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ACT NO. 63


Capital Appropriations; Bonding; School Construction Funding; Technical Education Center Construction Funding; Corrections

This act appropriates capital funds and authorizes their financing with state bonding. This act also adds or amends law on a variety of subjects, including issues related to the department of corrections and funding for construction of schools and technical education centers. This act also requires the preparation of several legislative reports.

Monetary Provisions

Appropriations in this Act

The total spending authorized in this act is $41,560,638.00. Of this amount, $5,560,638.00 is supported with proceeds from unspent capital appropriations from previous years. The balance of $36 million requires the issuance of new long-term General Obligation Bonds.

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee recommended $39 million as the prudent amount of debt to be authorized for fiscal year 2004; $3 million of that amount is spent in the Transportation Act.

Of the total amount appropriated:

72.5 percent finances individual capital projects in support of agencies of state government, institutions of higher learning, and traditionally supported activities.

27.0 percent finances capital projects undertaken by school districts and technical educational centers.

Eight individual appropriations in the act are of $1,000,000 or more each, and together constitute 73 percent of the total amount appropriated. The items and amounts are as follows:

· School Construction $8,600,000

· Municipal Water Pollution and Public Drinking Water Supply Programs $7,100,000

· Statewide Major Maintenance $4,450,000

· Addison County State Police Facility $1,300,000

· UVM, Agricultural Science Building $1,000,000

· Rutland, Court House Construction $4,000,000

· Vermont State Colleges $3,000,000

· Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center $1,000,000

TOTAL $30,450,000

Statutory Additions and Amendments

The 2003 Capital Construction Act adds or amends state law on the following subjects. For details, see the act section identified.

· Management and use of capital funds (Secs. 20-22)

· Real estate transactions concerning state property (Secs. 24 and 48)

· Miscellaneous provisions regarding the department of buildings and general services (Secs. 23, 26-28)

· Public records exemption; final plans for state buildings (Secs. 29-30)

· Colocation of Health and Forensic Laboratories (Secs. 1b(3), 18(f), and 31)

· 18 V.S.A. § 5212b(e) (Unmarked Burial Sites Special Fund); amended to provide more oversight regarding state purchase of land (Sec. 36)

· Recreational Facilities Grant Program with 2 year sunset (Secs. 4(j), 29, and 40)

· 16 V.S.A. §§ 3823-3824 (Austine School for the Deaf); financing and governing issues (Secs. 42-43)

· Twinfield Early Care and Education Center; authorizes state funding (Sec. 44)

· Southwest Vermont Career Development Center; tuition charges to out-of-state students (Sec. 45)

· State Colleges (Secs. 46-47)

· Stormwater management special fund created (Sec. 50)

· Authority of municipalities to regulate sewage capacity (Secs. 51-52)

· Phosphorus control and funding (Secs. 53-55)

· Percentage of state owned land; to be determined annually by listers (Sec. 56)

· Name of pond in town of Westmore (Sec. 57)

· Drinking water revolving loan fund; administrative fee charged (Secs. 59-61)

· Bradford solid waste implementation grant made in 2002 Capital Act; clarification of items for which funds may be used (Sec. 62)

· Green Mountain Conservation Camps; creation of endowment fund (Secs. 64-65)

· Northfield Armory; sale to Norwich University (Sec. 66)

· Terrorism study committee established in 2002 Capital Act; clarification of membership (Sec. 68)

· Public Service Answering Point; Derby; clarifies session law (Sec. 70)

· Sale of milk and milk products at interstate rest areas (Sec. 72)

· Vermont economic development authority; clarification that it is within VEDA’s mission to provide low-cost capital to assist dairy processing (Sec. 73)

· Educational and health buildings finance agency; clarifies and strengthens oversight (Sec. 74)

· Department of state’s attorneys; clarifies purpose of appropriation made in 2002 session (Sec. 75)

· Electrician’s licensing (Secs. 76-77)

· Food establishments; rules regarding sanitary facilities (Sec. 78)

Legislative Reports

The 2003 Capital Act also requires the following reports to the general assembly and establishes the following committees. For details, see the act section identified.

· Reports to the House and Senate Committees on Institutions; due on or before January 15, 2004:

· From the department of buildings and general services; regarding the long-term thermal energy needs of the capitol complex (Secs. 1b(5) and 32)

· From the Corrections Workforce Committee; regarding orientation of training opportunities in the building trades (Sec. 34(a))

· From the Corrections Workforce Committee; regarding a proposal for the creation of a program to train inmates to rehabilitate housing (Sec. 34(b))

· From the agency of natural resources; regarding proposed legislation to address the hazard caused by private and municipal dams (Sec. 58)

· From the department of forests, parks and recreation; regarding creation of a winter parking area at Woodford State Park (Sec. 63)

· From the staff of the legislative council, the Vermont veterans’ home board of trustees, the office of the attorney general, and the office of finance and management; regarding potential conflicts or ambiguity in Vermont law relating to the operations and management of the Vermont veterans’ home (Sec. 67)

· Report to the House and Senate Committees on Institutions and on Health and Welfare; due on or before January 15, 2004:

· From the department of developmental and mental health services; regarding psychiatric inpatient needs (Sec. 33)

· Report to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Native American Affairs; due on or before January 15, 2004:

· From the commissioner of housing and community affairs regarding the implementation of 18 V.S.A. § 5212b (Unmarked Burial Sites Special Fund) (Sec. 37)

· Report to the House and Senate Committees on Institutions and on Judiciary; due on or before January 15, 2004:

· From the commissioner of corrections, the court administrator, the Vermont defender general, the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys, the commissioner of buildings and general services, and the president of the sheriff’s association; regarding telephone and video conferencing between state courts and correctional facilities (Sec. 35)

· Report to the House and Senate Committees on Institutions and on Natural Resources and Energy; due on or before December 15, 2003:

· From the secretary of natural resources; regarding the municipal pollution control priority system rule (Sec. 49)

· Report to the House and Senate Committees on Institutions, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance; due on or before January 15, 2004:

· Deadline for report required by Sec. 91 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) regarding fire department financing extended (Sec. 69)

· Report to a joint meeting of the chairs of the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture and on Institutions, the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs, and the House Committee on Commerce; due on or before September 15, 2003:

· From the commissioner of economic development; regarding agricultural economic development (Sec. 71)

Special Committees

· The 2003 Capital Construction Act establishes the Vermont Renewable Power Supply Acquisition Authority, composed of the secretary of administration, the state treasurer, the commissioner of public service, a person chosen by the Public Service Board, and four members of the general assembly. The Authority is created to prepare due diligence and feasibility studies regarding the purchase of hydroelectric dams and related assets on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers and, with the consent of the governor, to enter into negotiations necessary to prepare a proposal for the purchase of the dams to be submitted to the general assembly for consideration. (Sec. 38)

· The 2003 Capital Construction Act establishes the North Country Workforce Development Board to study, recommend action, and take the following questions to the voters of the region: whether to create a regional technical center school district and whether to create a workforce development center, including consideration of programs and location. A progress report is due to the House and Senate Committees on Institutions on or before January 15, 2004. (Sec. 41)

Effective Date: All sections take effect from passage (Sec. 79), June 11, 2003.