Journal of the House

________________

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2006

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Representative Francis Brooks of Montpelier, VT.

Message from the Senate No. 40

     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. 212.  An act relating to the radiological emergency response plan.

S. 256.  An act relating to sexual exploitation of an inmate.

S. 259.  An act relating to establishing greenhouse gas reduction goals and a plan for meeting those goals.

S. 285.  An act relating to coverage of disabled adult children and college students on medical leave.

S. 292.  An act relating to the state employee labor relations act.

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

Senate Bills Referred

Senate bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the first time and referred as follows:

S. 212

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to radiological emergency response plan;

To the committee on Government Operations.

 

S. 256

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to sexual exploitation of an inmate;

To the committee on Institutions.

S. 259

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to establishing greenhouse gas reduction goals and a plan for meeting those goals;

To the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

S. 285

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to coverage of disabled adult children and college students on medical leave;

To the committee on Health Care.

S. 292

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the state employee labor relations act;

To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

Consideration Interrupted by Recess;

H. 880

Rep. Donovan of Burlington spoke for the committee on Ways and Means.

Rep. Marron of Stowe, for the committee on Appropriations, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to education finance simplification;

Reported in favor of its passage when amended as follows:

     First:  By adding Secs.19 and 20 to read:

Sec. 19.  FISCAL YEAR 2007 REDUCTION OF EDUCATION PROPERTY

               TAX RATES AND APPLICABLE PERCENTAGE

(a)  For fiscal year 2007 only, the education property tax imposed under subsection 5402(a) of Title 32 shall be reduced from the rate of $1.59 and $1.10 and shall instead be at the following rates:

(1)  the tax rate for nonresidential property shall be $1.44 per $100.00; and

(2)  the tax rate for homestead property shall be $0.95 multiplied by the district spending adjustment for the municipality, per $100.00;

of equalized education property value as most recently determined under section 5405 of Title 32.

(b)  For claims filed for fiscal year 2007 only, “applicable percentage” in subdivision 6066(a)(2) of Title 32 shall be reduced from 2.0 percent and instead shall be 1.80 percent multiplied by the fiscal year 2007 district spending adjustment for the municipality in which the homestead residence is located; but in no event shall the applicable percentage be less than 1.80 percent.

Sec. 20.  APPLICATION OF SECTIONS 11 AND 19      

     If  sections 1 through 8 and subsection 18(1) (combining the prebate and rebate programs and creating an adjusted homestead property tax bill) of H. 880 as Introduced are included in final enactment of this legislation, then Sec. 19 of this act  (fiscal year 2007 education property tax rates at $1.44 and $0.95) shall take precedence over Sec. 11 (fiscal year 2007 education property tax rates at $1.47 and $0.98), and Sec. 11 shall be of no effect.

     Second:  By adding Sec. 21 to read:

Sec. 21.  PREBATE AND REBATE FILING DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL

     Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 6068(b), for full-time active duty military personnel serving in an area designated as a combat zone by executive order of the President of the United States or serving in a contingency operation as described in section 7508 of title 26 of the United State Code, the time to file property tax adjustment claims otherwise due in 2005 or later, for homeowner property tax adjustment, homeowner rebate and renter rebate under Chapter 154 of Title 32, is extended to 180 days after service in such areas ends or hospitalization due to physical or mental injury or disability resulting from such service ends.

     Third:  By adding Sec. 22 to read:

Sec. 22.  ONE-TIME APPROPRIATIONS; SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AID

(a)  The sum of $3,691,837.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16.

(b)  The sum of $10,508,163 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of buildings and general services for state aid for technical center construction projects as follows:

(1)  Windham Regional Career Center            $4,281,815.00

(2)  Patricia Hannaford Regional Technical Center            $2,226,348.00

(3)  Green Mountain Technology and Career Center        $1,000,000.00

(4)  North Country Career Center                                   $3,000,000.00

 

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 committee in Appropriations?

Recess

At nine o’clock and fifty minutes in the forenoon, the Speaker declared a recess until fall of the gavel.

At eleven o’clock and fifteen minutes in the forenoon, the Speaker called the House to order.

Consideration Resumed; Bill Amended;

Consideration Interrupted by Recess

H. 880

     Consideration resumed on House bill, entitled

An act relating to education finance simplification;

     Thereupon, the recurring question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Appropriations, was agreed to.

     Pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time? Rep. Livingston of Manchester moved to amend the bill as follows:

     First:  In Sec. 19 (a)(1) by striking “$1.44” and inserting in lieu thereof “$1.41”; and in subsection (a)(2) by striking “$0.95” and inserting in lieu thereof “$0.92”; and by striking the words “shall be reduced from 2.0 percent and instead shall be 1.80 percent” and inserting in lieu thereof “shall remain at 2.0 percent”, and in Sec. 19 (b) by striking the words “but in no event shall the applicable percentage be less than 1.80 percent” and inserting in lieu thereof “but in no event shall the applicable percentage be less than 2.0 percent

     Second:  By adding a Sec. 19a to read:

Sec. 19a.  REPEAL

Secs. 25 (raising household income ceiling and housesite maximum to $85,000.00 and $200,000.00 respectively), 26 (raising household income ceiling to $90,000.00) and 27 (effective dates relating to Secs. 25 and 26) of No. 38 of the Acts of 2005 are repealed.

     Third:  By striking Sec. 20, and in the underlying bill, by striking Sec. 11

     Pending the question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by Rep. Livingston of Manchester? Rep. Komline of Dorset asked that the question be divided.

     Pending the question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by Rep. Livingston of Manchester in the first instance?

Recess

At twelve o’clock and twenty-five minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker declared a recess until the fall of the gavel.

At one o’clock and thirty-five minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker called the House to order.

Consideration Resumed and Third Reading Ordered

H. 880

     Consideration resumed on House bill, entitled

An act relating to education finance simplification;

     Thereupon, Rep. Livingston of Manchester asked and was granted leave of the House to withdraw her amendment.

     Pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time? Rep. Livingston of Manchester moved to amend the bill as follows:

     First:   In Sec. 19, by striking “$1.44” and inserting in lieu thereof “$1.425”; and in subsection (a)(2) by striking “$0.95” and inserting in lieu thereof “$0.935”; and by striking the words “shall be reduced from 2.0 percent and instead shall be 1.80 percent” and inserting in lieu thereof “shall remain at 2.0 percent”, and by striking the words “but in no event shall the applicable percentage be less than 1.80 percent” and inserting in lieu thereof “but in no event shall the applicable percentage be less than 2.0 percent

     Second:   In Sec. 19, by striking “$1.425” and inserting in lieu thereof “$1.41”; and in subsection (a)(2) by striking “$0.935” and inserting in lieu thereof “$0.92”; and by adding a Sec. 19a to read:

Sec. 19a.  REPEAL

Secs. 25 (raising household income ceiling and housesite maximum to $85,000.00 and $200,000.00 respectively), 26 (raising household income ceiling to $90,000.00) and 27 (effective dates relating to Secs. 25 and 26) of No. 38 of the Acts of 2005 are repealed.

     Third:  By striking Secs. 11 and 20

     Rep. Deen of Westminster asked that the question be divided and that Sec. 19(a) of the second instance be taken up first, the third instance of the amendment last and the balance of the amendment, second.

     Whereupon, Rep. Deen of Westminster raised a Point of Order that Sec. 19(a) is in violation of House rule 61 in that it substantially negates action taken in Sec. 25 and 26 of #38 of the Acts of 2005.  Which Point of Order the Speaker ruled well taken and Sec. 19(a) of the amendment was stricken.

Pending the question, Shall the House amend the bill offered by Rep. Livingston of Manchester in the first and second instance? 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 amend the bill offered by Rep. Livingston of Manchester in the first and second instance?  was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 49.  Nays, 95.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allaire of Rutland City

Baker of West Rutland

Bartlett of Dover

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

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

McFaun of Barre Town

Miller of Elmore

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Parent of St. Albans City

Peaslee of Guildhall

Shaw of Derby

Smith of New Haven

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Winters of Swanton

Winters of Williamstown

Young of Orwell


 

Those who voted in the negative are:


Allard of St. Albans Town

Ancel of Calais

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bohi of Hartford

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

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

Dowland of Holland

Dunsmore of Georgia

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

Kiss 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

Marron of Stowe

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCullough of Williston

McLaughlin of Royalton

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Molloy of Arlington

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Nease of Johnson

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

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

Severance of Colchester

Shand of Weathersfield

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Tracy of Burlington

Trombley of Grand Isle

Wright of Burlington

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Martin of Springfield

McAllister of Highgate

Niquette of Colchester

Sharpe of Bristol

Sunderland of Rutland Town


 

     Rep. Donahue of Northfield explained her vote as follows:

“Madame Speaker:

     This was neither a simple nor easy vote.  It would have reduced the increasing cost shift to property owners, not shift more to the income-sensitized.  It would have helped protect our lowest income group – renters – from increases.  Many non-residential property owners in my district are Vermont retirees with their old farm or a piece of woodland they can no longer afford the taxes to keep after lives of hard work..”

     Rep. French of Randolph explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     H. 880 will lower the tax burden on lower income Vermonters by lowering the rebate rate for lower income families.  I don’t want to do anything to remove this positive effect.”

     Rep. Livingston of Manchester explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     At some point we have to take fiscal responsibility for the increasing cost of being a Vermont taxpayer.  This amendment is a small attempt toward that end.”

     Thereupon, Rep. Livingston of Manchester asked and was granted leave of the House to withdraw her third instance of amendment.

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time? Rep. Deen of Westminster 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 bill be read the third time?  was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 127.  Nays, 16.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allard of St. Albans Town

Ancel of Calais

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Barnard of Richmond

Bohi of Hartford

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Brooks of Montpelier

Canfield of Fair Haven

Chen of Mendon

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clarkson of Woodstock

Condon of Colchester

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Cross of Winooski

Darrow of Dummerston

Dates of Shelburne

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Dowland of Holland

Dunsmore of Georgia

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Endres of Milton

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Flory of Pittsford

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

Helm of Castleton

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

Kennedy of Chelsea

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kiss of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larocque of Barnet

Larson of Burlington

LaVoie of Swanton

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Marron of Stowe

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCullough of Williston

McFaun of Barre Town

McLaughlin of Royalton

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Miller of Elmore

Minter of Waterbury

Molloy of Arlington

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nitka of Ludlow

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Parent of St. Albans City

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

Severance of Colchester

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Shaw of Derby

Smith of New Haven

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Tracy of Burlington

Trombley of Grand Isle

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Winters of Swanton

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Zuckerman of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Allaire of Rutland City

Bartlett of Dover

Clark of Vergennes

DePoy of Rutland City

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Errecart of Shelburne

Houston of Ferrisburgh

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Koch of Barre Town

Larrabee of Danville

Lawrence of Lyndon

Louras of Rutland City

Peaslee of Guildhall


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


Livingston of Manchester

Martin of Springfield

McAllister of Highgate

Niquette of Colchester

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Young of Orwell


 

     Rep. Clarkson of Woodstock explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     H. 880 goes a long way to simplifying what many view as an overly complex education tax mechanism.  I applaud the simplification of our prebate/rebate system, the further reduction of our tax rates, and the protection of Vermonter’s confidentiality.”

     Rep. Donaghy of Poultney explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     Although I am very much in favor of what this bill does, I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that would have a constituent of mine, Aunt Eileen, pay $9,000 in property taxes on an annual income of approximately $15,000.  We need to provide some remedy for her and those similarly situated.”

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 twenty-third day of March, 2006, he approved and signed a bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 579    An act relating to Vermont Service Medals.

Bill Read Second Time; Third Reading Ordered

H. 881

Rep. Heath of Westford spoke for the committee on Appropriations.

House bill entitled

An act making appropriations for the support of government;

Having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and third reading ordered.

Message from the Senate No. 41

     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. 12.  An act relating to limiting the application of granular fertilizers to nonagricultural turf.

S. 228.  An act relating to price gouging for petroleum products.

S. 262.  An act relating to expanding employer access to applicants’ criminal history records.

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

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

H. 678.  An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration.

H. 715.  An act relating to the eradication of cervical cancer.

H. 862.  An act relating to home study programs.

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

The Senate has on its part adopted a joint resolution of the following title:

J.R.S. 61.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

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

Adjournment

At six o’clock and fifteen minutes in the evening, on motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford, the House adjourned until tomorrow at nine o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon.