Journal of the House

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THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2008

At two o'clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon the Speaker called the House to order.

Devotional Exercises

In memorial, honor and gratitude to Vermont’s dedicated soldiers and their families, Speaker Gaye Symington passed a lighted candle to the House members to pass to each other in silence and meditation.  Sergeant-at-Arms, Francis Brooks ended devotions by singing “I Believe” by Ervin Drake.

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 887

Rep. Maier of Middlebury, for the committee on Health Care, introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to health care reform;

Which was read the first time and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

Senate Bill Referred

S. 168

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

Was taken up, read the first time and referred to the committee on Judiciary.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

The Speaker placed before the House the following resolution which was read and in the Speaker’s discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

J.R.H.  56

Joint resolution honoring municipal public works employees and designating May 18–24 as Public Works Week in Vermont

Offered by:  Representatives Koch of Barre Town, Ainsworth of Royalton, Browning of Arlington, Devereux of Mount Holly, Emmons of Springfield, Fallar of Tinmouth, Flory of Pittsford, Larocque of Barnet, Lenes of Shelburne, Lorber of Burlington, Marcotte of Coventry, McDonald of Berlin, McFaun of Barre Town, Myers of Essex, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Rodgers of Glover, Turner of Milton and Valliere of Barre City

Whereas, much of the highway and bridge network in Vermont is municipally owned, and the responsibility for its maintenance is assigned to local public works departments, and

Whereas, the regular duties of city and town public works departments’ employees encompass general roadway and bridge maintenance on a year-round basis, and

Whereas, when extremely inclement weather strikes, such as a severe snowstorm or a thunderstorm whose elements include high velocity winds, municipal public works department crews are called upon to perform near-heroic tasks under the worst possible climatic conditions and not infrequently in the middle of the night, and

Whereas, these special but essential jobs can range from removing snow from the highway while blowing drifts are inhibiting steady progress to supporting utility crews removing trees entangled in dangerously electrified cables, and

Whereas, on May 14, the Vermont Municipal Highway Association will hold its annual field day and expo at the Barre Auditorium, and

Whereas, local public works crews from many communities will attend this much-anticipated event, and

Whereas, the Vermont Municipal Highway Association event also serves as a showcase for vendors to exhibit new products that public works staff can examine and consider purchasing, and

Whereas, May is also an important month for these dedicated municipal employees as the week of May 18–24 is being observed as Public Works Week in order to recognize these all-too-often unsung heroes who maintain highways, bridges, and other essential municipal infrastructure 365 days a year, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the general assembly honors Vermont’s outstanding municipal public works employees and designates May 18–24 as Public Works Week in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Todd Law, president of the Vermont Municipal Highway Association in Montpelier and to Barre Town Engineer Harry Hinrichsen.

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington, the remarks by Rep. Krawczyk of Bennington were ordered printed in the Journal.

“Madam Speaker,

As a father of a soldier, a daughter who has spent three of the last five years in Iraq, I want to thank the members of this body, and especially you, Madam Speaker, for the ceremony just completed...one which showed support for our troops serving in harm's way.

In April of this year, my daughter will return to Iraq for what the Army calls a "Leader's RECON", in order to prepare her unit, and her, for their 4th tour of duty. As a father, I worry and pray for her and her soldiers' safe return. However, I trust in the training she has received and I know that her unit and she will successfully accomplish their mission. I am comforted to know that she has your support and the support of the American people. As a soldier of another war for which we did not have the support of the American people, I know how much this symbolic gesture means to our soldiers. It means more than anything else we can give them.

Those who know my family well, say that my daughter has too many of my genes. She is close to her soldiers, and their safety and welfare comes before hers.

Those of us, who have been in this body since this war began, have not always agreed on the purpose of this war, but we have never disagreed on our support for our troops. I love you all for that.

As you look at my size, you may not think that I am a sensitive person, but I am. As I watched this ceremony, and listened to the Sergeant-At-Arms singing such a moving song, I had chills running up and down my back. Those chills are still there. Thank you all and thank you again, Madam Speaker.”

Committee Relieved of Consideration

and Bill Placed on Calendar for Notice

H. 170

Rep. Morley of Barton moved that the Committee on Appropriations be relieved of House bill entitled

An act relating to retirees of the University of Vermont;

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, under the rule, the bill was placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

Rules Suspended; Action Postponed

H. 170

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Atkins of Winooski,  the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to retirees of the University of Vermont;

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

On motion of Rep. Atkins of Winooski, action on the bill was postponed until the end of the orders of the day.

Committee Relieved of Consideration

and Bill Placed on Calendar for Notice

H. 574

Rep. Condon of Colchester moved that the Committee on Ways and Means be relieved of House bill entitled

An act relating to requiring beverage container manufacturers to pay an additional one-half cent per container to retailers who do not commingle containers;

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, under the rule, the bill was placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 257

House bill, entitled

An act relating to the codification of existing community justice centers;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

H. 436

House bill, entitled

An act relating to discussion of ballot items at town meeting;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Martin of Wolcott moved to amend the bill as follows:

By adding a Sec. 2a as follows:

 Sec. 2a.  17 V.S.A. § 2561(a) is amended to read:

 (a) At all elections using the Australian ballot system, the polls shall may open no earlier than 5:00 a.m. and shall open no later than 10:00 a.m. as set by the board of civil authority in each town unless the board of civil authority has elected to open the polls earlier than 6:00 a.m. as provided in section 2494 of this title. The polls in all polling places shall close at 7:00 p.m.

Which was agreed to.

Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Branagan of Georgia moved to amend the bill as follows:

By adding a Sec. 12 to read as follows:

Sec 12.  EFFECTIVE DATE

     Sec. 1a shall take effect upon passage.

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed.

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

H. 748

House bill, entitled

An act relating to permitting students to possess and self-administer life-saving medicine;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Clark of Vergennes moved to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 1, by adding a new subsection to be subsection § 1387(e) to read as follows: 

(e)  Nothing in this section shall prohibit a public school district or an approved independent school from adopting school policies and individual plans of action regarding the possession and self-administration of emergency medication for medical conditions other than asthma and life-threatening allergies.

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed with a title amendment to read as follows:

AN ACT RELATING TO PERMITTING STUDENTS TO POSSESS AND SELF‑ADMINISTER EMERGENCY MEDICATION”

 

 

Third Reading; Bills Passed

House bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed:

H. 883

House bill, entitled

An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to Vermont’s public retirement system.

H. 884

House bill, entitled

An act relating to ensuring quality in prekindergarten education programs offered by or through school districts.

                                                           H. 885     

House bill, entitled

An act relating to developing consistent measurement standards for economic growth.

Consideration Resumed ; Action Postponed

H. 170

Consideration resumed on House bill, entitled

An act relating to retirees of the University of Vermont;

     Rep. Atkins of Winooski, for the committee on Government Operations, recommended that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 926 is amended to read:

§ 926.  GRIEVANCES

(a)  The board shall hear and make final determination on the grievances of all employees who are eligible to appeal grievances to the board.  Grievance hearings at the board level shall be conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the board.  The right to institute grievance proceedings extends to individual employees, groups of employees, and collective bargaining units.

(b)  The board shall hear and make final determination on the grievances of all retired individual employees of the University of Vermont, groups of such retired individuals, and retired collective bargaining unit members of the University of Vermont.  Grievances shall be limited to those relating to compensation and benefits that were accrued during active employment but are received after retirement.  For the purposes of this subsection, “grievance” means an allegation of a violation of a collective bargaining agreement, employee handbook provision, early retirement plan, individual separation agreement or other documented agreement, or rule or regulation of the University of Vermont.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time and pending the question, Shall the House amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Government Operations? on motion of Rep. Atkins of Winooski, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Adjournment

At three o’clock and fifteen minutes in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the House adjourned until tomorrow at nine o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon.