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Delaware House Democrats

Meet Your Representative

Debra Heffernan

District 6

Debra Heffernan

Rep. Heffernan is the former President of the Brandywine School Board and an environmental toxicologist with more than 30 years of experience. She has served on the state’s Hazardous Substances Cleanup Act (HSCA) Advisory Committee (originally named the Brownfields Advisory Committee), which works to protect Delawareans from pollutants while making the state greener and more economically viable. 

Rep. Heffernan is a member of the Bellefonte Lions Club and volunteers with local nonprofits and Special Olympics of Delaware. She has been a resident of Edgewood Hills for more than 30 years, where she lives with her husband, Pat and has three children in their 20’s that all graduated from Brandywine School District schools.

Rep. Heffernan is proud to have been selected by Parenting magazine as Delaware’s 2010 Outstanding Mom Advocate for Education and represented Delaware at the inaugural Mom Congress held in Washington, D.C. She is a multi-year recipient of the Legislative Service Award from the Delaware State Council for Persons with Disabilities and was inducted into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

Throughout her career, Rep. Heffernan has championed legislation for teachers, families, people with disabilities and caregivers. She was the author of Delaware’s parental leave law for state employees and teachers, and a lead sponsor of the Healthy Delaware Families Act, which provided paid family and medical leave for all workers in Delaware.


Spouse: Patrick; Children: Margaret, Jake and Charlotte


Caesar Rodney High School; University of Delaware, B.A. in Biology; Duke University, M.S. Environmental Toxicology


Environmental Toxicologist, Former President of Brandywine School Board

Legislative Service:

House, 2010 - Present


Capital Infrastructure, Co-Chair

Agriculture, Member

Health & Human Development, Member

Natural Resources & Energy, Chair

Veterans Affairs, Member

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Legislative Highlights

House Bill 364

This Act provides a registration system for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. At the present time, individuals and organizations who are not certified to provide interpreting services are presenting themselves as acceptable/qualified interpreters without consequence. This is extremely problematic for […]

House Bill 454

This Act revises the Code to be consistent with federal law. The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) requires states to make a free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to all children with disabilities “between the ages of 3 […]

House Bill 467

This bill requires a school district, charter school, or the Department of Education to update a former student’s records to include the student’s updated legal name or gender if the former student’s government-issued documentation is received demonstrating the former student’s […]

House Bill 475

This Bill is the Fiscal Year 2023 Bond and Capital Improvements Act. […]


“Access in Crisis”

Several House members join panel discussion at event marking Maternal Health Awareness Several members of the House Democratic Majority participated in panel discussions at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 2024’s Maternal Health Awareness Day event in Dover. […]

Subminimum Wage to Be Phased Out

The Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 122 in June 2021, with the goal of guaranteeing fair and equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Known as the Jamie Wolfe Employment Act – in tribute to the tireless advocate for […]

House Passes Climate Solutions Act to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The House passed legislation Tuesday that would set one of the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in the nation for the lowest-lying state in the continental United States. Sponsored by Reps. Debra Heffernan and Sophie Phillips and Sen. Stephanie Hansen, House Bill 99 would set […]