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Senate Calendar

thursday, may 5, 2005

121st DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2005

Third Reading

H. 184    Taking deer damaging crops............................................................. 789

NEW BUSINESS

Second Reading

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 163    Criminal abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.............. 789

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 789

                        Appropriations Committee Report........................................... 804

H. 199    Regulation of professions and occupations......................................... 804

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 804

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 806

                        Sen. Kitchel amendment.......................................................... 807

Committee Bills for Second Reading

S. 172     Municipal authority to charge fees for fire services............................. 807

S. 174     Home health agencies....................................................................... 807

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment............................................................. 807

Report of Committee of Conference

H. 198    Gift certificates.................................................................................. 808

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 299    Agency fee for teachers and administrators........................................ 808

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 165     Economic advancement tax incentives & economic development........ 809

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 809

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 156    Conservation motor vehicle registration plates.................................... 817                              Transportation Committee Report........................................................................................... 817

Concurrent Resolutions for Notice Under Joint Rule 16

SCR 31    Swanton Chamber of Commerce’s 2004 Outstanding Citizen.......... 203

HCR 116  UVM and Middlebury College graduates in the Peace Corps.......... 204

HCR 117  Honoring Green Up Day on its 35 anniversary................................ 206

HCR 118  Congratulating Barry Costello U.S.N. on his promotion.................. 207

HCR 119  Honoring Anne Noonan’s quarter century at VSEA........................ 209

HCR 120  Honoring achievements of the ReCycle North YouthBuild Org........ 211

HCR 121  Bellows Falls H. S. Alumni Association 100th anniversary............... 212

HCR 122  Saxtons River centennial anniversary on its incorporation................. 213

HCR 123  Simone Crosby Supreme President of Emblem Club....................... 214

HCR 124  Cynthia Gubb on her efforts on behalf of affordable housing............ 216

HCR 125  Honoring F. Ann Sullivan .............................................................. 216

HCR 126  Congratulating U-32 Drama Club .................................................. 217

HCR 127  In memory of William Reginald Rowley of Richford........................ 219

HCR 128  In memory of Cristin Gadue........................................................... 220

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 98       Voc. rehabilitation & payment under workers compensation.............. 819

S. 117     State recognition of the Abenaki people............................................ 819

S. 157     Relating to rulemaking for Vermont origin.......................................... 820



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2005

Third Reading

H. 184

An act relating to taking deer damaging crops.

NEW BUSINESS

Second Reading

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 163

An act relating to criminal abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.

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

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:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The General Assembly finds:

(1)  Vulnerable adults are one of the most abused segments of our population.  The 1998 National Elder Incidence Study reported that 449,925 elders experienced abuse or neglect in noninstitutional settings.  About 84 percent of these cases were never reported.  During the past five years, there has been a 41‑percent increase in the number of reports of abuse of vulnerable adults made to adult protective services in the Vermont department of aging and independent living.  During that same period, there has been a 66‑percent increase in the number of protective services provided to vulnerable adults.

(2)  Nationally, statistics show that more than 90 percent of people with developmental disabilities will experience sexual abuse at some point in their lives.  Only three percent of sexual abuse cases involving people with developmental disabilities are ever reported.

(3)  Crime victimization is a major problem among persons with severe mental illness (SMI).  In their report “Crime Victimization in Adults with Severe Mental Illness:  Comparison with the National Crime Victimization Survey,” researchers at Northwestern University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences documented that:

(A)  More than 25 percent of persons with SMI had been victims of violent crimes within the past year, more than 11 times the rate for the general population even after controlling for demographic differences.

(B)  For the types of violent crimes analyzed (various degrees of rape/sexual assault, robbery, and assault), the rates of occurrence for persons with SMI ranged from six to 23 times greater than the rates among the general population.

(4)  According to a 2002 General Accounting Office report on nursing home resident abuse, there is increasing concern that nursing home residents are abused by the very people who are supposed to care for them.  In 1999, over 25 percent of nursing homes nationwide were cited by state survey agencies for conduct that harmed residents or put them at risk of death or serious injury.  Reports of sexual and physical abuse often are not made promptly, and existing state and federal safeguards do not adequately protect residents from potentially abusive nursing home employees.

(5)  Prevention services, training, and education are critical components in reducing abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.  The more frequently and efficiently that education, prevention, and training services and other early interventions are employed, the greater likelihood that fewer vulnerable adults will be subject to abuse.  For example, reports to adult protective services increased by 18 percent during and immediately following a six-month 2004 public education campaign conducted by the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services to educate vulnerable adults, the elderly, caregivers, and the general public about the issues of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in Vermont.  Such a significant and immediate increase underscores the clear need for more public education and training about the crimes committed against this vulnerable segment of our population.

(6)  While this act enhances the ability to prosecute persons under criminal law who abuse vulnerable adults, it is also the intent of the General Assembly to focus attention on the crucial role that prevention and training services can play to intervene at an early stage and ensure that vulnerable adults are not abused at all.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. chapter 28 is added to read:

CHAPTER 28.  ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND

EXPLOITATION OF VULNERABLE ADULTS

§ 1375.  definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Bodily injury” means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

(2)  “Caregiver” means:

(A)  a person, agency, facility, or other organization with responsibility for providing subsistence, health, or other care to a vulnerable adult, who has assumed the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, or by an order of the court; or

(B)  a person providing care, including health care, custodial care, personal care, mental health services, rehabilitative services, or any other kind of care which is required because of another’s age or disability.

(3)  “Lewd and lascivious conduct” means any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a vulnerable adult, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of the person or the vulnerable adult.

(4)  “Neglect” means intentional or reckless failure or omission by a caregiver to:

(A)(i)  provide care or arrange for goods, services, or living conditions necessary to maintain the health or safety of a vulnerable adult, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services, unless the caregiver is acting pursuant to the wishes of the vulnerable adult or his or her representative, or an advanced directive as defined in chapter 111 of Title 18; or

(ii)  make a reasonable effort, in accordance with the authority granted the caregiver, to protect a vulnerable adult from abuse, neglect or exploitation by others.

(B)  Neglect may be repeated conduct or a single incident which has resulted in or could be expected to result in physical or psychological harm, as a result of subdivisions (A)(i) or (ii) of this subdivision (4).

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

(6)  “Sexual act” means conduct between persons consisting of contact between the penis and the vulva, the penis and the anus, the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or any intrusion, however slight, by any part of a person’s body or any object into the genital or anal opening of another.

(7)  “Sexual activity” means a sexual act, other than appropriate health care or personal hygiene, or lewd and lascivious conduct.

(8) “Vulnerable adult” means any person 18 years of age or older who:

(A)  is a resident of a facility required to be licensed under chapter 71 of Title 33;

(B)  is a resident of a psychiatric hospital or a psychiatric unit of a hospital;

(C)  has been receiving personal care and services from an agency certified by the Vermont department of aging and independent living or from a person or organization that offers, provides, or arranges for personal care; or

(D)  regardless of residence or whether any type of service is received, is impaired due to brain damage, infirmities of aging, or a physical, mental, or developmental disability that results in some impairment of the individual’s ability to:

(i)  provide for his or her own care without assistance, including the provision of food, shelter, clothing, health care, supervision, or management of finances; or

(ii)  protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

§ 1376.  Abuse

(a)  A caregiver who engages in conduct with an intent or reckless disregard that the conduct is likely to cause unnecessary harm, unnecessary pain, or unnecessary suffering to a vulnerable adult shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(b)  A caregiver who commits an assault, as defined in section 1023 of this title, with actual or constructive knowledge that the victim is a vulnerable adult, shall be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.

(c)  A caregiver who commits an aggravated assault as defined in subdivision 1024(a)(1) or (2) of this title with actual or constructive knowledge that the victim is a vulnerable adult shall be imprisoned not more than 20 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both. 

§ 1377.  ABUSE BY UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT AND UNLAWFUL CONFINEMENT

(a)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person shall knowingly or recklessly:

(1)  cause or threaten to cause unnecessary or unlawful confinement or unnecessary or unlawful restraint of a vulnerable adult; or

(2)  administer or threaten to administer a drug, a substance, or electroconvulsive therapy to a vulnerable adult.

(b)  This section shall not apply if the confinement, restraint, administration, or threat is:

(1)  part of a legitimate and lawful medical or therapeutic treatment; or

(2)  lawful and reasonably necessary to protect the safety of the vulnerable adult or others, provided that less intrusive alternatives have been attempted if doing so would be reasonable under the circumstances.

(c)  A person who violates this section shall:

(1)  be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(2)  if the violation causes bodily injury, be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(3)  if the violation causes serious bodily injury, be imprisoned not more than 15 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

§ 1378.  NEGLECT

(a)  A caregiver who intentionally or recklessly neglects a vulnerable adult shall be imprisoned not more than 18 months or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(b)  A caregiver who violates subsection (a) of this section, and as a result of such neglect, serious bodily injury occurs to the vulnerable adult, shall be imprisoned not more than 15 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

§ 1379.  SEXUAL ABUSE

(a)  A person who volunteers for or is paid by a caregiving facility or program shall not engage in any sexual activity with a vulnerable adult.  It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this subsection that the sexual activity was consensual between the vulnerable adult and a caregiver who was hired, supervised, and directed by the vulnerable adult.  A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(b)  No person, whether or not the person has actual knowledge of the victim’s vulnerable status, shall engage in sexual activity with a vulnerable adult if:

(1)  the vulnerable adult does not consent to the sexual activity; or

(2)  the person knows or should know that the vulnerable adult is incapable of resisting, declining, or consenting to the sexual activity due to his or her specific vulnerability or due to fear of retribution or hardship.

(c)  A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be:

(1)  imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both, if the sexual activity involves lewd and lascivious conduct;

(2)  imprisoned for not more than 20 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both, if the sexual activity involves a sexual act.

(d)  A caregiver who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be:

(1)  imprisoned for not more than seven years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both, if the sexual activity involves lewd and lascivious conduct.

(2)  imprisoned for not more than 25 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both, if the sexual activity involves a sexual act.

§ 1380.  Financial exploitation

(a)  No person shall willfully use, withhold, transfer, or dispose of funds or property of a vulnerable adult, without or in excess of legal authority, for wrongful profit or advantage.  No person shall willfully acquire possession or control of or an interest in funds or property of a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, or fraud.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section, and exploits money, funds, or property of no more than $500.00 in value, shall be imprisoned not more than 18 months or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(c)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section, and exploits money, funds, or property in excess of $500.00 in value, shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

§ 1381.  Exploitation of services

Any person who willfully forces or compels a vulnerable adult against his or her will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

§ 1382.  DEFERRED SENTENCE

Notwithstanding the limitation of subsection 7041(a) of this title, a court may, on the motion of a party or on its own motion, with or without the consent of the state’s attorney, defer sentencing for a misdemeanor violation of this chapter and place the defendant on probation upon such terms and conditions as it may require.

§ 1383.  ADULT ABUSE REGISTRY

A person who is convicted of a crime under this chapter shall be placed on the adult abuse registry.  A deferred sentence is considered a conviction for purposes of the adult abuse registry.

Sec. 3.  13 V.S.A. § 5301(7) is amended to read:

§ 5301.  Definitions

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(7)  For the purpose of this chapter, “listed crime” means any of the following offenses:

* * *

(Z)  burglary into an occupied dwelling as defined in section subsection 1201(c) of this title; and

(AA)  the attempt to commit any of the offenses listed in this section; and

(BB)  abuse (section 1376 of this title), abuse by restraint (section 1377 of this title), neglect (section 1378 of this title), sexual abuse (section 1379 of this title), financial exploitation (section 1380 of this title), and exploitation of services (section 1381 of this title).

Sec. 4.  33 V.S.A. § 6913 is amended to read:

§ 6913.  PENALTIES; DEFERRED SENTENCING; CRIMINAL SEXUAL ACTIVITY BY CAREGIVER; ABUSE; NEGLECT; EXPLOITATION; MANDATORY REPORTER’S FAILURE TO REPORT

(a)  Any person who engages in abuse, as defined in subdivision 6902(1)(B) or (C) of this title shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or be imprisoned not more than 18 months, or both.

(b)  Any person who willfully engages in exploitation as defined in subdivision 6902(6)(A), (B) or (C) of this title, shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or be imprisoned for not more than 18 months, or both.

(c)  Any caregiver who purposely, knowingly or recklessly neglects a vulnerable adult as defined in subdivision 6902(7) of this title shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or be imprisoned for not more than 18 months, or both.

(d)  Any caregiver who engages in abuse of a vulnerable adult in violation of subdivision 6902(1)(D) of this title shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or be imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(e)  Any mandatory reporter as defined in subdivision 6903(a)(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this title that willfully violates subsection 6903(a) of this title shall be fined not more than $500.00 or be imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(f)  Notwithstanding the limitation of 13 V.S.A. § 7041(a), a court may, on the motion of a party or on its own motion, with or without the consent of the state’s attorney, defer sentencing and place the defendant on probation upon such terms and conditions as it may require.

(g)  Whenever the commissioner finds, after notice and hearing, that a person has committed sexual abuse as defined in subdivision 6902(1)(D) of this title, sexual exploitation as defined in subdivision 6902(6)(D), exploitation as defined in subdivision 6902(6)(A) or (B) in an amount in excess of $500.00, abuse which causes grievous injury to or the death of a vulnerable adult, or neglect which causes grievous injury to or the death of a vulnerable adult, the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $10,000.00 for each violation, except as provided in subsection (h) of this section.  The commissioner shall notify the office of professional regulation, or any other professional licensing board applicable to the violator, of any decision made pursuant to this subsection.

(h)(b)  Whenever the commissioner finds, after notice and hearing, that a mandatory reporter, as defined in subdivisions 6903(a)(1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) of this title, has willfully violated the provisions of subsection 6903(a), the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty not to exceed $500.00 per violation.  For purposes of this subsection, every 24 hours that a report is not made beyond the period for reporting required by subsection 6903(a) shall constitute a new and separate violation, and a mandatory reporter shall be liable for an administrative penalty of not more than $500.00 for each 24-hour period, not to exceed a maximum penalty of $5,000.00 per reportable incident.

(i)(c)  A person who is aggrieved by a decision under subsection (g)(a) or (h)(b) of this section may appeal that decision to the superior court where either party may request trial by jury.

Sec. 5.  13 V.S.A. § 5401(10) is amended to read:

(10)  “Sex offender” means:

(A)  A person who is convicted in any jurisdiction of the United States, including a state, territory, commonwealth, the District of Columbia, or military, federal, or tribal court of any of the following offenses:

* * *

(iv)  sexual activity by a caregiver as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 6913(d) abuse of a vulnerable adult as defined in section 1379 of this title;

* * *

Sec. 6.  33 V.S.A. § 6906(a) is amended to read:

§ 6906.  INVESTIGATION

(a)(1)  The commissioner shall cause an investigation to commence within 48 hours after receipt of a report made pursuant to section 6904 of this title.

(2)  The commissioner shall keep the reporter and the alleged victim informed during all stages of the investigation, and shall:

(A)  notify the reporter, the victim, and the victim’s legal representative, if any, in writing if adult protective services or the division of licensing and protection decides not to investigate the report.  The notification shall be provided within five business days after the decision is made and shall inform the reporter that he or she may ask the commissioner to review the decision.

(B)  notify the reporter, the victim, and the victim’s legal representative, if any, in writing if adult protective services or the division of licensing and protection refers the report to another agency.  The notification shall be provided within five business days after the referral is made.

(C)  notify the reporter, the victim, and the victim’s legal representative, if any, in writing of the outcome of the investigation.  The notification shall be provided within five business days after the decision is made and shall inform the reporter that he or she may ask the commissioner to review the decision.

Sec. 7.  33 V.S.A. § 6912 is amended to read:

§ 6912.  PUBLIC EDUCATION AND DISCLOSURE OF RIGHTS AND DUTIES; POSTING OF NOTICE

(a)  The department, within available appropriations, shall conduct a publicity and education program to encourage the fullest degree of reporting of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.

(b)  All agencies, facilities or institutions providing care and services to elderly or, disabled, or vulnerable adults shall inform their employees of their right and duty to report suspected incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and the protections afforded them by this chapter, and shall establish appropriate policies and procedures to facilitate such reporting.

(c)(1)  All agencies, facilities, or institutions providing care and services to vulnerable adults shall post in a prominent and accessible location a poster describing the protections afforded to vulnerable adults by this chapter and by chapter 28 of Title 13.  The poster shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(A)  A statement that abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults is unlawful.

(B)  A statement that it is unlawful to retaliate against a person for filing a complaint of abuse, neglect, or exploitation or for cooperating in an investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(C)  A description and examples of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

(D)  A statement of the range of consequences for persons who commit abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(E)  If the agency, facility, or institution has more than five employees, a description of the process for filing internal complaints about abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the person or persons to whom complaints should be made.

(F)  The complaint process of the appropriate state and federal agencies and directions as to how to contact such agencies. 

(2)  Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, the poster required by this subsection shall be posted in a location where it would ordinarily be viewed by vulnerable adults.

(3)  An agency, facility, or institution which provides home-based services shall:

(A)  display the poster required by this subsection in its principal place of business; and

(B)  provide a written notice which includes all information contained on the poster to each vulnerable adult for whom services are provided.    

Sec. 8.  13 V.S.A. § 1024 is amended to read:

§ 1024.  AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

(a)  A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he the person:

(1)  attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or

(2)  attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(3)  for a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, he the person intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury to another person by administering to him the other person, without his the other person’s consent, a drug, substance, or preparation capable of producing the intended harm; or

(4)  with intent to prevent a law enforcement officer from performing a lawful duty, he the person causes physical injury to any person; or

(5)  is armed with a deadly weapon and threatens to use the deadly weapon on another person.

(b)  A person found guilty of violating a provision of subsection subdivision (a)(1) or (2) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than 15 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(c)  A person found guilty of violating a provision of subsection subdivision (a)(3) or, (4), or (5) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(d)  Subdivision (a)(5) of this section shall not apply if the person threatened to use the deadly weapon:

(1)  in the just and necessary defense of his or her own life or the life of his or her husband, wife, civil union partner, parent, child, brother, sister, guardian, or ward;

(2)  in the suppression of a person attempting to commit murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, burglary, or robbery; or

(3)  in the case of a civil or military officer lawfully called out to suppress a riot or rebellion, prevent or suppress an invasion, or assist in serving legal process, in suppressing opposition against him or her in the just and necessary discharge of his or her duty.

Sec. 9.  13 V.S.A. § 5405 is amended to read:

§ 5405.  COURT DETERMINATION OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS

(a)  The general assembly finds that some sexual offenders should be subject to increased sex offender registry and community notification procedures.  It is the intent of the general assembly that state’s attorneys utilize the provisions in this section to petition the court to designate those offenders who pose a greater risk to the public as sexually violent predators to ensure that those offenders will be required to register as sex offenders for life, and that they will be among those offenders who are included on the state’s internet sex offender registry. 

(b)  Within ten 15 days after the conviction of a sex offender, the state may file a written request petition with the court requesting that the person be designated as a sexually violent predator.

(b)(c)  The determination of whether a person is a sexually violent predator shall be made by the court at the time of sentencing after reviewing the recommendations of at least two experts in the behavior and treatment of sexual offenders

(d)  The court shall order a presentence investigation which shall include a psychosexual evaluation of the offender.  

(c)(e)  In making a determination of whether the person is a sexually violent predator, the court shall examine the following:

(1)  the person’s criminal history;

(2)  any testimony presented at trial, including expert testimony as to the person’s mental state;

(3)  the person’s history of treatment for a personality disorder or mental abnormality connected with his or her criminal sexual behavior;

(4)  any mitigating evidence, including treatment history or, evidence of modified behavior, or expert testimony, which the convicted sex offender wishes to provide to the court prior to the determination; and

(5)  any other relevant evidence.

(d)(f)  The standard of proof when the court makes such a determination shall be clear and convincing evidence that the convicted sex offender suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses.

(g)  The court shall determine whether the offender was eligible to be charged as a habitual offender as provided in section 11 of this title or a violent career criminal as provided in section 11a of this title and shall make findings as to such.

(e)(h)  After making a determination its determinations, the court shall issue a written decision explaining the reasons for its determination determinations and provide a copy of the decision to the department within 10 days.

(i)  A person who is determined to be a sexually violent predator shall be subject to sex offender lifetime registration and community notification and inclusion on the internet sex offender registry as provided in this subchapter.

Sec. 10.  13 V.S.A. § 2602 is amended to read:

§ 2602.  LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT WITH CHILD

(a)  A person who No person shall wilfully and lewdly commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of sixteen 16 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of such person or of such child, shall be imprisoned for the first offense, not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both; for the second offense, not less than two years and not more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both; and for the third or subsequent offense, not less than three years and not more than 20 years, or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be:

(1)  For a first offense, imprisoned not less than one year and not more than 15 years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(2)  For a second offense, imprisoned not less than two years and not more than 30 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(3)  For a third offense, imprisoned not less than three years and up to and including life or fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

Sec. 11.  13 V.S.A. § 2825(e) is amended to read:

(e)  A person who violates section 2828 of this title (use of electronic communication to lure a child) shall:

(1)  For a first offense, be imprisoned not more than five 15 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both; or

(2)  For a second or subsequent offense, be imprisoned not more than 30 years and fined not more than $20,000.00, or both.

Sec. 12.  13 V.S.A. § 3253 is amended to read:

§ 3253.  AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

* * *

(b)  A person who commits the crime of aggravated sexual assault shall be punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment imprisoned up to and including life or a fine of fined not more than $50,000.00, or both.  No person who receives a minimum sentence under this section shall be eligible for early release or furlough until the expiration of the minimum sentence imposed.

Sec. 13.  APPROPRIATION – FUNDING FOR EVALUATIONS

The amount of $50,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2006 to the department of corrections for the purpose of funding psychosexual evaluations as a part of presentence investigations conducted by the department in cases involving a petition to have a person designated as a sexually violent predator as provided in 13 V.S.A. § 5405 or in sentencing for the crimes of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2602, aggravated sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3253, and second offense use of electronic communication to lure a child as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2828.  This appropriation shall be used only for the purposes defined in this section, and any unexpended balance of this appropriation shall carry forward and not be reverted to the general fund.  The department of corrections shall include in its annual budget proposal for fiscal year 2007 and thereafter an allocation to fund these evaluations.  The annual allocation shall be estimated based on the need for such evaluations experienced in the current and previous two fiscal years.

Sec. 14.  REPORT

(a)  On or before January 15, 2006 and on or before January 15 of each year thereafter, the secretary of the agency of human services shall submit a report to the following committees:  the house and senate committees on judiciary, the house committee on human services, and the senate committee on health and welfare.  The report shall include:

(1)(A)  The number of reports of abuse, exploitation, and neglect:

(i)  received by adult protective services (APS) within the department of aging and independent living during the preceding year, and the total number of persons who filed reports.

(ii)  investigated by APS during the preceding year.

(iii)  substantiated by APS during the preceding year.

(iv)  referred to other agencies for investigation by APS during the preceding year, including identification of each agency and the number of referrals it received.

(v)  referred for protective services by APS during the preceding year, including a summary of the services provided.

(B)  For each type of report required from APS by subdivision (1)(A) of this section, a statistical breakdown of the number of reports according to the type of abuse and to the victim’s:

(i)  relationship to the reporter;

(ii)  relationship to the alleged perpetrator;

(iii)  age;

(iv)  disability or impairment; and

(v)  place of residency.

(2)  A complete description of the types of services offered by APS in response to reports of abuse, exploitation, and neglect, including identification of the funding sources for each service, past trends, and future projections for funding, and whether the current and anticipated funding is adequate to meet the service needs.

(3)  A complete description of the notification which APS provides to persons who make reports of abuse, exploitation, and neglect, and the notifications provided to the persons when APS determines to investigate or not to investigate a report, to conclude an investigation, to substantiate or not to substantiate a report, or to refer the report to another agency.

(b)  The report submitted on January 15, 2006 shall include:

(1)  A description of any costs incurred by the department of aging and independent living as a result of meeting the requirements of this act.

(2)  An update on coordination and communication between the department of aging and independent living and the department for children and families with respect to the adult abuse registry established under section 6911 of Title 33 and the child abuse registry established under section 4913 of Title 33.  The update shall include how information on the registries is shared between state personnel and private employers, and whether employers are required to make separate requests from each registry or whether one request automatically produces information from both registries.

(c)  On or before January 1, 2006, the attorney general shall report to the  house and senate committees on judiciary on whether any issues or difficulties have resulted from removing the requirement that the adult be receiving services “for more than one month” from the definition of “vulnerable adult” in subdivision 1375(8)(C) of Title 13.

(Committee Vote: 6-0-0)

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as recommended by the Committee on Judiciary with the following amendment thereto:

First:  In Sec. 13, by striking out the following: “fiscal year 2006” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: fiscal year 2005

Second:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 15 to read as follow:

Sec. 15.  EFFECTIVE DATE

     Sec. 13 shall be effective upon passage. 

(Committee Vote: 6-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 6, 2005, page 516.)

H. 199

An act relating to regulation of professions and occupations.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Kitchel for the Committee on Government Operations.

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  By striking out Sec. 7 in its entirety.

Second:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 44a to read as follows:

Sec. 44a.  26 V.S.A. § 1272 is amended to read:

§ 1272.  RULES

The board, with the assistance of the office of professional regulation, shall adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this subchapter to insure the proper handling of all funds paid pursuant to a prepaid funeral agreement and to protect consumers in the event of default.  The rules shall include provisions relating to the following:

* * *

(2)  The appointment of an escrow agent who may be a bank or other category of individual such as an attorney, a local elected official, next of kin, or the executor of a buyer’s estate.  All prepaid arrangement funds shall be paid directly to the escrow agent and not to the funeral director or establishment.

* * *

(6)  Records to be kept, manner of disclosure, and clauses to be included in contracts, including pre-need trust forms, and agreements.  Records shall include a copy of the prepaid arrangement check which shall be kept in the prepaid account file maintained by the funeral director.

* * *

(9)  Establishment of a funeral services trust account.  For purposes of funding the funeral services trust account, the board or the office of professional regulation shall assess each funeral or crematory establishment a per funeral, burial, or disposition fee of $6.00.  The account shall be administered by the secretary of state and shall be used for the sole purpose of protecting prepaid funeral contract holders in the event a funeral establishment defaults on its obligations under the contract.  The account shall consist of all fees collected under this subdivision and any assessments authorized by the general assembly.  The principal and interest remaining in the account at the close of any fiscal year shall not revert but shall remain in the account for use in succeeding fiscal years.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the fund balance at the beginning of a fiscal year is at least $200,000.00 $350,000.00, no fees shall be imposed during that fiscal year.  Payments on consumer claims from the fund shall be made on warrants by the commissioner of finance and management, at the direction of the board of funeral services.  When an investigation reveals financial discrepancies within a licensed establishment, the director may order an audit to determine the existence of possible claims on the funeral services trust account.  In cases where both a funeral and crematory establishment are involved in a disposition, the party receiving the burial permit shall be responsible for the disposition fee.

Third:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 89a to read as follows:

Sec. 89a.  26 V.S.A. § 3162(7) is amended to read:

(7)  Adopt rules establishing a security guard or private investigator training program, consisting of not fewer than 40 hours of training, as a prerequisite to registration.  Full-time employees shall complete the training program prior to being issued a permanent registration.  Part-time employees shall complete not fewer than eight hours of training prior to being issued a part-time employee temporary registration which shall be valid for 180 days.  The remaining training hours for part-time employees shall be completed within the temporary registration period of 180 days or before the employee has worked 500 hours, whichever occurs first.  The part-time employee temporary registration shall expire after 180 days or 500 hours.  For the purposes of this section, “part-time employee” means an employee who works no more than 80 hours per month.  The board may prioritize training subjects to require that certain subject areas are covered in the initial eight hours of training required for part-time employees.

Fourth:  By striking out Sec. 97 in it entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 97 to read as follows:

Sec. 97.  26 V.S.A. § 4037 is amended to read:

§ 4037.  ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, an applicant:

(1)  Shall have successfully:

(A)(i)  completed either a graduate degree program in marriage and family therapy at an institution that is accredited by both a regional educational accrediting body and the commission, or a post-graduate training institute that is accredited by the commission; or

(ii)  obtained a graduate degree focusing on marriage and family therapy, as defined by the board by rule, at an institution that is accredited by a regional or national educational accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and approved by the board; and

(B)  met specific graduate credit and course requirements for licensure as set forth by the board by rule.

(2)  [Deleted.]

(3)  Shall have successfully completed a two calendar year two‑calendar‑year work experience in marriage and family therapy under the supervision of either a licensed marriage and family therapist or licensed clinical social worker in this state or a marriage and family therapist or licensed clinical social worker in another state who would meet the license requirements.  Persons engaged in the work experience shall be entered on the roster of psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified and shall comply with the laws of that profession.  The board shall adopt rules establishing standards and procedures for satisfying the requirements of this subdivision.

(4)  Shall have passed an examination as provided in section 4038 of this title.

(Committee Vote: 6-0-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Maynard for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 4-0-3)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 24, 2005, page 277.)

PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT TO H. 199, TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR KITCHEL, ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Senator Kitchel, on behalf of the Committee on Government Operations, moves that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  By striking out Sec. 1 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 1 to read as follows:

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 123(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Upon request, the office shall provide administrative, secretarial, financial, investigatory, inspection, and legal services to the boards.  The administrative services provided by the office shall include:

(1)  Sending, receiving, and processing applications for licenses.

(2)  Issuing, recording, renewing, and reinstating all licenses as ordered by the boards, an appellate officer, the director, an administrative law officer, or a court.

(3)  Revoking or suspending licenses as ordered by the boards, the director, an administrative law officer, or a court.

Second:  In Sec. 43, 26 V.S.A. § 1256(e), by striking out the words “or embalmer

Committee Bills for Second Reading

S. 172

An act relating to municipal authority to charge fees for fire services.

By the Committee on Economic Development, and Housing and General Affairs.

S. 174

An act relating to home health agencies.

By the Committee on Appropriations.

AMENDMENT TO S. 174 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI

Senator Illuzzi moves to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 5, 33 V.S.A. § 509(d), first sentence, after the word “modified” by inserting the following: by the commissioner after notice and opportunity for hearing, or

Second:  In Sec. 5, 33 V.S.A. § 510(d), by adding a new subsection (e), to read as follows:

(e)  If access, cost and quality issues are not remedied or to the satisfaction of the commissioner within the time specified by rule, the commissioner shall have the authority for the ensuing three fiscal or calendar years to review and approve and shall review and approve:

          (1)  the compensation  of the officers of each agency;

          (2)  the proposed annual fiscal year expenditures of each agency.

Report of Committee of Conference

H.198

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House Bill, entitled:

H. 198.  AN ACT RELATING TO GIFT CERTIFICATES.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment

                                                                 Hull Maynard

                                                                 Claire Ayer

                                                                 Peter Welch

                                                      Committee on the part of the Senate

                                                                 Ernest Shand

                                                                 Kathleen Keenan

                                                                 Mark Young

                                                      Committee on the part of the House

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 299

An act relating to an agency fee for teachers and administrators.

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

(Committee vote:  4-0-2)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 19, 2005, page 700)


Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 165

An act relating to economic advancement tax incentives and economic development.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Ayer for the Committee on Finance.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, subdivision (3) by striking out the following: “Total reduction in Education Fund: 3.2 million” and inserting in lieu thereof  the following: Total reduction in Education Fund: 2.7 million

Second:  By striking  out Sec. 3 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.  RECAPTURE AND DISALLOWANCE OF PRIOR EATI AWARDS

     (a)  The Attorney General shall consult with the Department of Taxes and the Vermont Economic Progress Council on legal strategies for recapturing or disallowing awards authorized by the council both prior to and subsequent to July 1, 2000.

     (b)  If the Attorney General concludes that legal action to recapture or disallow any awards is warranted, the Attorney General shall pursue appropriate legal action for the purpose.  The Attorney General may take legal actions in support of or independent of any administrative action taken by the Department of Taxes and the Vermont Economic Progress Council to recapture or disallow awards.

     (c)  On or before November 1, 2005, the Attorney General shall report to the Joint Fiscal Committee and the Economic Development Study Committee established by Sec. 9 of this act regarding any legal actions taken pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.  This report shall include recommendations by the Attorney General for statutory changes for recapturing or disallowing awards.

     (d)  For the purposes of this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Attorney General shall have access to all records and documents pertaining to the EATI awards subject to this section in the possession of the Vermont Economic Progress Council and the Department of Taxes, and shall in turn be subject to the confidentiality requirements and applicable penalties for any breach of confidentiality.

Third:  In Sec. 5, by striking out subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

(c)  For the fiscal years beginning July 1, 2005 but before July 1, 2007, the Vermont Economic Progress Council is authorized to grant the awards pursuant to the single, payroll-based incentive program established by Sec. 7 of this act.  Unless extended by act of the General Assembly, Sec. 7 of this act is repealed effective July 1, 2007, and any unused authorizations granted before July 1, 2007 shall remain in effect.

Fourth:  In Sec. 7, 32 V.S.A. § 5930b(g), by striking out the following:

Credits taken minus [qualifying capital investments made ÷

minimum qualifying capital investment] × total award

and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Credits taken minus [(qualifying capital investments made ÷

minimum qualifying capital investment) × total award ]

Fifth:  In Sec. 7, 32 V.S.A. § 5930b, by striking out subsection (h) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (h) to read as follows:

     (h)  Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this section, the council may authorize credits in excess of the incentive ratio multiplied by the net fiscal benefit or credits resulting in a net fiscal cost.  In either case, credits under this section shall not exceed an annual authorization established by law. 

Sixth:  In Sec. 7, 32 V.S.A.§ 5930b(j), in the second sentence, following the word “contain” by inserting the following: information received from written reports in accordance with subsection 5930a(n) of this title,

Seventh:  By striking out Sec. 8 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 8 to read as follows:

Sec. 8.  FISCAL YEAR 2006 CAPS

(a)  Net and excess fiscal cost annual authorization.  In fiscal year 2006, the annual authorization for credits in excess of the incentive ratio multiplied by the net fiscal benefits or credits resulting in a new fiscal cost, which the council may approve under 32 V.S.A. § 5930b(h), and property tax allocations and tax increment financing districts under 32 V.S.A. § 5404a(e) and (f), shall not exceed $1,000,000.00 from the general fund and education fund combined.  Incentives approved within this annual authorization amount for the total net and excess fiscal cost shall be granted solely for awards to businesses located in a labor market area of this state in which the rate of unemployment is greater than the average for the state or in which the average annual wage is below the average annual wage for the state.  For the purposes of this section, a “labor market area” shall be determined by the department of employment and training.

(b)  Total credit and benefit annual authorization.  In fiscal year 2006, the total amount of payroll-based job credits the Vermont Economic Progress council is authorized to approve under 32 V.S.A. § 5930b and property tax allocations and tax increment financing districts under 32 V.S.A. § 5404a(e) and (f) shall not exceed $17,500,000.00 from the general fund and education fund combined.  This maximum annual amount may be exceeded by the Vermont Economic Progress Council upon application to and approval of the Emergency Board.

Eighth:  By inserting a new section to be numbered Sec. 7a to read as follows:

Sec. 7a.  21 V.S.A. § 1314(e)(1) is amended to read:

(e)(1)  Subject to such restrictions as the board may by regulation prescribe, information from unemployment insurance records may be made available to any public officer or public agency of this or any other state or the federal government dealing with the administration of relief, public assistance, unemployment compensation, a system of public employment offices, wages and hours of employment, or a public works program for purposes appropriate to the necessary operation of those offices or agencies.  The commissioner may also make information available to colleges, universities and public agencies of the state, for use in connection with research projects of a public service nature, and to the Vermont economic progress council with regard to the administration of subchapter 11E of chapter 151 of Title 32; but no person associated with those institutions or agencies may disclose that information in any manner which would reveal the identity of any individual or employing unit from or concerning whom the information was obtained by the commissioner.

* * *

Ninth: In Sec. 9, subsection (d), in subdivisions (1) and (2), by striking out the word “oversee” each time it appears and inserting in lieu thereof the word review and in subdivision (2), by striking the year “2006” and inserting in lieu thereof the year 2007

Tenth:  By striking out Sec. 10 (film industry credits) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof three new sections to be numbered Secs. 10, 10a, and 10b to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  10 V.S.A. § 291 is amended to read:

§ 291.  VERMONT SEED CAPITAL FUND; AUTHORIZATION; LIMITATIONS

* * *

(b)  The Vermont seed capital fund shall be formed as either a business corporation or a limited partnership pursuant to Title 11 and shall be subject to all the following:

* * *

(2)  Before the fund makes any investments, the fund shall:

(A)  If organized as a corporation, have and thereafter maintain a board of nine directors, seven of whom shall to be elected by the shareholders and two of whom shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate and shall represent the public interest of the state.

(B)  If organized as a partnership, have and maintain a board of three advisors appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate Vermont economic development authority.  The board of advisors shall represent solely the public economic interest of the state with respect to the management of the fund and shall have no civil liability for the financial performance of the fund.  The board of advisors shall be advised of investments made by the fund and shall have access to all information held by the fund with respect to investments made by the fund.

* * *

(5)  No person shall be allocated more than 10 percent of the available tax credits.  For the purposes of determining allocation, the attribution rules of Section 318 of the Internal Revenue Code in effect as of the effective date of this chapter shall apply.

(6)  The first $2  million of initial capitalization of the Vermont seed capital fund raised from Vermont taxpayers by the termination date as set by the fund, which termination date shall be on or before January 1, 2014, shall be eligible for partial tax credits as specified in 32 V.S.A. § 5830b.

(7)  All investments and related business dealings using funds that qualify for partial tax credits under 32 V.S.A. § 5830b shall be subject to the following restrictions:

(A)  The investments shall be restricted to Vermont firms, which for the purposes of this chapter means that their Vermont apportionment equals or exceeds 50 percent, using the apportionment rules under 32 V.S.A. § 5833, and they maintain headquarters and a principal facility in VermontAny funds invested in Vermont firms shall be used for the purpose of enhancing their Vermont investments.  Investment shall be restricted to firms that export the majority of their products and services outside the state or add substantial value to products and materials within the state.  In its investments, the fund shall give priority to new firms and existing firms that are developing new products.

* * *

Sec. 10a.  10 V.S.A. § 293 is amended to read:

§ 293.  CAPITALIZATION

The fund may solicit and receive subscriptions, provided that if total subscriptions for amounts exceeding $2 the fund exceed $5 million by the termination date as set by the fund, the tax credit amount available to taxpayers under 32 V.S.A. § 5830b shall be reduced pro rata among subscribers subscribing for more than $2 million in the event the issue is oversubscribed by the termination date as set by the fund subscriber taxpayers so that the total cost of the tax credits shall be $1 million.  The minimum capitalization shall be $1 million.

Sec. 10b.  32 V.S.A. § 5830b is amended to read:

§ 5830b.  TAX CREDITS; VERMONT SEED CAPITAL FUND

(a)  The initial capitalization of the Vermont seed capital fund, comprising a maximum $2 $5 million raised from Vermont taxpayers on or before

January 1, 2007 2014, shall entitle those taxpayers to a credit against the tax imposed by sections 5822, 5832, 5836, or 8551 of this title.  The credit may be claimed for the taxable year in which a contribution is made and each of the four succeeding the next taxable years year.  The amount of the credit for each year shall be the lesser of ten percent of the taxpayer's contribution or 50 20 percent of the taxpayer's tax liability for that taxable year prior to the allowance of this credit; provided, however, that in no event shall the aggregate credit allowable under this section for all taxable years exceed 50 20 percent of the taxpayer's contribution to the initial $2 $5 million capitalization of the Vermont seed capital fund.  The credit shall be nontransferable except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.  The amount of the credit available under this section will be reduced proportionally by the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 293 if fund subscriptions exceed $5 million.

     (b)  If the taxpayer disposes of an interest in the Vermont seed capital fund within four two years after the date on which the taxpayer acquired that interest, any unused credit attributable to the disposed-of interest is disallowed. This disallowance does not apply in the event of an involuntary transfer of the interest, including a transfer at death to any heir, devisee, legatee, or trustee, or in the event of a transfer without consideration to or in trust for the benefit of the taxpayer or one or more persons related to the taxpayer as spouse, descendant, parent, grandparent, or child.

Eleventh:  By striking out Secs. 12 and 13 (Wood products credits) in their entirety.

Twelfth:  In Sec. 14, 32 V.S.A. § 5930a(a), in the seventh sentence, by striking out the word “may” each time it appears and inserting in lieu thereof the word shall and in the eighth sentence, after the words “general assembly” by inserting the following: shall serve two-year terms and and in the eleventh sentence; by inserting after the following: “section 1010 of this” the word title and by striking out the words “any members appointed by the general assembly who are members of the legislature” and inserting in lieu thereof the words legislative members

Thirteenth:  By striking out Sec. 17 (Brownfields) in its entirety.

Fourteenth: In Sec. 18, 32 V.S.A. § 5404a, by striking out subsections (e) and (f) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows:

(e)  A municipality may apply to the Vermont economic progress council for an allocation of the education grand list value for up to ten years, of a portion of the increase in the value and liability assessed under section 5402 of this title on new economic development that is subsequently real property improvements approved by the Vermont economic progress council pursuant to this section and section 5930a of this title.  The council shall not approve an allocation unless it determines that the project is consistent overall with the “but for” test, the guidelines, and other criteria set forth in subsection 5930b(c), (d), and (e) of this title.  Allocation to a municipality pursuant to this subsection shall be in addition to any other payments to the municipality under chapter 133 of Title 16.  If allocated, the allocated portion of the education fund liability shall be used by the municipality to support economic development through the purchase or financing of for infrastructure, including, but not limited to wastewater treatment, water supply, transportation, and utility connections, that supports the real property improvements.

(f)  Municipalities which have existing tax increment financing districts under subchapter 5 of chapter 53 of Title 24 shall have the authority to expand those districts and to collect all state and local property taxes on properties within the tax increment financing district and apply those revenues to repayment of debt issued to finance improvements within the tax increment financing district to the extent approved for this purpose by the Vermont economic progress council  upon application by the district under procedures for approval of tax stabilization agreements under this section, and that any such action shall be included in the annual authorization limits provided in section 5930a(d)(1) of this title set forth in subsection 5930b of this title.  Approval shall be given only if the council determines that the new real property improvements would not have occurred but for the proposed application of the new tax revenues or would have occurred in a significantly different or significantly less desirable manner.  The council shall also evaluate the overall consistency of the project with the criteria set forth in subsections 5930b(c), (d), and (e) of this title.

Fifteenth: By adding two new sections to be numbered Secs.18a and 18b to read as follows:

Sec. 18a.  32 V.S.A. § 312 is added to read:

§ 312.  TAX EXPENDITURE LEGISLATION AND REPORTS

     (a)  For purposes of this section, “tax expenditure” shall mean the actual or estimated loss in tax revenue resulting from any exemption, exclusion, deduction, or credit applicable to the tax.

(b)  Tax expenditure legislation.  In any legislation which proposes to enact a tax expenditure for a state-level tax, the general assembly shall include a statement of the following:

          (1)  A description of the tax expenditure.

         (2)   A description of and the estimated number of taxpayers who will directly benefit from the expenditure.

          (3)  The estimated annual cost of the tax expenditure.

     (c)  Tax expenditure reports.  Annually, as part of the budget process, beginning January 15, 2009, the department of taxes shall file with the house committees on ways and means and appropriations and the senate committees on finance and appropriations a report on tax expenditures that are reported on filed personal and corporate income, sales and use, and meals and rooms tax returns, and education property tax grand lists.  The report shall also include, for each tax expenditure, the following information:

          (1)  A description of the tax expenditure.

          (2)  The most recent fiscal information available on the direct cost of the tax expenditure in the past two years.

          (3)  The purpose of the expenditure as described in the enacting legislation and the most recent measure of whether the purpose is being achieved.

          (4) A description of and estimate of the number of taxpayers directly benefiting from the expenditure provision.

Sec. 18b.  TRANSITION REPORTS

     (a)  The department of taxes shall file with the House Committees on Ways and Means and Appropriations, and to the Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriations reports on the following:

          (1)  By January 15, 2006, tax expenditures reported under the personal and corporate income tax with the information required by32 V.S.A. § 312(c) for the most recent fiscal year available.

          (2)  By January 15, 2007, tax expenditures reported under the personal and corporate income tax and the sales and use tax, with the information required by 32 V.S.A. § 312(c) for the most recent fiscal year available.

          (3)  By January 15, 2008, tax expenditures under the personal and corporate income tax, sales and use tax and meals and rooms tax, and education property tax, with the information required by 32 V.S.A. § 312 (c) for the most recent fiscal year available.

     (b)  The department of taxes shall advise the Joint Fiscal Committee at its September meeting in 2005, 2006, and 2007, on the status of the department’s research in preparation for the report due the following January under subsection (a) of this section.

Sixteenth:  By striking out Sec. 19 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 19 to read as follows:

Sec. 19.  EFFECTIVE DATES

This act shall take effect from passage, except that:

(1)  Secs. 5 and 6, providing for termination of the EATI program, shall take effect for taxable years beginning on and after July 1, 2005.

(2)  Secs. 7 and 8, providing for the creation of the payroll-based tax credit program, shall take effect July 1, 2005, and Sec. 7 shall terminate July 1, 2007 unless extended by the General Assembly.

(3)  Sec. 10, relating to repeal of the financial services development tax credit, shall take effect July 1, 2005.

          (4)  Secs. 11, 12, and 13, relating to VEPC board membership, public information, and reporting, shall take effect July 1, 2005.

(Committee vote: 5-0-2)


Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 156

An act relating to conservation motor vehicle registration plates.

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

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:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 304b(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall, upon application, issue conservation registration plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and on trucks registered for less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan.  Plates so acquired shall be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle.  The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife shall determine the graphic design of the special plates in a manner which serves to enhance the public awareness of the state’s interest in restoring and protecting its nongame wildlife and major watershed areas.  The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife may alter the graphic design of these special plates, provided that plates in use at the time of a design alteration shall remain valid subject to the operator’s payment of the annual registration fee.  Applicants shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner and shall pay an initial fee of $20.00 in addition to the annual fee for registration.  In following years, in addition to the annual registration fee, the holder of a conservation plate shall pay a renewal fee of $20.00.  The commissioner shall adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to implement the provisions of this subsection.

Sec. 2.  Sec. 16 of No. 189 of the Acts of 1995 Adj. Sess. (1996) as amended by Sec. 12g of No. 155 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj.  Sess. (2000) is amended to read:

Sec. 16.  SUNSET OF PROGRAM

(a)  Unless extended by act of the general assembly, Sec. 14 of this act shall expire on December 31, 2005 2010.  However, conservation registration plates may continue to be displayed as long as the registration continues to be valid.

(b)  No later than January 15, 2005, the commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife shall report to the general assembly relative to the progress and public acceptance of the conservation registration plate program.  [Deleted.]

(c)  There shall be a moratorium on the issuance of any additional types of graphic style registration plates until December 31, 2005 2010.

(Committee Vote: 6-0-0)

(No House amendments)

Concurrent Resolutions for Notice Under Joint Rule 16

     The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or Representative requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the next legislative day.  Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively.

S.C.R.  31.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Albert "Al" J. Kinzinger on his designation as the Swanton Chamber of Commerce's 2004 Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

H.C.R.  116.

House concurrent resolution recognizing the participation of University of Vermont and Middlebury College graduates in the Peace Corps.

H.C.R.  117.

House concurrent resolution honoring Green Up Day on its 35th anniversary.

H.C.R.  118.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Barry Costello U.S.N. on his promotion to the three‑star rank of Vice Admiral.

H.C.R.  119.

House concurrent resolution honoring Anne “Annie” Noonan’s quarter century of devoted service at the Vermont State Employees’ Association.

H.C.R.  120.

House concurrent resolution honoring the achievements of the ReCycle North YouthBuild organization.

H.C.R.  121.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Bellows Falls High School Alumni Association on its 100th anniversary.


H.C.R.  122.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the village of Saxtons River on the centennial anniversary of its incorporation.

H.C.R.  123.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Simone Crosby of Bellows Falls on her assuming office as the Supreme President of the Supreme Emblem Club.

H.C.R.  124.

House concurrent resolution honoring Cynthia Gubb for her efforts on behalf of affordable housing.

H.C.R.  125.

House concurrent resolution congratulating F. Ann Sullivan on her receipt of the American Legion’s community service award.

H.C.R.  126.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the U-32 Drama Club on their award‑winning production of “Nothing But a Good Time”.

H.C.R.  127.

House concurrent resolution in memory of former Assistant Sergeant at Arms William Reginald “Dig” Rowley of Richford.

H.C.R.  128.

House concurrent resolution in memory of Cristin “Cristi” Gadue.

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 98

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

(For text of committee reports, see Senate Calendar for May 4, 2005, page 763)

S. 117

An act relating to state recognition of the Abenaki people.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

(For text of committee reports, 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.

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)

Karen Handy Luneau of St. Albans – Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees – By Sen. Collins for the Committee on Education.  (5/5)

David E. Luce of Waterbury Center – Member of the Community High School of Vermont Board – By Sen. Doyle for the Committee on Education.  (5/5)

Walter E. Freed of Dorset – Member of the Liquor Control Board – By Sen. Dunne for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (5/6)

REPORTS ON FILE

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §20(c), one (1) copy of the following reports is on file in the office of the Secretary of the Senate:

121.   2005 Master Plan, Vermont Fire & Police Training Academy Pittsford, VT..  (Buildings & General Services).  (May 2005).



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