Delaware State Senate Bill 168 was approved on a 13-8 party line vote Thursday, with one Republican joining majority Democrats. The bill was sponsored by Senator Bryan Townsend last December.
The legislation applies to Department of Transportation employees - both permanent and seasonal - plowing snow, cutting grass or otherwise working on roads classified as interstates, expressways, arterials, or collector roads.
Other Delaware state employees eligible for hazardous duty pay include those working for the Delaware Psychiatric Center assigned to programs for the criminally insane, workers in the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services facilities, and Department of Corrections.
The bill now moves to the House where Republicans say taxpayers can't afford the estimated $2.5 million annual expense measure, and that lawmakers continue to deplete the transportation trust fund, which is intended to pay for construction projects, to pay for DelDOT operating expenses.