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H.881

AN ACT RELATING TO MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT

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 2007 Appropriations Act.

Sec. 2.  PURPOSE

(a)  The purpose of this act is to provide appropriations for the operations of state government during fiscal year 2007.  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, 2006.  Agency and department heads are directed to implement staffing and service levels at the beginning of fiscal year 2007 so as to meet this condition unless otherwise directed by specific language in this act or other acts of the general assembly.

Sec. 3.  APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that this act serve as the primary source and reference for appropriations for fiscal year 2007.

(b)  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 single‑year appropriations, and only for the purpose indicated, and shall be paid from funds shown as the source of funds.  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.

(c)  Unless codified or otherwise specified, all narrative portions of this act apply only to the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007

(d)  The balance of any appropriations remaining unexpended and unencumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall revert to the appropriate fund balance unless otherwise specified in this act or other acts of the general assembly.  Refunds of expenditures and reimbursements shall be credited to the appropriate fund and to appropriation accounts in the current fiscal year.

Sec. 4.  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 property management, repair and maintenance, rental expenses, insurance, postage, travel, energy, and utilities, office and other supplies, equipment including motor vehicles, highway materials and construction, expenditures for the purchase of land, and construction of new buildings and permanent improvements; and similar items.

(4)  “Personal services” means wages and salaries, fringe benefits, per diems, and contracted third-party services; and similar items.

Sec. 5.  Secretary of administration - secretary’s office

                   Personal services                               471,572 

                   Operating expenses                             43,505 

                   Grants                                               400,000 

                        Total                                            915,077 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      915,077 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $400,000 is for grants to the 11 existing regional marketing programs (RMP).  These grants and additional grants from funds appropriated in this act for regional marketing activities shall continue to be calculated by the existing formula.  Upon completion and approval of the grant application and plan, an RMP shall submit appropriately documented expenses, consistent with the approved plan, to the State for reimbursement. Reimbursement shall be made only for the following marketing activities (in no specific order): regional websites, consumer/trade shows, packages/itineraries, regional publications and guides, toll-free phone lines and fulfillment, public relations, advertising, familiarization tours, welcome center promotion, joint projects, and administration.  Unused funds remaining at the end of the current fiscal year shall carry forward to the subsequent fiscal year.

(b)  The secretary of administration shall report to the joint fiscal committee at its November 2006 meeting on the allocation of pay act funds for fiscal year 2007.  The report shall indicate the funding needed to meet the obligations of the pay act in each department and a detailed analysis of how the pay act need is being fulfilled in each department, including changes to programs and positions that remain vacant as a result of pay act funding levels.  The report shall include the amount of increase provided to exempt positions.

Sec. 6.  Information and innovation - communications and information technology

                   Personal services                            4,516,891 

                   Operating expenses                           792,925 

                        Total                                         5,309,816 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                      5,309,816 

Sec. 7.  Finance and management - budget and management

                   Personal services                               915,648 

                   Operating expenses                           298,559 

                        Total                                         1,214,207 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,104,189 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  110,018 

                        Total                                         1,214,207 

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, $250,000 of the general funds collected as a result of charges for the facilities operations fund in fiscal year 2007 shall be deposited into the general fund.

Sec. 8.  Finance and management - financial operations

                   Personal services                            2,385,354 

                   Operating expenses                        1,038,142 

                        Total                                         3,423,496 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                       74,272 

                   Internal service funds                      3,349,224 

                        Total                                         3,423,496 

(a)  Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 307(e), financial management fund charges not to exceed $4,307,124, plus the costs of fiscal year 2007 salary increases bargained as part of the state/VSEA agreement, are hereby approved.  Of this amount, $957,900, plus the costs of fiscal year 2007 salary increases bargained as part of the state/VSEA agreement, will be used to support the HCM system that is operated by the department of human resources information technology division.  

Sec. 9.  Human resources - operations

                   Personal services                            1,911,699 

                   Operating expenses                           394,909 

                        Total                                         2,306,608 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,000,588 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  306,020 

                        Total                                         2,306,608 

Sec. 10.  Human resources - HR workforce planning & employment services

                   Personal services                               811,726 

                   Operating expenses                           386,881 

                        Total                                         1,198,607 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      908,107 

                   Special funds                                     290,500 

                        Total                                         1,198,607 

Sec. 11.  Human resources - information technology

                   Personal services                               540,918 

                   Operating expenses                           416,982 

                        Total                                            957,900 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                         957,900 

Sec. 12.  Human resources - employee benefits & wellness

                   Personal services                            1,380,362 

                   Operating expenses                           367,086 

                        Total                                         1,747,448 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                      1,747,448 

Sec. 13.  Libraries

                   Personal services                            1,976,553 

                   Operating expenses                        1,653,154 

                    Grants                                                 70,000 

                        Total                                         3,699,707 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,546,703 

                   Special funds                                     219,026 

                   Federal funds                                    835,496 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    98,482 

                        Total                                         3,699,707 

Sec. 14.  Taxes - administration/collection

                   Personal services                          11,814,733 

                   Operating expenses                        2,908,679 

                        Total                                       14,723,412 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 13,896,222 

                   Special funds                                     574,190 

                   Tobacco Fund                                     58,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  195,000 

                        Total                                       14,723,412 

Sec. 15.  DEPARTMENT OF TAXES/REVENUE DEPARTMENT STUDY

(a)  The secretary of administration shall study the potential for the conversion of the department of taxes into a department of revenue.  Said department of revenue would be designed to consolidate revenue collection functions.

(b)  A feasibility report, including issues to be considered and, if found feasible, a proposed implementation time line as to the consolidation of revenue collection functions shall be submitted to the house and senate committees on government operations, appropriations, finance, and ways and means on or before January 15, 2007.

Sec. 16.  Buildings and general services - administration

                   Personal services                            1,812,900 

                   Operating expenses                           316,900 

                        Total                                         2,129,800 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,129,800 

Sec. 17.  Buildings and general services - engineering

                   Personal services                            1,887,000 

                   Operating expenses                           418,700 

                        Total                                         2,305,700 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,260,700 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    45,000 

                        Total                                         2,305,700 

(a)  The amount of $50,000 in general funds that has been carried forward from previous years in this appropriation, shall be reverted in fiscal year 2006.

Sec. 18.  Buildings and general services - information centers

                   Personal services                            3,471,792 

                   Operating expenses                        1,282,500 

                   Grants                                                 45,000 

                        Total                                         4,799,292 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   4,799,292 

(a)  The above section is funded utilizing general funds considered to be appropriated on a one-time basis if the provisions of Sec. 272 of this act, as it amends Sec. 70(b)(2) of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006, are met.

Sec. 19.  Buildings and general services - purchasing

                   Personal services                               718,800 

                   Operating expenses                           126,476 

                        Total                                            845,276 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      845,276 

Sec. 20.  Buildings and general services - public records

                   Personal services                               801,904 

                   Operating expenses                           673,800 

                        Total                                         1,475,704 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,164,444 

                   Special funds                                     311,260 

                        Total                                         1,475,704 

Sec. 21.  Buildings and general services - postal services

                   Personal services                               632,900 

                   Operating expenses                           197,300 

                         Total                                            830,200 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        20,000 

                   Internal service funds                         810,200 

                        Total                                            830,200 

Sec. 22.  Buildings and general services - copy center

                   Personal services                               756,100 

                   Operating expenses                           180,500 

                        Total                                            936,600 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                         936,600 

Sec. 23.  Buildings and general services - fleet management services

                   Personal services                               481,500 

                   Operating expenses                           159,300 

                        Total                                            640,800 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                         640,800 

Sec. 24.  Buildings and general services - federal surplus property

                   Personal services                                 62,100 

                   Operating expenses                             65,500 

                        Total                                            127,600 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Enterprise funds                                 127,600 

Sec. 25.  Buildings and general services - state surplus property

                   Personal services                                 58,900 

                   Operating expenses                             62,600 

                        Total                                            121,500 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                         121,500 

Sec. 26.  Buildings and general services - property management

                   Personal services                            1,301,000 

                   Operating expenses                        2,844,300 

                        Total                                         4,145,300 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                      4,145,300 

Sec. 27.  Buildings and general services - workers’ compensation insurance

                   Personal services                            1,152,800 

                   Operating expenses                           428,700 

                        Total                                         1,581,500 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                      1,581,500 

(a)  Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 307(e), workers’ compensation fund charges not to exceed $8,285,299 are hereby approved.

Sec. 28.  Buildings and general services - all other insurance

                   Personal services                                 75,700 

                   Operating expenses                             37,400 

                        Total                                            113,100 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                         113,100 

Sec. 29.  Buildings and general services - general liability insurance

                   Personal services                               267,600 

                   Operating expenses                             77,300 

                        Total                                            344,900 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                         344,900 

Sec. 30.  Buildings and general services - fee for space

                   Personal services                          10,529,817 

                   Operating expenses                      10,548,400 

                        Total                                       21,078,217 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                    21,078,217 

(a)  Pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160a(b)(3), facilities operations fund charges not to exceed $21,328,217, plus the costs of fiscal year 2007 salary increases bargained as part of the state/VSEA agreement, are hereby approved.

Sec. 31.  Geographic information system

                   Grants                                               411,685 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                     411,685 

Sec. 32.  Executive office - governor’s office

                   Personal services                            1,235,847 

                   Operating expenses                           358,744 

                        Total                                         1,594,591 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,433,591 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  161,000 

                        Total                                         1,594,591 

Sec. 33.  Executive office - national and community service

                   Personal services                               199,571 

                   Operating expenses                           131,957 

                   Grants                                            1,715,533 

                        Total                                         2,047,061 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        56,528 

                   Federal funds                                 1,990,533 

                        Total                                         2,047,061 

Sec. 34.  Legislative council

                   Personal services                            1,872,976 

                   Operating expenses                           145,113 

                        Total                                         2,018,089 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,018,089 

(a)  The establishment of one (1) exempt limited service position—Legislative Counsel—is authorized in fiscal year 2007.  The position shall terminate June 30, 2007.

(b)  The legislative council shall conduct a review and reorganization of its staff, including operations staff, committee assistants, and legislative counselors, with a view to providing more efficient and extensive coverage to all house and senate committees, improved research and drafting services to all members, and better administrative support for the legislature.  This review shall be conducted in the 2006 interim by the legislative council and recommendations, if any, shall be submitted to the general assembly in January 2007.

Sec. 35.  Legislature

                   Personal services                            3,600,129 

                   Operating expenses                        2,036,909 

                        Total                                         5,637,038 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   5,637,038 

Sec. 36.  Legislative information technology

                   Personal services                               332,187 

                   Operating expenses                           256,071 

                        Total                                            588,258 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      588,258 

(a)  The legislative information technology staff shall pursue homeland security grant funding for investment in legislative system backup, including off-site system security and recovery needs.  The department of public safety and the secretary of administration shall offer any support necessary for said effort.

Sec. 37.  Joint fiscal committee

                   Personal services                            1,143,796 

                   Operating expenses                             87,831 

                        Total                                         1,231,627 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,231,627 

Sec. 38.  Sergeant at arms

                   Personal services                               468,625 

                   Operating expenses                             60,947 

                        Total                                            529,572 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      529,572 

Sec. 39.  Lieutenant governor

                   Personal services                               127,360 

                   Operating expenses                             19,658 

                        Total                                            147,018 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      147,018 

Sec. 40.  Auditor of accounts

                   Personal services                            2,056,162 

                   Operating expenses                           122,054 

                        Total                                         2,178,216 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      521,987 

                   Special funds                                       54,431 

                   Internal service funds                      1,601,798 

                        Total                                         2,178,216 

Sec. 41.  State treasurer

                   Personal services                            2,131,671 

                   Operating expenses                           344,005 

                   Grants                                                 10,000 

                        Total                                         2,485,676 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,028,843 

                   Special funds                                  1,315,253 

                   Private purpose trust fund                  141,580 

                        Total                                         2,485,676 

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $10,000 shall be deposited into the armed services scholarship fund established in 16 V.S.A. § 2541.

(b)  The state treasurer may utilize up to $100,000 in pension trust funds in order to contract with an independent expert to review, evaluate, and make recommendations on pension and retiree health plan provisions and design, as well as benefit and contribution levels, for Vermont state employees and teachers.  The  review is intended to support an adequate, sustainable, and actuarially sound pension and retiree health plan, consistent with governmental accounting standards as well as demographic and workforce trends.  A report of findings and recommendations shall be forwarded to the governor and general assembly by December 15, 2006.

Sec. 42.  State treasurer - unclaimed property

                   Personal services                               586,261 

                   Operating expenses                           299,282 

                        Total                                            885,543 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Private purpose trust fund                  885,543 

Sec. 43.  Vermont state retirement system

                   Personal services                          21,760,779 

                   Operating expenses                           654,141 

                        Total                                       22,414,920 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Pension trust funds                        22,414,920 

Sec. 44.  Municipal employees’ retirement system

                   Personal services                            1,687,216 

                   Operating expenses                           336,988 

                        Total                                         2,024,204 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Pension trust funds                          2,024,204 

Sec. 45.  State labor relations board

                   Personal services                               166,808 

                   Operating expenses                             38,801 

                        Total                                            205,609 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      199,739 

                   Special funds                                         5,870 

                        Total                                            205,609 

Sec. 46.  VOSHA review board

                   Personal services                                 32,015 

                   Operating expenses                               8,523 

                        Total                                              40,538 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        20,269 

                   Federal funds                                      20,269 

                        Total                                              40,538 

Sec. 47.  Use tax reimbursement fund - municipal current use

                   Grants                                            8,113,944 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   8,113,944 

Sec. 48.  Lottery commission

                   Personal services                            1,337,891 

                   Operating expenses                        1,077,287 

                        Total                                         2,415,178 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Enterprise funds                              2,415,178 

(a)  The lottery commission shall transfer $150,000 to the department of health, office of alcohol and drug abuse programs to support the gambling addiction program.

(b)  The Vermont state lottery shall provide assistance and work with the Vermont council on problem gambling on systems and program set up and development.

Sec. 49.  Payments in lieu of taxes

                   Grants                                            3,100,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      600,000 

                   Special funds                                  2,500,000 

                        Total                                         3,100,000 

(a)  The above appropriation is for state payments in lieu of property taxes under subchapter 4 of chapter 123 of Title 32, 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. 50.  VENDOR AND OTHER DEPOSITS AGENCY FUND

(a)  At the close of fiscal year 2006, funds in the vendor and other deposits agency fund, retained pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 138(d), shall be distributed as follows: 70 percent to the municipalities that have enacted local option taxes pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 138 in the same proportion as local option revenues were collected from such municipalities; and the remainder as a supplemental payment to recipients of PILOT payments proportionately consistent with the fiscal year 2006 distribution.

Sec. 50a.  REPORT ON PAYMENTS TO MUNICIPALITIES RELATED TO

                STATE-OWNED BUILDINGS

(a)  The director of property valuation and review and the commissioner of buildings and general services shall identify all payments made to municipalities for any reason specifically related to state-owned buildings and lands in fiscal year 2006 that are not accounted for as part of current PILOT programs.  The director and commissioner shall develop a proposal for an additional budget line item which could contain any and all such payments to be added to the general government section of the budget proposal for fiscal year 2008. 

Sec. 51.  Payments in lieu of taxes - Montpelier

                   Grants                                               184,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      184,000 

Sec. 52.  Payments in lieu of taxes - correctional facilities

                   Grants                                                 40,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        40,000 

Sec. 53.  Total general government                135,264,534 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 52,811,101 

                   Special funds                                  5,756,487 

                   Tobacco fund                                      58,000 

                   Federal funds                                 2,846,298 

                    Enterprise funds                              2,542,778 

                   Internal service funds                    42,738,303 

                   Pension trust funds                        24,439,124 

                   Private purpose trust funds              1,027,123 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               3,045,320 

                        Total                                     135,264,534 

Sec. 54.  Protection to persons and property - attorney general

                   Personal services                            6,897,601 

                   Operating expenses                           932,612 

                        Total                                         7,830,213 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,269,648 

                   Special funds                                  2,175,000 

                   Tobacco fund                                    290,000 

                   Federal funds                                    682,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               1,413,565 

                        Total                                         7,830,213 

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the office of the attorney general, Medicaid fraud control unit is authorized to retain one-half of any civil monetary penalty proceeds from global Medicaid fraud settlements.  All penalty funds retained shall be used to finance Medicaid fraud and residential abuse unit activities.

Sec. 55.  REPEAL

(a)  3 V.S.A. § 251 (bonded officials) is repealed.

Sec. 56.  Vermont court diversion

                   Grants                                            1,604,534 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,204,534 

                   Special funds                                     400,000 

                        Total                                         1,604,534 

Sec. 57.  Defender general - public defense

                   Personal services                            6,089,740 

                   Operating expenses                           671,119 

                        Total                                         6,760,859 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   6,143,551 

                   Special funds                                     502,502 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  114,806 

                        Total                                         6,760,859 

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $60,000 shall be used for purposes of funding psycho-sexual evaluations necessitated by section 204a of Title 28. 

(b)  The establishment of one (1) new exempt position—either one (1) level III step 1 attorney or one (1) level II step 2 attorney—is authorized in fiscal year 2007.  This position shall be transferred and converted from existing vacant positions in the executive branch of state government.

Sec. 58.  Defender general - assigned counsel

                   Personal services                            2,862,918 

                   Operating expenses                             62,552 

                        Total                                         2,925,470 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,825,470 

                   Special funds                                     100,000 

                        Total                                         2,925,470 

Sec. 59.  Judiciary

                   Personal services                          25,836,112 

                   Operating expenses                        7,150,842 

                   Grants                                                  70,000

                        Total                                       33,056,954 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 29,691,689 

                   Special funds                                     782,335 

                   Tobacco fund                                      40,000 

                   Federal funds                                    421,930 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,121,000 

                        Total                                       33,056,954 

(a)  The establishment of one (1) new exempt limited service position—Project Manager—is authorized in fiscal year 2007.

(b)  The establishment of eight (8) new exempt limited service positions—Court Security Officer—is authorized in fiscal year 2007.

(c)  The establishment of one (1) new exempt permanent position—Financial Specialist—is authorized in fiscal year 2007.

(d)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $2,250 is to support the per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses authorized by subsection 5451(f) of Title 13 for members of the Vermont sentencing commission.

(e)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $50,000 is for the purpose of funding salary, benefits, and operating expenses associated with the position of executive director of the Vermont sentencing commission created by Sec. 16 of H.856 of 2006.  

(f)  The establishment of one (1) new exempt position—Executive Director of the Vermont sentencing commission—is authorized in fiscal year 2007 within the judiciary.  The executive director shall provide professional and administrative support to the Vermont sentencing commission established by section 5451 of Title 13 and shall provide any other assistance necessary for the commission to satisfy its statutory duties.

Sec. 60.  4 V.S.A. § 908 is added to read;

§ 908.  ATTORNEYS’ ADMISSION, LICENSING AND PROFESSIONAL

            RESPONSIBILITY SPECIAL FUND

(a)  There is established the  attorneys’ admission, licensing and professional responsibility special fund which shall be managed in accordance with subchapter 5, chapter 7 of Title 32.  Fees collected for licensing of attorneys, administration of the bar examination, admitting attorneys to practice in Vermont and administration of mandatory continuing legal education shall be deposited and credited to this fund.  This fund shall be available to the judicial branch to offset the cost of operating the professional responsibility board, the board of bar examiners, the judicial conduct board, the committee on character and fitness, the mandatory continuing legal education program for attorneys and, at the discretion of the supreme court, to make grants to the Vermont bar foundation to be used to support legal services for the disadvantaged.

Sec. 60a.  32 V.S.A. § 502 is amended to read:

§ 502.  MONEYS TO BE PAID OVER WITHOUT DEDUCTION

(a)  Executive branch.  The gross amount of money received in their official capacities by every administrative department, board, officer or employee, from whatever source, shall be paid forthwith into the state treasurer, or deposited according to the direction of the state treasurer in such bank to the credit of the state treasurer as he shall designate, without any deduction on account of salaries, fees, costs, charges, expenses, claim or demand of any description whatsoever, unless otherwise provided.  Such moneys shall be credited to such funds as are now or may hereafter be designated for the deposit thereof.  Money so paid and all moneys belonging to or for the use of the state shall not be expended or applied by any department, board, officer or employee, except in accordance with the provisions of § 462 of this title.

DELETED (b)  Judicial branch.  The amount of money received by the supreme court or the court administrator for the admission or licensing of attorneys shall be deposited in the general fund and shall not be expended or applied except in accordance with the provisions of section 462 of this title.

* * *

Sec. 60b.  REPEAL

(a)  Sec. 90(g) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2001 (attorneys’ admission, licensing, and professional responsibility fund) is repealed.

Sec. 61.  State’s attorneys

                   Personal services                            8,615,260 

                   Operating expenses                        1,174,969 

                        Total                                         9,790,229 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   7,920,231 

                   Special funds                                     100,578 

                   Federal funds                                      25,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               1,744,420 

                        Total                                         9,790,229 

(a)  The amount of $147,912 in general funds that is carried forward in this appropriation from fiscal year 2005, shall revert to the general fund in fiscal year 2006.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $50,000 shall be used to replace lost Byrne grant funds and maintain two Chittenden County attorneys.

(c)  Of the above appropriation, $40,000 shall be available to make a one‑half time position into a full-time position in Windsor County.

(d)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $363,000 is to be used to fund specialized investigative unit grants awarded by the specialized investigative unit grants board established under section 1940 of Title 24.

Sec. 62.  Sheriffs

                   Personal services                            2,805,590 

                   Operating expenses                           309,244 

                        Total                                         3,114,834 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,114,834 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $15,000 shall be transferred to the state’s attorneys’ office as reimbursement for the cost of the executive director’s salary.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, $25,000 shall be used for enforcement on the Lamoille Valley Trail.

Sec. 63.  Public safety - administration

                   Personal services                            1,671,312 

                   Operating expenses                           162,943 

                        Total                                         1,834,255 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,834,255 

(a)  The amount of $50,000 in general funds that were appropriated in Sec. 85(e) of No. 122 of the Acts of 2004 and amended by Sec. 12 of  No. 6 of the Acts of 2005 shall revert to the general fund in fiscal year 2006.

Sec. 64.  Public safety - homeland security

                   Personal services                            1,517,922 

                   Operating expenses                        4,504,102 

                   Grants                                          14,838,700 

                        Total                                       20,860,724 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      435,157 

                   Special funds                                         7,400 

                   Federal funds                               20,417,717 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                         450 

                        Total                                       20,860,724 

(a)  Up to $5,000,000 in federal homeland security grant funds from the above appropriation may be used for planning, management, and initial development of the Vermont communications (VCOMM) statewide public safety communications system.  If additional homeland security grant funds become available, up to $5,000,000 of these funds may be used for this purpose in fiscal year 2007.  Based on the recommendation of the VCOMM board and approval of the joint fiscal committee, these funds shall be used to establish a statewide VCALL/UCALL interoperable network.

(b)  The commissioner shall report on the status and use of these federal homeland security grant funds to the joint fiscal committee at its September 2006 meeting and to the house and senate committees on government operations and appropriations by January 15, 2007.

Sec. 65.  Public safety - state police

                   Personal services                          37,651,431 

                   Operating expenses                        5,707,781 

                   Grants                                            1,635,950 

                        Total                                       44,995,162 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   5,938,091 

                   Transportation fund                      31,053,847 

                   Special funds                                  3,293,766 

                   Federal funds                                 4,156,802 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  552,656 

                        Total                                       44,995,162 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $35,000 in special funds shall be available for snowmobile law enforcement activities and $35,000 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.

(b)  Of the $230,000 allocated for local heroin interdiction grants funded in this section, $190,000 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 and heroin-related drug (e.g., methadone, oxycontin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine) enforcement efforts.  The remaining $40,000 shall remain as a “pool” of money available to local and county law enforcement to fund overtime costs associated with heroin investigations.  Any unexpended funds from prior fiscal years shall be carried forward.

(c)  $2,200,708 of the above funds is appropriated on a one-time basis as general funds if the provisions of Sec. 272 of this act, as it amends Sec. 70 (b)(2) of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006, are met.

Sec. 66.  Public safety - criminal justice services

                   Personal services                            5,925,379 

                   Operating expenses                        2,404,337 

                   Grants                                            2,182,500 

                        Total                                       10,512,216 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      760,000 

                   Transportation fund                        4,323,039 

                   Special funds                                  1,322,337 

                   Federal funds                                 3,678,817 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  428,023 

                        Total                                       10,512,216 

Sec. 67.  Public safety - emergency management

                   Personal services                            1,301,165 

                   Operating expenses                           459,748 

                   Grants                                               721,050 

                        Total                                         2,481,963 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                             63,969 

                   Special funds                                       97,957 

                   Federal funds                                 2,320,037 

                        Total                                         2,481,963 

Sec. 68.  Public safety - emergency management - radiological emergency response plan

                   Personal services                               667,284 

                   Operating expenses                           239,640 

                   Grants                                               453,516 

                        Total                                         1,360,440 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  1,360,440 

(a)  Of the above special fund appropriation, up to $30,000 shall be available to contract with any radio station serving the emergency planning zone for the emergency alert system.

Sec. 68a.  20 V.S.A. § 3a is amended to read:

§ 3a.  EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION; DUTIES; BUDGET

(a)  In addition to other duties required by law, the emergency management division shall:

(1)  Prepare Establish and define emergency planning zones and prepare and maintain a radiological emergency response plan in cooperation with other state and local agencies for use in such zones.  The plan shall be designed to protect the lives and property of persons residing within this state who might be threatened as the result of their proximity to any operating nuclear reactor.  The plan shall be formulated in accordance with procedures approved by the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The plan shall provide for all the following:

* * *

Sec. 68b.  20 V.S.A. § 38(a)(2) and (3) are amended to read:

(2)  Expenditures from the fund shall be made by the division of emergency management, subject to an annual legislative appropriation.  As part of the annual appropriations process, the division of emergency management shall present a budget for the ensuing fiscal year that anticipates the expenditures that will be made from the fund.  The annual budget shall be developed by the division of emergency management in consultation with the Windham regional planning commission, state agencies, the management of the nuclear power plant, and the selectboards of the municipalities in the emergency planning zone and any other municipality defined by the state as required to support the plan.  Each fiscal year, the division of emergency management in collaboration with the state and local 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 or emergency planning zone entity defined by the state as required to support the radiological emergency response plan shall develop the budget for expenditures from the radiological emergency response plan fund.  State personnel with responsibility for local coordination and plan development shall be physically located in the region.  The annual budget shall include only expenditures necessary to support the radiological emergency response plan.

(3)  The annual budget shall include anticipated expenditures to municipalities, county or state agencies, or other organizations necessary to support the radiological emergency response plan.  The annual budget shall also include an annual base payment of no less than $5,000.00 for each town within the emergency planning zone 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 or emergency planning zone entity defined by the state as required to support the plan shall be determined during the budget development process established by this section.  The annual budget so prepared shall include all costs for evacuation notification systems.

Sec. 69.  Public safety - fire safety

                   Personal services                            3,743,689 

                   Operating expenses                           929,794 

                   Grants                                                 48,000 

                        Total                                         4,721,483 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      713,652 

                   Special funds                                  3,738,363 

                   Federal funds                                      91,068 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  178,400 

                        Total                                         4,721,483 

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $50,000 shall be granted to the Vermont rural fire protection task force for the purpose of designing dry hydrants.

Sec. 70.  Military - administration

                   Personal services                               475,193 

                   Operating expenses                           151,271 

                   Grants                                               200,000 

                        Total                                            826,464 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      826,464 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, an amount not to exceed $200,000 shall be disbursed to the Vermont student assistance corporation to replenish the amount available for the national guard scholarship program established in 16 V.S.A. § 2856 to a level of $200,000.  At the end of fiscal year 2007, any part of the $200,000 appropriation not transferred to the Vermont student assistance corporation shall revert to the general fund.

(b)  Total disbursements by the Vermont student assistance corporation under 16 V.S.A. § 2856 shall not exceed $200,000 in fiscal year 2007.

Sec. 71.  Military - air service contract

                   Personal services                            4,015,783 

                   Operating expenses                           875,237 

                        Total                                         4,891,020 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      339,579 

                   Federal funds                                 4,551,441 

                        Total                                         4,891,020 

Sec. 72.  Military - army service contract

                   Personal services                            3,361,860 

                   Operating expenses                        5,780,134 

                        Total                                         9,141,994 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      110,625 

                   Federal funds                                 9,031,369 

                        Total                                         9,141,994 

Sec. 73.  Military - building maintenance

                   Personal services                               915,455 

                   Operating expenses                           441,925 

                        Total                                         1,357,380 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,357,380 

Sec. 74.  Military - veterans’ affairs

                   Personal services                               265,466 

                   Operating expenses                           107,315 

                   Grants                                               172,815 

                        Total                                            545,596 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      545,596 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $15,000 shall be used for continuation of the Vermont medal program, $10,000 shall be used for the expenses of the governor’s veterans’ advisory council, $15,000 shall be used for the Veterans’ Day parade, $5,000 for the American Legion Post 5 marching band, and $5,000 shall be granted to the Vermont state council of the Vietnam Veterans of America to fund the service officer program. 

Sec. 75.  Center for crime victims services

                   Personal services                            1,159,459 

                   Operating expenses                           307,874 

                   Grants                                            8,555,195 

                        Total                                       10,022,528 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,125,253 

                   Special funds                                  4,876,155 

                   Federal funds                                 4,021,120 

                        Total                                       10,022,528 

(a)  The center for crime victims’ services shall review the allocation of the victims’ advocates to address the current imbalance in caseload.  This review shall consider the number of hours worked by each advocate and the caseload of each advocate.  The director shall report the findings of this review to the house and senate committees on appropriations during testimony on the fiscal year 2008 budget.

Sec. 75a.  18 V.S.A. § 1905 is amended to read:

§ 1905.  LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Upon receipt of an application for license and the license fee, the licensing agency shall issue a license when it determines that the applicant and hospital facilities meet the following minimum standards:

* * *

(19)  All hospitals shall accept payment for compensation claims of uninsured crime victims paid for by the victims compensation board established in section 5352 of Title 13 at 70 percent of billed charges and shall not bill any balance to the uninsured crime victim.

Sec. 75b.  32 V.S.A. § 1407 is amended to read:

§ 1407.  COSTS TO BE BORNE BY THE STATE

The state shall bear the costs of medical and psychological examinations administered to victims of crime committed in this state, in instances where that examination is requested by a law enforcement officer or a prosecuting authority of the state or any of its subdivisions.  The state shall also bear the costs of medical examinations administered to victims in cases of alleged sexual assault where the victim obtains such an examination prior to receiving such a request.  These costs may be paid from the victims’ compensation fund from funds appropriated for that purpose.  The fund shall reimburse health care facilities and health care providers located in Vermont as defined in section 9402 of Title 18 at 70 percent of the billed charges for these claims, and the health care provider or facility shall not bill any balance to the crime victim.  A victim, at his or her own expense, may obtain copies of the results of an examination under this section.

Sec. 76.  Criminal justice training council

                   Personal services                            1,007,217 

                   Operating expenses                           800,611 

                        Total                                         1,807,828 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,171,978 

                   Special funds                                     505,452 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  130,398 

                        Total                                         1,807,828 

Sec. 77.  Agriculture, food and markets - administration

                   Personal services                               855,670 

                   Operating expenses                           446,851 

                   Grants                                               357,114 

                        Total                                         1,659,635 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,403,539 

                   Special funds                                     118,940 

                   Federal funds                                      78,543 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    58,613 

                        Total                                         1,659,635 

(a)  The secretary of the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall utilize the general funds appropriated in Sec. 261b(a)(1) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2001 that are unexpended and carried forward and available in fiscal year 2006 as follows:

(1)  $5,000 to carry out educational activities for farmers as required by H.456 of 2006;

(2)  $10,000 to provide farm-to-school education and teacher training services as required by H.456 of 2006;

(3)  $25,000 for the agronomics practices program created in Sec. 80a of this act;  

(4)  up to $110,000 which may be redirected by the secretary of the agency of agriculture, food and markets solely for meat inspection activities; and

(5)  any funds remaining in this appropriation shall only be expended on matchable conservation reserve enhancement program expenses.

(b)  Of the above special fund appropriation, $25,000 shall be for the purposes of 6 V.S.A. § 370.

Sec. 77a.  RULEMAKING BY LAND USE PANEL

(a)  In the event that S.142 of 2006 is not enacted into law, and notwithstanding other provisions of law to the contrary, the land use panel of the natural resources board shall not adopt rules on the subject of agricultural mitigation under Act 250, the definition of growth centers, the interpretation of Title 10 subdivision 6086(a)(9), or other matters addressed by the panel’s proposed Rule 80 until further specific authority to do so is granted by the general assembly.

Sec. 77b.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

                 OUTREACH, EDUCATION, AND TRAINING REGARDING

                 CONTAGIOUS LIVESTOCK DISEASES AND ANIMAL

                 PREMISES REGISTRATION

(a)  Prior to January 15, 2007, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall develop educational and training programs and shall conduct a public hearing in each county of the state to inform farmers in Vermont of the threat to humans and livestock posed by a potential outbreak of a contagious disease in livestock in Vermont.  The educational materials and training shall provide information:

(1)  regarding how and when a contagious disease in livestock, including avian influenza, could enter the state; how to prevent a contagious disease from entering the state; how to prevent a contagious disease from infecting livestock on a farm; how to detect symptoms of a contagious disease in livestock or wild animals; how to respond when a contagious livestock disease is suspected or detected; the role that all scales of farming may have in the spread of a contagious disease; and the potential impact of a contagious disease on food production and distribution; and 

(2)  regarding the details of an animal premises registration rule proposed by the agency of agriculture, food and markets, including when a livestock owner would be required to register, the penalties for failure to register, how the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall manage and use information collected from livestock owners, how the agency of agriculture, food and markets would respond to outbreaks of contagious diseases, and how the required registration with the state will impact local food production and distribution. 

Sec. 77c.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

                 ANIMAL PREMISES REGISTRATION SYSTEM REPORT AND

                 RULES

(a)  Findings.  The general assembly finds and declares that it is the policy of the state of Vermont to protect the state’s agricultural sector from outbreaks of contagious livestock diseases.  Efforts to control outbreaks of contagious diseases in livestock are necessary to protect public health, maintain animal health, and prevent damage to the agricultural economy of the state.  Nevertheless, protection of the state’s agricultural sector must not result in excessive or restrictive regulation of ownership of livestock.  Consequently, notwithstanding existing requirements in statute or rule for the identification of animals, it is the intention of the general assembly that any effort by the agency of agriculture, food and markets to adopt a new system to register livestock and livestock owners in order to respond to the outbreak of contagious diseases in livestock should be limited to an animal premises registration system and should not impose requirements related to individual animal identification or monitoring of animal movement.

(b)  Prior to filing a final proposal under sections 836 and 841 of Title 3 of a rule for animal premises registration, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall report a proposed final rule for animal premises registration to the house and senate committees on agriculture.  The house and senate committees on agriculture shall review the proposed rule and recommend whether the proposed rule should be amended and whether a final proposal of the rule should be filed with the secretary of state and the legislative committee on administrative rules under sections 836 and 841 of Title 3. 

(c)  Prior to January 15, 2007, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall complete a study of the effectiveness of a voluntary animal premises registration system in the state.  The secretary shall report the findings of the study to the house and senate committees on agriculture.  The report shall include:

(1)  A summary of the federal national animal identification system plan and a list of any components of the federal plan that the state is required to implement under federal statute or rules;  

(2)  A summary of the amount of information collected under the state voluntary animal premises registration system and the type of farms that have registered under the voluntary system, provided that no confidential personal information shall be included in the report;  

(3)  An analysis of the effectiveness of the state voluntary animal premises registration system;  

(4)  An accounting of the cost to the agency of agriculture, food and markets of implementing the state voluntary animal premises registration system and an estimate of the increased funding that would be necessary for  the agency of agriculture, food and markets to implement a mandatory animal premises identification system; and  

(5)  A summary of any and all contagious animal disease outbreaks within the state of Vermont, New England, and the eastern provinces of Canada in the year preceding the date the report is filed with the general assembly.

Sec. 77d.  6 V.S.A. § 370 is amended to read:

§ 370.  PUBLICATION; CONSUMER INFORMATION REGARDING

             FERTILIZER USE ON NONAGRICULTURAL TURF

(a)  The secretary shall publish on an annual basis:

(1)  information concerning the distribution of fertilizers and limes;

(2)  results of analyses based on official samples of fertilizers and lime distributed within the state as compared with guaranteed analyses required pursuant to the terms of this chapter.

(b)(1)  The secretary, in consultation with the University of Vermont extension service, fertilizer industry representatives, lake groups, and other interested or affected parties, shall produce information for distribution to the general public with respect to the following:

(A)  problems faced by the waters of the state because of discharges of phosphorus;

(B)  an explanation of the extent to which phosphorus exists naturally in the soil;

(C)  voluntary best management practices for the use on nonagricultural turf of fertilizers containing phosphorus; and  

(D)  best management practices for residential sources of phosphorus.

(2)  The secretary shall develop the information required under this subsection and make it available to the general public in the manner deemed most effective, which may include:

(A)  conspicuous posting at the point of retail sale of fertilizer containing phosphorus, according to recommendations for how that conspicuous posting may best take place;

(B)  public service announcements by means of electronic media;

(C)  other methods deemed by the secretary to be likely to be effective.

(3)  The secretary shall develop proposed criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the information program and shall present them to legislative committees on natural resources and energy and on agriculture by no later than January 1, 2007.  By no later than July 1, 2007, the secretary shall hold one or more public information meetings to obtain the input of the public on a draft assessment of the effectiveness of this section in increasing the use of best management practices in the use of fertilizers on nonagricultural turf.  By no later than December 1, 2008, the secretary shall provide those legislative committees with a final assessment of the effectiveness of this subsection, which shall include an analysis of the extent to which the information developed under this subsection has been effectively provided to and relied upon by retail customers who purchase fertilizers containing phosphorus and shall include any recommendations for making the program more effective.  

Sec. 78.  Agriculture, food and markets - food safety and consumer protection

                   Personal services                            2,478,439 

                   Operating expenses                           271,787 

                   Grants                                            2,801,492 

                        Total                                         5,551,718 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,404,221 

                   Special funds                                  3,513,447 

                   Federal funds                                    627,050 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                      7,000 

                        Total                                         5,551,718 

Sec. 79.  Agriculture, food and markets - agricultural development

                   Personal services                               826,041 

                   Operating expenses                           504,152 

                   Grants                                            1,249,421 

                        Total                                         2,579,614 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      813,420 

                   Special funds                                  1,571,703 

                   Federal funds                                    194,491 

                        Total                                         2,579,614 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $125,000 shall be granted to Vermont schools in amounts no greater than $15,000 to encourage the use of Vermont farm products by Vermont schools.

Sec. 80.  Agriculture, food and markets - laboratories, agricultural resource management, and environmental stewardship

                   Personal services                            3,079,164 

                   Operating expenses                           504,576 

                   Grants                                               626,000 

                        Total                                         4,209,740 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,960,149 

                   Special funds                                  1,513,583 

                   Federal funds                                    471,118 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  264,890 

                        Total                                         4,209,740 

Sec. 80a.  FARM AGRONOMIC PRACTICES PROGRAM

(a)  The farm agronomic practices assistance program is created in the agency of agriculture, food and markets to provide the farms of Vermont with state financial assistance for the implementation of soil-based practices that improve soil quality, increase crop production, and reduce erosion and agricultural waste discharges.  The following practices shall be eligible for assistance under the grant program:

(1)  conservation crop rotation;

(2)  cover cropping;

(3)  strip cropping;

(4)  cross-slope tillage;

(5)  annual maintenance of a nutrient management plan that is no longer receiving funding under a state or federal contract, provided the maximum assistance provided to a farmer under this subdivision shall be $1,000 per year; and

(6)  educational and instructional activities to inform the farmers and citizens of Vermont of:

(A)  the impact on Vermont waters of agricultural waste discharges;

(B)  the federal and state requirements for controlling agricultural waste discharges.

Sec. 81.  Agriculture, food and markets - state stipend

                   Grants                                               175,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      175,000 

Sec. 82.  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. 83.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - banking

                   Personal services                            1,133,430 

                   Operating expenses                           280,645 

                        Total                                         1,414,075 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  1,414,075 

(a)  Notwithstanding 9 V.S.A. § 4230(b), in fiscal year 2007, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration may transfer up to $200,000 from the securities regulation and supervision fund to the banking supervision fund established in 8 V.S.A. § 19(f).

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

                   Personal services                            2,918,926 

                   Operating expenses                           518,400 

                        Total                                         3,437,326 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  3,437,326 

Sec. 85.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - captive

                   Personal services                            2,785,349 

                   Operating expenses                           438,260 

                        Total                                         3,223,609 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  3,223,609 

Sec. 86.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - securities

                   Personal services                               524,668 

                   Operating expenses                           133,050 

                        Total                                            657,718 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                     657,718 

Sec. 87.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - health care administration

                   Personal services                            4,541,080 

                   Operating expenses                           379,818 

                        Total                                         4,920,898 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      711,000 

                   Special funds                                  2,423,717 

                    Global Commitment funds               1,716,181 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    70,000 

                        Total                                         4,920,898 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $700,000, consisting of $395,000 in general funds, $105,000 in Global Commitment funds, and $200,000 in special funds, is for a continuation of the project conducted by the Vermont information technology leaders (VITL), as referred to in Sec. 263(e)(3) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 74 of No. 93 of the Acts of  2006.  Availability of the $700,000 funds is contingent on the secretary of administration’s approval of a plan submitted by VITL to coordinate VITL’s activities with “the Vermont blueprint for health chronic care initiative” and other health care related statewide information technology projects.  Availability of the $700,000 shall also be contingent on:  the delivery by VITL of a sustainable business plan to the secretary of administration and the general assembly; and a commitment by VITL to use “best efforts” to secure a nonstate match for the funds.  If at any time VITL no longer demonstrates the ability to deliver the work described in 18 V.S.A. § 9417, the state shall have the right to assume ownership of all licenses, intellectual property, and work product of VITL developed for the state pursuant to section 9417 or otherwise.  The $700,000 in this section shall not be available until the funding in Sec. 263(e)(3) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 74 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006, has been fully expended.

(b)  Of the above appropriation $400,000 is for purposes of Sec. 57 of H.861 of 2006.  In the event that H.861 of 2006 is not enacted into law, $400,000 shall be reduced from the above appropriation.  This reduction shall consist of $316,000 in general funds and $84,000 in Global Commitment funds.

Sec. 88.  Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration - administration

                   Personal services                            1,059,213 

                   Operating expenses                             51,417 

                        Total                                         1,110,630 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  1,110,630 

Sec. 89.  Secretary of state

                   Personal services                            4,040,135 

                   Operating expenses                        1,341,443 

                   Grants                                            1,200,000 

                        Total                                         6,581,578 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      586,693 

                   Special funds                                  3,919,885 

                   Federal funds                                 2,000,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    75,000 

                        Total                                         6,581,578 

(a)  The corporation division of the secretary of state’s office represents $480,889 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).

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in fiscal year 2006, the amount of $220,000 shall be transferred to the general fund from the Vermont campaign fund established in 17 V.S.A. § 2856.

(c)  Notwithstanding 17 V.S.A. § 2855(a), in fiscal year 2007, the secretary of state may make public finance grants to qualified candidates from the Vermont campaign fund in anticipation of receipts coming into the fund.

Sec. 90.  Public service - regulation and energy

                   Personal services                            4,547,379 

                   Operating expenses                           674,884 

                   Grants                                               800,000 

                        Total                                         6,022,263 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  4,829,463 

                   Federal funds                                 1,157,800 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    35,000  

                        Total                                         6,022,263 

Sec. 90a.  CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  The sum of $4,800,000 is appropriated during fiscal year 2007 from the clean energy development fund to the public service department for the purposes of 10 V.S.A. § 6523 as follows:

(1)  With the approval of the joint fiscal committee the public service department may grant up to $1,300,000 in awards from the clean energy development fund prior to December 1, 2006.

(2)  The public service department may only grant the remaining $3,500,000 with the approval of the clean energy development fund investment committee established in 10 V.S.A. § 6523(e).  In the event that H.859 of 2006 is not enacted into law, this appropriation shall not be made.

(3)  Of the monies appropriated for program administration in accordance with 10 V.S.A. § 6523(e)(3), $50,000 shall be used by the department of public service for the public engagement process established under Sec. 2 of H.859 of 2006.  In the event that H.859 of 2006 is not enacted into law, this appropriation shall not be made.

Sec. 91.  Public service - purchase and sale of power

                   Personal services                                 11,886 

                   Operating expenses                               1,516 

                        Total                                              13,402 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                       13,402 

Sec. 92.  Public service board

                   Personal services                            2,447,097 

                   Operating expenses                           310,000 

                        Total                                         2,757,097 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  2,757,097 

Sec. 93.  Enhanced 9-1-1 board

                   Personal services                            2,106,208 

                   Operating expenses                           371,986 

                        Total                                         2,478,194 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  2,478,194 

Sec. 94.  Vermont racing commission

                   Operating expenses                               1,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                           1,000 

Sec. 95.  Human rights commission

                   Personal services                               379,094 

                   Operating expenses                             78,912 

                        Total                                            458,006 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      288,006 

                   Federal funds                                    170,000 

                        Total                                            458,006 

Sec. 96.  Liquor control - enforcement and licensing

                   Personal services                            1,616,703 

                   Operating expenses                           334,752 

                        Total                                         1,951,455 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Tobacco fund                                    289,768 

                   Enterprise funds                              1,661,687 

                        Total                                         1,951,455 

Sec. 97.  Liquor control - administration

                   Personal services                            1,304,489 

                   Operating expenses                           370,241 

                        Total                                         1,674,730 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Enterprise funds                              1,674,730 

Sec. 98.  Liquor control - warehousing and distribution

                   Personal services                               790,029 

                   Operating expenses                           343,527 

                        Total                                         1,133,556 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Enterprise funds                              1,133,556 

Sec. 99.  Total protection to persons

               and property                                    237,343,390 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 76,671,015 

                   Transportation fund                      35,440,855 

                   Special funds                                57,135,074 

                   Tobacco fund                                    619,768 

                   Global Commitment funds               1,716,181 

                   Federal funds                               54,096,303 

                   Enterprise funds                              4,469,973 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               7,194,221 

                        Total                                     237,343,390 

Sec. 100.  Human services - agency of human services - secretary’s office

                   Personal services                            6,522,771 

                   Operating expenses                        2,220,100 

                   Grants                                            4,576,108 

                        Total                                       13,318,979 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,726,910 

                   Special funds                                         7,517 

                   Tobacco fund                                    612,021 

                   Federal funds                                 4,770,606 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               4,201,925 

                        Total                                       13,318,979 

(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 to the departments in the agency of human services designated to provide these services.

(d)  Of the above tobacco settlement funds, $54,000 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, $143,000 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 with any corresponding federal matching funds shall be for comprehensive treatment services and $15,000 for safe housing provisions for at-risk youth.

(g)  Of the above tobacco fund appropriation, $200,000 along with available matching federal funds shall be available for services required for petitions filed by the agency under 33 V.S.A. § 5517(e).

(h)  The administration and the Vermont council of developmental and mental health services have agreed that in state fiscal year 2008, a 7.5 percent state funding increase will be recommended for the designated agencies.  The agency of human services and Vermont council of developmental and mental health services will work collaboratively with consumers, families, and advocates to make a recommendation as to how this increase will be allocated.

(i)  The agency of human services shall conduct a study of the sustainability of the designated provider system for substance abuse, developmental, and mental health services.  The study will result in a five-year strategic plan to address demographic trends, labor market trends, and the availability of state and federal resources.  The agency shall utilize an advisory board of consumers, family members, advocates, and designated agencies to oversee the study and to address the recommendations made in the original sustainability study.

Sec. 101.  Secretary’s office - Global Commitment

                   Grants                                                                            792,294,238 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                                                   116,901,768 

                   Special funds                                                                    12,939,662 

                   Tobacco fund                                                                   19,299,711 

               State health care resources fund                                           153,832,688 

                   Federal funds                                                                 487,041,206 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                                                   2,279,203 

                        Total                                                                         792,294,238 

(a)  The agency of human services shall use the funds appropriated in this section for payment of the actuarially certified premium required under the intergovernmental agreement between the agency of human services and the managed care organization in the office of Vermont health access as provided for in the Global Commitment to health waiver (“Global Commitment”) approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.

(b)  In addition to the state funds appropriated in this section, a total estimated sum of $35,594,773 is anticipated to be certified as state matching funds under the Global Commitment as follows:

(1)  $19,536,735 certified state match available from local education agencies.  This amount combined with $27,665,633 of federal funds appropriated in this section equals a total estimated expenditure of $47,202,367 for eligible special education school-based Medicaid services under the Global Commitment.  An amount equal to the amount of the federal matching funds for eligible special education school-based Medicaid services under global commitment shall be transferred from the Global Commitment fund to the Medicaid reimbursement special fund created in 16 V.S.A. § 2959a.

(2)  $1,497,110 certified state match available from local education agencies for eligible services under the Global Commitment provided to students under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

(3)  $7,459,137 certified state match available from local education agencies for eligible services under the Global Commitment provided to students through school-based health services, including school nurses.

(4)  $4,215,210 certified state match available from local education agencies for eligible services provided to students in the success beyond six programs.

(5)  $1,847,186 certified state match available from local designated mental health agencies for eligible mental health services provided under the Global Commitment.

(6)  $1,039,395 certified state match available from local designated developmental services agencies for eligible developmental services provided under the Global Commitment.

(c)  In the event that H.861 of 2006 is not enacted into law, the special fund appropriation above is reduced by $1,823,600 and the federal funds are reduced by $2,604,763.

Sec. 102.  Rate setting

                   Personal services                               685,795 

                   Operating expenses                             92,395 

                        Total                                            778,190 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  778,190 

Sec. 103.  Developmental disabilities council

                   Personal services                               139,974 

                   Operating expenses                             33,310 

                   Grants                                               315,000 

                        Total                                            488,284 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Federal funds                                    488,284 

Sec. 104.  Human services board

                   Personal services                               290,456 

                   Operating expenses                             50,457 

                        Total                                            340,913 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        50,247 

                   Federal funds                                      11,280 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  279,386 

                        Total                                            340,913 

Sec. 105.  Office of Vermont health access - administration

                   Personal services                          26,611,976 

                   Operating expenses                        1,918,014 

                        Total                                       28,529,990 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Global Commitment fund              28,167,196 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  362,794 

                        Total                                       28,529,990 

(a)  In fiscal year 2007, the office of Vermont health access may obtain three new positions from the position pool to implement and provide for the ongoing operational support of any Chronic Care Management RFP process and contract management activities.

(b)  No later than December 1, 2006, the office of Vermont health access shall report to the health access oversight committee on the program and administrative costs associated with the start-up of the Medicare Modernization Act’s Part D provisions.  The office shall include a projection of the ongoing program and administrative costs to state operations that are attributable to the implementation and ongoing operations of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

(c)  In the event that H.861 of 2006 is not enacted into law, the above global commitment fund appropriation is reduced by $1,000,000, and no funds shall be expended to implement employer-sponsored insurance programs within the state Medicaid program.

Sec. 106.  MEDICAID TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL CONTRACTS

(a)  The agency of human services may contract with a public or private entity to provide transportation related to school-based health or dental clinic services for children enrolled in Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur.

Sec. 107.  Office of Vermont health access - Medicaid program - Global Commitment

                   Grants                                        389,504,923 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Global Commitment fund            389,504,923

(a)  The office of Vermont health access and the department of disabilities, aging and independent living may, where feasible, seek to more efficiently utilize funds in the “high tech” program while maintaining adequate medical care.

(b)  In the event that H.861 of 2006 is not enacted into law, the above appropriation is reduced by $3,428,363, and the department shall not change reimbursement rates for providers as specified in H.861, and the specified intent of Sec. 108(a) of this act is no longer required.

Sec. 107a.  MEDICAID GENERIC REIMBURSEMENT REDUCTION AND

                   DISPENSING FEE STUDY

(a)  The office of Vermont health access shall conduct an impact analysis of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (H.R. 4241/S.1932) on pharmacists and the Vermont pharmacy benefits program.  Specifically the office shall evaluate:

(1)  The impact of the generic drugs provision on Vermont pharmacists and on program participants in Medicaid.  

(2)  The state’s potential direct savings due to the generic drug change.

(b)  The office shall provide preliminary findings to the legislative health access oversight committee and the legislative joint fiscal committee by September 1, 2006, with a final report to be submitted to the above committees by November 15, 2006.

Sec. 107b.  OVHA CHIROPRACTIC STUDY; REPEAL

(a)  Sec. 298 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, directing OVHA to study the impact of reinstating chiropractic benefits in the Medicaid program, is repealed.

Sec. 107c.  CHIROPRACTIC REVIEW OF LITERATURE; OVHA

                   RECOMMENDATION

(a)  The office of Vermont health access shall review available literature and clinical findings related to clinical outcomes and overall treatment costs associated with chiropractic treatment.  The office shall make a recommendation to the general assembly regarding the reinstatement of chiropractic services under the Medicaid program during the fiscal year 2008 budget submission.

Sec. 108.  DENTAL SERVICES

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that effective January 1, 2007 an annualized increase of $300,000 is made for adult dental services which shall be used to, first, restore the reductions in adult dental rates which were effective February 1, 2006 and, second, to split the remaining amount approximately in half to increase rates for dental services and to increase the dental cap for adults in such a manner as to offset any loss in benefit level due to the rate increases.

(b)  The office of Vermont health access shall use $242,836 of the appropriation in Sec. 107 of this act for supplemental payments to dentists with high Medicaid patient counts.  The office shall design and implement the program by October 1, 2006.  These funds are in addition to the funds in subsection (a) of this section.  The office shall report to the health access oversight committee in September on the parameters of the program.

Sec. 109.  Office of Vermont health access - Medicaid program - non-Global Commitment long-term care waiver

                   Grants                                        172,317,361 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 70,960,289 

                   Federal funds                             101,357,072 

                        Total                                     172,317,361 

Sec. 110.  Office of Vermont health access - Medicaid matched nonwaiver expenses

                   Grants                                          61,194,552 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 24,589,781 

                   Federal funds                               36,604,771 

                        Total                                       61,194,552 

Sec. 111.  Office of Vermont health access - Medicaid program - state only

                    Grants                                          29,621,923 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 28,437,916 

                   Global Commitment fund                1,184,007 

                        Total                                       29,621,923 

Sec. 112.  MEDICAID DEFICIT AND REIMBURSEMENT STUDY

(a)  The health access oversight committee shall study options for and develop a plan to eliminate the Medicaid deficit.  The committee may appoint a subcommittee from its members to collect information, hear testimony, and make recommendations to the full committee.  The committee shall consider:

(1)  opportunities in the Global Commitment waiver;

(2)  methods to streamline administration and regulation in Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, and Dr. Dynasaur;

(3)  the fastest growing expenses in the programs and determine whether there are efficiencies or other methods available to control costs; and

(4)  other strategies for reducing the deficit.

(b)  The health access oversight committee or the subcommittee appointed under subsection (a) of this section shall study the reimbursement rates paid by Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, and Dr. Dynasaur and the effects of the rates on Vermont’s health care system.

(c)  The office of Vermont health access shall present analysis and information as requested by the committee or subcommittee.  The committee and subcommittee shall have staff support from the legislative council and the joint fiscal office.

(d)  The committee shall report on the studies and a plan under this section to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2007.

Sec. 113.  [DELETED]

Sec. 114.  [DELETED]

Sec. 115.  Health - administration and support

                   Personal services                            5,760,189 

                   Operating expenses                        2,397,801 

                   Grants                                               150,000 

                        Total                                         8,307,990 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      114,453 

                   Special funds                                       24,525 

                   Global Commitment fund                2,547,194 

                   State health care resource fund          100,000 

                   Federal funds                                 5,517,818 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                      4,000 

                        Total                                         8,307,990 

(a)  Of the above special fund appropriation, $100,000 shall be used for a grant pursuant to Sec. 33 of H. 861 of 2006.  This grant shall not be made if H.861 is not enacted into law.

Sec. 115a.  Health - blueprint for health

                   Personal services                            2,549,049 

                   Operating expenses                           331,443 

                   Grants                                               366,000 

                        Total                                         3,246,492 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,234,431 

                   Global Commitment fund                2,012,061 

                        Total                                         3,246,492 

(a)  From the funds appropriated in this section and Sec. 115b of this act, the department of health shall provide incentive grants and stipends to physician practices participating in the pilot projects developed under the Vermont blueprint for health established in section 702 of Title 18.

Sec. 115b.  BLUEPRINT FOR HEALTH - FISCAL YEAR 2006 ONE-TIME

                   APPROPRIATION

(a)  In fiscal year 2006, a total of $ 2,092,646 is appropriated to the department of health for the blueprint for health of which $899,641 is from the general fund and $1,193,005 is from the Global Commitment fund.

(b)  In fiscal year 2006, $972,982 in general funds is appropriated to the agency of human services - Global Commitment on a one-time basis to fund the blueprint for health.

Sec. 115c.  COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH

(a)  Notwithstanding the maximums stated in 32 V.S.A. § 1003(b)(1), the maximum hiring rate and maximum salary for the health commissioner is $150,000.

Sec. 116.  18 V.S.A. § 117 is added to read:

§ 117.  CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

(a)  The commissioner of health shall establish a statewide network of resources to provide education through the distribution of information regarding persons with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), to persons with chronic fatigue syndrome, health care providers, and the public.

(b)  The department shall work in collaboration with the Vermont CFIDS Association, Inc. and health care providers with expertise in chronic fatigue syndrome to prepare an informational packet about the clinical significance, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.  The informational packet shall be based upon the publication  “A Consensus Manual for the Primary Care and Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” published by the Academy of Medicine of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, to the extent allowable under federal copyright protections.  The department shall distribute the informational packet to all primary care physicians in the state, and it shall be available on the department of health’s website.  The informational packet may contain any other  information that the commissioner of health deems necessary and shall be revised by the department when new information about chronic fatigue syndrome becomes available.  The department shall publicize the informational packet and make it widely available to the public.

Sec. 117.   Health - health protection

                   Personal services                            3,282,307 

                   Operating expenses                           768,200 

                   Grants                                            1,689,500 

                        Total                                         5,740,007 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      238,513 

                   Special funds                                     904,000 

                   Global Commitment fund                     55,093 

                   Federal funds                                 4,239,401 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  303,000 

                        Total                                         5,740,007 

Sec. 118.   Health - health surveillance

                   Personal services                            9,523,745 

                   Operating expenses                        2,845,354 

                   Grants                                            2,606,982 

                        Total                                       14,976,081 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,601,147 

                   Special funds                                  1,307,500 

                   Global Commitment fund                1,183,573 

                   Federal funds                                 8,809,317 

                   Permanent trust funds                          10,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    64,544 

                        Total                                       14,976,081 

(a)  The amount of $335,000 of the above general fund/Global Commitment fund appropriation shall be appropriated to the following Vermont AIDS service organizations and peer-support organizations for client-based support services.  It is the intent of the general assembly that if Global Commitment fund monies in this subsection are unavailable, the total funding for Vermont AIDS service organizations and peer-support organizations for client-based support services shall be maintained through the general fund or other state funding sources.  The department of health AIDS program shall meet at least quarterly with the HIV/AIDS service advisory committee (HASAC) with current information and data relating to service initiatives.  The funds shall be allocated as follows:

(1)  AIDS Project of Southern Vermont - $72,000

(2)  ACORN - $30,000

(3)  IMANI - $21,000

(4)  VT CARES - $147,000

(5)  Twin States Network - $30,000

(6)  People with AIDS Coalition - $35,000

(b)  Of the above federal funds, Ryan White Title II funds for AIDS services and the AIDS Medication Assistance Program shall be distributed in accordance with federal guidelines.  These guidelines shall not apply to programming funded by state general funds.

(c)  The amount of $140,000 of the above general fund appropriation shall be used for assistance to individuals in the HIV/AIDS medication assistance program (AMAP), including the costs of prescribed medications, related laboratory testing, and nutritional supplements.  These funds may not be used for any administrative purposes by the department of health or by any other state agency or department. Any remaining AMAP general funds at the end of the fiscal year shall be distributed to Vermont AIDS service organizations in the same proportions as those outlined under subsection (a) of this section.

(d)  The amount of $100,000 of the above general fund appropriation shall be appropriated to the Vermont AIDS service organizations and other Vermont HIV/AIDS prevention providers for community-based HIV prevention programming which is currently not supported by federal funds due to federal restrictions.  These funds shall be used for HIV/AIDS prevention purposes, including, but not limited to, improving the availability of confidential and anonymous HIV testing; prevention work with at-risk groups such as women, intravenous drug users, and people of color; anti-stigma campaigns; and promotion of needle exchange programs.  No more than 15 percent of the funds may be used for the administration of such services by the recipients of these funds.  The method by which these prevention funds shall be distributed shall be determined by mutual agreement of the department of health, AIDS service organizations, HASAC, and the community planning group (CPG).  The department of health AIDS program shall be guided and advised by HASAC and CPG on an ongoing basis in prioritizing prevention service needs in the disbursement of these funds.

(e)  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.

(f)  The secretary of human services shall work in conjunction with the AMAP advisory committee, which shall be comprised of 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.

(g)  Of the above appropriation, $50,000 is allocated for the advance directive registry.

Sec. 119.  Health - health improvement

                   Personal services                            7,659,905 

                   Operating expenses                        1,051,300 

                   Grants                                          11,012,449 

                        Total                                       19,723,654 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      571,675 

                   Special funds                                     392,500 

                   Tobacco fund                                 3,185,982 

                   Global commitment fund                 7,243,951 

                   Federal funds                                 8,322,546 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                      7,000 

                        Total                                       19,723,654 

(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 deposited into the loan repayment fund established under 18 V.S.A. § 10a or for the Vermont student assistance corporation for loan forgiveness programs for health care providers through the dental hygienist incentive loan program and the nursing incentive loan program.

(b)  The above tobacco fund appropriation and $543,696 in Global Commitment funds 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;

(2)  media and public education - $1,007,799;

(3)  tobacco cessation programs - $1,290,255; these funds may also be used to provide tobacco cessation counseling services to persons incarcerated in Vermont correctional facilities, and $80,000 shall be used to make nicotine replacement therapies available to all persons enrolled in tobacco cessation counseling; and $15,000 shall be granted to the Washington county mental health agency for a special cessation program.

(4)  surveillance and evaluation activities - $333,000;

(5)  statewide provider education - $75,000.

(c)  Of the above general fund/Global Commitment appropriation, $250,000 shall be granted to the area health education center (AHEC) to support the work and infrastructure of the statewide AHEC network to ensure an adequate and appropriate health care workforce, to bring quality improvement programs to health care professionals, and to create partnerships across community‑based health care services to improve health care access and integration.

(d)  Any funds not expended by the AHEC during fiscal years 2006 and 2007 shall be carried forward to be available for use in subsequent fiscal years. The AHEC will provide the department of health with a final progress report and financial report detailing the unexpended funds to be carried forward at the close of each fiscal year.

(e)  Of the above appropriation, $160,000 is for development and implementation of a patient safety surveillance and improvement system established pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 1912.  In addition, the department of health, with assistance from the department of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration, shall collect and utilize for such purposes the sum of $40,000 to be contributed from hospitals licensed in Vermont

(f)  Of the above appropriation, $880,000 shall be deposited into the Vermont educational loan repayment fund and used for the purposes of loan repayment for health care providers and health care educators pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 10a.

(g)  Of the above appropriation, $80,000 is allocated for the Vermont student assistance corporation for loan forgiveness programs for health care providers through the dental hygienist incentive loan program and nursing incentive loan program.

(h)  Of the above appropriation, $200,000 is for federally qualified health center (FQHC) look-alike uncompensated care pool funds.

(i)  Of the above appropriation, $1,090,000, which includes $500,000 of federal substance abuse grant funds, is for the coordinated healthy activity, motivation, and prevention programs to be used for community wellness grants awarded pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 104b.

Sec. 120.  Health - community public health

                   Personal services                          12,543,385 

                   Operating expenses                        2,145,389 

                   Grants                                          19,948,030 

                        Total                                       34,636,804 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,122,308 

                   Special funds                                  3,231,400 

                   Global Commitment fund              15,032,280 

                   Federal funds                               14,135,816 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  115,000 

                        Total                                       34,636,804 

Sec. 121.  Health - alcohol and drug abuse programs

                   Personal services                            9,228,703 

                   Operating expenses                        1,130,648 

                   Grants                                          20,420,145 

                        Total                                       30,779,496 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,370,025 

                   Special funds                                     195,500 

                   Tobacco fund                                 2,382,834 

                   Global Commitment fund              15,235,609 

                   Federal funds                                 9,445,528 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  150,000 

                        Total                                       30,779,496 

(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’s 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 this 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 interdepartmental transfer, $150,000 shall be used to support the gambling addiction program.

(d)  Of the funds appropriated above, $110,000 shall be used for drug court programs in Bennington, Chittenden, and Rutland counties.  The sum of $35,000 is allocated for Chittenden County to be used for court coordination.  The sum of $25,000 is allocated for Rutland County to be used for treatment, case management, court coordination, and screening services as needed.  The sum of $25,000 is allocated for Bennington County for court coordination, and an additional $25,000 is allocated for Bennington County to be used for case management, treatment, and screening services as needed.

(e)  The Bennington County Drug Court committee shall report to the joint fiscal committee at its September meeting as to the continuation of a drug court or domestic violence court in Bennington County.  No more than one-quarter of the funds allocated for Bennington County in subsection (d) of this section may be expended prior to the report to the joint fiscal committee.  If a drug or domestic violence court is not going to go forward, then the unexpended funds shall be redirected to substance abuse prevention and treatment in Bennington County.

(f)  The department of health shall be advised by an executive council of Vermont’s recovery center network on an ongoing basis to prioritize service and funding needs for recovery centers, to assist with the review of recovery center funding proposals, and to provide recommendations for disbursement of funds to the recovery centers and their support needs.  This executive council will consist of the director of the upper valley substance abuse foundation, a representative from the department of health, the director of FOR-VT, and four members elected by the recovery leadership network, which is comprised of a representative from each of the recovery centers.

Sec. 122.  Health - mental health

                   Personal services                            4,245,156 

                   Operating expenses                           645,735 

                   Grants                                        113,908,703 

                        Total                                     118,799,594 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      884,623 

                   Global Commitment fund            112,938,232 

                   Federal funds                                 4,976,739 

                        Total                                     118,799,594 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $70,000 shall be used to maintain the Burlington downtown outreach program to develop a model program for expansion to other areas of the state.

(b)  The amount of $600,000 in general funds appropriated to the division of mental health in fiscal 2006 shall revert to the general fund at the close of fiscal year 2006.

Sec. 123.  Health - Vermont state hospital

                   Personal services                          17,362,523 

                   Operating expenses                        1,342,956 

                   Grants                                                   3,000 

                        Total                                       18,708,479 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 18,298,479 

                   Special funds                                     110,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  300,000 

                        Total                                       18,708,479 

Sec. 124.  Sec. 113c of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 113c.   SUNSET

(a)  The amendments in Secs. 113a and 113b shall terminate on July 1, 2006 2007 and 13 V.S.A. § 4815(b) and (g) shall revert to the prior statutory text.

Sec. 125.  Health - medical practice board

                   Personal services                               466,127 

                   Operating expenses                           316,700 

                        Total                                            782,827 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                     782,827 

Sec. 126.  Department for children and families - administration & support services

                   Personal services                          27,880,515 

                   Operating expenses                        4,947,217 

                   Grants                                            1,506,998 

                        Total                                       34,334,730 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 11,066,492 

                   Global Commitment fund                8,842,574 

                   Federal funds                               13,515,108 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  910,556 

                        Total                                       34,334,730 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $14,000 in general funds shall be provided as a grant to the Vermont girl scouts for a program enabling girl scouts and their siblings to visit mothers in prison 

Sec. 127.  Article 8 is added to Title 15A to read:

ARTICLE 8 – INTERSTATE COMPACTS ON ADOPTION AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

§ 8-101.  INTERSTATE COMPACTS ON ADOPTION AND MEDICAL

               ASSISTANCE; AUTHORIZATION

(a)  The commissioner of the department for children and families is authorized to negotiate and enter into interstate compacts with agencies of other states for the provision of medical assistance and other services for children with special needs on behalf of whom adoption assistance is being provided by the state of Vermont or another state party to such a compact and who move into or from Vermont.

(b)  As used in this article, “state” includes a state, territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States.  Compacts authorized by this article must include:

(1)  a provision making it available for joinder by all states;  

(2)  a provision or provisions for withdrawal from the compact upon written notice to the parties, but with a period of one year between the date of the notice and the effective date of the withdrawal;  

(3)  a requirement that the protections afforded by or pursuant to the compact continue in force for the duration of the adoption assistance and be applicable to all children and their adoptive parents who on the effective date of the withdrawal are receiving adoption assistance from a party state other than the one in which they are resident and have their principal place of abode;  

(4)  a requirement that each instance of adoption assistance to which the compact applies be covered by an adoption assistance agreement in writing between the adoptive parents and the state child welfare agency of the state which undertakes to provide the adoption assistance, and further, that any such agreement be expressly for the benefit of the adopted child and enforceable by the adoptive parents, and the state agency providing the adoption assistance; and  

(5)  such other provisions as may be appropriate to implement the proper administration of the compact.

(c)  The commissioner shall designate a compact administrator and deputies, as deemed necessary, who shall have authority to develop rules to be adopted to effectuate the terms and provisions of compacts entered into under the authority of this article.

Sec. 128.  Department for children and families - family services

                   Personal services                          19,332,140 

                   Operating expenses                        2,932,379 

                   Grants                                          65,473,894 

                        Total                                       87,738,413 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 26,044,388 

                   Special funds                                  1,306,152 

                   Tobacco fund                                      75,000 

                   Global Commitment fund              33,968,173 

                   Federal funds                               26,344,700 

                        Total                                       87,738,413 

Sec. 129.  Department for children and families - child development

                   Personal services                            2,793,150 

                   Operating expenses                           762,969 

                   Grants                                          46,918,030 

                        Total                                       50,474,149 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 20,049,881 

                   Special funds                                  1,230,722 

                   Global Commitment fund                1,532,093 

                   Federal funds                               27,435,701 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  225,752 

                        Total                                       50,474,149 

Sec. 130.  Department for children and families - office of child support

                   Personal services                            8,778,807 

                   Operating expenses                        2,880,818 

                        Total                                       11,659,625 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,908,463 

                   Special funds                                     455,718 

                   Federal  funds                                9,188,344 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  107,100 

                        Total                                       11,659,625 

Sec. 131.  15 V.S.A. § 658(f) is added to read:

(f)(1)  The court shall order either or both parents owing a duty of support to provide a cash contribution or medical coverage for a child, provided that medical coverage is available to the parent at a reasonable cost.  Medical coverage is presumed to be available to a parent at a reasonable cost only if the amount payable for the individual’s contribution to the insurance or health benefit plan premium is five percent or less of the parent’s gross income.  The court, in its discretion, retains the right to order a parent to obtain medical coverage even if the cost exceeds five percent of the parent’s gross income if the cost is deemed reasonable under all the circumstances after considering the factors pursuant to section 659 of this title.

(2)  If private health insurance or an employer-sponsored health benefit plan is not available at a reasonable cost, the court may order one or both parents owing a duty of support to contribute a cash contribution of up to five percent of gross income toward the cost of health care coverage of a child under public or private health insurance or a health benefit plan.  A cash contribution under this section shall be considered child support for tax purposes.  When calculating the contribution of a parent whose child receives coverage under Medicaid, a Medicaid waiver program, or Dr. Dynasaur, the court shall not order a contribution greater than the premium amount charged by the agency of human services for the child’s coverage.

Sec. 132.  PUBLIC ASSISTANCE 

(a)  The department for children and families shall not include cash contributions for medical support under subsection 658(f) of Title 15 as income in determining eligibility or benefit levels for Reach Up, child subsidies, or other public assistance programs if permitted under federal law.

Sec. 133.  Department for children and families - office of economic opportunity

                   Personal services                               202,462 

                   Operating expenses                             85,023 

                   Grants                                            5,129,551 

                        Total                                         5,417,036 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      985,725 

                   Special funds                                       57,340 

                   Federal funds                                 4,122,898 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  251,073 

                        Total                                         5,417,036 

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $485,000 shall be granted to community agencies for homeless assistance by preserving existing services or increasing 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. 134.  Department for children and families - OEO - weatherization assistance

                   Personal services                               154,488 

                   Operating expenses                           129,950 

                   Grants                                            7,735,000 

                        Total                                         8,019,438 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  6,741,517 

                   Federal funds                                 1,277,921 

                        Total                                         8,019,438 

(a)  Of the above special fund appropriation, $400,000 is for the replacement and repair of home heating equipment.

(b)  On or before January 30 of each year, the office of economic opportunity shall make a report to the house and senate committees on appropriations utilizing existing resources within state government available in the office of economic opportunity’s weatherization data management system that compiles performance data available on households weatherized in the past year to include:  1) number of households weatherized; 2) average program expenditure per household for energy efficiency; 3) average percent energy savings; 4) energy and nonenergy benefits combined; 5) benefits saved for every dollar spent; 6) average savings per unit for heating fuels; 7) gallons of oil saved related to equivalent number of homes heated; 8) projected number of households to be weatherized in the current program year; and 9) projected program expenditures for the current program year ending March 31.

Sec. 135.  Department for children and families - Woodside rehabilitation center

                   Personal services                            2,598,093 

                   Operating expenses                           471,125 

                        Total                                         3,069,218 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,014,326 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    54,892 

                        Total                                         3,069,218 

Sec. 136.  Department for children and families - disability determination services

                   Personal services                            3,587,857 

                   Operating expenses                           558,389 

                        Total                                         4,146,246 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Federal funds                                 3,899,729 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  246,517 

                        Total                                         4,146,246 

Sec. 137.  Department for children and families - aid to aged, blind and disabled

                   Personal services                            1,365,966 

                   Grants                                            9,597,469 

                        Total                                       10,963,435 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,629,932 

                   Global Commitment fund                7,333,503 

                        Total                                       10,963,435 

Sec. 137a.  GENERAL ASSISTANCE BENEFITS; FLEXIBILITY PILOT

                  PROGRAM

(a)  Commencing with state fiscal year 2007 and for a period of up to three years, the agency of human services may establish a pilot assistance program within the general assistance program to create flexibility to provide these general assistance benefits.  The purpose of the pilot program is to mitigate poverty and serve applicants more effectively than currently served with the same amount of general assistance funds.  The pilot program shall operate consistent within existing statutes and rules except that it may grant exceptions to this program’s eligibility rules and may create programs and services as alternatives to these rules during the period of the pilot program. 

(b)  The agency shall engage interested parties in the design and implementation of the pilot program.  The interested parties involved may include both statewide groups and local agencies and groups in the districts where the pilot programs are expected to be implemented.

(c)  The pilot program may operate in up to three districts designated by the secretary of human services.  This program will be budget neutral.  For each district in which the agency operates the program, it shall establish procedures for evaluating the pilot and its effects.  The agency shall report annually to the general assembly on its findings from the programs and recommendations for changes in the general assistance program and a plan for further implementation of the program.

Sec. 138.  Department for children and families - general assistance

                   Grants                                            4,376,259 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,514,939 

                   Global Commitment fund                   750,000 

                   Federal funds                                 1,111,320 

                        Total                                         4,376,259 

Sec. 139.  DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES – GENERAL

                 ASSISTANCE

(a)  Of the appropriation in Sec. 138 of this act, $527,000 in federal TANF funds is allocated to the department for children and families to provide families with rental or mortgage arrearage assistance under section 2114 of Title 33 and under the current criteria for the program existing as of May 1, 2006 until the rules implementing section 2114 of Title 33 are completed.  An additional $50,000 in general funds is allocated in fiscal year 2007 for assistance under category II of the current criteria.

(b)  Of the appropriation in Sec. 138 of this act, an amount not to exceed $150,000 ($75,000 in federal TANF and $75,000 in general funds) may be expended for temporary housing assistance to individuals and families that have reached the 28-day maximum allowed under department regulations 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.

(c)  Assistance under this section is not an entitlement and shall cease upon expenditure of these allocated funds.

Sec. 140.  33 V.S.A. § 2114 is added to read:

§ 2114.  RENTAL OR MORTGAGE ARREARAGE PROGRAM

(a)  The department for children and families shall provide up to three months of rental or mortgage arrearage assistance to eligible families.  Assistance under this section is not an entitlement and shall be limited to the funds appropriated.

(b)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Disability” means:

(A)  that an individual is receiving Medicaid, disability insurance benefits under the Social Security Act (SSI or SSDI), or Medicare based on a determination of disability;

(B)  a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual or a record of such an impairment; or

(C)  a physical or mental impairment that prevents an individual from working for at least 30 days as verified by a signed statement from a physician or licensed practitioner.  

(2)  “Extraordinary event” means a serious situation, occurrence, or emergency that either:

(A)  happens unexpectedly and demands immediate attention, including an unanticipated need for a work-related expense necessary to preserve employment or for housing expenses required to remove life-threatening hazards or to keep the home habitable; or

(B)  leads to additional expenses or loss of income which could not have been prevented by the family, including a death or illness of a family member.

(3)  “Gross housing expenses” includes the family’s rent or mortgage, insurance that is required as part of the mortgage, property taxes, condominium fees, and utility costs, including fuel, electricity, water, basic telephone service, and sewer, but excluding television service.

(4)  “Income” shall be calculated using the emergency assistance rules, including the rules relating to deductions and exemptions.

(c)  A family is eligible if:

(1)  the family includes at least one dependent child;

(2)(A)  the family is in imminent danger of losing its housing due to circumstances that could not reasonably have been avoided, including:

(i)  the rent or mortgage payments were not made because the family experienced an extraordinary event that appropriately required the use of the funds;

(ii)  a family member has a disability which contributed to the circumstances that could not reasonably have been avoided and resulted in the rent or mortgage payments not being made; or

(iii)  the family’s essential expenses exceeded the family’s income or the family’s gross housing expenses were equal to or greater than 60 percent of the family’s income; or

(B)  the family is likely to be eligible for temporary housing assistance, and payment under this section would be more cost-effective than providing temporary housing;

(3)  the payment of all or a portion of that arrearage will prevent, not merely postpone, homelessness;

(4)  the family has received a notice of rental termination for nonpayment of rent or a sworn statement of the amount of rent owed from the landlord, or a mortgage demand notice from the mortgage holder;

(5)  the landlord or mortgage holder agrees to terminate any action intended to evict or otherwise cause the family to relocate as a result of the payment and agrees not to reinstitute such action on the basis of obligations remaining as of the date of payment; and

(6)  the family meets all other criteria for emergency assistance, except that prior receipt of emergency assistance for another purpose shall not disqualify the family for assistance under this section.  Assistance under this section shall be available not more than once every 12 months.

Sec. 141.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT

(a)  Between February 1 and 15, 2007, the department shall file proposed rules necessary to administer Sec. 140 of this act with the joint legislative committee on administrative rules.  The department shall engage interested parties, including the Vermont coalition to end homelessness, the Vermont low income advocacy council, and the Vermont affordable housing coalition, prior to filing the proposed rules.

(b)  The department for children and families shall continue to provide rental or mortgage arrearage assistance under the current rules until such time as the rules implementing Sec. 140 of this act are final.

(c)  It is the intent of the general assembly to provide temporary housing and rental or mortgage arrearage assistance to families having a genuine need that could not reasonably have been anticipated or avoided in a cost-effective way that strives to prevent homelessness.  To further this goal, the rental or mortgage arrearage assistance program should be available to families when receipt of assistance is likely to prevent the family’s loss of housing and subsequent use of hotels as temporary housing, and available for families having individuals with disabilities who have challenges in accessing the program through current criteria.

Sec. 142.  [DELETED]

Sec. 143.  Department for children and families - reach up

                   Grants                                          41,996,096 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 12,808,023 

                   Special funds                                  2,200,000 

                    Global Commitment fund                     25,500 

                   Federal funds                               26,962,573 

                        Total                                       41,996,096 

Sec. 144.  Department for children and families - home heating fuel assistance/LIHEAP

                   Personal services                                 20,000 

                   Operating expenses                             90,000 

                   Grants                                          10,146,117 

                        Total                                       10,256,117 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                10,256,117 

(a)  Of the funds appropriated for home heating fuel assistance/LIHEAP in this act, no more than $350,000 shall be expended for crisis fuel direct service/administration exclusive of statewide after-hours crisis coverage.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly that LIHEAP benefits cover 62 percent of the average estimated heating costs.

Sec. 145.  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 2007 and all unexpended LIHEAP funds granted to the state in fiscal year 2006 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, 2006 and program administration, the commissioner of finance and management shall transfer $2,550,000 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 2006-2007 crisis set-aside and seasonal home heating fuel assistance through December 31, 2006, and LIHEAP funds awarded as of December 31, 2006 for fiscal year 2007 do not exceed $2,550,000, subsequent payments under the home heating fuel assistance program shall not precede January 30, 2007.  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, 2006, the commissioner of finance and management may anticipate receipts into the home weatherization assistance trust fund.

Sec. 146.  Department for children and families - food stamp cash out

                   Grants                                            7,178,725 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Federal funds                                 7,178,725 

Sec. 147.  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, 2007.

Sec. 148.  Department for children and families - children’s trust fund

                   Grants                                               340,891 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      100,651 

                   Special funds                                       70,000 

                   Federal funds                                    170,240 

                        Total                                            340,891 

Sec. 149.  Disabilities, aging, and independent living - administration & support

                   Personal services                          22,413,228 

                   Operating expenses                        3,696,610 

                        Total                                       26,109,838 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   6,154,846 

                   Special funds                                     686,875  

                   Global Commitment fund                5,574,969 

                   Federal funds                               11,361,149 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,331,999 

                        Total                                       26,109,838 

Sec. 149a.  Sec. 1a of No. 56 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 1a.  TASK FORCE ON THE FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY OF

               NURSING HOMES

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living collaborate with nursing homes, residential care homes, assisted living residences, home health agencies, area agencies on aging, and adult day providers to develop a long-range plan to address the sustainability of Vermont’s long-term care system.

(b)  The commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall convene a task force to assist the commissioner in developing statewide recommendations on the future of nursing homes, including the Vermont Veterans’ Home, in Vermont.  The recommendations shall address the transition issues for nursing homes as more individuals use home- and community-based long-term care services, how nursing homes can convert the services offered to provide long-term care services differently, unmet needs for nursing home services for individuals, accessibility for individuals with disabilities in nursing homes, an annual projection of the number of nursing home beds to meet the projected need over the next 10 years reported by region, the development of adequate home- and community-based services to support increased numbers of Vermonters receiving that type of care, whether indexing is an appropriate method of sustainable funding for home- and community-based services, and the methods which nursing homes can use to become more resident-centered in the provision of long-term care.  The task force shall include representatives from providers of long-term care and organizations representing individuals receiving long-term care.  The department of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall chair the task force and shall provide administrative support.  The department of aging and independent living shall report to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare on the recommendations developed under this section by January 15, 2007.  One member of the house, to be appointed by the speaker of the house, and one member of the senate, to be appointed by the committee on committees, shall be included in this task force and are authorized to attend up to four meetings outside the legislative session.  Legislative members of the task force shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement for expenses under section 406 of Title 2.

(c)  The commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall convene a second task force to analyze Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes.  The task force shall include three representatives of the Vermont health care association, one each representing for-profit, not‑for‑profit, and independently owned facilities; the director of the office of Vermont health access or designee; and the director of the division of rate setting in the agency of human services.  This task force shall coordinate as necessary with the task force developed under subsection (b) of this section.  This task force shall make recommendations on changes to the rules, methods, standards, and principles for establishing Medicaid payment rates for long‑term care facilities in order to meet the protocols and objectives of the Choices for Care Medicaid Waiver Section 1115.  Of the appropriation in Sec. 149 of this act, a total of $25,000 in funding is provided for this purpose.  These funds shall be matched by the Vermont health care association. 

(d)  The department of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall report to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare on the recommendations developed under this section by January 15, 2007.  The commissioner shall review and seek comments from each task force on the report and recommendations required by this section prior to filing the report with the legislature.

Sec. 150.  Disabilities, aging, and independent living - advocacy and independent living

                   Grants                                          21,632,428 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 10,520,276 

                   Special funds                                       50,000 

                   Global Commitment fund                3,063,510 

                   Federal funds                                 7,921,642 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    77,000 

                        Total                                       21,632,428 

(a)  Certification of adult day providers shall require a demonstration that the new program is filling an unmet need for adult day services in a given geographic region.

(b)  Distribution of base funds for adult day services shall be according to a formula that has been mutually agreed upon by the department and the Vermont association of adult day services (VAADS).

Sec. 151.  ATTENDANT CARE SERVICES; WAITING LIST

(a)  The department of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall assess what criteria would be most equitable for placing an individual on the waiting list for attendant care services.  In addition to the current first-come, first-served basis, the department shall consider alternative criteria for placing individuals on the waiting list.  No later than January 15, 2007, the department shall submit a report including the criteria considered, its analysis of the issues, and its recommendations for the criteria to be used to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare.

Sec. 152.  Disabilities, aging, and independent living - blind and visually impaired

                   Grants                                            1,417,110 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      364,064 

                   Special funds                                     215,000 

                   Global Commitment fund                   250,000 

                   Federal funds                                    588,046 

                        Total                                         1,417,110 

Sec. 153.  Disabilities, aging, and independent living - vocational rehabilitation

                   Grants                                            5,736,907 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,599,195 

                   Federal funds                                 3,688,325 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  449,387 

                        Total                                         5,736,907 

Sec. 154.  Disabilities, aging, and independent living - TBI home - and community-based waiver

                   Grants                                            2,993,010 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Global Commitment fund                2,993,010 

Sec. 155.  Disabilities, aging, and independent living - developmental services

                   Grants                                        117,490,715 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      281,964 

                   Special funds                                     185,463 

                   Global Commitment fund            116,698,893 

                   Federal funds                                    324,395 

                        Total                                     117,490,715 

Sec. 156.  Corrections - administration

                   Personal services                            2,065,241 

                   Operating expenses                           316,087 

                        Total                                         2,381,328 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,316,328 

                   Federal funds                                      65,000 

                        Total                                         2,381,328 

Sec. 157.  Corrections - parole board

                   Personal services                               299,753 

                   Operating expenses                             65,555 

                        Total                                            365,308 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      365,308 

Sec. 158.  Corrections - correctional education

                   Personal services                            3,263,380 

                   Operating expenses                           343,662 

                        Total                                         3,607,042 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,209,892 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  397,150 

                        Total                                         3,607,042 

Sec. 159.  Corrections - correctional services

                   Personal services                          70,894,459 

                   Operating expenses                      26,853,973 

                   Grants                                            2,064,500 

                        Total                                       99,812,932 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 94,516,613 

                   Special funds                                     547,919 

                   Tobacco fund                                      87,500 

                   Global Commitment fund                2,750,144 

                   Federal funds                                 1,829,710 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    81,046 

                        Total                                       99,812,932

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $97,000 shall be used as a grant to Dismas House of Vermont, Inc. 

(b)  Sec. 16(a) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2005, stated the “intent of the general assembly that the department develop and sustain new models of supportive, transitional housing.”  Such a model is the Northern Lights Project, which was developed by a consortium of groups in Chittenden County to meet the needs of women offenders returning to the community.  Another such model is the Dismas II Project, also developed by a consortium of groups in Chittenden County to meet the needs of both men and women offenders returning to the community.

(c)  It is the intent of the general assembly that should the Northern Lights and Dismas II Projects become established and operational during fiscal year 2007, as determined by the commissioner, that no less than $225,000 shall be used for the purpose of operating the Northern Lights Project, and that no less than $110,000 shall be used for the purpose of operating the Dismas II Project.  If the commissioner determines that the programs will not be operational during fiscal year 2007, the funds shall be used to support other transitional housing priorities.

(d)  The department of corrections shall work with the members of both the Northern Lights and Dismas II Consortia to ensure that sufficient operating revenue for these projects shall be sustained and available throughout their existence.  The department of corrections shall develop a plan to provide full funding, starting in fiscal year 2008, for the operating expenses of both projects.  In developing its plan, the department shall consult with the consortium of agencies sponsoring the two projects.  The department shall submit a written report with its recommendations to the house and senate committees on appropriations and institutions by January 15, 2007.

(e)  Funds appropriated in this section for the cognitive self-change program shall be used to establish a two-year domestic violence pilot program in at least one correctional facility.  The pilot program would include tracking offenders for at least three years after release to record recidivism rates relative to violent crimes.  In addition, the department shall augment the content of the current cognitive self-change programming by including a domestic violence component.

(f)  Of the above appropriation, $60,000 is for presentence investigations required pursuant to H.856 of 2006.  If the costs of this activity are anticipated to exceed $60,000, the department shall seek additional resources and not reallocate resources from community supervision or corrections programs.

(g)  The department shall allocate at least $20,000 for transitional services in Bennington County.

(h)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the unused balance of the $50,000 appropriation made to the department of corrections pursuant to Sec. 11 of No. 79 of the Acts of 2005 may be transferred to and used by the department of sheriffs and state’s attorneys for the purpose of funding the psychosexual evaluation authorized by section 204a of Title 28. 

Sec. 159a.  Corrections - correctional services - out-of-state beds

                   Operating expenses                        8,020,247 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   8,020,247 

Sec. 160.  Sec. 142a(a) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 47 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006, is further amended to read:

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that should the projected need for out-of-state beds be reduced from the amount budgeted at any time during any fiscal year and this need is expected to remain at or below this new level for at least 12 months, the resources within the correctional services budget that would have been used for out-of-state bed capacity be reallocated first to community supervision to create and fill at least five community supervision positions including caseworkers and community corrections officers for each 50 bed reduction in long term projected out-of-state bed need and second that the remainder of the savings be used to fund department of corrections priorities as determined by the commissioner of corrections.  Projections of out-of-state bed need for at least the subsequent 12 months shall be made by the department of corrections for presentation at each meeting to the legislative joint corrections oversight committee.

Sec. 161.  Corrections - correctional facilities - recreation

                   Personal services                               603,012 

                   Operating expenses                           473,986 

                        Total                                         1,076,998 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        75,000 

                   Special funds                                  1,001,998 

                        Total                                         1,076,998 

Sec. 161a.  28 V.S.A. § 816 is amended to read:

§ 816.  INMATE RECREATION FUND

The department shall accept monies generated by commissions on telephone services, commissary sales, and sales of vended approved items not available on commissary by the department to inmates at its correctional facilities and shall establish with such monies an inmate recreation special fund.  The fund shall be used to provide postage to inmates in a manner consistent with department policy.  The fund may be used for costs associated with the oversight and accounting of inmate cash accounts.  The fund may be used, at the discretion of the commissioner, to hire persons or purchase services, equipment, and goods to establish or enhance recreation activities for inmates confined in any of the department’s facilities, and for voluntary inmate contributions that promote the restoration of crime victims or communities.  The inmates, through a process established by the inmate recreation fund committee, may also choose to create a loan fund, the operation of which shall be governed by rules adopted pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, from which offenders may borrow in order to help them obtain housing upon release from incarceration.

Sec. 162.  Corrections - Vermont offender work program

                   Personal services                            1,363,572 

                   Operating expenses                        1,959,040 

                        Total                                         3,322,612 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                      3,322,612 

Sec. 163.  Vermont veterans’ home - care and support services

                   Personal services                          12,927,871 

                   Operating expenses                        3,123,419 

                        Total                                       16,051,290 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                10,193,494 

                   Global Commitment fund                   913,047 

                   Federal funds                                 4,944,749 

                        Total                                       16,051,290 

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that if Global Commitment fund monies are unavailable, the total funding for the Vermont veterans’ home shall be maintained through the general fund or other state funding sources.

Sec. 164.  Commission on women

                   Personal services                               201,837 

                   Operating expenses                             59,650  

                        Total                                            261,487 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      256,487 

                   Special funds                                         5,000 

                        Total                                            261,487 

Sec. 165.  Retired senior volunteer program

                   Grants                                               131,096 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      131,096 

Sec. 166.  Total human services                   2,334,471,503

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                               485,036,701

                   Special funds                                55,098,746

                   Tobacco fund                               25,643,048

                   Global Commitment fund            759,799,535

                   State health care resource fund   153,932,688

                   Federal funds                             837,650,659

                   Permanent trust funds                          10,000

                   Internal service funds                      3,322,612

                   Interdepartmental transfer             13,977,514

                        Total                                  2,334,471,503

Sec. 167.  Labor - programs

                   Personal services                          19,264,611 

                   Operating expenses                        4,136,325 

                    Grants                                            1,560,293 

                        Total                                       24,961,229 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,119,812 

                   Special funds                                  2,529,209 

                   Federal funds                               18,315,506 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               1,996,702 

                        Total                                       24,961,229 

Sec. 168.  Labor - administration

                   Personal services                            2,603,442 

                   Operating expenses                           697,451 

                        Total                                         3,300,893 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      190,408 

                   Special funds                                     377,442 

                   Federal funds                                 2,385,907 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  347,136 

                         Total                                         3,300,893 

Sec. 169.  Labor - domestic and sexual violence survivors’ transitional employment program

                   Grants                                                 10,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                        Special funds                                  10,000 

                       

(a)  Any funds appropriated in fiscal year 2006 for the domestic and sexual violence survivors’ transitional employment program shall be carried forward into fiscal year 2007.

Sec. 170.  Total labor                                       28,272,122 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,310,220 

                   Special funds                                  2,916,651 

                   Federal funds                               20,701,413 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,343,838 

                        Total                                       28,272,122 

Sec. 171.  Education - finance and administration

                   Personal services                            4,619,254 

                   Operating expenses                        1,623,008 

                   Grants                                          14,505,600 

                        Total                                       20,747,862 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,389,969 

                   Special funds                                14,924,219 

                   Federal funds                                 1,614,782 

                   Global Commitment fund                   811,775 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                      7,117 

                        Total                                       20,747,862 

(a)  In the event that the threshold for incentive payments under 16 V.S.A. § 2959a(d) is reached in fiscal year 2006, the incentive payments are part of the grants amount authorized in this section.

Sec. 172.  Education - education services

                   Personal services                          13,438,400 

                   Operating expenses                        2,026,972 

                   Grants                                        112,160,397 

                        Total                                     127,625,769 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   7,735,593 

                   Transportation fund                           127,483 

                   Special funds                                  2,128,058 

                   Federal funds                             117,452,874 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  181,761 

                        Total                                     127,625,769 

(a)  Of the above general fund appropriation, $20,000 shall be used to provide matching awards to a Vermont student or groups of students who have won the right to participate in a national level academic program or competition through outstanding performance or through winning of a statewide academic competition.  The award shall be for the purpose of assisting the student or students to participate in the national academic competition or program.  The commissioner shall establish basic criteria for the awards and shall have sole discretion in making the awards; however, no single award shall be greater than $5,000 for each school and the award shall be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Sec. 173.  Education - technical education

                   Grants                                          10,598,329 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                             10,598,329 

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

Sec. 174.  Education - special education: formula grants

                   Grants                                        125,280,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                           125,050,000 

                   Global Commitment fund                   230,000 

                        Total                                     125,280,000 

(a)  Of the appropriation authorized in this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, an amount not to exceed $3,075,559 shall be used by the department of education in fiscal year 2007 as funding for 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b)(2)–(6). In addition to funding for 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b)(2)–(6), up to $157,532 may be used by the department of education for its participation in the higher education partnership plan.

Sec. 175.  Education - state-placed students

                   Grants                                          14,416,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                             14,416,000 

(a)  The Independence Place program of the Lund family center shall be considered a 24-hour residential program for the purposes of reimbursement of education costs.

Sec. 176.  Education - adult education and literacy

                   Grants                                            3,701,017 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,717,398 

                   Federal funds                                    983,619 

                        Total                                         3,701,017 

Sec. 177.  Education - adjusted education payment

                   Grants                                     1,018,388,625 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                        1,018,388,625 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $100,000 may be used for payments to school districts to assist them with newly settled refugee students.

Sec. 177a.  FISCAL YEAR 2006 ADJUSTMENT; ADJUSTED EDUCATION

                  PAYMENT

(a)  Of the $966,000,000 appropriated in Sec. 162 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, $100,000 may be used for payments to school districts to assist them with newly settled refugee students.

Sec. 178.  Education - essential early education grant

                   Grants                                            4,838,045 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                               4,838,045 

Sec. 179.  Education - transportation

                   Grants                                          13,978,220 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                             13,978,220 

Sec. 180.  Education - small school grants

                   Grants                                            5,360,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                               5,360,000 

Sec. 181.  Education - capital debt service aid

                   Grants                                               380,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Education fund                                  380,000 

Sec. 182.  Education - tobacco litigation

                   Personal services                               130,133 

                   Operating expenses                             17,752 

                   Grants                                               847,783 

                        Total                                            995,668 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Tobacco fund                                    995,668 

Sec. 183.  Education - Act 117 cost containment

                   Personal services                            1,030,687 

                   Operating expenses                           117,081 

                   Grants                                                 91,000 

                        Total                                         1,238,768 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                  1,238,768 

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, expenditures made from this section shall be counted under 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b) 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. 184.  [DELETED]

Sec. 185.  FUND APPROPRIATION AND TRANSFER

(a)  Notwithstanding 16 V.S.A. § 4025(a)(2), there is appropriated in fiscal year 2007 from the general fund for transfer to the education fund the amount of $268,720,000.

Sec. 186.  State teachers’ retirement system

                   Personal services                          19,745,437 

                   Operating expenses                           798,923 

                   Grants                                          24,446,729 

                        Total                                       44,991,089 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 24,446,729 

                   Pension trust funds                        20,544,360 

                        Total                                       44,991,089 

(a)  Notwithstanding 16 V.S.A. § 1944(g)(2), the amount of annual contribution to the Vermont state teachers’ retirement system shall be $24,446,729 in fiscal year 2007.

(b)  Pursuant to the recommendations of the 2005 commission on funding the Vermont state teachers’ retirement system, it is the intent of the general assembly to appropriate the actuarially required contributions necessary to fund an adequate, sustainable, and actuarially sound retirement benefit plan for Vermont teachers by combining annual increases in base spending and surplus revenues as they may be available, so that the full actuarial recommendation will be funded in base appropriations by fiscal year 2010.

Sec. 187.  TAX DEPARTMENT - REAPPRAISAL AND LISTING

                 PAYMENTS

(a)  The amount of $3,213,378 in education funds is appropriated in fiscal year 2007 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. 188.  Tax department -  property tax assistance

                   Grants                                         118,450,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,250,000 

                   Education fund                           116,200,000 

                        Total                                     118,450,000 

Sec. 189.  Total general education and property tax assistance

                                                                   1,782,922,770 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                               309,259,689 

                   Transportation fund                           127,483 

                   Education fund                        1,312,422,597 

                   Special funds                                18,291,045 

                   Tobacco fund                                    995,668 

                   Global commitment fund                 1,041,775 

                   Federal funds                             120,051,275 

                   Pension trust funds                        20,544,360 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  188,878 

                        Total                                  1,782,922,770 

Sec. 190.  University of Vermont

                   Grants                                          40,842,201 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 36,971,519 

                   Global Commitment fund                3,870,682 

                        Total                                       40,842,201 

(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, $382,719 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.

(c)  It is the intent of the general assembly that if Global Commitment fund monies are unavailable, the total grant funding for the University of Vermont shall be maintained through the general fund or other state funding sources.

Sec. 191.  University of Vermont - Morgan horse farm

                   Grants                                                   5,200 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                          5,200 

Sec. 192.  Vermont public television

                   Grants                                               596,785 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      596,785 

Sec. 193.  Vermont state colleges

                   Grants                                          23,330,193 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 23,330,193 

(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, $431,548 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.

Sec. 194.  Vermont state colleges - allied health

                   Grants                                            1,033,268 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      641,570 

                   Global Commitment fund                   391,698 

                        Total                                         1,033,268 

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that if Global Commitment fund monies are unavailable, the total grant funding for the Vermont state colleges shall be maintained through the general fund or other state funding sources.

Sec. 195.  Vermont interactive television

                   Grants                                               847,944 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      847,944 

Sec. 196.  Vermont student assistance corporation

                   Grants                                          18,481,892 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 18,481,892 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $25,000 shall be deposited into the trust fund established in 16 V.S.A. § 2845.

(b)  Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, 100 percent of grants shall be used for direct student aid.

Sec. 197.  New England higher education compact

                   Grants                                                  80,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        80,000 

Sec. 198.  Total higher education and other      85,217,483 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 80,955,103 

                   Global Commitment fund                4,262,380 

                        Total                                       85,217,483 

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

                   Personal services                            4,620,324 

                   Operating expenses                        1,776,469 

                   Grants                                                 31,500 

                        Total                                         6,428,293 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   4,748,336 

                   Special funds                                  1,069,206 

                   Federal funds                                    434,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  176,751 

                        Total                                         6,428,293 

Sec. 199a.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES; COMPENSATION

                  ALTERNATIVES

(a)  Consistent with its restructuring efforts, the agency shall propose to the general assembly during the 2008 budget process alternatives that would compensate the agency for its scientific and legal work associated with Act 250 and Section 248 reviews for which it is currently unreimbursed.

Sec. 200.  Connecticut river watershed advisory commission

                   Grants                                                 38,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        38,000 

Sec. 201.  Citizens’ advisory committee on Lake Champlain’s future

                   Personal services                                   3,600 

                   Operating expenses                               3,900 

                        Total                                                7,500 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                          7,500 

Sec. 202.  Natural resources - state land local property tax assessment

                   Operating expenses                        1,574,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,312,500 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  261,500 

                        Total                                         1,574,000 

Sec. 203.  Green up

                   Grants                                                   6,948 

                   Operating expenses                             10,550 

                        Total                                              17,498 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                          6,948 

                   Special funds                                       10,550 

                        Total                                              17,498 

Sec. 204.  Fish and wildlife - support and field services

                   Personal services                            9,847,289 

                   Operating expenses                        4,229,867 

                   Grants                                               446,140 

                        Total                                       14,523,296 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                    2,099,779 

                   Fish and wildlife fund                    12,406,014 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    17,503 

                        Total                                       14,523,296 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $10,000 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. 

Sec. 204a.  FISH HATCHERIES; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

                  OPPORTUNITIES

(a)  The secretary of the agency of natural resources is directed to investigate opportunities for utilizing renewable energy sources at the fish hatcheries, including wind-generated energy and biomass, in an effort to reduce energy costs at the hatcheries.

Sec. 205.  Fish and wildlife - watershed improvement

                   Grants                                                 75,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Fish and wildlife fund                           75,000 

Sec. 206.  Forests, parks and recreation - administration

                   Personal services                               873,790 

                   Operating expenses                           604,341 

                   Grants                                            2,216,100 

                        Total                                         3,694,231 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,023,231 

                   Special funds                                  1,466,000 

                   Federal funds                                 1,205,000 

                        Total                                         3,694,231 

Sec. 207.  Forests, parks and recreation - forestry

                   Personal services                            4,533,422 

                   Operating expenses                           616,312 

                   Grants                                               288,000 

                        Total                                         5,437,734 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,644,935 

                   Special funds                                     360,000 

                   Federal funds                                 1,200,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  232,799 

                        Total                                         5,437,734 

Sec. 208.  Forests, parks and recreation - state parks

                   Personal services                            4,870,037 

                   Operating expenses                        2,199,350 

                   Grants                                                   5,000 

                        Total                                         7,074,387 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      993,987 

                   Special funds                                  6,080,400 

                        Total                                         7,074,387 

Sec. 209.  Forests, parks and recreation - lands administration

                   Personal services                               533,420 

                   Operating expenses                           231,111 

                        Total                                            764,531 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      539,531 

                   Special fund                                      145,000 

                   Federal funds                                      50,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    30,000 

                        Total                                            764,531 

Sec. 210.  Forests, parks and recreation - youth conservation corps

                   Personal services                               388,775 

                   Operating expenses                               9,593 

                   Grants                                               450,000 

                        Total                                            848,368 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                        50,000 

                    Special funds                                     454,368 

                   Federal funds                                      94,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  250,000 

                        Total                                            848,368 

Sec. 211.  Forests, parks and recreation - forest highway maintenance

                   Personal services                               222,978 

                   Operating expenses                           301,000  

                        Total                                            523,978 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      523,978 

Sec. 212.  Environmental conservation - management and support services

                   Personal services                            2,931,319 

                   Operating expenses                           887,118 

                   Grants                                                 84,000 

                        Total                                         3,902,437 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,310,330 

                   Special funds                                     679,476 

                   Federal funds                                    993,471 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  919,160 

                        Total                                         3,902,437 

Sec. 213.  Environmental conservation - air and waste management

                   Personal services                            7,056,543 

                   Operating expenses                        6,176,683 

                   Grants                                            1,709,000 

                        Total                                       14,942,226 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      815,555 

                   Special funds                                11,137,141 

                   Federal funds                                 2,815,544 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  173,986 

                        Total                                       14,942,226 

Sec. 214.  10 V.S.A. § 6603i(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The secretary is authorized to award grants to municipalities and solid waste management districts for the portion of the cost of closure of unlined landfills receiving municipal solid waste located within the municipality or district.  These grants shall be available to assist in the closure of any existing unlined landfills, accepting solid waste as of the effective date of this act, which are required to close in accordance with subsection 6605a(c) of this title or section 6605c of this title, or to assist in the closure of unlined landfills which ceased accepting solid waste prior to the effective date of this act, as defined by rule of the secretary.

Sec. 215.  Environmental conservation - office of water programs

                   Personal services                          12,629,486 

                   Operating expenses                        2,215,066 

                   Grants                                            2,891,036 

                        Total                                       17,735,588 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   6,828,890 

                   Special funds                                  3,916,462 

                   Federal funds                                 6,523,436 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  466,800 

                        Total                                       17,735,588 

(a)  Notwithstanding 3 V.S.A. § 2805, in fiscal year 2006, $260,000 shall be transferred from the environmental permit fund to the general fund, while $350,000 is maintained in the fund at the close of the fiscal year.

(b)  The commissioner shall ensure that $75,000 from the river management grants program is granted to the Vermont youth conservation corps to support a comprehensive river management program.  This program shall be coordinated to meet the stated objectives of the river corridor management plans outlined in the clean and clear program.

Sec. 216.  Environmental conservation - tax-loss-Connecticut River flood control

                   Operating expenses                             40,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                       40,000 

Sec. 217.  Natural resources board 

                   Personal services                            2,304,259 

                   Operating expenses                           444,350 

                        Total                                         2,748,609 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,058,883 

                   Special funds                                  1,689,726 

                        Total                                         2,748,609 

Sec. 218.  Total natural resources                     80,375,676 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 25,002,383 

                   Fish and wildlife fund                    12,481,014 

                   Special funds                                27,048,329 

                   Federal funds                               13,315,451 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,528,499 

                        Total                                       80,375,676 

Sec. 219.  Commerce and community development - agency of commerce and community development - administration

                   Personal services                            1,369,681 

                   Operating expenses                           524,064 

                   Grants                                               300,000 

                         Total                                         2,193,745 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   2,193,745 

Sec. 220.  Housing and community affairs

                   Personal services                            2,479,313 

                   Operating expenses                           347,147 

                   Grants                                            4,207,227 

                        Total                                         7,033,687 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,509,648 

                   Special funds                                  3,844,469 

                   Federal funds                                 1,614,570 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    65,000 

                        Total                                         7,033,687 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, no less than $60,000 in general funds shall be granted to the Champlain Valley office of economic opportunity’s mobile home project for the “First Stop” program, which provides assistance to mobile home residents statewide. 

Sec. 221.  Historic sites - operations

                   Personal services                               615,472 

                   Operating expenses                           284,540 

                        Total                                            900,012 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      483,919 

                   Special funds                                     372,000 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                    44,093 

                        Total                                            900,012 

Sec. 222.  Historic sites - special improvements

                   Personal services                               129,160 

                   Operating expenses                        1,025,614 

                        Total                                         1,154,774 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                       50,000 

                   Federal funds                                    396,220 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  708,554 

                        Total                                         1,154,774 

Sec. 223.  Community development block grants

                   Grants                                            7,446,530 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Federal funds                                 7,446,530 

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

(b)  Community development block grant (CDBG) funds shall be expended in accordance with and in the order of the following priorities:

(1)  The greatest priority for the use of CDBG funds will be the creation and retention of affordable housing and jobs.

(2)  The overarching priority and fundamental objective in the use of funds for all affordable housing is to achieve perpetual affordability through the use of mechanisms that produce housing resources that will continue to remain affordable over time.  It is the goal of the state to maintain at least 45 to 55 percent of CDBG funds for affordable housing applications.

(3)  Among affordable housing applications, the highest priorities are to preserve and increase the supply of affordable family housing, to reduce and strive to eliminate childhood homelessness, and to serve families and individuals at or below 30 percent of HUD Area Median Income and people with special needs as described in the Consolidated Plan.  Housing for seniors should be considered a priority when it meets clear unmet needs in the region for the lowest income seniors.

(4)  Projects which address the ongoing deterioration of the existing housing stock through acquisition, preservation, and rehabilitation of units shall comply with housing quality standards with priority given to lead hazard reduction and energy efficiency.

(5)  Preference shall be given to projects that maintain the historic settlement pattern of compact village and downtown centers separated by a rural working landscape.  Funds generally should not be awarded to projects that promote or constitute sprawl, defined as dispersed development outside of compact urban and village centers, along highways, and in rural countryside.

(c)  Up to $750,000 may be set aside for brownfield sites after submission of a plan to the joint fiscal committee.

Sec. 224.  Downtown transportation and capital improvement fund

                   Personal services                                 40,000 

                   Grants                                               760,000 

                        Total                                            800,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                     800,000 

Sec. 225.  Economic development

                   Personal services                            1,936,584 

                   Operating expenses                           650,206 

                   Grants                                            1,675,349 

                        Total                                         4,262,139 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   3,573,344 

                   Special funds                                     490,325 

                   Federal funds                                    198,470 

                        Total                                         4,262,139 

(a)  Of the above appropriation, $25,000 shall be used to support the employee ownership center.

(b)  Of the above appropriation, at least $1,040,742 shall be granted to regional development corporations.

Sec. 225a.  UNIFIED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BUDGET 

(a)  The commissioner of finance and management shall submit a proposal to create a unified economic development budget to the general  assembly together with the FY 2008 budget report of the governor required under 32 V.S.A. § 306.  Said proposal shall be submitted to the house and senate committees on appropriations, the house committees on ways and means and commerce, and the senate committees on finance and economic development, housing and general affairs on or before January 15, 2007.

(b)  The unified economic development budget shall include all of the types of development assistance granted during the prior fiscal year by all agencies and departments of the state, specifically including the agency of commerce; the agency of agriculture, food and markets; the department of labor; and the department of taxes.

(c)  The unified development budget shall specifically include:

(1)  The aggregate amount and program-specific amounts of uncollected or diverted state tax revenues resulting from each type of development assistance provided in the tax statutes, as reported on tax returns filed during the fiscal year to the department of taxes and on the expenditure report required by 32 V.S.A. § 302.

(2)  The aggregate amount and program-specific amounts of all state economic development assistance, including grants, loans, and tax expenditures.

(3)  Performance measurements in terms of jobs created, payroll increases or decreases, and other measures of economic advancement.

Sec. 226.  Vermont training program

                   Personal services                               134,375 

                   Operating expenses                             20,636 

                   Grants                                            1,486,789 

                        Total                                         1,641,800 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   1,606,800 

                   Special funds                                       35,000 

                        Total                                         1,641,800 

Sec. 227.  Tourism and marketing

                   Personal services                            1,717,814 

                   Operating expenses                        2,486,686 

                   Grants                                               142,000 

                        Total                                         4,346,500 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                   4,346,500 

Sec. 228.  Vermont life

                   Personal services                               736,256 

                   Operating expenses                           113,300 

                        Total                                            849,556 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Enterprise funds                                 849,556 

Sec. 229.  Vermont council on the arts

                   Grants                                               529,618 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      529,618 

Sec. 230.  Vermont symphony orchestra

                   Grants                                               118,780 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      118,780 

Sec. 231.  Vermont historical society

                   Grants                                               733,393 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      733,393 

Sec. 232.  Vermont housing and conservation board

                   Grants                                          24,551,195 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Special funds                                14,630,883 

                   Federal funds                                 9,920,312 

                        Total                                       24,551,195 

(a)  As required by 10 V.S.A. § 321(b), the housing and conservation board shall expend HOME funds solely for the development of perpetually affordable housing and to leverage additional funds for such purpose.

Sec. 233.  [DELETED]

Sec. 234.  Vermont humanities council

                   Grants                                               180,599 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                      180,599 

Sec. 235.  Total commerce and community

                    Development                               56,742,328 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 15,276,346 

                   Special funds                                20,222,677 

                   Federal funds                               19,576,102 

                   Enterprise funds                                 849,556 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  817,647 

                        Total                                       56,742,328 

Sec. 236.  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. 237.  Transportation - finance and administration

                   Personal services                            8,879,959 

                   Operating expenses                        2,127,950 

                        Total                                       11,007,909 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                      10,573,406 

                   Federal funds                                    434,503 

                        Total                                       11,007,909 

Sec. 238.  Transportation - aviation 

                   Personal services                            1,115,720 

                   Operating expenses                      10,074,880 

                   Grants                                               160,000 

                        Total                                       11,350,600 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        2,195,350 

                   Federal funds                                 9,155,250 

                        Total                                       11,350,600 

Sec. 239.  Transportation - buildings

                   Personal services                               133,000 

                   Operating expenses                           568,000 

                        Total                                            701,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                           637,000 

                   Federal funds                                      64,000 

                        Total                                            701,000 

Sec. 240.  Transportation - program development

                   Personal services                          35,463,202 

                   Operating expenses                    130,662,679 

                   Grants                                          35,727,282 

                        Total                                     201,853,163 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                      37,933,711 

                   Local match                                      732,978 

                   Federal funds                             160,786,424 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,400,050 

                        Total                                     201,853,163 

Sec. 241.  Transportation - rest areas

                   Personal services                               100,000 

                   Operating expenses                        3,341,146 

                        Total                                         3,441,146 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                           383,117 

                   Federal funds                                 3,058,029 

                        Total                                         3,441,146 

Sec. 242.  Transportation - maintenance state system

                   Personal services                          32,043,294 

                   Operating expenses                      27,941,800 

                   Grants                                               368,000 

                        Total                                       60,353,094 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                      57,446,094 

                   Federal funds                                 2,907,000 

                        Total                                       60,353,094 

Sec. 243.  Transportation - policy and planning

                   Personal services                            4,969,906 

                   Operating expenses                           964,875 

                   Grants                                            4,690,227 

                        Total                                       10,625,008 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        2,597,643 

                   Federal funds                                 7,887,365 

                   Interdepartmental transfer                  140,000 

                        Total                                       10,625,008 

Sec. 244.  Transportation - rail 

                   Personal services                            4,911,881 

                   Operating expenses                      12,466,427 

                   Grants                                            4,720,000 

                         Total                                       22,098,308 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        8,979,308 

                   Federal funds                               13,119,000 

                        Total                                       22,098,308 

Sec. 245.  Transportation - bridge maintenance

                   Operating expenses                        8,340,679 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        2,028,959 

                   Local match                                        50,000 

                   Federal funds                                 6,261,720 

                        Total                                         8,340,679 

Sec. 246.  Transportation - public transit

                   Personal services                               516,238 

                   Operating expenses                             69,450 

                   Grants                                          17,037,070 

                        Total                                       17,622,758 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        6,016,646 

                   Federal funds                               11,606,112 

                        Total                                       17,622,758 

Sec. 247.  Transportation - central garage

                   Personal services                            3,198,783 

                   Operating expenses                      11,309,386 

                        Total                                       14,508,169 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Internal service funds                    14,508,169 

(a)  Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 13(c), $1,400,000 of the above appropriation is appropriated from the transportation equipment replacement account within the central garage fund for the purchase of equipment as authorized in 19 V.S.A. § 13(b). 

Sec. 248.  Department of motor vehicles

                   Personal services                          13,580,740 

                   Operating expenses                        7,050,064 

                   Grants                                               311,300 

                        Total                                       20,942,104 

               Source of funds                                                   

                    Transportation fund                      19,617,251 

                   Federal funds                                 1,324,853 

                        Total                                       20,942,104 

Sec. 249.  Transportation - town highway structures

                   Grants                                            3,494,500 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        3,494,500 

Sec. 250.  Transportation - town highway emergency fund

                   Grants                                            1,250,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        1,250,000 

Sec. 251.  Transportation - town highway Vermont local roads 

                   Grants                                               375,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                           235,000 

                   Federal funds                                    140,000 

                        Total                                            375,000 

Sec. 252.  Transportation - town highway class 2 roadway

                   Grants                                            5,748,750 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        5,748,750 

Sec. 253.  Transportation - town highway bridges

                   Personal services                            3,650,000 

                   Operating expenses                      23,659,491 

                   Grants                                               525,000 

                        Total                                       27,834,491 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                        3,493,170 

                   Local match                                   2,261,145 

                   Federal funds                               22,080,176 

                        Total                                       27,834,491  

Sec. 254.  Transportation - town highway aid program

                   Grants                                          24,982,744 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                      24,982,744 

(a)  Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 306(a), the above appropriation is authorized.

Sec. 255.  Transportation - town highway class 1 supplemental grants

                   Grants                                               128,750 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                           128,750 

Sec. 256.  Transportation - municipal mitigation grant program

                   Grants                                            2,000,700 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                           196,707 

                   Federal funds                                 1,803,993 

                        Total                                         2,000,700 

Sec. 257.  Transportation - public assistance grant program

                   Grants                                               200,000 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Federal funds                                    200,000 

Sec. 258.  Transportation board

                   Personal services                                 70,800 

                   Operating expenses                             13,800 

                        Total                                              84,600 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                             84,600 

Sec. 259.  Discretionary spending

                   Operating expenses                         5,215,534

               Source of funds

                   Transportation funds                        3,569,924

                   Federal funds                                  1,645,610

                        Total                                          5,215,534

(a)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the secretary of transportation, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer amounts appropriated under this section to another appropriation of the agency of transportation authorized by this act and as authorized by H.869 of the 2006 session.

Sec. 260.  Total transportation                        454,159,007 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   Transportation fund                    191,592,630 

                   Local match                                   3,044,123 

                   Federal funds                             242,474,035 

                   Internal service funds                    14,508,169 

                   Interdepartmental transfer               2,540,050 

                        Total                                     454,159,007 

Sec. 261.  Debt service

                   Debt service                                 69,130,821 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 64,549,851 

                   Transportation fund                        2,086,135 

                   Special funds                                  2,494,835 

                        Total                                       69,130,821 

Sec. 262.  Total debt service                            69,130,821 

               Source of funds                                                   

                   General fund                                 64,549,851 

                   Transportation fund                        2,086,135 

                   Special funds                                  2,494,835 

                        Total                                       69,130,821 

Sec. 263.  RELATIONSHIP TO EXISTING LAWS

(a)  Except as specifically provided, this act shall not be construed in any way to negate or impair the full force and effect of existing laws.

Sec. 264.  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. 265.  FEDERAL FUNDS

(a)  In fiscal year 2007 the governor, with the approval of the legislature, or the joint fiscal committee if the legislature 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 legislature, or the joint fiscal committee if the legislature 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 2007, federal funds available to the state of Vermont and designated as federal in this and other acts of the 2006 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. 266.  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

Department of taxes ‑ unorganized towns and gores

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, departmental indirect cost recoveries (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. 267.  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 2007, except for new positions authorized by the 2006 session.  Limited service positions approved pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5 shall not be subject to this restriction.

Sec. 268.  APPROPRIATIONS; PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 273 of No. 122 of the Acts of 2004, and Sec. 253(c) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, 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 $300,960 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 $300,960 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 $13,763,883 is appropriated from the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund to the Vermont housing and conservation trust board.  Notwithstanding 10 V.S.A. § 312, amounts above $13,763,883 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 $4,116,847 is appropriated from the municipal and regional planning fund.  Notwithstanding 24 V.S.A. § 4306(a), amounts above $4,116,847 from the property transfer tax that are deposited into the municipal and regional planning fund shall be transferred into the general fund.  The $4,116,847 shall be allocated as follows:

(A)  $2,881,792 for disbursement to regional planning commissions in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(B)  $823,369 for disbursement to municipalities in a manner consistent with 24 V.S.A. § 4306(b);

(C)  $411,685 to the Vermont center for geographic information.

(b)  Property transfer tax revenues in fiscal year 2007 shall be distributed pursuant to 32 V.S.A §§ 435(b)(10) and 9610(c), 10 V.S.A. § 312, and 24 V.S.A. § 4306(a) and transferred into the general fund consistent with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, except that any property transfer tax revenues above $40,200,000, not to exceed $3,500,000, shall be deposited into the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund and appropriated to the Vermont housing and conservation trust board.

(c)  In fiscal year 2008, the appropriations in subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) of this section shall increase by at least 4.5 percent.

Sec. 269.  TRANSPORTATION FUND TRANSFER

(a)  The amount of $800,000 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. 270.  Sec. 10(a)(2)(A) of No. 66 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

(A)  From the general fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2005, $4,019,782.00 and for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2006, $7,581,008.00 $3,800,000.00.

Sec. 271.  FISCAL YEAR 2006 GENERAL FUND APPROPRIATIONS

                AND TRANSFERS

(a)  In fiscal year 2006, the following amounts are appropriated or transferred from the general fund:

(1)  $610,000 appropriated to the department of education for transfer to the department of corrections as needed for special education program expenses.

(2)  $7,000,000 appropriated to the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448.

(3)  $1,000,000 appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for continued planning, design, and permitting associated with creating a new inpatient facility to replace the current Vermont state hospital.

(4)  $350,000 transferred to the environmental contingency fund established in 10 V.S.A. § 1283.

(5)  $110,000 transferred to the waste management assistance fund created in 10 V.S.A. § 6618.

(6)  $375,000 appropriated to the secretary of state for costs of the 2006 biennial elections.

(7)  $400,000 appropriated to the department of economic development for the Vermont training program.

(8)  $271,000 and any additional matching funds to the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs for school-based student assistance professionals.

(9)  $250,000 to the department for children and families for direct grants to service organizations that provide mentoring services, including “Big Brother” and “Big Sister” programs.  The department shall report to the joint fiscal committee on the status of the distribution of these funds at its September 2006 meeting. 

Sec. 271a.  VERMONT TAX STUDY

(a)  The joint fiscal office, with assistance from the staff of the legislative council, under the direction of the joint fiscal committee, shall conduct a study of Vermont state taxes.

(b)  The study shall:

(1)  Analyze historical trends since 1995 in Vermont taxes as compared to other states, and compare the percentage of Vermont revenue from each state-level source to the percentage of revenue from each state-level source in other states;

(2)  Analyze state tax burdens per capita, per income level, on typical Vermont families of a variety of incomes, and on typical Vermont business enterprises of a variety of sizes and types, and analyze trends in the taxpayer revenue base; and

(3)  Review the simplicity, equity, stability, predictability and performance of the Vermont personal and corporate income tax, sales tax, rooms and meals tax, business franchise taxes, insurance premium taxes, and education property tax.

(c)  Based upon the data resulting from the study in subsection (b) of this section, the joint fiscal office shall, as part of the study or separately, prepare a review of:

(1)  alternative top personal income tax rates for Vermont, based upon possible changes to income brackets and tax rates below the marginal rate;

(2)  taxes in which broadening the base would allow a reduction in rate or rates, and possible options for achieving this; and

(3)  the future Vermont economic and demographic trends, and implications for Vermont’s tax structure as regards revenue, equity, and competitiveness.

(d)  The Vermont department of taxes shall cooperate with and provide assistance as needed to the joint fiscal office.  The study, including recommendations for further research or analysis, shall be submitted to the joint fiscal committee by December 15, 2006.  Funding of $30,000 is provided in Sec. 272 of this act for consultant assistance, data analysis, and other expenses related to this study.

Sec. 271b.  LONG-TERM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

(a)  32 V.S.A. § 5930j(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The economic progress council shall advise the governor and the general assembly on long-term economic development planning.

* * *

(2)  In fulfilling its economic development planning responsibilities, the council shall:

(A)  Conduct a planning process that is open and inclusive, with broad-based public engagement ensuring participation that is demographically and geographically representative of the state and includes input from a wide range of perspectives, expertise, and interests, including the general assembly, state agencies and the administration, regional and local planning and development organizations, municipalities, the private sector, and business organizations, including owners, knowledgeable in the areas of economic interest such as agriculture, social and human services, energy, education, child care, environmental issues, science and technology, arts and culture, transportation, telecommunications, housing, workforce development, and tourism and recreation.

(B)  Build a plan by coordinating and considering existing economic development information and strategic plans produced by other organizations and agencies, such as regional economic development strategic plans, comprehensive economic development strategies (CEDS), legislative initiatives, and research and reports by organizations such as the Vermont business roundtable, Workforce Development Council, the Vermont council on rural development, the Vermont technology council, the Vermont sustainable jobs fund, and the university of Vermont.

(C)  Include an examination of the issues critical to encouraging business to develop in Vermont, including workforce development, development of higher education institutions, infrastructure development, quality of life issues, and tax policy.

(D)  Discuss and develop possible working definitions of the creative economy in the state, identifying and aggregating the creative, artistic, inventive, and cultural enterprises, and other sectors of the economy including media design, sustainable technologies, added value manufacturing, natural resource industries, and environmental technologies that comprise part of the state’s creative technology.  Review possible measures and indicators of economic benefit, costs, and contributions to the state from the creative economy sector.

(E)  Include the development of a meaningful benchmark process that sets economic development goals appropriate for Vermont and measures the State’s position relative to those goals.

(F)  The Vermont Economic Progress Council needs to make recommendations to the legislature recommending legislation and resource allocation in a climate of limited resources.

(3)  The council shall submit a biennial report to the governor and the general assembly on or before December 15 May 1, beginning in the year 2004 2007, and on or before December 15 for each subsequent even year with its recommendations for implementing the state’s long-term economic development planning agenda.  Such recommendations shall contain short-term-medium term and long-term goals, and anticipated budgets, evaluation mechanisms, and proposals for legislation where necessary.

(c)  The amount of $60,000 is provided in Sec. 272 of this act to fund economic planning including creative economy development as outlined in this section.

Sec. 271c.  TRANSPORTATION FUND ADJUSTMENTS

(a)  If the July 2006 official forecast for transportation fund revenue indicates that use of the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve will be necessary to meet proposed spending in fiscal year 2007, the secretary of administration shall develop a list of projects for cancellation to restore the reserve to its statutory level.  The list shall be submitted to the joint fiscal committee by September 1, 2006.  The list shall be reviewed by a special committee consisting of the chairs and vice chairs of the committees on transportation and the members of the joint fiscal committee, meeting on the same day as the September joint fiscal committee meeting.  

Sec. 271d.  LAMOILLE VALLEY RAIL TRAIL

(a)  The federal earmark for development of the railbanked Lamoille Valley rail corridor recreational trail shall be classified and administered by the agency of transportation as an enhancement project under 23 U.S.C. § 101(a)(35) subject to terms and conditions of that classification except as follows:

(1)  In-kind services and donations, including credit for volunteer labor, equipment, and operator time donated by private individuals, nonprofit organizations, and governmental entities, shall be allowed and may be used for any match requirements within FHWA regulations.

(2)  Contractors that are not on the VTRANS preapproved list but are judged to be a responsible bidder under FHWA guidelines shall be eligible for project-related work.

(3)  Project funds may be used on construction, reconstruction, restoration, and maintenance on trails as authorized by FHWA.

Sec. 272.  Act 93 of 2006 is amended by striking out Sec. 70 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 70.  FISCAL YEAR 2006 DESIGNATED GENERAL FUND

               BALANCE (WATERFALL)

(a)  At the close of fiscal year 2006, the fiscal year 2006 unreserved and undesignated general fund balance on a budgetary basis, as determined by the commissioner of finance and management on July 31, 2006, shall be reserved in the general fund stabilization reserve to the extent necessary to attain its statutory maximum.

(b)  The following amounts shall be reserved for fiscal year 2007 spending:

(1)  To the extent additional funds are available, $10,180,000 shall be reserved for fiscal year 2007 spending in the general fund surplus reserve established in 32 V.S.A. § 308c(a).

(2)  To the extent additional funds are available and to the extent the official fiscal year 2007 revenue forecast for the available general fund adopted by the emergency board at its July 2006 meeting is less than $1,097,000,000, not including the first $3,500,000 of any increase attributable to the property transfer tax revenue growth, in excess of the official forecast of January 11, 2006, up to an additional $7,000,000 shall be reserved in the general fund surplus reserve for fiscal year 2007 spending to the extent necessary to reach $1,097,000,000.

(c)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated as follows:

(1)  $12,800,000 to the state teachers’ retirement fund.  This appropriation shall be made only to the extent necessary to make up the difference from the above amount and the amount appropriated under Sec. 273(a) of this act [fiscal year 2007 contingent appropriation]. 

(2)  $2,500,000 to the secretary of administration to be used for fiscal year 2007 pay act obligations.

(d)  To the extent additional general funds are available; they are appropriated or transferred as follows:                   

(1)  $200,000 appropriated to the Vermont State Colleges.  The Vermont state colleges shall use the funds they receive under this provision to fund reimbursement to those faculty who contributed to the early retirement program yet will have no eligibility.

(2)  $100,000 appropriated to the Vermont State Colleges to be reserved for use as the state’s fiscal year 2007 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 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 upon 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, 2008, 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.

(3)  $3,000,000 appropriated for “The Next Generation Initiative”; in order to ensure that Vermont’s youth can have access to postsecondary education that provides them the technical skills necessary to thrive in a dynamic global economy and that the technology-based professions for which they have trained will be available in Vermont upon their entrance into the workforce, this appropriation is allocated as follows:

(A)  $1,000,000 to the University of Vermont for investment in the research and development of innovative and sustainable technologies that will expand the university’s role in statewide economic development.

(B)  $1,000,000 to the Vermont State Colleges to invest in workforce development programs centered upon the innovative and sustainable technologies sector.

(C)  $1,000,000 to the Vermont student assistance corporation to invest in programs and other initiatives that encourage Vermont K-12 students to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school.

(4)  any transfer to the Vermont postsecondary education fund as provided for in S.312 of 2006.

(e)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated as follows:

(1)  $1,000,000 to the housing and conservation trust fund and appropriated from the housing and conservation trust fund to the housing and conservation trust board for housing.

(2)  $50,000 to the Vermont economic development authority to recapitalize the job start fund.

(3)  $40,000 to the Vermont council on the arts for a grant to the Vermont museum and gallery alliance to encourage professional practices, foster cooperation, and promote appreciation of the programs and resources of Vermont’s museums, galleries, and historic places.

(4)  $70,000 to the agency of commerce and community development to accomplish the planning requirements of S.142 of the 2006.  In the event S.142 is not enacted into law this appropriation shall not be made.  

(5)  $110,000 to the department of economic development of which $75,000 shall be used for grants to the regional development corporations, $10,000 shall be for the north link broadband project, and $25,000 shall be granted to the Southern Windsor County Incubator (SWCI) to continue work in developing a project that will benefit existing local businesses as well as entrepreneurs that will grow some of the future economic base of the region.

(6)  $325,000 to the department of tourism and marketing, of which $100,000 shall be used for the Lake Champlain quadricentennial commission, $125,000 for marketing activities, and $100,000 for new cooperative marketing initiatives.

(7)  $170,000 to the agency of agriculture, food and markets of which $20,000 shall be for a grant to the Vermont Specialty Food Association to support marketing efforts of Vermont’s specialty food industry, $75,000 shall be granted to the Food Venture Center to be used to support an expansion or relocation of the center, and $75,000 shall be for a grant to the Franklin County Farmers Watershed Alliance for the purpose of an agricultural watershed pilot program.

(8)  $25,000 to the department of education for training of food service personnel pursuant to Sec. 4 of H.456 of 2006.

(9)  $20,000 to the secretary of state for community development grants, of which $10,000 shall be made available to the Vermont council on rural development to support the capacity of two rural Vermont communities and $10,000 shall be made available to the Vermont alliance of nonprofit organizations (VANPO) to support the training and development of nonprofit and community leaders, managers, and executives.  This funding will provide resources to VANPO’s existing technical assistance program for skill-building workshops in Vermont.

(10)  $30,000 to the joint fiscal committee for consultant assistance, data analysis, and other expenses related to the study in Sec. 271a of this act.

(11)  $60,000 to the Vermont Economic Progress Council to fund economic planning, including creative economy development as outlined in Sec. 271b of this act.

(f)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated as follows:

(1)  $40,000 to the department of public safety for the posttraumatic stress disorder program outlined in No. 112 of the Acts of 2006.

(2)  $130,000 to the University of Vermont to support implementation of “The Vermont Approach:  A Strategic Plan for Sexual Violence Prevention,” produced by the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence, the Vermont department of health, and the anti-violence partnership at the University of Vermont.  The funds appropriated under this subdivision shall be used to hire a coordinator and to support the statewide project safe choices program, with the goal of beginning a statewide, collaborative, comprehensive approach to ending sexual violence in our communities.

(3)  $50,000 to the Vermont human rights commission to provide training and technical assistance to Vermont’s schools to promote compliance with the provisions of No. 91 of the Acts of 2004 relating to harassment.

(4)  $535,000 to the judiciary of which $15,000 shall be used to upgrade video conferencing equipment in the Bennington courthouse, $50,000 shall be used to complete the licensing of network devices, $70,000 for a collections manager position or contract, and $400,000 to be used to upgrade the automated case management system.  The intent is that this be the first of four or five annual appropriations necessary to complete the upgrade of the automated case management system.

(5)  $7,600 to the criminal justice training council for the purchase of mattresses.

(6)  $30,000 to the defender general for costs associated with the  relocation of offices.

(g)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated as follows:

(1)  $55,000 to office of alcohol and drug abuse programs for distribution to United Counseling Services in Bennington for intensive outpatient services for Vermonters related to the mobile methadone program.  This grant is contingent on a mobile methadone program being established in Bennington County.  In the event that the mobile methadone program is not created in Bennington County, this appropriation shall not be made.

(2)  $50,000 to the department for children and families to be granted to Washington County Youth Services, Inc. to cost share a minimum of five AmeriCorps VISTA members.  Said members shall be assigned to mentoring organizations across the state to increase the organizations’ capacities to recruit and retain mentors through activities that may include establishing partnerships with major employers, planning and implementing marketing efforts, and creating systems for more efficient mentoring management. 

(3)  $411,000  to the department for children and families which shall be allocated as follows:

(A)  $75,000 for a grant to the Vermont coalition of teen centers.

(B)  $100,000 for a grant to the Vermont adoption consortium.

(C)  $11,000 for a grant to  the Vermont coalition for homeless and runaway youth program.

(D)  $50,000 to the office of economic opportunity, for a grant to the community action agencies for individual development accounts.  Any available federal matching funds shall also be granted for this purpose.

(E)  $75,000 for the building bright spaces for bright futures fund.

(F)  $100,000 for flexible funding.

(4)  $155,000 and $95,000 in Global Commitment funds to the department of health for area health education center activities.  The language in Sec. 119(c) and (d) of this act applies to this appropriation.

(5)  $39,121 and $55,879 in federal funds to the secretary of human services for Global Commitment to fund the global commitment appropriation made in subdivision (4) of this subsection.

(6)  $26,767 and $38,233 in federal funds to the secretary of human services for Global Commitment to fund the following global commitment appropriation.  The amount of $65,000 is appropriated to the office of Vermont health access from the global commitment fund for a grant to Vermont legal aid to support a health care ombudsman position.  The office of the health care ombudsman shall report to the house and senate committees on appropriations by December 15, 2006 on the activities and caseload of this additional ombudsman position.

(7)  $576,520 and $823,480 federal funds to the office of Vermont health access for costs under the long-term care portion of Medicaid.  Effective for fiscal year 2007 only, the division of rate setting shall amend the rules effective for establishing Medicaid rates for nursing home services to lower the minimum occupancy used in setting the Medicaid rate to 90 percent, excluding nursing costs.

(8)  $40,000 to department of disabilities, aging, and independent living to fund a needs assessment as follows:

(A)  The commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living shall perform a needs assessment regarding present and future workforce issues of direct care workers in Vermont.  The assessment shall focus on potential problems regarding quantity, quality, stability, and availability of workers, specifically as they apply to long‑term care services and supports provided to Vermont’s elderly and disabled populations.  At a minimum, the assessment shall identify the potential problems and opportunities projected through 2030 and shall include recommendations for addressing these problems in the near and long term.  In preparing the assessment, the commissioner shall consult with representatives of the community of Vermont elders (COVE), AARP Vermont, Vermont association of professional care providers (VAPCP), Vermont center for independent living (VCIL), Vermont health care association (VHCA), Vermont association of adult day services (VAADS), Vermont assembly of home health agencies (VAHHA), northern New England association of homes and services for the aging Vermont (NNEAHSA), the workforce development partners (WDP), parent to parent of Vermont (P2PVT), Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP) or a similar organization representing Vermont’s refugee and immigrant workforce, the state long-term care ombudsman, developmental service providers, and the commissioner of labor.

(B)  The commissioner shall submit a report on the results of the needs assessment and recommendations to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare no later than December 30, 2007.  No later than January 15, 2007, the commissioner shall submit an interim report to the committees, including an assessment of existing needs and recommendations for short-term strategies to address these needs.

(9)  $300,000 to the commission on health care reform established in Sec. 277c of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, of which up to $200,000 shall be used for contracts related to state health care information technology systems consultation and coordination and related work, and the remainder to carry out the health care oversight responsibilities outlined in Sec. 295(a) of this act.

(h)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated as follows:

(1)  $180,000 shall be appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for a grant for the Shaftsbury landfill.

(2)  $150,000 to the agency of natural resources of which $60,000 shall be granted to the Vermont environmental consortium at Norwich University, and $90,000 which shall be used for a study that identifies the unique or particular soils, site or design characteristics of a septic system that works successfully in clay soils and that can potentially operate reliably in other locations or soil conditions.  The agency shall submit a report to the general assembly by December 15, 2006.

(3)  $35,000 to the department of forests, parks and recreation for a Parks as Destinations study.

(4)  $150,000 to the department of environmental conservation for two clean and clear initiatives:  $75,000 for research on improving the accounting system for phosphorous reduction from nonpoint source controls and $75,000 for a feasibility study on the treatment of sediments in St. Albans bay to reduce internal loading of phosphorous.

(5)  $350,000 to the department of fish and wildlife to complete phase two of the Edward F. Kehoe camp building.  This phase will finish the building so that the children’s program will have use of the kitchen and dining hall.  Major work will include work on the wastewater system, elevator, site (drainage), interior finishing on the dining hall area, and kitchen equipment.

(6)  $15,000 to the youth conservation corps which may be used to support the youth in agriculture program or if unexpended for that program may be used for programs in conjunction with the Vermont old cemetery association for repair and maintenance of old cemeteries.

(i)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated as follows:

(1)  $365,000 to the department of corrections of which $180,000 is to be used for out-of-state bed expenses, $10,000 for the domestic violence program specified in Sec. 159(e) of this act, and $175,000 to provide additional funding for electronic monitoring.

(j)  To the extent additional general funds are available, they are appropriated or transferred as follows:

(1)  $20,000 is appropriated to the department of libraries for a grant to the federation for the blind for the “newsline” program.

(2)  $100,000 is appropriated to the office of military and veterans’ affairs for a grant for the purchase of vans for the disabled American veterans’ transportation network.

(3)  $270,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes to fund a contract related to the installation of the corporate tax collections system.

(4)  $30,000 is appropriated to the attorney general to reimburse approved legal expenditures of towns currently engaged in litigation with the Washington electric cooperative regarding grand list appeals of the assessment of utility property.  It is the intent of the legislature that this be the final state appropriation for this purpose.

(5)  $110,000 is appropriated to the legislature for information technology for phase I of the data recovery project.

(6)  $250,000 is transferred to the emergency relief and assistance fund, established in 20 V.S.A. § 45.

(7)  $4,000,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation for information technology investments in the department of motor vehicles.

(8)  $2,000,000 is transferred to the state health care resources fund established in 33 V.S.A. § 1901d for Global Commitment waiver expenses.

(9)  $2,000,000 is transferred to various internal service funds to reduce deficits in those funds as determined by the commissioner of finance and management.

(k)  In the event that the emergency board at its July 2006 meeting determines that the projected fiscal year 2006 general fund surplus provides insufficient funds to cover all appropriations and transfers through subdivision (j)(6) of this section, the emergency board shall prorate the appropriations and transfers through (j)(6).

Sec. 273.  FISCAL YEAR 2007 CONTINGENT APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  To the extent that the official fiscal year 2007 revenue forecast for the available general fund adopted by the emergency board at its July 2006 meeting exceeds $1,097,000,000 not including the first $3,500,000 of any increase attributable to the property transfer tax revenue growth, in excess of the official forecast of January 11, 2006, up to $5,000,000 is appropriated to the state teachers’ retirement system as an additional base fiscal year 2007 appropriation.

Sec. 274.  FISCAL YEAR 2007 TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUND

                 BALANCE

(a)  Notwithstanding 18 V.S.A. § 9502(b), in fiscal year 2007 the balance in the tobacco litigation settlement fund shall remain in the tobacco litigation settlement fund.

Sec. 275.  TRANSFER OF TOBACCO TRUST FUNDS

(a)  Notwithstanding 18 V.S.A. § 9502(a)(3), at the close of fiscal year 2007, the secretary of administration may transfer funds from the tobacco trust fund to the tobacco litigation settlement fund established in 32 V.S.A. § 435a, in the amount needed to bring the ending balance of the tobacco litigation settlement fund to $0.00 for fiscal year 2007, but the amount transferred may not exceed the amount withheld from the payment to Vermont by participating manufacturers due in April 2007 under the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement.  Upon release and deposit of the withheld funds into the tobacco litigation settlement fund, an equal amount shall be returned to the tobacco trust fund.

Sec. 276.  18 V.S.A. § 9504 is amended to read:

§ 9504.  CREATION OF THE VERMONT TOBACCO EVALUATION AND

               REVIEW BOARD

* * *

(b)  The board shall consist of 13 14 members, including ex officio the commissioner of health and the commissioner of education, or their designees; the commissioner of the department of liquor control or designee; the attorney general or designee; a member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house; a member of the senate appointed by the committee on committees; a member representing a nonprofit organization qualifying under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and dedicated to anti-tobacco activities appointed by the speaker of the house; a member representing the low income community appointed by the senate committee on committees; two persons under the age of 21 30, one appointed by the speaker of the house and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; and four members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, including: one K-12 educator involved in prevention education; one tobacco use researcher; one member representing the health care community; and one tobacco industry countermarketing expert.  The public members shall serve for three-year terms, beginning on February 1 of the year in which the appointment is made, except that the first members appointed by the governor to the board shall be appointed, two for a term of two years, one for a term of three years and one for a term of four years.  Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term vacated.

* * *

Sec. 277.  16 V.S.A. § 1944(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Pension accumulation fund.

* * *

(2)  Beginning with the actuarial valuation as of June 30, 1982 2006, the contributions to be made to the pension accumulation fund by the state shall be determined on the basis of the actuarial cost method known as “entry age normal cost with frozen initial liability.”  On account of each member, there shall be paid annually by the state into the pension accumulation fund a percentage of the earnable compensation of each member to be known as the “normal contribution” and an additional percentage of his the member’s earnable compensation to be known as the “accrued liability contribution.”  The rates percent  percentage rate of such contributions shall be fixed on the basis of the liabilities of the system as shown by actuarial valuation.  “Normal contributions” and “accrued liability contributions” shall be by separate appropriation in the annual budget enacted by the general assembly.

* * *

(4)  The unfunded accrued liability determined by actuarial valuation as of June 30, 1988 shall be amortized over a period of 30 years beginning July 1, 1988 in accordance with the provisions of this section.  Subject to the approval of the retirement board, the amount of unfunded accrued liability may be adjusted after 1988 to take account of changes in the actuarial assumptions used in annual valuations.

(5)  Until the unfunded accrued liability is liquidated, the accrued liability contribution shall be the annual payment required to liquidate the unfunded accrued liability over a period of 30 years from July 1, 1982 2006, provided that the amount of each annual accrued liability contribution after June 30, 2006 shall be five percent greater than the preceding annual accrued liability contribution.  Any variation in the contribution of normal or unfunded accrued liability contributions from those recommended by the actuary and any actuarial gains and losses shall be added or subtracted to the unfunded accrued liability and amortized over the remainder of the 30-year period.

* * *

Sec. 277a.  3 V.S.A. § 473 is amended to read:

§ 473.  FUNDS

* * *

(c)  Pension accumulation fund.

* * *

(2)  Beginning with the actuarial valuation as of June 30, 1981 2006, the contributions to be made to the pension accumulation fund by the state shall be determined on the basis of the actuarial cost method known as “entry age normal cost with frozen initial liability.”  On account of each member there shall be paid annually into the pension accumulation fund by the state an amount equal to a certain percentage of the annual earnable compensation of such member, to be known as the “normal contribution,” and an additional amount equal to a certain percentage of his annual earnable compensation, to be known as the “accrued liability.”  The rates percent percentage rate of such contributions shall be fixed on the basis of the liabilities of the retirement system as shown by actuarial valuation.

* * *

(4)  The unfunded accrued liability determined by actuarial valuation as of June 30, 1988 shall be amortized over a period of 30 years beginning July 1, 1988 in accordance with the provisions of this section.  Subject to the approval of the retirement board, the amount of unfunded accrued liability may be adjusted after 1988 to take account of changes in the actuarial assumptions used in annual valuations.                      

(4)  Until the unfunded accrued liability is liquidated, the accrued liability contribution shall be the annual payment required to liquidate the unfunded accrued liability over a period of 30 years from July 1, 1988, provided that the amount of each annual accrued liability contribution after June 30, 1988 shall be five percent greater than the preceding annual accrued liability contribution.  Any variation in the contribution of normal or unfunded accrued liability contributions from those recommended by the actuary and any actuarial gains and losses shall be added or subtracted to the unfunded accrued liability and amortized over the remainder of the 30-year period:

* * *

Sec. 277b. 3 V.S.A. § 523(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The Vermont pension investment committee shall only be responsible, consistent with a duly approved asset allocation, for the investment of the assets of the state teachers’ retirement system of Vermont, the Vermont state employees’ retirement system, and the Vermont municipal employees’ retirement system pursuant to section 472 of this title, section 1943 of Title 16, and section 5063 of Title 24.  The committee may, in its discretion, subject to approval by the attorney general, also enter into agreements with municipalities administering their own retirement systems to invest retirement funds for those municipal pension plans.  The state treasurer shall serve as the custodian of the funds of all three retirement systems.

Sec. 278.  3 V.S.A. § 479a is added to read: 

§ 479a.  STATE EMPLOYEES’ POSTEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

              PENSION TRUST FUND

(a)  An irrevocable “state employees’ postemployment benefits pension trust fund” is hereby created for the purpose of accumulating and providing reserves to fund retiree postemployment benefits for members of the Vermont state employees’ retirement system, excluding pensions and benefits otherwise appropriated by statute. 

(b)  Into the fund shall be deposited:

(1)  All funds remitted to the state as a subsidy on behalf of the members of the Vermont state employees’ retirement system for employer-sponsored qualified prescription drug plans pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.

(2)  Any appropriations by the general assembly to fund retiree postemployment benefits for members of the Vermont state employees’ retirement system.

(c)  The pension trust fund shall be administered by the state treasurer.  The treasurer may invest monies in the fund in accordance with the provisions of section 434 of Title 32.  All balances in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward.  Interest earned shall remain in the fund.  The treasurer’s annual financial report to the governor and the general assembly shall contain an accounting of receipts, disbursements and earnings of the fund.

Sec. 279.  32 V.S.A. § 4465 is amended to read:

§ 4465.  APPOINTMENT OF APPRAISER; OATH; PAY

When an appeal to the director is not withdrawn, the director shall refer the appeal in writing to a person not employed by the director, appointed by the director as an appraiser.  The director shall have the right to remove an appraiser for inefficiency, malfeasance in office, or other cause.  In like manner, the director shall appoint an appraiser to fill any vacancy created by resignation, removal or other cause.  Before entering into their duties, persons appointed as appraisers shall take and subscribe the oath of the office prescribed in the constitution, which oath shall be filed with the director.  The director shall pay each appraiser a sum not to exceed $80.00 $120.00 per diem for each day wherein hearings are held, together with reasonable expenses as the director may determine.  An appraiser may subpoena witnesses, records, and documents in the manner provided by law for serving subpoenas in civil actions and may administer oaths to witnesses.

Sec. 280.  CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND AMENDMENT

(a)  In the event that H.859 of 2006 is not enacted into law, 10 V.S.A. § 6523 is amended to read:

§ 6523.  VERMONT CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND

(a)  Creation of fund.

(1)  There is established the Vermont clean energy development fund to consist of:

* * *

(d)  Expenditures authorized.

(1)  This fund shall be administered by the department of public service to facilitate the development and implementation of clean energy resources.  The fund shall not be used to meet costs of administration.  Monies may be expended from the fund only as appropriated by the general assembly.  Up to five percent of amounts appropriated to the public service department from the fund may be used for administrative costs related to the clean energy development fund.

* * *

(4)  Projects for funding may include the following:

(A)  projects that will sell power in commercial quantities;

(B)  among those projects that will sell power in commercial quantities, funding priority will be given to those projects that commit to sell power to Vermont utilities on favorable terms;

(C)  projects to benefit publicly owned or leased buildings;

(D)  renewable energy projects on farms, which may include any or all costs incurred to upgrade to a three-phase line to serve a system on a farm;

(E)  small scale renewable energy in Vermont residences and businesses; and

(F)  projects under the agricultural economic development special account established under 6 V.S.A. § 4710(g) to harvest biomass, convert biomass to energy, or produce biofuel;

(G)  until December 31, 2008 only super efficient buildings; and

(H)  effective projects that are not likely to be established in the absence of funding under the program.

* * *

Sec. 281.  23 V.S.A. § 3214 is amended to read:

§ 3214.   APPROPRIATION ALLOCATION OF FEES AND PENALTIES;

               LIABILITY INSURANCE; AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT FOR

               LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

(a)  The amount of 85 percent of the fees and penalties collected under this subchapter, except interest, is are hereby appropriated allocated to the agency of natural resources for use by VAST for development and maintenance of the statewide snowmobile trail program (SSTP), for trails’ liability insurance, and to contract for law enforcement services with any constable, sheriff’s department, municipal police department, the department of public safety, and the department of fish and wildlife for purposes of trail compliance pursuant to this chapter.  The departments of public safety and fish and wildlife are authorized to contract with VAST to provide these law enforcement services.  The agency of natural resources may retain for its use up to $11,500.00 during each fiscal year to be used for the oversight of the state snowmobile trail program.

(b)  All fees and penalties, except interest, collected under this subchapter and not appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be used to purchase trails’ liability and other related insurance.  The department of buildings and general services shall assist VAST with the procurement of trails liability and other related insurance. The balance shall be deposited, together with interest accrued, in the transportation fund.

(c)(b)  VAST shall purchase a trails’ liability insurance policy in the amount of $1,000,000.00.  The state of Vermont shall be named an additional insured.  The policy shall extend to all VAST affiliated snowmobile clubs and their respective employees and agents to provide for trails’ liability coverage for development and maintenance of the statewide snowmobile trails program including groomer use and operation.  The department of buildings and general services shall assist VAST with the procurement of trails liability and other related insurance.

(d)(c)  Nothing contained in this section shall authorize or create any cause of action to accrue or to be maintained against the state of Vermont.

(e)(d)  Any fees and penalties appropriated allocated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not revert but shall be available until spent.  Any accrued interest shall be deposited in the transportation fund.

Sec. 282.  20 V.S.A. § 45 is amended to read:

§ 45.  EMERGENCY RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE

(a)  If a state of emergency due to a natural disaster is declared by the governor, the emergency board established by 32 V.S.A. § 131 may authorize the secretary of administration to may expend from the emergency relief and assistance fund such funds necessary to meet match requirements for federal grants and to award low interest loans and grants to municipalities that sustain damage to public infrastructure as a result of a natural disaster and to persons whose homes, farms or businesses are damaged by a natural disaster.  Assistance under this section may supplement assistance provided through federal and local emergency assistance programs, but eligibility for federal or local assistance shall not be required for eligibility under this section.  Funds utilized under this section shall be distributed in accordance with criteria and procedures established by rule by the secretary of administration.

(b)  The emergency board established by section 131 of Title 32 may authorize the secretary of administration to expend from the emergency relief and assistance fund an amount not to exceed $1,000,000.00 to avert an emergency natural or otherwise as identified by the board, and to expend from the emergency relief and assistance fund to award low interest loans and grants to municipalities that sustain damage to public infrastructure as a result of a natural disaster and to persons whose homes, farms, or businesses are damaged by a natural disaster.  Assistance under this subsection may supplement assistance provided through federal and local emergency assistance programs, but eligibility for federal or local assistance shall not be required for eligibility under this subsection.

(c)  In any fiscal year, the emergency board may transfer to the emergency relief and assistance fund up to two percent of the amount of the general fund budget stabilization reserve established by 32 V.S.A. § 308, which may be expended to provide for emergency relief and assistance under this section. Upon the occurrence of the contingencies and conditions set out in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, such amounts are appropriated and may be expended for this purpose.

(d)(c)  There is created an emergency relief and assistance fund to be administered by the secretary of administration as a special fund under the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  The fund shall contain any amounts transferred to it under this section or appropriated to it by the general assembly.

(d)  Funds utilized under this section shall be distributed in accordance with criteria and procedures established by rule by the secretary of administration.

(e)  Annually, by September 30, the secretary of administration shall submit to the general assembly a report detailing any expenditures during the prior fiscal year for disaster relief and assistance under this section to the general assembly, and the balance in the emergency relief and assistance fund at the end of that fiscal year.  The status of the fund shall be considered in the development of proposed adjustments to current year appropriations for submission to the next session of the general assembly.

Sec. 283.  32 V.S.A. § 585(c) is added to read:

(c)  The commissioner shall fully utilize the fund and account structure in the state finance system to manage efficiently dedicated revenues, with the intended result of reducing and limiting the number of separate special funds, while maintaining accountability and segregation of revenues dedicated by statute for specific purposes.

Sec. 284.  32 V.S.A. § 4041a(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A municipality shall be paid $8.80 $8.50 per grand list parcel per year, from the equalization and reappraisal account within the education fund and $8.50 per parcel of this amount shall be paid to the town, to be used only for reappraisal and costs related to reappraisal of its grand list properties and for maintenance of the grand list; and $0.30 per parcel of this amount shall be paid to the lister training subaccount, to the credit of the town in which the parcel is locatedAdditionally, a municipality shall be paid $3.65 per grand list parcel for the first 100 parcels $0.20 for the next 100 parcels, and $0.01 for all parcels in excess of 200 from the equalization and reappraisal account within the education fund, to be used only for costs to acquire assessment education provided under section 3436 of this title.

Sec. 285.  16 V.S.A. § 4025(c) is amended to read:

(c)  An equalization and reappraisal account is established within the education fund. Moneys from this account are to be used by the division of property valuation and review to assist towns with maintenance or reappraisal on a case-by-case basis; and for reappraisal payments pursuant to section 4041a of Title 32.  A lister training subaccount within the equalization and reappraisal account is established.  Each municipality is authorized to draw from its own portion of the subaccount such amounts as it determines necessary for lister training, and shall pay this amount to the director of property valuation and review for lister training services provided.  A municipality may withdraw funds from this subaccount upon warrants issued by the commissioner of finance and management. Unused funds in the subaccount at the end of the fiscal year shall revert to the education fund.

Sec. 286.  24 V.S.A. § 138(d) is amended to read:

(d)  Of the taxes reported collected under this section, 80 percent shall be paid to the municipality in which they were reported for calendar year 1999, 70 percent shall be paid to the municipality in which they were reported for calendar years thereafter. Such revenues may be expended by the municipality for municipal services only and not for educational expenditures.  The remaining amount of the taxes reported shall be remitted monthly to the state treasurer for deposit in the PILOT special fund established in Sec. 89 of No. 60 of the Acts of 1997.  Amounts to be paid to a municipality under this section shall be reduced by five percent to reflect the difference between the amounts reported and collected.  Taxes due to a municipality under this section, less the costs of administration and collection, shall be paid on a quarterly basis. 70 percent of the taxes shall be paid on a quarterly basis to the municipality in which they were collected, after reduction for the costs of administration and collection under subsection (c) of this section.  Revenues received by a municipality may be expended for municipal services only, and not for education expenditures.  Any remaining revenue shall be deposited into the PILOT special fund established by 32 V.S.A. § 3709.

Sec. 287.  32 V.S.A. chapter 123, subchapter 4B is added to read:

Subchapter 4B.  Pilot Special Fund

§ 3709.  PILOT SPECIAL FUND

(a)  There is hereby established a PILOT special fund consisting of local option tax revenues paid to the treasurer pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 138.  This fund shall be managed by the commissioner of taxes pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of this title.  Notwithstanding subdivision 588(3) of this title, all interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund for use in meeting future obligations.  The fund shall be exclusively for payments required under subchapter 4 of chapter 123 of this title, state payment in lieu of property taxes.  The commissioner of finance and management may draw warrants for disbursements from this fund in anticipation of receipts.

(b)  If the PILOT special fund is insufficient to pay the full amount of all payments in lieu of taxes under subchapter 4 of this chapter, payments, after application of the cap in subsection 3703(c) of this title, shall be reduced proportionately.

Sec. 288.  32 V.S.A. § 168 is amended to read:

§ 168.  SINGLE AUDIT REVOLVING FUND

(a)  A single audit revolving fund is established within the state treasury, to be administered by the auditor of accounts, from which payments may be made for the costs of audits performed pursuant to section 163(11) subdivisions 163(1) and (11) of this title.  All monies received from charges made for audit services under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and sums which may be appropriated to the fund shall be deposited in the fund.  Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund.

(b)  The auditor of accounts shall charge the state department, agency, commission or state-created authority audited for the direct and indirect costs of an audit performed pursuant to section 163(11) subdivisions 163(1) and (11) of this title.  Costs shall be determined by the auditor of accounts and approved by the secretary of administration.

Sec. 289.  16 V.S.A. § 2959a is amended to read:

§ 2959a.  EDUCATION MEDICAID RECEIPTS

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the state of Vermont shall maximize its receipt of federal Medicaid dollars available for reimbursement of medically-related services provided to students who are Medicaid eligible.  It is further the intent that:

(1)  Each supervisory union identify special education and other students eligible for Medicaid reimbursement and, to the extent possible, submit Medicaid bills for services reimbursement.

(2)  The department of education and the agency of human services work with local school districts to maximize reimbursements including services to non-IEP students.

(b)  A Medicaid reimbursement administrative special fund is established within the department of education.  Eleven percent of the Medicaid reimbursement funds shall be deposited into the fund.  The funds shall be used for agency of human services and department of education administrative costs related to the collection, processing and reporting of education Medicaid reimbursements and statewide programs identified and approved by the commissioner of education with the advice of the secretary of human services.  The commissioner shall expend monies from the fund only as appropriated by the general assembly.  Funds received by the state under this section shall be transferred to the Medicaid reimbursement special fund.  The fund receipts shall be allocated in accordance with this section.

* * *

(d)  If the amount of Medicaid reimbursement funds received for services provided in the prior state fiscal year exceeds $25,000,000, in addition to the 50 percent of said funds paid to supervisory unions submitting Medicaid bills, 25 percent of the amounts in excess of the $25,000,000 shall be paid into an incentive fund hereby created in the department of education.  These funds shall be used for an incentive payment to supervisory unions with student participation rates of over 80 percent in accordance with a formula to be developed by the department of education, in consultation with the Vermont Superintendents Association.  For any incentive payments made subsequent to fiscal year 2007, the $25,000,000.00 threshold of this subsection shall be increased by the percentage increase of the most recent New England Economic Project cumulative price index, as of November 15, for state and local government purchases of goods and services from fiscal year 2005 through the fiscal year for which the payment is being determined, plus an additional one-tenth of one percent.

* * *

(f)  Up to 20 percent of Medicaid reimbursements received under this section shall be available for agency of human services and department of education administrative costs related to the collection, processing, and reporting of education Medicaid reimbursements and statewide programs.  The commissioner of education and the secretary of human services shall expend monies from the fund only as appropriated by the general assembly.

(g)  Remaining reimbursed funds shall be deposited into the education fund.

Sec. 290.  [Deleted]

Sec. 291.  [Deleted]

Sec. 292.  2 V.S.A. § 502(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The joint fiscal committee shall employ such professional and secretarial staff as are required to carry out its functions and fix their compensation.

(1)  Chapter 13 of Title 3 shall not apply to employees of the joint fiscal committee unless this exception is partially or wholly waived by the joint fiscal committee.

(2)  All requests for assistance, information, and advice and all information received in connection with fiscal research or related drafting shall be confidential unless the party requesting or giving the information designates in the request that it is not confidential.  Documents, transcripts, and minutes of committee meetings, including written testimony submitted to a committee, fiscal notes and summaries which have been released or approved for printing or introduction, and material appearing in the journals or calendars of either house are official documents and shall not be confidential under this subsection.

Sec. 293.  Sec. 141a(j) of No. 122 of the Acts of 2004 is amended to read:

(j)  For purposes of this section, the state hospital future planning advisory group shall cease to exist on July 1, 2006 2009

Sec. 293a.  Sec. 141c of No. 122 of the Acts of 2004 is amended to read:

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 human services, 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.

* * *

(h)  The mental health oversight committee shall provide a progress report to each of the committees represented thereon no later than January 15 of each year. 

(i)  The committee shall cease to exist on July 1, 2006 2009.

Sec. 293b.  24 V.S.A. § 138(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Local option taxes are authorized under this section for the purpose of affording municipalities an alternative method of raising municipal revenues to facilitate the transition and reduce the dislocations in those municipalities that may be caused by reforms to the method of financing public education under the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1997. Accordingly:

(1)  the local option taxes authorized under this section may be imposed by a municipality only during calendar years 1999 through 2008;

(2)  a municipality opting to impose a local option tax may do so prior to July 1, 1998 to be effective beginning January 1, 1999, and anytime after December 1, 1998 a local option tax shall be effective beginning on the next tax quarter following 30 days’ notice to the department of taxes of the imposition; and all authority to opt to impose a local option tax under this section shall terminate September 1, 2007, and all authority to impose a local option tax shall terminate on December 31, 2008; and

* * *

Sec. 293c.  Sec. 15 of No. 152 of the Acts of 2004 is amended to read:

Sec. 15.  24 V.S.A. § 138(a) is amended to read:

§ 138.  LOCAL OPTION TAXES

* * *

(2)  a municipality opting to impose a local option tax may do so prior to July 1, 1998 to be effective beginning January 1, 1999, and anytime after December 1, 1998 a local option tax shall be effective beginning on the next tax quarter following 30  90 days’ notice to the department of taxes of the imposition; and all authority to opt to impose a local option tax under this section shall terminate September 1, 2007, and all authority to impose a local option tax shall terminate on December 31, 2008; and

* * *

Sec. 294.  2 V.S.A. chapter 24 is added to read: 

CHAPTER 24.  HEALTH ACCESS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

§ 851.  CREATION OF COMMITTEE

(a)  A legislative health access oversight committee is created.  The committee shall be appointed biennially and consist of ten members:  five members of the house appointed by the speaker, not all from the same political party, and five members of the senate appointed by the senate committee on committees, not all from the same political party.  The house appointees shall include two members from the house committee on human services, two members from the house committee on health care, and one member from the house committee on appropriations.  The senate appointees shall include three members from the senate committee on health and welfare, one member from the senate committee on finance, and one member from the senate committee on appropriations. 

(b)  The committee may adopt rules of procedure to carry out its duties.

§ 852.  FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES

(a)  The health access oversight committee shall carry on a continuing review of the operation of the Medicaid program and all Medicaid waiver programs that may affect the administration and beneficiaries of these programs.

(b)  In conducting its review and in order to fulfill its duties, the committee shall consult the following:

(1)  Consumers and advocacy groups regarding their satisfaction and complaints.

(2)  Health care providers regarding their satisfaction and complaints.

(3)  The office of Vermont health access.  

(4)  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration.

(5)  The agency of human services.

(6)  The attorney general.

(7)  The health care ombudsman.

(8)  The Vermont program for quality in health care.

(9)  Any other person or entity as determined by the committee.

(c)  The committee shall work with, assist, and advise other committees of the general assembly, members of the executive branch, and the public on matters relating to the state Medicaid program and other state health care programs.  Annually, no later than January 15, the committee shall report to the governor and the general assembly.

§ 853.  MEETINGS AND STAFF SUPPORT

(a)  The committee may meet during a session of the general assembly at the call of the chair or by a majority of the members of the committee.  The committee may meet during adjournment subject to the approval of the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the senate.

(b)  For attendance at meetings which are held when the general assembly is not in session, the members of the committee shall be entitled to the same per diem compensation and reimbursement for necessary expenses as those provided to members of standing committees under section 406 of this title.

(c)  The staff of the legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall provide professional and administrative support to the committee.  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, the agency of human services, and other agencies of the state shall provide information, assistance, and support upon request of the committee.

Sec. 294a.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(a)  On the effective date of this act, Sec. 13 of No. 14 of the Acts of 1995 (creation of health access oversight committee) is repealed.

Sec. 294b.  STATUTORY REVISION

(a)  The legislative council shall make technical revisions to the statutory citations and references to the health access oversight committee in the Vermont Statutes Annotated.

Sec. 295.  COMMISSION ON HEALTH CARE REFORM

(a)  The commission on health care reform created pursuant to Sec. 277c of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is authorized to carry forward for fiscal year 2007 expenditure, the unexpended amounts from general fund appropriations in Sec. 255(a)(7)(A) of  No. 71 of 2005.  In fiscal year 2007, the commission shall carry out activities including:

(1)  research support for state efforts in health care reform and Medicaid program review;

(2)  and activities in monitoring state health care information technology activities including: 

(A)  a review of state government health care information systems,

(B)  continued reviews of the status of Vermont health care system information systems including those used in physicians’ practices, hospitals and other health care entities,

(C)  continued support of activities of Vermont’s “blueprint” initiative for chronic care and  of Vermont information technology leaders (VITL).

(b) Notwithstanding subsection 2222(g) of Title 3 and the general requirements of the bulletin 3.5 (Contracting Procedures), contracts negotiated to carry out the responsibilities of subsection (a) may be sole source contracts to existing contractors and service providers.

Sec. 295a.  Sec. 277d of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 277d.  HEALTH CARE REFORM; ECONOMIC, FINANCING, AND

                   ADMINISTRATIVE STUDIES

(a)  In order to assess more fully the benefits and costs and to prepare and plan for the implementation of full and universal access to health care in Vermont, the commission on health care reform, in consultation with the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, shall direct that the following an economic impact, and financing and governance studies be undertaken during the interim of the 2005 study be completed before the 2007 legislative session.  The commission shall direct its staff or contract for one or more consultants to undertake the economic impact and financing studies authorized by this section.  The study shall:

(1)  Review alternative ways of financing universal health care coverage based on either private insurance or a single payer, including employer assessments, payroll taxes, income taxes, premiums (either employment-based or independent of employment), or other revenue options;

(2)  Identify macroeconomic consequences of choices in health care financing, such as changes in the number of employed individuals, the average wage, distribution of wages, rate of growth of gross state product, rate of growth of personal income, attractiveness of the state for relocating businesses, and the mix of employment types;

(3)  Identify relationships between financing mechanisms and the macroeconomic consequences if quantifiable;

(4)  Apply the policy analysis and indicators in this subsection above to the specific health reform proposals considered in the 2006 legislative session.

(1)  Economic impact study.  The economic impact study shall examine the impact of implementing a system of universal access to health care for Vermonters versus the effects of sustaining the current system impact on business and the labor force, the future growth of the economy and the economic competitiveness of Vermont, and the effects on residents and population groups and on current and potential insurers and providers of health care.

(2)  Financing options.  The financing study shall examine the financing options that most effectively achieve the goal of universal access to health care and maintaining its affordability.  The study shall include examination of all financing options and their implications, including the income tax, a payroll tax, premiums or cost-sharing measures, consumption taxes, specific more limited taxes to support parts of the health care system’s financial needs, and other revenue sources including insurance risk pools and insurance assistance and incentives.

(A)  The study shall reference the fact and supporting empirical evidence that many countries have achieved universal access and more affordable health care utilizing public financing as a tool to achieve this goal.  The study shall consider the strengths and weaknesses of such public financing systems with respect to fairness and adequacy of funding, access to and quality of services.

(B)  The study shall examine how implementation of any public financing options will be offset in corresponding reductions in premiums, other taxes, and individual cost-sharing contributions.

(C)  The study shall examine how any proposed changes in financing or delivery of health care could affect benefits Vermonters currently receive through Vermont employers.

(D)  The study shall address issues involved with federal law and taxation, including ERISA and other areas of preemption; technical proposals to exempt non-resident employees of Vermont businesses; a provision to ensure a soft landing for affected businesses and a recommendation as to the appropriate amount needed in a soft landing provision to mitigate negative effects on business; recommendations on the best method for unemployed individuals to contribute to the financing; a simplified structure based on employee numbers, employer payroll, or a combination for ease of administration and clarity; and the recommendations of the tax department.

(E)  The study shall analyze methods for recapturing insurance premiums as a result of any reductions in uncompensated care, such as the Dirigo model enacted in the state of Maine, any reductions in insurance premiums resulting from public financing, and for ensuring that all Vermonters contribute to the financing of health care’s fixed costs.

(3)  Governance and administrative study.  The secretary of administration, in consultation with the office of Vermont health access, the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, and the agency of human services, shall examine and develop a plan for reorganizing their respective offices and functions to further full and universal access to health care in Vermont and the integration of the health care system.  The recommendations shall include personnel, operations, and budgetary requirements and consider the most appropriate and efficient approach to integrating health care policy, planning, delivery, regulation, and defining clear lines of accountability within the health care system.  The study shall include also an examination of means to coordinate or integrate a universal health care system with the current workers’ compensation system and the feasibility and merits of authorizing the state to act as an insurer in pooling risk and providing benefits, including a common benefits plan, to participants of the health care purchasing pool.

(b)  Reports, including findings and recommendations, from each the study required by this section shall be submitted to the general assembly not later than January 15, 2006 2007.

Sec. 295b.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REORGANIZATION

(a)  No. 52 of the Acts of 2005 is amended as follows:

(1)  In Sec. 2, subsection (a), in the sentence that precedes subdivision (1), by striking the words “one year” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “two years”; and

(2)  In Sec. 2, subdivision (b)(3), by striking the year “2006” and by inserting in lieu thereof the year “2007.”

Sec. 296.  TANF; STATE RESPONSE TO FEDERAL CHANGES; WORK

                 GROUP

(a)  The temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) work group is created to review the changes in the federal law governing TANF, assess the impact on Vermont’s programs funded with TANF dollars, and to develop a recommendation for legislative action.  The work group’s recommendation shall be reported to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2007.

(b)  The work group shall be composed of:

(1)  one member from the house committee on human services and one member from the house committee on appropriations to be appointed by the speaker of the house;

(2)  one member from the senate committee on health and welfare and one member from the senate committee on appropriations to be appointed by the committee on committees;

(3)  the deputy commissioner of the department for children and families, economic services division or designee;

(4)  a representative from the Vermont low income advocacy council;

(5)  a representative from Vermont legal aid; and

(6)  other members as appointed by the chair of the work group. 

(c)  The work group shall elect a chair and vice chair and shall receive staff support from the legislative council’s office.  The work group is authorized to meet up to four times outside the legislative session to perform its functions under this section.  Members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement for expenses under section 406 of Title 2.

(d)  The agency of human services may form an advisory committee to gather input from a wide range of interested parties.  Input shall be provided to the work group to assist in the making of informed recommendations.

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

(f)  The committee shall cease to exist upon adjournment of the first year of the 2007 legislative session.

Sec. 296a.  FISH AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT; FUNDING; TASK

                   FORCE

(a)  The governor shall appoint a fish and wildlife funding task force of up to nine members to develop recommendations for comprehensive, sustainable funding mechanisms for the operations of the department of fish and wildlife which complement existing funding sources.  The task force shall, among other things, consider whether costs of work carried out by fish and wildlife department personnel in providing technical services to permitting bodies and in enforcing laws and regulations other than fish and wildlife laws and regulations, should be paid for from other agency and department funds, as appropriate.

(b)  The office of finance and management shall provide staff services to the committee.  Members may receive a per diem and expenses pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32.  On or before January 15, 2007, the committee shall report its recommendations to the governor and the following legislative committees:  the senate committees on finance, on appropriations, and on natural resources and energy; and the house committees on ways and means, on appropriations, and on fish, wildlife and water resources.

* * * Global Commitment Changes * * *

Sec. 297.  Sec. 15 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is amended to read:

Sec. 15.  Sec. 100a of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is added to read:

Sec. 100a.  Global commitment

               Grants                                   581,266,091               577,696,745

          Source of funds

               General fund                         107,472,271               107,493,758

               Special funds                         121,812,584               120,377,647

               Tobacco fund                        1,050,208                     1,050,208

               Federal funds                        350,931,028               348,775,132

                   Total                                581,266,091               577,696,745

* * *

(c)  In addition to the state funds appropriated in this section, the estimated sum of $16,254,932 is expected to be certified as state funds available from local education agencies.  This amount combined with $22,810,034 of federal funds appropriated in this section equal a total estimated expenditure of $39,064,966 for eligible special education school‑based Medicaid services under the Global Commitment.  An amount equal to the amount of federal matching funds for eligible special education school‑based Medicaid services under the global commitment shall be transferred from the Global Commitment fund to the Medicaid reimbursement special fund created in 16 V.S.A. § 2959a.

* * *

Sec. 298.  Sec. 16b of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is amended to read:

Sec. 16b.  HEALTH ACCESS TRUST FUND TRANSFER AND CLOSE

                 OUT

(a)  The sum of $15,000,000 $16,200,000 shall be reserved in the health access trust fund and transferred to the state health care resources fund established by section 1901d of Title 33 upon it its creation on July 1, 2006.

(b)  Any balance remaining at the close of fiscal year 2006 in the health access trust fund after the transfer in Sec. 16b(a) of this act shall be transferred to the state health care resources fund established by section 1901d of Title 33.  A detailed account of the health access trust for fiscal year 2006 shall be provided to the joint fiscal committee at the September 2006 meeting.

Sec. 299.  Sec. 104a of No. 71of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 18 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is further amended to read:

Sec. 104a.  Office of Vermont health access-Medicaid program/global commitment

               Grants                                        390,373,943    390,373,943

          Source of funds

               Special funds                                40,236,201      43,759,420

               Global Commitment fund            292,780,457    280,673,718

               Federal funds                               57,357,285      65,940,805

                   Total                                     390,373,943    390,373,943

* * *

Sec. 300.  Sec.  104f of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 21 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is further amended to read:

Sec. 104f.  Office of Vermont health access-programs-state-only funded

               Grants                                          15,784,183      14,523,206

          Source of funds

               Special funds                                13,696,013      12,435,036

               Global Commitment fund                2,088,170        2,088,170

                   Total                                       15,784,183      14,523,206

Sec. 301.  Sec. 110 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 26 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is    further amended to read:

Sec. 110.  Health –community public health

               Personal services                          11,726,467      11,726,467

               Operating expenses                        2,109,748        2,109,748

               Grants                                          11,782,520      11,782,520

                   Total                                       25,618,735      25,618,735

          Source of funds

               General fund                                  2,674,760        2,224,760

               Special funds                                     477,110           477,110

               Global Commitment fund                2,934,318        3,384,318

               Federal funds                               19,380,047      19,380,047

               Interdepartmental transfer                  152,500           152,500

                   Total                                       25,618,735      25,618,735

Sec. 302.  Sec. 112 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 28 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is    further amended to read:

Sec. 112.  Health –mental health

               Personal services                            3,815,099        3,815,099

               Operating expenses                           677,476           677,476

               Grants                                        102,978,459    102,978,459

                   Total                                     107,471,034    107,471,034

          Source of funds

               General fund                                  2,561,975        2,725,438

               Special funds                                  2,618,692        2,618,692

               Global Commitment fund              84,813,096      84,250,596

               Federal funds                               13,454,498      13,853,535

               Interdepartmental transfer               4,022,773        4,022,773

                   Total                                     107,471,034    107,471,034

* * *

Sec. 303.  Sec. 154 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 49 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is    further amended to read:

Sec. 154.  Education –finance and administration

               Personal services                            4,533,633        4,943,751

               Operating expenses                        1,377,940        1,511,607

               Grants                                          12,020,000      12,877,871

                   Total                                       17,931,573      19,333,229

          Source of funds

               General fund                                  3,126,523        3,126,523

               Special funds                                       63,697      13,798,473

               Global Commitment fund                                           555,676

               Federal funds                                 2,008,235        1,643,618

               Interdepartmental transfer             12,733,118           208,939

                   Total                                       17,931,573      19,333,229

* * *

Sec. 304.  Sec. 155 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 50 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006 is further amended to read:

Sec. 155.  Education –education programs

               Personal services                          12,107,019      12,091,444

               Operating expenses                        1,981,112        1,987,020

               Grants                                        108,322,608    108,322,608

                   Total                                     122,410,739    122,401,072

          Source of funds

               General fund                                  7,172,083        7,172,083

               Transportation fund                           524,846           524,846

               Special funds                                  1,139,188        1,998,658

               Federal funds                             112,421,978    112,421,978

               Interdepartmental transfer               1,152,644           283,507

                   Total                                     122,410,739    122,401,072

Sec. 305.  Sec. 157 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 157.  Education –special education: formula grants

               Grants                                        116,120,000    116,120,000

          Source of funds

               Education fund                           116,120,000    115,996,845

               Global Commitment fund                                           123,155

                   Total                                                             116,120,000

* * *

Sec. 306.  Sec. 168 of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 168.  Education -Act117 cost containment

               Personal services                               969,605           969,605

               Operating expenses                           104,571           104,571

               Grants                                                 65,000             65,000

                   Total                                         1,139,176        1,139,176

          Source of funds

               Interdepartmental transfer               1,139,176                      0

               Special funds                                                          1,139,176

* * *

Sec. 307.  33 V.S.A. § 1901e is amended to read: 

§ 1901e.  GLOBAL COMMITMENT FUND

(a)  The Global Commitment fund is created in the treasury as a special fund.  The fund shall consist of the revenues received by the treasurer as payment of the actuarially certified premium from the agency of human services to the managed care organization within the office of Vermont health access for the purpose of providing services under the global commitment to health care Global Commitment for Health waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.

(b)  The monies in the fund shall be disbursed as allowed by appropriation of the general assembly, and shall be disbursed by the treasurer on warrants issued by the commissioner of finance and management, when authorized by the director of the office of Vermont health access and approved by the commissioner consistent with the interdepartmental agreements between the managed care organization within the office of Vermont health access and departments delivering eligible services under the waiver.  The office of Vermont health access may not modify an appropriation through an interdepartmental agreement or any other mechanism.  A department or agency authorized to spend monies from this fund under an interdepartmental agreement may spend monies appropriated as a base Medicaid expense for an allowable managed care organization investment under Term and Condition 40 of the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 waiver only after receiving approval from the agency of human services.

(c)  At the close of the fiscal year, the agency shall provide a detailed report to the joint fiscal committee which describes the managed care organization’s investments under Term and Condition 40 of the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 waiver, including the amount of the investment and the agency, department, or office authorized to make the investment.

Sec. 308.  33 V.S.A. § 1901 is amended to read:

§ 1901.  ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM

(a)(1)  The commissioner secretary of human services or designee shall take appropriate action, including making of regulations rules, required to administer a medical assistance program under Title XIX (Medicaid) and Title XXI (SCHIP) of the Social Security Act.

(2)  The secretary or designee shall seek approval from the general assembly prior to applying for and implementing a waiver of Title XIX or Title XXI of the Social Security Act, an amendment to an existing waiver, or a new state option that would restrict eligibility or benefits pursuant to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.  Approval by the general assembly under this subdivision constitutes approval only for the changes which are scheduled for implementation.

(3)(A)  During the legislative session, the secretary or designee shall notify the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare when proposed rules are filed regarding changes to the medical assistance program under Title XIX or Title XXI of the Social Security Act or under an approved waiver.  Upon notification, the committees may request the secretary to seek recommendations from the committees prior to filing the final proposed rules with the joint legislative committee on administrative rules. 

(B)  Outside the legislative session, the secretary or designee shall notify the health access oversight committee when proposed rules are filed regarding changes to the medical assistance program under Title XIX or Title XXI of the Social Security Act or under an approved waiver.  Upon notification, the committee may request the secretary to seek recommendations from the committee prior to filing the final proposed rules with the joint legislative committee on administrative rules. 

(C)  Nothing in this subdivision (3) shall prohibit the agency from complying with the provisions of chapter 25 of Title 3.

(b)  The commissioner secretary may charge at the time of each enrollment, a monthly premium, not to exceed $20.00, in amounts set by the general assembly, to each individual 18 years or older who is eligible for enrollment in the health access program, as authorized by section 1972 1973 of this title, and as implemented by rules.  All premiums collected by the Vermont health access office agency of human services or designee for enrollment in the health access program shall be deposited in the Vermont health access trust fund, established by section 1972 of this title state health care resources fund established in section 1901d of this title.  Any co-payments, coinsurance, or other cost sharing to be charged shall also be authorized and set by the general assembly.

(c)  The commissioner secretary may charge a monthly premium of $10.00, in amounts set by the general assembly, per family for pregnant women and children eligible for medical assistance under sections 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(III), (IV), (VI), and (VII) of Title XIX of the Social Security Act, whose family income exceeds 185 percent of the federal poverty level, as permitted under section 1902(r)(2) of that act.  Fees collected under this subsection shall be credited to a special fund the state health care resources fund established in section 1901d of this title and shall be available to the department agency to offset the costs of providing Medicaid services.  Any co‑payments, coinsurance, or other cost sharing to be charged shall also be authorized and set by the general assembly.

(d)(1)  To enable the state to manage public resources effectively while preserving and enhancing access to health care services in the state, the office of Vermont health access is authorized to serve as a publicly operated managed care organization (MCO).

(2)  To the extent permitted under federal law, the office of Vermont health access shall be exempt from any health maintenance organization (HMO) or MCO statutes in Vermont law and shall not be considered to be an HMO or MCO for purposes of state regulatory and reporting requirements.  The MCO shall comply with the federal rules governing managed care organizations in Part 438 of Chapter IV of Title 42 of the United States Code.  The Vermont rules on the primary care case management in the Medicaid program shall be amended to apply to the MCO except to the extent that the rules conflict with the federal rules.

(3)  The agency of human services and office of Vermont health access shall report to the health access oversight committee about implementation of Global Commitment in a manner and at a frequency to be determined by the committee.  Reporting shall, at a minimum, enable the tracking of expenditures by eligibility category, the type of care received, and to the extent possible allow historical comparison with expenditures under the previous Medicaid appropriation model (by department and program) and, if appropriate, with the amounts transferred by the department to the office of Vermont health access. Reporting shall include spending in comparison to any applicable budget neutrality standards.

(e)(1)  The department for children and families and the office of Vermont health access shall monitor and evaluate and report quarterly beginning July 1, 2006 on the disenrollment in each of the Medicaid or Medicaid waiver programs subject to premiums, including:

(A)  The number of beneficiaries receiving termination notices for failure to pay premiums;

(B)  The number of beneficiaries terminated from coverage as a result of failure to pay premiums as of the second business day of the month following the termination notice.  The number of beneficiaries terminated from coverage for nonpayment of premiums shall be reported by program and income level within each program; and

(C)  The number of beneficiaries terminated from coverage as a result of failure to pay premiums whose coverage is not restored three months after the termination notice.

(2)  The department and the office shall submit reports at the end of each quarter required by subdivision (1) of this subsection to the house and senate committees on appropriations, the senate committee on health and welfare, the house committee on human services, the health access oversight committee, and the Medicaid advisory board.

Sec. 309.  33 V.S.A. § 1901a is amended to read:

§ 1901a.  MEDICAID BUDGET

(a)  The general assembly shall approve each year a Medicaid budget.  The annual Medicaid budget shall include an annual financial plan, and a five year financial plan accounting for expenditures and revenues relating to Medicaid and any other health care assistance program administered by the department of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access agency of human services.

(b)  The commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access secretary of human services or his or her designee and the commissioner of finance and management shall provide quarterly to the joint fiscal committee and the legislative council such information and analysis as the committee and the council reasonably determine is necessary to assist the general assembly in the preparation of the Medicaid budget.

Sec. 310.  33 V.S.A. § 1971(3) is amended to read:

(3)  “Office of Vermont health access” means the office of administering the Medicaid within program for the agency of human services and includes the managed care organization established in section 1901 of this title.

Sec. 311.  GLOBAL COMMITMENT APPROVAL

(a)  The Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 waiver approval constituted approval for the funding mechanism specified in the federal Terms and Conditions, the managed care organization structure, and the limitations on eligibility and benefits.  The general assembly did not grant approval for the implementation of any changes in the eligibility or benefits in this approval, including any waiver of amount, duration, and scope requirements or the provision of early periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment services for children.

Sec. 312.  SUNSET

(a)  Upon the expiration of the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid waiver approved under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act or any extensions of this waiver, subsection 1901(d) of Title 33 shall be repealed.

* * * State Health Care Resources and Global Commitment Funds * * *

Sec. 313.  33 V.S.A. § 1956 is amended to read:

§ 1956.  PROCEEDS FROM ASSESSMENTS

The health care trust fund established in the state treasury is abolished.  All remaining assets in the health care trust fund shall be deposited in the Vermont health access trust fund established by section 1972 of this title.  All assessments, including late-payment assessments, from health care providers under this subchapter shall be deposited in the Vermont health access trust state health care resources fund established in section 1972 1901d of this title. o provision of this subchapter shall permit the state to reduce the level of state funds expended on the nursing home Medicaid program in any fiscal year below the level expended in fiscal year 1991 from the general fund for the nursing home Medicaid program.

Sec. 314.  32 V.S.A. § 7823 is amended to read:

§ 7823.  DEPOSIT OF REVENUE

The revenue generated by the taxes imposed under this chapter shall be credited to the Vermont health access trust state health care resources fund established by subchapter 3 of chapter 19 section 1901d of Title 33.

Sec. 315.  32 V.S.A. § 305a is amended to read:

§ 305a.  OFFICIAL STATE REVENUE ESTIMATE

(a)  On or about January 15 and on or about July 15 of each year, and at such other times as the emergency board or the governor deems proper, the joint fiscal office and the secretary of administration shall provide to the emergency board their respective estimates of state revenues in the general, transportation, education, and health access trust state health care resources, and Global Commitment funds.  The January revenue estimate shall be for the current and next two succeeding fiscal years, and the July revenue estimate shall be for the current and immediately succeeding fiscal years.  Federal fund estimates shall be provided at the same times for the current fiscal year. 

(b)  Within 10 days of receipt of such estimates, the board shall determine an official state revenue estimate for deposit in the respective funds for the years covered by the estimates.  For the purpose of revising an official revenue estimate only, a majority of the legislative members of the emergency board may convene a meeting of the board. 

(c)  The health access trust fund estimate estimates shall include estimated caseloads and estimated per member per month expenditures for the current and next succeeding fiscal years for each population category eligible Medicaid enrollment group as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for state health care assistance programs supported by the fund state health care resources and Global Commitment funds, for Vermont Rx, and for the programs under the Choices for Care Medicaid Section 1115 waiver.  For VPharm, the estimates shall include estimated caseloads and estimated per member per month expenditures for the current and next succeeding fiscal years by income category.  The estimates shall include the expenditures for the current and next succeeding fiscal years for the Medicare Part D phased-down state contribution payment and for the disproportionate share hospital payments.

Sec. 316.  33 V.S.A. § 1901b(b)(3) is amended to read:

(3)  The department’s determinations under subdivisions (1) and (2) shall be based on the information and projections reported monthly under subsection (a) of this section, and on the official revenue estimates for the Vermont health access trust fund under section 305a of Title 32.  An enrollment cessation plan shall be deemed approved unless the joint fiscal committee disapproves the plan after 21 days notice of the department’s recommendation and financial analysis.

Sec. 317.  33 V.S.A. § 1901b(c)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  The department’s determination under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be based on the information and projections reported monthly under subsection (a) of this section, and on the official revenue estimates for the Vermont health access trust fund under section 305a of Title 32.  An enrollment renewal plan shall be deemed approved unless the joint fiscal committee disapproves the plan after 21 days notice of the department’s recommendation and financial analysis.

Sec. 318.  33 V.S.A. § 1951(4) is amended to read:

(4)  “Fund” means the Vermont health access trust state health care resources fund consisting in part of assessments from health care providers under this subchapter.

Sec. 319.  Subchapter 3 of chapter 19 of Title 33 is amended to read:

Subchapter 3.  Vermont Health Access Trust Fund Plan

* * *

Sec. 320.  INTENT; APPLICATION

(a)  The purpose of Secs. 308-319 of this act is to make amendments to conform the Vermont Statutes Annotated with the changes to the Medicaid program pursuant to No. 93 of the Acts 2006.  Nothing in these sections of this act is intended to undo or supersede any other act of the 2006 general assembly.  Likewise, any act of the general assembly which fails to amend a section of the Vermont Statutes Annotated which is amended by these sections of this act shall not be intended to supersede this act.

* * * Community Grants * * *

Sec. 321.  CoORDINATED Healthy Activity, Motivation,

                 and Prevention Programs

(a)  The department of health initiative known as “champps,” coalition for healthy activity, motivation, and prevention programs, shall serve as the foundation for the community wellness initiatives within the department.

(b)  The secretary of human services shall compile an inventory of existing state programs or initiatives, including those administered by other agencies, that fund or promote health, recreation, wellness, or like efforts, along with the amount of funds allotted to the program or initiative, the source of the funds, and the period for which the funds will be available.  The secretary shall file the inventory with the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committees on human services and on health care no later than December 15, 2006. 

Sec. 322.  18 V.S.A. § 104b is added to read:

§ 104b.  COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS GRANTS

(a)  The commissioner shall establish a program for awarding competitive, substantial, multi-year grants to comprehensive community health and wellness projects.  Successful projects must:

(1)  use comprehensive approaches designed to promote healthy behavior and disease prevention across the community and across the lifespan of individual Vermonters and address issues which may include promoting nutrition and exercise for children, community recreation programs, elderly wellness, lead poisoning abatement, obesity prevention, maternal and child health and immunization, mental health and substance abuse, and tobacco prevention and cessation;

(2)  be consistent with the blueprint for health and other state health initiatives as well as the overall goals of the applicant community;

(3)  be goal and outcome driven;

(4)  use strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective in reaching the desired outcome; and

(5)  provide data for evaluating and monitoring progress.

(b)  The commissioner shall assist community projects by:

(1)  providing technical assistance;

(2)  providing access to best and promising practices and approved public policies;

(3)  helping projects obtain and maximize funding from all applicable sources;

(4)  providing other assistance as appropriate. 

(c)  No later than September 1, 2006, the commissioner shall establish a grant committee, which the commissioner or deputy commissioner shall chair, that shall consist of:

(1)  the commissioner of education or designee; the commissioner for children and families or designee; the secretary of agriculture, food and markets or designee; the commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living or designee; and the director of health access or designee;

(2)  a representative from the Vermont school boards association;

(3)  a representative from the Vermont league of cities and towns;

(4)  the administrator of the Vermont tobacco evaluation and review board or designee;

(5)  a member of the governor’s commission on healthy aging; and

(6)  six individuals appointed by the governor representing local communities, collaboratives, or coalitions.

(d)  The grant committee shall, consistent with this section:

(1)  design comprehensive project parameters, including criteria for evaluating the success of community projects;

(2)  create an integrated funding framework;

(3)  determine grant application criteria and procedures that are community-friendly, including use of a single, simple grant application and simple reporting requirements;

(4)  develop criteria for preparation of grants designed to enable a community to obtain initial funds for the purpose of preparing the community for application for a full grant;

(5)  encourage and facilitate private participation in community projects;

(6)  write requests for proposals to request grant applications; and

(7)  review and score grant applications and recommend to the commissioner which grants to fund and in what amount for grant funding to begin no later than July 1, 2007.

(e)  By January 15 of each year, the commissioner shall report on the status of the program to the general assembly, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committees on human services and on health care.

(f)  The commissioner may adopt regulations pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, the administrative procedure act, necessary for the implementation of this program.   

(g)  The commissioner is authorized to accept donations or contributions from private sources for community wellness grants. 

* * * Medical Event Reporting * * *

Sec. 323.  18 V.S.A. § 1905(19) is added to read:

(19)  All hospitals shall comply with the regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 1912 of this title.  License applications shall certify compliance with the regulations.

Sec. 324.  18 V.S.A. chapter 43A is added to read:

CHAPTER 43A.  PATIENT SAFETY SURVEILLANCE

AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM

§ 1912.  DEFINITIONS 

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Adverse event” is any untoward incident, therapeutic misadventure, iatrogenic injury, or other undesirable occurrence directly associated with care or services provided by a health care provider or health care facility.

(2)  “Causal analysis” means a formal root cause analysis, similar analytic methodologies or any similarly effective but simplified processes that use a systematic approach to identify the basic or causal factors that underlie the occurrence or possible occurrence of a reportable adverse event, adverse event, or near miss. 

(3)  “Corrective action plan” means a plan to implement strategies intended to eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of a recurrence of an adverse event and to measure the effectiveness of such strategies.

(4)  “Hospital” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 1902(1) of this title.

(5)  “Health care provider” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 9402(8) of this title.

(6)  ”Intentional unsafe act” shall mean an adverse event or near miss that results from:

(A)  a criminal act;

(B)  a purposefully unsafe act;

(C)  alcohol or substance abuse; or

(D)  patient abuse. 

(7)  “Near miss” means any process variation that did not affect the outcome, but for which a recurrence carries a significant chance of a serious adverse outcome.

(8)  “Reportable adverse event” means those adverse events a hospital is required to report to the department pursuant to regulations adopted under this chapter.

(9)  “Safety system” means the comprehensive patient safety surveillance and improvement system established pursuant to this chapter and the regulations adopted hereunder.

(10)  “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or substantial impairment of health or substantial disfigurement.

§ 1913.  CREATION; IMPLEMENTATION

(a)  The commissioner shall establish a comprehensive patient safety surveillance and improvement system for the purpose of improving patient safety, eliminating adverse events in Vermont hospitals, and supporting and facilitating quality improvement efforts by hospitals.  The department may contract with a qualified organization having expertise in patient safety to develop and implement all or part of the safety system.

(b)  The department shall:

(1)  collect data concerning the occurrence of reportable adverse events; 

(2)  aggregate and analyze data for the purpose of developing and implementing strategies to target and eliminate specific adverse events;

(3)  verify that hospitals are in compliance with all the requirements of this chapter and regulations adopted hereunder;

(4)  for reportable adverse events, verify that hospitals are conducting causal analyses and developing corrective action plans consistent with standards set by the department, current patient safety science, and relevant clinical standards;

(5)  provide technical assistance or assist hospitals in locating technical assistance resources for analyzing adverse events and near misses and developing and implementing corrective action plans; and

(6)  encourage hospitals to utilize anonymous in-hospital reporting when possible.

(c)  The commissioner may retain or contract with such additional professional or other staff as needed to carry out responsibilities under this chapter.

(d)  Beginning July 1, 2007, expenses incurred for development and implementation of the safety system shall be borne as follows:  50 percent from general fund monies and 50 percent by the hospitals.

(e)  No later than January 15, 2008, the commissioner of health shall provide an interim report to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committees on human services and on health care on the status of the safety system, its effectiveness in improving patient safety and health care quality in the state, and cost savings.  No later than January 15, 2009, the commissioner shall make a final report to those committees on those subjects and shall make recommendations regarding expansion of the system to include health care facilities other than hospitals.

(f)  The authority granted to the commissioner under this chapter is in addition to any other authority granted to the commissioner under law.

§ 1914.  RULEMAKING

(a)  The commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 establishing the hospital obligations listed in section 1915 of this title and otherwise necessary for the implementation of the safety system. 

(b)  The rules shall list reportable adverse events, which shall include the “serious reportable events” published by the National Quality Forum.  The commissioner shall consult with experts and hospitals when making changes to the list of reportable adverse events and shall consider the implications of reporting requirements that may be established as a result of the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005.  The department shall consult with other regulatory agencies and departments and, to the extent possible, avoid imposing duplicative reporting requirements.

§ 1915.  HOSPITAL OBLIGATIONS

The rules adopted pursuant to this chapter shall require hospitals to:

(1)  develop, maintain, and implement internal policies and procedures that meet the standards of the department to:

(A)  identify, track, and analyze reportable adverse events, adverse events, and near misses;

(B)  determine what type of causal analysis, if any, is appropriate;

(C)  conduct causal analyses and develop corrective action plans; and

(D)  disclose to patients, or, in the case of a patient death, an adult member of the immediate family, at a minimum, adverse events that cause death or serious bodily injury.

(2)  report reportable adverse events to the department.

(3)  provide the department with copies of its causal analysis and corrective action plan in connection with each reportable adverse event.

(4)  for reportable adverse events that must also by law be reported to other departments or agencies, notify the department of health or provide a copy of any written report and provide any causal analysis information required by the department. 

(5)  for the purpose of evaluating a hospital’s compliance with the provisions of this chapter, provide the commissioner and designees reasonable access to:

(A)  information protected by the provisions of the patient’s privilege under subsection 1612(a) of Title 12 or otherwise required by law to be held confidential; and

(B)  the minutes and records of a peer review committee and any other information subject to peer review protection under section 1443 of Title 26. 

§ 1916.  INTENTIONAL UNSAFE ACTS

(a)  A hospital shall notify the department, within the time frames established by regulation, if the information available supports a reasonable, good faith belief that an intentional unsafe act as it pertains to patients has occurred.

(b)  For intentional unsafe acts reportable to other departments or agencies, notify the department of health or provide a copy of any written report.  Such reports shall not constitute a waiver of peer review or any other privilege.

(c)  If the department confirms or independently concludes, based on a reasonable, good faith belief, that an intentional unsafe act occurred, it shall notify relevant state and federal licensing and other regulatory entities and, in the case of possible criminal activity, relevant state and federal law enforcement authorities.

(d)  There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action for damages shall arise against any individual or hospital for any act or proceeding related to activities undertaken or performed within the scope of the obligations imposed by this section, provided that the individual or hospital acts without malice and with the reasonable belief that the action is warranted by the facts known after making reasonable efforts to obtain all the facts.

(e)  Nothing in this section shall prevent a hospital from conducting its own investigation or peer review.

§ 1917.  PROTECTION AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION

(a)  All information made available to the department and its designees under this chapter shall be confidential and privileged, exempt from the public access to records law, and, in any civil or administrative action against a provider of professional health services arising out of the matters which are subject to evaluation and review by the department, immune from subpoena or other disclosure and not subject to discovery or introduction into evidence.

(b)  No person with access to information made available to the commissioner or his or her designees under this chapter shall be permitted or required to testify as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of the department in any civil or administrative action against a provider of professional health services arising out of the matters which are subject to evaluation and review by the department.

(c)  Within the department, access to peer review protected information shall be limited to individuals responsible for verifying compliance with the safety system and for providing necessary consultation and supervision to that program.

(d)  Reports made to the department pursuant to subdivision 1915(4) of this chapter shall not constitute a waiver of peer review or any other privilege.

(e)  Hospitals may replace health care provider identifying information in peer review materials with a surrogate identifier that allows for tracking of adverse events involving the same provider without disclosing the provider’s identity. 

(f)  Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section:

(1)  hospitals and the department staff responsible for verifying compliance with the safety system are authorized to disclose information necessary to comply with their reporting obligations in section 1916 of this chapter;

(2)  the department staff responsible for verifying compliance with the patient safety surveillance and improvement system may disclose information to others in the department, and the department may disclose information to the board of health and others responsible for carrying out the department’s enforcement responsibilities with respect to this chapter if the department reasonably believes that a hospital deliberately or repeatedly has not complied with the requirements of this chapter and any regulations adopted hereunder.  The commissioner, the board of health, and others responsible for carrying out the department’s enforcement responsibilities with respect to this chapter are authorized to disclose such information during the course of any legal or regulatory action taken against a hospital for deliberate or repeated noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter and any rules adopted hereunder.  Information disclosed under this subdivision shall otherwise maintain all applicable protections under this section and otherwise provided by law.

(g)  Nothing in this section shall prohibit a hospital from making a good faith report to regulatory or law enforcement authorities based on information, documents, or records known or available to it from original sources.  Information, documents, or records otherwise available from original sources are not to be construed as immune from discovery or use in any other action merely because they were made available to the department’s patient safety surveillance and improvement system.

§ 1918.  ENFORCEMENT

(a)  If the commissioner determines that a hospital has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner may sanction the hospital as provided in this title.  In evaluating compliance, the commissioner shall place primary emphasis on assuring good faith compliance and effective corrective action by the facility, reserving punitive enforcement or disciplinary action for those cases in which the facility has displayed recklessness, gross negligence, or willful misconduct or in which there is evidence, based on other similar cases known to the department, the agency of human services, or the office of the attorney general, of a pattern of significant substandard performance that has the potential for or has actually resulted in harm to patients.

(b)  After notice and an opportunity for hearing, the commissioner may impose on a hospital that knowingly violates a provision of this chapter or a rule or order adopted pursuant to this chapter a civil administrative penalty of no more than $10,000.00 or, in the case of a continuing violation, a civil administrative penalty of no more than $100,000.00 or one-tenth of one percent of the gross annual revenues of the health care facility, whichever is greater.  A hospital aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner under this section may appeal the commissioner’s decision pursuant to section 128 of this title.

§ 1919.  INCLUSION OF DATA IN HOSPITAL COMMUNITY

              REPORTS

(a)  The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, and with patient safety experts, hospitals, health care professionals, and members of the public and shall make recommendations to the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration concerning which data should be included in the hospital community reports required by section 9405b of this title.  The commissioner shall make such recommendations no more than 18 months after data collection is initiated.

Sec. 325.  26 V.S.A. § 1443(b) and (c) are amended to read: 

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a peer review committee shall provide a board with all supporting information and evidence pertaining to information required to be reported under section 1317 of this title and shall provide access to such information and evidence to the department of health as provided in and for the purpose of determining a hospital’s compliance with chapter 43a of Title 18.

(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1318 of this title, relating to accessibility and confidentiality of disciplinary matters, the proceedings, reports, records, reporting information, and evidence of a peer review committee provided by the committee to a board in accordance with the provisions of section 1317 of this title or to the department of health in accordance with chapter 43a of Title 18 and subsection (b) of this section may be used by the board or by the commissioner of health or board of health for disciplinary and enforcement purposes but shall not be subject to public disclosure.

Sec. 326.  1 V.S.A. § 317(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The following public records are exempt from public inspection and copying:

* * *

(34)  affidavits of income and assets as provided in section 662 of Title 15 and Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings;

* * *

(36)  records provided to the department of health pursuant to the patient safety surveillance and improvement system established by chapter 43a of Title 18

* * * Hospital Infection Rate Reporting * * *

Sec. 327.  18 V.S.A. § 9405b(a) is amended to read: 

(a)  The commissioner, in consultation with representatives from the public oversight commission, hospitals, and other groups of health care professionals, and members of the public representing patient interests, shall adopt rules establishing a standard format for community reports, as well as the contents, which shall include:

(1)  measures of quality, including process and outcome measures, that are valid, reliable, and useful, including comparisons to appropriate national benchmarks for high quality and successful outcomes;

(2)  measures of patient safety that are valid, reliable, and useful, including comparisons to appropriate industry benchmarks for safety;

(3)  measures of hospital-acquired infections that are valid, reliable, and useful, including comparisons to appropriate industry benchmarks;

(3)(4)  measures of the hospital’s financial health, including comparisons to appropriate national benchmarks for efficient operation and fiscal health;

(4)(5)  a summary of the hospital’s budget, including revenue by source and quantification of cost shifting to private payers;

(5)(6)  measures that provide valid, reliable, useful, and efficient information for payers and the public for the comparison of charges for higher volume health care services;

(6)(7)  the hospital’s process for achieving openness, inclusiveness, and meaningful public participation in its strategic planning and decision-making;

(7)(8)  the hospital’s consumer complaint resolution process, including identification of the hospital officer or employee responsible for its implementation;

(8)(9)  information concerning recently completed or ongoing quality improvement and patient safety projects;

(9)(10)  a summary of the community needs assessment, including a description of strategic initiatives discussed with or derived from the assessment; the one-year and four-year capital expenditure plans; and the depreciation schedule for existing facilities; and

(10)(11)  information on membership and governing body qualifications, a listing of the current governing body members, and means of obtaining a schedule of meetings of the hospital’s governing body, including times scheduled for public participation.

* * * INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY * * *

* * * Coordination of IT Efforts * * *

Sec. 328.  AGENCY OF HUMAN SERVICES INFORMATION

                TECHNOLOGY

(a)  The secretary of the agency of human services shall ensure that the blueprint for health project in the department of health, the global clinical record being developed by the office of Vermont health access, and any other health care‑related information technology initiatives are incorporated into and comply with the statewide health information technology plan developed under 18 V.S.A. § 9417 and any other information technology initiatives coordinated by the secretary of administration pursuant to section 2222a of Title 3. 

Sec. 329.  18 V.S.A. § 9416(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall contract with the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, Inc. to implement and maintain a statewide quality assurance system to evaluate and improve the quality of health care services rendered by health care providers of health care facilities, including managed care organizations, to determine that health care services rendered were professionally indicated or were performed in compliance with the applicable standard of care, and that the cost of health care rendered was considered reasonable by the providers of professional health services in that area.  The commissioner shall ensure that the information technology components of the quality assurance system are incorporated into and comply with the statewide health information technology plan developed under section 9417 of this title and any other information technology initiatives coordinated by the secretary of administration pursuant to section 2222a of Title 3. 

Sec. 330.  18 V.S.A. § 9417 is amended to read:

* * *

(b)  The health information technology plan shall:

* * *

(4)  propose strategic investments in equipment and other infrastructure elements that will facilitate the ongoing development of a statewide infrastructure; and

(5)  recommend funding mechanisms for the ongoing development and maintenance costs of a statewide health information system;

(6)  incorporate the existing health care information technology initiatives in order to avoid incompatible systems and duplicative efforts;

(7)  integrate the information technology components of the blueprint for health project in the department of health, the global clinical record and all other Medicaid management information systems being developed by the office of Vermont health access, information technology components of the quality assurance system, the program to capitalize electronic medical record systems in primary care practices with loans and grants, and any other information technology initiatives coordinated by the secretary of administration pursuant to section 2222a of Title 3; and

(8)  address issues related to data ownership, governance, and confidentiality and security of patient information.

* * *

(d)  The following persons shall be members of VITL:

* * *

(2)  the director of the office of Vermont health access or his or her designee; and

(3)  the commissioner of health or his or her designee; and

(3)(4)  the commissioner or his or her designee.

(e)  On or before July 1, 2006, VITL shall initiate a pilot program involving at least two hospitals using existing sources of electronic health information to establish electronic data sharing for clinical decision support, pursuant to priorities and criteria established in conjunction with the health information technology advisory group.  Objectives of the pilot program may include:

(1)  Objectives of the pilot program shall include:

(A)  supporting patient care and improving quality of care;

(2)(B)  enhancing productivity of health care professionals and reducing administrative costs of health care delivery and financing;

(2)  Objectives of the pilot program may include:

(3)(A)  determining whether and how best to expand the pilot program on a statewide basis;

(4)(B)  implementing strategies for future developments in health care technology, policy, management, governance, and finance; and

(5)(C)  ensuring patient data confidentiality at all times.

* * *

(g)  On or before January 1, 2007, VITL shall submit to the secretary of administration, the commissioner, the commissioner of information and innovation, the director of the office of Vermont health access, and the general assembly a preliminary health information technology plan for establishing a statewide, integrated electronic health information infrastructure in Vermont, including specific steps for achieving the goals and objectives of this section.  A final plan shall be submitted July 1, 2007.   The plan shall include also recommendations for self-sustainable funding for the ongoing development, maintenance, and replacement of the health information technology system.  Upon recommendation by the commissioner and approval by the general assembly, the plan shall serve as the framework within which certificate of need applications for information technology are reviewed under section 9440b of this title by the commissioner.

(h)  Beginning January 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, VITL shall file a report with the secretary of administration, the commissioner, the commissioner of information and innovation, the director of the office of Vermont health access, and the general assembly.  The report shall include an assessment of progress in implementing the provisions of this section, recommendations for additional funding and legislation required, and an analysis of the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of the pilot program authorized under subsection (e) of this section, including, to the extent these can be measured, reductions in tests needed to determine patient medications, improved patient outcomes, or reductions in administrative or other costs achieved as a result of the pilot.  In addition, VITL shall file quarterly progress reports with the secretary of administration and the health access oversight committee and shall publish minutes of VITL meetings and any other relevant information on a public website.

* * *

(k)  The commissioner, in collaboration with VITL and other departments and agencies of state government, shall establish a loan and grant program to provide for the capitalization of electronic medical records systems at primary care practices.  Health information technology acquired under a grant or loan authorized by this section shall comply with data standards for interoperability adopted by VITL and the state health information technology plan.  An implementation plan for this loan and grant program shall be incorporated into the state health information technology plan. 

* * * PROVIDER INITIATIVE * * *

* * * Loan Repayment for Health Care Providers

in Underserved Areas and for Health Care Educators * * *

Sec. 331.  18 V.S.A. § 10a is added to read:

§ 10a.  LOAN REPAYMENT FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND

            HEALTH CARE EDUCATOR FUND

(a)  There is hereby established a special fund to be known as the Vermont health care educational loan repayment fund which shall be used for the purpose of ensuring a stable and adequate supply of health care providers and health care educators to meet the health care needs of Vermonters, with a focus on recruiting and retaining providers and health care educators in underserved geographic and specialty areas. 

(b)  The fund shall be established and held separate and apart from any other funds or moneys of the state and shall be used and administered exclusively for the purpose of this section.  The money in the fund shall be invested in the same manner as permitted for investment of funds belonging to the state or held in the treasury.  The fund shall consist of the following:

(1)  Such sums as may be appropriated or transferred thereto from time to time by the general assembly, the state emergency board, or the joint fiscal committee during such times as the general assembly is not in session.

(2)  Interest earned from the investment of fund balances.

(3)  Any other money from any other source accepted for the benefit of the fund.

(c)  The fund shall be administered by the department of health, which shall make funds available to the University of Vermont College of Medicine area health education centers (AHEC) program for loan repayment awards.  The commissioner may require certification of compliance with this section prior to the making of an award.

(d)  AHEC shall administer awards in such a way as to comply with the requirements of Section 108(f) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(e)  AHEC shall make loan repayment awards in exchange for service commitment by health care providers and health care educators and shall define the service obligation in a contract with the health care provider or health care educator.  Payment awards shall be made directly to the educational loan creditor of the health care provider or health care educator.

(f)  Loan repayment awards shall only be available for a health care provider or health care educator who:

(1)  is a Vermont resident;

(2)  serves Vermont;

(3)  accepts patients with coverage under Medicaid, Medicare, or other state-funded health care benefit programs, if applicable; and

(4)  has outstanding educational debt acquired in the pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited college or university that exceeds the amount of the loan repayment award.

(g)  Additional eligibility and selection criteria will be developed annually by the commissioner in consultation with AHEC and may include local goals for improved service, community needs, or other awarding parameters.

(h)  The commissioner may adopt regulations in order to implement the program established in this section.

(i)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Health care educator” shall mean an individual employed by or contracted by an accredited postsecondary institution in Vermont to teach in a health care profession educational program.

(2)  “Health care provider” shall mean an individual licensed, certified, or authorized by law to provide professional health care service in this state to an individual during that individual’s medical or dental care, treatment, or confinement.   

* * * Advance Directives * * *

Sec. 332.  18 V.S.A. § 9701 is amended as follows:

§ 9701.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(3)  “Anatomical gift” shall have the same meaning as provided in subdivision 5238(1) of this title.  

(3)(4)  “Capacity” means an individual’s ability to make and communicate a decision regarding the issue that needs to be decided.

(A)  An individual shall be deemed to have capacity to appoint an agent if the individual has a basic understanding of what it means to have another individual make health care decisions for oneself and of who would be an appropriate individual to make those decisions, and can identify whom the individual wants to make health care decisions for the individual.

(B)  An individual shall be deemed to have capacity to make a health care decision if the individual has a basic understanding of the diagnosed condition and the benefits, risks, and alternatives to the proposed health care.

(4)(5)  “Clinician” means a medical doctor licensed to practice under chapter 23 of Title 26, an osteopathic physician licensed pursuant to subdivision 1750(9) of Title 26, an advance practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to subdivision 1572(4) of Title 26, and a physician’s assistant certified pursuant to section 1733 of Title 26 acting within the scope of the license under which the clinician is practicing.

(5)(6)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of health.

(6)(7)  “Do-not-resuscitate order” or “DNR order” means a written order of the principal’s clinician directing health care providers not to attempt resuscitation.

(7)(8)  “DNR identification” means a document, bracelet, other jewelry, wallet card, or other means of identifying the principal as an individual who has a DNR order.

(8)(9)  “Emergency medical personnel” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 2651 of Title 24.

(9)(10)  “Guardian” means a person appointed by the probate court who has the authority to make medical decisions pursuant to subdivision 3069(b)(5) of Title 14.

(10)(11)  “Health care” means any treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual’s physical or mental condition, including services provided pursuant to a clinician’s order, and services to assist in activities of daily living provided by a health care provider or in a health care facility or residential care facility.

(11)(12)  “Health care decision” means consent, refusal to consent, or withdrawal of consent to any health care.

(12)(13)  “Health care facility” shall have the same meaning as provided in subdivision 9432(7) of this title.

(13)(14)  “Health care provider” shall have the same meaning as provided in subdivision 9432(8) of this title and shall include emergency medical personnel.

(14)(15)  “HIPAA” means the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1320d and 45 C.F.R. §§ 160-164.

(15)(16)  “Informed consent” means the consent given voluntarily by an individual with capacity after being fully informed of the nature, benefits, risks, and consequences of the proposed health care, alternative health care, and no health care.

(16)(17)  “Interested individual” means:

(A)  the principal’s spouse, adult child, parent, adult sibling, adult grandchild, reciprocal beneficiary, or clergy person; or

(B)  any adult who has exhibited special care and concern for the principal and who is personally familiar with the principal’s values.

(17)(18)  “Life sustaining treatment” means any medical intervention, including nutrition and hydration administered by medical means and antibiotics, which is intended to extend life and without which the principal is likely to die.

(18)(19)  “Nutrition and hydration administered by medical means” means the provision of food and water by means other than the natural ingestion of food or fluids by eating or drinking.  Natural ingestion includes spoon feeding or similar means of assistance.

(19)(20)  “Ombudsman” means an individual appointed as a long-term care ombudsman under the program contracted through the department of aging and independent living pursuant to the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended.

(20)(21)  “Patient’s clinician” means the clinician who currently has responsibility for providing health care to the patient.

(21)(22)  “Principal” means an adult who has executed an advance directive.

(22)(23)  “Principal’s clinician” means a clinician who currently has responsibility for providing health care to the principal.

(23)(24)  “Probate court designee” means a responsible, knowledgeable individual independent of a health care facility designated by the probate court in the district where the principal resides or the county where the facility is located.

(25)  “Procurement organization” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 5238(10) of this title.

(24)(26)  “Reasonably available” means able to be contacted with a level of diligence appropriate to the seriousness and urgency of a principal’s health care needs, and willing and able to act in a timely manner considering the urgency of the principal’s health care needs.

(25)(27)  “Registry” means a secure, web-based database created by the commissioner to which individuals may submit an advance directive or information regarding the location of an advance directive that is accessible to principals and agents and, as needed, to individuals appointed to arrange for the disposition of remains, organ procurement organizations, tissue and eye banks, health care providers, health care facilities, residential care facilities, funeral directors, crematory operators, cemetery officials, probate court officials, and the employees thereof.

(26)(28)  “Residential care facility” means a residential care home or an assisted living residence as those terms are defined in section 7102 of Title 33.

(27)(29)  “Resuscitate” or “resuscitation” includes chest compressions and mask ventilation; intubation and ventilation; defibrillation or cardioversion; and emergency cardiac medications provided according to the guidelines of the American Heart Association’s Cardiac Life Support program.

(28)(30)  “Suspend” means to terminate the applicability of all or part of an advance directive for a specific period of time or while a specific condition exists.

Sec. 333.  18 V.S.A. § 9702 is amended to read:

§ 9702.  ADVANCE DIRECTIVE

(a)  An adult may do any or all of the following in an advance directive:

* * *

(10)  identify those interested individuals, or entities, whether or not otherwise qualified to bring an action under section 9718 of this title, who shall or shall not have authority to bring an action under that section;

* * *

(13)  identify a preferred primary care clinician and affirm that the clinician has been notified;

* * *

(c)  The principal’s health care provider may not be the principal’s agent. Unless related to the principal by blood, marriage, civil union, or adoption, an agent may not be an owner, operator, employee, agent, or contractor of a residential care facility, a health care facility, or a correctional facility in which the principal resides at the time of execution of an advance directive.

(d)  Unless related to the principal by blood, marriage, civil union, or adoption, an individual may not exercise the authority pursuant to an advance directive for disposition of remains, anatomical gifts, or funeral goods and services while serving the interests of the principal in one of the following capacities:

(1)  a funeral director or employee of the funeral director;

(2)  a crematory operator or employee of the crematory operator; or

(3)  a cemetery official or employee of the cemetery; or

(4)  an employee or representative of a procurement organization.

Sec. 334.  18 V.S.A. § 9704 is amended to read:

§ 9704.  AMENDMENT, SUSPENSION, AND REVOCATION

* * *

(b)(1)  Except as provided in subdivision (2)(3) of this subsection, a principal with or without capacity may suspend or revoke all or part of an advance directive, including the designation of an agent:

(A)  by signing a statement suspending or revoking the designation of an agent all or part of an advance directive;

(B)  by personally informing the principal’s clinician, who shall make a written record of the suspension or revocation in the principal’s medical record; or

(C)  by burning, tearing, or obliterating the advance directive, either by the principal personally or by another person at the principal’s express direction and in the presence of the principal; or

(D)  For any provision other than the designation of an agent, orally, in writing, or by any other act evidencing a specific intent to suspend or revoke.

(2)  Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, a principal with or without capacity may suspend or revoke any provision other than the designation of an agent, orally, in writing, or by any other act evidencing a specific intent to suspend or revoke.

(2)(3)  A provision in an advance directive executed pursuant to subsection 9707(h) of this title may be suspended or revoked only if the principal has capacity.

(3)(4)  To the extent possible, the principal shall communicate any suspension or revocation to the agent or other interested individual.

(c)(1)  A clinician, health care provider, health care facility, or residential care facility who becomes aware of an amendment, suspension, or revocation while treating an incapacitated principal shall make reasonable efforts to:

* * *

(C)  flag the amendment, suspension, or revocation in the principal’s medical record on the front of the medical folder or on the front of any advance directive filed in the medical record; and

(D)  notify the principal, agent, and guardian of the amendment, suspension, or revocation; and

(E)  inform the registry of the amendment, suspension, or revocation.

* * *

(3)  A health care provider, health care facility, or residential care facility not currently providing health or residential care to a principal who becomes aware of an amendment, suspension, or revocation shall ensure that the amendment, suspension, or revocation is recorded and flagged in the principal’s medical record and is submitted to the registry.

* * *

Sec. 335.  18 V.S.A. § 9712 is amended to read:

§ 9712.  OBLIGATIONS OF FUNERAL DIRECTORS, CREMATORY

              OPERATORS, CEMETERY OFFICIALS, PROCUREMENT

              ORGANIZATIONS, AND INDIVIDUALS APPOINTED TO

               ARRANGE FOR THE DISPOSITION OF THE PRINCIPAL’S

               REMAINS

* * *

(c)  Any procurement organization having knowledge of a principal’s advance directive shall follow the advance directive and any instructions of the individual appointed in the advance directive to arrange for the recovery of the principal’s anatomical gifts unless the procurement organization determines such gifts are unsuitable for the purposes for which they are made or if recovery of such gifts would cause the procurement organization to violate standards of professional conduct or any applicable regulation or law.

(c)(d)  Every funeral director, crematory operator, and cemetery official, and procurement organization shall develop systems:

(1)  to ensure that a principal’s advance directive is promptly available when services are to be provided, including that the existence of an advance directive is prominently noted on any file jacket or folder, and that a note is entered into any electronic database of the director, operator, or official, or organization;

(2)  within 120 days of the commissioner’s announcing the availability of the registry, to ensure that the director, operator, official, or organization checks the registry at the time services are to be provided to determine whether the decedent has an advance directive;  

(d)(e)  In the event the principal’s instructions in an advance directive regarding disposition of remains or for funeral goods and services are in apparent conflict with a contract entered into by the principal for the disposition of remains, funeral goods, or services, the most recent document created by the principal shall be followed to the extent of the conflict.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting any other available remedies.

Sec. 336.  18 V.S.A. § 9713 is amended to read:

§ 9713.  IMMUNITY

* * *

(b)(1)  No health care provider, health care facility, residential care facility, funeral director, crematory operator, cemetery official, or any other person acting for or under such person’s control shall, if the provider, or facility, director, operator, or official has complied with the provisions of this chapter, be subjected subject to civil or criminal liability for:

(A)  providing or withholding health care or services in good faith pursuant to the provisions of an advance directive, a DNR identification of the principal, the consent of a principal with capacity or of the principal’s agent or guardian, or a decision or objection of a principal; or

(B)  relying in good faith on a suspended or revoked advance directive.

(2)  No funeral director, crematory operator, cemetery official, procurement organization, or any other person acting for or under such person’s control, shall, if the director, operator, official, or organization has complied with the provisions of this chapter, be subject to civil or criminal liability for providing or withholding its services in good faith pursuant to the provisions of an advance directive, whether or not the advance directive has been suspended or revoked.

(2)(3)  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to establish immunity for the failure to follow standards of professional conduct and to exercise due care in the provision of services.

* * *

Sec. 337.  18 V.S.A. § 9714(b) is amended to read:

(b)  A health care provider, health care facility, residential care facility, funeral home director, crematory operator, or cemetery official, probate court official, or procurement organization, or an employee of any of them, who accesses the registry without authority or when authority has been denied specifically by the principal, agent, or guardian is subject to review and disciplinary action by the appropriate licensing, accreditation, or approving entity.

Sec. 338.  18 V.S.A. § 9718(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A petition may be filed in probate court under this section by:

(1)  a, principal, guardian, agent, ombudsman, or interested individual other than one identified in an advance directive, pursuant to subdivision 9702(a)(10) of this title, as not authorized to bring an action under this section;

(2)  a social worker or health care provider employed by or directly associated with the health care provider, health care facility, or residential care facility providing care to the principal;

(3)  the defender general if the principal is in the custody of the department of corrections; or

(4)  a representative of the state-designated protection and advocacy system if the principal is in the custody of the department of health; or

(5)  an individual or entity identified in an advance directive, pursuant to subdivision 9702(a)(10) of this section, as authorized to bring an action under this section.

Sec. 339.  18 V.S.A. § 9719 is amended to read:

§ 9719.  OBLIGATIONS OF STATE AGENCIES

(a)  Within 180 days of the effective date of this chapter No later than July 1, 2006, and from time to time thereafter, the commissioner, in consultation with all appropriate agencies and organizations, shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 to effectuate the intent of this chapter.  The rules shall cover at least one optional form of an advance directive with an accompanying form providing an explanation of choices and responsibilities, the form and content of clinician orders for life sustaining treatment, the use of experimental treatments, a model DNR order which meets the requirements of subsection 9708(a) of this title, DNR identification, revocation of a DNR identification, and consistent statewide emergency medical standards for DNR orders and advance directives for patients and principals in all settings.  The commissioner shall also provide, but without the obligation to adopt a rule, optional forms for advance directives for individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and cognitive translation needs.

(b)(1)  Within 180 days of the effective date of this chapter Within one year of the effective date of this chapter, the commissioner shall develop and maintain a registry to which a principal may submit his or her advance directive, including a terminal care document and a durable power of attorney.  The rules shall describe when health care providers, health care facilities, and residential care facilities may access an advance directive in the registry.  In no event shall the information in the registry be accessed or used for any purpose unrelated to decision-making for health care or disposition of remains, except that the information may be used for statistical or analytical purposes as long as the individual’s identifying information remains confidential.

(2)(A)  Within 180 days one year of the effective date of this chapter, the commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 on the process for securely submitting, revoking, amending, replacing, and accessing the information contained in the registry.  The rules shall provide for incorporation into the registry of notifications of amendment, suspension, or revocation under subsection 9704(c) of this title and revocations of appointment under subsection 9704(d) of this title.

(B)  The commissioner shall provide to any individual who submits an advance directive to the registry a sticker that can be placed on a driver’s license or identification card indicating that the holder has an advance directive in the registry.

(c)(1)  Within 180 days one year of the effective date of this chapter, the commissioner shall provide on the department’s public website information on advance directives and the registry to appropriate state offices.  The commissioner shall also include information on advance directives, and on the registry and the optional forms of an advance directive.

(2)  Within 180 days one year of the effective date of this chapter, the commissioner of motor vehicles shall provide motor vehicle licenses and identity cards, as soon as existing licenses or cards have been depleted, which allow the license holder or card holder to indicate that he or she has an advance directive and whether it is in the registry.

Sec.  340.  18 V.S.A. § 5240(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any member of the following classes of individuals, in the order of priority listed, may make an anatomical gift of all or a part of the decedent’s body for an authorized purpose, unless the decedent has made an unrevoked refusal to make that anatomical gift:

(1)  An individual appointed by the decedent, pursuant to an advance directive under chapter 231 of this title, to make an anatomical gift.

(1)(2)  The spouse of the decedent.

(2)(3)  The reciprocal beneficiary of the decedent.

(3)(4)  An adult son or daughter of the decedent.

(4)(5)  Either parent of the decedent.

(5)(6)  An adult brother or sister of the decedent.

(6)(7)  A grandparent of the decedent.

(7)(8)  An individual possessing a durable power of attorney agent named in an advance directive.

(8)(9)  A guardian of the person of the decedent at the time of death.

(9)(10)  Any other individual authorized or under obligation to dispose of the body.

* * * Improving Access to Care * * *

Sec. 341.  FQHC LOOK-ALIKES AND UNCOMPENSATED CARE POOL

(a)  Funds appropriated to the department of health in Sec. 263(e)(4) and Sec. 255(a)(7)(C) related to Sec. 277(f) of Act 71 of 2005 for state fiscal year 2006 shall be carried forward by the department for the purposes described in Sec. 277(f) of Act 71 of 2005 to state fiscal year 2007.  Of those appropriated funds, a total of $150,000.00 shall be provided as a direct grant to new federally qualified health center look-alike entities approved during state Fiscal Year 2006 and shall be split evenly between qualifying organizations on a noncompetitive basis.

(b)  Funds appropriated in Section 119 of this act to the department of health shall be expended for the purpose of providing to federally qualified health center (FQHC) look-alikes uncompensated care pool funds for an income‑sensitized sliding scale fee schedule for patients of these organizations.  In distributing the grants, the department shall consider ensuring the geographic distribution of health centers around the state as well as criteria under federal law.  Initial priority shall be given to health centers in Lamoille, Washington, Windsor/Windham, and Addison Counties, and other counties that demonstrate readiness to achieve look-alike status.  The goal shall be to ensure there are FQHC look-alikes in each county in Vermont

(c)  If funds appropriated for this section exceed $200,000.00, additional uncompensated care pool funds shall be made available to primary care practices meeting conditions for serving a disproportionate share of the uninsured and Medicaid populations comparable to the federal expectations for federally qualified health centers and look-alikes, including:

(1)  Seeing all patients regardless of ability to pay, on a sliding scale fee schedule;

(2)  Remaining open to new and existing patients enrolled in the Medicaid and Medicare programs;

(3)  Maintaining no less than a combined 25 percent Medicaid and uninsured patient payer mix; and

(4)  Participating in the blueprint for health program as it expands across the state.

(5)  Existing federally qualified health center grantees as defined in Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 299 et seq., shall be eligible to participate in this uncompensated care pool.

(6)  Funding from the pool shall not be permitted to supplant existing state, federal, or private grants or funding for preexisting “charity care” and patient assistance programs.

(d)  Uncompensated care pool funds under this section shall be distributed to participating providers under criteria and methodology developed by the department of health office of rural health and primary care and bi-state primary care association, with input from the Vermont medical society and Vermont chapter of the American academy of family practice physicians. 

(e)  If deemed appropriate, funds appropriated for this section may be disbursed by the Vermont community foundation or other suitable charitable organization.

Sec. 342.  MEDICAID OUTREACH

(a)  Bi-State Primary Care Association, in consultation with the medical care advisory committee established in section 1901c of Title 33, will research efforts in Vermont and in other states that have succeeded in enrolling individuals eligible for Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs.  The association will report its findings and recommendations to the house committee on health care, the senate committee on health and welfare, the health access oversight committee and the agency of human services no later than November 15, 2006. 

Sec. 342a.  3 V.S.A. § 2222a is added to read:

§ 2222a.  HEALTH CARE SYSTEM REFORM; IMPROVING QUALITY

                AND AFFORDABILITY

(a)  The secretary of administration shall be responsible for the coordination of health care system reform initiatives among executive branch agencies, departments, and offices.

(b)  The secretary shall ensure that those executive branch agencies, departments, and offices responsible for the development, improvement, and implementation of Vermont’s health care system reform do so in a manner that is timely, patient-centered, and seeks to improve the quality and affordability of patient care. 

(c)  Vermont’s health care system reform initiatives include:

(1)  the state’s chronic care infrastructure, disease prevention, and management program contained in the blueprint for health, the goal of which is to achieve a unified, comprehensive, statewide system of care that improves the lives of Vermonters with or at risk for chronic disease.

(2)  the Vermont health information technology project pursuant to section 9417 of Title 18.

(3)  the multi-payer data collection project pursuant to section 9410 of Title 18.

(4)  the common claims administration project pursuant to section 9408 of Title 18.

(5)  the consumer price and quality information system pursuant to section 9410 of Title 18.

(6)  any information technology work done by the quality assurance system pursuant to section 9416 of Title 18.

(7)  the public health promotion programs of the department of health and the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living.

(8)  Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, Dr. Dynasaur, VPharm, and Vermont Rx, which are established in chapter 19 of Title 33 and provide health care coverage to elderly, disabled, and low to middle income Vermonters.

(d)  The secretary shall report to the commission on health care reform, the health access oversight committee, the house committee on health care, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the governor on or before December 1, 2006 with a five-year strategic plan for implementing Vermont’s health care system reform initiatives, together with any recommendations for administration or legislation.  Annually, beginning January 15, 2007, the secretary shall report to the general assembly on the progress of the reform initiatives.

(e)  The secretary of administration or designee shall provide information and testimony on the activities included in this section to the health access oversight committee, the commission on health care reform, and to any legislative committee upon request.

Sec. 342b.   TECHNICAL PROVISION

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the provisions of Sec. 342a of this act, adding section 2222a of Title 3, are complementary to the provisions in Sec. 3 of H.861 (2006), an act relating health care affordability for Vermonters, also adding section 2222a of Title 3.  Any additional provisions contained in Sec. 3 of H.861 that are not contained in this act shall not be superseded.  Any technical revisions necessary to ensure accuracy or conformity between the sections, such as the renumbering of subdivisions, may be made by the office of legislative council.

Sec. 343.  Sec. 3(2) of No. 49 of the Acts of 2005, as amended by Sec. 84 of No. 93 of the Acts of 2006, is further amended to read:

(2)  The amount of money paid from the general special fund appropriation in Sec. 4 of this act, and the remaining balance as of December 1, 2006.

Sec. 344.  7 V.S.A. §. 112 is amended to read:

Sec. 112.  LIQUOR CONTROL FUND

The liquor control fund is hereby established. It shall consist of all receipts from the sale of spirits and other items by the department of liquor control; fees paid to the department of liquor control for the benefit of the department; all other amounts received by the department of liquor control for its benefit; and all amounts which are from time to time appropriated to the department of liquor control.  All expenses incurred by the department in the carrying out of its duties, responsibilities, business and activities, as authorized by law, shall be paid from the liquor control fund.

Sec. 345.  TRANSFERS FROM THE INSURANCE RESERVE FUND

(a)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 135, the following amounts are transferred from the insurance reserve fund, established in 32 V.S.A. § 134:

(1)  $30,510 to the department of housing and community affairs – historic preservation, for repairs to Mt. Independence, Hubbardton, and Chimney Point.

(2)  $20,878 to the department of buildings and general services, for replacement of a cracked boiler at the former Brandon training school.

Sec. 346.  Sec. 263(e)(3) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 as amended by Sec. 74 of Act 93 of the Acts of 2006 is hereby amended as follows:

(3)  Third, $700,000 general funds of which $266,000 shall revert to the general fund in fiscal year 2006 and $266,000 global commitment funds appropriated in fiscal year 2006 to the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration to carry out the purposes of Sec. 277 of this act, adding 18 V.S.A. § 9417, of which $500,000 is for funds to leverage resources necessary to fund the pilot program authorized under subsection 9417(e) of Title 18 and to contract for the development of the health information technology plan and other duties in 18 V.S.A. § 9417.  Availability of the $500,000 funds is contingent on the secretary of administration’s approval of a plan submitted by the Vermont information technology leaders (VITL) to coordinate VITL’s activities with “the Vermont blueprint for health chronic care initiative” and other health‑care-related statewide information technology projects.  Availability of the $500,000 matching funds shall also be contingent on: a) the delivery by VITL of a sustainable business plan to the secretary of administration and the general assembly within 90 days of the passage of the fiscal year 2006 Budget Adjustment Act; b) a commitment by VITL  to use “best efforts” to secure a non state match for the funds; and c) upon VITL’s  agreement to add to its board, as soon as legally possible, one member of the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians.  If at any time VITL no longer demonstrates the ability to deliver the work described in 18 V.S.A. § 9417, the state shall have the right to assume ownership of all licenses, intellectual property and work product of VITL developed for the state pursuant to section 9417 or otherwise.

Sec. 347.  CAMP LEASE AGREEMENT

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 87a(A) of No.1 of 1999, Sec. 57 of No. 61 of 2001 or any other section of law, the secretary of the Vermont agency of natural resources (ANR), the Vermont housing and conservation board (VHCB) and the nature conservancy (TNC) are authorized to:

(1)  extend to January 1, 2078, the expiration date of existing leases with willing owners of private camps on West Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMWMA).

(A)  Interests in leases so extended may be conveyed to immediate family members for the full term of the extension. 

(B)  Conveyance of the entire leasehold to unrelated third parties who were part of the Champion Land camp culture prior to May 1, 2006, shall be limited to terms ending July 1, 2056

(C)  All assignments referred to in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (1) of an entire camp leasehold shall be subject to a right of first refusal by ANR.  No other sale, assignment or conveyance of the extended term of leaseholds described herein shall be allowed. 

(b)  By October 15, 2006, the secretary, in consultation with VHCB and TNC, shall develop a meaningful plan for removing some camps, giving highest priority to camps in ecologically sensitive areas, and using remaining camps for public recreational, educational, management or research purposes and no leases shall be extended pursuant to this paragraph until that plan has been filed with the general assembly. 

(c)  In addition to the foregoing, the secretary shall:

(1)  incorporate the camp removal plan described above into the next amendment of the WMWMA Management Plan, as required by Section 1(B)(f) of the WMWMA conservation easement;

(2)  by January 15, 2007, report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy regarding the progress of the camp removal policy;

(3)  beginning in 2007, discuss ongoing state funding for a camp purchase fund with the Vermont general assembly; and

(4)  cooperate with TNC in seeking private and charitable funding to purchase camps in ecologically sensitive areas.

Sec. 348.  EFFECTIVE DATE

(a)  This section and Secs. 17(a), 50, 61(a) 63(a), 89(b), 115b, 115c, 122(b), 160, 169(a), 177a, 215(a), 271, 271a, 271b, 272, 280, 291, 295, 295a, 295b, 297-312, 320, 345, and 346 of this act shall take effect on passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us