House Calendar

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2006

100th DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 9:30 AM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Actions Postponed Until Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Favorable with Amendment

H. 723  Community Care Workforce Issues................................................. 1453

               Rep. French for Human Services

               Rep. Hunt for Appropriations......................................................... 1454

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 33  Uniform Mediation Act...................................................................... 1456

H. 611  Life Threatening Allergies and Illnesses in School............................. 1462

H. 678  Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care................................ 1463

H. 710  Organization of Supervisory Districts............................................... 1468

H. 841  Underground Utility Damage Prevention System.............................. 1468

Third Reading

H. 883  Amending Charter of the City of Burlington...................................... 1470

H. 888  Sustainable Funding for Fish and Wildlife Department...................... 1470

S. 103  Right to Freedom of Speech or Petition............................................ 1470

               Reps. Helm and Johnson Amendment............................................ 1470

               Rep. Clarkson Amendment............................................................ 1471

S. 106  Ongoing Evaluation of Bottle Redemption System............................. 1471

S. 182  Consequences of Pleading Guilty to Criminal Offense........................ 1471

S. 310  Common Sense Initiatives in Health Care.......................................... 1471

               Rep. Maier Amendment................................................................. 1471

Action Postponed Until Thursday, April 13, 2006

H. 538  Parents and Students Rights and Responsibilities.............................. 1473

 

 

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

H. 425  Civics Education in Legislative Council............................................. 1473

               Rep. Lavoie for Education

               Rep. Hunt for Appropriations......................................................... 1475

 

H. 749  Relating to Women Offenders.......................................................... 1475

               Rep. Lorber for Institutions

               Rep. Marron for Appropriations.................................................... 1475

H. 866  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families....................................... 1477

               Rep. Turner for Human Services

               Rep. Larson for Appropriations      

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 777  Resident  Ownership of Mobile Home Parks................................... 1477


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Actions Postponed Until Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Favorable with Amendment

H. 723

     An act relating to Home  and community-based care workforce issues .

Rep. French of Randolph, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking subdivisions (3) and (4) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new subdivisions (3) and (4):

(3)  Central to the delivery of quality long-term care services are the direct care workers who provide personal care such as feeding, bathing, toileting, help with other activities of daily living, skilled nursing for technology-dependent individuals, and support for additional personal care needs of children with disabilities and serious health conditions in a variety of institutional and community‑based settings.

(4)  National and local experts in long-term care delivery systems express concern that factors such as the aging of society, the increased lifespan of individuals born with complex disabilities, the rise in the incidence of children diagnosed with autism, and the personal and challenging nature of direct care work are combining to cause problems in both the quality and quantity of the direct care workforce, sometimes referred to as the “care gap.”

Second:  In Sec. 2, by striking subsection (b) and inserting a new subsection (b) to read:

(b)  The commissioner shall submit a report on the results of the needs assessment and recommendations to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare no later than December 30, 2007.  No later than January 15, 2007, the commissioner shall submit an interim report to the committees, including an assessment of existing needs and recommendations for short-term strategies to address these needs.

Third:  In Sec. 3, by striking subsection (a) and inserting a new subsection (a) to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall appoint a direct care workforce advisory council consisting of 16 members.  The membership shall include one representative each of the community of Vermont elders (COVE), AARP Vermont, Vermont association of professional care providers (VAPCP), Vermont center for independent living (VCIL), Vermont health care association (VHCA), Vermont association of adult day services (VAADS), Vermont assembly of home health agencies (VAHHA), northern New England association of homes and services for the aging Vermont (NNEAHSA), the workforce development partners (WPD), parent to parent of Vermont (P2PVT), the state long-term care ombudsman, developmental service providers, the commissioner of labor or designee, and three at‑large appointees, at least two of whom shall be individuals who are employed providing direct personal care to Vermonters.

Third:  By adding a Sec. 4 to read:

Sec. 4.  APPROPRIATION

In fiscal year 2007, the sum of $50,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living for the needs assessment under Sec. 2 of this act.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

Rep. Hunt of Essex, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following.

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly makes the following findings:

(1)  As set forth in No. 56 of the Acts of 2005 and the choices for care Medicaid waiver, Vermont has committed to developing a forward‑thinking, long-term care system that provides Vermonters with equal access to the full range of long-term care options, including nursing facility care, residential care services, and home- and community-based services.

(2)  Through the adoption of the choices for care Medicaid waiver and other long-term care policies, Vermont has further demonstrated its commitment to securing high quality long-term care services that maintain and improve the physical, mental, and social well‑being of Vermonters in need of long-term care services and supports.

 

(3)  Central to the delivery of quality long-term care services are the direct care workers who provide personal care such as feeding, bathing, toileting, help with other activities of daily living, skilled nursing for technology-dependent individuals, and support for additional personal care needs of children with disabilities and serious health conditions in a variety of institutional and community‑based settings.

(4)  National and local experts in long-term care delivery systems express concern that factors such as the aging of society, the increased lifespan of individuals born with complex disabilities, the rise in the incidence of children diagnosed with autism, and the personal and challenging nature of direct care work are combining to cause problems in both the quality and quantity of the direct care workforce, sometimes referred to as the “care gap.”

(5)  In order best to address these potential problems, Vermont needs to consolidate through a comprehensive study the present and emerging status and problem areas of the direct care workforce in all settings, including

home- and community‑based settings, nursing homes, adult day centers, residential care homes, and assisted living residences.

Sec. 2.  NEEDS ASSESSMENT

(a)  The commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall perform a needs assessment regarding present and future workforce issues of direct care workers in Vermont.  The assessment shall focus on potential problems regarding quantity, quality, stability, and availability of workers, specifically as they apply to long‑term care services and supports provided to Vermont’s elderly and disabled populations.  At a minimum, the assessment shall identify the potential problems and opportunities projected through 2030 and shall include recommendations for addressing these problems in the near and long term.  In preparing the assessment, the commissioner shall consult the advisory council established in Sec. 3 of this act.

(b)  The commissioner shall submit a report on the results of the needs assessment and recommendations to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare no later than December 30, 2007.  No later than January 15, 2007, the commissioner shall submit an interim report to the committees, including an assessment of existing needs and recommendations for short-term strategies to address these needs.

Sec. 3.  DIRECT CARE WORKFORCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

(a)  The commissioner shall appoint a direct care workforce advisory council consisting of 16 members.  The membership shall include one representative each of the community of Vermont elders (COVE), AARP Vermont, Vermont association of professional care providers (VAPCP), Vermont center for independent living (VCIL), Vermont health care association (VHCA), Vermont association of adult day services (VAADS), Vermont assembly of home health agencies (VAHHA), northern New England association of homes and services for the aging Vermont (NNEAHSA), the workforce development partners (WDP), parent to parent of Vermont (P2PVT), Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP) or similar organization representing Vermont's refugee and immigrant workforce, the state long-term care ombudsman, developmental service providers, the commissioner of labor or designee, and three at‑large appointees, at least two of whom shall be individuals who are employed providing direct personal care to Vermonters.

(b)  The advisory council shall meet monthly with the commissioner or designee and shall advise on the planning, implementation, and recommendations of the needs assessment required by Sec. 2 of this act.

( Committee Vote: 9-0-2)

     Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 33

     An act relating to the uniform mediation act.

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

Sec. 1.  12 V.S.A. chapter 194 is added to read:

CHAPTER 194.  UNIFORM MEDIATION ACT

§ 5711.  SHORT TITLE

This chapter may be cited as the Vermont Uniform Mediation Act.

§ 5712.  UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.  

§ 5713.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Court” means a court of competent jurisdiction in Vermont.

(2)  “Mediation” means a process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.

(3)  “Mediation communication” means a statement, whether oral, in a record, verbal, or nonverbal, that is made or occurs during a mediation or for purposes of considering, conducting, participating in, initiating, continuing, or reconvening a mediation or retaining a mediator.

(4)  “Mediator” means an individual who conducts a mediation.

(5)  “Nonparty participant” means a person, other than a party or mediator, that participates in a mediation.

(6)  “Party” means a person that participates in a mediation and whose agreement is necessary to resolve the dispute.

(7)  “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(8)  “Proceeding” means a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process, including related prehearing and posthearing motions, conferences, and discovery; or a legislative hearing or similar process.

(9)  “Record,” except in the phrase “record of proceeding,” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium, and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(10)  “Sign” includes:

(A)  executing or adopting a tangible symbol with the present intent to authenticate a record;

(B)  attaching or logically associating an electronic symbol, sound, or process to or with a record with the present intent to authenticate a record.

§ 5714.  SCOPE

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) or (c) of this section, this chapter applies to a mediation in which:

(1)  the parties are required to mediate by statute or court or administrative agency rule, or referred to mediation by a court, administrative agency, or arbitrator;

(2)  the parties and the mediator agree to mediate in a record that demonstrates an expectation that mediation communications will be privileged against disclosure; or

(3)  the parties utilize as a mediator a person that holds himself or herself out as providing mediation services.

(b)  This chapter does not apply to a mediation:

(1)  relating to the establishment, negotiation, administration, or termination of a collective bargaining relationship;

(2)  relating to a dispute that is pending under or is part of the processes established by a collective bargaining agreement, except that this chapter applies to a mediation arising out of such a dispute that has been filed with a court or with a public agency other than the federal mediation and conciliation service or the Vermont labor relations board;

(3)  conducted under the auspices of a primary or secondary school where all the parties are students, or under the auspices of a correctional institution for youths where all the parties are residents of that institution; or

(4)  conducted by a judge who might make a ruling on the case.

(c)  If the parties agree in advance that all or part of a mediation is not privileged, the privileges under sections 5715 through 5717 of this title do not apply to the mediation or part agreed upon.  The agreement must be in a signed record or reflected in the record of a proceeding.  However, sections 5715 through 5717 of this title apply to a mediation communication made by a person who has not received actual notice of the agreement before the communication is made.

§ 5715.  PRIVILEGE AGAINST DISCLOSURE; ADMISSIBILITY; DISCOVERY

(a)  A mediation communication is privileged and is not subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in a proceeding.

(b)  In a proceeding, the following privileges apply:

(1)  A party may refuse to disclose, and may prevent any other person from disclosing, a mediation communication.

(2)  A mediator may refuse to disclose a mediation communication and may prevent any other person from disclosing a mediation communication of the mediator.

(3)  A nonparty participant may refuse to disclose, and may prevent any other person from disclosing, a mediation communication of the nonparty participant.

(c)  Evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by reason of its disclosure or use in a mediation.

§ 5716.  WAIVER AND PRECLUSION OF PRIVILEGE

(a)  A privilege under section 5715 of this title may be waived in a record or orally during a proceeding, if it is expressly waived by all parties to the mediation, and:

 

(1)  in the case of the privilege of a mediator, it is expressly waived by the mediator; and

(2)  in the case of the privilege of a nonparty participant, it is expressly waived by the nonparty participant.

(b)  A person who discloses or makes a representation about a mediation communication which prejudices another person in a proceeding is precluded from asserting a privilege under section 5715 of this title to the extent necessary for the person prejudiced to respond to the representation or disclosure.

(c)  A person who intentionally uses a mediation to plan, attempt to commit, or commit a crime, or conceal an ongoing crime or ongoing criminal activity, may not assert a privilege under section 5715 of this title.

§ 5717.  EXCEPTIONS TO PRIVILEGE

(a)  There is no privilege under section 5715 of this title for a mediation communication that is:

(1)  in an agreement evidenced by a record signed by all parties to the agreement;

(2)  available to the public under subchapter 3 of chapter 5 of Title 1, or made during a session of a mediation which is open, or is required by law to be open, to the public;

(3)  a threat or statement of a plan to inflict bodily injury or commit a crime of violence;

(4)  intentionally used to plan, attempt to commit, or commit a crime, or conceal an ongoing crime or ongoing criminal activity;

(5)  sought or offered to prove or disprove abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exploitation in a proceeding in which a child or adult protective services agency is a party, but this exception does not apply where a child or adult protection case is referred by a court to mediation and a public agency participates in the mediation;

(6)  sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice filed against a mediator; or

(7)  sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice filed against a party, nonparty participant, or representative of a party based on conduct occurring during a mediation, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(b)  There is no privilege under section 5715 of this title if a court, administrative agency, or arbitration panel finds, after a hearing in camera, that the party seeking discovery or the proponent of the evidence has shown that the evidence is not otherwise available, that there is a need for the evidence that substantially outweighs the interest in protecting confidentiality, and the mediation communication is sought or offered in:

(1)  a criminal proceeding in district court; or

(2)  a proceeding to prove a claim to rescind or reform, or a defense to avoid liability on, a contract arising out of the mediation, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(c)  A mediator may not be compelled to provide evidence of a mediation communication referenced in subdivision (a)(7) or (b)(2) of this section.

(d)  If a mediation communication is not privileged under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, only the portion of the communication necessary for the application of the exception from nondisclosure may be admitted.  Admission of evidence under subsection (a) or (b) of this section does not render the evidence or any other mediation communication discoverable or admissible for any other purpose.

§ 5718.  MEDIATOR REPORT; DISCLOSURE; BACKGROUND

(a)  A mediator may not make a report, assessment, evaluation, recommendation, finding, or other communication regarding a mediation to a court, agency, or other authority that may make a ruling on the dispute that is the subject of the mediation, but a mediator may disclose:

(1)  whether the case is not appropriate for mediation, whether the mediation occurred or has terminated, whether a settlement was reached, and attendance;

(2)  a mediation communication as permitted under section 5717 of this title; or

(3)  a mediation communication evidencing abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exploitation of a child or vulnerable adult to a public agency responsible for protecting such individuals against such mistreatment.

(b)  A communication made in violation of subsection (a) of this section may not be considered by a court or other tribunal.

(c)  Subsections (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section do not apply to an individual acting as a judge.

(d)  Before accepting a mediation, an individual who is requested to serve as a mediator shall:

(1)  make an inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances to determine whether there are any known facts that a reasonable individual would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the mediator, including a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the mediation and an existing or past relationship with a party or foreseeable participant in the mediation; and

(2)  disclose as soon as is practicable before accepting a mediation any such fact known.

(e)  If a mediator learns any fact described in subdivision (d)(1) of this section after accepting a mediation, the mediator shall disclose as soon as is practicable.

(f)  A mediator shall be impartial, unless, after disclosure of the facts required in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the parties agree otherwise.

(g)  A person who is requested to serve as a mediator shall disclose the mediator’s qualifications to mediate a dispute if requested to do so by a party.

(h)  A person who violates subsection (d), (e), or (f) of this section is precluded from asserting a privilege under section 5715 of this title.

