Journal of the Senate

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Thomas Harty of Randolph.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Rachel Levin then led the members of the Senate in the pledge of allegiance.

Bill Introduced

Senate bill of the following title was introduced, read the first time and referred:

S. 37.

By Senators Ayer, Campbell and Giard,

An act relating to mosquito control.

To the Committee on Agriculture.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

J.R.S. 8.

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

   By the Committee on Agriculture,

     J.R.S. 8.  Joint resolution urging Congress to appropriate as quickly as possible federal funds for payment of agricultural disaster relief to Vermont's financially pressed farmers.

Whereas, during May 2006, Vermont experienced extremely heavy rainfall inundating fields and causing major damage to growing crops on farms across the state, and

Whereas, this extremely damaging precipitation occurred at the same time that milk prices were low and well below farmers’ product costs, and

Whereas, as a result of the terrible May weather, in June 2006, Governor Douglas requested that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Vermont prepare a damage assessment report for all crops in all counties in the state, and 

Whereas, the report tallied $53, 955,513.00 in crop damage in Vermont, and the Vermont USDA-FSA office submitted it in June 2006 to United States Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, and

Whereas, based on this report, on June 23, 2006, Secretary Johanns declared all counties in Vermont as agricultural disaster areas because each county had sustained at least 30 percent crop damage, and

Whereas, dairy farmers face severe problems due not only to the continuing low price for milk but also on account of the limited availability of feed for their herds due to the wet weather that persisted throughout the spring and summer of 2006, and

Whereas, because of the combination of low milk prices and extremely poor crop yields, many Vermont farmers are carrying a large debt burden that is hampering their ability to purchase seeds and fertilizers for 2007 Spring planting, and

Whereas, compounding the problems associated with poor crop yields in Vermont, its farmers are confronted with feed prices that have risen 25 to 30 percent or more in just the last two or three months due to the increased demand for corn for ethanol production in the Midwest, and

Whereas, the continuing high energy costs only add another burden for Vermont’s farmers to confront, and

Whereas, Vermont farmers need federal agricultural disaster aid  immediately in order to assist them to purchase seed for the rapidly  approaching 2007 Spring planting and to pay other debts resulting from the abnormal weather conditions of the last year, and

Whereas, the state of Vermont responded quickly and generously this past Summer when the Emergency Board authorized the expenditure of $8.6 million for agricultural disaster assistance, but this sum is far from enough to meet the basic financial requirements of the Vermont’s farmers, and

Whereas, the immediacy of this crisis cannot be overemphasized; and without federal assistance, future prospects are bleak for many Vermont farmers and the associated infrastructure of the state’s farm economy, now therefore be it  

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to appropriate federal funds, as quickly as possible, for payment of agricultural disaster relief to Vermont’s financially pressed farmers, and be it further

ResolvedThat the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to United States Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns; to United States Senators Tom Harkin and Saxby Chambliss, chair and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; to United States Representatives Collin Peterson and Bob Goodlatte, chair and ranking minority member respectively, of the House Committee on Agriculture; and to the members of the Vermont Congressional delegation.

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

Message from the Governor

Appointments Referred

     A message was received from the Governor, by Kiersten Bourgeois, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, submitting the following appointments, which were referred to committees as indicated:

     George R. Crombie of Warren - Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, - from March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     To the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

     Roger N. Allbee of Townshend - Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, - from March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     To the Committee on Agriculture.

Third Reading Ordered

S. 32.

Senator Doyle, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to appointments and terms for energy coordinators.

Reported that the bill ought to pass.

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


Standing Committee Appointed

     The President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of standing committees as follows:

                                                           Rules

At Call                             Senator Shumlin, Chair                              

Mazza, Vice-Chair

Campbell

Doyle

Mullin

Appointment of Senate Member to the Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. §6621e, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution for a term of two years:

Senator McCormack

Appointment of Senate Member to Advisory Council on Special Education

Pursuant to the provisions of 16 V.S.A. §2945, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Advisory Council on Special Education for a term of three years:

Senator Collins

Appointment of Senate Member to the Access Board

Pursuant to the provisions of 21 V.S.A. §272, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Access Board for a term of two years:

Senator Scott, ex officio

Appointment of Senate Member to Art in State Buildings Advisory Panel

Pursuant to the provisions of 29 V.S.A. §47, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Art in State Buildings Advisory Panel during this biennium:

Senator Cummings

Appointment of Senate Members to the Barre Granite and Ethnic Culture Museum Steering Committee

     Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 6(a)(7) of No. 233 of the Acts of 1994, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Barre Granite and Ethnic Culture Museum Steering Committee during this biennium:

Senator Doyle

Senator Scott

Senator Cummings

Senator Illuzzi

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 Kitchel

Senator Cummings

Senator Racine

Senator Mullin

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 Council on Education Governance

Pursuant to the provisions of Act No. 68 of the Acts of 2003 as amended by Act No. 4, §1 (2005), the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Council on Education Governance:

Senator Collins

Senator Giard

Senator Doyle


Appointment of Senate Member to Council on Family Violence

Pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 15-8, issued on June 29, 2006, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Council on Family Violence during this biennium:

Senator White

Appointment of Senate Member to the Criminal Justice Cabinet (successor to Criminal Justice Council)

Pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 13-1, issued on July 22, 1992, by Governor Howard B. Dean, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator as a member of the Criminal Justice Cabinet during this biennium:

Senator Sears

Appointment of Senate Member to the Education Commission of the States

Pursuant to federal law (as previously set forth in 16 V.S.A. §1503, now repealed), the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Education Commission of the States during this biennium:

Senator Collins

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

Appointment of Senate Member to the Forest Resources Advisory Council

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. §2223, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Forest Resources Advisory Council for a term of two years:

Senator Starr


Appointment of Senate Member to Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet

Pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 03-41, issued on February 5, 2002, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet during this biennium:

Senator Racine

Appointment of Senate Members to the Health Access Oversight Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 13 of No. 14 of the Acts of 1995 (H. 159), the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Health Access Oversight Committee during this biennium:

Senator Racine, ex officio

                        (Chair of Health and Welfare)

Senator White (from Health and Welfare)

Senator Kitchel (from Appropriations)

Senator Ayer (from Finance)

Senator Mullin (from Health and Welfare)

Appointment of Senate Members to the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention

Pursuant to the provisions of 4 V.S.A. §607, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention during this biennium:

                                               Senator Campbell

                                               Senator Flanagan

                                               Senator Nitka

                                               Senator Mullin

Appointment of Senate Members to Joint Fiscal Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §501, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Joint Fiscal Committee for terms of two years ending February 1, 2007:

Senator Bartlett, ex officio

Senator Cummings, ex officio

Senator Shumlin

Senator Sears

Senator Snelling

Appointment of Senate Members to Joint Rules Committee

     The President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Joint Rules Committee for terms of two (2) years pursuant to the provisions of Joint Rule No. 5:

                                              Senator Shumlin, ex officio

                                              Senator Doyle

                                              Senator Mazza

                                              Senator Campbell

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 Legislative Advisory

Committee on the State House

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §651, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Legislative Advisory Committee on the State House for terms of two years:

Senator Cummings

Senator Scott

Senator Mazza

Appointment of Senate Members to Legislative Committee on Judicial Rules

Pursuant to the provisions of 12 V.S.A. §3, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Legislative Committee on Judicial Rules for terms of two (2) years ending February 1, 2007:

Senator Sears

Senator Nitka

Senator Campbell

Senator Illuzzi

Appointment of Senate Members to the Joint Legislative Corrections Oversight Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 170d of No. 142 of Acts of 2002, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Joint Legislative Corrections Oversight Committee for terms of two years:

Senator Bartlett

Senator Coppenrath

Senator Flanagan

Senator Sears

Appointment of Senate Members to Legislative Council

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §402, the President announced the appointment by the President of the following Senators to serve on the Legislative Council for terms of two years:

Senator Shumlin, ex officio

Senator Mazza

Senator Mullin

Senator Scott

Appointment of Senate Members to the Mental Health Oversight Committee

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 Racine

Senator Coppenrath

Senator Snelling

Senator White

Appointment of Senate Members to Northeast Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Pricing

     The President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Northeast Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Pricing during this biennium:

Senator Shumlin

Senator Sears

Senator Mullin

[Alternate Member Senator Campbell]

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 MacDonald

Appointment of Senate Member to Public Transit Advisory Council

Pursuant to the provisions of 24 V.S.A. §5084, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Public Transit Advisory Council during this biennium:

Senator Collins

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 Shumlin, 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 Scenery Preservation Council

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. §425(a), the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Scenery Preservation Council for a term of two years ending on January 15, 2007:

Senator Maynard


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 Miller

Senator MacDonald

Senator Maynard

Senator Nitka

Appointment of Senate Member to Snowmobile Advisory Council

Pursuant to the provisions of 23 V.S.A. §3216, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Snowmobile Advisory Council for a term of two years:

Senator Starr

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 Mullin

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 Member to Vermont Interactive Television Coordinating Council

Pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order #10-94, issued under date of October 14, 1994, by Governor Howard B. Dean, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Vermont Interactive Television Coordinating Council during this biennium:

Senator Mazza

Appointment of Senate Member to Vermont State Nuclear Advisory

Panel (V-SNAP)

Pursuant to the provisions of 18 V.S.A. §1700, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel (V-SNAP) for a term of two years ending on January 15, 2007:

Senator MacDonald

Appointment of Senate Member to Vermont State Infrastructure Bank Board

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. §280e(b)(2), the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Vermont State Infrastructure Bank Board for a term of two years:

Senator Condos

Appointment of Senate Member to the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board

Pursuant to the provisions of 18 V.S.A. §9505, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senator to serve on the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board for a term of two years:

Senator Kittell

Appointment of Senate Members to the Vermont Transportation Enhancement Advisory Committee

Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 41v of No. 18 of Acts of 1999, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, announced the appointment of the following Senators to serve on the Vermont Transportation Enhancement Advisory Committee during this biennium:

Senator Mazza

Senator Scott

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, 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:

Senator MacDonald

Message from the House No. 8

     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 adopted concurrent resolutions of the following titles:

     H.C.R. 7.  Concurrent resolution congratulating David Ball of Orange on his extraordinary college football career.

     H.C.R. 8.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Vergennes Union High School Commodores 2006 Division II championship girls’ soccer team.

     H.C.R. 9.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Danville School Indians Division IV championship boys’ soccer team.

     H.C.R. 10.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Danville Indians Division IV championship baseball team.

     H.C.R. 11.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Pierce-Lawton Post 37 baseball team on winning the 2006 American Legion’s Vermont state championship.

     H.C.R. 12.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Bellows Falls Union High School Terriers Division II track and field championship team.

     H.C.R. 13.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Attractions Association on its 50th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 14.  Concurrent resolution congratulating McGirr’s Nursing home on its 40th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 15.  Concurrent resolution honoring Jeff Benay for his service as chair of the governor’s advisory commission on Native American affairs.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until one o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday, January 17, 2007.