House Calendar

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2006

52nd DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 1:15 PM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

H. 342  Sheriffs’ Law Enforcement Budget Committees.................................. 615

H. 860  Regional Greenhouse Gas ................................................................. 615

               Rep. Hube et al Amendment

               Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 862  Home Study Programs...................................................................... 615

               Rep. Cross for Education

Favorable with Amendment

H. 456  Vermont Products and Nutrition in Schools........................................ 615

               Rep. Orr for Agriculture................................................................... 616

               Rep. McLaughlin for Education........................................................ 620

               Rep. Perry for Appropriations.......................................................... 621

H. 480  Precursor drugs of Methamphetamine............................................... 621

               Rep. Pugh for Human Services       

Favorable

H. 859  Energy Security and Reliability Act.................................................... 625

               Rep. Dostis for Natural Resources and Energy

               Rep. Nitka for Appropriations

               Rep. Nitka Amendment................................................................... 625

Action Postponed Until Thursday, March 16, 2006

S. 164  Elections and Voter Registration......................................................... 625

 

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 864  Capital Construction and State Bonding............................................. 626

               Rep. Emmons for Institutions

Favorable with Amendment

H. 861  Health Care Affordability for Vermonters........................................... 626

               Rep. Chen for Health Care

               Rep. Ancel for Ways and Means..................................................... 626                   

CONSENT CALENDAR

(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)

H.C.R. 242  Honoring Marianne Metropoulos............................................... 632

H.C.R. 243  In Memory of Stamford Principal Leo Ethier.............................. 632

S.C.R.   53  Recognizing Robert E. Miller for Contributions to VT.................. 632


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

H. 342

     An act relating to sheriffs’ law enforcement budget committees.

H. 860

An act relating to Vermont’s participation in the regional greenhouse gas initiative.

Amendment to be offered by Reps. Hube of Londonderry, Marcotte of Coventry, Obuchowski of Rockingham and Rodgers of Glover to H. 860

     Move that the bill be amended by adding a new Sec. 2 to read:

Sec. 2.  INVESTIGATION; SEARSBURG; WIND TURBINE

     (a) The Public Service Department is directed to make a thorough and independent investigation into the cause and consequences of  the destruction of one of the wind turbines on the ridgeline in Searsburg.  On Friday, February 17, 2006, one of blades of the 11 wind towers owned by Green Mountain Power in Searsburg was reportedly struck by lightening and damaged by the severe storm in the area. The citizens of Vermont deserve to know the magnitude of this danger.  How big of piece of blade was involved? Where did it land?  What damage resulted? How far from the tower did it land?  And, most significantly, what is the potential for a recurrence of this event and the potential danger in the future if larger turbines are installed in greater numbers.

     (b) The department shall investigate and report its findings and conclusions to the General Assembly no later than April 15, 2006.

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 862

An act relating to home study programs.

(Rep. Cross of Winooski will speak for the Committee on Education .)

Favorable with Amendment

H. 456

     An act relating to use of Vermont products and nutrition education in schools.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS; INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that it is in the best interests of Vermont children, farmers, and communities to empower schools and state agencies to increase their use of local farm products in their food service programs, particularly school meals programs, because:

(1)  Research shows that children who exercise moderately and eat a healthy diet are less likely to be overweight and have less risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure as adults.  Since a child can receive 55 percent of his or her daily nutritional requirements from the school breakfast and lunch program, it is important to encourage children to eat a healthy diet of fresh food at school.  This is particularly important for the 21,000 Vermont children who live in households unable to provide enough nutritious food in order to lead an active and healthy life.  Further, inadequate nutrition can prevent children from learning effectively; research shows an improvement in student behavior and academic performance and improved health scores when nutrition is improved.

(2)  Farmers gain an increased market for their products.  In school year 2002-2003, Vermont schools spent $13 million on food for their food service programs, yet less than five percent of the $13 million went for direct purchase of produce from local farms and other local producers.  Recent farm-to-school efforts in Vermont have demonstrated that when children and food service personnel have relationships with local farmers and producers, they are more likely to try new foods and use fresh and less-processed foods.