(i)  Unless otherwise required by law, no special qualification by background or profession is necessary to be a mediator under this chapter.

§ 5719.  NONPARTY PARTICIPATION IN MEDIATION 

An attorney or other individual designated by a party may accompany the party to and participate in a mediation.  A waiver of participation given before the mediation may be rescinded.

§ 5720.  CONFIDENTIALITY 

Unless subject to subchapter 2 or 3 of chapter 5 of Title 1, mediation communications are confidential to the extent agreed to by the parties or provided by law.

§ 5721.  RELATION TO ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE IN GLOBAL AND NATIONAL COMMERCE ACT  

This chapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (Act), 15 U.S.C. § 7001(c), except that nothing in this chapter modifies, limits, or supersedes Section 101(c) of the Act, nor authorizes electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of the Act.

§ 5722.  SEVERABILITY CLAUSE 

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and, to this end, the provisions of this chapter are severable.

§ 5723.  APPLICATION TO EXISTING AGREEMENTS OR REFERRALS

(a)  This chapter governs a mediation pursuant to a referral or an agreement to mediate made on or after July 1, 2006.

(b)  On or after July 1, 2008, this chapter governs an agreement to mediate whenever made.

(For House amendments to H. 33 see House Journal of 2/28/06 pages 494-495)

H. 611

     An act relating to life threatening chronic allergies and illnesses in school.

Pending Question: Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment?

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  The general assembly finds that every school district should expect at some point to enroll a student with a life‑threatening allergy or life‑threatening chronic illness and should be prepared to provide a safe and supportive environment because:

(1)  The incidence of many chronic life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes and asthma has recently increased.  In addition, the variety and prevalence of food allergies have increased in the last five years and continue to increase. 

(2)  A child with a chronic illness or allergy may respond to environmental conditions with a life-threatening reaction requiring an immediate response to save the child's life.  An allergic reaction, for example, may develop into anaphylaxis which is sudden and potentially fatal.

(b)  Therefore, it is the intent of this act to ensure that information to help school personnel and parents provide a safe and supportive environment for children with life-threatening allergies and life-threatening chronic illnesses is readily available.

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 212(14) is added to read:

(14)  Annually, in consultation with the commissioner of health, inform superintendents and principals of:

(A)  a school district’s legal obligations regarding students with life‑threatening allergies and life‑threatening chronic illnesses; and

(B)  technical assistance and other resources, such as guidelines, which may be available to help school personnel reduce the risk of injury to students with life‑threatening allergies and life-threatening chronic illnesses.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 563(27) is added to read:

(27)  Assign an employee to annually:

(A)  inform parents of students with life-threatening allergies and life‑threatening chronic illnesses of their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other applicable federal statutes, state statutes, federal regulations, and state rules;

(B)  inform appropriate school staff of their responsibilities; and

(C)  provide necessary training to carry out these responsibilities.

H. 678

     An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration.

Pending Question: Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment?

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

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4818 is amended to read:

§ 4818.  Contract required

(a)  No person shall transact business with a managing general agent, a reinsurance intermediary-manager intermediary or a controlling producer as qualified by section 4816 of this title unless there is in force a written contract between the parties which sets forth the respective responsibilities of each party and where both parties share responsibility for a particular function, specifies the division of such responsibilities.  The contract must be approved by the board of directors of a reinsurer represented by a reinsurance intermediary-manager or the board of directors of a controlled insurer.  At least 30 days before such reinsurer assumes or cedes business through such manager, or reinsurance intermediary, a true copy of the approved contract shall be filed with the commissioner for approval.

(b)  The contract required under subsection (a) of this section shall contain the following minimum provisions:

* * *

(11)  The managing general agent, reinsurance intermediary-manager, reinsurance intermediary‑broker, or controlling producer shall not bind or cede reinsurance on behalf of the insurer, reinsurer or controlled insurer, except for facultative reinsurance contracts pursuant to obligatory facultative agreements if the contract contains reinsurance underwriting guidelines for reinsurance ceded and assumed.  The guidelines must list the reinsurers with which such automatic agreements are in effect, the coverages and amounts or percentages that may be reinsured and commission schedules.

Sec. 2.  8 V.S.A. § 4249 is amended to read: 

§ 4249.  PROOF OF FINANCIAL STABILITY

(a)  In order to ensure the performance of a provider’s obligations to its contract holders, each provider shall continue to possess and provide the commissioner the following documents as proof of financial stability:

* * *

(2)  evidence that all of its service contracts are insured through the purchase of a service contract reimbursement policy issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state, or by an approved surplus line insurer that files annually with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners a financial statement prepared in accordance with the accounting practices and procedures required or permitted by their domiciliary regulatory authority and a corresponding audit report that reflects:

(A)  capital and surplus of $5,000,000.00 or more;

(B)  written premiums not exceeding three times capital and surplus over the most recent five years; and

(C)  profitable operations over the most recent five years; or

* * *

(b)  If the provider’s parent or affiliate company’s financial statement is filed to meet the provider’s financial stability requirement with the commissioner pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section as evidence of a net worth of at least $50 million, then the parent or affiliate company shall agree, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, to guarantee the provider’s obligations relating to service contracts sold by the provider in this state.

* * *

(d)  In the event that the department recovers funds from service contract providers, the commissioner in his or her discretion may distribute such funds in a manner that he or she determines is equitable and cost-effective, giving due consideration to the amount of funds recovered, the estimated amounts due to consumers, and the costs of administering any distribution.  Distributions may be allocated based on claims made, premiums, or the number of consumers affected.  If the commissioner determines that it would be prohibitively expensive or impossible to make restitution to consumers, the recovered funds will be remitted to the general fund.

Sec. 3.  8 V.S.A. § 6001(2) is amended to read:

§ 6001.  Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

* * *

(2)  “Association” means any legal association of individuals, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, associations, or other entities that has been in continuous existence for at least one year, the member organizations of which or which does itself, whether or not in conjunction with some or all of the member organizations:

(A)  own, control, or hold with power to vote all of the outstanding voting securities of an association captive insurance company incorporated as a stock insurer; or

(B)  have complete voting control over an association captive insurance company incorporated as a mutual insurer; or

(C)  constitute all of the subscribers of an association captive insurance company formed as a reciprocal insurer.

Sec. 4.  8 V.S.A. § 6031(b) is amended to read:

(b)  A sponsored captive insurance company shall be incorporated as a stock insurer with its capital divided into shares and held by the stockholders, as a nonprofit corporation with one or more members, or as a manager‑managed limited liability company.

Sec. 5.  8 V.S.A. § 6035 is amended to read:

§ 6035.  QUALIFICATION OF SPONSORS

A sponsor of a sponsored captive insurance company shall be an insurer licensed under the laws of any state, a reinsurer authorized or approved under the laws of any state, or a captive insurance company formed or licensed under this chapter, a broker-dealer registered with the department pursuant to chapter 150 of Title 9, a financial institution as defined under subdivision 11101(32) of this title, or a financial institution holding company as defined under subdivision 11101(33) of this title, including any affiliate or subsidiary of such financial institution holding company.  A risk retention group shall not be either a sponsor or a participant of a sponsored captive insurance company.

Sec. 6.  8 V.S.A. § 5102(b) is amended to read: 

(b)  Application for a certificate of authority shall be made to the commissioner and include such information and in such form as he the commissioner prescribes, including but not limited to the following:

* * *

(8)  A power of attorney duly executed by such applicant, if not domiciled in this state, appointing the commissioner and his successors in office, and duly authorized deputies, as the true and lawful attorney of such applicant in and for this state upon whom all lawful process in any legal action or proceeding against the health maintenance organization on a cause of action arising in this state may be served;

* * *

Sec. 7.  8 V.S.A. § 3361(c) is amended to read: 

(c)  If the commissioner is satisfied with the copies and statements that such insurer has complied with the provisions of this Part, he or she may grant a license authorizing it to do insurance business by lawfully constituted and licensed agents only, until April 1 thereafter, which license may be renewed.  In granting or renewing such license to do business the commissioner shall consider the criteria established for the approval and certification of domestic insurers hereinabove set forth, within the context of the stated legislative policy.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Title 11A, any insurer licensed by the commissioner under this section may transact insurance business in this state upon the filing of a copy of such license with the secretary of state.  Such corporations shall not be required to make any annual report except as provided in this title.  This section shall not be construed to prohibit residents of this state from procuring insurance at the home office of a foreign insurer.

Sec. 8.  9 V.S.A. § 5102(3)(C), is amended to read:

(C)  a bank or savings institution if its activities as a broker-dealer are limited to those specified in subdivisions 3(a)(4)(B)(i) 15 U.S.C. § 78c(a)(4)(B)(i) through (vi), (viii) through (x), and (xi) if limited to unsolicited transactions; and 15 U.S.C. § 78c(a)(4) and (5)(B) and (C) or a bank that satisfies the conditions described in 15 U.S.C. § 78c(a)(4)(E);

Sec. 9.  9 V.S.A. § 5102(5)(B)(iii) is amended to read:

(iii)  an industrial loan company that is not an “insured depository institution” as defined in Section 3(c)(2) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. § 1813(c)(2), or any successor federal statute.

Sec. 10.  9 V.S.A. § 5102(17)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  The issuer of an equipment trust certificate or similar security serving the same purpose is as the person by which the property is or will be used or to which the property or equipment is or will be leased or conditionally sold or that is otherwise contractually responsible for assuring payment of the certificate.

Sec. 11.  9 V.S.A. § 5102(28)(E) is amended to read:

(E)  includes as an “investment contract” among other contracts, an interest in a limited partnership and, a limited liability company and, an investment in a viatical settlement, or similar agreement.

Sec. 12.  9 V.S.A. § 5412(c) is amended to read:

(c)  If the commissioner finds that the order is in the public interest and subdivisions (d)(1) through (6), (8), (9), (10), or (12), and or (13) of this section authorize the action, an order under this chapter may censure, impose a bar on, or impose a civil penalty on a registrant in an amount not more than $15,000.00 for each violation and not more than $1,000,000.00 for more than one violation, and recover the costs of the investigation from the registrant, and, if the registrant is a broker-dealer or investment adviser;, a partner, officer, director, or person having a similar status or performing similar functions;, or a person directly or indirectly in control of the broker-dealer or investment adviser.  The limitations on civil penalties contained in this subsection shall not apply to settlement agreements.

Sec. 13.  18 V.S.A. § 9410(i) is added to read:

(i)  On or before January 15, 2008 and every three years thereafter, the commissioner shall submit a recommendation to the general assembly for conducting a survey of the health insurance status of Vermont residents.

Sec. 14.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2006, except that the provision adding 8 V.S.A. § 4249(d) shall take effect on passage.


H. 710

     An act relating to organization of supervisory districts.

     Pending Question: Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment?

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

Sec. 1.  SUPERVISORY DISTRICT CONFIGURATION; GRANDFATHERING

Notwithstanding 16 V.S.A. § 261, a school district which offers schools in grades K-8 and was designated as a supervisory district prior to January 1, 2006 may remain a supervisory district.

H. 841

     An act relating to underground utility damage prevention system.

     Pending Question: Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment?

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

Sec. 1, 30 V.S.A. § 7001 is amended to read as follows:

     In this chapter:

* * *

          (11)  “Service line” means the connection between the underground facility and the customer.

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 7006 is amended to read as follows:

     A company notified in accordance with section 7005 of this title shall, within 48 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, of the receipt of the notice, mark the approximate location of its underground utility facilities and service lines in the area of the proposed excavation activities; provided, however, if the company advises the person that the proposed excavation area is of such length or size that the company cannot reasonably mark all of the underground utility facilities within 48 hours, the person shall notify the company of the specific locations in which the excavation activities will first occur and the company shall mark facilities in those locations within 48 hours and the remaining facilities within a reasonable time thereafter. A company and an excavator may by agreement fix a later time for the company's marking of the facilities, provided the marking is made prior to excavation activities. For the purposes of this chapter, the approximate location of underground facilities shall be marked with stakes, paint or other physical means as designated by the board.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 7004(e) is added to read:

(e)  Notice of excavation activities shall be valid for an excavation site until one of the following events occurs:

(1)  The markings become faded, illegible, or destroyed; or

(2)  The company installs new underground facilities in a marked area still under excavation.

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 7008(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)  Vermont Dig Safe Program.  Any person who violates any provisions of sections 7004, 7006a, 7006b, or 7007 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00, or up to $5,000.00 for a violation committed within three (3) years from the date of any previous violation, in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided by law or any liability for actual damages.

(b)  Any company which does not mark the location of its underground facilities as required by section 7006 or 7006a of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00, or up to $5,000.00 for a violation committed within three (3) years from the date of any previous violation.

Sec. 5.  30 V.S.A. § 2816(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Gas Pipeline Safety Program.  Any person who violates any statute, rule, regulation, or order of the public service board relating to safety standards or safety practices applicable to transportation of gas through gas pipeline facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 $100,000.00 for each violation for each day that the violation persists.  However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $500,000.00 $1,000,000.00 for any related series of violations.  The penalty may be imposed by the board after notice to the offending person of the alleged violations and opportunity for hearing.

Sec. 6.  30 V.S.A. § 7001(4) is amended to read:

(4)  “Excavation activities” means activities involving the removal of earth, rock, or other materials in the ground, disturbing the subsurface of the earth, or the demolition of any structure, by the discharge of explosives or the use of powered or mechanized equipment or hand tools, including but not limited to digging, trenching, blasting, boring, drilling, hammering, post driving, wrecking, razing, or tunneling, within 100 feet of an underground utility facility.  Excavation activities shall not include the tilling of the soil for agricultural purposes, routine gardening outside easement areas and public rights of way, or activities relating to routine public highway maintenance.

Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE

     This act shall take effect on passage.

and that after passage, the title be changed to read as follows:  “AN ACT RELATING TO THE VERMONT DIG SAFE PROGRAM AND THE FEDERAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM”

Third Reading

H. 883

     An act relating to amending the charter of the city of Burlington.

H. 888

     An act relating to sustainable funding of the fish and wildlife department.

S. 103

An act relating to lawsuits arising from exercise of right to freedom of speech or to petition government for redress of grievances.

Amendment to be offered by Reps. Helm of Castleton and Johnson of Canaan to S. 103

Move to amend the House proposal of amendment by adding two new Secs. to read:

Sec. 4.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Families and friends have a substantial interest in organizing and attending funerals for deceased relatives.

(2)  The interest of families to be able to mourn privately and peacefully the loss of deceased relatives is violated when a funeral becomes the target of picketing and other public demonstrations.

(3)  Picketing disrupts funerals and causes emotional distress to the grieving families during a difficult and private time.

(4)  There is still ample opportunity to exercise freedom of speech and other constitutional rights other than during and within two hours before and after a funeral.

Sec. 5.  13 V.S.A. § 3771 is added to read:

§ 3771.  PICKETING AT FUNERALS

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Funeral” means the ceremonies, rituals, processions, and memorial services held in connection with the burial or cremation of a dead person.

(2)  “Picketing” means protests, demonstrations, and other related activities.

(b)  No person shall engage in picketing within 500 feet of a cemetery, church, or mortuary under either or both of the following conditions:

(1)  When a funeral is taking place.

(2)  Within two hours before and after a funeral is held. 

(c)  A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than 30 days or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Clarkson of Woodstock to S. 310

Moves to amend the House proposal of amendment inf Sec. 2, subsection (h), after the words “enforcement action” by adding the words “or criminal proceeding

S. 106

An act relating to increasing the beverage container handler’s fee and an ongoing evaluation of the bottle redemption system.

S. 182

An act relating to advisement of immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a criminal offense.

S. 310

An act relating to common sense initiatives in healthcare

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Maier of Middlebury to S. 310

Moves the proposal of amendment be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec.1, 8 V.S.A. § 4080a (healthy lifestyle insurance discount), in subdivision (h)(2)(B)(i), after “cost-sharing amounts to not more than” by inserting the words “a total of

Second:  In Sec.1, in subdivision (h)(2)(B)(i), before the colon, by inserting “, provided that the sum of any rate deviations under subdivision (2)(A) of section 4080a of this title does not exceed 30%

Third:  In Sec.2, 8 V.S.A. § 4080b (healthy lifestyle insurance discount), in subdivision (h)(2)(B)(i), after “cost-sharing amounts to not more than” by inserting the words “a total of

Fourth:  In Sec.2, in subdivision (h)(2)(B)(i), before the colon, by inserting “, provided that the sum of any rate deviation under subdivision (2)(A) of section 4080b of this title does not exceed 30%”

Fifth: In Sec. 7, 18 V.S.A. § 104b (community health and wellness grants), by striking subdivision (c)(2)

Sixth:  In Sec. 7, 18 V.S.A. §104b (community health and wellness grants), in subdivision (d)(7), by striking the words “no later than”, and by striking “, all of which shall b e done without participation from the legislative members of the committee.

Seventh:  In Sec. 15, 3 V.S.A. § 2222a (health care system reform; improving quality and affordability), in subsection (a), after the words “The secretary of administration” by striking “,working in collaboration with the general assembly,

Eighth:  In Sec. 20, 18 V.S.A. §10a (loan repayment for health care providers and health educators fund), by striking the words “health educator” wherever they appear and inserting in lieu thereof the words “health care educator

Ninth:  In Sec. 20, 18 V.S.A. §10a, in subdivision (f)(3),by striking the words “if appropriate” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “if applicable

Tenth:  In Sec. 20, 18 V.S.A. §10a, by striking subsection (i) and inserting in lieu thereof:

(i)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Health care educator” shall mean an individual employed by or contracted by an accredited postsecondary institution in Vermont to teach in a health care profession educational program.

(2)  “Health care provider” shall mean an individual licensed, certified, or authorized by law to provide professional health care service in this state to an individual during that individual’s medical or dental care, treatment, or confinement.   

Eleventh:  In Sec. 29b (Medicaid outreach), by striking the words “Medicaid advisory board” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “medical care advisory committee, established in section 1901c of Title 33,

 


Action Postponed Until Thursday, April 13. 2006

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 538

     An act relating to informing parents and students of their rights and responsibilities under state and federal law.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 1 to read:

Sec. 1.  INTENT

It is the intent of Sec. 2 of this act that the commissioner of education shall make a good faith effort to compile a complete list of information to be made available to the electorate, community members, parents, and students.  However, due to the difficult nature of compiling such a list, it also the intent that failure to include relevant information on the list of information shall not constitute grounds for an action against the commissioner.

and by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct.

(There are no House amendments to H. 538)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

H. 425

     An act relating to a civics educator in the legislative council.

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

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. chapter 1, subchapter 5A is added to read:

Subchapter 5A.  COUNCIL ON CIVICS EDUCATION

§ 115.  COUNCIL ON CIVICS EDUCATION

(a)  The general assembly declares that one of the primary functions of education is to promote and encourage an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to a republican form of government and actively engaged in the practice of democracy.  Therefore, the general assembly hereby establishes a council on civics education to strengthen civics education opportunities for all Vermonters.

(b)  The council shall consist of the secretary of state or designee; the commissioner of education or designee; two senators, each from different political parties, chosen by the committee on committees; two representatives, each from different political parties, chosen by the speaker of the house; and one person chosen by each of the following organizations:  the Vermont league of women voters, the Vermont bar association, the Vermont council on the humanities, the Vermont principals association, the Snelling Center for Government, a teacher from the Vermont alliance for social studies, a teacher from the Vermont national education association, the Vermont school boards association, and the Vermont superintendents association.

