Journal of the House

________________

THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2006

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend James MacKellar of Vermont Ecumenical Council & Bible Society, Newport, VT.

Bills Referred to Committee on Appropriations

House bills of the following titles, appearing on the Calendar, carrying appropriations, under the rule, were referred to the committee on Appropriations:

H. 97

House bill, entitled

An act relating to operating with a suspended license and failing to pay penalties for traffic offenses;

H. 723

House bill, entitled

An act relating to home and community-based care workforce issues;

H. 735

House bill, entitled

An act relating to statutory reorganization of the boards, councils, and divisions within the department of labor;

Committee Bill Introduced

Bills of the following titles were read the first time and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

H. 871

House bill, entitled

An act relating to professions and occupations;

 

H. 872

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to pass-through of a portion of the federal credit for energy-efficient homes.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

J.R.H. 62

The committees on Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy and Commerce offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution in support of the 25 by 25 agricultural energy initiative;

Whereas, the 25 by 25 initiative proposes that America’s agricultural and forestry sectors produce 25 percent of the nation’s energy requirements from renewable sources by the year 2025 while continuing to produce abundant and safe food and fiber, and

Whereas, the presence of an affordable, reliable, and plentiful energy supply is critical for our state and national economy and the national and international food supply, and

Whereas, current and future risks to the nation’s energy security are mounting while global energy demands are growing exponentially, and

Whereas, Vermont’s farms through the use of new and appropriate technological innovations, incentives, and investments can become the future sources for a new generation of fuels to help meet the state’s and nation’s energy needs, and

Whereas, the development of a broad spectrum of renewable energy sources, including but not limited to wind power, biodiesel, biomass, methane digesters, ethanol, and solar, would be beneficial to both farmers and rural communities by:  establishing additional markets for agricultural commodities; increasing farm income; creating added-value use for crops; developing new products from livestock byproducts; improving the productive use of marginal lands; resolving air, water, and soil quality problems that may arise from agricultural operations; improving wildlife habitat; and creating many new job opportunities, and

Whereas, agriculture’s and forestry’s role as an energy producer will have a positive effect on national security and United States trade imbalances and will serve as a catalyst for rural development in Vermont, now therefore be it

 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly supports the goal of the 25 by 25 initiative that the agricultural and forestry sectors provide 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs by the year 2025 while they continue to produce abundant, safe, and affordable food and fiber, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, Secretary of Agriculture Michael Johanns, Governor Douglas, Lt. Governor Dubie, University of Vermont President Dan Fogel, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets Steve Kerr, Commissioner of Economic Development Michael Quinn, Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation Jonathan Wood, Commissioner of Public Service David O’Brien, the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation, and the Ag Work Group in Brooklandville, Maryland.  

Which was read and, in the Speaker’s discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

Bill Committed

H. 774

On motion of Rep. Johnson of Canaan, the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to the Vermont economic development authority;

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, was taken up for immediate consideration. 

Pending the reading of the report of the committee on Agriculture, Rep. Johnson of Canaan moved to commit the bill to the committee on Commerce, which was agreed to.

Committee Relieved of Consideration

and Bill Committed to Other Committee

H. 458

Rep. Reese of Pomfret moved that the committee on Commerce be relieved of House bill, entitled

An act relating to licensing and permit fees charged general stores;

And that the bill be committed to the committee on Ways and Means, which was agreed to.

 

Consideration Interrupted by Recess

H. 861

     Rep. Chen of Mendon spoke for the committee on Health Care.

Rep. Ancel of Calais, for the committee on Ways and Means, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to health care affordability for Vermonters;

Reported in favor of its passage when 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.

Rep. Larson of Burlington, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the committee on Ways and Means.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up and read the second time.

     Pending the question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by the committees on Ways and Means and Appropriations?

Recess

At eleven o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon, the Speaker declared a recess until twelve o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon.

At twelve o’clock and fifty minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker called the House to order.

 

Consideration Resumed; Bill Amended and Third Reading Ordered

H. 861

Consideration resumed on House bill, entitled

An act relating to health care affordability for Vermonters;

Pending the question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by the committees on Ways and Means and Appropriations? Rep. Flory of Pittsford demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by the committees on Ways and Means and Appropriations?  was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 82.  Nays, 61.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Bohi of Hartford

Botzow of Pownal

Brooks of Montpelier

Chen of Mendon

Clarkson of Woodstock

Condon of Colchester

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Cross of Winooski

Darrow of Dummerston

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Dowland of Holland

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Grad of Moretown

Green of Berlin

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Marek of Newfane

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCullough of Williston

McFaun of Barre Town

McLaughlin of Royalton

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mook of Bennington

Nease of Johnson

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Orr of Charlotte

Partridge of Windham

Pellett of Chester

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Reese of Pomfret

Rodgers of Glover

Rusten of Halifax

Seibert of Norwich

Severance of Colchester

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Tracy of Burlington

Trombley of Grand Isle


Those who voted in the negative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allaire of Rutland City

Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Bartlett of Dover

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Corcoran of Bennington

Dates of Shelburne

DePoy of Rutland City

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Endres of Milton

Errecart of Shelburne

Flory of Pittsford

Helm of Castleton

Houston of Ferrisburgh

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Kainen of Hartford

Kennedy of Chelsea

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Livingston of Manchester

Louras of Rutland City

Marcotte of Coventry

Marron of Stowe

McAllister of Highgate

Miller of Elmore

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Niquette of Colchester

O'Donnell of Vernon

Otterman of Topsham

Parent of St. Albans City

Peaslee of Guildhall

Perry of Richford

Shaw of Derby

Smith of New Haven

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Winters of Swanton

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Young of Orwell

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Barnard of Richmond

Dunsmore of Georgia

Kiss of Burlington

Martin of Springfield

Molloy of Arlington

Monti of Barre City


 

     Rep. Koch of Barre Town explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     If Catamount Health is worthy of enactment – and it may be – it is worthy of “sufficient…and sustainable” funding, as stated in Sec. 1 of this bill.  This amendment proposes funding that is neither sufficient nor sustainable.   One funding source begins to decline as soon as it is enacted (the tobacco tax); one source is uncertain after 2010 (the global commitment); and one source completely dries up after ten years (the strategic settlement funds).  We are creating a permanent program with temporary funds.”

     Rep. Louras of Rutland City explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     One of the key guiding principles of the underlying bill is that: the financing of health care in Vermont must be sufficient and sustainable.  Admittedly, by all, its funding sources are neither.”

     Rep. McFaun of Barre Town explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     Although tobacco monies may not be sustainable beyond the year 2010, we don’t know for sure what the level of sustainability will be.  Since there is an in-depth monitoring and reporting process established by this bill under the direction of the Secretary of Administration concerning the progress of all health care reform initiatives, including catamount health, and because the reports from that process come directly to this General Assembly yearly beginning in January 07, I feel comfortable we will be able to act in an appropriate manner based on the information we are getting yearly to deal with any problems that may arise in funding that relate to all health care reform programs.

     I voted yes to get us started on the road of health care reform, because, to do nothing will only continue for another year the huge problem we have with the escalating costs of health care and add more people to the ranks of the uninsured.”  

     Rep. Morrissey of Bennington explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     To fund a major expansion of state provided health care with a regressive tax that ultimately will undermine sustainable funding for the Catamount Health Plan is totally irresponsible.”

     Rep. Nuovo of Middlebury explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I recognize that health care reform may need financing beyond the cigarette tax in the future.  A good way to start though is the new tobacco settlement and the increased tobacco tax rather than shifting costs of $40 - $50 million to our employers.  This later cost could also diminish as employers reduce and end their coverage.

     However, the cigarette tax, by making important investments would reduce the number of smokers and the cost of smoking illnesses.”

     Rep. Pugh of South Burlington explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     The research is clear.  Every single state that has significantly raised its cigarette tax rate has enjoyed substantial increases to state revenues, despite the fact that cigarette tax increases reduce state smoking levels.  In sharp contrast, those states that have failed to increase their cigarette taxes have experienced gradual tobacco tax revenue declines caused by ongoing reductions in state smoking levels.  Simply said, raising the cigarette tax makes good fiscal sense and good health care sense.”

     Rep. Shaw of Derby explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     A carton of cigarettes in Vermont are costing the smokers $45.00 per carton, while across the line in Canada many are purchasing them for $20.00.  2002 cigarette sales were 57 million packs, while 2005 Vermont only sold 39.7 million packs.  New Hampshire cigarette sales in 2002 were 165.7 million packs, and 180.1 million packs in 2005.  We are losing revenue on cigarette taxes to both New Hampshire and Canada and hurting our local businesses.”

     Rep. Winters of Williamstown explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     We have a state-run health care program called Medicaid.  Over the years this program has continuously been expanded and made more generous.  The result is a projected short-fall in funding of 212 million dollars in the year 2010 – that credit card is “maxed-out” – Today we start down a different, but parallel path. We take a different credit card but I believe the result will be the same.”

     Rep. Wright of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     Catamount Health will be funded by sources that are not sustainable over time in order to cover 1/3 of the uninsured.  At the same time we potentially put our most vulnerable seniors at risk in the future and lose the very important scholarship program.  The benefits are outweighed by the risks.  We must spend the time this year to find a better way.”

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time? Rep. Otterman of Topsham demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.

Pending the call of the roll, Rep. Wright of Burlington moved to recommit the bill to the committee on Health Care.

Pending the question, Shall the House recommit the bill to the committee on Health Care? Rep. Partridge of Windham demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the House recommit the bill to the committee on Health Care? was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 53.  Nays, 86.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allaire of Rutland City

Baker of West Rutland

Bartlett of Dover

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Dates of Shelburne

DePoy of Rutland City

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Dowland of Holland

Endres of Milton

Errecart of Shelburne

Flory of Pittsford

Helm of Castleton

Houston of Ferrisburgh

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Kennedy of Chelsea

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Livingston of Manchester

Louras of Rutland City

Marcotte of Coventry

Marron of Stowe

McAllister of Highgate

Miller of Elmore

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Niquette of Colchester

O'Donnell of Vernon

Parent of St. Albans City

Peaslee of Guildhall

Smith of New Haven

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Winters of Swanton

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Young of Orwell


Those who voted in the negative are:


Ancel of Calais

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Bohi of Hartford

Botzow of Pownal

Brooks of Montpelier

Chen of Mendon

Clarkson of Woodstock

Condon of Colchester

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Cross of Winooski

Darrow of Dummerston

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Grad of Moretown

Green of Berlin

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Kainen of Hartford

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Marek of Newfane

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCullough of Williston

McFaun of Barre Town

McLaughlin of Royalton

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mook of Bennington

Nease of Johnson

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Partridge of Windham

Pellett of Chester

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Reese of Pomfret

Rodgers of Glover

Rusten of Halifax

Seibert of Norwich

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Tracy of Burlington

Trombley of Grand Isle

Westman of Cambridge

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Allard of St. Albans Town

Barnard of Richmond

Brennan of Colchester

Dunsmore of Georgia

Kiss of Burlington

Martin of Springfield

Molloy of Arlington

Monti of Barre City

Severance of Colchester

Shaw of Derby


     Rep. Morrissey of Bennington explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     At a cost of over $800,000 to the Vermont taxpayer, we should certainly have the information to go home to our constituents to explain this new comprehensive health care plan that they will be ultimately paying for.   That is why I voted yes, so that maybe we will be able to obtain that very important information.”

Thereupon, the Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the recurring question, Shall the bill be read the third time?  was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 81.  Nays, 56.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Bohi of Hartford

Botzow of Pownal

Brooks of Montpelier

Chen of Mendon

Clarkson of Woodstock

Condon of Colchester

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Cross of Winooski

Darrow of Dummerston

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Dowland of Holland

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Grad of Moretown

Green of Berlin

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Kainen of Hartford

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Marek of Newfane

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCullough of Williston

McFaun of Barre Town

McLaughlin of Royalton

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mook of Bennington

Nease of Johnson

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Orr of Charlotte

Partridge of Windham

Pellett of Chester

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Reese of Pomfret

Rusten of Halifax

Seibert of Norwich

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Tracy of Burlington

Trombley of Grand Isle


 

Those who voted in the negative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allaire of Rutland City

Baker of West Rutland

Bartlett of Dover

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Corcoran of Bennington

Dates of Shelburne

DePoy of Rutland City

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Endres of Milton

Errecart of Shelburne

Flory of Pittsford

Helm of Castleton

Houston of Ferrisburgh

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Kennedy of Chelsea

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Livingston of Manchester

Louras of Rutland City

Marcotte of Coventry

Marron of Stowe

McAllister of Highgate

Miller of Elmore

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Niquette of Colchester

O'Donnell of Vernon

Otterman of Topsham

Peaslee of Guildhall

Smith of New Haven

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Winters of Swanton

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Young of Orwell

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Allard of St. Albans Town

Aswad of Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Dunsmore of Georgia

Kiss of Burlington

Martin of Springfield

Molloy of Arlington

Monti of Barre City

Parent of St. Albans City

Rodgers of Glover

Severance of Colchester

Shaw of Derby


 

     Rep. Allaire of Rutland City explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     The  House Ways and Means committee was presented with one option for funding H. 861.  This proposal is an extremely aggressive expansion of our government sponsored and taxpayer funded Health Care program for the uninsured.  It is funded with an declining source of revenue, is unsustainable, and uses money which was designated to lower the Medicaid deficit going forward.  Another unsustainable government run program.

     This legislature seems to have an insatiable appetite to create new programs, raise Vermonters taxes, and tell us they’ll re-evaluate the program at intervals down the road where no doubt they’ll need new money.

     Once you begin a program like this, you’ll never be able to stop it.

     The goal of the bill is commendable.  The Ways and Means of paying for it is unsustainable.”

    

     Rep. Branagan of Georgia explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I vote against this bill because it is fiscally unsustainable.  We need to provide a set of basic services for all Vermonters, a safety net of health benefits our citizens can expect to receive regardless of ability to pay.  If this bill is passed into law, we will shortly be looking for a long-term broad-based tax to fund it.”

     Rep. Darrow of Dummerston explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     This bill does not create a government run health care system.  As a society we decided long ago that health care is an essential service and a public good that should be available to everyone just like electric and phone service.  And just like those utilities, the health care industry has a long history of state and federal rules, regulations, programs, preexemptions, cost shifting and subsidies.  The present health care system is the result of a long public/private evolution.  This bill is a long overdue improvement, it is not a government-run health care system.”

     Rep. Donovan of Burlington explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I voted yes on H.861 because of its positive impact on our Medicaid program.  First, it utilizes the Global Commitment waiver without jeopardizing the waiver’s sustainability.  Second, it reduces the Medicaid deficit by over 20 million dollars.  Third, the inclusion of Medicaid recipients with chronic illnesses in the Chronic Illness Prevention and Management Program is an investment that will reduce the cost of their care, and therefore further contribute to the long-term sustainability of Medicaid.”

     Rep. Head of S. Burlington explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     We cannot afford to continue a health care system focused on costly acute care.  I vote “yes” for preventive and coordinated care.  “Yes” for the right care at the right time, saving millions over the long term.”

     Rep. Koch of Barre Town explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I cannot support this bill in its present form.  However, I hope that amendments to be offered tomorrow will be approved, so that I will be able to vote yes on final passage.”

     Rep. McCullough of Williston explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I support, quality, affordable, accessible health care for all Vermonters.  Some have vilified H. 861 as too generous, costly and therefore doomed to failure.

     For me, failure to provide quality, affordable, accessible health care would no doubt, prove to be the most costly failure this legislature could produce.”

     Rep. Otterman of Topsham explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     Twenty-five percent of Vermont’s population is eligible for Medicaid compared to only nine percent of the people across the  Connecticut River in New Hampshire.  Part of this difference results from the transfer of assets from elderly parents to their adult children.  This leaves Mom and Dad dependent on the state for support.  Some Vermont lawyers promote these transitions calling them estate or Medicaid planning. Our state government does not seem to know how many of these gifts are being made or the amount of assets involved.  Until we are able to understand and control our present Medicaid program, it is unwise to embark on a new and costly health care system.”

     Rep. Shand of Weathersfield explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     Your committee on Health Care heard from over 800 Vermonters.  It considered 8 different reform plans, including 8 full days of testimony about the administration’s proposal, from the administration.

     I am comfortable that the committee followed proper process.”

     Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I am  a representative of the demographic that is most impacted by this bill,  and I would probably benefit from it.  However, I believe the system is broken and voters are looking for more substantial change where everyone pays based on ability to pay and everyone is covered.”

 

 

 

 

 

Rules Suspended to Introduce Bill;

Rules Suspended to Take up Bill for Immediate Consideration;

Bill Read Second time and Third Reading Ordered;

Rules Suspended and Bill Placed on all Remaining Stages of Passage;

Bill Read Third Time and Passed;

Rules Suspended; Bill was Ordered Messaged to the Senate Forthwith

H. 873

     Upon motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford the rules were suspended to permit the introduction of House bill, entitled

     An act relating to procedural protections for Vermonters eligible for Medicare part D and VPHARM;

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford,  the rules were suspended and the bill was taken up for immediate consideration.

     Thereupon, the bill was read the second time, and third reading ordered.

On motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford, the rules were suspended and the bill placed on all remaining stages of passage.  The bill was read the third time and passed and, on motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford the rules were suspended and the bill was ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 701

Rep. Howard of Rutland City spoke for the committee on Transportation.

Rep. Hutchinson of Randolph, for the committee on Government Operations, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to ancient roads to be known as identified corridors;

Reported in favor of its passage when amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  19 V.S.A. § 302 is amended to read:

§ 302.  CLASSIFICATION OF TOWN HIGHWAYS

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

(1)  Class 1 town highways are those town highways which form the extension of a state highway route and which carry a state highway route number.  The agency shall determine which highways are to be class 1 highways.

(2)  Class 2 town highways are those town highways selected as the most important highways in each town.  As far as practicable they shall be selected with the purposes of securing trunk lines of improved highways from town to town and to places which by their nature have more than normal amount of traffic.  The selectmen, with the approval of the agency, shall determine which highways are to be class 2 highways.

(3)  Class 3 town highways:

(A)  Class 3 town highways are all traveled town highways other than class 1 or 2 highways.  The selectmen, after conference with a representative of the agency shall determine which highways are class 3 town highways.

(B)  The minimum standards for class 3 highways are a highway negotiable under normal conditions all seasons of the year by a standard manufactured pleasure car.  This would include but not be limited to sufficient surface and base, adequate drainage, and sufficient width capable to provide winter maintenance, except that based on safety considerations for the traveling public and municipal employees, the selectboard shall, by rule adopted under 24 V.S.A. chapter 59, and after following the process for providing notice and hearing in section 709 of this title, have authority to determine whether a class 3 highway, or section of highway, should be plowed and made negotiable during the winter.  However, a property owner aggrieved by a decision of the selectboard may appeal to the transportation board pursuant to subdivision 5(d)(8) of this title.

(C)  A highway not meeting these standards may be reclassified as a provisional class 3 highway if within five years of the determination, it will meet all class 3 highway standards.

(4)  Class 4 town highways are all other town highways that are not class 1, 2, or 3 town highways or unidentified corridors.  The selectmen selectboard shall determine which highways are class 4 town highways.

(5)  Trails shall not be considered highways and the town shall not be responsible for any maintenance including culverts and bridges.

(6)  Unidentified corridors.

(A)  Unidentified corridors are town highways that:

(i)  have been laid out as highways by proper authority through the process provided by law at the time they were created or by dedication and acceptance; and

(ii)  do not, as of July 1, 2008, appear on the town highway map prepared pursuant to section 305 of this title; and

(iii)  are not otherwise clearly observable by physical evidence of their use as a highway or trail; and

(iv)  are not legal trails.

(B)  If the conditions in subdivisions (A)(i) and (A)(ii) of this subdivision (6) are met, the legislative body of a municipality or its appointee may, after providing 14 days’ advance written notice to the owners of the land upon which the unidentified corridor is located, enter private property to determine whether clearly observable physical evidence exists.

(C)  Unidentified corridors shall be open to use by the public, but only in the same manner as they were used during the 10 years prior to January 1, 2006.

(D)  A municipality shall not be responsible for maintenance of an unidentified corridor.

(E)  Neither the municipality nor any person owning a legal interest in land through which an unidentified corridor may pass or abut shall have a duty of care to persons using the corridor.

(F)  An unidentified corridor shall not be deemed to be a subdivision with respect to zoning, tax, and septic issues.

(G)  After July 1, 2012, an unidentified corridor shall be discontinued, and the right-of-way shall belong to the owner of the adjoining land.  If the right-of-way is located between the lands of two different owners, it shall be returned to the lots to which it originally belonged, if they can be determined; if not, it shall be equally divided between the owners of the lands on each side.

(7)  Reclassification of unidentified corridors.  On or by July 1, 2012 and pursuant to subchapter 2 of chapter 7 of this title, an unidentified corridor may be reclassified as a class 1, 2, 3, or 4 highway or as a trail. 

(b)  The agency may require any municipality which fails to comply with the class 3 provisional commitments to return all state aid generated by the section or sections of highways involved.

Sec. 2.  19 V.S.A. § 305 is amended to read:

§ 305.  MEASUREMENT AND INSPECTION

(a)  After reasonable notice to the selectboard, a representative of the agency may measure and inspect the class 1, 2, and 3 town highways in each town to verify the accuracy of the records on file with the agency.  Upon request, the selectboard or their designee shall be permitted to accompany the representative of the agency during the measurement and inspection.  The agency shall notify the town when any highway, or portion of a highway, does not meet the standards for its assigned class.  If the town fails, within one year, to restore the highway or portion of the highway to the accepted standard, or to reclassify, or to discontinue, or develop an acceptable schedule for restoring to the accepted standards, the agency for purposes of apportionment under section 306 of this title shall deduct the affected mileage from that assigned to the town for the particular class of the road in question.

(b)  Annually, on or before February 10, the selectboard shall file with the town clerk a sworn statement of the description and measurements of all class 1, 2, and 3, and 4 town highways, and trails then in existence, including any special designation such as a throughway or scenic highway.  When class 1, 2, or 3, or 4 town highways, trails, or unidentified corridors are accepted, discontinued, or reclassified, a copy of the proceedings shall be filed in the town clerk’s office and a copy shall be forwarded to the agency.  All class 1, 2, 3, and 4 town highways and trails shall appear on the town highway maps by July 1, 2012.

(c)  The agency shall not accept any change in mileage until the records required to be filed in the town clerk’s office by this section are received by the agency.  A request by a municipality to the agency for a change in mileage shall include a description of the affected highway or trail, a copy of any surveys of the affected highway or trail, minutes of meetings at which the legislative body took action with respect to the changes, and a current town highway map with the requested deletions and additions sketched on it.  A survey shall not be required for class 4 town highways that are legally established prior to February 10, 2006.  All records filed with the agency are subject to verification in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.

(d)  The selectboard of any town who are aggrieved by a finding of the agency concerning the measurement, description or classification of a town highway may appeal to the transportation board by filing a notice of appeal with the executive secretary of the transportation board.

(e)  Upon request, the The agency shall provide each town with a map of all of the highways in that town together with the mileage of each class 1, 2, and 3 highway and such other information as the agency deems appropriate.

(f)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subchapter 7 of chapter 7 of Title 19, on or before July 1, 2008, a municipality’s legislative body may vote to discontinue all town highways not included as such on the sworn certificate of the description and measurement of town highways filed with the town clerk pursuant to subsection (b) of this section on February 10 of that year.  For the purposes of this section, a town highway shall be deemed to be included on the sworn certificate of the description and measurement of town highways if:

(1)  a petition has been filed with the legislative body by persons who are either voters or landowners, and whose number is at least five percent of the voters, in a municipality, desiring to include that town highway on the sworn certificate of the description and measurement of town highways, prior to the vote taken under this subsection (f); or

(2)  the legislative body has voted at an annual or special meeting duly warned for the purpose to include that town highway on the sworn certificate of the description and measurement of town highways, prior to the vote taken under this subsection (f).

(g)(1)  Prior to a vote to discontinue town highways provided in subsection (f) of this section, the legislative body shall hold a public informational hearing on the question by posting warnings at least 30 days prior to the hearing in at least two public places within the municipality and in the town clerk’s office.  The notice shall include the most recently available map of all town highways prepared by the agency of transportation pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.  At least 30 days prior to the hearing, the legislative body shall also deliver the warning and map together with proof of receipt or mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each of the following:

(A)  The chair of any municipal planning commission in the municipality;

(B)  The chair of the legislative body of each abutting municipality;

(C)  The executive director of the regional planning commission of the area in which the municipality is located; and

(D)  The commissioner of forests, parks and recreation.

(2)  The hearing shall be held within the 10 days preceding the meeting at which the highways will be discontinued.

(h)  The legislative body may designate a specific highway or portion thereof proposed to be discontinued as a trail, in which case the right-of-way shall be continued at the width provided for in section 702 of this title.  A designation of a highway or portion thereof as a trail under the provisions of this section shall be in writing setting forth a complete description of the highway or portion thereof so designated.  For all highways not designated as a trail and discontinued pursuant to this section, title to the rights‑of‑way shall belong to the owners of the abutting lands.  If the right-of-way is located between the lands of two different owners, it shall be returned to the lots to which it originally belonged, if they can be determined; if not, it shall be equally divided between the owners of the lands on each side.  The legislative body shall return a report of its actions to the town clerk’s office and the agency of transportation.

(i)  A vote pursuant to subsection (f) of this section may be disapproved by a vote of a majority of the qualified voters of the municipality voting on the question at an annual or special meeting duly warned for the purpose pursuant to a petition that is:

(1)  signed by not less than five percent of the qualified voters of the municipality; and

(2)  presented to the legislative body or the clerk of the municipality within 44 days following the vote taken pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(j)  When a petition is submitted in accordance with subsection (i) of this section, the legislative body shall call a special meeting within 60 days from the date of receipt of the petition, or include an article in the warning for the next annual meeting of the municipality if the annual meeting falls within the 60-day period, to determine whether the voters will disapprove the ordinance or rule.

(k)  No fewer than two copies of a notice that the legislative body has voted to discontinue all town highways not included as such on the sworn certificate of the description and measurement of town highways shall be posted at each polling place during the hours of voting, and copies thereof shall be made available to voters at the polls upon request.

(l)  If a petition for an annual or a special meeting is duly submitted in accordance with this section to determine whether the vote of the legislative body to discontinue all town highways not included as such on the sworn certificate of the description and measurement of town highways shall be disapproved by the voters of the municipality, the discontinuance shall take effect on the conclusion of the meeting or at such later date as is specified in the discontinuance unless a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question at the meeting vote to disapprove the discontinuance, in which event it shall not take effect.

Sec. 3.  19 V.S.A. § 708(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Persons who are either voters or landowners, and whose number is at least five percent of the voters, in a town, desiring to have a highway laid out, altered, reclassified, or discontinued, may apply by petition in writing to the selectmen selectboard for that purpose.  A person who is a landowner in a town, desiring to have an unidentified corridor which passes through or abuts his or her land discontinued or altered, may apply in writing to the selectboard for that purpose.  The selectmen selectboard may also initiate these proceedings on their its own motion.

Sec. 4.  19 V.S.A. § 717 is amended to read:

§ 717.  EVIDENCE OF HIGHWAY COMPLETION OR

           DISCONTINUANCE

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

(b)  A town or county highway that has not been kept passable for use by the general public for motorized travel at the expense of the municipality for a period of 30 or more consecutive years following a final determination to discontinue the highway shall be presumed to have been effectively discontinued.  This presumption of discontinuance may be rebutted by evidence that manifests a clear intent by the municipality or county and the public to consider or use the way as a highway.  The presumption of discontinuance shall not be rebutted by evidence that shows isolated acts of maintenance, unless other evidence exists that shows a clear intent by the municipality or county to consider or use the highway as if it were a public right‑of‑way. 

(c)  A person whose sole means of access to a parcel of land or portion thereof owned by that person is by way of a town highway or unidentified corridor that is subsequently discontinued shall retain a private right-of-way over the former town highway or unidentified corridor for any necessary access to the parcel of land or portion thereof and maintenance of his or her right-of-way.

Sec. 5.  19 V.S.A. § 740 is amended to read:

§ 740.  PETITION

(a)  When a person owning or interested in lands through which a highway is laid out, altered, or resurveyed by selectboard members, objects to the necessity of taking the land, or is dissatisfied with the laying out, altering or resurveying of the highway, or with the compensation for damages, he or she may appeal, in the manner provided for state agencies subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (3 V.S.A. chapter 25) accordance with Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, to the superior court in the same county, or in either county when the highway or bridge is in two counties.  Any number of aggrieved persons may join in the appeal.  The appeal shall be filed within 30 days after the order of the selectboard members on the highway is recorded.  JDIf the appeal is taken from the appraisal of damages only, the selectboard members may proceed with the work as though no appeal had been taken.  Each of the appellants shall be entitled to a trial by jury on the question of damages.

(b)  The words “necessity” and “damages” as used in this section shall have the same definition as set forth in chapter 5 of this title.

Sec. 6.  19 V.S.A. § 771 is amended to read:

§ 771.  PROCEDURE

(a)  The selectmen legislative body of a municipality may discontinue a town highway or bridge wholly within the town after following the procedures of sections 708-711 of this title.  The selectmen of two or more towns may discontinue a highway continuing into each of the towns by individually following the same procedure.  The public hearing may be jointly held if the selectmen agree.  If the decision is not the same in all towns involved, the superior court shall be petitioned to resolve the issue.  If two or more counties are involved then the petition can be presented to the court in the county having the greatest share of mileage involved.  The commissioners appointed to discontinue a highway or bridge shall be disinterested landowners who are not those appointed to lay out the highway or bridge. A decree or order made by the commissioners under the provisions of this section may be reviewed by the superior court under the same conditions and the same proceedings as are provided for the laying out of highways.  The authority of the legislative body under this subsection shall extend to any town highway, regardless of whether the highway was originally laid out by the town, the former county court, the supreme court, a committee of the general assembly, a turnpike company, or was established in any other manner now or formerly authorized by law.

(b)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the legislative body shall not discontinue a class 1 or class 2 town highway without the prior approval of the secretary of transportation.

(c)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the legislative body shall not discontinue a class 3 or class 4 town highway extending into an adjacent municipality without notifying the legislative body of the adjacent municipality.  If the legislative body of the adjacent town is aggrieved by a decision of the legislative body of the municipality in which the highway is located, it may appeal to the transportation board pursuant to subdivision 5(d)(8) of this title.

Sec. 7.  REPEAL

19 V.S.A. §§ 773 (county highways) and 774 (highways ordered by the general assembly) are repealed.

Sec. 8.  19 V.S.A. § 5(d)(8) is amended to read:

(d)  The board shall:

* * *

(8)  hear and determine disputes involving the decision of a selectboard under subdivision 302(a)(3)(B) or subsection 310(a) of this title not to plow and make negotiable a class 2 or 3 town highway or section of a highway during the winter or involving discontinuances of class 3 or 4 town highways extending into adjacent towns under the provisions of subsection 771(c) of this title; and

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 4306 is amended to read:

§ 4306.  MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL PLANNING FUND

* * *

(b)  Disbursement to regional planning commissions shall be according to a formula to be adopted by rule under chapter 25 of Title 3 by the department for the assistance of the regional planning commissions.  The rules shall give due consideration to the region’s progress in adopting a regional plan.  Disbursement to municipalities shall be through a competitive program administered by the department providing the opportunity for any eligible municipality or municipalities to compete regardless of size, provided that to receive funds, a municipality:

(1)  Shall be confirmed under section 4350 of this title; or

(2)(A)  Shall use the funds for the purpose of developing a municipal plan to be submitted for approval by the regional planning commission, as required for municipal confirmation under section 4350 of this title; and

(B)  Shall have voted at an annual or special meeting to provide local funds for municipal and regional planning purposes; or

(3)  That lacks a municipal plan shall use the funds exclusively to research and map town highways, trails, and unidentified corridors under subdivisions 302(a)(6) and (7) of Title 19.

* * *

(d)  The department of housing and community affairs shall establish priorities to govern $100,000.00 in disbursements to municipalities from the fund.  Priorities shall include municipal mapping of town highways, trails, and unidentified corridors under subdivisions 302(a)(6) and (7) of Title 19.

Sec. 10.  Sec. 253 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 253.  APPROPRIATIONS; PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

(a)  This act contains the following amounts appropriated from special funds that receive revenue from the property transfer tax.  Expenditures from these appropriations shall not exceed available revenues:

(1)  Notwithstanding Sec. 273 of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess (2004), the sum of $288,000 is appropriated from the property valuation and review administration special fund to the department of taxes for administration of the use tax reimbursement program.  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 9610(c), amounts above $288,000 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the property valuation and review administration special fund shall be transferred into the general fund.

(2)  The sum of $13,171,180 is appropriated from the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund to the Vermont housing and conservation trust board. Notwithstanding 10 V.S.A. § 312, amounts above $13,171,180 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund shall be transferred into the general fund.

(3)  The sum of $3,939,566 $4,039,566 is appropriated from the municipal and regional planning fund.  Notwithstanding 24 V.S.A. § 4306(a), amounts above $3,939,566 $4,039,566 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the municipal and regional planning fund shall be transferred into the general fund.  The $3,939,566 $4,039,566 shall be allocated as follows:

(A)  The sum of $2,757,696 for disbursement to regional planning commissions in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(B)  The sum of $787,913 $887,913 for disbursement grants to municipalities shall be disbursed in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b), and priority for four years may be given to municipalities for the purpose of mapping town highways;

(C)  The sum of $393,957 to the Vermont center for geographic information.

* * *

Sec. 11.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

To ensure that all of its class 1, 2, 3, and 4 town highways and trails appear on the town highway map by July 1, 2012, a municipality shall submit its requested changes with supporting documentation to the agency of transportation by March 15, 2011.  On or before September 1, 2011, the agency of transportation shall provide each municipality which has requested changes with a proof copy of the proposed new town highway map.  On or before December 31, 2011, a municipality shall notify the agency of transportation of any apparent errors or omissions in the proof copy of the proposed new town highway map.

Sec. 12.  REPORTS; AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION; COURT

ADMINISTRATOR

(a)  The agency of transportation shall file a report with the general assembly annually on February 15, which:

(1)  evaluates the effectiveness of this act;

(2)  recommends additional measures necessary to meet the goals of this act;

(3)  identifies which municipalities have mapped all of their town highways and trails; and

(4)  identifies which municipalities availed themselves of the provisions of 19 V.S.A. § 305(g), relating to mass discontinuances of unidentified corridors.

(b)  The court administrator shall file a report with the general assembly annually on January 1 which describes the number of cases pending and outcomes of any final resolution of litigation involving unidentified corridors. 

(c)  The department of housing and community affairs shall file a report with the general assembly annually on January 1 of:

(1)  the number of applicants for disbursements from the municipal and regional planning fund;

(2)  the number of towns that have received disbursements from the fund; and

(3)  the amount of each disbursement.

Sec. 13.  SUNSET

24 V.S.A. § 4306(b)(3) (disbursements from municipal and regional planning fund for the researching and mapping of town highways, trails, and unidentified corridors); and (d) (priorities for disbursements from the municipal regional and planning fund); and Sec. 12 of this act (agency reports) are repealed on July 2, 2012.

Sec. 14.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This section and Sec. 10 of this act shall take effect from passage and the remainder shall take effect July 1, 2006.

and that upon passage the title of the bill be amended to read: “AN ACT RELATING TO UNIDENTIFIED CORRIDORS”

     Rep. Helm of Castleton, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended that the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the committee on Government Operations, and when further amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 9, 24 V.S.A. § 4306, by striking subsection (d) in its entirety

Second:  By striking Sec. 10 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 10 to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  APPROPRIATIONS; PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

(a) The amount of $100,000 in transportation funds is transferred from the department of buildings and general services in fiscal year 2007 to the municipal and regional planning fund to be used exclusively for grants to municipalities to research and map town highways, trails, and unidentified corridors under subdivisions 302(a)(6) and (7) of title 19.

(b) At the close of FY 2006, any property transfer tax revenues above $46,400,000, not to exceed $400,000, shall be deposited into the municipal and regional planning fund to be used exclusively for grants to municipalities to research and map town highways, trails, and unidentified corridors under subdivisions 302(a)(6) and (7) of title 19.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time, the recommendation of amended offered by the committee on Appropriations agreed to and the recommendation of amendment on Government Operations, as amended, was agreed to and third reading ordered.

Message from the Senate No. 33

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

Madam Speaker:

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

S. 51.  An act relating to disability retirement benefits for state employees.

S. 188.  An act relating to financial literacy and asset building of low income Vermonters.

S. 194.  An act relating to sealing juvenile records relating to a delinquent act.

S. 218.  An act relating to motor vehicle retail installment sales contracts.

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

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

H. 665.  An act relating to promoting gourmet food and beverage products by permitting tastings of alcoholic beverages at Vermont food and wine events.

And has passed the same in concurrence.

Message from Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Mr. Neale Lunderville, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Madam Speaker:

I am directed by the Governor to inform the House that on the second day of March, 2006, he approved and signed bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 627    An act relating to the special environmental revolving fund;

H. 851    An act relating to extending VPARM coverage for individuals                                              eligible for Medicare Part D.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 766

House bill, entitled

An act relating to real estate transfer pursuant to strict foreclosure not voidable as fraudulent conveyance;

Was taken up and pending the reading of the report of the committee on Commerce, on motion of Rep. Keenan of St. Albans City, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 480

House bill, entitled

An act relating to precursor drugs of methamphetamine;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 579

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

     An act relating to Vermont service medals;

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

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. § 1545 is amended to read:

§ 1545.  VERMONT DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDALS

(a)  The governor may present in the name of the state of Vermont a distinguished service medal, of appropriate design, and a separate ribbon that may be worn in place of the medal, lapel button, and certificate to an individual who was a resident of Vermont at the time of entry into military service, and, or the individual’s spouse, child, parent, sibling, or grandchild if the individual is deceased, provided the individual meets all the following eligibility criteria:

(1)  Served in a combat theater of operations during a war or emergency as a member of the federal active-duty military, as evidenced by copies of the person’s honorable discharge and severance papers, DD Form 214 or, for World War II veterans, WD Form 53; or service during any period of war prior to April 6, 1916; foreign service during World War I or World War II; or receipt of federal decorations showing combat related service since January 1, 1947.

(2)  Died in a combat theater of operations during a war or emergency, as evidenced by copies of the individual’s DD Form 1300; or Received an honorable discharge from the federal active-duty military, or died before separating from the federal active-duty military, or was declared missing in action by the United States Department of Defense; or is currently a member in good standing in the federal active-duty military with more than four years of service.

(3)  Was officially listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action by the United States Department of Defense while serving in a combat theater of operations during a war or emergency a resident of Vermont at the time of entry into military service, or was mobilized to federal active duty while a member of the Vermont National Guard or other reserve unit located in Vermont, regardless of the resident’s home of record.

(b)  The service medal for a deceased individual or an individual who has been listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action shall be issued to the individual’s parent, spouse, sibling or other relative who submits all the required forms and documentation on behalf of that individual.

(c)  The distinguished service medal shall conform to MIL-DTL-3943 and the state specification sheets; the ribbon shall conform to MIL-DTL-11589 as to quality and construction; and the lapel button shall conform to

MIL-DTL-11484.  The state specification sheets and original model shall be kept by the secretary of state.

(d)(c)  Application for a distinguished service medal may be made by a qualified individual under this section, or by the individual’s parent, spouse, sibling or other relative, to the office of veterans’ affairs of the office of the adjutant general.  The office of veterans’ affairs shall also design, cast, and procure the distinguished service medals, and maintain and verify records and documents pertaining to the medals and awards.  Approved applicants may choose to receive the medal by mail or in a ceremony with the governor or a representative of the governor.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 1546 is amended to read:

§ 1546.  VERMONT VETERANS’ MEDAL

(a)  Each living individual who was a resident of Vermont at the time of entry into military service and was honorably discharged or transferred to a reserve status in the armed forces of the United States, and served an entire two-year tour of active duty unless discharged for the convenience of the government shall be eligible to receive the Vermont veterans’ medal, upon written request to the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs, accompanied by a copy of the individual’s DD Form 214 or WD Form 53, and any additional supporting information documenting residency if the DD Form 214 does not indicate a Vermont address as the individual’s home of record.  The office of veterans’ affairs may present in the name of the state of Vermont a veterans’ medal, ribbon, lapel button, and certificate to an individual or the individual’s spouse, child, parent, sibling, or grandchild if the individual is deceased and the individual meets all the following eligibility criteria:

(1)  Completed a minimum two-year tour of federal active military duty, unless discharged for the convenience of the government, and received an honorable discharge, died before separating from the federal active-duty military, or was declared missing in action by the United States Department of Defense; or the individual is currently on federal active military duty and in good standing with more than four years of service.

(2)  Was a resident of Vermont at the time of entry into military service, or was mobilized to federal active duty while a member of the Vermont National Guard or other reserve unit located in Vermont, regardless of the individual’s home of record.

(b)  The Vermont veterans’ medal shall be awarded for honorable service in the active military service of the United States, including any member of the Vermont National Guard or the ready reserves who was mobilized for active federal service during a time of conflict.  The Vermont veterans’ medal may be awarded regardless of length of service if the member dies while on active duty, becomes a prisoner of war, or is listed as missing in action.

(c)  The Vermont veterans’ medal shall conform to MIL-DTL-3943 and the state specification sheets, and shall be as follows:  the obverse shall be a relief replica of the coat of arms of the state of Vermont, and shall have the words “Vermont National Defense” in a circular style with “1777” at the bottom and centered.  The existing great seal of the secretary of state Vermont shall be the model for the reverse side.  The ribbon shall conform to MIL-DTL-11589 as to quality and construction, and shall consist of the four primary colors of the Vermont coat of arms:  green, blue, yellow, and red.  The lapel button shall conform to MIL-DTL-11484.  The state specification sheets and original model shall be kept by the secretary of state.

(d)(c)  Application for a Vermont veterans’ distinguished service medal may be made by a qualified individual under this section, or by the individual’s parent, spouse, sibling or other relative, to the office of veterans’ affairs of the office of the adjutant general.  The office of veterans’ affairs shall also procure and cast the medal according to the design prescribed by subsection (c) of this section, and maintain and verify records and documents pertaining to the medals and awards veterans’ medal will be made to the office of veterans’ affairs.  The office of veterans’ affairs shall also design, cast, and procure the veterans’ medals and maintain and verify records and documents pertaining to the medals.  Approved applicants may choose to receive the medal by mail or in a ceremony with a representative of the state of Vermont.

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 1547(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The governor, or the governor’s designee, at an appropriate time and place, shall present the Vermont patriot’s medal and accompanying certificate to the family of a Vermont resident member or nonresident member of the Vermont national guard or other reserve unit located in Vermont, who is killed in action while serving in the armed forces after February 28, 1961.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

 

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 248

House bill, entitled

An act relating to registration of lobbyist;

Was taken up and pending the question, Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? on motion of Rep. Dates of Shelburne, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Adjournment

At seven o’clock and thirty minutes in the evening, on motion of Rep. Sunderland of Rutland Town, the House adjourned until tomorrow at nine o’clock in the forenoon.