(3)  Support for Vermont farms benefits the entire community.  Food dollars spent locally benefit the community economically, the working landscape and open land crucial to Vermont’s quality of life and tourism industry is maintained, and the environment gains through less dependence on a large transportation system.

(4)  The Vermont economy benefits when the agricultural sector is strong.  Agriculture accounts for 14 percent of Vermont’s gross domestic product and 16 percent of Vermont jobs are in or related to agriculture.

(b)  Therefore, in order to encourage healthy and lifelong habits of eating nutritious local food as well as to foster relationships among farmers and schoolchildren, school personnel, and other adults in the Vermont community, it is the intent of this act to provide aid and incentives to local school districts and state agencies and farmers to:

(1)  serve food to Vermont students and adults that is as fresh and as nutritious as possible;

(2)  maximize use of fresh locally grown, produced and processed food;

(3)  educate students about healthy eating habits through nutrition education, including using hands‑on techniques to make connections between farming and the foods that students consume;

(4)  increase the size and stability of farmers’ direct sales markets; and

(5)  increase school meal participation by increasing the selection of foods available to students.

Sec. 2.  LOCAL FOODS MINI-GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  There is created in the agency of agriculture, food and markets a local foods mini‑grant program for the purpose of helping Vermont schools develop relationships with local farmers and producers.

(b)  A school district, a supervisory union, or a consortium of school districts or supervisory unions may apply to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets for a mini-grant award to:

(1)  purchase equipment, resources, and materials that will help to increase use of local foods in the school food service program;

(2)  purchase items, including local farm products, that will help teachers to use hands-on educational techniques to teach children about nutrition and farm‑to‑school connections; and

(3)  provide professional development and technical assistance to help teachers educate students about nutrition and farm‑to‑school connections.

(c)  In making awards, the secretary shall work with the commissioner of education to develop specific criteria and application forms for the mini-grants.  The secretary shall make awards provided that there is significant interest in the community and shall give priority consideration to schools and school districts that are in the early stages of developing farm‑to‑school connections and education and that are making progress toward the implementation of the Vermont nutrition and fitness policy guidelines developed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, the Vermont department of education, and the Vermont department of health dated November 2005 or the guidelines’ successor.  No award shall be greater than $15,000.00.

 

Sec. 3.  FARM ASSISTANCE; SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD

             AND MARKETS

(a)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall work with existing programs and organizations to develop and implement educational opportunities for farmers to help them to increase their markets through selling their products to schools and state government agencies, and participating in the federal food commodities program, including the federal Department of Defense Fresh program.  

(b)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall award one-time funds to the Vermont Food Venture Center or other public or non-profit entity that would, at a minimum:

(1)  process locally grown farm products for school and institutional markets, thereby helping farmers to increase the size and stability of their markets; and

(2)  rent equipment to local farmers so that they can process their products for sale.

Sec. 4.  PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR FOOD SERVICE

             PERSONNEL

(a)  The commissioner of education shall expand training and increase sessions for public school food service personnel during 2007.  Training shall include information about strategies for purchasing, processing, and serving locally grown foods, as well as information about nutrition, obesity prevention, coping with severe food allergies, and food service operations.  The commissioner may use a portion of the funds appropriated for this training session to pay a portion of or all expenses for attendees and to develop manuals or other materials to help in the training.

(b)  In 2007, the commissioner of education shall train people to provide technical assistance to school food service personnel and use a portion of the funds appropriated for this purpose to enable the trained people to provide technical assistance at the school and school district levels.

(c)  Training provided under this section shall promote the policies established in the Vermont nutrition and fitness policy guidelines developed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, the Vermont department of education, and the Vermont department of health dated November 2005 or it’s the guidelines’ successor.

Sec. 5.  EXPANDING MARKETS FOR VERMONT FARMERS; REPORT

On or before January 15, 2007, the commissioner of education, secretary of agriculture, food and markets, and secretary of human services shall jointly make recommendations to the senate and house committees on agriculture, institutions, and education and the house committee on human services on the following:

(1)  Strategies the general assembly could adopt or encourage to increase use of locally grown foods in Vermont schools and state agencies.  In developing recommendations under this subdivision, the commissioner and secretaries shall:

(A)  consider the benefit to the economy of Vermont and the rural farm economy compared to the impact on state spending of requiring the secretary of administration, the secretary of buildings and general services, and any state-funded institutions to purchase agricultural products grown or produced in Vermont when available at more than the cost of like products produced outside the state;

(B)  consult with farmers, food service personnel, state agency personnel involved in purchasing agricultural products, and representatives of organizations interested in creating strategies to increase use of locally grown foods in Vermont schools and state agencies; and

(C)  consider other strategies to increase use of locally grown foods in Vermont schools and state agencies.