(c)  The council shall:

(1)  continually assess the status of civics education in Vermont schools;

(2)  make recommendations to enhance civics education;

(3)  maintain an inventory of civics and service education opportunities available for Vermont students;

(4)  assess and recommend best practices in civics education;

(5)  build and maintain a network of civics education professionals to share information and strengthen partnerships;

(6)  support and help coordinate an alignment of civics education curricula at all education levels, including higher education;

(7)  report annually on its activities to the senate and house committees on education.

(d)  The council may:

(1)  invite representatives of youth groups and other organizations to participate in subcommittees organized for specific purposes;

(2)  seek and accept funding from private, nonprofit, or governmental agencies to help carry out its mission;

(3)  hold workshops and conferences so that those who promote civics education may share information.

(e)  The council shall meet at least quarterly and shall receive support and administrative services from the department of education.  Legislative members shall be entitled to a per diem and expenses pursuant to section 406 of Title 32.  Other members who are not receiving compensation as part of their employment shall receive a per diem and expenses pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32.

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 1010(a)(32) is added to read:

(32)  The council on civics education.

and when so amended the title shall be amended to read:  An Act Relating to a Council on Civics Education

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

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

     First: In Sec. 1, in §115 (b), by striking the words “two senators, each from different political parties, chosen by the committee on committees; two representatives, each from different political parties”, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following: “one senator chosen by the committee on committees; one representative”.

     Second: In Sec. 1, in §115, by striking subsection (e), and by inserting a new subsection (e) to read:

(e) The council may meet at as many as four times each year provided that two meetings are during the legislative session.  The council shall receive support and administrative services from the department of education.  For meetings during adjournment of the legislature, legislative members shall be entitled to compensation for services and reimbursement for expenses as provided in section 406 of title 2.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

H. 749

     An act relating to women offenders.

Rep. Lorber of Burlington, for the Committee on Institutions, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 6-2-3)

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

Sec. 1.  STUDY; WOMEN OFFENDERS

(a)  The core team of the agency of human services incarcerated women’s initiative, so-called, shall study and propose solutions to problems as they relate to women offenders in Vermont.  In particular, the core team shall:

(1)  Explore whether and to what extent women are incarcerated at a higher rate than men who are convicted of the same offense.  If the study determines that there is indeed a difference in the incarceration rate, then the committee shall attempt to determine the causes underlying this determination and propose potential legislative responses.

(2)  Identify, explore, and propose legislative responses to the family‑related issues facing many women inmates, including issues of guardianship.

(3)  Identify, explore, and propose legislative responses to the issues many women inmates face upon release from the facility relating to the need to find suitable housing.

(4)  Identify, explore, and propose legislative responses to the issues many women offenders face relating to the need to access adequate mental health and substance abuse treatment, both within the facilities and in the community.

(5)  Identify, explore, and propose legislative responses to the need for alternatives to incarceration for women, to reduce overcrowding in prisons, to reduce the impact of separation of mothers from their children, and to reduce the separation of women from their home communities.

(b)  The core team shall also consider and recommend responses to the issues outlined in subsection (a) of this section to the extent that they apply to male offenders.

(c)  The project manager of the incarcerated women’s initiative shall convene the first meeting to address the issues presented in this section on or before July 15, 2006.  A member of the core team shall verbally report on the team’s progress to the joint corrections oversight committee at each oversight committee meeting during the summer and autumn of 2006.  On or before November 15, 2006, the core team shall provide to the joint corrections oversight committee a report detailing its work and proposing legislative solutions to address the issues it identifies.  If applicable, the report shall include a budget detailing the cost of initiating and operating any proposed services, including potential nonstate funding sources, and a projection of the financial impact the proposals would have on future state capital and general fund appropriations. 

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)


H. 866

     An act relating to temporary assistance for needy families.

     (Rep. Turner of Milton will speak for the Committee on Human Services.)

Rep. Larson of Burlington, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

     First:  On page 2, in line 1 and in line 4, by striking the words “two members” and by inserting in lieu thereof the words “one member”.

     Second: On page 2, in line 14, by striking the word “ten” and by inserting in lieu thereof the word “four”.

     Third: On page 3, following line 2, by inserting a new Sec. 2 to read:

Sec. 2. LEGISLATIVE FUNDING; INTERIM 2006; TRANSFER

 Of the funds appropriated to the legislative council by Section 263(g) (19) of Act 71 of 2005 ( FY 05 designated balance waterfall) the amount of $13,000 shall be transferred to the legislature for the support of interim committee studies and activities of the legislature in fiscal year 2007.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 777

     An act relating to resident ownership of mobile home parks using cooperative and condominium structures.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 5, 27A V.S.A. § 1-209, by striking out the word “nine” and inserting in lieu thereof the word twelve

and that upon passage the title of the bill be amended to read:

“AN ACT RELATING TO RESIDENT OWNERSHIP OF MOBILE HOME PARKS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT”