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Delaware Senate Republicans

State Senate Passes Public Health Emergency Commission Reform

June 13, 2023

SB 66 requires the Commission to meet every 30 days until a state of emergency is terminated.

DOVER, DE – On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, the Delaware State Senate passed Senate Bill 66 with Senate Amendment 1 (SB 66).

Introduced by Senator Eric Buckson (R-Dover), SB 66 requires the Public Health Emergency Commission (Commission) to meet within 30 days after the declaration of a state of emergency relating to public health. The Commission would then meet every 30 days until the termination of the state of emergency order.

“Since being elected, constituents and others throughout the state have expressed that there should be more oversight over the continuation of a state of emergency order, particularly one pertaining to a public health emergency,” Senator Buckson said.

SB 66 also adds the Senate Minority Leader and House Minority leader to the Commission, which acts in an advisory capacity to the Governor during a public health emergency.

“Nearly every other board or commission has minority party representation,” stated Senator Buckson. “It’s necessary that the minority party, whether it be Republican, Democrat, or other, and the constituents they represent have a seat at the table when discussing these important matters.”

The Commission currently includes the Governor, the Speaker of the House, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and more.

SB 66 unanimously passed the Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


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