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Journal of the Senate

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

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:

Mr. President:

I am directed by the Governor to deliver to the Senate a communication in writing.

Appointment Journalized

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

Executive Department

Montpelier

                                                                                         April 12, 2005

The Honorable Brian E. Dubie

President

Vermont State Senate

State House

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.

                                                                        Sincerely,

                                                                        /s/ James H. Douglas

                                                                        James H. Douglas

                                                                        Governor”

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

H. 198.

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:

S. 164.

By the Committee on Government Operations,

An act relating to elections and voter registration.


S. 165.

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

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

Bill Referred

House bill of the following title was read the first time and referred:

H. 163.

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

To the Committee on Judiciary.

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

H. 518.

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 Resolution Referred

J.R.S. 26.

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

H. 191.

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

S. 31.

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

H. 79.

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.

(g)  Within 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 liability coverage.

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.

Appointments Confirmed

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:

Roll Call

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:


                                                      Institutions

P.M.                                Senator Scott, Chair                                   Room 7

Mazza, Vice-Chair

Campbell

Coppenrath

Giard, Clerk

                                      Natural Resources and Energy

A.M.                               Senator Lyons, Chair                                  Room 8

Ayer, Clerk

Bartlett

Kittell

Snelling

Coppenrath

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Welch, the Senate adjourned until one o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday, April 13, 2005.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us