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H.868

AN ACT RELATING TO THE MUNICIPAL LAND RECORDS COMMISSION

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

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 5403 is amended to read:

§ 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.  The commission shall have the following duties:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10)  Create a system of voluntary certification for a municipality’s land records program.

(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. 2.  Sec. 78e of No. 122 of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is amended to read:

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 2006 shall carry forward into fiscal year 2006 2007.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us