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It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 32 V.S.A. § 932(b) is amended to read:

(b) A claim under this *[subchapter]* section shall be filed within 18 months after the date the claim accrued, and shall not be filed until the claimant has exhausted any duly adopted administrative grievance procedure of the state agency or department against which the claim is made. If the agency or department has not issued a final determination within 90 days after the grievance was filed, then for purposes of a claim under this subchapter, the grievance claim shall be deemed granted.

Sec. 2. 32 V.S.A. § 932a is added to read:



(a) In lieu of proceeding under section 932 of this title, a state employee who has a claim against the state for property damages may elect to file a claim under this section, provided the claim does not exceed $1,000.00.

(b) The claim shall be:

(1) made in writing, under oath, stating the facts relating to the claim;

(2) filed with the agency, department, or other state entity which employs the claimant; and

(3) filed within one year after the date the claim accrued.

(c) The state entity with which the claim is filed may approve payment of a claim against the state for property damages sustained by the employee and payment of the claim shall be charged against that entity's departmental appropriation.

(d) If a claim is approved under this section, the commissioner of finance and management shall issue his or her warrant for the amount of the award, the acceptance of which shall be a full discharge of all claims against the state arising out of the matters involved therein. If the claim is disapproved, the person may proceed to file the claim under section 932 of this title.

Approved: April 27, 1999