Journal of the Senate
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The Senate was called to order by the President.
Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Thomas Harty of Randolph.
Pledge of Allegiance
Pages Patience Smith and Max Wright then led the members of the Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Message from the Governor
A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Neale Lunderville, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:
I am directed by the Governor to deliver to the Senate a communication in writing.
The President laid before the Senate the following communication from His Excellency, the Honorable James H. Douglas, Governor of the State of Vermont, relating to the appointment of a new Senator from the District of Caledonia, which was ordered entered in the Journal, and is as follows:
“State of Vermont
April 12, 2005
The Honorable Brian E. Dubie
Vermont State Senate
Montpelier, VT 05633-5501
Dear Mr. President:
I have the honor to inform you that I have appointed
GEORGE R. COPPENRATH, of Barnet
to serve the unexpired term of Julius D. Canns, Senator from Caledonia District.
/s/ James H. Douglas
James H. Douglas
Oath Administered; New Senator Seated
Thereupon, the Senate-appointee, George R. Coppenrath, was escorted to the bar of the Senate by Senator Welch of Windsor District, the President pro tempore, Senator Campbell of Windsor District, the majority leader, and Senator Doyle of Washington District, the minority leader, and took and subscribed the oath of office required by the Constitution from the Secretary of the Senate.
The new Senator then took his seat and assumed his legislative duties.
Rules Suspended; Committee Relieved of Further Consideration; Bill Committed
On motion of Senator MacDonald, the rules were suspended, and H. 198 was taken up for immediate consideration, for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs from further consideration of the bill. Thereupon, on motion of Senator MacDonald, the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs was relieved of House bill entitled:
An act relating to gift certificates,
and the bill was committed to the Committee on Finance.
Committee Bills Introduced
Senate committee bills of the following titles were severally introduced, read the first time, and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow:
By the Committee on Government Operations,
An act relating to elections and voter registration.
By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs,
An act relating to economic advancement tax incentives and economic development.
House bill of the following title was read the first time and referred:
An act relating to criminal abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.
To the Committee on Judiciary.
Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations
House bill of the following title, appearing on the Calendar for notice and carrying an appropriation or requiring the expenditure of funds, under the rule was referred to the Committee on Appropriations:
An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.
Joint Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read the first time and is as follows:
By Senators Shepard, Maynard and Wilton,
J.R.S. 26. Joint resolution relating to investment policies of the Vermont state employees, state teachers, and municipal retirement systems.
Whereas, the trustees of the teachers’ retirement system, the state employees’ retirement system, and the municipal employees’ retirement system are entrusted with investing publicly backed retirement system funds for the purpose of protecting and maximizing investment returns, and
Whereas, the three retirement plans are defined benefit plans, which guarantee the retirement benefits with the full faith and credit of the state of Vermont, and
Whereas, any reduction of return, which results in a shortfall in the funds available to meet the state’s pension obligations, must be made up with taxpayer dollars, and
Whereas, the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement system board has voted to consider the political ideology of investment firms when determining who should manage the system’s funds, and
Whereas, it has been demonstrated that ideologically-based investing results in a lower rate of return, and
Whereas, the taxpayers of Vermont are ultimately obligated to fulfill any shortfall in the retirement funds, and
Whereas, the General Assembly is responsible for representing the best interests of the citizens of Vermont in matters of state policy, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly, on behalf of Vermont’s taxpayers, requests that before any of the three state retirement boards makes investment decisions, using criteria other than those intended to maximize the rate of investment return, the board should request General Assembly approval of those criteria, and be it further
Resolved: That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Joe Mackey, chair of the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System Board; to Steve Jeffrey, chair of the Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement System Board; to Warren Whitney, chair of the Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System Board; and to State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding.
Thereupon, the President, in his discretion, treated the joint resolution as a bill and referred it to the Committee on Government Operations.
Bill Passed in Concurrence
House bill of the following title was read the third time and passed in concurrence:
An act relating to military wills and military powers of attorney.
Third Reading Ordered
Senator Sears, for the Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:
An act relating to predatory pricing.
Reported that the bill ought to pass.
Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, and third reading of the bill was ordered.
Proposal of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered
Senator Campbell, for the Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred House bill entitled:
An act relating to motor vehicle insurance and underinsured motor vehicles.
Reported recommending 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. § 941 is amended to read:
§ 941. INSURANCE AGAINST UNINSURED MOTORISTS
* * *
(f) For the purpose of this subchapter, a motor
vehicle is underinsured to the extent that
its personal injury limits of liability
at the time of an accident are less than the limits of uninsured motorists
coverage applicable to any injured party legally entitled to recover damages
under said uninsured motorist coverage:
(1) the liability insurance limits applicable at the time of the accident are less than the limits of the uninsured motorist coverage applicable to the insured; or
(2) the available liability insurance has been reduced by payments to others injured in the accident to an amount less than the limits of the uninsured motorist coverage applicable to the insured.
30 days of receipt of a written request by a person
legally entitled reasonably
claiming the right to recover damages from after an accident
involving owners or operators of motor vehicles for bodily injury, sickness,
or disease, including death, or for property damages resulting from the
ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle, an insurer that may
be liable to satisfy part or all of the claim under a policy subject to this
chapter shall provide a statement, by a duly authorized agent of the insurer,
setting forth the names of the insurer and insured , and the limits of
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect thirty days after passage. A contract of insurance issued or renewed in the state on or after January 1, 2006 which provides uninsured motorist coverage shall include contractual provisions in compliance with this act as of the date of issuance or renewal.
And that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with such proposal of amendment.
Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, the proposal of amendment was agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered.
The following Gubernatorial appointments were confirmed separately by the Senate, upon full reports given by the Committees to which they were referred:
The nomination of
Dawn Terrill of Colchester – Secretary of the Agency of Transportation – November 15, 2004, to February 28, 2005.
Dawn Terrill of Colchester – Secretary of the Agency of Transportation – March 1, 2005, to February 28, 2007.
Was confirmed by the Senate on a roll call, Yeas 26, Nays 0.
Senator Mazza having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:
Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Condos, Coppenrath, Doyle, Dunne, Flanagan, Giard, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, Miller, Mullin, Scott, Sears, Shepard, Snelling, Starr, Welch, White, Wilton.
Those Senators who voted in the negative were: None.
Those Senators absent and not voting were: Collins, Cummings, Gander, Leddy.
Standing Committees Realigned
Thereupon, the President, on behalf of the Committee on Committees, and as a result of the death of Senator Canns, reported realignments of two standing committees, as follows:
P.M. Senator Scott, Chair Room 7
Natural Resources and Energy
A.M. Senator Lyons, Chair Room 8
On motion of Senator Welch, the Senate adjourned until one o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday, April 13, 2005.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street