Journal of the Senate

________________

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

A moment of silence was observed in lieu of devotions.

Bills Referred

House bills of the following titles were severally read the first time and referred:

H. 883.

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

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 888.

An act relating to sustainable funding of the Fish and Wildlife Department.

To the Committee on Rules.

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

House bill of the following title, appearing on the Calendar for notice, and carrying an appropriation, under the rule, was referred to the Committee on Appropriations:

H. 373.

An act relating to stalking.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.H. 71.

Joint resolution originating in the House of the following title was read and adopted in concurrence and is as follows:

Joint resolution recognizing that all Vermont firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel provide a professional level of service to their communities

Whereas, all volunteer, “paid–on call,” full-time firefighters and EMS personnel perform their duties professionally, and

Whereas, firefighters and EMS personnel are outstanding public servants who are committed to protecting life, property, and the environment in their communities throughout the state of Vermont, and

Whereas, recruiting, retaining, and protecting all firefighters and EMS personnel are essential to the long-term well-being of the communities they serve, and

Whereas, Vermonters respect and deeply appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of firefighters, EMS personnel, and their families, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly recognizes the outstanding work of firefighters and EMS personnel who work to protect life, property, and the environment throughout the state of Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly looks forward to the presentation of the findings of the department of public safety’s study on issues pertaining to recruiting and retaining firefighters and EMS personnel, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont State Firefighters Association, to the Professional Firefighters of Vermont, to the Vermont Fire Chiefs, to the Vermont Career Fire Chiefs Association, the Vermont Ambulance Association, and every Vermont town clerk.

House Bill Introduced; Rules Suspended; Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended; Bill Passed in Concurrence; Bill Messaged

     House bill of the following title was introduced:

H. 893.

An act relating to extending pharmacy coverage due to Medicare Part D problems.

Pending referral to a committee, on motion of Senator Welch, the rules were suspended and the bill was taken up for immediate consideration:

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

Thereupon, on motion of Senator Welch, the rules were suspended and the bill was placed on all remaining stages of its passage in concurrence forthwith.

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

Thereupon, on motion of Senator Welch, the rules were suspended and the bill was ordered messaged to the House forthwith.

Proposal of Amendment; Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment; Bill Messaged

H. 861.

House bill entitled:

An act relating to health care affordability for Vermonters.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Dunne moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2 (legislative purpose and intent) by adding a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

(c)  It is also the intent of the general assembly that regulation of Vermont's health care system aims to contain costs, ensures a measure of predictability for hospitals over time, and rewards excellence in health care delivery.  The global hospital budget and pay for performance mechanism required pursuant to Secs. 28b–28d of this act are designed to achieve these goals. 

Second:  By adding a new section, to be numbered Sec. 28a to read as follows:

Sec. 28a.  18 V.S.A. § 9456a is added to read:

§ 9456a.  GLOBAL HOSPITAL BUDGETS

(a)  Annually, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall develop a global hospital budget for the state and individual hospital budgets for each hospital located in VermontThe commissioner shall consider the portions of the health resource allocation plan under section 9405 of this title, the unified health care budget under section 9406 of this title applicable to hospitals, the hospital budget review under section 9456 of this title, and all other revenue received by hospitals in the development of the global hospital budget.  The commissioner may adjust this limitation or make appropriate adjustments to the implementation or allocation of the budget if he or she makes written findings that changing demographics, health care needs, hospital caseloads, or other significant, material factors warrant such an adjustment.  The global hospital budget for the state shall be reported annually to the general assembly on or before January 15 for the following fiscal year and shall not be effective until approved or modified by the general assembly.

(b)  The global hospital budget for the state shall serve as a spending cap within which hospital costs may be controlled, resources directed, and quality and access assured.  The global hospital budget shall limit the total annual growth of hospital costs to the Consumer Price Index plus three percent.  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall ensure that the review of individual hospital budgets under subchapter 7 of chapter 221 of this title or certificate of need requests under subchapter 5 of chapter 221 of this title is consistent with the global hospital budget.

(c)  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall adopt by rule standards and procedures necessary to implement this section.

Third:  By adding a new section, to be numbered Sec. 28b to read as follows:

Sec. 28b.  18 V.S.A. § 9437(1) is amended to read:

(1)  the application is consistent with the health resource allocation plan and, as applicable, the financial parameters set by the global hospital budget established under section 9456a of this title;

Fourth:  By adding a new section, to be numbered Sec. 28c to read as follows:

Sec. 28c.  18 V.S.A. § 9456(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Individual hospital budgets established under this section shall:

(1)  be consistent with the health resource allocation plan;

(2) take into consideration national, regional, or instate peer group norms, according to indicators, ratios, and statistics established by the commissioner;

(3)  promote promote efficient and economic operation of the hospital;

(4)  reflect budget performances for prior years; and

(5)  include a finding that the analysis provided in subdivision (b)(9) of this section is a reasonable methodology for reflecting a reduction in net revenues for non-Medicaid payers;

(6)  be consistent with the global hospital budget established under section 9456a of this title.

Fifth:  By adding a new section, to be numbered Sec. 28d to read as follows:

Sec. 5.  FEDERAL WAIVER

The secretary of human services shall apply for a federal waivers no later than October 1, 2007, to allow the state to modify the payment standards or amounts in order to include Medicaid and Medicare funds in the global hospital budget established under section 9456a of Title 18.

Sixth: By adding a new section, to be numbered Sec. 28e to read as follows: 

Sec. 28e.  18 V.S.A. § 9456b is added to read:

§ 9456b.   PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE HOSPITAL SERVICE PAYMENT MECHANISM

(a)  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, with assistance from the department of health, health insurers, and state-regulated self-insured plans, shall work with Vermont health care providers, including the Vermont association of hospitals and health systems and the Vermont medical society, to develop a pay‑for‑performance mechanism for reimbursing hospital care.  The mechanism shall be designed to pay for hospital care in a manner that rewards outcomes.  Outcomes shall be measured by major health categories and for the entire state cohort and shall be based upon widely accepted and validated measures of health system performance.

(b)  Notwithstanding subsections 4513(c), 4584(c), and 5104(b) of Title 8, the mechanism shall be designed to eventually replace payment for hospital care on a pay‑for‑service basis.  The mechanism may allow for increases in the global budget above the benchmark established.  The mechanism may reward particular hospitals for achieving improved health outcomes.

(c)  No later than January 15, 2007, the department shall report on the development of the hospital pay‑for‑performance mechanism to the general assembly, the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on health care.

Which was disagreed to on a roll call Yeas 4, Nays 23.

Senator Sears having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Dunne, Giard, Illuzzi, Miller.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Collins, Condos, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Gander, Kitchel, Kittell, Leddy, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, Mullin, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Welch, White, Wilton.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Flanagan, Shepard, Starr.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Cummings, on behalf of the Committee on Finance, moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  By striking out Sec. 13 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new Sec. 13 to read as follows:

Sec. 13.  18 V.S.A. § 9456(b)(9) is amended to read:

(9)  require each hospital to file an analysis that reflects a reduction in net revenue needs from non-Medicaid payers equal to any anticipated increase in Medicaid, Medicare, or another public health care program reimbursements resulting from appropriations designed to reduce the Medicaid cost shift, and to any reduction in bad debt or charity care due to an increase in the number of insured individuals.

Second:  By striking out Sec. 14 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 14 to read as follows:

Sec. 14.  COST SHIFT TASK FORCE

Increases in Medicaid rates, reductions in private insurance claims through the nongroup market security trust, a decrease in the number of individuals without insurance, and the provision of minimum preventive services through Catamount Health should reduce the cost shift. The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall convene a task force of health care professionals, insurers, hospitals, employers offering private health insurance, and other interested parties to determine how to ensure that reductions in the cost shift are reflected in a reduction or slower rate of growth both in hospital and provider charges and in private insurance premiums.  The task force shall make written recommendations to the commission on health care reform no later than December 1, 2006 regarding statutory or administrative changes needed to ensure that a reduction in the cost shift is reflected in a reduction or slower rate of growth in hospital charges and health insurance premiums.

Third:  By striking out Sec. 25m in its entirety.

     Fourth:  In Sec. 25a [employers’ health care premium contribution], in §2002(4), subdivision (A) by striking out the word “or” and in subdivision (B) striking out the period at the end of the subdivision and inserting the following “; or” and by adding a new subdivision (C) to read as follows:

     (C) an employee who is offered and is eligible for coverage by the employer but elects not to accept the coverage and has no other health care coverage under either a private or public plan.

     Fifth:  in Sec. 25b [Effective Date], by striking out the following: “October 1, 2006” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: January 1, 2007 and by striking the following: “January 30, 2007” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: April 30, 2007

Sixth:  By striking out Secs. 25c, 25d, 25e, 25f, and 25g, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

* * * Cigarette and tobacco product taxes * * *

Sec. 25c.  32 V.S.A. § 7702 is amended to read:

§7702  DEFINITIONS

     The following words and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context otherwise requires:

          (1) "Cigarette" shall mean the common article of commerce known by this name consisting of a small cylindrical roll composed in whole or in part of finely-cut tobacco, wrapped in paper or in any substance other than tobacco. Cigarette shall also mean any “roll-your-own” tobacco as defined in 33  V.S.A. §1913.

* * *

          (17)  “Little cigar” means any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or any substance containing tobacco (other than any roll of tobacco which is a cigarette within the meaning of subdivision (1) of this section) and as to which one thousand units weigh not more than three pounds.

Sec. 25d.  32 V.S.A. § 7771 is amended to read:

§ 7771.  RATE OF TAX

A tax is imposed on all cigarettes and little cigars held in this state by any person for sale or by any person in possession of more than 10,000 cigarettes or little cigars, unless such cigarettes or little cigars 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 or little cigars for 24 hours or less.  Such tax shall be at the rate of 59.5 89.5 mills for each cigarette or little cigar, and the payment thereof to be evidenced by the affixing of stamps to the packages containing the cigarettes or little cigars, as hereinafter provided.  Any cigarette or little cigar 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 or little cigars.  All taxes upon cigarettes or little cigars 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. 25e.  32 V.S.A. § 7814 is amended to read:

§ 7814.  FLOOR STOCK TAX

(a)  Tobacco Moist snuff tobacco products.  A floor stock tax is hereby imposed upon every retailer of tobacco products in this state at the excess cost of $1.49 per ounce, or fraction thereof over the rate of 21 41 percent of the wholesale price of each moist snuff  tobacco product.  The tax shall apply to moist snuff tobacco products in the possession or control of the retailer at 12:01 a.m. o'clock on July 1, 1995 2006, but shall not apply to retailers who hold less than $500.00 in wholesale value of such tobacco products.  Each retailer subject to the tax shall, on or before July 25, 1995 August 25, 2006 file a report to the commissioner in such form as the commissioner may prescribe showing the moist snuff  tobacco products on hand at 12:01 a.m. o'clock on July 1, 1995 2006, and the amount of tax due thereon.  The tax imposed by this section shall be due and payable on or before July 25, 1995 September 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 retailer may deduct from the tax due two percent of the tax.  Any moist snuff tobacco product with respect to which a floor stock tax has been imposed and paid under this section shall not again be subject to tax under section 7811 of this title.

(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 August 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 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.

(c)  Little cigars.  A floor stock tax is hereby imposed upon every retailer of tobacco products in this state at the excess of 89.5 mills per little cigar over the rate of 41 percent of the wholesale price of each little cigar.  The tax shall apply to little cigars in the possession or control of the retailer at 12:01 a.m. o'clock on July 1, 2006, but shall not apply to retailers who hold fewer than 10,000 cigarettes or little cigars.  Each retailer subject to the tax shall, on or before August 25, 2006 file a report to the commissioner in such form as the commissioner may prescribe showing the little cigars on hand at 12:01 a.m. o'clock on July 1, 2006, and the amount of tax due thereon.  The tax imposed by this section shall be due and payable on or before September 25, 2006, and thereafter shall bear interest at the rate established under section 7771 of this title.  In case of timely payment of the tax, the retailer may deduct from the tax due two percent of the tax.  Any little cigar with respect to which a floor stock tax has been imposed and paid under this section shall not again be subject to tax under section 7771 of this title.

(d)  Roll-your-own tobacco.  A floor stock tax is hereby imposed upon every retailer of tobacco products in this state at the excess of 89.5 mills per roll-your-own cigarette over the rate of 41 percent of the wholesale price of each roll-your-own cigarette.  The tax shall apply to roll-your-own tobacco in the possession or control of the retailer at 12:01 a.m. o'clock on July 1, 2006, but shall not apply to retailers who hold fewer than 10,000 cigarettes.  Each retailer subject to the tax shall, on or before August 25, 2006 file a report to the commissioner in such form as the commissioner may prescribe showing the cigarettes on hand at 12:01 a.m. o'clock on July 1, 2006, and the amount of tax due thereon.  The tax imposed by this section shall be due and payable on or before September 25, 2006, and thereafter shall bear interest at the rate established under section 7771 of this title.  In case of timely payment of the tax, the retailer may deduct from the tax due two percent of the tax.  Any roll-your-own tobacco with respect to which a floor stock tax has been imposed and paid under this section shall not again be subject to tax under section 7771 of this title.

Sec. 25f.  32 V.S.A. § 7811 is amended to read: 

§ 7811.  Imposition of tobacco products tax

There is hereby imposed and shall be paid a tax on all tobacco products possessed in the state of Vermont by any person for sale on and after July 1, 1959 which were imported into the state or manufactured in the state after said date, except that no tax shall be imposed on tobacco products sold under such circumstances that this state is without power to impose such tax, or sold to the United States, or sold to or by a voluntary unincorporated organization of the armed forces of the United States operating a place for the sale of goods pursuant to regulations promulgated by the appropriate executive agency of the United States. Such tax on tobacco products shall be at the rate of 41 percent of the wholesale price for all tobacco products except moist snuff tobacco products which shall be taxed at the rate of $1.49 per ounce, or fractional part thereof, and except little cigars taxed under section 7771 of this title, and is intended to be imposed only once upon any tobacco product.  Provided, however, that upon payment of the tax within ten days, the distributor or dealer may deduct from the tax two percent of the tax due.  It shall be presumed that all tobacco products within the state are subject to tax until the contrary is established and the burden of proof that any tobacco products are not taxable hereunder shall be upon the person in possession thereof.

Sec. 25g.  CIGARETTE AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS; EFFECTIVE DATE; INCREASE

Secs. 25c. through 25g of this act and this section shall take effect July 1, 2006.  On and after July 1, 2008, the cigarette tax under 32 V.S.A. § 7771 shall be at the rate of 99.5 mills for each cigarette, little cigar, and roll-your-own tobacco.  On July 1, 2008, the tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. § 7811 on moist snuff  tobacco products shall be at the rate of $1.66 per ounce, or fractional part thereof.  On July 1, 2008, the floor stock tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. § 7814(b) shall be at the rate of 10 mills for each cigarette, little cigar, or roll-your-own tobacco in the possession or control of a wholesaler or retailer who has more than 10,000 cigarettes, little cigars or roll-your-own tobacco on July 1, 2008, shall be reported by the wholesaler or dealer on or before August 25, 2008, and shall be due and payable on or before September 25, 2008.  On July 1, 2008, the floor stock tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. § 7814(a) shall be at the rate of 17 cents per ounce or fraction thereof on moist snuff  tobacco products in excess of $500.00 in the possession or control of a retailer, shall be reported by the retailer on or before August 25, 2008, and shall be due and payable on or before September 25, 2008.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Leddy, on behalf of the Committee on Health and Welfare moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  In Sec. 5, 18 V.S.A. § 703 by striking out subsection (a)(1)-(3) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a)  The secretary of administration or designee shall create a chronic care management program administered or provided by a private entity for individuals with chronic conditions who are enrolled in Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan (VHAP), Dr. Dynasaur, or Catamount Health.

Second:  In Sec. 7a, by striking out subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a)(1)  The agency of administration shall issue a request for proposals no later than January 1, 2007 for a single private entity to provide coverage for health services for individuals enrolled in Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan (VHAP), Dr. Dynasaur, or Catamount Health as provided for in section 703 of Title 18 and in chapter 19 of Title 33.  The secretary shall not include individuals enrolled in Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur who are also eligible for Medicare, who are enrolled in the Choices for Care Medicaid Section 1115 waiver, or who are in an institute for mental disease as defined in 42 C.F.R § 435.1009.

(2)  The request for proposals shall provide that responses may allow an entity to accept the financial risk and administration of the programs, to administer the programs without accepting financial risk, or to provide for a combination of risk sharing.

Third:  In Sec. 8(b), in the first sentence, by striking out the words “for inpatient services

Fourth:  In Sec. 15, 33 V.S.A. § 2026 by striking out subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a)  Catamount Health shall be administered by a private entity, which also may contract to assume partial or all financial risk of the program.  Catamount Health shall include a chronic care management program as provided for in section 703 of Title 18.  The agency shall include criteria for an aggressive enrollment strategy by the administrator.  The agency or administrator shall ensure that each individual receives a health risk assessment upon enrollment in Catamount Health.  If Catamount Health is a self-insured product, the agency shall purchase a stop-loss policy for an aggregate claims amount for Catamount Health as a method of managing risk.  The agency shall determine the amount of aggregate stop-loss reinsurance and may purchase additional types of reinsurance if prudent and cost-effective.  The agency may also include in the contract for the administration of Catamount Health any utilization review procedures and other benefit management provisions consistent with section 703 of Title 18 and any federal requirements, if applicable, through the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 waiver.

Fifth:  In Sec. 15, 33 V.S.A. § 2027(b), before the period in the last sentence, by inserting the following: , but shall not be lower than 102 percent of the hospital’s actual cost for services

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Scott moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  In Sec. 15, 33 V.S.A. § 2024 by striking out subsection (b)(1) and inserting in lieu thereof a new (b)(1) to read as follows:

(b)(1)  The benefits shall include primary care, preventive and chronic care, acute episodic care, and hospital services.  The benefits shall be 10 percent less than the actuarially equivalent value of the Vermont Freedom Plan with a preferred provider organization, $200.00 deductible, and $10.00 office co‑payment offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont in 2006.

Second:  In Sec. 16, subdivision (6), by striking out the following: “$350.00” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: $315.00

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate proposal of amendment be amended as recommended by Senator Scott?, Senator Scott requested and was granted leave to withdraw the proposal of amendment.

     Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Wilton moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment in Sec. 15, 33 V.S.A. § 2024 subsection (b)(1) after the following: “The benefits shall be” by inserting the following: insofar as is possible without exceeding a maximum cost of $350 per month for an individual,

Which was disagreed to on a roll call, Yeas 4, Nays 23.

Senator Wilton having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Coppenrath, Maynard, Mullin, Wilton.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Collins, Condos, Cummings, Doyle, Dunne, Gander, Giard, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Leddy, Lyons, MacDonald, Mazza, Miller, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Welch, White.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Flanagan, Shepard, Starr.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment on a roll call, Yeas 24, Nays 3.

Senator Leddy having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Collins, Condos, Cummings, Doyle, Dunne, Gander, Giard, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Leddy, Lyons, MacDonald, Mazza, Miller, Mullin, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Welch, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Coppenrath, Maynard, Wilton.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Flanagan, Shepard, Starr.

Thereupon, on motion of Senator Welch, the rules were suspended and the bill was ordered messaged to the House forthwith.

Committees of Conference Appointed

S. 18.

An act relating to liability resulting from the use of genetically engineered seeds and plant parts.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the Senate, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Campbell

                                         Senator Illuzzi

                                         Senator Kittell

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

H. 869.

An act relating to the state's transportation program.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the House, the President announced the appointment of


                                         Senator Mazza

                                         Senator Scott

                                         Senator Collins

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Message from the Governor

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

Mr. President:

I am directed by the Governor to inform the Senate that on the fourteenth day of April, 2006, he approved and signed a bill originating in the Senate of the following title:

S. 251.  An act relating to workers’ compensation compensability of heart attacks suffered by firefighters.

Message from the House No. 74

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

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

     The House has considered Senate proposals of amendment to House bill of the following title:

     H. 777.  An act relating to resident ownership of mobile home parks and affordable housing development.

And has severally concurred therein.

     The House has considered Senate proposals of amendment to House bill of the following title:

     H. 538.  An act relating to informing parents and students of their rights and responsibilities under state and federal law.

And has concurred therein with proposals of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

     The House has considered Senate proposals of amendment to House bill of the following title:

     H. 869.  An act relating to the state’s transportation program.

And has refused to concur therein and asks for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses;

And the Speaker has appointed as members of such Committee on the part of the House

                                         Rep. Westman of Cambridge

                                         Rep. Howard of Rutland City

                                         Rep. Smith of Morristown

The House has adopted a Joint Resolution of the following title:

J.R.H.  71.  Joint resolution recognizing that all Vermont firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel provide a professional level of service to their communities.

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

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

J.R.S. 64.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

     The House has adopted concurrent resolutions of the following titles:

     H.C.R. 288.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vermont Alliance for Arts Education (VAAE) award winners.

     H.C.R. 289.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Lucy Weber on winning the 2006 Vermont state individual spelling bee.

     H.C.R. 290.  Concurrent resolution recognizing Elizabeth Hambleton for her generosity of spirit and dedication to serving the citizens of Northfield.

     H.C.R. 291.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls basketball team.

     H.C.R. 292.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School Hornets state championship boys indoor track team.

     H.C.R. 293.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School championship gymnastics team.

     H.C.R. 294.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship boys hockey team.

     H.C.R. 295.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2005 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls soccer team.

     H.C.R. 296.  Concurrent resolution in memory of Harry Corrow of Newport City.

     H.C.R. 297.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Mt. Anthony Union High School Patriots Division I championship boys Nordic ski team and girls Nordic classical individual title winner, Julia Seyferth.

     H.C.R. 298.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Coach Scott Legacy and the 2006 Mt. Anthony Union High School Patriots state championship wrestling team.

     H.C.R. 299.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Bennington County Head Start on its 40th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 300.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II championship cheerleading team.

     H.C.R. 301.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Burr and Burton Academy Division II championship boys basketball team.

     H.C.R. 302.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Burr and Burton Academy Bulldogs championship boys alpine ski team.

     H.C.R. 303.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II championship girls basketball team.

     H.C.R. 304.  Concurrent resolution thanking the families of state legislators.

     H.C.R. 305.  Concurrent resolution honoring Mary Fell of Underhill for her outstanding record of community service.

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

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

     S.C.R. 65.  Concurrent resolution congratulating former Jay town clerk Elnora Beattie Morse on her 100th birthday.

     S.C.R. 66.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Caitlin Hughes and Maggie Kinzel on their participation in the People to People World Leadership Forum.

     S.C.R. 67.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2005-2006 Vermont Schweitzer fellows for completing 1,200 hours of service to Vermont and for continuing a tradition of ten years of public service on behalf of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in Vermont.

     S.C.R. 68.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties on the occasion of its centennial anniversary.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

Senate Concurrent Resolutions

     The following joint concurrent resolutions, having been placed on the consent calendar on the preceding legislative day, and no Senator having requested floor consideration as provided by the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, are hereby adopted on the part of the Senate:

     By Senators Starr, Illuzzi and Kitchel,

     By Representative Perry and others,

S.C.R. 65.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating former Jay town clerk Elnora Beattie Morse on her 100th birthday.

By Senators Scott, Cummings and Doyle,

     By Representative Brooks and others,

S.C.R. 66.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Caitlin Hughes and Maggie Kinzel on their participation in the People to People World Leadership Forum.

   By Senators Dunne, Campbell and Welch,

     By Representative McLaughlin,

S.C.R. 67.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2005-2006 Vermont Schweitzer fellows for completing 1,200 hours of service to Vermont and for continuing a tradition of ten years of public service on behalf of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in Vermont.

   By Senators Mazza, Condos, Flanagan, Leddy, Lyons, Miller and Snelling,

By Representative Aswad and others,

S.C.R. 68.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties on the occasion of its centennial anniversary.

     [The full text of the Senate concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, April 12, 2006, and, if adopted in concurrence by the House, will appear in the volume of the Public Acts and Resolves to be published for this session of the sixty-eighth biennial session of the Vermont General Assembly.]

House Concurrent Resolutions

     The following joint concurrent resolutions having been placed on the consent calendar on the preceding legislative day, and no Senator having requested floor consideration as provided by the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, are hereby adopted in concurrence:

By Representative Barnard and others,

H.C.R. 288.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vermont Alliance for Arts Education (VAAE) award winners.

By Representative Smith,

H.C.R. 289.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Lucy Weber on winning the 2006 Vermont state individual spelling bee.

By Representative Grad and others,

By Senators Cummings, Doyle and Scott,

H.C.R. 290.

House concurrent resolution recognizing Elizabeth Hambleton for her generosity of spirit and dedication to serving the citizens of Northfield.

By Representative Hunt and others,

H.C.R. 291.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls basketball team.

     By Representative Hunt and others,

H.C.R. 292.

     House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School Hornets state championship boys indoor track team.


By Representative Hunt and others,

H.C.R. 293.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School championship gymnastics team.

By Representatives Hunt of Essex, Evans of Essex, Heath of Westford, Jerman of Essex and Myers of Essex,

H.C.R. 294.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship boys hockey team.

By Representative Hunt and others,

H.C.R. 295.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2005 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls soccer team.

By Representatives Marcotte of Coventry, Kilmartin of Newport City, Shaw of Derby and Dowland of Holland,

By Senators Illuzzi and Starr,

H.C.R. 296.

House concurrent resolution in memory of Harry Corrow of Newport City.

By Representative Morrissey and others,

By Senators Sears and Shepard,

H.C.R. 297.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Mt. Anthony Union High School Patriots Division I championship boys Nordic ski team and girls Nordic classical individual title winner, Julia Seyferth.

By Representative Morrissey and others,

By Senator Sears and Shepard,

H.C.R. 298.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Coach Scott Legacy and the 2006 Mt. Anthony Union High School Patriots state championship wrestling team.

By Representative Morrissey and others,

By Senators Sears and Shepard,

H.C.R. 299.

     House concurrent resolution congratulating the Bennington County Head Start on its 40th anniversary.

By Representative Clark and others,

By Senators Ayer and Giard,

H.C.R. 300.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II championship cheerleading team.

By Representative Livingston and others,

By Senators Sears and Shepard,

H.C.R. 301.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Burr and Burton Academy Division II championship boys basketball team.

By Representative Livingston and others,

By Senators Sears and Shepard,

H.C.R. 302.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Burr and Burton Academy Bulldogs championship boys alpine ski team.

By Representative Clark and others,

By Senators Ayer and Giard,

H.C.R. 303.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II championship girls basketball team.

By Representative Pellett and others,

H.C.R. 304.

House concurrent resolution thanking the families of state legislators.

By Representative Frank and others,

H.C.R. 305.

House concurrent resolution honoring Mary Fell of Underhill for her outstanding record of community service.

     [The full text of the House concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, April 12, 2006, and will appear in the volume of the Public Acts and Resolves to be published for this session of the sixty-eighth biennial session of the Vermont General Assembly.]

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Welch, the Senate adjourned, to reconvene on Tuesday, April 18, 2006, at eleven o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon pursuant to J.R.S. 64.