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Senate Calendar

tuesday, april 19, 2005

105th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 164     Relating to elections and voter registration........................................... 541

H. 210    Relating to technical tax amendments.................................................. 541

JRH 24  Funding for critical federal programs serving all Vermonters................. 541

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 518    Capital construction and state bonding................................................. 541

                        Institutions Committee Report.................................................... 541

                        Appropriations Committee Report.............................................. 559

JRH 25  Relating to a civics education forum.................................................... 559                              Education Committee Report............................................................................................. 559

Joint Resolution for Action

JRH 32  Designating April 18-22 as VT Community Development Week............ 560

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 72      Unlawful employment practices.......................................................... 560

H. 93      Middletown Springs Ira, Poultney, Tinmouth, Wells River town ..................                               lines      561

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 30       Unemployment compensation and newspaper carriers.......................... 561

S.41        Unemployment compensation for survivors of domestic violence........... 561

                        Ec.Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report.............. 561

                        Appropriations Committee Report.............................................. 564

S. 98       Vocational rehabilitation & payment of workers compensation.............. 565                              Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report..................................................................... 565

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 515    Judicial determination in juvenile proceedings....................................... 568

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 117     State recognition of the Abenaki people............................................... 569

S. 157     Relating to rulemaking for Vermont origin............................................ 569




 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Third Reading

S. 164

An act relating to elections and voter registration.

H. 210

An act relating to technical tax amendments.

J.R.H. 24

Joint resolution urging the federal government not to reduce funding for critical federal programs serving all Vermonters.

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 518

An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Scott for the Committee on Institutions.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  STATE BUILDINGS

The sum of $12,175,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual appropriations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Bennington, state office building, completion:                            (590,000)

(2)  Burlington, Cherry Street garages, continued repairs:    (910,000)

(3)  Chittenden and Washington Counties, health and safety labs, continued planning, design, and permitting:                        (1,800,000)

(4)  Montpelier, 133 State Street, renovations:                             (1,900,000)

(5)  Montpelier, capitol complex heating system, completion of schematic design:                                                                      (90,000)

(6)  Montpelier, 109 State Street, renovation:                                  (500,000)

(7)  Statewide, major maintenance:                                              (5,000,000)

(8)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility to public buildings; provided that $100,000 of this appropriation shall be the state match for a potential agency of transportation enhancement grant for the Kent Tavern in Calais, which match shall not be disbursed until evidence is provided to the department that federal funds have been awarded; and further provided that if evidence of federal approval for an enhancement grant is not provided to the department on or before January 1, 2006, the department shall use the $100,000 for one or more other accessibility projects identified in state buildings:                                                                                                          (300,000)

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

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

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

(12)  Statewide, State House, flag conservation:                                (20,000)

(13)  Statewide, secretary of state, archive facility; for preliminary space layout, site identification and evaluation, acquisition of an option on a site, and schematic design, provided that schematic design shall not occur until a site has been identified:                                                                    (90,000)

(14)  Waterbury, state office complex, generator, electrical upgrades:                                                                                                                    (275,000)

(15)  State House, chairs for house committee rooms and fire extinguisher cabinets for second floor:                                         (50,000)

(16)  State House, vertical files and constituent seating for senate committee rooms, decorative stenciling in room 6:                    (25,000)

(Total appropriation – Section 1                                                         $12,175,000)

Sec. 2.  TAXES

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes as the second appropriation in an anticipated five-year project to update statewide quadrangle maps through digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping.

(Total appropriation – Section 2                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 3.  HUMAN SERVICES

(a)  Vermont state hospital; renovations.  The sum of $307,888 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to complete necessary FY2005 renovations and make additional capital improvements for patient and staff safety purposes at the Vermont state hospital, to be substantially complete by September 1, 2005.

(b)  Vermont state hospital; future planning.  The sum of $725,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to begin planning, site selection, which may include entering into an option to purchase a site, and the design of a hospital facility, pursuant to the plan required from the secretary of human services by Sec. 141a of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) and approved by the general assembly or by the joint legislative mental health oversight committee established in Sec. 141c of that act, to meet the inpatient needs of persons:

(1)  Under 18 V.S.A. chapter 7;

(2)  Under 13 V.S.A. §§ 4815 and 4852; and

(3)  Housed in a correctional facility, whether pending trial or serving a sentence of incarceration, when inpatient care in an appropriately secure hospital setting is the least restrictive means by which to provide the appropriate level of psychiatric care.

(c)(1)  The sum of $400,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, for site acquisition, design, and initial construction costs of a minimum security, dormitory-style work camp.

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

(d)  The sum of $500,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, to complete renovations necessary to bring the sprinkler and smoke evacuation systems at the northwest state correctional facility in St. Albans into compliance with life‑safety codes.

(Total appropriation – Section 3                                                           $1,932,888)

Sec. 4.  JUDICIARY

The sum of $950,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary to renovate the existing Rutland courthouse to accommodate the offices of probation and parole.

(Total appropriation – Section 4                                                              $950,000)

Sec. 5.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided such maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services.

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

(c)  Calvin Coolidge homestead, Plymouth Notch.

(1)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development as the final state match for a federal Save America’s Treasures grant for installation of a sprinkler system at the Calvin Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch; provided that no portion of this appropriation shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the department that the federal funds have been awarded.

(2)  The sum of $70,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for the Calvin Coolidge homestead to be used by the department to acquire an option to purchase the Hoskison property and to purchase an easement to access, install, and maintain components of a fire suppression system for the homestead; provided that any option acquired pursuant to this subdivision shall ensure that all sums paid to acquire the option and easement are credited against the purchase price; and further provided that, if all or a portion of the funds necessary for these purposes are received from non-state sources, then the balance of this appropriation shall be used for the purposes in subsection (d) of this section. 

(d)  The sum of $80,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for continued renovation of the Kent Tavern in Calais.

(Total appropriation – Section 5                                                             $430,000)

Sec. 6.  EDUCATION

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

(1)  Up to $5,256,245 of this appropriation shall be used to pay first awards to all projects on the state board’s prioritized list submitted to the legislature in January 2005 that initiated construction on or before December 31, 2004 and to pay final awards to all projects on that list that have completed construction on or before December 31, 2004; and

(2)  Up to $72,039 of this appropriation shall be used to pay costs associated with emergency shelters in schools.

(b)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of education for regional technical education centers and comprehensive high schools to assist with the purchase of educational program equipment, to be distributed in equal amounts to each center and high school with no local matching funds required.

(c)  The sum of $500,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Brattleboro Union High School District #6 in partial payment of the state’s obligation to pay 100 percent of the approved cost of the Windham Regional Career Center (Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center) project. 

(d)  The state board of education is directed to evaluate the method by which it assigns points to school projects and places them on a prioritized list.  It shall also consider ways in which it might integrate technical education centers, including the three proposed projects for which the state is obligated to provide 100 percent state aid, into the prioritization system or ways in which it might otherwise ensure a reasonably predictable payment schedule for such centers.  On or before January 15, 2006, the board shall report to the house and senate committees on institutions and on education regarding its evaluation, any changes it has made, and any recommendations it is proposing for legislation.

(e)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, including subdivision 3448(a)(5) of Title 16 requiring approval of a final application by the state board of education as a precondition to receipt of school construction aid, the sum of up to $16,044 is appropriated to the department of education for the Danville School District to equal 25 percent of construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred in 2004, if the district’s costs are deemed eligible by the commissioner of education under state board rules, and if the project was properly bid under section 559 of Title 16.  In no case shall the construction aid exceed 25 percent of the voter-approved cost of the project. 

(f)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary including subdivision 3448(a)(5) of Title 16 requiring approval of a final application by the state board of education as a precondition to receipt of school construction aid, the sum of up to $71,300 is appropriated to the department of education for the Middlebury Union High School District #3 to equal 25 percent of construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred in 2004 for health and safety improvements to its gymnasium, if the district’s costs are deemed eligible by the commissioner of education under state board rules and if the project was properly bid under section 559 of Title 16.  In no case shall the construction aid exceed 25 percent of the voter-approved cost of the project.

(g)  Notwithstanding any provision of law that might render an early education program ineligible for state school construction aid under chapter 123 of Title 15, the sum of $27,930 is appropriated to the department of education for the Orleans Central Supervisory Union to equal 30 percent construction aid for additional costs associated with construction of a community early education center in Barton, pursuant to the provisions by which funding was originally authorized as set forth in Sec. 67 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002).

(h)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the North Country Career Center project to finalize documents necessary for preliminary state review and a public bond vote. 

(Total appropriation – Section 6                                                         $6,265,274)

Sec. 7.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $2,200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the University of Vermont to assist with construction, renovation, and major facility maintenance to the university campus that advances the mission of the university to prepare the students to lead productive lives and to interpret and share knowledge for the benefit of Vermont and for society as a whole.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15 of each year, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 7                                                          $2,200,000)

Sec. 8.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,200,000 is appropriated to the Vermont state colleges for major facility maintenance.

(Total appropriation – Section 8                                                           $1,200,000)

Sec. 9.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)  The sum of $7,550,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for water pollution grants and the state match for the pollution control and public drinking water supply program state revolving fund loans, all in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24 for projects on a list prepared by the agency of natural resources, dated May 20, 2003 entitled “Wastewater Project Phase-In List from the Capital Bill Conference Committee 2003 Legislative Session” and referenced in Sec. 55 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003; provided that this appropriation shall include a grant of $200,000 to the Marshfield Village Water District to improve the existing water system, such that the public drinking water supplied by the Marshfield Village Water District meets state standards for uranium.

(b)  The sum of $2,810,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program to accelerate the reduction of phosphorus discharges into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state; provided that this appropriation shall include a grant of $300,000 to assist the town of Chester to pay for the increased costs associated with its wastewater treatment facility upgrade.

(c)  The sum of $450,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for maintenance, repair, dismantling, and reconstruction of state-owned dams.

(d)  The sum of $1,000,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure.

(e)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for wildlife habitat restoration.  If the agency contracts with non-state workers for some or all of the habitat restoration, then it shall be done on a competitive bid basis under best bid award criteria.

(f)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife to complete construction of a dining hall and education center at the Kehoe conservation camp in Castleton; provided that no part of any general fund appropriation or of this or any unspent portion of a previous capital appropriation for the camp shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the secretary of the agency that the state’s lease of this facility has been renegotiated to provide the state with:

(1)  A lease term of 99 years; and

(2)  The right of first refusal in the event of a sale.

(g)  The sum of $270,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife to construct two site supervisor residences at the Ed Weed fish culture station; provided that the construction shall be directed by the department of buildings and general services.

(h)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Catamount Trail Association for the procurement of easements along the Catamount Trail.

(i)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for the procurement, in fee simple or by easement, of properties along the Long Trail. 

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                                         $12,305,000)

Sec. 10.  MILITARY

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of the military to address capital emergencies and maintenance projects identified by the department.

(Total appropriation – Section 10                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 11.  VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the Vermont historical society for the final phase of renovating the former Spaulding Graded School in Barre, an education and research center known as the Vermont History Center.

(Total appropriation – Section 11                                                              $50,000)

Sec. 12.  PUBLIC SAFETY

(a)  The sum of $2,850,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to finalize construction and fit-up of a new state police station in Addison County to replace the station currently located in Middlebury, to replace funds originally appropriated to this project and subsequently transferred for use in connection with the construction of a new Bethel/Royalton state police station.

(b)  The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for renovations to state police stations in Middlesex, Bradford, Rockingham, and Rutland.

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

Sec. 13.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND FIRE SERVICE TRAINING COUNCILS

(a)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford for creation of a streetscape training building. 

(b)  The sum of $30,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont criminal justice and fire service training council site in Pittsford as the state match required for the acquisition and placement of an emergency generator; provided, if federal funding is not awarded on or before July 1, 2005 for this purpose, this appropriation shall be disbursed to Vermont Public Television for the purposes set forth in Sec. 17 of this act.

(c)  The sum of $225,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont fire service training council in Pittsford to design a Vermont emergency service training classroom at the Pittsford training academy.

(Total appropriation – Section 13                                                         $355,000)

Sec. 14.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

(a)  The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets, best management practice implementation cost share program, for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction.  Farmers participating in this program may receive a maximum of 50 percent of state aid when no federal dollars are available.

(b)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets as a 20 percent state match for the federal conservation reserve enhancement program.

(c)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the competitive grants program for state fair capital projects.  No single entity shall be awarded more than ten percent of this appropriation.

(Total appropriation – Section 14                                                         $2,200,000)

Sec. 15.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

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

(Total appropriation – Section 15                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 16.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

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

(1)  The historic preservation grant program:                          200,000

(2)  The historic barns preservation grant program:                             100,000

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

(c)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the recreational and educational facilities grant program established in Sec. 32 of this act.

(d)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the human service grant program established in Sec. 33 of this act.

(Total appropriation – Section 16                                                         $900,000)

Sec. 17.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Television for either or a portion of both of the following purposes:

(1)  The federally mandated conversion of Vermont Public Television’s transmission sites to digital broadcasting format. 

(2)  Vermont Public Television’s share of the costs of a state-mandated collocation project on Mount Mansfield.

(Total appropriation – Section 17                                                          $300,000)

Sec. 18.  VERMONT INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

The sum of $60,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Interactive Television to purchase equipment necessary for the creation of a new interactive television site to be located in Montpelier. 

(Total appropriation – Section 18                                                              $60,000)

Sec. 19.  VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME

The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans’ Home for the state share of a new heating plant.

(Total appropriation – Section 19                                                            $300,000)

Sec. 20.  VERMONT VETERANS’ MEMORIAL CEMETERY

The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery Advisory Board for cemetery expansion design; provided that when the state receives federal reimbursement for this appropriation, the general assembly shall be notified, and the funds shall be reallocated for future capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 20                                                            $250,000)

* * * Financing this Act * * *

Sec. 21.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

Of the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in the town of Duxbury, authorized by No. 102 of the Acts of the 1995 Adj. Sess. (1996), the sum of $173,162 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 of this act.

(Total reallocation– Section 21                                                                $173,162)

Sec. 22.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

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

(Total bonding – Section 22                                                               $45,000,000)

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec. 23.  REALLOCATION; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

(a)  Historic sites.  The commissioner of buildings and general services may reallocate the funds in Sec. 5(a) of this act (commerce and community development) to state historic sites other than those presented to the general assembly during the 2005 legislative session only for major maintenance, should a more pressing need arise following the legislative session.

(b)  Natural resources.  The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances between projects authorized in Sec. 9(a) and (d) of this act (natural resources).

(c)  Southeast state correctional facility.  The commissioner of buildings and general services may expend up to $125,000 from appropriations made in this or previous capital acts for the purpose of developing a test site for a biomass-fueled cogeneration system at the southeast state correctional facility in Windsor.  These funds may be transferred in whole or in part to the biomass energy resource council for purposes of fulfilling its grant obligations in connection with this project.

Sec. 24.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

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

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

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

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

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds from the National Cemetery Administration for the design cost reimbursement for the Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery expansion authorized by Sec. 20 of this act.

(5)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grant funds received by the town of Pittsford for a power generator, which may be made available for the purchase and installation of an emergency power generator at the Vermont criminal justice and fire service training facility in Pittsford, Vermont.  These funds may be used to defray or supplement costs in Sec. 13(b) of this act.

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

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

Sec. 25.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.

Sec. 26.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; BRANDON

Notwithstanding any provision of Sec. 1(b) of No. 59 of the Acts of 1993 or Sec. 23 of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 to the contrary, the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in the town of Brandon, authorized by No. 59 of the Acts of 1993, which is anticipated to be in the amount of $400,000 more or less after payment of costs and fees associated with the sale, shall be disbursed to the department of education for regional technical education centers and comprehensive high schools to assist with the purchase of educational program equipment to be distributed in equal amounts to each center and high school with no local matching funds required.

Sec. 27.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; VERMONT STATE POLICE FACILITIES

(a)  Addison and Franklin Counties.  If necessary construction permits for the new Addison County state police station in New Haven are not issued by October 1, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized, at his or her discretion, to use the funds appropriated in Sec. 12 of this act to begin construction of a new state police station in St. Albans, provided that the station shall be designed and constructed, to the extent feasible, using the “prototype” plans developed for the Vermont state police stations.

(b)  Windham County.  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds provided by the department of public safety to make improvements and renovations to the state police station in Brattleboro and to construct an adjacent garage.  The estimated cost of these improvements is approximately $40,000.

Sec. 28.  REPEAL

Sec. 86 of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (St. Albans state police facility; development agreement) is repealed. 

Sec. 29.  STATE OFFICES; CHITTENDEN AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES

(a)  In order to accommodate state infrastructure needs, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall hire one or more consultants to evaluate existing and potential state office space in Chittenden and Washington Counties.  The consultant’s consideration of office space currently owned or occupied by the state (the “State Buildings”) shall focus primarily on those State Buildings located at 50 Cherry Street (the Formac Building) in Burlington; 108 Cherry Street (the Zampieri Office Building) in Burlington; 195 Colchester Avenue (health laboratory) in Burlington; 1193 North Avenue (the Thayer School) in Burlington; 59 Pearl Street in Burlington; the state police barracks in Williston; and the state forensic laboratory in Waterbury.     

(b)  In performing the work required by this section, the consultant or consultants shall:

(1)  Evaluate the suitability of the physical structure to support the provision of programs and services currently offered or proposed to be offered in the State Buildings.

(2)  Explore and evaluate opportunities to purchase real property in Chittenden and Washington Counties, to redevelop one or more of the State Buildings, or to do both, in order to more efficiently provide the programs and services currently offered or proposed to be offered in the State Buildings.

(3)  Appraise the property value of one or more of the State Buildings and explore and evaluate opportunities for their sale.

(4)  Develop a comprehensive proposal to meet state infrastructure needs, which proposal may include purchase of real property, redevelopment of one or more of the State Buildings, sale of one or more of the State Buildings, and relocation of the programs and services currently offered in the State Buildings.

(c)  On or before December 1, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall present the comprehensive proposal, together with the supporting evaluations, to the house and senate committees on institutions together with a request for any legislation necessary to accomplish the proposal.  The commissioner’s presentation shall include a detailed financial analysis of the impact the proposal might have on future capital and general fund appropriations.    

(d)  If, during a time in 2005 when the general assembly is not in session, the commissioner of buildings and general services believes that it will advance the purposes of this section to enter into an option to purchase real property, then, notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(3)(B), the commissioner is authorized to do so only after first obtaining the approval of at least three of the following members of the general assembly:  the chairs and vice chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions or their designees. 

(e)  Capital appropriations made in this or any previous act for the health and forensic laboratories may be used to perform the work required in subsections (a) through (c) of this section.

Sec. 30.  REPORT; CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS

On or before January 15, 2006, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall present to the house and senate committees on institutions a detailed plan, including a timeline and the anticipated capital appropriations that would be needed, by which the offices of the governor, the attorney general, the treasurer, and the secretary of state could be located at 109 State Street in Montpelier.  In connection with this process, the commissioner shall contract for an appraisal of the Redstone Building, so-called, and shall provide proposals to the committees for future use of this site.

Sec. 31.  WASHINGTON DISTRICT COURT; TERRY TRONO COURTROOM

The “Terry Trono Courtroom” shall be the name of Courtroom #2 of the Washington District Court in Barre.  The department of buildings and general services shall work with Mr. Trono’s family to design a plaque which the department shall erect outside the courtroom.

Sec. 32.  RECREATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  Creation of Program.  There is created a recreational and educational facilities grant program to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the development and creation of community recreational and educational opportunities in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every one dollar awarded under this program.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a recreational and educational facilities grant advisory committee.  The committee shall consist of the commissioners of forests, parks and recreation and of buildings and general services, or the commissioners’ designees; a representative of the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association; two members of the Vermont general assembly, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; a representative of the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council; and one citizen member to be appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The citizen member shall serve for a term of two years or until his or her successor is appointed. 

(c)  Process.  The recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the recreational facilities grant program.  On or before July 1, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall convene an initial meeting of the committee, during which the committee shall begin to develop an application form and establish criteria under which applications will be evaluated.  The committee shall also establish a process that ensures:

(1)  the efficient review of applications;

(2)  the equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(3)  the accountability of grant recipients. 

(d)  Before it notifies an applicant that it will be awarded a grant, the recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

Sec. 33.  HUMAN SERVICES; COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  Creation of program.  There is created a human services grant program to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the major maintenance, renovation, or development of facilities for the delivery of human services and health care in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that at least three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every dollar awarded under this program.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a human services grant advisory committee.  The committee shall consist of the secretary of human services or the secretary’s designee; the commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner’s designee; two members of the Vermont general assembly, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; and three representatives of broad-based community organizations such as the United Way of Vermont or the Vermont Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations who shall be selected and appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The members appointed by the governor shall serve for terms of two years or until their successors are appointed.

(c)  Process.  The human services grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the human services grant program.  On or before July 1, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall convene an initial meeting of the committee, during which the committee shall begin to develop an application form and establish criteria under which applications will be evaluated.  The committee shall also establish a process that ensures:

(1)  the efficient review of applications;

(2)  the equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(3)  the accountability of grant recipients. 

(d)  Before it notifies an applicant that it will be awarded a grant, the recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

Sec. 34.  STUDY; COMMUNITY GRANTS

(a)  On or before September 1, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall convene a meeting of one or more representatives from each of the entities responsible for the grant programs for which appropriations are made in Sec. 16 of this act.  At this and any necessary subsequent meetings, the representatives shall discuss ways in which the grant programs might be coordinated and made more uniform.  Discussions shall include the following:

(1)  Development of a unified application form for use in all programs.

(2)  Establishment of simultaneous deadlines for submission of applications and notification of awards.

(3)  Inclusion of legislators as members of the grant-making entities. 

(b)  On or before January 15, 2006, the grant program representatives shall present to the house and senate committees on institutions recommendations for coordinating and improving the programs, together with a timeline for achieving these recommendations and a request for any legislation necessary to accomplish the desired results.  

Sec. 35.  CRIME VICTIMS’ GARDEN

Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 6 of Title 29, the department of buildings and general services shall design and site a Crime Victims’ Garden at the space between the buildings at 10 and 12 Baldwin Street.

Sec. 36.  STATE BUILDINGS; ADDITIONAL SPACE

When a department or other division of state government requests additional space or a change in space, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall provide details to the requesting entity and the commissioner of finance of all anticipated costs associated with the request.

Sec. 37.  WATERBURY STATE COMPLEX; GENERATOR

The secretary of natural resources shall consider whether it is possible, without compromising the objectives of air pollution control regulations, to permit the Waterbury state complex generator to continue to be used, on a time-limited basis, for purposes other than as an emergency generator.  The secretary shall report to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2006 regarding this section.

* * * UVM and State Colleges * * *

Sec. 38.  SPENDING AND BONDING AUTHORIZATION; VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

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

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 39.  MUNICIPAL SALT AND SALTED SAND PILE SHEDS

On or before October 15, 2005, the agency of natural resources, in consultation with the department of buildings and general services and the agency of transportation, shall develop one or more prototype designs for covering municipal salt and salted sand piles to comply with the multisector general permit requirements for stormwater discharges established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  In developing the design or designs, the agencies and department shall use the most cost‑effective design concepts that comply with the requirements of federal law.

Sec. 40.  INVASIVE AQUATIC PLANTS; CAPITAL APPROPRIATIONS

On or before January 15, 2006, the secretary of natural resources shall prepare and submit to the house and senate committees on institutions a detailed plan of action to eradicate and prevent future growth of invasive aquatic plants in Lake Champlain, which plan shall include timelines and an estimate of the associated capital fund appropriations that will be needed.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 41.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.  The sums appropriated and spending authority authorized by this act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.

(Committee Vote: 4-0-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Bartlett for the Committee on Appropriations.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 31, 2005, page 463.)

J.R.H. 25

Joint resolution relating to a civics education forum.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to strike out the resolution in its entirety and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Whereas, the Constitution of the State of Vermont recognizes that self‑government requires greater responsibility and understanding than is required by other forms of government, and

Whereas, it is the responsibility of government to promote and encourage citizenship through its system of education, and

Whereas, self-government relies on the engagement and involvement of its citizens, and

Whereas, many 18- and 19-year-olds are not registered to vote, and in recent elections, many of those registered did not vote, and

Whereas, national assessments have shown that many secondary school students do not meet proficiency levels in their knowledge of civics or history of the United States, and

Whereas, it is recognized that within Vermont schools, there are examples of outstanding civics instruction, and

Whereas, one of the primary functions of education is to promote and encourage an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to a republican form of government and actively engaged in the practice of democracy, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly accepts the Vermont Bar Association’s willingness to address, in conjunction with other interested organizations, these issues by conducting a survey of civics education best practices and an inventory of related resources available to assist Vermont educators with civics instruction, to hold a forum in which people engaged in civics education can share their best practices, activities, and resources, and to produce a catalogue of civics education resources and activities available in Vermont schools.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For text of Resolution, see Senate Journal for March 17, 2005, page 269)

Joint Resolution for Action

J.R.H. 32

Joint resolution designating April 18-22 as Vermont Community Development Week.

(For text of Resolution, see Senate Journal for April 15, 2005, page 470)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 72

An act relating to unlawful employment practices.

Reported favorably by Senator Miller for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

(Committee vote: 5-0-1)

(No House amendments)


H. 93

An act relating to Middletown Springs, Ira, Poultney, Tinmouth, and Wells town lines.

Reported favorably by Senator Shepard for the Committee on Government Operations.

(Committee vote: 6-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 22, 2005, page 252; March 29, 2005, page 445).

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 30

An act relating to unemployment compensation and newspaper carriers.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Miller for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 1301(6)(C)(xxi) is added to read:

(xxi)  Newspaper carriers.  Service performed by an individual selling or delivering newspapers or magazines to ultimate consumers, under an arrangement by which the individual buys the newspapers or magazines at a fixed price and the individual’s compensation is based on the difference between the price the individual paid and the retail price charged for the newspapers or magazines and the sale or delivery is normally accomplished on foot, and the individual is not required to use a motorized vehicle.

(Committee vote: 4-1-1)

S. 41

An act relating to unemployment compensation for survivors of domestic violence.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Miller for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. chapter 16A is added to read:

Chapter 16a.  Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors’ Transitional Employment Program

§ 1251.  PURPOSE

The purpose of the domestic and sexual violence survivors’ transitional employment program is to provide temporary, partial wage replacement to individuals who must leave employment, without good cause attributable to the employer, because of circumstances directly resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

§ 1252.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of employment and training or the commissioner’s designee.

(2)  “Department” means the department of employment and training.

(3)  “Domestic and sexual violence” means domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking as defined in 15 V.S.A. § 1151.

(4)  “Weekly payment” means an amount determined in accordance with section 1338 of this title.

§ 1253.  DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE SURVIVORS’ TRANSITION FUND; SOURCE AND LEVEL OF FUNDING

(a)  There is hereby created a domestic and sexual violence survivors’ transition fund in the department of employment and training to be managed in accordance with subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

(b)  The sum of up to $50,000.00 shall be transferred into the fund created in subsection (a) of this section as necessary to pay for claims approved for payment pursuant to this chapter, and a minimum balance of $30,000.00 shall be maintained in the fund. 

§ 1254.  ELIGIBILITY

An individual shall be eligible for up to 26 weekly payments when the commissioner determines that the individual voluntarily left work due to circumstances directly resulting from domestic and sexual violence, provided the individual:

(1)  Leaves employment for one of the following reasons:

(A)  The individual reasonably fears that the domestic and sexual violence will continue at or en route to or from the place of employment.

(B)  The individual intends to relocate in order to avoid future domestic and sexual violence of the individual or a member of the individual’s family.

(C)  The individual reasonably believes that leaving the employment is necessary for the safety of the individual or a member of the individual’s family.

(2)  Complies with all the following:

(A)  Prior to leaving employment has pursued reasonable alternatives to leaving the employment, which may include seeking a protection order, relocating to a secure place, or seeking reasonable accommodation from the employer, such as a transfer or different assignment.  Failure to pursue reasonable alternatives may be excused if the individual establishes that pursuit of alternatives would have been futile or would not have adequately addressed the specific circumstances that led to the individual’s decision to separate from employment.

(B)  Provides the department with satisfactory documentation of the domestic and sexual violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic and sexual violence, including the claimant’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the department shall not be disclosed by the department unless the claimant has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the department is legally required to release this information without consent by the claimant, the department shall notify the claimant at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the department.

(C)  Has been found ineligible for unemployment solely on the basis of the separation from employment.

§ 1255.  CONDITIONS

An individual shall be eligible to receive payments with respect to any week, only if the commissioner finds that the individual complies with all of the following requirements:

(1)  Files a claim certifying that he or she did not work during the week.

(2)  Is not receiving other forms of financial support related to his or her employment.

(3)  Is taking steps to become employed.

§ 1256.  PROCEDURES

(a)  The commissioner shall review all claims for payment and shall promptly provide written notification to the individual of any claim that is denied and the reasons for the denial.

(b)  Within 30 days after receipt of a denial, the individual may appeal the determination to the commissioner.  The commissioner shall review the record within a reasonable time after the notice of the appeal is filed and promptly notify the individual in writing of the commissioner’s decision.  The decision of the commissioner shall become final unless an appeal to the supreme court is taken within 30 days of the date of the commissioner’s decision.

Sec. 2.  DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE TRAINING; DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

The Department of Employment and Training in cooperation with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence shall design and implement training for appropriate department employees.  The training curriculum shall be designed and implemented no later than 120 days after the effective date of this act.

Sec 3.  REPORT; DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

The Department of Employment and Training shall issue a written report to the General Assembly on or before January 1, 2007.  The department shall report on the following:

(1)  The details of implementation of chapter 16A of Title 21 and the number of claims filed, approved, denied, and appealed pursuant to that chapter.

(2)  The amount of money paid from the Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors’ Transition Fund established pursuant to 21 V.S.A. § 1253, and the balance in the fund as of December 1, 2006.

(3)  Any other relevant information relating to the effectiveness and functioning of chapter 16A of Title 21, and any recommendations for improving the program.

(Committee vote: 4-0-2)

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Miller for the Committee on Appropriations.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, with the following amendments thereto:

First:  In Sec. 1, 21 V.S.A. §§ 1253 by striking out subsection (b) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows:

(b)  The sum of $30,000.00 shall be transferred into the fund created in subsection (a) of this section to pay for claims approved for payment pursuant to this chapter. 

Second:  In Sec. 1, 21 V.S.A. § 1254, at the beginning of the first paragraph, by inserting the following sentence:  The commissioner shall make all determinations for eligibility under this chapter. 

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

S. 98

An act relating to vocational rehabilitation and payment of compensation under workers’ compensation.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator MacDonald for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

* * * Vocational Rehabilitation Rule * * *

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 641(a) is amended to read:

(a)  When as a result of an injury covered by this chapter, an employee is unable to perform work for which the employee has previous training or experience, the employee shall be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services, including retraining and job placement, as may be reasonably necessary to restore the employee to suitable employment.  Vocational rehabilitation services shall be provided as follows:

* * *

(3)  The commissioner shall adopt rules to assure that a worker who requests services or who has received more than 90 days of continuous temporary total disability benefits is timely and cost-effectively screened for benefits under this section.  The rules shall:

(A)  Provide that all vocational rehabilitation work, including initial screenings, full entitlement assessments, and counseling, shall be performed by a Vermont-certified vocational rehabilitation counselor which shall include those counselors currently certified pursuant to the rules of the department. 

(B)  Provide for an initial screening to determine whether a full assessment is appropriate.  An injured worker who is determined to be eligible for benefits shall have an appropriate initial vocational a full assessment shall be timely assessed and be offered appropriate vocational rehabilitation services. 

(C)  The commissioner shall adopt rules to provide Provide a mechanism for a periodic review and timely screening of injured workers who are initially found not to be ready or eligible for vocational rehabilitation services a full assessment to determine whether a full assessment has become appropriate. 

(D)  Protect against potential conflicts of interest in the assignment and performance of initial screenings.

(E)  Assure the injured worker has a choice of a vocational rehabilitation counselor. 

* * *

(5)  The commissioner may set by rule reasonable reimbursement rates for vocational rehabilitation benefits and services, provided access to vocational rehabilitation services is not diminished and reasonable choices and access to benefits and services are maintained.  The reimbursement shall reflect the current market hourly rate of vocational rehabilitation services as determined by a survey of vocational rehabilitation providers, including solo practitioners, small firms, and large firms.  The fee schedule shall require the individual vocational rehabilitation counselor who provides services to review, initial, and certify the accuracy of the billing.

(6)  The commissioner shall make annual reports to the general assembly on the success and status of the workers’ compensation vocational rehabilitation program.

* * * Discontinuance of Benefits * * *

Sec. 2.  21 V.S.A. § 643a is amended to read:

§ 643a.  DISCONTINUANCE OF BENEFITS

Unless an injured worker has successfully returned to work, an employer shall notify both the commissioner and the employee prior to terminating benefits under either section 642 or section 646 of this title.  The notice of intention to discontinue payments shall be filed on forms prescribed by the commissioner and shall include the date of the proposed discontinuance and the reasons for it.  The liability for the payments shall continue for 7 seven days after the notice is received by the commissioner and the employee.  Those payments shall be made without prejudice to the employer and may be deducted from any amounts due pursuant to section 648 of this title if the commissioner determines that the discontinuance is warranted or if otherwise ordered by the commissioner.  Every notice shall be reviewed by the commissioner to determine the sufficiency of the basis for the proposed discontinuance.  If, upon review, the commissioner finds that the evidence does not reasonably support the proposed discontinuance, the commissioner may shall order that payments continue until a hearing is held and a decision is rendered.

* * * Failure to Pay Benefits * * *

Sec. 3.  21 V.S.A. § 650(e) is amended to read:

(e)  If weekly compensation benefits or weekly accrued benefits are not paid within 21 days after becoming due and payable pursuant to an order of the commissioner, or in cases in which the overdue benefit is not in dispute, ten percent of the overdue amount shall be added and paid to the employee, in addition to interest and any other penalties.  In the case of an initial claim, benefits are due and payable upon entering into an agreement pursuant to subsection 662(a) of this title, upon issuance of an order of the commissioner pursuant to subsection 662(b) of this title, or if the employer has not denied the claim within 21 days after the claim is filed.  Benefits are in dispute if the claimant has been provided actual written notice of the dispute within 21 days of the benefit being due and payable and the evidence reasonably supports the denial.  Interest shall accrue and be paid on benefits that are found to be compensable during the period of nonpayment.  The commissioner shall promptly review requests for payment under this section and shall allow for the recovery of reasonable attorney fees associated with an employee’s successful request for payment under this subsection.

* * * Interim Orders * * *

Sec. 4.  21 V.S.A § 662(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In the absence of an agreement pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the employer or insurance carrier shall notify the commissioner and the employee in writing that the claim is denied and the reasons therefor.  Upon the employee’s application for a hearing under section 663 of this title, within 60 days, the commissioner may shall review the evidence upon which denial is based and if the evidence does not reasonably support the denial, the commissioner may shall order that payments be made until a hearing is held and a decision is rendered.  Payments pursuant to this subsection shall not be deemed an admission of liability by the employer nor shall such payments preclude subsequent agreement under subsection (a) of this section or prejudice the rights of either party to hearing or appeal under this chapter.

Nothing in this section shall require the commissioner to order payments pending a hearing if the commissioner concludes that the claim is not compensable regardless of the lack of evidence supporting the denial.  For the purposes of this section, any communication by an unrepresented claimant that questions the denial shall be deemed to be an application for hearing under section 663 of this title.

* * * Lump Sum Payment * * *

Sec. 5.  21 V.S.A. § 652(c) is added to read:

(c)  Unless otherwise requested by the claimant, an order for a lump sum payment of permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits or a lump sum settlement of a disputed claim shall include a provision accounting for excludable expenses and prorating the remainder of the lump sum payment in the manner set forth by the Social Security Administration in order to protect the claimant’s entitlement to Social Security benefits.

(Committee vote: 3-2-1)

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 515

An act relating to judicial determinations in juvenile proceedings.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Wilton for the Committee on Judiciary.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. §5515 by striking out  subsection (f) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(f)  At the conclusion of the detention hearing, the court shall make written findings on whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent unnecessary removal of the child from the home.  “Reasonable efforts” means the exercise of due diligence by the department for children and families to use appropriate and available services to prevent unnecessary removal of the child from the home.  When making the reasonable efforts determination, the court may find that no services were appropriate or reasonable considering the circumstances.  If the court makes written findings that aggravated circumstances are present, the court may make, but shall not be required to make, written findings as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal of the child from the home.  Aggravated circumstances may include:

(1)  a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the parent has subjected a child to abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse;

(2)  a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the parent has been convicted of murder or manslaughter of a child;

(3)  a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the parent has been convicted of a felony crime that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent; or

(4)  the parental rights of the parent with respect to a sibling have been terminated.

(Committee Vote: 6-0-0)

(No House amendments).)

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 117

An act relating to state recognition of the Abenaki people.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

(For text of amendment, see Senate Calendar for April 15, 2005, page 518)

S. 157

An act relating to rulemaking for Vermont origin.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading  of the bill.

CONFIRMATIONS

     The following appointments will be considered by the Senate, as a group, under suspension of the Rules, as moved by the President pro tempore, for confirmation together and without debate, by consent thereby given by the Senate.  However, upon request of any senator, any appointment may be singled out and acted upon separately by the Senate, with consideration given to the report of the Committee to which the appointment was referred, and with full debate; and further, all appointments for the positions of Secretaries of Agencies, Commissioners of Departments, Judges, Magistrates, and members of the Public Service Board shall be fully and separately acted upon.

Frank Cioffi of St. Albans – Member of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Board of Trustees – By Sen. Collins for the Committee on Education.  (4/7)

Albert C. Krawcyzk of Bennington – Member of the Transportation Board - By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Transportation.  (4/12)

Jeffrey Larkin of Duxbury – Member of the Travel Information Council – By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Transportation.  (4/12)

Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry – Chair of the Natural Resources Board – By Sen. Lyons for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.  (4/12)

Jonathan Wood of Jeffersonville – Commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation – By Sen. Bartlett for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.  (4/13)

Linda McIntire of Montpelier – Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources – By Sen. Doyle for the Committee on Government Operations.  (4/14)

James Reardon of Essex Junction – Commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management – By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Government Operations.  (4/14)

James Reardon of Essex Junction – Commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management – By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Government Operations.  (4/14)

Thomas Crowley of South Burlington – Member of the State Police Advisory Commission – By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Government Operations.  (4/14)

Arthur Williams of Fayston – Member of the Capitol Complex Commission – By Sen. Campbell for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/14)

Theodore Lindgren of Springfield – Member of the Parole Board – By Sen. Campbell for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/14)

Joseph Acinapura of Brandon – Member of the Parole Board – By Sen. Giard for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/20)

Dean George of Middlebury – Member of the Parole Board – By Sen. Giard for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/20)



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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