- 1 Updates
- 2 Elected Officials
- 3 Key Upcoming Elections
- 4 Obamacare / ACA
- 5 Policing
- 6 Immigration
- 7 Voting Rights
- 8 Mass Incarceration
- 9 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 10 Housing / Infrastructure
- 11 Women's Rights / Reproductive Justice
- 12 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 13 Educational Justice
- 14 Consumer Protections / Worker's Rights
- 15 Climate / Environment
- 16 Disability Rights
- 17 Organizations
- 18 Local News Sources
- 19 Relevant City and County Information
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
- Governor, John Carney Jr. 
- Secretary of State, Jeffery W. Bullock
- Speaker of the House, Peter Schwartzkopf
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.
Register to vote here. The deadline is 24 days before a primary or general election, or 10 days before a special election. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. A non-photo ID is requested every time you vote.
- Delaware's 10th State Senate District. Democrats will lose control of the State Senate if they lose one more seat to Republicans, making the 10th district crucial. The district is very close, won by an incumbent Democrat in 2014 by only 267 votes. Special Elections being held Feb 25, 2017 
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 32,000 people in Delaware (or 3.4% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 52,000 people (or 5.5% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/26/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and won't be required to provide essential health benefits. Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.
- The number of uninsured people in Delaware is predicted to be 62,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 104,000, a 67.3% increase.
- Delaware is among the states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in Delaware could pay up to 32% more for the same coverage, compared to men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.
- One study has found that a repeal of the ACA could cost Delaware 9,000 jobs.
- Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf says that a repeal would cost Delaware around $100 million.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay Strategy, young adults in Delaware could pay $833 more in 2018.
- 11 people have been killed by police in the state of Delaware from 2013 through 2016.
- 36% of the people killed by police were black.
- Black people are 1.7 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
- 8.3% of Delaware's population is foreign-born, and half of these are naturalized citizens who are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants made up roughly 2.4% of the Delaware population, about 20,000 people, in 2012.
- As of 2010, 10.6% of Delaware's business owners were immigrants.
- Immigrants comprised 10.9% of Delaware's workforce as of 2013.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Delaware paid $12.4 million in state and local taxes in 2012, including $4.5 million in sales taxes, $4.3 million in personal income taxes, and $3.6 million in property taxes.
- If all unauthorized immigrants in Delaware were deported, the state would lose $949 million in economic activity, $421.5 million in gross state product, and approximately 6,300 jobs.
According to State Department data, no refugees were resettled in Delaware in 2016.
Delaware currently has the Electronic Registration at DMVs with Partially Electronic Registration at Public Service Agencies, Online Registration, and Portability components of Voter Registration Modernization in place. Delaware also has preregistration. There is currently no pending legislation related to voting restrictions or automatic voter registration.
- Delaware had 4,141 incarcerated individuals in 2014, all in prison.
- 16,039 individuals were on probation in 2014, while 657 were on parole.
- 13.2% of incarcerated individuals are serving life sentences, with 9.6% of the prison population serving life sentences without possibility of parole.
- 1,238 black individuals per 100,000 were incarcerated in Delaware compared to 259 per 100,000 for white individuals and 220 for Hispanic individuals.
- 2.12% of the Delaware population is disenfranchised due to felony convictions, while 5.35% of the black Delaware population is disenfranchised from felony convictions.
- Delaware spent $282 million on corrections in 2014.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
- Delaware residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 27,000
- Adults and children: 78,000
- Children: 45,000
- In 2015, an average of 71,821 households and 149,981 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in any given month in Delaware. In 2011, approximately 15% of the population of Delaware was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Delaware household was $257 per household and $122 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 12,014 households, including 4,254 families and 7,306 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in any given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Delaware was $338 in 2014. Average benefits in Delaware have fallen in value by 34.4% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 4,198 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In 2015, there were 1,239 Social Security recipients receiving on average $373.68 per person, for a total of $463,000.
Housing / Infrastructure
- 21,100 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In 2014, Delaware had 32 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of the area median income.)
- In Delaware, there were 1,070 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 108 families, 107 veterans, 51 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 74 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Delaware received $108 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Delaware, more than 13,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Delaware households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 20.5% of Delaware’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 36% of Delaware’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $257 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to former Governor Jack Markell (D), roads and bridges are major infrastructure priorities for Delaware.
Women's Rights / Reproductive Justice
- Delaware has three Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, one center was in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 60,667 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were six abortion providers in Delaware in 2015.
- In 2014, 19.2 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Delaware had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- Parental consent and notice is required for minors.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
Women and Wages
- In Delaware, 12% of women live in poverty. 34.2% are single mothers and 7.5% are women aged 65 and older.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.89, which is nine cents above the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.69 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.56 for every dollar made by white men. The national average is $0.63 and $0.54 respectfully.
Domestic Violence in Delaware
- 34.9% of Delaware women and 36.7% of Delaware men experience intimate partner violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
- In 2012, there were 27,014 domestic violence incidents reported.
- Delaware domestic violence hotlines field an average of 3,684 calls annually.
- On a given day, domestic violence services report being unable to meet about 30 requests for services.
- From 2003 to 2012, 74 females were victim of homicide. 25 of these homicides were the result of domestic violence.
- 48% of these female homicide victims were murdered with firearms.
Delaware Gun Laws and Domestic Violence
- Delaware law prohibits domestic violence misdemeanants from owning firearms for five years after the date of conviction. This prohibitor will apply to dating abusers in 2017.
- Stalkers are prohibited from owning firearms because stalking is a felony.
- Respondents to permanent domestic violence protective orders, including dating abusers, are prohibited from owning firearms for the duration of the order. Judges may, but are not required, to prohibit respondents to temporary protective orders from owning firearms.
- Delaware courts may require respondents to protective orders to surrender any firearms in their possession.
- Background checks are required for all gun sales and transfers in Delaware.
Religious Freedom Law
Delaware does not have state religious freedom laws. Religious Freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
Delaware has passed nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, adoption, foster care, insurance and state employment, but not in jury selection, education or credit.
Delaware has passed nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in second-parent adoption and surrogacy, as well as laws granting parental presumption and de facto parent recognition for same-sex couples. The state has not passed laws on foster care nondiscrimination, nor on consent to inseminate (meaning that in case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is not automatically recognized as a parent)..
Hate crime laws
Delaware does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, but does not have required reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
Delaware has passed anti-bullying laws covering cyberbullying, directly mentioning LGBTQ+ youth and enumerating model policies. It has also passed laws requiring school suicide prevention policies, but it has not passed laws on transgender inclusion in sports nor laws protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. It does not have laws addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and lacks inclusive sex education and juvenile justice policies..
Health and Safety
Delaware does include LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges and bans insurance exclusion for trans health care. It does not include transgender healthcare in state Medicaid or inclusive health benefits for trans state employees. The state allows gender marker changes on drivers’ licenses but not on birth certificates; it does, however, collect information on LGBTQ+ health.
- Deleware is ranked 10th in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $8,637 per student.
- As of 2013, Deleware ranked 11th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $59,679 per year.
- 82% of students in Deleware attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 88% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 8.4% of total public school enrollment.
- Delaware's overall graduation rate is 87%, which is slightly above the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
- White: 90%
- Latino: 84%
- Black: 83%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 93%
- American Indian: 85%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 81%
- Limited English Proficient: 77%
- Students with Disabilities: 68%
Consumer Protections / Worker's Rights
- Delaware’s minimum wage is $8.25, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 but lower than Delaware’s living wage of $11.75.
- Delaware has no state law for paid sick leave.
- Delaware has no state law for paid family leave.
- Delaware is a state with no Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can not prohibit unions, that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers, from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. They are designed to reduce unions' income and power.
- Delaware is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason, with no adverse legal consequences.
- Delaware also has a public policy exemption, meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Delaware does not allow for implied contract exemptions. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Delaware does support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted this in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- Almost all of Delaware's electricity generation comes from Natural Gas (98 percent).[http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=DE#tabs-4
- Delaware has 14 sites on the National Priorities List.
- Approximately 2 percent of Delaware's land is federally owned.
- In 2014, the Black population had the highest air pollution exposure index at 48, with Latino and Asian or Pacific Islander populations the next highest at 45. Compare this to an average index of 40 and a White index of 36.[http://nationalequityatlas.org/indicators/Air_pollution:_Exposure_index/By_race~ethnicity:35886/Delaware/false/Risk_type:Cancer_and_non-cancer/
- In 2012, Latino (13.7 percent) and Native American (13 percent) adults in Delaware were most likely to have asthma, compared to 9.7 percent overall and 8.9 percent of the White population.
- The relevant environmental agency in Delaware is the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
- The Delaware Coastal Zone Act (signed into law in 1971) was implemented to address the most critical areas of the State in terms of quality of life. In 1997 the Governor had business representatives and environmental advocates develop a memorandum of understanding. This understanding granted businesses predictable regulatory measures, while ensuring that the 'footprints' of existing heavy industrial sites using the voided 1993 regulations were kept and requiring every permit to be pro-environment.
- 12.2% of Delaware's residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- Delaware adults with disabilities have an employment rate of 33.9%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. People without disabilities in Delaware have a 77.1% employment rate.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 13.3% of eligible voters in Delaware have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Delaware, 23.2% live in poverty, as opposed to 10.5% of nondisabled adults.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 36.1%, as opposed to 22.7% for nondisabled children.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
- In Delaware, 4.6% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]