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House Calendar

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 1999

106th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Third Readings

H. 290

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

H. 302

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

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Bourdeau to H. 302

On page 1, following line 13, by inserting the following:

When serving apple pie in Vermont, a "good faith" effort shall be made to meet one or more of the following conditions:

(a) with a glass of cold milk

(b) with a slice of cheddar cheese weighing a minimum of 1/2 ounce (c) with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

H. 549

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

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Hube of Londonderry to H. 549

Moves to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 8a to the bill to read as follows:

Sec. 8a. 24 V.S.A. § 5051(10)(D) is amended to read:

(D) The retirement board shall determine any question as to whether a person is an employee as defined in this chapter. Employee does not include persons eligible for inclusion under the provisions of the state teachers' retirement system as provided in Chapter 55 of Title 16 other than beneficiaries of that system.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Atkins of Winooski for the Committee on Government Operations to H. 549

Move to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 5a to read:

Sec. 5a. STUDY; MAKING BENEFIT ENHANCEMENT AVAILABLE TO RETIREES

The House Committee on Government Operations, in consultation with appropriate standing committees, or any retirement study committee authorized by the 1999 General Assembly shall study the policies involved in and the costs associated with making benefits enhancements available to beneficiaries of the state employees' and the state teachers' retirement systems. The committee's findings and recommendations shall be filed with the General Assembly on or before January 15, 2000.

H. 555

An act relating to city of Barre charter.

H. 558

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

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 by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

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)

Amendment to be offered by Reps. Darrow of Dummerston and Flory of Pittsford to H. 43

Moves to amend the bill as follows:

First: In Sec. 4, 23 V.S.A. § 610, in the first sentence, by striking the words "a color photograph or imaged likeness"

Second: In Sec. 6, 23 V.S.A. § 617(e), by striking subsection(e) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(e) A learner's permit which is not a learner's permit for the operation of a motorcycle may, if requested, contain a photograph. The photographic learner's permit shall be available at a location designated by the commission. The additional fee shall be $5.00."

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:

First: In Sec. 2, page 4, lines 8 and 9 by striking the strikethrough

Second: In Sec. 3, page 5, lines 8 and 19 by striking the number "26,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the number "26,001"

Third: In Sec. 4, page 8, line 7 by striking the number "26,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the number "26,001"

Fourth: In Sec. 5, page 11, line 12 by striking the number "26,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the number "26,001"

Fifth: In Sec. 8, page 15, line 12 by striking the number "26,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the number "26,001" and on line 15 by striking the word "three" and inserting in lieu thereof the word "four"

(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)

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 169

An act relating to farm employee housing.

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

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.

Action Postponed Until Thursday, April 22, 1999

H. 111

An act relating to telecommunication fraud.

Pending Action: Third reading of the bill.

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bills for Second Reading

H. 560

An act relating to prohibiting submission of a final proposed rule to amend the water quality standards before July 1, 2000.

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

H. 561

An act relating to the regulation of mercury-added products.

(Rep. Hyde of Fayston will speak for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.)

Favorable with Amendment

H. 114

An act relating to child abuse investigation interviews of other children in the same home.

Rep. DePoy of Rutland City, for the Committee on Health and Welfare, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 33 V.S.A. § 4915 is amended to read:

§ 4915. INVESTIGATION; REMEDIAL ACTION

(a) The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services shall cause an investigation to commence within *[seventy-two]* 72 hours after receipt of a report made pursuant to section 4914 of this title.

(b) The investigation, to the extent that it is reasonable, shall include all of the following:

(1) A visit to the child's place of residence or place of custody and to the location of the alleged abuse or neglect*[;]* .

(2) An interview with, or observance of the child reportedly having been abused or neglected. If the investigator elects to interview the child, that interview may take place without the approval of the child's parents, guardian or custodian, provided that it takes place in the presence of a disinterested adult who may be, but shall not be limited to being, a teacher, a member of the clergy, or a nurse*[;]* .

(3) *[The]* Determination of the nature, extent, and cause of *[the]* any abuse or neglect*[;]* .

(4) *[The]* Determination of the identity of the person alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect*[;]* .

(5) *[The names and conditions of any other children living in the same home environment;]* The identity, by name, of any other children living in the same home environment. The investigator shall consider the physical and emotional condition of those children and may interview them in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(6) A determination of the immediate and long-term risk to each child if that child remains in the existing home environment*[;]* .

(7) *[The]* Consideration of the environment and the relationship of any children therein to the person alleged to be responsible for the suspected abuse or neglect*[; and]* .

(8) All other data deemed pertinent.

(c) If the investigation produces evidence that the child has been abused or neglected, the commissioner may, to the extent that it is reasonable, cause assistance to be provided to the child and the child's family in accordance with a written plan of treatment.

(d) The commissioner, *[his]* designee, or any person required to report under section 4913 or any other person performing an investigation pursuant to section 4914 may take or cause to be taken, photographs of trauma visible on a child who is the subject of a report. The commissioner or *[his]* designee may seek consultation with a physician. If it is indicated as appropriate by the physician, the commissioner or *[his]* designee may cause the child who is subject of a report to undergo a radiological examination, without the consent of the child's parent or guardian.

(e) Services may be provided to the child's immediate family whether or not the child remains in the home.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

H. 412

An act relating to lost, stray or homeless animals.

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

* * * Lost, Stray or Homeless Animals * * *

Sec. 1. 20 V.S.A. § 3451 is amended to read:

§ 3451. *[CATTLE, HORSES OR SWINE]* LIVESTOCK

(a) As used in this article, "animal" or "livestock" means livestock as defined by section 761(1) of Title 6.

(b) If a person suffers his *[neat cattle, horses or swine]* or her livestock to run at large on the highways or commons, any person may impound them. The owner shall pay the charges of the impounder and poundkeeper, and the poundkeeper shall not release such *[animals]* animal to its owner until the charges are paid. If the owner cannot be identified, such impounder shall so notify an officer, as defined by section 3914(b) of this title, who may euthanize the animal pursuant to the provisions of section 3914(e)(4) of this title.

Sec. 2. 20 V.S.A. § 3413 is amended to read:

§ 3513. DISPOSAL OF ABANDONED ANIMALS

Any person having in his care, custody or control any abandoned animal as defined in section 3511 of this title may deliver the animal to any humane society or society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or in the case of dogs, cats or other small animals to any pound maintained by or for any town within which the animal was abandoned, or he may sell the animal, the proceeds from the sale to be applied to the contractual liability incurred by the person placing the animal. If the person to whom the animal was abandoned is unable to sell the animal, it may be humanely euthanized by *[any]* a certified euthanasia technician in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to section 3913 of this title or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian licensed to practice in Vermont.

Sec. 3. 20 V.S.A. § 3914 is added to read:

§ 3914. TREATMENT AND DISPOSITION OF LOST, STRAY OR

HOMELESS ANIMALS

(a) This section applies to animals that are lost, stray or homeless. This section shall not, except for subsection (c), apply to:

(1) livestock running at large, as defined and regulated by article 3 of subchapter 2 of chapter 191 of this title; or

(2) animals that are abandoned, as defined and regulated by subchapter 3 of chapter 191 of this title.

(b) As used in this section, "officer" means the chief administrator of an animal shelter, as defined by subdivision 3901(5) of this title, or a municipal clerk, constable or other municipal animal control officer.

(c) The owner or agent of a lost animal shall make every effort to locate the animal, including notifying the municipal government of the locality in which the animal was lost plus the animal shelter serving such locality.

(d) Any person having in his or her care, custody or control any lost, stray or homeless animal shall notify an officer.

(e) An officer shall take the following actions upon receiving an animal for confinement or impoundment under this section.

(1) The officer shall give the animal proper care, treatment and maintenance in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to section 3908 of this title.

(2) When the owner of an animal can be identified, the officer shall make every reasonable effort to ascertain and notify the owner of the animal. If the owner can be identified through the presence of identification tags, microchips, tattoos or based on verbal information provided upon relinquishment of the animal:

(A) The officer shall send a certified letter to the last known address of the reported owner, indicating that the animal will be held for a period of seven days from the date the letter is posted.

(B) During such seven-day period, the public shall have access to the animal during normal business hours for the purpose of inspecting the animal.

(C) If, upon expiration of such seven-day period the animal has not been claimed, the municipal government of the locality in which the animal was lost or the animal shelter serving such locality shall acquire all right, title and interest in the animal and is authorized to:

(i) adopt the animal as a companion to a suitable home; or

(ii) euthanize the animal, which may be carried out by a certified euthanasia technician in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to section 3913 of this title or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

(3) When the owner of an animal cannot be identified. If the owner of an animal cannot be identified through the presence of identification tags, microchips, tattoos or based on verbal information provided upon relinquishment of the animal:

(A) The officer shall hold the animal for a period of seven days from the date the animal is received, during which period the public shall have access to the animal during normal business hours for the purpose of inspecting the animal.

(B) If, upon expiration of such seven-day period the animal has not been claimed, the officer shall acquire all right, title and interest in the animal and is authorized to:

(i) adopt the animal as a companion to a suitable home; or

(ii) euthanize the animal, which may be carried out by a certified euthanasia technician in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to section 3913 of this title or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

(4) The provisions of subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection shall not apply to an animal suffering from disease, emaciation or injury. Such animal may be euthanized by a certified euthanasia technician in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to section 3913 of this title or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

(f) The owner of an animal held by an officer under this section may reclaim the animal by paying the cost of its impoundment.

(g) No officer or employee of an officer shall be held civilly liable for actions taken in compliance with this section.

* * * Domestic Pet or Wolf-Hybrid Control * * *

Sec. 4. 20 V.S.A. § 3581(d) is amended to read:

(d) Before obtaining a license for a dog or wolf-hybrid six months of age or older, a person shall deliver to the municipal clerk a certificate or a certified copy thereof *[signed by]* from a duly licensed veterinarian, stating that the dog or wolf-hybrid has received a current preexposure rabies vaccination with a vaccine approved by the commissioner, and the person shall certify that the dog or wolf-hybrid described in the certificate or copy is the dog or wolf-hybrid to be licensed. The municipal clerk shall keep the certificates or copies thereof on file. The commissioner shall prescribe the size and format of rabies certificates. The owner of any such dog or wolf-hybrid shall maintain a copy of the rabies vaccination form and provide it to state or municipal officials upon request.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Ordered to Lie

H. 187

An act relating to podiatry.

H. 542

An act relating to reduction of a workers' compensation award.

J.R.H. 28

Joint resolution congratulating Erin Sullivan on winning her second National Cross Country Championship.

J.R.H. 85

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

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Monday, April 26, 1999, Room 11, 6 - 9 PM, House Committee on Judiciary - H. 343 Landlord tenant rights and responsibilities

Wednesday, April 28, 1999, Room 11 - 3:00 - 6:00 PM; House Committee on Commerce - H. 461 Solid waste charges on commercial haulers

Meetings

The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday, April 27, 1999 at 4 PM in the Room 10.

INFORMATION NOTICE

The following grant was recently received by the Joint Fiscal Committee:

JFO #1855 - $79,693 Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, to the Department of Education. (FY'2000 grant funds of $252,795 are included in the Department's FY'2000 proposed budget.) This grant will be used by the Department to provide up to six schools with subgrants of not less than $50,000 for the first year with potential renewal for two years. [JFO received 04/20/99]