as are pertinent to the performance of its duties; duties.

(3) Make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly concerning needed legislation.

(4) Perform duties assigned to the Commission under Chapters 45, 46, and 78 of Title 6.

Section 5. Amend § 3004, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3004. Powers and duties.

The Commission shall cooperate with the Governor, the General Assembly, public agencies, officials, firms, corporations, civic groups groups, and individuals in promoting amicable relationships among the various racial and cultural groups within the State. To this end the Commission may do any of the following:

(1) Act as conciliator in matters involving race, age, marital status, color, sex, disability, creed, national origin or ancestry; provided, however, that the members of groups protected under the laws enforced by the Commission. The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act in Chapter 100 of Title 29 shall do not apply to meetings that involve conciliation or mediation; mediation.

(2) Make such Complete investigations, surveys surveys, and studies as are pertinent to the performance of its duties; duties.

(3) Make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly concerning needed legislation.

(4) Perform duties assigned to the Commission under Chapter 45 and 46 of Title 6.

Section 6. Amend § 3005, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3005. Special Administration Fund.

(a) Creation. — There is created in the State Treasury a A special fund in the State Treasury, to be known as the Special Administration Fund of the Human Relations Commission. Commission and referred to as “the Fund” throughout this section, This Fund shall consist consists of:

(1) All civil penalties assessed and collected pursuant to Chapter 45 or 46 under Chapters 45, 46, or 78 of Title 6.

(2) Costs, attorneys' fees fees, and expenses awarded to the Commission pursuant to Chapter 45 or 46 under Chapters 45, 46, or 78 of Title 6.

(3) All Community Development Block Grant moneys designated for the administration and enforcement of Chapter 46 of Title 6.

(4) All other moneys specifically designated for this the Fund.

(5) All interest on or profits earned by the Special Administration Fund.

(b) Administration. 

(1) All moneys collected pursuant to under this section shall must be deposited or paid into this Fund and shall be the Fund, are continuously available to the Commission for expenditure in accordance with this section and shall section, do not lapse at any time or time, and may not be transferred to any other fund fund, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. All moneys in this the Fund shall must be prudently invested to the credit of this the Fund, administered and disbursed in the same manner as is provided by law for other special funds in the State Treasury and such moneys shall be Treasury, and maintained in a separate ledger account on the books of the Secretary of Finance.

(2) All moneys in the Fund which are received from the federal government or any agency thereof government, or any of its agencies, or which are appropriated by this State for purposes described in this chapter or Chapters 45 or 46 45, 46, or 78 of Title 6, shall may be expended solely for the proper and efficient administration of this chapter.

(3) The State Treasurer shall be is the custodian of and shall be liable on the State Treasurer's official bond for the faithful performance of duties in connection with the Fund. Such liability on the official bond shall exist exists in addition to the liability on any separate bond which the State Treasurer may give be given by the State Treasurer. All sums recovered on any such official bond for losses sustained by the Fund shall must be deposited in the Fund.

(c) Use. — The Commission may use moneys in the Special Administration Fund may be used by the Commission for any of the following purposes:

(1) The payment of litigation expenses, costs costs, and attorneys' fees in connection with the enforcement provisions of Chapters 45 and 46 45, 46, or 78 of Title 6.

(2) The payment of the expenses of investigations conducted pursuant to under Chapters 45 and 46 45, 46, or 78 of Title 6, and this chapter.

(3) The payment of studies and surveys conducted pursuant to under this chapter.

(d) Transfer. — The Commission, whenever it If the Commission determines that the money in the Special Administration Fund is more than adequate to pay for all foreseeable needs for which this Fund is created, it may authorize the transfer therefrom of money from the Fund to the General Fund of such in an amount as it the Commission deems proper.

Section 7. Amend § 3005, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3005. Special Administration Fund.

(a) Creation. — There is created in the State Treasury a A special fund in the State Treasury, to be known as the Special Administration Fund of the Human Relations Commission. Commission and referred to as “the Fund” throughout this section, This Fund shall consist consists of:

(1) All civil penalties assessed and collected pursuant to under Chapter 45 or 46 of Title 6.

(2) Costs, attorneys' fees fees, and expenses awarded to the Commission pursuant to under Chapter 45 or 46 of Title 6.

(3) All Community Development Block Grant moneys designated for the administration and enforcement of Chapter 46 of Title 6.

(4) All other moneys specifically designated for this the Fund.

(5) All interest on or profits earned by the Special Administration Fund.

(b) Administration. 

(1) All moneys collected pursuant to under this section shall must be deposited or paid into this Fund and shall be the Fund, are continuously available to the Commission for expenditure in accordance with this section and shall section, do not lapse at any time or time, and may not be transferred to any other fund fund, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. All moneys in this the Fund shall must be prudently invested to the credit of this the Fund, administered and disbursed in the same manner as is provided by law for other special funds in the State Treasury and such moneys shall be Treasury, and maintained in a separate ledger account on the books of the Secretary of Finance.

(2) All moneys in the Fund which are received from the federal government or any agency thereof government, or any of its agencies, or which are appropriated by this State for purposes described in this chapter or Chapters 45 or 46 of Title 6, shall may be expended solely for the proper and efficient administration of this chapter.

(3) The State Treasurer shall be is the custodian of and shall be liable on the State Treasurer's official bond for the faithful performance of duties in connection with the Fund. Such liability on the official bond shall exist exists in addition to the liability on any separate bond which the State Treasurer may give be given by the State Treasurer. All sums recovered on any such official bond for losses sustained by the Fund shall must be deposited in the Fund.

(c) Use. — The Commission may use moneys in the Special Administration Fund may be used by the Commission for any of the following purposes:

(1) The payment of litigation expenses, costs costs, and attorneys' fees in connection with the enforcement provisions of Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6.

(2) The payment of the expenses of investigations conducted pursuant to under Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6, and this chapter.

(3) The payment of studies and surveys conducted pursuant to under this chapter.

(d) Transfer. — The Commission, whenever it If the Commission determines that the money in the Special Administration Fund is more than adequate to pay for all foreseeable needs for which this Fund is created, it may authorize the transfer therefrom money from the Fund to the General Fund of such in an amount as it the Commission deems proper.

Section 8. Amend § 3006, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 3006. Subpoenas; compelling testimony.

(a) The Commission may issue subpoenas and order discovery in aid of the investigations, surveys surveys, and studies authorized under § 3004 of this title when the Attorney General has reason to believe that such subpoenas and discovery will enable the Commission to perform the duties imposed by this chapter.

(b) Any subpoena, process, order of the Commission, or other paper requiring service may be served by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, or constable, or by any employee of the Division of Human Relations.

(c) If a witness refuses to obey a subpoena that the Commission lawfully issued by the Commission, or to give evidence the Commission properly requested by the Commission, the Commission may petition the Superior Court to compel the witness to obey the subpoena or give the evidence. The Court shall immediately issue process to the witness and shall hold a hearing on the petition as soon as possible. If the witness refuses, without reasonable cause or legal grounds, to obey the subpoena or to give the evidence, the Court shall punish the witness for contempt.

Section 9. Amend § 4508, Title 6 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 4508. Procedure on complaint.

(c) Within 120 days after the complaint is filed, the Division shall investigate the complaint and endeavor to eliminate any unlawful discriminatory practice discovered through conciliation. Insofar as possible, conciliation meetings shall be held in the county where the alleged discriminatory public accommodations practice occurred. If the matter is resolved through conciliation, the parties shall enter a conciliation agreement stating the terms of the resolution of the matter. If the Division determines that the allegations in the complaint do not state a claim for which relief is available under this chapter or that the claim is not within the scope of the Division's jurisdiction, it may petition the Division Commission, with notice to the complainant, to dismiss the complaint.

Section 10. Section 1 of this Act takes effect 1 year after enactment. Sections, 2, 3, 8, and 9 of this Act take effect upon enactment. Sections 4 and 6 of this Act take effect upon enactment, but only if Senate Bill No. 49 of the 149th General Assembly, or any substitute for Senate Bill No. 49, is enacted. Sections 5 and 7 of this Act take effect upon enactment, but only if Senate Bill No. 49 of the 149th General Assembly, or any substitute for Senate Bill No. 49, is not enacted.

Approved September 14, 2017