The House Democratic Caucus outlined a public participation process that includes an online component.
“One of the things we recognized during the pandemic was that by providing a way for residents to watch and participate in their government remotely, more and more people were able to stay informed and have their voices heard. We had record attendance and participation in our committee meetings, and it’s something that we are eager to continue to provide,” said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst.
House Democrats saie Committee meetings provide a public vetting of legislation where legislators can ask questions of a bill sponsor, state agency heads or other experts. The public also has the opportunity to voice their support, opposition or concerns about legislation about each bill before the committee members vote on whether to release it. Committee members take a public vote on whether to release the bill from the committee for consideration by the full House of Representatives.
Members of the public have multiple opportunities to view House committees and provide public comment during the meetings. They may attend proceedings and offer comments on legislation in person at Legislative Hall in Dover., the committee noted.
Residents also can view meetings online at the General Assembly website. If they wish to make a public comment remotely, they must call into the established conference call line and enter the passcode provided on the committee meeting agenda page.
Those wishing to comment are submit written comments via email at HouseCommitteeComment@delaware.gov before or up to close of business the day after the committee meeting takes place. All public comments will be incorporated into the committee meeting record.
All sessions of the full House are broadcast live on the General Assembly website, and members of the public may attend sessions in person in the House Chamber.
During the pandemic, Republican legislators were critical of Democrats keeping hearings and other legislative matters online only. Democrats countered by noting that the online format increased public participation.
Despite the popularity of online meetings, some local and state government units have shifted back to an in-person only format.