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NO. 122.  AN act making appropriations for the support of government.

(H.768)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  SHORT TITLE

(a)  This bill may be referred to as the BIG BILL - Fiscal Year 2005 Appropriations Act.

Sec. 2.  PURPOSE

(a)  The purpose of this act is to provide appropriations for the operations of state government during fiscal year 2005.  It is the express intent of the legislature that activities of the various agencies, departments, divisions, boards, and commissions be limited to those which can be supported by funds appropriated in this act or other acts passed prior to June 30, 2004.  Agency and department heads are directed to implement staffing and service levels at the beginning of fiscal year 2005 so as to meet this condition unless otherwise directed by specific language in this act.

Sec. 3.  APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  The sums herein stated are appropriated for the purposes specified in the following sections of this act.  When no time is expressly stated during which any of the appropriations are to continue, the appropriations are declared to be single-year appropriations and only for the purpose indicated.  These appropriations shall be the only appropriations available notwithstanding any other acts or laws.  If in this act there is an error in either addition or subtraction, the totals shall be adjusted accordingly.  Apparent errors in referring to section numbers of statutory titles within this act may be disregarded by the commissioner of finance and management.

(b)  Unless codified or otherwise specified, all narrative portions of this act apply only to the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005.

Sec. 4.  TIME AVAILABLE

(a)  The sums appropriated in this act, unless otherwise designated, shall be available only during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005.  The balance of any appropriations made in this act remaining unexpended and unencumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall revert to the appropriate fund balance unless otherwise specified in this act.  Refunds of expenditures and reimbursements, except liability insurance premiums which have been paid from the appropriations of a prior year, shall be credited to the appropriate fund and not to appropriation accounts in the current fiscal year, unless those refunds or reimbursements were previously paid from federal grants-in-aid or from appropriations whose unexpended balances are reappropriated by law.  Refunds of liability insurance premiums paid in prior fiscal years are hereby available to reduce subsequent liability insurance premiums.  Nothing contained in this act shall limit the time within which an appropriation to be raised by the issue of bonds may be expended.

Sec. 5.  DEFINITIONS

(a)  For the purposes of this act:

(1)  “Encumbrances” means a portion of an appropriation reserved for the subsequent payment of existing purchase orders or contracts.  The commissioner of finance and management shall make final decisions on the appropriateness of encumbrances.

(2)  “Grants” means subsidies, aid, or payments to local governments, to community and quasi-public agencies for providing local services, and to persons who are not wards of the state for services or supplies and cash or other direct assistance, including pension contributions.

(3)  “Operating expenses” means supplies - food, medical, clothing, educational, fuel, highway materials and similar items; contractual services - postage, telephone, travel expenses, light, heat and power, rentals, insurance and other similar items; equipment articles of substantial value which have a long period of usefulness - desks, computers, typewriters, furniture, motor vehicles and similar items; and expenditures for the purchase of land, construction of new buildings and permanent improvements, highway construction and similar items.

(4)  “Personal services” means wages and salaries, consulting services, personnel benefits, personal injury benefits under 21 V.S.A. § 636, and similar items.

Sec. 6.  SOURCE OF FUNDS

(a)  The appropriations made in this act are made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005 except as provided in this act and are to be paid from funds shown as the source of funds.

Sec. 7.  Secretary of administration - secretary’s office

                   Personal services                                                                    385,524

                   Operating expenses                                                                  58,878

                        Total                                                                                 444,402

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           381,798

                   Transportation fund                                                                  49,704

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         12,900

                        Total                                                                                 444,402

Sec. 8.  Information and innovation

                   Personal services                                                                 3,747,066

                   Operating expenses                                                                811,915

                        Total                                                                              4,558,981

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           4,558,981

(a)  The secretary of administration shall develop a process whereby the department of information and innovation shall be consulted and shall issue a written recommendation prior to any agency or department in the executive branch of state government’s action to:  (1) expend or contract for the expenditure of an amount that is greater than an amount determined by the secretary of administration for information systems technology; or (2) hire additional information technology staff.  Said recommendation shall be retained by the agency or department.

Sec. 9.  Finance and management - financial operations

                   Personal services                                                                 2,033,673

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,135,021

                        Total                                                                              3,168,694

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           3,168,694

(a)  Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 307(e), financial management fund charges of $3,980,857.00 are hereby approved.  Of this amount, $767,163.00 will be used to support the HRMS system that is operated by the department of personnel.

Sec. 10.  32 V.S.A. § 307(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The budget shall also include any proposed charges to be billed to departmental budgets for payment to the financial management, workers’ compensation, and facilities operations internal service funds where the total of such charges exceeds $1,000,000.00.  The rates of any such.  Such charges shall be subject to legislative approval.  The departments of finance and management and buildings and general services shall include with their annual budget submissions details of any such charges to be made projected by department and the financial case for the proposed changes in charges for the three internal services funds.

Sec. 11.  Finance and management - budget and management

                   Personal services                                                                    870,222

                   Operating expenses                                                                101,766

                        Total                                                                                 971,988

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           772,314

                   Transportation fund                                                                110,428

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         89,246

                        Total                                                                                 971,988

     (a)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A § 588, the commissioner of finance and management is encouraged to minimize the number of special funds that are created in the statewide accounting system each fiscal year, to eliminate any redundancies with currently established special funds and to the extent possible, consolidate overlapping funds.

     (b)  The commissioner shall submit a report to the joint fiscal committee by December 1, 2004 on actions taken that do not require legislative approval and shall also include in the report recommendations to the general assembly for statutory amendments to simplify fund administration.

Sec. 12.  Personnel - operations

                   Personal services                                                                 1,489,050

                   Operating expenses                                                                296,200

                        Total                                                                              1,785,250

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,113,729

                    Transportation fund                                                                342,921

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       328,600

                        Total                                                                              1,785,250

     (a)  The department of personnel shall include in its annual report historical information on position reclassifications throughout state government and shall submit with its fiscal year 2006 budget proposal a recommendation for creating a structured, predictable approach to dealing with the reclassification issue.

Sec. 13.  Personnel - HR workforce planning & employment services

                   Personal services                                                                    754,361

                    Operating expenses                                                                302,850

                        Total                                                                              1,057,211

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           634,000

                   Transportation fund                                                                200,211

                   Special funds                                                                          223,000

                        Total                                                                              1,057,211

Sec. 14.  Personnel - employee benefits & wellness

                   Personal services                                                                 1,329,731

                   Operating expenses                                                                237,870

                        Total                                                                              1,567,601

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           1,567,601

Sec. 15.  Personnel - information technology

                   Personal services                                                                    486,683

                   Operating expenses                                                                280,480

                        Total                                                                                 767,163

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                              767,163

Sec. 16.  Libraries

                   Personal services                                                                 1,908,066

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,479,087

                   Grants                                                                                      45,000

                        Total                                                                              3,432,153

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,331,998

                   Special funds                                                                          195,483

                   Federal funds                                                                         752,672

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       152,000

                        Total                                                                              3,432,153

Sec. 17.  Tax - administration/collection

                   Personal services                                                               11,058,247

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,559,467

                        Total                                                                            13,617,714

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      12,651,812

                   Transportation fund                                                                211,902

                   Special funds                                                                          574,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       180,000

                        Total                                                                            13,617,714

Sec. 18.  Buildings and general services - administration

                   Personal services                                                                 1,327,980

                   Operating expenses                                                                127,665

                        Total                                                                              1,455,645

               Source of Funds

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,455,645

     (a)  The implementation of the buildings and general services fleet management program shall be done in a manner to avoid any negative fiscal impact to the department of corrections.

Sec. 18a.  MUNICIPAL AND NONPROFIT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

     (a)  There is created a municipal and nonprofit assistance program to provide competitive grants to municipalities and nonprofit organizations throughout the state.  The program shall be funded through direct appropriations of the general assembly.  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to award grants at his or her discretion consistent with the provisions of this section.  The department of buildings and general services shall administer the program and is hereby authorized to adopt rules that are necessary for implementation of the program and consistent with the provisions of this section, including a list of criteria by which applications will be evaluated.

Sec. 19.  COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

     (a)  There is created a community assistance program to provide grants to  communities and nonprofit organizations throughout the state.  The program shall be funded through direct appropriations of the general assembly.  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to award grants at his or her discretion consistent with the provisions of this section.  The department of buildings and general services shall administer the program.

Sec. 20.  Buildings and general services - engineering

                   Personal services                                                                 1,836,763

                   Operating expenses                                                                403,666

                        Total                                                                              2,240,429

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,013,413

                   Transportation fund                                                                152,016

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         75,000

                        Total                                                                              2,240,429

Sec. 21.  Buildings and general services - information centers

                   Personal services                                                                 2,805,473

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,141,005

                   Grants                                                                                    350,000

                        Total                                                                              4,296,478

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           197,186

                   Transportation fund                                                             4,099,292

                         Total                                                                              4,296,478

Sec. 22.  Buildings and general services - purchasing

                   Personal services                                                                    764,564

                   Operating expenses                                                                259,591

                        Total                                                                              1,024,155

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           762,555

                   Transportation fund                                                                261,600

                        Total                                                                              1,024,155

Sec. 23.  Buildings and general services - public records

                   Personal services                                                                    766,755

                   Operating expenses                                                                460,809

                        Total                                                                              1,227,564

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           961,726

                   Transportation fund                                                                  88,205

                   Special funds                                                                          177,633

                        Total                                                                              1,227,564

Sec. 24.  Buildings and general services - postal services

                   Personal services                                                                    579,783

                   Operating expenses                                                                141,803

                        Total                                                                                 721,586

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             39,135

                   Transportation fund                                                                  26,400

                   Internal service funds                                                              656,051

                        Total                                                                                 721,586

Sec. 25.  Buildings and general services - copy center

                   Personal services                                                                    751,421

                   Operating expenses                                                                457,602

                        Total                                                                              1,209,023

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           1,209,023

Sec. 26.  Buildings and general services - supply center

                   Personal services                                                                    243,949

                   Operating expenses                                                                196,641

                        Total                                                                                 440,590

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                              440,590

Sec. 27.  Buildings and general services - federal surplus property

                   Personal services                                                                      60,254

                   Operating expenses                                                                  70,525

                        Total                                                                                 130,779

               Source of Funds

                   Enterprise funds                                                                      130,779

Sec. 28.  Buildings and general services - state surplus property

                   Personal services                                                                      54,229

                   Operating expenses                                                                  67,342

                        Total                                                                                 121,571

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                              121,571

Sec. 29.  Buildings and general services - property management

                   Personal services                                                                    928,056

                   Operating expenses                                                             3,304,043

                        Total                                                                              4,232,099

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           4,232,099

Sec. 30.  Buildings and general services - all other insurance

                   Personal services                                                                      58,529

                   Operating expenses                                                                  11,116

                        Total                                                                                   69,645

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                                69,645

Sec. 31.  Buildings and general services - general liability insurance

                   Personal services                                                                    704,745

                   Operating expenses                                                                  31,986

                        Total                                                                                 736,731

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                              736,731

Sec. 32.  Buildings and general services - workers’ compensation insurance

                   Personal services                                                                    950,903

                   Operating expenses                                                                132,611

                        Total                                                                              1,083,514

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           1,083,514

(a)  Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 307(e), workers’ compensation fund charges of $9,565,000.00 are hereby approved.

Sec. 33.  29 V.S.A. § 1408(d) is amended to read:

(d)  In subsequent years, the commissioner shall annually assess each program participant an amount to be deposited in the state employees’ workers’ compensation fund.  The commissioner may adjust the annual assessment to assure that the debts and obligations of the program are adequately funded.  However, the annual assessment shall not be greater than 150 percent or less than 50 percent of the annual assessment for that program participant for the preceding year.

Sec. 34.  [Deleted]

Sec. 35.  Buildings and general services - fee for space

                   Personal services                                                                 9,079,294

                   Operating expenses                                                             9,018,740

                        Total                                                                            18,098,034

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                         18,098,034

(a)  Pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160a(b)(3), facilities operations fund charges of $18,445,000.00 are hereby approved.

Sec. 36.  Sec. 35(a) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

(a)  Pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160a(b)(3), fee for space charges of $16,934,155.00 are hereby approved.  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall cause any deficit in the fee for space internal service fund at the end of fiscal year 2003 to be eliminated by the end of fiscal year 2014 through the aggressive management of expenditures and a surcharge on fees beginning in fiscal year 2005 2006.

Sec. 37.  Geographic information system

                   Grants                                                                                    376,992

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                          376,992

Sec. 38.  Auditor of accounts

                   Personal services                                                                 1,844,953

                   Operating expenses                                                                109,150

                        Total                                                                              1,954,103

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           453,732

                   Transportation fund                                                                  58,845

                   Special funds                                                                            52,746

                   Internal service funds                                                           1,388,780

                        Total                                                                              1,954,103

Sec. 39.  State treasurer

                   Personal services                                                                 2,380,971

                   Operating expenses                                                                322,205

                   Grants                                                                                      75,000

                        Total                                                                              2,778,176

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           833,409

                   Transportation fund                                                                103,208

                   Special funds                                                                       1,378,559

                   Pension trust fund                                                                   400,500

                   Private purpose trust fund                                                         62,500

                        Total                                                                              2,778,176

(a)  The above appropriation includes $50,000.00 in general funds, which shall be used for a grant to the firefighters survivors benefit expendable trust fund.

(b)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $25,000.00 shall be deposited into the armed services scholarship fund established in H.258 of 2004.

Sec. 40.  State treasurer - abandoned property

                   Personal services                                                                    262,922

                   Operating expenses                                                                194,800

                        Total                                                                                 457,722

               Source of Funds

                   Private purpose trust fund                                                       457,722

Sec. 41.  Vermont state retirement system

                   Personal services                                                               18,068,186

                   Operating expenses                                                                699,809

                        Total                                                                            18,767,995

               Source of Funds

                   Pension trust fund                                                              18,767,995

Sec. 42.  Municipal employees’ retirement system

                   Personal services                                                                 1,426,248

                   Operating expenses                                                                206,527

                        Total                                                                              1,632,775

               Source of Funds

                   Pension trust fund                                                                1,632,775

Sec. 43.  State labor relations board

                   Personal services                                                                    147,387

                   Operating expenses                                                                  34,740

                        Total                                                                                 182,127

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           171,697

                   Transportation fund                                                                    4,560

                   Special funds                                                                              5,870

                        Total                                                                                 182,127

Sec. 44.  REVERSION TO GENERAL FUND

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, $20,000.00 in general funds appropriated in Sec. 42 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 to the state labor relations board shall revert to the general fund in fiscal year 2005.

Sec. 45.  Executive office - Governor’s office

                   Personal services                                                                 1,123,181

                   Operating expenses                                                                339,100

                        Total                                                                              1,462,281

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,141,866

                    Transportation fund                                                                156,230

                   Special funds                                                                              3,185

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       161,000

                        Total                                                                              1,462,281

Sec. 46.  Executive office - national and community service

                   Personal services                                                                    175,347

                   Operating expenses                                                                118,501

                   Grants                                                                                 1,443,340

                        Total                                                                              1,737,188

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             56,528

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,680,660

                        Total                                                                              1,737,188

Sec. 47.  VOSHA review board

                   Personal services                                                                      31,350

                   Operating expenses                                                                    8,844

                        Total                                                                                   40,194

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             20,097

                   Federal funds                                                                           20,097

                        Total                                                                                   40,194

Sec. 48.  Use tax reimbursement fund - municipal current use

                   Grants                                                                                 6,199,670

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,889,280

                   Transportation fund                                                             2,310,390

                        Total                                                                              6,199,670

Sec. 49.  Lieutenant governor

                   Personal services                                                                    125,062

                   Operating expenses                                                                    9,585

                        Total                                                                                 134,647

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           115,517

                   Transportation fund                                                                  19,130

                        Total                                                                                 134,647

Sec. 50.  [Deleted]

Sec. 51.  Legislature

                   Personal services                                                                 2,665,198

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,967,116

                        Total                                                                              4,632,314

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,935,297

                   Transportation fund                                                                697,017

                        Total                                                                              4,632,314

     (a)  Of the above appropriation, $15,000.00 shall be used for a grant to the national legislative association on prescription drug pricing.  The payment of any additional funds to the association must be approved by the president pro tempore of the senate and the speaker of the house.

Sec. 51a.  2004 LEGISLATIVE SESSION; DAILY COMPENSATION

     (a)  In lieu of the weekly salary entitlement in sections 1051 and 1052 of Title 32, after May 15, 2004, a member of the house or senate is entitled to reimbursement for expenses and compensation for services at the daily rate provided in those sections for each day of attendance at a session of the 2004 adjourned session, and for attendance at a meeting of a committee of conference on any day on which the member’s chamber is not in session after May 15, 2004 through adjournment sine die of the 2004 adjourned session.

Sec. 52.  Legislative council

                   Personal services                                                                 1,575,895

                   Operating expenses                                                                116,222

                        Total                                                                              1,692,117

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,460,193

                   Transportation fund                                                                231,924

                        Total                                                                              1,692,117

Sec. 52a.  Legislative information technology

               Personal services                                                                         226,325

                   Operating expenses                                                                287,959

                        Total                                                                                 514,284

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                          514,284

     (a)  Funds appropriated in this section for legislative information technology shall be expended in fiscal year 2005 by the legislative council with the recommendation of the ad hoc joint legislative oversight committee on information technology and a staff oversight group consisting of the legislative counsel, the fiscal officer, the sergeant at arms, the clerk of the house, and the secretary of the senate.  On or before January 15, 2005, the ad hoc joint committee and the staff oversight group shall present to the house and senate committees on appropriations and government operations a plan for the oversight, management, and expenditure of funds for information technology by the legislative branch for fiscal year 2006 and future fiscal years.  As part of this process, the legislative and staff oversight group shall develop job descriptions for information technology employees, work plans, and specific strategies to address the recommendations contained in the NCSL assessment of the Vermont Legislative Information Technology System.

Sec. 53.  Sergeant at arms

                   Personal services                                                                    449,154

                   Operating expenses                                                                  47,662

                        Total                                                                                 496,816

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           456,405

                   Transportation fund                                                                  40,411

                        Total                                                                                 496,816

     (a)  The sergeant at arms office shall submit to the joint fiscal committee at its July 2004 meeting, a summary of the security coverage plan for fiscal year 2005.  Minimizing the amount of overtime and duplicative coverage shall be a priority in development of the plan.  The summary submitted shall include the hours and number of persons for the hours of coverage proposed.

Sec. 54.  Joint fiscal committee

                   Personal services                                                                    898,960

                   Operating expenses                                                                  67,224

                        Total                                                                                 966,184

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           831,789

                   Transportation fund                                                                134,395

                        Total                                                                                 966,184

Sec. 55.  Lottery commission

                   Personal services                                                                 1,253,912

                   Operating expenses                                                                903,902

                        Total                                                                              2,157,814

               Source of Funds

                   Enterprise funds                                                                   2,157,814

(a)  The lottery commission shall not reduce funding for the responsible gambling program.

(b)  The lottery commission shall transfer $90,000.00 to the department of health, office of alcohol and drug abuse programs to support the gambling addiction program.

Sec. 56.  Payments in lieu of taxes

                   Grants                                                                                 2,500,000

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           800,000

                   Special funds                                                                       1,700,000

                        Total                                                                              2,500,000

(a)  The above appropriation is for state payments in lieu of property taxes under 32 V.S.A. chapter 123, subchapter 4, and the payments shall be calculated in addition to, and without regard to, the appropriations for PILOT for Montpelier and correctional facilities elsewhere in this act.

Sec. 57.  Payments in lieu of taxes - Montpelier

                   Grants                                                                                    184,000

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           184,000

Sec. 58.  Payments in lieu of taxes - correctional facilities

                   Grants                                                                                      40,000

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             40,000

Sec. 59.  Total general government                                                     117,366,399

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      36,763,760

                   Transportation fund                                                             9,298,789

                   Special funds                                                                       4,687,468

                   Federal funds                                                                      2,453,429

                   Enterprise funds                                                                   2,288,593

                   Internal service funds                                                         38,098,477

                   Pension trust funds                                                             20,801,270

                   Private purpose trust funds                                                      520,222

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    2,454,391

                        Total                                                                          117,366,399

Sec. 60.  Protection to persons and property - attorney general

                   Personal services                                                                 4,838,548

                   Operating expenses                                                                898,080

                        Total                                                                              5,736,628

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,550,429

                   Transportation fund                                                                  69,061

                   Special funds                                                                       1,014,901

                   Tobacco fund                                                                         290,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         573,500

                    Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,238,737

                        Total                                                                              5,736,628

Sec. 61.  Vermont court diversion

                   Grants                                                                                 1,470,071

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           927,238

                   Transportation fund                                                                142,833

                   Special funds                                                                          400,000

                        Total                                                                              1,470,071

Sec. 62.  Center for crime victims services

                   Personal services                                                                 1,159,300

                   Operating expenses                                                                353,286

                   Grants                                                                                 7,246,000

                        Total                                                                              8,758,586

               Source of Funds                                

                   General fund                                                                           963,878

                   Special funds                                                                       3,400,000

                   Federal funds                                                                      4,332,208

                   Interdepartmental  transfer                                                        62,500

                        Total                                                                              8,758,586

     (a)  The center shall convene a supervised visitation advisory board which will consist of a representative from the department of social and rehabilitation services, the agency of human services, the office of child support, the Vermont network against domestic violence and sexual assault, and the center for crime victims services.  The advisory board will assist in the design of a program evaluation for all supervised visitation programs in Vermont prior to the allocation of fiscal year 2005 funding, make decisions regarding the allocation of fiscal year 2005 funding to supervised visitation programs in Vermont, and study and report to the general assembly on January 1, 2005 their recommendation as to the most appropriate state agency to provide oversight and administer state funding for supervised visitation programs in Vermont, and develop standards of service to ensure high quality services to families utilizing supervised visitation programs in Vermont.  Of the above general fund appropriation, $10,000.00 shall be used for program evaluation of the supervised visitation programs in Vermont

     (b)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $100,000.00 shall be used for grants to the supervised visitation programs pursuant to the recommendations of the advisory board.

     (c)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $75,000.00 shall be used for grants to the four existing child advocacy centers.  These funds shall be distributed in accordance with a plan developed by the center for crime victims services in collaboration with the child advocacy centers.  The center for crime victims services, the department of social and rehabilitation services, and the agency of human services shall work collaboratively to make recommendations for sustaining services provided by the four child advocacy centers.

Sec. 63.  State’s attorneys

                   Personal services                                                                 7,600,224

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,158,953

                        Total                                                                              8,759,177

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        6,665,235

                    Transportation fund                                                                366,373

                   Special funds                                                                            53,599

                   Federal funds                                                                             5,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,668,970

                        Total                                                                              8,759,177

Sec. 64.  Sheriffs

                   Personal services                                                                 2,540,882

                   Operating expenses                                                                312,166

                        Total                                                                              2,853,048

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,287,344

                   Transportation fund                                                                565,704

                        Total                                                                              2,853,048

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $15,000.00 shall be transferred to the state’s attorneys office as reimbursement for the cost of the executive director’s salary.

(b)  The state’s attorneys, sheriffs, defender general, judiciary, and corrections departments shall implement the findings of the 2002 study of prisoner transport with a goal to managing transport within current appropriations.  In the event that a department fails to cooperate or provide timely notification of changes in transportation needs, the costs shall be absorbed by the department.  A report on the implementation of prisoner transport recommendations shall be submitted to the general assembly on January 15, 2005.

Sec. 65.  Defender general - public defense

                   Personal services                                                                 5,361,146

                   Operating expenses                                                                671,125

                        Total                                                                              6,032,271

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        4,974,854

                   Transportation fund                                                                489,388

                   Special funds                                                                          502,629

                   Federal funds                                                                             2,250

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         63,150

                        Total                                                                              6,032,271

     (a)  The defender general is authorized to establish and fill four (4) positions to conduct activities related to prisoner rights services:  two (2) new permanent exempt Attorneys, one (1) new permanent classified Investigator, and one (1) new permanent classified Support Secretary.  These positions shall be transferred and converted from existing vacant positions in the executive branch of state government.

Sec. 66.  Defender general - assigned counsel

                   Personal services                                                                 2,599,693

                   Operating expenses                                                                  51,675

                        Total                                                                              2,651,368

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,312,130

                   Transportation fund                                                                239,238

                   Special funds                                                                          100,000

                        Total                                                                              2,651,368

Sec. 67.  Military - administration

                   Personal services                                                                    442,365

                   Operating expenses                                                                199,963

                   Grants                                                                                    143,683

                        Total                                                                                 786,011

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           786,011

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $200,000.00 shall be transferred to the Vermont student assistance corporation for the national guard scholarship program, which comprises $170,694.00 of the above appropriation and $29,306.00 carry-forward fiscal year 2004 funds.

(b)  Total grants under 16 V.S.A. chapter 87, subchapter 4A shall not exceed $200,000.00 in fiscal year 2005 nor shall commitments or obligations be made for expenditure amounts above $200,000.00 in fiscal year 2006.

Sec. 68.  Military - air service contract

                   Personal services                                                                 3,731,755

                   Operating expenses                                                                886,961

                        Total                                                                              4,618,716

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           344,459

                   Federal funds                                                                      4,274,257

                        Total                                                                              4,618,716

Sec. 69.  Military - army service contract

                   Personal services                                                                 2,565,304

                   Operating expenses                                                             8,176,700

                        Total                                                                            10,742,004

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           115,581

                   Federal funds                                                                    10,626,423

                        Total                                                                            10,742,004

Sec. 70.  Military - building maintenance

                   Personal services                                                                    846,956

                   Operating expenses                                                                415,444

                        Total                                                                              1,262,400

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,262,400

Sec. 71.  Military - veterans’ affairs

                   Personal services                                                                    206,015

                   Operating expenses                                                                  70,000

                   Grants                                                                                    126,165

                        Total                                                                                 402,180

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           402,180

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $15,000.00 shall be used for continuation of the Vermont Medal Program, $14,000.00 shall be used to increase the funding for the Needy Veterans’ Fund, $10,000.00 shall be used to provide assistance to the survivors of casualties in the War on Terrorism, $10,000.00 shall be used for the expenses of the Governor’s Veterans’ Advisory Council, and $15,000.00 shall be used for the Veterans’ Day Parade.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $5,000.00 shall be granted to the Vermont state council of the Vietnam Veterans of America to fund the service officer program.  The council shall provide to the house and senate committees on appropriations a report on the expenditure of these funds by January 15, 2005.

     (c)  Of the above appropriation, $25,000.00 shall be used to fund one half‑time Veterans’ Service Officer to assist Vermont veterans who apply for state and federal veterans’ benefits.

Sec. 72.  Sec. 72b of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 as amended by Sec. 16 of  H.585 of 2004 is further amended to read:

Sec. 72b.  ONE-TIME APPROPRIATION; SURVIVORS OF CASUALTIES

                 OF WAR ON TERRORISM

(a)  There is appropriated $13,500.00 in general funds to the military department, division of veterans’ affairs, to be used to support Vermont families related to military members killed who have died or been wounded while serving in a combat theater of operations or traveling to and from the combat theater.  Combat theaters include but are not limited to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The military department and division of veterans’ affairs will develop additional program guidelines as necessary to meet the intent of this appropriation.  Any funds remaining at the end of fiscal year 2004 shall carry forward into fiscal year 2005 to be used as needed to continue this program.

* * *

Sec. 73.  Labor and industry

                   Personal services                                                                 5,618,018

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,325,500

                   Grants                                                                                      75,000

                        Total                                                                              7,018,518

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           913,722

                   Special funds                                                                       4,975,015

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,080,648

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         49,133

                         Total                                                                              7,018,518

Sec. 74.  Criminal justice training council

                   Personal services                                                                    794,955

                   Operating expenses                                                                730,204

                        Total                                                                              1,525,159

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           647,358

                   Transportation fund                                                                279,677

                   Special funds                                                                          464,724

                    Interdepartmental transfer                                                       133,400

                        Total                                                                              1,525,159

Sec. 75.  Liquor control - enforcement and licensing

                   Personal services                                                                 1,483,036

                   Operating expenses                                                                195,633

                        Total                                                                              1,678,669

               Source of Funds

                   Tobacco fund                                                                         290,000

                   Enterprise funds                                                                   1,388,669

                        Total                                                                              1,678,669

(a)  The above tobacco fund appropriation shall be used for the sole purpose of education and enforcement with priority given to education.  The department shall report on the use of these funds to the house and senate committees on appropriations by December 15, 2004.  The department of liquor control shall continue its obligations under Act 58 of 1997 to conduct, or contract for, compliance tests to assure consistent statewide compliance with the prohibition on sales of tobacco products to minors of at least 90 percent for 17-year-old buyers.

     (b)  The department shall not implement a “shoulder tap” program without the consent of the general assembly or the joint fiscal committee when the general assembly is not in session.

Sec. 76.  Liquor control - administration

                   Personal services                                                                 1,845,481

                   Operating expenses                                                                529,830

                        Total                                                                              2,375,311

               Source of Funds

                   Enterprise funds                                                                   2,375,311

(a)  Beginning with fiscal year 2006, the administration shall submit the department of liquor control’s budget to the general assembly with the function of warehousing and distribution broken out as a separate appropriation section within the omnibus appropriations bill.

Sec. 76a.  STUDY OF CONTRACTING FOR CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF

                 LIQUOR CONTROL FUNCTIONS

     (a)  The secretary of administration shall determine whether contracting for the importation, transportation, warehousing, and wholesale distribution of liquor is projected to result in overall cost savings to the state.

     (b)  The secretary of administration may employ a consultant to conduct a study of the liquor importation, transportation, warehousing, and wholesale distribution functions of the department of liquor control. 

     (c)  In order to conduct the study, the secretary of administration and any contractor conducting the study on behalf of the secretary shall receive the full cooperation of the department of liquor control and its personnel.  All records of the department of liquor control the secretary deems necessary to complete the study shall be made available to the secretary and the contractor.

     (d)  Any contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be paid for from the revenues of the department of liquor control.

     (e)  The secretary of administration shall report the results of this study to the general assembly by January 15, 2005.

Sec. 76b.  REPORT ON THE EXPANSION OF THE VERMONT LIQUOR

                CONTROL BOARD

(a)  The commissioner of the department of liquor control shall establish a task force and host up to three meetings to determine the efficacy of expanding the Vermont liquor control board to include two licensees.  The task force shall be chaired by the commissioner of the department of liquor control and will be made up of members of the liquor control board, a member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house and a member of the senate, appointed by the committee on committees, a 1st class licensee who is a representative of the Vermont lodging and restaurant association, and a 2nd class licensee who is a member of the Vermont grocers’ association.  The task force shall make recommendations for expansion of the liquor control board to the house committee on general and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs on or before January 15, 2005.

Sec. 77.  Vermont racing commission

                   Personal services                                                                        2,076

                   Operating expenses                                                                    2,924

                        Total                                                                                     5,000

               Source of Funds

                    General fund                                                                               5,000

Sec. 78.  Secretary of state

                   Personal services                                                                 3,239,056

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,126,149

                        Total                                                                              5,365,205

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           928,352

                   Special funds                                                                       3,542,965

                   Federal funds                                                                         818,888

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         75,000

                        Total                                                                              5,365,205

(a)  The corporation division of the secretary of state’s office represents $438,903.00 of the above special fund appropriation, and these funds shall be from the securities regulation and supervision fund in accordance with 9 V.S.A. § 4230(b).

Sec. 78a   24 V.S.A. chapter 135 is added to read:

CHAPTER 135.  VERMONT MUNICIPAL

LAND RECORDS COMMISSION

§ 5401.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Municipal land records are of vital importance to the economy and history of Vermont.  This chapter establishes a municipal land records commission to address the significant long-term and systemic managerial issues associated with these documents, including a study to determine whether paper documents should be stored and available in an electronic format.

§ 5402.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Commission” means the Vermont municipal land records commission created in section 5403 of this title.

(2)  “Municipal” means a city, town, unorganized town, incorporated village, or gore.

(3)  “Municipal land record” means a document required to establish marketable title and which is filed or recorded in the records of a municipality, including all documents filed or recorded pursuant to section 1154 of this title.

§ 5403.  MUNICIPAL LAND RECORDS COMMISSION; CREATION AND

              COMPOSITION

(a)  There is created the Vermont municipal land records commission which shall be attached to the office of the secretary of state for administrative purposes and whose appointed members shall serve for three-year terms, except for initial terms as provided for in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  The commission shall consist of the state archivist, the commissioner of buildings and general services, and the commissioner of information and innovation, or their designees.  In addition, the governor shall appoint three municipal clerks, with one representing municipalities with a population of greater than 10,000 residents for an initial term of two years, one representing municipalities with a population of greater than 3,000 residents but fewer than 10,000 residents for an initial term of three years, and one representing municipalities with a population of fewer than 3,000 residents for an initial term of four years; one licensed land surveyor to be recommended by the Vermont Society of Land Surveyors for an initial term of three years; two licensed attorneys to be recommended by the Vermont Bar Association, one of whom shall be familiar with real estate title practices for an initial term of two years and one of whom shall be a representative of the title insurance industry for an initial term of four years; one paralegal to be recommended by the Vermont Paralegal Organization for an initial term of three years; one municipal zoning administrator to be recommended by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for an initial term of three years; one municipal legislator or chief municipal administrative officer to be recommended by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for a term of two years; one banker jointly recommended by the Vermont Bankers Association and the Vermont Mortgage Bankers Association for an initial term of four years; one lister or assessor to be recommended by the Vermont Association of Listers and Assessors for an initial term of four years; and one licensed real estate broker to be recommended by the Vermont Association of Realtors for a term of two years.

(c)  The designated organizations shall submit their recommendations for commission members to the governor on or before July 31, 2004, and the governor shall appoint the members of the commission by September 15, 2004. In appointing individuals to this commission, the governor shall seek geographic diversity. 

(d)  The state archivist shall convene the first commission meeting no later than November 1, 2004, at which meeting the commission shall designate a chair and vice chair.  The governor shall designate a chair and vice chair if the commission has failed to so designate by the 30th day following its first meeting.

(e)  The members of the commission who are not employees of the state of Vermont shall be entitled to per diem compensation as provided in section 1010 of Title 32.

Sec. 78b.  32 V.S.A. § 1010(a) is amended to read:

§ 1010.  MEMBERS OF CERTAIN BOARDS

(a)  Except for those members serving ex officio or otherwise regularly employed by the state, the compensation of the members of the following boards shall be $50.00 per diem:

* * *

(30)  Community high school of Vermont board

(31)  Municipal land records commission.

Sec. 78c.  VERMONT MUNICIPAL LAND RECORDS COMMISSION;

                 REPORT

(a)  On or before January 15, 2006, the Vermont municipal land records commission shall submit a report to the general assembly that:

(1)  Proposes standards for formatting, filing, recording, and preserving municipal land records.

(2)  Proposes a uniform system of indexing municipal land records which may include the use of numerical identifiers. 

(3)  Proposes continuing education requirements for municipal officials and corresponding compliance requirements for municipalities.

(4)  Proposes incentives for municipal officials and municipalities to improve all aspects of managing and preserving municipal records.

(5)  Proposes a system for financing all facets of municipal land records management on a sustainable basis.

(6)  Analyzes the prerequisites for a municipality to digitalize its land records and examines the related administrative and public policy issues.

(7)  Analyzes the need for any future oversight of the recommended uniform standards.

(8)  Analyzes how to balance the conflicting public policy objectives of protecting personal privacy and providing public access to municipal land records.

(9)  Analyzes any other administrative or public policy issues related to the uniformity and modernization of municipal land records which the commission may decide to address.

     (b)  In making its report on January 15, 2006, and in conducting its study thereafter, the commission shall take into consideration the results of the ongoing pilot project in the five municipalities that was authorized by H.767, the 2004 Capital Construction Bill.

Sec. 78d.  AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS

(a)  Any amount remaining at the end of fiscal year 2004 in the appropriation made to the study committee on municipal records in Sec. 49b(e) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 shall be transferred to the office of the secretary of state and made available for the use of the Vermont municipal land records commission during fiscal years 2005 and 2006.

Sec. 78e.  APPROPRIATION

(a)  Of the funds appropriated to the office of the secretary of state in Sec. 78 of this act, the amount of $30,000.00 in general funds shall be allocated to the Vermont municipal land records commission for administrative and research services, including the hiring of staff or consultants.  Any funds remaining at the end of fiscal year 2005 shall carry forward into fiscal year 2006.

Sec. 78f.  REPEAL

     (a)  Secs. 78a (24 V.S.A. chapter 135) and 78b (32 V.S.A. § 1010(a)(31)) of this act are repealed as of August 31, 2010.

Sec. 78g.  3 V.S.A. § 123(h) is added to read:

     (h)  Classified state employees who are employed as investigators by the secretary of state who have successfully met the standards of training for a full‑time law enforcement officer under chapter 151 of Title 20 shall have the same powers as sheriffs in criminal matters and the enforcement of the law and in serving criminal process, and shall have all the immunities and matters of defense now available or hereafter made available to sheriffs in a suit brought against them in consequence for acts done in the course of their employment.

Sec. 79.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - banking

                   Personal services                                                                 1,113,087

                   Operating expenses                                                                269,540

                         Total                                                                              1,382,627

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       1,382,627

(a)  Notwithstanding 9 V.S.A. § 4230(b), in fiscal year 2005, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration may transfer up to $200,000.00 from the securities regulation and supervision fund to the banking supervision fund established in 8 V.S.A. § 19(f).

Sec. 80.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - insurance

                   Personal services                                                                 2,902,648

                   Operating expenses                                                                599,500

                        Total                                                                              3,502,148

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       3,502,148

Sec. 81.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - captive

                   Personal services                                                                 2,252,239

                   Operating expenses                                                                384,850

                        Total                                                                              2,637,089

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       2,637,089

Sec. 82.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - securities

                   Personal services                                                                    574,363

                   Operating expenses                                                                131,110

                        Total                                                                                 705,473

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                          705,473

Sec. 83.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - health care administration

                   Personal services                                                                 2,799,546

                   Operating expenses                                                                402,402

                        Total                                                                              3,201,948

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           466,993

                   Special funds                                                                       2,734,955

                         Total                                                                              3,201,948

     (a)  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration and the department of health shall report to the general assembly by January 15, 2005 on the consumer protections currently in place regarding privacy of medical records.  The report shall specifically address the adequacy of these protections in the event of hospital outsourcing of medical records transcription to a contractor based in a foreign country and any recommendations for legislative action in this regard.

Sec. 84.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - administration

                   Personal services                                                                    806,688

                   Operating expenses                                                                  49,700

                        Total                                                                                 856,388

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                          856,388

Sec. 85.  Public safety - state police

                   Personal services                                                               37,235,943

                   Operating expenses                                                             8,247,122

                   Grants                                                                                 4,701,100

                        Total                                                                            50,184,165

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      17,115,749

                   Transportation fund                                                           18,343,865

                   Special funds                                                                       3,653,090

                   Federal funds                                                                    10,422,548

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       648,913

                        Total                                                                            50,184,165

(a)  The department of public safety shall provide business manager services for the Vermont criminal justice training council and for the Vermont fire service training council.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $35,000.00 in special funds shall be available for snowmobile law enforcement activities and $35,000.00 in general funds shall be available to the southern Vermont wilderness search and rescue team, which comprises state police, the department of fish and wildlife, county sheriffs, and local law enforcement personnel in Bennington, Windham and Windsor counties for snowmobile enforcement.

(c)  The department of public safety shall include with its annual budget materials program specific profiles. These profiles shall include revenues, expenditures for departmental activities, including but not limited to homeland security, the governor’s highway safety program, the crime lab, and department administration.

(d)  Of the above appropriation, $75,000.00 shall be transferred to the criminal justice training council for the purposes of maintaining the canine program. 

(e)  Of the above appropriation, $50,000.00 shall be available for a grant to the Vermont center for justice research at Norwich University to carry out a study and report on racial and ethnic involvement in Vermont’s criminal justice system.  The report shall be submitted to the general assembly, the house and senate committees on judiciary, and the court administrator by June 1, 2005.

Sec. 85a.  COMMUNITY DRUG INVESTIGATION PROGRAM

     (a)  Of the $230,000.00 allocated for local heroin interdiction grants funded in Sec. 85 of this act, $190,000.00 shall be used by the Vermont drug task force to fund three (3) town task force officers.  These town task force officers will be dedicated to heroin, heroin-related drugs, e.g. methadone and oxycontin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine enforcement efforts.  Any unexpended funds from prior fiscal years shall be carried forward.

     (b)  The remaining $40,000.00 shall remain as a “pool” of money available to local and county law enforcement to fund overtime costs associated with heroin, heroin-related drugs, e.g. methadone and oxycontin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine investigations.  Any unexpended funds from prior fiscal years shall be carried forward.

Sec. 85b.  21 V.S.A. § 1722(13) is amended to read:

          (13)  “Municipal employer” means a city, town, village, fire district, lighting district, consolidated water district, housing authority, union municipal district, or any of the political subdivisions of the state of Vermont which employs five or more employees as defined in this section.

Sec. 85c.  24 V.S.A. § 1936(a) is amended to read:

     (a)  If the legislative body of a municipality does not establish a police department or appoint a chief of police, temporary police officers appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of section 1931 1931(a) of this title shall serve under the direction and control of the constable of the municipality of the legislative body.

Sec. 85d.  24 V.S.A. § 1938(a) is amended to read:

     (a)  Municipalities as defined in section 2001 of this title Cities, towns, incorporated villages, the University of Vermont, sheriffs, and state agencies may enter into agreements to provide for intermunicipal police services.  Intermunicipal police services include general police services, emergency planning and assistance, task forces, and other specialized investigative units to provide police services within the boundaries of the participating municipalities and counties.  This section shall only be applicable to such specialized investigative units or task forces and shall not apply to arrangements for basic or general police services.

Sec. 85e.  24 V.S.A. § 1939 is added to read:

§ 1939.  LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY BOARD

     (a)  A law enforcement advisory board is created within the department of public safety to advise the commissioner of public safety, the governor, and the general assembly on issues involving the cooperation and coordination of all agencies which exercise law enforcement responsibilities.  The board shall review any matter which affects more than one law enforcement agency.  The board shall comprise the following members:

          (1)  the commissioner of the department of public safety;

          (2)  the director of the Vermont state police;

          (3)  the director of the Vermont criminal justice support division;

          (4)  a member of the Vermont association of chiefs of police appointed by the president of the association;

          (5)  a member of the Vermont sheriffs’ association appointed by the president of the association;

          (6)  a representative appointed by the Vermont league of cities and towns appointed by the executive director;

          (7)  a member of the Vermont police association appointed by the president of the association;

          (8)  the attorney general or his or her designee;

          (9)  a state’s attorney appointed by the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs;

          (10)  the U.S. attorney or his or her designee;

          (11)  the executive director of the Vermont criminal justice training council; and

          (12)  the defender general or his or her designee.

     (b)  The board shall elect a chair and a vice chair which shall rotate among the various member representatives.  Each member shall serve a term of two years.  The board shall meet at the call of the chair.  A quorum shall consist of six members, and decisions of the board shall require the approval of a majority of those members present and voting.

     (c)  The board shall undertake an ongoing formal review process of law enforcement policies and practices with a goal of developing a comprehensive approach to providing the best services to Vermonters, given monies available.  The board shall also provide educational resources to Vermonters about public safety challenges in the state.

     (d)  The board shall meet no fewer than six times a year to develop policies and recommendations for law enforcement priority needs, including retirement benefits, recruitment of officers, training needs, homeland security issues, dispatching, and comprehensive drug enforcement.  The board shall present its findings and recommendations in brief summary to the general assembly and the governor annually by January 15.

Sec. 85f.  24 V.S.A. § 4802 is amended to read:

§ 4802.  APPROVAL OF PLAN

     (a)  Every agreement for a union municipal district or interlocal contract under this chapter shall be submitted to the attorney general before being presented to the voters for acceptance or rejection.  The attorney general shall determine whether the agreement is in proper form and compatible with the laws of this state.  In the event that the attorney general fails to notify the joint survey committee provided for in subchapter 2 of this chapter of his or her determination within thirty 30 days after receipt of a copy of the agreement or contract, it shall be deemed to have been approved.

     (b)  In the event that an agreement for a union municipal district or interlocal contract deals in whole or in part with services or facilities over which an officer or agency of the state government has constitutional or statutory powers of control, the agreement or contract shall be submitted to him or her or it, at the time of its submission to the attorney general.  The officer or agency involved may file objections with the attorney general and the central planning office.

     (c)  No agreement or contract shall be submitted to the voters unless it has been approved by the attorney general under subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 85g.  24 V.S.A. § 4833 is amended to read:

§ 4833.  OFFICERS

     The members of a joint municipal survey committee shall consist of three an equal number of representatives from each municipality designated by the legislative branch.  If there is a local planning commission one of the three members shall be a member of the commission and if the municipality is in an area served by a regional planning commission, a member of that commission, chosen by the commission, shall be an ex officio member of the joint survey committee.  Members of the legislative branch of a municipality may serve as members of the committee.  The committee shall elect from their its own number a chairman chair and secretary and other necessary officers to serve for such period as the members shall decide.

Sec. 85h.  24 V.S.A. § 4863 is amended to read:

§ 4863.  APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT

     (a)  Any participating municipality may enter into the agreement for the formation of the union municipal district at any annual or special meeting of such municipality duly warned for such purpose.

     (b)  At least one public hearing on the proposed agreement shall be held in each municipality.  The last public hearing for such purpose shall be held not less than five, nor more than fifteen days prior to the date of the annual or special meeting to consider the proposed agreement.  Public notice shall be given of the public hearing, by the publication of the date, place and purpose of the hearing in a newspaper of general publication in the municipality and the posting of a notice in one or more public places within the municipality not less than fifteen days prior to the date of the public hearing.  The notice shall make reference to a place within the municipality where copies of the proposed agreement may be examined.

     (c)  The vote on the question of accepting the agreement shall be by printed ballot substantially as follows:

          (1)  Shall the – (name of municipality) – enter into an agreement for the formation of a union municipal district to be known as “      ”.

     (d)(c)  The polls shall remain open for at least eight consecutive hours and all All elections in the separate municipalities shall be held on the same day. The vote shall be by Australian ballot as provided for in subchapter 3 of chapter 55 of Title 17Early or absentee voting, as provided by sections 121 to 147 of Title 17, shall be permitted.

     (e)(d)  Where three or more municipalities are concerned in the voting, and at least two approve the agreement, rejection of the agreement by one or more shall not defeat the creation of a district composed of the municipalities voting affirmatively on the question, if the joint survey committee decides that it is feasible or practical to continue the district as a geographic unit, unless the agreement as proposed expressly provides that specific participating municipalities or a minimum number of participating municipalities shall approve the agreement.  Members from municipalities rejecting the agreement may take no part in the decision of the joint survey committee, or in any subsequent matters relating to the agreement rejected by the municipalities they represent.

     (f)(e)  The governing body of the district may authorize the inclusion of additional municipalities outside of the district.  Any authorized municipality may take action to enter into the district according to the approval procedures contained herein.

     (g)(f)  A municipality which is a member of a union municipal district may vote to withdraw from the union municipal district if one year has elapsed since said union municipal district has become a body politic and corporate as provided in section 4865 of this title and if the union municipal district has not voted to bond for construction and improvements as provided in section 4866 of this title.

     (h)(g)  When a majority of the voters of a member municipality present and voting at a meeting of such municipality duly warned for that purpose shall vote to withdraw from a union municipal district, the vote shall be certified by the clerk of that municipality to the governing body of the union municipal district.  Thereafter, the governing body of the union municipal district shall give notice to the remaining member municipalities of the vote to withdraw and such body shall hold a meeting to determine whether it is in the best interests of the district to continue to exist.  Representatives of the member municipalities shall be given an opportunity to be heard at such meeting together with any other interested persons.  After such meeting, the governing body may declare the district dissolved immediately or as soon thereafter as each member municipality’s financial obligations have been satisfied, or it may declare that the district shall continue to exist despite the withdrawal of the member municipality.

     (i)(h)  A vote of withdrawal taken after a union municipal district has become a body politic and corporate but less than one year after that date shall be null and void.  A vote of withdrawal taken after the union municipal district has voted to bond itself for construction and improvements shall likewise be null and void.

     (j)(i)  The membership of the withdrawing municipality shall terminate as of one year following the vote to withdraw or as soon after such one year period as the financial obligations of said withdrawing municipality have been paid to the union municipal district.

Sec. 85i.  24 V.S.A. § 4864 is added to read:

§ 4864.  EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS; POLICE EMPLOYEES; STATE

              LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

     If an employee organization is the exclusive bargaining representative of employees in one or more participating municipalities in a proposed agreement to create a union municipal district for the purpose of providing services currently provided by these employees, any questions of unit determination or representation involving these employees shall be resolved by the state labor relations board pursuant to chapter 22 of Title 21.

Sec. 85j.  24 V.S.A. § 4866 is amended to read:

§ 4866.  POWERS AND DUTIES

     A union municipal district may:

          (1)  Hire and fix the compensation of employees.

          (2)  Contract with consultants and other experts for services.

          (3)  Contract with the state of Vermont or the federal government, or any agency or department thereof, for services.

          (4)  Contract with any participating municipality for the services of any officers or employees of that municipality useful to it.

          (5)  Contract with a county sheriff to provide law enforcement services to the union district.

          (6)  Promote cooperative arrangements and coordinated action among its participating municipalities.

          (6)(7)  Make recommendations for review and action to its participating municipalities and other public agencies which perform functions within the region in which its participating municipalities are located; and.

          (7)(8)  Exercise any other powers which are exercised or are capable of exercise by any of its participating municipalities, and necessary or desirable for dealing with problems of mutual concern.

          (8)(9)  Borrow money and issue evidence of indebtedness as provided by chapter 53 of Title 24.  Obligations incurred under such chapter shall be the joint and several obligations of the district and of each member municipality but shall not affect any limitation on indebtedness of a member municipality.  The cost of debt service shall be included in the annual budget of the district, and shall be allocated among the member municipalities as provided in the agreement for the allocation of the assessment for the ordinary expenses of the district.  Where voter approval is required pursuant to chapter 53 of Title 24, the governing body of the district shall determine the number and location of polling places, and when a majority of all the voters present and voting on the question from all of the member municipalities at such meeting vote to authorize the issuance of bonds, the district shall be authorized to issue the bonds as provided in said chapter.  The counting of ballots shall be conducted by the governing board of the district together with the town or city clerk from each member municipality or his or her designee.

Sec. 85k.  24 V.S.A. § 4901 is amended to read:

§ 4901.  AUTHORIZATION

     (a)  Any one or more municipalities may contract with any one or more other municipalities to perform any governmental service, activity, or undertaking which each municipality entering into the contract is authorized by law to perform, provided that the contract is recommended by a joint survey committee, approved by the attorney general as provided in section 4802 of this title, and authorized by a majority of the voters in each participating municipality at an annual or special meeting duly warned for that purpose legislative body of each municipality approves the contract, and expenses for such governmental service, activity, or undertaking are included in a municipal budget approved under 17 V.S.A. § 2664 or comparable charter provision.

* * *

     (c)  A municipality may submit an interlocal contract to the attorney general prior to approval by its legislative body.  If such a contract is submitted, the attorney general shall determine whether the contract is in proper form and compatible with the laws of this state and notify the legislative body of the municipality of his or her determination.  In the event that the attorney general does not respond to the request within 30 days after receipt of a copy of the contract, the legislative body may approve the contract.

Sec. 85l.  APPROPRIATION; LAW ENFORCEMENT RECRUITMENT

                IMPLEMENTATION

     (a)  The amount of $50,000.00 in general funds is appropriated to the department of public safety for the purposes of implementing the recruitment recommendations of the law enforcement advisory board. 

Sec. 86.  Public safety - criminal justice services

                   Personal services                                                                 5,921,690

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,677,050

                   Grants                                                                                 2,543,500

                        Total                                                                            11,142,240

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             95,000

                   Transportation fund                                                             4,032,621

                   Special funds                                                                       1,241,307

                   Federal funds                                                                      5,196,212

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       577,100

                        Total                                                                            11,142,240

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services and the commissioner of public safety shall collaborate to provide a plan for completion of a new public safety forensics laboratory not later than fiscal year 2008.  This plan is to be provided to the general assembly by January 15, 2005.

(b)  The commissioner of public safety shall request additional funding when necessary to assure continued forensics laboratory accreditation pending completion of the proposed new laboratory facility.

Sec. 86a.  20 V.S.A. § 2055 is amended to read:

§ 2055.  FILES

(a)  The director of the Vermont crime information center shall maintain and disseminate such files as are necessary relating to the commission of crimes, arrests, convictions, disposition of criminal causes, probation, parole, fugitives from justice, missing persons, fingerprints, photographs, stolen property and such matters as the commissioner deems relevant.

     (b)  The director shall maintain criminal records pursuant to this chapter regardless of whether the record is fingerprint supported.  Any “no print, no record” rule or policy of the center shall be void.

Sec. 87.  Public safety - emergency management

                   Personal services                                                                 1,479,294

                   Operating expenses                                                                701,700

                   Grants                                                                                    799,487

                        Total                                                                              2,980,481

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                                  63,969

                   Special funds                                                                       1,192,211

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,721,800

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                           2,501

                        Total                                                                              2,980,481

     (a)  In fiscal year 2005, the division of emergency management in collaboration with the state agencies, the management of the nuclear power plant, the selectboards of the municipalities in the emergency planning zone, the Windham regional planning commission, and any other municipality defined by the state as required to support the plan shall develop the budget for expenditures from the radiological emergency response plan fund for fiscal year 2006 following the provisions of 20 V.S.A. § 38(a).  From the fund, each town within the emergency planning zone shall receive an annual base payment of no less than $5,000.00 for radiological emergency response related expenditures.  Additional expenditures by the municipalities in the emergency planning zone, the Windham regional planning commission, and any other municipality defined by the state as required to support the plan shall be determined during the budgeting process established by this section.

     (b)  Of the above special fund appropriation, up to $30,000.00 shall be granted to WTSA radio for the emergency alert system.

     (c)  Notwithstanding 20 V.S.A. § 38(a)(5), for that portion of the emergency response plan fund budget for fiscal year 2005 that is approved by the general assembly for support of local community emergency planning zone activities, the commissioner of public safety shall arrange for and receive payment from Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC of the full amount required from Entergy for fiscal year 2005 in the month of July 2004.  Within 30 days of receipt thereof the commissioner shall remit directly to each of the municipalities in the emergency planning zone, the Windham regional planning commission, and any other municipality defined by the state as required to support the plan the full amount it is entitled to receive for expenditures as budgeted in subsection (a) of  this section.  These and all other authorized radiological emergency response plan budget expenditures will continue to be accounted for to the radiological emergency response plan fund manager and included in the annual report.

     (d)  The director of emergency management shall determine the feasibility of reducing the amount of state personal services and operating expenses needed to support the radiological emergency response plan by utilizing available personnel and material resources from within the emergency planning zone area.

     (e)  Of the total general fund appropriation for the department of public safety, personal services, $31,995.00 shall be used to fund the emergency management administrative assistant position.

Sec. 87a.  MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS; RESPONSIBILITIES AND

                 PROTECTIONS

     (a)  Employing its best efforts, by August 1, 2004 or as soon as practicable thereafter, the department of public safety, or any division or office thereof, shall execute a memorandum of understanding with the medical reserve corps of southwestern Vermont, a Vermont organization applying to be qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code.  The memorandum of understanding shall specify the relationships, responsibilities, and protections such as, but not restricted to, liability and workers’ compensation offered to members of the medical reserve corps of southwestern Vermont under current Vermont law while performing emergency duties and functions at the direction of the department of public safety or any division or office thereof.

     (b)  Upon the establishment of a similar medical reserve corps in any other area of the state, the department of public safety, or any division or office thereof, shall execute a similar memorandum of understanding within 60 days, or as soon as practicable thereafter, of receiving notification and documentation of the medical reserve corps’ formal organization.

     (c)  The provisions of this section shall not terminate on June 30, 2005.

Sec. 88.  Agriculture, food and markets - administration

                   Personal services                                                                    783,330

                   Operating expenses                                                                387,059

                   Grants                                                                                    313,404

                        Total                                                                              1,483,793

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,337,322

                   Special funds                                                                            65,316

                   Federal funds                                                                           24,542

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         56,613

                        Total                                                                              1,483,793

Sec. 89.  Agriculture, food and markets - food safety and consumer assurance

                   Personal services                                                                 1,989,605

                   Operating expenses                                                                289,441

                   Grants                                                                                 2,901,492

                        Total                                                                              5,180,538

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,328,083

                   Transportation fund                                                                  38,553

                   Special funds                                                                       3,151,781

                   Federal funds                                                                         655,121

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                           7,000

                        Total                                                                              5,180,538

Sec. 90.  Agriculture, food and markets - agriculture development

                   Personal services                                                                    626,627

                   Operating expenses                                                                600,633

                   Grants                                                                                 1,034,421

                        Total                                                                              2,261,681

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           558,266

                   Special funds                                                                       1,507,415

                   Federal funds                                                                         196,000

                        Total                                                                              2,261,681

Sec. 91.  Agriculture, food and markets - plant industry and labs

                   Personal services                                                                 2,401,202

                   Operating expenses                                                                563,184

                   Grants                                                                                    415,000

                        Total                                                                              3,379,386

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           533,053

                   Special funds                                                                       2,045,138

                   Federal funds                                                                         564,651

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       236,544

                        Total                                                                              3,379,386

(a)  Notwithstanding 6 V.S.A. § 929, in fiscal year 2005, $500,000.00 of the special pesticide monitoring revolving fund is included in the above appropriation and may be used to fund fiscal year 2005 agency of agriculture, food and markets personal services and operating costs related to the clean and clear statewide action plan.

(b)  Notwithstanding 6 V.S.A. §  364(e), in fiscal year 2005, $250,000.00 of the feeds, seeds, and fertilizer special fund is included in the above appropriation and may be used to fund fiscal year 2005 agency of agriculture, food and markets personal services and operating costs related to the clean and clear statewide action plan.

Sec. 92.  Agriculture, food and markets - state stipend

                   Grants                                                                                    175,000

               Source of Funds                                

                   General fund                                                                           175,000

Sec. 93.  STATE FAIR CAPITAL PROJECTS; ONE-TIME

               APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  The sum of $50,000.00 in general funds is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets and shall be used for a competitive grants program for state fair capital projects.  No single entity shall be awarded more than ten percent of this appropriation.

Sec. 94.  Agriculture, food and markets - mosquito control

                   Personal services                                                                      20,000

                   Operating expenses                                                                  70,000

                        Total                                                                                   90,000

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                            90,000

Sec. 95.  Public service - regulation and energy

                   Personal services                                                                 4,514,560

                   Operating expenses                                                                639,201

                   Grants                                                                                    450,000

                        Total                                                                              5,603,761

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       4,598,761

                   Federal funds                                                                         980,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         25,000

                        Total                                                                              5,603,761

Sec. 96.  Public service - purchase and sale of power

                   Personal services                                                                      10,000

                   Operating expenses                                                                    2,215

                        Total                                                                                   12,215

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                            12,215

Sec. 97.  Enhanced 9-1-1 Board

                   Personal services                                                                 1,960,337

                   Operating expenses                                                                457,251

                        Total                                                                              2,417,588

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       2,417,588

Sec. 98.  Public service board

                   Personal services                                                                 2,304,677

                   Operating expenses                                                                320,000

                        Total                                                                              2,624,677

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       2,624,677

Sec. 99.  Judiciary

                   Personal services                                                               22,903,174

                   Operating expenses                                                             5,924,728

                        Total                                                                            28,827,902

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      22,953,570

                   Transportation fund                                                             3,004,507

                   Special funds                                                                          470,118

                   Tobacco fund                                                                           40,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         305,458

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    2,054,249

                        Total                                                                            28,827,902

     (a)  The court administrator is requested to propose further measures to reduce the felony case backlog.  As part of this effort the court administrator shall propose “acceptable” standards for case backlogs.  These proposals and requests for any additional resources are to be coordinated with the defender general and the state’s attorneys’ association to achieve this objective in a balanced and efficient manner.  Requests for any additional resources needed by all affected agencies for this purpose are to be included in the fiscal year 2006 budget request.

     (b)  To the extent that the judiciary allocates additional resources to reduce the criminal case backlog, those resources shall first be directed at Windham and Bennington counties in fiscal year 2005.

     (c)  The judiciary shall examine and implement appropriate and effective procedures to review the bail of persons on weekends in an effort to reduce the number of persons incarcerated for lack of bail pending arraignment.  The judiciary shall report to the joint corrections oversight committee in November 2004 on the implementation and effectiveness of this program during fiscal year 2005.

     (d)  The court administrator shall review the existing means of providing court security in Vermont and make recommendations for transition to a single security provider from among the following options: court sheriff, state employee, or commercial contract security service.  The court administrator shall have the assistance of the commissioner of public safety and the sheriffs’ association in conducting this review.  Recommendations are to be submitted in conjunction with the judiciary budget request for fiscal year 2006.

     (e)  The establishment of one (1) new exempt position – Drug Court Coordinator – is authorized in fiscal year 2005. 

     (f)  Of the above appropriation, $25,000.00 shall be used to provide security at the Franklin county superior court.  The court administrator shall not impact the allocation for jury trials as a result of the reallocation of these funds.

Sec. 99a.  4 V.S.A. § 25(c) is amended to read:

     (c)  The supreme court may allow supreme court justices, superior court judges, district court judges, environmental court judges, magistrates, hearing officers, probate court judges, superior court clerks, or any state compensated employees of the judicial branch not covered by a collective bargaining agreement to take an administrative leave of absence without pay or with pay if the person is called to active duty in support of an extended national or state military operation.  These judicial officers and state employees shall be entitled to be compensated in the same manner as judicial branch employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement called to active duty.  The court administrator, at the direction of the supreme court, shall include provisions in the personnel rules of the judiciary to administer these leaves of absence.

Sec. 100.  4 V.S.A. § 25(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The supreme court is authorized to pay on an hourly basis all persons whose compensation is established by 32 V.S.A. §§ 1010, 1141, 1511, and 1551 and 1592 and 4 V.S.A. §§ 23, 75, and 356.  The supreme court shall pay all persons whose compensation is established by 32 V.S.A. § 1141 on the basis of a half day minimum and hourly thereafter.

