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Journal of the Senate

________________

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2000

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

A moment of silence was observed in lieu of devotions.

Message from the Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Kate O'Connor, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed by the Governor to deliver to the Senate communications in writing which require action to be taken thereon by the Senate.

Appointment Referred

The following communication from the Governor was read and referred:

"May 9, 2000

To the President of the Senate

Sir:

I have the honor to appoint, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate,

DEBORAH BRIGHTON

of Salisbury, as a Member of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, for a term from and including February 1, 2000, to January 31, 2003, and until her successor is appointed and has qualified.

Sincerely yours,

/s/Howard B. Dean

Howard B. Dean

Governor"

To the Committee on General Affairs and Housing.

Senate Resolution Adopted

Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read and adopted, and is as follows:

By Senators Doyle, Cummings and Spaulding,

S.R. 17. Senate resolution congratulating the National Life Insurance Company on its 150th anniversary.

Whereas, Benjamin Balch, who had been influential in establishing the State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts, journeyed northward to Vermont with the goal of organizing a similar enterprise in the Green Mountain State, and

Whereas, to achieve this ambitious goal, he enlisted the assistance of several prominent Vermonters, including Dr. Julius Y. Dewey, whose family was destined to play a significant leadership role in the proposed company's future direction, and

Whereas, his quest for incorporation of a mutual insurance company in Vermont proved successful when, on November 13, 1848, the General Assembly adopted "An Act to Incorporate the National Life Insurance Company" for the purpose of making insurance on single lives, joint lives and survivorships, and for making reversionary payments and all other contracts whatsoever pertaining to the business of life and health insurance, and

Whereas, the original incorporators were comprised of a distinguished group of individuals, including the famous Kentucky politician and statesman, Henry Clay, and

Whereas, on May 31, 1849, the National Life Insurance Company convened its first meeting at the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, and elected William C. Kittridge, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to serve as the first chair of the company, and

Whereas, in October 1849, the General Assembly amended the charter of incorporation to provide for the location of the National Life Insurance Company in Montpelier, and

Whereas, in 1850, the first policy was issued and the first survivorship claim was filed, and

Whereas, over the last 150 years, the National Life Insurance Company has grown to become an institution offering life insurance annuities, trusts, investment, and other financial services, with assets in excess of $11 billion, and

Whereas, on Friday, May 12, 2000, when the National Life Insurance Company's annual meeting is convened, a special time capsule will be opened in commemoration of the corporation's 150th anniversary, now therefore be it

RESOLVED BY THE SENATE:

That this distinguished legislative body, the Senate of the State of Vermont, extends its congratulations to the National Life Insurance Company on the occasion of its 150th anniversary, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the National Life Insurance Company in Montpelier.

Senate Resolution Referred

Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read the first time and is as follows:

By Senator Morrissey,

S.R. 18. Senate resolution honoring the House of Representatives for its outstanding parliamentary conduct.

Whereas, in 1836, the Senate, a small but highly thoughtful deliberative body, was established pursuant to an amendment to the Vermont Constitution, as a legislative check on the ruminations and eccentricities of the more numerously populated other body, and

Whereas, the other body of the General Assembly, known by those outside this chamber as the House of Representatives, is often the subject of less than laudatory comments on the part of senators, and

Whereas, these comments are frequently provoked by legislative actions that the Senate finds incomprehensible and without any possible merit, and

Whereas, the Senate, in its considerable legislative wisdom, is capable of recognizing that the other body, on occasion, has performed in a distinguished manner, and

Whereas, on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11, 2000, the House of Representatives exceeded the most optimistic expert predictions and tended to the business of lawmaking and preparing for legislative adjournment in a manner that Vermonters of all political stripes can point to with great pride, and

Whereas, the Senate realizes that exaltations of cheer and joy in celebration of this profound and historically noteworthy behavior are most in order, now therefore be it

RESOLVED BY THE SENATE:

That this distinguished legislative body, the Senate of the State of Vermont, is pleased to recognize the other legislative body, the House of Representatives of the State of Vermont, for the extraordinary parliamentary conduct that it has demonstrated during the closing days of the 2000 legislative session, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to deliver a copy of this resolution to the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Thereupon, the President, in his discretion, treated the resolution as a bill and it was referred to the Committee on Rules.

Joint Resolutions Adopted in Concurrence

Joint House resolutions entitled:

J.R.H. 275. Joint resolution congratulating Maria Rinaldi of Winooski on her academic and personal achievements.

J.R.H. 276. Joint resolution congratulating the staff of the Essex IBM plant on its designation as an internationally leading semiconductor manufacturing facility.

Having been placed on the Calendar for action, were taken up.

Thereupon, the pending question, Shall the joint resolutions be adopted collectively in concurrence? was decided in the affirmative.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned.

Afternoon

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Message from the House

A message was received from the House of Representatives by Mr. Bertrand, its Second Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has considered Senate proposal of amendment to House bill of the following title:

H. 97. An act relating to a graduated driver license program.

And has refused to concur therein and asks for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses;

And the Speaker has appointed as members of such Committee on the part of the House

Rep. Aswad of Burlington

Rep. Neiman of Georgia

Rep. McNamara of Burlington

The House has considered Senate proposal of amendment to House bill of the following title:

H. 856. An act relating to the charter of the city of Burlington.

And has concurred therein.

Message from the House

A message was received from the House of Representatives by Mr. Palmisano, its First Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has requested the Governor return custody to the House the House bill of the following title:

H. 691. An act relating to the unorganized towns and gores of Essex county.

And the House has reconsidered Senate proposal of amendment and has concurred therein with a House proposal of amendment in which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has considered a bill originating in the Senate of the following title:

S. 324 An act relating to criminal and civil procedures involving alcohol and motor vehicle violations

And has passed the same in concurrence with proposal of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has considered Joint Resolutions originating in the Senate of the following titles:

J.R.S. 107 Joint resolution relating to urging the other 49 states to follow Vermont's example and contribute three dollars to the National World War II Memorial for each of its veterans of the conflict.

J.R.S. 109. Joint resolution congratulating the St. Johnsbury Academy team on winning third place at the 2000 national finals competition of "We the People...the Citizen and the Constitution".

J.R.S. 110. Joint resolution congratulating The Willey's Store in Greensboro on its centennial anniversary.

J.R.S. 111. Joint resolution relating to commemorating Equal Pay Day.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

The House has considered the report of the Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on House bill of the following title:

H. 316. An act relating to preventing watercourses from flooding.

And has adopted the same on its part.

The House has considered the report of the Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on House bill of the following title:

H. 854. An act relating to fees

And has refused to adopt the same on its part and asks for a second Committee of Conference

And the Speaker has appointed as members of such committee on the part of the House

Rep. Deuel of West Rutland

Rep. Milne of Washington

Rep. Weiss of Northfield

Pursuant to the request of the Senate for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on Senate bill of the following title:

S. 291. An act to create a permanent guardianship for minors.

The Speaker has appointed as members of such committee on the part of the House

Rep. Little of Shelburne

Rep. Nitka of Ludlow

Rep. Carmolli of Rutland City

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

S. 324. An act relating to criminal and civil procedures involving alcohol and motor vehicle violations.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 1 V.S.A. § 551 is amended to read:

§ 551. CONCURRENT JURISDICTION RESERVED

When, pursuant to article one, section eight, clause seventeen of the Constitution of the United States, consent to purchase is given and exclusive jurisdiction ceded to the United States in respect to and over any lands within this state which shall be acquired by the United States for the purposes described in such clause of the Constitution, such jurisdiction shall continue so long as the lands are held and occupied by the United States for public purposes; but concurrent jurisdiction is reserved for the execution upon such lands of all process, civil or criminal, issued by the courts of the state and not incompatible with the cession, and for the enforcement of state law in the federal enclave along the border of Canada and Vermont by law enforcement officers certified under section 2358 of Title 20. The deed or other conveyance of such land to the United States shall contain a description of such lands by metes and bounds and shall be recorded in the town clerk's office of the town in which such lands lie or an accurate map or plan and description by metes and bounds of such lands shall be filed in such clerk's office.

Sec. 2. 3 V.S.A. § 163 is amended to read:

§ 163. JUVENILE COURT DIVERSION PROJECT

* * *

(e) The requirements of subdivisions (c)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section shall not apply to mandatory conditions imposed by the diversion board, following an adjudication of a civil violation pursuant to section 656 of Title 7. Subdivision (c)(5) of this section shall not restrict the diversion board from notifying the commissioner of motor vehicles that a person has failed to timely complete imposed conditions. The diversion board may disclose all relevant information about a person in an administrative or judicial proceeding related to whether a suspension is proper.

(f) Subject to the approval of the attorney general, the Vermont association of court diversion programs may develop and administer programs to assist persons under this section charged with delinquent, criminal and civil offenses.

Sec. 3. 3 V.S.A. § 164 is amended to read:

§ 164. ADULT COURT DIVERSION PROJECT

* * *

(i) The requirements of subdivisions (c)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section shall not apply to mandatory conditions imposed by the diversion board following an adjudication of a civil violation pursuant to subdivision 656 of Title 7. Subdivision (c)(5) of this section shall not restrict the diversion board from notifying the commissioner of motor vehicles that a person has failed to timely complete imposed conditions. The diversion board may disclose all relevant information about a person in an administrative or judicial proceeding related to whether a suspension is proper.

(j) Subject to the approval of the attorney general, the Vermont association of court diversion programs may develop and administer programs to assist persons under this section charged with delinquent, criminal and civil offenses.

Sec. 4. 4 V.S.A. § 437 is amended to read:

§ 437. CIVIL JURISDICTION OF DISTRICT COURT

The district court shall have jurisdiction of the following actions:

* * *

(8) Automobile forfeiture and immobilization proceedings under chapter 9 of Title 23.

Sec. 5. REPEAL

4 V.S.A. § 1101 is repealed.

Sec. 6. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

(a) A judicial bureau is created within the judicial branch under the supervision of the supreme court.

(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

(1) traffic violations alleged to have been committed on or after July 1, 1990;

(2) civil ordinance violations alleged to have been committed on or after July 1, 1994;

(3) minor fish and wildlife violations alleged to have been committed on or after September 1, 1996;

(4) *[for]* violations of 7 V.S.A. § 1005(a), relating to possession of tobacco products by a person less than 18 years of age; *[and]*

(5) *[for]* violations of 7 V.S.A. § 1007, relating to furnishing tobacco products to a person under the age of 18 years*[.]* ;

(6) violations of 24 V.S.A. § 2201, relating to littering and illegal dumping;

(7) violations of 7 V.S.A. § 656, relating to illegal possession of alcoholic beverages.

(c) The judicial bureau shall not have jurisdiction over municipal parking violations.

(d) Three hearing officers appointed by the court administrator shall determine waiver penalties to be imposed for violations within the judicial bureau's jurisdiction, except that municipalities shall adopt full and waiver penalties for civil ordinance violations pursuant to section 1979 of Title 24. For purposes of municipal violations, the issuing law enforcement officer shall indicate the appropriate full and waiver penalty on the complaint.

Sec. 7. 4 V.S.A. § 1105 is amended to read:

§ 1105. ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEFAULT

(a) A violation shall be charged upon a summons and complaint form approved and distributed by the court administrator. The complaint shall be signed by the issuing officer or by the state's attorney. The original shall be filed with the judicial bureau, a copy shall be retained by the issuing officer or state's attorney and two copies shall be given to the defendant. The complaint shall include a statement of rights, instructions, notice that a defendant may admit, not contest, or deny a violation, and other notices as the court administrator deems appropriate. The court administrator, in consultation with appropriate law enforcement agencies, may approve a single form for charging all violations, or may approve two or more forms as necessary to administer the operations of the judicial bureau.

(b) A person who is charged with a violation shall have 20 days from the date the complaint is issued to admit or deny the allegations or to state that he or she does not contest the allegations in the complaint.

*[(b)]*(c) A person who admits or does not contest the allegations may so indicate and sign the complaint. The bureau shall accept the admission or statement that the allegations are not contested and accept payment of the waiver penalty. *[(c)]*(d) If the person sends in the amount of the waiver penalty without signing the complaint, the bureau shall accept the payment indicating that payment was made and that the allegations were not contested. *[(d)]*(e) A person who denies the allegations may so indicate and sign the complaint. Upon receipt, the bureau shall schedule a hearing. *[(e)]*(f) If a person fails to appear or answer a complaint the bureau shall enter a default judgment against the person. The bureau shall mail a notice to the person that a default judgment has been entered. A default judgment may be set aside by the hearing officer for good cause shown.

Sec. 8. 7 V.S.A. § 656 is added to read:

§ 656. MINORS MISREPRESENTING AGE OR PROCURING OR POSSESSING LIQUORS; FIRST OFFENSE; CIVIL VIOLATION

(a) A minor sixteen years of age or older shall not:

(1) falsely represent his or her age for the purpose of procuring malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquor from any licensee, state liquor agency, or other person or persons;

(2) possess malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquor for the purpose of consumption by himself or herself or other minors, except in the regular performance of duties as an employee of a licensee licensed to sell alcoholic liquor; or

(3) consume malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors. A violation of this subdivision may be prosecuted in a jurisdiction where the minor has consumed malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors, or in a jurisdiction where the indicators of consumption are observed.

(b) A law enforcement officer shall issue a summons and complaint to the judicial bureau pursuant to chapter 29 of Title 4 for a violation of this section if the person has not previously been adjudicated in violation of this section or convicted of violating section 657 of this title.

(c) A person who violates this section commits a civil violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $300.00. The state may obtain a violation under this section or a conviction under section 657 of this title, but not both.

(d) If a person fails to pay a penalty imposed under this section by the time ordered, the judicial bureau shall notify the commissioner of motor vehicles, who shall suspend the person's operator's license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle until payment is made.

(e) Upon adjudicating a person in violation of this section, the judicial bureau shall notify the commissioner of motor vehicles, who shall maintain a record of all such adjudications which shall be separate from the registry maintained by the department for motor vehicle driving records. The identities of persons in the registry shall only be revealed to a law enforcement officers determining whether the person has previously violated this section.

(f) Upon adjudicating a person in violation of this section, the judicial bureau shall notify the teen alcohol safety program of the diversion board in the county where the violation occurred. Pursuant to the teen alcohol safety program, the diversion board shall impose appropriate conditions, which shall include a condition requiring satisfactory completion of alcohol screening and, if deemed necessary, alcohol counseling and therapy. The diversion board may also impose conditions requiring the person to complete community service projects and educational programs related to alcohol. The person shall complete all conditions at his or her own expense. The diversion board shall allow a person at least 60 days to complete required conditions. If a person does not satisfactorily complete alcohol screening by a licensed professional and, if deemed necessary, alcohol counseling and therapy, the diversion board shall notify the commissioner of motor vehicles, who shall suspend the person's operator's license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle until notice of compliance from the diversion board is received. If a person does not timely complete other required conditions of diversion, the diversion board shall notify the commissioner of motor vehicles, who shall suspend the person's operator's license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for 30 days. A person aggrieved by a decision of the diversion board or alcohol counselor may seek review of that decision pursuant to Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

(g) The state's attorney may dismiss without prejudice a violation brought under this section.

Sec. 9. 7 V.S.A. § 657 is amended to read:

§ 657. MINORS MISREPRESENTING AGE OR PROCURING OR POSSESSING LIQUORS; ALCOHOL AND DRIVING EDUCATION

(a) A minor *[who]* shall not:

(1) falsely represent his or her age for the purpose of procuring *[or who procures]* malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquor from any licensee, state liquor agency, or other person or persons; or *[who possesses]*

(2) possess malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquor for the purpose of consumption by himself or herself or other minors, except in the regular performance of duties as an employee of a licensee licensed to sell alcoholic liquor*[,]* ; or

(3) consume malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors. A violation of this subdivision may be prosecuted in a jurisdiction where the minor has consumed malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors, or in a jurisdiction where the indicators of consumption are observed.

(b) A law enforcement officer shall issue a citation for a violation of this section if a person has been previously adjudicated in violation of this section or section 656 of this title.

(c) After the issuing officer issues a summons and complaint to the judicial bureau for a first offense pursuant to section 656 of this title, the state's attorney may withdraw the complaint filed with the judicial bureau and file an information charging a violation of this section in district court. The state may obtain a conviction under either this section or section 656 of this title, but not both.

(d) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than *[$500.00]* $600.00 or imprisoned not more than *[thirty]* 30 days, or both.

(e) The state's attorney may require as a condition of diversion that a person who is charged with a violation of this section who holds a license to operate a motor vehicle shall attend an alcohol and driving program at the person's own expense.

(f) A person who is convicted of violating this section who holds a license to operate a motor vehicle shall, as a condition of probation, be required to complete an alcohol and driving program at the person's own expense.

(g) The alcohol and driving program shall be administered by the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs and shall take into consideration the needs of minors.

(h) The state's attorney may dismiss without prejudice an action brought under this section, and may file a civil violation in the judicial bureau.

Sec. 10. 8 V.S.A. § 4674 is amended to read:

§ 4674. CONVICTIONS

(a) The commissioner may by rule specify motor vehicle and criminal violations, conviction of any of which may be used as a basis for a surcharge.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, only those motor vehicle violations that occurred during the experience period may be used as a basis for a surcharge.

(c) An adjudication under section 656 of Title 7 may not be used as a basis for a surcharge.

Sec. 11. REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 4573 is repealed.

Sec. 12. 23 V.S.A. § 676 is amended to read:

§ 676. OPERATION AFTER SUSPENSION, REVOCATION OR REFUSAL--CIVIL VIOLATION

* * *

(c) For purposes of establishing the state's case-in-chief against a person accused of violating this section, the judicial bureau shall accept as evidence an affidavit from an employee of the agency of transportation stating that the person's operator's license or privilege to operate was suspended or revoked on the date of the offense, and the reason or reasons for the suspension or revocation. The admitted affidavit shall establish a permissive inference that the person was under suspension or had his or her license revoked on the dates and time periods set forth in the affidavit. The judicial bureau shall not require a certified copy of the person's motor vehicle record from the department of motor vehicles to establish the permissive inference.

Sec. 13. 23 V.S.A. § 801 is amended to read:

§ 801. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIRED

(a) The commissioner shall require proof of financial responsibility to satisfy any claim for damages, by reason of personal injury to or the death of any person, of at least $25,000.00 for one person and $50,000.00 for two or more persons killed or injured and $10,000.00 for damages to property in any one accident, as follows:

(1) From a person who is convicted of any of the following violations of this title:

(A) Death resulting from:

(i) Careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, or

(ii) Reckless driving of a motor vehicle.

(B) *[Operating or attempting to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs]* Any violation of section 1201 of this title or for any suspension pursuant to section 1205 of this title;

(C) Failing to immediately stop and render such assistance as may be reasonably necessary following an accident resulting in injury to any person or property, other than the vehicle then under his or her control;

(D) Operating, taking, using or removing a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner;

(E) Operating a motor vehicle after suspension, revocation or refusal of a license, in violation of section 674 of this title;

(F) Operating without financial responsibility;

* * *

Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 1203 is amended to read:

§ 1203. ADMINISTRATION OF TESTS; RETENTION OF TEST AND VIDEOTAPE

* * *

(h) A Vermont law enforcement officer shall have a right to request a breath or blood sample in an adjoining state or country under this section unless prohibited by the law of the other state or country. If the law in an adjoining state or country *[authorizes]* does not prohibit an officer acting under this section *[to take]* from taking a breath or blood sample in its jurisdiction, evidence of such sample shall not be excluded in the courts of this state solely on the basis that the test was taken outside the state.

* * *

(j) A videotape made of the alleged offense and subsequent processing may be erased or destroyed by the law enforcement agency no earlier than 90 days after final judgment, or, if no civil or criminal action is filed, no earlier than 90 days after the date the videotape was made.

(k) A copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense shall be provided to the defendant within ten days after the defendant requests the copy and pays a $15.00 fee for its reproduction.

Sec. 15. 23 V.S.A. § 1203c is added to read:

§ 1203c. ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTS

(a) A law enforcement officer who administers a breath test shall be permitted to testify in a civil action that he or she:

(1) has been certified by the Vermont criminal justice training council and trained in the administration of the test in compliance with the standards established by subsection 1203(a) of this title; and

(2) has determined, based upon available information, that the testing instrument performed within established quality assurance standards.

(b) In a civil action under this chapter or under section 656 of Title 7, a chemist or a person who calibrates or maintains an infrared or preliminary breath testing device shall be allowed to testify by affidavit, and the affidavit shall be admissible in the action.

(c) This section shall apply to the admission in evidence of all breath tests administered under this chapter, whether by preliminary breath testing device, infrared device or any other method approved by the department of health.

Sec. 16. 23 V.S.A. § 1205 is amended to read:

§ 1205. CIVIL SUSPENSION; SUMMARY PROCEDURE

(h) Final hearing.

(1) If the defendant requests a hearing on the merits, the court shall schedule a final hearing on the merits to be held within 21 days of the date of the preliminary hearing. In no event may a final hearing occur more than 42 days after the date of the alleged offense *[without the consent of the defendant or]* unless for good cause shown. The final hearing may only be continued *[by the consent of the defendant or]* for good cause shown. The issues at the final hearing shall be limited to the following:

*[(1)]*(A) whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating, attempting to operate or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title; *[(2)]*(B) whether at the time of the request for the evidentiary test the officer informed the person of the person's rights and the consequences of taking and refusing the test substantially as set out in subsection 1202(d) of this title; *[(3)]*(C) whether the person refused to permit the test; *[(4)]*(D) whether the test was taken and the test results indicated that the person's alcohol concentration was 0.08 or more at the time of operating, attempting to operate or being in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title, whether the testing methods used were valid and reliable and whether the test results were accurate and accurately evaluated. Evidence that the test was taken and evaluated in compliance with rules adopted by the department of health shall be prima facie evidence that the testing methods used were valid and reliable and that the test results are accurate and were accurately evaluated; *[(5)]*(E) whether the requirements of section 1202 of this title were complied with.

(2) No less than seven days before the final hearing, and subject to the requirements of District Court Civil Rule 11, the defendant shall provide to the state and file with the court a list of the issues (limited to the issues set forth in this subsection) that the defendant intends to raise. Only evidence that is relevant to an issue listed by the defendant may be raised by the defendant at the final hearing. The defendant shall not be permitted to raise any other evidence at the final hearing, and all other evidence shall be inadmissible.

* * *

(p) Suspensions to run concurrently. Suspensions imposed under this section or any comparable statute of any other jurisdiction and sections 1206 and 1208 of this title or any comparable statutes of any other jurisdiction or any *[other]* suspension resulting from a conviction for a violation of section 1091 of this title *[for]* from the same incident shall run concurrently and a person shall receive credit for any elapsed period of a suspension served in Vermont against a later suspension imposed in this state. In order for suspension credit to be available against a later suspension, the suspension issued under this section must appear and remain on the individual's motor vehicle record.

* * *

(t) For a first offense, the time limits set forth in subsections (g) and (h) of this section are directive only, and shall not be interpreted by the court to be mandatory or jurisdictional.

(u) In any proceeding under this section, for cause shown, a party's chemist may be allowed to testify by telephone in lieu of a personal appearance.

Sec. 17. 23 V.S.A. § 1206 is amended to read:

§ 1206. SUSPENSION OF LICENSE FOR DRIVING WHILE UNDER INFLUENCE, REINSTATEMENT

(a) First conviction. *[Upon]* Except as otherwise provided, upon conviction of a person for violating a provision of section 1201 of this title, or upon final determination of an appeal, the court shall forward the conviction report forthwith to the commissioner of motor vehicles. The commissioner shall immediately suspend the person's operating license, or nonresident operating privilege, or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of 90 days and until the defendant complies with section 1209a of this title.

(b) Extended suspension. In cases resulting in a fatality, the period of suspension shall be one year and until the defendant complies with section 1209a of this title.

(c) Upon conviction of a person for violating a provision of subsection 1201(b) or (c) of this title, or upon final determination of an appeal, the court shall forward the conviction report forthwith to the commissioner of motor vehicles. The commissioner shall immediately suspend the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of six months, and until the defendant complies with section 1209a of this title.

Sec. 18. 23 V.S.A. § 1209a(b) and (c) are amended to read:

(b) Abstinence. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a person whose license has been suspended for three years or more under this subchapter may apply to the driver rehabilitation school director and to the commissioner for reinstatement of his or her driving privilege. In the case of a suspension for three years, the person shall have completed two years of total abstinence from consumption of alcohol or drugs or both. In the case of a suspension for life, the person shall have completed three years of total abstinence from consumption of alcohol or drugs or both. In both cases, the beginning date for the period of abstinence shall be no sooner than the effective date of the suspension from which the person is requesting reinstatement and shall not include any period during which the person is serving a sentence of incarceration to include furlough. If the commissioner, or a medical review board convened by the commissioner, is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant has abstained for the required number of years immediately preceding the application and hearing, has successfully completed a therapy program as required under this section and the person appreciates that he or she cannot drink any amount of alcohol and drive safely, the person's license shall be reinstated immediately upon such conditions as the commissioner may impose. If after notice and hearing the commissioner later finds that the person was operating, attempting to operate or in actual physical control of a vehicle while there was any amount of alcohol in the blood following reinstatement under this subsection, the person's operating license or privilege to operate shall be immediately suspended for the period of the original suspension. A person shall be eligible for reinstatement under this section only once following a suspension for life.

(c) Screening and therapy programs. In the case of a second or subsequent suspension, the *[court]* commissioner shall *[order]* notify the person that he or she is required to enroll in the alcohol and driving education screening and therapy program provided for in this section within 30 days of license suspension. If the person fails to enroll or fails to remain so enrolled until completion, the drinking driver rehabilitation program shall report such failure to the sentencing court. The court may order the person to appear and show cause why he or she failed to comply.

Sec. 19. 23 V.S.A. § 1210(c) and (d) are amended to read:

(c) Second offense. A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title who has been convicted of another violation of that section shall be fined not more than $1,500.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. At least 150 hours of community service shall be performed, or 48 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit may be received for time served in a residential alcohol facility pursuant to sentence if the program is successfully completed. *[At least 48 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment must be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised community sentence.]*

(d) Third or subsequent offense. A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title who has twice been convicted of violation of that section shall be fined not more than $2,500.00 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. *[The person shall serve either 240 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment or perform at least 600 hours of community service]*. At least 300 hours of community service shall be performed, or 96 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit may be received for time served in a residential alcohol facility pursuant to sentence if the program is successfully completed.

Sec. 20. 23 V.S.A. § 2302 is amended to read:

§ 2302. TRAFFIC VIOLATION DEFINED

(a) As used in this chapter, "traffic violation" means

(1) a violation of any provision of this title or rule adopted under this title for which no term of imprisonment is provided by law, and for which a penalty of no more than $1,000.00 is provided;

(2) *[any traffic complaint]* a violation of this title with a maximum penalty set at not more than $1,000.00 and for which no term of imprisonment is provided by law;

(3) *[any traffic violation]* a violation of this title with a scheduled penalty of not more than $1,000.00 established pursuant to*[ subsection (d) of this section]* 4 V.S.A. § 1102(d) and for which no term of imprisonment is provided by law;

(4) a violation of any municipal ordinance relating to the operation or use of motor vehicles or to the use of highways by pedestrians or by the operation of any other vehicle. Violations of municipal ordinances relating to parking of motor vehicles shall not be considered traffic violations;

(5) a violation of chapter 28 of Title 5, relating to transportation of hazardous materials, and rules adopted pursuant to section 2001 of Title 5;

(6) a violation of chapter 29 of Title 5, relating to motor carrier safety standards, and rules adopted pursuant to section 2101 of Title 5; or

(7) a violation of section 3408(c) of Title 5, relating to trail use of certain state-owned railroad corridors.

(b) A traffic violation is not a crime and shall be treated as a civil action.

(c) A violation of a traffic law in this title for which no penalty is otherwise provided shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $1,000.00.

*[(d) For any traffic violation for which no term of imprisonment is provided by law, for which the minimum penalty is less than $1,000.00, or for which a penalty is not otherwise established, three district court judges appointed by the court administrator shall establish a schedule, within the limits prescribed by law, of the penalty to be imposed. Any police officer who issues a complaint shall advise the defendant of the schedule of penalties and show the defendant a copy thereof.]*

Sec. 21. REPEAL

23 V.S.A. § 2303 is repealed.

Sec. 22. 23 V.S.A. § 678 is added to read:

§ 678. OPERATING COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE AFTER PRIVILEGE SUSPENDED

A person whose privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle has been suspended under section 4116a of this title, and who operates or attempts to operate a commercial motor vehicle upon a public highway before the suspension period has expired, shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsection 674(a) of this title.

Sec. 23. 23 V.S.A. § 1218 is amended to read:

§ 1218. COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES; 0.04

(a) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle:

(1) when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more; or

(2) when the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3) when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely.

(b) A violation of this section shall result in disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle as provided in section 4116 of this title, or in suspension of the privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle as provided in section 4116a of this title. Those provisions of section 1205 of this title which establish a procedure for civil suspensions shall apply to this section except that where that section refers to alcohol concentration it shall be deemed to refer to an alcohol concentration of 0.04.

Sec. 24. 23 V.S.A. § 4116a is added to read:

§ 4116a. SUSPENSION OF OPERATING PRIVILEGE

(a) A person's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Vermont shall be suspended for one year, if:

(1) the person is convicted of a first violation of operating, attempting to operate or being in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle on a highway with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, or under the influence, as defined in section 1218 of this title; and

(2) the person's commercial driver license is issued by a state or country that does not have a reciprocity agreement with the state of Vermont for the disqualification of commercial driver licenses under section 4115 of this title.

(b) A person's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Vermont shall be suspended for three years if the person is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this section, and the violation occurred while the person was transporting a hazardous material required to be placarded.

(c) A person's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Vermont shall be suspended for life if the person is convicted a second time of violating subsection (a) of this section, and both convictions arise out of separate occurrences.

(d) A person's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Vermont shall be suspended for 60 days if the person is convicted of two serious traffic violations, or for 120 days if the person is convicted of three serious traffic violations, arising from separate incidents occurring within a three-year period.

(e) A person's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Vermont shall be suspended for life if the person uses a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of any offense under state or federal law that is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a regulated drug, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a regulated drug, and for which the person was convicted.

Sec. 25. 24 V.S.A. § 1977 is amended to read:

§ 1977. COMPLAINT FOR MUNICIPAL CIVIL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS

(a) *[In all municipal civil cases before the judicial bureau, the summons and complaint shall be a form prescribed by the supreme court and known as the "municipal complaint."]*

*[(b)]* The complaint in a municipal civil case shall be signed by the issuing municipal official. The original copy shall be filed with the judicial bureau, a copy shall be retained by the issuing municipal official and two copies shall be given to the defendant. *[(c)]*(b) The municipal official may void or amend the municipal complaint issued by that official by so marking the complaint and sending it to the judicial bureau.

(c) The court administrator shall approve an appropriate summons and complaint form, pursuant to section 1105(a) of Title 4, to implement the assessment of the full and waiver penalty provisions of this section.

*[(d) The complaint shall contain a description of the ordinance allegedly violated, the allegations, the amount of the waiver penalty and the full penalty and an explanation of rights and instructions on answering the allegations. The complaint shall also contain, in boldface print, the following:]* *[(1) IF YOU ADMIT TO A VIOLATION OF THE ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN/CITY/VILLAGE OF ____ OR IF YOU DO NOT CONTEST THE ALLEGATIONS, SIGN THE COMPLAINT ADMITTING THE VIOLATION OR STATING THAT THE ALLEGATIONS ARE NOT CONTESTED AND SEND IT TO THE JUDICIAL BUREAU WITHIN 20 DAYS WITH PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF THE WAIVER PENALTY.]* *[(2) If YOU WANT TO DENY THE ALLEGATIONS IN THIS COMPLAINT, YOU MUST SEND A SIGNED DENIAL TO THE JUDICIAL BUREAU WITHIN 20 DAYS. IF YOU SEND IN A DENIAL, YOU WILL RECEIVE A DATE FOR YOUR TRIAL FROM THE JUDICIAL BUREAU. IF YOU LOSE THE CASE AFTER A TRIAL, YOU WILL BE ORDERED TO PAY A PENALTY IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN THE WAIVER PENALTY AND NOT MORE THAN THE FULL PENALTY.]* *[(3) IF YOU DO NOT ANSWER THIS COMPLAINT WITHIN 20 DAYS, OR IF YOU DENY THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT AND FAIL TO APPEAR FOR THE HEARING, A DEFAULT JUDGMENT WILL BE ENTERED AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF THE FULL PENALTY. THE FAILURE TO PAY THE PENALTY ASSESSED WILL RESULT IN FURTHER LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOU.]*

Sec. 26. 24 V.S.A. § 2201 is amended to read:

§ 2201. THROWING, DEPOSITING, AND DUMPING REFUSE; PENALTY; SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

* * *

(f)*[(1) Summons and complaint. Upon a determination that a person has violated this section, a person authorized to enforce this section shall file a complaint against the person with the judicial bureau.]*

*[(2) In all littering and illegal dumping cases, the summons and complaint shall be in a form prescribed by the supreme court and known as the "littering and illegal dumping complaint."]* *[(3) The complaint shall be signed by the issuing person. The original shall be filed with the judicial bureau, a copy shall be retained by the issuing person, and two copies shall be given to the defendant.]* *[(4) The complaint shall contain a description of the provision of this section allegedly violated, the allegations, the amount of the waiver penalty and the full penalty, and an explanation of rights and instructions on answering the allegations. The complaint shall also contain, in boldface print, the following:]* *[(A) IF YOU ADMIT TO A VIOLATION OF THE LITTERING AND ILLEGAL DUMPING PROHIBITIONS OR IF YOU DO NOT CONTEST THE ALLEGATIONS, SIGN THE COMPLAINT ADMITTING THE VIOLATION OR STATING THAT THE ALLEGATIONS ARE NOT CONTESTED AND SEND IT TO THE JUDICIAL BUREAU WITHIN 20 DAYS WITH PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF THE WAIVER PENALTY.]* *[(B) IF YOU WANT TO DENY THE ALLEGATIONS IN THIS COMPLAINT, YOU MUST SEND A SIGNED DENIAL TO THE JUDICIAL BUREAU WITHIN 20 DAYS. IF YOU SEND IN A DENIAL, YOU WILL RECEIVE A DATE FOR YOUR TRIAL FROM THE JUDICIAL BUREAU. IF YOU LOSE THE CASE AFTER A TRIAL, YOU WILL BE ORDERED TO PAY A PENALTY IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN THE WAIVER PENALTY AND NOT MORE THAN THE FULL PENALTY.]* *[(C) IF YOU DO NOT ANSWER THIS COMPLAINT WITHIN 20 DAYS, OR IF YOU DENY THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT AND FAIL TO APPEAR FOR THE HEARING, A DEFAULT JUDGMENT WILL BE ENTERED AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF THE FULL PENALTY. THE FAILURE TO PAY THE PENALTY ASSESSED WILL RESULT IN FURTHER LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOU.]* *[(D) IF YOU ADMIT OR DO NOT CONTEST OR DO NOT ANSWER, YOU WILL BE LIABLE TO THE STATE OF VERMONT FOR THE AMOUNT INDICATED IN THE COMPLAINT.]*

(g) Amendment of complaint. A person authorized to enforce this section may amend or dismiss a complaint issued by that person by marking the complaint and returning it to the judicial bureau. At the hearing, a person authorized to enforce this section may amend or dismiss a complaint issued by that person, subject to the approval of the hearing judge.

*[(h) Waiver penalty. The administrative judge shall appoint a panel of judicial bureau hearing officers to establish a waiver penalty for a violation of this section.]*

Sec. 27. Rule 43 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure is revised to read:

RULE 43. PRESENCE OF THE DEFENDANT

* * *

(c) Presence Not Required. A defendant need not be present in the following situations:

* * *

(2) In prosecutions for misdemeanors, the defendant, with the consent of the court, may waive appearance under Rule 5 in writing and the court, with the written consent of the defendant and the state's attorney, may permit arraignment, *[plea]* pleas of guilty, nolo contendere or not guilty, trial, and imposition of sentence in the defendant's absence. Before a plea of not guilty may be filed and accepted by the court, the state's attorney and the defendant shall agree upon bail and conditions of release, which shall be signed by the defendant and his or her attorney, and filed with the court simultaneously with the not guilty plea.

* * *

Sec. 28. Rule 80.5(e) of the District Court Civil Rules is revised to read:

(e) Preliminary Hearing; Waiver; Discovery Limited. In every case under this rule, except as set forth below, a preliminary hearing shall be held.

At the preliminary hearing the State and the defendant shall each make available for inspection all nonprivileged information and written statements in their possession and control concerning the evidentiary test or tests, relation back, or other matters to be contested at the hearing on the merits, including without limitation the police report, expert witnesses' reports, processing forms, affidavit, breath test results, police notes and the names and addresses of witnesses, except that evidence the defendant does not intend to use at the hearing need not be disclosed by the defendant. A copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense and subsequent processing shall be available for purchase by the defendant directly from the law enforcement agency responsible for initiating the action upon written request and advance payment of a $15.00 fee. The fees collected for videotapes sold under this rule shall be allocated in the manner prescribed by Rule 16 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure. Discoverable evidence not known at the time of the preliminary hearing shall be disclosed to the party immediately when it becomes known. Failure to provide discovery in accordance with this paragraph may be subject to appropriate sanctions in the discretion of the court, which may include preclusion of any witness or evidence not timely disclosed.

*[Upon request, either party is entitled to receive photocopies of the evidence listed above, within one day of the date it is produced for inspection.]*

A defendant to whom notice of suspension has been delivered or mailed shall appear by counsel or pro se a the preliminary hearing unless, prior to the hearing, the district court in the exercise of its discretion grants a request for waiver of the preliminary hearing. The request for waiver may be granted only if supported by affidavit establishing hardship and setting forth a telephone number at which the person may be contacted during business hours to be informed of the court's ruling.

At the preliminary hearing the court shall ensure that the required disclosure has occurred, provide the defendant with an explanation of the procedures to be followed at the hearing on the merits, determine whether the defendant continues to seek a hearing on the merits, and, if so, schedule the hearing to be held within thirty days of the date the request for hearing was received by the Commissioner.

In extraordinary circumstances, the court may authorize use of discovery pursuant to these rules in addition to that set forth in this subdivision, but subject to the time constraints of this rule.

