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H.864

AN ACT RELATING TO CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION AND STATE BONDING

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

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  STATE BUILDINGS

The sum of $10,457,418 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual appropriations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Burlington, Cherry Street garages, continued repairs:    (600,000)

(2)  Montpelier, 133 State Street, complete renovations:  (1,700,000)

(3)  Montpelier, 109 State Street, complete third floor renovations:                                                                                                                                    (132,418)

(4)  Montpelier, secretary of state and department of motor vehicles, for final designs and site assessment for a new archives building, with vault space of up to 25,000 cubic feet, which shall be designed and positioned to permit future expansion of up to 15,000 cubic feet, and for design and site assessment for a department of motor vehicles facility, both to be located at the “triangle” site, so-called, in Montpelier as part of a longer-term relocation project that will include locating the secretary of state and the department of education at 120 State Street and selling the Redstone Building:

(A)  Motor vehicles facility:                                                   (100,000)

(B)  Archives building:                                                          (650,000)

(5)  Springfield, state office building; retaining wall, phase 1:            (100,000)

(6)  Waterbury, state office complex, condensate line replacement:                                                                                                                                     (650,000)

(7)  Statewide, major maintenance, to include up to $250,000 for maintenance of the heat distribution system at the Vermont Veterans’ Home:                                                                                                                                     (5,600,000)

(8)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

(A)  Accessibility to public buildings:                        (175,000)

(B)  State-supported domestic violence centers, phase II:   (50,000)

(9)  Statewide, contingency fund:                                                    (500,000)

(10)  Statewide, building reuse:                                           (100,000)

(11)  Statewide, planning:                                                                 (25,000)

(12)  State House, for renovation and restoration of the ceilings in senate committee rooms 27 and 28, for renovation of room 26 as a dedicated committee room for the senate committee on agriculture, and for renovation and partial enclosure of the “bill room” to accommodate the capitol police department in addition to the room’s current functions:                             (75,000)

(Total appropriation – Section 1                                                         $10,457,418)

Sec. 2.  TAXES

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes as the third appropriation in an ongoing project to update statewide quadrangle maps through digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping; provided, however, if weather conditions preclude full expenditure of the funds appropriated in this section on or before July 1, 2006, then any remaining funds are reallocated to the department of buildings and general services for major maintenance.

(Total appropriation – Section 2                                                              $100,000)

Sec. 3.  HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY LABORATORIES

The sum of $8,250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the departments of health and of public safety to purchase IBM Building #617 in Essex and to begin construction and renovation of the property for the health and forensic laboratories.

(Total appropriation – Section 3                                                           $8,250,000)

Sec. 4.  HUMAN SERVICES

(a)(1)  The sum of $1,000,000 shall be expended by the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for continued planning, design, and permitting associated with the creation of a new inpatient facility to replace the current Vermont state hospital, which shall be from general funds appropriated in No. X of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (the Fiscal Year 2007 Appropriations Act).  

(2)  No portion of this appropriation shall be encumbered or disbursed:

(A)  Unless used solely for costs incurred in connection with work required by the Vermont State Hospital Futures Plan (“the Plan”) required by Sec. 141a of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004), as approved by the joint mental health oversight committee (“JMHOC”) on March 22, 2006 and by the joint fiscal committee (“JFC”) on April 25, 2006, which shall include:

(i)  Work necessary to complete an application for a conceptual certificate of need under subchapter 5 of chapter 221 of 18 V.S.A.; and

(ii)  Work authorized by a conceptual certificate of need necessary to complete an application for a certificate of need under subchapter 5 of chapter 221 of 18 V.S.A; and

(B)  Until a detailed itemization of the specific manner in which the funds shall be spent is presented to and approved by the JMHOC and the JFC.

(3)  The department of buildings and general services and the agency of human services shall report at each remaining meeting of the JMHOC and of the JFC during calendar year 2006 and to the house committee on human services, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house and senate committees on appropriations and on institutions (collectively the “Committees of Jurisdiction”) in January 2007 regarding:

(A)  The progress made on the planning, design, siting, and permitting of the new state hospital facility, including specific updates on steps being taken consistent with subchapter 5 of chapter 221 of 18 V.S.A regarding the certificate of need process.

(B)  The status of negotiations, if any, with a nonstate partner regarding the resolution of outstanding issues, including building ownership, staffing, and administrative responsibilities.  “Staffing” shall include demonstrated due diligence in support of the statement in the Vermont futures strategic implementation plan of July 11, 2005 that the “expertise and experience of the current VSH staff is a valuable resource” by identifying potential avenues that would enable current qualified staff to maintain their status and contractual benefits as Vermont state employees.

(b)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for architectural fees necessary to convert underutilized racquetball courts into classrooms at the Woodside juvenile rehabilitation center.

(c)  The sum of $750,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, to complete the design of and acquire a site for a new minimum security dormitory‑style work camp.

(d)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, for electrical system upgrades at the Chittenden regional correctional facility in South Burlington.

(e)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, to evaluate and provide estimates and options for a sewage upgrade project at the northwest state correctional facility in St. Albans.

(f)  The sum of $350,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, to complete the heating and ventilation system and other related items at the Vermont correctional industries building at the northern state correctional facility in Newport.

(g)  The department of corrections shall create and implement a horticultural program for inmates at the southern state correctional facility in Springfield.  The department shall report its progress to the joint corrections oversight committee at each of the committee’s meetings in 2006 and to the house committee on institutions on or before January 15, 2007.

(h)  The sum of $445,000 is appropriated to the agency of human services for the Burlington Housing Authority, a public corporation created pursuant to chapter 113 of Title 24, to renovate two new supportive transitional houses for offenders returning to community life in Chittenden County, to be known as Dismas House II and the Northern Lights House, as described in information provided to the general assembly at a series of meetings held in February 2006; provided no funds shall be disbursed to the Burlington Housing Authority (BHA) until:

(1)  evidence has been provided to the agency, satisfactory to its secretary after consultation with the commissioner of buildings and general services, that the BHA is ready to begin renovations; and

(2)  the agency has entered into an agreement with the BHA providing for recapture of state funds if either or both of the buildings for which state funds have been used is sold or is used for a purpose other than as set forth in this subsection.

(i)  The sum of $450,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to renovate space in the Springfield state office building for use by the agency.

(j)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for safety enhancements for patients and staff at the Vermont state hospital, to be substantially complete by July 1, 2007.  On or before January 15, 2007, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall report to the house and senate committees on institutions regarding implementation of this subsection.

(Total appropriation – Section 4                                                            $3,395,000)

Sec. 5.  JUDICIARY

(a)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary to:

(1)  Determine the feasibility of adding space to the Lamoille County courthouse, of potentially acquiring additional land, and of reconfiguring existing space to improve security, provide better access for people with disabilities, upgrade the utility services, and create more accessible restrooms; and

(2)  Assist with relocation of the existing communications tower.

(b)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary for the first of two phases of security and space renovations at the Windham district and family courts with the intention that the renovations will be completed during fiscal year 2008.

(c)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary to complete necessary renovations to the Bennington district and family courts to enhance security and litigant service.   

(d)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary to complete necessary roof and structural repairs at the Grand Isle County courthouse.   

(e)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary for Orange County to assist with the purchase of land and a structure adjacent to the Orange County courthouse.   

(Total appropriation – Section 5                                                              $800,000)

Sec. 6.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided such maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services.

(b)  The sum of $30,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for underwater preserves. 

(c)  The sum of $10,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for roadside historic site markers.

(d)  The sum of $230,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development to exercise an option to purchase the Hoskison property which will become part of the Calvin Coolidge state historic site in Plymouth Notch, pursuant to the authority granted in Sec. 25 of this act.

(e)  The sum of $80,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for design of a visitor’s center at the Calvin Coolidge state historic site in Plymouth Notch.

(f)  The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the unmarked burials fund established in 18 V.S.A. § 5212b.  If additional funds are needed in fiscal year 2007 for the purposes set forth in section 5212b, the agency is authorized to use funds appropriated in subsection (a) of this section for those purposes.  Any federal or other funds received by the state as reimbursement of funds expended in connection with unmarked burials shall be used solely for the purposes specified in section 5212b. 

(Total appropriation – Section 6                                                             $565,000)

Sec. 7.  EDUCATION

(a)  The sum of at least $8,532,000 shall be expended by the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16; provided that no more than $3,600,000 of the total appropriation in this subsection shall be used for renewable energy projects and projects to extend the life of a building; and further provided that of the total amount authorized by this subsection:

(1)  The sum of $1,100,000 shall be from capital funds and is appropriated by this act;

(2)  The sum of $432,000 shall be from account #5100890501 (capital construction aid) as set forth in Sec. 19 of this act; and

(3)  The remaining sums shall be from general funds to be appropriated in the “Big Bill” for the 2006 adjourned session (the Fiscal Year 2007 Appropriations Act).

(b)(1)  The sum of $600,000 is appropriated to the department of education for regional technical education centers and comprehensive high schools to assist with the purchase of educational program equipment, to be distributed in equal amounts to each center and high school with no local matching funds required; provided it is the intent of the legislature that the equipment purchased with these funds will meet or exceed a 15-year life cycle.

(2)  The department of education shall consider and, on or before January 15, 2007, provide recommendations to the senate and house committees on institutions regarding:

(A)  The type of equipment that should be eligible for purchase with capital funds; and

(B)  Options for ways in which additional funding could be made available for equipment purchase by using education fund dollars.

(c)  The sum of $1,000,000 shall be expended by the department of buildings and general services for the Brattleboro Union High School District #6 in partial payment of the state’s obligation to pay 100 percent of the approved cost of the Windham Regional Career Center (Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center) project, of which amount the sum of $500,000 shall be from account #5100890501 (capital construction aid) as set forth in Sec. 19 of this act and the sum of $500,000 is appropriated by this act. 

(d)  If fiscal year 2007 general funds are made available for school construction aid in addition to those otherwise accounted for in this section, then those additional general fund dollars shall be distributed, to the extent funds are available, as follows: 

(1)  First, the sum of $3,691,837 for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16.

(2)  Second, Windham Regional Career Center:                           (4,000,000)

(3)  Third, Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center:                          (2,206,785)

(4)  Fourth, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center:       (2,000,000)

(5)  Fifth, North Country Career Center:                                      (2,000,000)

(6)  Sixth, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the sum of $173,065 shall be state aid for the Windsor State Street School project.

(7)  Seventh, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the sum of $108,750 shall be for the East Haven School to equal 25 percent of construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred for a classroom addition.

(8)  Eighth, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, including subdivision 3448(a)(5) of Title 16 requiring approval of a final application by the state board of education as a precondition to receipt of school construction aid, the sum of $19,563.15 is appropriated to the department of education for the Lowell Town School District to equal 25 percent of construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred in connection with a roof project at the Lowell School.

(Total appropriation – Section 7                                                       $10,132,000)

Sec. 8.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the University of Vermont to assist with construction of the plant sciences building and with major facility maintenance to the university campus.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 8                                                          $1,800,000)

Sec. 9.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the Vermont state colleges for major facility maintenance.  The state colleges shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                                           $1,800,000)

Sec. 10.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)  The sum of $5,800,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for water pollution grants and the state match for the pollution control and public drinking water supply program state revolving fund loans, all in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24 for projects on a list prepared by the agency of natural resources, dated May 20, 2003 entitled “Wastewater Project Phase-In List from the Capital Bill Conference Committee 2003 Legislative Session” and referenced in Sec. 55 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003; of the appropriation made in this subsection, the sum of up to $140,000 shall be paid to the Town of Pownal for anticipated short-term financing interest costs in fiscal year 2007 in connection with the Pownal wastewater system project; of the appropriation made in this subsection, the sum of $800,000 shall be for the ongoing pollution control project in Pownal, provided, however, that if the project is awarded a State and Tribal Assistance Grant (“STAG”) from the United States Environmental Protection Agency as part of the federal FY07 budget process, then this sum of $800,000 shall be used by the agency of natural resources for other projects on the May 20, 2003 list.

(b)(1)  The sum of $2,870,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program to accelerate the reduction of phosphorus discharges into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state, as follows:

(A)  Stream stabilization grants:                                               (1,250,000)

(B)  Wetlands restoration and protection:                       (250,000)

(C)  Stormwater assistance to municipalities:                              (120,000)

(D)  Hardwick phosphorus removal:                              (750,000)

(E)  Waterbury phosphorus removal:                                         (500,000)

(2)  The sum of $120,000 appropriated in subdivision (1)(C) of this subsection shall be transferred to the state treasurer for deposit in the local community implementation fund created in 10 V.S.A. § 1264c, for the administrative and management needs of municipalities in developing total maximum daily load plans and water quality remediation plans for stormwater‑impaired waters of the state.

(c)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for beaver dam removal and dredging of the Dog River in Roxbury and for an assessment, to be presented to the senate and house committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2007, of any additional measures recommended to provide for long-term flood mitigation.

(d)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for maintenance and repair of state-owned dams.

(e)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure.

(f)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for the procurement, in fee simple or by easement, of properties along the Long Trail. 

(g)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Lake Champlain Walleye Association, Inc. to upgrade and repair walleye rearing, restoration, and stocking infrastructure.

(h)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources to develop or improve fishing access points throughout the state.

(i)  The sum of $115,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife to replace roofs at the Buck Lake conservation camp and the Roxbury hatchery; provided that the construction shall be directed by the department of buildings and general services.

(j)  The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife as the final capital appropriation to complete construction of a dining hall and education center at the Kehoe conservation camp in Castleton; provided that if the fiscal year 2007 Appropriations Act does not appropriate a sum from the general fund for this purpose in an amount equal to or greater than $350,000, then the $150,000 appropriated in this subsection is instead appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure.

(k)  The sum of $293,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources to purchase mechanical harvesting equipment that shall be leased to nonprofit organizations to control the growth of invasive aquatic plants in Lake Champlain.

(Total appropriation – Section 10                                                         $9,878,000)

Sec. 11.  MILITARY

(a)  The following sums are appropriated to the department of the military for Camp Johnson for:

(1)  New construction:                                                            90,000

(2)  Major maintenance to make life safety improvements:                   30,000

(b)  The sum of $60,000 is appropriated to the department of the military to address accessibility concerns at up to three armories.

(c)  The sum of $10,000 is appropriated to the department of the military for the identification of civil war-related sites in Vermont in connection with the nationwide activities commencing in 2010 to recognize the 150th anniversary of the war.

(Total appropriation – Section 11                                                            $190,000)

Sec. 12.  PUBLIC SAFETY

(a)  The sum of $2,900,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to finalize construction and fit-up of a new Franklin County state police station in St. Albans.

(b)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to complete construction of the new Addison County state police station in New Haven.

(c)  The sum of $80,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for planning and preliminary engineering of a new emergency operations center; provided that the planning shall include consideration of potential sites throughout the state.

(d)  The sum of $5,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for the joint implementation by the two departments of a pilot project to create a public safety “outpost” at the southbound rest area in Williston and, to the extent funds remain, at the northbound rest area in Guilford.  On or before January 15, 2007, the departments shall report to the senate and house committees on institutions concerning implementation of the pilot project and recommendations for the future.

(e)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the departments of public safety and of motor vehicles to renovate a corner office currently used by the department of motor vehicles in the Caledonia County state police station in St. Johnsbury so that it can also be used by the state police and by the community for public safety purposes and to make other related improvements and renovations.

(Total appropriation – Section 12                                                         $3,110,000)

Sec. 13.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND FIRE SERVICE TRAINING

               COUNCILS

(a)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services to replace the cafeteria cooler/freezer at the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford. 

(b)  The sum of $30,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services to construct a new wood storage building to replace two storage trailers at the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford. 

(c)  The sum of $325,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services to provide bathroom, shower, and laundry facilities for staff and trainees at the Vermont fire service training council in Pittsford.

(Total appropriation – Section 13                                                             405,000)

Sec. 14.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

(a)  The sum of $1,650,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets, best management practice implementation cost share program, for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction.  Farmers participating in this program may receive a maximum of 80 percent of state aid when no federal dollars are available.  The agency is authorized to expend an additional $150,000 for these purposes from funds available pursuant to Sec. 57 of this act.

(b)  The sum of $180,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the competitive grants program for agricultural fair capital projects.  No single entity shall be awarded more than ten percent of this appropriation.

(Total appropriation – Section 14                                                          1,830,000)

Sec. 15.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont rural fire protection task force to continue the dry hydrant program.

(Total appropriation – Section 15                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 16.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

(a)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for:

(1)  The historic preservation grant program:                       (150,000)

(2)  The historic barns preservation grant program:                          (150,000)

(b)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities competitive grant program, to be administered by the Vermont Arts Council and made available on a one‑for‑one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources; no such grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other appropriation of this act.  No portion of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  The appropriation shall be awarded on a competitive basis.  In recommending grant awards, a review panel shall give priority consideration to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need or are in underserved areas of the state. 

(c)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the recreational and educational facilities grant program.

(d)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the broadband development grant program.

(e)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the human service grant program.

(f)  On or before July 1, 2007, the secretary of commerce and community development, the executive director of the Vermont arts council, and the commissioner of buildings and general services shall implement for the annual grant cycles beginning in fiscal year 2008 for the grant programs awarded appropriations in subdivision (a)(1) and subsections (b), (c), and (e) of this section:

(1)  Similar application forms;

(2)  A common application deadline; and

(3)  Protocols to prevent projects from receiving grants from more than one capital bill-funded grant program in the same fiscal year.       

(Total appropriation – Section 16                                                         $1,100,000)

Sec. 17.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

(a)  The sum of $520,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Television for continued work on the federally mandated conversion of Vermont Public Television’s transmission sites to digital broadcasting format. 

(b)  The sum of $303,577 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Television for its share of the costs of a state-mandated collocation project on Mount Mansfield.

(Total appropriation – Section 17                                                            $823,577)

Sec. 18.  VERMONT INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

(a)  The sum of $172,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Interactive Television for multipoint control unit, codec, and router upgrades. 

(b)  The sum of $120,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for fit up of space at the department of labor building in Montpelier for Vermont Interactive Television.

(Total appropriation – Section 18                                                            $292,000)

* * * Financing this Act * * *

Sec. 19.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

(a)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 8(a)(6) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1997 (distance learning), the sum of $3,368 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(b)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 18(a) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1997 (natural resources), the sum of $821 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(c)  Of the amount appropriated by Sec. 8(b) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1997 Adj. Sess. (1998) (technical centers), the sum of $10,000 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(d)  Of the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in Montpelier, authorized by Sec. 31 of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1997 Adj. Sess. (1998), the sum of $8,800 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(e)  Of the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in St. Albans, authorized by Sec. 2(f) of No. 61 of the Acts of 2001, the sum of $50,000 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(f)  Of the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in Montpelier authorized by Sec. 33 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002), the sum of $100 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(g)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 12 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (criminal justice and fire service training councils), the sum of $58,641.31 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(h)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 5(b) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (technical centers), the sum of $120,897.26 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(i)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 13(b) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (fire service training council), the sum of $19,444.72 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(j)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 14b of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (fire service training council), the sum of $35,919.87 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(k)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 20 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (Vermont veterans’ memorial cemetery), the sum of $200,000 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(l)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 14(b) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (agriculture – match for federal conservation reserve enhancement program), the sum of $300,000 is reallocated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 14(a) (agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction) of this act.

(m)  Of the amount in account #5100890501 (capital construction aid), the sum of $932,000 shall be reallocated to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 7(a) (K-12 school construction) and (c) (technical center construction) of this act as follows:  $432,000 to the department of education and $500,000 to the department of buildings and general services.

(n)  Of the amount received from the sale of a state-owned parcel of approximately 6.1 acres at the Marble Works Complex in Middlebury pursuant to Sec. 36 of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), the sum of $283,077 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(o)  Of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(b)(2) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (Chittenden County Regional Technical Center), the sum of $4,926 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 (buildings and general services) of this act.

(Total reallocation– Section 19                                                        $2,027,995)

Sec. 20.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

The state treasurer is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $45,000,000 for the purpose of funding the appropriations of this act.  The state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, shall determine the appropriate form and maturity of the bonds authorized by this section consistent with the underlying nature of the appropriation to be funded.  The state treasurer shall allocate the estimated cost of bond issuance, or issuances, to the entities to which funds are appropriated pursuant to this section and for which bonding is required as the source of funds, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954.

(Total bonding – Section 20                                                               $45,000,000)

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec. 21.  REALLOCATION; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

(a)  Historic sites.  The commissioner of buildings and general services may reallocate the funds in Sec. 6(a) of this act (commerce and community development) to state historic sites other than those presented to the general assembly during the 2005 legislative session only for major maintenance, should a more pressing need arise following the legislative session.  On or before January 15, 2007, the commissioner shall report to the chairs and vice chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions regarding the reallocations made pursuant to this subsection.

(b)  Natural resources.  The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances between projects authorized in Sec. 10 of this act (natural resources). On or before January 15, 2007, the secretary shall report to the chairs and vice chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions regarding the transfers made pursuant to this subsection.

(c)  ADA projects.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall transfer the following sums to the Center for Crime Victim Services for ADA improvements at state‑supported domestic violence shelters:

(1)  The sum of $50,000 appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for ADA improvements at state-supported domestic violence shelters in Sec. 1(8) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005.

(2)  The sum of $50,000 appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for ADA improvements at state-supported domestic violence shelters in Sec. 1(8)(B) of this act.

Sec. 22.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

(a)  Notwithstanding section 5 of Title 32 (acceptance of grants):

(1)  The commissioner of environmental conservation, with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, may accept federal grants made available through the federal Clean Water Act and the federal Drinking Water Act in accordance with chapter 120 of Title 24.  Acceptance of this grant money is hereby approved, provided all notifications are made under subsection 4760(a) of Title 24.

(2)  The commissioner of corrections, with the approval of the secretary of human services, may accept federal grants made available through federal crime bill legislation. 

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds, equipment, and services from any source, including federal appropriations, for the installation, operation, implementation, or maintenance of energy conservation measures or improvements at state buildings.

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept federal grant funds in connection with the state health and forensic laboratories.  These funds may be used to defray or supplement costs in Sec. 3 of this act.

(b)  Each receipt of a grant or gift authorized by this section shall be reported by the commissioner of the department receiving the funds to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions and to the joint fiscal committee. 

* * * Buildings and General Services; State Buildings * * *

Sec. 23.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.  On or before January 15, 2007, the commissioner shall report to the chairs and vice chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions regarding funding choices made pursuant to this section.

Sec. 24.  ENERGY CONSERVATION IN STATE BUILDINGS

The department of buildings and general services shall develop a plan for one or more incentive programs to encourage energy conservation in state buildings.  The department shall present the plan or plans to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2007 together with proposals for any legislation necessary for implementation.

Sec. 25.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; MISCELLANEOUS

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized, after obtaining an appraisal and the approval of the secretary of administration, to sell the following properties.  The sales shall be pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166.  After the public auction required by that section, if the highest bid is less than the appraised value of the property, the commissioner may reject all bids.  Proceeds from the sale, net of sale costs, shall be paid into a capital fund to be used either for future capital construction projects as authorized by the general assembly.

(1)  Colchester Avenue, Burlington (department of health laboratory); approximately 1.38 acres.

(2)  A noncontiguous parcel of land isolated from the main parcel at the former Weeks School, east of Comfort Hill Road, Vergennes; approximately 7.42 acres.

(b)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to exercise the state’s option to purchase real property known as the Hoskison property to become part of the Calvin Coolidge homestead state historical site in Plymouth Notch.

(c)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall explore the financial and other implications of moving the state police field station from St. George Avenue in Williston to Building #617 in Essex, referenced in

Sec. 28 of this act, and shall report the study’s conclusions to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2007.

(d)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to move the E-911 center from St. George Avenue in Williston to Building #617 in Essex.

Sec. 26.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; BRANDON

Notwithstanding any provision of Sec. 1(b) of No. 59 of the Acts of 1993, of Sec. 23 of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995, or of Sec. 26 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 to the contrary, the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in the town of Brandon, authorized by No. 59 of the Acts of 1993, which is anticipated to be in the amount of $400,000 more or less after payment of costs and fees associated with the sale, shall be disbursed to the department of buildings and general services for major maintenance.

Sec. 27.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; THAYER SCHOOL BUILDING

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized, with the approval of the secretary of administration, to sell, renovate, or demolish for purposes of future development the property or the building at 1193 North Avenue, Burlington referred to as the “Thayer School”; provided, however, only that portion of the building that does not currently house the department of motor vehicles may be demolished.  If sold, the sale shall be pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166 and shall contain as a condition of sale the requirement that the department of motor vehicles remains on that property.  Proceeds from the sale, net of sale costs, shall be paid into a capital fund to be used for future capital construction projects as authorized by the general assembly. 

Sec. 28.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; IBM BUILDING #617

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to exercise the state’s option to purchase real property located at 30 and 42 Allen Martin Drive (“Building #617”) in Essex for co-located health and forensic laboratories and for other state purposes.

Sec. 29.  29 V.S.A. § 902(f) is amended to read:

(f)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may also

(1)  establish and supervise inventory methods to be used by all government agencies;

(2)  maintain and operate warehouses for supplies and stores; [Deleted.]

(3)  maintain and operate the office supply service;

(4)  receive, warehouse, manage, and distribute all state property and commodities except alcoholic beverages purchased for the liquor control board; and all surplus federal property and commodities;

(5)  maintain central inventory of all state property and equipment other than lands and buildings; and

(6)  maintain and operate the state’s fleet management system.

Sec. 30.  29 V.S.A. § 907(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may establish a purchasing card program for the purpose of authorizing all spending units of the state to use a purchasing card as an alternative payment method for official state purchases.  The commissioner may contract with one or more financial institutions, card-issuing banks, credit card companies, charge card companies, debit card companies, or third-party merchant banks to provide state purchasing cards.  The commissioner may accept receipts from the purchasing card program.  The commissioner is authorized to establish policies for participation in the program and use of the purchasing card.

Sec. 31.  29 V.S.A. § 821(a)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  “Vermont Fire and Police Training Academy” “Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont” shall be the name of the buildings and grounds now known as the “Vermont Police Academy and Fire Service Training Facility” “Vermont Fire and Police Training Academy” in Pittsford. 

Sec. 32.  THE ROBERT H. WOOD, JR. CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND FIRE

               SERVICE TRAINING CENTER OF VERMONT

On or before November 1, 2006 and in consultation with the family of former Representative Robert H. Wood, Jr., the department of buildings and general services shall erect a sign and conduct a dedication ceremony consistent with the provisions of Sec. 31 of this act.

Sec. 33.  STATE HOUSE PLANS

The department of buildings and general services shall expend capital funds previously appropriated for the expansion of the Vermont state house to complete final design work on the conceptual plan dated January 13, 2006, prepared by the department and presented on that date to the committee established in Sec. 28 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005; provided that:

(1)  The design shall add one additional story above the space currently occupied by the cafeteria and shall not extend beyond the northern footprint of the building.

(2)  The kitchen and cafeteria shall remain on its current floor and the additional story shall be used for committee rooms and other meeting spaces.

(3)  The architect shall evaluate the existing cafeteria and food service area and shall make recommendations to enhance seating, public access, food service delivery, and meeting space, to include expansion if necessary.

(4)  The design shall include renovations to the existing first floor legislative council area to address life safety issues.

Sec. 34.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(27) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, in addition to the duties expressly set forth elsewhere by law, shall have the authority to:

* * *

(27)  After consulting with the state treasurer to determine the effect of the contract on the state’s debt and reviewing the creditworthiness of the company with which the state proposes to contract, and with the approval of the emergency board, enter into multiyear contracts with energy service companies or third-party leasing companies for energy efficiency and fuel switching improvements to state facilities, the cost of which will be recovered through the avoided fuel, utility, operating, and maintenance costs resulting from the improvements.  Improvements must within 20 years achieve savings sufficient to cover their costs.  The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on institutions regarding the status of contracts undertaken under this subsection.

* * * Secretary of State * * *

Sec. 35.  ELECTRONIC RECORDS

The electronic version of all documents created by the Town of Colchester as it converts from paper to electronic format shall be exempt from the definition of “public record” or “public document” under 1 V.S.A. § 317(b); provided that the town shall retain the paper documents from which the electronic documents are created and further provided that those paper documents shall be subject to public disclosure as appropriate under subchapter 3 of chapter 5 of Title 1.

Sec. 36.  SUNSET

Sec. 35 of this act shall expire on July 1, 2007.

* * * Judiciary * * *

Sec. 37.  COUNTY COURTHOUSES; ALLOCATION OF CAPITAL COSTS

(a)  A committee to consist of the members listed in subsection (b) of this section is created to consider the relative obligations of the state and the counties in connection with capital expenditures at those county courthouses that also serve a state function.  On or before January 15, 2007, the committee shall report and make recommendations to the senate and house committees on institutions regarding this charge.

(b)  The committee shall consist of:

(1)  Two assistant judges to be chosen by the Vermont Association of County Judges who represent one county with a high population and one with a relatively low population.

(2)  One county clerk to be chosen by the Vermont County Clerks Association.

(3)  One district or family court clerk to be chosen by the court administrator.

(4)  The court administrator or the administrator’s designee.

(5)  One district or superior court judge to be chosen by the administrative judge for trial courts.

(6)  The commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner’s designee, who shall serve as chair of the committee. 

(7)  A representative from the Vermont Town and City Management Association.

(c)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall convene the first meeting of the committee which shall occur on or before July 1, 2006.  The committee shall meet no more than three times.  The professional services of the joint fiscal office and the legislative council shall be available to the committee.

Sec. 38.  ORANGE COUNTY; BORROWING AUTHORIZED: ASSISTANT

                JUDGES

(a)  Notwithstanding any provisions of 24 V.S.A. § 82 to the contrary and subject to the condition set forth in subsection (c) of this section, the assistant judges of Orange County may borrow a sum necessary to purchase a parcel of real property adjacent to the Orange County courthouse in the Town of Chelsea.  Notes or other evidence of that indebtedness, payable in not more than five years from the date of execution, may be issued by the county treasurer on behalf of the County of Orange.  All such notes or evidence of indebtedness shall contain on their face a statement of purpose for which they are issued and of the authority conferred by this section and shall be evidence of the county’s liability to the holder of the instrument.  The form, denominations, maturities, interest rates, and other terms, conditions, and details of the instrument shall be determined by resolution of the assistant judges of Orange County.  Notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued under this section shall be paid by issuance of a bond approved pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 24.

(b)  The authority to borrow conferred by subsection (a) of this section shall terminate on January 1, 2007.  Any funds borrowed or notes or other forms of indebtedness issued prior to that date shall be subject to the terms of this section until repaid. 

(c)  Prior to entering into any agreement to borrow funds as authorized in this section, the assistant judges of Orange County shall hold one or more public hearings to provide information about and receive public comment on the proposed land purchase.

Sec. 39.  WASHINGTON DISTRICT AND FAMILY COURTS

The department of buildings and general services and the office of the court administrator shall jointly prepare a proposal for necessary security renovations to the foyer of the Washington district and family courthouse in Barre and shall present the proposal, together with preliminary financial estimates, to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2007.

* * * Education * * *

Sec. 40.  Sec. 6(a) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 6.  EDUCATION

(a)  The sum of $9,300,000 $13,563,000 shall be expended by the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16, of which amount the sum of $5,300,000 shall be appropriated from capital funds in this act and the sum of $4,000,000 $8,263,000 shall be from general funds appropriated by Sec. 255(b) of in No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 (the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Act); provided that, notwithstanding any provision of section 3448 of Title 16 or state board of education rule to the contrary:

* * *

Sec. 41.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(7)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  The amount of an award for the incremental costs associated with the installation of a space heating, water heating, cooling, or refrigeration system that uses biomass, a geothermal/ground source, wind, or solar energy as the primary heating or cooling source shall be 90 75 percent of the approved cost of the incremental costs of the project, or 40 percent of the approved cost of a fuel system that would reduce fuel use by 10 percent or more.  Only those costs in excess of the costs for a traditional fossil fuel system shall be eligible for the award, and those elements of the project specifically related to the renewable fuel source being used; provided that those elements may include the costs of additional square footage, necessary equipment, an additional a chimney, and air quality technology, and additional square footage necessary to house the heating unit and fuel; and further provided that those elements shall not include the costs of staff areas, site improvements relating to fuel delivery, and other ancillary costs as determined by the commissioner

Sec. 42.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(3)(A) is amended to read:

(A)  First priority is given to emergency projects in excess of $50,000.00 $100,000.00 which address threats to the safety and health of students or employees created by unanticipated circumstances or events.

Sec. 43.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(d) is amended to read:

(d)  Emergency aid.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the commissioner may grant aid pursuant to subdivision (a)(7) of this section for a project the commissioner deems to be an emergency, up to a maximum total project cost of $50,000.00 $100,000.00.

Sec. 44.  24 V.S.A. § 1758(b)(3) is added to read:

(3)  The warning and ballot shall contain the following set forth in bold‑faced type: 

State funds may not be available at the time this project is otherwise eligible to receive state school construction aid.  The district is responsible for all costs incurred in connection with any borrowing done in anticipation of state school construction aid.   

Sec. 45.  SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AID; ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

               REQUIRED 

As part of the application process for state aid for capital construction costs under chapter 123 of Title 16, the state board of education shall require that each applicant submit with its application a signed form acknowledging that the state is not obligated to pay its share of the approved costs of construction until state funds are available, that state funding may not be available at the time that the project would otherwise be eligible for payment, and that the applicant is solely responsible for the costs associated with any borrowing done in anticipation of state aid.

Sec. 46.  Sec. 63 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) as amended by Sec. 53 of No. 121 of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is further amended to read:

Sec. 63.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS; CONSTRUCTION AID FOR

               TECHNICAL CENTERS

(a)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the amount of an award for the construction or purchase of a new technical center building or additions or alterations to an existing technical center building for the following projects shall be 100 percent of the approved cost of the project:

* * *

(2)  Any portion of the combined technical center project dedicated specifically to the provision of state-approved technical education programming in Chittenden County, provided nothing in this section shall apply to any noncombined project providing technical education in Chittenden County that is not located solely on one regional campus and does not receive regional voter approval on or before April 1, 2007.

* * *

Sec. 47.  SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS

(a)  A school construction standards committee is created and consists of the members listed in subsection (b) of this section.  The committee shall develop a comprehensive proposal to incorporate high performance school design and construction standards into Vermont school construction projects that address indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, water efficiency, building materials selection, building siting, construction practices, and ongoing building operations and maintenance. 

(b)  The school construction standards committee shall consist of:

(1)  The commissioner of education or the commissioner’s designee, who shall serve as chair of the committee.

(2)  The commissioner of public service or the commissioner’s designee.

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner’s designee.

(4)  A representative of the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

(5)  A representative of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.

(6)  The executive director of the Vermont superintendents association or the executive director’s designee.

(c)  The commissioner of education shall convene the initial meeting of the committee no later than July 15, 2006

(d)  On or before January 15, 2007, the committee shall report to the members of the house and senate committees on institutions regarding its recommendations under this section, which shall include a detailed financial analysis.

(e)  The professional services of the joint fiscal office and the legislative council shall be available to the committee.

Sec. 48.  16 V.S.A. § 3448e(d) is amended to read:

(d)  Involvement of the department of buildings and general services.  The department of buildings and general services, in its discretion, shall be responsible for carrying out available to consult with and share its expertise with the school district regarding the design and construction of any new technical education facility or any alterations to existing technical education facilities, and for the analysis and approval of any lease or lease-purchase proposal.  All state construction aid for these projects shall be appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for this purpose.  Such funds may be used to hire temporary or contract staff to assist with these responsibilities.

Sec. 49.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(26) is amended to read:

§ 152.  DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, in addition to the duties expressly set forth elsewhere by law, shall have the authority to:

* * *

(26)  In his or her discretion, be responsible for Be available to consult with and share the department’s expertise with school districts regarding the design, construction, or purchase of any new buildings or alterations of existing buildings in connection with any technical center receiving funding under Title 16.  All state construction aid for these projects shall be appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for this purpose.  Such funds may be used to hire temporary or contract staff to assist with these responsibilities.  The commissioner, in collaboration with the commissioner of education, shall periodically update the standards developed pursuant to Sec. 44 of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), and shall report the updated standards to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15 of the next occurring legislative session.

Sec. 50.  Sec. 63 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) as amended by Sec. 53 of No. 121 of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is further amended to read:

Sec. 63.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS; CONSTRUCTION AID FOR

               TECHNICAL CENTERS

* * *

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no disbursement of state aid shall be made pursuant to this section until the department of buildings and general services shall be responsible for all approves the design, construction, or and purchase of any new buildings or alterations of existing buildings together with all associated expenditures.  All state construction aid for these projects shall be appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for this purpose.  Such funds may be used to hire temporary or contract staff to assist with these responsibilities. 

* * * State Colleges * * *

Sec. 51.  SPENDING AND BONDING AUTHORIZATION; VERMONT

               STATE COLLEGES

(a)  In conformity with subsection 2171(e) of Title 16, the general assembly approves the expenditure by the Vermont State Colleges from its revenues, other than state appropriations, and from its self-generated revenues established for the purpose of capital improvements on housing, dining, and general purpose facilities, to an aggregate of $1,509,000 for necessary capital improvements.

(b)  The chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges may accept and expend for capital purposes federal grants awarded in connection with the Castleton State College math and science center.

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 52.  AWARD UNDER WATER POLLUTION ABATEMENT

               PROGRAM TO PREVENT CREATION OF PUBLIC

               HEALTH HAZARDS 

Notwithstanding any provision of 10 V.S.A. § 1625 to the contrary, the water pollution abatement project currently proposed by the Town of Waitsfield shall be placed on the prioritized list of projects eligible to receive grants under section 1625.  The portions of the project eligible to receive grant funding will be those determined by the department of environmental conservation as necessary to prevent a public health hazard arising from the existence of wastewater systems within the municipality that fail to meet current isolation distances to drinking water supplies.

Sec. 53.  ACTION REGARDING STATE LAND

Pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 2603(b), the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation is authorized to convey a permanent easement to the Town of Alburgh Fire District across a portion of state-owned lands within Alburg Dunes State Park to accommodate a buried water line.

Sec. 54.  SEYON RANCH; GROTON

The agency of natural resources shall not enter into a contract with a private entity for operation of the Seyon Ranch in Groton unless it has conducted at least one public hearing in the Town of Groton on the proposed contractual relationship.

* * * Clean and Clear; Agriculture, Food and Markets * * *

Sec. 55.  6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Vermont Agricultural Buffer Program

§ 4900.  VERMONT AGRICULTURAL BUFFER PROGRAM

(a)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets is authorized to develop a Vermont agricultural buffer program in addition to the federal conservation reserve enhancement program in order to compensate farmers for establishing and maintaining harvestable perennial vegetative buffers on annual cropland adjacent to the surface waters of the state.

(b)  The establishment and annual incentive payments from the agency of agriculture, food and markets under the Vermont agricultural buffer program shall not exceed 40 percent of the combined federal and state payment that the relevant cropland would be eligible for under the federal conservation reserve enhancement program.  The incentive payment shall be made annually at the end of the cropping season for a nonrenewable five-year period.

(c)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets may establish by procedure financial and technical criteria for the implementation and operation of the Vermont agricultural buffer program.

(d)  Land enrolled in the Vermont agricultural buffer program shall be considered to be in “active use” as that term is defined in 32 V.S.A. § 3752(15).

(e)  As used in this section, “surface waters” means all rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, reservoirs, ponds, lakes, and springs which are contained within, flow through, or border upon the state or any portion of it.

Sec. 56.  SUNSET

Sec. 55 of this act (Vermont agricultural buffer program) shall expire on June 30, 2011.

Sec. 57.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary or any administrative agreement entered into pursuant to that law:

(1)  Up to $185,000 of the debt forgiveness negotiated by the state treasurer under Sec. 282 of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) shall be paid by the Vermont economic development authority as grants to eligible and qualified recipients under the Vermont agricultural buffer program established under 6 V.S.A. § 4900 and the federal conservation reserve enhancement program as directed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets; and

(2)  Up to $150,000 of the debt forgiveness negotiated by the state treasurer under Sec. 282 of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) shall be paid by the Vermont economic development authority as grants to eligible and qualified recipients under the best management practice implementation cost share program as directed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets.

Sec. 58.  VERMONT PRODUCTS; STATE HOUSE CAFETERIA

The sergeant at arms, in consultation with the agency of agriculture, food and markets and the department of buildings and general services, shall work with the organization providing food service at the state house cafeteria to encourage the use, sale, and visibility of ingredients and food products that are grown or produced in Vermont.

* * * Corrections * * *

Sec. 59.  28 V.S.A. § 817 is added to read:

§ 817.  CREATION OF WORK CAMPS; INTENT

It is the intent of the general assembly that the creation of one or more new work camps in fiscal year 2006 and after will help alleviate overcrowded conditions in the state’s correctional facilities and permit Vermonters housed in out‑of‑state facilities to be brought home to Vermont.  The general assembly specifically does not intend the creation of new work camps to result in an increase in the total number of Vermont offenders sentenced to incarceration.  Therefore, specific plans and programs developed by the department of corrections shall restrict placement in new work camps to those offenders who have been convicted of a nonviolent offense and who have served a portion of their current sentence within a correctional facility.  No court shall impose a sentence of imprisonment to be served initially or solely within the new facility.

* * * Vermont Veterans’ Home * * *

Sec. 60.  VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME

The general assembly intends to continue its support for the construction of a new geothermal heating plant at the Vermont Veterans’ Home.

* * * Capital Funding * * *

Sec. 61.  CAPITAL OBLIGATIONS; STUDY

(a)  The capital obligations of the state exceed available capital funds and are projected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, there is created a committee to study and develop options to manage existing and future state capital obligations in order to stay within the level of funding approved by the capital debt affordability committee. 

(b)  The members of the committee shall be: 

(1)  The state treasurer or the treasurer’s designee.

(2)  The secretary of administration or the secretary’s designee who shall serve as the committee’s chair.

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner’s designee.

(4)  The secretary of natural resources or the secretary’s designee.

(5)  The commissioner of education or the commissioner’s designee.

(6)  The commissioner of corrections or the commissioner’s designee.

(7)  The commissioner of finance or the commissioner’s designee.

(8)  The chief fiscal officer of the legislature or the officer’s designee.

(9)  The chief legislative counsel or the counsel’s designee.

(c)  The chief fiscal officer of the legislature shall convene the first meeting of the committee, which shall be no later than July 15, 2006.

(d)  On or before January 15, 2007, the committee shall present its recommendations to the senate and house committees on institutions and to the joint fiscal committee together with any proposed legislation.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 62.  EFFECTIVE DATE

(a)  Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, this act shall take effect on passage

(b)  Sec. 44 (school bond ballot and warning) shall take effect on July 1, 2006.

(c)  The amendment to the percentage of state aid provided pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(7)(B) in Sec. 41 (renewable energy projects) of this act shall apply to all applicable projects that obtain voter approval on or after January 1, 2007.  All other amendments in Sec. 41 of this act shall apply to all applicable projects for which the state board of education has not determined the level of state aid on or before the date this act is signed into law by the governor.  

(d)  The sums appropriated and the spending authority authorized by this act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us