Following the inauguration this week of Governor Carney and Lt. Governor Hall-Long, two items of interest to the State Chamber were unveiled.
First, with Executive Order Number One, Governor Carney announced a task force to review the structure of the Delaware Economic Development Office in an effort to modify the office into a public/private partnership. The idea, proposed in the Delaware Business Roundtable’s Growth Agenda last year and supported by the State Chamber, is based on successful models in other states across the country where private investment is utilized to help bolster state efforts focused on economic development. As the process unfolds, we will keep members updated.
Secondly, Sen. Townsend introduced SB13, a bill to address issues related to Delaware’s approach to abandoned property. Building on legislation passed in the 148th General Assembly on this issue, SB13 changes the look-back period to 10 years and directs the Secretary of State’s office to issue new regulations surrounding the use of estimation and extrapolation in abandoned property audits. The legislation is particularly important because of the amount of abandoned property revenue collected by the state of Delaware and used in the General Fund, but also because of the opinion in the Temple Inland Case last year that raised significant questions surrounding the process by which Delaware collects abandoned property. It is important to note that while this bill is a good step in the right direction to change and clarify the rules surrounding the abandoned property issue, there still remains work to do as issues like virtual currency and others play more a role.