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House Calendar

TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1999

105th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Action Postponed Until Tuesday, April 20, 1999

H. 290

An act relating to an endowment trust fund to provide financial aid to Vermont postsecondary students and institutions.

Pending Action: Second reading of the bill.

Rep. Marron of Stowe, for the Committee on Education, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 16 V.S.A. chapter 89 is redesignated to read:

CHAPTER 89. *[POST-SECONDARY]* POSTSECONDARY REVIEW *[ENTITY]* AND FUNDING

Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. § 2883 is added to read:

§ 2883. VERMONT HIGHER EDUCATION ENDOWMENT TRUST FUND

(a) A Vermont higher education endowment trust fund is established to be comprised of the following:

(1) Appropriations made by the general assembly.

(2) Funds raised by the estate tax levied under chapter 190 of Title 32 which, on January 1, are more than 125 percent in excess of the amount projected by the emergency board in the annual forecast made the previous July pursuant to section 305a of Title 32.

(3) Contributions from private sources.

(b) The state treasurer may invest monies in the fund.

(c) In August of each year, the state treasurer shall withdraw five percent of the assets which were in the fund on the previous July 30, and shall divide the amount equally among the University of Vermont, the Vermont state colleges and the Vermont student assistance corporation. The University of Vermont and the Vermont state colleges shall use the funds to provide nonloan financial aid to Vermont students attending their institutions; the Vermont student assistance corporation shall use the funds to provide nonloan financial aid to Vermont students attending a Vermont postsecondary institution.

(d) In August of each year, the commission on higher education may authorize the state treasurer to make an amount equal to up to two percent of the assets which were in the fund on the previous July 30 available to Vermont public institutions. The funds may be used only for the purpose of creating or increasing a permanent endowment. A public institution may withdraw funds upon receipt of private donations which are double the amount withdrawn and upon a finding by the council that the project will be used to create or increase a permanent endowment.

(e) Annually, the state treasurer shall report to the commission on higher education on the investments made with fund monies.

(f) All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund. Interest accruing from the fund which is not withdrawn pursuant to this subsection shall remain in the fund.

Sec. 3. 16 V.S.A. § 2884 is added to read:

§ 2884. COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION

(a) A commission on higher education is created for the purpose of:

(1) developing and, when necessary, refining Vermont's goals for higher education,

(2) developing and, when necessary, updating a multiyear plan to meet Vermont's higher education needs,

(3) annually recommending to the governor a level of state financial support for higher education which best uses state resources to meet the goals developed by the commission,

(4) reviewing expenditures made from the higher education endowment trust fund, evaluating the impact of the expenditures made, and making recommendations to the general assembly for further expenditures from the fund.

(b) The commission shall consist of 14 members as follows:

(1) The president of the University of Vermont or a designee;

(2) The president of the Vermont student assistance corporation;

(3) The chancellor of the Vermont state colleges;

(4) A sitting president of a Vermont state college, appointed by the chancellor in consultation with the governor;

(5) The president of the association of Vermont independent colleges and one sitting president of an independent college, selected by the association in consultation with the governor;

(6) A representative of the Vermont low income advocacy council;

(7) Two members at large appointed by the governor;

(8) Four legislative members, who shall be entitled to per diem expenses from the legislative appropriation, as follows:

(A) Two members from the house appointed by the speaker of the house;

(B) Two members of the senate appointed by the committee on committees;

(9) The secretary of administration who shall be the chair.

(c) The executive, legislative and higher education staff shall provide support to the commission as appropriate to accomplish its tasks.

(d) The cost of the commission, including any costs for per diem and expenses for at-large members and the representative of the low income advocacy council, shall be equally apportioned among the following: the administration, the University of Vermont, Vermont state colleges, the Vermont student assistance corporation and the association of independent colleges.

Sec. 4. APPROPRIATION

In fiscal year 1999, the amount of $10 million is appropriated from the general fund into the Vermont higher education endowment trust fund created under 16 V.S.A. § 2883.

Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Rep. Brooks of Montpelier, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the Committee on Education and when further amended as follows:

First: In Sec. 2, 16 V.S.A. § 2883(a)(2) by striking the subdivision in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (2) to read:

(2) In any year in which a general fund surplus exists and that the general fund stabilization reserve is funded to its statutory level, funds raised by the estate tax levied under chapter 190 of Title 32 which are more than 125 percent in excess of the amount projected by the emergency board in the July annual forecast made pursuant to section 305a of Title 32.

Second: In Sec. 4. By striking the Sec. in its entirety and renumbering Sec. 5 to be Sec. 4

Third: In the newly renumbered Sec. 4, by striking the Sec. in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 4 to read:

Sec. 4. EFFECTIVE DATES

(a) This act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.

(b) Fiscal year 2000 shall be the first year in which funds raised by the estate tax are eligible for payment to the Vermont Higher Education Endowment Trust Fund pursuant to subdivision 2883(a)(2) of Title 16.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Mazur of South Burlington to the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education to H. 290

First: In Sec. 3, 16 V.S.A. § 2884(a)(1) following the words "higher education" by inserting before the comma the words "and performance indicators that comport with the following goals:

(A) Higher education institutions work to ensure that programs and services are affordable and accessible to all Vermonters.

(B) Higher education institutions support collaboration with K-12 schools, technical centers, other educational institutions, the private sector, and government agencies in order to develop a program important to the state and able to preserve Vermont's quality of life and environment.

(C) Higher education institutions invest in technology, infrastructure, programs and staff in order to increase enrollment in programs that support state and student goals for citizenship, economic development, employment opportunities, research missions and healthy communities.

(D) Higher education institutions work efficiently to contain costs, encourage private funding to support the budget and commit to continuous assessment of programs and services in order to ensure that they are of high quality as reflected in their graduates and enrolled students."

Second: In Sec. 3, 16 V.S.A. § 2884, following subsection (a) by inserting a new subsection (b) to read:

business community, regional economic community directors, low income advocacy council and the Department of Employment Training in determining which performance indicators best illustrate the goals listed in subdivision (a)(1) of this title.

And by relettering the subsections of 16 V.S.A. § 2884 following the new subsection (b) to be alphabetically correct.

Third: In Sec. 3, in the newly relettered 16 V.S.A. § 2884(c)(7) following the word "governor" and before the semicolon by inserting the words ", one to represent business interests and one to represent school board members"

Amendment to be offered by Reps. Marron of Stowe and Vincent of Waterbury to the report of the Committee on Education to H. 290.

Moves to amend the report of the committee on Education as follows:

, except that a withdrawal which would bring the fund balance below the initial appropriation made in fiscal year 2000 shall be made only with the approval of the joint fiscal committee.

Third Readings

H. 111

An act relating to telecommunication fraud.

H. 446

An act relating to water commissioners.

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 558

An act relating to allowing the use of snowmobiles on the Waterbury Reservoir.

(Rep. Brown of Walden will speak for the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.)

Favorable with Amendment

H. 555

An act relating to city of Barre charter.

Rep. Baker of West Rutland, for the Committee on Local Government, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

(Committee vote: 8-0-0)

Favorable

H. 302

An act relating to designating the state pie and the state fruit.

Rep. Cleland of Northfield, for the Committee on Agriculture, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)

H. 549

An act relating to miscellaneous adjustments to the state, teachers and municipal retirement systems.

(Rep. Atkins of Winooski will speak for the Committee on Government Operations.)

Rep. Kinsey of Craftsbury, for the Committee on Appropriation, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)

For Action Under Rule 52

J.R.H. 90

Joint resolution commending Barry M. Costello upon his selection as an Admiral in the United States Navy.

J.R.H. 91

Joint resolution urging congress to reverse the United States Department of Agriculture's proposed revisions to the federal milk pricing system and requesting Congress to direct the department to adopt instead the Option 1A revisions to the pricing system .

(For text see House Journal 4-16-99)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable With Amendment

H. 43

An act relating to driver licenses.

Rep. Moore of Rutland City, for the Committee on Transportation, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 9-2-0)

Rep. Lafayette of Burlington, for the Committee on Ways and Means, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. 115 is amended to read:

§ 115. NONDRIVER IDENTIFICATION CARDS

(a) Any Vermont resident may make application to the commissioner and be issued an identification card which is attested by the commissioner as to true name, correct age, a photograph or imaged likeness of the applicant, and any other identifying data as the commissioner may require which shall include, in the case of minor applicants, the written consent of the applicant's parent, guardian or other person standing in loco parentis. Every application for an identification card shall be signed by the applicant and shall contain such evidence of age and identity as the commissioner may require. The commissioner shall require payment of a fee of *[$10.00]* $15.00 at the time application for an identification card is made.

(b) Every identification card shall expire, unless earlier *[cancelled]* canceled, on the fourth birthday of the applicant following the date of original issue, and may be renewed every four years upon payment of a *[$10.00]* $15.00 fee.

(c) In the event an identification card is lost, destroyed, mutilated, or a new name is acquired, a replacement may be obtained upon furnishing satisfactory proof to the commissioner and paying a *[$5.00]* $10.00 fee.

(d) The identification card shall bear the following notice: "For identification purposes only."

(e) The holder of an identification card shall notify the commissioner of motor vehicles, in writing, of a change in address within 30 days after the change is made.

(f) The commissioner shall cancel the identification card if the card is fraudulently obtained, altered or misused.

*[(g) The identification card may, if requested, contain a photograph. The photographic identification card shall be available at a location designated by the commissioner. The additional fee shall be $5.00.]*

Sec. 2. 23 V.S.A. § 601 is amended to read:

§ 601. LICENSE REQUIRED

(a) A resident who intends to operate motor vehicles shall procure a proper license *[so to do]*. Nonresidents may procure operators' licenses as provided in this title for the licensing of nonresidents. All operator licenses issued under this chapter shall expire *[every four years]* at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued. All junior operator licenses shall expire *[every two years]* at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued. A person born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1.

(b) The commissioner shall, at least *[fifteen]* 30 days before the *[quadrennial]* birth anniversary of each operator licenseholder on which the license is scheduled to expire and biennially for each junior operator licenseholder, mail first class, to the licensee an application for renewal of license. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle unless properly licensed *[so to do, except as provided in this chapter]*.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a licensee may request a *[biennial]* an eight-year license *[renewal. The application for renewal shall be mailed first class by the commissioner to the licensee at least fifteen days before the biennial birth anniversary of the licensee. The fee for a license issued pursuant to this subsection shall be $12.00]*. The fee for a four-year operator's license shall be $25.00 and for an eight-year operator's license, $45.00. The two-year fee for a junior operator's license shall be $20.00. An additional fee of $1.00 per year shall be paid for a motorcycle endorsement. The endorsement may be obtained for either a four-year or eight-year period, to be coincidental with the length of the operator's license.

(d) The commissioner may, in his or her discretion, determine that certain types of motor vehicles require that an operator possess specialized skill or knowledge to operate those vehicles so that the public safety may not be endangered. If *[he or she]* the commissioner so determines, he or she may prescribe different classes of licenses for the operation of particular types of vehicles. The commissioner is authorized to make rules prescribing forms and procedures for applications, license classifications, restrictions, endorsements, examinations, driver training requirements, and disqualifications consistent with this title as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(e) A mo-ped may be operated only by a licensed driver at least 16 years of age.

Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 605 is amended to read:

§ 605. LICENSE REFUSED BECAUSE OF UNSATISFIED JUDGMENT

*[A license shall not be issued to a person]* Upon not less than 15 days' notice and the opportunity for a hearing, the commissioner shall suspend the license of an operator or the privilege of an unlicensed person or nonresident to operate a motor vehicle against whom there is an outstanding unsatisfied judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction within this state, for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident, and based upon any violation of the provisions of this title.

Sec. 4. 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 a license *[certificate]*, showing the number, his or her full name, date of birth, a brief description, a color photograph or imaged likeness, and 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 the licensee is affixed to it.

(b) A junior operator license shall be distinguished from an operator license in the manner determined by the commissioner.

Sec. 5. 23 V.S.A. § 613 is amended to read:

§ 613. DUPLICATE LICENSE

(a) In case of the loss, mutilation or destruction of a license *[certificate]*, the licensee shall forthwith notify the commissioner who shall furnish such licensee with a duplicate *[certificate]* on receipt of *[$5.00]* $10.00. A corrected license *[certificate]* shall be furnished by the commissioner upon request and receipt of a fee of *[$5.00]* $10.00.

(b) A duplicate license *[certificate]* shall not be issued to any person who has surrendered his or her license to another jurisdiction in connection with obtaining a license in that jurisdiction.

Sec. 6. 23 V.S.A. § 617(d) and (e) are amended to read:

(d) An applicant shall pay *[$7.00]* $10.00 to the commissioner for each learner's permit that is not a motorcycle learner's permit or a duplicate or renewal thereof.

(e) A learner's permit which is not a learner's permit for the operation of a motorcycle*[, may, if requested,]* shall contain a photograph or imaged likeness of the person. *[The photographic learner's permit shall be available at a location designated by the commissioner. The additional fee shall be $5.00.]*

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

§ 631. REQUIREMENTS; REGULATIONS

(a) The commissioner may *[make regulations]* adopt rules governing the examination of new applicants for operators' licenses and may prescribe what shall be requisite to obtaining or holding a license, by either *[an old or]* a new or renewal applicant, as to driving experience, mental and physical qualifications, and any other matter or thing which, in his or her judgment, will contribute to the selection of safe and efficient operators.

(b) Every person applying for a renewal of an operator license and every person applying for a license in this state for the first time shall be required to take and successfully pass a test of visual acuity.

Sec. 8. 23 V.S.A. § 634 is amended to read:

§ 634. FEE FOR EXAMINATION

The fee for *[a road test and accompanying oral or written]* an examination for a learner's permit shall be *[$15.00]* $10.00. The fee for *[the first]* an examination to obtain an operator's license when the applicant is required to pass an examination pursuant to section 632 of this title, *[and $10.00 for any additional examination, and shall be paid in advance and a receipt given therefor. A duplicate receipt together with fee collected shall be immediately sent to the commissioner by the examiner]* shall be $5.00.

Sec. 9. 23 V.S.A. § 4108(e)(2) is amended to read:

(2) the commercial driver instruction permit shall be issued for a period of six months for a fee of $12.00 *[which shall include the additional fee for a photograph established pursuant to section 610b of this title]*. Only one renewal or re-issuance may be granted within a two-year period. The holder of a commercial driver instruction permit may, unless otherwise disqualified, drive a commercial motor vehicle on a highway only when accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver license valid for the type of vehicle driven who occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction in driving the commercial motor vehicle.

Sec. 10. 23 V.S.A. § 4110(a)(8) and (b) are amended to read:

(8) The application shall be accompanied by the proper fee. The quadrennial fee shall be *[$60.00]* $65.00. The biennial fee shall be *[$40.00]* $45.00. *[The additional fee for a photograph on the license established pursuant to section 610b of this title shall also accompany the application.]* In those instances where the applicant surrenders a valid Vermont Class D license, the total fees due shall be reduced by:

(A) one-quarter of the quadrennial fee established by section *[608]* 601 of this title for each remaining full year of validity; or

(B) one-half of the biennial fee *[established by section 608 of this title]* paid for each remaining full year of validity; or

(C) one-eighth of the octennial fee paid for each remaining full year of validity.

(b) When a licensee or permittee changes his or her name, mailing address or residence or in the case of the loss, mutilation or destruction of a license or permit, the licensee or permittee shall forthwith notify the commissioner and apply in person for a duplicate license or permit in the same manner as set forth in subsection (a) of this section. The fee for a duplicate license or permit shall be *[$5.00 which shall include the additional fee for a photograph established pursuant to section 610b of this title]* $10.00.

Sec. 11. REPEAL

23 V.S.A. §§ 608 (license fees), 610a (colored license for minors), and 610b (photograph on license) are hereby repealed.

Sec. 12. IMPLEMENTATION

For the purposes of implementation of this act, from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2004, an operator with a date of birth in the odd years will obtain a four-year renewal license. An operator with a date of birth in the even years will obtain an eight-year renewal license.

Sec. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect January 1, 2001.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

H. 188

An act relating to diesel fuel tax.

Rep. Flaherty of South Burlington, for the Committee on Transportation, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Rep. Perry of Richford, for the Committee on Ways and Means, recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the Committee on Transportation.

(Committee Vote: 10-0-1)

Favorable

H. 163

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 169

Sec. 1. PURPOSE

This act creates a more expeditious process for a farm employer to remove a former farm employee from farm housing provided as a benefit of employment when the farm employer can prove that he or she has suffered actual hardship because of the unavailability of the farm housing for a replacement employee.

Sec. 2. 9 V.S.A. § 4469 is added to read:

§ 4469. TERMINATION OF OCCUPANCY OF FARM EMPLOYEE HOUSING

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Farm employer" means an individual who earns at least one-half of his or her annual gross income from the business of farming as that term is defined in Section 1.175-3 of the regulations issued by the United States Department of the Treasury under the Internal Revenue Code of the United States, as amended.

(2) "Farm employee" means an individual employed by a farm employer in farming operations.

(3) "Housing provided as a benefit of farm employment" means housing owned or controlled by the farm employer, whether located on or off the farm premises, and provided for the occupancy of the farm employee and his or her family or household members for no consideration other than the farm employee's labor. Payment of utility and fuel charges paid by the farm employee does not affect the designation of housing provided as a benefit of farm employment.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in a written employment contract, a farm employer who provides housing to a farm employee and his or her family or household members as a benefit of the employment may terminate that benefit and all rights of the employee and the employee's family or household members to occupy the housing when the employee's employment is terminated.

(c) The termination of the housing benefit shall be by written notice served upon the former farm employee by a law enforcement officer in accordance with Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. The notice shall be served together with a summons and complaint seeking a writ of possession under this section to remove the former farm employee from occupancy of the farm housing. The notice shall include the following statements, in boldface print:

(1) YOUR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING BENEFIT HAVE BEEN TERMINATED.

(2) YOUR EMPLOYER HAS FILED A LEGAL PROCEEDING IN__________ COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT TO OBTAIN A COURT ORDER DIRECTING YOU AND ANY FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD MEMBER COHABITATING IN THE DWELLING TO VACATE AND LEAVE THE DWELLING AND REMOVE ALL OF YOUR POSSESSIONS. THE ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE COURT ARE AS FOLLOWS: .

(3) THE COURT WILL HOLD A HEARING ON YOUR FORMER EMPLOYER'S REQUEST FOR A COURT ORDER DIRECTING YOU TO LEAVE AND VACATE THE DWELLING. THE HEARING WILL BE HELD ON __________________ at ____________ in the ________AM/PM AT THE COURTHOUSE AT THE ADDRESS LISTED ABOVE. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE SERVED WITH NOTICE OF THE HEARING AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING DATE. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAR AT THIS HEARING. AT THE HEARING, YOUR FORMER EMPLOYER MUST PROVE THAT THE DWELLING IS NEEDED FOR HOUSING A REPLACEMENT EMPLOYEE AND THAT YOUR FAILURE TO VACATE IS CAUSING ACTUAL HARDSHIP.

(4) IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR EMPLOYMENT WAS TERMINATED WRONGFULLY, THAT YOUR DWELLING HOUSE WAS NOT HABITABLE OR IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CLAIM AGAINST YOUR FORMER EMPLOYER, YOU MAY FILE A COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST YOUR FORMER EMPLOYER AS EXPLAINED IN THE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT THAT ARE BEING SERVED UPON YOU WITH THIS NOTICE.

(5) YOU MAY WISH TO SEEK LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LICENSED ATTORNEY. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU CANNOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY, YOU MAY CONTACT THE CLERK OF THE COURT LISTED ABOVE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF AN ATTORNEY AT PUBLIC EXPENSE, ALTHOUGH YOU MAY NOT BE ENTITLED TO AN ATTORNEY AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.

(d) A farm employer shall be entitled to a show cause hearing on an expedited basis for the purpose of demonstrating that the failure of the former farm employee to vacate the farm housing is causing an actual hardship to the farm employer. The show cause hearing shall be held not less than 10 calendar days after service on the former employee of the notice described in subsection (c) of this section. The issues before the court at the hearing shall be whether the farm employer has suffered actual hardship because of the unavailability of the farm housing for a replacement employee and whether the farm employee can demonstrate that there is a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether he or she has a meritorious defense to the action for possession.

(e) If the court finds that the farm employer has suffered actual hardship because of the unavailability of the farm housing for a replacement employee, and that there is no genuine issue of material fact concerning the existence of a meritorious defense to the action for possession, the court shall enter an order approving a writ of possession which shall be executed no sooner than five days nor later than 30 days after the writ is served, to put the plaintiff into possession.

(f) In the event that the court does not make a finding on behalf of the farm employer, the court may set the matter for a further hearing on the issue of actual hardship. Any time after an initial hearing where the court does not make a finding on behalf of the farm employer, the farm employer may seek an eviction pursuant to sections 4467 and 4468 of this chapter and subchapter 3 of chapter 169 of Title 12. In any action pursuant to this section, the farm employer may file a motion for payment of the reasonable rental value of the premises into court pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 4853a

(g) The right of a former farm employee to pursue any claim that he or she may have against the former farm employer by way of a counterclaim in a civil action brought pursuant to this section is expressly preserved. A former employee who prevails on a counterclaim shall be entitled to relief as provided by applicable law.

(h) Sections 4455, 4461 and 4467 of this chapter shall not apply to housing provided to a farm employee as a benefit of the employment.

Sec. 3. CONSTRUCTION

This act shall control in the event of any inconsistencies or conflicts with the provisions of Title 9 or Title 12.

Ordered to Lie

H. 187

An act relating to podiatry.

H. 542

J.R.H. 28

J.R.H. 85

Joint resolution relating to Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation property transactions.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Meetings

Agenda