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ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

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NO. 206.  AN ACT RELATING TO COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN STATE EMPLOYEES.

(H.890)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  32 V.S.A. § 1003(b)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  Heads of the following departments, offices and agencies:

                                                                                              Base Salary as

                                                                                                         of

                                                                                              July 8, 2007

   (A)           Administration                                         $90,745

* * *

   (Y)                        Mental Health                                               84,834

   (Z)                        Military                                    76,953           84,834

   (Z)(AA)                Motor vehicles                                            76,953

   (AA)(BB)             Natural resources                        90,745

   (BB)(CC)             Natural resources board

                                   chair-person                                               76,953

   (CC)(DD)             Public Safety                                                 84,834

   (DD)(EE)             Public service                                                 84,834

   (EE)(FF)              Taxes                                                             84,834

   (FF)(GG)             Tourism and marketing                                   76,953

   (GG)(HH)            Transportation                                               90,745

   (HH)(II)               Vermont health access                                    84,834

   (II)(JJ)                   Veterans home                                             76,953

Sec. 2.  RATE OF ADJUSTMENT

(a)  For purposes of determining annual salary adjustments, special salary increases, and bonuses under subsections 1003(b) and 1020(b) of Title 32, “the total rate of adjustment available to classified employees under the collective bargaining agreement” shall be deemed to be 3.5 percent for those earning up to and including $28.85/hour for fiscal year 2009, but in no case shall an adjustment result in an annual salary exceeding $60,000.00 for fiscal year 2009.

(b)  Managerial and confidential classified employees in the executive branch earning $28.85/hour or more shall receive no cost of living adjustment in fiscal year 2009.  In no case shall a cost of living adjustment result in an annual salary exceeding $60,000.00 for fiscal year 2009.  In fiscal year 2010, managerial and confidential classified employees in the executive branch shall return to the salary schedule they would be on as if these fiscal year 2009 limitations had not been imposed.

Sec. 3.  PAY ACT APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  Executive branch.  The two-year agreements between the state of Vermont and the Vermont state employees’ association for the defender general, nonmanagement, supervisory, state police, and corrections bargaining units for the period July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010, shall be funded as follows:

(1)  Fiscal year 2009:

(A)  General fund.  The amount of $538,094.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of administration for proportional distribution to the departments of corrections, defender general, state’s attorneys and sheriffs, and public safety to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(B)  Transportation fund.  The amount of $1,210,258.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the secretary of administration for distribution to the agency of transportation and the department of public safety to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(C)  Other funds.  The administration shall provide additional spending authority to departments through the existing process of excess receipts to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.  The estimated amounts are $1,205,810.00 from special fund sources and $4,016,461.00 from federal and other sources.

(D)  With due regard to the possible availability of other funds, for fiscal year 2009, the secretary of administration may transfer from the various appropriations and various funds and from the receipts of the liquor control board such sums as the secretary may determine to be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act to the various agencies supported by state funds.

(2)  Fiscal year 2010:

(A)  General fund.  The amount of $6,297,693.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of administration for distribution to departments for the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(B)  Transportation fund.  The amount of $2,180,510.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the secretary of administration for distribution to the agency of transportation and the department of public safety to fund the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(C)  Other funds.  The administration shall provide additional spending authority to departments through the existing process of excess receipts to fund the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.  The estimated amounts are $1,230,031.00 from special fund sources and $4,095,444.00 from federal and other sources.

(D)  With due regard to the possible availability of other funds, for fiscal year 2010, the secretary of administration may transfer from the various appropriations and various funds and from the receipts of the liquor control board such sums as the secretary may determine to be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act to the various agencies supported by state funds.

(3)  This section shall include sufficient funding to ensure administration of exempt attorney pay plans, including deputy state’s attorneys and public defenders, subject to the approval of the secretary of administration.

(b)  Judicial branch. 

(1)  The annual salary of an exempt employee who earns an annual salary of less than $60,000.00 as of July 5, 2008 shall not be increased to a salary greater than $60,000.00 for fiscal year 2009.

(2)  The two-year agreements between the state of Vermont and the Vermont state employees’ association for the judicial bargaining unit for the period July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010, and salary increases for exempt employees earning annual salaries of less than $60,000.00 as of July 5, 2008, shall be funded as follows:

(3)  Fiscal year 2009; general fund.  The amount of $330,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the judiciary to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(4)  Fiscal year 2010; general fund.  The amount of $706,615.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the judiciary to fund the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(c)  Legislative branch. 

