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NO. 155. AN ACT RELATING TO FEES.

(H.854)

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

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 304a(b) is amended to read:

(b) Special registration plates or removable windshield placards or both shall be issued by the Vermont commissioner of motor vehicles. The placard shall be issued *[for]* without a fee *[of $3.00]* to a person who is blind or has an ambulatory disability. One set of plates shall be issued without additional fees for a vehicle registered to a person who is blind or has an ambulatory disability. The commissioner shall issue these placards or plates under rules adopted by him or her after proper application has been made to the commissioner by any person residing within the state of Vermont. Application forms shall be available on request at the department of motor vehicles.

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(2) Upon application of an organization, the commissioner shall issue special registration plates for a vehicle registered in the applicant's name if the vehicle is primarily used to transport persons who have an ambulatory disability or are blind. Placards shall also be issued *[for]* without a fee *[of $3.00 each]*, upon application in a form prescribed by the commissioner, to an organization to be used when transporting persons who have an ambulatory disability or are blind. The plates and placards shall be subject to the restrictions set forth in subdivision (a)(3) of this section.

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(6) On a form prescribed by the commissioner, a nonprofit organization that provides volunteer drivers to transport persons who have an ambulatory disability or are blind may apply to the commissioner for a placard. *[The application shall be accompanied by a fee of $3.00 for each placard.]* Placards shall be marked "volunteer driver." The organization shall ensure proper use of placards and maintain an accurate and complete record of the volunteer drivers to whom the placards are given by the organization. Placards shall be returned to the organization when the volunteer driver is no longer performing that service. Abuse of the privileges provided by the placards may result in the privileges being revoked and the placards repossessed by the commissioner. Revocation may occur only after suitable notice and opportunity for a hearing. Hearings shall be held in accordance with sections 105-107 of this title.

Sec. 2. REFUNDS

Sec. 2 of this act shall apply retroactively to affect fees paid for removable windshield placards after January 26, 1992. Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 23, subchapter 2 of Title 12 to the contrary, any fee paid pursuant to section 304a of Title 23 for a removable windshield placard after January 26, 1992, which would not have been collected under that section as amended, shall be refunded by the commissioner of motor vehicles, without interest, if application for the refund is made in writing to the commissioner. Applications for a refund shall not be accepted after January 1, 2001. A refund shall be made payable to the person from whom the fee was collected, or to the lawful heirs, successors, or assigns of the person. The commissioner shall process all applications for refund in a timely manner and shall make available forms on which a refund may be requested.

* * * Secretary of State * * *

Sec. 3. 26 V.S.A. § 287 is amended to read:

§ 287. FEES

Applicants and persons regulated under this chapter shall pay the following fees:

(1) Application

(A) Barber $ *[35.00]* 50.00

(B) Cosmetologist $ *[35.00]* 50.00

(C) Manicurist $ *[35.00]* 50.00

(D) Esthetician $ *[35.00]* 50.00

(E) Shop $*[100.00]* 150.00

(F) School $300.00

(2) Biennial renewal

(A) Barber $ 45.00

(B) Cosmetologist $ 45.00

(C) Manicurist $ 45.00

(D) Esthetician $ 45.00

(E) Shop $ *[45.00]* 75.00

(F) School $300.00

(3) Reinspection $100.00

* * * Department of Labor and Industry * * *

Sec. 4. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RATE OF CONTRIBUTION

For fiscal year 2001, the rate of contribution for the direct calendar year premium for workers’ compensation insurance shall be the rate currently established in 21 V.S.A. § 711(a).

* * * Department of Public Safety * * *

Sec. 5. REPEAL

Sec. 160 of No. 49 of the Acts of 1999 (sunset of fees for sale of photographic prints) is repealed.

* * * Banking and Insurance * * *

Sec. 6. 8 V.S.A. § 504 is amended to read:

§ 504. PAYMENT OF DEPARTMENT EXPENSES; ENFORCEMENT

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(b) Semiannually on or before February 15 and August 15, the commissioner shall apportion the expenses allowed under the title "department of banking" in the annual appropriation bill, after deducting all monies received by the banking division, among the several banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions and special purpose trust banks regulated under this title, including any such entity organized in another jurisdiction. Banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions will be assessed in proportion to the amount of their average deposits held in this state for the preceding six-month period ending December 31 and June 30. In the case of special purpose trust banks, the assessment will be based on assets under management in this state on the last day of December and June preceding. No such bank, savings and loan association, credit union and special purpose trust bank may pay less than $*[125.00]* 350.00 per semiannual assessment. He or she shall notify each bank, savings and loan association, and credit union, special purpose trust bank, and independent trust company of the amount so apportioned to it, which shall be paid into the state treasury within *[thirty]* 30 days after receipt of that notice.

