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Senate Calendar

FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 2000

102nd DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2000

Second Reading

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 663

An act relating to prohibit the sale of single cigarettes and baby packs.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Ptashnik for the Committee on Health and Welfare.

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

Sec. 1. 7 V.S.A. § 1003(f) and (g) are added to read:

(f) No person holding a tobacco license shall sell cigarettes individually or in packages that contain fewer than 20 cigarettes.

(g) No person in the business of manufacturing, distributing, or retailing tobacco products, shall offer, within the state of Vermont, free samples of any tobacco product.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2000

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 598

An act designating the Vermont state song.

Reported favorably by Senator Greenwood for the Committee on General Affairs and Housing.

(Committee vote: 6-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 17, 2000, page 553)

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 12

An act relating to electroconvulsive therapy.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Munt for the Committee on Health and Welfare.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First: In Sec. 1, in § 7408 of 18 V.S.A., in the first sentence, after the word "shall" by striking out "have the authority to"

Second: In Sec. 1, in § 7408 of 18 V.S.A., in the second sentence, after the word "commissioner's" by striking out the word "authority" and inserting in lieu thereof the word "duties"

Third: In Sec. 2, in subsection (c), in the first sentence, after the word "on" by inserting the word "existing"

(Committee Vote: 4-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for January 19, 2000, page 109; January 20, 2000, page 118.)

H. 733

An act relating to livestock dealers.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Kittell for the Committee on Agriculture.

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

Sec. 1. 6 V.S.A. § 768 is amended to read:

§ 768. DUTIES OF DEALERS

A livestock dealer licensed under section 762 of this title shall:

* * *

(4) Maintain, subject to inspection by the commissioner of agriculture, food and markets or his or her agent, a proper record in which all *[cattle]* livestock purchased, repossessed, sold or loaned are to be listed, giving breed, date purchased, repossessed, sold or loaned and complete names and addresses from whom obtained and to whom delivered. Such record shall also show the *[ear tag number of each animal, except untagged cattle for immediate slaughter. Untagged cattle acquired by a dealer, except cattle for immediate slaughter, shall be held on the dealer's premises and such cattle shall be tuberculin and blood tested by an approved veterinarian at dealer's expense. Registered purebred cattle which do not bear ear tags shall be recorded by giving tattoo markings, description and such other information as is necessary to identify such cattle. This section shall not apply to calves under three months of age]* individual identification of each livestock by a method prescribed for each species by rule by the commissioner, except that for equine such record and method of individual identification shall be as prescribed under subchapter 2 of chapter 102 of this title.

Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

(Committee Vote: 6-0-1)

(No House amendments)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2000

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 612

An act relating to residential housing standards.

Reported favorably by Senator Ptashnik for the Committee on General Affairs and Housing.

(Committee vote: 5-1-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 17, 2000, page 557)

Joint House Resolutions for Action

J.R.H. 230

Joint resolution congratulating the 2000 America East Champion University of Vermont Catamount women's Basketball Team.

J.R.H. 231

Joint resolution congratulating the 1999 Mount St. Joseph Academy Division I Football and Debating champions.

(For text of resolutions, see Senate Journal for Wednesday, April 12, 2000)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 156

An act relating to act 250 jurisdiction over the replacement, repair, and routine maintenance of communication support structures that extend 20 feet above the ground.

H. 849

An act relating to penalties, dairy sheep, nonpoint source water pollution and large farm operations.

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 815

An act relating to the liability of mortgagees for failure to provide payoff statements and discharge mortgages.

Reported favorably by Senator Bahre for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 5-0-2)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 24, 2000, page 337; March 1, 2000, page 366)

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 270

An act relating to prevention and handling of violence in schools.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Chard for the Committee on Education.

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

Sec. 1. STATEMENT OF POLICY

The general assembly recognizes that many family, school and community factors contribute to the well-being of Vermont children. Therefore, it is the purpose of this act to help districts in their efforts to maintain a safe learning environment in all Vermont public schools through appropriate student learning opportunities, appropriate prevention and intervention strategies, the availability of alternative education programs, effective discipline policies and opportunities for community-wide training.

Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. § 563 is amended to read:

§ 563. POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(5) Shall keep the school buildings and grounds in good repair, suitably equipped, insured *[and]*, in safe and sanitary condition at all times*[. The school board shall regulate or prohibit firearms or other dangerous or deadly weapons on school premises. At a minimum, a school board shall adopt and implement a policy]* *[pursuant to]* , and free of firearms and other dangerous or deadly weapons at least consistent with section 1166 of this title *[relating to a student who brings a weapon to school]*, section 4004 of Title 13, and the federal gun-free school zones act of 1990 as amended from time to time.

* * *

Sec. 3. 16 V.S.A. § 1121 is amended to read:

§ 1121. ATTENDANCE BY CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE REQUIRED

A person having the control of a child between the ages of *[seven]* six and *[sixteen]* 16 years shall cause the child to attend *[an approved]* a public school, an approved or recognized independent school or a home study program for the full number of days for which that school is held, unless the child:

(1) is mentally or physically unable so to attend; or

(2) has completed the tenth grade; or

(3) is excused by the superintendent or a majority of the school directors as provided in this chapter; or

(4) is enrolled in and attending a postsecondary school, as defined in subdivision 176(b)(1) of this title, which is approved or accredited in Vermont or another state.

Sec. 4. 16 V.S.A. § 1126 is amended to read:

§ 1126. FAILURE TO ATTEND; NOTICE BY TEACHER

When a pupil between the ages of *[seven]* six and *[sixteen]* 16 years, who is not excused or exempted from school attendance, fails to enter school at the beginning thereof, or being enrolled, fails to attend the same, and when a pupil who has become *[sixteen]* 16 years of age becomes enrolled in a public school and fails to attend, the teacher or principal shall forthwith notify the superintendent or school directors, and the truant officer, unless the teacher or principal is satisfied upon information that the pupil is absent on account of sickness.

Sec. 5. 16 V.S.A. § 1128(a) is amended to read:

(a) A superintendent may and the truant officer shall stop a child between the ages of *[seven]* six and *[sixteen]* 16 years or a child *[sixteen]* 16 years of age or over and enrolled in public school, wherever found during school hours, and shall, unless such child is excused or exempted from school attendance, take *[him]* the child to the school which she or he should attend.

Sec. 6. 16 V.S.A. § 1161a(a) is amended to read:

(a) Each public and each approved independent school shall *[have a policy on discipline. The policy shall include standard due process procedures, and it shall be consistent with this section and with the school board's policies on suspension and expulsion.]* adopt and implement a comprehensive plan for responding to student misbehavior. To the extent appropriate, the plan shall promote the positive development of youth. The plan shall include:

(1) the school's approach to classroom management and response to disruptive behavior, including the use of alternative educational settings;

(2) the manner in which the school will provide information and training to students in methods of conflict resolution, peer mediation and anger management;

(3) procedures for informing parents of the school's discipline policies, for notifying parents of student misconduct, and for working with parents to improve student behavior;

(4) the school's response to significant disruptions, such as threats or use of bombs or weapons;

(5) a description of how the school will ensure that all staff and contractors who have contact with students periodically receive training on the maintenance of a safe, orderly, civil and positive learning environment. The training shall be appropriate to their role of the staff member being trained and shall teach classroom and behavior management, enforcement of the school's discipline policies and positive youth development models; and

(6) a description of behaviors on and off school grounds which constitute misconduct, including harassment and hazing, particularly those behaviors which may be grounds for expulsion.

Sec. 7. 16 V.S.A. § 1162 is amended to read:

§ 1162. SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION OF PUPILS

(a) A superintendent or principal may, pursuant to policies adopted by the school board that are consistent with state board rules, suspend a pupil for a definite period of time or, with the approval of the board of the school district, expel a pupil for *[the remainder of the school year]* up to 12 calendar months for:

(1) misconduct on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity when the misconduct makes the continued presence of the pupil harmful to the welfare of the school; or

(2) misconduct not on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity where there is a direct connection between the pupil's misconduct and harm to the welfare of the school due to the continued presence of the pupil.

(b) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent a superintendent or principal, subject to subsequent due process procedures, from removing immediately from a school a pupil who poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process of the school.

Sec. 8. 16 V.S.A. § 1163 is added to read:

§ 1163. TRANSFER OF SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION TO OTHER SCHOOLS

(a) If a student transfers from one Vermont school to another, a Vermont public or independent school may choose to continue a suspension or expulsion imposed by the other Vermont public or independent school.

(b) During a period of suspension or expulsion imposed under section 1162 of this title, a student, or parent or guardian, shall not be subject to the provisions of subchapter 3 of this chapter regarding compulsory attendance at school unless the conditions of the suspension or expulsion include participation in a program in the school or an alternative program outside the school. Further, nothing in this section shall prohibit a suspended or expelled student from applying to a different Vermont public or independent school during the period of suspension or expulsion and attending if accepted.

(c) A school district which provides for the education of a suspended or expelled student by paying tuition to an approved public or independent school may, at the discretion of the school board, provide for the education of the student during the period of suspension or expulsion by paying tuition to another approved public or independent school.

Sec. 9. 16 V.S.A. § 2901(a) is amended to read:

(a) It is the policy of the state that each local school district develop and maintain, in consultation with parents, a comprehensive system of education that will result, to the extent appropriate, in all students succeeding in the general education environment. *[This chapter does not require that a child remain in the regular classroom if the child]* A comprehensive system of education includes a full range of services and accommodations which are needed by students in the district. These services could include a separate alternative program if the district finds that some of its students could be better served in an environment outside the classroom, or if the district finds that separate placement is the best way to provide services to a student who is disrupting the class or having difficulty learning in a traditional school setting for educational, emotional or personal reasons and thereby impairing the ability of the classroom teacher to provide quality services to that student or to the other pupils. This chapter does not replace or expand entitlements created by federal law, nor is it the intent of this chapter to create a higher standard for maintaining a student in the general classroom than the standard created in the following federal laws: 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq., Individuals with Disabilities Act; 29 U.S.C. § 794, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sec. 10. 16 V.S.A. § 2902(b) is amended to read:

(b) The educational support system shall:

* * *

(4) Provide clear procedures and methods for handling a student who *[disrupts a class]* is disruptive to the learning environment and shall include provision of educational options, support services and consultation or training for staff where appropriate. Procedures may include provision for removal of the student from the classroom or the school building for as long as appropriate, consistent with state and federal law and the school's policy on student discipline, and after reasonable effort has been made to support the student in the regular classroom environment.

* * *

Sec. 11. 13 V.S.A. § 4004 is amended to read:

§ 4004. -BY PERSONS AT SCHOOL

(a) A person who carries or has in his or her possession a firearm, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous or deadly weapon while within a school building or on a school bus, shall be imprisoned not more than *[60 days]* one year or fined not more than *[$500.00]* $1,000.00, or both; however, the board of school directors may authorize the possession and use of firearms or other weapons for specific occasions or for instructional purposes when facilities for such instruction are available.

Sec. 12. 33 V.S.A. § 5529d(c) is amended to read:

(c) If the court finds that it is in the best interest of the youthful offender to continue the case past the age of 18 and if the court finds, based on evidence submitted by the department of social and rehabilitation services, that Title IV-E funds and sufficient state matching funds are available to provide services to the youthful offender, it shall make an order continuing the court's jurisdiction up to the age of *[19]* 21.

Sec. 13. TRAINING FOR PREVENTION OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND DISRUPTION

The commissioner of education, in consultation with the secretary of human services and commissioner of public safety, shall develop training in the early identification and remediation of potentially violent or disruptive students, methods for de-escalation of violent or disruptive situations, and mediation and other conflict resolution measures. To the extent possible, the commissioner shall use materials and resources, such as those already developed through the BEST initiative, designed for working with potentially violent or disruptive students. The commissioner shall make the training available on a regional basis to school superintendents, school principals, and other representatives of local school districts who agree to transmit the training to their local school districts, including providing information and training to teaching and nonteaching school staff, and to parents, school board members, and other members of the community.

Sec. 14. EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT; STANDARDS BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS; STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

(a) The State Board of Education and Standards Board for Professional Educators shall clarify and strengthen requirements for teacher and administrator training in basic classroom management, understanding of disabilities and special needs, instructional and curricular adaptations and accommodations, working with people of diverse cultural backgrounds, prevention of behavior problems, and working with students who exhibit challenging behaviors.

(b) The Commissioner of Education, in the next guidebook for local Standards Board for Professional Educators shall recommend that each board encourage teachers, in developing their individual professional development plans, to consider the need for further training in classroom management, understanding of disabilities and special needs, adaptations and accommodations, dealing with people of diverse cultural backgrounds, prevention of behavior problems, and handling of students who exhibit challenging behaviors.

(c) The Commissioner of Education shall encourage school administrators to ensure that experienced teachers are available to help newer teachers learn effective classroom management skills, and that experienced teachers avail themselves of ongoing professional development opportunities in this area.

(d) The Commissioner of Education shall meet with representatives of superintendents, the court system, the department of public safety, social and rehabilitation services, and the department of developmental and mental health services, and representatives of the education and juvenile justice communities to develop policies, possible recommendations for legislative change, and internal procedures and training that should be put into place to ensure timely exchange of appropriate information about a student's behavior which may be needed to ensure the safety of other students or in order to be able to provide timely intervention or alternative educational or other services.

(e) The Commissioner of Education and chair of the State Board of Education shall report the results of work carried out under this section to the Senate and House Committees on Education by January 15, 2001.

Sec. 15. COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS; GRANTS

(a) The commissioner of education, in consultation with the secretary of human services, the court administrator and the commissioner of public safety, may, if funds are available, award grants to school districts or groups of school districts which collaborate with parent groups, local human services agencies, court personnel and law enforcement agencies and other community agencies to establish demonstration projects. The projects shall be designed to increase collaborative community approaches to:

(1) preventing violent behavior in youth;

(2) intervening appropriately and effectively when violent behavior occurs; and

(3) providing alternative discipline techniques for violent students.

(b) In determining which applicants shall receive grants, the commissioner shall give priority to those which demonstrate the highest degree of need based on community indicators or reports to the commissioner that confirm significantly high rates of violence, suspension, expulsion or school dropouts.

Sec. 16. MODEL POLICIES AND PLAN; DATA COLLECTION

(a) The Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Vermont principals association, the Vermont superintendents association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont national education association and the Vermont coalition for disability rights shall, by January 15, 2001, develop and distribute model plans on school discipline and implementation strategies. Model plans shall include a variety of in-school and out-of-school disciplinary measures which, in addition to addressing standard due process procedures, shall provide guidance in:

(1) preventing and responding to the problems caused by violent or disruptive students;

(2) describing which behaviors constitute misconduct both on and off school grounds; and

(3) establishing procedures for responding to misconduct.

(b) On or before January 15, 2001, the state board of education shall develop and distribute a model policy on viewing of confidential records with personally identifiable information and training of personnel who may be identified, pursuant to federal law, as those who may view the records.

(c) The commissioner of education, in consultation with the Vermont superintendents association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont national education association, the Vermont principals association and representatives of law enforcement and gun owners shall develop a model policy for distribution to Vermont school boards on the possession of dangerous and deadly weapons on school grounds. In addition, the commissioner shall disseminate written information which explains the federal and state laws regarding weapons on school grounds for use by Vermont school boards and school administrators. The commissioner shall distribute the model policy to all school boards by the beginning of school year 2001-2002.

(d) The Commissioner of Education shall gather data from each school district in order to help policy makers understand the scope of the truancy and dropout problems in Vermont. The Commissioner shall work with others in the education community to develop a common definition of "truancy" and "dropout" for the purpose of collecting data.

Sec. 17. ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS; STUDY; APPROPRIATION

(a) The amount of $50,000.00 is appropriated to the State Board of Education to:

(1) Review the national research on alternative learning environments.

(2) Describe the nature of Vermont alternative programs. This should include information about the process that went into designing each program, and describe alternatives that were considered or tried and rejected.

(3) Determine whether existing alternatives do and can successfully operate within the current laws and regulations governing public and independent schools.

(4) Describe the cost, funding and finance structures of Vermont's alternative programs.

(b) Based on this research, the commissioner shall develop recommendations on the following:

(1) Whether alternative programs should be held to standards which are different from those to which other public schools are held, and if so:

(A) a description of how the standards will ensure that the alternative program standards allow the flexibility needed to provide services in an alternative way, while also ensuring that the students receive a quality education in a safe environment; and

(B) a clear definition of an alternative program which would be held to the alternate standards.

(2) Changes that may be needed to the education finance structure.

(3) A system which would enable the department of education to:

(A) annually gather information about alternative learning programs, and use the results of the survey to identify unmet needs and best practices; and

(B) monitor, evaluate the effectiveness of, and approve alternative programs to ensure that they are providing a quality education.

(c) On or before January 15, 2001, the State Board of Education shall report to the Senate and House Committees on Education the information gathered, recommendations, and recommended legislation and appropriations to implement the recommendations.

Sec. 18. DECRIMINALIZATION OF TRUANCY; PLAN

(a) It is the intent of the general assembly to decriminalize truancy, and to establish a system of school, community and juvenile justice system supports in which a superintendent can require a youth and his or her family to participate in an increasingly intensive system of responses which can include: individualized support and supervision, or both, working with a community response team, or filing of a petition in court for help in responding to truant students. It is further the intent of the general assembly that responses to truancy shall be designed to encourage students to remain in school until graduation, and to provide help to families so that they can support this goal. Therefore, it is our intent that the courts be given authority to respond to truancy in a variety of appropriate ways which may include provision of social services and suspension of a student's drivers license.

(b) The Commissioner of Social and Rehabilitation Services, the Commissioner of Education and the court administrator shall develop a plan to implement the intent of this section, and shall provide a recommended system together with recommended statutory change to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2001.

Sec. 19. COMPREHENSIVE ARRAY OF SERVICES FOR YOUTH AT RISK OF BECOMING DELINQUENT AND YOUTH ADJUDICATED DELINQUENT; POLICY

It is the policy of the general assembly that each region of the state shall provide a comprehensive and complete array of services for youth at risk of becoming delinquent, and those who have been adjudicated delinquent. Therefore, the Commissioner of Education and the Secretary of Human Services shall evaluate the services provided in each region, evaluate the relative responsibility for funding of the services, identify gaps in services, and whenever possible, provide support and encouragement to help each region provide services which fill the gaps and programs based on risk assessment that include asset and strength based approaches which promote positive youth development.

Sec. 20. LEGISLATIVE STUDY; SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG OFFENDERS AND POTENTIAL YOUNG OFFENDERS

(a) There is created a legislative committee, made up of three senators chosen by the committee on committees and three representatives chosen by the speaker, to determine the need for improved or increased statewide substance abuse programs designed to serve young offenders and potential young offenders. The committee may meet up to six times.

(b) The committee shall:

(1) review the need for adolescent and pre-adolescent substance abuse treatment programs;

(2) determine what services currently exist;

(3) identify gaps in needed services; and

(4) make recommendations regarding what programs and resources are required to meet the needs of young people in Vermont who are at risk of abusing substances or who do abuse substances.

(c) On or before January 15, 2001, the committee shall report the results of the study and recommendations for changes to law or policy regarding adolescent and pre-adolescent substance abuse programs to the Senate and House Committees on Judiciary, Health and Welfare, and Education.

Sec. 21. USE OF RESTRICTIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS

The commissioner of education shall gather data on use of restrictive behavioral interventions in Vermont schools and shall present the data to the Senate and House Committees on Education on or before January 15, 2001.

Sec. 22. APPROPRIATIONS

(a) The amount of $25,000.00 is appropriated to the legislative study committee created under Sec. 20 of this act.

(b) The amount of $10,000.00 is appropriated to the commissioner of education for the purpose of increasing the capacity of the department of education safe schools coordinator to train education personnel on the subjects of harassment and hazing.

And the committee further proposes that after passage, the title of the bill be amended to read: "AN ACT RELATING TO SUPPORTING SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN VERMONT SCHOOLS"

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Sears for the Committee on Judiciary, upon commitment.

The Committee recommends that the recommendation of proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education be amended as follows:

First: By striking out Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. §563 is amended to read:

§ 563. POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(5) Shall keep the school buildings and grounds in good repair, suitably equipped, insured and in safe and sanitary condition at all times. The school board shall regulate or prohibit firearms or other dangerous or deadly weapons on school premises. At a minimum, a school board shall adopt and implement a policy *[pursuant to]* at least consistent with section 1166 of this title and section 4004 of Title 13, relating to a student who brings a weapon to school.

* * *

Second: In Sec. 6, §1161a(a) of 16 V.S.A., at the end of the subdivision(5), by striking out the word "and", at the end of subdivision (6), by striking out the period and inserting in lieu thereof ; and, and by adding a new subdivision (7) to read:

(7) standard due process procedures for suspension and expulsion of a student.

Third: By striking out Sec. 7 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 7 to read as follows:

Sec. 7. 16 V.S.A. § 1162 is amended to read:

§ 1162. SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION OF PUPILS

(a) A superintendent or principal may, pursuant to policies adopted by the school board that are consistent with state board rules, suspend a pupil for *[a definite period of time]* up to 10 school days or, with the approval of the board of the school district, expel a pupil for up to six calendar months or the remainder of the school year, whichever is longer, for:

(1) misconduct on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity when the misconduct makes the continued presence of the pupil harmful to the welfare of the school; or

(2) misconduct not on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity where there is a direct connection between the pupil's misconduct and harm to the welfare of the school due to the continued presence of the pupil.

(b) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent a superintendent or principal, subject to subsequent due process procedures, from removing immediately from a school a pupil who poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process of the school.

(c) Principals, superintendents and school boards are authorized and encouraged to provide alternative education services or programs to students during any period of suspension or expulsion authorized under this section.

Fourth: In Sec. 8, §1163(a) of 16 V.S.A., following the words "a Vermont public or independent school" by inserting , following application by the student and a review of whether or not the school can provide the student with appropriate services,

Fifth: By striking out Sec. 11 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 11 to read as follows:

Sec. 11. 13 V.S.A. § 4004 is amended to read:

§ 4004. *[--BY PERSONS AT SCHOOL]* POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS OR DEADLY WEAPON IN A SCHOOL BUS OR SCHOOL BUILDING OR ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

(a) *[A person who carries or has in his or her possession a firearm, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous or deadly weapon while within a school building, shall be imprisoned not more than 60 days or fined not more than $500.00, or both; however, the board of school directors may authorize the possession and use of firearms or other weapons for specific occasions or for instructional purposes when facilities for such instruction are available.]* No person shall knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon while within a school building or on a school bus. A person who violates this section shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b) No person shall knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon on any school property with the intent to injure another person. A person who violates this section shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(c) This section shall not apply to:

(1) A law enforcement officer while engaged in law enforcement duties.

(2) Possession and use of firearms or dangerous or deadly weapons if the board of school directors, or the superintendent or principal if delegated authority to do so by the board, authorizes possession or use for specific occasions or for instructional or other specific purposes.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) "School property" means any property owned by a school, including motor vehicles.

(2) "Owned by the school" means owned, leased, controlled or subcontracted by the school.

(3) "Dangerous or deadly weapon" has the meaning defined in section 4016 of this title.

(4) "Firearm" has the meaning defined in section 4016 of this title.

(5) "Law enforcement officer" has the meaning defined in section 4016 of this title.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not limit or restrict any prosecution for any other offense, including simple assault or aggravated assault.

Sixth: By striking out Sec. 12 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 12 to read as follows:

Sec. 12. 33 V.S.A. § 5529d(c) is amended to read:

(c) If the court finds that it is in the best interest of the youthful offender to continue the case past the age of 18 *[and if the court finds, based on evidence submitted by the department of social and rehabilitation services, that Title IV-E funds and sufficient state matching funds are available to provide services to the youthful offender]*, it shall make an order continuing the court's jurisdiction up to the age of *[19]* 21. The commissioner of corrections shall provide appropriate services to a youthful offender who is over the age of 18.

Seventh: In Sec. 17, subsection (b), at the end of the subsection, by adding a new subdivision (4) to read:

(4) Whether alternative educational services or programs should be required for all students subject to long-term discipline, what would be the costs of such a requirement, and how such a requirement might be implemented, including a timetable for development of such programs.

Eighth: In Sec. 18, subsection (b), following the words "and the court administrator" by inserting , in consultation with the state's attorneys association, juvenile defender and representatives of law enforcement,

(Committee Vote: 5-0-1)

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Spaulding for the Committee on Appropriations.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as recommended by the Committees on Education and Judiciary, with the following amendments thereto:

First: By striking out the Sixth proposal of amendment by the Committee on Judiciary in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sixth: By striking out Sec. 12 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 12 to read as follows:

Sec. 12. 33 V.S.A. § 5529d(c) is amended to read:

(c) If the court finds that it is in the best interest of the youthful offender to continue the case past the age of 18 *[and if the court finds, based on evidence submitted by the department of social and rehabilitation services, that Title IV-E funds and sufficient state matching funds are available to provide services to the youthful offender]*, it shall make an order continuing the court's jurisdiction up to the age of 19.

Second: In Sec. 17, of the proposal of amendment by the Committee on Education, by striking out the semi-colon and the word "APPROPRIATION" from the title of the section, and in subsection (a) by striking out the following: "(a) The amount of $50,000.00 is appropriated to the State Board of Education to:" and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(a) The State Board of Education shall:

Third: In the proposals of amendment by the Committee on Education, by striking out Secs. 20 and 22 in their entirety

And by renumbering the sections to be numerically correct.

(Committee Vote: 4-3-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 29, 1999, page 868; April 30, 1999, page 883)

AMENDMENT TO PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION TO H. 270 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR McCORMACK

Senator McCormack moves to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education in Sec. 18(a) by striking out the subsection in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a) It is the intent of the general assembly to decriminalize truancy, and to replace the current truancy system with one that encourages students to remain in school until graduation and provides assistance to families in reaching this goal. It is further the intent of the general assembly that the truancy system begin with adoption by school boards of local or regional comprehensive truancy policies that address the timing and content of responses to truancy and implementation of the policies through the development, collaboratively with a truant student's family and the student, of an individualized plan designed to achieve regular school attendance by the student. If the student or family either fails to cooperate in the development of the plan, or fails to act in conformance with the plan, a petition could be filed in court to gain cooperation or enforce the plan. The court should have broad remedial authority to issue orders reasonably designed to bring about regular school attendance by the student. The individuals charged in subsection (b) of this section with designing the system shall consider whether the courts should have authority to condition a truant student's driving privileges upon regular school attendance.

AMENDMENT TO PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY TO H. 270 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI

Senator Illuzzi moves to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Judiciary, in the third proposal of amendment, after the words "up to six" by inserting the word calendar

H. 610

An act relating to insurance agents and brokers.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Rivers for the Committee on Finance.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 4 to read:

Sec. 4. 8 V.S.A. § 80(b) is amended to read:

(b) At the end of each fiscal year, that portion of the balance in the insurance regulatory and supervision fund which exceeds two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) shall be transferred to the general fund. The secretary of administration may approve an additional portion of such balance to be carried forward to accommodate the two-year revenue cycle for fees established in sections 4798 and 4800 of this title.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-2)

(No House amendments.)

Joint House Resolution for Action

J.R.H. 232

Joint resolution in memory of Brigadier General Robert Gary Maskiell of the Vermont Army National Guard.

(For text of Resolution, see Senate Journal for Thursday, April 13, 2000)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

H. 748

An act relating to gray marketed cigarettes.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Ptashnik for the Committee on Health and Welfare.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by striking out Secs. 2 and 3 and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2. 32 V.S.A. § 7786 is added to read:

§ 7786. GRAY MARKETED CIGARETTES

(a) No person shall affix a cigarette stamp to or sell or offer for sale in this state any package or container of cigarettes if:

(1) the container or package does not comply with all the requirements of the federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1331 et seq.) for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States;

(2) the container or package has been imported into the United States after January 1, 2000, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5754;

(3) the container or package, including a container of individually-stamped containers or packages is labeled "For Export Only", "U.S. Tax Exempt", "For Use Outside U.S.", or similar wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States; or

(4) the container or package has been altered by making or deleting the wording described in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(b) Any cigarettes described in subdivisions (a)(1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section and found in this state are declared to be contraband goods and may be seized without a warrant by the commissioner, the commissioner's agents or employees, or by any peace officer of this state when directed by the commissioner to do so, unless the owner of the cigarettes produces sufficient evidence that the cigarettes are in transit through the state for sale outside the United States. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the commissioner to confiscate cigarettes when the commissioner shall have reason to believe that the owner thereof has possession of the same for personal consumption. Any cigarettes seized under this section shall be destroyed by the commissioner. The seizure of any cigarettes under the provisions of this section shall not relieve any person from a fine or other penalty for violation of this chapter.

(c) A violation of any provision of this section shall also constitute an unfair or deceptive act and practice in commerce prohibited under section 2453 ofTitle 9, and shall be subject to enforcement and to the rights and remedies provided for under chapter 63 of Title 9.

(d) Any person may bring an action for appropriate injunctive or other equitable relief for a violation of this section; actual damages, if any, sustained by reason of the violation; and, as determined by the court, interest on the damages from the date of the complaint, taxable costs and reasonable attorney's fees. If the trier of fact finds that the violation is flagrant, it may increase recovery to any amount not in excess of three times the actual damages sustained by reason of the violation.

(Committee Vote: 4-0-1)

(No House amendments)

H. 847

An act relating to civil unions.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Sears for the Committee on Judiciary.

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

Sec. 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

The General Assembly finds that:

(1) Civil marriage under Vermont's marriage statutes consists of a union between a man and a woman. This interpretation of the state's marriage laws was upheld by the Supreme Court in Baker v. State.

(2) Vermont's history as an independent republic and as a state is one of equal treatment and respect for all Vermonters. This tradition is embodied in the Common Benefits Clause of the Vermont Constitution, Chapter I, Article 7th.

(3) The state's interest in civil marriage is to encourage close and caring families, and to protect all family members from the economic and social

consequences of abandonment and divorce, focusing on those who have been especially at risk.

(4) Legal recognition of civil marriage by the state is the primary and, in a number of instances, the exclusive source of numerous benefits, responsibilities and protections under the laws of the state for married persons and their children.

(5) Based on the state's tradition of equality under the law and strong families, for at least 25 years, Vermont Probate Courts have qualified gay and lesbian individuals as adoptive parents.

(6) Vermont was one of the first states to adopt legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, through the passage of comprehensive legislation (Act No. 135 of 1992).

(7) The state has a strong interest in promoting stable and lasting families, including families based upon a same-sex couple.

(8) Without the legal protections, benefits and responsibilities associated with civil marriage, same-sex couples suffer numerous obstacles and hardships.

(9) Despite longstanding social and economic discrimination, many gay and lesbian Vermonters have formed lasting, committed, caring and faithful relationships with persons of their same sex. These couples live together, participate in their communities together, and some raise children and care for family members together, just as do couples who are married under Vermont law.

(10) While a system of civil unions does not bestow the status of civil marriage, it does satisfy the requirements of the Common Benefits Clause. Changes in the way significant legal relationships are established under the constitution should be approached carefully, combining respect for the community and cultural institutions most affected with a commitment to the constitutional rights involved. Granting benefits and protections to same-sex couples through a system of civil unions will provide due respect for tradition and long-standing social institutions, and will permit adjustment as unanticipated consequences or unmet needs arise.

(11) The constitutional principle of equality embodied in the Common Benefits Clause is compatible with the freedom of religious belief and worship guaranteed in Chapter I, Article 3rd of the state constitution. Extending the benefits and protections of marriage to same-sex couples through a system of civil unions preserves the fundamental constitutional right of each of the multitude of religious faiths in Vermont to choose freely and without state interference to whom to grant the religious status, sacrament or blessing of marriage under the rules, practices or traditions of such faith.

Sec. 2. PURPOSE

(a) The purpose of this act is to respond to the constitutional violation found by the Vermont Supreme Court in Baker v. State, and to provide eligible same-sex couples the opportunity to "obtain the same benefits and protections afforded by Vermont law to married opposite-sex couples" as required by Chapter I, Article 7th of the Vermont Constitution.

(b) This act also provides eligible blood-relatives and relatives related by adoption the opportunity to establish a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship so they may receive certain benefits and protections and be subject to certain responsibilities that are granted to spouses.

Sec. 3. 15 V.S.A. chapter 23 is added to read:

CHAPTER 23. CIVIL UNIONS

§ 1201. DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Certificate of civil union" means a document that certifies that the persons named on the certificate have established a civil union in this state in compliance with this chapter and 18 V.S.A. chapter 106.

(2) "Civil union" means that two eligible persons have established a relationship pursuant to this chapter, and may receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities of spouses.

(3) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of health.

(4) "Marriage" means the legally recognized union of one man and one woman.

(5) "Party to a civil union" means a person who has established a civil union pursuant to this chapter and 18 V.S.A. chapter 106.

§ 1202. REQUISITES OF A VALID CIVIL UNION

For a civil union to be established in Vermont, it shall be necessary that the parties to a civil union satisfy all of the following criteria:

(1) Not be a party to another civil union or a marriage.

(2) Be of the same sex and therefore excluded from the marriage laws of this state.

(3) Meet the criteria and obligations set forth in 18 V.S.A. chapter 106.

§ 1203. PERSON SHALL NOT ENTER A CIVIL UNION WITH A RELATIVE

(a) A woman shall not enter a civil union with her mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister or mother's sister.

(b) A man shall not enter a civil union with his father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother or mother's brother.

(c) A civil union between persons prohibited from entering a civil union in subsection (a) or (b) of this section is void.

§ 1204. BENEFITS, PROTECTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTIES TO A CIVIL UNION

(a) Parties to a civil union shall have all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under law, whether they derive from statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage.

(b) A party to a civil union shall be included in any definition or use of the terms "spouse," "family," "immediate family," "dependent," "next of kin," and other terms that denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout the law.

(c) Parties to a civil union shall be responsible for the support of one another to the same degree and in the same manner as prescribed under law for married persons.

(d) The law of domestic relations, including annulment, separation and divorce, child custody and support, and property division and maintenance shall apply to parties to a civil union.

(e) The following is a nonexclusive list of legal benefits, protections and responsibilities of spouses, which shall apply in like manner to parties to a civil union:

(1) laws relating to title, tenure, descent and distribution, intestate succession, waiver of will, survivorship, or other incidents of the acquisition, ownership, or transfer, inter vivos or at death, of real or personal property, including eligibility to hold real and personal property as tenants by the entirety (parties to a civil union meet the common law unity of person qualification for purposes of a tenancy by the entirety);

(2) causes of action related to or dependent upon spousal status, including an action for wrongful death, emotional distress, loss of consortium, dramshop, or other torts or actions under contracts reciting, related to, or dependent upon spousal status;

(3) probate law and procedure, including nonprobate transfer;

(4) adoption law and procedure;

(5) group insurance for state employees under 3 V.S.A. § 631, and continuing care contracts under 8 V.S.A. § 8005;

(6) spouse abuse programs under 3 V.S.A. § 18;

(7) prohibitions against discrimination based upon marital status;

(8) victim's compensation rights under 13 V.S.A. § 5351;

(9) workers' compensation benefits;

(10) laws relating to emergency and nonemergency medical care and treatment, hospital visitation and notification, including the Patient's Bill of Rights under 18 V.S.A. chapter 42 and the Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights under 33 V.S.A. chapter 73;

(11) terminal care documents under 18 V.S.A. chapter 111, and durable power of attorney for health care execution and revocation under 14 V.S.A. chapter 121;

(12) family leave benefits under 21 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 4A;

(13) public assistance benefits under state law;

(14) laws relating to taxes imposed by the state or a municipality other than estate taxes;

(15) laws relating to immunity from compelled testimony and the marital communication privilege;

(16) the homestead rights of a surviving spouse under 27 V.S.A. § 105 and homestead property tax allowance under 32 V.S.A. § 6062;

(17) laws relating to loans to veterans under 8 V.S.A. § 1849;

(18) the definition of family farmer under 10 V.S.A. § 272;

(19) laws relating to the making, revoking and objecting to anatomical gifts by others under 18 V.S.A. § 5240;

(20) state pay for military service under 20 V.S.A. § 1544;

(21) application for absentee ballot under 17 V.S.A. § 2532;

(22) family landowner rights to fish and hunt under 10 V.S.A. § 4253;

(23) legal requirements for assignment of wages under 8 V.S.A. § 2235; and

(24) affirmance of relationship under 15 V.S.A. § 7.

(f) The rights of parties to a civil union, with respect to a child of whom either becomes the natural parent during the term of the civil union, shall be the same as those of a married couple, with respect to a child of whom either spouse becomes the natural parent during the marriage.

§ 1205. MODIFICATION OF CIVIL UNION TERMS

Parties to a civil union may modify the terms, conditions, or effects of their civil union in the same manner and to the same extent as married persons who execute an antenuptial agreement or other agreement recognized and enforceable under the law, setting forth particular understandings with respect to their union.

§ 1206. DISSOLUTION OF CIVIL UNIONS

The family court shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings relating to the dissolution of civil unions. The dissolution of civil unions shall follow the same procedures and be subject to the same substantive rights and obligations that are involved in the dissolution of marriage in accordance with chapter 11 of this title, including any residency requirements.

§ 1207. COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH; DUTIES

(a) The commissioner shall provide civil union license and certificate forms to all town and county clerks.

(b) The commissioner shall keep a record of all civil unions.

Sec. 4. 4 V.S.A. § 454 is amended to read:

§ 454. JURISDICTION

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the family court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and dispose of the following proceedings filed or pending on or after October 1, 1990. The family court shall also have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and dispose of any requests to modify or enforce any orders issued by the district or superior court relating to the following proceedings:

* * *

(17) All proceedings relating to the dissolution of a civil union.

Sec. 5. 18 V.S.A. chapter 106 is added to read:

CHAPTER 106. CIVIL UNION;

RECORDS AND LICENSES

§ 5160. ISSUANCE OF CIVIL UNION LICENSE; CERTIFICATION; RETURN OF CIVIL UNION CERTIFICATE

(a) Upon application in a form prescribed by the department, a town clerk shall issue a civil union license in the form prescribed by the department, and shall enter thereon the names of the parties to the proposed civil union, fill out the form as far as practicable and retain a copy in the clerk's office. At least one party to the proposed civil union shall sign the application attesting to the accuracy of the facts stated. The license shall be issued by the clerk of the town where either party resides or, if neither is a resident of the state, by any town clerk in the state.

(b) A civil union license shall be delivered by the parties to a civil union, within 60 days from the date of issue, to a person authorized to certify civil unions by section 5164 of this title. If the proposed civil union is not certified within 60 days from the date of issue, the license shall become void. After a person has certified the civil union, he or she shall fill out that part of the form on the license provided for such use, sign and certify the civil union.

Thereafter, the document shall be known as a civil union certificate.

(c) Within ten days of the certification, the person performing the certification shall return the civil union certificate to the office of the town clerk from which the license was issued. The town clerk shall retain and file the original according to sections 5007 and 5008 of this title.

(d) A town clerk who knowingly issues a civil union license upon application of a person residing in another town in the state, or a county clerk who knowingly issues a civil union license upon application of a person other than as provided in section 5005 of this title, or a clerk who issues such a license without first requiring the applicant to fill out, sign and make oath to the declaration contained therein as provided in section 5160 of this title, shall be fined not more than $50.00 nor less than $20.00.

(e) A person making application to a clerk for a civil union license who makes a material misrepresentation in the declaration of intention shall be deemed guilty of perjury.

(f) Town clerks shall provide persons who apply for civil union license with information prepared by the secretary of state that advises such persons of the benefits, protections and responsibilities of a civil union and that Vermont residency may be required for dissolution of a civil union in Vermont.

§ 5161. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE

(a) A town clerk shall issue a civil union license to all applicants who have complied with the provisions of section 5160 of this title, and who are otherwise qualified under the laws of the state to apply for a civil union license.

(b) An assistant town clerk may perform the duties of a town clerk under this chapter.

§ 5162. PROOF OF LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS OF PARTIES TO A CIVIL UNION; PENALTY

(a) Before issuing a civil union license to an applicant, the town clerk shall be confident, through presentation of affidavits or other proof, that each party to the intended civil union meets the criteria set forth to enter into a civil union.

(b) Affidavits shall be in a form prescribed by the board, and shall be attached to and filed with the civil union certificate in the office of the clerk of the town wherein the license was issued.

(c) A clerk who fails to comply with the provisions of this section, or who issues a civil union license with knowledge that either or both of the parties to a civil union have failed to comply with the requirements of the laws of this state, or a person who, having authority and having such knowledge, certifies such a civil union, shall be fined not more than $100.00.

§ 5163. RESTRICTIONS AS TO MINORS AND INCOMPETENT PERSONS

(a) A clerk shall not issue a civil union license when either party to the intended civil union is:

(1) under 18 years of age;

(2) non compos mentis;

(3) under guardianship, without the written consent of such guardian.

(b) A clerk who knowingly violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $20.00. A person who aids in procuring a civil union license by falsely pretending to be the guardian having authority to give consent to the civil union shall be fined not more than $500.00.

§ 5164. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY CIVIL UNIONS

Civil unions may be certified by a supreme court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace or by a member of the clergy residing in this state and ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention or other authority of his or her faith or denomination or by such a clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this state, or by a member of the clergy residing in some other state of the United States or in the Dominion of Canada, provided he or she has first secured from the probate court of the district within which the civil union is to be certified, a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the civil union if such probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable. Civil unions among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia and the Baha'i Faith may be certified in the manner used in such societies.

§ 5165. CIVIL UNION LICENSE REQUIRED FOR CERTIFICATION; FAILURE TO RETURN

(a) Persons authorized by section 5164 of this title to certify civil unions shall require a civil union license of the parties before certifying the civil union. The license shall afford full immunity to the person who certifies the civil union.

(b) A person who certifies a civil union shall be fined not less than $10.00, if such person:

(1) certifies a civil union without first obtaining the license; or

(2) fails to properly fill out the license and, within ten days from the date of the certification, return the license and certificate of civil union to the clerk's office from which it was issued.

§ 5166. CERTIFICATION BY UNAUTHORIZED PERSON; PENALTY; VALIDITY OF CIVIL UNIONS

(a) An unauthorized person who knowingly undertakes to join others in a civil union shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $300.00 nor less than $100.00, or both.

(b) A civil union certified before a person falsely professing to be a justice or a member of the clergy shall be valid, provided that the civil union is in other respects lawful, and that either of the parties to a civil union believed that he or she was lawfully joined in a civil union.

§ 5167. EVIDENCE OF CIVIL UNION

A copy of the record of the civil union received from the town or county clerk, the commissioner of health or the director of public records shall be presumptive evidence of the civil union in all courts.

§ 5168. CORRECTION OF CIVIL UNION CERTIFICATE

(a) Within six months after a civil union is certified, the town clerk may correct or complete a civil union certificate, upon application by a party to a civil union or by the person who certified the civil union. The town clerk shall certify that such correction or completion was made pursuant to this section and note the date. The town clerk may refuse an application for correction or completion; in which case, the applicant may petition the probate court for such correction or completion.

(b) After six months from the date a civil union is certified, a civil union certificate may only be corrected or amended pursuant to decree of the probate court in the district where the original certificate is filed.

(c) The probate court shall set a time for a hearing and, if the court deems necessary, give notice of the time and place by posting such information in the probate court office. After a hearing, the court shall make findings with respect to the correction of the civil union certificate as are supported by the evidence. The court shall issue a decree setting forth the facts as found, and transmit a certified copy of the decree to the supervisor of vital records registration. The supervisor of vital records registration shall transmit the same to the appropriate town clerk to amend the original or issue a new certificate. The words "Court Amended" shall be typed, written or stamped at the top of the new or amended certificate with the date of the decree and the name of the issuing court.

§ 5169. DELAYED CERTIFICATES OF CIVIL UNION

(a) Persons who were parties to a certified civil union ceremony in this state for whom no certificate of civil union was filed, as required by law, may petition the probate court of the district in which the civil union license was obtained to determine the facts, and to order the issuance of a delayed certificate of civil union.

(b) The probate court shall set a time for hearing on the petition and, if the court deems necessary, give notice of the time and place by posting such information in the probate court office. After hearing proper and relevant evidence as may be presented, the court shall make findings with respect to the civil union as are supported by the evidence.

(c) The court shall issue a decree setting forth the facts as found, and transmit a certified copy of said facts to the supervisor of vital records registration.

(d) Where a delayed certificate is to be issued, the supervisor of vital records registration shall prepare a delayed certificate of civil union, and transmit it, with the decree, to the clerk of the town where the civil union license was issued. This delayed certificate shall have the word "Delayed" printed at the top, and shall certify that the certificate was ordered by a court pursuant to this chapter, with the date of the decree. The town clerk shall file the delayed certificate and, in accordance with the provisions of section 5010 of this title, furnish a copy to the department of health.

(e) Town clerks receiving new certificates in accordance with this section shall file and index them in the most recent book of civil unions, and also index them with civil unions occurring at the same time.

Sec. 6. 18 V.S.A. § 5001 is amended to read:

§ 5001. VITAL RECORDS; FORMS OF CERTIFICATES

Certificates of birth, marriage, civil union, divorce, death and fetal death shall be in form prescribed by the commissioner of health and distributed by the health department.

Sec. 7. 18 V.S.A. § 5002 is amended to read:

§ 5002. RETURNS; TABLES

The health commissioner shall prepare from the returns of births, marriages, civil unions, deaths, fetal deaths and divorces required by law to be transmitted to *[him]* the commissioner such tables and append thereto such recommendations as he or she deems proper, and during the month of July in each even year, shall cause the same to be published as directed by the board. *[He]* The commissioner shall file and preserve all such returns. The commissioner shall periodically transmit the original returns or photostatic or photographic copies to the director of public records who shall keep the returns, or photostatic or photographic copies of the returns, on file for use by the public. The commissioner and the director of public records shall each, independently of the other, have power to issue certified copies of such records.

Sec. 8. 18 V.S.A. § 5004 is amended to read:

§ 5004. *[COUNTY]* FAMILY COURT CLERKS; DIVORCE RETURNS

The *[county]* family court clerk shall send to the commissioner, before the tenth day of each month, a report of the number of divorces which became absolute during the preceding month, showing as to each the names of the parties, date of marriage or civil union, number of children, grounds for divorce and such other statistical information available from the *[county]* family court clerk's file as may be required by the commissioner.

Sec. 9. 18 V.S.A. § 5005 is amended to read:

§ 5005. UNORGANIZED TOWNS AND GORES

(a) The county clerk of a county wherein is situated an unorganized town or gore shall perform the same duties and be subject to the same penalties as town clerks in respect to licenses, certificates, records and returns of parties, both of whom reside in an unorganized town or gore in such county or where *[the groom]* one party to a marriage or a civil union so resides and the *[bride]* other party resides in an unorganized town or gore in another county or without the state *[or where the bride resides in an unorganized town or gore in such county and the groom resides without the state]*. The cost of binding such certificates shall be paid by the state.

* * *

Sec. 10. 18 V.S.A. § 5006 is amended to read:

§ 5006. VITAL RECORDS PUBLISHED IN TOWN REPORTS

Town clerks annually may compile and the auditors may publish in the annual town report a transcript of the record of births, marriages, civil unions and deaths recorded during the preceding calendar year.

Sec. 11. 18 V.S.A. § 5007 is amended to read:

§ 5007. PRESERVATION OF DATA

A town clerk shall receive, number and file for record certificates of births, marriages, civil unions and deaths, and shall preserve such certificates together with the burial-transit and removal permits returned to *[him]* the clerk, in a fireproof vault or safe, as provided by section 1178 of Title 24.

Sec. 12. 18 V.S.A. § 5008 is amended to read:

§ 5008. TOWN CLERK; RECORDING AND INDEXING PROCEDURES

A town clerk shall file for record and index in volumes all certificates and permits received in a manner prescribed by the public records director. Each volume or series shall contain an alphabetical index. Marriage certificates shall be filed for record in one volume or series, civil unions in another, birth certificates in another, and death certificates and burial-transit and removal permits in another. However, in a town having less than *[five hundred]* 500 inhabitants, the town clerk may cause marriage, civil union, birth and death certificates, and burial-transit and removal permits to be filed for record in one volume, provided that none of such volumes shall contain more than *[two hundred and fifty]* 250 certificates and permits. All volumes shall be maintained in the town clerk's office as permanent records.

Sec. 13. 18 V.S.A. § 5009 is amended to read:

§ 5009. NONRESIDENTS; CERTIFIED COPIES

On the first day of each month, *[he]* the town clerk shall make a certified copy of each original or corrected certificate of birth, marriage, civil union and death filed in *[his]* the clerk's office during the preceding month, whenever the parents of a child born were, or a *[bride or a groom]* party to a marriage or a civil union or a deceased person was, a resident in any other Vermont town at the time of such birth, marriage, civil union or death, and shall transmit such certified copy to the clerk of such other Vermont town, who shall file the same.

Sec. 14. 18 V.S.A. § 5010 is amended to read:

§ 5010. REPORT OF STATISTICS

The clerk in each town of over 5,000 population or in a town where a general hospital as defined in section 1902(a)(1) of this title, is located, shall each week transmit to the supervisor of vital records registration copies, duly certified, of each birth, death *[and]*, marriage and civil union certificate filed in the town in the preceding week. In all other towns, the clerk shall transmit such copies of birth, death *[and]*, marriage and civil union certificates received during the preceding month on or before the tenth day of each succeeding month.

Sec. 15. 18 V.S.A. § 5011 is amended to read:

§ 5011. PENALTY

A town clerk who fails to transmit such copies of birth, marriage, civil union and death certificates as provided in section 5010 of this title shall be fined not more than $100.00.

Sec. 16. 18 V.S.A. § 5012 is amended to read:

§ 5012. TOWN CLERK TO PROVIDE GENERAL INDEX; MARRIAGES AND CIVIL UNIONS

Except as provided by section 1153 of Title 24, town and county clerks shall prepare and keep a general index to the marriage and civil union records, in alphabetical order and in the following *[form]* forms, respectively:

Book
1

Page
1

Groom to Bride
A. to B.

Date

Book
1

Page
1

Bride to Groom
B. to A.

Date

Book
1

Page
1

Party to Party
A. to B.

Date

Book
1

Page
1

Party to Party
B. to A.

Date

Sec. 17. 8 V.S.A. § 4724(7)(E) is added to read:

(E) Making or permitting unfair discrimination between married couples and parties to a civil union as defined under 15 V.S.A. § 1201, with regard to the offering of insurance benefits to a couple, a spouse, a party to a civil union, or their family. The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this subdivision. The rules shall ensure that insurance contracts and policies offered to married couples, spouses, and families are also made available to parties to a civil union and their families. The commissioner may adopt by order standards and a process to bring the forms currently on file and approved by the department into compliance with Vermont law. The standards and process may differ from the provisions contained in chapter 101, subchapter 6 and sections 4062, 4201, 4515a, 4587, 4685, 4687, 4688, 4985, 5104 and 8005 of this title where, in the commissioner's opinion, the provisions regarding filing and approval of forms are not desirable or necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

Sec. 18. 8 V.S.A. § 4063a is added to read:

§ 4063a. COVERAGE FOR CIVIL UNIONS

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Dependent coverage" means family coverage or coverage for one or more persons.

(2) "Party to a civil union" is defined for purposes of this section as under 15 V.S.A. § 1201.

(3) "Insurer" shall mean a health insurer as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9402(7).

(b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, insurers shall provide dependent coverage to parties to a civil union that is equivalent to that provided to married insureds. An individual or group health insurance policy which provides coverage for a spouse or family member of the insured shall also provide the equivalent coverage for a party to a civil union.

Sec. 19. 32 V.S.A. § 1712 is amended to read:

§ 1712. TOWN CLERKS

Town clerks shall receive the following fees in the matter of vital registration:

(1) For issuing and recording a marriage or civil union license, $20.00 to be paid by the applicant, $5.00 of which sum shall be retained by the town clerk as a fee and $15.00 of which sum shall be paid by the town clerk to the state treasurer in a return filed quarterly upon forms furnished by the state treasurer and specifying all fees received by him or her during the quarter. Such quarterly period shall be as of the first day of January, April, July and October.

(2) $1.00 for other copies made under the provisions of section 5009 of Title 18 to be paid by the town;

(3) $2.00 for each birth certificate completed or corrected under the provisions of sections 449 and 816 of Title 15 and sections 5073, 5075-5078 of Title 18, for the correction of each marriage certificate under the provisions of section 816 of Title 15, and section 5150 of Title 18, for the correction or completion of each civil union certificate under the provisions of section 5168 of Title 18, and for each death certificate corrected under the provisions of section 5202a of Title 18, to be paid by the town;

(4) $1.00 for each certificate of facts relating to births, deaths, civil unions and marriages, transmitted to the commissioner of health in accordance with the provisions of section 5010 of Title 18. Such sum, together with the cost of binding the certificate shall be paid by the town;

(5) $7.00 for each certified copy of birth, death, civil union or marriage certificate.

Sec. 20. 32 V.S.A. § 3001 is amended to read:

§ 3001. *[PERSON CONSTRUED]* DEFINITIONS

(a) *[The word "person"]* "Person" as used in Parts 2, 4 and 5 of this subtitle shall include a partnership, association, corporation or limited liability company.

(b) "Party to a civil union" is defined for purposes of Title 32 as under subdivision 1201(4) of Title 15.

(c) "Laws of the United States", "federal tax laws" and other references to United States tax law (other than federal estate and gift tax law) shall mean United States tax law applied as if federal law recognized a civil union in the same manner as Vermont law.

Sec. 21. 32 V.S.A. § 5812 is added to read:

§ 5812. INCOME TAXATION OF PARTIES TO A CIVIL UNION

This chapter shall apply to parties to a civil union and surviving parties to a civil union as if federal income tax law recognized a civil union in the same manner as Vermont law.

Sec. 22. 32 V.S.A. § 7401(a) is amended to read:

(a) This chapter is intended to conform the Vermont *[inheritance]* estate tax laws with the estate and gift tax provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code, except as otherwise expressly provided, in order to simplify the taxpayer's filing of returns, reduce the taxpayer's accounting burdens, and facilitate the collection and administration of these taxes. Because federal estate and gift tax law does not recognize a civil union in the same manner as Vermont law, and because a reduction in the Vermont estate tax liability for parties to a civil union based upon the federal marital deduction would not reduce the total estate tax liability, estates of parties to a civil union shall be subject to tax based on their actual federal estate tax liability and the federal credit for state death taxes, as provided under this chapter.

Sec. 23. 32 V.S.A. § 3802(11) is amended to read:

(11)(A) Real and personal property to the extent of $10,000.00 of appraisal value, except any part used for business or rental, occupied as the established residence of and owned in fee simple by a veteran of any war or a veteran who has received an American Expeditionary Medal, his or her spouse, widow, widower or child, or jointly by any combination of them, if one or more of them are receiving disability compensation for at least *[fifty]* 50 percent disability, death compensation, dependence and indemnity compensation, or pension for disability paid through any military department or the veterans administration if, before May 1 of each year, there is filed with the listers:

*[(A)]*(i) a written application therefor; and *[(B)]*(ii) a written statement from the military department or the veterans administration showing that the compensation or pension is being paid. Only one exemption may be allowed on a property.

(B) The terms used in this subdivision shall have the same definitions as in Title 38, U.S. Code § 101, except that:

(i) the definitions shall apply as if federal law recognized a civil union in the same manner as Vermont law;

(ii) such definitions shall not be construed to deny eligibility for exemption in the case where such exemption is based on retirement for disability and retirement pay is received from a federal agency other than the veterans administration*[,]* ; and

(iii) the age and marital status limits in section 101(4)(A) shall not apply.

An unremarried widow or widower of a previously qualified veteran shall be entitled to the exemption provided in this subdivision whether or not he or she is receiving government compensation or pension. By majority vote of those present and voting at an annual or special meeting warned for the purpose, a town may increase the veterans' exemption under this subsection to up to $20,000.00 of appraisal value. Any increase in exemption shall take effect for the taxable year in which it was voted, and shall remain in effect for future taxable years until amended or repealed by a similar vote.

Sec. 24. 15 V.S.A. § 4 is amended to read:

§ 4. MARRIAGE CONTRACTED WHILE ONE IN FORCE

Marriages contracted while either party has *[another wife or husband]* a living spouse or a living party to a civil union shall be void.

Sec. 25. 15 V.S.A. § 8 is added to read:

§ 8. MARRIAGE DEFINITION

Marriage is the legally recognized union of one man and one woman.

Sec. 26. 18 V.S.A. § 5131 is amended to read:

§ 5131. ISSUANCE OF MARRIAGE LICENSE; SOLEMNIZATION; RETURN OF MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

(a) Upon application in a form prescribed by the department, a town clerk shall issue to a person a marriage license in the form prescribed by the department and shall enter thereon the names of the parties to the proposed marriage, fill out the form as far as practicable and retain in *[his]* the clerk's office a copy thereof. At least one party to the proposed marriage shall sign the certifying application to the accuracy of the facts so stated. The license shall be issued by the clerk of the town where either the bride or groom resides or, if neither is a resident of the state, by *[a]* any town clerk in the *[county where the marriage is to be solemnized]* state.

* * *

Sec. 27. 18 V.S.A. § 5137 is amended to read:

§ 5137. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE

(a) A town clerk shall issue a marriage license to all applicants who have complied with the provisions of section 5131 of this title and who are otherwise qualified under the laws of the state to apply for a license to marry and to contract for such marriage.

(b) An assistant town clerk may perform the duties of a town clerk under this chapter.

Sec. 28. 18 V.S.A. § 5144 is amended to read:

§ 5144. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE

Marriages may be solemnized by a supreme court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge or a justice of the peace or by a *[minister of the gospel]* member of the clergy residing in this state and ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized thereunto by the published laws or discipline of the general conference *[or]*, convention or other authority of his or her faith or denomination or by such a *[minister]* clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this state, or by a *[minister of the gospel]* member of the clergy residing in some other state of the United States or in the Dominion of Canada *[who is ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized thereunto by the published laws or discipline of the general conference or convention of his denomination]*, provided he or she has first secured from the probate court of the district within which *[said]* the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization *[to said nonresident]* *[minister]*, authorizing him or her to certify *[said]* the marriage if *[it appear to said]* such probate judge determines that the circumstances *[seem to]* make *[such]* the special authorization desirable. Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner heretofore used in such societies.

Sec. 29. 15 V.S.A. chapter 25 is added to read:

CHAPTER 25. RECIPROCAL BENEFICIARIES

§ 1301. PURPOSE

(a) The purpose of this chapter is to provide two persons who are blood-relatives or related by adoption the opportunity to establish a consensual reciprocal beneficiaries relationship so they may receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities that are granted to spouses in the following specific areas:

(1) Hospital visitation and medical decision-making under 18 V.S.A. § 1853;

(2) Decision-making relating to anatomical gifts under 18 V.S.A. § 5240;

(3) Decision-making relating to disposition of remains under 18 V.S.A. § 5220;

(4) Durable power of attorney for health care under 14 V.S.A. § 3456 and terminal care documents under 18 V.S.A. § 5254;

(5) Patient's bill of rights under 18 V.S.A. chapter 42;

(6) Nursing home patient's bill of rights under 33 V.S.A. chapter 73;

(7) Abuse prevention under 15 V.S.A. chapter 21.

(b) This chapter shall not be construed to create any spousal benefits, protections or responsibilities for reciprocal beneficiaries not specifically enumerated herein.

§ 1302. DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of health.

(2) "Reciprocal beneficiary" means a person who has established a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship pursuant to this chapter.

(3) A "reciprocal beneficiaries relationship" means that two eligible persons have established such a relationship under this chapter, and may receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities that are granted to spouses in specifically enumerated areas of law.

§ 1303. REQUISITES OF A VALID RECIPROCAL BENEFICIARIES RELATIONSHIP

For a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship to be established in Vermont, it shall be necessary that the parties satisfy all of the following criteria:

(1) Be at least 18 years of age and competent to enter into a contract.

(2) Not be a party to another reciprocal beneficiaries relationship, a civil union or a marriage.

(3) Be related by blood or by adoption and prohibited from establishing a civil union or marriage with the other party to the proposed reciprocal beneficiaries relationship.

(4) Consent to the reciprocal beneficiaries relationship without force, fraud or duress.

§ 1304. ESTABLISHING A RECIPROCAL BENEFICIARIES RELATIONSHIP

Two persons who meet the criteria set forth in section 1303 of this title may establish a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship by presenting a signed, notarized declaration of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship to the commissioner and paying a filing fee of $10.00. The commissioner shall file the declaration and give the parties a certificate of reciprocal beneficiaries relationship showing that the declaration was filed in the names of the parties.

§ 1305. DISSOLUTION OF A RECIPROCAL BENEFICIARIES RELATIONSHIP

(a) Either party to a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship may terminate the relationship by filing a signed notarized declaration with the commissioner.

(b) Within 60 days of the filing of the declaration and payment of a filing fee of $10.00 by a party to a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship, the commissioner shall file the declaration and issue a certificate of termination of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship to each party of the former relationship.

(c) If a party to a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship enters into a valid civil union or a marriage, the reciprocal beneficiary relationship shall terminate and the parties shall no longer be entitled to the benefits, protections and responsibilities of the reciprocal beneficiaries relationship.

§ 1306. COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH; DUTIES

(a) The commissioner shall provide forms for a declaration of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship and a declaration of termination of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship.

(b) The commissioner shall keep a record of all declarations of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship and declarations of termination of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship.

(c) The commissioner shall prepare an informative circular or pamphlet that explains how a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship may be established and terminated, and the benefits, protections and responsibilities that are associated with the reciprocal beneficiaries relationship.

Sec. 30. 18 V.S.A. § 1853 is added to read:

§ 1853. HOSPITAL VISITATION POLICY; RECIPROCAL BENEFICIARY

A patient's reciprocal beneficiary, as defined in section 1302 of Title 15, shall have the same rights as a spouse with respect to visitation and making health care decisions for the patient.

Sec. 31. 18 V.S.A. § 5240 is amended to read:

§ 5240. MAKING, REVOKING AND OBJECTING TO ANATOMICAL GIFTS, BY OTHERS

(a) Any member of the following classes of individuals, in the order of priority listed, may make an anatomical gift of all or a part of the decedent's body for an authorized purpose, unless the decedent has made an unrevoked refusal to make that anatomical gift:

(1) The spouse of the decedent.

(2) The reciprocal beneficiary of the decedent.

*[(2)]*(3) An adult son or daughter of the decedent. *[(3)]*(4) Either parent of the decedent. *[(4)]*(5) An adult brother or sister of the decedent. *[(5)]*(6) A grandparent of the decedent. *[(6)]*(7) An individual possessing a durable power of attorney. *[(7)]*(8) A guardian of the person of the decedent at the time of death. *[(8)]*(9) Any other individual authorized or under obligation to dispose of the body.

* * *

Sec. 32. 18 V.S.A. § 5220 is added to read:

§ 5220. DECISION-MAKING REGARDING REMAINS; RECIPROCAL BENEFICIARY

A decedent's reciprocal beneficiary, as defined in section 1302 of Title 15, shall have the same rights as a spouse with respect to matters related to this chapter.

Sec. 33. 14 V.S.A. § 3456 is amended to read:

§ 3456. EXECUTION AND WITNESSES

The durable power of attorney for health care shall be signed by the principal in the presence of at least two or more subscribing witnesses, neither of whom shall, at the time of execution, be the agent, the principal's health or residential care provider or the provider's employee, the principal's spouse, heir, or reciprocal beneficiary, a person entitled to any part of the estate of the principal upon the death of the principal under a will or deed in existence or by operation of law or any other person who has, at the time of execution, any claims against the estate of the principal. The witnesses shall affirm that the principal appeared to be of sound mind and free from duress at the time the durable power of attorney for health care was signed and that the principal affirmed that he or she was aware of the nature of the documents and signed it freely and voluntarily. If the principal is physically unable to sign, the durable power of attorney for health care may be signed by the principal's name written by some other person in the principal's presence and at the principal's express direction.

Sec. 34. 18 V.S.A. § 5254 is amended to read:

§ 5254. EXECUTION AND WITNESSES

The document set forth in section 5253 of this title shall be executed by the person making the same in the presence of two or more subscribing witnesses, none of whom shall be the person's spouse, heir, reciprocal beneficiary, attending physician or person acting under the direction or control of the attending physician or any other person who has at the time of the witnessing thereof any claims against the estate of the person.

Sec. 35. 18 V.S.A. § 1852 is amended to read:

§ 1852. PATIENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS; ADOPTION

(a) The general assembly hereby adopts the "Bill of Rights for Hospital Patients" as follows:

* * *

(3) The patient has the right to obtain, from the physician coordinating his or her care, complete and current information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and any known prognosis in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand. If the patient consents or if the patient is incompetent or unable to understand, immediate family members, a reciprocal beneficiary or a guardian may also obtain this information. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information shall be made available to immediate family members, a reciprocal beneficiary or a guardian. The patient has the right to know by name the attending physician primarily responsible for coordinating his or her care.

* * *

(14) Whenever possible, guardians or parents have the right to stay with their children 24 hours per day. Whenever possible, guardians, reciprocal beneficiaries or immediate family members have the right to stay with terminally ill patients 24 hours a day.

* * *

Sec. 36. 33 V.S.A. § 7301 is amended to read:

§ 7301. NURSING HOME RESIDENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS

The general assembly hereby adopts the Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights as follows:

The governing body of the facility shall establish written policies regarding the rights and responsibilities of residents and, through the administrator, is responsible for development of, and adherence to, procedures implementing such policies. These policies and procedures shall be made available to residents, to any guardians, next of kin, reciprocal beneficiaries, sponsoring agency, or representative payees selected pursuant to section 205(j) of the Social Security Act, and Subpart Q of 20 CFR Part 404, and to the public. The staff of the facility shall ensure that, at least, each person admitted to the facility:

* * *

(14) if married or in a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship, is assured privacy for visits by his or her spouse or reciprocal beneficiary; if both are residents of the facility, they are permitted to share a room;

* * *

(20) residents and their families, including a reciprocal beneficiary, shall have the right to organize, maintain, and participate in either resident or family councils or both. The facility shall provide space and, if requested, assistance for meetings. Council meetings shall be afforded privacy, with staff or visitors attending only at the council's invitation. The facility shall respond in writing to written requests from council meetings. Resident councils and family councils shall be encouraged to make recommendations regarding facility policies;

(21) residents and their families, including a reciprocal beneficiary, shall have the right to review current and past state and federal survey and inspection reports of the facility, and upon request, to receive from the facility a copy of any report. Copies of reports shall be available for review at any time at one station in the facility. The facility may charge a reasonable amount for more than one copy per resident.

Sec. 37. 33 V.S.A. § 7306 is amended to read:

§ 7306. RESIDENT'S REPRESENTATIVE

(a) The rights and obligations established under this chapter shall devolve to a resident's reciprocal beneficiary, guardian, next of kin, sponsoring agency or representative payee (except when the facility itself is a representative payee) if the resident:

(1) has been adjudicated incompetent;

(2) has been found by his or her physician to be medically incapable of understanding or exercising the rights granted under this chapter; or

(3) exhibits a communication barrier.

* * *

Sec. 38. 15 V.S.A. § 1101(6) is added to read:

(6) "Family" shall include a reciprocal beneficiary.

Sec. 39. CONSTRUCTION

(a) This act shall be construed broadly in order to secure to eligible same-sex couples the option of a legal status with the benefits and protections of civil marriage, in accordance with the requirements of the Common Benefits Clause of the Vermont Constitution. Parties to a civil union shall have all of the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under state law, whether derived from statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage. Treating the benefits, protections and responsibilities of civil marriage different from the benefits, protections and responsibilities of civil unions is permissible only when clearly necessary because the gender-based text of a statute, rule or judicial precedent would otherwise produce an unjust, unwarranted, or confusing result, and different treatment would promote or enhance, and would not diminish, the common benefits and protections that flow from marriage under Vermont law.

(b) This act is intended to extend to parties to a civil union the benefits, protections and responsibilities that flow from marriage under Vermont law. Many of the laws of this state are intertwined with federal law, and the general assembly recognizes that it does not have the jurisdiction to control federal laws or the benefits, protections and responsibilities related to them.

Sec. 40. VERMONT CIVIL UNION REVIEW COMMISSION

(a) The Vermont Civil Union Review Commission is established for a term of two years, commencing on the effective date of this act. The commission shall be comprised of 11 members, consisting of two members of the House designated by the Speaker of the House, who shall be of different political party affiliations; two members of the Senate designated by the Senate Committee on Committees, who shall be of different political party affiliations; four members appointed by the Governor representing the public, one of whom shall be an attorney familiar with Vermont family law; one member appointed by the Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court; the chair of the Human Rights Commission or his or her designee; and the Attorney General or his or her designee.

(b) The commission members shall be appointed for a full term of two years; members who were members of the House of Representatives or the Senate at the time of their appointment shall continue as members of the commission, notwithstanding a change in their status as elected officials. A member who resigns, dies or takes up residency in another state or country shall be replaced in the same manner as the member was first selected.

(c) Upon passage of this act, the commission shall prepare and implement a plan to inform members of the public, state agencies, and private and public sector businesses and organizations about the act.

(d) After January 1, 2001, the commission shall:

(1) collect information about the implementation, operation, and effect of this act, from members of the public, state agencies, and private and public sector businesses and organizations;

(2) evaluate the impact and effectiveness of this act, with particular attention to Secs. 1, 2 and 39;

(3) explore and propose methods and techniques, including existing and emerging forms of alternative dispute resolution, to complement the judicial system for the appropriate resolution of questions or disputes that may arise concerning the interpretation, implementation and enforcement of this act; and

(4) examine reciprocal beneficiaries relationships and evaluate whether opposite-sex couples over 62 years of age should be permitted to establish a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship and whether the legal benefits, protections and responsibilities of a reciprocal beneficiaries relationship should be expanded.

(e) The commission shall report its findings, conclusions and recommendations to the general assembly, periodically as deemed necessary by the commission; however, the commission shall report to the general assembly and governor, at least annually, by January 15 of the years 2001 and 2002.

(f) The commission shall elect a chair and vice-chair, shall conduct its meetings pursuant to Robert's Rules of Order, and shall be subject to the public meeting laws pursuant to subchapter 2 of chapter 5 of Title 1.

(g) The commission may request and shall receive the assistance of any agency of the state of Vermont, and may solicit written comments from members of the public, civic organizations, businesses and others. The commission may hold public hearings throughout the state.

(h) The members of the commission shall have the assistance of the staff of legislative council and the joint fiscal office.

Sec. 41. SEVERABILITY

The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act is invalid, or if any application thereof to any person or circumstance is invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

Sec. 42. EFFECTIVE DATES

(a) This section and Secs. 1, 2 and 40 shall be effective upon passage.

(b) Secs. 17 and 18 (insurance) of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2001.

(c) Secs. 20 (tax definitions) and 21 (income taxation of parties to parties to a civil union) of this act shall apply to taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2001.

(d) Sec. 23 of this act (veterans' property tax exemption) shall apply to grand lists for 2001 and after.

(e) All other sections of this act shall become effective on July 1, 2000.

(Committee Vote: 4-2-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Rivers for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 4-3-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 15, 2000, page 506; March 16, 2000, page 528.)

H. 853

An act relating to the state's transportation capital program and project development plan.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Mazza for the Committee on Transportation.

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

Sec. 1. TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR 2001; PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 2002-2005; APPROVAL OF PROJECT CANCELLATIONS

(a) The transportation capital program for fiscal year 2001 and project development plan for fiscal years 2002-2005, appended to the agency of transportation's proposed fiscal year 2000 budget, as amended by this act, are adopted to the extent federal, state and local funds are available. The transportation capital program and project development plan hereby adopted supersede all previous transportation capital programs and project development plans.

(b) The following additions, deletions or modifications are made:

(1) A new project is added to the program transportation buildings, Underhill Salt Shed. The figure $50,000 is added to construction, total and state.

(2) The schedule for the aviation project for facility improvements, statewide, project no. Air 04-3144 is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the figure "other" and the total figure $600,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $706,000 respectively, and by striking the state figure $600,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $706,000. Out of state funds, $106,000 is for site work for hangars at the Rutland airport.

(3) A new project is added in the project development roadway program for the reconstruction of North Street in the City of Burlington. The new project is authorized for construction in FY 2001. Authorized funding for this project shall be consistent with the requirements of 19 V.S.A. chapter 16 (utility relocations in connection with certain highway projects). This project is authorized for $880,000, of which $800,000 is from federal funds and $80,000 is from transportation funds.

(4) The schedule for the roadway project Charlotte, project no. FEGC 019-4(20) is deleted, and the agency of transportation shall enter this project under "roadway" on the development and evaluation list.

(5) The schedule for roadway project Highgate-Franklin, project no. STP RS 0301(1)SA is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction figure, by striking the total figure $241,341 and inserting in lieu thereof $141,341, by striking the state figure $45,560 and inserting in lieu thereof $20,560 and by striking the federal figure $136,682 and inserting in lieu thereof $61,682. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by striking the construction figure $4,410,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $4,510,000, by striking the state figure $1,102,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,127,500 and by striking the federal figure $3,307,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,382,500. Notwithstanding this subsection, the agency of transportation may advance this project to the construction phase during FY2001.

(6) The schedule for roadway project Lunenburg, project no. STP HES 028-4(19)S is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction and total figures $1,001,277 and inserting in lieu thereof $300,000, by striking the state figure $100,128 and inserting in lieu thereof $30,000 and by striking the federal figure $901,149 and inserting in lieu thereof $270,000. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by adding the construction figure $701,277, by adding the state figure $70,128 and by adding the federal figure $631,149.

(7) The schedule for the roadway project New Haven, project no. NH F 019-3(38) is deleted, and the agency of transportation shall enter this project under "roadway" on the development and evaluation list.

(8) The schedule for the roadway project Searsburg-Wilmington, project no. NH F 010-1(18) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding the construction figure $2,000,000, by striking the total figure $283,600 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,283,600, by striking the state figure $70,900 and inserting in lieu thereof $470,900 and by striking the federal figure $212,700 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,812,700. In budget year 2002, by adding to the construction figure the sum of $6,000,000, by adding to the total figure $6,000,000, by adding to the state figure $1,200,000 and by adding to the federal figure $4,800,000. In budget year 2003, by adding to the construction figure the sum of $3,093,906, by adding to the total figure $3,093,906, by adding to the state figure $616,781 and by adding to the federal figure $2,477,125.

(9) The schedule for the roadway statewide development and evaluation is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and total figures $2,100,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,682,244, by striking the state figure $336,861 and inserting in lieu thereof $478,103, and by striking the federal figure $1,732,298 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,173,200.

(10) The schedule for the special project unit, Shelburne-South Burlington, project no. NHEGC FEGC 019(4)(19) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction figure $1,342,781, by striking the total figure $4,753,281 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,410,500, by striking the state figure $237,664 and inserting in lieu thereof $170,525 and by striking the federal figure $4,515,617 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,239,975. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by striking the construction figure $8,587,031 and inserting in lieu thereof $9,929,812, by striking the total figure of $9,567,031 and inserting in lieu thereof $10,909,812, by striking the state figure $478,352 and inserting in lieu thereof $545,491, and by striking the federal figure $9,088,679 and inserting in lieu thereof $10,364,321. Notwithstanding this subsection, the agency of transportation may advance this project to the construction phase during FY2001 if the right-of-way acquisition issues are resolved.

(11) The schedule for program "other" statewide project development is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and the total figures $5,309,451 and inserting in lieu thereof $5,102,881 and by striking the federal figure $1,980,668 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,774,098.

(12) The schedule for the rail program statewide project for development and evaluation is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the figure for "other" and total figures $519,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $639,000 and by striking the state figure $183,800 and inserting in lieu thereof $303,800.

(13) The schedule for the railroad program, system preservation railroads, project Charlotte-Burlington is amended by striking in budget year FY 2001 the "other" figure $1,000,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $700,000 and by striking the state figure $200,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $140,000 and by striking the federal figure $800,000 and inserting in lieu therof $560,000.

(14) A new project, Rutland rail road yard, is added to the listing for the rail program, development and evaluation. The city of Rutland has determined that the Otter Creek Route 4/7 site be designated for the location of the Rutland rail yard. The sum of $120,000.00 appropriated to the agency of transportation for railroad purposes shall be reallocated to the city of Rutland for the necessary environmental assessment and permits, and for the project scoping and definition. This project shall include a study of the feasibility of constructing an inter-modal highway to rail freight transfer center in the Otter Creek Route 4/7 Rutland rail yard.

(15) The schedule for the statewide development of multi-modal and centers is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the state figure $100,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $300,000, and by striking the federal figure $1,000,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,900,000. The addition of $300,000 of state funds and $2,800,000 of federal funds is contingent upon receipt of federal funds earmarked for this purpose.

(16) The schedule for public transit program, statewide project for welfare to work is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and total figures $1,385,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,985,000 and by adding the state figure $600,000.

(17) A new project is added in the roadway development and evaluation program entitled "Town of Middlebury Route 7 Corridor Action Plan". This project, which is a comprehensive study of the intersection of U.S. Route 7 and Creek Road to explore options, including the possible relocation of the Creek Road access to U.S. Route 7 is authorized in the amount of $23,500, from state funds.

(18) A new project Fairfax-St Albans, project no. IM 089-3( ) is added to the roadway program as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding the construction and total figures $3,900,000, by adding the state figure $390,000 and by adding the federal figure $3,510,00. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by adding the construction and total figures $4,550,000, by adding the state figure $455,000 and by adding the federal figure $4,095,000. In budget year fiscal year 2003, by adding the construction and total figures $4,550,000, by adding the state figure $455,000 and by adding the federal figure $4,095,000.

(19) The schedule for the rail program project Bellows Falls-Rutland for the Green Mountain Railroad is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other", total and state figures $250,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $830,000. This funding is for: cross-tie installation between Bellows Falls and North Clarendon; a turnout upgrade for the Bellows Falls rail yard; the Riverside rail yard; the Chester rail yard; and for rail installation between East Clarendon and North Clarendon.

(20) The schedule for the rail program statewide project for three-way partnerships is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and total figures $450,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $705,000, by striking the state figure $150,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $235,000 and by striking the local figure $300,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $470,000.

(21) A new project is added to the rail program, Burlington to Essex, for New England Central Railroad for maintenance as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, to "other", total and state figures $170,000.

(22) A new project is added to the rail program, Rutland, for Vermont Railway for the purchase and installation of welded rail and a power switch as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, to "other", total and state figures $305,000.

(23) A new project, Hartford-Newbury RR, is added to the rail program as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding "other", total and state figures $350,000. This project is to reimburse the state's interim operator of the former B&M White River Junction-Wells River line for expenditures incurred to maintain and rehabilitate the line between MP S-123 (White River Junction) and MP S-163 (Wells River), together with the former B&M yard in White River Junction, following the December 10, 1999 purchase by the state. To be eligible for reimbursement, expenditures shall be reasonable and approved by the agency of transportation.

(24) A new project is added to the rail program, Rutland-Florence for Cooper E rating status of bridge structures, the design of needed improvements, and their construction as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, to "other", total and state the figure $100,000.

(25) The schedule for town highway bridge project Berlin-Montpelier, project no. BRO 1446(22) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000 by striking the construction figure $190,000, by striking the total figure $216,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $26,500, by striking the state figure $21,650 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,650, by striking the federal figure $173,200 and inserting in lieu thereof $21,200 and by striking the local figure $21,650 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,650. In budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction figure $588,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $190,000, by striking the total figure $594,300 and inserting in lieu thereof $196,300, by striking the state figure $59,430 and inserting in lieu thereof $19,630, by striking the federal figure $475,440 and inserting in lieu thereof $157,040 and by striking the local figure $59,430 and inserting in lieu thereof $19,630. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by adding the construction and total figures $588,000, by adding the state figure $58,800, by adding the federal figure $470,400 and by adding the local figure $58,800.

(26) The schedule for town highway bridge project Huntington, project no. BHO 1445(23) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding the construction figure $165,375, by striking the total figure $17,850 and inserting in lieu thereof $183,225, by striking the state figure $2,677 and inserting in lieu thereof $27,484, by striking the federal figure $14,280 and inserting in lieu thereof $146,580 and by striking the local figure $893 and inserting in lieu thereof $9,161. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by striking the construction figure $165,375 and inserting in lieu thereof $407,475, by striking the total figure $170,336 and inserting in lieu thereof $412,436, by striking the state figure $25,549 and inserting in lieu thereof $61,865, by striking the federal figure $136,269 and inserting in lieu thereof $329,949, and by striking the local figure $8,518 and inserting in lieu thereof $20,622. In budget year fiscal year 2003 by striking all figures.

(27) The schedule for town highway bridge project statewide for painting of town historic truss bridges is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001 by adding the state figure $70,000 and by striking the local figure $70,000.

(28) The schedule for town highway bridge project Vershire, project no. BRO 1444(32) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001 by striking the construction figure $57,750, by striking the total figure $73,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $15,750, by striking the state figure $7,350 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,575, by striking the federal figure $58,800 and inserting in lieu thereof $12,600 and by striking the local figure $7,350 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,575. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by striking the construction and total figure $237,639 and inserting in lieu thereof $295,389, by striking the state figure $23,764 and inserting in lieu thereof $29,539, by striking the federal figure $190,111 and inserting in lieu thereof $236,311 and by striking the local figure $23,764 and inserting in lieu thereof $29,539. Notwithstanding this subsection, the agency of transportation may advance this project to the construction phase during FY2001 if possible.

(29) The schedule for town highway bridge project Woodstock, project no. BHF 020-2(32) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction figure $187,135, by striking the total figure $198,382 and inserting in lieu thereof $11,247, by striking the state figure $29,756 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,687, by striking the federal figure $158,706 and inserting in lieu thereof $8,998 and by striking the local figure $9,920 and inserting in lieu thereof $562. In budget year fiscal year 2002, by striking the construction and total figures $761,338 and inserting in lieu thereof $948,473, by striking the state figure $114,201 and inserting in lieu thereof $142,271, by striking the federal figure $609,070 and inserting in lieu thereof $758,778 and by striking the local figure $38,067 and inserting in lieu thereof $47,424. Notwithstanding this subsection, the agency of transportation may advance this project to the construction phase during FY2001 if possible.

(30) The schedule for town highway bridge project statewide development and evaluation is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and total figures $1,625,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,102,510, by striking the state figure $479,375 and inserting in lieu thereof $458,212, by striking the federal figure $990,991 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,372,999 and by striking the local figure $154,634 and inserting in lieu thereof $271,299.

(31) A new project, Montpelier FEGC 028-3(34) (U.S. 2; rehabilitation/reconstruction) is added to the roadway candidate list.

(32) A new project is added in the roadway development and evaluation program for improvements to VT Route 78 in the town of Swanton, in the vicinity of exit 21 of I-89. In FY 2001, the new project is authorized for preliminary engineering in the amount of $45,000.

(33) A new project is added in the project development roadway development and evaluation program for improvements to the existing U.S. Routes 4 and 7 in Rutland Town and Rutland City. The new project is authorized for preliminary engineering in FY 2001 in the amount of $100,000, of which $20,000 is from state funds and $80,000 is from federal funds. The agency of transportation, as part of its traffic analysis for improvements to the existing U.S. Routes 4 and 7, shall determine the impact of the new signalization system, and shall work simultaneously with a project advisory committee composed of, a committee appointed by the city of Rutland and the Rutland regional transportation council to determine necessary upgrades to U.S. Routes 4 and 7 to facilitate the flow of traffic throughout the city. This study shall be concluded not later than January 1, 2002.

(34) Project STPG 028-3(35)S (realignment of the intersection of Route 14 and U.S. Route 2 in East Montpelier) shall be completed no later than calendar year 2003.

(35) A new project is added to the project development roadway program for the reconstruction and realignment of the Southern Access Road in St. Johnsbury which extends approximately 0.55 miles from U.S. Route 5 to the St. Johnsbury/Lyndon Industrial Park. This project is authorized in the amount of $250,000. Of this amount, $175,000 is from the transportation fund and the town of St. Johnsbury shall contribute $75,000 of labor.

(36) A new project is added to the roadway program candidate list in the town of Wolcott for the North Wolcott Road, T.H.# 1 (5.25 miles) and in the town of Craftsbury, the Wolcott Road, T.H. # 3 (3.32 miles), project # STP 0247 ( ). This rehabilitation and paving project shall be administered by the local transportation unit of the agency of transportation.

(37) A new project, Brattleboro STP 2000( ) (U.S. 5/Putney Road; reconstruction/rehabilitation), is added to the roadway candidate list. In FY 2001, the new project is authorized for completion of scoping, preliminary engineering and design alternatives in the amount of $150,000, of which $120,000 shall be from federal funds and $30,000 shall be from state funds.

(38) The schedule for the project development statewide enhancement project is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and total figures $5,281,047 and inserting in lieu thereof $6,571,047 and by adding the state figure $1,290,000.

(39) The schedule for the statewide special projects unit (roadway) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the "other" and total figures $3,824,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,674,504 and by striking the state figure $625,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $395,501 and by striking the federal figure $3,199,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,279,003.

(40) The schedule for the project development statewide pedestrian and bike facilities program is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction figure $5,208,800 and inserting in lieu thereof $6,658,800, by striking the total figure $6,290,787 and inserting in lieu thereof $7,740,787, by striking the state figure $629,079 and inserting in lieu thereof $774,079, by striking the federal figure $5,032,629 and inserting in lieu thereof $6,192,629 and by striking the local figure $629,079 and inserting in lieu thereof $774,079. A new project, Winooski Riverwalk Project, is added to the bicycle and pedestrian program in the amount of $1,450,000. The agency of transportation shall advance this project to the construction phase during FY2001 if possible.

(41) The schedule for the statewide interstate bridge program is amended as follows: In budget year fiscal 2001 by striking the construction figure $9,075,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $5,075,000 by striking the total figure $9,658,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $5,658,000 by striking the state figure $965,800 and inserting in lieu thereof $565,800 and by striking the federal figure $8,692,200 and inserting in lieu thereof $5,092,200.

(c) Pursuant to Sec. 2 of Act No. 18 of 1999 (advancement or cancellation of projects), the general assembly approves cancellation of the following projects:

(1) Brattleboro STP EH96(10) (Amtrak heritage trail brochure grant);

(2) Rutland F EGC 419-3(44) (environmental impact study of U.S. 4/U.S. 7 bypass of Rutland City);

(3) St. Albans STP EH ( ) (planning for multi-modal transit facility); and

(4) St. Albans STP BIKE(15)S (separate bike path from St. Albans City to St. Albans Bay).

(d) Pursuant to Sec. 2 of Act No. 18 of 1999 (advancement or cancellation of projects) and Sec. 41k of Act No. 18 of 1999 (continued review of roadway projects), the general assembly approves cancellation of the following roadway projects, which were identified as candidates for cancellation in the agency of transportation's January 15, 2000 report to the general assembly, entitled "Review of Roadway Projects":

(1) Pownal RS 0107(7) (VT 346; reconstruction);

(2) Montpelier MEGC 6400(28) (US 302 rehabilitation/reconstruction);

(3) Bolton STP 0223( )SC (TH 3 [ski access]; project scoping);

(4) Essex F 030-1(15) (VT 15; reconstruction);

(5) Essex HES 0229(4)S (VT 128; scope being reviewed);

(6) Essex Junction NH 030-1( ) (VT 15 reconstruction);

(7) Shelburne F 019-4(17) (U.S. 7; reconstruction);

(8) South Burlington IM 089-3( ) (I-89; exit 14 improvements);

(9) South Burlington IM 089-3( ) (I-89; reconstruction, with additional lane);

(10) South Burlington IM 089-3( ) (I-89; construction of new interchange with VT 116);

(11) South Burlington MEGC 5200(12) (U.S. 2/Williston Road; reconstruction);

(12) South Burlington STP 5200( ) (TH 3/Lime Kiln Road; intersection (reconstruction);

(13) South Burlington STP 5200( ) (U.S. 2/Kennedy Drive; intersection reconstruction);

(14) Williston HES 5500(8) (U.S. 2/VT 2A; intersection reconstruction);

(15) Waterville RS 0282(3) (VT 109 reconstruction);

(16) Barton RS 0310(4) (VT 58 reconstruction);

(17) Coventry RS 0113(30) (U.S. 5; widening/resurfacing);

(18) Danville NH 028-3( ); (U.S. 2; reconstruction);

(19) Groton F 026-1(35) (U.S. 302; reconstruction);

(20) Proctor STP 0163( ) (VT 3; reconstruction);

(21) Rutland City MEGC 3000(15) (State Street; EIS/feasibility study);

(22) Cavendish STP 0146( )SC (VT 131; project scoping);

(23) Springfield STP 2500( ) (TH 5/South Street; reconstruction);

(24) Randolph IM IR 089-1(14) (I-89; weigh station);

(25) Sharon-Strafford STP 0177( ) (TH 2/VT 132; reconstruction);

(26) Middlebury NH 019-3( )SC (U.S. 7; project scoping);

(27) Bennington STP 1000( )SC (VT 7A; scoping - improvements to VT 7A);

(28) Barre City MEGC 6000(14) (U.S. 302; rehabilitation/reconstruction);

(29) Berlin MEGC 6200(5) (U.S. 302; rehabilitation/reconstruction);

(30) East Montpelier FEGC F 028-3(22) (U.S. 302; relocation);

(31) East Montpelier FEGC F 037-1(16) (VT 14; reconstruction);

(32) Marshfield FEGC F 028-3(28) (U.S. 2; reconstruction);

(33) Marshfield FEGC F 028-3(29) (U.S. 2; possible relocation);

(34) Montpelier-Berlin STP 6400( )SC (Montpelier Jct. State Highway/TH 8; project scoping);

(35) Plainfield-Marshfield FEGC F 028-3(27) (U.S. 2; reconstruction);

(36) Washington RS 0169(5) (VT 110; reconstruction);

(37) Derby-Holland-Morgan RS 0316(4) (VT 111; reconstruction);

(38) Groton RS 0217(3) (VT 232; reconstruction);

(39) Groton RS 0217(4) (VT 232; reconstruction);

(40) Groton STP 0217( ) (VT 232; reconstruction);

(41) St. Johnsbury NH 041-1( ) (U.S. 5; reconstruction);

(42) St. Johnsbury-Kirby NH 028-4( ) (U.S. 2; reconstruction);

(43) Enosburg STP 027-1( )SC (VT 108; project scoping);

(44) Enosburg-Berkshire STP 034-1( )SC (VT 105; project scoping);

(45) Milton-Georgia RS 0285(12) (U.S. 7; resurfacing/safety improvements);

(46) North Hero STP 028-1( )SC (U.S. 2; project scoping);

(47) Sheldon STP 034-1( )SC (VT 105; project scoping);

(48) Poultney-Castleton F 015-2(3) (VT 30; reconstruction);

(49) Proctor STP 0163( )SC (VT 3; project scoping);

(50) Sudbury RS 0161(8) (VT 30; reconstruction);

(51) Norwich RS 0113(39) (U.S. 5; reconstruction);

(52) Brattleboro M 2000(11)S (U.S. 5/Putney Road; urban 4-R project);

(53) Brattleboro 2000(11)S C/2 (U.S. 5/Putney Road reconstruction/rehabilitation); and

(54) Wilmington F 010-1(22) (VT 9 reconstruction).

(e) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in project agreements previously entered into between the agency of transportation and cooperating municipalities, the agency of transportation shall hold harmless participating municipalities against any liability for the local share for projects cancelled under authority of subsection (c) of this section, and reimburse participating municipalities for any amounts already paid as the local share for cancelled projects.

* * * Advancement and Substitution of Projects * * *

Sec. 2. ADVANCEMENT OR CANCELLATION OF PROJECTS

Should capital projects in the program for the current fiscal year be delayed for any reason, the secretary of transportation is authorized to advance other projects in the same year or subsequent years. No project shall be decertified or cancelled without the approval of the general assembly.

Sec. 3. ADDITIONAL FEDERAL FUNDS

(a) To enable the state of Vermont to take advantage of additional federal funds that may be made available, the secretary of transportation is authorized to accelerate projects in the state's transportation capital program and project development plan. The secretary shall report quarterly to the members of the joint transportation oversight committee and members of the House and Senate committees on transportation on any changes in the scheduling of the projects in the transportation capital program or project development plan, and shall additionally submit the report required in 19 V.S.A. § 10h, relating to cost overruns.

(b) The joint fiscal office shall review the current statutes and administrative processes regarding the transportation project approval process for the purpose of ensuring that process adheres to the transportation capital program and project development plan approved annually by the general assembly. The review shall examine the secretary's powers for accelerating projects in the transportation capital program and project development plan. The joint fiscal office shall report to the House and Senate committees on transportation no later than January 15, 2001, its findings and recommendations for legislative action if any.

* * * Transportation Buildings * * *

Sec. 4. TRANSPORTATION BUILDINGS; REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

The following sums are reallocated and appropriated to the agency of transportation for the transportation buildings program to defray expenditures for building projects authorized in this act:

(1) $6,051.24 appropriated in Sec. 7 of Act No. 62 of 1995 (rehabilitation and construction of miscellaneous transportation buildings and facilities); and

(2) $37,000.00 appropriated in Sec. 1(b)(2) of Act No. 38 of 1997 (renovations to basement of District No. 2 office in Dummerston for the purpose of improving public accommodations at a site used by the department of motor vehicles' mobile van).

* * * Railroads * * *

Sec. 5. RAIL CAPITAL INVESTMENT POLICY PLAN

The sum of $40,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation policy and planning program (account # 0408811901). The federal funds appropriated in Sec. 1(b)(12) of No.18 of the Acts of 1999 shall be expended, along with funds appropriated in this section, by the agency to produce a rail capital investment policy plan, which shall be submitted to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2001. The plan shall be created by the agency of transportation through a cooperative effort with railroads operating in Vermont, the Railroad Association of Vermont, shippers, receivers, regional planning commissions, the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization, pubic transit operators, regional development corporations, the conservation law foundation, the agency of commerce and community development and the general assembly. Included in the policy plan shall be recommendations to the general assembly for statutory changes necessary to implement the plan. At a minimum, the plan shall include the following:

(1) A vision of what a fully-implemented rail system would be like, including intermodal connections, regions to be served, individuals to be served, businesses to be served, and a multi-year funding program that is within the state's reasonable capabilities to achieve such a system;

(2) An analysis of the current funding system, including proposals, if any, for changes to the current system;

(3) Options for future development of double-stack rail freight including the secretary conferring with his or her counterpart in Massachusetts to determine the possibilities for cooperative efforts in developing a double-stack rail corridor;

(4) A statement as to the role of rail transportation in the state's total transportation delivery system;

(5) An examination of current users of rail transportation, as well as areas of the state with potential for rail use that presently are underserved;

(6) Options for transportation and rail infrastructure improvements that would directly lead to a reduction of commercial motor vehicles that are currently transporting goods and freight on state highways;

(7) A statement outlining rail investment priorities for the state;

(8) Examination of the current signal maintenance program and recommendations for state funding; and

(9) A study of the feasibility of attaching passenger rail cars to freight trains for the movement of rail passengers. The study shall include, but not be limited to, examination of any federal statutes or regulations that address the issue of connecting passenger rail cars to freight trains, the various issues surrounding freight and passenger scheduling, and the potential for ridership.

Sec. 6. WASHINGTON COUNTY RAILROAD COMPANY; APPROVAL OF OPERATING AGREEMENT

The general assembly hereby approves the September 30, 1999 operating agreement between the state of Vermont, agency of transportation and Washington County Railroad Company for lease and operation of the state-owned railroad line between Montpelier Junction and Graniteville.

Sec. 7. 5 V.S.A. § 3405 is amended to read:

§ 3405. LEASE FOR CONTINUED OPERATION

The secretary, as agent for the state, with the approval of the governor and, when the general assembly is in session, the general assembly, and when not in session, the legislative joint fiscal committee, is authorized to lease all or any state-owned railroad property to any responsible person for operation of a railroad, provided that approval for the operation, if necessary, is granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission. The lease shall be for a price and shall be subject to any further terms and conditions as, in the opinion of the secretary, are necessary and appropriate to accomplish the purpose of this chapter.

Sec. 8. BURLINGTON RAILROAD YARD RELOCATION

The agency of transportation is directed to evaluate the feasibility of funding options for a proposed relocation of the Burlington railroad yard, including assessment of potential federal, state, local, private and innovative funding options. The agency shall report its findings to the House and Senate committees on transportation no later than January 15, 2001.

* * * U.S. Route 7 Corridor * * *

Sec. 9. REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

Funds presently allocated for highway project Dorset-Mount Tabor-Danby NH 2132(1)S (U.S. Route 7 paving and re-striping) shall be used by the agency of transportation for acquisition of additional land and rights to facilitate the eventual widening for additional control of access along the U.S. Route 7 corridor between the northern terminus of the existing limited access facility in Dorset and Imperial Drive in South Burlington.

Sec. 10. U.S. ROUTE 7 CORRIDOR FROM DORSET TO SOUTH BURLINGTON

(a) The general assembly finds that the segment of U.S. Route 7 from the northern terminus of the existing limited access facility in Dorset to the intersection with Imperial Drive in South Burlington is an important part of the National Highway System infrastructure. The general assembly further finds that the public convenience and necessity continues to require the prompt and efficient acquisition of a right-of-way, generally at least 120 feet wide in rural areas, extending 60 feet on either side of the existing centerline, along the existing U.S. Route 7 corridor between the northern terminus of the existing limited access facility in Dorset and the intersection with I-189 in South Burlington, together with such additional land and rights as may be needed along particular segments.

(b) Wherever feasible, the agency of transportation should acquire control of access along those segments of the U.S. Route 7 corridor between Dorset and South Burlington that are not already limited access facilities.

(c) All condemnation proceedings involving the U.S. Route 7 corridor between Dorset and South Burlington shall have precedence in accordance with 19 V.S.A. § 1707.

* * * Intermodal Facilities; Project Planning Criteria * * *

Sec. 11. 19 V.S.A. § 10j is added to read:

§ 10j. INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES; PROJECT PLANNING CRITERIA

(a) Initial Screening/Threshold Requirements. In considering a proposal for an intermodal transportation facility, the agency shall take into account the size of the community, the location of the proposed facility, and the presence of a logical combination of transportation modes. An intermodal facility requires the presence of several modes of transportation, and a reasonable need to connect the different modes in a manner not easily done without the presence of a dedicated intermodal facility.

(b) Project Information. The agency shall adopt a policy identifying the basic information to be provided in any application for a proposed intermodal facility.

(c) Project Evaluation. Applications will be evaluated based on:

(1) Usage potential (i.e., how many people will be boarding and alighting at this location);

(2) Need for transfer facilities (i.e., how many will be transferring between vehicles or modes, and need to wait for connections);

(3) Modal connections (i.e., do modes actually connect at this location, what are the frequencies, and how many people will be making the connection);

(4) Opportunities for savings resulting from combining facilities (e.g., if railroad and bus stations are in the same building, does that save capital or operating dollars);

(5) Relationship of proposed costs to usage/revenue (annualized capital and operating costs per boarding);

(6) Relationship to 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 (Act No. 250 of 1970, as amended), 22 V.S.A. chapter 14 (historic preservation), 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A (historic downtown development) and the planning goals of 24 V.S.A. § 4302;

(7) Whether the proposed project addresses needs identified in policy or service plans for other modes (i.e., intercity bus, passenger rail, aviation);

(8) Long-term viability from an operations and maintenance perspective; and

(9) Self-sustainability of project funding (i.e., what, if any, level of ongoing subsidy will be needed).

(d) Project Managers. A project manager shall be assigned to each intermodal and multi-modal transportation facility project which has received state or federal funding and this assignment shall not delay the construction schedule.

* * * Necessity Hearing; Projects Extending into

Two or More Counties * * *

Sec. 12. 19 V.S.A. § 505 is amended to read:

§ 505. HEARING TO DETERMINE NECESSITY

(a) The superior judge to whom the petition is presented shall fix the time for hearing, which shall not be more than *[sixty]* 60 nor less than *[forty]* 40 days from the date he or she signs the order. Likewise, he or she shall fix the place for hearing, which shall be the superior court or any other place within the county in which the land in question is located. If the superior judge to whom the petition is presented cannot hear the petition at the time set he or she shall call upon the *[chief superior]* administrative judge to assign another superior judge to hear the cause at the time and place assigned in the order.

(b) If the land proposed to be acquired extends into two or more counties, then a single hearing to determine necessity may be held in one of the counties. In fixing the place for hearing, the superior judge to whom the petition is presented shall take into consideration the needs of the parties.

* * * Recording of Highway Access Permits * * *

Sec. 13. 19 V.S.A. § 1111(l) is amended to read:

(l) Recording of permits; recording fees. Initial and subsequent permits shall be recorded at the expense of the applicant in the land records of any municipality in which the affected property is located, unless the agency (in the case of state highways) or the legislative body (in the case of town highways) determines that such action is not warranted in specific instances or for certain categories of permits. The agency or the *[selectboard may decline to issue a permit until the applicant submits a check, payable to the appropriate municipal clerk, for prepayment of the recording fee]* legislative body may include, as a condition of the permit, that the issued permit shall not be valid until the permit holder records in the office of the appropriate municipal clerk the "notice of permit action" provided with the issued permit by the agency or the legislative body.

* * * Environmental Mitigation Site Rules; Penalties * * *

Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 2302(a) is amended to read:

(a) As used in this chapter, "traffic violation" means

* * *

(6) a violation of chapter 29 of Title 5, relating to motor carrier safety standards, and rules adopted pursuant to section 2101 of Title 5; *[or]*

(7) a violation of section 3408(c) of Title 5, relating to trail use of certain state-owned railroad corridors; or

(8) a violation of subsection 7(j) of Title 19, relating to access to or use of environmental mitigation sites administered by the agency of transportation.

Sec. 15. TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP OF ENVIRONMENTAL SITES

The secretary shall develop a policy plan that addresses transferring ownership of each environmental mitigation site administered by the agency of transportation to the appropriate state agency, municipality or other entity. The plan shall include an inventory of all environmental mitigation sites administered by the agency of transportation and also consider the maintenance and stewardship requirements of each environmental mitigation site. The secretary shall present the policy plan to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2001.

Sec. 16. 19 V.S.A. § 7(j) is added to read:

(j) The secretary may, after consulting with the secretary of natural resources, adopt rules governing public access to and use of environmental mitigation sites administered by the agency of transportation. Signs indicating the rules shall be conspicuously posted in or near all areas affected. Any person who violates these rules shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $300.00.

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 17. 24 V.S.A. § 5084 is added to read:

§ 5084. PUBLIC TRANSIT ADVISORY COUNCIL

(a) A public transit advisory council shall be created by the secretary of transportation under 19 V.S.A. § 7(f)(5), to consist of the following members:

(1) the secretary of transportation or designee;

(2) the executive director of the Vermont public transportation association;

(3) three representatives of the Vermont public transportation association;

(4) a representative of the Chittenden County transportation authority;

(5) the secretary of human services or designee;

(6) the commissioner of employment and training or designee;

(7) the secretary of commerce and community development or designee;

(8) a representative of the Vermont center for independent living;

(9) a representative of the council of Vermont elders;

(10) a representative of private bus operators and taxi services;

(11) a representative of Vermont intercity bus operators;

(12) a representative of the Vermont association of planning and development agencies;

(13) a representative of the Vermont league of cities and towns;

(14) a citizen appointed by the governor;

(15) a member of the senate, appointed by the committee on committees; and

(16) a member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker.

(b) The advisory council shall be chaired by the secretary of transportation or designee.

(c) The advisory council shall meet no less than six times a year, excluding subcommitee meetings. The legislative members of the council shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406. Members who are not state employees shall receive reimbursement of expenses and a per diem as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

(d) The advisory council shall serve as an advisory group to the agency of transportation on all matters relating to public transportation.

(e) On or before January 15 of each year, the advisory council shall report on its activities to the house and senate committees on transportation.

Sec. 18. 24 V.S.A. § 5083 is amended to read:

§ 5083. DECLARATION OF POLICY

(a) It is state policy that the goals for the maintenance of existing public transit services and creation of new services include, in order of precedence, the following:

*[(1) the state shall encourage the development and continuation of public transportation which is accessible and affordable to Vermonters in need of these services;]* *[(2) the secretary of transportation shall develop a plan for providing public transportation as part of an integrated transportation system with consideration for:]* *[(A) those segments of the population and areas of the state most in need;]* *[(B) existing transportation systems; and]* *[(C) flexibility in the development of creative local and regional alternatives.]*

(1) Provision for basic mobility for transit-dependent persons, as defined in the public transit policy plan of January 15, 2000, including meeting the performance standards for urban, suburban and rural areas. The density of a service area's population is an important factor in determining whether the service offered is fixed route, demand-response or volunteer drivers.

(2) Access to employment, including creation of demand-response service.

(3) Congestion mitigation to preserve air quality and the sustainability of the highway network.

(4) Advancement of economic development with emphasis directed toward tourist areas. Applicants for "new starts" in this service sector shall demonstrate a high level of locally derived income for operating costs from fare-box recovery, contract income or other income.

(b) The public transit advisory council shall, at least annually, evaluate existing services based on the goals established in subsection (a) of this section. Proposals for new service shall be evaluated by examining feasibility studies submitted by providers. These studies shall address criteria set forth in the public transit policy plan of January 15, 2000.

Sec. 19. DISTRIBUTION OF STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS TO PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEMS

Notwithstanding 24 V.S.A. § 5091(d), the secretary of transportation may distribute state and federal funds to public transit systems in FY 2001 under a different formula from the one set forth in that subsection, provided that:

(1) The public transit operators are given a meaningful opportunity to comment on the proposed distribution in advance of its being finalized;

(2) The proposed distribution formula will not result in a reduction to any public transit system in the total operating assistance it utilized in the prior fiscal year; and

(3) The agency working with the public transit advisory council shall produce a new statutory funding formula for consideration by the 2001 session of the general assembly.

Sec. 20. COMMUTER FRINGE BENEFIT DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM PLANNING GRANT

The sum of $18,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation, of which $2,000 is from the transportation fund to account number 0408811906, and $16,000 is from federal funds to account number 0408814400 for a commuter fringe benefit demonstration study. It is the intention of the general assembly that this section not be construed as establishing a program beyond the stated date of the study. The purpose of the demonstration study is to ascertain the viability of the concept of a commuter fringe benefit, and whether incentives to employees can increase parking spaces in downtown Montpelier and the capitol complex development. The division of policy and planning within the agency of transportation shall have oversight of the planning grant. In conducting this study, the agency shall work with the city-state commission established by 29 V.S.A. chapter 8, the Vermont state employees' association, the department of personnel and the department of buildings and general services. The agency shall make recommendations and report back to the House and Senate committees of transportation by January 15, 2001.

* * * Repeal of Obsolete Statutes * * *

Sec. 21. REPEAL OF OBSOLETE STATUTES

The following provisions of Title 19 are repealed:

(1) § 515 (certificate of completion).

(2) § 715 (certificate of completion-acceptance).

(3) § 716 (copy of certificate to owner or occupant of land).

* * * Chittenden County Transportation Authority Bond Vote * * *

Sec. 22. VALIDATION OF CHITTENDEN COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY BUS BOND VOTE

Notwithstanding the failure to fully comply with the publication schedule for the warning of the March 7, 2000 special meeting of the Chittenden County Transportation Authority, all actions taken at the special meeting are hereby confirmed and validated.

* * * Violation of Truck Height, Width and Length Permits * * *

Sec. 23. REPEAL

Sec. 9f(a) of No. 120 of the Acts of 1998 (sunset of reduction of penalties for truck permit violations) is repealed.

* * * Evidence of Highway Completion * * *

Sec. 24. 19 V.S.A. § 515a is added to read:

§ 515a. EVIDENCE OF HIGHWAY COMPLETION

The lack of a certificate of completion of a highway shall not alone constitute conclusive evidence that a highway is not public.

Sec. 25. 19 V.S.A. § 717 is added to read:

§ 717. EVIDENCE OF HIGHWAY COMPLETION

The lack of a certificate of completion of a highway shall not alone constitute conclusive evidence that a highway is not public.

* * * U.S. Route 4 in New York and a Vermont East-West Highway * * *

Sec. 26. U.S. ROUTE 4 IN NEW YORK; EAST-WEST ROUTE FROM RUTLAND TO NEW HAMPSHIRE

(a) The secretary of the Vermont agency of transportation shall contact the commissioner of the New York state department of transportation to determine the New York plans for upgrading U.S. Route 4 in New York from the Vermont border at Fair Haven to New York Route 149 and from Route 149 to I-87. The secretary shall stress the importance of this corridor to both states, and encourage commencement of the planning and upgrading process. A report shall be filed by the secretary with the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2001.

(b) The secretary of the agency of transportation shall develop a report incorporating past and current studies for the movement of freight by rail and commercial motor vehicles along an east-west corridor from Rutland to the New Hampshire border. The report shall take into consideration the resources available to the state, the current transportation capital program and project development plan, and improvements to the current transportation infrastructure which would have the potential to increase rail freight shipments through the corridor. This report should synthesize all previous studies related to the feasibility of constructing a new highway or reconstructing existing highways, and any combination of the two. The data resulting from this review shall be reported to the legislature by January 15, 2001. The sum of $25,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation policy and planning account #0408819101, for this purpose.

* * * Winter Maintenance of Class 2 and 3 Town Highways * * *

Sec. 27. 19 V.S.A. § 302(a)(3)(B) is amended to read:

(a) For the purposes of this section and receiving state aid, all town highways shall be categorized into one or another of the following classes:

* * *

(3) Class 3 town highways:

* * *

(B) The minimum standards for class 3 highways are a highway negotiable under normal conditions all seasons of the year by a standard manufactured pleasure car. This would include but not be limited to sufficient surface and base, adequate drainage, and sufficient width capable to provide winter maintenance, except that based on safety considerations for the traveling public and municipal employees, the selectboard may determine whether a class 3 highway, or section of highway, should be plowed and made negotiable during the winter.

Sec. 28. 19 V.S.A. § 304(a)(2) is amended to read:

(a) It shall be the duty and responsibility of the selectmen of the town to, or acting as a board, they shall have the authority to:

* * *

(2) take any action consistent with the provisions of law, including determinations made pursuant to section 302(a)(3)(B) or section 310(a) of this title, which are necessary for or incidental to the proper management and administration of town highways;

Sec. 29. 19 V.S.A. § 310(a) is amended to read:

(a) A town shall keep its class 1, 2 and 3 highways and bridges in good and sufficient repair during all seasons of the year, except that based on safety considerations for the traveling public and municipal employees, the selectboard may determine whether a class 2 or 3 highway, or section of highway, should be plowed and made negotiable during the winter.

Sec. 30. EXEMPTION

Class 2 and 3 highways that have not been routinely plowed and made negotiable prior to July 1, 2000, shall not be required to be plowed thereafter. A property owner affected by this section may request the selectboard to plow. However, a property owner aggrieved by a decision of the selectboard may appeal to the transportation board pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 5(d)(8).

Sec. 31. 19 V.S.A. § 5(d) is amended to read:

(d) The board shall:

* * * [Text Not Reproduced] * * *

(6) provide appellate review when requested in writing, regarding the fairness of rents and fees charged for the occupancy or use of state-owned properties administered by the agency; *[and]*

(7) in coordination with the agency, hold public hearings for the purpose of obtaining public comment on the development of state transportation policy, the mission of the agency, and state transportation planning, capital programming, and program implementation;

(8) hear and determine disputes involving the decision of a selectboard under 19 V.S.A. § 302(a)(3)(B) or 310(a) not to plow and make negotiable a class 2 or 3 town highway or section of a highway during the winter; and

(9) when requested by the secretary, conduct public hearings on matters of public interest, after which it shall transmit its findings and conclusions to the secretary in a report which shall be a public document.

Sec. 32. SUNSET

The provisions of Secs. 27, 28 and 29 of this act which establish a snow plowing waiver provision and 19 V.S.A. § 5(d)(8) added in Sec. 31 of this act, shall terminate on July 1, 2001.

* * * Correction of Statutory Reference * * *

Sec. 33. 10 V.S.A. § 1021(e) is amended to read:

(e) This subchapter does not apply to dams subject to chapter 43 of this title nor to highways or bridges subject to 19 V.S.A. § 10(12).

* * * Supplemental Guide Signs * * *

Sec. 34. 10 V.S.A. § 494(6) is amended to read:

The following signs are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except as indicated in section 495 of this title:

* * *

(6) Official green traffic control signs, including signs on limited access highways consistent with the manual on uniform traffic control devices, adopted under 23 V.S.A. § 1025, directing people to *[official state visitor information centers, nonprofit museums, fairgrounds or exposition sites or nonprofit diploma granting educational institutions for people with disabilities and postsecondary educational institutions, subject to rules adopted by the travel information council that:]*

*[(A) are open a minimum of 120 days each year, and]* *[(B) are located within 15 miles of an interstate highway exit, and]* *[(C) reimburse the agency of transportation for the actual cost of fabrication, installation and yearly maintenance.]*

other towns, international airports, postsecondary educational institutions; cultural and recreational destination areas; nonprofit diploma granting educational institutions for people with disabilities; and official blue traffic control signs, including signs on limited access highways, consistent with the manual on uniform traffic control devices, adopted under 23 V.S.A. § 1025, directing people to official state visitor information centers. After having considered the six priority categories in this section, the travel information council may approve installation of a green sign for any of the following:

(A) Nonprofit museums;

(B) Cultural and recreational attractions owned by the state or federal government;

(C) Officially designated scenic byways;

(D) Park and ride or multi modal centers; and

(E) Fairgrounds or exposition sites

provided the designations in these subdivisions are open a minimum of 120 days each year and are located within 15 miles of an interstate highway exit. Signs erected under this subdivision (6) of this section shall not exceed a maximum allowable size of 80 square feet.

* * * Municipal Electronic Speed Display Program * * *

Sec. 35. MUNICIPAL ELECTRONIC SPEED DISPLAY PROGRAM

(a) The general assembly finds that electronic speed display machines, which alert motorists to the speed they are traveling, have a positive effect in reducing the overall speed of the travelling public. The general assembly further finds that these machines would greatly assist municipalities with their local speed enforcement efforts and generally enhance the safety of the traveling public.

(b) The governor's highway safety council is directed to procure 20 electronic speed display machines and to distribute them as follows:

(1) Fourteen machines at one per county for each county sheriff;

(2) Four machines to the department of public safety for use by the state police; and,

(3) Two machines to be retained by the governor's highway safety council to be used exclusively at highway construction projects. The governor's highway safety council shall coordinate with the state police and the sheriffs regarding the use of machines which are to be used at highway construction projects.

(c) Each state agency and county office which is provided electronic speed display machines under this section shall be responsible for the maintenance and storage of the machines. Maintenance costs may be included under the procurement specifications. It shall be the responsibility of the municipality desiring to use the electronic speed display machine to provide for its transportation to and from the municipality.

(d) The sheriff of each county shall develop a plan to rotate the electronic speed display machine within the county to each municipality that requests their use. Sheriffs shall notify the legislative body of each municipality within their jurisdiction of the availability of the electronic speed display machine for municipal use.

(e) The sum of $160,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for the governor's highway safety council for the procurement of electronic speed display machines authorized in this section.

* * * Mitigating Impact of Trucks in Vergennes * * *

Sec. 36. CITY OF VERGENNES; IMPACT OF VT 22A TRUCK TRAFFIC

The agency of transportation, in consultation with the city of Vergennes and the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, shall evaluate the feasibility of mitigating impacts to the city of Vergennes resulting from truck traffic on VT 22A. The secretary of transportation shall provide a report to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2001, on the status of the evaluation and on any recommended courses of action.

* * * Transportation Fund Transfer * * *

Sec. 37. TRANSPORTATION FUND TRANSFER

The amount of $4,450,000 is transferred from the transportation fund to the transportation equipment replacement account within the central garage fund.

* * * Central Garage Fund * * *

Sec. 38. 19 V.S.A. § 13 is amended to read:

§ 13. CENTRAL GARAGE *[REVOLVING]* FUND

(a) There is created a central garage *[revolving]* fund which shall be used:

(1) to furnish equipment on a rental basis to the districts and other sections of the agency for use in construction, maintenance and operation of highways or other transportation activities; and

(2) to provide a general equipment repair and major overhaul service as well as furnish necessary supplies for the operation of the equipment.

(b) To maintain a safe, reliable equipment fleet, new or replacement highway maintenance equipment *[may]* shall be acquired, using *[internal equipment]* central garage funds*[, lease, lease-purchase]* or other funding methods as approved by the legislature determined to be in the best interests of the state. The agency is authorized to acquire replacement pieces for existing highway equipment, or new, additional equipment equivalent to equipment already owned*[, as dictated by mission requirements]*; however, the agency shall not increase the total number of permanently assigned or authorized motorized or self-propelled vehicles without legislative approval.

(c) There shall be established and maintained within the central garage fund, a separate transportation equipment replacement account for the purposes stated in subsection (b) of this section. Beginning in fiscal year 2002 and thereafter, an amount equal to one percent of the prior year transportation fund appropriation shall be transferred prior to August 1 from the transportation fund to the central garage fund and allocated to the transportation equipment replacement account, and beginning in FY 2001, and thereafter, an amount not less than the sum of equipment depreciation expense and net equipment sales from the prior fiscal year, shall be allocated prior to August 1 from within the central garage fund to the transportation equipment replacement account. All expenditures from this account shall be appropriated by the general assembly and used exclusively for the purchase of equipment as authorized in subsection (b) of this section.

*[(c)]*(d) In each fiscal year, net income of the fund earned during that fiscal year shall be retained in the fund. *[(d)]*(e) The fiscal year of the central garage for computing net worth and net income shall be the year ending June 30. *[(e)]*(f) Annually the auditor of accounts shall conduct an examination of the central garage revolving fund and report his or her findings in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 163(5).

(g) The agency of transportation shall annually issue a report detailing the fiscal year expenditures of the transportation equipment replacement account.

*[(f)]*(h) For purposes of this section, "equipment" means registered motor vehicles and highway maintenance equipment assigned to the central garage *[revolving fund]*.

* * * Transportation Enhancement Committee * * *

Sec. 39. Sec. 41v of No. 18 of the Acts of 1999 is amended to read:

Sec. 41v. TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a) The Vermont transportation enhancement advisory committee is created and shall be comprised of the secretary of transportation or his or her designee, a representative from the division of historic preservation, one member to be appointed by the secretary of transportation to represent the tourism and marketing industry, a representative of the agency of natural resources, three municipal representatives designated by the Vermont league of cities and towns, one member representing the Vermont association of planning and development agencies, two members from the house designated by the speaker and two members from the senate designated by the committee on committees. Municipal and legislative members shall serve concurrently for two-year terms and the initial appointments of these members shall be made in a manner which allows for them to serve a full legislative biennium. In the event a municipal or legislative member ceases to serve on the committee prior to the full term, the appointing authority shall fill the position for the remainder of the term. The committee shall, to the greatest extent practicable, encompass a broad geographic representation of Vermont.

(b) There is appropriated $2,000,000 in federal funds for fiscal year 2000 to the agency of transportation project development program (account #0408810700) for the local enhancement program. The transportation enhancement advisory committee shall review all of the enhancement applications funded under this section, as well as all future enhancement applications. For fiscal year *[2001]* 2002 and thereafter, *[at least 75]* 100 percent of the minimum surface transportation apportionment enhancement set-aside shall be expended on transportation projects that have been reviewed by the transportation enhancement advisory committee.

(c) The agency shall develop an outreach and marketing effort designed to provide information to communities with respect to the benefits of participating in the enhancement program. This effort should be directed to areas of the state historically underserved by this program.

* * * Transportation Fund Appropriations For Support of State Government * * *

Sec. 40. Sec 41x of No. 18 of the Acts of 1999 is amended to read:

Sec. 41x. TRANSPORTATION FUND APPROPRIATIONS

*[In fiscal year 1999, the maximum amount of transportation funds that may be appropriated for the support of government, other than for the Agency of Transportation, transportation pay act funds, the cost of maintaining and staffing interstate rest areas, and transportation debt service, shall not exceed 25% of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations.]* In fiscal year *[2000]* 2002 and thereafter, the maximum amount of transportation funds that may be appropriated for the support of government, other than for the Agency of Transportation, transportation pay act funds, the cost of maintaining and staffing rest areas, construction of transportation capital facilities used by the agency of transportation, and transportation debt service, shall not exceed *[24.5%]* 23 percent of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations *[(less amounts appropriated that are supported by indirect cost reimbursement from federal agencies)]*.

* * * Federal Funds Transfer * * *

Sec. 41. FEDERAL FUNDS TRANSFER

Any federal funds transferred pursuant to 23 C.F.R. § 1270.6 or 1275.6 in FY 2001 to the 23 U.S.C. § 402 program shall be used exclusively for the 23 U.S.C. § 152 hazard elimination program. The governor's highway safety council shall work cooperatively with the agency of transportation in administering the hazard elimination program under this section.

* * * Rest Areas * * *

Sec. 42. REST AREAS

The sum of $80,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the department of buildings and general services to staff and operate the White River Junction welcome center. This appropriation shall be considered a part of the rest area and welcome center ongoing operating program of the department of buildings and general services.

Sec. 43. REST AREA POSITIONS

(a) Nine new limited service, full-time positions (travel representative I) are authorized for the department of buildings and general services.

(b) The sum of $222,516 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the department of buildings and general services to staff and operate the Randolph, Sharon and Hartford rest areas.

(c) Contracts to operate the Williston northbound and Williston southbound information centers located on I-89 shall not be personal services contracts under Title 3.

(d) The appropriation in this section shall be considered a part of the rest area and welcome center ongoing operating program of the department of buildings and general services.

* * * Transportation Fund Transfers * * *

Sec. 44. TRANSPORTATION FUND TRANSFERS

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the fiscal year 2000 unreserved undesignated transportation fund balance on a budgetary basis as determined by the commissioner of finance and management on July 31, 2000, is hereby transferred as follows:

(1) First, the necessary portion of the balance shall be transferred to the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve to attain its statutory maximum.

(2) Second, of any remaining fund balance after subdivision (1) of this section, $1,168,741.26 shall be appropriated to the agency of transportation, account #0408813709, to offset the receivables for hazardous waste remediation and other local share responsibilities related to the Rutland multi-modal transportation center. This appropriation shall not occur until the secretaries of administration and transportation certify as to the completion of all steps necessary to transfer ownership and operation of the Rutland multi-modal transportation center from the Marble Valley Regional Transit District to the state of Vermont or its designee.

* * * Town of Cornwall: VT 125/TH # 2 Intersection * * *

Sec. 45. TOWN OF CORNWALL; VT 125/TH # 2 INTERSECTION

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation, maintenance division, account #0408813100, from the transportation fund, for sight distance improvements at the intersection of VT Route 125 and Cider Mill Road (TH # 2) in the town of Cornwall.

* * * City of Vergennes: Route 22A Improvements * * *

Sec. 45a. CITY OF VERGENNES; ROUTE 22A IMPROVEMENTS

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation project development roadway program, account #0408811700 from the transportation fund for roadway rehabilitation costs on VT Route 22A from the Otter Creek bridge to the Panton Road in Vergennes.

* * * Traffic Calming Program * * *

Sec. 46. TRAFFIC CALMING DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM

(a) The general assembly finds that with increased vehicular traffic in many of our villages and towns, municipalities may need assistance in funding traffic calming improvement projects

(b) Grants awarded under this section shall be for scoping, preliminary engineering, and construction of traffic calming improvements in municipalities. Any Vermont municipality shall be an eligible applicant. The agency of transportation shall develop an application for this demonstration program and notify eligible participants of its availability.

(c) The agency of transportation shall develop criteria for approval of applications which shall include, but are not limited to:

(1) Motor vehicle volume and speed;

(2) Volume of commercial motor vehicles;

(3) Local use of roadway; and

(4) Number of vehicular or pedestrian accidents.

(d) The sum of $100,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for the purposes of this section.

* * * Municipal Loan Fund * * *

Sec. 47. 29 V.S.A. § 1602(a) is amended to read:

(a) Upon application of a municipality or two or more municipalities applying jointly, the state treasurer may loan money from the fund to that municipality or municipalities for the purchase of equipment. Purchases of equipment eligible for loans from the fund shall have a useful life of at least three years and a purchase price of at least $20,000.00 but shall not be eligible for loans in excess of *[$60,000.00]* $90,000.00 from this fund.

* * * Rutland Multi-Modal Transportation Center * * *

Sec. 48. RUTLAND MULTI-MODAL TRANSPORTATION CENTER

(a) The general assembly finds that the long-term success and viability of multi-modal centers and parking facilities requires that they be owned and operated by municipalities or private businesses. The secretary of transportation is directed to enter into negotiations with the Marble Valley Regional Transit District and the city of Rutland for transfer of ownership and operation of the Rutland multi-modal transportation center from the Marble Valley Regional Transit District to the city of Rutland or to the state.

(b) The sum of $1,340,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for use by the secretary of transportation for costs associated with transferring the Rutland multi-modal transportation center from the Marble Valley Regional Transit District to the city of Rutland. In the event the city of Rutland doesn't take ownership of the center by September 1, 2000, the secretary shall be authorized to utilize $420,000 of the aforementioned sum for operating and marketing expenses related to the center.

(c) Up to $500,000 of any state funds returned to the agency of transportation as a result of any claims or litigation by the Marble Valley Regional Transit District concerning the Rutland multi-modal transportation center shall be escrowed until July 1, 2010, and used to make satisfactory structural repairs to the Rutland multi-modal transportation center. Any funds that are returned to the federal government shall not be included in the escrow fund. Escrowed funds shall be used to repair structural damage resulting from design, engineering or construction of the Rutland multi-modal transportation center. Any funds remaining in the escrow fund as of July 1, 2010, including all interest, which shall be credited to the fund, that have not been committed to the repair of structural damage shall be deposited in the transportation fund. Expenditures from the escrow fund shall require approval from the secretary of transportation and the owner of the Rutland multi-modal transportation center.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the secretary of transportation is authorized and directed to transfer an amount of any unexpended state funds appropriated to the agency of transportation in FY 2000 to the project development and special projects unit, excluding funds appropriated for town highways, up to $800,000 for costs associated with acquisition, scoping, design and construction of transit park and ride facilities statewide. This subsection shall not take effect unless the city of Rutland takes ownership of the transit center by September 1, 2000.

(e) Transfer of the Rutland multi-modal transportation center to the city of Rutland shall require approval by the joint fiscal committee.

* * * Class 2 Town Highways; Study Committee * * *

Sec. 49. CLASS 2 TOWN HIGHWAY REHABILITATION PROGRAM; SUFFICIENCY RATINGS

A class 2 town highway shall have a sufficiency rating of 60 or less to be eligible for participation in the class 2 town highway rehabilitation program.

Sec. 50. STUDY COMMITTEE ON CONSOLIDATING AND SIMPLIFYING TOWN PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED THROUGH THE VERMONT AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION

(a) A committee shall be established to study the feasibility and advisability of combining certain town transportation grant programs. The committee shall evaluate all town programs and determine which, if any, when combined would provide a comprehensive program that better meets the needs of municipalities, including increasing the flexibility of eligible activities and simplifying the application processes. The committee shall review the local match requirements of each town highway grant program to determine if they are reasonable and equitable. The committee shall review the current application processes and eligibility criteria for all town highway grant programs and make recommendations to simplify and standardize these areas. The committee shall also study the feasibility of including the rehabilitation of causeways located on town highways in the bridge maintenance programs. The committee shall further study the inclusion, into the appropriate town program, of a funding program for replacement or maintenance, or both, expenses of town culverts that were installed as a result of the construction of the interstate highways (as inventoried in the 1999 agency of transportation report entitled "Town Culverts").

(b) The committee shall consist of the Vermont secretary of transportation, or a designee, who shall chair the committee; two representatives appointed by the Vermont league of cities and towns, one from a municipality with a population of less than 10,000 persons and one from a municipality with a population of more than 10,000 persons; one representative appointed by the Vermont local roads program; and two representatives from the regional planning commission appointed by the Vermont association of planning and development agencies and one representative appointed by the metropolitan planning organization. The secretary of transportation or the secretary's designee shall convene the first meeting of the committee.

(c) The secretary of transportation shall provide staff support to the committee. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the senate and house committees on transportation by January 15, 2001.

* * * Cavendish-Ludlow Project * * *

Sec. 51. CAVENDISH/LUDLOW VT 103

(a) The Cavendish-Ludlow-F 025-1(30), VT Route 103 project shall be considered a priority for any roadway design technicians added to the staff of the agency of transportation.

(b) The sum of $50,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund

to the agency of transportation to the project development roadway development and evaluation account #0408811700 for contracting to acquire right-of-way options for the Cavendish-Ludlow F 025-1(30) VT 103 roadway project.

* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 52. EFFECTIVE DATES

Secs. 5, 20, 26(b), 35, 37, 42, 43, 44, 45, 45a, 46, 48, and 51 of this act shall take effect July 1, 2000; and this section and the remaining sections shall take effect upon passage.

(Committee Vote: 6-0-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Ide for the Committee on Appropriations.

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 28, 2000, page 752; March 29, page 771.)

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 214

An act relating to disarming a law enforcement officer.

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

Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. § 3019 is added to read:

§ 3019. DISARMING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Firearm" means any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, and includes any weapon commonly referred to as a pistol, revolver, rifle, gun, machine gun or shotgun.

(2) "Weapon" means any device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, excluding a firearm as defined in subdivision (a)(1) of this section, which, in the manner it is used or is intended to be used, is known to be capable of producing death, serious bodily injury, or temporary disability.

(3) "Law enforcement officer" means:

(A) a person certified by the Vermont criminal justice training council as having satisfactorily completed the approved training programs required to meet the minimum training standards applicable to that person pursuant to section 2358 of Title 20; or

(B) a constable who has not been prohibited from exercising law enforcement authority under section 1936a of Title 24 and who has been certified by the Vermont criminal justice training council as having successfully completed a course of training pursuant to section 2358 of Title 20; or

(C) a person certified as a member of the capitol police under section 70 of Title 2.

(b) A person is guilty of disarming a law enforcement officer if:

(1) the person knowingly:

(A) removes a firearm or other weapon from the person of a law enforcement officer; or

(B) deprives a law enforcement officer of the use of a firearm or other weapon; and

(2) the officer is acting within the lawful scope of the officer's duties; and

(3) the person has reasonable cause to know or knows the individual is a law enforcement officer.

(c) A person who is convicted of disarming a law enforcement officer with respect to a firearm shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(d) A person who is convicted of disarming a law enforcement officer with respect to a weapon other than a firearm shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

Sec. 2. 13 V.S.A. § 1025 is amended to read:

§ 1025. RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING ANOTHER PERSON

A person who recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00 or both. Recklessness and danger shall be presumed where a person knowingly points a firearm at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded, and whether or not the firearm actually was loaded.

(For Senate amendments, see Senate Journal for January 20, 2000, page 99)

Without Recommendation

Proposed Amendment to the Constitution

PROPOSAL 6

(Third day on Notice Calendar pursuant to Rule 77)

Reported without recommendation by Senator Sears for the Committee on Judiciary.

First: With respect to the proposal as originally introduced, the committee voted to reject Proposal 6, by a committee vote of 6-0.

Pursuant to Rule 77, Proposal 6 as originally introduced is as follows:

PROPOSAL 6

Sec. 1. PURPOSE

This proposal would clarify the definition of marriage.

Sec. 2. Chapter I, Article 22nd of the Vermont Constitution is added to read:

ARTICLE 22nd. [DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE]

That marriage is a special label for a partnership between a man and a woman.

Second: With respect to amendment of Proposal 6, the committee voted to amend Proposal 6 by striking out sections one and two in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new sections one and two as set forth below, by a committee vote of 4-2.

Pursuant to Rule 77, Proposal 6, as amended by the Committee on Judiciary, is as follows:

Sec. 1. PURPOSE

This proposal would clarify the definition of marriage to be a union between one man and one woman, and would provide that the benefits and responsibilities of marriage need not be extended by the legislature or the courts to any grouping of people other than one man and one woman.

Sec. 2. Chapter I, Article 22nd of the Vermont Constitution is added to read:

ARTICLE 22nd. [DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE; RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES]

Marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman. The general assembly shall define the legal benefits and responsibilities associated with marriage. No provision of this constitution shall be held to require that any such benefits and responsibilities be extended by the general assembly or the judiciary to any grouping of people other than one man and one woman.

Third: With respect to Proposal 6, as amended by the Committee on Judiciary, the Committee voted to report Proposal 6, as amended, without recommendation, by a committee vote of 5-1.

AMENDMENT TO PROPOSAL 6 TO BE OFFERED BY

SENATOR CANNS

Senator Canns proposes to amend the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Judiciary to Proposal 6 by striking out Sec. 1 and Sec. 2 in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. PURPOSE

This proposal would clarify the definition of marriage to be a union between one man and one woman.

Sec. 2. Chapter I, Article 22nd of the Vermont Constitution is added to read:

ARTICLE 22nd. [DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE]

Marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman.

CONFIRMATIONS

The following appointments will be considered by the Senate, as a group, under suspension of the Rules, as moved by the President pro tempore, for confirmation together and without debate, by consent thereby given by Senate. However, upon request of any senator, any appointment may be singled out and acted upon separately by the Senate, with consideration given to the report of the Committee to which the appointment was referred, and with full debate; and further, all appointments for the positions of Secretaries of Agencies, Commissioners of Departments, Judges, and members of the Public Service Board shall be fully and separately acted upon.

Michael J. Hogan of Marshfield - Commissioner of the Department of Liquor Control - By Senator Bartlett for the Committee on General Affairs and Housing. (3/14)

Alice Hafner of Danville - Member of the Parole Board - By Senator Canns for the Committee on Institutions. (3/28)

Martha O'Connor of Brattleboro - Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees - By Senator Chard for the Committee on Education. (3/31)

Public Hearings

Wednesday, April 19, 2000 - Room 10 - 7:00-9:00 P.M. - Re: H. 355 - Financial Reports by Nonprofit Corporations Receiving State Funds - House Committee on Commerce.

REPORTS ON FILE

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §20(c), one (1) copy of the following reports is on file in the office of the Secretary of the Senate:

80. Report to the Legislature Relating to Mineral Prospecting Activity. (March 2000) (Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation)

81. Annual Report of Vermont's Success by Six Initiative. (March 2000) (Agency of Human Services and Department of Education)

82. Report on Round Two Workforce Education and Training Fund Awards. (March 2000) (Department of Employment and Training)

83. Annual Report of the Bank Commissioner, Year Ended December 31, 1999. (March 2000) (Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration)

84. Review of the Vermont Migrant Education Program. (April 2000) (Office of the State Auditor)