(1)  For the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010, the legislature shall be funded as follows:   Fiscal year 2010; general fund.  The amount of $143,670.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the legislature to fund the fiscal year 2010 requirements of this act.  This appropriation shall be allocated to the respective legislative appropriation units as determined by the chief legislative counsel and the chief legislative fiscal officer.

(2)  The annual salary of an exempt employee who earns $60,000.00 or more shall receive no adjustment in fiscal year 2009.  The annual salary of an exempt employee who earns an annual salary of less than $60,000.00 as of

July 5, 2008 shall not be increased to a salary greater than $60,000.00 in fiscal year 2009.

Sec. 4.  APPROPRIATION REDUCTIONS

(a)  Position reductions.  The secretary of administration shall reduce fiscal year 2009 general fund appropriations in the executive branch of state government by $3,670,000.00 consistent with reductions in positions in the executive branch.  In addition, the secretary of administration shall reduce fiscal year 2009 general fund appropriations in the executive branch of state government by $250,000.00 by not filling up to four exempt positions, not including attorneys and clerical personnel.  In order to maintain direct services to Vermonters, the secretary shall give preference to reducing those positions which do not provide those direct services.  The secretary shall provide a report to the house and senate committees on appropriations and government operations in January 2009 that lists all appropriation reductions, transfers, and substitutions within fiscal year 2009 appropriated funds that are proposed to achieve the general fund savings in this subsection.

(b)  Reductions in contractual services and temporary positions.  The secretary of administration shall reduce fiscal year 2009 general fund appropriations budgeted for contractual services and temporary positions in the executive branch of state government by $2,300,000.00.  The secretary shall provide a report to the house and senate committees on appropriations and government operations in January 2009 that lists all appropriation reductions, transfers, and substitutions within fiscal year 2009 appropriated funds that are proposed to achieve the general fund savings in this subsection.

Sec. 5.  JOINT LEGISLATIVE Government Accountability

             committee

(a)  There is created a joint legislative government accountability committee.  The committee shall recommend mechanisms for state government to be more forward-thinking, strategic, and responsive to the

long-term needs of Vermonters.  In pursuit of this goal, the committee shall:

(1)  Make recommendations for enhancing the state’s ability to measure the performance of programs which have been or will be undertaken with government investments. 

(2)  Propose areas for the review of statutory mandates for public services that may result in service duplication and to review the alignment of financial and staff resources required to carry out those mandates.

(3)  Review the legislative process for the creation and elimination of positions and programs and make recommendations for enhancements to the process that support greater long-range planning and responsiveness to the needs of Vermonters.

(4)  Recommend strategies and tools which permit all branches of state government to prioritize the investment of federal, state, and local resources in programs that respond to the needs of the citizens of Vermont in a collaborative, cost-effective, and efficient manner.  Pursuant to those strategies and tools, functions which are not critical to an agency or department mission may be recommended for elimination, while other functions may be optimized.

(5)  Review strategies with similar aims in other jurisdictions in the context of federal, state, and local relationships.

(b)  The membership of the committee shall be appointed each biennial session of the general assembly.  The committee shall comprise eight members:  four members of the house of representatives who shall not all be from the same party, one from the committee on government operations, one from the committee on appropriations, and two other members, appointed by the speaker of the house; and four members of the senate who shall not all be from the same party, one from the committee on government operations, one from the committee on appropriations, and two other members, appointed by the committee on committees.  The committee may also include in its recommendations that the committee membership be altered.

(c)  The committee shall elect a chair, vice chair, and clerk from among its members and shall adopt rules of procedure.  The chair shall rotate biennially between the house and the senate members.  The committee shall keep minutes of its meetings and maintain a file thereof.  A quorum shall consist of five members.

(d)  When the general assembly is in session, the committee shall meet at the call of the chair.  The committee may meet up to four times during adjournment, and may meet more often subject to the approval of the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the senate.

(e)  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses as provided under subsection 406(a) of Title 2.

(f)  The professional and clerical services of the joint fiscal office and the legislative council shall be available to the committee.

(g)  At least annually, the committee shall report its activities, together with recommendations, if any, to the general assembly.


Sec. 6.  PAY ACT FUNDING

(a)  The commissioner of finance and management shall submit a preliminary plan to the joint fiscal committee at its September/October 2008 meeting on levels of funding for the pay act for fiscal year 2009 funding.  The plan shall outline the funds available and any additional offsets the commissioner is planning to offer to meet pay act requirements.  The committee shall hear any testimony it deems necessary on the service impact of the pay act funding for fiscal year 2009. 

(b)  At the November meeting of the joint fiscal committee, the commissioner shall submit a  report that includes the following:

(1)  The allocation by department and section from the fiscal year 2008 pay act appropriation and the appropriations for pay act needs of this act and any other offsets to meet pay act needs;

(2)  The source of funds and the specific percentage of need being met in each department from the allocation;

(3)  Any proposed transfers between departments to meet pay act needs;

(4)  A summary of fiscal impacts by department in fiscal year 2009 due to shortfalls in pay act funds and added assessments of internal service funds;

(5)  A preliminary assessment of the administration’s intention to meet departmental pay act expense roll‑outs for fiscal year 2010.


Sec. 7.  3 V.S.A. § 2222(i) is amended to read:

(i)  The secretary of administration is authorized to transfer vacant positions throughout the executive branch of state government, and to adjust appropriations in the executive branch in accordance with the secretary's statewide vacancy savings plan that reflects realistic savings due to vacant positions. Such appropriation adjustments shall result in no change to the total statewide legislative appropriations to the executive branch. This authority is separate from the secretary's authority provided in section 706 of Title 32. A report of all actions taken during the preceding fiscal year pursuant to this authority shall be furnished to the legislature no later than January 15 of each year.  The report shall include a list of all authorized filled and vacant positions by department and all positions subject to this subdivision and shall indicate whether each position is classified, exempt, or temporary.  In addition, the secretary shall periodically furnish the legislature with a report of accomplishments and recommendations concerning improvements in better managing resources on a statewide basis.

Sec. 8.  SECRETARY OF ADMINISTRATION; REPORT; STATE

             EMPLOYEE POSITIONS

(a)  The general assembly finds that the goal in reducing state employee positions is to meet certain financial targets and not to simply reduce positions.  Because the general assembly needs detailed information to evaluate the specific actions required to meet these financial targets, the reports required by this section and 3 V.S.A. § 2222(i) are necessary for the general assembly to perform its constitutional responsibilities.

(b)  The secretary of administration shall submit the report required under

3 V.S.A. § 2222(i) to the joint fiscal committee and chairs of every legislative standing committee on July 1, 2008, September 1, 2008, and November 1, 2008.  In addition to the information required by 3 V.S.A. § 2222(i), the secretary shall also report on the number of positions eliminated since

January 1, 2008 by department and indicate whether each position is classified, exempt, or temporary.  The secretary shall also recommend positions for elimination that are necessary to meet the financial targets and explain the projected fiscal year savings attributable to the positions by funding source and appropriations by name and unit.

(c)  When state employee positions are proposed to be eliminated or employees are reduced, the secretary of administration shall submit to the chairs of the house and senate committees on government operations and the joint fiscal committee a report that shall include:

(1)  Total financial implications by department of the position eliminations or reductions, including specific savings by fund type.

(2)  For each specific position:

(A)  The department organizational chart for each division affected, including identification of the position eliminated or reduced and all other positions that are vacant at the start of fiscal year 2009;

(B)  The title, position number, and date the position was vacated;

(C)  The reason that the position is available for elimination or reduction;

(D)  Position classification:  exempt; classified; applicable bargaining unit, if any;

(E)  The projected fiscal year 2009 savings attributable to the position by funding source and appropriations by name and unit.

(F)  A statement on how the service or activity with which that position was involved will be addressed.

Sec. 9.  POSITION ELIMINATIONS

Notwithstanding 3 V.S.A. § 327(b), no position shall be eliminated or abolished unless by act of the general assembly.

Sec. 10.  REPEAL

(a)  Sec. 5 of this act shall be repealed on July 1, 2013.

(b)  Sec. 9 of this act shall be repealed on July 1, 2010.

Sec. 11.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 5 of this act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved:  June 11, 2008



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us