Sec. 29. Rule No. 16 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure is revised to read:

RULE 16. DISCOVERY BY DEFENDANT

* * *

(e) Videotapes. A copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense and subsequent processing shall be available for purchase by the defendant directly from the law enforcement agency responsible for initiating the action upon written request and advance payment of a $15.00 fee. A municipal or county law enforcement agency shall be entitled to all fees it collects for videotapes sold pursuant to this rule. Fees collected by the state for videotapes sold pursuant to this rule shall be deposited in the DUI enforcement special fund created under section 1220a of Title 23. The original videotape may be erased 90 days after:

(1) the entry of final judgment; or

(2) the date the videotape was made, if no civil or criminal action is filed.

Sec. 30. 23 V.S.A. § 1201(f) is added to read:

(f) For purposes of this section, it shall be an affirmative defense to be proven by clear and convincing evidence that the person was not in actual physical control of the vehicle because the person:

(1) had no intention of operating the vehicle; and

(2) had not in fact operated the vehicle in violation of subsection (a) of this section.

Sec 31. 20 V.S.A. § 2222 is added to read:

§ 2222. FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS; POWER OF ARREST FOR VERMONT CRIMES

(a) For purposes of this section, "a certified federal law enforcement officer" means a federal law enforcement officer who:

(1) is employed as a law enforcement officer of the federal government as:

(A) a special agent, border patrol agent or immigration inspector of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice; or

(B) an officer or inspector of the U.S. Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury; and

(2) has satisfactorily completed a course of study in Vermont laws and criminal procedures approved by the Vermont criminal justice training council, at the expense of the officer's agency;

(3) has been certified by the commissioner of public safety pursuant to subsection (b) of this section; and

(4) has taken an oath to uphold the constitution of the state of Vermont.

(b) The executive director of the criminal justice training council shall certify a federal law enforcement officer who applies for certification if the officer satisfies the employment and study requirements listed in subsection (a) of this section. A certification under this subsection shall automatically terminate immediately upon the officer's suspension or termination of employment from the federal agency in which he or she was employed at the time the certification occurred.

(c) A certified federal law enforcement officer is authorized to make an arrest pursuant to rule 3 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure for violation of Vermont laws anywhere within the state if the officer determines that it is necessary to do any of the following:

(1) Protect an individual in the presence of the officer from the imminent infliction of serious bodily injury.

(2) Provide immediate assistance to an individual who has suffered or is threatened with serious bodily injury.

(3) Prevent the escape of any individual whom the officer reasonably believes has committed a crime in the presence of the officer.

(4) Prevent the escape of any individual whom the officer reasonably believes has committed a felony under Vermont law.

(d) A certified federal law enforcement officer who makes an arrest under this section shall report the arrest, without delay, to the nearest Vermont state police barracks.

(e) A certified federal law enforcement officer who makes an arrest under the authority of this section shall have the same immunity from liability that a state or municipal law enforcement officer has under the laws of this state.

(f) In the event an action is brought against a certified federal law enforcement officer exercising authority under this section or against the commissioner of the department of public safety who granted the authority, the attorney general shall defend the officer and commissioner, and the state shall indemnify the officer and commissioner.

(g) This section is not intended to limit existing authority of federal officers under federal law or to interfere with the performance of federal duties by federal officers.

Sec. 32. 28 V.S.A. § 304 is amended to read:

§ 304. DISPOSITION ALTERNATIVES UPON VIOLATION OF PROBATION

(a) If a violation is established by a proceeding conducted in accordance with section 302 of this title, the court may, in its discretion, revoke probation and require the probationer to serve the sentence which was suspended, or any portion thereof, or order that the sentence be served in the community pursuant to the provisions of chapter 6 of this title. The court may not alter the original sentence imposed upon finding a violation of probation.

(b) As an alternative to revocation and imposition of all or a portion of the original suspended sentence as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the court, in its discretion, after a violation has been established, may:

(1) Continue the probationer on the existing sentence; or

(2) Effect, in accordance with section 253(b) of this title, necessary or desirable changes or enlargements in the conditions of probation; or

(3) Conduct a formal or informal conference with the probationer in order to re-emphasize to him the necessity of compliance with the conditions of probation; or

(4) Issue a formal or informal warning to the probationer that further violations may result in revocation of probation by the court.

Sec. 33. REPORTS

(a) The commissioner of the Department of Health shall promptly address the need for expert witness testimony and affidavits in civil and criminal actions for driving under the influence of alcohol. In developing methods of addressing this need, the commissioner shall consider training and assigning additional chemists and nonchemist employees to work with the DataMaster Program and to provide testimony. The commissioner shall be mindful of Vermont Rule of Evidence 702, which authorizes opinion testimony by a person who possesses knowledge, skill, experience, training or education. By September 1, 2000 and by January 15, 2001, the commissioner shall report the progress which has been made implementing this section to the chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

(b) It was the intent of the general assembly in passing Act 117 that cruiser-mounted police package video cameras be used consistently and regularly. The department of public safety shall therefore:

(1) Develop policies and procedures governing the use of cruiser-mounted police package video cameras by the state police that require:

(A) mandatory training in the use of the video cameras;

(B) mandatory use of the video cameras; and

(C) the adoption of methods to ensure the most effective use of the video cameras.

(2) Develop, through the governor's highway safety program, rules for granting cruiser-mounted police package video cameras to law enforcement agencies.

(3) Adopt, through the governor's highway safety program, and in cooperation with the criminal justice training council, procedures to satisfy the requirements of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(4) Report, through the governor's highway safety program, and as part of its annual report on the implementation of Act 117, to the legislature on the implementation of this subsection on or before January 15, 2001.

Sec. 34. EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 1, 4 and 33 of this act shall take effect on passage.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment? On motion of Senator Sears, the Senate refused to concur in the House proposal of amendment and requested a Committee of Conference.

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred In

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House proposal of amendment to Senate proposal of amendment to House bill entitled:

H. 691. An act relating to the unorganized towns and gores of Essex county.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House concurs in the Senate proposal of amendment with the following amendment thereto:

By adding a new Sec. 4a to read as follows:

Sec. 4a. ANNUAL MEETING

The assistant judges for Essex County shall call a meeting of the residents and property owners of the unorganized towns and gores of Essex County for the purpose of electing the initial board of governors authorized under this act and for any other business warned for no later than July 1, 2000. The meeting shall be held in Essex County. Notice of the meeting shall be sent by first class mail to all residents and property owners of the unorganized towns and gores at their last known address at least 30 days before the meeting. The Essex County clerk shall serve as the board of civil authority for the unorganized towns and gores of Essex County until the election of the initial board of governors and shall serve as the supervisor of the unorganized towns and gores of Essex County until the board of governors appoints a supervisor pursuant to this act.

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment to the Senate proposal of amendment? was decided in the affirmative.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Not Accepted and Adopted on the Part of the Senate; Second Committee of Conference Requested

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee of Conference on House bill entitled:

H. 711. An act relating to an independent performance audit of Vermont's health care system.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Riehle, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill entitled:

H. 711. An act relating to an independent performance audit of Vermont's health care system.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment, and that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(a) The General Assembly finds that:

(1) As of 1998, approximately 87,598 Vermonters were covered by Medicaid, 86,588 Vermonters were covered by Medicare, 378,171 Vermonters were covered by private health insurance, and 38,526 Vermonters were uninsured.

(2) It is the policy of the state of Vermont to insure that all residents have access to quality health services at costs that are affordable.

(3) It is further the policy of Vermont that the health care system should facilitate universal access to preventive and medically necessary health care.

(4) Vermont, unlike most other states, has developed both public and private mechanisms for collecting and analyzing a wide variety of health care data. The challenge is to put this wealth of information in a format that is usable and understandable to policy makers and the public.

(5) The state of Vermont's health care financing and delivery system is under extreme pressure and must be stabilized to insure continued high quality access that is affordable to all Vermonters.

(6) According to the 1994 report of the commission on the public's health care values and priorities, Vermonters assign a high priority to two conflicting health care goals: extending care to everyone and lowering or containing health care costs. The commission also found that Vermonters should continue to have insurance through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Vermonters should receive quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay, and in addition to receiving quality health care, uninsured Vermonters should accept responsibility for paying a fair share of their health care costs.

(b) It is the purpose of this assessment to provide a resource for understanding and subsequently improving Vermont's health care system by collecting current health care data, evaluating the causes of and the potential solutions to the current cost pressures in the system, and by integrating the public's understanding of the expenses of the health care system with Vermonters' health care values and priorities.

Sec. 2. INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF VERMONT'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

(a) The General Assembly hereby directs that an independent assessment of Vermont's health care system be conducted. This assessment shall emphasize an analysis of Vermonters' desired health care values and priorities coupled with the costs of achieving those goals, as well as an analysis of the health insurance marketplace and the provider delivery system. The assessment shall use previously collected relevant data and any other available relevant data related to Vermont's health care system. The assessment shall include:

(1) An evaluation of currently identified areas of concern that have led to premium increases to residents of Vermont, including the effect on rates of large capital expenditures at Vermont hospitals, the status of the health insurance marketplace, pricing strategies, the interplay between public and private health insurance reimbursement policies, cost shifting caused by Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies, cost shifting among private payers, and bad debt and free care.

(2) An evaluation of the appropriateness of Vermont's provider delivery system with respect to access, utilization, cost, changes in technology, growth in benefits, and pressures on labor costs, including the financing and missions of the not-for-profit hospital system in Vermont in addition to other hospitals which deliver a significant amount of care to Vermonters.

(3) An in-depth analysis and the related activities necessary to determine the most effective methods for providing access to affordable health insurance coverage to all citizens of this state, including employees of nonprofit organizations.

(b) The commission on public health care values and priorities will develop a mechanism to educate Vermonters, then conduct a dialogue and facilitate Vermonters' ability to make informed decisions regarding the development of an acceptable health care system, including a consideration of ethical choices.

(c)(1) The independent health care assessment committee is created, consisting of three members appointed by the governor with knowledge and expertise in health care. The governor's appointments shall be made on or before 60 days following passage of this act.

(2) The committee's role shall be to administer and develop the request for proposal contract process for purposes of accomplishing the purposes of this act as defined in subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) of this section. The committee shall facilitate cooperation between state agencies and the contractor to accomplish performance of the assessment. The committee shall have all powers necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including:

(A) Those general powers provided to a business corporation under Title 11A.

(B) The power to hire or contract for professional administrative staff.

(C) The power to hold one or more public hearings.

(D) The power to award one or more contracts to conduct the assessment required by this section.

(3) Upon request by the committee, all officials and employees of any state agency, department, office, board or commission shall provide information and assistance to the committee and to the contractor, necessary or desirable in carrying out the duties of the committee.

(4) The agency of human services is authorized to apply for federal or private grants to extend the scope of the assessment of the committee. The agency may apply for grants that will support an assessment of the most effective methods to provide affordable health insurance coverage to the citizens of the state, or other such grants that will assist the committee in the performance of its duties.

(5) The committee shall issue its request for proposals to conduct the assessment no later than September 1, 2000.

(6) Members of the committee shall receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses in accordance with section 1010 of Title 32.

Sec. 3. REPORTING REQUIREMENT

The contractor's assessment, the committee's report, and the commission's report shall be submitted to the general assembly and the governor on or before September 15, 2001. The joint fiscal office shall examine the resources necessary to provide ongoing assessments of Vermont's changing health care system, and provide their recommendation in the form of a report to the general assembly and the governor on or before November 1, 2001.

Sec. 4. APPROPRIATION

If the state of Vermont receives a grant, pursuant to subdivision (c)(4) of Sec. 2, of this act, from the State Planning Grant Program authorized by the fiscal year 2000 Health and Human Services Appropriations Act, then the sum of $150,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the independent health care assessment committee in fiscal year 2000. This sum is to be carried forward into fiscal year 2001, to accomplish the purposes of this act. The committee shall allocate a portion of the sums appropriated by this section to support the activities of the Commission on Health Care Values and Priorities, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 13-98.

Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

HELEN S. RIEHLE

JAMES P. LEDDY

BEN-ZION PTASHNIK

Committee on the Part of the Senate

KAREN B. KITZMILLER

MARY C. MAZZARIELLO

KEVIN J. MULLIN

Committee on the Part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference? was decided in the negative.

Thereupon, on motion of Senator Riehle, the Senate requested a second Committee of Conference.

Committees of Conference Appointed

The President laid before the Senate, House bill entitled:

H. 854. An act relating to fees.

And, pursuant to the request of the House, announced the appointment of

Senator Sears

Senator MacDonald

Senator Bahre

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

The President laid before the Senate, Senate bill entitled:

S. 324. An act relating to criminal and civil procedures involving alcohol and motor vehicle violations.

And, pursuant to the request of the Senate, announced the appointment of

Senator Sears

Senator Bloomer

Senator Illuzzi

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

The President laid before the Senate, House bill entitled:

H. 711. An act relating to an independent performance audit of Vermont's health care system.

And, pursuant to the request of the House, announced the appointment of

Senator Riehle

Senator Leddy

Senator Ptashnik

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

The President laid before the Senate, House bill entitled:

H. 97. An act relating to a graduated driver license program.

And, pursuant to the request of the House, announced the appointment of

Senator Bahre

Senator Crowley

Senator Rivers

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the following bills were ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S. 324, H. 97, H. 711, H. 854.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until four o'clock and thirty minutes in the morning.

Evening

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Message from the House

A message was received from the House of Representatives by Mr. Bertrand, its Second Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has pursuant to the request of the Senate for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on House bill of the following title:

H. 711. An act relating to an independent performance audit of Vermont's health care system.

The Speaker has appointed as members of such committee on the part of the House

Rep. Mazzariello of Rutland City

Rep. Poirier of Barre City

Rep. Pugh of South Burlington

Pursuant to the request of the Senate for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on Senate bill of the following title:

S. 324. An act relating to criminal and civil procedures involving alcohol and motor vehicle violations.

The Speaker has appointed as members of such committee on the part of the House

Rep. Little of Shelburne

Rep. Kainen of Hartford

Rep. Edwards of Swanton

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Accepted and Adopted on the Part of the Senate

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee of Conference on House bill entitled:

H. 841. An act relating to administrative rule-making procedure.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Brownell, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill entitled:

H. 841. An act relating to administrative rule-making procedure.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment and that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1) public participation in the rule-making process of state agencies is essential to the proper development of such rules;

(2) current procedures for accommodating public input vary among state agencies;

(3) the interagency committee on administrative rules has the ability to work with agencies at an early stage in the rule-making process, and should work with agencies to develop strategies to maximize public input.

Sec. 2. 3 V.S.A. § 800 is added to read:

§ 800. PURPOSE

The general assembly intends that:

(1) agencies maximize the involvement of the public in the development of rules;

(2) agency inclusion of public participation in the rule-making processes should be consistent;

(3) the general assembly should articulate, as clearly as possible, the intent of any legislation which delegates rule-making authority;

(4) when an agency adopts policy or procedures, it should not do so to supplant or avoid the adoption of rules.

Sec. 3. 3 V.S.A. § 820 is amended to read:

§ 820. INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

(a) For assistance in the review, evaluation and coordination of programs and activities of state agencies, the development of strategies for maximizing public input, and the promotion of consistent measures among agencies for involving the public in the rule-making process, subject to the provisions of this chapter, an interagency committee on administrative rules is created. Members of the committee shall be appointed by the governor from the executive branch and shall serve at his or her pleasure.

(b) The duties and responsibilities of the committee shall be those established under this section or those directed by the governor and shall include review of existing and proposed rules of agencies designated by the governor for style, consistency with the law, legislative intent and the policies of the governor. The committee shall make reports and recommendations concerning programs and activities of designated agencies subject to this chapter.

(c) After a proposed rule is prefiled with the committee, the committee shall work with the agency and prescribe a strategy for maximizing public input on the proposed rule.

Sec. 4. 3 V.S.A. § 838 is amended to read:

§ 838. FILING OF PROPOSED RULES

(a) Proposed rules shall be filed with the secretary of state. The filing shall include the following:

(1) a cover sheet;

(2) an economic impact statement;

(3) an incorporation by reference statement, if the proposed rule includes an incorporation by reference;

(4) an adopting page;

(5) the text of the proposed rule; *[and]*

(6) an annotated text showing changes from existing rules;

(7) an explanation of the strategy for maximizing public input on the proposed rule as prescribed by the interagency committee on administrative rules; and

(8) a brief summary of the scientific information upon which the proposed rule is based to the extent the proposed rule depends on scientific information for its validity.

* * *

(g) The brief summary of scientific information shall refer to scientific studies upon which the proposed rule is based and shall explain the procedure for obtaining such studies from the agency.

Sec. 5. 3 V.S.A. § 840 is amended to read:

§ 840. PUBLIC HEARING AND COMMENT

(a) The agency may hold one or more public hearings for each proposed rule. A public hearing shall be scheduled if so requested by 25 persons, by a governmental subdivision or agency, by the interagency committee on administrative rules, or by an association having 25 or more members. The first hearing shall not be held sooner than 10 days following the second formal publication.

* * *

(d) The agency shall consider fully all written and oral submissions concerning the proposed rule, and all submissions on separate requirements for small businesses. The agency shall provide information to all individuals, who submitted written or oral comment, on the procedure for adoption of rules and how to obtain changes in the proposed rule.

* * *

Sec. 6. 3 V.S.A. § 841(c) is amended to read:

(c) The legislative committee on administrative rules shall distribute copies of final proposed rules to *[the chairs]* all members of the *[appropriate]* standing committees which considered legislation delegating rule-making authority. *[In addition, each member of the appropriate standing committees shall be notified that the final proposed rule has been filed, the date of filing and, upon request, shall be provided with a copy of the filing.]*

Sec. 7. 1 V.S.A. § 312 is amended to read:

§ 312. RIGHT TO ATTEND MEETINGS OF PUBLIC AGENCIES

(a) All meetings of a public body are declared to be open to the public at all times, except as provided in section 313 of this title. No resolution, rule, regulation, appointment, or formal action shall be considered binding except as taken or made at such open meeting, except as provided under section 313(a)(2) of this title. A meeting may be conducted by audio conference or other electronic means, as long as the provisions of this subchapter are met. A public body shall record by audio tape, all hearings held to provide a forum for public comment on a proposed rule, pursuant to section 840 of Title 3. The public shall have access to copies of such tapes as described in section 316 of this title.

* * *

Sec. 8. STUDY OF ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

(a) The legislative council is directed to undertake a sample review of administrative rules of state agencies, of the involvement of standing committees of the general assembly in the rule-making process, and of the current process for adoption of administrative rules. The council shall evaluate the effectiveness of the current process, study approaches other states' legislatures have taken to address the perceived problems, and recommend changes for improvement of the current system.

(b) All agencies shall cooperate with the legislative council's efforts to review information contemplated by this section. All agencies shall provide the legislative council notice or copies of all permanent, temporary, interim or emergency rules and the source of authority for the adoption of all such rules on request.

(c) The legislative council shall submit a report to the general assembly by January 1, 2001 which describes the results of the review and makes specific recommended changes.

Sec. 9. SECRETARY OF STATE

The secretary of state shall develop a plan for publishing all proposed rules, final proposed rules and adopted rules of all state agencies on the internet on the world wide web in a unified database searchable by a Boolean search system, or similar system, and by a table of all such rules, by agency. The secretary shall present this plan to the general assembly by January 1, 2001, which shall include a detailed estimate of the costs of implementing the plan by July 1, 2001.

Sec. 10. SUNSET

Sec. 6. of this act shall expire on May 1, 2002.

WILLIAM T. DOYLE

SARA B. KITTELL

PETER C. BROWNELL

Committee on the part of the Senate

COLA H. HUDSON

DONNA G. SWEANEY

ROBERT H. RUSTEN

Committee on the part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference? was decided in the affirmative.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Accepted and Adopted on the Part of the Senate

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee of Conference on House bill entitled:

H. 711. An act relating to an independent performance audit of Vermont's health care system.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Riehle, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill entitled:

H. 711. An act relating to an independent performance audit of Vermont's health care system.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment, and that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(a) The General Assembly finds that:

(1) As of 1998, approximately 87,598 Vermonters were covered by Medicaid, 86,588 Vermonters were covered by Medicare, 378,171 Vermonters were covered by private health insurance, and 38,526 Vermonters were uninsured.

(2) It is the policy of the state of Vermont to insure that all residents have access to quality health services at costs that are affordable.

(3) It is further the policy of Vermont that the health care system should facilitate universal access to preventive and medically necessary health care.

(4) Vermont, unlike most other states, has developed both public and private mechanisms for collecting and analyzing a wide variety of health care data. The challenge is to put this wealth of information in a format that is usable and understandable to policy makers and the public.

(5) The state of Vermont's health care financing and delivery system is under extreme pressure and must be stabilized to insure continued high quality access that is affordable to all Vermonters.

(6) According to the 1994 report of the commission on the public's health care values and priorities, Vermonters assign a high priority to two conflicting health care goals: extending care to everyone and lowering or containing health care costs. The commission also found that Vermonters should continue to have insurance through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Vermonters should receive quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay, and in addition to receiving quality health care, uninsured Vermonters should accept responsibility for paying a fair share of their health care costs.

(b) It is the purpose of this assessment to provide a resource for understanding and subsequently improving Vermont's health care system by collecting current health care data, evaluating the causes of and the potential solutions to the current cost pressures in the system, and by integrating the public's understanding of the expenses of the health care system with Vermonters' health care values and priorities.

Sec. 2. INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF VERMONT'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

(a) The General Assembly hereby directs that an independent assessment of Vermont's health care system be conducted. This assessment shall emphasize an analysis of Vermonters' desired health care values and priorities coupled with the costs of achieving those goals, as well as an analysis of the health insurance marketplace and the provider delivery system. The assessment shall use previously collected relevant data and any other available relevant data related to Vermont's health care system. The assessment shall include:

(1) An evaluation of currently identified areas of concern that have led to premium increases to residents of Vermont, including the effect on rates of large capital expenditures at Vermont hospitals, the status of the health insurance marketplace, pricing strategies, the interplay between public and private health insurance reimbursement policies, cost shifting caused by Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies, cost shifting among private payers, and bad debt and free care.

(2) An evaluation of the appropriateness of Vermont's provider delivery system with respect to access, utilization, cost, changes in technology, growth in benefits, and pressures on labor costs, including the financing and missions of the not-for-profit hospital system in Vermont in addition to other hospitals which deliver a significant amount of care to Vermonters.

(3) An in-depth analysis and the related activities necessary to determine the most effective methods for providing access to affordable health insurance coverage to all citizens of this state, including employees of nonprofit organizations.

(b) The commission on public health care values and priorities will develop a mechanism to educate Vermonters, then conduct a dialogue and facilitate Vermonters' ability to make informed decisions regarding the development of an acceptable health care system, including a consideration of ethical choices.

(c)(1) The independent health care assessment committee is created, consisting of three members appointed by the governor with knowledge and expertise in health care. The governor's appointments shall be made on or before 60 days following passage of this act.

(2) The committee's role shall be to administer and develop the request for proposal contract process for purposes of accomplishing the purposes of this act as defined in subdivisions (a)(1), (2), and (3) of this section. The committee shall facilitate cooperation between state agencies and the contractor to accomplish performance of the assessment. The committee shall have all powers necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including:

(A) Those general powers provided to a business corporation under Title 11A.

(B) The power to hire or contract for professional administrative staff.

(C) The power to hold one or more public hearings.

(D) The power to award one or more contracts to conduct the assessment required by this section.

(3) Upon request by the committee, all officials and employees of any state agency, department, office, board or commission shall provide information and assistance to the committee and to the contractor, necessary or desirable in carrying out the duties of the committee.

(4) The agency of human services is authorized to apply for federal or private grants to extend the scope of the assessment of the committee. The agency may apply for grants that will support an assessment of the most effective methods to provide affordable health insurance coverage to the citizens of the state, or other such grants that will assist the committee in the performance of its duties.

(5) The committee shall issue its request for proposals to conduct the assessment no later than September 1, 2000.

(6) Members of the committee shall receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses in accordance with section 1010 of Title 32.

Sec. 3. REPORTING REQUIREMENT

The contractor's assessment, the committee's report, and the commission's report shall be submitted to the general assembly and the governor on or before September 15, 2001. The joint fiscal office shall examine the resources necessary to provide ongoing assessments of Vermont's changing health care system, and provide their recommendation in the form of a report to the general assembly and the governor on or before November 1, 2001.

Sec. 4. APPROPRIATION

(a) The sum of $150,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the independent health care assessment committee in fiscal year 2000 to accomplish the purposes of this act. This sum is to be carried forward into fiscal year 2001 to accomplish the purposes of this act.

(b) The committee shall distribute the sum of $100,000.00 to support the activities of the Commission on Health Care Values and Priorities, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 13-98.

(c) The committee shall have the authority to distribute the remaining $50,000.00 to accomplish the purposes of this act, pursuant to subdivisions (a)(1), (2), and (3) of Sec. 2 of this act, if the state of Vermont receives a grant, pursuant to subdivision (c)(4) of Sec. 2 of this act, from the State Planning Grant Program authorized by the fiscal year 2000 Health and Human Services Appropriations Act.

Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

HELEN S. RIEHLE

JAMES P. LEDDY

BEN-ZION PTASHNIK

Committee on the part of the Senate

MARY C. MAZZARIELLO

PAUL N. POIRIER

ANN D. PUGH

Committee on the part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference? was decided in the affirmative.

House Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested; Committee of Conference Appointed

House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

S. 237. An act relating to minors and alcohol.

Was taken up.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 7 V.S.A. § 658 is amended to read:

§ 658. SALE OR FURNISHING TO MINORS; ENABLING CONSUMPTION BY MINORS; MINORS CAUSING DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY

(a) *[A]* No person, *[licensee or otherwise,]* shall *[not]*:

(1) sell or furnish malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors to a person under the age of 21; or

(2) knowingly enable the consumption of malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors by a person under the age of 21.

* * *

(c) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not *[less than $500.00 nor]* more than *[$2,000.00]* $1,000.00 or imprisoned not more than *[two years]* one year, or both. However, an employee of a licensee, who in the course of employment violates subdivision (a)(1) of this section:

(1) during a compliance check conducted by a law enforcement officer as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2358, shall be subject to:

(A) a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for the first violation;

(B) a civil penalty of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 for a second violation; and

(C) a criminal penalty of not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both, for any third or subsequent violation or offense within a three year period.

(2) may plead as an affirmative defense that:

(A) the purchaser exhibited and the employee carefully viewed

photographic identification that complied with section 602 of this title and

indicated the purchaser to be 21 or older; and

(B) an ordinary prudent person would believe the purchaser to be of legal age to make the purchase; and

(C) the sale was made in good faith based upon the reasonable belief that the purchaser was of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages.

* * *

Sec. 1a. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 (b) is amended to read:

(b) The bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(7) violations under 7 V.S.A. § 658(c)(1), relating to the first and second violation of the prohibition against sale or furnishing alcohol to minors by an employee of a license pursuant to a compliance check.

* * *

Sec. 2. 7 V.S.A. § 657 is amended to read:

§ 657. MINORS MISREPRESENTING AGE OR PROCURING OR POSSESSING LIQUORS; ALCOHOL AND DRIVING EDUCATION

(a) A minor who falsely represents his or her age for the purpose of procuring or who procures or attempts to procure malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquor from any licensee, state liquor agency, or other person or persons or who possesses malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquor for the purpose of consumption by himself or herself or other minors, except in the regular performance of duties as an employee of a licensee licensed to sell alcoholic liquor, shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned not more than *[thirty]* 30 days, or both, and the person's operating license, nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed person to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended for 120 days.

(b) The state's attorney *[may]* shall require as a condition of diversion that a person who is charged with a violation of this section who holds a license to operate a motor vehicle *[shall voluntarily]* relinquish the license for a period of 60 days and attend an alcohol and driving program at the person's own expense.

* * *

Sec. 2a. 7 V.S.A. § 66 is added to read:

§ 66. SHIPPING PERMIT; VINOUS BEVERAGES; DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS

(a) A holder of a second class license, fourth class license or a license to manufacture or rectify vinous beverages may apply annually to the department for a shipping permit by filing an application in a form determined by the department accompanied by an annual fee of $200.00. Granting of the shipping permit shall authorize the license holder to deliver up to one case of no more than 12 bottles of vinous beverages per shipment, or effect delivery of the same amount of vinous beverages by a common carrier that primarily delivers freight or express as defined in 5 V.S.A. §1820, to an individual purchaser for personal consumption. The vinous beverages shall be delivered pursuant to an invoice that includes the name of the licensee and the name and address of the purchaser. The vinous beverages shall be delivered only to the address on the invoice and only to an individual who is age 21 or over. The licensee shall file a copy of the invoice with the department prior to shipping and shall retain a copy of the invoice for two years.

(b) A licensed manufacturer or rectifier holding a shipping permit shall pay directly to the commissioner of taxes the wholesale tax on vinous beverages shipped pursuant to this section.

(c) A holder of a shipping permit under this section shal1 not deliver or have delivered any vinous beverages to any person under the age of 21.

(d) A common carrier shall not deliver vinous beverages until it has complied with the provisions of subsections 239(a) and (b) of this title and its compliance has been certified by the department of liquor control. No employee of a common carrier may deliver vinous beverages until that employee completes the training required by subsection 239(c) of this title.

(e) For non-compliance with subsections (b) or (d) of this section, the board of liquor control shall have the power to suspend or revoke a certification or permit issued under this section.

* * *

Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 610 is amended to read:

§ 610. LICENSE CERTIFICATES

(a) The commissioner shall assign a distinguishing number to each licensee and shall furnish *[him or her]* the licensee with a license certificate, showing the number, *[his or her]* the licensee's mailing address and *[with]* a space for the signature of the licensee *[for the purposes of identification]*. The license shall be void until *[the signature of]* signed by the licensee *[is affixed to it]*.

(b) A motor vehicle operator's license issued to an individual who is under the age of 18 shall be distinguishable by color from a motor vehicle operator's license issued to an individual who is over the age of 18 but under the age of 21, and both cards shall be distinguishable by color from a motor vehicle operator's license issued to an individual 21 or older. A motor vehicle operator's license issued to an individual under the age of 21 shall clearly indicate, in prominent type, the date on which the individual will become 21. The distinguishing colors shall be the same as those used to distinguish identification cards issued under section 115 of this title.

(c) Upon request, a license certificate shall be issued with the photograph of the licensee included on the certificate. The commissioner shall determine the fee for the photographic license and locations where photographic licenses may be issued. A photographic motor vehicle operator's license issued under this subsection shall include a magnetic strip that includes only the name, date of birth, height and weight of the licensee.

Sec. 4. 23 V.S.A. § 115(h) and (i) are added to read:

(h) An identification card issued to an individual who is under the age of 18 shall be distinguishable by color from an identification card issued to an individual who is over the age of 18 but under the age of 21, and both cards shall be distinguishable by color from an identification card issued to an individual over the age of 21. An identification card issued to an individual under the age of 21 shall clearly indicate, in prominent type, the date on which the individual will become 21. The distinguishing colors shall be the same as those used to distinguish operator's licenses issued under section 610 of this title.

(i) A photographic identification card issued under this section shall include a magnetic strip that includes only the name, date of birth, height and weight of the individual identified on the card.

Sec. 5. DESIGN OF IDENTIFICATION CARDS; REDUCTION OF UNDERAGE ALCOHOL PURCHASE

The commissioner of liquor control in cooperation with the commissioner of motor vehicles shall review methods, designs, and approaches used successfully by other jurisdictions that accurately identify purchasers of alcoholic beverages and that have effected a decrease of underage purchasers of alcoholic beverages. The commissioners shall report their findings and recommendations in writing to the General Assembly on or before January 15, 2001.

Sec. 6. ALCOHOL SERVICE AND SALES TRAINING PROGRAM; VOLUNTARY PROGRAM; REPORT

The Department of Liquor Control shall issue a written report to the General Assembly before January 1, 2001, that includes the following:

(1) An evaluation of its current alcohol education programs for licensees and their employees and, in consultation with other jurisdictions, recommendations which may include improvement and expansion of the program to enhance the program's efficiency and effectiveness, and additional training requirements for licensees and their employees who have one or more violations relating to service or sales to minors or intoxicated persons.

(2) Proposals, including estimated costs and funding options, for a voluntary program for retail licensees designed to help licensees and their employees minimize the risk and frequency of selling or providing alcoholic beverages to minors. The program may include self-testing and licensee-requested inspections with no penalty for noncompliance discovered during inspections.

(3) An evaluation and analysis of the impact on the effort to decrease sales of alcohol to minors of the following:

(A) The changes made in Sec. 1 of this act.

(B) A mandatory minimum one-day suspension of the license issued under Title 7 for a violation of 7 V.S.A. § 658 by a licensee's employee during employment.

(C) Decriminalizing the first violation of 7 V.S.A. § 658(a)(1) by an employee of a licensee during a compliance check.

Sec. 7. REPEAL

23 V.S.A. §§ 610a, color of license certificates, and 610b, photograph on license, are repealed.

Sec. 8. 7 V.S.A. 237(c) is amended to read:

(c) *[It shall be the responsibility of each licensee to]* Each licensee shall ensure that every employee who is involved in the sale or serving of alcohol beverages completes a training program approved by the department of liquor control before the employee begins serving or selling alcoholic beverages and at least once every 24 months thereafter. A licensee may comply with this requirement by conducting its own training program on its premises, using information and materials furnished by the department of liquor control. A licensee shall submit to the board annually a signed affidavit certifying that each of the licensee's employees who serves or sells alcoholic beverages has completed an approved training program prior to serving or selling alcohol, and that other employees have completed additional training required by this subsection. A licensee who fails to train an employee as required by this subsection or who files a false affidavit certifying training shall be subject to a suspension of no less than one day of the license issued under this title. This section shall be effective July 1, 2001.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment? On motion of Senator Bartlett, the Senate refused to concur in the House proposal of amendment and requested a Committee of Conference.

Thereupon, pursuant to the request of the Senate, the President announced the appointment of

Senator Cummings

Senator Greenwood

Senator Bartlett

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Accepted and Adopted on the Part of the Senate

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee of Conference on House bill entitled:

H. 188. An act relating to diesel fuel tax.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Rivers, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill entitled:

H. 188. An act relating to diesel fuel tax.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the House accede to the Senate's first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth proposals of amendment and in the seventh proposal of amendment, by acceding to Secs. 16, 18 through 32, 34 and 35 and that the Senate recede from its second proposal of amendment, and, in the seventh proposal of amendment in Secs. 14, 15, 17, and 33, and that the bill be further amended as follows:

First: By striking out Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2. 23 V.S.A. § 3003(d) is amended to read:

(d) For users, the following uses shall be exempt from taxation under this chapter and be entitled to a credit for any tax paid for such uses under section 3020 of this title:

(1) uses, the taxation of which would be precluded by the laws and Constitution of the United States and this state;

(2) uses for agricultural purposes not conducted on the highways of the state;

(3) uses by any state, municipal, school district, fire district or other governmentally owned vehicles for official purposes;

(4) uses by any vehicle off the highways of the state;

(5) *[uses by motor buses registered in this state; and]* uses by motor buses registered in this state; and

*[(6)]*(6) uses by any vehicle registered as a farm truck under section 367(f) of this title.

Provided, however, that no tax shall be due with respect to fuel for use in any state, municipal, school district, fire district or other governmentally-owned vehicle, as long as the distributor takes from the purchaser at the time of sale an exemption certificate in the form prescribed by the commissioner; and provided, further, that no tax shall be due with respect to fuel delivered for farm use to a farm bulk fuel storage tank.

Second: By striking out Sec. 14 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 14 to read as follows:

Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 1400(d) and (e) are added to read:

(d) The commissioner may enter into contracts with an electronic permitting service that will allow the service to issue single trip permits to a commercial motor vehicle operator, on behalf of the department of motor vehicles. The permitting service shall be authorized to issue single trip permits for travel to and from a Vermont facility by commercial motor vehicles which are not greater than 72 feet in length on routes that have been approved by the agency of transportation. The permitting service may assess, collect and retain an additional administrative fee which shall be paid by the commercial motor vehicle carrier.

(e) Notwithstanding any other statute or rule to the contrary, overweight permits shall not be issued to vehicles registered in another state or province, unless that state or province issues similar permits on a reciprocal basis to vehicles registered in Vermont.

Third: By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 14a to read as follows:

Sec. 14a. RECIPROCAL OVERWEIGHT PERMIT; REVOCATION

All overweight permits previously issued to vehicles registered in another state or province which do not issue similar overweight permits on a reciprocal basis to vehicles registered in Vermont shall be revoked, effective July 1, 2000.

Fourth: By striking out Sec. 17 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 17 to read as follows:

Sec. 17. 23 V.S.A. § 1432 is amended to read:

§ 1432. LENGTH OF VEHICLES; AUTHORIZED HIGHWAYS

(a) *[No motor vehicle, with or without trailer or semi-trailer attached, which is longer than 65 feet overall shall be operated upon any highway except as otherwise provided herein or under special permission from the commissioner of motor vehicles.]* Operation of vehicles with or without a trailer or semitrailer. No motor vehicle without a trailer or semitrailer attached, which is longer than 46 feet overall, shall be operated upon any highway except under special permission from the commissioner of motor vehicles. A motor vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer shall be operated, with regard to the length of the vehicle, pursuant to this section. If there is a trailer or semitrailer, the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle shall not exceed 43 feet.

(1) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer not exceeding 72 feet on the truck network. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer does not exceed 72 feet, it may be operated without a permit on the truck network established in subsection (c) of this section.

(2) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer not exceeding 68 feet off the truck network. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer does not exceed 68 feet, it may be operated without a permit off the truck network.

(3) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet off the truck network; tractor 23 feet or less. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet, and if the distance between the steering axle to the rearmost tractor axle is 23 feet or less, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(1) of this title. A receiver or shipper of goods located in Vermont may request from the agency of transportation, access to a state highway, not on the truck network, for a commercial motor vehicle where the overall length exceeds 68 feet but is not longer than 72 feet. The agency of transportation shall review the route or routes requested, making its determination for approval based on safety and engineering considerations, after considering input from local government and regional planning commissions or the metropolitan planning organization. The agency shall maintain consistency in its application of acceptable highway geometry when approving other routes. The agency may authorize safety precautions on these highways, if warranted, which shall include, but not be limited to, precautionary signage, intelligent transportation system signage, special speed limits and use of flashing lights.

(4) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet off the truck network; tractor greater than 23 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet, and if the distance between the steering axle to the rearmost tractor axle is greater than 23 feet in length, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(2) of this title.

(5) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 72 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 72 feet, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(3) of this title.

(b) Rear-end protective devices on trailers. A trailer or *[semi-trailer]* semitrailer not in excess of 53 feet may be operated provided*[:]*

*[(1) the distance between the kingpin of the semi-trailer and the centerline of the rear axle or rear axle group does not exceed 41 feet; and]* *[(2)]* the *[semi-trailer]* semitrailer is equipped with a rear-end protective device of substantial construction consisting of a continuous lateral beam extending to within four inches of the lateral extremities of the *[semi-trailer]* semitrailer and located not more than 22 inches from the surface as measured with the vehicle empty and on a level surface*[; and]*. *[(3) operation is:]* *[(A) on the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways;]* *[(B) on highways leading to or from the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for a distance of one mile unless the agency of transportation finds the use of a specific highway to be unsafe; or]* *[(C) on such other highways which the agency of transportation approves based on safety or engineering considerations.]*

(c) *[A trailer or semi-trailer not in excess of 48 feet need only meet the requirements of subdivision (b)(1) of this section.]* The truck network. The truck network shall consist of the following:

U.S. Route 2 between the New Hampshire state line and the junction of U.S. Route 5; U.S. Route 2 from the junction of exit 21 on I-91 to exit 8 on Interstate 89; U.S. Route 2 between the New York state line and VT Route 78; VT Route 2A; U.S. Route 4 from the New York state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south; U.S. Route 5 from the junction of U.S. Route 2 to the function of exit 20 of I-91; U.S. Route 5 between I-91 at exit 22 to the south entrance of the St. Johnsbury-Lyndonville industrial park; U.S. Route 5 south from I-91 at exit 22 to the intersection of St. Johnsbury Railroad Street and Hastings Hill Street; U.S. Route 7; VT Route 9 from the New York state line to the junction of exit 2 on I-91; VT Route 9 from the junction of exit 3 on I-91 to the New Hampshire state line; VT Route 18 from U.S. Route 2 to the New Hampshire state line; VT Route 22A between U.S. Route 4 and U.S. Route 7; VT Route 78; VT Route 103; VT Route 105 from the junction of U.S. Route 7 to the junction of VT Route 100, then southerly on VT Route 100 to the junction of VT Route 100 and VT Route 14, then easterly on VT Route 14 to the junction of VT Route 14 and U.S. Route 5, then northerly on U.S. Route 5 to the junction of U.S. Route 5 and VT Route 105, then easterly on VT Route 105 from the junction of U.S. Route 5 to the New Hampshire border; VT Route 104 from VT Route 105 to I-89 at exit 19; VT Route 253 from the New Hampshire border to the Canadian border; VT Route 289; and U.S. Route 302. The commissioner is authorized to place special restrictions applying to motor vehicles on any route of the truck network when, in his or her opinion, the restrictions would provide for the safe operation of all vehicles on the route.

(d) Operation on U.S. Route 4. Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer which are longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet may be operated with a single or multiple trip overlength permit issued at no cost by the department of motor vehicles or, for a fee, by an entity authorized in subsection 1400(d) of this title on U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south, provided the distance from the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rear most axle is not greater than 43 feet.

*[(d)]*(e) Operation of pole semitrailers. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent the operation of so-called pole dinkeys or pole *[semi-trailers]* semitrailers when being used to support the ends of poles, timbers, pipes, or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections, the overall length of which may exceed 60 feet under special permission from the commissioner of motor vehicles. *[(e)]*(f) Operation on Interstate highways. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and those classes of qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways as designated by the Secretary, United States Department of Transportation, and on highways leading to or from the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for a distance of one mile, unless the agency of transportation finds the use of a specific highway to be unsafe, no overall length limits for tractor-semitrailer or tractor semitrailer-trailer combination shall apply. On *[such]* these highways, no semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer combination longer than 53 feet and no trailer or semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination longer than 28 feet shall be operated. However, the limits established by this section shall not be construed in such a manner as to prohibit the use of semitrailers in a tractor-semitrailer combination of such dimensions as were in actual and lawful use in this state on December 1, 1982. *[(f)]*(g) List of approved highways. The commissioner shall prepare a list of each highway that has been approved for travel by *[trailers or semi-trailers of fifty-three feet in length]* vehicles referred to in subsection (a) of this section. The list shall be furnished, without charge, to each permitting service, electronic dispatching service or other similar service authorized to do business in this state and, upon request, to any interested person.

Fifth: By striking out Sec. 33 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 33 to read as follows:

Sec. 33. ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION FUND REVENUE

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any additional revenue in FY2001 above the amount necessary to meet the transportation fund appropriations and transfers at the adjournment of the 2000 session of the general assembly shall be allocated to a special account within the transportation fund and reserved for appropriations in FY2002 for improvements to U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south and the truck network established in this act. An amount equal to this amount, shall be allocated annually from the transportation fund to the special account, and reserved for appropriations for improvements to the highways referenced in this section for fiscal years 2003 and 2004.

CHERYL P. RIVERS

PETER E. SHUMLIN

JOHN P. CROWLEY

Committee on the part of the Senate

RICHARD C. PEMBROKE, SR.

ALBERT J. PERRY

WILLIAM C. WISELL

Committee on the part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference? was decided in the affirmative.

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposals of Amendment Concurred In

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House proposal of amendment to Senate proposals of amendment to House bill entitled:

H. 843. An act relating to assisting families to attain self-sufficiency.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House concurs in the Senate proposals of amendment with the following amendment thereto:

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the proposal of amendment as follows:

First: By striking out Secs. 3a, 3b, and 3c in their entirety

Second: In Sec. 1, in 33 V.S.A. § 1113, subdivisions (d)(3), (d)(3)(A), (d)(3)(B), and (d)(3)(E), by striking out "six-month" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "three-month"

Third: In Sec. 1, in 33 V.S.A. § 1116, subsection (b), by striking out the final sentence and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "The district director or the district director's designee shall perform the review."

Fourth: In Sec. 1, in 33 V.S.A. § 1116, subdivision (c)(1), by striking out the following: "third, fourth, or fifth" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "and third" and by striking out the following: "$50.00" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "$75.00"

Fifth: In Sec. 1, § 1116 of 33 V.S.A., subdivision (c)(2), by striking out the following: "sixth" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "fourth"

Sixth: In Sec. 1, in Title 33, by adding a new statutory section to read as follows:

§ 1123. INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT SAVINGS PROGRAM

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Account" means a savings account that is held in an insured financial institution that is maintained by the saver as part of an approved account program and an approved savings plan.

(2) "Agency" means the agency of human services.

(3) "Approved account program" means a program approved by the agency and administered by a service provider.

(4) "Approved savings plan" means a plan, approved by the service provider and agreed to by the saver, that defines savings goals, program requirements, and anticipated uses of the savings and matching funds. The plan shall be a contract between the saver and the service provider. The plan shall limit the maximum amount of savings that is the basis for receipt of matching funds to no more than $500.00 per saver per calendar year and $1,000.00 per family per calendar year, and to no more than $2,000.00 per lifetime of the saver and $4,000.00 per lifetime of members of a family.

(5) "Education" means a postsecondary program of instruction approved by the service provider and provided by a college, university, community college, area vocational technical school, professional institution, or specialized college or school legally authorized to grant degrees. The term also means any job training or related educational program approved by the service provider.

(6) "Eligible uses" means education, the purchase or improvement of a home, or participation in or development of an entrepreneurial activity.

(7) "Entrepreneurial activity" means the purchase of or investment in a for-profit venture in which the saver will be a principal.

(8) "Financial institution" means any insured federal or state chartered bank, bank and trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association, trust company, or credit union, approved by the service provider for the establishment of an individual development savings account.

(9) "Fund" means the individual development matching grant special fund established by this section.

(10) "Minimum savings amount" means the minimum amount of the saver's earnings established in the approved savings plan that the saver must deposit in order to be eligible for matching funds.

(11) "Program" means the individual development savings program established by this section.

(12) "Public assistance" means financial assistance provided by the Reach Up program or a separate state program established under the authority of section 1121 of this title.

(13) "Saver" means an individual who is 18 years of age or older, or who is under 18 years of age if the account is held in the name of a parent or caretaker of the saver, or a family group:

(A) who resides in this state;

(B) who has applied for and been enrolled in the individual development savings program;

(C) whose household income at the time of application is within the applicable financial eligible standards:

(i) to receive public assistance;

(ii) to claim the federal earned income credit, without regard to any age limitation; or

(iii) to participate in a federal savings program administered pursuant to this section; and

(D) whose net worth as of the calendar year preceding the determination of eligibility does not exceed $10,000.00, excluding the primary dwelling unit, one motor vehicle owned by members of the saver's family in a one-parent family or two motor vehicles owned by members of the saver's family in a two-parent family, and the tools of saver's trade that do not exceed $10,000.00 in value and that are necessary to continue or seek employment.

(14) "Service provider" means a nonprofit organization approved by the agency that encourages and assists local community-based human service development, and that is an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(a) of such Code.

(b) The agency shall establish by rule standards and procedures to implement and administer the individual development savings program. The program may include a program with eligibility criteria that satisfy federal funding requirements or the requirements of other funding sources that are more restrictive than those established in subsection (a) of this section, and a program funded by state appropriations and other revenue. Such standards and procedures shall include the following:

(1) An applicant shall apply to a service provider for a determination of eligibility for enrollment in the program. The service provider shall develop an

approved savings plan with each saver who has been determined eligible and enrolled in the program. The approved savings plan shall specify a minimum savings amount to be saved and the frequency of deposits to be made by the saver to the savings account during the duration of the plan. The application and plan shall be prepared on forms provided and approved by the service provider.

(2) The enrolled saver shall complete a financial management training program approved by the agency and provided by or through the service provider.

(3) An enrolled saver shall open an account in a financial institution that has been approved by the service provider as a depository for the saver's contributions. The saver and the service provider shall jointly own the account, including interest earned, jointly, with the saver as primary owner.

(4) An enrolled saver with an approved plan and account monitored by a service provider shall comply with the requirements of the plan for at least one year, but no more than five years, in order to be eligible for matching fund grants.

(5) In order to obtain matching funds, the saver shall present evidence satisfactory to the service provider that the amount to be withdrawn will be expended only for an eligible use. A withdrawal from an account for an eligible use shall be made payable to the person who provides the eligible use. The agency, or the Vermont student assistance corporation pursuant to section 2878a of Title 16, shall pay matching funds to the person that provides the eligible use. Matching funds shall not be paid to the saver.

(6) The service provider may terminate an approved savings plan for a saver who fails to meet the savings goals set out in the approved plan or who withdraws from the program, in accordance with standards and procedures established by rule by the agency. Any funds contributed by the saver shall revert to the sole ownership of the saver, to be used by the saver for any purpose. Funds in accounts created pursuant to a Vermont higher education savings plan shall be subject to the provisions of the plan's participation agreement.

(7) The agency shall monitor program participation, and shall limit additional program participation when the funds appropriated to carry out the purposes of this section are not sufficient to support additional approved savings plans.

(8) The agency shall establish by rule any other standards and procedures necessary or desirable to implement the individual development savings program, including minimum requirements for approval of savings plans, criteria for training and counseling, reporting requirements for participating financial institutions, and matching fund allocation standards.

(c)(1) The individual development matching grant special fund is established in the state treasury and shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund. Into the fund shall be deposited proceeds from grants, donations, contributions, appropriations, and any other revenue authorized by law. The fund shall be used only for the purpose of providing matching funds for the individual development savings program as established in this section, and to provide grants to service providers for administrative expenses of administering the program.

(2) The agency may make grants from the individual development matching grant special fund to service providers to provide the match for approved savings plans with enrolled savers. The amount and number of grants shall be calculated quarterly by the agency based on the number of savers and the amounts included in their approved plans administered by each service provider so that payment of the maximum match is ensured for all savers for the period for the approved savings plans without exceeding the balance in the fund. The agency may award grants from the fund to service providers to cover their expenses of training and counseling savers, and to implement and administer the individual development savings program. The agency may approve the use of interest earnings on grant funds as a portion of approved administrative costs.

(3) The agency and service providers, separately or cooperatively, may solicit grants and private contributions for the individual development matching grant special fund.

Seventh: By adding a new statutory section Sec. 1a to read as follows:

Sec. 1a. 16 V.S.A. § 2878a is added to read:

§ 2878a. PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS FOR SAVINGS PLAN; INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

The corporation may participate in the individual development savings program established under section 1123 of Title 33, in accordance with the rules of the agency of human services adopted thereunder, in connection with an individual or family who, at the time of depositing funds into an account created pursuant to a Vermont higher education savings plan, receives public assistance or is otherwise an eligible saver under section 1123 of Title 33.

Eighth: By striking out Sec. 3 (study of capacity and demand for child care, adult technical education, transportation, adult basic education, and Vermont student assistance corporation nondegree grants) in its entirety

Ninth: By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 4a to read as follows:

Sec. 4a. STUDY OF THE INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT SAVINGS PROGRAM

(a) The commissioner of the department of social welfare shall report to the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal committee on or before November 15, 2000 with an analysis and estimate of the annual cost of the individual development savings program established in 33 V.S.A. § 1123. The report shall include separate estimates for the costs of the education, housing, and entrepreneurial features of the program, and any budget management recommendations for the program.

(b) The governor shall include in his or her fiscal year 2002 budget request a recommendation for appropriations to support the individual development savings program, consistent with the program cost estimate in the report submitted in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The appropriation to the Vermont student assistance corporation in the FY 2000 surplus one-time appropriations as provided in Sec. 252 of H.842 of the 2000 Session of the General Assembly may be used to carry out any of an individual development savings program in accordance with the legislative intent expressed in 33 V.S.A. § 1123 of this act, including matching grants and program administration expenses.

Tenth: In Sec. 5, by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (2) to read as follows:

(2) Secs. 1a, 2, 4, and 33 V.S.A. § 1123 shall take effect on July1, 2000.

and by striking out subdivision (6) in its entirety

Eleventh: In Sec. 1. §1122(e)(8)(A)(iii), by striking out the word "six" where it twicely appears and inserting in lieu thereof the word three

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment to the Senate proposals of amendment? was decided in the affirmative on a roll call, Yeas 27, Nays 2.

Senator Sears having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Backus, Bahre, Bartlett, Bloomer, Brownell, Canns, Chard, Costes, Crowley, Cummings, Doyle, Greenwood, Ide, Illuzzi, Kittell, Leddy, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Morrissey, Ptashnik, Riehle, Rivers, Sears, Shumlin, Spaulding.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Munt, Ready.

The Senator absent and not voting was: Ankeney.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference; Consideration Postponed

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee of Conference on House bill entitled:

H. 97. An act relating to a graduated driver license program.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Bahre, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill entitled:

H. 97. An act relating to a graduated driver license program.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment and that the bill be further amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 606 is amended to read:

§ 606. AGE LIMIT

An operator's license shall not be issued to any person under *[eighteen]* 18 years of age. Any person who has previously held a junior operator's license in Vermont prior to application for a license under this section shall have held that license for a minimum of six months or until age 18 and maintained a record without any suspensions, revocations or recalls for the six-month period preceding licensure under this section.

Sec. 2. 23 V.S.A. § 607 is amended to read:

§ 607. JUNIOR OPERATOR'S LICENSE

(a) A junior operator's license may be issued only to persons who:

(1) are *[sixteen]* 16 and *[seventeen]* 17 years of age *[and]*;

(2) have passed the driver examination required in subchapter 2 of this chapter and*[, after June 30, 1970,]* a driver education and training course approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of education;

(3) have:

(A) possessed a learner's permit for not less than one year;

(B) submitted on a form provided by the department of motor vehicles which is approved by the commissioner, and certified by the operator's licensed parent or guardian, licensed or certified driver education instructor or licensed person at least 25 years of age that there has been:

(i) at least 40 hours practice behind the wheel, at least 10 of which shall be nighttime driving; and that the operator was accompanied by their licensed parent or guardian, licensed or certified driver education instructor or licensed person at least 25 years of age, riding beside the operator; and

(4) have maintained a driving record without a learner's permit suspension, revocation or recall for six consecutive months prior to licensure.

(b) An applicant for a junior operator's license shall not be given a license unless his or her parent, guardian or a person standing in loco parentis to him or her files a written consent with the commissioner *[a written consent thereto]*.

Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 607a is amended to read:

§ 607a. *[PROVISIONAL LICENSE; RECALL]* RECALL OF LEARNER'S PERMIT OR JUNIOR OPERATOR'S LICENSE

(a) A *[license issued to an operator who is a minor or to a junior operator shall be a provisional license. Each such license shall be designated as a provisional]* learner's permit or junior operator's license *[and]* shall contain an admonition that it is recallable and that the later procurement of *[a nonprovisional]* an operator's license is conditional on the establishment of a record which is satisfactory to the commissioner and showing compliance with the motor vehicle laws of this and other states. The commissioner may recall any license issued to a minor whenever he or she is satisfied, from information *[given him]* provided by a credible person and upon investigation, that the operator is mentally or physically unfit or, because of his or her habits or record as to accidents or convictions, is unsafe to be trusted with the operation of motor vehicles. On recommendation of a diversion or reparative board, the commissioner may recall the learner's permit or junior operator's license of a person in a diversion or reparative program for up to 30 days. The commissioner shall also recall any learner's permit or junior operator's license for 90 days following a single speeding violation resulting in a three-point assessment or when a total of six points has been accumulated, or when an operator is convicted for a violation of section 678 of this title. When a *[provisional]* learner's permit or junior operator's license is so recalled, it shall be reinstated *[when the person has satisfactorily completed a driver training course or when the commissioner is satisfied that the operator may safely be trusted to operate a motor vehicle or]* upon expiration of a specific term, and, if required by the commissioner, when the person has passed a re-examination *[given by an inspector with the permission of]* approved by the commissioner.

(b) When a license is recalled under the provisions of this section the person whose license is so recalled shall have the same right of hearing before the commissioner as is provided in section 671(a) of this title.

(c) Except for a recall based solely upon the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, any recall of a license may extend past the operator's 18th birthday. While the recall is still in effect, that operator shall be ineligible for any operator's license.

(d) The commissioner shall recall a learner's permit or junior operator's license upon written request of the individual's custodial parent or guardian.

(e) Any recall period under this section shall run concurrently with any suspension period imposed under chapter 13 of this title.

Sec. 4. 23 V.S.A. § 614(a) is amended to read:

(a) An operator's license shall entitle the holder *[thereof]* to operate a registered motor vehicle with the consent of the owner *[thereof]* whether employed *[so]* to do so or not. A junior operator's license shall entitle the holder *[thereof]* to operate a registered motor vehicle, with the consent of the owner *[thereof]*, but shall not entitle him or her to operate a motor vehicle in the course of his or her employment or for direct or indirect compensation *[or in the carrying of]* for one year following issuance of the license. A junior operator's license shall not entitle the holder to carry passengers for hire. During the first six months of operation, the holder of a junior operator's license is restricted to driving alone or with a licensed parent or guardian, licensed or certified driver education instructor or licensed person at least 25 years of age. No person operating with a junior operator's license shall transport more passengers than there are safety belts unless he or she is operating a vehicle that has not been manufactured with a federally approved safety belt system.

Sec. 5. 23 V.S.A. § 615 is amended to read:

§ 615. UNLICENSED OPERATORS

(a) An unlicensed person 15 years of age or older, may operate a motor vehicle, if he or she has *[upon his person]* in possession, a valid learner's permit issued to him or her by the commissioner and if their licensed *[operator eighteen years of age or over]* parent or guardian, licensed or certified driver education instructor or licensed person at least 25 years of age rides beside him or her. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a person against whom a revocation or suspension of license is in force, or a person less than *[fifteen]* 15 years of age, or a person who has been refused a license by the commissioner, to operate a motor vehicle. *[A person fifteen years of age or over but less than sixteen years of age shall not operate a motor vehicle unless a licensed operator twenty-five years of age or over or school driver training instructor rides beside him. Provided, however, that any person attaining the age of fourteen years on or before August 1, 1963, may be issued a learner's permit in accordance with the provisions of section 617 of this title.]*

A licensed person who does not possess a valid motorcycle endorsement may operate a motorcycle, with no passengers, only during daylight hours and then only if he or she has upon his or her person a valid motorcycle learner's permit issued to him or her by the commissioner.

(b) The commissioner, in his or her discretion, may recall a learner's permit in the same circumstances as he or she may recall a provisional license.

Sec. 6. 23 V.S.A. § 617(a) is amended to read:

(a) Any person *[fifteen]* 15 years of age or over, who has no convictions under sections 601, 674, 676, 1091, 1094, 1128, 1133 or 1201 of this title, suspensions under section 1205 of this title, or civil traffic violations under section 1216 of this title in the previous two years, may apply to the commissioner of motor vehicles for a learner's permit in the form prescribed by the commissioner. After the applicant has successfully passed all parts of the driver license examination other than the driving test, the commissioner may issue to the applicant a learner's permit which entitles the applicant, subject to section 615 of this title, to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways for a period of two years from the date of issuance. Any learner's permit may be renewed. This section shall not affect section 602 of this title.

Sec. 7. 23 V.S.A. § 631 is amended to read:

§ 631. REQUIREMENTS; *[REGULATIONS]* RULES

The commissioner may *[make regulations]* adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 governing the examination of new applicants for operators' licenses or learner's permits and may prescribe what shall be requisite to *[obtaining]* obtain or *[holding]* hold a license or learner's permit, by either an old or a new applicant, as to driving experience, mental and physical qualifications, and any other matter or thing which, in his judgment, will contribute to the selection of safe and efficient operators.

Sec. 8. 23 V.S.A. § 678 is added to read:

§ 678. UNAUTHORIZED OPERATION

A person who may operate a motor vehicle by virtue of either a learner's permit or junior operator's license who is convicted of operating a motor vehicle while unaccompanied in violation of subsection 614(a) or 615(a) of this title shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $50.00 and his or her learner's permit or junior operator's license shall be recalled for a period of 90 days. No person may be issued traffic complaints alleging a violation of this section and a violation of section 676 of this title from the same incident. The provisions of this section may be enforced only if a law enforcement officer has detained the operator of a motor vehicle for a suspected violation of another traffic offense.

Sec. 9. ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

After enactment but prior to July 1, 2000, the commissioner shall commence the rulemaking process authorized by this act, provided that final proposed rules shall not be filed with the legislative committee on administrative rules prior to July 1, 2000.

Sec. 10. 16 V.S.A. § 1047a is added to read:

§ 1047a. DRIVER'S EDUCATION GRANTS

(a) The purpose of the driver's education grant program is to provide increased availability and quality of driver's education programs for Vermont students to prepare them for the responsibilities and requirements of safely operating a motor vehicle.

(b) The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of education shall cooperatively establish and implement a driver's education grant program that improves the availability and quality of driver's education programs. Eligible applicants shall include Vermont public secondary and vocational schools and supervisory unions on behalf of a school or schools. Grant awards shall be up to $12,500.00. Eligible activities shall include one or more of the following:

(1) proposals and activities which result in increased parental involvement;

(2) increased availability of driver's education including reducing waiting lists;

(3) increased exposure to nighttime driving;

(4) increased exposure to diverse weather conditions;

(5) costs associated with the purchase and use of simulators;

(6) increased practice with the operation of standard transmissions;

(7) creative proposals designed to reduce alcohol abuse among enrolled students including peer counseling;

(8) training opportunities for educators; and

(9) purchase of materials and equipment designed to enhance curricula.

Sec. 11. APPROPRIATION

For fiscal year 2001, the sum of $250,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the department of motor vehicles for use by the commissioner of education in fulfilling the requirements of Sec. 10 of this act.

Sec. 12. DEADLINES FOR INITIATING AND IMPLEMENTING THE DRIVER'S EDUCATION GRANT PROGRAM

The commissioner of motor vehicles shall make the funding authorized in Sec. 11 of this act available to the commissioner of education to accomplish the initiation and implementation schedule for the driver's education grant program set forth in this section:

(1) A first round of grants shall be implemented in the following manner:

(A) Grant applications and material regarding the grant program shall be sent by the commissioner of education to the schools referred to in 16 V.S.A. § 1047a by June 1, 2000.

(B) Grant applications shall be returned by applicants to the department of education by July 1, 2000.

(C) Up to $125,000.00 of grants shall be awarded by August 1, 2000.

(2) A second round of grants shall be implemented in the following manner:

(A) Grant applications and material regarding the grant program shall be sent by the commissioner of education to the schools referred to in 16 V.S.A. § 1047a by October 1, 2000.

(B) Grant applications shall be returned by applicants to the department of education by November 1, 2000.

(C) Grants using the remaining funds shall be awarded by December 1, 2000.

Sec. 13. REPORTS

(a) The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of education shall assess the historic commitment to driver's education funding with recommendations to the general assembly by January 15, 2001, for enhancement of the state's contribution to the program.

(b) The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of education shall design, implement and assess the curriculum for improvements to the driver's education program and report to the general assembly by January 15, 2001.

Sec. 14. EFFECTIVE DATE

Except for this section and Sec. 9 which shall take effect from passage, this act shall take effect on July 1, 2000, and its provisions shall only apply to learner permits and licenses issued on or after that date, and not to learner permits and junior licenses that are in force on that date.

THOMAS E. BAHRE

JOHN P. CROWLEY

CHERYL P. RIVERS

Committee on the part of the Senate

WILLIAM N. ASWAD

THOMAS N. NEIMAN

JAMES J. McNAMARA

Committee on the part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference? on motion of Senator Shumlin consideration of the conference committee report was postponed.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the following bills were ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S.237, H. 188, H. 711, H. 841, H. 843.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until ten o'clock and thirty minutes in the morning.