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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate Leadership statement on Republican calls for in-person legislative session

April 7, 2021

Delaware State Senate Majority Caucus
Contact: Scott Goss (302) 744-4180, or
Dylan McDowell (302) 744-4282

Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, D-Newark, Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, D-Bear/Newark and Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, D-Wilmington, released the following statement today in response to Republican leaders calling for the Delaware General Assembly to resume session in person:

“We are all eager to return to in-person meetings in Legislative Hall when it is safe to do so.

But the Minority Party’s suggestion that we cannot or should not continue our work before that happens flies in the face of what Delawareans demanded at the ballot box last fall.

Delawareans have been asked to make dramatic changes in how they conduct business, and they’ve adapted time and time again. They deserve the same nimbleness from their elected representatives.

Our virtual legislative session has resulted in unprecedented public involvement as evidenced by last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee, which may have been the most well-attended committee meeting in the history of the Delaware General Assembly. More than 800 people were able to attend that meeting – four times the fire code occupancy limit of the largest room in Legislative Hall. Public comment was strictly held to one minute per person for people on both sides of the debate, specifically so we could hear from as many people as possible.

Thousands of constituents also have communicated with members of the General Assembly on gun safety issues by email, by telephone and in person over the last several years.

Each and every one of those Delawareans had a chance to participate in the legislative process without anyone having their health or safety put at risk by someone who refuses to admit COVID-19 is real, refuses to be vaccinated, or refuses to take the most basic precaution to protect themselves and their neighbors.

Again, we will return to the Legislative Hall when it is safe. 

In the meantime, we will not be bullied into delaying legislation broadly supported by Delawareans of both political parties. We will not be bullied into putting the public’s health at risk. And we will not be dissuaded from governing, especially at a time when Delaware is just beginning to recover from this pandemic.”