THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1995
At nine o'clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon the Speaker called the House to order.
Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Fred Shapiro of First Baptist Church in Montpelier.
Message from Senate
A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Marshall, its Assistant Secretary, as follows:
I am directed to inform the House that the Senate has on its part adopted a joint resolution of the following titles:
J.R.S. 7. Joint resolution expressing sympathy on the death of Senator John H. Bloomer of West Rutland.
In the adoption of which the concurrence of the House is requested.
Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence
The Speaker placed before the House a joint resolution, entitled
Joint resolution expressing sympathy on the death of Senator John H. Bloomer of West Rutland;
Whereas, Senator John H. Bloomer of West Rutland passed away suddenly on Tuesday, January 10, 1995, as a result of an automobile accident in Stockbridge in the early morning hours enroute to the State House; and
Whereas, Senator Bloomer had just been sworn into his second term of office as President pro tempore on Tuesday, January 4 as he began serving his sixth term as a Rutland County State Senator; and
Whereas, Senator Bloomer was the third member of his family to have held the position of President pro tempore, it previously having been held by his father, Senator Asa S. Bloomer, in 1949, 1959, 1961 and 1963, and his brother, Senator Robert A. Bloomer, in 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983, and
Whereas, Senator Bloomer, as much as anyone, embodied the traditions and values of Vermont government and Vermont politics, and
Whereas, Senator Bloomer helped carry on the traditions of his family heritage as well as our state heritage with the help and support of his constant companion and wife, Judith, with whom he had an enduring, close and loving relationship, and
Whereas, his unswerving devotion to duty extended beyond our borders to his beloved country during the years 1952-1954, when he served with honor and distinction as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict, and
Whereas, with his passing the State has lost a well-loved citizen who served the people of Vermont for many years with complete dedication to their best interest; now therefore be it
RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
That we hereby express our profound sorrow on account of the death of Senator John H. Bloomer, and extend to his wife, Judy, his children, Martha, Asa, John and David, his brother Robert and the other members of his family, our sincere sympathy in their great loss; and be it further
RESOLVED: That a copy of this resolution be displayed in a place of public view and prominence in the Bloomer State Office Building in Rutland City, which was so named pursuant to No. 233 of the Acts of the 1994 Adjourned Session of the General Assembly, and be it further
RESOLVED: That copies of this resolution be forwarded by the Secretary of State to his wife, Judith W. Bloomer, and to his three sons, Asa, John and David, and his daughter, Martha.
Which was read and adopted in concurrence.
At the discretion of the Speaker, the following remarks were ordered printed in the Journal;
Remarks by Rep. Helm of Castleton;
It is with deep respect that I speak of President Pro Tem of the Vermont State Senate.
Senator John Bloomer was a gentleman. He was kind to all.
Senator John Bloomer was a loving father and a loyal family man. He was always smiling. Senator John Bloomer always acknowledged you and listened to your issue, whether or not he agreed with you. He was always courteous. Senator John Bloomer treated everyone with the respect and dignity that they deserved. He was always honest. Senator John Bloomer was a goal setter. He was also a goal achiever. Senator John Bloomer was a common figure in the Vermont State House. He was seldom absent. Senator John Bloomer was a well known figure in Rutland County. He loved his county and the people in it.
Senator John Bloomer was a statesman and a truly honorable public servant.
Senator John Bloomer was all of these and more, but most of all, Senator John Bloomer was my friend."
Remarks by Rep. Wood of Brandon
I am honored to be given a chance to support this resolution.
The Bloomer name is practically a household word in Rutland County. As a young man I was very aware of the family's involvement in legislative activity in this state and I was pleased when John came along to carry on that tradition.
I've come to know and increasingly respect, John over the years I have worked with him. I always found him to be a man of knowledge and great integrity and in spite of his low-key approach, he knew just what had to be done and how to do it. He was a man of few words --- but his word was good. A true Vermonter.
I'm still in shock, as I know the rest of you are, at John's passing. It leaves a deep void here in the state house. Both Rutland County and the State of Vermont will be a long time in recovering - for it is not often that a man of John's caliber graces our legislature. My heart goes out to his family."
Remarks by Rep. Fox of Essex
It is with great sadness that I rise in support of his resolution.
Senator Bloomer was both a colleague and a worthy adversary to me in the years we served in the General Assembly. As chairs of the House-Senate Judiciary committees, we had numerous occasions to work together. Even though we had many areas of contrast - our party, our philosophy, our age and gender, I always found him to be fair and honest, willing to talk and loathe to argue.
I know if she were able to participate in this debate, that his long-time staff person, Margaret Lucinti, would add that he was always a gentleman in his treatment of all of those who entered Room 1 to testify or merely ask questions.
John Bloomer was a man who towered over every room he entered, because of his intelligence, his style and his devotion to his Senate. It will be difficult for me to consider it continuing on in his absence.
I will miss him as a legislator and an individual and hope this resolution will provide some degree of comfort to his family."
Remarks by Rep. Deuel of West Rutland
I rise in support of this Resolution.
I, probably more than anyone in this chamber, have had the opportunity to interact with John Bloomer in a variety of ways over the last 25 years.
I first met John Bloomer in 1969. John was a member of the West Rutland School Board and I was an applicant for a teaching and coaching position there. I got the job. I often kidded John that aside from his decision to marry his wife, Judy, that hiring me was the second best decision he ever made.
Since that time John negotiated for the school board and I negotiated for the local teachers organization. John really gave me an education in that endeavor.
John, in his capacity as chairman of the School Board, was instrumental in a major addition of classrooms and a new gym at West Rutland High School. I had the pleasure of educating John and Judy's four children - John Jr., David, Asa and Martha, and our hearts go out to them at this time.
John and I worked together to establish the West Rutland Industrial Park. John was working in the capacity of the President of the West Rutland Development Corporation and I was Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.
Frequently John and I were involved in the same real estate transaction -John as the attorney for the buyer or seller and myself as the real estate broker.
Finally, John and I have worked as fellow legislators - John in the Senate and myself in the House, each working for what we believed to be the best interest of our constituents.
Some of our interactions have found us on the same side of an issue and some have found us on opposite sides. Whatever the case was, there were some things you could always count on from John:
His Integrity was beyond reproach
He was dedicated to his principles
He loved his work - both legal and legislative
He loved his family.
He had a knack of interjecting a little humor into tense situations to ease the pressure.
This week the Bloomer family, the Town of West Rutland, Rutland County and the State of Vermont, all lost a dedicated public servant, Senator John Bloomer.
John's physical presence will be sorely missed in this building but his spirit will live on.
Thank you Mr. Speaker"
Remarks by Rep. Campbell of Rockingham
Senator Bloomer and I probably did not agree on any issue. Certainly our styles were very different.
Over the course of four years in the leadership of this House, and especially in the waning moments of a session, I practiced a lot of "shuttle-diplomacy", if you will, on many issues. I always knew that when Senator Bloomer became involved, we were finally on our way to a solution and conclusion.
Mr. Speaker, the water closes over our heads in this line of public service in the General Assembly, very quickly. But of all the people who serve in this building over time, there are occasionally members who influence the institution in a way that their presence remains. Senator John Bloomer will pass that test of time."
Remarks by Rep. Costello of Brattleboro
I wish to concur with the remarks of my brothers and sisters, and to express these additional thoughts about Senator Bloomer.
As a little boy in Rutland, I grew up knowing of John Bloomer as a great athlete and as a champion of working people and victims.
In those days, West Rutland, the Golden Horde, a little giant, competed with schools of all sizes throughout the state. John excelled, particularly as a basketball player, and brought great honor to his school, to his town and to his family.
His father was known as a champion of working people and victims. John took up the cudgel, and their cause, when he was admitted to the practice of law and throughout his career represented, advocated for and defended the rights of these same people.
These people will miss him dearly, as will I."
Joint Resolution Referred
Reps. Sheltra of Derby, Alberico of Rutland City, Allard of St. Albans Town, Babcock of Burlington, Booth of Barre Town, Bristol of Brattleboro, Brunelle of Winooski, Buckland of Newport Town, Cobis of St. Johnsbury, Conant of Colchester, Conner of Rutland City, Corcoran of Bennington, Corey of Franklin, Crawford of Burke, Deuel of West Rutland, Dwyer of Thetford, Edwards of Swanton, Farrar of Chester, Flaherty of South Burlington, Freed of Dorset, Gray of Barre Town, Hall of St. Johnsbury, Harris of Windsor, Helm of Castleton, Hill of Milton, Hudson of East Montpelier, Kane of Bennington, Kayhart of Waltham, Kinsey of Craftsbury, Klopchin of Clarendon, Knox of Northfield, LaBarge of Grand Isle, Larkin of Fair Haven, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, Lehman of Hartford, Lindgren of Springfield, Livingston of Manchester, Madkour of Bennington, Martin of Barre City, Maslack of Poultney, Mazur of South Burlington, Morrissey of Bennington, Murphy of Ludlow, Palmer of Pownal, Peaslee of Guildhall, Pembroke of Bennington, Perry of Richford, Richardson of Weathersfield, Robb of Swanton, Shea of Shaftsbury, Spain of Bradford, Spaulding of Stowe, Stafford of Georgia, Steele of Waterbury, Sweetser of Essex, Towne of Berlin, Valsangiacomo of Barre City, Voyer of Morristown, Waite of Pawlet, Walker of Brownington, Weeks of Wallingford, Westman of Cambridge, Willett of St. Albans City, Wisell of Bristol, Wood of Brandon, and Young of Orwell offered a joint resolutionentitled
J.R.H. 3 Joint Resolution Relating to prohibiting the physical desecration of the American Flag
Whereas, although the right of free speech is protected by the United States Constitution, carefully drawn limits on expression have long been recognized as legitimate means of maintaining public safety and defining social standards, and
Whereas, certain forms of expression raise issues about public decency, public peace, and the rights of other citizens, and
Whereas, symbols of our national soul such as the Washington Monument, the United States Capitol, memorials to our leaders and the flag, are worthy of protection from desecration and dishonor, and
Whereas, the American Flag is the greatest symbol of our honorable and strong nation, a nation committed to curing its faults, and
Whereas, the law as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court no longer accords the Stars and Stripes the reverence, respect, and dignity it deserves, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the Vermont Legislature requests the Congress of the United States to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States, and be it further
Resolved: That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the President of the U.S. Senate and all members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.
Which was read and, in the Speaker's discretion, under rule 52, was treated as a bill and referred to the Committee on General and Military Affairs.
Joint Resolution Adopted
Reps. Cillo of Hardwick and Westman of Cambridge offered a joint resolution, entitled
J.R.H 4 Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.
Offered by: Representatives Cillo of Hardwick and Westman of Cambridge
RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES;
That when the two Houses adjourn on Thursday, January 12, 1995 or Friday, January 13, 1995, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at ten o'clock in the forenoon.
Which was read and adopted on the part of the House.
At ten o'clock and ten minutes in the forenoon, on motion of Rep. Manahan of Enosburg, the House adjourned.