Journal of the Senate

________________

Thursday, March 2, 2006

The Senate was called to order by the President pro tempore.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Peter Plagge of Waterbury.

Message from the House No. 41

     A message was received from the House of Representatives by Ms. Wrask, its Second Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has passed a bill of the following title:

H. 864.  An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

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

Bill Referred

House bill of the following title was read the first time and referred:

H. 864.

An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

To the Committee on Institutions.

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

S. 212.

Senate bill of the following title, appearing on the Calendar for notice and carrying an appropriation or requiring the expenditure of funds, under the rule was referred to the Committee on Appropriations:

An act relating to the radiological emergency response plan.


Bills Passed

Senate bills of the following titles were severally read the third time and passed:

S. 51.

An act relating to disability retirement benefits for state employees.

S. 188.

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

Bill Passed in Concurrence

House bill of the following title was read the third time and passed in concurrence:

H. 665.

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

Bill Amended; Bill Passed

S. 310.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to common sense initiatives.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Illuzzi, moved to amend the bill by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 29a to read as follows:

Sec. 29a.  DISPOSITION OF REMAINS; FUNERAL GOODS AND SERVICES

The attorney general’s office shall study and make recommendations to the House Committee on Health Care and to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare by January 15, 2007, addressing which individuals should have the right to direct the disposition of remains and to order funeral goods and services, and to establish a procedure in probate court to resolve disputes.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed.


Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 106.

Senator Illuzzi, for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to increasing the beverage container handler’s fee and providing that unclaimed beverage container deposits shall be paid into the solid waste management assistance fund.

     Reported recommending that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  BOTTLE BILL EXPANSION; STUDY AND REPORT

(a) A committee consisting of nine members shall undertake a study and make recommendations regarding improved implementation and expansion of chapter 53 of Title 10, the Bottle Bill.  The Agency of Natural Resources shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee shall consist of the following nine members:

     (1)  The Secretary of Natural Resources or designee, who shall be chair of the committee.

(2)  A representative of beverage retailers.

(3)  A representative of beverage distributors.

(4)  A representative of beverage manufacturers.

(5)  A representative of beverage redemption centers.

(6)  A representative of solid waste districts.

(7)  Two representatives from environmental protection organizations.

(8)  A member from the Department of Liquor Control.

(b)  The committee shall study chapter 53 of Title 10 and issue a report on its findings and recommendations for improvement no later than January 15, 2006, to the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs and the House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Energy.  At a minimum the report shall include the following:

(1)  The scope of beverages that should be included.

(2)  The amount of the deposit for those beverages.

(3)  The amount of the handling fee for those beverage containers.

(4)  What to do with unredeemed deposits collected on those beverage containers.

(5)  The feasibility and effectiveness of the current system, and administrative and legislative changes to improve it.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

     Senator MacDonald, for the Committee on Finance, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1521 is amended to read:

§ 1521. DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this chapter:

* * *

(8) "Refillable" means a beverage container which can be refilled at least five times and is so certified by type by the secretary.

(9) "Secretary" means the secretary of the agency of natural resources.

(10)(9) "Mixed wine drink" means a beverage containing wine and more than 15 percent added plain, carbonated or sparkling water; and which contains added natural or artificial blended material, such as fruit juices, flavors, flavoring, adjuncts, coloring or preservatives; which contains not more than 16 percent alcohol by volume; or other similar product marketed as a wine cooler.

(11)(10)  "Liquor" means spirits as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1522(b) and (d) are amended to read:

(b)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center who redeems beverage containers shall be reimbursed by the manufacturer or distributor of such beverage containers in an amount which is at least the greater of two cents per container or 20 percent of the amount of the deposit returned to the consumer three and one-half cents per container.

(d)  The secretary shall prepare and print suitable posters for sale, at cost, to persons who wish to post the hours during which containers will be redeemed at their places of business.  Containers shall be redeemed during no fewer than 40 hours per week during the regular operating hours of the establishment.  The poster shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS

In accordance with the provisions of section 1523(a) of Title 10, Vermont Statutes Annotated, this store will redeem clean beverage containers during the following 40 or more hours of each week:


Monday _____________________________________________________

Tuesday _____________________________________________________   

Wednesday ___________________________________________________

Thursday _____________________________________________________

Friday _______________________________________________________

Saturday _____________________________________________________

Sunday_______________________________________________________

                                                                       (Name of store or establishment)

                                                                      (Operator, manager, or owner)

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1523 is amended to read:

§ 1523.  ACCEPTANCE OF BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

(a)  Except as provided in section 1522 of this title:

* * *

(2) A manufacturer or distributor may not refuse to accept from a retailer that sells its product or a person operating a certified redemption center any empty beverage containers of the kind, size and brand sold by the manufacturer or distributor, or refuse to pay the retailer or a person operating a redemption center the refund value of a beverage container as established by section 1522 of this title.

* * *

(c)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center may refuse to redeem beverage containers which that are not clean or which are broken, or were not purchased in Vermont.

* * *

(e)  The secretary shall, upon due notice to notify the public and other affected parties, hold a public hearing upon regarding the petition.  After investigation and hearing, the The secretary, after determination of need and service to be provided by the establishment of a proposed redemption center, shall issue his order a certification authorizing the distributors or retailers affected and servicing the community or area involved to establish a redemption center or alternate method of redemption, or shall deny the petition if found adverse to the public need.

(f)  The secretary shall not certify a new redemption center from July 1, 2006 through July 1, 2007 unless the area is currently underserved.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 1525 is amended to read:

§ 1525.  PROHIBITIONS

* * *

(b)  No beverage, as defined in subdivision (1) of section 1521 of this chapter, other than liquor, shall be sold or offered for sale at retail in this state in a glass beverage container which has not been certified as refillable by the secretary.

(c) The secretary of natural resources may exempt specific products from subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section for so long as existing technology does not permit compliance for those products.

(c)  No distributor shall sell or offer for sale in this state a brand of beverage in a beverage container labeled as provided in subsection (a) of this section if that distributor sells that beverage container containing that brand in a state that does not have a deposit-redemption system similar to the one established by this chapter and that is adjacent to this state.  A distributor that violates this subsection is prohibited from selling or offering those beverages for sale in this state until the violation is corrected.

(d)  No person shall knowingly attempt to redeem a container to a retailer or a redemption center for deposit return if that container was purchased outside this state.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 1524(d) (relating to sale of beverages with required labels) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  BOTTLE BILL WORKING COMMITTEE; AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The secretary of natural resources with the cooperation and assistance of representatives of distributors, retailers, and redemption center owners shall continue to evaluate the bottle redemption system and make recommendations to the senate committee on finance and the house committee on ways and means on or before January 15, 2007.   The committee shall propose specific recommendations to further improve the beverage container deposit-redemption system established by chapter 53 of Title 10.  The evaluation and recommendations shall address at least the following issues:

(1)  Review of the handling fee system and the associated costs and revenues.

(2)  The feasibility of instituting a two-tiered fee based on co-mingling agreements.  

(3)  The costs and benefits of the deposit-redemption system. 

The Committee further recommends that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows:

     AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASING THE BEVERAGE CONTAINER HANDLERS' FEE AND AN ONGOING EVALUATION OF THE BOTTLE REDEMPTION SYSTEM.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Senator Bartlett, for the Committee on Appropriations, to which the bill was referred, reported the same without recommendation.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, and pending the question, Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs?, Senator Illuzzi, on behalf of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, requested and was granted leave to withdraw the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

Thereupon, the pending question, Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Finance?, was agreed to.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

Proposals of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered

H. 237.

Senator Lyons, for the Committee on Health and Welfare, to which was referred House bill entitled:

An act relating to emergency contraception.

     Reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 26 V.S.A. § 2078(b), by striking out the words “the recipient of” and inserting in lieu thereof  the patient using

Second:  In Sec. 1, by striking out 26 V.S.A. § 2079(a) and inserting in lieu thereof a new (a) to read:

(a)  The department of health, in collaboration with the board of pharmacy and other appropriate organizations, shall develop a standard protocol and procedures, by rule pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, for initiating and dispensing emergency contraception by pharmacists pursuant to this subchapter.  The protocol and procedures shall include the minimum standards required to be contained in the protocol between the pharmacist and the physician or other prescriber, a standard informed consent form to be signed by the patient using the emergency contraception, the appropriate information to be provided to the patient using the emergency contraception, information needed by the pharmacist prior to dispensing emergency contraception, appropriate referrals, sensitive communication with and protection of the needs of vulnerable individuals, privacy considerations, necessary forms, and any documentation requirements.

And that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with such proposals of amendment.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, the proposals of amendment were collectively agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered.

Consideration Postponed

H. 544.

House bill entitled:

An act relating to the process for locating and altering municipal lines.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, without objection consideration of the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

On motion of Senator Mazza, the rules were suspended, and the following bills were ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S. 51; S. 188; H. 665.

Appointment of Senate Members to the Senate Sexual Harassment Panel

Pursuant to the provisions of Senate Rule 101, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Senate Sexual Harassment Panel (SSHP) during this biennium:

Senator Kittell

Senator Snelling

Senator Collins

Senator MacDonald

Senator Mullin

Senator Wilton

Appointment of Senate Members to the Joint Transportation Oversight Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of 19 V.S.A. §12b the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Joint Transportation Oversight Committee for terms of two years:

Senator Mazza, ex officio

Senator Bartlett, ex officio

Senator Cummings, ex officio

Appointment of Senate Members to the Joint Energy Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §601, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Joint Energy Committee for terms of two years ending on February 1, 2007:

Senator Cummings

Senator Illuzzi

Senator MacDonald

Senator Lyons

Appointment of Senate Members to the Mental Health Oversight Commission

Pursuant to the provisions of  Sec. 141c of No. 122 of the Acts of 2004, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Mental Health Oversight Committee for terms of two years:

Senator Leddy

Senator Scott

Senator Snelling

Senator White

Appointment of Legislative Oversight Committee on Human Services Restructuring

     Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 5 of No. 45 of the Acts of 2003, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Legislative Oversight Committee on Human Services Restructuring during this biennium:


Senator Flanagan

Senator Kitchel

Senator Kittell

Senator Sears

Senator Doyle

Appointment of Senate Members to the Commission on Interstate Cooperation

Pursuant to the provisions of 1 V.S.A. §781, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Commission on Interstate Cooperation for terms of two years ending on February 1, 2007:

Senator Giard

Senator Kittell

                                              Senator Coppenrath

Appointment of Senate Members to the Review Board on Retail Sales of Electric Energy

Pursuant to the provisions of 30 V.S.A. §212b, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Review Board on Retail Sales of Electric Energy during this biennium:

Senator Welch, President pro tempore, ex officio

Senator Campbell, Majority Leader, ex officio

Senator Doyle, Minority Leader, ex officio

Senator Illuzzi

Appointment of Senate Member to the Vermont Veterans' Memorial Cemetery Advisory Board

Pursuant to the provisions of 20 V.S.A. §1581(a)(2), the President pro tempore, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Vermont Veterans' Memorial Cemetery Advisory Board for a term of two (2) years, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Canns:

Senator MacDonald


Appointment of Senate Member to Petroleum Clean-Up Fund Advisory Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. §1941(e), the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Petroleum Clean-Up Fund Advisory Committee during this biennium:

Senator Lyons

Appointment of Senate Member to Telecommunications Technology Council of Vermont

Pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order #30-7, issued under date of September 24, 2003, by Governor James H. Douglas, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Telecommunications Technology Council of Vermont during this biennium:

Senator Dunne

Appointment of Senate Members to Vermont Citizens Advisory

Committee on Lake Champlain's Future

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. §1960, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Vermont Citizens Advisory Committee on Lake Champlain's Future for the current biennium:

Senator Ayer

Senator Lyons

Appointment of Senate Members to Legislative Corrections Oversight Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §801, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Legislative Corrections Oversight Committee for the current biennium:

Senator Bartlett

Senator Coppenrath

Senator Flanagan

Senator Sears


Appointment of Senate Members to Commission on Healthcare Reform

     Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 277c of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Commission on Healthcare Reform during this biennium:

Senator Cummings

Senator Kitchel

Senator Leddy

Senator Mullin

Appointment of Senate Members to Legislative Information Technology Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §751, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Legislative Information Technology Committee for the current biennium:

Senator Collins

Senator Dunne

Senator Illuzzi

Senator Shepard

Appointment of Senate Members to the Emergency Board

Pursuant to the provisions of 32 V.S.A. §131, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Emergency Board for terms of two years:

Senator Bartlett, ex officio

                                             Senator Cummings, ex officio

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Mazza, the Senate adjourned until eleven o’clock and thirty minutes in the morning.