(c) Loan production offices or persons engaged in an approved loan production activity, which do not pay an assessment under this title, shall pay a semiannual fee of $600.00.

*[(c)]*(d) If any bank, savings and loan association, credit union, special purpose trust bank, or licensee fails to pay fees or expenses as herein required, within *[forty-five]* 45 days after notice from the department of the amount due, the commissioner may issue an execution against the property of the delinquent for an amount equal to *[one hundred and fifty]* 150 percent of the amount of the overdue payment. Such execution shall be enforced as an execution of the court. *[(d)]*(e) There is hereby created a fund to be known as the financial institutions supervision fund for the purpose of providing the financial means for the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration to administer part 2 and chapter 133 of this title, part 1 and part 3 of Title 9, and Title 9A. All fees and assessments received by the department pursuant to such administration shall be deposited in this fund. All fines and administrative penalties, however, shall be deposited directly into the general fund.

All payments for the financial institutions supervision fund for the maintenance of staff and associated expenses, including contractual services as necessary, shall be disbursed from the state treasury only upon warrants issued by the commissioner of finance and management after receipt of proper documentation regarding services rendered and expenses incurred.

*[(e)]*(f) Any bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or special purpose trust bank that converts or relinquishes its state charter or closes all of its branches or offices in this state will be responsible for a pro rata share of the assessment made under subsection (b) of this section for the final period its charter is in effect.

Sec. 7. 8 V.S.A. § 19(d)(4) and (5) are added to read:

(4) No institution, credit union, or independent trust company subject to assessment under subdivisions (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection may pay less than $350.00 per semiannual assessment.

(5) Loan production offices or persons engaged in an approved loan production activity authorized under prior law, which do not pay an assessment under subdivisions (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, shall pay a semiannual fee of $600.00.

* * * Agency of Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 8. 10 V.S.A. § 8014(c) is added to read:

(c) The secretary may contract with private collection agencies, or with attorneys engaged for similar purposes, for the collection of penalties or other monetary awards owed pursuant to assurances of discontinuance, final administrative orders, emergency administrative orders, or judgments after hearing or other judicial rulings. The secretary may agree to pay private collection agencies or attorneys a fixed rate for services rendered or a percentage of the amount actually collected by the agencies or attorneys and remitted to the secretary. Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the secretary may charge against collections an agreed-upon fixed rate or percentage of collections, for the purpose of making payments to private collection agencies or attorneys.

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 9. 23 V.S.A. § 3513 is amended to read:

§ 3513. *[DEPOSIT]* APPROPRIATION OF FEES AND PENALTIES;

LIABILITY INSURANCE; AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT FOR

LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

*[All fees and penalties paid under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in the transportation fund.]*

(a) The amount of 85 percent of the fees and penalties collected under this subchapter, except interest, is hereby appropriated to the agency of natural resources for use by the Vermont ATV sportsman’s association (VASA) for development and maintenance of a statewide ATV trail program on private property, for trail liability insurance, and to contract for law enforcement services with any constable, sheriff's department, municipal police department, the department of public safety, and the department of fish and wildlife for purposes of trail compliance pursuant to this chapter. The departments of public safety and fish and wildlife are authorized to contract with VASA to provide these law enforcement services. The agency of natural resources may retain for its use up to $7,000.00 during each fiscal year to be used for administration of the state grant that supports this program.

(b) The department of buildings and general services shall assist VASA with the procurement of trail liability and other related insurance.

(c) VASA shall purchase a trail liability insurance policy in the amount of $1,000,000.00. The state of Vermont shall be named an additional insured. The policy shall extend to all VASA-affiliated ATV clubs and their respective employees and agents to provide for trail liability coverage for development and maintenance of the statewide ATV trails program.

(d) Nothing contained in this section shall authorize or create any cause of action to accrue or to be maintained against the state of Vermont.

(e) Any fees and penalties appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not revert but shall be available until spent. Any accrued interest shall be deposited in the transportation fund.

Sec. 10. STUDY BY BOARD OF BARBERS AND COSMETOLOGISTS

By January 10, 2001, the board of barbers and cosmetologists shall study and report to the house committee on ways and means its recommendations concerning amending 26 V.S.A. § 287 to require graduated shop fees based on the size of the business.

Sec. 11. VASA REPORT

By April 15, 2001, the Vermont ATV sportsman’s association (VASA) shall report to the house committee on ways and means and to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources concerning the progress of the program enacted in Sec. 10 of this act, including an accounting of expenditures from the grant authorized in Sec. 10 and a report of the status of trail development and maintenance.

Sec. 12. AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT

By January 10, 2001, the agency of natural resources shall develop and report to the general assembly its evaluation of the environmental effects of developing trails for all-terrain vehicles on public land throughout the state.

Sec. 12a. 32 V.S.A. § 9606(d) is amended to read:

(d) For receiving a property transfer return and tax payment, if any, under this chapter, there shall be paid to the town clerk at the time of filing a fee of *[$4.00]* $7.00.

Sec. 12b. 32 V.S.A. § 1671 is amended to read:

§ 1671. TOWN CLERK

(a) For the purposes of this section a "page" is defined as a single side of a leaf of paper on which is printed, written, or otherwise placed information to be recorded or filed. The maximum covered area on a page shall be 71/2 inches by 14 inches. All letters shall be at least one-sixteenth inch in height or in at least eight point type.

Unless otherwise provided by law, the fees to town clerks shall be as follows:

(1) For recording a trust mortgage deed as provided in section 1155 of Title 24, $10.00;

* * *

(6) For the recording or filing, or both, of any document that is to become a matter of public record in the town clerk's office, or for any certified copy of such document, a fee of *[$6.00]* $7.00 per page shall be charged;

* * *

(c)*[(1) The legislative body may establish a surcharge of up to $1.00 per page to be added to the recording fees established under subdivisions (a)(1) and (6) of this section. Moneys collected under this subsection shall be used solely for restoration, preservation and conservation of municipal records.]*

*[(2) As a pilot project, the legislative body of the town of Bennington may establish, after providing notice and opportunity to be heard, an alternate use of the $1.00 surcharge authorized under subdivision (1) of this subsection. The secretary of state shall determine the condition of municipal records and the effectiveness of the $1.00 surcharge authorized under subdivision (1) of this subsection as a means of ensuring that records are being adequately preserved and restored. The secretary shall report his or her findings and recommendations to the house committee on local government and the senate committee on government operations no later than January 15, 1999.]*

The legislative body may create a restoration reserve fund of no less than $0.50 per page and no more than $1.00 per page from recording fees established under subdivisions (a)(1) and (6) of this section. The restoration reserve fund shall be used solely for restoration, preservation, and conservation of municipal records. If a municipality has previously established the fund, no additional action will be required.

(d) A legislative body may establish or abolish a restoration reserve fund only by affirmative vote at a legally warned meeting of the legislative body. Nothing in this section shall preclude a municipality from committing funds to a restoration reserve fund in addition to those funds in subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 12c. 20 V.S.A. § 1545 is added to read:

§ 1545. DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDALS

(a) The governor may present in the name of the state of Vermont a distinguished service medal of appropriate design, and a separate ribbon that may be worn in place of the medal, to an individual who was a resident of Vermont at the time of entry into military service, and:

(1) Served in a combat theater of operations during a war or emergency, as evidenced by copies of the person’s honorable discharge and severance papers, DD Form 214 or, for World War II veterans, WD Form 53; or

(2) Died in a combat theater of operations during a war or emergency, as evidenced by copies of the individual’s DD Form 1300; or

(3) Was officially listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action by the United States Department of Defense while serving in a combat theater of operations during a war or emergency.

(b) The service medal for a deceased individual or an individual who has been listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action shall be issued to the individual’s parent, spouse, sibling or other relative who submits all the required forms and documentation on behalf of that individual.

(c) The distinguished service medal shall conform to MIL-DTL-3943 and the state specification sheets; the ribbon shall conform to MIL-DTL-11589 as to quality and construction; and the lapel button shall conform to MIL-DTL-11484. The state specification sheets and original model shall be kept by the secretary of state.

(d) Application for a distinguished service medal may be made by a qualified individual under this section, or by the individual’s parent, spouse, sibling or other relative, to the office of veterans’ affairs of the office of the adjutant general. The office of veterans’ affairs shall also design, cast and procure the distinguished service medals, and maintain and verify records and documents pertaining to the medals and awards.

Sec. 12d. 20 V.S.A. § 1546 is added to read:

§ 1546. VERMONT VETERANS’ MEDAL

(a) Each living individual who was a resident of Vermont at the time of entry into military service and was honorably discharged or transferred to a reserve status in the armed forces of the United States, and served an entire two-year tour of active duty unless discharged for the convenience of the government shall be eligible to receive the Vermont veterans’ medal, upon written request to the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs, accompanied by a copy of the individual’s DD Form 214 or WD Form 53, and any additional supporting information documenting residency if the DD Form 214 does not indicate a Vermont address as the individual’s home of record.

(b) The Vermont veterans’ medal shall be awarded for honorable service in the active military service of the United States, including any member of the Vermont National Guard or the ready reserves who was mobilized for active federal service during a time of conflict. The Vermont veterans’ medal may be awarded regardless of length of service if the member dies while on active duty, becomes a prisoner of war, or is listed as missing in action.

(c) The Vermont veterans’ medal shall conform to MIL-DTL-3943 and the state specification sheets, and shall be as follows: the obverse shall be a relief replica of the coat of arms of the state of Vermont, and shall have the words “Vermont National Defense” in a circular style with “1777” at the bottom and centered. The existing seal of the secretary of state shall be the model for the reverse side. The ribbon shall conform to MIL-DTL-11589 as to quality and construction, and shall consist of the four primary colors of the Vermont coat of arms: green, blue, yellow and red. The lapel button shall conform to MIL-DTL-11484. The state specification sheets and original model shall be kept by the secretary of state.

(d) Application for a Vermont veterans’ distinguished service medal may be made by a qualified individual under this section, or by the individual’s parent, spouse, sibling or other relative, to the office of veterans’ affairs of the office of the adjutant general. The office of veterans’ affairs shall also procure and cast the medal according to the design prescribed by subsection (c) of this section, and maintain and verify records and documents pertaining to the medals and awards.

Sec. 12e. 23 V.S.A. § 304(b)(2)(A), (B) and (D) are amended to read:

(A) At the request of the leader of a safety organization or service organization, upon application and payment of *[an annual]* a fee of $10.00 for each set of plates in addition to the annual fee for registration, special plates indicating membership in one of the "safety organizations" or "service organizations" may be issued to registrants of vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and of trucks registered for not more than 8,099 pounds who are members of these organizations. The applicant must provide a written statement from the appropriate official of the organization, authorizing the issuance of the plates.

(B) At the time that an organization requests the plates, it shall deposit $1,000.00 with the commissioner. Notwithstanding section 502 of Title 32, the commissioner may charge the actual costs of production of the plates against the fees collected and the balance shall be deposited in the transportation fund. For each set of plates issued, $10.00 of this deposit shall be deemed to be the safety organization or service organization special plate fee for each authorized applicant. When the initial deposit of $1,000.00 is depleted, applicants shall be required to pay the $10.00 *[annual]* fee as provided for in subdivision (b)(1) of this section. Notwithstanding section 502 of Title 32, the commissioner may charge the actual costs of production of the plates against the fees collected and shall remit the balance to the transportation fund. No organization shall charge its members any additional fee or premium charge for the authorization, right or privilege to display these special number plates. This provision shall not prevent any organization from *[collecting $10.00 from each of the first 100]* recovering up to $1,000.00 from applicants for the special plates *[to recover the cost of the $1,000.00 deposit]*.

(D) When an individual's membership in a qualifying organization ceases or is terminated, the individual shall surrender any special registration plates issued under this subsection to the commissioner forthwith. However, a retired member of the Vermont national guard may retain or upon payment of a $10.00 fee, acquire the special guard plates after notification of eligibility for retired pay has been received.

Sec. 12f. APPROPRIATION

(a) There is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2001 the amount of $10,000.00 to the adjutant general for purposes of Secs. 12c and 12d of this act pertaining to distinguished service and Vermont veterans’ medals.

(b) There is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2001 the amount of $19,000.00 to the department of buildings and general services, public records division, for the completion of the Vermont military records project to enable the collection, stabilization, organization and preservation of Vermont military records, dating from the mid-19th century, as an historical resource for current and future access and use.

Sec. 12g. Sec. 16 of No. 189 of the Acts of 1996 is amended to read:

Sec. 16. SUNSET OF PROGRAM

(a) Unless extended by act of the general assembly, Sec. 14 of this act shall expire on December 31, *[2000]* 2005. However, conservation registration plates may continue to be displayed as long as the registration continues to be valid.

(b) No later than January 15, *[2000]* 2005, the commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife shall report to the general assembly relative to the progress and public acceptance of the conservation registration plate program.

(c) There shall be a moratorium on the issuance of any additional types of graphic style registration plates until December 31, *[2000]* 2005.

Sec. 12h. 30 V.S.A. § 20(b) is amended to read:

(b) Proceedings, including appeals therefrom, for which additional personnel may be retained are:

* * *

(14) proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission or related forums which involve a company that owns a cable television system holding a certificate of public good and delivering services in Vermont or which may affect the interests of the state of Vermont occurring prior to July 1, 2002. Costs under this subdivision shall be charged to the cable company pursuant to section 21(a) of this title. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to cable companies in proportion to the benefits sought for their customers from such advocacy.

Sec. 12i. ASSURANCE OF DISCONTINUANCE

With respect to the Assurance of Discontinuance signed by the Dorset Fire District #1 for its failure to comply with the provisions of Direct Discharge Permit #3-1408 and the requirement contained in the Assurance of Discontinuance that the Fire District contribute $3,500.00 in cash to fund a supplemental environmental project, a contribution of that amount to the Dorset Conservation Commission shall be deemed conclusively to satisfy the requirement.

Sec. 12j. 9A V.S.A. § 9-405(1) and (2) are amended to read:

(1) A financing statement may disclose an assignment of a security interest in the collateral described in the financing statement by indication in the financing statement of the name and address of the assignee or by an assignment itself or a copy thereof on the face or back of the statement. On presentation to the filing officer of such a financing statement, the filing officer shall mark the same as provided in section 9-403(4). The uniform fee for filing, indexing and furnishing filing data for a financing statement so indicating an assignment shall be *[$10.00 if the statement is in the standard form prescribed by the Secretary of State and otherwise shall be]* $15.00, of which $5.00 shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the secretary of state to offset the cost of providing the services of filing, plus in each case an additional fee of $2.00 for each name more than one against which the financing statement is required to be indexed. For the purpose of determining fees under this subdivision, the names of a husband and wife shall be considered one name, and the name of a partnership together with the names of up to two partners of such partnership shall be considered one name.

(2) A secured party may assign of record all or a part of his or her rights under a financing statement by the filing in the place where the original financing statement was filed of a separate written statement of assignment signed by the secured party of record and setting forth the name of the secured party of record and the debtor, the file number and the date of filing of the financing statement and the name and address of the assignee and containing a description of the collateral assigned. A copy of the assignment is sufficient as a separate statement if it complies with the preceding sentence. On presentation to the filing officer of such a separate statement, the filing officer shall mark such separate statement with the date and hour of the filing. He or she shall note the assignment on the index of the financing statement, or in the case of a fixture filing, or a filing covering timber to be cut, or covering minerals or the like (including oil and gas) or accounts subject to subsection (5) of section 9-103, he or she shall index the assignment under the name of the assignor as grantor and, to the extent that the law of this state provides for indexing the assignment of a mortgage under the name of the assignee, he or she shall index the assignment of the financing statement under the name of the assignee. The uniform fee for filing, indexing and furnishing filing data about such a separate statement of assignment shall be *[$10.00 if the statement is in the standard form prescribed by the Secretary of State and otherwise shall be]* $15.00, of which $5.00 shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the secretary of state to offset the cost of providing the services of filing, plus in each case an additional fee of $2.00 for each name more than one against which the statement of assignment is required to be indexed. For the purpose of determining fees under this subdivision, the names of a husband and wife shall be considered one name, and the name of a partnership together with the names of up to two partners of such partnership shall be considered one name. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an assignment of record of a security interest in a fixture contained in a mortgage effective as a fixture filing (subsection (6) of section 9-402) may be made only by an assignment of the mortgage in the manner provided by the law of this state other than this act.

Sec. 12k. SUNSET

Subsections 1671(c) and 1671(d) of Title 32, relating to reserve funds for the restoration, preservation, and conservation of municipal records, are repealed on June 30, 2005.

Sec. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect upon passage. Sec. 7 shall take effect upon enactment of 8 V.S.A. § 19(d).

Approved: May 29, 2000