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House Calendar



House Convenes at 9:15 A M


                                                                                                               Page No.


     Third Reading

H. 520  Energy Conservation and Generation of Electricity............................. 792

               Rep. Johnson Amendment

H. 528  Amendments to Charter City of Montpelier........................................ 792

H. 531  Ensuring Success in Health Care Reform............................................ 792

H. 537  Appropriations for the Support of Government.................................. 792

               Rep. Fisher Amendment.................................................................. 793                                Rep. Koch Amendment 793

Favorable with Amendment

H. 535  State law Enforcement Study Committee........................................... 793

               Rep.  Manwaring for the Committee on Government Operations....... 793

               Rep. Keenan for Appropriations Committee..................................... 793

J.R.S. 22  Urging Congress to Enact S. 340.................................................. 794

               Rep. Ainsworth for Agriculture


H.  94  Retail Sales and Taxing of Specialty Beers.......................................... 795

               Rep. Wright for General, Housing and Military Affairs

               Rep. Winters for Ways and Means





Favorable with Amendment

S. 124  Options for Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital Services.............................. 796

               Rep. Fisher for Human Services

               Rep. M. Johnson for Appropriations


(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)

H.C.R.  94  Congratulating Danville HS Girls’ Basketball Team...................... 799

H.C.R.  95  Congratulating Independent Telephone Companies...................... 799

H.C.R.  96  Congratulating All-Vermont Academic Team.............................. 799

H.C.R.  97  Congratulating Grace Paley Vermont’s State Poet....................... 799

H.C.R.  98  Congratulating Bill O’Neil Hockey Coach of the Year................. 799

H.C.R.  99  Honoring Registered Nurses for Health Care Services................. 799

H.C.R. 100  Congratulating Brattleboro’s 2007 Men’s Basketball Team........ 799

S.C.R.  14  Congratulating Rice HS Boys’ Basketball Team........................... 799

S.C.R.  15  Congratulating Essex HS Girls’ Hockey Team............................. 799

S.C.R.  16  Congratulating Essex HS Gymnastic Team................................... 799

S.C.R.  17  Congratulating Essex HS Girls’& Boys’ Track & Field Teams..... 799





     Third Reading

H. 520

An act relating to the conservation of energy and increasing the generation of electricity within the state by use of renewable resources.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Johnson of Canaan to H. 520

Moves the bill be amended in Sec. 8, 30 V.S.A. § 246(c)(3), after the period by adding the following:

The board shall not waive review regarding whether construction will have an undue adverse effect on esthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, and the public health and safety.

H. 528

     An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the city of Montpelier.

H. 531

An act relating to Ensuring success in health care reform.

H. 537

An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Fisher of Lincoln to H. 537

Moves to amend the bill as follows:

First: by striking Sec. 128 and inserting a new Sec. 128 to read:

Sec. 128. Department for children and families - child development

Personal services                                                           2,943,906

Operating expenses                                                          762,228

Grants                                                                         66,735,506                       

Total                                                                           70,441,640

Source of funds

General fund                                                                39,690,938

Special funds                                                                    865,000

Global commitment fund                                                3,040,746

Federal funds                                                               26,619,204

Interdepartmental transfer                                                 225,752

Total                                                                           70,441,640

Second:  By inserting a new Sec. 128a to read:


The department for children and families shall fully fund the child care subsidy program, including increasing the income eligibility standards from the 1999 federal poverty guidelines to the 2007 federal poverty guidelines in order to comply with 33 V.S.A. § 3512 and increasing the child care subsidy rates to the 75th percentile of Vermont market rates in accordance with the standards set by the federal Child Care Bureau.

Third:  By inserting a new Sec. 128b to read:

Sec. 128b.  32 V.S.A. § 5811(21)(B) is amended to read:

(21)  “Taxable income” means federal taxable income:

* * *

(B)  Decreased by the following items of income (to the extent such income is included in federal adjusted gross income):

(i)  income from United States government obligations; and

(ii)  40 percent of the first $15,000.00 in capital gains.  In this subdivision (21)(B), “capital gains” means adjusted net capital gain income as defined in Section 1(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Koch of Barre Town to H. 537

Moves to amend the bill in Sec. 278(a)(2) by striking the following: “Sec. 253b(a)(3)”  and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Sec. 277(a)(3) and by adding a new subsection (3) to read: (3) Third, any remaining funds shall be reserved for replacement of the Vermont state hospital.

Favorable with Amendment

H. 535

An act relating to the creation of a state law enforcement study committee.

(Rep. Manwaring will speak for the Committee on Government Operations.)

Rep. Keenan of St. Albans City, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

In Sec. 1(a), after “commissioner of public safety” by striking “or his or her designee” and after “the director of the Vermont state employees’ association or his or her designee;” and before “the commissioner of fish and wildlife”, by inserting the director of the Vermont state police or his or her designee;

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

J. R. S. 22

Joint resolution urging Congress to enact S. 340 the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007).

Rep. Ainsworth of Royalton, for the Committee on Agriculture, recommends the House propose to the Senate to amend the resolution by striking the resolution in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Joint resolution urging Congress to enact either S.340 or H.R.371, the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007)

Whereas, agricultural operations in Vermont require many labor intensive jobs, and

Whereas, in search of individuals to accept these jobs, Vermont’s agricultural managers have turned to foreign workers, and

Whereas, the federal H-2A program allows foreigners to enter the United States for seasonal employment in the agricultural sector, and

Whereas, for many years, Vermont apple orchards and other seasonal farm operations have availed themselves of the H-2A program with great success, and

Whereas, unlike the apple harvesting season that lasts for a limited period of time in the late summer and early fall, dairy farming continues 365 days a year, and

Whereas, there are now approximately 2,000 foreign workers who are essential to their employer’s business operations and who are employed year-round on dairy farms across the state, and

Whereas, the current H-2A program addresses the need for seasonal agricultural labor but fails to meet the needs of year-round dairy operations, and

Whereas, in order to enable these dairy farm employees and similarly situated persons in other states to remain on the job, S.340 and H.R.371, the AgJOBS Act of 2007, have been introduced in the United States Congress, and

Whereas, the provisions of the AgJOBS Act provide that undocumented foreign workers who satisfy further work requirements, have not committed serious criminal offenses, apply within the time limits provided, and are otherwise admissible under the provisions of federal immigration law, may be granted blue card status, and

Whereas, foreign workers granted blue card status would be considered “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” except for the receipt of certain federal benefits, and they would be afforded procedural rights and protections with respect to their employment, and

Whereas, the act contains provisions for a foreign worker who has been granted blue card status to gain permanent resident status subject to the completion of additional work requirements, the payment of any federal income taxes owed, and the absence of any major criminal activity, and

Whereas, the act also makes provisions for the residence of spouses and minor children, and

Whereas, the burden of producing documentation to qualify for an upgraded residency status would rest with the foreign worker, and

Whereas, the act also makes important revisions to the current H-2A temporary worker program that provide employment preferences for American citizens and green card holders while affording procedural rights and minimum working conditions for the covered foreign workers, and

Whereas, S.340 and H.R.371 represent a fair balancing of the interests of the agricultural community, American workers, foreign workers, and the federal government’s legitimate need to protect the integrity of our nation’s borders, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to enact either S.340 or H.R.371, the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007), and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)


H. 94

     An act relating to retail sales and taxing specialty beers.

Rep. Wright of Burlington, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 6-1-0)

Rep. Winters of Williamstown, for the Committee on Ways and Means, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 8-2-1)


Favorable with Amendment

S. 124

An act relating to planning and evaluating options for inpatient psychiatric hospital services.

Rep. Fisher of Lincoln, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:


(a)  The general assembly recognizes that there are some regulatory and legislative constraints on the department of health’s planning efforts related to developing new inpatient psychiatric services.  Nevertheless, the general assembly finds:

(1)  There has been inadequate evaluation of the options available to the state regarding the provision of inpatient psychiatric hospital services which are now provided at the Vermont state hospital (VSH).

(2)  The projected costs to plan, construct, and privately operate a 40‑ to 60‑patient bed facility on the main campus of Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) in Burlington have not been adequately analyzed and compared with the projected costs of a publicly operated state facility or several smaller private or public facilities across the state.  Furthermore, FAHC has not made the necessary 50‑year commitment to host and operate the facility.

(3)  As found by the Public Oversight Commission (POC) in its recommendation dated January 10, 2007 concerning the VSH Conceptual certificate of need (CON), the construction cost for new inpatient services approaches $100 million which, the POC suggested, is beyond the fiscal capability of the state if the overall components of the Futures Project, including necessary expansions to the community mental health system, were to be implemented and adequately funded.

(4)  No operating cost estimates of the proposed FAHC inpatient psychiatric facility or any other facility have been developed.

(5)  No determinative analysis has been made of the costs and policy implications that will be required to meet federal funding requirements associated with partnering or not partnering with a general hospital. 

(6)  Issues of concern to potential host communities have not been adequately addressed, including governance, accountability, and sustainability; design and development of the facility; public safety; the impact on municipal services, housing, community mental health programs, other community resources, and reimbursement to the host communities for the costs associated with such impacts.

(7)  The state’s community mental health system may be threatened by the cost to operate psychiatric inpatient services that are not adequately planned within the budgetary context of the full continuum of necessary mental health services.

(b)  The general assembly reaffirms its intent as stated in Sec. 141a of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) that all mental health programs, services, and supports, including inpatient psychiatric services, be provided to individuals with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses or emotional disorders in a holistic, comprehensive continuum of care, that consumers be treated at all times with dignity and respect, that public resources be allocated efficiently and produce the best positive outcomes, and that direct services overseen and provided by the agency of human services and its community partners be client- and family-centered and -driven, accessible, and culturally competent, and it furthermore reaffirms the guiding principles identified therein for purposes of the Futures Plan.

(c)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the remaining balance of the $1 million appropriated in Sec. 271(a)(3) of No. 215 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) shall remain subject to the requirements as directed in Sec. 4 of  No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), subdivisions (a)(2)(A)(ii) and (a)(2)(B), for use by the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to continue planning, designing, and permitting associated with the creation of a new inpatient facility to replace the current Vermont state hospital, except such funds expended for consulting services described in subsection (d) of this section.

(d)(1)  The committee on committees of the senate and the speaker of the house are authorized to retain one or more consultants to:

(A)  compile, analyze, and review the planning that has been done to date for replacing the services now provided at the VSH, including a review of the feasibility of recertifying the existing state hospital and obtaining authority to secure federal funding to support its operations;

(B)  investigate and make recommendations on the necessary steps to secure federal funding for the development of one or more regional or satellite psychiatric facilities in conjunction with other general hospitals and institutions for mental diseases, or stand-alone facilities, or both;

(C)  review and make recommendations regarding the feasibility of all the options available to the state for providing inpatient psychiatric services, taking into account the capacity needed; the time required to achieve the delivery of services; projected capital and operational costs; assurances of quality of care; the extent to which there will be integration with the chronic care initiative and integration of mental health care with overall health care; and the alternatives of public, private, public-private partnership, or other combination of operation and ownership structures; and

(D)  analyze the impact of the population involved in the criminal justice system on the needs, services, and costs of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.

(2)  The committee on committees of the senate and the speaker of the house are authorized to spend up to $100,000.00 from the appropriation referenced in subsection (c) of this section to accomplish the purposes of this subsection. 

(3)  The consultant or consultants shall report preliminary progress on or before May 1, 2007  jointly to the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations and Institutions Committees, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and the House Human Services Committee.  A final report shall be submitted to the above mentioned committee chairs, and to the Joint Fiscal Committee, the Mental Health Oversight Committee, the Secretary of Administration, and the Secretary of Human Services no later than June 30, 2007.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE                         

This act shall take effect from passage.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

Rep. Johnson of South Hero, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as

proposed by the Committee on Human Services and when further amended in Sec. 1(d)(3), by striking “May” and inserting in lieu thereof September and by striking “June 30” and inserting in lieu thereof November 1


Concurrent Resolutions for Notice under Joint Rule 16

     The following joint 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.

H.C.R.  94

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Danville Indians Division IV championship girls’ basketball team.

H.C.R.  95

House concurrent resolution congratulating the independent telephone companies in Vermont for their extensive installation of broadband access in their respective market areas

H.C.R.  96

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 two-year college All‑Vermont Academic Team and the Vermont recipients of the national academic two-year college student

H.C.R.  97

House concurrent resolution congratulating Grace Paley on her outstanding tenure as Vermont’s state poet

H.C.R. 98

House concurrent resolution congratulating Bill O’Neil on being named the 2006 national high school boys’ hockey coach of the year

H.C.R.  99

House concurrent resolution honoring registered nurses’ contribution to quality health care services in Vermont

H.C.R.  100

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Brattleboro Community High School of Vermont’s 2007 Division II Brattleboro Recreation League championship men’s basketball team

S.C.R.  14.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Rice Memorial High School Green Knights Division I boys' basketball championship team.

S.C.R.  15.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls' ice hockey team.

S.C.R.  16.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School championship girls' gymnastic team.

S.C.R.  17.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets state championship girls' and boys' indoor track and field teams.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont