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Journal of the House

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TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2000

At ten o'clock in the forenoon the Speaker called the House to order.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Speaker Michael Obuchowski of Rockingham.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Morgan Wilbur of Plainfield led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Joint Resolutions Placed on Calendar

The Speaker placed before the House the following resolutions which were read and in the Speaker's discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

J.R.H. 246

Joint resolution urging the annual ringing of bells on July 4

Offered by: Representative Levin of Hartland

Whereas, on July 4, America's Independence Day, we celebrate the issuance of the Declaration of Independence, the birth of our nation, and the liberties that we so dearly cherish, and

Whereas, the ringing of bells to commemorate Independence Day metaphorically and triumphantly symbolizes pride in our democracy, and

Whereas, the simultaneous ringing of bells in places of worship, public buildings and other locations provides a resounding chorus to praise the United States on her very special birthday, and

Whereas, upon hearing these glorious chimes, Vermonters will pause, not only to celebrate our freedoms, but to remember the thousands of Americans who have paid the ultimate price, their very lives, to assure the preservation of our freedoms, and

Whereas, in an effort to encourage this symphonic ode to liberty, the United States Congress, at the urging of members of the Girl Scouts of America, has adopted a resolution promoting this most appropriate 4th of July event, and

Whereas, recognizing that the broadest possible participation of Vermont's bell ringers, in this Independence Day musical moment, will provide a most moving experience for the residents of our state, Junior Girl Scout Troop 161 of Hartland has sung its praises on behalf of this noble endeavor, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges the bell ringers of Vermont to enthusiastically and patriotically sound their chimes precisely at 2:00 p.m. on each July 4 in celebration of American Independence and our cherished land of liberty, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Deborah Christie-Maples in Windsor and Susan Murphy in Hartland.

J.R.H. 247

Joint resolution relating to Family Week.

Offered by: Representatives Seibert of Norwich and Milne of Washington

Whereas, the family is an important institution for our society, and

Whereas, we are observing in our nation a breaking up family life at an increasing rate with serious effects in many segments of our society, particularly the welfare of children and the weakening of the greatest strength of America, and

Whereas, there is increasing concern among all Americans over the dissolution of family life and the effects such destruction portends for our nation, and

Whereas, good family relationships constitute the primary source of strength in our community, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That we hereby recognize the week beginning Sunday, November 19, 2000, as Family Week

J.R.H. 248

Joint resolution honoring Claire Oglesby for her exemplary career as a primary school teacher who instills in her students an appreciation for cultural diversity

Offered by: Representatives Darrow of Newfane, Cross of Winooski, Darrow of Dummerston, Deen of Westminster, Doyle of Richmond, Jordan of Middlesex, Kreitzer of Rutland City, Miller of Shaftsbury, Obuchowski of Rockingham, Osman of Plainfield, Partridge of Windham, Smith of Sudbury, Suchmann of Chester and Vincent of Waterbury

Whereas, Claire Oglesby is a very special public school educator whose goals are hardly confined to the rudimentary skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, and

Whereas, for 45 years, she has inspired young children to experience different cultures as a way to appreciate the diversity of our world, and

Whereas, after graduating from Mills College of Education in New York City, she commenced her teaching career at the Brooklyn Community Woodward School, one of the first public schools in the United States dedicated to interracial education, and

Whereas, after teaching at the Walden School in New York, Claire Oglesby migrated to Putney, Vermont where she taught at the Grammar School and the Putney Central School before coming to her true home, Westminster West, a two-classroom school, where since 1966, she has been a much beloved first and second grade instructor, and

Whereas, each year she has focused on a specific culture, such as India or Africa, as a way of conveying to her young students the fundamental importance of cultural diversity and intercultural understanding, and

Whereas, Claire Oglesby's innovative and individualized child-centered teaching has won much praise, and has been the subject of three films, two designed for teacher training, and most recently, a wonderful documentary by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater entitled, "The World in Claire's Classroom, " and

Whereas, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to intercultural understanding and the children of Vermont, she has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1970 Vermont Teacher of the Year Award, the World of Difference Award from the Anti-Defamation League, the Unsung Heroes Award from Northern Life Insurance Company, and an honorary master's degree from Marlboro College for excellence in education, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is pleased to honor Claire Oglesby for her enduring contribution to the children of Vermont, as a caring and innovative educator, who teaches by instilling in her students an appreciation for cultures different from their own, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Claire Oglesby at the Westminster West School.

House Bill Introduced

H. 860

Reps. Blanchard of Essex, Howrigan of Fairfield, Parizo of Essex and Sweetser of Essex introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to the Charter of the Essex Junction School District;

Which was read the first time and referred to the committee on Local Government.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

The Speaker placed before the House the following resolution which was read and in the Speaker's discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

J.R.S. 104.

By Senators Illuzzi, Bloomer, Canns, Cummings, Doyle, Ide, Mazza and McCormack,

Joint resolution urging the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of the Interior to permanently protect the Civil War site Hamilton's Thicket near Fredericksburg, Virginia through its purchase by the federal government and addition to the existing Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Whereas, the First Vermont Brigade stood firm on May 5 and 6, 1864, in the Battle of the Wilderness, near Fredericksburg, suffering 1,234 casualties in the desperate fighting for the intersection of the Brock and Plank roads, and

Whereas, through their bravery and monumental sacrifice the crossroads was held and the Union Army of the Potomac was not sundered, and

Whereas, Brigadier General Lewis Grant, commander of the Vermont Brigade, said after the battle, "The flag of each regiment, though pierced, still flaunts in the face of the foe, and noble bands of veterans with thinned ranks, and but few officers to command, still stand by them; and they seem determined to stand so long as there is a man to bear their flag aloft, or an enemy on the field," and

Whereas, thousands of other soldiers, Union and Confederate, fought there, particularly during James Longstreet's flank attack of May 6, 1864, and

Whereas, the land upon which this desperate fighting took place in the Battle of the Wilderness is truly hallowed ground, particularly that land in the southwest quadrant of the Brock-Plank road intersection, where most of the Vermont casualties were suffered, and

Whereas, the Union Army of the Potomac led by Ulysses S. Grant drove on to Robert E. Lee's surrender a year later at Appomatox Court House, and

Whereas, this historically significant Civil War battle site, now known as Hamilton's Thicket, remains in private ownership, all attempts having failed to purchase and protect it and make it part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and

Whereas, that land should be forever protected and preserved in honor of the brave men, Union and Confederate, who struggled there, and which the men and women of Vermont supported in every way, and

Whereas, the National Park Service has a continuing commitment to the preservation of Civil War battle sites and to the study of this pivotal episode in American history through programs such as the symposium "Rallying on the High Ground: Strengthening Interpretation of the Civil War" that is being held this May in Washington, D.C., and

Whereas, the people of the state of Vermont care deeply about their American Civil War history and the sites upon which that history was played out, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly declares that this land should be protected and added to the existing Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and asks the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and its National Park Service, to purchase Hamilton's Thicket, to preserve it forever, and to properly interpret that portion of the Battle of the Wilderness that occurred there, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, U.S. National Park Service Director Robert Stanton and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H. 245

Joint resolution honoring the U.S. Navy Submarine Force on the occasion of its centennial anniversary;

Was taken up and adopted on the part of the House.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 309

Rep. Jordan of Middlesex, for the committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to regulatory authority over mobile home parks with failed wastewater systems or failed potable water supplies;

Reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. §6255 is added to read:

§6255. FAILED POTABLE WATER SUPPLIES AND FAILED

WASTEWATER SYSTEMS

(a) If a potable water supply or wastewater system serving a mobile home park fails, the mobile home park owner shall be required to obtain a permit from the secretary under this section to correct the failure, whether or not the mobile home park was established prior to the effective date of this chapter, and whether or not the mobile home park is otherwise exempt from the permitting requirements set forth in other sections of this chapter. For mobile home parks that are served by multiple potable water supplies or wastewater systems, the failure of one supply or system will not require the issuance of a permit for any other supply or system that is not in a state of failure.

(b) For the purpose of this section, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

(1) "Failed Potable Water Supply" means a potable water supply, as that term is defined in section 1952 of this title, which does not meet the drinking water quality requirements adopted by the secretary.

(2) "Failed Wastewater System" means a wastewater system, as that term is defined in section 1952 of this title, that is functioning in a manner that:

(A) allows wastewater to be exposed to the open air, pool on the surface of the ground, discharge directly to surface water, or back up into a building or structure, unless, in any of these instances, the approved design of the system specifically requires the system to function in such a manner;

(B) causes a potable water supply to fail; or

(C) otherwise presents a threat to human health.

(3) "Secretary" means the secretary of the agency of natural resources or his or her duly authorized representative.

(c) Permits issued under this section to correct failed potable water supplies or wastewater systems may include permits that include variance provisions, if the failed supply or system cannot be modified or replaced in a way that enables the secretary to issue a permit that fully complies with the rules adopted under this chapter. When approving a variance under this section, the secretary shall consider the preservation of the housing stock, the cost of the modification or replacement of the failed potable water supply or wastewater system, and the potential impact on human health and the environment.

(d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, if the failed potable water supply is a public water system regulated under chapter 56 of this title, the requirements of chapter 56, rather than this section, shall govern the correction of the failure.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (b)(2) of this section:

(1) a wastewater disposal system which has been in a state of failure for only a brief period of time where the cause of the failure has been determined to be an unusual and non-recurring event, and where the system has recovered from the state of failure, shall not be considered to be a failed system for the purposes of this section. Systems which have recurring, continuing, or seasonal failures shall be considered to be failed systems; and

(2) a wastewater system shall not be considered a failed system if the failure can be and is remedied solely by minor repairs, including the repair of a broken pipe leading from a structure to the septic tank.

Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. subsection 6204(e) is added to read:

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, where a mobile home park is a nonconforming use under local zoning regulations, its status regarding conformance or nonconformance shall apply to the parcel as a whole, and not to any individual mobile home lot within the park. The vacancy of any individual mobile home lot shall not be considered a discontinuance or abandonment of the nonconforming use.

Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. subsection 6231(c) is added to read:

(c) A mobile home park that has been closed pursuant to subdivision 6237(a)(5) of this title and reduced to no more than two occupied leased lots, shall be required, if the number of occupied leased lots subsequently is increased to more than two, to obtain all state land use and environmental permits required for a mobile home park that has been established or expanded after May 31, 1970.

Sec. 4. 24 V.S.A. subsection 4408(c) is added to read:

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, with respect to a mobile home park that is a nonconforming use, subsection 6204(e) of Title 10 shall apply.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time, the report of the committee on Natural Resources and Energy agreed to and third reading ordered.

Message from the Senate

A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Marshall, its Assistant Secretary, as follows:

Mr. Speaker:

I am directed to inform the House that the Senate has on its part passed Senate bill of the following title:

S. 325. An act relating to an appropriation to the legislature.

In the passage of which the concurrence of the House is requested.

The Senate has considered a bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 598. An act relating to the Vermont state song.

And has passed the same in concurrence.

The Senate has considered bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 270. An act relating to prevention and handling of violence in schools.

H. 815. An act relating to the liability of mortgagees for failure to provide payoff statements and discharge mortgages.

And has passed the same in concurrence with proposals of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the House is requested.

The Senate has considered House proposal of amendment to Senate proposal of amendment to House bill of the following title:

H. 849. An act relating to penalties, dairy sheep, nonpoint source water pollution and large farm operations.

And has concurred therein.

The Senate has considered a joint resolution originating in the House of the following title:

J.R.H. 244. Joint resolution in memory of coach Stephen Philip Zemianek, Jr., of Mount Anthony Union High School.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 847

The Senate proposes to the House to amend House bill, entitled

An act relating to civil unions;

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 comprehensive legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (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 one of the parties to a proposed 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) A town clerk shall provide a person who applies for a civil union license with information prepared by the secretary of state that advises such person 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 beneficiaries 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 differently 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.

(c) This act shall not be construed in a manner which violates the free exercise of religion of any person, religious or denominational institution or organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes which is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or by Chapter I, Article 3rd, of the Constitution of the State of Vermont.

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) 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) collect information about the recognition and treatment of Vermont civil unions by other states and jurisdictions, including procedures for dissolution;

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

(4) 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

(5) examine reciprocal beneficiaries relationships and evaluate whether non-related persons 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.

Pending the question, Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Little of Shelburne demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.

Pending the call of the roll, Rep. Schiavone of Shelburne moved that action be postponed until November 30, 2000.

Pending the question, Shall the House postpone action on the bill until November 30, 2000? Rep. Holmes of Bethel demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number. The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the House postpone action on the bill until November 30, 2000? was decided in the negative. Yeas, 63. Nays, 84.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:

Allard of St. Albans Town

Angell of Randolph

Baker of West Rutland

Barney of Highgate

Blanchard of Essex

Brown of Walden

Buckland of Newport Town

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Cleland of Northfield

Crawford of Burke

DePoy of Rutland

Deuel of West Rutland

Flory of Pittsford

Freed of Dorset

Gervais of Enosburg

Gray of Barre Town

Gretkowski of Burlington

Hathaway of Barton

Helm of Castleton

Hoag of Woodford

Holmes of Bethel

Houston of Ferrisburgh

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Koch of Barre Town

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

Maslack of Poultney

Mazur of South Burlington

McGrath of Ferrisburgh

McNamara of Burlington

Metzger of Milton

Morrissey of Bennington

Mullin of Rutland Town

Neiman of Georgia

O'Donnell of Vernon

Palmer of Pownal

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pembroke of Bennington

Pike of Mendon

Quaid of Williston

Randall of Bradford

Richardson of Weathersfield

Robb of Swanton

Rogers of Castleton

Schaefer of Colchester

Schiavone of Shelburne

Sheltra of Derby

Sherman of St. Johnsbury

Smith of New Haven

Starr of Troy

Steele of Waterbury

Sweetser of Essex

Towne of Berlin

Valsangiacomo of Barre City

Waite of Pawlet

Willett of St. Albans City

Winters of Williamstown

Wood of Brandon

Young of Orwell

Those who voted in the negative are:

Alfano of Calais

Anderson of Woodstock

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Barbieri of Wallingford

Bouricius of Burlington

Bristol of Brattleboro

Brooks of Montpelier

Carmolli of Rutland City

Colvin of Bennington

Corren of Burlington

Costello of Brattleboro

Cross of Winooski

Dakin of Colchester

Darrow of Newfane

Darrow of Dummerston

Deen of Westminster

Dominick of Starksboro

Doyle of Richmond

Edwards of Swanton

Emmons of Springfield

Flaherty of South Burlington

Follett of Springfield

Fox of Essex

Fyfe of Newport City

Ginevan of Middlebury

Heath of Westford

Hingtgen of Burlington

Hooker of Rutland City

Hummel of Underhill

Hyde of Fayston

Jordan of Middlesex

Kainen of Hartford

Kehler of Pomfret

Kinsey of Craftsbury

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Krasnow of Charlotte

Kreitzer of Rutland City

LaBarge of Grand Isle

Lafayette of Burlington

Lehman of Hartford

Levin of Hartland

Lippert of Hinesburg

Little of Shelburne

Livingston of Manchester

Mackinnon of Sharon

Mallary of Brookfield

Marron of Stowe

Masland of Thetford

Mazzariello of Rutland City

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Milne of Washington

Molloy of Arlington

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Osman of Plainfield

Paquin of Fairfax

Parizo of Essex

Partridge of Windham

Perry of Richford

Poirier of Barre City

Postman of Brownington

Pugh of South Burlington

Rivero of Milton

Rusten of Halifax

Seibert of Norwich

Severance of Colchester

Smith of Sudbury

Stevens of Newbury

Suchmann of Chester

Sullivan of Burlington

Sweaney of Windsor

Symington of Jericho

Tracy of Burlington

Vincent of Waterbury

Vinton of Colchester

Voyer of Morristown

Weiss of Northfield

Westman of Cambridge

Wheeler of Burlington

Wisell of Bristol

Woodward of Johnson

Zuckerman of Burlington

Those members absent with leave of the House and not voting are:

Bourdeau of Hyde Park

Keenan of St. Albans City

Rep. Allard of St. Albans Town explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker:

I voted for this motion because I oppose this bill. I feel this a sad dark day for the State of Vermont. May God help us all."

The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the recurring question, Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 79. Nays, 68.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:

Alfano of Calais

Anderson of Woodstock

Aswad of Burlington

Barbieri of Wallingford

Bouricius of Burlington

Bristol of Brattleboro

Brooks of Montpelier

Carmolli of Rutland City

Colvin of Bennington

Corren of Burlington

Costello of Brattleboro

Cross of Winooski

Dakin of Colchester

Darrow of Newfane

Darrow of Dummerston

Deen of Westminster

Dominick of Starksboro

Doyle of Richmond

Edwards of Swanton

Emmons of Springfield

Flaherty of South Burlington

Fox of Essex

Fyfe of Newport City

Ginevan of Middlebury

Heath of Westford

Hingtgen of Burlington

Hooker of Rutland City

Hummel of Underhill

Hyde of Fayston

Jordan of Middlesex

Kainen of Hartford

Kehler of Pomfret

Kinsey of Craftsbury

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Krasnow of Charlotte

Kreitzer of Rutland City

Lafayette of Burlington

Lehman of Hartford

Levin of Hartland

Lippert of Hinesburg

Little of Shelburne

Livingston of Manchester

Mackinnon of Sharon

Mallary of Brookfield

Marron of Stowe

Masland of Thetford

Mazzariello of Rutland City

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Milne of Washington

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Osman of Plainfield

Paquin of Fairfax

Parizo of Essex

Partridge of Windham

Perry of Richford

Poirier of Barre City

Postman of Brownington

Pugh of South Burlington

Rivero of Milton

Rusten of Halifax

Seibert of Norwich

Severance of Colchester

Smith of Sudbury

Stevens of Newbury

Suchmann of Chester

Sullivan of Burlington

Sweaney of Windsor

Symington of Jericho

Tracy of Burlington

Vincent of Waterbury

Vinton of Colchester

Voyer of Morristown

Weiss of Northfield

Wheeler of Burlington

Wisell of Bristol

Woodward of Johnson

Zuckerman of Burlington

Those who voted in the negative are:

Allard of St. Albans Town

Angell of Randolph

Atkins of Winooski

Baker of West Rutland

Barney of Highgate

Blanchard of Essex

Brown of Walden

Buckland of Newport Town

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Cleland of Northfield

Crawford of Burke

DePoy of Rutland

Deuel of West Rutland

Flory of Pittsford

Follett of Springfield

Freed of Dorset

Gervais of Enosburg

Gray of Barre Town

Gretkowski of Burlington

Hathaway of Barton

Helm of Castleton

Hoag of Woodford

Holmes of Bethel

Houston of Ferrisburgh

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Koch of Barre Town

Krawczyk of Bennington

LaBarge of Grand Isle

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

Maslack of Poultney

Mazur of South Burlington

McGrath of Ferrisburgh

McNamara of Burlington

Metzger of Milton

Molloy of Arlington

Morrissey of Bennington

Mullin of Rutland Town

Neiman of Georgia

O'Donnell of Vernon

Palmer of Pownal

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pembroke of Bennington

Pike of Mendon

Quaid of Williston

Randall of Bradford

Richardson of Weathersfield

Robb of Swanton

Rogers of Castleton

Schaefer of Colchester

Schiavone of Shelburne

Sheltra of Derby

Sherman of St. Johnsbury

Smith of New Haven

Starr of Troy

Steele of Waterbury

Sweetser of Essex

Towne of Berlin

Valsangiacomo of Barre City

Waite of Pawlet

Westman of Cambridge

Willett of St. Albans City

Winters of Williamstown

Wood of Brandon

Young of Orwell

Those members absent with leave of the House and not voting are:

Bourdeau of Hyde Park

Keenan of St. Albans City

Rep. Corren of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker:

Separate and unequal. This bill meets neither the Constitutional test of the Common Benefits Clause, nor the highest moral test of the Golden Rule on which that clause is based. It is painful to need to vote in favor of a codification of unequal treatment when we could so easily provide the equal right for all to marry. Any discomfort of legislators is insignificant compared to that of Vermonters denied equal rights by our laws.

When we look back from some future date, be it five, ten or twenty years from now, when government no longer interferes with or even inquires about the sex or gender of an individual's choice of a marriage partner, at that time, or a few years later, we will look back in puzzlement at this vote.

Only in the context of the absolute discrimination of the existing law, can the present bill be seen as a step forward. And so it is. Let it be but the first."

Rep. Mackinnon of Sharon explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker:

A step - in my view, just a step - and I promise that I, for one, will remain ever vigilant to any discrimination that may continue to exist here in Vermont. Thank you Mr. Speaker."

Rep. Neiman of Georgia explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker:

I believe that our actions this afternoon have finally shown the true agenda of this legislature to the people of Vermont. We have, despite their overwhelming opposition, passed a poorly written bill that we have not even begun to consider the ramifications of. What we have done is to display to the people of Vermont the arrogance of power. No compromising, no thoughtful review, - just ramming a bad bill down the throats of Vermonters. I sincerely hope that the people of the state will remember this arrogance of power!"

Recess

At one o'clock and ten minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker declared a recess until two o'clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon.

Afternoon

At two o'clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker called the House to order.

Message from Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Ms. Kate O'Connor, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Mr. Speaker:

I am directed by the Governor to inform the House that on the twenty-fifth day of April, 2000, he approved and signed a bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 662 An act relating to the sale of Asian or Southeast Asian cigarettes, also known as Bidis.

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Nuovo of Middlebury, the following remarks by Rep. Little of Shelburne were ordered printed in the Journal on a Division vote. Yeas, 68. Nays, 14.

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Committee on Judiciary has reviewed the Senate proposal of amendment to H.847 and recommends that the House concur in that proposal.

I would like to start our report by reviewing the changes that the Senate made to H.847 in the order in which they appear in the calendar, keeping in mind that this is a strike-all amendment.

The Senate condensed and rearranged the findings in the House bill and put as the first finding the statement that 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. That finding had been in the House bill, but it was reordered to be put in as finding number one.

In the purpose clause, Section 2, the Senate changed the purpose of the act to reflect the legislature's response to the constitutional violation found by the Court in Baker. The Senate purpose section reads as follows: "The purpose of the 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 VII of the Vermont Constitution."

In Section 3 of the bill, the Senate made it clear that upon the dissolution of a civil union, all of the existing provisions of Vermont law that apply to the dissolution of a marriage will apply to the dissolution of a civil union, including any residency requirements. The Senate added the language "including any residency requirements" to make it clear that the six-month residency requirement that now is in effect for obtaining a divorce in Vermont would apply as well to the dissolution of a civil union.

The Senate made no changes to Section 4. In Section 5, the Section dealing with the records and licenses, the Senate made a number of straightforward changes. There is a new provision that would allow non-residents, a situation where both parties are non-residents, whether it is a civil union license or a marriage license that is being sought, if they are both non-residents they may obtain the license from any town clerk in the state rather than having to obtain the license from a town clerk in the county in which the civil union will be certified. This change, likewise, is made applicable in this proposal to the marriage license laws. The Senate is also proposing to require the town clerks to provide persons who apply for this license with information prepared by the Secretary of State advising the persons of the benefits, protections and responsibilities of a civil union license, and that Vermont residency may be required for dissolution of the union in Vermont. In addition, a provision was added to Section 5 clarifying that an assistant town clerk may perform the duties of a town clerk with regard to the issuance of a civil union license.

Continuing in Section 5, the Senate deleted subsection (b) of section 5164 in its entirety and did not replace it. That section had read, "a religious society, institution, organization or denomination in this state may choose whether to certify a civil union according to the rules, customs, cannons and traditions of the society, institution, organization or denomination." It's our understanding that the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from religious societies and churches and faith traditions that this confused them. They wondered whether this was requiring them to take an official stand on this legislation one way or the other and thus is was stricken. As I will get to in a moment, Mr. Speaker, later on in the proposal there is a strong statement about First Amendment rights of free speech and religious association.

In Sections 6 through 16, the record keeping duties of town clerks, there were no changes. Section 17 and 18 dealing with insurance, no changes. Section 19, the fees, for marriage licenses and civil union licenses, no changes. Likewise, no changes to the tax sections, section 20 through 23 or 24.

Section 25 is a new Section which puts into the legislation in a third place, in addition to the two places that the House had enacted, the definition of a marriage. Members may recall that we added on the floor of the House an amendment to put the definition of marriage into the civil union statutes. This repeats that definition and places it inside the marriage statutes.

Section 26 is the Section that adds the ability of obtaining a marriage license anywhere in the state, any town clerk in the state, if both parties to the marriage are non-residents. And likewise Section 27 contains corollary language making it clear that an assistant town clerk may perform the duties of the town clerk with respect to the marriage statutes.

Section 28 is former Section 25. It's a parallel deletion of the language I mentioned earlier. It had confused religious societies, churches and organizations about their responsibilities, and the Senate deleted that.

Sections 29 through 38 of the Senate proposal amendment, were formerly our Sections 26 through 35, with no changes to the reciprocal beneficiary law.

The Senate made some changes in new Section 39, formerly Section 36, to the construction Section, intending to provide guidance to those who will be interpreting the Act. It is still the intention that the Act be construed broadly in order to secure the eligible same-sex couples the option of a legal status. And, in the Senate language with the "benefits and protections" as opposed to the House language, the "attributes and effects." The benefits and protection language is used throughout the bill, and the Senate is proposing to continue to use that here instead of the phrase, "attributes and effects." Elsewhere in Section 39, a new subsection (c) was added that states that the act shall not be construed in a manner which violates a person's free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the United States or Vermont Constitutions.

In Section 40 there are some changes to the civil union review commission. The length of the term, the length of the period of time has been changed from three years down to two. The commission has shrunk from 11 members to nine. The identity of some of the members has changed. We are no longer having the dean of the Vermont Law School or his or her designee. They are appointing the Attorney General or his or her designee and the chair of the Human Rights Commission or his or her designee. The Senate struck out some of the duties that the House had proposed and has added some additional ones in lieu thereof, collecting information about recognition and treatment of Vermont civil unions by other states and jurisdictions, including procedures for a dissolution being the most significant one. They are also required to examine reciprocal beneficiary relationships, evaluate them and to determine or recommend action on whether non-related persons over 62 years of age should be permitted to establish reciprocal beneficiary relationships, and whether those legal benefits, protections and responsibilities should be expanded.

There are no changes to Section 41, formerly 38, the severability Section. The effective date for the insurance changes would be January 1 and the Senate is proposing to change the other effective dates in the bill from September 1 of this year to July 1 of this year.

Mr. Speaker, those are the changes that the Senate is proposing to the House in H.847. In the view of the Committee, Mr. Speaker, the essence of the bill, its fundamental structure, purpose and intent remain the same. The intent remains the same. The Senate, in our view, has made some improvements. It has stricken some language which had been causing confusion and for those reasons the committee strongly endorses concurrence. We are impressed with the diligence with which the Senate took action on this. In addition to the work of this body, Mr. Speaker, the members of the other body held additional public hearings, including interactive television hearings, and public meetings and forums have been held, small and large, around the state. My understanding is that the Senate heard from, in committee, in excess of 75 individual witnesses. When one adds together the testimony taken at the various public hearings, persons actually heard from at those hearings who actually testified, exceeded 300 people. We compliment them on the thoroughness and the diligence and the responsiveness of their work.

Mr. Speaker, I will start the conclusions of my remarks by stating and stressing the need for action now. I know that each of the members of this body are mindful of the level of concern around the state, in all four corners of the state, about what is going on in this bill, the meaning and the impact of the Supreme Court decision from last December, the meaning and impact of this legislation. As I said earlier, we have been flooded, inundated, and we welcome that inundation for, the most part, with phones calls, e-mails, and one-on-one discussions. I myself have participated in six or seven public meetings around the state for the purpose of soliciting concerns, comments and questions. We are acutely mindful of the interest that the people of the state of Vermont have in what we do here today. The committee is also mindful of our responsibility under the Constitution of the state of Vermont as interpreted by the Vermont Supreme Court, whose duty under our Constitution, is to interpret and declare the meaning of our Constitution as cases are brought before it.

To address the "what's the rush?" comments that we have been receiving, Mr. Speaker, I would say that I believe that this piece of legislation has been worked on as thoroughly, if not more thoroughly, than any I have ever witnessed during my tenure here and since I began following the work of the legislature some time ago. If the quality of the drafting and the research and the thoroughness of the testimony were not complete, the Committee on Judiciary would not be standing here today, through me, urging your concurrence. We believe that this bill has been thoroughly researched, well drafted and that the testimony has been thorough and from a very broad range of Vermont citizens and that the bill is ready to be voted on and is ready to be - the action is ready to be completed today.

The Committee reminds the members that there are a group of six Vermont citizens who were the plaintiffs in the Baker case who are still awaiting a remedy for the denial of constitutional rights. They have been told by the highest court of the state in December of last year that their constitutional rights are being abridged and denied and they are entitled to a remedy. They were also told that in the court's judgment a reasonable period of time should be given to the General Assembly, if the General Assembly took that initiative, to fashion a remedy other than the one the court might fashion. Those plaintiffs are still waiting for the delivery of those constitutional rights and those remedies. For those reasons, delay is not fair. Not fair to them and to those in the same situation. Delay, as well, Mr. Speaker, risks reintervention by the Vermont Supreme Court.

To the extent those urging delay wish to somehow defy the Court ruling or to deny the role of the Court in deciding constitutional disputes, the committee asks that the members turn away from that message. The Court is serving the role laid out for it in our Constitution. They are required, under their oath of office, to make difficult decisions, not to vote as a popularity contest, and our role is to listen and read and learn the mandate of that Court as it relates to constitutional rights and then to go forward with legislation.

It is clear that the state is divided, Mr. Speaker, and that it will take time for the state to become less divided. However, delaying the implementation of the legislation needed to secure constitutional rights would not, in my judgment, be faithful to the rule of law under our Constitution to which we are dedicated. Such delay would not be lawful and it would not be fair. The healing of the divisions in this state must take place in the context of the changes contained in H.847.

Mr. Speaker, as I have participated in public meetings around the state in the last few months, one thing has happened in each and every one of those meetings, and I'm confident that it happened on the floor of this House on March 15 and 16. It seems that no matter how hard men and women of good faith and good conscience try, it happens. What seems to happen is that those who oppose this legislation, or oppose the Supreme Court decision, come away from the debate and dialogue feeling that they have been accused of being bigoted, prejudiced, homophobic or worse. It also seems inevitable that those people on the other side of the issue who support the legislation, support the fundamental rights declared in the Baker decision, come away feeling hurt that they've been accused of accusing the other side of being hateful, bigoted and homophobic or worse. I think that's because of two things, the power of the issue, how deep it goes into our own personal experiences and psyches, and also owing to the power of language, the power of the words that we use to describe this powerful issue. I would offer this apology to those members of this House who during the floor debate in March felt that either myself or members of my committee or those who supported this legislation were making those accusations here. They were not intended, and I think it speaks to the power of the work we are doing here, its power to divide. It's a divisive power which we must overcome.

In some important respects, this is not a black and white matter. Many who oppose the bill have done so with a great deal of thought and reflection, and it is not fair to characterize them as ignorant or fearful. These Vermonters are acting without malice and sincerely disagree with some of the basic premises of H.847. Others are clearly acting more on instinct and fear. To everyone, the committee makes this plea: The granting of the equal protection of the laws by providing legal protections, obligations and benefits equivalent to those flowing from a marriage license will not diminish your humanity, your dignity, your freedoms or your independence. The continued denial of that equal protection will, however, diminish the humanity, freedom, dignity and independence of a small but vulnerable class of Vermont citizens. For those reasons, Mr. Speaker, the Committee on Judiciary requests that the House vote to concur with the Senate proposals of amendment and that when the vote is taken it be taken by roll.

Action on Bill Postponed

S. 113

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to electric cooperatives;

Was taken up and pending the reading of the report of the committees on General, Housing and Military Affairs and Commerce, on motion of Rep. Darrow of Dummerston, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 217

Rep. Dominick of Starksboro, for the committee on Local Government, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to recording fees;

Reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 32 V.S.A. § 1671 is amended to read:

§ 1671. TOWN CLERK

* * *

(c)*[(1)]* The legislative body may establish a surcharge of *[up to]* an additional $1.00 per page to be added to the recording fees established under subdivisions (a)(1) and (6) of this section to create a restoration reserve fund. Moneys collected under this subsection shall be used solely for restoration, preservation and conservation of municipal records. If a municipality has previously established a restoration reserve fund, then no additional action will be required.

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

(d) Nothing in this section shall preclude a municipality from committing funds to a restoration reserve fund in addition to those funds in subsection (c) of this section.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment agreed to and third reading ordered.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 283

Rep. Woodward of Johnson, for the committee on Health and Welfare, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use of heart defibrillator machines with appropriate training;

Reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

First: In Sec. 2, subsection (b), by striking the sentence "Any person using an AED must notify EMS promptly by calling 911 and reporting all relevant data and information relating to each use of the AED to appropriate health care providers." and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "A person using an AED shall be certain that emergency personnel have been summoned by calling 911."

Second: In Sec. 2, by striking subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(c) Any person who owns or leases an AED shall:

(1) maintain a relationship with a physician to provide technical assistance and consultation regarding the selection and location of an AED, training of potential operators, protocols for use, and individual case review;

(2) notify the department of the existence, location, and type of device it possesses; and

(3) maintain and test the device in accordance with the applicable standards of the manufacturer and any rule adopted by the department.

Third: In Sec. 2, subsection (d), in the last sentence, after the word "acquiring", by striking the words "and properly maintaining"

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment agreed to and third reading ordered.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 320

Rep. Hudson of Lyndon, for the committee on Government Operations, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to state police promotions;

Reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

by striking Sec. 4 in its entirety and adding new Secs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to read as follows:

Sec. 4. 20 V.S.A. § 1922(b) is amended to read:

(b) The commission shall consist of seven members, at least one of whom shall be an attorney and one of whom shall be a retired state police officer, to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

Sec. 5. STATE POLICE ADVISORY COMMISSION; APPOINTMENT OF

RETIRED STATE POLICE OFFICER

The governor shall appoint a retired state police officer to the State Police Advisory Commission for the first such appointment made after the effective date of this act.

Sec. 6. PURPOSE AND INTENT

It is the purpose of Sec. 7 of this act to prohibit the further consolidation of any state police dispatching units, other than the consolidation of the Rutland and Shaftsbury state police dispatching units, without first obtaining authorization from the general assembly.

Sec. 7. Sec. 87a of No. 178 of the Acts of 1996 is amended to read:

Sec. 87a. CONSOLIDATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY DISPATCH CENTERS;

PILOT PROJECT

The Department of Public Safety shall not continue to consolidate the State Police 24-hour dispatch centers after March 15, 2000 without first obtaining authorization from the general assembly. At least *[sixty]* 60 days prior to the consolidation of all centers, the department shall consolidate one dispatch center in order to evaluate and resolve any problems encountered in the consolidation process. Prior to consolidating the remaining dispatch centers, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall report to the Joint Fiscal Committee on any problems encountered in the consolidation process, any erosion of services that may have resulted therefrom, any savings realized as a result of the consolidation and any recommendations relating to the consolidation of the remaining dispatch centers. The Commissioner shall thereafter provide continuous and periodic reports to the Joint Fiscal Committee on the consolidation process, and shall specifically evaluate and report on any problems encountered relating to the private alarm systems connected to the dispatch centers.

Sec. 8. INTERNAL CONTROL AND COMPLIANCE REVIEW

(a) The state auditor shall conduct an internal control and compliance review of the department of public safety's consolidation of state police dispatch centers. The review shall include an objective, systematic and factually documented analysis for the purposes of informing the general assembly, and for assisting the department in improving state police dispatch services to the public and law enforcement community. In addition, the auditor shall:

(1) evaluate whether the department is in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations that govern state police dispatch consolidation;

(2) review the design and implementation of plans and systems that ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the consolidation of state police dispatch centers;

(3) examine relevant documents related to the department's consolidation of dispatch centers;

(4) document the department's internal control policies and procedures; and

(5) if necessary, interview the department staff to ensure that established procedures and controls are being followed.

(b) The auditor shall submit a report to the general assembly by January 15, 2001 which details the foregoing information and which evaluates:

(1) the benefits of having consolidated state police dispatching units;

(2) the negative impacts of having consolidated state police dispatching units; and

(3) ongoing problems with the current system for consolidating state police dispatching units.

(c) In the report, the auditor shall also recommend changes to the current system for consolidating state police dispatching units which are necessary for overcoming current problems, and recommend whether further consolidation should occur, and if so, what measures are necessary to avoid current problems.

Sec. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 3 of this act shall be effective on July 1, 2001; however, the commissioner may administer written examinations before this date. Secs. 6, 7 and 8 shall take effect upon passage.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment Government Operations to and third reading ordered.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 185

House bill, entitled

An act relating to workers' compensation vocational rehabilitation benefits;

Was taken up and pending the question, Will the House concur with the Senate proposal of amendment? on motion of Rep. Stevens of Newbury, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 474

House bill, entitled

An act relating to assistive technology device warranties;

Was taken up and pending the question, Will the House concur with the Senate proposal of amendment? on motion of Rep. Milkey of Brattleboro action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 848

The Senate proposes to the House to amend House bill, entitled

An act relating to zoning of registered or licensed family child care homes;

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

Sec. 1. 24 V.S.A. § 4409(f) is amended to read:

(f) A state registered or licensed family *[day]* child care home serving six or fewer children shall be considered by right to constitute a permitted single-family residential use of property. A state registered or licensed family child care home serving no more than six full-time children and four part-time children, as defined in subdivision 4902(3)(A) of Title 33, shall be considered to constitute a permitted use of property but may require site plan approval based on local zoning requirements. A state registered or licensed family child care facility serving more than six full-time and four part-time children may, at the discretion of the municipality, be subject to all applicable municipal zoning bylaws.

Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 850

The Senate proposes to the House to amend House bill, entitled

An act relating to capital appropriations and state bonding;

First: On page 1, following line 9, by adding a new Sec. a1 as follows:

Sec. a1. STATE OFFICE SPACE; PARKING STRUCTURE

Sums are appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in the following amounts for the purposes indicated:

(a) To exercise an option to purchase property to become a

state office building in downtown Bennington for use for state

or private purposes. The department shall assess each state or

private occupant a fee to assist with operation and maintenance

of the building plus related costs, including deferred maintenance.

Such fees shall be deposited into a special fund for use by the

department to construct office space approved by the general

assembly: 650,000.

(b) To begin the design and engineering of a parking

structure on state-owned property located behind the Thrush

Tavern in Montpelier. The structure shall provide spaces for

approximately 200 automobiles, and shall be engineered to

accommodate the future construction of office and retail

commercial space on upper levels and for expansion onto

property owned by Vermont Mutual Insurance Company. 50,000.

(Total Appropriation - Section a1 $700,000)

Second: On page 1, line 11, Sec. 1 (buildings, total appropriation), and on page 2, line 13, Sec. 1, by striking the figure "$9,335,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$6,255,000"

Third: On page 1, line 14, Sec. 1(a) (133 State Street), by striking the figure "1,500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "1,350,000"

Fourth: On page 1, line 15, Sec. 1(b) (Waterbury State Complex; agricultural laboratory; electrical loop), by striking subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) as follows:

(b) Activities in the Waterbury State Complex: agricultural

and environmental laboratory, repair indoor moisture handling

systems: 300,000.

Fifth: On page 1, line 20, Sec. 1(c)(1) (McFarland House), by striking subdivision (1) in its entirety

and by renumbering the remaining subdivisions to be numerically correct

Sixth: On page 2, line 2, Sec. 1(c)(1) (renumbered) (Bennington state office building), by striking the figure "650,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "600,000"

Seventh: On page 2, line 11, Sec. 1(e)(3) (major maintenance), by striking the figure "2,950,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "2,875,000"

Eighth: On page 2, following line 12, Sec. 1, by adding new subsections (f), (g), (h) & (i) to read as follows:

(f) The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for use by the commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the commissioner of personnel and staff of the legislative council, to follow-up the 1999 study of the feasibility of making state-owned space in Montpelier available for child care for state employees. The follow-up study which shall be presented to the house and senate committees on appropriations and on institutions by January 15, 2001, shall include:

(1) survey of detailed information concerning usage, hours and ages of children;

(2) design of program to accommodate anticipated child care population, including recreational activities, in collaboration with potential users, the Vermont State Employees' Association and the departments of personnel and of social and rehabilitation services; and

(3) based on the anticipated population and program:

(A) estimate cost of using the building at 9 Baldwin Street, including maintenance; and

(B) the administration's fiscal year 2002 budget proposal may include an operational and capital budget request for the operation of the facility, developed in consultation with the state Labor-Management Child Care Committee and the department of social and rehabilitation services.

(g) State House, Senate chamber restoration:

(1) Restorations, including sconce, furniture, window

treatment, chandelier and other light fixtures, plus wiring: 180,000.

(2) A three person committee is established consisting of Polly Billings of Woodstock, Arthur Williams of Fayston and Lola Aiken of Montpelier to assist with restoration of the Senate chamber. The committee shall be responsible for researching and reviewing proposed samples of new carpet for installation in the Senate chamber. The committee shall recommend by unanimous vote to the legislative advisory committee on the state house for its final approval a specific carpet pattern and color scheme. The legislative advisory committee on the state house may accept or reject, but not change, the carpet recommendation. The three person committee shall be entitled to per diem and expenses compensation pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32. Legislative council staff shall provide the three person committee with administrative assistance.

(h) State House interactive television.

(1) From the appropriation of subsection (e)(3) of this section, $30,000 shall be available to the legislative council to purchase equipment and install infrastructure necessary to establish and make operational interactive television in Room 10 and Room 11 of the State House.

(2) Pending the development by the joint rules committee of a protocol for use of the State House interactive television equipment, the house and senate rules committees shall govern access to and use of the equipment during the legislative session, and the sergeant at arms shall govern such access and use when the legislature is not in session.

(i) Civil War flags. The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, of Petersburg, Virginia (the "museum") which shall provide for the loan to the museum of the Civil War flags on display in the State House, in return for which the museum shall at no cost restore such flags, subject to the approval of the terms of such agreement by the legislative advisory committee on the state house.

Ninth: On page 2, line 13, Sec. 1 (total appropriation, Sec. 1), by striking the figure "$9,285,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$6,255,000"

Tenth: On page 2, line 14, Sec. 2 (human services), by striking Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof two new sections to be numbered Sec. 2 and Sec. 2a to read as follows:

Sec. 2. HUMAN SERVICES

(a) The sum of $600,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for correctional facilities:

(1) South Burlington, Chittenden Community

Correctional Facility, sprinkler system improvements: 300,000.

(2) Windsor, Southeast State Correctional Facility,

replace firewater pipe: 300,000.

(b) Single parents facing incarceration. The secretary of human services shall study the feasibility of contracting for services for single parents facing incarceration to enable such parents and their children to remain together while the parents are serving a sentence, including furlough. The program shall focus on single parents who have demonstrated a desire to improve their lives, including the desire to acquire employable skills. All participants shall be required to spend a minimum of one year in the program. The program shall provide "wrap around" services as an integral part of individual treatment plans. Program goals shall include other requirements of the department of corrections. In conducting the study, the secretary shall explore whether such offenders are Medicaid eligible for any medical or substance abuse programs. The secretary shall report study findings and recommendations to the governor, who is hereby authorized to proceed with such a program.

(Total Appropriation - Section 2 $600.000)

Sec. 2a. STUDY; DETENTION OF YOUTH

The commissioners of corrections and of social and rehabilitation services, in consultation with the defender general, the court administrator and the executive director of the department of state's attorneys, shall develop a plan addressing 16 and 17 year old persons charged with or convicted of crimes and in need of temporary detention but not eligible for placement at the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center or for incarceration at an adult correctional facility. The commissioners shall by January 15, 2001 report their findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on appropriations, institutions and judiciary.

Eleventh: On page 3, line 3, Sec. 3 (judiciary), by striking Sec. 3 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 3 as follows:

Sec. 3. JUDICIARY

(a) The sum of $800,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary for:

(1) Hyde Park, Lamoille County Courthouse, repair of

slate roof and assist with construction and paving of county

parking lot: 35,000.

(2) Montpelier, Washington County Courthouse,

clock tower repairs: 35,000.

(3) North Hero, Grand Isle County Courthouse,

installation of energy-efficient windows subject to approval by

the division for historic preservation, and court room lighting: 30,000.

(4) Rutland, Rutland County Courthouse, subject

to provisions of subsection (b) of this section: 100,000.

(5) St. Johnsbury, Caledonia County Courthouse:

(A) Fit-up: 100,000.

(B) Construction supplement: 500,000.

(b) The commissioner of buildings and general services shall review the proposed design and construction plans, and fit-up of the Rutland County courthouse and because of the substantially increased projected cost, the commissioner shall to the extent necessary redesign and reconsider fit-up proposals to bring the total project cost to within ten percent of the $9,000,000 represented to members of the 1999 general assembly as the approximate total cost of the project. Design and construction plans and the proposed budget shall include a presence to facilitate courthouse security and related court services. However, any additional space requested by the Rutland County Sheriff's Department or the Rutland County assistant judges prior to January 1, 2001 shall be made available, but be at the expense of such party.

(Total Appropriation - Section 3 $800,000)

Twelfth: On page 4, line 17, Sec. 4 (commerce and community development), by striking Sec. 4 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 4 as follows:

Sec. 4. COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a) The sum of $190,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for:

(1) Major maintenance, all historic sites: 100,000.

(2) Renovations:

(A) Calais, Kent's Tavern: 50,000.

(B) Lake Champlain, underwater preserves: 10,000.

(3) To erect historic site markers pursuant to section

2472a of Title 3: 30,000.

(b) The following sum is appropriated to the department

of buildings and general services to assist the Fairfield

Historical Society in the construction of a portion of the new

municipal building in which to display historic artifacts and

other memorabilia relating to the people and activities of the

town and region, and relating to the life, family and era of

President Chester Arthur: 50,000.

(c) Sums are appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for state grants, to be made available on a one-for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources, in the following amounts. The grants shall be geographically distributed. In awarding individual grants, priority consideration shall be given to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need:

(1) Historic Preservation Grant Program, for

municipalities and nonprofit tax exempt organizations, for

restoring buildings and structures: 100,000.

(2) Historic Agricultural Buildings Grant Program, for

owners of historic agricultural buildings, for restoration of such

structures. If a grantee sells the property: (i) within one year of

the grant award, 100 percent of the grant shall be repaid to the

state; or (ii) between one and five years after the grant is

awarded, the amount to be repaid shall be reduced by 20

percent per year: 100,000.

(Total Appropriation - Section 4 $440,000)

Thirteenth: On page 5a, Sec. 4a (Pyralisk Arts Center), by striking Sec. 4a in its entirety

Fourteenth: On page 5, following line 3, by adding a new Sec. 4b as follows:

Sec. 4b. GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC

(a) The commissioner of buildings and general services shall contract with a qualified person to identify remaining sites in the state once owned or used by the Department of Vermont of the Grand Army of the Republic, or any of its chapters. The commissioner is authorized to use funds appropriated by this act to the department of buildings and general services for the purposes of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the secretary of transportation, in consultation with the commissioner of buildings and general services, shall no later than September 1, 2000, install and maintain roadside signs at each intersection of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, Vermont Route 15, with another Vermont or U.S. designated highway. No fee shall be charged and no permit shall be required by any state or municipal entity to replace, install or maintain such signs.

Fifteenth: On page 5, following line 3, by adding a new Sec. 4c as follows:

Sec. 4c. DIRECTIONAL SIGNS TO CHESTER ARTHUR HISTORIC SITE

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the secretary of transportation shall, no later than September 1, 2000, install and then maintain ten official business directional signs with white letters on a brown background for the state-owned President Chester A. Arthur Memorial: two on Vermont Route 104 at the intersection of Route 36 and Route 104 in the town of St. Albans, two on Vermont Route 36 at the intersection with Vermont Route 36 and North Road in the town of Fairfield, two on North Road at the intersection with Chester Arthur Road in the town of Fairfield, two on Route 108 at the intersection of the Chester Arthur Road in the town of Bakersfield, and two on Vermont Route 105 at the intersection of Vermont Route 105 and the intersection of the Fairfield-Sheldon Road.

Sixteenth: On page 5, line 5, Sec. 5 (Vermont historical society), by striking the figure "$500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$750,000"; and on line 10, by striking the figure "$500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$750,000"

Seventeenth: On page 5, following line 10, by adding a new Sec. 5a as follows:

Sec. 5a. VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the cultural facilities grant program, for state grants, for use in making capital improvements, to be made available on a one-for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources. This program shall be administered by the Vermont arts council, which may use up to six percent of the total amount appropriated to administer the program. The remaining appropriation shall be awarded for projects which in total amounts are equal for each county of the state. In awarding individual grants, priority consideration shall be given to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need.

(Total Appropriation - Section 5a $50,000)

Eighteenth: On page 5, line 11, Sec. 6 (education), by striking Sec. 6 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 6 as follows:

Sec. 6. EDUCATION

(a) Sums are appropriated to the department of education in the following amounts for:

(1) State assistance to communities and school districts

with school construction pursuant to provisions of Title 16: 9,000,000.

(2) Grand Isle Supervisory Union, study the

establishment of a high school or middle school serving

the islands: 25,000.

(b) Sums are appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in the following amounts for:

(1) Brattleboro, Austine School for the Deaf and

Hard-of-Hearing, building improvements: 100,000.

(2) Burlington, Baird Center, capital improvements: 250,000.

(3)(A) North Country Career Center, design of

capital facility for the center, subject to the provisions

of Sec. 6a of this act: 109,024.

(B) Chittenden County, independent Burlington

and Essex vocational-technical center, continue feasibility

study, subject to the provisions of Sec. 6b of this act: 109,024.

(c) Included in the appropriation of subsection (a) of this section is the amount of any payment to the state required to be made by the St. Johnsbury school district upon the sale of the middle school in that district.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision of law requiring newspaper publication of a pending municipal vote on incurring bonded indebtedness to make certain school building improvements, the March 7, 2000, annual meeting of the Winooski Incorporated School District and all actions taken at said annual meeting relating to the proposed school building improvements are hereby confirmed and validated, and any failure to comply with publication requirements are hereby waived.

(Total Appropriation - Section 6 $9,593,048)

Nineteenth: On page 6, following line 12, by adding three new Secs. 6a, 6b and 6c as follows:

Sec. 6a. NORTH COUNTRY CAREER CENTER

(a) The sum appropriated by Sec. 6(b)(3)(A) of this act to the department of buildings and general services shall be used in consultation with the North Country Union High School Board, the Human Resources Investment Council, any other state or local agencies which may provide services in the center, with the Vermont Technical College of the Vermont State Colleges and the governance board of the North Country Career Center (NCCC) for the design of a capital facility for the center. The department shall provide technical oversight of the project to ensure that it is developed within space and fit-up standards developed by the commissioner of buildings and general services, based on any input provided by the commissioner of education.

(b) The NCCC governance board shall study and recommend whether the following governance board model would best serve the region (Orleans and northern Essex counties): 11 members: one representative of each of the three high schools within the NCCC region, elected by the district school boards concerned; two representatives of businesses, one of whom shall represent emerging and new industries, from the area served by each of the three high schools within the NCCC region, elected by the district school boards concerned; one representative of the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) appointed by the VSC chancellor; and one representative of the University of Vermont (UVM) appointed by the UVM president.

(c) The governance board shall continue to receive administrative support from the director of the NCCC, who shall be under the supervision of the NCCC governance board and may not be terminated, suspended or disciplined in any manner whatsoever by the North Country Union High School Board of Directors unless concurred in by a majority of the NCCC governance board.

(d) The department of education shall approve any program proposals. In doing so, the department shall be guided by the findings and recommendations of the proposed Workforce Development Center Progress Report; February 2000, including:

(1) All programs to be offered at the facility, including the educational specifications, course curriculum, and anticipated relationships with sending schools and the graduation requirements of each, private industries and businesses, and the departments of employment and training, social welfare and vocation rehabilitation.

(2) Start-up and long-term budgets addressing staffing, training and equipment needs, including the potential fiscal interrelationship with the North Country High School.

(3) A draft host-tenant agreement for all co-locators addressing all necessary subjects including cost reimbursements.

(e) The architectural plans developed by the department of buildings and general services shall take into consideration any proposed programs and educational specifications of each, as represented in schematic building lay-out and design, plus construction drawings necessary for soliciting construction bids.

(f) The commissioner of education shall study whether the Essex North Supervisory Union should be included in the NCCC service area or any other adjacent service area, and whether to change the existing method of delivering technical and career instruction to students residing in the municipalities served by or in close proximity to the Town of Canaan, including instruction in real time from the NCCC via the Internet or distance learning satellite. The commissioner shall report his or her recommendations to the state board of education and the house and senate committees on education and institutions by January 15, 2001.

Sec. 6b. CHITTENDEN COUNTY TECHNICAL ACADEMY

(a) Of the total amount appropriated by Sec. 6(b)(3)(B) of this act to the department of buildings and general services, $50,000 shall be used by the Chittenden County Workforce Investment Board (CCWIB), in the board's discretion after consulting with the Vermont Technical College of the Vermont State Colleges, to complete Phase II of its feasibility study for a stand-alone comprehensive technical academy and workforce development center to serve youth and adult learners in the Chittenden County area. CCWIB may contract with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC) to provide administrative support. The department shall provide technical oversight of the project to ensure that it is developed within space and fit-up standards developed by the commissioner of buildings and general services, based on any input provided by the commissioner of education.

(b) The CCWIB Phase II study shall consist of:

(1) the development of a new governance model;

(2) a recommendation on an appropriate funding mechanism;

(3) a proposed operating budget;

(4) recommendations on site location following a site selection process conducted in consultation with the department of buildings and general services; and

(5) development of proposed agreements with co-location and other partners.

(c) From the total amount appropriated by Sec. 6(b)(3)(B) of this act to the department of buildings and general services, $50,000 shall be used in consultation with the Chittenden County Technical Academy Project for the following activities:

(1) preliminary design and engineering plans; and

(2) recommendations on use or disposition of current facilities.

(d) The CCWIB may contract with the LCRCC to provide administrative support.

(e) The CCWIB shall report its findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on education and on institutions by January 15, 2001.

Twentieth: On page 7, line 10, Sec. 9 (University of Vermont), by striking Sec. 9 in its entirety

Twenty-first: On page 7, line 15, Sec. 10 (Vermont state colleges), by striking Sec. 10 in its entirety

Twenty-second: On page 8, line 2, Sec. 11(a) (Essex office building), by striking the figure "500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "450,000"

Twenty-third: [Deleted]

Twenty-fourth: On page 8, line 16, Sec. 11(b)(3)(B) (various state parks), by striking the figure "1,500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "1,015,000"

Twenty-fifth: On page 8, following line 16, Sec. 11(b), by adding four new subdivisions (4), (5), (6) and (7) as follows:

(4) To support the construction of lean-to shelters in

state parks, using only native Vermont materials, by the

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps: 100,000.

(5) Of this appropriation, $25,000 shall be available

for the Orleans County Indoor Recreation Center, in Derby;

the remaining $10,000 shall be available for the Ice Center,

in Waterbury. Both amounts shall be used to match monies

when they are available from the federal land and water

conservation fund for use with both projects: 35,000.

(6) For construction by the agency of natural resources

of electric hook-ups at up to three state parks for short-term

use by recreational vehicles. The park or parks selected

shall, after consultation with the president of the Vermont

Private Campground Owners Association and the legislative

representative of the Vermont Good Sam, be accessible to

recreational vehicles, in an area or areas where there is not

privately owned campground with space likely to be available

on a short-term basis for overnight recreational vehicle travelers

during peak use periods. The secretary of natural resources

shall consult with the commissioner of labor and industry

relative to the installation of such electric hook-ups. No

payment of fees shall be required by any state agency to

implement this subdivision: 50,000.

(7) The secretary of natural resources shall revise subchapter 7 of chapter 1 of the Small Scale Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Rules after consulting with representatives of the Vermont Private Campground Owners Association, and taking into consideration the revised minimum standards and justification therefore of 50 gallons per day required by the State of New York, and 60 gallons per day required by both the State of New Hampshire and the State of Maine.

Twenty-sixth: On page 9, line 4, Sec. 11(c)(2) (pollution control), by striking the figure "7,450,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "7,000,000"

Twenty-seventh: On page 9, line 5, Sec. 11(d) (Shoreham), by striking subsection (d) in its entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof two new subsections (d) and (e) as follows:

(d) Subject to the conditions of subsection (e) of this

section, the following sum is appropriated to the agency of

natural resources for use by the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for

procurement, in fee simple or by permanent easement,

conservation easement or protective easement, of strategic

properties along the 265 miles of the Long Trail, and to assist

with the Lamoille and Winooski Valley Long Trail relocation

projects, all as approved by the secretary of natural resources.

Any bridge or bridges constructed attendant to such trail relocation

may be named in honor of Robert T. Gannett, former State

Representative of Brattleboro and State Senator of Windham

County, and former chair of the senate committee on institutions,

and in honor of Sarah Alden Gannett in recognition of their joint

efforts to commit state and personal financial resources to

ensure the permanent protection of the Long Trail in Vermont: 350,000.

(e) The Green Mountain Club, Inc. shall whenever appropriate apply for funding from the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund, and shall support the efforts of individual landowners to seek funding from the U.S. Forest Service Legacy Program, for each proposed purchase of development rights and real estate in fee simple to match private funds and money appropriated by subsection (c) of this section. Negotiations and agreements shall be made on a willing seller-willing buyer basis. None of the appropriation of subsection (c) of this section shall be used to support the acquisition of land by eminent domain. Any easements acquired shall be recorded in a deed from the landowner to the state of Vermont and may not be changed without agreement by both parties.

Twenty-eighth: On page 9, line 8, Sec. 11 (total appropriation of Sec. 11) by striking the figure "$12,000,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the

figure "$11,550,000"

Twenty-ninth: On page 11, following line 12, by adding a new Sec. 11a as follows:

Sec. 11a. EXPANSION OF NORTHWEST STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

(a) The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to undertake the activities specified by this section, and for these purposes use funds from any appropriation in this act to the department of buildings and general services:

(1) A study of the feasibility of expanding the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans Town. In conducting the study, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall consult with the Town of St. Albans and seek its cooperation with the study.

(2) Assistance to the Town of St. Albans in conjunction with the agency of natural resources in developing a feasible method of providing municipal sewage treatment capacity to existing developed and occupied sites immediately adjacent to the shore of Lake Champlain from the town line of Swanton south to the town line of Georgia.

(3) Repair of any deficiency in the existing sewage treatment system serving the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans Town.

(b) The secretary of natural resources shall work with the Town of St. Albans in reducing the pollution of Lake Champlain by assisting with a study of financially feasible alternative methods of providing for wastewater disposal from existing developed and occupied sites along the shore of Lake Champlain from the town line of Swanton south to the town line of Georgia, and shall report findings and recommendations by January 15, 2001 to the house and senate committees on institutions.

Thirtieth: On page 9, line 10, Sec. 12 (military), by striking the figure "$285,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$338,000"; and following line 15, by adding a new subdivision (4) as follows:

(4) Install quick connect generator transfer switches,

various facilities; the appropriation shall be used at the

following facilities in approximately the amounts indicated:

Berlin Armory, $12,500; Rutland Armory, $15,500; St.

Albans Armory, $12,500; and Williston Armory, $12,500: 53,000.

and on line 16 (total appropriation, Sec. 12), by striking the figure "$285,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$338,000"

Thirty-first: On page 9, line 18, Sec. 13 (Vermont Veterans' Home), by striking the figure "$221,455" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$200,000"; and on line 21, by striking the figure "$221,455" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$200,000"

Thirty-second: On page 10, line 1, Sec. 14 (public safety), by striking Sec. 14 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 14 as follows

Sec. 14. PUBLIC SAFETY

(a) The following sums are appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for:

(1) Brattleboro, state police barracks, Vermont Route 9,

capital improvements: 20,000.

(2) Derby, public safety facility, to supplement the

appropriation of Sec. 16(a)(1) of Act No. 29 of the Acts of

1999, for purposes contained in the February 9, 2000,

proposal submitted to the general assembly by the

department of buildings and general services and on file

with the legislative council. This project is intended to

produce a "model" Vermont state police station to be

replicated in other areas of the state: 1,000,000.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Vermont enhanced 911 board, or its vendors, shall provide or make available to the Vermont emergency management division (VEM) of the department of public safety its E-911 database, and regular updates thereto, as requested, for the purpose of developing an early warning system for hazards and public safety emergencies. The information provided to VEM shall remain confidential, but may be used as necessary to implement and utilize such warning system.

(2) A six-person committee is created to develop a protocol to implement an early warning system for hazards and public safety emergencies, and to ensure that the information remains confidential unless otherwise disclosed consistent with the provisions of this subsection. The members of such committee shall be the director of VEM, the commissioner of public safety, the commissioner of public service, the attorney general and the chair of the E-911 board, or their designees, plus a representative of the telephone industry serving Vermont selected by the chair of the public service board.

(Total Appropriation - Section 14 $1,020,000)

(3) The commissioner of public safety shall adopt by rule, pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, measures to ensure that the information used to implement the early warning system authorized by this subsection remains confidential and is not disclosed unless necessary to implement and utilize such early warning system.

Thirty-third: On page 10, line 9, Sec. 15 (law enforcement and fire training councils), by striking Sec. 15 in its entirety

Thirty-fourth: On page 10, line 19, Sec. 16 (Vermont public television), by striking the figure "$350,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$375,000", and on page 11, line 1, by striking the figure "$350,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$375,000"

Thirty-fifth: On page 11, line 2, Sec. 17 (Vermont public radio), by striking Sec. 17 in its entirety, and by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 17a to read as follows:

Sec. 17a. VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO

The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Radio to assist with its network expansion.

(Total Appropriation - Section 17a $25,000)

Thirty-sixth: On page 11, line 8, Sec. 18 (agriculture), by striking the figure "$1,500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$50,000"; and on line 12, by striking the figure "$1,500,000" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$50,000"

Thirty-seventh: On page 12, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 19a as follows:

Sec. 19a. AGING AND DISABILITIES

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of aging and disabilities for use in awarding grants of up to $10,000 each to nonprofit adult day care facilities for capital improvements, in accordance with a policy based on need developed after receiving requests from each adult day care facility.

(Total Appropriation - Section 19a $50,000)

Thirty-eighth: On page 12, line 8, Sec. 20 (municipal and nonprofit organizations), by striking Sec. 20 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 20 as follows:

Sec. 20. MUNICIPAL AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS; FUNDRAISING AND LOCAL MATCH GRANTS

The following sums are appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for projects undertaken by municipalities or nonprofit organizations; the general assembly intends such amounts to constitute one-time appropriations for the individual projects concerned:

(a) Library projects; no local funding match shall be required:

(1) Barnet; library and historical society: 5,300.

(2) Bristol: 10,000.

(3) Island Pond: 10,000.

(4) Newbury: 10,000.

(5) Reading: 25,000.

(6) Richmond: 10,000.

(7) Williamstown: 10,000.

(8) Woodstock: 20,000.

(b) Library project; the following sum appropriated shall be made available when evidence is presented to the commissioner that $0.50 has been raised from nonstate sources, which may include in-kind contributions, for each dollar appropriated; Newport: 25,000.

(c) Library projects; each sum appropriated by this subdivision shall be made available when evidence is presented to the commissioner that $1.00 has been raised from nonstate sources, which may include in-kind contributions, for each dollar appropriated:

(1) Essex: 25,000.

(2) Peacham: 25,000.

(d) Other types of projects; no local funding match shall be required:

(1) Barre, historical society: 60,000.

(2) Barre, opera house: 50,000.

(3) Barre, Studio Place Arts: 30,000.

(4) Bellows Falls, opera house: 40,000.

(5) Bethel, Lympus Church: 20,000.

(6) Bennington, historic police station: 40,000.

(7) Bennington, Tansitor Electronics, Inc., help retain

firm, including assistance with municipal sewer extension: 25,000.

(8) Brattleboro, Robert H. Gibson River Garden park: 150,000.

(9) Burlington, Good News Garage: 40,000.

(10) Burlington, Heineberg senior center: 15,000.

(11) Burlington, Firehouse arts center: 25,000.

(12) Burlington, fishing pier: 5,000.

(13) Colchester, Vermont Veterans' Militia Museum: 10,000.

(14) Derby, Rock Island, Haskell library-opera house: 100,000.

(15) Fairfax, historical society, First Baptist Church: 25,000.

(16) Island Pond, health center: 50,000.

(17) Lemington, historic school, with approval of

division for historic preservation: 10,000.

(18) Milton, family community center: 40,000.

(19) Montpelier, Pyralisk Center: 25,000.

(20) North Hero, Champlain Islands Chamber of

Commerce, Tudhope House, handicap access: 20,000.

(21) Newport, historical society display, in state

office building: 10,000.

(22) Plainfield, Twin Valley Seniors, Inc.,

intergenerational center: 25,000.

(23) Randolph, Greater Randolph Senior Center: 25,000.

(24) Rockingham, Connecticut River heritage center: 10,000.

(25) St. Johnsbury, Athenaeum and historic district: 40,000.

(26) Underhill, Maple Leaf Farm: 100,000.

(27) Waterbury, Korean-Vietnam war monument: 5,000.

(28) Washington, community center: 25,000.

(29) West Rutland, community center: 10,000.

(30) Windsor, Rueben Dean house: 10,000.

(31) Windham, meeting house: 10,000.

(32) Columbus Smith Estate Trust, Inc., Shard Villa: 10,000.

(e) Other project; the following sum appropriated shall

be made available when evidence is presented to the commissioner

that $1.00 has been raised from nonstate sources, which may

include in-kind contributions, for each dollar appropriated;

Morrisville, Lamoille County recreation center: 10,000.

(Total Appropriation - Section 20 $1,245,300)

Thirty-ninth: On page 15, line 15, Sec. 21 (reallocations), by striking subdivision (5) in its entirety, and by renumbering the remaining subdivisions to be numerically correct; and on page 16, line 2, by striking the figure "$276,455" and inserting in lieu thereof the figure "$276,077"

Fortieth: On page 16a, Sec. 22 (general fund revenues), by striking Sec. 22 in its entirety

Forty-first: [Deleted]

Forty-second: On page 16, Sec. 23 (general obligation bonds), by adjusting the total on line 21 to a sum numerically correct to fund the appropriations of this act and by adjusting the sum on line 10 to be consistent therewith.

Forty-third: On page 21, line 6, Sec. 28 (Springfield vocational-technical center; fee exemption), by striking the following: "this and all" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "any current,"

Forty-fourth: [Deleted]

Forty-fifth: On page 21, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 28b as follows:

Sec. 28b. SOCIAL SERVICES QUARTERS; HARDWICK

The commissioner of buildings and general services shall in collaboration with the secretary of human services and the Hardwick selectboard identify a building in Hardwick available and feasible for use in co-locating public social services agencies. For this purpose, the commissioner shall consult with the Community Investments of South Stafford. The commissioner shall report findings and recommendations from the inquiry to the house and senate committees on institutions and on human services by January 15, 2001.

Forty-sixth: On page 21, following line 18, by adding a new Sec. 30a as follows:

Sec. 30a. FORESTS, PARKS AND RECREATION

The commissioner of forests, parks and recreation is authorized:

(1) To relinquish ownership via quit-claim deed of a certain portion of a right-of-way in Roxbury State Forest acquired by the department from Stephen and Robin Twombly in Roxbury, Vermont. This portion of the state's right-of-way is now considered obsolete, and has been replaced with alternative access acquired from the Twombly's by the department in a new location that provides superior access to the Roxbury State Forest.

(2) To enter into an exchange of land and interests in land with the A. Johnson Company whereby the state shall convey to the A. Johnson Company a portion of state-owned property, in exchange for land or rights in land owned by the A. Johnson Company. The appraised value of land interests in land conveyed to the state by the A. Johnson Company shall be equal to or greater than the appraised value of land or interests in land conveyed by the state to the A. Johnson Company.

(3) To lease approximately 15 acres plus access in the Woodford State Park in the Town of Woodford to the Woodford Snobusters Snowmobile Club, Inc. (Club) for purposes of constructing an equipment storage and maintenance facility, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The Club shall be responsible for and shall bear the entire cost of all design, permits, construction and operation of the facility.

(B) The facility shall be owned by the state of Vermont and leased back to the Club with the 15 acres, more or less, for up to 25 years with an automatic option to renew.

(C) Prior to commencement of construction, the Club shall pay $30,000 to the state of Vermont toward the cost of constructing a public picnic shelter at the park.

Forty-seventh: On page 21, line 19, Sec. 31 (sale of Middlebury property), by striking Sec. 31 in its entirety

Forty-eighth: On page 23, line 5, Sec. 34 (amendment of previous capital construction act), by striking the following: "state buildings" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "buildings and general services"

Forty-ninth: [Deleted]

Fiftieth: On page 24, line 10, Sec. 36 (amendment of section 105 of Title 29), after the following: "state library" by inserting the following: ", the Pavilion state office building"

Fifty-first: On page 26, following line 18, by adding a bill headline and six new sections to be numbered Secs. 38a, 38b, 38c, 38d and 38e to read as follows:

* * * Capitol Police Department * * *

Sec. 38a. 2 V.S.A. § 62 is amended to read:

§ 62. LEGISLATIVE DUTIES

(a) *[Consistent with the rules of the general assembly, and under the supervision of the president of the senate and the speaker of the house, the]* The sergeant at arms shall:

(1) Execute orders of either house, the joint or house or senate rules committee;

(2) Maintain order among spectators and take measures to prevent interruption of either house or any committee thereof;

(3) Arrange for special meetings and conferences at the state house;

(4) Provide for the distribution of mail to all legislators;

(5) Schedule the time for the use of rooms for committee meetings and hearings;

(6) *[Furnish stationery, bindings and writing materials to all legislators;]*

*[(7)]* Maintain in a good state of repair all furniture, draperies, rugs, desks, paintings and office equipment kept in the state house; *[(8)]*(7) Provide for the establishment of a cafeteria and supervise its operation; *[(9)]*(8) Perform such other duties for the benefit of the legislators as may be required by any duly authorized committee thereof.

* * *

Sec. 38b. 2 V.S.A. § 70 is amended to read:

§ 70. CAPITOL POLICE DEPARTMENT

* * *

(b) Powers; training.

* * *

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a capitol police officer shall be a law enforcement officer as if certified pursuant to the provisions of chapter 151 of Title 20.

(c) Coordination of capitol complex security:

*[(1)]* The *[capitol police department shall coordinate security within the]* state house and *[assist]* all other buildings, entranceways, steps, sidewalks, parking lots and parking spaces owned, leased, controlled, occupied or designated for legislative use by the commissioner of buildings and general services, plus the land immediately adjacent thereto, shall be under the primary responsibility of the capitol police department *[the commissioner of buildings and general services in providing security and law enforcement services within the capitol complex at the discretion of the commissioner]*. *[(2)]* In all other areas of the capitol complex, except the space occupied by the supreme court, the security *[and]*, control of traffic and coordination of law enforcement activity shall be *[directed by]* under the direction of the commissioner of buildings and general services, with which the capitol police department may assist.

Sec. 38c. 2 V.S.A. § 71 is added to read:

§ 71. PARKING

(a) Any state-owned parking lot in the Capitol complex, as defined in subdivision 182(1) of Title 28, shall be considered a "public highway", as defined in subdivision 4(13) of Title 23, for enforcement purposes, whether or not open to the public or general circulation of vehicles. The driver or owner of any motor vehicle in such a legislative parking lot shall obey the instructions of any applicable posted sign or marking.

(b) A capitol police officer or other law enforcement officer is authorized:

(1) to enforce parking, stopping, standing and operation of motor vehicle signs and markings in a parking lot designated for legislative use by the sergeant at arms;

(2) to issue a Vermont traffic summons and complaint, pursuant to chapter 24 of Title 23, to the driver or owner of a motor vehicle stopped, parked, standing or being operated contrary to the instructions on an applicable posted sign or marking; or

(3) pursuant to section 1102 of Title 23, at the driver's or the owner's expense, to move, remove or immobilize, or cause to be moved, removed or immobilized, any motor vehicle which is stopped, parked, standing or being operated contrary to applicable posted signs and markings.

(c) Any sign or marking shall be presumed to have been placed at the direction of the sergeant at arms or the commissioner of buildings and general services unless the contrary is established by competent evidence.

(d) In or upon land or structures designated for legislative use by the commissioner of buildings and general services, the capitol police department is authorized to move, remove or immobilize, or cause to be moved, removed or immobilized, any motor vehicle which is stopped, parked, standing or being operated contrary to applicable posted signs and markings or in the event of an emergency.

Sec. 38d. REPEAL

Sections 65 and 66 of Title 2 are repealed.

Sec. 38e. 23 V.S.A. § 4 is amended to read:

§ 4. DEFINITIONS

Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(11) "Enforcement officers" shall include sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables, police officers, state's attorneys, capitol police officers, motor vehicle inspectors, state game wardens and state police and, for enforcement of offenses relating to parking of motor vehicles, meter checkers and other duly authorized employees of a municipality employed to assist in the enforcement of parking regulations;

* * *

Fifty-second: On page 32, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 44a as follows:

Sec. 44a. 16 V.S.A. § 559 is amended to read:

§ 559. PUBLIC BIDS

* * *

(b) When a school construction contract exceeds *[$250,000.00]* $500,000.00:

(1) The state board shall establish, in consultation with the commissioner of *[state]* buildings and general services and with other knowledgeable sources, general rules for the prequalification of bidders on such a contract. A school district shall contact the department of buildings and general services for suggestions and recommendations on bidders qualified to provide construction service under review.

(2) At least 60 days prior to the proposed bid opening on any construction contract to be awarded by a school board which exceeds *[$250,000.00]* $500,000.00, the school board shall publicly advertise for contractors interested in bidding on the project. The advertisement shall indicate that the school board has established prequalification criteria which a contractor must meet, and shall invite any interested contractor to apply to the school board for prequalification. All interested contractors shall submit their qualifications to the school board which shall determine a list of eligible prospective bidders based on the previously established criteria. At least 30 days prior to the proposed bid opening, the school board shall give written notice of the board's determination to each contractor that submitted qualifications. The school board shall consider all bids submitted by prequalified bidders meeting the deadline.

* * *

Fifty-third: On page 32, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 44b as follows:

Sec. 44b. 16 V.S.A. § 3448 is amended to read:

§ 3448. APPROVAL AND FUNDING OF SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

* * *

(b) Refund upon sale. Upon the sale by a district of any item, building or unit that may be relocated, for which state construction aid was awarded under this title, the district shall refund to the state a percentage of the sale price equal to the percentage of construction aid received. *[In no event shall the sum refunded be in excess of the amount of the original state aid received for the purchase of the item, building or unit.]* Such sale price shall for purposes of this subsection be no less than the fair market value of such item, building or unit, as determined by the director of the division of property valuation and review. All refunds shall be deposited with the state treasurer and used for school construction aid awards.

* * *

Fifty-fourth: On page 32, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 44c as follows:

Sec. 44c. AUSTINE SCHOOL REPORT

The commissioners of buildings and general services and of education shall examine methods of determining and administering state school construction aid for the Austine School of Brattleboro and report their findings and recommendations by January 15, 2001, to the house and senate committees on education and institutions.

Fifty-fifth: On page 32, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 44d as follows:

Sec. 44d. 20 V.S.A. § 33(f) is added to read:

§ 33. REGIONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMMISSIONS

* * *

(f) Members of regional emergency response commissions, except state employees, shall be entitled to a per diem and expenses as provided in section 1010 of Title 32.

Fifty-sixth: On page 32, following line 7, by adding a new Sec. 44e as follows:

Sec. 44e. 22 V.S.A. § 104 is amended to read:

§ 104. PUBLIC LIBRARIES; TRUSTEES, MANAGERS OR DIRECTORS

The trustees, managers or directors of such corporation shall compose its members and shall not be more than *[nine]* 15 nor less than five in number.

Fifty-seventh: On page 37a, Sec. 50a (correctional bed space), in the third line, after the following: "on institutions" by inserting the following:

": (i)"; and at the end of the sentence, after the following: "state-wide" by inserting the following: "; and on the feasibility of reopening county jails in Newport, St. Albans, Middlebury and Hyde Park for use in housing offenders in the custody of the commissioner of corrections"

Fifty-eighth: On page 37, following line 9, by adding a new Sec. 50b as follows:

Sec. 50b. SOUTHERN STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

As a condition of the appropriation contained in H.842 of the 2000 session for the Southern State Correctional Facility, in Springfield, the department of buildings and general services shall in designing and constructing the facility:

(1) take into consideration acoustics, visibility by correctional officers, officer to offender ratios and the ability to lock individual cell doors necessary to implement security measures;

(2) provide for sight and sound separation to the extent feasible for two temporary detention rooms made available for use by persons who have been or will be charged with committing a delinquent act as defined in chapter 55 of Title 33;

(3) provide for an area for use for videoconferencing for court and administrative proceedings as contemplated by the Vermont rules of criminal procedure and the Vermont parole board;

Fifty-ninth: On page 37, following line 9, by adding five new Secs. 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55 as follows:

Sec. 51. REPEAL

Section 751 of Title 28 (offender work) is repealed.

Sec. 52. 28 V.S.A. chapter 11, subchapter 2, § 751a is added to read:

§ 751a. DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this subchapter:

(1) "Assembled product" means a good produced by combining articles or components where none of the articles or components were fabricated, changed or altered by the use of offender labor.

(2) "Offender work product" means a good fabricated by inmate labor in whole or in part from raw or prepared materials, so as to impart to those materials new forms, qualities or properties.

(3) "Offender service labor" means the use of offender labor for projects such as brush clearing, painting, repairing and construction.

Sec. 53. 28 V.S.A. § 751b is added to read:

§ 751b. GENERAL PROVISIONS GOVERNING OFFENDER WORK

(a) To return value to communities, to assist victims of crime, to establish good habits of work and responsibility, to promote the vocational training of offenders, to pursue initiatives with private business to enhance offender employment opportunities, and to reduce the cost of operation of the department of corrections and of other state agencies, offenders may be employed in the production and delivery of goods, services and foodstuffs to communities, to victims of crime, to correctional facilities, to other state agencies and to other public or private entities authorized by this subchapter. To accomplish these purposes, the commissioner may establish and maintain industries, farms and institutional work programs at appropriate correctional facilities or other locations, plus community service work programs throughout the state.

(b) No offender shall be required to engage in unreasonable labor, and no offender shall be required to perform any work for which he or she is declared unfit by a physician employed or retained by the department.

(c) The commissioner shall establish written guidelines governing the hours and conditions of offender work, and the rates of compensation of offenders for employment. Wage payments of offenders shall be set aside in a separate fund. The guidelines of the department may provide for the making of deductions from wages of offenders to defray part or all of the cost of offender maintenance or payments to victims of crime. The guidelines may also provide for the setting aside by the department of a portion of an offender's wages to enable the offender to contribute to the support of his or her dependents, if any, to make necessary purchases from a commissary, to purchase approved books, instruments and instruction not supplied by a correctional facility and to set aside sums to be paid to him or her upon release from the custody or supervision of the commissioner. Any interest which accrues from these wages during the period of such custody of an offender shall be credited to any fund maintained by the correctional facility for the welfare of offenders. The commissioner shall by January 1, 2001, provide a current copy of any guidelines promulgated under this section to the chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions and the offender work programs board established under section 761 of this title.

(d) The labor, work product or time of an offender may be sold, contracted or hired out by the state only:

(1) To the federal government.

(2) To any state or political subdivision of a state, or to any nonprofit organization which is exempt from federal or state income taxation, subject to federal law, to the laws of the recipient state and to the rules of the department. The director of work offender programs shall annually by January 1 submit to the chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions and to the offender work programs board a list of any such nonprofit organizations receiving goods or services in the prior and current fiscal year. Five members of the such board at a scheduled and warned board meeting may vote to disapprove any future sales of offender produced goods or services to any nonprofit organization and such vote shall be binding on the department.

(3) To any private person or enterprise not involving the provision of the federally-authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program provided that the offender work programs board shall first determine that the offender work product in question is not otherwise produced or available within the state. Five members of the such board at a scheduled and warned board meeting may vote to disapprove any future sales of offender produced goods or services to any person or entity not involving the provisions of the federally-authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program and such vote shall be binding on the department.

(4) To charitable organizations where the offender work product is the handicraft of offenders and the commissioner has approved such sales in advance.

(5) To political subdivisions of the state, community organizations, private persons or enterprises when the governor has authorized the work of offenders as necessary and appropriate as a response to a civil emergency.

(e) Offender work programs managers shall seek to offset production, service and related costs from product and service sales; however, this financial objective of offsetting the costs to the department of servicing and supervising offender work programs shall not be pursued to the detriment of accomplishing the purposes of offender work programs set out in subsection (a) of this section or to the detriment of private businesses as safeguarded by section 761 of this title.

(f) Annual report and two year work programs plan. Annually by October 1, the director of offender work programs shall submit to the offender work programs board, and to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions, a written report on all offender work program activities authorized under this section for the previous fiscal year and a two-year plan for the current and future fiscal years.

(1) The annual report shall include, but not be limited to, appropriations, income, production costs, offender injury compensation, prices as they relate to enterprise performance, depreciation of equipment, capital expanses, the status and progress of vocational training programs for offenders including the number of offenders placed in private or public sector jobs upon release from custody of the commissioner, the reasons for not expanding its operations or not developing new products and any other related operational or financial considerations.

(2) The two-year plan shall address the direction of offender work programs authorized by this section working at full capacity in the current and following fiscal years, identify recipients of offender produced goods or services, and analyze any potential impact on existing private businesses.

(g) The department of corrections shall in any new initiative involving sales of offender work products seek to use the provisions of the federally-authorized Prison Industries Enhancement Program.

(h) Assembled products shall not be sold to any person, enterprise or entity unless the offender work programs board has first reviewed any such proposed sale, and five members of the board have voted in favor of the proposal at a scheduled and warned meeting of the board.

(i) The commissioner shall consult and collaborate with the commissioner of employment and training at least annually to seek funding and support for vocational training for offenders to help offenders achieve a successful transition from the custody of the commissioner to private life. To the extent feasible any vocational training program for offenders shall incorporate the professional training standards applicable to the construction and other trades, and industries, existing in the private sector.

Sec. 54. 28 V.S.A. § 752 is amended to read:

§ 752. OFFENDER WORK PROGRAMS SPECIAL FUND

(a) An offender work programs special fund shall be maintained for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of section *[751]* 751b of this title, which fund shall include any appropriations made from time to time by the state legislature and any sums obtained from the sale of goods and services produced by offenders pursuant to *[subsections 751(e) and (f)]* section 751b of this title. The special fund shall be managed pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

(b) Any expenses incurred by offender work programs and the offender work programs board shall be defrayed by this fund.

(c) All balances of the fund remaining at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and be made available for the succeeding fiscal year, and shall be kept as a special fund by the state treasurer, except that any balance at the end of a fiscal year not needed to maintain offender work programs or for other purposes provided by section *[751]* 751b or 761 of this title shall by September 1 of the subsequent fiscal year be transferred to the victims' compensation fund established under chapter 167 of Title 13.

(d) The fund also may be used, at the discretion of the commissioner, to further the raising, harvesting and preservation of food.

(e) Purchases of materials for resale may be made from the fund, but the fund shall be maintained intact except for temporary depletion in making such purchases for resale.

Sec. 55. 28 V.S.A. § 761 is amended to read:

§ 761. OFFENDER WORK PROGRAMS BOARD

(a) *[Board]* Offender work programs board established. An offender work programs board is established for the purpose of advising the commissioner on the use of offender labor for the public good. The board shall base its considerations and recommendations to the commissioner on a review of plans for offender work programs pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and on other information as it deems appropriate.

(1) The board shall consist of nine members, each appointed by the governor for a three-year term*[, except that the terms of the first members shall be as determined by the board,]* or until a successor is appointed, as follows:

(A) four representatives of customers of the products and services of offender work programs, two of whom shall represent public sector customers, and two of whom shall represent private nonprofit organization customers;

(B) *[two]* three representatives of private business organizations;

(C) *[two]* one representatives of labor or labor organizations; and

(D) one at large member.

(2) *[Members of the board shall elect]* The governor shall appoint a chair and vice-chair *[from among the members]*, each of whom shall serve for one year or until a successor is *[elected]* appointed.

(3) The board shall report on its activities at the request of the commissioner, and at least annually to the commissioner and to the *[house and senate committees on institutions]* joint fiscal office.

(4) The board *[shall be provided]* may with the commissioner's approval of funds hire by contract such persons the board deems necessary to provide it with administrative and staff support *[by the department of corrections]*.

(5) All board members shall be reimbursed from the special fund established by section 752 of this title for per diem and expenses incurred in the performance of their duties pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32.

(b) *[Offender work programs]* Review of the annual report and two-year plan. *[The director of offender work programs shall annually submit to the board for its review a three-year plan for production by offender work programs (OWP). The plan shall provide for the full use of current and projected OWP productive capacity, but with minimal disruption to existing private businesses.]* In reviewing the annual report and two-year plan submitted by the director of offender work programs as required by subsection 751b(f) of this title, and forming its recommendations concerning *[it]* them to the commissioner, the board shall:

(1) assure itself that the plan is informed by thorough and accurate analysis of private business activity in the specific market segments concerned, for which purpose the board *[shall solicit advice from experts on the Vermont economy and]* may with the commissioners' approval of funds hire by contract such persons the board deems necessary to assist it in analyzing the plan. The board shall also conduct public hearings to hear from members of the public or from potentially affected private businesses and labor groups;

(2) *[propose a maximum level of annual OWP activity to be permitted]* forward annually by January 1 to the joint fiscal office a maximum level of offender work program activity in each market segment during the term of the plan; and

(3) *[publicize]* make publicly known and available its recommendations for *[OWP market activity among potentially affected private business and labor groups]* offender work programs operations.

(c) Offender work programs expansion. The Vermont correctional industries component of the offender work programs shall not expand into an existing market *[unless]* until the commissioner has *[consulted with the offender work programs board and has]* done all of the following:

(1) evaluated the impact of *[the]* expansion on *[the existing market]* private sector business;

(2) notified the offender work programs board of the proposal; and

(3) obtained the board's written suggestions, comments and recom-mendations concerning the proposal. Five members of the board at a scheduled and warned board meeting may vote to disapprove any proposed expansion and such vote shall be binding on the department.

Sixtieth: On page 37, following line 9, by adding ten new sections to be numbered Secs. 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65 to read as follows:

Sec. 56. 13 V.S.A. § 7030 is amended to read:

§ 7030. SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES

(a) In determining which of the following should be ordered, the court shall consider the nature and circumstances of the crime, the history and character of the defendant, the need for treatment, and the risk to self, others and the community at large presented by the defendant:

(1) A deferred sentence pursuant to section 7041 of this title.

(2) Probation pursuant to section 205 of Title 28.

(3) Supervised community sentence pursuant to section 352 of Title 28.

(4) Sentence of imprisonment.

(b) When ordering a sentence of probation, the court may require participation in the restorative justice program established by chapter 12 of Title 28 as a condition of the sentence.

Sec. 57. 28 V.S.A. § 2a is added to read:

§ 2a. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

(a) State policy. It is the policy of this state that principles of restorative justice be included in shaping how the criminal justice system responds to persons charged with or convicted of criminal offences. The policy goal is a community response to a person's wrongdoing at its earliest onset, and a type and intensity of sanction tailored to each instance of wrongdoing. Policy objectives are to:

(1) Resolve conflicts and disputes by means of a nonadversarial community process.

(2) Repair damage caused by criminal acts to communities in which they occur, and to address wrongs inflicted on individual victims.

(3) Reduce the risk of an offender committing a more serious crime in the future, that would require a more intensive and more costly sanction, such as incarceration.

(b) Implementation. It is the intent of the general assembly that law enforcement officials develop and employ restorative justice approaches whenever feasible and responsive to specific criminal acts, pursuant to sections 163 and 164 of Title 3, concerning court diversion, chapter 221 of Title 13, concerning sentencing, and the provisions of this title, concerning persons in the custody of the commissioner of corrections. It is the further intent of the general assembly that such restorative justice programs be designed to encourage participation by local communities members, including victims, when they so choose, as well as public officials, in holding offenders accountable for damage caused to communities and victims, and in restoring offenders to the law-abiding community, through activities:

(1) Which require offenders to:

(A) acknowledge wrongdoing and apologize to victims;

(B) make restitution for damage to the victims consistent with provisions of chapter 221 of Title 13 and of this title;

(C) make reparation for damage to the community by fulfilling a community service; and

(D) when relevant, successfully complete treatment addressing the offense or other underlying problematic behavior, or undertake academic or vocational training or other self-improving activity.

(2) Which aid in the recovery of victims, recognizing that victims, particularly of violent crime, often suffer lifelong effects and, accordingly, must feel safe and involved in any program offered to assist them.

(3) Which help in identifying the causes of crime and ways community members and municipal and state government can reduce or prevent crime in the future.

Sec. 58. 28 V.S.A. § 3 is amended to read:

§ 3. GENERAL DEFINITIONS

Whenever used in this title:

* * *

(11) "Restorative justice program" means a program developed and implemented by the commissioner, consistent with state policy and legislative intent as provided by section 2a of this title.

Sec. 59. 28 V.S.A. § 101 is amended to read:

§ 101. POWERS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The department is charged with the following powers:

* * *

(10) To charter, establish, and fund through grants such municipal entities or nonprofit organizations as may be required for providing crime prevention and *[outreach services to]* restorative justice programs for offenders, victims of crime, and the public.

Sec. 60. 28 V.S.A. § 102 is amended to read:

§ 102. COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTIONS; APPOINTMENT; POWERS; RESPONSIBILITIES

* * *

(b) The commissioner is charged with the following powers:

* * *

(13) To establish community reparative boards pursuant to chapter 12 of this title.

(14) To delegate to locally established boards or justice centers the authority to assist, through use of community resources, in developing and implementing restorative justice programs for offenders, victims of crime and members of the community.

(15) The commissioner shall rely upon the expertise of department employees to provide offender risk management supervisory services and risk assessment determinations for the delivery of correctional services in both residential and nonresidential settings.

* * *

Sec. 61. 28 V.S.A. § 252 is amended to read:

§ 252. CONDITIONS OF PROBATION

* * *

(b) When imposing a sentence of probation, the court may, as a condition of probation, require that the offender:

* * *

(15) Participate in the restorative justice program conducted by a community reparative board, pursuant to chapter 12 of this title. The court may direct a reparative board to assist in determining restitution to the victim, as provided by subdivision (6) of this subsection;

*[(15)]*(16) Satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to his rehabilitation.

* * *

Sec. 62. 28 V.S.A. chapter 12 is redesignated to read:

CHAPTER 12. *[COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMS]* COMMUNITY

REPARATIVE BOARDS

Sec. 63. 28 V.S.A. chapter 12 §§ 910 and 910a are added to read:

§ 910. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAM FOR PROBATIONERS

This chapter establishes a program of restorative justice for use with offenders required to participate in such a program as a condition of a sentence of probation. The program shall be carried out by community reparative boards under the supervision of the commissioner, as provided by this chapter.

§ 910a. REPARATIVE BOARDS; FUNCTIONS

(a) The commissioner shall establish reparative boards and appoint to them members of the community with the advice and recommendation of nonprofit organizations or municipal entities in the localities concerned. The commissioner shall appoint each board member to a term of one to three years, may reappoint a member to consecutive terms, and may remove a member for good cause.

(b) Each board shall elect its chair from its membership. A chair may serve for no more than one year uninterrupted. All meetings of a board shall comply with open meeting law requirements of subchapter 2 of chapter 5 of Title 1, consistent with probationer confidentiality requirements of this title, and as may be imposed by the court.

(c) Each board shall adopt bylaws approved by the commissioner. Such bylaws may authorize each board to establish panels to conduct reparative board activities.

(d) Each board shall conduct its meetings in a manner that promotes safe interactions among a probationer, victim or victims and community members, and shall:

(1) In collaboration with the department, municipalities, the courts, and other entities of the criminal justice system, implement the restorative justice program of seeking to obtain probationer accountability, repair harm and compensate a victim or victims and the community, increase a probationer's awareness of the effect of his or her behavior on a victim or victims and the community, and identify ways to help a probationer comply with the law.

(2) Educate the public about, and promote community support for, the restorative justice program.

(e) Each board shall have access to the central file of any probationer required to participate with that board in the restorative justice program.

(f) When engaged in board activities, a board member shall be considered a volunteer with regard to any grievance or other matter governed by section 1101 of Title 3.

Sec. 64. 28 V.S.A. § 104 is amended to read:

§ 104. NOTIFICATION OF COMMUNITY PLACEMENTS

* * *

(d) Subsection (a) of this section shall expire July 1, *[2000]* 2002.

(e) The commissioner of corrections shall annually by January 15 report to the house and senate committees on institutions and on judiciary on the implementation of this section during the previous twelve months.

Sec. 65. REPEAL

28 V.S.A. § 912 (alternatives to incarceration board) is repealed.

Sixth-first: On page 37, following line 9, by adding four new sections to be numbered Secs. 66, 67, 68, 69 and 70 to read as follows:

Sec. 66. 4 V.S.A. §21a(a) is amended to read:

§21 a. DUTIES OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE

(a) The administrative judge shall assign superior and district judges and specially assign district and superior judges, including himself or herself, and the environmental judge if available, to the *[family court]* superior, district and family courts. All judges, except the environmental judge, shall be subject to the requirements of rotation as ordered by the supreme court.

(b) In making any assignment under this section, the administrative judge shall give consideration to the experience, temperament*[,]* and training*[, and]* *[willingness]* of a judge *[to serve in the family court]* and the needs of the court. In making a special assignment to the environmental court under section 1001(e) of this title, the administrative judge shall give consideration to experience and expertise in environmental and zoning law.

Sec. 67. 4 V.S.A. §73 is amended to read:

§ 73. ASSIGNMENT

(a) The supreme court may establish no more than three geographic divisions for the assignment of superior judges. In accordance with the direction of the supreme court, the administrative judge shall assign the superior judges among the geographic divisions and shall establish a rotation schedule, both within and outside the division to which the judges are regularly assigned*[; provided, however, that in any consecutive three years each superior judge shall serve not less than twelve months in the other division or divisions to which he is not regularly assigned]*. The rotation schedule shall be on file in the office of the clerk of each superior court, and copies shall be furnished upon request. *[No judge shall be assigned to any one court for two successive six-month terms unless the court's caseload so requires]*. Only in a case where a superior judge is disqualified or unable to attend any term of court or part thereof to which he has been assigned may the administrative judge assign another superior judge to act as presiding judge at that term or part thereof and only for that period during which the assigned judge is disqualified or unable to attend.

(b) *[The]* Pursuant to section 21a of this title the administrative judge shall specially assign superior judges to hear and determine *[contested divorce and custody cases, including hearings on contested petitions for modification of decrees and contested petitions for temporary orders. In making the designation the administrative judge shall give consideration to experience, temperament and expertise in matrimonial matters]* family court matters. The administrative judge shall insure that such hearings are held promptly. Any contested divorce case which has been pending for more than one year shall be advanced for prompt hearing upon the request of any party.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, the administrative judge may, *[upon a determination that a superior court is underserved,]* pursuant to section 21a of this title, specially assign a district court judge to *[that superior]* family court to hear matters specified in subsection (b). *[In making that assignment, the administrative judge shall give consideration to experience, temperament and expertise in matrimonial matters.]*

Sec. 68. 4 V.S.A. §111(e) is amended to read:

(e) The administrative judge may assign assistant judges, with their consent, to a special assignment in *[the superior court of]* a court where they have jurisdiction in another county when assistant judges of that county are unavailable or the business of the courts so require. *[However, assistant judges from another county shall not sit without the permission of the litigants in the case.]*

Sec. 69. 4 V.S.A. §444(a) is amended to read:

(a) The district court shall have 17 district judges, one of whom shall be assigned to the special unit of the court as prescribed in section 436a of this title and one of whom shall be assigned to the special unit of the court as prescribed in section 436b of this title. The administrative judge shall assign, from time to time, one or more judges to each territorial unit of the court as established by the supreme court pursuant to section 436. In accordance with the direction of the supreme court, the judges shall assign the district court judges on a rotation. The rotation schedule shall be on file in the office of each district court clerk and copies shall be furnished upon request. Unless otherwise provided by law, each judge shall reside in the territorial unit to which the judge is regularly assigned but need not be a resident of the unit when first appointed or assigned.

Sec. 70. 4 V.S.A. §444a is amended to read:

§ 444a. ESSEX COUNTY; POWERS OF ESSEX COUNTY ASSISTANT JUDGES IN DISTRICT COURT.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the senior assistant judge of Essex county may elect to act as a district court judge, and the administrative judge shall so appoint, for the purpose of hearing and disposing *[hear and dispose]* of initial appearances before a judicial officer under Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure, arraignments under Rule 10 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure and pleas under Rule 11 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure taken at the initial appearance or at the arraignment. Such assistant judge may also accept a plea under Rule 11 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure and impose a sentence and enter judgment on defendants who plead guilty or no contest to misdemeanors under Rule 32 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(b) *[The senior Essex county assistant judge, prior to hearing such cases, shall have completed the Special Court Jurisdiction Program at the National Judicial College and shall have observed such cases for 20 hours while being heard by a presiding district court judge.(c)]* Appeals taken from decisions of the assistant judge under this section shall be heard before a presiding district court judge and shall be de novo or on the record at the discretion of the appellant.

*[(d)]*(c) This section shall be repealed effective the date on which the senior assistant judge of Essex county holding office on May 1, 1996 vacates such office.

And by renumbering the remaining section to be numerically correct

Sixth-second: On page 37, line 11, Sec. 71 (renumbered) (effective date), by striking Sec. 71 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 71 as follows:

Sec. 71. EFFECTIVE DATE

(a) This act shall take effect on passage.

(b) All appropriations and bond issuance authorizations of this act shall take effect on passage, and shall carry forward beyond the current or any future fiscal year.

Sixty-third: In Sec. 49, on page 36, line 11, by striking out the word "may" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "and the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union (for the old Highgate Elementary School renovation and the classroom and library additions to Sheldon Elementary School), may each"

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Wood of Brandon moved that the House refuse to concur and ask for a Committee of Conference, which was agreed to, and the Speaker appointed as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the House:

Rep. Wood of Brandon

Rep. Emmons of Springfield

Rep. Wheeler of Burlington

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of

Amendment Concurred in

S. 10

The Senate has concurred in the House Proposal of Amendment with the following amendment thereto, in which the concurrence of the House is requested to House bill, entitled

An act relating to aggravated operation without consent of owner;

First: In Sec. 1, 23 V.S.A. § 1094(b), by adding a new subdivision (2) to read as follows:

(2) the motor vehicle sustains $500.00 or more in damage during the commission of the offense; or

and by renumbering the remaining subdivisions to be numerically correct.

Second: In Sec. 1, 23 V.S.A. § 1094(b)(2), by striking out subparagraph (D) in its entirety.

And by relettering the remaining subparagraphs to be alphabetically correct.

Which proposal of amendment to House proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged to Senate Forthwith

On motion of Rep. Freed of Dorset, the rules were suspended and the following bills were ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith:

H. 850

House bill, entitled

An act relating to capital appropriations and state bonding;

S. 10

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to aggravated operation without consent of owner;

Rules Suspended; Action Messaged to Senate Forthwith and Bill Delivered to Governor Forthwith

On motion of Rep. LaBarge of Grand Isle, the rules were suspended and action on the following bill was ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith and the bill delivered to the Governor forthwith.

H. 848

An act relating to zoning of registered or licensed family child care homes.

Senate Bill Referred

S. 325

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to an appropriation to the legislature;

Was taken up, read the first time and referred to the committee on Appropriations.

Adjournment

At three o'clock and twenty minutes in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Fyfe of Newport City, the House adjourned until tomorrow at nine o'clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon.