Journal of the Senate

________________

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Faith Katana Mirembe of Uganda.

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. 701.

An act relating to unidentified corridors.

Bills Referred

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

H. 875.

An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the village of Jacksonville.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 885.

An act relating to amending the charter of the town of St. Johnsbury.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 886.

An act relating to the merger of the town of Williamstown and the Williamstown Fire District.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 892.

An act relating to amending the charter of the town of Windsor.

To the Committee on Government Operations.


Senate Resolution Placed on Calendar

S.R. 11.

Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read the first time and is as follows:

   By Senators Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Collins, Condos, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Dunne, Flanagan, Gander, Giard, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Leddy, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, Miller, Mullin, Scott, Sears, Shepard, Snelling, Starr, Welch, White and Wilton,

     S.R. 11.  Senate resolution in observance of National Crime Victims' Week.

Whereas, 2006 marks the 16th annual Vermont commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and

Whereas, all crime victims suffer violation of their persons, property, and trust, and last year over 64,000 crimes were reported to have occurred in Vermont, and

Whereas, policymakers in Vermont have recognized and embraced the need to empower crime victims and seek to make victims the center of state policy in our criminal and juvenile justice systems, and

Whereas, members of the general public, both in their professional roles as clergy, educators, employers, medical professionals and public servants, and as volunteer community members, work to support and help crime victims‑survivors in their recovery, and the Senate gratefully acknowledges their dedication and service, and

Whereas, within Vermont, important public and private partnerships have been forged among criminal and juvenile justice agencies, allied professionals and social service providers to ensure that crime victims are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and

Whereas, the victims’ rights movement in Vermont has expanded community-based efforts to build community while helping victims-survivors rebuild their lives, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Vermont Senate recognizes the courage and selflessness of members of the Vermont Victim/Survivor of Crime Council who have turned personal tragedy into a motivating force to improve the rights and treatment of other victims of crime and build a better, more just community in Vermont and the nation, and be it further


Resolved:  That the Vermont Senate recognizes the importance of ensuring that crime victims are afforded the greatest possible right to participate in their criminal justice process and encourages efforts to achieve this important goal, both during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which will be observed April 24–28, and throughout the year, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Judy Rex, executive director of the State of Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services in Waterbury.

Thereupon, in the discretion of the President, under Rule 51, the resolution was placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow.

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

H. 881.

House bill entitled:

An act making appropriations for the support of government.

Was taken up.

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

     First:  In Sec. 118, by striking out subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

     (a) The amount of $335,000 of the above general fund/global commitment fund appropriation shall be appropriated to the following Vermont AIDS service organizations and peer-support organizations for client-based support services.  It is the intent of the general assembly that if Global Commitment fund monies in this subsection are unavailable, the total funding for Vermont AIDS service organizations and peer-support organizations for client-based support services shall be maintained through the general fund or other state funding sources.  The department of health AIDS program shall meet at least quarterly with the HIV/AIDS service advisory committee (HASAC) with current information and data relating to service initiatives.  The funds shall be allocated as follows;

          (1) AIDS Project of Southern Vermont - $72,000

          (2) ACORN - $30,000

          (3) IMANI - $21,000

          (4) VT CARES - $147,000

          (5) Twin States Network - $30,000

          (6) People with AIDS Coalition - $35,000

     Second:  In Sec. 271c, subsection (a), subdivision (2), by striking out the figure “$3,200,000” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $3,250,000

     Third:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 271d to read as follows:

Sec. 271d.  LAMOILLE VALLEY RAIL TRAIL

(a)  The federal earmark for development of the railbanked Lamoille Valley rail corridor recreational trail shall be classified and administered by the agency of transportation as an enhancement project under 23 U.S.C. §101(a)(35).

     Fourth:  By striking out Sec. 286 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 286 to read as follows:

Sec. 286.     24 V.S.A. § 138(d) is amended to read:

     (d) Of the taxes reported collected under this section, 80 percent shall be paid to the municipality in which they were reported for calendar year 1999, 70 percent shall be paid to the municipality in which they were reported for calendar years thereafter. Such revenues may be expended by the municipality for municipal services only and not for educational expenditures. The remaining amount of the taxes reported shall be remitted monthly to the state treasurer for deposit in the PILOT special fund established in Sec. 89 of No. 60 of the Acts of 1997. Amounts to be paid to a municipality under this section shall be reduced by five percent to reflect the difference between the amounts reported and collected. Taxes due to a municipality under this section, less the costs of administration and collection, shall be paid on a quarterly basis. seventy percent of the taxes shall be paid on a quarterly basis to the municipality in which they were collected, after reduction for the costs of administration and collection under subsection (c) of this section.  Revenues received by a municipality may be expended for municipal services only, and not for education expenditures.  Any remaining revenue shall be deposited into the PILOT special fund established by 32  V.S.A. § 3709.

     Fifth:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 293c to read as follows:


Sec. 293c.  Sec. 9 of No. 45 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

Sec. 9.  SUNSET

(a)  Subdivision (1)(F) and subsection (2) of Sec. 4 (advisory groups), Sec. 5 (legislative oversight committee on human services restructuring), and Sec. 6 (restructuring authorization) of this act shall expire on July 1, 2006.

(b)  Subdivision (1)(F) and subsection (2) of Sec. 4 (advisory groups),  and Sec. 5 (legislative oversight committee on human services restructuring) of this act shall expire on July 1, 2009.

     Sixth:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 296a. to read as follows:

Sec. 296a.  FISH AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT; FUNDING; TASK FORCE

(a)  The governor shall appoint a fish and wildlife funding task force of up to nine members to develop recommendations for comprehensive, sustainable funding mechanisms for the operations of the department of fish and wildlife which complement existing funding sources.  The task force shall, among other things, consider whether costs of work carried out by fish and wildlife department personnel in providing technical services to permitting bodies and in enforcing laws and regulations other than fish and wildlife laws and regulations, should be paid for from other agency and department funds, as appropriate.

(b)  The office of finance and management shall provide staff services to the committee.  Members may receive a per diem and expenses pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32.  On or before January 15, 2007, the committee shall report its recommendations to the governor and the following legislative committees:  the senate committees on finance, on appropriations, and on natural resources and energy; and the house committees on ways and means, on appropriations, and on fish, wildlife and water resources. 

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Sears, on behalf of the Committee on Appropriations, moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 293d to read as follows:

Sec. 293d.  24 V.S.A. § 138. Local option taxes (a)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  a municipality opting to impose a local option tax may do so prior to July 1, 1998 to be effective beginning January 1, 1999, and anytime after December 1, 1998 a local option tax shall be effective beginning on the next tax quarter following 30 days' notice to the department of taxes of the imposition; and all authority to opt to impose a local option tax under this section shall terminate September 1, 2007, and all authority to impose a local option tax shall terminate on December 31, 2008; and

Which was agreed to

     Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senators White, Gander and Ayer moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment in Sec. 271c [Transportation Fund Transfers and Adjustments] by adding  new subsection (c) to read as follows:

     (c)  It is the intent of the general assembly that funds transferred from the weatherization assistance trust fund in subsection (a) (1) of this section shall be restored to the weatherization assistance trust fund from the transportation fund.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Wilton moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment in Sec. 210 by adding a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a) Up to $15,000 of the funds allocated for youth in agriculture may be used to fund youth conservation corps programs in conjunction with the Vermont old cemetery association for repair and maintenance of old cemeteries.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposals of amendment on a roll call, Yeas 28, Nays 1.

Senator Bartlett 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, Maynard, Mazza, Miller, Mullin, Scott, Sears, Shepard, Snelling, Starr, Welch, White, Wilton*.

The Senator who voted in the negative was: Coppenrath**.

The Senator absent and not voting was: Flanagan.


     *Senator Wilton explained her vote as follows:

“Mr. President:

     “While there are many good things in this budget bill, and I voted in favor, I am concerned about three areas of the budget:

     “First, I echo the concerns of my colleague from Caledonia regarding the Promise Scholarship program and that it is not included in the bill.  Vermont parents and students are very interested in seeing this program pass and it would help address the needs to retain our youth and allow more Vermonters to attend colleges in Vermont.  I am disappointed that the scholarship program is not found here as it was voted out of Senate Education Committee.

     “Second, I have made my concerns about the healthcare bill known to this body.  Again, while there are many good provisions in this bill, I do not feel it is fiscally sustainable.

     “Lastly, I am concerned about the agriculture budget outlined in this bill and the agriculture portion of the capital bill.  I feel it does not give priority to conventional agriculture due to the changes that were made in contrast to the administration’s proposal.”

     **Senator Coppenrath explained his vote as follows:

“Mr. President:

     “I voted “No” on this bill because it does not contain the Promise Scholarship program.  In my opinion, the Promise Scholarship program is a win, win, win situation for Vermont.  Through one program, financial resources are provided to institutions of higher learning, Vermont students receive assistance in paying for college educations, and the long range economy of our state will benefit from student remaining and working in Vermont.”

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

H. 211.

House bill entitled:

An act relating to regulating emissions from diesel-powered commercial motor vehicles.

Was taken up.

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

(b)  No diesel‑powered commercial motor vehicle shall be operated on the highways of this state unless the vehicle complies with the exhaust-smoke emission standard and the rules adopted by the commissioner of motor vehicles.  Any person who owns or operates such a vehicle while it is operated in violation of the provisions of this section or the rules adopted by the commissioner shall be fined:

(1)  $200.00 for a first violation per vehicle, except that a person shall not be fined if, within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection, the defect is repaired and notification of the repair is provided to the department of motor vehicles or the vehicle is taken out of service;

(2)  $200.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection, except that a person shall not be fined if the second violation occurs within 60 days from the date of repair of the first violation.  For purposes of this subdivision, the “date of repair” shall be the date indicated in the notification of repair submitted to the department of motor vehicles under subdivision (b)(1) of this subsection;

(3)  $400.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was not repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection;

(4)  $ 400.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection; and

(5)  $800.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was not repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection.

(c)  The commissioner shall establish by rule a process by which the owner of a vehicle that has been taken out of service under this section and that is currently in violation of the exhaust-smoke emission standard shall, prior to sale or transfer of the vehicle, notify the purchaser or transferee that the vehicle does not comply with the exhaust-smoke emission standard. 

(d)  All fines generated from the violation of this section shall be deposited in the transportation fund.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposals of amendment.


Proposal of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered

H. 702.

Senator Cummings, for the Committee on Finance, to which was referred House bill entitled:

An act relating to executive branch fees.

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

First:  In Sec. 2. 7 V.S.A. §231(a), by striking out subdivisions (6), (10), (11), (12) (13), and (15) and inserting in lieu thereof:

(6)  For a third class license, $440.00 $880.00 for an annual license and $275.00 $440.00 for a six months’ month license;.

* * *

(10)  For a third class cabaret license, $440.00 $880.00 for an annual license and $275.00 $440.00 for a six months’ month license;.

(11)  For up to four ten fourth class vinous licenses, $50.00; $100.00.

(12)  For vinous direct sales by a manufacturer or rectifier, $50.00; $300.00.

(13)  For a special events permit, $25.00; $100.00.

* * *

(15)  For a wine tasting permit, $15.00 $50.00.

Second:  By striking out Sec. 23 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof two new sections to be numbered Sec. 23 and 23a to read as follows::

Sec. 23. 13 V.S.A. §7282(a) is amended to read as follows:

(a) In addition to any penalty or fine imposed by the court or judicial bureau for a criminal offense or any civil penalty imposed for a traffic violation, including any violation of a fish and wildlife statute or regulation, violation of a motor vehicle statute, or violation of any local ordinance relating to the operation of a motor vehicle, except violations relating to seat belts and child restraints and ordinances relating to parking violations, the clerk of the court or judicial bureau shall levy an additional fee of:

* * *

(7) For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2005, but before July 1, 2006, $22.00, of which $14.75 shall be deposited into the victims' compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

(8)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2006, $26.00, of which $18.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

(9)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2003, an amount equal to 15 percent of the fine imposed for the offense, rounded upward to the nearest whole dollar, which shall be deposited into the crime victims’ restitution special fund established by section 5363 of this Title.

Sec. 23a. REPEAL

Sec. 13 of 49 of the acts of 2001 (adjourned session) is repealed.

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, and pending the question, Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Finance, Senator Cummings, on behalf of the Committee on Finance, requested and was granted leave to withdraw the proposal of amendment.

Thereupon, Senator Cummings, on behalf of the Committee on Finance, moved to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2. 7 V.S.A. §231(a), by striking out subdivisions (6), (10), (11), (12) (13), and (15) and inserting in lieu thereof:

(6)  For a third class license, $440.00 $880.00 for an annual license and $275.00 $440.00 for a six months’ month license;.

(10)  For a third class cabaret license, $440.00 $880.00 for an annual license and $275.00 $440.00 for a six months’ month license;.

(11)  For up to four ten fourth class vinous licenses, $50.00; $100.00.

(12)  For vinous direct sales by a manufacturer or rectifier, $50.00; $300.00.

(13)  For a special events permit, $25.00; $100.00.

(15)  For a wine tasting permit, $15.00 $50.00.

Second: In Sec. 2. 7 V.S.A. §231, by striking out subsection (b) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows:

(b)  Except for fees collected for first class, second, and third class licenses, the fees collected pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be deposited in the liquor control enterprise fund. The other fees shall be distributed as follows:

(1)  Third class license fees:  55 percent shall go to the liquor control enterprise fund and 45 percent shall go to the general fund.

(2)  First and second class license fees:  At least 50 percent of first class and second class license fees shall go to the respective municipalities in which the licensed premises are located and the remaining percentage of those fees shall go to the liquor control enterprise fund.  A municipality may retain more than 50 percent of the fees that the municipality collected for first and second class licenses to the extent that the municipality has assumed responsibility for enforcement of those licenses pursuant to a contract with the department.  The department shall adopt rules regarding contracts entered into pursuant to this subdivision.

Third:  By striking out Sec. 23 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof two new sections to be numbered Sec. 23 and Sec. 23a to read s follows:

Sec. 23. 13 V.S.A. §7282(a) is amended to read as follows:

(a) In addition to any penalty or fine imposed by the court or judicial bureau for a criminal offense or any civil penalty imposed for a traffic violation, including any violation of a fish and wildlife statute or regulation, violation of a motor vehicle statute, or violation of any local ordinance relating to the operation of a motor vehicle, except violations relating to seat belts and child restraints and ordinances relating to parking violations, the clerk of the court or judicial bureau shall levy an additional fee of:

* * *

(7) For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2005, but before July 1, 2006, $22.00, of which $14.75 shall be deposited into the victims' compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

(8)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2006, $26.00, of which $18.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

(9)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2003, an amount equal to 15 percent of the fine imposed for the offense, rounded upward to the nearest whole dollar, which shall be deposited into the crime victims’ restitution special fund established by section 5363 of this Title.

Sec. 23a. REPEAL

Sec. 13 of 49 of the acts of 2001 (reimbursement of center for crime victim services) is repealed.

Which was agreed to on a roll call, Yeas 22, Nays 6.

Senator Mullin 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, Lyons, MacDonald, Mazza, Miller, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Welch, White.

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

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Flanagan, Leddy.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

Bills Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

House bills of the following titles were severally read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment:

H. 294.

An act relating to groundwater management.

H. 306.

An act relating to transportation of individuals in the custody of the state.

H. 618.

An act relating to services for transitional youth.

Committee of Conference Appointed

S. 164.

An act relating to elections and voter registration.

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


                                         Senator Condos

                                         Senator White

                                         Senator Doyle

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

S. 194.

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

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

                                         Senator Sears

                                         Senator Wilton

                                         Senator Leddy

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

S. 256.

An act relating to sexual exploitation of an inmate.

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

                                         Senator Sears

                                         Senator Campbell

                                         Senator Illuzzi

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

S. 262.

An act relating to expanding employer access to applicants' criminal history records.

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

                                         Senator Wilton

                                         Senator Sears

                                         Senator Cummings

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


H. 677.

An act relating to a standards board and licensing hearing panels for professional educators.

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

                                         Senator Collins

                                         Senator Starr

                                         Senator Wilton

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

H. 856.

An act relating to a standards board and licensing hearing panels for professional educators.

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

                                         Senator Sears

                                         Senator Campbell

                                         Senator Illuzzi

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

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

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

S. 164; S. 194; S. 256; S. 262; H. 211; H. 294; H. 306; H. 618; H. 667; H. 881.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Welch, the Senate adjourned until three o’clock in the afternoon.

Called to Order

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

Message from the House No. 83

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

     H. 881.  An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government.

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. Heath of Westford

                                         Rep. Marron of Stowe

                                         Rep. Larson of Burlington

Committee of Conference Appointed

H. 881.

An act making appropriations for the support of government.

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

                                         Senator Bartlett

                                         Senator Sears

                                         Senator Snelling

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

Adjournment

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