(2)  Whether moving administration of the U.S.D.A. food distribution program (the food commodities program) from the agency of human services to another department or agency such as the department of education or the agency of agriculture, food and markets would improve integration of the program with efforts to include more fresh foods in general and Vermont‑grown foods in particular and would result in more frequent delivery of foods in a timely fashion.  In developing recommendations under this subdivision, the commissioner and secretaries shall consult with people who work in and use or have the potential to use the food commodities program.

(3)  Ways to improve the effectiveness of the local foods mini-grant program created in Sec. 2 of this act.

(4)  Ways to improve the effectiveness of training for public school food service personnel conducted pursuant to Sec. 4 of this act.

Sec. 6.  APPROPRIATION

(a)  The amount of $125,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets for the purpose of awarding local foods mini‑grants under Sec. 2 of this act.

(b)  The amount of $25,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of education for training of food service personnel pursuant to Sec. 4 of this act.

(c)  The amount of $15,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets for carrying out educational activities for farmers pursuant to Sec. 3(a) of this act.

(d)  The amount of $30,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the Food Education Every Day Program to enable the organization to provide farm‑to‑school education and teacher training services to more school districts and to assist the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and the commissioner of education to carry out farmer and food service worker trainings pursuant to Secs. 3(a) and 4 of this act.

(e)  The amount of $75,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets to be used to support a Vermont food processing entity pursuant to Sec. 3(b) of this act.  The secretary shall award funds under this subsection upon certification from the Vermont food processing entity that it is providing an equal amount of funding to support services that help local farmers process their products.

(Committee vote: 9-2-0)

Rep. McLaughlin of Royalton, for the Committee on Education,  recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the Committee on Agriculture and when further amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, subsection (b), by striking “A school district, a supervisory union, or a consortium of school districts or supervisory unions” and inserting in lieu thereof “A school, school district, consortium of schools, or consortium of school districts

Second:  In Sec. 2, by striking subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read:

(c)  In making awards, the secretary shall work with the commissioner of education to develop specific criteria and application forms for the mini-grants.  The secretary shall make awards provided that there is significant interest in the school community and shall give priority consideration to schools and school districts that are in the early stages of developing farm‑to‑school connections and education and that are making progress toward the implementation of the Vermont nutrition and fitness policy guidelines developed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, the department of education, and the department of health, dated November 2005 or the guidelines’ successor.  No award shall be greater than $15,000.00.

Third:  In Sec. 3, in subsection (b), by striking the words “may award one‑time funds to the Vermont Food Venture Center” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “shall award one-time funds to the Vermont Food Venture Center or other food processing entity

Fourth:  In Sec. 4(a), in the first sentence, by striking the words “shall expand training and increase sessions” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “shall offer expanded regional training sessions

Fifth:  In Sec. 4 at the end of Sec. 4, by adding a subsection (c) to read:

(c)  Training provided under this section shall promote the policies established in the Vermont nutrition and fitness policy guidelines developed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, the department of education, and the department of health, dated November 2005 or the guidelines’ successor.

Sixth:  In Sec. 6, by striking subsections (d) and (e) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new subsections (d) and (e) to read:

(d)  The amount of $30,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of education to provide farm‑to‑school education and teacher training services and to work with the secretary of agriculture, food and markets to carry out farmer and food service worker trainings pursuant to Secs. 3(a) and 4 of this act.

(e)  The amount of $75,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets to be used to support a Vermont food processing entity pursuant to Sec. 3(b) of this act.  The secretary shall award funds under this subsection upon certification from the Vermont food processing entity that it is providing an equal amount of funding to support services that help local farmers process their products.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Rep. Perry of Richford, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the Committee on Agriculture and when further amended as follows:

     In Sec. 6, subsections (b), (d), and (e), following the words “is appropriated”, by inserting the words “on a one‑time basis” in each of the three subsections

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

H. 480

     An act relating to precursor drugs of methamphetamine.

Rep. Pugh of South Burlington, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  4  V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:      

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

(a) A judicial bureau is created within the judicial branch under the supervision of the supreme court.

(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(10) violations under subdivision 658(c)(1) of Title 7, relating to an employee of a second class licensee selling alcohol to a minor during a compliance check.;

(11)  violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4234b(b), relating to selling and dispensing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.

* * *

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 4234b is added to read:

§ 4234b.  EPHEDRINE AND PSEUDOEPHEDRINE

(a)  Possession.

(1)  No person shall knowingly and unlawfully possess a drug product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, with the intent to use the product as a precursor to manufacture methamphetamine or another controlled substance.

(2)  A person who violates this subsection shall:

(A)  if the offense involves possession of less than nine grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, be  imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both;

(B)  if the offense involves possession of nine or more grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, be  imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $100,000.00, or both.

(b)  Selling and dispensing.

(1)  A drug product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, shall not be distributed at retail to the general public unless it is maintained in a locked display case or behind the counter out of the public’s reach.

(2)(A)  A retail establishment shall not knowingly dispense to a person within a 30‑day period any drug product or combination of drug products containing a total of nine or more grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.

(B)  A retail establishment shall not knowingly dispense to a person within a 24-hour period any drug product or combination of drug products containing a total of more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.

(C)  This subdivision shall not apply to drug products dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription.

(3)(A)  A retail establishment shall require that a person who purchases, receives, or otherwise acquires any compound, mixture, or preparation containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers:

(i)  produce a government-issued identification; and

(ii)  sign a written or electronic log or receipt showing the person’s name, the date of the transaction, and the amount of the compound, mixture, or preparation involved in the transaction, if the amount is greater than 1.44 grams.

(B)  The records required by this subdivision shall be readily retrievable and separate from all other invoices or records of transactions and maintained for not less than three years.

(4)  A person or business which violates this subdivision shall:

(A)  for a first violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00.

(B)  for a second and subsequent violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.

(c)  This section shall not apply to any compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing pseudoephedrine which are in liquid, liquid capsule, or gel capsule form if pseudoephedrine is not the only active ingredient, unless the commissioner adopts a rule making this section applicable to those forms after finding that there is a risk that such products may be used as precursors to methamphetamine.  

(d)(1)  A manufacturer may apply to the commissioner of health to exempt a drug product from this section.  The commissioner may grant the exemption if the commissioner finds the product:

(A)  is not used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine or other regulated drugs; or

(B)  has been formulated to prevent the conversion of the product’s active ingredient into methamphetamine.

(2)  The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this subsection.

(e)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Distributor” means a person, other than a manufacturer or wholesaler, who sells, delivers, transfers, or in any manner furnishes a drug product to any person who is not the ultimate user or consumer of the product.

(2)  “Knowingly” means having actual knowledge of the relevant facts.

(3)  “Manufacturer” means a person who produces, compounds, packages, or in any manner initially prepares a drug product for sale or use.

(4)  “Readily retrievable” means available for inspection without prior notice at the registration address if that address is within the state of Vermont.  If the registration address is in a state other than Vermont, it means records must be furnished within three working days.

(5)  “Wholesaler” means a person, other than a manufacturer, who sells, transfers, or in any manner furnishes a drug product to any other person for the purpose of being resold.

Sec. 3.  EDUCATION PROGRAM; TREATMENT AVAILABILITY EVALUATION; REPORT

(a)  The department of health shall develop a publicity and education program to explain the need for change in public access to methamphetamine precursors.  The program shall include, at a minimum the following components:

(1)  The publication of brochures and posters explaining the dangers of methamphetamine, the requirements of this act, and the need for placing restrictions on public access to methamphetamine precursors and for requiring that a log be signed when the precursors are purchased. The department shall make the brochures published pursuant to this subsection available to the public.  The posters published pursuant to this subsection shall be made available to all retail establishments which make methamphetamine precursors available for sale.

(2)  A coalition to educate the public and disseminate information about methamphetamine and its precursors, to evaluate current treatment opportunities for individuals abusing methamphetamine, and to recommend legislative changes to combat the dangers posed by methamphetamine abuse and production.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2007, the department shall report on the status and components of the education program developed pursuant to this section and on the coalition’s evaluation of treatment opportunities for methamphetamine and recommendations for legislative action to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on September 1, 2006.                                                                                                         

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

Favorable

H. 859

An act relating to the energy security and reliability act.

(Rep. Dostis of Waterbury will speak for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.)

Rep. Nitka of Ludlow, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 10-0-1)

     Amendment to be offered by Rep. Nitka of Ludlow to H. 859

     Moves that the bill be amended in Sec. 10, 10 V.S.A. § 219b, on page 16, line 9, before the first sentence of the section, by inserting the following: “(a)” and on page 17,  after the period at the end of the section, by adding the following:

(b) Among the factors the board shall consider in performing its functions under this section, the board shall consider the impact on rates for customers in the territory where the net metering is to be located or will be expanded.

Action Postponed Until Thursday, March 16, 2006

S. 164

An act relating to elections and voter registration.

Pending Question: Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations?

 

 

 

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 864

An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

(Rep. Emmons of Springfield will speak for the Committee on Institutions.)

Favorable with Amendment

H. 861

An act relating to health care affordability for Vermonters.

(Rep. Chen of Mendon  will speak for the Committee on Health Care.)

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

First:  In Sec. 5, in subdivision 702(d)(2) of Title 18, on page 10, line 11, after the words “statewide participation”, by inserting the words “in the blueprint for health

Second:  In Sec. 14, on page 27, following line 7, by inserting § 2027 to read:

§ 2027.  Catamount Fund

(a)  The catamount fund is established in the treasury as a special fund to be a source of financing for catamount health.

(b)  Into the fund shall be deposited:

(1)  transfers of receipts received as strategic payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement from the tobacco litigation settlement fund as provided for in section 425a of Title 32;

(2)  22 percent of the revenue from the cigarette tax levied pursuant to chapter 205 of Title 32; and

(3)  the proceeds from grants, donations, contributions, taxes, and any other sources of revenue as may be provided by statute, rule, or act of the general assembly.

(c)  The fund shall be administered pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund and any remaining balance shall be retained in the fund.  The agency shall maintain records indicating the amount of money in the fund at any time.

(d)  All monies received by or generated to the fund shall be used only as allowed by appropriation of the general assembly for the administration and delivery of catamount health and transfers to the state health care resources fund established in section 1901d of this title.

Third:  In Sec. 15, on page 28, line 9, subdivision (8), by striking “$310.00 per month” and inserting in lieu thereof “the actual cost of catamount health, which for fiscal year 2008 is estimated at $310.00 per month

Fourth:  In Sec. 16, on page 28, line 12, following the words “proposed rules”, by inserting the following:  “, developed under chapter 25 of Title 3,”; in line 17, by striking the words “legislative committee on rules” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: “joint legislative committee on administrative rules”; and on page 29, following line 5, by inserting a subsection (c) to read:

(c)  The agency shall submit annual reports on the receipts, expenditures, and balances in the catamount fund established in section 2027 of Title 33 to the joint fiscal committee at its September meeting.

Fifth:  By inserting Secs. 17a through 17h to read:

Sec. 17a.  FUND TRANSFERS

Notwithstanding section 2027 of Title 33, up to $10,000,000.00 of any balance remaining in the catamount fund at the end of fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be transferred to the state health care resources fund established in section 1901d of Title 33.

Sec. 17b.  32 V.S.A. § 7771 is amended to read:

§ 7771.  RATE OF TAX

A tax is imposed on all cigarettes held in this state by any person for sale or by any person in possession of more than 10,000 cigarettes, unless such cigarettes shall be:

(1)  in the possession of a licensed wholesale dealer;

(2)  in the course of transit and consigned to a licensed wholesale dealer or retail dealer; or

(3)  in the possession of a retail dealer who has held the cigarettes for 24 hours or less.  Such tax shall be at the rate of 59.5 89.5 mills for each cigarette, and the payment thereof to be evidenced by the affixing of stamps to the packages containing the cigarettes, as hereinafter provided.  Any cigarette on which the tax imposed by this chapter has been paid, such payment being evidenced by the affixing of such stamp, shall not be subject to a further tax under this chapter.  Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to impose a tax on any transaction the taxation of which by this state is prohibited by the constitution of the United States.  The amount of taxes advanced and paid by a licensed wholesale dealer or a retail dealer as herein provided shall be added to and collected as part of the retail sale price on the cigarettes.  All taxes upon cigarettes under this chapter are declared to be a direct tax upon the consumer at retail and shall conclusively be presumed to be precollected for the purpose of convenience and facility only.

Sec. 17c.  32 V.S.A. § 7814(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Cigarettes.  Notwithstanding the prohibition against further tax on stamped cigarettes under section 7771 of this title, a floor stock tax is hereby imposed upon every dealer of cigarettes in this state who is either a wholesaler, or a retailer who at 12:01 a.m. o’clock on July 1, 2003 2006, has more than 10,000 cigarettes for retail sale in his or her possession or control.  The rate of tax shall be 13 30 mills for each cigarette in the possession or control of the wholesaler or retailer at 12:01 a.m. o’clock on July 1, 2003 2006, and on which cigarette stamps have been affixed before July 1, 2003 2006.  A floor stock tax is also imposed on each Vermont cigarette stamp in the possession or control of the wholesaler at 12:01 a.m. o’clock on July 1, 2003 2006, and not yet affixed to a cigarette package, and the tax shall be at the rate of 26 60 cents per stamp.  Each wholesaler and retailer subject to the tax shall, on or before September 25, 2003 July 25, 2006, file a report to the commissioner in such form as the commissioner may prescribe showing the cigarettes and stamps on hand at 12:01 a.m. o’clock on July 1, 2003 2006, and the amount of tax due thereon.  The tax imposed by this section shall be due and payable on or before September 25, 2003 July 25, 2006, and thereafter shall bear interest at the rate established under section 3108 of this title.  In case of timely payment of the tax, the wholesaler or retailer may deduct from the tax due two and three‑tenths of one percent of the tax.  Any cigarettes with respect to which a floor stock tax has been imposed under this section shall not again be subject to tax under section 7771 of this title.

Sec. 17d.  32 V.S.A. § 435a(d) is added to read:

(d)  Any monies received by the state for strategic payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement shall be transferred to the catamount fund established in section 2027 of Title 33.

Sec. 17e.  33 V.S.A. § 1901d is amended to read:

§ 1901d.  STATE HEALTH CARE RESOURCES FUND

(a)  The state health care resources fund is established in the treasury as a special fund to be a source of financing health care coverage for beneficiaries of the state health care assistance programs under the global commitment to health care waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.

(b)  Into the fund shall be deposited:

(1)  revenue from the cigarette and tobacco products tax established in  all revenue from the tobacco products tax and 78 percent of the revenue from the cigarette tax levied pursuant to chapter 205 of Title 32;

(2)  revenue from health care provider assessments pursuant to subchapter 2 of chapter 19 of this title; and

(3)  the proceeds from grants, donations, contributions, taxes, and any other sources of revenue as may be provided by statute, rule, or act of the general assembly.

(c)  The fund shall be administered pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund and any remaining balance shall be retained in the fund.  The agency shall maintain records indicating the amount of money in the fund at any time.

(d)  All monies received by or generated to the fund shall be used only as allowed by appropriation of the general assembly for the administration and delivery of health care covered through state health care assistance programs administered by the agency under the global commitment Global Commitment waiver.

Sec. 17f.  32 V.S.A. § 435(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The general fund shall be composed of revenues from the following sources:

* * *

(8)  Cigarettes and tobacco products taxes levied pursuant to chapter 205 of this title;

* * *

Sec. 17g.  ALLOCATION OF FLOOR STOCK TAX REVENUE

The revenue from the floor stock tax under subsection 7814(b) of Title 32 as amended by this act shall be deposited in the catamount fund.

Sec. 17h.  32 V.S.A. § 305a is amended to read:

§ 305a.  OFFICIAL STATE REVENUE ESTIMATE

On or about January 15 and on or about July 15 of each year, and at such other times as the emergency board or the governor deems proper, the joint fiscal office and the secretary of administration shall provide to the emergency board their respective estimates of state revenues in the general, transportation, education, and health access trust catamount, state health care resources, and Global Commitment funds.  The January revenue estimate shall be for the current and next two succeeding fiscal years, and the July revenue estimate shall be for the current and immediately succeeding fiscal years.  Federal fund estimates shall be provided at the same times for the current fiscal year.  Within 10 days of receipt of such estimates, the board shall determine an official state revenue estimate for deposit in the respective funds for the years covered by the estimates.  For the purpose of revising an official revenue estimate only, a majority of the legislative members of the emergency board may convene a meeting of the board.  The health access trust fund estimate secretary shall include estimated caseloads and estimated per member per month expenditures for the current and next succeeding fiscal years for each population category eligible for state health care assistance programs supported by the fund.

Sixth:  In Sec. 18, on pages 29–30, by striking subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read:

(a)  The agency of administration shall report to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2009 on any changes to catamount health needed to increase enrollment to achieve a 98 percent rate of insured Vermonters.  The agency shall consider whether mandating participation in public health care programs and health insurance coverage is necessary to increase enrollment or whether mandating that those who choose not to have health insurance coverage should be required to pay some of the health care costs.  The report shall include recommendations, a discussion of the considerations, and information and data supporting the recommendations.  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall complete the survey of insurance status in time sufficient for the data to be used in the secretary’s recommendations.

Seventh:  In Sec. 18, on page 30, by striking subsection (b) in its entirety and inserting a new subsection (b) to read:

(b)  No later than January 15, 2009, the agency of administration shall report to the general assembly on:

(1)  the percentage of uninsured Vermonters and the number of insured Vermonters by coverage type;

(2)  an analysis of the trends of catamount health costs and trends in the revenue sources for catamount health;

(3)  the feasibility of allowing individuals who are not uninsured and employers to buy into catamount health at full premium cost;

(4)  the number of individuals enrolled in catamount health who are eligible for employer-sponsored insurance and the per‑member per‑month costs of these individuals;

(5)  the number of individuals enrolled in any chronic care management program which complies with the requirements in chapter 13 of Title 18, including those covered by private insurance; and

(6)  the feasibility of removing or capping the premium increases for enrollment outside the initial enrollment period.

Eighth:  In Sec. 22, on pages 31–32, by striking subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read:

(a)  This act shall take effect upon passage, except as follows:

(1)  Secs. 8 (Medicaid reimbursement), 12 (cost shift review), 17a (catamount fund transfers) and 17d (tobacco litigation fund) shall take effect July 1, 2006

(2)  Secs. 10 (VHAP premiums) and 11 (Dr. Dynasaur premiums) shall take effect July 1, 2007

(3)  Sec. 17b (cigarette tax rate increase) shall apply to taxable cigarettes on and after July 1, 2006.  Amendments to the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 7771 in H.843 (An Act Relating to Miscellaneous Tax Policy Amendments), if enacted, shall not be repealed or amended by this act; except that the tax rates in Secs. 17b and 17c of this act shall take effect and supersede any provisions in H.843 affecting the rate of the cigarette tax.

(4)  Those provisions of Sec. 14, adding 33 V.S.A. § 2027, establishing the catamount fund, and Sec. 17e, amending 33 V.S.A. § 1901d, relating to the state health care resources fund, shall be effective on June 30, 2006.

(Committee vote: 7-4-0)

CONSENT CALENDAR

Concurrent Resolutions for Notice Under Joint Rule 16

     The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the House and Senate and have been printed in the Senate and House Addendum to today’s calendars. These will be adopted automatically unless a member requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the next legislative day.  Requests for floor consideration should be communicated to the Clerk of the House or to a member of his staff.

(For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to House and Senate Notice Calendar for Thursday, February 23, 2006)

 

H.C.R. 242

     House concurrent resolution on Hunger Awareness Day and honoring Marianne Metropoulos

H.C.R.  243

House concurrent resolution in memory of Stamford Elementary School Principal Leo Ethier

S.C.R. 53

     Senate concurrent resolution recognizing Robert E. Miller for his contributions to Vermont.