Sec. 101.  [Deleted]

Sec. 102.  Human rights commission

                   Personal services                                                                    352,103

                   Operating expenses                                                                  75,350

                        Total                                                                                 427,453

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           273,225

                   Special funds                                                                                     1

                   Federal funds                                                                         154,227

                        Total                                                                                 427,453

Sec. 103.  Fire service training council

                   Personal services                                                                    705,933

                   Operating expenses                                                                504,768

                   Grants                                                                                      48,000

                        Total                                                                              1,258,701

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           464,860

                   Transportation fund                                                                  80,320

                   Special funds                                                                          438,521

                   Federal funds                                                                         105,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       170,000

                        Total                                                                              1,258,701

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $48,000.00 shall be granted to the Vermont rural fire protection task force for the purpose of designing dry hydrants.

Sec. 104.  Total protection to persons and property                            202,475,576

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      71,487,292

                   Transportation fund                                                           27,716,109

                   Special funds                                                                     49,780,652

                   Tobacco fund                                                                         620,000

                   Federal funds                                                                    42,038,733

                    Enterprise funds                                                                   3,763,980

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    7,068,810

                        Total                                                                          202,475,576

Sec. 105.  Human services - agency of human services - secretary’s office

                   Personal services                                                                 3,082,913

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,034,809

                   Grants                                                                               11,281,100

                        Total                                                                            15,398,822

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        5,761,465

                   Tobacco fund                                                                      1,375,845

                   Federal funds                                                                      7,161,512

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,100,000

                        Total                                                                            15,398,822

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, workers employed by persons who receive assistance from the agency of human services to procure attendant, personal care, or respite services or who utilize a qualified intermediary service organization providing services on behalf of the state shall not be considered state employees, except for purposes of 21 V.S.A. chapter 17.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the state may provide workers’ compensation coverage to workers employed by persons who receive assistance from the agency of human services to procure attendant, personal care, or respite services, and the state shall not be considered their employer.  The state may also either permit a qualified intermediary service organization to purchase group insurance policies for persons served by their organization or deem such persons to be members of an association and eligible for self‑insurance under 21 V.S.A. § 687a for purposes of providing workers’ compensation.  This provision is intended solely to reduce costs of providing workers’ compensation and shall not be considered for any other purpose.

(c)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the secretary may transfer funds allocated for the “high risk pool” and costs related to juvenile justice as outlined in this section as well as the substance abuse related allocations in subsection (i) outlined in this section to the departments in the agency of human services designated to provide these services.

     (d)  Of the above tobacco fund appropriation, $49,000.00 shall be used to provide a grant to the project against violent encounters for a statewide program for substance abuse prevention and mentoring program for youth.

     (e)  Of the above tobacco fund appropriation, $100,000.00 shall be used for a grant to Lamoille County people in partnership for wrap-around services for at-risk youth.

(f)  Of the above tobacco fund appropriation, $100,000.00 with any corresponding federal matching funds shall be for comprehensive treatment services and $15,000.00 for safe housing provisions for at-risk youth.

(g)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $30,000.00 shall be granted to Prevent Child Abuse Vermont for a comprehensive health education and violence prevention curriculum for seventh and eighth grade students.

(h)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $8,000.00 shall be granted to the Vermont council of girl scouts, of which $5,000.00 shall be used to support a girl scout special project to assist girls with incarcerated mothers and $3,000.00 shall be used to support a school vacation program.

     (i)  Of the above appropriation, a total of $3,823,097.00 consisting of $1,650,341.00 in general funds, $811,845.00 in tobacco funds, and $1,360,911.00 in federal funds shall be used for the comprehensive substance abuse prevention and treatment component of the drug education treatment enforcement and rehabilitation program (DETER).

          (1)  The amount of $1,440,660.00, of which $744,243.00 is from general and tobacco funds, shall be used to support the outpatient treatment, case management and drug court component of the plan.  Of the general and tobacco funds, $144,367.00 shall be allocated to the Rutland county drug court and shall be reserved to provide appropriate drug testing, case management, and other outpatient and inpatient treatment consistent with the design of the Rutland county drug court.  These are the state funds the agency of human services shall use as match for year two federal funds from the 2003 Department of Justice Drug Court Implementation Grant award.

          (2)  The amount of $352,866.00, of which $141,133.00 is from general funds and $141,120.00 is from tobacco funds, shall be used to fund student assistance counselors.

          (3)  The amount of $599,067.00, of which $517,101.00 is from general funds and $45,000.00 is from tobacco funds, shall be used for residential treatment programs, including transitional halfway house programs, including the Serenity House program.

          (4)  The amount of $250,000.00 from tobacco funds shall be used for recovery programs.  These funds shall be used to provide grants of $35,000.00 each to the recovery programs in Springfield, St. Johnsbury,  Rutland, Colchester, Bennington, and Barre; a grant of $20,000.00 to the program in White River Junction; and $20,000.00 shall be available for development, assistance, and evaluation grants to recovery centers.

          (5)  The amount of $1,180,504.00, of which $389,567.00 is from general funds and $234,022.00 is from tobacco funds, shall be used for opiate treatment programs, including buprenorphine and methadone and treatment for pregnant and postpartum women.

     (j)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration and the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access work toward contributing to the support of the health care ombudsman office on an equal basis.  This shared support shall not put at risk federal matching funds available to the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access.

     (k)  Of the above tobacco fund appropriation, $200,000.00 along with available matching federal funds shall be available services required for petitions filed by the agency under 33 V.S.A. § 5517(e).

Sec. 105a.  33 V.S.A. § 5517(e) is added to read:

     (e)  Notwithstanding laws to the contrary in this chapter, the agency of human services may file a petition pursuant to subsections (a) and (c) of this section alleging that a 16- to 17.5-year-old youth who is not in the custody of the state is a child in need of care or supervision under subdivision 5502(a)(12)(C) of this title when the child is at high risk of serious harm to himself or herself or others due to problems such as substance abuse, prostitution, or homelessness, and whose needs transcend any one department of the agency of human services and require complicated clinical interventions from multiple organizations.  The report required by subsection (c) of this section shall set forth facts supporting the specific requirements of this section and that it is in the best interests of the child to be considered as a child in need of care or supervision.  If the court finds all of the allegations set forth in the report have been established, it shall find the child is a child in need of care or supervision.  All proceedings initiated pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.  Services to the child and his or her family shall be provided through a coordinated effort by the agency of human services, the department of education, and community‑based interagency teams.

Sec. 105b.  33 V.S.A. § 5562 is added to read:

§ 5562.  JUVENILE JUSTICE DIRECTOR

(a)  The governor shall appoint an exempt juvenile justice director, reporting directly to the secretary of the agency of human services, who shall have the responsibility and authority to monitor and coordinate all state and participating regional and local programs that deal with juvenile justice issues, including prevention, education, enforcement, adjudication, and rehabilitation.

(b)  The juvenile justice director shall ensure that the following occur:

(1)  Development of a comprehensive plan for a coordinated and sustained statewide program to reduce the number of juvenile offenders, involving state, regional, and local officials in the areas of health, education, prevention, law enforcement, corrections, teen activities, and community wellness.

(2)  Cooperation among state, regional, and local officials, court personnel, service providers, and law enforcement agencies in the formulation and execution of a coordinated statewide juvenile justice program.

(3)  Cooperation among appropriate departments, including the departments of education, corrections, social and rehabilitation services, employment and training, developmental and mental health services, and public safety, and the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs.

(4)  A study of issues relating to juvenile justice and development of recommendations regarding changes in law and rules, as deemed advisable.

(5)  Compilation of data on issues relating to juvenile justice and analysis, study, and organization of such data for use by educators, researchers, policy advocates, administrators, legislators, and the governor.

Sec. 106.  3 V.S.A. § 3002(a) is amended to read:

     (a)  An agency of human services is created consisting of the following:

          (1)  The department of corrections.

          (2)  The department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access for children and families.

          (3)  The department of health except certain environmental protection activities transferred to the environmental conservation agency.

          (4)  The department of social and rehabilitation services.

          (5)  The department of developmental and mental health services.

          (6)  The office of alcohol and drug abuse.

          (7)  Office of economic opportunity.

          (8)  A The department of aging and disabilities independent living.

          (9)(5)  The human services board.

          (10)(6)  Office of child support Vermont health access.

Sec. 106a.  3 V.S.A. § 3051 is amended to read:

§ 3051.  COMMISSIONERS; DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS;

               - APPOINTMENT; TERM

     (a)  The secretary, with the approval of the governor, shall appoint a commissioner of each department, who shall be the chief executive and administrative officer and shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary.

     (b)  For the department of health, the secretary, with the approval of the governor, shall appoint deputy commissioners for the following divisions of the department:

          (1)  mental health;

          (2)  public health;

          (3)  substance abuse.

     (c)  For the department for children and families, the secretary, with the approval of the governor, shall appoint deputy commissioners for the following divisions of the department:

          (1)  field operations;

          (2)  economic services;

          (3)  child development;

          (4)  juvenile and child protection services.

     (d)  Deputy commissioners shall be exempt from the classified service. Their appointments shall be in writing and shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state. 

Sec. 106b.  3 V.S.A. § 3082 is amended to read:

§ 3082.  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

     The department of health is created within the agency of human services as the successor to and the continuation of the department of health, and shall have jurisdiction over all matters covered in chapter 7 of Title 33 and in Title 18, except mental health provisions and certain environmental protection activities transferred to the agency of natural resources and the division of mental health services of the department of developmental and mental health services.  The department of health shall be responsible for the operation of the Vermont state hospital.

Sec. 106c.  3 V.S.A. § 3084 is amended to read:

§ 3084.  DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL  AND REHABILITATION

              SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

     (a)  The department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families is created within the agency of human services as the successor to and the continuation of the division of social services of the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access department of social and rehabilitation services, the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access, excluding the office of Vermont health access, the office of economic opportunity, and the office of child support.  The department shall also include a division of child development programs.

     (b)  An investigations unit is created within the department for children and families as the successor to and continuation of the investigation functions of the social services division of the department of social and rehabilitation services under chapter 49 of Title 33.

Sec. 106d.  3 V.S.A. § 3085a is amended to read:

§ 3085a.  DEPARTMENT OF AGING AND DISABILITIES

               INDEPENDENT LIVING

     The department of aging and disabilities independent living is created within the agency of human services to manage programs and to protect the interests of older Vermonters and Vermonters with disabilities. It shall serve as the state unit on aging, as provided by the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, and it shall serve as the administrative home within the agency of human services for the designated state agencies for federal vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, as provided by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended as the successor to and continuation of the department of aging and disabilities, the developmental services division of the department of developmental and mental health services, and the personal care and hi-tech programs in the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access.

Sec. 106e.  3 V.S.A. § 3086(b) is amended to read:

     (b)  The administrative services operations division shall provide the following services to the agency and all its components, including components assigned to it for administration:

          (1)  Personnel administration;

          (2)  Coordination of financing Financing and accounting activities;

          (3)  Coordination of filing and records maintenance activities;

          (4)  Provision of facilities, office space, and equipment and the care thereof;

          (5)  Requisitioning from the department of buildings and general services of the agency of administration, of supplies, equipment and other requirements;

          (6)  Management improvement services; and

          (7)  Training;

          (8)  Information systems and technology; and

          (9)  Other administrative functions assigned to it by the secretary.

Sec. 106f.  3 V.S.A. § 3088 is added to read:

§ 3088.  OFFICE OF VERMONT HEALTH ACCESS

     The office of Vermont health access is created within the agency of human services.

Sec. 106g.  APPROPRIATION TRANSFERS; REPORTS

     (a)  The agency of human services shall submit reports on any transfers made in accordance with Sec. 298(f) of this act  to the legislative joint fiscal committee on July 1, September 1, and November 1 for committee review and consideration at the July, September, and November 2004 committee meetings.

Sec. 107.  Rate setting

                   Personal services                                                                    628,088

                   Operating expenses                                                                  66,803

                        Total                                                                                 694,891

               Source of Funds

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       694,891

Sec. 108.  Human services board

                   Personal services                                                                    269,238

                   Operating expenses                                                                  32,226

                        Total                                                                                 301,464

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           121,082

                   Federal funds                                                                         128,129

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         52,253

                        Total                                                                                 301,464

Sec. 109.  Developmental disabilities council

                   Personal services                                                                    122,521

                   Operating expenses                                                                  39,600

                   Grants                                                                                    321,000

                        Total                                                                                 483,121

               Source of Funds

                   Federal funds                                                                         483,121

     (a)  The executive director of the developmental disabilities council shall be an exempt position.

Sec. 110.  Office of child support services

                   Personal services                                                                 7,649,310

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,790,782

                        Total                                                                            10,440,092

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,370,517

                    Special funds                                                                          454,125

                   Federal  funds                                                                     8,508,350

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       107,100

                        Total                                                                            10,440,092

Sec. 111.  Health - administration and support

                   Personal services                                                                 4,149,049

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,011,452

                        Total                                                                              5,160,501

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,072,540

                   Special funds                                                                            21,951

                   Federal funds                                                                      4,066,010

                        Total                                                                              5,160,501

Sec. 112.  Health - health protection

                   Personal services                                                                 3,235,360

                   Operating expenses                                                                650,861

                   Grants                                                                                    406,340

                        Total                                                                              4,292,561

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,213,228

                   Special funds                                                                       1,122,900

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,509,317

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       447,116

                        Total                                                                              4,292,561

Sec. 113.  Health - health surveillance

                   Personal services                                                                 6,827,697

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,887,908

                   Grants                                                                                 2,714,100

                        Total                                                                            11,429,705

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,680,018

                   Special funds                                                                       1,072,850

                   Federal funds                                                                      6,546,652

                   Permanent trust                                                                          2,300

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       127,885

                        Total                                                                            11,429,705

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $250,000.00 and at least $50,000.00 in federal funds shall be appropriated to the Vermont AIDS service organizations for client-based support services.  The grants in this section shall be awarded equitably on a per-client basis and shall be used for services only, not administrative or other purposes.  The method by which AIDS service organizations’ clients are counted shall be determined by mutual agreement of the department of health, the AIDS service organizations, and the HIV/AIDS service advisory council (HASAC).

(b)  Of the above federal fund appropriation, the Ryan White Title II federal service funds shall be used for direct client-based support services, including services that assist people living with HIV/AIDS to access medical care.  The department shall follow federal guidelines and shall be advised by the HASAC for the purpose of prioritization of the use of these funds.  Criteria shall be developed by the department, in collaboration with the HASAC, to govern situations when the department may select providers outside the existing AIDS service organizations network to receive part of these Ryan White Title II funds.

(c)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $175,000.00 shall be used for all aspects of the HIV/AIDS medication assistance program (AMAP), including the costs of prescribed medications, related laboratory testing, nutritional supplements, and maximum cost-effectiveness for the program.

(d)  The secretary of human services shall immediately notify the joint fiscal committee if, at any time, there are insufficient funds in AMAP to assist all eligible individuals.  The secretary shall work in cooperation with persons living with HIV/AIDS to develop a plan to continue access to AMAP medications until such time as the general assembly can take action.

(e)  The secretary of human services shall work in conjunction with the AMAP advisory committee, comprising no less than 50 percent of members who are living with HIV/AIDS.  The committee shall make recommendations regarding the program’s formulary of approved medication, related laboratory testing, nutritional supplements, and eligibility for the program.

Sec. 114.  Health - health improvement

                   Personal services                                                                 7,865,343

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,109,859

                   Grants                                                                               14,554,500

                        Total                                                                            23,529,702

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,569,214

                   Special funds                                                                          989,927

                   Tobacco fund                                                                      3,399,677

                   Federal funds                                                                    15,415,384

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       155,500

                        Total                                                                            23,529,702

(a)  The department of health may carry forward any unspent portion of funds designated for health professional loan repayment.  These funds may be used either alone or to match federal national health service corps loan repayment funds, local funds, or private funds and shall be made available to primary care providers, dentists, licensed nurses, and dental hygienists who agree to practice for a prescribed period of time in the state or at an accredited hospital within 10 miles of the Vermont border, serving a portion of the state designated as a health professional shortage population, or other rural or underserved areas.  Educational scholarships, loan repayment grants, loan deferment payments, and payments of taxes due on the award may be considered for payment.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $300,000.00 is to support the Vermont coalition of clinics for the uninsured health care and dental services provided by clinics for uninsured individuals and families.

(c)  The above tobacco fund appropriation in this section shall be utilized according to the provisions of 18 V.S.A. chapter 225 as follows:

(1)  community-based programs - $1,023,624.00;

(2)  media and public education -  $926,053.00;

(3)  tobacco cessation programs - $1,130,000.00; of this allocation, $80,000.00 shall be used to make nicotine replacement therapies

available to all persons enrolled in tobacco cessation counseling;

(4)  surveillance and evaluation activities - $320,000.00.

     (d)  The department of health in conjunction with the department of education shall track and report quarterly expenses and receipts for the family infant toddler program. 

          (1)  The first report shall include final expenses and receipts by source for fiscal year 2004 (through June 30, 2004) which shall be broken out by quarter and include enrollment data.

          (2)  For fiscal year 2005, the quarterly reports shall include:

               (A)  the number of enrolled children;

               (B)  expenses; and

               (C)  receipts by source, including federal part C dollars, Medicaid receipts, state general funds, and any other sources of funding.

          (3)  The department of health shall submit these reports to the house and senate committees on appropriations and health and welfare or the joint health access oversight committee when the general assembly is not in session. 

     (e)  The department of health shall report to the joint health access oversight committee prior to implementing any change in the manner in which services in the family infant toddler program are delivered.

     (f)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $120,000.00 is for activities to address childhood obesity of which $50,000.00 shall be used to fill the public health nutrition chief position, $50,000.00 for “fitWIC” kits and $20,000.00 for grants of $10,000.00 each to the “Run Girl Run” and “Girls on the Run” programs.

Sec. 115.  Health - community public health

                   Personal services                                                               11,300,056

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,632,764

                   Grants                                                                               11,594,327

                        Total                                                                            24,527,147

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        4,007,512

                   Special funds                                                                          520,701

                   Federal funds                                                                    19,641,614

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       357,320

                        Total                                                                            24,527,147

     (a)  The department of health shall include with its annual budget submission the total amount of funds granted through the healthy babies program and the source of funds that support the grant.

Sec. 116.  Health - alcohol and drug abuse programs

                   Personal services                                                                 2,370,638

                   Operating expenses                                                                860,942

                   Grants                                                                               16,767,392

                        Total                                                                            19,998,972

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        4,836,632

                   Special funds                                                                          157,000

                   Tobacco fund                                                                      3,171,266

                   Federal funds                                                                    11,416,074

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       418,000

                        Total                                                                            19,998,972

(a)  For the purpose of meeting the need for outpatient substance abuse services when the preferred provider system has a waiting list of five days or more or there is a lack of qualified clinicians to provide services in a region of the state, a state-qualified alcohol and drug abuse counselor may apply to the department of health, division of alcohol and drug abuse programs, for time‑limited authorization to participate as a Medicaid provider to deliver clinical and case coordination services as authorized.

(b)(1)  In accordance with federal law, the division of alcohol and drug abuse programs may use the following interim criteria to determine whether to enroll a state-supported Medicaid and uninsured population substance abuse program in the division’s network of designated providers, as described in the state plan:

(A)  The program has the ability to provide the quality, quantity, and levels of care required under the division’s standards, licensure standards, and accreditation standards established by the commission of accreditation of rehabilitation facilities, the joint commission on accreditation of health care organizations, or the commission on accreditation for family services.

(B)  Any program that is currently being funded in the existing network shall continue to be a designated program until further standards are developed, provided the standards identified in subdivision (1) of this subsection are satisfied.

(C)  All programs shall continue to fulfill grant or contract agreements.

(2)  The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not preclude the division’s “request for bids” process.

     (c)  Of the above appropriation, $75,000.00 shall be used for drug court programs in Bennington, Chittenden, and Rutland counties.  The sum of $25,000.00 is allocated for each drug court program to be used for treatment, case management, coordination, and screening services as needed.

     (d)  Of the above interdepartmental transfer, $90,000.00 shall be used to support the gambling addiction program.

Sec. 117.  Health - medical practice board

                   Personal services                                                                    637,400

                   Operating expenses                                                                125,000

                        Total                                                                                 762,400

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                          762,400

Sec. 117a.  26 V.S.A. § 1351(f) is added to read:

     (f)  Classified state employees who are employed as investigators by the department of health who have successfully met the standards of training for a full-time law enforcement officer under chapter 151 of Title 20 shall have the same powers as sheriffs in criminal matters and the enforcement of the law and in serving criminal process, and shall have all the immunities and matters of defense now available or hereafter made available to sheriffs in a suit brought against them in consequence for acts done in the course of their employment.

Sec. 118.  Social and rehabilitation services - administrative and support services

                   Personal services                                                                 2,237,449

                   Operating expenses                                                                331,754

                        Total                                                                              2,569,203

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,187,302

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,381,901

                        Total                                                                              2,569,203

     (a)  Prior to entering into long-term contracts to replace the residential capacity lost as a result of the change in status at Mountain View, the department shall seek proposals from qualified providers to meet the residential treatment needs of the department’s caseload.

Sec. 119.  Social and rehabilitation services - social services

                   Personal services                                                               17,195,972

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,695,866

                   Grants                                                                               52,569,306

                        Total                                                                            72,461,144

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      30,635,390

                   Special funds                                                                       1,306,152

                   Tobacco fund                                                                           75,000

                   Federal funds                                                                    40,444,602

                         Total                                                                            72,461,144

Sec. 120.  Social and rehabilitation services - child care services

                   Personal services                                                                 1,785,851

                   Operating expenses                                                                409,257

                   Grants                                                                               35,740,228

                        Total                                                                            37,935,336

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      13,328,821

                   Transportation fund                                                                  60,249

                   Special funds                                                                          832,000

                   Federal funds                                                                    23,637,014

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         77,252

                        Total                                                                            37,935,336

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $50,000.00 shall be granted to the Vermont Center for the Book.

Sec. 120a.  FISCAL YEAR 2004 CHILD CARE SUPPLEMENTAL

                  APPROPRIATION

     (a)  In addition to funds already appropriated to the department of social and rehabilitation services for child care expenditures, $1,700,000.00 in general funds is appropriated from the human services caseload reserve established under 32 V.S.A. § 308b to meet caseload pressures in fiscal year 2004.

Sec. 121.  [Deleted]

Sec. 122.  Social and rehabilitation services - Woodside rehabilitation center

                   Personal services                                                                 2,282,357

                   Operating expenses                                                                438,299

                        Total                                                                              2,720,656

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,665,764

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         54,892

                        Total                                                                              2,720,656

Sec. 123.  Social and rehabilitation services - disability determination services

                   Personal services                                                                 2,719,300

                   Operating expenses                                                                441,112

                        Total                                                                              3,160,412

               Source of Funds

                   Federal funds                                                                      2,915,267

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       245,145

                        Total                                                                              3,160,412

Sec. 124.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - administration

                   Personal services                                                               27,827,176

                   Operating expenses                                                             5,254,699

                   Grants                                                                                 1,414,675

                        Total                                                                            34,496,550

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      13,476,039

                   Special funds                                                                       2,047,319

                   Federal funds                                                                    18,973,192

                        Total                                                                            34,496,550

     (a)  Of the above special fund appropriation, $85,000.00 shall be from the universal service fund for administration and software expenses for the lifeline program.

Sec. 125.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - reach up

                   Grants                                                                               44,486,083

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      15,948,867

                   Special funds                                                                       2,200,000

                   Federal funds                                                                    26,337,216

                        Total                                                                            44,486,083

Sec. 126.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - aid to aged, blind and disabled

                   Personal services                                                                 1,365,966

                   Grants                                                                                 9,218,772

                        Total                                                                            10,584,738

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      10,584,738

Sec. 127.  FUND APPROPRIATIONS AND TRANSFERS

(a)  The sum of $69,065,572.00 is appropriated and transferred from the general fund to the health access trust fund in fiscal year 2005.

(b)  The sum of $17,250,000.00 is appropriated and transferred from the tobacco litigation settlement fund to the health access trust fund in fiscal year 2005.

Sec. 128.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - Medicaid

                   Personal services                                                               15,812,482

                   Grants                                                                             565,725,112

                        Total                                                                          581,537,594

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                   227,732,074

                   Federal funds                                                                  353,805,520

                        Total                                                                          581,537,594

(a)  HIV/AIDS health insurance assistance program.

(1)  The department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access (PATH) in cooperation with the department of health shall operate an HIV/AIDS insurance assistance program.

(2)  The program shall pay all or a portion of continuation health insurance premiums for those eligible individuals with HIV/AIDS for whom it can be determined that continuation of private insurance coverage is less costly to the state than other alternatives.

(3)  Eligibility for this program shall be limited to individuals whose household income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level, after deducting unreimbursed medical expenses and health insurance premiums from gross income, and whose assets, exclusive of the primary residence and certain other exclusions to be defined by the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access, do not exceed $10,000.00.

(4)  Expenditures under this program shall not exceed $55,000.00 in fiscal year 2005.

     (b)  The general assembly recognizes that increasing malpractice insurance premium costs are jeopardizing access to physician services for Medicaid beneficiaries.  Of the above appropriation, $250,000.00 from the health access trust fund, along with federal matching funds, shall be used to increase reimbursement paid to physicians.  The increase shall be applied equally to all procedures.

     (c)  The rules for Medicaid payments for nursing homes shall be amended, effective July 1, 2004, to raise the limit on recognition of base year per diem costs to 135 percent of the median base year nursing care per diem costs, 120 percent of the median base year resident care per diem costs, and 137 percent of the median base year indirect per diem costs for all private nursing homes participating in the Vermont Medicaid program that meet the criteria set out in Sec. 160(b) of No. 142 of the Acts of 2002.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the rule change required by this subsection shall be adopted as soon as practicable after passage of this act and shall be exempt from the procedural requirements of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, except that the agency of human services shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the change is made known to persons who may be affected by it.

* * * Prescription Drug Price Disclosure * * *

Sec. 128a.  33 V.S.A. § 2008 is added to read:

§ 2008.  PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICE DISCLOSURE

(a)  Upon request, a pharmacy shall disclose to any consumer or health care provider the usual and customary retail price of a prescription drug.

(b)  With each prescription dispensed, a pharmacy shall disclose to the consumer, in writing, the price of the prescription and any payment toward the price required of the consumer.

(c)  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “Price of the prescription” means the amount charged by the pharmacy to the consumer or, if applicable, to the consumer’s health benefit plan.

(2)  “Usual and customary retail price” means the total price charged to a consumer who does not have prescription drug coverage under a health benefit plan.

(d)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general may file an action in superior court for a violation of this section.  In any such action, the attorney general shall have the same authority to investigate and to obtain remedies as if the action were brought under the consumer fraud act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  Each violation of this section constitutes a separate civil violation for which the attorney general may obtain relief.

* * * Pharmaceutical Marketers * * *

Sec. 128b.  33 V.S.A. § 2005 is amended to read:

§ 2005.  PHARMACEUTICAL MARKETERS

(a)(1)  Annually on or before January 1 of each year, every pharmaceutical manufacturing company shall disclose to the Vermont board of pharmacy office of the attorney general the value, nature, and purpose of any gift, fee, payment, subsidy, or other economic benefit provided in connection with detailing, promotional, or other marketing activities by the company, directly or through its pharmaceutical marketers, to any physician, hospital, nursing home, pharmacist, health benefit plan administrator, or any other person in Vermont authorized to prescribe, dispense, or purchase prescription drugs in this state.  Disclosure shall include the name of the recipient.  Disclosure shall be made on a form and in a manner prescribed by the board office of the attorney general and shall require pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to report the value, nature, and purpose of all gift expenditures according to specific categoriesInitial disclosure shall be made on or before January 1, 2004 for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2003.  The board shall provide to the office of the attorney general complete access to the information required to be disclosed under this subsection.  The office of the attorney general shall report annually on the disclosures made under this section to the general assembly and the governor on or before March 1.

(2)  Each Annually in the month of October, each company subject to the provisions of this section also shall also disclose to the board, on or before October 1, 2002 and annually thereafter office of the attorney general, the name and address of the individual responsible for the company’s compliance with the provisions of this section.

(3)  The Vermont board of pharmacy and the office of the attorney general shall keep confidential all trade secret information, as defined by subdivision 317(b)(9) of Title 1.  The disclosure form prescribed by the board shall permit the company to identify any information that is a trade secret.

(4)  The following shall be exempt from disclosure:

(A)  free samples of prescription drugs intended to be distributed to patients;

(B)  the payment of reasonable compensation and reimbursement of expenses in connection with bona fide clinical trials.  As used in this subdivision, “clinical trial” means an approved clinical trial conducted in connection with a research study designed to answer specific questions about vaccines, new therapies or new ways of using known treatments;

(C)  any gift, fee, payment, subsidy or other economic benefit the value of which is less than $25.00; and

(D)  scholarship or other support for medical students, residents and fellows to attend a significant educational, scientific, or policy-making conference of a national, regional, or specialty medical or other professional association if the recipient of the scholarship or other support is selected by the association;

(E)  unrestricted grants for continuing medical education programs; and

(F)  prescription drug rebates and discounts.

* * *

(c)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Approved clinical trial” means a clinical trial that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or has been approved by a duly constituted Institutional Review Board (IRB) after reviewing and evaluating it in accordance with the human subject protection standards set forth at 21 C.F.R. Part 50, 45 C.F.R. Part 46, or an equivalent set of standards of another federal agency.

(2)  “Bona fide clinical trial” means an approved clinical trial that constitutes “research” as that term is defined in 45 C.F.R. § 46.102 when the results of the research can be published freely by the investigator and reasonably can be considered to be of interest to scientists or medical practitioners working in the particular field of inquiry.

(3)  “Clinical trial” means any study assessing the safety or efficacy of drugs administered alone or in combination with other drugs or other therapies, or assessing the relative safety or efficacy of drugs in comparison with other drugs or other therapies.

(4)  “Pharmaceutical marketer” means a person who, while employed by or under contract to represent a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, engages in pharmaceutical detailing, promotional activities, or other marketing of prescription drugs in this state to any physician, hospital, nursing home, pharmacist, health benefit plan administrator, or any other person authorized to prescribe, dispense, or purchase prescription drugs. The term does not include a wholesale drug distributor or the distributor’s representative who promotes or otherwise markets the services of the wholesale drug distributor in connection with a prescription drug.

(2)(5)  “Pharmaceutical manufacturing company” means any entity which is engaged in the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of prescription drugs, either directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, or any entity engaged in the packaging, repackaging, labeling, relabeling, or distribution of prescription drugs.  The term does not include a wholesale drug distributor or pharmacist licensed under chapter 36 of Title 26.

(6)  “Unrestricted grant” means any gift, payment, subsidy, or other economic benefit to an educational institution, professional association, health care facility, or governmental entity which does not impose any restrictions on the use of the grant, such as favorable treatment of a certain product or an ability of the marketer to control or influence the planning, content, or execution of the education activity.

Sec. 128c.  33 V.S.A. § 2005a is added to read:

§ 2005a.  PHARMACEUTICAL MARKETER PRICE DISCLOSURE

(a)  When a pharmaceutical marketer engages in any form of prescription drug marketing directly to a physician or other person authorized to prescribe prescription drugs, the marketer shall disclose to the physician or other prescriber the average wholesale price (AWP) of the drugs being marketed.  Disclosure shall include the AWP per pill and the price relationship between the drug being marketed and other drugs within the same therapeutic class.

(b)  The disclosures required under this section shall be on a form and in a manner prescribed by the office of the attorney general.  The attorney general may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.

(c)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general after consultation with the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration may file an action in superior court for a violation of this section or of rules adopted under this section.  In any such action, the attorney general shall have the same authority to investigate and to obtain remedies as if the action were brought under the consumer fraud act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  Each violation of this section or of rules adopted under this section constitutes a separate civil violation for which the attorney general may obtain relief.

(d)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Average wholesale price” or “AWP” means the wholesale price charged on a specific commodity that is assigned by the drug manufacturer and listed in a nationally recognized drug pricing file.

(2)  “Pharmaceutical manufacturing company” is defined by subdivision 2005(c)(2) of this title.

(3)  “Pharmaceutical marketer” is defined by subdivision 2005(c)(1) of this title.

* * * Over the Counter Drugs * * *

Sec. 128d.  33 V.S.A. § 1992a is added to read:

§ 1992a.  OVER THE COUNTER DRUG COVERAGE

(a)  All public pharmaceutical assistance programs shall provide coverage for those over the counter drugs on the preferred drug list developed under section 1998 of this title, provided the drugs are authorized as part of the medical treatment of a specific disease or condition and they are a less costly, medically appropriate substitute for a currently covered prescription drug.

(b)  The department shall seek any waivers of federal law, rule, or regulation necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

* * * Prescription Filling * * *

Sec. 128e.  8 V.S.A. § 4089j is added to read:

§ 4089j.  RETAIL PHARMACIES; FILLING OF PRESCRIPTIONS

(a)  A health insurer and pharmacy benefit manager doing business in Vermont shall permit a retail pharmacist licensed under chapter 36 of Title 26 to fill prescriptions in the same manner and at the same level of reimbursement as they are filled by mail order pharmacies with respect to the quantity of drugs or days’ supply of drugs dispensed under each prescription.

(b)  As used in this section,

(1)  “Health insurer” is defined by subdivision 9402(9) of Title 18.

(2)  “Pharmacy benefit manager” means an entity that performs pharmacy benefit management.  “Pharmacy benefit management” means an arrangement for the procurement of prescription drugs at negotiated dispensing rates, the administration or management of prescription drug benefits provided by a health insurance plan for the benefit of beneficiaries, or any of the following services provided with regard to the administration of pharmacy benefits:

(A)  mail service pharmacy;

(B)  claims processing, retail network management, and payment of claims to pharmacies for prescription drugs dispensed to beneficiaries;

(C)  clinical formulary development and management services;

(D)  rebate contracting and administration;

(E)  certain patient compliance, therapeutic intervention, and generic substitution programs; and

(F)  disease management programs.

     (c)  This section shall apply to Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, the VScript pharmaceutical assistance program, and any other public health care assistance program.

* * * OTC; Joint Purchasing within Vermont; Counterdetailing * * *

Sec. 128f.  33 V.S.A. § 1998 is amended to read:

§ 1998.  PHARMACY BEST PRACTICES AND COST CONTROL

              PROGRAM ESTABLISHED

(a)  The commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall establish a pharmacy best practices and cost control program designed to reduce the cost of providing prescription drugs, while maintaining high quality in prescription drug therapies.  The program shall include:

(1)  A preferred list of covered prescription drugs that identifies preferred choices within therapeutic classes for particular diseases and conditions, including generic alternatives and over-the-counter drugs.

(A)  The commissioner, and the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall implement the preferred drug list as a uniform, statewide preferred drug list by encouraging all health benefit plans in this state to participate in the program.

(B)  The commissioner of personnel shall use the preferred drug list in the state employees health benefit plan only if participation in the program will provide economic and health benefits to the state employees health benefit plan and to beneficiaries of the plan, and only if agreed to through the bargaining process between the state of Vermont and the authorized representatives of the employees of the state of Vermont.  The provisions of this subdivision do not authorize the actuarial pooling of the state employees health benefit plan with any other health benefit plan, unless otherwise agreed to through the bargaining process between the state of Vermont and the authorized representatives of the employees of the state of Vermont.  No later than November 1, 2004, the commissioner of personnel shall report to the health access oversight committee and the senate and house committees on health and welfare on whether use of the preferred drug list in the state employees health benefit plan would, in his or her opinion, provide economic and health benefits to the state employees health benefit plan and to beneficiaries of the plan.

* * *

(4)  Education programs, including a counterdetailing With input from physicians, pharmacists, private insurers, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, and the drug utilization review board, an evidence-based research education program, designed to provide information and education on the therapeutic and cost-effective utilization of prescription drugs to physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs.  To the extent possible, the program shall inform prescribers about drug marketing that is intended to circumvent competition from generic alternatives.  Details of the program, including the scope of the program and funding recommendations, shall be contained in a report submitted to the health access oversight committee and the senate and house committees on health and welfare no later than January 1, 2005;

* * *

* * * Expanding Use of 340B Programs * * *

Sec. 128g.  33 V.S.A. § 2008 is added to read:

§ 2008.  FEDERAL DISCOUNT PROGRAMS; STUDY

The commissioner shall study and by January 1, 2005 report to the governor, the senate and house committees on health and welfare and on appropriations, and the health access oversight committee on the feasibility of providing discounted prescription drugs to Vermont’s most vulnerable patient populations through the use of Section 340B of the federal Public Health Service Act, 42 United States Code § 256b (1999).  The commissioner shall work with other state agencies, representatives of state employees, and representatives of health care providers and facilities in the state to provide the following information:

(1)  A description of all health care providers and facilities in the state potentially eligible for designation as “covered entities” under Section 340B, including without limitation all hospitals eligible as disproportionate share hospitals; recipients of grants from the United States Public Health Service; federally qualified health centers; federally qualified look-alikes; state‑operated AIDS drug assistance programs; Ryan White CARE Act Title I, Title II, and Title III programs; tuberculosis, black lung, family planning, and sexually transmitted disease clinics; hemophilia treatment centers; public housing primary care clinics; and clinics for homeless people.

(2)  A listing of potential applications of Section 340B and the potential benefits to public, private, and third-party payors for prescription drugs, including:

(A)  application to inmates and employees in youth correctional facilities, county jails, and state prisons;

(B)  maximizing the use of Section 340B within state-funded managed care plans;

(C)  the inclusion of Section 340B providers in state bulk purchasing initiatives; and

(D)  using sole source contracts with Section 340B providers to furnish high-cost chronic care drugs.

(3)  Discounts available through Section 340B contracts, including estimated cost savings to the state as a result of retail mark-up avoidance, negotiated subceiling prices, and coordination with the Medicaid program in order to minimize costs to the program and to other purchasers of prescription drugs.

(4)  The resources available to potential applicants for designation as covered entities for the application process, establishing a Section 340B program, establishing state qualified health centers with concurrent federally qualified health center look-alike status, restructuring the health care system, or other methods of lowering the cost of prescription drugs.  The resources must include state and federal agencies and private philanthropic grants to be used for the purposes of this section.

* * * Mental Health Drugs * * *

Sec. 128h.  MENTAL HEALTH DRUGS; SUNSET EXTENSION

Subdivision (2) of Sec. 5 of No. 127 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) is amended to read:

(2)  Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 1999(d) (prior authorization and drugs used to treat mental illness), shall be repealed on July 1, 2004 2006.  The commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall report to the health access oversight committee concerning the drug utilization review board’s analysis of prescribing patterns, literature, and testimony regarding clinical efficacy and outcomes, expenditure trends, and any proposed revisions to the preferred drug list as it pertains to drugs used to treat mental illness.  The commissioner’s report shall include also an assessment of the use of medication algorithms and of the behavioral pharmacy project implemented in the state of Missouri.

* * * Medicare Drug Benefit:  Impact on Vermont and Coordination

with State Programs * * *

Sec. 128i.  PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE FOR MEDICARE

                  BENEFICIARIES

The department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall analyze the financial impact on the state of Vermont and on Vermont Medicare beneficiaries caused by implementation of the federal Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, P.L. 108-173, and report its findings annually to the health access oversight committee and the senate and house committees on health and welfare beginning October 1, 2004.  The final report shall be on October 1, 2009.

Sec. 128j.  PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT WORKING GROUP

The commissioner of aging and disabilities with representatives from the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall convene a working group of elderly and disabled consumers, advocates, and providers to:

(1)  develop and implement a plan which at a minimum shall include outreach, education, and assistance to minimize any confusion and duplication of coverage caused by the introduction of the new, federally mandated Medicare discount cards to Vermont Medicare beneficiaries, especially those who also are eligible for Medicaid, VHAP-Rx, VScript, VScript Expanded, or Healthy Vermonters; and

(2)  plan for the implementation of Medicare Part D in the state beginning January 1, 2006.  Such planning shall include both monitoring and advocacy on federal policy as it relates to Vermont state pharmaceutical assistance programs with a goal of minimizing any reduction of assistance to these beneficiaries.  The plan shall analyze fully the potential gains and losses to Vermont and to its state pharmaceutical assistance beneficiaries resulting from Medicare Part D and the balance of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, P.L. 108-173, and shall provide ongoing cost projections and identify sources of funding for holding these beneficiaries harmless from pharmacy benefit cuts once Medicare Part D is implemented.

* * * Prior Authorization Exemption * * *

Sec. 128k.  33 V.S.A. § 1999(f) is amended to read:

(f)  The program’s prior authorization process shall require that the prescriber, not the pharmacy, request a prior authorization exception exemption to the requirements of this section.  The No later than December 31, 2004, the commissioner shall create a pilot program may designed to exempt a prescriber from the need to secure prior authorization for a specific drug category requirement of the preferred drug list program if the program determines that the prescriber has written a minimum number of scripts in that category, and the prescriber prescribes prescription drugs on the preferred drug list at or above the minimum threshold for that category met compliance standards established by the department in consultation with the drug utilization review board.  This exemption does not apply to drugs that require prior authorization for clinical reasons.

* * *  Reimportation  * * *

Sec. 128l.  8 V.S.A. § 4089i is added to read:

§ 4089i.  PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE

A health insurance or other health benefit plan offered by a health insurer shall provide coverage for prescription drugs purchased in Canada, and used in Canada or reimported legally, on the same benefit terms and conditions as prescription drugs purchased in this country.  For drugs purchased by mail or through the internet, the plan may require accreditation by the Internet and Mailorder Pharmacy Accreditation Commission (IMPAC™) or similar organization.

Sec. 128m.  33 V.S.A. § 2007 is added to read:

§ 2007.  CANADIAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG INFORMATION PROGRAM

The department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall establish a website and prepare written information to offer guidance to Vermont residents seeking information about ordering prescription drugs through the mail or otherwise from a participating Canadian pharmacy.

Sec. 128n.  APPLICABILITY; STATUTORY REVISION

The statutory revision commission is directed to recodify 8 V.S.A. §§ 4089i and 4089j (health care ombudsman) as 8 V.S.A. §§ 4089v and 4089w, respectively.

* * * Healthy Vermonters Expansion * * *

Sec. 128o.  33 V.S.A. § 2003 is amended to read:

§ 2003.  PHARMACY DISCOUNT PLAN PLANS

(a)  On or before July 1, 2002, the The commissioner shall implement a pharmacy discount plan plans, to be known as the “Healthy Vermonters” program and the “Healthy Vermonters Plus”program, for Vermonters without adequate coverage for prescription drugs.  The provisions of section 1992 of this title shall apply to the commissioner’s authority to administer the pharmacy discount plan plans established by this section.  The commissioner may establish an enrollment fee in such amount as is necessary to support the administrative costs of the plan.

(b)  The pharmacy discount plan authorized by this section Healthy Vermonters program shall include a program implemented as a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver, wherein the state makes a payment toward the cost of the drugs dispensed to individuals enrolled in this program of at least two percent of the cost of each prescription or refill, consistent with the appropriation for the program established by this section offer beneficiaries an initial discounted cost for covered drugs.  Upon approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver program, and upon subsequent legislative approval, the Healthy Vermonters program and the Healthy Vermonters Plus program shall offer beneficiaries a secondary discounted cost, which shall reflect a state payment toward the cost of each dispensed drug as well as any rebate amount negotiated by the commissioner.

(c)  The commissioner shall implement the pharmacy discount program authorized by this section without any financial contribution by the state otherwise required by subsection (b) of this section, and without federal waiver approval during such time as federal waiver approval has not been secured.

(d)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Beneficiary” means any individual enrolled in either the Healthy Vermonters program or the Healthy Vermonters Plus program.

(2)  “Eligible Healthy Vermonters beneficiary” means any individual Vermont resident without adequate coverage:

(A)  who is at least 65 years of age, or is disabled and is eligible for Medicare or Social Security disability benefits, with household income equal to or less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont health access plan, as amended, and any other individual Vermont resident with; or

(B) whose household income is equal to or less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont Health access plan, as amended; and.

(3)  “Healthy Vermonters Plus beneficiary” means any individual Vermont resident without adequate coverage:

(A)  whose household income is greater than 300 percent and equal to or less than 350 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont health access plan, as amended; or

(B)  whose family incurs unreimbursed expenses for prescription drugs, including insurance premiums, that equal five percent or more of household income or whose total unreimbursed medical expenses, including insurance premiums, equal 15 percent or more of household income.

(4)  “Initial discounted cost” means the price of the drug based on the Medicaid fee schedule.

(5)  “Labeler” means an entity or person that receives prescription drugs from a manufacturer or wholesaler and repackages those drugs for later retail sale and that has a labeler code from the federal Food and Drug Administration under 21 Code of Federal Regulations, 207.20 (1999).

(6)  “Participating retail pharmacy” means a retail pharmacy located in this state or another business licensed to dispense prescription drugs in this state that participates in the program according to rules established by the department and provides discounted prices to eligible beneficiaries of the program.

(7)  “Rebate amount” means the rebate negotiated by the commissioner and required from a drug manufacturer or labeler under this section.  In determining the appropriate rebate, the commissioner shall:

(A)  take into consideration the rebate calculated under the Medicaid Rebate Program under section 1396r-8 of Title 42 of the United States Code, the average wholesale price of prescription drugs, and any other information on prescription drug prices and price discounts;

(B)  use his or her best efforts to obtain an initial rebate amount equal to or greater than the rebate calculated under the Medicaid program under section 1396r-8 of Title 42 of the United States Code;

(C)  use his or her best efforts to obtain an amount equal to or greater than the amount of any discount, rebate, or price reduction for prescription drugs provided to the federal government.

(8)  “Secondary discounted cost” means, under the Healthy Vermonters program, the price of the drug based on the Medicaid fee schedule, less payment by the state of at least two percent of the Medicaid rate, less any rebate amount negotiated by the commissioner and paid for out of the Healthy Vermonters dedicated fund established under subsection (j) of this section and, under the Healthy Vermonters Plus program, the average wholesale price of the drug, less payment by the state of at least two percent of the Medicaid rate, less any rebate amount negotiated by the commissioner and paid for out of the Healthy Vermonters dedicated fund established under subsection (j).

(2)(9)  “Vermonter without Without adequate coverage” includes eligible beneficiaries with no coverage for prescription drugs or certain types of prescription drugs, and eligible beneficiaries whose annual maximum coverage limit under their health benefit plan has been reached.

(d)  Drugs covered by the pharmacy discount plans shall include all drugs covered under the Medicaid program.

(e)  The Vermont board of pharmacy shall adopt standards of practice requiring disclosure by participating retail pharmacies to beneficiaries of the amount of savings provided as a result of the pharmacy discount plans.  The standards must consider and protect information that is proprietary in nature.  The department may not impose transaction charges under this program on pharmacies that submit claims or receive payments under the plans.  Pharmacies shall submit claims to the department to verify the amount charged to beneficiaries under the plans.  On a weekly or biweekly basis, the department must reimburse pharmacies for the difference between the initial discounted price or the average wholesale price and the secondary discounted price provided to beneficiaries.

(f)  The names of drug manufacturers and labelers who do and do not enter into rebate agreements under pharmacy discount plans are public information.  The department shall release this information to health care providers and the public on a regular basis and shall publicize participation by manufacturers and labelers.  The department shall impose prior authorization requirements in the Medicaid program, as permitted by law, to the extent the department determines it is appropriate to do so in order to encourage manufacturer and labeler participation in the pharmacy discount plans and so long as the additional prior authorization requirements remain consistent with the goals of the Medicaid program and the requirements of Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act.

(g)  The commissioner shall establish, by rule, a process to resolve discrepancies in rebate amounts claimed by manufacturers, labelers, pharmacies, and the department.

(h)  The Healthy Vermonters dedicated fund is established to receive revenue from manufacturers and labelers who pay rebates as provided in subdivision (d)(5) of this section and any appropriations or allocations designated for the fund.  The purposes of the fund are to reimburse retail pharmacies for discounted prices provided to individuals enrolled in the pharmacy discount plans; and to reimburse the department for contracted services, including pharmacy claims processing fees, administrative and associated computer costs, and other reasonable program costs.  The fund is a nonlapsing dedicated fund.  Interest on fund balances accrues to the fund.  Surplus funds in the fund must be used for the benefit of the program.

(i)  Annually, the department shall report the enrollment and financial status of the pharmacy discount plans to the health access oversight committee by September 1, and to the general assembly by January 1.

(j)  The department shall undertake outreach efforts to build public awareness of the pharmacy discount plans and maximize enrollment.  Outreach efforts shall include steps to educate retail pharmacists on the purposes of the Healthy Vermonters dedicated fund, in particular as it relates to pharmacy reimbursements for discounted prices provided to program enrollees.  The department may adjust the requirements and terms of the pharmacy discount plans to accommodate any new federally funded prescription drug programs.

(k)  The department may contract with a third party or third parties to administer any or all components of the pharmacy discount plans, including outreach, eligibility, claims, administration, and rebate recovery and redistribution.

(l)  The department shall administer the pharmacy discount plans and other medical and pharmaceutical assistance programs under this title in a manner advantageous to the programs and enrollees.  In implementing this section, the department may coordinate the other programs and the pharmacy discount plans and may take actions to enhance efficiency, reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and maximize benefits to the programs and enrollees, including providing the benefits of pharmacy discount plans to enrollees in other programs.

(m)  The department may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.

     (n)  The department shall seek a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting authorization necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including application of manufacturer and labeler rebates to the pharmacy discount plans.  The secondary discounted cost shall not be available to beneficiaries of the pharmacy discount plans until the department receives written notification from CMS that the waiver requested under this section has been approved and until the general assembly subsequently approves all aspects of the pharmacy discount plans, including funding for positions and related operating costs associated with eligibility determinations.

Sec. 129.  Sec. 147(d) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

(d)  VHAP, premium-based.

* * *

(2)  The department shall establish per individual premiums for the VHAP Uninsured program for the following brackets of income for the VHAP group as a percentage of federal poverty level (FPL):

(A)  Income less than or equal to 50 percent of FPL: $4.00 per month.

(B)(A)  Income greater than 50 percent and less than or equal to 75 percent of FPL: $10.00 per month.

(C)(B)  Income greater than 75 percent and less than or equal to 100 percent of FPL:  $35.00 per month.

(D)(C)  Income greater than 100 percent and less than or equal to 150 percent of FPL:  $45.00 per month.

(E)(D)  Income greater than 150 percent and less than or equal to 185 percent of FPL: $65.00 per month.

(3)  The department shall establish per household premiums for the working people with disabilities program for the following brackets of income for the Medicaid group as a percentage of federal poverty level (FPL):

(A)  Income greater than 185 percent of FPL and less than or equal to 225 percent of FPL: $50.00 per month.

(B)  Income greater than 225 percent of FPL and less than or equal to 250 percent of FPL, without other health insurance coverage: $75.00 per month.

(C)  Income greater than 225 percent of FPL and less than or equal to 250 percent of FPL, with other health insurance coverage: $60.00 per month.

Sec. 129a.  Sec. 152 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

Sec. 152.  THE ADOPTION OF PREVENTION,

                 ASSISTANCE, TRANSITION, AND HEALTH ACCESS RULES

(a)  Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, the commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access may adopt rules in order that changes reflected in Sec. 147 subsections (b), (c), (d)(3), (f)(1), (j), (k) and (l) of this act shall be implemented by July 1, 2003.  These rules shall be effective upon filing with the secretary of state, and the changes authorized therein shall be implemented no sooner than 10 days following the mailing of adverse action notice and shall have the full force and effect of rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.  Any such rules filed by the commissioner with the secretary of state shall be deemed to be in full compliance with 3 V.S.A. § 843 and shall be accepted by the secretary of state, if filed with a certification by the commissioner that the rule is required to meet the purposes of this section.  Rules adopted under this subsection shall remain in effect until December 31, 2003 or until amended by rules adopted pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 152a of this act.  Notwithstanding the provisions to the contrary of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, the commissioner may file prior to and adopt, effective as soon as promulgated, all rules necessary to exempt all individuals domiciled in the state of Vermont from the implementation of Sec. 115(a) of Public Law 104-193 through June 30, 2004.

Sec. 130.  Sec. 147(g) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

(g)  Premium billing, collections and nonpayment.

(1)  The commissioner shall make such changes in the billing and collection process as are necessary to minimize administrative effort and uncollected premiums effective January 1, 2004The changes in the following subdivisions (A), (B), and (D)(iii) shall be effective January 1, 2004.  The changes in the following subdivisions (C), (D)(i), and (D)(iv)-(vi) shall be effective August 1, 2004  The changes in subdivision (D)(ii) shall be implemented as soon as administratively feasible.  These changes shall include:

(A)  Shifting from retrospective to prospective billing.

(B)  Continuing the current billing approach for all groups currently paying program fees until the new billing approach is approved and ready to be implemented.

(C)  Adjusting the billing cycle for premiums to facilitate efforts by beneficiaries to stay current and avoid delinquencies.

(D)  Requiring beneficiaries to pay prospectively a premium equivalent to one month of coverage before initial enrollment, so that:

     (i)  if a premium is received and processed prior to the first day of the current month, then full coverage shall begin on the first day of the current month;

(ii)  if a premium is received and processed after the first day of the current month, then full coverage shall begin on the first day of the following month;

(iii)  for applicants seeking VHAP coverage, limited coverage (essential hospital, physician and pharmaceutical coverage) shall be provided at no cost between the date that the beneficiary is determined eligible and the date that full coverage begins, contingent upon receipt of premium payment;

(iv)  VHAP beneficiaries shall receive a notice of eligibility determination that includes a description of the limited coverage and a warning that if the premium is not paid, the beneficiary shall be responsible for all bills incurred in the interim;

(v)  for applicants seeking VHAP coverage if payment of the premium is not received by the due date, no payment shall be made for any care received after eligibility is determined;

(vi)  if a VHAP beneficiary’s coverage is cancelled and the beneficiary attempts to reenroll within 12 months, no limited benefit coverage shall be provided, except under the following circumstances:

(aa)  the applicant or spouse had employer or university‑sponsored insurance that terminated;

(bb)  the applicant’s household income dropped below 75 percent of FPL;

(cc)  the applicant established residence in another state for more than 30 days and subsequently returned to Vermont;

(dd)  medical incapacity during the period when premium payments were due;

(vii)  following payment of the initial premium, premium bills for subsequent months shall be sent at least 25 days before enrollment may be closed;

(viii)  for subsequent months, notice shall be sent at least 10 days before closure for nonpayment of premiums;

(ix)  for subsequent months, eligibility shall be reinstated if payment of premiums is received by the last day of month;

(x)  for the VHAP Pharmacy, VScript and VScript expanded programs, the prospective billing mechanism described above in Sec. 147 (g)(1)(D)(i)-(ii) shall apply.  Limited coverage, described above in Sec. 147 (g)(1)(D)(iii), is not available.  If a beneficiary’s coverage is cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to medical incapacity during the period when premium payments were due, the department will provide coverage between the date that the coverage lapsed due to nonpayment of the premium and the last day of the current month, provided that the beneficiary will be responsible for all bills incurred during this period if all premium payments due are not received by the last day of the current month;

(xi)  for pregnant women and children participating in the Dr. Dynasaur, underinsured children, and the SCHIP programs coverage groups, the prospective billing mechanism described above in Sec. 147(g)(1)(D)(i)‑(ii) shall apply.  Limited coverage, described above in Sec. 147(g)(1)(D)(iii), is not available.  Provisions of federal law permitting retroactive coverage shall apply, subject to payment of premiums for any such retroactive coverage sought by the beneficiary;

(xii)  for beneficiaries participating in the Working People with Disabilities program, the prospective billing mechanism described above in Sec. 147 (g)(1)(D)(i)-(ii) shall apply.  Limited coverage, described above in Sec. 147 (g)(1)(D)(iii), is not available.  Provisions of federal law permitting retroactive coverage shall apply, subject to payment of premiums for any such retroactive coverage sought by the beneficiary.  If a beneficiary’s coverage is cancelled and the beneficiary attempts to reenroll within twelve months, contingent upon federal approval, three-month retroactive coverage will not be provided, except under the following circumstances:

(aa)  the applicant or spouse had employer or university-sponsored insurance that terminated;

(bb)  the applicant’s household income dropped below 75% of FPL;

(cc)  the applicant established residence in another state for more than 30 days and subsequently returned to Vermont;

(dd)  medical incapacity during the period when premium payments were due.

* * *

Sec. 130a.  33 V.S.A. § 1901c is added to read:

§ 1901c.  MEDICAL CARE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a)  The commissioner shall appoint a medical care advisory committee to advise the department about health care and medical services, consistent with the requirements of federal law.

(b)  The medical care advisory committee shall be given an opportunity to participate in policy development and program administration for Medicaid and for the VHAP and VScript programs, as they are defined in section 1901b of this subchapter.  It shall have an opportunity to review and comment upon agency policy initiatives pertaining to health care benefits and beneficiary eligibility.  It also shall have the opportunity to comment on proposed rules prior to commencement of the rulemaking process and on waiver or waiver amendment applications prior to submission to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Prior to the annual budget development process, the department shall engage the medical care advisory committee in priority setting, including consideration of scope of benefits, beneficiary eligibility, funding outlook, financing options, and possible budget recommendations.

(c)  The medical care advisory committee shall make policy recommendations on department proposals to the department, the health access oversight committee, and the standing committees on health and welfare.  When the general assembly is not in session, the commissioner shall respond in writing to these recommendations, a copy of which shall be provided to each of the legislative committees.

(d)  During the legislative session, the commissioner shall provide the committee at regularly scheduled meetings updates on the status of policy and budget proposals.

(e)  The commissioner shall convene the medical care advisory committee at least six times each year.

(f)  At least one-third of the members of the medical care advisory committee shall be recipients of Medicaid, VHAP, or VScript.  Such members shall receive per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32, including costs of travel, child care, personal assistance services, and any other service necessary for participation on the committee approved by the commissioner.

(g)  The commissioner shall appoint members of the medical care advisory committee for staggered, nonrecurring three-year terms.  The commissioner may remove members of the committee who fail to attend three consecutive meetings and appoint replacements.

     (h)  For purposes of this section, “program administration” means annual and long-term strategic planning, including priority setting, relative to scope of benefits, beneficiary eligibility, funding outlook, financing options, and possible budget recommendations.

Sec. 131.  RULES SUSPENSION PURSUANT TO FEDERAL APPROVAL

     (a)  The rules adopted by the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access pursuant to Sec. 147(k) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 shall be amended based upon guidance received from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services which has approved valuation of United States savings bonds as a resource beginning on the date of purchase unless individuals have requested and been denied a hardship waiver from the United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt. 

     (b)  Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, the commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall adopt rules to implement the changes reflected in Sec. 131(a) of this act by July 1, 2004.  The commissioner shall file these rules with the secretary of state.  The secretary of state shall accept the rules and deem them to be in full compliance with 3 V.S.A. § 843, if filed with a certification by the commissioner that the rule is required to meet the purposes of this section.  These rules shall be effective upon filing with the secretary of state, and the changes authorized therein shall have the full force and effect of rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.  Rules adopted under this subsection shall remain in effect until amended by rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

Sec. 132.  [Deleted]

Sec. 133.  33 V.S.A. § 1973 is added to read:

§ 1973.  VERMONT HEALTH ACCESS PLAN

(a)  The department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall establish the Vermont health access plan (VHAP) pursuant to a waiver of federal Medicaid law.  The plan shall remain in effect as long as the federal waiver is granted or renewed.

(b)  The purpose of the Vermont health access plan is to provide health care coverage for uninsured or underinsured low income Vermonters.  The commissioner of the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall establish rules regarding eligibility and administration of the plan.

Sec. 134.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - general assistance

                   Grants                                                                                 4,376,260

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,264,939

                   Special funds                                                                                     1

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,111,320

                        Total                                                                              4,376,260

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $527,000.00 in federal TANF funds and $50,000.00 in general funds are allocated specifically for assistance to families who demonstrate they are faced with a reasonably preventable loss of housing and who meet state requirements for this assistance, as established by rule.  Of the above general fund appropriation, $50,000.00 shall be used for the “Category II” rental assistance program.  Assistance under this provision is not an entitlement and shall cease upon expenditure of these allocated funds.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, an amount not to exceed $150,000.00 ($75,000.00 in federal TANF funds and $75,000.00 in general funds) may be expended for temporary housing assistance to individuals and families that have reached the 28-day maximum allowed under department rules and have a continued need for this type of emergency assistance.  Assistance shall be limited to an additional 56 cumulative days beyond the current 28-day maximum.  Assistance under this provision is not an entitlement and shall cease upon expenditure of these allocated funds.

Sec. 135.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - home heating fuel assistance/LIHEAP

                   Personal services                                                                      20,000

                   Operating expenses                                                                  90,000

                   Grants                                                                                 8,352,075

                        Total                                                                              8,462,075

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       8,462,075

(a)  Of the funds appropriated for home heating fuel assistance/LIHEAP in this act, no more than $350,000.00 shall be expended for crisis fuel direct service/administration exclusive of statewide after hours crisis coverage.

Sec. 136.  WEATHERIZATION FUND ANALYSIS

(a)  On or before December 15 of each year, the department of public service and the agency of human services in consultation with the joint fiscal office shall develop and submit a report to the senate and house committees on appropriations which provides:

(1)  any projected or actual reserves in the special fund established pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 2503, the expenditure of which would not adversely impact ongoing levels of weatherization services; and

(2)  an analysis of the projected need of households eligible for fuel assistance in meeting their heating bills in the current heating season as compared to previous heating seasons.  A heating season shall be defined as the six months from October through March.

Sec. 137.  PREVENTION, ASSISTANCE, TRANSITION, AND HEALTH

                 ACCESS - HOME HEATING FUEL ASSISTANCE/LIHEAP

(a)  All federal funds granted to the state for home heating fuel assistance under the low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP) or other similar federal program in fiscal year 2005 and all unexpended LIHEAP funds granted to the state in fiscal year 2004 are hereby transferred to the home heating fuel assistance trust fund for the provision of home heating fuel assistance, including program administration, under 33 V.S.A. chapter 26.

(b)  For the purpose of a crisis set-aside, seasonal home heating fuel assistance through December 31, 2004, and program administration, the commissioner of finance and management shall transfer $2,550,000.00 from the home weatherization assistance trust fund to the home heating fuel assistance trust fund to the extent that federal LIHEAP or similar federal funds are not available.  An equivalent amount shall be returned to the home weatherization trust fund from the home heating fuel assistance trust fund to the extent that federal LIHEAP or similar federal funds are received.  Should a transfer of funds from the home weatherization assistance trust fund be necessary for the 2004-2005 crisis set-aside and seasonal home heating fuel assistance through December 31, 2004, and LIHEAP funds awarded as of December 31, 2004 for fiscal year 2005 do not exceed $2,550.000.00, subsequent payments under the home heating fuel assistance program shall not precede January 30, 2005.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, payments authorized by the office of home heating fuel assistance shall not exceed funds available, except that for fuel assistance payments made through December 31, 2004, the commissioner of finance and management may anticipate receipts into the home weatherization assistance trust fund.

Sec. 138.  Prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - food stamp

cash out

                   Grants                                                                                 5,764,119

               Source of Funds

                   Federal funds                                                                      5,764,119

Sec. 139.  TANF EXEMPTION

     (a)  The commissioner may exempt all individuals domiciled in the state of Vermont from the implementation of Sec. 115(a) of Public Law 104-193 through June 30, 2005.

Sec. 139a.  33 V.S.A. § 101(4) is amended to read:

          (4)  Assistance and benefits shall be so administered as to maintain and encourage dignity, self-respect, and self-reliance.  It is the legislative intent that assistance granted shall be adequate to maintain a reasonable standard of health and decency based on current cost of living indices.  Notwithstanding this subdivision, the department will amend rules that establish new maximum Reach Up grant amounts only when the general assembly has taken affirmative action to increase or decrease the Reach Up financial assistance appropriation.

Sec. 140.  Developmental and mental health services - central office

                   Personal services                                                                 2,439,723

                   Operating expenses                                                                788,274

                        Total                                                                              3,227,997

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,423,598

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,804,399

                        Total                                                                              3,227,997

(a)  The commissioner of the department of developmental and mental health services shall collaborate with the housing and conservation board and the Vermont housing finance agency to determine whether there would be substantial savings by refinancing long-term capital debt on land and buildings owned by community mental health centers and used as housing for low income Vermonters with physical or mental disabilities.  The commissioner, board, and agency shall jointly provide a written report of the findings and conclusions to the house and senate committees on appropriations by January 31, 2005.

Sec. 141.  COMMITTEE ON DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL AND

                 MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES DESIGNATED AGENCY

                 PROVIDER SYSTEM

     (a)  It is the intent of the general assembly to ensure that consumers have access to a comprehensive and adequate continuum of care, and that the department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system is financially sustainable.

     (b)  There is created a committee to study and report on the department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system.  The committee shall be broadly constituted of individuals with knowledge and interest in the subject matter areas.  Members shall be appointed upon passage of this act and shall include:

          (1)  the secretary of human services or designee;

          (2)  the commissioner of developmental and mental health services or designee;

          (3)  the commissioner of health or designee;

          (4)  the commissioner of aging and disabilities or designee;

          (5)  at least four members selected by the Vermont council on developmental and mental health services;

          (6)  one member selected by the Vermont association for mental health;

          (7)  one current or recent recipient of community developmental services;

          (8)  one current or recent recipient of community mental health services;

          (9)  one representative of the department of finance and management;

          (10)  one member selected by the Vermont association of hospital and health systems; and

          (11)  other members as necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section.

     (c)  In studying the department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system, the secretary and the committee shall  consider the following:

          (1)  issues relative to the delivery of services, including best practice models, group versus individualized services, preventive and primary care, service coordination options, and cost-effective approaches to delivering services;

          (2)  ways to ensure funding parity among mental health, substance abuse, and physical health;

          (3)  baseline infrastructure requirements;

          (4)  whether the system is underfunded and, if so, the impact of such underfunding;

          (5)  issues relative to realistic service expectations, including reasonable reimbursement rates and funding mechanisms that correlate with utilization trends;

          (6)  issues relative to human resources, including recruitment and retention strategies, training and education, licensing requirements, and competitive compensation; and

          (7)  issues relative to efficient business practices, including group purchasing of health insurance, workers’ compensation, information technology, and business supplies; and efficient practices for revenue collection.

     (d)  The agency of human services shall contract with a third party consultant to review and make recommendations regarding the financial sustainability of the department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system.  The  secretary or designee, in collaboration with the committee, shall design the scope of work, design request for proposals, and select a consultant.  The consultant selected by the agency shall submit its report to the secretary and the committee no later than November 1, 2004.

     (e)  On or before November 15, 2004, the secretary, in collaboration with the committee, shall provide a report, including the underlying data, regarding the financial sustainability, resources, efficiency, and services offered by designated provider agencies to the mental health oversight committee.  The agency of human services shall ensure that the research is inclusive of the above elements and shall  address the range of services or rate of any growth in the need of services.

     (f)  On or  before December 15, 2004, the secretary shall file a report with the governor and the general assembly detailing the findings and recommendations with respect to the issues covered in subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section, including comments from the mental health oversight committee.  In addition, the report shall include recommendations for the short‑ and long‑term financial sustainability of the department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system, including options to create more reliable annual budget decisions.

     (g)  The committee is authorized to meet up to six times per year and shall cease to exist on July 1, 2006.

Sec. 141a.  VERMONT STATE HOSPITAL FUTURE PLANNING

                   ADVISORY GROUP

     (a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that all mental health programs, services, and supports, including inpatient psychiatric services, be provided to individuals with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses or emotional disorders in a holistic, comprehensive continuum of care, that consumers be treated at all times with dignity and respect, that public resources be allocated efficiently and produce the best positive outcomes, and that direct services overseen and provided by the agency of human services and its community partners be client- and family-centered and ‑driven, accessible, and culturally competent.

     (b)  The secretary of human services shall be responsible for the development and, upon approval by the mental health oversight committee and joint fiscal committee, implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan for the delivery of services currently provided by the Vermont state hospital developed within the context of long-range planning for a comprehensive continuum of care for mental health services.  The secretary shall upon passage establish a statewide state hospital future planning advisory group to advise the secretary on development and implementation of a strategic plan related to developing alternatives to the services currently provided by the Vermont state hospital. 

     (c)  The members of the state hospital future planning advisory group may consist of the members of the current Vermont state hospital advisory committee.  If the members of the Vermont state hospital advisory committee are unwilling or unable to serve as the members of the state hospital future planning advisory group for some or all of the functions identified in this section, a specific group shall be created with members appointed by the secretary.  In either instance, the state hospital future planning advisory group shall have members representing the following:  designated community mental health agencies; designated hospitals; the adult program standing committee; consumers and their family members; psychiatric and nursing staff of the Vermont state hospital; a recent patient of the Vermont state hospital; patient rights protection organizations; Vermont legal aid; the department of corrections; developmental services; child and adolescent mental health services; the Vermont psychiatric association; the Vermont psychological association; and the Vermont state employees’ association.

     (d)  Members of the state hospital future planning advisory group not receiving compensation for service on the advisory group from another source are entitled to compensation under section 1010 of Title 32.

     (e)  The secretary or designee shall consult with the advisory group on all aspects of strategic planning, including methods of seeking further public input, investigation of program options and policies, and recommendations concerning organization, operations, funding, and implementation.

     (f)  The principles guiding the state hospital future planning advisory group in creating the immediate and long‑term plans for the Vermont state hospital shall include the following:

          (1)  an understanding of the role of active treatment within the goal of recovery;

          (2)  an understanding of the role of trauma in the lives of individuals;

          (3)  accessible general medical care;

          (4)  minimal use of involuntary interventions such as seclusion, restraint, and involuntary medication;

          (5)  staff training in the use of safe and appropriate alternatives to involuntary interventions;

          (6)  consumers’ participation in the development and implementation of their treatment plans;

          (7)  consumers’ right to privacy and the right to have information regarding their care remain confidential, unless disclosure is authorized by the consumer or required under the law;

          (8)  ongoing consumer and community input with regard to program oversight and development; and

          (9)  accountability for all components of the mental health care system.

     (g)  The state hospital future planning advisory group shall consider and make recommendations to the secretary on the following:

          (1)  in general, the future of Vermont’s inpatient psychiatric programs, including those currently provided by the Vermont state hospital and, more specifically, whether new general or forensic inpatient programs should be created, either in partnership with designated hospitals or with hospitals or other facilities that do not currently provide inpatient psychiatric services;

          (2)  designs for programs that are responsive to changes over time in levels and types of need, service delivery practices, and sources of funding;

          (3)  whether designated hospitals should be encouraged to expand existing psychiatric services;

          (4)  whether additional community-based, hospital alternative, or diversion programs should be developed;

          (5)  whether the state should expand community‑based peer run programs;

          (6)  whether to create a flexible individual case management program to fund support services necessary to keep individuals out of the hospital;

          (7)  how to design mental health services to maximize safety and ensure appropriate protection for the legal rights of consumers;

          (8)  the development of ongoing quality monitoring and consumer satisfaction programs;

          (9)  methods for maximizing federal funding sources and mental health coverage under private and public insurance plans;

          (10)  the necessity of developing housing alternatives, including group homes, supportive housing, and independent living options;

          (11)  the integration of primary care with the mental health system of care, including the need for education on the appropriate uses of psychotropic medications and follow-up care;

          (12)  governance issues, including governance of the Vermont state hospital and an assessment of the role of the board of mental health and whether new members should be appointed; and

          (13)  ways to improve judicial proceedings concerning involuntary treatment and involuntary medication.

     (h)  On or before October 15, 2004, the secretary shall prepare and present for approval to the mental health oversight committee an outline of the findings and recommendations for replacement of the functions of the Vermont state hospital.

     (i)  On or before January 15, 2005, the secretary shall prepare and present to the mental health oversight committee and the joint fiscal committee a report containing a comprehensive implementation plan for replacing the services currently provided by the Vermont state hospital developed within the context of long-range planning for a comprehensive continuum of care for mental health services.  The report shall include proposals for legislation and capital and operational funding needed to implement the plan.

     (j)  For purposes of this section, the state hospital future planning advisory group shall cease to exist on July 1, 2006.

Sec. 141b.  THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS MENTAL HEALTH 

                  SERVICES PLAN

     (a)  The commissioner of corrections shall provide the mental health oversight committee with the corrections mental health services plan no later than January 15, 2005.

     (b)  The secretary shall ensure that the findings and recommendations of the corrections mental health services plan be coordinated with and complementary to the findings and recommendations required by Secs. 141 and 141a of this act.  

Sec. 141c.  THE MENTAL HEALTH OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

     (a)  The mental health oversight committee is created to oversee the development and implementation of the secretary of human services’ strategic plan to develop alternatives for services currently provided by the Vermont state hospital and to ensure that consumers have access to a comprehensive and adequate continuum of care and Vermont has a financially sustainable department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system.  The committee shall be composed of one member from each of the house committees on health and welfare, institutions, and appropriations and a member-at-large to be appointed by the speaker of the house, not all from the same party, and one member from each of the senate committees on health and welfare, institutions, and appropriations and one member-at-large to be appointed by the committee on committees, not all from the same party. Initial appointments shall be made upon passage.

     (b)  The committee shall review whether the secretary’s study on the department of developmental and mental health services designated agency provider system required in Sec. 141 of this act, the strategic plan for developing alternatives to the Vermont state hospital required in Sec. 141a of this act, and the department of corrections mental health services plan achieve the goals and principles stated herein effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily, including that the findings and recommendations of the reports are coordinated and complementary.  The committee shall specifically:

          (1)  solicit input from individuals and their families served by the mental health system;

          (2)  monitor the study and planning processes and time lines;

          (3)  measure the efforts of the agency of human services against the goals and principles described in this act; and

          (4)  review and approve, modify, or disapprove the recommendations contained in the reports required by Secs. 141 and 141a of this act and authorize preliminary implementation steps for developing alternatives to the services currently provided by the Vermont state hospital developed within the context of long-range planning for a comprehensive continuum of care for mental health services.

     (c)  Based on the reports required by Secs. 141, 141a, and 141b of this act, the committee shall recommend areas of further study needed to develop a comprehensive continuum of care for mental health services.

     (d)  The committee is authorized to meet up to six times per year while the general assembly is not in session to perform its functions under this section.

     (e)  The secretary of the agency of human services shall report to the committee as required by the committee and Secs. 141 and 141a of this act and this section.

     (f)  Members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement for expenses under section 406 of Title 2.

     (g)  The secretary of administration, the legislative council, and the joint fiscal office shall provide staff support requested by the committee.

     (h)  The committee shall cease to exist on July 1, 2006.

* * *Licensing of the State Hospital* * *

Sec. 141d.  18 V.S.A. § 1902(1)(I) is amended to read:

          (I)  The provisions of this subdivision (1) do not apply to any of the following institutions:

               (i)  Nursing and convalescent homes, boarding homes, homes for the aged, nurseries, and institutions used primarily for domiciliary care;

               (ii)  Any hospital conducted, maintained, or operated by the United States government, the state of Vermont, or a duly authorized agency thereof.

The commissioner of health may develop interim licensing criteria specific to the Vermont state hospital that shall be applicable until the hospital achieves recertification by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or until January 31, 2005, whichever occurs first.

Sec. 141e.  18 V.S.A. § 7511 is added to read:

§ 7511.  TRANSPORTATION

     (a)  The commissioner shall ensure that all reasonable and appropriate efforts consistent with public safety are made to transport or escort a person subject to this chapter to and from any inpatient setting, including escorts within a designated hospital or the Vermont state hospital, in a manner which:

          (1)  prevents physical and psychological trauma;

          (2)  respects the privacy of the individual; and

          (3)  represents the least restrictive means necessary for the safety of the patient.

     (b)  The commissioner shall have the authority to designate by rule the professionals who may transport patients under the commissioner’s care and custody.

Sec. 141f.  18 V.S.A. § 7504 is amended to read:

§ 7504.  APPLICATION FOR EMERGENCY EXAMINATION

(a)  A person shall be admitted to a designated hospital for an emergency examination to determine if he or she is a person in need of treatment upon written application by an interested party accompanied by a certificate by a licensed physician who is not the applicant.  The application and certificate shall set forth the facts and circumstances which constitute the need for an emergency examination and which show that the person is a person in need of treatment.

(b)  The application and certificate shall be authority for any mental health professional or law enforcement officer to take the person into temporary custody and to transport transporting the person to a designated hospital for an emergency examination, as provided in section 7511 of this title.

(c)  For the purposes of admission of an individual to a designated hospital for care and treatment under this section, a head of a hospital, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, may include a person designated in writing by the head of the hospital to discharge the authority granted in this section.  A designated person must be an official hospital administrator, supervisory personnel or a licensed physician on duty on the hospital premises other than the certifying physician under subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 142.  Developmental and mental health services - community mental health

                   Personal services                                                                 3,007,985

                   Operating expenses                                                                453,111

                   Grants                                                                             103,035,192

                        Total                                                                          106,496,288

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      35,947,821

                   Special funds                                                                       7,775,810

                   Federal funds                                                                    58,369,269

                    Interdepartmental transfer                                                    4,403,388

                        Total                                                                          106,496,288

Sec. 143.  Developmental and mental health services - developmental services

                   Personal services                                                                 3,196,296

                   Operating expenses                                                                498,012

                   Grants                                                                               95,811,783

                        Total                                                                            99,506,091

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      38,524,746

                   Special funds                                                                          905,890

                   Federal funds                                                                    58,943,955

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,131,500

                        Total                                                                            99,506,091

Sec. 144.  Developmental and mental health services - Vermont state hospital

                   Personal services                                                               14,658,501

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,764,303

                   Grants                                                                                        3,000

                        Total                                                                            16,425,804

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,867,915

                   Special funds                                                                          110,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         572,426

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                  13,875,463

                        Total                                                                            16,425,804

Sec. 145.  Aging and disabilities - administration and support

                   Personal services                                                               15,221,670

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,498,348

                        Total                                                                            17,720,018

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        4,632,832

                   Special funds                                                                          782,599

                   Federal funds                                                                    11,300,136

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,004,451

                        Total                                                                            17,720,018

(a)  Of the above appropriation, at least $10,000.00 shall be expended by the department for the support of “The Independent,” an independent newsletter to provide information and education on aging and disabilities issues.

Sec. 146.  Aging and disabilities - division of advocacy and independent living

                   Grants                                                                               22,331,687

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        8,783,764

                   Transportation fund                                                                419,330

                   Special funds                                                                          801,981

                   Federal funds                                                                    12,249,612

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         77,000

                        Total                                                                            22,331,687

(a)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the department may transfer up to $250,000.00 in general funds for the elderly mental health initiative to the department of developmental and mental health services to maximize the use of Medicaid funds.

(b)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $50,000.00 shall be used for infrastructure improvements to expand and/or enhance certified adult day center facilities.  Funds shall be distributed through a competitive process, with priority given to centers which are building new facilities, making additions, or otherwise adding capacity.

     (c)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $45,000.00 shall be appropriated to senior centers in Vermont through competitive grants submitted to the commissioner of aging and disabilities except that a grant of $2,500.00 shall be made to the Poultney senior center.  In awarding grants, the commissioner shall consider at a minimum the following factors: offering meal programs as an integral part of the centers’ activities; attracting or sustaining participants to the center; ability to promote creative successful aging programs; ability to leverage local funds; and statewide distribution of grant monies.  The commissioner may assist centers with their applications where the centers lack the resources to apply independently and shall consult with local area agencies on aging as to regional needs.

     (d)  Prior to the implementation of new programs or expansion of existing programs resulting from federal approval of an 1115 waiver for community‑based long-term care, the agency of human services and the department of aging and disabilities shall seek approval from the general assembly or the joint fiscal committee if the general assembly is not in session.  The request for approval shall provide an analysis of the programs to be implemented and the impact on the nursing home industry in Vermont.

Sec. 146a.  TRANSPORTATION COSTS; REALLOCATION

     (a)  The department of aging and disabilities shall manage 5310 funds appropriated through the agency of transportation to reallocate funds from department grantees who were unable to earn all of their grants to other grantees that have exceeded their grants.  The department shall notify the general assembly in January 2005 of the amount of  grantee expenditures in fiscal year 2004 the department was unable to pay because expenditures exceeded the $2,100,000.00 in available funds.

Sec. 146b.  5310 FUNDING REPORT

     (a)  The department of aging and disabilities working with the agency of transportation shall carry out a review of the 5310 transportation program and its fiscal condition.  The report shall examine the adequacy of funding and level of grants by recipient; the levels of services provided; and the adequacy of monitoring in place.  The report shall consider the impact of the anticipated 1115 waiver on these programs.  Said report shall be submitted to the joint fiscal committee by November 1, 2004 for distribution and discussion at its November 2004 fiscal committee meeting.

Sec. 146c.  GRANT AUTHORIZED

     (a)  The department of aging and disabilities is authorized to grant to the Vermont development credit union and to Vermont development venture up to $750,000.00 in aggregate, from the adaptive equipment revolving fund, established pursuant to 33 V.S.A. chapter 77.  The grant shall require that:

          (1)  the funds be used for the same purposes as those authorized by 33 V.S.A. chapter 77;

          (2)  reports be provided to the department annually on the status and use of the funds;

          (3)  lending criteria be used that are no more restrictive than the criteria used by the department in administering the adaptive equipment revolving fund; and

          (4)  the total funds made available for loans to disabled persons to purchase adaptive equipment exceed the amounts of the grant.

     (b)  After issuance of the grant, the funds granted shall no longer be considered part of the adaptive equipment revolving fund for purposes of 33 V.S.A. chapter 77.

Sec. 147.  33 V.S.A. § 6321(f) is added to read:

(f)  Personal care attendants, as defined in program rules of the department of aging and disabilities, are exempt from 21 V.S.A. § 342 and shall not be construed as state employees except for purposes of 21 V.S.A. chapters 9 and 17.

Sec. 148.  Aging and disabilities - blind and visually impaired

                   Grants                                                                                 1,370,219

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           564,064

                   Special funds                                                                          145,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         661,155

                        Total                                                                              1,370,219

Sec. 149.  Aging and disabilities - vocational rehabilitation

                   Grants                                                                                 6,217,958

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,599,195

                   Special funds                                                                            80,000

                   Federal funds                                                                      4,313,046

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       225,717

                        Total                                                                              6,217,958

Sec. 150.  Aging and disabilities - TBI home and community‑based waiver

                   Grants                                                                                 2,564,186

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,014,905

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,549,281

                        Total                                                                              2,564,186

(a)  The state shall allocate the appropriation for the traumatic brain injured waiver for fiscal year 2005 in the following manner:  rehabilitation program, 51 slots; long-term program, 26 slots.  The number of long-term program slots may be increased by no more than eight if matching funds are available to support the additional slots.

Sec. 151.  Office of economic opportunity

                   Personal services                                                                    268,308

                   Operating expenses                                                                  78,670

                   Grants                                                                                 4,513,795

                        Total                                                                              4,860,773

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           848,147

                   Special funds                                                                            80,012

                   Federal funds                                                                      3,681,541

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       251,073

                        Total                                                                              4,860,773

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $485,000.00 shall be granted to community agencies for homeless assistance by preserving existing services or increasing resources available statewide.  These funds may be granted alone or in conjunction with federal McKinney emergency shelter funds.  Grant decisions shall be made with assistance from the coalition of homeless Vermonters.

Sec. 152.  Office of economic opportunity - weatherization assistance

                    Personal services                                                                    151,601

                   Operating expenses                                                                  96,510

                   Grants                                                                                 7,021,327

                        Total                                                                              7,269,438

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                       5,991,517

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,277,921

                        Total                                                                              7,269,438

(a)  Of the above special fund appropriation, $400,000.00 is for the replacement and repair of home heating equipment.

Sec. 153.  Corrections - administration

                   Personal services                                                                 2,154,223

                   Operating expenses                                                                322,087

                        Total                                                                              2,476,310

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,199,440

                   Federal funds                                                                         180,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         96,870

                        Total                                                                              2,476,310

Sec. 154.  Corrections - parole board

                   Personal services                                                                    218,562

                   Operating expenses                                                                  65,555

                        Total                                                                                 284,117

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           284,117

Sec. 155.  Corrections - correctional education

                   Personal services                                                                 3,237,375

                   Operating expenses                                                                437,210

                        Total                                                                              3,674,585

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,113,998

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       560,587

                        Total                                                                              3,674,585

Sec. 156.  Corrections - correctional services

                   Personal services                                                               65,551,030

                   Operating expenses                                                           27,534,372

                   Grants                                                                                 1,644,500

                        Total                                                                            94,729,902

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      91,153,647

                   Transportation fund                                                             1,144,483

                   Special funds                                                                          599,500

                   Tobacco funds                                                                         87,500

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,643,726

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       101,046

                        Total                                                                            94,729,902

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $77,000.00 shall be used as a grant to Dismas House of Vermont, Inc.

Sec. 156a.  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS POSITIONS

                 REDESIGNATION

     (a)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the general assembly directs that the following permanent classified positions within the state be redesignated as exempt positions:

(1)  “Corrections Services Division Director” which shall, upon redesignation, be entitled:  “Corrections Facility Executive” (1).

(2)  “Corrections Services Division Assistant Director” which shall, upon redesignation, be entitled:  “Corrections Field Services Executive” (1).

(3)  “Corrections Restorative and Community Justice Executive” (1).

(4)  “Correctional Facility Superintendent” (9).

(b)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in fiscal year 2005, any department of corrections manager who becomes an exempt employee as a result of the redesignation of institution management or other positions and who has at least five years state classified service shall receive all the benefits available under 3 V.S.A. § 220, including those benefits that are limited to employees who have at least ten years classified state service.

Sec. 156b.  CORRECTIONS POSITIONS; CREATION AND

                   EMPLOYMENT

(a)  Establishment.  The general assembly authorizes and directs the establishment of the following positions within the department of corrections which shall be transferred and converted from existing vacant positions in the executive branch of state government:

(1)  One (1) new, permanent, full-time, exempt director of health services.

(2)  Four (4) new permanent, full-time, classified mental health services staff.

(b)  Staffing.  Pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the general assembly directs the department of corrections to fill the following positions, all of which are either existing positions or are created by this section:

(1)  One (1) full-time, exempt director of health services.

(2)  Seven (7) full-time, classified mental health services staff.

(c)  Comprehensive mental health services plan.  On or before January 15, 2005 and after consultation with the commissioner of health and the Vermont state employees’ association, the commissioner of corrections shall present to the joint legislative corrections oversight committee for its approval a plan for the delivery of comprehensive mental health services to inmates.  The four new positions created by subdivision (a)(2) of this section shall not be filled until the joint legislative corrections oversight committee has approved the commissioner’s plan, and the general assembly has appropriated sufficient funding for the positions.

Sec. 156c.  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: OVERCROWDING

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the department of corrections should not operate any of the state correctional facilities at a level that exceeds the rated capacity of the facility. 

(b)  The commissioner of corrections shall determine the rated capacity of each correctional facility to include only bedspace designated for the general population and shall not include bedspace used for segregation, isolation, or medical or mental health treatment, or high security bedspace used for disciplinary or administrative purposes. 

(c)  When the population housed in any facility exceeds the rated capacity of that facility, the commissioner of corrections may transfer appropriate offenders to another facility, including contracted facilities in another state; provided, however, that the commissioner shall strive to minimize transfers in order to avoid disruption of inmate programming.

(d)  It is also the intent of the general assembly that if the total population housed in Vermont exceeds the rated capacity of the Vermont facilities, this excess shall be limited to 25 beds and that these 25 beds shall be proportionately distributed throughout the Vermont facilities.

(e)  On a quarterly basis, the commissioner shall submit a report to the joint legislative corrections oversight committee setting forth the number of inmates housed in each correctional facility for the previous three month period, and providing detailed information of the dates and length of time any facility exceeded 105 percent of its rated capacity.

Sec. 156d.  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: POLICY RESPONSE TO

                   INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

(a)  Prior to adopting any policy in response to the 2004 “Investigative Report into the Deaths of Seven Vermont Inmates and Related Issues,” the commissioner of corrections shall provide copies of each proposed policy to the joint legislative corrections oversight committee for review and comment.  If the committee provides no response within 45 days after receiving the proposed policy, the department may adopt the policy as initially proposed.

Sec. 156e.  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: INVESTIGATIONS

     (a)  The secretary of human services is authorized to fill three positions to conduct independent internal affairs investigations within the department of corrections and within other departments of the agency as needed.  These positions shall be transferred and converted from existing vacant positions in the executive branch of state government.

     (b)  The secretary is authorized to transfer an amount not to exceed $200,000.00 from general fund appropriations made in Sec. 156 of this act to fund positions authorized in subsection (a) of this section.

     (c)  When a case uncovers possible criminal activity it shall be referred to the attorney general criminal division.

Sec. 157.  Corrections - correctional facilities- recreation

                   Personal services                                                                    507,620

                   Operating expenses                                                                410,916

                        Total                                                                                 918,536

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                          918,536

Sec. 158.  Corrections - Vermont correctional industries

                   Personal services                                                                 1,598,402

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,731,740

                        Total                                                                              3,330,142

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                           3,330,142

Sec. 159.  Children’s trust fund

                   Grant                                                                                     310,651

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           100,651

                   Special funds                                                                            70,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         140,000

                        Total                                                                                 310,651

(a)  At least 65 percent of the state appropriation for the children’s trust fund shall be awarded for community-based program activities for the broad range of child abuse and neglect prevention activities.

Sec. 160.  Commission on women

                   Personal services                                                                    182,561

                   Operating expenses                                                                  54,216

                        Total                                                                                 236,777

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           231,777

                   Special funds                                                                              5,000

                        Total                                                                                 236,777

Sec. 161.  Retired senior volunteer program

                   Grants                                                                                    131,096

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           131,096

Sec. 162.  Vermont veterans’ home - care and support services

                   Personal services                                                               11,886,014

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,761,777

                        Total                                                                            14,647,791

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           969,037

                   Special funds                                                                       8,855,527

                   Federal funds                                                                      4,823,227

                        Total                                                                            14,647,791

(a)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706(a)(1), the Vermont veterans’ home may transfer funds, with the approval of the secretary of administration, up to an amount equal to the general fund appropriation to the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access - Medicaid for purposes of facilitating a Medicaid rate adjustment.

Sec. 163.  Total human services                                                       1,420,619,486

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                    379,180,390

                   Transportation fund                                                             1,624,062

                   Special funds                                                                   274,802,847

                   Tobacco fund                                                                    25,359,288

                   Federal funds                                                                  710,756,008

                   Permanent trust funds                                                                 2,300

                   Internal service funds                                                           3,330,142

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                  25,564,449

                        Total                                                                       1,420,619,486

Sec. 164.  Employment and training

                   Personal services                                                               19,992,849

                   Operating expenses                                                             3,962,858

                   Grants                                                                                 1,668,262

                        Total                                                                            25,623,969

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,086,261

                   Special funds                                                                          166,000

                   Federal funds                                                                    20,618,541

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    3,753,167

                        Total                                                                            25,623,969

Sec. 164a.  21 V.S.A. chapter 14 is added to read:

Chapter 14.  YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE,

NATURAL RESOURCES, AND FOOD PRODUCTION

§ 1151.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Agriculture, natural resources, and food production play a central role in the economy and culture of Vermont.

(2)  Farms and farm-based industries are experiencing an ever‑increasing need for workers who are willing to work the hours involved in farming and who have the multiple skills necessary to handle successfully the multiple and varied responsibilities of farming.

(3)  Farms have always provided the environment for youth to acquire workplace skills such as responsibility, creativity, and initiative and occupational skills ranging from plant and animal science to economics and to grow therefore into sought-after workers by a wide variety of employers.

(4)  Programs such as the Farm Youth Corps have provided the infrastructure that is necessary to connect youth to careers in agriculture, natural resources, and food production.

(5)  Programs that have provided youth with the opportunity to work on farms have declined due to reductions in federal funding.

(b)  Therefore, it is the purpose of this chapter to create and support programs for youth that will engage them in agriculture, natural resources, and food production in order to:

(1)  Provide them an opportunity to engage in work that provides them with hands-on learning and allows them to develop a strong work ethic and vital workplace and occupational skills that will be valuable in any career they might pursue;

(2)  Encourage youth to pursue pathways to careers in agriculture, natural resources, and food production;

(3)  Provide farmers with young short-term workers and the opportunity to mentor future, long-term employees; and

(4)  Insure that youth are aware of the benefits of agriculture, natural resources, and food production to themselves and to Vermont.

§ 1152.  YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND

              FOOD PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM; CREATION

(a)  There is created a youth in agriculture, natural resources, and food production consortium of program providers in order that programs to build pathways to careers in agriculture, natural resources, and food production may be connected, developed, and supported in a coordinated manner.  The consortium shall comprise employees of the department of employment and training assigned by the commissioner of employment and training; employees of the department of education assigned by the commissioner of education; employees of the agency of agriculture, food and markets appointed by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets; employees of the agency of natural resources appointed by the secretary of natural resources; representatives of the Extension Service of the University of Vermont selected by the service; and representatives from agriculture, food, and natural resources businesses appointed by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets.

(b)  The consortium shall be attached to the department of employment and training for administrative support.  It shall elect its own chair and meet as required to fulfill its obligations under this chapter.

§ 1153.  YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND

              FOOD PRODUCTION CONSORTIUM; POWERS AND DUTIES

(a)  The consortium shall be charged with the oversight of the development and coordination of programs in agriculture, natural resources, and food production, and education to connect youths’ experiences in agriculture, natural resources, and food production to their in‑school learning and develop pathways for pursuing further education related to agriculture or natural resources.  It shall seek to coordinate and connect programs around common standards, coordinate resources, provide a clearinghouse for information and technical assistance, establish a strong business and education partnership, identify missing components of the system, and oversee funds made available for the express purpose of implementing these pathways.  It shall endeavor to sustain and expand programming in agriculture, natural resources, and food production on a statewide basis in order to affect middle and secondary school students in Vermont.  The consortium shall seek to ensure the effectiveness of all the programs in reaching large numbers of students, and in so far as possible, seek to provide programs in all regions of the state through a statewide system with uniform availability, eligibility, and funding requirements to make such opportunities available to all students.

(b)  Among the programs to be reviewed and coordinated by the consortium are projects that involve agriculture and the environment; programs within the elementary and middle school system which provide hands-on learning, such as “Ag in the Classroom” sponsored by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, and “Forest, Fields, and Futures” sponsored by UVM Extension Service; and secondary school programs in agriculture and natural resources‑related areas in education; “Smokeyhouse” and other technical education, agriculture, and natural resources programs offered by high schools and technical centers.  In addition, it shall review and coordinate programs such as the Youth Conservation Corps and the Farm Youth Corps of the department of employment and training which has offered summer employment for students on farms, and other summer employment programs and alternative programs for in-school youth operated outside the public school funding system.

(c)  The consortium shall report by January 15, 2005 to the commissioner of employment and training, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets, the secretary of natural resources, the commissioner of education, and the house and senate committees on agriculture and on education on its progress, outcomes, and recommendations for expansion, development, and coordination of programs and pathways to careers in agriculture, natural resources, and food production in the state.

Sec. 165.  Total employment and training                                              25,623,969

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,086,261

                   Special funds                                                                          166,000

                   Federal funds                                                                    20,618,541

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    3,753,167

                        Total                                                                            25,623,969

Sec. 166.  Education - finance and administration

                   Personal services                                                                 3,914,851

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,254,486

                   Grants                                                                               10,600,000

                        Total                                                                            15,769,337

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,912,037

                   Special funds                                                                            20,088

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,717,098

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                  11,120,114

                        Total                                                                            15,769,337

Sec. 167.  Education - education programs

                   Personal services                                                               11,519,292

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,217,297

                   Grants                                                                             113,569,716

                        Total                                                                          127,306,305

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        7,483,989

                   Transportation fund                                                                520,672

                   Education fund                                                                    9,321,398

                   Special funds                                                                       1,639,731

                   Federal funds                                                                  106,983,908

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,356,607

                        Total                                                                          127,306,305

(a)  The appropriation in this section shall be authorized, notwithstanding 16 V.S.A. § 1564.

(b)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $80,000.00 shall be used as follows:  $30,000.00 for grants for the wellness program and $50,000.00 to support the position created pursuant to H.272 of 2004.

Sec. 168.  [Deleted]

Sec. 168a.  SCHOOL DISTRICT CONSOLIDATION; TRANSITION AID;

                  APPROPRIATION SUNSET

(a)  In its first year of operation, the commissioner shall pay to a joint contract, union, unified union, or interstate school district which began operation during or after school year 2003-2004 a facilitation grant of five percent of the base education payment amount in 16 V.S.A. § 4001(13) based on October 1 enrollment for that year or $150,000.00, whichever is less, from the education fund.  The funds shall be in addition to funds received under 16 V.S.A. § 4028 and for districts beginning operation during or after school year 2004-2005 shall be paid in thirds in the same manner that other state education aid is paid under that section.

(b)  This section shall sunset on June 30, 2008.

Sec. 169.  Sec. 163(b) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2001 is amended to read:

(b)  There is appropriated in fiscal year 2002, and each year thereafter, from the education fund to the commissioner of education $450,000.00 for the purpose of awarding grants to technical centers for up to three years to support innovative program development responding to emerging technologies and providing high-skill, high-wage employment.

Sec. 170.  Education - special education: formula grants

                   Grants                                                                             105,256,030

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                105,256,030

(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of 16 V.S.A. § 2969 or any other provisions of law, the reimbursements and grants pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 2967 for fiscal year 2005 costs incurred by school districts shall be paid partially from the fiscal year 2005 appropriation and partially from the fiscal year 2006 appropriation.  The fiscal year 2005 appropriation will cover the final reimbursements for fiscal year 2004, with the remainder available for reimbursements for fiscal year 2005 grants and reimbursements.  Funds distributed to school districts for fiscal year 2005 expenses, to which the school districts were not entitled based on final reports for fiscal year 2005, shall not be considered as part of the total expenditures for fiscal year 2005 under the 60-percent state funding provision of 16 V.S.A. § 2967, as limited by Sec. 10 of No. 117 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), as amended by Sec. 42 of No. 68 of the Acts of 2003.  Such funds held by local school districts shall be treated as expenditures in fiscal year 2006.

(b)  Of the appropriation authorized in this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, an amount not to exceed $2,929,504.00 shall be used by the department of education in fiscal year 2005 as funding for 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b)(2)-(6).  In distributing such funds, the commissioner shall not be limited by the restrictions contained within 16 V.S.A. § 2969(c) and (d).  In addition to funding for 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b)(2)-(6), up to $150,000.00 may be used by the department of education for its participation in the higher education partnership plan.

Sec. 171.  EDUCATION - SPECIAL EDUCATION; SUCCESS BEYOND

                 SIX

(a)  Education funds of the appropriation for special education - formula grants, or other funds eligible to be used for matching federal funds, may be used by each supervisory union to participate in the success beyond six program.  The purpose of the program is to expand local partnerships to enhance the educational opportunities of students who are at risk of failure in school.  The services are to be supplied through contracts with community‑based Medicaid providers.  The form and substance of the contracts shall be established as part of the overall agreement for the implementation of the program to be executed between the commissioner of education and the secretary of human services.

Sec. 172.  Education - state-placed students

                   Grants                                                                               10,842,880

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                  10,842,880

Sec. 173.  Education - adult education and literacy

                   Grants                                                                                 4,201,017

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,717,399

                   Education funds                                                                      499,999

                   Federal funds                                                                         983,619

                        Total                                                                              4,201,017

Sec. 174.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(f)(2) is amended to read:

          (2)  adult education and literacy services, an amount equal to 20 percent of the base education payment for each client who is 16 to 20 years of age, inclusive, and who has gained at least one skill level pursuant to state or federal standards.  The calculation of “client” shall be based on an average of the previous two years, according to information submitted to the commissioner on or before September 15 of the year of calculation.  For each client 16 to 20 years of age, information submitted shall include the name, address, and dates of attendance at all Vermont public secondary schools attended and whether the client has gained a skill level.

Sec. 174a.  ADULT EDUCATION AND LITERACY; FUNDING

     (a)  Notwithstanding 16  V.S.A. § 4011(f)(2), in fiscal year 2005, the adult education and literacy program shall receive funding pursuant to Sec. 173 of this act.

     (b)  On or before September 30, 2005, the commissioner of education shall report to the general assembly on whether the adult education and literacy program has submitted the information required under 16 V.S.A. §4011(f)(2).  If the information has not been submitted, subdivision (f)(2) shall be repealed on October 1, 2005.

Sec. 175.  ADULT EDUCATION AND LITERACY; COMMISSIONER OF

                 EDUCATION; REPORT

     (a)  On or before January 15, 2005, the commissioner of education shall report to the house and senate committees on appropriations and education on:

          (1)  techniques for using education funds allocated to a school district based on counting of an enrolled pupil, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 4001(1), to pay for all or part of funds which, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 4011(f)(2), are due to a department or agency providing adult education and literacy services for that pupil; and

          (2)  strategies to encourage school districts and adult education and literacy providers to work together to keep students enrolled in school until graduation.

Sec. 176.  Education - adjusted education payment

                   Grants                                                                             906,562,829

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                906,562,829

Sec. 177.  Education - essential early education grant

                   Grants                                                                                 4,273,279

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                    4,273,279

Sec. 178.  Education - transportation

                   Grants                                                                               13,190,788

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                  13,190,788

Sec. 179.  Education - small school grants

                   Grants                                                                                 5,229,837

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                    5,229,837

Sec. 180.  Education - capital debt service aid

                   Grants                                                                                    565,240

               Source of Funds

                   Education fund                                                                       565,240

Sec. 181.  Education - tobacco litigation

                   Personal services                                                                    156,690

                   Operating expenses                                                                  26,360

                   Grants                                                                                    695,930

                        Total                                                                                 878,980

               Source of Funds

                   Tobacco fund                                                                         878,980

Sec. 182.  Education - Act 117 cost containment

                   Personal services                                                                    973,780

                   Operating expenses                                                                  89,237

                   Grants                                                                                      65,000

                        Total                                                                              1,128,017

               Source of Funds

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,128,017

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, expenditures made during fiscal year 2005 from this section shall be counted under 16 V.S.A. § 2967 as part of the state’s 60 percent of the statewide total special education expenditures of funds which are not derived from federal sources.

Sec. 183.  MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIAL

                 FUND - DEPOSIT

(a)  In addition to deposits in the Medicaid reimbursement administrative special fund in accordance with 16 V.S.A. § 2959a(b), in fiscal year 2005, $1,128,017.00 of federal Medicaid receipts received for reimbursement of medically related services provided to students who are Medicaid eligible shall be deposited in the administrative special fund.

Sec. 183a.  SCHOOL-BASED MEDICAID

     (a)  The department of education and the agency of human services shall analyze the funding risks to the school-based Medicaid program.  Such analysis shall include the impact of and responses to potential problems in the transition to the premium-based Medicaid system.  It shall also review the funding risks to the school-based programs funded through Medicaid due to the changing environment of federal Medicaid program oversight and Medicaid program modification or changes in or implementation of new rules.

     (b)  The department and agency shall report to the joint fiscal committee no later than its November meeting with the results of its analysis.  The joint fiscal committee shall notify the chairs of the house and senate committees on education and health and welfare so that they may attend the meeting and participate in any discussion.

Sec. 184.  FUND APPROPRIATION AND TRANSFER

(a)  There is appropriated in fiscal year 2005 from the general fund for transfer to the education fund the amount of $249,300,000.00.

Sec. 185.  State teachers’ retirement system

                   Personal services                                                               15,889,873

                   Operating expenses                                                                806,073

                   Grants                                                                               20,446,282

                        Total                                                                            37,142,228

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      20,446,282

                   Pension trust funds                                                             16,695,946

                        Total                                                                            37,142,228

(a)  Notwithstanding 16 V.S.A. § 1944(g)(2), the amount of the annual contribution to the Vermont state teachers’ retirement system shall be $20,446,282.00 in fiscal year 2005.

Sec. 186.  TAX DEPARTMENT - REAPPRAISAL AND LISTING

                 PAYMENTS

(a)  The amount of $2,266,000.00 in education funds is appropriated in fiscal year 2005 to implement the provisions of 32 V.S.A. §§ 4041a(a), relating to payments to municipalities for reappraisal costs, and 5405(f), relating to payments of $1.00 per grand list parcel.

Sec. 187.  Tax department - property tax assistance

                   Grants                                                                               93,811,600

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        5,280,000

                   Transportation fund                                                             3,520,000

                   Education fund                                                                  85,011,600

                        Total                                                                            93,811,600

Sec. 187a.  Sec. 199 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

Sec. 199.  Tax department property tax assistance

                   Grants                                    107,969,706                      109,469,706

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                             7,084,690                           7,084,690

                   Transportation fund                  4,385,016                           4,385,016

                   Education fund                        96,500,000                        98,000,000

               Total                                            107,969,706                    109,469,706

Sec. 188.  16 V.S.A. § 1561(d) is added to read:

     (d)  In any year following a year in which fall semester full-time equivalent enrollment of students at a technical center increased by 20 percent or more over the previous fall semester, in addition to other aid, the technical center shall receive an extra supplemental assistance grant equal to two-thirds of the 35 percent of the base education payment for that year, multiplied by the actual full-time equivalent enrollment increase.  The next year, if the increase in fall semester full-time equivalent enrollment is less than 20 percent, in addition to other aid, the technical center shall receive an extra supplemental assistance grant equal to one-third of the 35 percent of the base education payment for the year multiplied by the actual full-time equivalent increase of the previous fall semester.

Sec. 189.  Total general education and property tax assistance         1,577,724,367

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                    288,139,707

                   Transportation fund                                                             4,040,672

                    Education fund                                                             1,143,019,880

                   Special funds                                                                       1,659,819

                   Tobacco fund                                                                         878,980

                   Federal funds                                                                  109,684,625

                   Pension trust funds                                                             16,695,946

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                  13,604,738

                        Total                                                                       1,577,724,367

Sec. 190.  University of Vermont

                   Grants                                                                               37,937,512

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      37,937,512

(a)  The commissioner of finance and management shall issue warrants to pay one-twelfth of the appropriation to the University of Vermont on or about the 15th of each calendar month of the year.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $355,470.00 shall be transferred to EPSCoR for the purpose of complying with state matching fund requirements necessary for the receipt of available federal or private funds, or both.

Sec. 191.  University of Vermont - Morgan horse farm

                   Grants                                                                                        5,000

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                               5,000

Sec. 192.  Vermont public television

                   Grants                                                                                    563,832

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           563,832

Sec. 193.  Vermont state colleges

                   Grants                                                                               21,867,742

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      21,867,742

(a)  The commissioner of finance and management shall issue warrants to pay one-twelfth of the appropriation to the Vermont state colleges on or about the 15th of each calendar month of the year.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $100,000.00 shall be reserved for use as the state’s fiscal year 2005 contribution toward the growth of the endowment fund for the Vermont state colleges.  The state’s funds are to serve as a challenge match to enhance the state colleges’ ability to secure endowment contributions from alumni and other interested parties.  The intent is that the fiscal year 2005 appropriation will be the fourth of five annual appropriations, through fiscal year 2006, totaling $500,000.00.  The conditions of this challenge match are that the state colleges are required to raise three dollars for each dollar appropriated by the state.  A method for accounting for the state colleges’ share has been agreed to between the state colleges and the commissioner of finance and management.  Transfers to the state colleges’ endowment fund shall be under the condition that only the interest accruing to the fund will be available for purposes as designated by the board of trustees of the state colleges.  By June 30, 2007, any remaining state appropriations designated for the state colleges’ endowment fund that have not been matched by the state colleges shall revert to the general fund.  The funds appropriated for this purpose shall be retained by the state.

(c)  Of the above appropriation, $400,860.00 shall be transferred to the Vermont manufacturing extension center for the purpose of complying with state matching fund requirements necessary for the receipt of available federal or private funds, or both.

(d)  Of the above appropriation, $100,000.00 shall be a one-time grant to the Vermont teacher diversity scholarship program.

Sec. 194.  Vermont state colleges - nursing and dental hygiene

                   Grants                                                                                    620,661

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           620,661

Sec. 195.  Vermont interactive television

                   Grants                                                                                    795,331

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           795,331

Sec. 196.  Vermont student assistance corporation

                   Grants                                                                               17,142,609

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      17,142,609

(a)  Not less than 100 percent of grants shall be used for direct student aid.

Sec. 197.  New England higher education compact

                   Operating expenses                                                                  88,840

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             88,840

Sec. 198.  Total higher education and other                                           79,021,527

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      79,021,527

Sec. 199.  Natural resources - agency of natural resources - administration

                   Personal services                                                                 3,946,209

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,874,447

                   Grants                                                                                    310,700

                        Total                                                                              6,131,356

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        2,914,400

                   Special funds                                                                          966,964

                   Federal funds                                                                         423,900

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    1,826,092

                        Total                                                                              6,131,356

Sec. 200.  REVERSION TO GENERAL FUND

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, $15,000.00 in general funds appropriated in Sec. 52 of  No. 80 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004), which amends Sec. 211 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 to the agency of natural resources, administration, shall revert to the general fund in fiscal year 2005.

Sec. 201.  Connecticut river watershed advisory commission

                   Grants                                                                                      38,000

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             22,500

                   Federal funds                                                                           15,500

                        Total                                                                                   38,000

Sec. 202.  Citizens’ advisory committee on Lake Champlain’s future

                   Personal services                                                                        2,300

                   Operating expenses                                                                    5,200

                        Total                                                                                     7,500

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                               7,500

Sec. 203.  Natural resources - state land local property tax assessment

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,229,000

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           756,377

                   Transportation fund                                                                211,123

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       261,500

                        Total                                                                              1,229,000

Sec. 204.  Green up

                   Operating expenses                                                                    6,036

                   Grants                                                                                        8,550

                        Total                                                                                   14,586

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                               6,036

                   Special funds                                                                              8,550

                        Total                                                                                   14,586

Sec. 205.  Fish and wildlife - support and field services

                   Personal services                                                                 9,379,330

                   Operating expenses                                                             4,217,773

                   Grants                                                                                    156,000

                        Total                                                                            13,753,103

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,250,101

                   Transportation fund                                                                365,000

                   Fish and wildlife fund                                                         12,138,002

                        Total                                                                            13,753,103

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $5,000.00 shall be used to provide scholarships for children wishing to attend one of the conservation camps administered by the department of fish and wildlife.  No portion of any general fund appropriation, tuition payments, donations made, or interest earned on endowment funds for the camps program within the department of fish and wildlife for the purposes of supporting the conservation camps shall be reallocated or used for any other purpose.

(b)  In fiscal year 2005, the department shall expend $200,000.00 in general funds provided for marketing to increase hunting and fishing license sales.  It shall report to the house and senate committees on appropriations, the senate committee on natural resources and energy, and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources on or before January 15, 2005 the expenditures made and their results.

(c)  In its budget presentations and reports to the general assembly, the department of fish and wildlife shall provide an accounting of all expenditures for nongame programs and indicate therein the expenditures and budget items chargeable both to game and nongame programs and shall develop its budget accordingly.

     (d)  To the maximum extent feasible, the general funds in this appropriation, excepting $200,000.00 allocated for marketing activity, shall be used to fund administrative support, overhead, nongame program activities, and programs that benefit both game and nongame species, while reserving traditional funding sources from hunters and anglers for activities that directly benefit from hunting and fishing programs.  The agency shall track general fund and transportation fund expenditures from this appropriation for the first six months of fiscal year 2005 and report on these expenditures to the senate and house committees on appropriations by February 15, 2005.

Sec. 205a.  INSURANCE RESERVE FUND TRANSFER

     (a)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 135, $44,674.00 is hereby transferred from the insurance reserve fund, established under 32 V.S.A. § 134, to the department of fish and wildlife for rebuilding the Gordon House in Grand Isle.

Sec. 206.  Fish and wildlife - watershed improvement

                   Operating expenses                                                                       661

                   Grants                                                                                      50,000

                        Total                                                                                   50,661

               Source of Funds

                   Fish and wildlife fund                                                                50,661

Sec. 207.  Fish and wildlife - wildlife management area projects

                   Operating expenses                                                                    5,000

               Source of Funds

                   Fish and wildlife fund                                                                  5,000

Sec. 208.  Fish and wildlife - conservation

                   Personal services                                                                    126,610

                   Operating expenses                                                                  15,785

                   Grants                                                                                    417,000

                        Total                                                                                 559,395

               Source of Funds

                   Fish and wildlife fund                                                              559,395

Sec. 209.  Forests, parks and recreation - administration

                   Personal services                                                                    748,075

                   Operating expenses                                                                614,383

                   Grants                                                                                 1,936,500

                        Total                                                                              3,298,958

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,136,958

                   Special funds                                                                          890,000

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,272,000

                        Total                                                                              3,298,958

Sec. 210.  Forests, parks and recreation - forestry

                   Personal services                                                                 4,458,479

                   Operating expenses                                                                449,375

                   Grants                                                                                    363,000

                        Total                                                                              5,270,854

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,217,274

                   Transportation fund                                                                  21,500

                   Special funds                                                                          375,000

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,438,080

                   Permanent trust funds                                                                 5,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       214,000

                        Total                                                                              5,270,854

Sec. 211.  Forests, parks and recreation - state parks

                   Personal services                                                                 4,706,026

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,973,200

                   Grants                                                                                        5,000

                        Total                                                                              6,684,226

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           298,627

                   Special funds                                                                       6,385,599

                        Total                                                                              6,684,226

     (a)  The department of forests, parks and recreation shall establish a demonstration program in three to five state parks in which a person provides administrative and maintenance services at the park in exchange for a camp site for the season at no cost.

Sec. 212.  Forests, parks and recreation - lands administration

                   Personal services                                                                    434,554

                   Operating expenses                                                                229,500

                        Total                                                                                 664,054

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           439,054

                   Special fund                                                                           195,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         30,000

                        Total                                                                                 664,054

Sec. 213.  Forests, parks and recreation - youth conservation corps

                   Personal services                                                                    391,775

                   Operating expenses                                                                  27,800

                   Grants                                                                                    500,000

                        Total                                                                                 919,575

               Source of Funds                                

                   Special funds                                                                          596,575

                   Federal funds                                                                           73,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       250,000

                        Total                                                                                 919,575

Sec. 214.  Forests, parks and recreation - forest highway maintenance

                   Personal services                                                                    247,978

                   Operating expenses                                                                326,000

                        Total                                                                                 573,978

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                             90,965

                   Transportation fund                                                                483,013

                        Total                                                                                 573,978

Sec. 215.  Environmental conservation - management and support services

                   Personal services                                                                 2,751,124

                   Operating expenses                                                                753,419

                   Grants                                                                                      97,530

                        Total                                                                              3,602,073

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,166,778

                   Special funds                                                                          604,073

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,036,410

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       794,812

                        Total                                                                              3,602,073

Sec. 216.  Environmental conservation - air and waste management

                   Personal services                                                                 5,579,941

                   Operating expenses                                                             5,900,551

                   Grants                                                                                 1,183,500

                        Total                                                                            12,663,992

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           592,246

                   Special funds                                                                       9,072,141

                   Federal funds                                                                      2,829,605

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       170,000

                        Total                                                                            12,663,992

Sec. 217.  Environmental conservation - office of water programs

                   Personal services                                                               11,507,410

                   Operating expenses                                                             2,397,137

                   Grants                                                                                 2,196,662

                        Total                                                                            16,101,209

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        5,828,516

                   Transportation fund                                                                183,709

                   Special funds                                                                       3,185,235

                   Federal funds                                                                      6,321,692

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       582,057

                        Total                                                                            16,101,209

     (a)  To facilitate the federally required erosion control program for sites with disturbed ground of one to five acres, the department shall provide information and education for affected persons.

Sec. 218.  REVERSION TO GENERAL FUND

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, $50,000.00 in general funds appropriated in Sec. 53 of No. 80 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004), which amends Sec. 231 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 to the agency of natural resources, department of environmental conservation, office of water programs, shall revert to the general fund in fiscal year 2005.

Sec. 219.  Environmental conservation - tax-loss - Connecticut river flood control

                   Operating expenses                                                                  40,000

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                            40,000

Sec. 220.  Environmental board and district commissions - Act 250

                   Personal services                                                                 2,033,202

                   Operating expenses                                                                368,967

                        Total                                                                              2,402,169

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           880,992

                   Special funds                                                                       1,521,177

                        Total                                                                              2,402,169

Sec. 221.  Environmental board and district commissions - waste facilities panel

                   Personal services                                                                    132,633

                   Operating expenses                                                                  12,367

                        Total                                                                                 145,000

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                          120,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                         25,000

                        Total                                                                                 145,000

Sec. 222.  Water resources board

                   Personal services                                                                    284,906

                   Operating expenses                                                                  39,609

                        Total                                                                                 324,515

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           324,515

Sec. 223.  Total natural resources                                                         74,479,204

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      18,932,839

                   Transportation fund                                                             1,264,345

                   Fish and wildlife fund                                                         12,753,058

                   Special funds                                                                     23,960,314

                   Federal funds                                                                    13,410,187

                   Permanent trust funds                                                                 5,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                    4,153,461

                        Total                                                                            74,479,204

Sec. 224.  Commerce and community development - agency of commerce and community development - administration

                   Personal services                                                                 1,230,130

                   Operating expenses                                                                458,576

                   Grants                                                                                    186,200

                        Total                                                                              1,874,906

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,874,906

Sec. 225.  10 V.S.A. § 328 is amended to read:

§ 328.  Creation of the sustainable jobs fund program

* * *

     (e)  Annually, on or before May 30, the sustainable jobs fund program shall submit a grant application and proposed work plan to the secretary of commerce and community development who in consultation with the department of economic development shall review the application to assure that it complements the goals and priorities of the department.  The secretary at any time may request the sustainable jobs fund program to submit information that the secretary determines necessary or desirable to consider the annual application, assess the effectiveness of the grant, or carry out the purposes of this chapter.

     (f)  The Vermont sustainable jobs fund program shall work collaboratively with the agency of agriculture, food and markets to assist the Vermont slaughterhouse industry in supporting its efforts at productivity and sustainability.

Sec. 226.  Housing and community affairs

                   Personal services                                                                 2,217,796

                   Operating expenses                                                                326,342

                   Grants                                                                                 3,965,014

                        Total                                                                              6,509,152

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,531,188

                   Special funds                                                                       3,468,740

                   Federal funds                                                                      1,509,224

                        Total                                                                              6,509,152

Sec. 227.  BROWNFIELDS; APPROPRIATION

     (a)  In fiscal year 2004, there is appropriated $65,000.00 from the municipal regional planning fund to the department of housing and community affairs to be distributed to regional planning commissions that are, or may become, responsible for administration of federal grants from the environmental protection agency for brownfields analysis and remediation to cover expenses associated with such administrative costs.

Sec. 228.  Historic sites operations

                   Personal services                                                                    563,114

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,344,765

                        Total                                                                              1,907,879

               Source of Funds                                

                   General fund                                                                           409,352

                   Special funds                                                                          490,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         453,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       555,527

                        Total                                                                              1,907,879

Sec. 229.  CONSOLIDATION OF ALL STATE‑FUNDED VERMONT

                 HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACTIVITIES

(a)  There is created a committee on the consolidation of state‑funded historic preservation activities.  The committee shall consist of the following:

(1)  the commissioner of finance and management;

(2)  the commissioner of housing and community affairs;

(3)  the state historic preservation officer;

(4)  the executive director of the Vermont historical society;

(5)  one member of the Vermont historical society board;

(6)  one member of the Vermont advisory council on historic preservation;

(7)  a representative of the preservation trust of Vermont; and

(8)  two members of the general assembly, one from the house appointed by the speaker and one from the senate appointed by the committee on committees.

(b)  The committee shall review the current historic preservation goals of the state, including a comprehensive summary of the funding, organization structure, and programmatic activities of the various organizations that receive state funding for historic preservation activities.

(c)  The committee shall report by November 15, 2004 to the general assembly on its findings and shall make specific recommendations on:

(1)  the unification of these activities in one state agency;

(2)  a single funding request for the unified agency in the fiscal year 2006 budget.

(d)  Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation under 2 V.S.A. § 406.  The executive and legislative staff shall provide support to the committee as appropriate to accomplish its tasks.  Primary administrative support shall be provided by the legislative council.

     (e)  The administration shall include the recommendation of the committee in the fiscal year 2006 budget submission made to the general assembly.

Sec. 230.  Community development block grants

                   Grants                                                                                 8,185,740

               Source of Funds

                   Federal funds                                                                      8,185,740

(a)  Community development block grants will carry forward until expended.

Sec. 231.  Downtown transportation and capital improvement fund

                   Grants                                                                                    800,000

               Source of Funds                                

                   Special funds                                                                          800,000

Sec. 232.  Economic development

                   Personal services                                                                 1,648,204

                   Operating expenses                                                                534,099

                   Grants                                                                                 1,602,774

                        Total                                                                              3,785,077

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        3,144,403

                   Special funds                                                                          472,000

                   Federal funds                                                                         168,674

                         Total                                                                              3,785,077

(a)  Prior to the secretary’s approval of any grant for carrying out the duties of the world trade office, the secretary shall submit the grant to the house and senate committees on appropriations, the house committee on commerce, and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs for their approval.  If the general assembly is not in session, the grant must be submitted to the joint fiscal committee for its approval.

     (b)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $150,000.00 shall be used to provide $12,500.00 grants to each of the regional development corporations.

     (c)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $200,000.00 shall be used to support recruitment, retention, and entrepreneurial development activities.

Sec. 232a.  INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR CAPTIVE INSURANCE

                  EDUCATION; APPROPRIATION

     (a)  In fiscal year 2004 there is appropriated $50,000.00 from the captive insurance regulatory and supervision fund to the department of economic development for a grant to support the international center for captive insurance education.

Sec. 233.  Vermont training program

                   Personal services                                                                    107,531

                   Operating expenses                                                                  26,599

                   Grants                                                                                 1,324,570

                        Total                                                                              1,458,700

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        1,407,700

                   Special funds                                                                            51,000

                        Total                                                                              1,458,700

Sec. 233a.  10 V.S.A. § 531(c)(1) is amended to read:

          (1)  employ new persons at a wage which, at the completion of the training program, is two times the prevailing state or federal minimum wage, whichever is greater, reduced by the value of any existing health benefit package up to a limit of 25 30 percent of the gross program wage, or for existing employees, to increase the wage to two times the prevailing state and federal minimum wage, whichever is greater, reduced by the value of any existing health benefit package up to a limit of 15 20 percent of the gross program wage, upon completion of training; provided, however, that in areas defined by the secretary of commerce and community development in which the secretary finds that the rate of unemployment is 50 percent greater than the average for the state, the wage rate under this subsection may be set by the secretary at a rate no less than one and one-half times the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is greater;

Sec. 234.  Tourism and marketing

                   Personal services                                                                 2,372,840

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,816,797

                   Grants                                                                                    789,000

                        Total                                                                              4,978,637

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                        4,678,637

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       300,000

                        Total                                                                              4,978,637

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $65,000.00 shall be used to support the Vermont wood products showcase initiative for promotion of Vermont wood products.  These funds will provide a one-for-one match for the first tier action items identified in the wood product council’s action plan for fiscal year 2005.

(b)  Funds designated for regional marketing grants shall be expended to market activities, including advertising, direct mail campaigns, familiarization trips for writers and travel trade professionals, public relations, regional websites, tourist fulfillment, trade shows, niche guides, event marketing sponsorships, and administrative costs that can be documented in the year-end grant report.  These activities shall be done in cooperation with the department of tourism and marketing’s plans which are designed to improve communications with the travel and tourism industry.

Sec. 234a.  CONSOLIDATION AND CONTRACTING OF TOURISM AND

                   MARKETING FUNCTIONS

     (a)  The general assembly recognizes that:

(1)  Tourism is a vitally important industry to the state of Vermont;

(2)  Marketing of Vermont goods and services is an integral function that supports the tourism sector of the state and benefits many other Vermont businesses, including agriculture and manufacturing;

(3)  The promotion of Vermont’s travel, recreation, and cultural attractions and the promotion of Vermont goods and services require coordination with many agencies of state government, chambers of commerce and travel associations, and the private sector;

(4)  The state funds available to support the marketing and promotion efforts of the state, while limited,  must be managed to provide the maximum return to Vermont based travel, recreational, agricultural, and manufacturing businesses;

(b)  There is created the committee on consolidation and contracting of tourism and marketing functions.

(1)  The committee shall consist of 12 members as follows:

(A)  The secretary of the agency of commerce and community development, who shall serve as chair of the committee.

(B)  The secretary of the agency of administration, or designee.

(C)  Two members of the general assembly:

(i)  One member from the senate appointed by the committee on committees;

(ii)  One member of the house appointed by the speaker.

(D)  Eight members appointed by the governor who are not state government employees as follows:

(i)  One member representing small-scale tourism and general business interests;

(ii)  One member representing large-scale tourism and general business interests;

(iii)  One member representing traditional outdoor recreational interests such as hunting, fishing, and camping activities;

(iv)  One member representing agricultural interests;

(v)  One member representing regional marketing organizations;

(vi)  One member representing Vermont products manufacturing interests;

(vii)  One member with recognized professional experience and expertise in marketing and advertising; and

(viii)  One member representing Vermont business organizations.

(2)  The charge of the committee is as follows:

(A)  Inventory, review, and describe all the functions and activities of the current department of tourism and marketing.  This review shall include the “as-passed” fiscal year 2005 budget allocated to each function, including the source of funds, the number of state employee positions, and operating expenses allocated to each function.

(B)  Inventory, review, and describe all marketing and promotional activities performed by any another agency or department of state government.  This review shall include the “as-passed” fiscal year 2005 budget allocated to each function including the source of funds, the number of state employee positions, and operating expenses allocated to each function.

(C)  Assess the functions and activities identified above and make recommendations as to:

(i)  The continuation of specific functions and activities;

(ii)  The benefits of consolidation of specific functions and activities;

(iii)  The redirection of resources among functions and activities;

(iv)  The suitability of contracting with the private sector to perform  functions and activities;

(v)  The most effective administrative and oversight structure for managing the state investment of funds for marketing and promotional purposes.

(D)  Recommend a plan to restructure the tourism marketing and promotional  activities that could be implemented in fiscal year 2006.  The plan shall identify the state employee positions that would be affected by the restructuring.  The plan shall include any recommendations for amending state statutes to implement the restructuring.

(E)  Recommend key priorities to be included in a “request for proposal” for the activities recommended for contracting.

(F)  Use the following principles in making the assessments  and recommendations in subdivision (2)(C) of this subsection:

(i)  Maximizing the value and utilization of the Vermont brand;

(ii)  Maximizing the return on state expenditures for marketing and promotion;

(iii)  Leveraging private sector funds and expertise to support and complement these activities;

(iv)  Undertaking marketing efforts which are coherent, coordinated, effective, and, to the degree possible, measurable by relevant criteria;

(v)  Adopting any additional guidelines or principles in making its assessments and recommendations.

(G)  Submit a report on the its findings and recommendations to the general assembly and the governor by November 15, 2004.

(c)  Staff assistance shall be provided by the department of tourism and marketing, the agency of commerce and community development, the agency of administration, the legislative council, and the joint fiscal office.  Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation under 32 V.S.A. § 1052.

Sec. 235.  Vermont life

                   Personal services                                                                    690,000

                   Operating expenses                                                                135,000

                        Total                                                                                 825,000

               Source of Funds

                   Enterprise funds                                                                      825,000

Sec. 236.  Vermont council on the arts

                   Grants                                                                                    519,618

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           519,618

(a)  Included in the above appropriation is $25,000.00 to be used as matching funds by the Vermont museum and gallery alliance for a statewide restoration project of historical painted theatre curtains.

Sec. 237.  Vermont symphony orchestra

                   Grants                                                                                    101,960

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           101,960

Sec. 238.  Vermont historical society

                   Grants                                                                                    527,660

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           527,660

Sec. 239.  Vermont housing and conservation board

                   Grants                                                                               23,898,112

               Source of Funds

                   Special funds                                                                     13,613,246

                   Federal funds                                                                    10,284,866

                        Total                                                                            23,898,112

(a)  Of the above special fund appropriation, $400,000.00 shall be allocated for a grant to the Vermont center for independent living for the home access project to be used in a manner consistent with Vermont housing and conservation fund guidelines.

Sec. 240.  Vermont humanities council

                   Grants                                                                                    150,599

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                           150,599

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $20,000.00 shall be used to support the connections program.

Sec. 240a.  10 V.S.A. § 637 is amended to read: 

§ 637.  SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY, CREDIT OF STATE NOT PLEDGED

     Obligations The agency shall have the benefit of sovereign immunity to the same extent as the state of Vermont.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, obligations issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a debt or liability or obligation of the state or of any political subdivision thereof or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or of any political subdivision but shall be payable solely from the revenues or assets of the agency.  Each obligation issued under this chapter shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that the agency shall not be obligated to pay the same nor the interest thereon except from the revenues or assets pledged therefor and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the state or of any political subdivision thereof is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on such obligations.

Sec. 241.  Total commerce and community development                       55,523,040

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      14,346,023

                   Special funds                                                                     18,894,986

                   Federal funds                                                                    20,601,504

                   Enterprise funds                                                                      825,000

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                       855,527

                        Total                                                                            55,523,040

Sec. 242.  TRANSPORTATION

(a)  Transportation fund appropriations made available for the agency of transportation in cooperation with the federal government shall be available until expended and shall not revert.

(b)  The commissioner of finance and management shall maintain and control transportation appropriations in separate state and federal appropriations as needed and may incur overdrafts in personal services and operating expenses pending distribution of payroll and employee charges to other appropriations.

Sec. 243.  Transportation - finance and administration

                   Personal services                                                                 8,285,296

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,796,010

                        Total                                                                            10,081,306

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             9,606,306

                   Federal funds                                                                         475,000

                        Total                                                                            10,081,306

(a)  The agency of transportation shall ensure that when Route 108 is closed between Stowe and Jeffersonville, physical barriers shall be placed on the roadway to prevent traffic from using the road.  If the barriers are not in place, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no citations shall be issued for road use.

Sec. 243a.  ROUTE 7 WATER LINE NEGOTIATIONS

     (a)  The secretary of transportation shall submit a status report on discussions with Pownal Fire District #5 concerning allocation of costs and financial arrangements regarding movement of a water line.  This report shall be filed with the joint fiscal office prior to the July 2004 meeting of the joint fiscal committee.

Sec. 244.  Transportation - aviation

                   Personal services                                                                 1,326,437

                   Operating expenses                                                           10,600,838

                   Grants                                                                                    130,000

                        Total                                                                            12,057,275

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             3,024,775

                   Federal funds                                                                      9,032,500

                        Total                                                                            12,057,275

Sec. 245.  Transportation - buildings

                   Personal services                                                                    202,000

                   Operating expenses                                                             1,102,000

                        Total                                                                              1,304,000

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             1,304,000

Sec. 246.  Transportation - program development

                   Personal services                                                               35,250,853

                   Operating expenses                                                         102,737,697

                   Grants                                                                               29,589,958

                        Total                                                                          167,578,508

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                           33,473,081

                   Local match                                                                        2,607,821

                   Federal funds                                                                  131,497,606

                        Total                                                                          167,578,508

Sec. 247.  Transportation - interstate rest areas

                   Personal services                                                                    180,000

                   Operating expenses                                                             5,074,282

                        Total                                                                              5,254,282

               Source of Funds

                   Federal funds                                                                      5,254,282

Sec. 248.  Transportation - maintenance state system

                   Personal services                                                               29,175,042

                   Operating expenses                                                           23,681,617

                   Grants                                                                                    582,300

                        Total                                                                            53,438,959

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                           52,678,459

                   Federal funds                                                                         760,500

                        Total                                                                            53,438,959

Sec. 249.  Transportation - policy and planning

                   Personal services                                                                 3,185,021

                   Operating expenses                                                                504,783

                   Grants                                                                                 4,130,769

                        Total                                                                              7,820,573

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             1,742,221

                   Federal funds                                                                      6,078,352

                        Total                                                                              7,820,573

Sec. 250.  Transportation - rail

                   Personal services                                                                 3,744,449

                   Operating expenses                                                             4,105,787

                   Grants                                                                                 2,800,000

                        Total                                                                            10,650,236

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             6,413,236

                   Federal funds                                                                      4,237,000

                        Total                                                                            10,650,236

Sec. 251.  Transportation - public transit

                   Personal services                                                                    471,074

                   Operating expenses                                                                742,112

                   Grants                                                                               12,509,328

                        Total                                                                            13,722,514

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             6,379,376

                   Local match                                                                             67,500

                   Federal funds                                                                      7,275,638

                        Total                                                                            13,722,514

Sec. 252.  Transportation - central garage

                   Personal services                                                                 2,994,408

                   Operating expenses                                                             7,995,537

                        Total                                                                            10,989,945

               Source of Funds

                   Internal service funds                                                         10,989,945

Sec. 253.  Department of motor vehicles

                   Personal services                                                               13,710,579

                   Operating expenses                                                             6,265,306

                   Grants                                                                                    100,000

                        Total                                                                            20,075,885

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                           19,112,258

                   Federal funds                                                                         963,627

                        Total                                                                            20,075,885

(a)  Of the above transportation fund appropriation, $127,483.00 shall be transferred to the department of education, education programs, to support the driver education program.

Sec. 254.  Transportation - town highway structures

                   Grants                                                                                 3,494,500

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             3,494,500

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in fiscal year 2004, the sum of $3,500,000.00 shall revert to the transportation fund from the town highway structures account, account # 8100000300.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in fiscal year 2005, the sum of $492,122.00 shall revert to the transportation fund from the town highway structures account, account # 8100000300.

Sec. 255.  Transportation – town highway emergency fund

                   Grants                                                                                               1

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                                           1

     (a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in fiscal year 2005, the sum of $125,000.00 shall revert to the transportation fund from the town highway emergency fund account, account #8100001400.

Sec. 256.  Transportation - town highway Vermont local roads

                   Grants                                                                                    677,333

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                                435,600

                   Federal funds                                                                         241,733

                        Total                                                                                 677,333

Sec. 257.  Transportation - town highway class 2 roadway

                   Grants                                                                                 4,248,750

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             4,248,750

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in fiscal year 2004, the sum of $1,500,000.00 shall revert to the transportation fund from the town highway class 2 roadway account, account # 8100002600.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in fiscal year 2005, the sum of $280,473.00 shall revert to the transportation fund from the town highway class 2 roadway account, account # 8100002600.

Sec. 258.  Transportation - town highway bridges

                   Personal services                                                                 3,610,000

                   Operating expenses                                                           16,903,263

                   Grants                                                                                    418,000

                        Total                                                                            20,931,263

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                             7,129,406

                   Local match                                                                        1,384,030

                   Federal funds                                                                    12,417,827

                        Total                                                                            20,931,263

Sec. 259.  Transportation - town highway aid program

                   Grants                                                                               24,982,744

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                           24,982,744

(a)  The above appropriation is authorized, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 306(a).

Sec. 260.  Transportation - town highway class 1 supplemental grants

                   Grants                                                                                    128,750

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                                128,750

Sec. 261.  Transportation - public assistance grant program

                   Grants                                                                                    200,001

               Source of Funds

                   Special fund                                                                                      1

                   Federal funds                                                                         200,000

                        Total                                                                                 200,001

Sec. 262.  Transportation board

                   Personal services                                                                      68,138

                   Operating expenses                                                                  10,262

                        Total                                                                                   78,400

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                                  78,400

Sec. 263.  Total transportation                                                            367,715,225

               Source of Funds

                   Transportation fund                                                         174,231,863

                   Special funds                                                                                     1

                   Local match                                                                        4,059,351

                   Federal funds                                                                  178,434,065

                   Internal service funds                                                         10,989,945

                        Total                                                                          367,715,225

Sec. 264.  Debt service                                                                        65,481,831

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      60,579,557

                   Transportation fund                                                             2,514,264

                   Special funds                                                                       2,388,010

                        Total                                                                            65,481,831

Sec. 265.  Total debt service                                                                65,481,831

               Source of Funds

                   General fund                                                                      60,579,557

                   Transportation fund                                                             2,514,264

                   Special funds                                                                       2,388,010

                        Total                                                                            65,481,831

Sec. 266.  MISCELLANEOUS ACTS OF THE 2004 SESSION

(a)  Amounts are hereby appropriated in accordance with the provisions of all house and senate bills which may be enacted by the 2004 session of the general assembly.

Sec. 267.  RELATIONSHIP TO CERTAIN EXISTING LAWS

(a)  This act shall not be construed in any way to negate or impair the full force and effect of existing laws relating to taxation and the disposition of funds raised thereby, the appraisal of electric plants, lawful rebates from the state treasury, laws relating to unorganized towns and gores, laws relating to trust funds for which the state is trustee or beneficiary, laws relating to care and regulation of state institutions and property, and laws relating to the state agricultural land grant funds.

Sec. 268.  OFFSETTING APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  In the absence of specific provisions to the contrary in this act, when total appropriations are offset by estimated receipts, the state appropriations shall control, notwithstanding receipts being greater or less than anticipated. 

Sec. 269.  FEDERAL FUNDS

(a)  In fiscal year 2005, the governor, with the approval of the general assembly or the joint fiscal committee if the general assembly is not in session, may accept federal funds available to the state of Vermont, including block grants in lieu of or in addition to funds herein designated as federal.  The governor, with the approval of the general assembly or the joint fiscal committee if the general assembly is not in session, may allocate all or any portion of such federal funds for any purpose consistent with the purposes for which the basic appropriations in this act have been made.

(b)  If during fiscal year 2005, federal funds available to the state of Vermont and designated as federal in this and other acts of the 2004 session of the Vermont general assembly are converted into block grants or are abolished under their current title in federal law and reestablished under a new title in federal law, the governor may continue to accept such federal funds for any purpose consistent with the purposes for which the federal funds were appropriated.  The governor may spend such funds for such purposes for no more than 45 days prior to legislative or joint fiscal committee approval.  Notice shall be given to the joint fiscal committee without delay if the governor is intending to use the authority granted by this section, and the joint fiscal committee shall meet in an expedited manner to review the governor’s request for approval.

Sec. 270.  DEPARTMENTAL RECEIPTS

(a)  All receipts shall be credited to the general fund except as otherwise provided and except the following receipts, for which this subsection shall constitute authority to credit to special funds:

Connecticut River flood control

Public service department ‑ sale of power

Tax department ‑ unorganized towns and gores

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, departmental indirect cost recovery (32 V.S.A. § 6) receipts are authorized, subject to the approval of the secretary of administration, to be retained by the department.  All recoveries not so authorized shall be covered into the general fund or, for agency of transportation recoveries, the transportation fund.

Sec. 271.  NEW POSITIONS

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the total number of authorized state positions, both classified and exempt, excluding temporary positions as defined in 3 V.S.A. § 311(11), shall not be increased during fiscal year 2005, except for new positions authorized by the 2004 session.  Limited service positions approved pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5 shall not be subject to this restriction.

Sec. 272.  APPROPRIATIONS; PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

(a)  This act contains the following amounts appropriated from special funds that receive revenue from the property transfer tax.  Expenditures from these appropriations shall not exceed available revenues:

(1)  The sum of $288,000.00 is appropriated from the property valuation and review administration special fund to the department of taxes for administration of the use tax reimbursement program.  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 9610(c), amounts above $288,000.00 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the property valuation and review administration special fund shall be transferred into the general fund.

(2)  The sum of $12,604,000.00 is appropriated from the housing and conservation trust fund to the housing and conservation trust board.  Notwithstanding 10 V.S.A. § 312, amounts above $12,604,000.00 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund shall be transferred into the general fund.

(3)  The sum of $3,769,920.00 is appropriated from the municipal and regional planning fund.  Notwithstanding 24 V.S.A. § 4306(a), amounts above $3,769,920.00 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the municipal and regional planning fund shall be transferred into the general fund.  The $3,769,920.00 shall be allocated as follows:

(A)  $2,638,944.00 for disbursement to regional planning commissions in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(B)  $753,984.00 for disbursement to municipalities in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(C)  $376,992.00 to the geographic information system.

Sec. 273.  FISCAL YEARS 2006 AND 2007 PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

                ALLOCATIONS

     (a)  In fiscal years 2006 and 2007, the appropriations made to the department of taxes, the housing and conservation board, and the municipal and regional planning fund for distribution to regional planning commissions, municipalities, and the geographic information system shall be increased four and one-half percent (4.5%) above the level appropriated to each of these entities in the previous fiscal year.  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 9610(c), 10 V.S.A. § 312, and 24 V.S.A. § 4306(a), property transfer tax revenue above these amounts shall be transferred to the general fund.

Sec. 274.  [Deleted]

Sec. 275.  [Deleted]

Sec. 276.  [Deleted]

Sec. 277.  SPECIAL EDUCATION; STATE FUNDING

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 10(c) of No. 117 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), state funding pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b) shall not exceed 60 percent for any fiscal year.  If, in any fiscal year, the actual percentage increase in the statewide total special education expenditures is less than the target increase, pursuant to Sec. 10(a) of No. 117 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), as amended by Sec. 42 of No. 68 of the Acts of 2003, and the actual increase in the total K-12 service plans is more than the target increase, the actual percentage increase will be used to determine the amount appropriated for the ensuing fiscal year, pursuant to Sec. 10(b) of No. 117 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000).

Sec. 278.  Sec. 10(b) of No. 117 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) is amended to read:

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 101 of Title 16, in fiscal years 2002 through 2004, the amount appropriated by the general assembly to provide state aid for special education shall be no more than the amount that would be appropriated if statewide total special education expenditures grew by the target amounts.

Sec. 279.  TRANSPORTATION FUND TRANSFER

(a)  The amount of $800,000.00 is transferred from the transportation fund to the downtown transportation and related capital improvement fund established by 24 V.S.A. § 2796 to be used by the Vermont downtown development board for the purposes of the fund.

Sec. 280.  GENERAL FUND TRANSFER

(a)  With respect to the transfer of $3,100,000.00 of general funds to the transportation fund in Sec. 81a of No. 80 of the Acts of 2004, and to the extent and in the amount that general funds are transferred to the transportation fund pursuant to Sec. 88 of No. 80 of the Acts of 2004, such amounts of fiscal year 2005 transportation fund appropriations shall not be included in the calculation of the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve requirement for fiscal year 2006 under 32 V.S.A. § 308a(b), nor in the calculation of allowable transportation fund appropriations for fiscal year 2006 under 19 V.S.A. § 11a, nor in the calculation of the transfer requirements for fiscal year 2006 of the transportation equipment replacement account of the central garage fund under 19 V.S.A. § 13(c).

Sec. 281.  10 V.S.A. § 280a(a)(11) is added to read:

(11)  a program that would award grants made to eligible and qualified recipients as directed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets or the agency of natural resources for the purpose of funding stream stability and conservation reserve enhancement environmental initiatives approved by the agencies, provided that the maximum amount of grants awarded by the authority pursuant to the program shall not exceed $1,340,238.00 in the aggregate.

Sec. 282.  SPECIAL DEBT REDUCTION ADJUSTMENT

(a)  The state treasurer, in consultation with the secretary of administration, shall negotiate an agreement for forgiveness of up to $1,340,238.00 of the principal balance of the loan between the state of Vermont and the Vermont economic development authority issued May 15, 2003.  The negotiated agreement shall require the Vermont economic development authority to make grants in a like amount to eligible and qualified recipients as directed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets or by the agency of natural resources for the purpose of funding stream stability and conservation reserve enhancement environmental initiatives approved by the agencies.  The agreement will also specify that the authority continue to make all payments currently scheduled under the loan to the state until the remaining principal and interest are paid in full.

Sec. 283.  FISCAL YEAR 2004 AND 2005 TOBACCO SETTLEMENT

                FUND BALANCE

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 146(b) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003, in fiscal year 2004, any unexpended and unencumbered balance in the tobacco litigation settlement fund not to exceed $600,000.00 shall at the close of the fiscal year be transferred to the Vermont health access trust fund, and any remaining balance shall remain in the tobacco litigation settlement fund.

(b)  In fiscal year 2005, any unexpended and unencumbered balance in the tobacco litigation settlement fund not to exceed $636,000.00 shall at the close of the fiscal year remain in the tobacco litigation settlement fund.

Sec. 284.  STATE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT CHARGE ADJUSTMENT

(a)  The fiscal year 2005 charge to departments for the state employee retirement system shall not exceed 9.9 percent.

Sec. 285.  Sec. 323(a)(1) and (2) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 as amended by Sec. 70 of No. 80 of the Acts of 2004 are further amended to read:

(1)  The sum of $523,190.00 from the general fund for fiscal year 2004 and the sum of $5,919,339.00 $5,743,862.00 from the general fund for fiscal year 2005.

(2)  The sum of $2,704,527.00 $1,458,637.00 from the transportation fund for fiscal year 2005. 

Sec. 286.  Sec. 47 of No. 68 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

Sec. 47.  TEACHER NEGOTIATIONS; SUPERVISORY UNION LEVEL;

               APPROPRIATION

(a)  The board of a supervisory union in which the member boards are not jointly negotiating teacher contracts or in which the boards are jointly negotiating separate contracts and are seeking to negotiate a single supervisory union contract may apply to the commissioner of education for a grant to work with its member districts to enter into an agreement to do so.  Two or more supervisory unions or supervisory districts may apply to the commissioner for a grant to work together to create a regional bargaining initiative.

(b)  The commissioner is authorized to award one grant of up to $5,000.00 to each a supervisory union board which applies for a grant under this section to work with its member districts and grants of up to $5,000.00 to each supervisory union or supervisory district seeking to work toward a regional bargaining initiative

* * *

Sec. 287.  SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE PROPOSAL

(a)  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall study and propose the development of an insurance plan for small businesses in Vermont.  Working with interested stakeholders, including small business owners, employees of small business owners, small business associations such as the chamber of commerce, the health care ombudsman, the commissioner of health, the Vermont medical society, the Vermont association of hospitals and health systems, Vermont citizens campaign for health, Vermont businesses for social responsibility, and insurers, the department shall design an affordable health benefit package proposal to be funded through premiums and other cost-sharing means, such as deductibles and co-payments.  Premium costs should be shared by employers and their employees.

(b)  The study and proposal shall consider the following in terms of their costs:

(1)  how to guarantee solvency;

(2)  who would establish eligibility to join the small business plan;

(3)  who would govern the plan;

(4)  how the plan would be internally rated;

(5)  any effects of the plan on the insurance market;

(6)  how health benefit plans would be determined;

(7)  effects on the number of uninsured Vermonters; and

(8)  the establishment of a small business self-insurance pool.

     (c)  The department shall issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2005.

Sec. 287a.  REPEAL; FISCAL YEAR 2004 WATERFALL

     (a)  Sec. 293 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003, as amended by Sec. 88 of No. 80 of the Acts of 2004 is hereby repealed.

Sec. 288.  FISCAL YEAR 2004 DESIGNATED BALANCE (WATERFALL)

     (a)  At the close of fiscal year 2004, the fiscal year 2004 unreserved and undesignated general fund balance on a budgetary basis, as determined by the commissioner of finance and management on July 31, 2004, shall to the extent funds are available:

(1)  First, be transferred to the general fund budget stabilization reserve to the extent necessary to attain its statutory maximum;

(2)  Second, $12,410,000.00 shall be transferred to the general fund surplus reserve to be available for fiscal year 2005 expenditures;

(3)  Third, $1,365,000.00 shall be transferred to the transportation fund;

(4)  Fourth, $130,000.00 shall be appropriated for the following reports and studies:

(A)  $25,000.00 to the agency of commerce and community development for the marketing consolidation and contracting report required in Sec. 234a of this act;

(B)  $50,000.00 to the agency of human services for the developmental and mental health provider system study required in Sec. 141 of this act;

(C)  $25,000.00 to the joint fiscal committee for the sustainable health care study required in Sec. 290 of this act;

(D)  $30,000.00 to the department of aging and disabilities, $15,000.00 for the transportation funding review required in Sec. 146b of this act, and $15,000.00 for the costs of the advisory board established in Sec. 128j of this act.

(5)  Fifth, $2,685,000.00 shall be appropriated for the following:

(A)  $210,000.00 to the attorney general for the costs of the negotiated settlement of the case of American Booksellers v. Dean;

(B)  $50,000.00 to the treasurer’s office for a grant to the firefighters survivors benefit expendable trust fund;

(C)  $50,000.00 to the military department for armory maintenance;

(D)  $75,000.00 to the department of fish and wildlife, of which $50,000.00 shall provide funding for activities in accordance with Sec. 217d of Act 66 of 2003; and $25,000.00 is to develop a public education program designed to alert the public to the threat that lead fishing tackle can pose to wildlife.  The program shall be administered by the education coordinator within the department of fish and wildlife for a lead sinker program consistent with H.516 of 2004;

(E)  $25,000.00 to the department of forests, parks and recreation for promotion activities for Vermont’s forests and parks facilities;

(F)  $100,000.00 to the university of Vermont for a business incubator program;

(G)  $450,000.00 to the department of buildings and general services as follows: $50,000.00 for the municipal and nonprofit assistance program established in Sec. 18a of this act and $400,000.00 for the community assistance program established in Sec. 19 of this act;

(H)  $500,000.00 to the department of buildings and general services for construction costs of the state crime lab;

(I)  $15,000.00 to the department of buildings and general services for a grant to the Clarendon F.I.R.S.T. organization as soon as administratively possible to support environmental testing expenses;

(J)  $25,000.00  to the office of state’s attorneys  for support of a temporary deputy state’s attorney in Addison county;

(K)  $20,000.00 to Vermont court diversion for a supplemental grant for the Windsor county court diversion program;

(L)  $250,000.00 to the agency of human services to support agency reorganization costs;

(M)  $25,000.00 to the agency of human services to be used to fund transportation aid shortfalls in district area agencies on aging;

(N)  $200,000.00 to the department of social and rehabilitation services to be deposited into the building bright spaces for bright futures fund.  Of this appropriation, $50,000.00 shall be used to assist non-accredited child care providers to obtain accreditations;

(O)  $75,000.00 to the secretary of administration for an economic development grant to the town of Hardwick due to negative impacts of a mudslide:

(P)  $30,000.00 to the Vermont economic progress council for planning activities;

(Q)  $200,000.00 to the department of tourism and marketing for supplemental grants to regional marketing organizations to be distributed in the same manner as formula grants;

(R)  $50,000.00 to the department of tourism and marketing for additional marketing activities;

(S)  $140,000.00 to the department of economic development for recruitment and retention activities of the department;

(T)  $50,000.00 to the department of economic development for a grant to the Springfield regional development commission to be used to match federal funds for a technology incubator project;

(U)  $45,000.00 to the secretary of administration for a grant to the Vermont council on rural development for a planning council initiative;

(V)  $50,000.00 to the agency of commerce and community development for a supplemental grant to the Vermont world trade office to be used to leverage federal funding;

(W)  $30,000.00 to the agency of agriculture, food and markets for grants to the soil conservation districts for downer cow composting education;

(X)  $20,000.00 to the secretary of administration for a grant to the Vermont civil war hemlock society for acquisition of a civil war cannon. 

(6)  Sixth, $3,000,000.00 shall be transferred to the human services caseload reserve;

(7)  Seventh, $4,000,000.00 shall be transferred to the state teachers’ retirement fund;

(8)  Eighth, $1,000,000.00 is appropriated to the secretary of human services and may only be spent if the community-based services Federal 1115 waiver is approved.  If the waiver is approved, the funds shall be transferred to the department of aging and disabilities and used for a grants program for community-based service infrastructure;

(9)  Ninth, $600,000.00 is appropriated to the legislature to provide funding for up to 20 weeks of legislative session in 2005;

(10)  Tenth, $3,220,000.00 is transferred to the general fund surplus reserve established in Sec. 277(5) of No. 147 of the Acts of 1998, as amended by Sec. 88 of No. 1 of the Acts of 1999.  Said funds shall remain in the general fund surplus reserve pending appropriation by the general assembly;

(11)  Eleventh, $2,000,000.00 shall be transferred to the Vermont health access trust fund;

(12)  Twelfth, the next $14,000,000.00 shall be transferred in equal portions to the extent available to the facilities operations revolving fund and the financial management system development special fund.  An amount not to exceed $1,560,000.00 of any remaining negative balance in the financial management system development special fund shall be listed as an outstanding obligation in the transportation fund operating statement.  This allocation of negative fund balance shall be reduced by any application of transportation funds to the financial management system development special fund.

(b)  Any remaining funds after subsection (a) of this section shall be equally distributed between the Vermont health access trust fund and a general fund reserve for school construction obligations of the state.

Sec. 288a.  REPEAL OF DUPLICATE LEAD SINKER BILL

                  APPROPRIATION

(a)  Sec. 3(c) of H.516 of 2004 is hereby repealed.

Sec. 289.  FISCAL YEAR 2005 CONTINGENT APPROPRIATIONS AND

                TRANSFERS

(a)  In the event the official 2005 fiscal year revenue forecast for the available general fund adopted by the emergency board at its July 2004 meeting exceeds $925,480,000.00, there is appropriated to the extent available the following:

(1)  First, $330,000.00 to the department of corrections which shall be used if the total population housed in Vermont exceeds the rated capacity of the Vermont facilities.  It is the intent of the general assembly that this excess shall be limited to 25 beds and that these 25 beds shall be proportionately distributed throughout the Vermont facilities.

(2)  Second, any undesignated balance in the general fund shall be designated in the general fund surplus reserve established in Sec. 277(5) of No. 147 of the Acts of 1998, as amended by Sec. 88 of No. 1 of the Acts of 1999.  Said funds shall remain in the general fund surplus reserve pending appropriation by the general assembly.

Sec. 289a.  FISCAL YEAR 2005 CONTINGENT DEPARTMENTAL

                  BUDGET ADJUSTMENT

(a)  In the event that the official 2005 fiscal year revenue forecast for the available general fund adopted by the emergency board at its July 2004 meeting is below $925,480,000.00, the secretary of administration shall reduce by an amount not to exceed $1,000,000.00 of the shortfall from general funds otherwise appropriated to meet agencies’ pay act obligations in Sec. 285 of this act.  In the event that such a reduction takes place, the emergency board shall use its transfer authority to ensure that sufficient funds are available to fully fund the pay act general fund appropriation at its July 2004 meeting.

Sec. 289b.  TRANSPORTATION FUND TRANSFERS AND

                   APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the fiscal year 2004 unreserved undesignated transportation fund balance on a budgetary basis as determined by the commissioner of finance and management on July 31, 2004, is hereby transferred and appropriated as available in the following order:

(1)  First, the necessary portion of the balance is transferred to the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve to attain its statutory maximum;

(2)  Second, up to $1,000,000.00 of any remaining amounts is appropriated to the agency of transportation as required for state match or direct expenditure as needed for the Montpelier – Bolton interstate paving work, including the following projects:  IM 089 – 2 (33), IM 089 -2 (34);

(3)  Third, up to $1,560,000.00 of any remaining funds is transferred to the financial management system development special fund to meet transportation agency obligations; 

(4)  Fourth, up to $150,000.00 of any remaining funds is appropriated to the department of public safety for vehicle related expenses for state police;

(5)  Fifth, any remaining amounts are appropriated to the agency of transportation for activities as determined in the discretion of the secretary, among projects authorized in the state’s transportation capital program for fiscal year 2005 as approved by the general assembly within the maintenance state system, paving and town highway bridge programs.

Sec. 290.  SUSTAINABLE HEALTH CARE STUDY

(a)  The general assembly recognizes that state supported health care programs face major financial issues in the coming years.  These financial issues will require changes in financing and program design.  In that state sponsored programs are an integral part of the state’s health care system, the financial solutions need to take into account system-wide impacts.

(b)  It is imperative that the administration and the general assembly work together to develop strategies to address these financial issues.  The administration and the joint fiscal office shall work collaboratively in developing analyses and policy alternatives.

(c)  In coordination with the joint fiscal committee meetings in September and November of 2004, there shall be special committee meetings which shall include the joint fiscal committee, the chair and vice chair of the health access oversight committee, the secretaries of the agency of human services and agency of administration, and the commissioner of the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration.

(d)  At these special meetings, the legislative fiscal office, legislative council, and the administration staff shall present analysis and findings including information on the following:

(1)  Specific alternatives to address the health access trust fund shortfall in fiscal year 2006 and in subsequent years;

(2)  A review of activities of other states, health care literature and other public policy information on sustainable financing and content of state health care programs.  For the purposes of this section, health care programs include tax credits and other financing incentives.  The review shall include strategies for health care financing alternatives and allocation of health care resources, universal coverage options, and issues of program operational efficiency; and

(3)  The impacts various approaches will have on costs, quality, and access to health care in the public and private health care markets and the fiscal impact on other state funds and programs.

Sec. 291.  Sec. 282 of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003, as further amended by Sec. 74 of No. 80 of 2004 is amended to read:

Sec. 282.  APPROPRIATIONS; PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

(a)  This act contains the following amounts appropriated from special funds that receive revenue from the property transfer tax.  Expenditures from these appropriations shall not exceed available revenues:

(1)  The sum of $288,000.00 is appropriated from the property valuation and review administration special fund to the department of taxes for administration of the use tax reimbursement program.  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 9610(c), amounts above $288,000.00 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the property valuation and review administration special fund shall be transferred into the general fund.

(2)  The sum of $12,604,000.00 is appropriated from the housing and conservation trust fund to the housing and conservation trust board.  Notwithstanding 10 V.S.A. § 312, amounts above $12,604,000.00 from the property transfer tax that would otherwise be are deposited into the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund shall instead be deposited transferred into the general fund.

(3)  The sum of $3,769,920.00 $4,084,920.00 is appropriated from the municipal and regional planning fund as follows:

(A)  $2,638,944.00 for disbursement to regional planning commissions in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(B)  $753,984.00 for disbursement to municipalities in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(C)  $376,992.00 to the geographic information system;

(D)  $250,000.00 to the department of housing and community affairs for distribution by agreement of the Vermont land use education and training collaborative with the regional planning commissions to provide outreach and training for municipal officials on municipal land use planning regulation.  The regional planning commissions shall perform these outreach and training activities in coordination and consultation with the Vermont land use education and training collaborative;

(E)  $65,000.00 to the department of housing and community affairs to be distributed to regional planning commissions that are, or may become, responsible for administration of federal grants from the environmental protection agency for brownfields analysis and remediation to cover expenses associated with such administrative costs.

(4)  Notwithstanding 24 V.S.A. § 4306(a), amounts above $3,769,920.00 $4,084,920.00 from the property transfer tax that would otherwise be are deposited into the municipal and regional planning fund shall instead be deposited transferred into the general fund.

Sec. 292.  MEDICAL MALPRACTICE STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A committee is established to study issues related to medical malpractice actions and insurance.

(b)  The committee shall consist of the following members:

(1)  the commissioner of the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration or designee;

(2)  the executive vice-president of the Vermont medical society or designee;

(3)  the executive director of the Vermont hospital association or designee;

(4)  an attorney appointed by the Vermont trial lawyers association;

(5)  a plaintiff’s attorney appointed by the Vermont bar association;

(6)  the state health care ombudsman; and

(7)  a member appointed by the American insurance association.

(c)  The committee shall consider the following:

(1)  whether and how medical malpractice lawsuits have affected  insurance costs for Vermont health care providers, including:

(A)  whether jury verdicts and settlements in Vermont have had an effect on insurance costs for Vermont health care providers; and

(B)  whether jury verdicts and settlements in other states have had an effect on insurance costs in those states, nationally, or in Vermont;

(2)  if medical malpractice lawsuits have affected insurance costs for Vermont health care providers, whether and how statutory changes could reduce those costs;

(3)  whether insurance costs for Vermont health care providers are rising while the payments insurers make for medical malpractice claims are decreasing, and if so, why this apparent discrepancy exists;

(4)  whether factors other than medical malpractice actions have had an effect on insurance costs for health care providers nationally and in Vermont;

(5)  whether and how caps on damages in medical malpractice actions would affect insurance costs for Vermont health care providers, including whether such caps enacted in other states have affected insurance costs for health care providers in those states, nationally, or in Vermont;

(6)  whether it would be feasible for the state to provide some assistance to health care providers who have particularly high insurance costs, and how such a system would operate;

(7)  whether it would be feasible to create a fixed compensation system for medical malpractice cases based on pre-set payment amounts for particular types of injuries, including how such a system would operate and whether it would have an impact on medical malpractice insurance costs;

(8)  whether the state can and should require insurers to base their rates on claims experience in Vermont;

(9)  whether a Vermont health care facility which obtains medical malpractice insurance from a captive insurance company should be required to do so with a Vermont-based captive insurer;

(10)  whether any efforts have been or should be undertaken to reduce the incidents of medical malpractice through the underwriting process;

(11)  whether insurance reforms would have an impact on medical malpractice insurance costs, including such reforms as improved experience rating, public involvement in rate proceedings, compressing rate classifications, state reinsurance pools, improved self-insurance opportunities, and disclosure of insurers’ investment and dividend income to policyholders;

(12)  whether legislative action is necessary or advisable in the area of medical malpractice actions, and, if so, particular recommendations for legislation; and

(13)  any other issues which the committee believes would have an impact on the availability or affordability of medical malpractice insurance in Vermont

(d)(1)  For purposes of assisting the committee to understand the factors that contribute to the costs of medical malpractice insurance, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall have the authority, pursuant to 8 V.S.A. § 13, to request the production of the following information to a qualified independent third-party consultant engaged by the commissioner:

(A)  from hospitals in Vermont, the cost of medical malpractice insurance, including the cost of reinsurance, for the hospital and its employees;

(B)  from hospitals that are self-insured, their costs for medical malpractice-related expenditures, including amounts spent on claims, defense costs, and reinsurance;

(C)  from insurers providing medical malpractice insurance to health care providers or health care facilities in Vermont, claim information relating to those providers or facilities; and

(D)  any other information that the commissioner determines to be necessary.

(2)  Information filed under this section shall be in a form to be determined by the commissioner after consultation with the third-party consultant, shall be provided only to the consultant and to the commissioner for the sole purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section, shall be otherwise confidential at all times, and shall not be subject to disclosure as a public record under 1 V.S.A. § 316.  It shall be made available to the committee only in summary statistical form that does not identify individual providers, health care facilities, or patients.  Hospitals located outside this state that serve a significant number of Vermont residents or employ a significant number of health care professionals who also practice in Vermont, as determined by the committee, shall be invited to report such information.

(e)  The representative of the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall serve as chair of the committee. 

(f)  All members of the committee shall serve on the committee for the duration of the study unless circumstances dictate a permanent replacement.  Vacancies shall be appointed in the same manner as original appointments.

(g)  The committee may meet for no more than 12 meetings or public hearings and shall have such powers as are needed to carry out the purposes of this section.

(h)  The committee shall have the assistance and cooperation of the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, which shall provide professional and administrative support for the committee. 

(i)  Committee members who are not full-time state employees shall be entitled to per diem and expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

(j)  The committee shall report its findings and recommendations, including proposals for legislative action, to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 15, 2005, whereupon it shall cease to exist.

Sec. 293.  CRIMINAL CODE STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  The general assembly finds that the Vermont criminal code is in need of a general review to ensure that it is comprehensive, clear, well-organized, current, and consistent.  The general assembly recognizes that a substantial body of case law has been built upon the existing code, and a complete rewrite of the code would likely result in years of litigation.  Therefore, it is not the intent that the code be entirely rewritten, but that a committee conduct an examination of the code to identify how it could be improved in a balanced manner that would be beneficial to all.

(b)  The criminal code study committee is established for the purpose of reviewing all state criminal laws throughout the statutes and making recommendations to the general assembly for reasonable necessary updates to the criminal code.

(c)  The committee shall consist of the following members:

(1)  two members of the senate appointed by the committee on committees;

(2)  two members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker;

(3)  the administrative judge, or designee, provided that the  designee is a sitting or retired Vermont judge;

(4)  the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, or designees;

(5)  the attorney general or designee;

(6)  a representative of the Vermont police association;

(7)  a state trooper appointed by the state police bargaining unit of the Vermont state employees’ association;

(8)  the defender general or designee;

(9)  a staff public defender appointed by the defender general;

(10)  a defense attorney appointed by the Vermont bar association; and

(11)  the commissioner of public safety or designee.

(d)  The committee shall consider the following:

(1)  terms of imprisonment for consistency and appropriateness;

(2)  fines for consistency and appropriateness;

(3)  whether certain statutes should be amended for clarity;

(4)  whether graduated degrees should be employed for offenses;

(5)  whether older statutes should be updated;

(6)  whether the statutes and chapters are organized efficiently;

(7)  methods to identify and highlight annual changes in the law;

(8)  any recommendations from the director of the law enforcement division of the department of fish and wildlife; and

(9)  any other issues the committee finds relevant to creating a comprehensive and clear criminal code.

(e)  The judge shall serve as chair of the committee.  A vice chair may be elected by the committee.

(f)  Legislative members of the committee shall serve only while in office.  A substitute shall be appointed for a legislator who no longer serves in such capacity.  All other members of the committee shall serve on the committee for the duration of the study unless circumstances dictate a permanent replacement.  Vacancies shall be appointed in the same manner as original appointments.

(g)  The committee shall have the assistance and cooperation of the department of corrections, the department of social and rehabilitation services, the Vermont center for crime victim services, and all other state and local agencies and departments.  The legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall provide professional and administrative support for the committee.  The committee may hold public hearings.

(h)  Legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses in accordance with 2 V.S.A. § 406.  The member appointed by the bar association shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses in the same manner as legislative members.

(i)  The committee findings and recommendations, including proposals for legislative action, shall be presented to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 15, 2006 whereupon the committee shall cease to exist.

* * * General * * *

Sec. 294.  2 V.S.A. § 20(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law Unless otherwise provided by law, whenever it is required by statute, regulation, or otherwise that an agency submit an annual, biennial, or other periodic report to the general assembly, that requirement shall be met by submission by January 15 of copies of the report, for activities in the preceding fiscal year, to the clerk of the house, the secretary of the senate, the legislative council, and such individual members of the general assembly or committees that specifically request a copy of the report.  To the extent practicable, reports shall also be placed on the agency’s internet website.  No general distribution or mailing of such reports shall be made to members of the general assembly.

Sec. 294a.  REPEALS

(a)  The following are repealed:

(1)  32 V.S.A. § 507 (fees received by salaried officers).

(2)  3 V.S.A. § 208 (report to governor concerning needs of departments).

* * * Treasurer * * *

Sec. 294b.  32 V.S.A. § 110 is added to read:

§ 110.  REPORTS

(a)  The treasurer shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), reports on the following subjects:

(1)  The Vermont higher education endowment trust fund, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 2885(e).

(2)  The firefighters’ survivors benefit expendable trust fund, pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 3175(b).

(3)  The trust investment account, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 434(a)(5).

(4)  Charges for credit card usage by agency, department, or the judiciary, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 583(f).

(5)  Transfers of unspent proceeds derived from the sale of state bonds or notes, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954(c).

(b)  Reports required to be submitted to the general assembly annually by January 15 shall be consolidated in a single document.

Sec. 294c.  REPEALS

(a)  The following are repealed:

(1)  3 V.S.A. § 576(e)(2) (estimate of appropriations to the Social Security contribution fund).

(2)  32 V.S.A. § 4733 (abstract of tax warrants).

Sec. 294d.  16 V.S.A. § 2885(e) is amended to read:

(e)  Annually, by September 30, the state treasurer shall render a financial report on the receipts, disbursements and earnings of the fund for the preceding fiscal year to the commission on higher education funding.

Sec. 294e.  32 V.S.A. § 434(a)(5) is amended to read:

(5)  Annually, the treasurer shall prepare a report to the general assembly on the financial activity of the trust investment account.

* * * Vermont State Employees’ Retirement Board * * *

Sec. 294f.  3 V.S.A. § 471a is added to read:

§ 471a.  REPORTS

(a)  The board shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), reports on the following subjects:

(1)  The fiscal transactions of the retirement system, pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 471(g). 

(2)  The results of an actuarial reevaluation of the retirement fund, pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 473a.

(b)  Reports required to be submitted to the general assembly annually by January 15 shall be consolidated in a single document.

Sec. 294g.  3 V.S.A. § 471(g) is amended to read:

(g)  The retirement board shall keep a record of all its proceedings, which shall be open to public inspection.  It shall publish annually and distribute to the general assembly a report showing the fiscal transactions of the retirement system for the preceding fiscal year, the amount of the accumulated cash and securities of the system, and the last balance sheet showing the financial condition of the retirement system by means of an actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities of the system.

* * * Capital Debt Affordability Advisory Committee * * *

Sec. 294h.  32 V.S.A. § 1001a is added to read:

§ 1001a.  REPORTS

The capital debt affordability advisory committee shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), a report on general obligation debt, pursuant to subsection 1001(c) of this title.

* * * Vermont Municipal Bond Bank * * *

Sec. 294i.  24 V.S.A. § 4571a is added to read:

§ 4571a.  REPORTS

The Vermont municipal bond bank shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), a report on activities for the preceding calendar year, pursuant to section 4594 of this title.

* * * Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency * * *

Sec. 294j.  16 V.S.A. § 3862 is amended to read:

§ 3862.  Reports

The Vermont educational and health buildings finance agency shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. §20(a), to the governor annually by January 15 a complete report listing all projects applied for, planned, in progress and completed, and a complete financial report duly audited and certified by a certified public accountant to be distributed in the same way as state departmental reports.

* * * Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and

Health Care Administration * * *

Sec. 294k.  8 V.S.A. § 14 is amended to read:

§ 14.  Annual report and distribution of annual report

          REPORTS

(a)  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), reports on the following subjects:

(a)(1)(A)  The commissioner shall report annually, on or before June 1, to the governor as to the conditions of persons regulated by the banking division. and The commissioner shall report annually, on or before September 1, to the governor as to the conditions of all insurance companies chartered by or doing business in this state.  The reports may be separate and shall contain statements as to the financial condition of each institution, and any other information or recommendations which the commissioner deems appropriate. The report shall also contain a review of the rules of the department, regardless of the process for adopting such rules, at a frequency such that each rule is reviewed at least every five years for efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out the policies and goals of this state relating to financial institutions, insurance mechanisms and the sale of investments.

(b)(B)  The annual report of the commissioner required by this section subdivision shall contain a listing of subsidiary and affiliate organizations formed or owned by a Vermont financial institution for the purpose of engaging in any of the powers authorized by section 14106 of this title.  The report shall also contain a listing of the amount of a Vermont financial institution’s loans and assets invested in such organizations.

(c)(C)  The commissioner shall cause the annual report to be published for general distribution, and shall distribute them to each member of the house commerce and senate finance committees of the general assembly, to other members of the general assembly under section 20 of Title 2 and to others as the commissioner deems appropriate.  Such distribution may be effected electronically or by other similar means.

(2)  The managed behavioral health care organizations task force, pursuant to subsection 4089b(g) of this title.

(3)  Health care budget projections, pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 9406(b)(4).

(b)  Reports required to be submitted to the general assembly annually by January 15 shall be consolidated in a single document.

Sec. 294l.  [Deleted]

Sec. 294m.  18 V.S.A. § 9406(b)(4) is amended to read:

(4)  The division shall prepare a report of the final projections made under this subsection, and file the report with the general assembly on or before January 1 15 of each year.

* * * Department of Labor and Industry * * *

Sec. 294n.  21 V.S.A. § 1a is added to read:

§ 1a.  REPORTS

(a)  The commissioner of labor and industry shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), reports on the following subjects:

(1)  Activities of the state fire marshal, pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 2681(a).

(2)  Injuries resulting from the use of fireworks and sparklers, pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 3132(b).

(3)  Inspected state buildings, pursuant to section 255 of this title.

(4)  Attorney’s fees, pursuant to subsection 678(c) of this title.

(b)  Reports required to be submitted to the general assembly annually by January 15 shall be consolidated in a single document.

Sec. 294o.  REPEALS

(a)  The following are repealed:

(1)  Sec. 4 of No. 15 of the Acts of 2003 (annual sparkler report distribution).

(2)  21 V.S.A. § 707 (workers’ compensation report to the governor).

(3)   21 V.S.A. § 1313 (employment stabilization).

Sec. 294p.  20 V.S.A. § 2681(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner of public safety shall be ex-officio ex officio fire marshal.  The commissioner of labor and industry shall annually by January 15 submit to the governor a detailed report as fire marshal which shall be included in his annual report to the governor, prepared in collaboration with the fire marshal.  A copy of this report shall be mailed to each fire department paid or volunteer, in the state of Vermont.  Subject to the approval of the governor, the commissioner may appoint a deputy fire marshal, and other necessary assistants, who shall assist him or her as state fire marshal.

Sec. 294q.  20 V.S.A. § 3132(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The state fire marshal shall have power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations for granting permits for supervised public displays of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals.  The state fire marshal and the department of labor and industry shall compile an annual report of all injuries to person and property resulting from the use of fireworks and sparklers reported for the preceding fiscal year.  The commissioner of labor and industry shall annually by January 15 submit the report to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs.

Sec. 294r.  21 V.S.A. § 252(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The commissioner shall make all practical efforts to process permits in a prompt manner.  The commissioner shall establish time limits for permit processing as well as procedures and time periods within which to notify applicants whether an application is complete.  The commissioner shall report annually by February 15 to the house and senate committees on general affairs and government operations.  The annual report shall assess the agency’s performance in meeting the limits; identify areas which hinder effective agency performance; list fees collected for each permit; summarize changes made by the agency to improve performance; describe staffing needs for the coming year; and certify that the revenue from the fees collected is at least equal to the costs associated with those positions.

Sec. 294s.  21 V.S.A. § 255 is amended to read:

§ 255.  STATE BUILDINGS

The commissioner shall biennially cause an examination to be made of all state buildings and shall report his findings and recommendations to the secretary of administration on or before July 1 of odd-numbered years establish a risk classification system for all state buildings.  State buildings classified as high or medium risk shall be inspected at least every five years, and the commissioner’s findings and recommendations shall be reported to the secretary of administration.

* * * Department of Public Safety  * * *

Sec. 294t.  20 V.S.A. § 1872a is added to read:

§ 1872a.  REPORTS

(a)  The commissioner of public safety is responsible for preparing and submitting, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), reports on the following:

(1)  The radiological emergency response plan fund, pursuant to subdivision 38(a)(4) of this title.

(2)  DUI reduction and enforcement program, pursuant to Sec. 3(a) and (b) of No. 117 of the Acts of the 1997 Adj. Sess. (1998).

(b)  Reports required to be submitted to the general assembly annually by January 15 shall be consolidated in a single document.

Sec. 294u.  PUBLIC SAFETY; QUARTERLY REPORTS

The following language in Sec. 7 of No. 260 of the Acts of 1972 and Sec. 7 of No. 77 of the Acts of 1973 is repealed:  “The commissioner of public safety will submit a confidential quarterly report to the legislature or the emergency board if the legislature is not in session, of all expenditures made from the imprest cash fund.”  The following language in Sec. 7 (ww) of  No. 262 of the Acts of 1974 and Sec. 7(rr)(2) of No. 118 of the Acts of 1975 is repealed:  “The commissioner of public safety shall submit a confidential quarterly report to the legislature or the emergency board if the legislature is not in session, of all expenditures made from the imprest cash fund.” 

Sec. 294v.  REPEALS

(a)  The following are repealed:

(1)  Sec. 10a of No. 78 of the Acts of 1989 (use of retired state police officers).

(2)  Sec. 61 of No. 66 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (Brady law record checks).

(3)  Sec. 7(b) of No. 142 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (consolidation of dispatch centers).

(4)  Sec. 19(c)(4) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (record of E-911 activities).

(5)  Sec. 33(b) of No. 160 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (use of video cameras).

(6)  Sec. 18(a) of No. 49 of the Acts of the 2001 (Byrne Grant recipients).

(7)  20 V.S.A. § 1953(m) (activities of the New England State Police Administrators’ Conference).

(8)  20 V.S.A. § 2304 (unlawful firearms).

* * * Department of Education * * *

Sec. 294w.  REPEALS

(a)  The following are repealed:

(1)  16 V.S.A. § 1533(c) (in coordination with the Vermont advisory council on vocational education, commissioner’s evaluation of the effectiveness of vocational centers).

(2)  16 V.S.A. § 1534(c) (in coordination  with the Vermont advisory council on vocational education, commissioner’s evaluation of the effectiveness of each course of study offered by vocational centers).

(3)  16 V.S.A. § 2062 (publication of all interstate educational personnel contracts)

(4)  16 V.S.A. § 2952 (report on education of children with disabilities).

(5)  16 V.S.A. § 4027(a) (data and calculation used to determine the predictable yield).

(6)  Sec. 15 of No. 138 of the Acts of 1998 (recommendations for technical education).

Sec. 294x.  21 V.S.A. § 1a is amended to read:

§ 1a.  REPORTS

(a)  The commissioner of labor and industry shall prepare and submit, consistent with 2 V.S.A. § 20(a), reports on the following subjects:

(1)  Activities of the state fire marshal, pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 2681(a).

(2)  Injuries resulting from the use of fireworks and sparklers, pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 3132(b).

(3)  Inspected state buildings, pursuant to section 255 of this title.

(4)  Attorney’s a report on attorney’s fees, pursuant to subsection 678(c) of this title.

(b)  Reports required to be submitted to the general assembly annually by January 15 shall be consolidated in a single document.

Sec. 294y.  20 V.S.A. § 2681(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner of public safety shall be ex officio fire marshal.  The commissioner of labor and industry shall annually by January 15 submit to the governor a detailed report prepared in collaboration with the fire marshal.  A copy of this report shall be mailed to each fire department paid or volunteer, in the state of Vermont.  Subject to the approval of the governor, the commissioner may appoint a deputy fire marshal and other necessary assistants who shall assist him or her as state fire marshal.

Sec. 294z.  20 V.S.A. § 3132(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The state fire marshal shall have power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations for granting permits for supervised public displays of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals.  The state fire marshal and the department of labor and industry shall compile an annual report of all injuries to person and property resulting from the use of fireworks and sparklers reported for the preceding fiscal year.  The commissioner of labor and industry state fire marshal shall annually by January 15 submit a report to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs.

Sec. 294aa.  20 V.S.A. § 2731(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The commissioner shall make all practical efforts to process permits in a prompt manner.  The commissioner shall establish time limits for permit processing as well as procedures and time periods within which to notify applicants whether an application is complete.  The commissioner shall report annually by February 15 to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs, the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, and the house and senate committees on government operations.  The annual report shall assess the agency’s performance in meeting the time limits; identify areas which hinder effective agency performance; list fees collected for each permit; summarize changes made by the agency to improve performance; describe staffing needs for the coming year; and certify that the revenue from the fees collected is at least equal to the costs associated with those positions.

Sec. 294bb.  20 V.S.A. § 2735 is amended to read:

§ 2735.  STATE BUILDINGS

The commissioner shall biennially cause an examination to be made of all state buildings and shall report findings and recommendations to the secretary of administration on or before July 1 of odd-numbered years establish a risk classification system for all state buildings.  State buildings classified as high or medium risk shall be inspected at least every five years, and the commissioner’s findings and recommendations shall be reported to the secretary of administration.

Sec. 295.  Sec. 120 of H.175 of 2004 is amended to read:

Sec. 120.  APPROPRIATION FOR TRAINING

In fiscal year 2005 2004, there is appropriated $250,000.00 from the general fund special funds through the department of housing and community affairs for distribution by agreement of the Vermont land use education and training collaborative with the regional planning commissions to provide outreach and training for municipal officials on municipal land use planning and regulation.  The regional planning commissions shall perform these outreach and training activities in coordination and consultation with the Vermont land use education and training collaborative.

Sec. 296.  CORRECTIONS TO H.175

(a)  Notwithstanding its terms to the contrary, the following sections of H.175, as enacted during 2004, are amended as follows:

(1)  in Sec. 95, 24 V.S.A. § 4412(1)(F)(ii)(I), by striking the word “an” and inserting in lieu thereof the words:  “a new”;

(2)  in  Sec. 119(a), by striking the following:  “Sections 83 through 107” and inserting in lieu thereof  the following:  “Sections 82 through 109”;

(3)  in Sec. 119(c) and (d), by striking the date “September 1, 2005” in both places, and inserting in both places  the date:  “July 1, 2004”.

Sec. 296a.  WASTE FACILITIES PANEL; POSITIONS

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 121(d)(3) of H.175, the two positions supporting the waste facility panel shall be maintained through fiscal year 2005. 

Sec. 297.  3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(13) is amended to read:

(13)  “Normal retirement date” shall mean (A) with respect to a group A member, the first day of the calendar month next following (i) attainment of age sixty-five 65, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004 or (ii) attainment of age sixty‑two years 62 and completion of twenty 20 years of creditable service, whichever is earlier; (B) with respect to a group C member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age fifty-five 55, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004; (C) with respect to a group D member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age sixty-two 62 and completion of five years of creditable service,; and (D) with respect to a group F member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 62, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004, or completion of 30 years of creditable service, whichever is earlier.

Sec. 297a.  3 V.S.A. § 464(a) is amended to read:

(a)  If the retirement board shall find on the basis of such evidence as may come before it that a group A, group D, or group F member in service died prior to his or her retirement under the system as the natural and proximate result of an accident occurring at a definite time and place during the course of his or her performance of duty as an employee and that such accident was not the result of his the member’s own gross negligence or willful misconduct, a retirement allowance shall be paid to his or her designated dependent beneficiary during his or her life.

Sec. 297b.  3 V.S.A. § 465(c) is amended to read:

(c)  If a group A, group D, or group F member dies in service after becoming eligible for early retirement or after completing 20 years of creditable service, a retirement allowance will be payable to the member’s designated dependent beneficiary during his or her life.  If the designated dependent beneficiary so elects, however, the return of the member’s accumulated contributions shall be made in lieu thereof.

Sec. 297c.  3 V.S.A. § 465(f) is amended to read:

(f)  Unless the designated dependent beneficiary elects to receive payment of a deceased member’s accumulated contributions as provided under subsection (c) of this section, the retirement allowance payable to the designated dependent beneficiary of a deceased group A, group D, or group F member under this section shall be equal to the retirement allowance that would have been payable had the member elected option 3 and retired on the member’s date of death.  In the case of a member who has not attained the normal retirement date as of his or her date of death, the retirement allowance shall be computed on the basis of a disability retirement allowance or an early retirement allowance, whichever provides the greater benefit to the dependent beneficiary.  If the deceased member has no eligible dependent beneficiary, the member’s accumulated contributions shall be payable in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

Sec. 297d.  16 V.S.A. § 1931(20) is amended to read:

(20)  “Teacher” shall mean any licensed teacher, principal, supervisor, superintendent, or any professional licensed by the state board of education regularly employed for the full normal working time for his or her position in a public day school within the state, or in any school or teacher-training institution located within the state, controlled by the state board of education, and supported wholly by the state; or any teacher, principal, supervisor, superintendent, or any professional regularly employed for the full normal working time for his or her position in any nonsectarian independent school which serves as a high school for the town or city in which the same is located, provided such school is not conducted for personal profit.  It shall also mean any person employed in a teaching capacity in certain public independent schools designated for such purposes by the board of trustees in accordance with section 1935 of this title.  In all cases of doubt the board of trustees, herein defined, shall determine whether any person is a teacher as defined in this chapter.  It shall not mean a person who is teaching with an emergency license.

Sec. 297e.  16 V.S.A. § 1937(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Upon written application to the board, any group A member may retire on a service retirement allowance on the first day of the calendar month next following the filing of the application or the member’s separation from service, whichever date is later, provided that such member shall have attained age sixty 60, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004, or have completed thirty 30 years of creditable service at the date of the member’s retirement.  Upon written application to the board, any group C member may retire on a service retirement allowance on the first day of the calendar month next following the filing of the application or the member’s separation from service, whichever date is later, provided that such member shall have attained age sixty-two 62, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members who are hired on or after July 1, 2004, or have completed thirty 30 years of creditable service at the date of the member’s retirement.

Sec. 297f.  16 V.S.A. § 1944(c)(12) is amended to read:

(12)  Payment of a portion of the cost of health and medical benefits provided by section subsection 1942(p) of this title for retired members shall be made from the pension accumulation fund.  The board shall pay up to the amount determined by the board to be equal to eighty 80 percent (80%) of the cost of the applicable standard plan for retired members provided they had ten years of creditable service at the time of their retirement.  The board shall pay an equal dollar amount for eligible retirees regardless of the plan selected.  All eligible retirees may select health plan coverage from a range of plans approved by the board.  Retired members may authorize deductions to be made from their monthly retirement allowance for the balance of the cost of such benefits for the retired members and their dependents.  The board shall determine annually that part of the cost of the applicable standard plan in excess of fifty 50 percent (50 percent) of the cost for retirees, allocate forty-one 41 and one-half percent (41.5 percent) of that amount to active members, and adjust the members’ contribution rate accordingly.  Periodically, the board shall approve the following:

* * *

Sec. 297g.  24 V.S.A. § 5055(f) is added to read:

(f)  In any fiscal year in which a beneficiary resumes service, as that term is defined in section 5051 of this title, he or she shall again become a member of the system, shall contribute at the rate established for members of his or her group, and shall not be entitled to receive a retirement allowance if he or she is separated from service for a period of not less than 90 days.

Sec. 297h.  REPEAL

(a)  3 V.S.A. § 473(c)(5) (liquidation of unfunded accrued liability) shall be repealed.

Sec. 298.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  This section and Secs. 10, 33, 36, 51a, 120a, 129a, 130, 131, 133, 141, 141a, 141b, 141c, 187a, 205a, 211(a), 227, 232a, 234a, 254(a), 257(a), 281, 282, 283(a), 287a, 288, 289b, 291, and 295 of this act shall be effective on passage.

(b)  Sec. 129 shall be effective on passage, and the amendment to Sec. 147(d) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2003 shall apply as of February 1, 2004.

(c)  Sec. 273 shall be effective July 1, 2005.

(d)  Secs. 128e and 128l shall take effect July 1, 2004 and shall apply to all health insurance policies offered on or after October 1, 2004, and to all other health insurance policies on and after October 1, 2004 upon renewal or their anniversary date, whichever is sooner, but in no event later than September 30, 2005; and

(e)  Sec. 128o shall take effect July 1, 2004, except that subsection 2003(f) of Title 33, requiring public disclosure of manufacturers and labelers entering into rebate agreements and certain prior authorization requirements under Medicaid, shall take effect when the waiver program authorized under subsection 2003(b) takes effect.

(f)  All appropriations made in this act and other appropriations made prior to July 1, 2004 to departments, divisions, offices, and entities of the agency of human services shall be transferred to their successors as set out in Secs. 106 through 106f of this act.

(g)  Secs. 294x, 294y, 294z, 294aa and 294bb shall take effect on April 1, 2005.

Approved:  June 10, 2004



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us