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House Calendar

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2007

113th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

House Convenes at 1:00  P M

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Called Up

S.  78  Cost of Picking Up and Hauling Milk Paid by Purchaser.................... 1061

               Rep. Lawrence Amendment

Third Reading

S. 91  Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration.............. 1062

Favorable with Amendment

S.  39  Health Insurance Reimbursement for Naturopathic Physicians............ 1062                                Rep. Milkey for Health Care

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 405  Capital construction and state bonding............................................. 1063

For Action Under Rule 52

H.R. 17  April Sexual Violence Awareness Month....................................... 1082

H.R. 18  Urging U.S. Representative Initiate Impeachment Proceedings  1082

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 545  Relating to the Agency of Human Services....................................... 1082

               Rep. Evans for Government Operations

Favorable with Amendment

S.  54  Relating to Motor Vehicle Wreckers................................................. 1083

               Rep. Brennan for Transportation

S. 115 Prescription Drug Pricing and Information.......................................... 1083

               Rep. Copeland-Hanzas for Health Care

S. 133  Motor Vehicle /Junior Operators / Primary Seat Belt Enforcement.... 1102

               Rep. Grad for Judiciary

 

 

 

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Called Up

S. 78

An act relating to having the cost of picking up and hauling milk paid by the purchaser.

     Pending Action:  Third reading of the bill.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Lawrence of Lyndon to S. 78

     Moves the House proposal of amendment to the Senate be amended as follows:

     First:  By striking Sec. 2 in its entirety and adding in lieu thereof a new Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this act is:

(1) to enable Vermont dairy farmers, processors, and retailers and their supporting infrastructure to achieve a positive return on their labor and investment. 

(2) to ensure the continuing economic vitality of the dairy industry by stabilizing the price received by farmers for their milk at a level allowing them an equitable rate of return.

(3) to achieve an over-order premium that will offset the hauling and stop charges assessed against dairy farmers.

     Second: In Sec. 3 by designating the existing paragraph as paragraph (a) and by adding subsection (b) to read as follows:

(b) In establishing the over-order premium, the commission shall investigate and ascertain what are reasonable costs and charges for producing, hauling and stop charges, handling, processing and any other services performed in respect to fluid dairy products.

     Third: In Sec. 5 by striking subsection (d) in its entirety and adding in lieu thereof the following:

(d)  The milk commission shall report the progress being made on implementing Sec. 3(a) of this act and findings from Sec. 3(b) of this act to the house and senate committees on agriculture on or before November 1, 2007.

Third Reading

S. 91

An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration.

Favorable with Amendment

S. 39

An act relating to health insurance plan reimbursement for covered services by naturopathic physicians.

Rep. Milkey of Brattleboro, for the Committee on Health Care, 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:

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4088d is added to read:

§ 4088d.  COVERAGE FOR COVERED SERVICES PROVIDED BY

                 NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS

(a)  A health insurance plan shall provide coverage for medically necessary health care services covered by the plan when provided by a naturopathic physician licensed in this state for treatment within the scope of practice described in chapter 81 of Title 26.  Health care services provided by naturopathic physicians may be subject to reasonable deductibles, co-payment and co-insurance amounts, fee or benefit limits, practice parameters,

cost-effectiveness and clinical efficacy standards, and utilization review consistent with any applicable regulations published by the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration. Any amounts, limits, standards, and review shall not function to direct treatment in a manner unfairly discriminative against naturopathic care, and collectively shall be no more restrictive than those applicable under the same policy to care or services provided by other health care providers, but may allow for the management of the benefit consistent with variations in practice patterns and treatment modalities among different types of health care providers.  A health insurance plan may require that the naturopathic physician’s services be provided by a licensed naturopathic physician under contract with the insurer or shall be covered in a manner consistent with out-of-network provider reimbursement practices for primary care providers.  Nothing contained herein shall be construed as impeding or preventing either the provision or the coverage of health care services by licensed naturopathic physicians, within the lawful scope of naturopathic practice, in hospital facilities on a staff or employee basis.

(b)  As used in this section, “health insurance plan” means any individual or group health insurance policy, any hospital or medical service corporation or health maintenance organization subscriber contract, or any other health benefit plan offered, issued, or renewed for any person in this state by a health insurer, as defined by 18 V.S.A. § 9402.  The term shall not include benefit plans providing coverage for specific disease or other limited benefit coverage.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall be effective on October 1, 2007.

(Committee vote: 9-1-1)

(For Senate amendments see Senate Journal 3/21/07-Pages 272-273

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 405

     An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof:

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  STATE BUILDINGS

The sum of $11,592,381 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual appropriations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Montpelier, design and construction of a state office and parking facility at the so‑called triangle site adjacent to the Dog River Road.  The funds shall be used to remove the ledges on the site, begin construction of facilities to house the state archives, build a parking lot, and develop plans for the location of the department of motor vehicles and the emergency operations center on the site:                                                                                                                 (1,700,000)

(2)  Montpelier, 120 State Street, exterior caulking:                                                                                                                                                          (350,000)

(3)  Statewide major maintenance:                                                (7,000,000)

(4)  Burlington, 32 Cherry Street, design and repairs:                                                                                                                                            (150,000)

(5)  Statewide, building reuse:                                                         (170,000)

(6)  Statewide, contingency fund:                                                    (500,000)

(7)  Statewide, planning:                                                                   (25,000)

(8)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

(A)  Robert H. Wood, Jr., Academy and Lee Emerson Courthouse:                                                                                                                (160,000)

(B)  Women’s shelters, phase II:                                                  (50,000)

(9)  Waterbury State Complex, fire alarm system:                                                                                                                                                              (200,000)

(10)  Springfield state office building, retaining wall, phase II, design and construction of a garage:                                                  (145,000)

(11)  State House flag conservation, phase II:                                   (20,000)

(12)  Renewable energy, wind project, Ed Weed fish culture station:                                                                                                                                   (25,000)

(13)  Middlesex, renewable energy, solar project:                            (30,000)

(14)  Bennington courthouse and state office building, either for work that will enable state employees and the public to reoccupy the building or to seek a new site for the facility.  Funds shall not be expended until the house and senate committees on institutions have reviewed diagnostic tests and approved a plan for spending the funds by majority vote of those present and voting at a joint meeting called by the chairs of the two committees for the purpose:                                                                                       (1,000,000)

(15)  Montpelier, State House, reconstruction of the fire escape leading from the 2nd and 3rd floor annex:                                           60,000

(16)  Montpelier, State House, renovation of the Robert H. Gibson Senate Cloak Room:                                                                          7,381

(Total appropriation – Section 1                                                         $11,592,381)

Sec. 2.  TAXES

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes as the fourth appropriation in an ongoing project to update statewide quadrangle maps through digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping.

(Total appropriation – Section 2                     $100,000)

Sec. 3.  HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY LABORATORIES/BUILDING 617 IN ESSEX

The sum of $7,500,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for construction and renovation of building 617 in Essex, including co-location of the department of health and department of public safety forensics laboratories.

(Total appropriation - Section 3                                                           7,500,000)

Sec. 4.  HUMAN SERVICES

The sum of $1,100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for the projects described in this section.

(1)  Site acquisition for corrections work camps:                           (100,000)

(2)  Vermont state hospital, renovations:                                       (100,000)

(3)  St. Albans, Northwest state correctional facility, sewage treatment:                                                                                                              (150,000)

(4)  Windsor, Southeast state correctional facility:

(A)  dam inspection and repair:                                                (100,000)

(B)  access road repairs:                                                         (300,000)

(5)  Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, conversion of the underused racquetball court into classrooms:                       (300,000)

(6)  Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, installation of cameras, replacing security windows in the “F” unit, providing four new security doors in the “A2” unit, painting, and carpet replacements:                             (50,000)

(Total appropriation – Section 4                                                        $1,100,000)

Sec. 5.  JUDICIARY

(a)  The sum of $270,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for security at the Barre district court building, including security cameras to be mounted on the outside of the building.  The commissioner of buildings and general services and the district court administrator shall work with the Barre City Council to determine placement of the cameras.

(b)  The amount of $45,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for replacement of windows with energy efficient windows, and replacement of shelving and file cabinets to increase the storage space in the vaults of the Grand Isle County Courthouse.

(Total appropriation – Section 5                                                            $315,000)

Sec. 6.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

The following sums are appropriated for building community grants:

(1)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic preservation grant program established in Sec. 4(a) of No. 90 of the Acts of 1987:                                200,000

(2)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic barns preservation grant program established in Sec. 4(b)(2) of No. 93 of the Acts of 1991:                           200,000

(3)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities competitive grant program, to be administered by the Vermont Arts Council and made available on a one‑for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources.  No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other appropriation of this act.  No portion of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  The appropriation shall be awarded on a competitive basis.  In recommending grant awards, a review panel shall give priority consideration to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need or are in underserved areas of the state: 

                                                                                                   200,000

(4)  To the department of buildings and general services for the recreational and educational facilities grant program established in Sec. 34 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005:                                                                            200,000

(5)  To the Vermont telecommunications authority established by the general assembly in 2007 for broadband development grants.  However, if no Vermont telecommunications authority is created by the general assembly in the 2007 legislative session, these funds shall be appropriated to the department of information and innovation for a broadband development grant program established in Sec. 35 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005:          200,000

(6)  To the department of buildings and general services for the human services grant program established in Sec. 36 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005:                                                                                                                                           200,000

(7)  To the department of agriculture, food and markets for emergency funding for farm capital needs resulting from the February 2007 blizzard.  The funds shall be used according to a plan determined by the secretary of the agency of agriculture, food and markets.                                                 200,000

(Total appropriation – Section 6                                                       $1,400,000)

Sec. 7.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided, the maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services.

(b)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for the design for an addition to the visitors’ center at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site.

(c)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for underwater preserves. 

(d)  The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for roadside historic site markers.

(e)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for protecting, preserving, moving, or re-interring human remains discovered in unmarked burial sites.

(Total appropriation – Section 7                                                             $465,000)

Sec. 8.  EDUCATION

(a)  The sum of $9,082,738 is appropriated to the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16.  Of this amount:

(1)  $1,800,000 shall be used to fund emergency projects under 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(3)(A).

(2)  $1,550,000 shall be used for partial payment of the state share of the purchase of biomass heating systems pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(3)(B) as follows:

(A)  Mount Abraham Union High School District        448,447

(B)  Burlington School District                                                427,338

(C)  Mount Anthony Union High School District                     504,935

(D)  Williamstown School District                               169,280

(3)  $5,448,217 shall be for partial payment of the final school construction awards pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448 as follows:

(A)  Brattleboro Union High School District                            $2,179,945

(B)  Dresden School District                                       $1,031,529

(C)  Williamstown School District                                           $   579,098

(D)  Rockingham School District for Saxtons River Elementary School                                                                                         $   552,250

(E)  Rockingham School District for Bellows Falls Central Elementary School                                                           $   552,250

(F)  Waterbury-Duxbury Union School District                       $   553,145

(4)  $242,000 shall be for the state share of energy performance contracts entered into pursuant to section 3448f of Title 16.

(b)  The sum of $1,000,000 is appropriated to the department of education for construction at regional technical centers as follows: 

(1)  For completion of construction at the Patricia Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, up to the amount of $48,610. 

(2)  The remainder shall be used for construction at the Windham Regional Career Center in Brattleboro.

(c)  The sum of $20,000 is appropriated to the department of education to reimburse school districts for costs incurred to install wiring harnesses capable of being connected to emergency electrical power generators during emergencies when schools are used as community shelters or operation centers, or both.

(d)  The sum of $22,521 is appropriated to the department of education to pay the Williamstown school district for 25 percent of the approved costs of   replacement of a roof at the Williamstown elementary school. 

(Total appropriation – Section 8                                                         $10,082,738)

Sec. 9.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,500,000 is appropriated to the University of Vermont for construction, renovation, or maintenance projects.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                                          $ 1,500,000)

Sec. 10.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,500,000 is appropriated to the Vermont State Colleges for major facility maintenance.  The state colleges shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 10                                                         $1,500,000)

Sec. 11.  NATURAL RESOURCES 

(a)  The sum of $3,950,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for water pollution control projects.  Of this amount:

(1)  $1,700,000 shall be for the state match for the pollution control and clean water state revolving fund administered in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24;

(2)  $300,000 shall be for completion of pollution control projects on a list prepared by the agency of natural resources, dated May 20, 2003 entitled “Wastewater Project Phase-In List from the Capital Bill Conference Committee 2003; Legislative Session” and referenced in Sec. 55 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003; and

(3)  $1,950,000 shall be for construction of the wastewater facilities project in Pownal and interest paid on funds borrowed for the project.

(b)  The sum of $1,900,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the drinking water program.  Of this amount:

(1)  $1,650,000 shall be used for the state match for the federal FY07 capitalization grant; and

(2)  $250,000 shall be for the drinking water state revolving fund loan program.

(c)  The sum of $2,100,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program to accelerate the reduction of phosphorus discharges into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state, as follows:

(1)  Wetlands restoration and protection:  $250,000

(2)  Stream stabilization grants:  $1,250,000.  Of this amount, $100,000 shall be used for long‑term flood mitigation along the Dog River in Roxbury

(3)  $600,000 for wastewater phosphorus treatment at municipal wastewater treatment plants as follows:

(A)  Hardwick                                                                       100,000

(B)  Proctor                                                                             50,000

(C)  Ludlow                                                                             30,000

(D)  Milton                                                                             270,000

(E)  Richmond                                                                          50,000

(F)  Springfield                                                                       100,000

(d)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for maintenance and repair of state-owned dams.

(e)  The sum of $800,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure.

(f)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for the procurement, in fee simple or by easement, of properties along the Long Trail. 

(g)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Lake Champlain Walleye Association, Inc. as follows:

(1)  To purchase weed mats for three ponds in Franklin County:    21,150

(2)  To build an advanced fry system at the Bald Hill hatchery.  The Walleye association shall give the fry system to the department of fish and wildlife:                                                                                                                  28,850

(h)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife to carry out phase II of renovations to the Bennington fish culture station.

(Total appropriation – Section 11                                                        $9,450,000)

Sec. 12.  MILITARY

The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of the military for major maintenance, to investigate the cost-effectiveness of potential energy efficiency upgrades, and to design improvements to make the armories ADA compliant.

(Total appropriation – Section 12                                                           $200,000)

Sec. 13.  PUBLIC SAFETY AND FIRE SERVICE TRAINING COUNCILS

(a)  The sum of $30,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to install monitoring equipment on underground storage tanks at various state police offices.

(b)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for programming and design to relocate the Williston public safety barracks and E911 to building 617 in Essex.

(c)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for a feasibility study for a new public safety field station to serve southeastern Vermont.

(d)  The sum of $70,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services to make improvements to the existing parking lot and loading dock at the Vermont fire service training council facility in Pittsford.

(Total appropriation – Section 13                                                          $350,000)

Sec. 14.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE

(a)  The sum of $125,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services to improve the firing range at the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford. 

(b)  The sum of $42,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services to construct new kennel facilities at the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford. 

(Total appropriation – Section 14                                                      $167,000)

Sec. 15.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

(a)  The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets, best management practice implementation cost share program, for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction.  Farmers participating in this program may receive a maximum of 80 percent of state aid when no federal dollars are available.

(b)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the competitive grants program for agricultural fair capital projects.  No single entity shall be awarded more than ten percent of this appropriation.

(c)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets to assist with the construction of an underground cattle pass on Vermont Route 100 to serve the Turner farm in Waitsfield.  In fiscal year 2008, the agency shall use the funds to design, permit, and install the pass and associated highway traffic safety features.  The associated work is contingent upon the Turner estate donating any necessary right-of-way outside the existing highway right-of-way and entering into an agreement binding the Turner estate and its successors-in-interest to a maintenance and liability agreement satisfactory to the agency of transportation.

(Total appropriation – Section 15                                                         $2,100,000)

Sec. 16.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to Vermont Public Television for continued work on the federally mandated conversion of Vermont Public Television’s transmission sites to digital broadcasting format. 

(Total appropriation – Section 16                                                            $250,000)

Sec. 17.  VERMONT INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

The sum of $120,000 is appropriated to Vermont Interactive Television for audio upgrade of the system. 

(Total appropriation – Section 17                                                           $120,000)

Sec. 18.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to Vermont rural fire protection for the Vermont rural fire protection task force to continue the dry hydrant program.

(Total appropriation – Section 18                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 19.  VERMONT VETERANS HOME

The sum of $1,000,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans Home for phase II of geothermal HVAC renovations.

(Total appropriation – Section 19                                                                $1,000,000)

* * * Financing This Act * * *

Sec. 20.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

The following are reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 of this act:

(1)  $2,404 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 8 of No. 29 of the Acts of 1999 (Battle of the Wilderness Civil War monument).

(2)  $50,000 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 4 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (Rutland courthouse).

(3)  $1,350 of the amount appropriated by Sec. 14 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (Heat project at 116 State St.).

(4)  $8,260 of the amount appropriated by Sec. 3 of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (renovations to the Dale Correctional facility).

(4)  $105 of the amount appropriated by Sec. 14 of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (firefighter equipment).

(Total reallocation– Section 21                                                                 $62,119)

Sec. 21.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

The state treasurer is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $49,200,000 for the purpose of funding the appropriations of this act.  The state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, shall determine the appropriate form and maturity of the bonds authorized by this section consistent with the underlying nature of the appropriation to be funded.  The state treasurer shall allocate the estimated cost of bond issuance, or issuances, to the entities to which funds are appropriated pursuant to this section and for which bonding is required as the source of funds, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954.

(Total bonding – Section 22                                                               $49,200,000)

Sec. 22.  FUNDS FROM SALE OF LAND

Proceeds from the sale of a portion of state land located on Swift Street at the Chittenden regional correctional facility to the city of South Burlington shall be used to defray expenditures authorized in this act.               

(Total funds from sale of land - Section 22                                             $30,000)

* * * Managing This Act * * *

Sec. 23.  REALLOCATION; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances among projects authorized in Sec. 11 of this act.

Sec. 24.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

(a)  Notwithstanding section 5 of Title 32 (acceptance of grants):

(1)  The commissioner of environmental conservation, with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, may accept federal grants made available through the federal Clean Water Act and the federal Drinking Water Act in accordance with chapter 120 of Title 24.  Acceptance of this grant money is hereby approved, provided all notifications are made under subsection 4760(a) of Title 24.

(2)  The commissioner of corrections, with the approval of the secretary of human services, may accept federal grants made available through federal crime bill legislation. 

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds, equipment, and services from any source, including federal appropriations, for the installation, operation, implementation, or maintenance of energy conservation measures or improvements at state buildings.

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept federal grant funds in connection with the state health and forensic laboratories.  These funds may be used to defray or supplement costs in Sec. 3 of this act.

(b)  Each receipt of a grant or gift authorized by this section shall be reported by the commissioner of the department receiving the funds to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions and to the joint fiscal committee. 

* * * Buildings and General Services; State Buildings * * *

Sec. 25.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS

(a)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.

(b)  Funds appropriated in Sec. 5(c) No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) shall be used only for improvements to the Bennington District and Family Court as directed by that act.         

Sec. 26.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; MISCELLANEOUS

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized, with the approval of the secretary of administration, to sell the properties listed in this section pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166.  Up to $700,000 of proceeds from the sales shall be reserved by the department of buildings and general services for renovations to the third floor offices of the attorney general at 109 State Street in Montpelier. 

(1)  Brandon.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Sec. 1(b) of No. 59 of the Acts of 1993, all remaining parcels of land and buildings owned by the state of Vermont that once constituted the Brandon training school may be sold without approval from the emergency board. 

(2)  Newport.  All remaining condominium units in the Hebard state office building. 

(3)  Duxbury.  The 37-acre parcel of state land on route 100 next to Harwood Union High School. 

Sec. 27.  29 V.S.A. § 44a(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall:

* * *

(7)  Ensure that early in the building design phase, the architect will discuss the placement and form of artwork with the selected artist, and that bid specifications will inform potential contractors of the artwork to be installed in the building or facility.

Sec. 28.  29 V.S.A. § 45 is amended to read:

§ 45.  DUTIES OF CONTRACTING AGENCY

Upon selection of an architect for any project, the contracting agency shall:

(1)  notify the architect of the provisions of this chapter; and

(2)  notify the commissioner and the council of the selection of the architect and the details of the project; and

(3)  ensure that the architect discusses the form and placement of the artwork with the artist early in the planning and design phase of the building.

Sec. 29.  29 V.S.A. § 48 is amended to read:

§ 48.  POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNCIL

(a)  The council shall facilitate a process which will result in a recommendation of an artist or artist team for each project selected for installation of artwork.  The artist or artist team shall collaborate with the project architect or design team during the initial design phase of the project.

(b)  Following design of the project, the council shall:

(1)  appoint persons to serve on the art selection panel;

(2)  establish contract procedures for contracting with artists for works of art and with architects for services related to the planning for the acquisition of works of art;

(3)  on the advice of the art selection panel, arrange contracts with artists and order payments from the art acquisition fund for such works of art;

(4)  review the final installation and placement of works of art.  In the case of works to be commissioned, the art selection panel shall review the design, the final execution and the placement of the commissioned work;

(5)  assist occupant and contracting agencies in locating insurance when it deems such insurance is necessary for the protection of the works of art which are purchased.

(b)(c)  Without further appropriation, the council may expend funds transferred to it for administration of this chapter. 

Sec. 30.  29 V.S.A. § 152(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to:

(1)  Implement a “Motorist Aid Refreshment Program” at state rest areas and information centers.  The commissioner is authorized to accept, without active solicitation, donations for the services and associated supplies, and may use surplus funds to pay for the information center program.

(2)  Permit nonprofit organizations and contracted information center operators to provide free refreshments to motorists.  Nonprofits and contracted information center operators may accept voluntary donations, without active solicitation, from motorists.

(3)  Adopt rules governing the provision of refreshments in accordance with this subsection.

Sec. 31.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(30) is added to read:

(30)  Provide services to the traveling public, lease space, sell products, and conduct any other activities within limits set forth in the federal Surface Transportation Act and Randolph-Sheppard Act and rules promulgated thereunder, to administer the information and welcome centers; and use funds generated in the centers to supplement funds for maintaining and operating the centers.

* * * Education * * *

Sec. 32.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(3)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  Second priority is given to construction projects in excess of $10,000.00 which address a need occasioned by deterioration of an existing building or equipment pursuant to subdivision (2)(A) of this subsection, and which extend the useful life of the building but which do not make extensive additions or extensive alterations to existing school facilities in which students are provided services.  Examples of projects given priority under this subdivision are replacement, addition, or repair to utilities,; projects which address environmental quality issues,; repair of a roof,; replacement of an existing space-heating, water-heating space-heating, water-heating, cooling, or refrigeration system that uses fossil fuels with a system for the same purpose that uses, or primarily relies upon, biomass, a geothermal/ground source, wind, or solar energy, or replacement of a system with a more efficient fossil fuel system that reduces fuel use by 10 percent or more or utilizes new technologies such as microturbines, cogeneration, fuel cells, or distributed generation, or; and replacement or upgrading of mechanical equipment.

Sec. 33.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(4)(C) is amended to read:

(C)  the cost of projects to extend the life of a building which the board has approved but not yet reimbursed due to insufficient funds, as well as the estimated cost of those which might be approved by the state board in the coming fiscal year under subdivision (3)(B) of this subsection.  The legislature shall not approve an amount for this line item which exceeds more than five percent of the annual capital budget approved under subdivisions (A) and (B) of this subdivision (4).

Sec. 34.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(7) is amended to read:

(7)  Award of construction aid.

(A)  The Except as provided in other subdivisions of this subdivision (7) and elsewhere in law, the amount of an award shall be 30 percent of the approved cost of the project.

(B)  The amount of an award for the incremental costs associated with the installation of a space heating, water heating, cooling, or refrigeration system that uses biomass, a geothermal/ground source, wind, or solar energy as the primary heating or cooling source shall be 75 percent of the approved cost of those elements of the project specifically related to the renewable fuel source being used; provided that those elements:

(i)  may include the costs of necessary equipment, a chimney, air quality technology, and additional square footage necessary to house the heating unit and fuel; and further provided that those elements

(ii)  shall not include the costs of staff areas, site improvements relating to fuel delivery, and other ancillary costs as determined by the commissioner; and

(iii)  will realize savings which are life-cycle cost-effective as determined by the commissioner.

(C)  The amount of an award shall be 50 percent of the approved cost of a project or applicable portion of a project which results in consolidation of two or more school buildings and which will serve the educational needs of students in a more cost-effective and educationally appropriate manner as compared to individual projects constructed separately.  A decision of the commissioner as to eligibility for aid under this subdivision (C) shall be final.  This subdivision (C) shall apply only to a project which has received preliminary approval by June 30, 2010.

Sec. 35.  16 V.S.A. § 3448f(f)(2) and (4) are amended to read:

(2)  Approval of application.  The commissioner may approve an application for state aid under this section if the commissioner finds that the potential energy and operational cost-savings are likely to be equal to or greater than the cost of the project by the end of the contract period.  After consultation with the department of buildings and general services and any other expert resources that may be available, including Efficiency Vermont and the school energy management program of the Vermont superintendents association, the commissioner may approve a complete application.

(4)  Award of state aid.  A district shall not be reimbursed for debt incurred due to borrowing funds in anticipation of aid under this section.  The total amount of an award shall be 20 percent of the approved total cost of the project, provided the total award shall not exceed the total payment that would be due from the district, less interest.  The general assembly shall not approve an amount for this line item which exceeds five percent of the capital budget allocated for school construction projects in that year.

Sec. 36.  16  V.S.A. § 4028(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Payments made for special education under chapter 101 of this title, for technical education, including educational program equipment for regional technical education centers and comprehensive high schools under chapter 37 of this title, and for other aid and categorical grants paid for support of education shall also be from the education fund.

Sec. 37.  STATE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AID; FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  The capital debt affordability advisory committee has recommended that the state issue general obligation bonds in the amount of no more than $49,200,000 in fiscal year 2008.

(2)  This act commits $10,082,738 of the $49,200,000 to state aid for school construction but is unable to meet the actual state obligation for school construction aid of  $33,333,264.

(3)  The 1996 general assembly set up a procedure by which school districts may proceed with urgently needed school construction projects and not be delayed by the state's inability to have its share of state aid to school construction aid available as needed.

Sec. 37a.  24 V.S.A. § 1758(b)(3) is amended and (4) is added to read:

(3) The warning and ballot shall contain the following set forth in bold-faced type:

State funds may not be available at the time this project is otherwise eligible to receive state school construction aid. The commissioner of education estimates that this project may not receive state aid for        years.  The district is responsible for all costs incurred in connection with any borrowing done in anticipation of state school construction aid.

(4)  Each September, the commissioner of education shall estimate the number of years likely to elapse prior to each of priority 1, 2, and 3 school construction projects receiving a first payment under 16 V.S.A. chapter 123.  The commissioner shall make these figures available so that a school board may enter them into the ballot language required for a bond vote pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection.

Sec. 38.  COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION; REPORT

On or before January 1, 2008, the commissioner of education shall report to the general assembly on options considered and specific recommendations to address the needs and pressures of school construction, including recommendations for a funding mechanism for state school construction aid and revisions to criteria for school construction project approval.

Sec. 39.  REPEAL

Sec. 49 of No. 68 of the Acts of 2003 and amended by Sec. 54 of No. 121 of the Acts of 2004, relating to construction aid for school consolidation is repealed.

* * * State Colleges * * *

Sec. 40.  SPENDING AND BONDING AUTHORIZATION; VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

Pursuant to subsection 2171(e) of Title 16, the Vermont State Colleges is authorized to expend up to $1,000,000 of its self-generated revenues established for the purpose of capital improvements on housing, dining, and general purpose facilities.

Sec. 41.  16 V.S.A. § 2171(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The corporation may make expenditures for capital improvements provided those capital improvements receive the specific prior approval of the general assembly.  Upon receiving approval, the.  The corporation is authorized to borrow money for building purposes, to give security therefor as may be required, to execute necessary or proper instruments in connection therewith, and is also authorized to accept, use, and administer such funds as may be made available to it for any of its corporate purposes by the United States or any of its agencies, and to agree to any terms and conditions with reference thereto which may be required thereby not inconsistent with its corporate purposes.

* * * Agency of Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 42.  10 V.S.A. § 1626a(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Additional state assistance eligibility.

(1)  Grants.  A proposed wastewater treatment plant which is eligible for a loan under subsection (b) of this section, and a wastewater treatment plant with a design hydraulic capacity of 250,000 or more gallons per day which is being refurbished, shall in addition be eligible for a grant of up to 50 percent of the cost of that portion of the plant to be used to treat septage, or septage and sludge in combination, if the commissioner of environmental conservation finds that the proposed plant capacity will be sufficient to receive, treat and dispose of septage alone in a quantity equivalent to the ratio of 4,000 gallons or more of such septage per day for each 1,000,000 gallons per day of plant design hydraulic capacity.  The portion of the plant used for processing septage, or septage and sludge in combination, shall include facilities for receiving septage and for the storage, treatment, transfer, and disposal of both septage and sludge.

* * *

Sec. 43.  24 V.S.A. § 4753(d) is amended to read:

(d)  Funds from the Vermont environmental protection agency pollution control fund and the Vermont pollution control revolving fund, established by subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section, may be awarded for:

(1)  the refurbishment or construction of a new or an enlarged wastewater treatment plant with a resulting total capacity of 250,000 gallons or more per day in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and section 1626a of Title 10; or

* * *

Sec. 44.  Sec. 8(a)(2) of No. 52 of the Acts of 1989, as amended by Sec. 18 of No. 276 of the Acts of the 1988 Adj. Sess. (1989) and Sec. 32 of No. 29 of the Acts of 1999, is amended to read:

(2)  That this conveyance shall be completed within 20 30 years of the effective date of this act.

Sec. 45.  24 V.S.A. § 4751 is amended to read:

§ 4751.  DECLARATION OF POLICY

It is hereby declared to be in the public interest to foster and promote timely expenditures by municipalities for water supply, water pollution control and solid waste management, each of which is declared to be an essential governmental function when undertaken and implemented by a municipality.  It is also declared to be in the public interest to promote expenditures for certain existing privately-owned public water systems and certain privately-owned wastewater and potable water supply systems to bring those systems into compliance with federal and state standards and to protect public health.

Sec. 46.  24 V.S.A. § 4753(a) is amended to read:

(a)  There is hereby established a series of special funds to be known as:

(1)  The Vermont environmental protection agency (EPA) pollution control revolving fund which shall be used to provide loans to municipalities, state agencies, and the Vermont housing finance agency, for planning sewage systems and sewage treatment or disposal plants as defined in sections 3501(6) and 3601 of this title, for constructing publicly-owned sewage systems and sewage treatment or disposal plants as defined in sections 3501(6) and 3601 of this title, for planning or construction of certain privately-owned wastewater systems, and for implementing related management programs.

(2)  The Vermont pollution control revolving fund which shall be used to provide loans to municipalities, state agencies, and the Vermont housing finance agency, for planning pollution control facilities and, for constructing publicly-owned pollution control facilities, and for constructing certain privately-owned wastewater systems and potable water supply systems.

* * *

Sec. 47.  24 V.S.A. § 4753a is amended to read:

§ 4753a.  AWARDS FROM REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS

(a)  Pollution control.  The general assembly shall approve all categories of awards made from the special funds established by section 4753 of this title for water pollution control facility construction, in order to assure that such awards conform with state policy on water quality and pollution abatement, and with the state policy that, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, municipal entities shall receive first priority in the award of public monies for such construction, including monies returned to the revolving funds from previous awards.  To facilitate this legislative oversight, the secretary of natural resources shall annually no later than January 15 report to the house and senate committees on institutions and on natural resources and energy on all awards made from the relevant special funds during the prior and current fiscal years, and shall report on and seek legislative approval of all the types of projects for which awards are proposed to be made from the relevant special funds during the current or any subsequent fiscal year.  Where feasible, the specific projects shall be listed.

(b)  Water supply.  The secretary of natural resources shall no later than January 15, 2000 recommend to the house and senate committees on institutions and on natural resources and energy a procedure for reporting to and seeking the concurrence of the legislature with regard to the special funds established by section 4753 of this title for water supply facility construction.

(c)  Notwithstanding other priorities established in law, the secretary may award up to $500,000.00 of the funds from the Vermont environmental protection agency control fund and the Vermont pollution control revolving fund, combined, to a state agency, the Vermont housing finance agency, or a municipality for the administration of loans to households with income equal to or less than 200 percent of the state average median household income for the repair or replacement of failed wastewater systems and failed potable water supplies, as those terms are defined in section 1972 of Title 10.  Upon award of funds under this section, the state agency, Vermont housing finance agency, or municipality shall agree, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with the secretary of natural resources, to repay the funds awarded to the special fund from which they were drawn.

* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 48.  EFFECTIVE DATES

This act shall take effect on passage.  The sums appropriated and the spending authority authorized by this act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.

(For House amendments see House Journal 3/1/07-Pages 289-292

For Action Under Rule 52

H. R. 17

     House resolution relating to designating April as Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

(For text see House Journal April 24, 2007)

H. R. 18

     House resolution urging Vermont’s Representative in the U.S. House  of Representatives to introduce, and the State’s U.S. Senators to support a resolution requiring the U.S. Judiciary Committee to initiate an impeachment proceeding against the President and the Vice President of the United States.

(For text see House Journal April 24, 2007)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 545

An act relating to the agency of human services.

(Rep. Evans of Essex will speak for the Committee on Government Operations.)

Favorable with Amendment

S. 54

An act relating to motor vehicle wreckers.

Rep. Brennan of Colchester, for the Committee on Transportation, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as follows:

     First:  In Sec. 1, 23 V.S.A. § 4(51), by adding after the words "mounted, while the" the word "other"

     Second:  In Sec. 2, 23 V.S.A. § 4(76) by striking out the word "inoperable"

(Committee vote: 9-1-1)

S. 115

An act relating to increasing transparency of prescription drug pricing and information.

Rep. Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, for the Committee on Health Care, 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:

Sec. 1.  33 V.S.A. § 1998 is amended to read:

§ 1998.  PHARMACY BEST PRACTICES AND COST CONTROL
              PROGRAM ESTABLISHED

(a)  The director of the office of Vermont health access shall establish and maintain a pharmacy best practices and cost control program designed to reduce the cost of providing prescription drugs, while maintaining high quality in prescription drug therapies.  The program shall include:

(1)  A Use of an evidence‑based preferred list of covered prescription drugs that identifies preferred choices within therapeutic classes for particular diseases and conditions, including generic alternatives and over‑the‑counter drugs.

(A)  The director and the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall implement the preferred drug list as a uniform, statewide preferred drug list by encouraging all health benefit plans in this state to participate in the program.

(B)  The commissioner of human resources shall use the preferred drug list in the state employees health benefit plan only if participation in the program will provide economic and health benefits to the state employees health benefit plan and to beneficiaries of the plan, and only if agreed to through the bargaining process between the state of Vermont and the authorized representatives of the employees of the state of Vermont.  The provisions of this subdivision do not authorize the actuarial pooling of the state employees health benefit plan with any other health benefit plan, unless otherwise agreed to through the bargaining process between the state of Vermont and the authorized representatives of the employees of the state of Vermont.  No later than November 1, 2004, the commissioner of human resources shall report to the health access oversight committee and the senate and house committees on health and welfare on whether use of the preferred drug list in the state employees health benefit plan would, in his or her opinion, provide economic and health benefits to the state employees health benefit plan and to beneficiaries of the plan.

(C)  The director shall encourage all health benefit plans to implement the preferred drug list as a uniform, statewide preferred drug list by inviting the representatives of each health benefit plan providing prescription drug coverage to residents of this state to participate as observers or nonvoting members in the director’s drug utilization review board, and by inviting such plans to use the preferred drug list in connection with the plans’ prescription drug coverage.

(2)  Utilization review procedures, including a prior authorization review process.

(3)  Any strategy designed to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers to lower the cost of prescription drugs for program participants, including a supplemental rebate program.

(4)  With input from physicians, pharmacists, private insurers, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, and the drug utilization review board, an evidence‑based research education program designed to provide information and education on the therapeutic and cost‑effective utilization of prescription drugs to physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs.  To the extent possible, the program shall inform prescribers about drug marketing that is intended to circumvent competition from generic alternatives.  Details of the program, including the scope of the program and funding recommendations, shall be contained in a report submitted to the health access oversight committee and the senate and house committees on health and welfare no later than January 1, 2005.

(5)(4)  Alternative pricing mechanisms, including consideration of using maximum allowable cost pricing for generic and other prescription drugs.

(6)(5)  Alternative coverage terms, including consideration of providing coverage of over‑the‑counter drugs where cost‑effective in comparison to prescription drugs, and authorizing coverage of dosages capable of permitting the consumer to split each pill if cost‑effective and medically appropriate for the consumer.

(7)(6)  A simple, uniform prescription form, designed to implement the preferred drug list, and to enable prescribers and consumers to request an exception to the preferred drug list choice with a minimum of cost and time to prescribers, pharmacists and consumers.

(7)  A joint pharmaceuticals purchasing consortium as provided for in subdivision (c)(1) of this section.

(8)  Any other cost containment activity adopted, by rule, by the director that is designed to reduce the cost of providing prescription drugs while maintaining high quality in prescription drug therapies.

* * *

(c)(1)  The director may implement the pharmacy best practices and cost control program for any other health benefit plan within or outside this state that agrees to participate in the program.  For entities in Vermont, the director shall directly or by contract implement the program through a joint pharmaceuticals purchasing consortium.  The joint pharmaceuticals purchasing consortium shall be offered on a voluntary basis no later than January 1, 2008, with mandatory participation by state or publicly funded, administered, or subsidized purchasers to the extent practicable and consistent with the purposes of this chapter, by January 1, 2010.  If necessary, the office of Vermont health access shall seek authorization from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to include purchases funded by Medicaid.  “State or publicly funded purchasers” shall include the department of corrections, the division of mental health, Medicaid, the Vermont Health Access Program (VHAP), Dr. Dynasaur, Vermont Rx, VPharm, Healthy Vermonters, workers’ compensation, and any other state or publicly funded purchaser of prescription drugs.

* * *

(f)(1)  The drug utilization review board shall make recommendations to the director for the adoption of the preferred drug list.  The board’s recommendations shall be based upon evidence‑based considerations of clinical efficacy, adverse side effects, safety, appropriate clinical trials, and cost‑effectiveness.  “Evidence‑based” shall have the same meaning as in section 4622 of Title 18.

* * *

(6)  The director shall encourage participation in the joint purchasing consortium by inviting representatives of the programs and entities specified in subdivision (c)(1) of this section to participate as observers or nonvoting members in the drug utilization review board, and by inviting the representatives to use the preferred drug list in connection with the plans’ prescription drug coverage.

Sec. 2.  33 V.S.A. § 1998(g) is added to read:

(g)  The office shall seek assistance from entities conducting independent research into the effectiveness of prescription drugs to provide technical and clinical support in the development and the administration of the preferred drug list and the evidence‑based education program established in subchapter 2 of Title 18.

* * * Pharmaceutical Marketer Disclosures * * *

Sec. 3.  33 V.S.A. § 2005(a)(3) is amended to read:

(3)  The office of the attorney general shall keep confidential all trade secret information, as defined by subdivision 317(b)(9) of Title 1, except that the office may disclose the information to the department of health and the office of Vermont health access for the purpose of informing and prioritizing the activities of the evidence‑based education program in subchapter 2 of chapter 91 of Title 18.  The department of health and the office of Vermont health access shall keep the information confidential.  The disclosure form shall permit the company to identify any information that it claims is a trade secret as defined in subdivision 317(c)(9) of Title 1.  In the event that the attorney general receives a request for any information designated as a trade secret, the attorney general shall promptly notify the company of such request.  Within 30 days after such notification, the company shall respond to the requester and the attorney general by either consenting to the release of the requested information or by certifying in writing the reasons for its claim that the information is a trade secret.  Any requester aggrieved by the company’s response may apply to the superior court of Washington County for a declaration that the company’s claim of trade secret is invalid.  The attorney general shall not be made a party to the superior court proceeding.  Prior to and during the pendency of the superior court proceeding, the attorney general shall keep confidential the information that has been claimed as trade secret information, except that the attorney general may provide the requested information to the court under seal.

Sec. 4.  33 V.S.A. § 2005(a)(4) is amended and (d) is added to read:

(4)  The following shall be exempt from disclosure:

* * *

(D)  scholarship or other support for medical students, residents, and fellows to attend a significant educational, scientific, or policy‑making conference of a national, regional, or specialty medical or other professional association if the recipient of the scholarship or other support is selected by the association; and

(E)  unrestricted grants for continuing medical education programs; and

(F)  prescription drug rebates and discounts.

* * *

(d)  Disclosures of unrestricted grants for continuing medical education programs shall be limited to the value, nature, and purpose of the grant and the name of the grantee.  It shall not include disclosure of the individual participants in such a program.

Sec. 5. 33  V.S.A. § 2005a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  As used in this section:

* * *

(2)  “Pharmaceutical manufacturing company” is defined by subdivision 2005(c)(5) 4632(c)(5) of this title.

(3)  “Pharmaceutical marketer” is defined by subdivision 2005(c)(4) 4632(c)(4) of this title.

* * * Price Disclosure and Certification * * *

Sec. 6.  33 V.S.A. § 2010 is added to read:

§ 2010.  ACTUAL PRICE DISCLOSURE AND CERTIFICATION

(a)  A manufacturer of prescription drugs dispensed in this state under a health program directed or administered by the state shall, on a quarterly basis, report by National Drug Code the following pharmaceutical pricing criteria to the director of the office of Vermont health access for each of its drugs:

(1)  the prices required to be provided to the Medicaid program under federal law, including prices defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1396r-8; and

(2)  the price that each wholesaler in this state pays the manufacturer to purchase the drug.

(b)  When reporting the prices as provided for in subsection (a) of this section, the manufacturer shall include a summary of its methodology in determining the price.  The office may accept the standards of the National Drug Rebate agreement entered into by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Section 1927 of the Social Security Act for reporting pricing methodology.

(c)  The pricing information required under this section is for drugs defined under the Medicaid drug rebate program and must be submitted to the director following its submission to the federal government in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1396r‑8(b)(3).

(d)  When a manufacturer of prescription drugs dispensed in this state reports the information required under subsection (a) of this section, the president, chief executive officer, or a designated employee of the manufacturer shall certify to the office, on a form provided by the director of the office of Vermont health access, that the reported prices are the same as those reported to the federal government as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1396r‑8(b)(3) for the applicable rebate period.  A designated employee shall be an employee who reports directly to the chief executive officer or president and who has been delegated to make the certification under this section.

(e)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, information submitted to the office under this section is confidential and is not a public record as defined in subsection 317(b) of Title 1.  Disclosure may be made by the office to an entity providing services to the office under this section; however, that disclosure does not change the confidential status of the information.  The information may be used by the entity only for the purpose specified by the office in its contract with the entity.  Data compiled in aggregate form by the office for the purposes of reporting required by this section are public records as defined in subsection 317(b) of Title 1, provided they do not reveal trade information protected by state or federal law.

(f)  The attorney general shall enforce the provisions of this section under the Vermont consumer fraud act in chapter 63 of Title 9.  The attorney general has the same authority to make rules, conduct civil investigations, and bring civil actions with respect to acts and practices governed by this section as is provided under the Vermont consumer fraud act.

* * * Healthy Vermonters * * *

Sec. 7.  33 V.S.A. § 2003 is amended to read:

§ 2003.  PHARMACY DISCOUNT PLANS

(a)  The director of the office of Vermont health access shall implement pharmacy discount plans, to be known as the “Healthy Vermonters” program and the “Healthy Vermonters Plus” program, for Vermonters without adequate coverage for prescription drugs.  The provisions of section 1992 of this title subchapter 8 of this chapter shall apply to the director’s authority to administer the pharmacy discount plans established by this section.

(b)  The Healthy Vermonters program shall offer beneficiaries an initial discounted cost for covered drugs.  Upon approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver program, and upon subsequent legislative approval, the Healthy Vermonters program and the Healthy Vermonters Plus program shall offer beneficiaries a secondary discounted cost, which shall reflect a state payment toward the cost of each dispensed drug as well as any rebate amount negotiated by the commissioner.

* * *

(c)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Beneficiary” means any individual enrolled in either the Healthy Vermonters program or the Healthy Vermonters Plus program.

(2)  “Healthy Vermonters beneficiary” means any individual Vermont resident without adequate coverage:

(A)  who is at least 65 years of age, or is disabled and is eligible for Medicare or Social Security disability benefits, with household income equal to or less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont health access plan, as amended; or

(B)  whose household income is equal to or less than 300 350 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont Health access plan, as amended.

(3)  “Healthy Vermonters Plus beneficiary” means any individual Vermont resident without adequate coverage:

(A)  whose household income is greater than 300 percent and equal to or less than 350 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont health access plan, as amended; or

(B)  whose family incurs unreimbursed expenses for prescription drugs, including insurance premiums, that equal five percent or more of household income or whose total unreimbursed medical expenses, including insurance premiums, equal 15 percent or more of household income.

* * *

* * * PBM Regulation * * *

Sec. 8.  18 V.S.A. chapter 221, subchapter 9 is added to read:

Subchapter 9.  Pharmacy Benefit Managers

§ 9471.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Beneficiary” means an individual enrolled in a health plan in which coverage of prescription drugs is administered by a pharmacy benefit manager and includes his or her dependent or other person provided health coverage through that health plan.

(2)  “Health insurer” is defined by subdivision 9402(9) of this title and shall include:

(A)  a health insurance company, a nonprofit hospital and medical service corporation, and health maintenance organizations;

(B)  an employer, labor union, or other group of persons organized in Vermont that provides a health plan to beneficiaries who are employed or reside in Vermont;

(C)  the state of Vermont and any agent or instrumentality of the state that offers, administers, or provides financial support to state government; and

(D)  Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, Vermont Rx, and any other public health care assistance program.

(3)  “Health plan” means a health benefit plan offered, administered, or issued by a health insurer doing business in Vermont.

(4)  “Pharmacy benefit management” means an arrangement for the procurement of prescription drugs at a negotiated rate for dispensation within this state to beneficiaries, the administration or management of prescription drug benefits provided by a health plan for the benefit of beneficiaries, or any of the following services provided with regard to the administration of pharmacy benefits:

(A)  mail service pharmacy;

(B)  claims processing, retail network management, and payment of claims to pharmacies for prescription drugs dispensed to beneficiaries;

(C)  clinical formulary development and management services;

(D)  rebate contracting and administration;

(E)  certain patient compliance, therapeutic intervention, and generic substitution programs; and

(F)  disease or chronic care management programs.

(5)  “Pharmacy benefit manager” means an entity that performs pharmacy benefit management.  The term includes a person or entity in a contractual or employment relationship with an entity performing pharmacy benefit management for a health plan.

§ 9472.  PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS; REQUIRED PRACTICES

(a)  A pharmacy benefit manager that provides pharmacy benefit management for a health plan shall discharge its duties with reasonable care and diligence and be fair and truthful under the circumstances then prevailing that a pharmacy benefit manager acting in like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims.  In the case of a health benefit plan offered by a health insurer as defined by subdivision 9471(2)(A) of this title, the health insurer shall remain responsible for administering the health benefit plan in accordance with the health insurance policy or subscriber contract or plan and in compliance with all applicable provisions of Title 8 and this title.

(b)  A pharmacy benefit manager shall provide notice to the health insurer that the terms contained in subsection (c) of this section may be included in the contract between the pharmacy benefit manager and the health insurer.

(c)  Unless the contract provides otherwise, a pharmacy benefit manager that provides pharmacy benefit management for a health plan shall:

(1)  Provide all financial and utilization information requested by a health insurer relating to the provision of benefits to beneficiaries through that health insurer’s health plan and all financial and utilization information relating to services to that health insurer.  A pharmacy benefit manager providing information under this subsection may designate that material as confidential.  Information designated as confidential by a pharmacy benefit manager and provided to a health insurer under this subsection may not be disclosed by the health insurer to any person without the consent of the pharmacy benefit manager, except that disclosure may be made by the health insurer:

(A)  in a court filing under the consumer fraud provisions of chapter 63 of Title 9, provided that the information shall be filed under seal and that prior to the information being unsealed, the court shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the pharmacy benefit manager on why the information should remain confidential;

(B)  when authorized by chapter 63 of Title 9;

(C)  when ordered by a court for good cause shown; or

(D)  when ordered by the commissioner as to a health insurer as defined in subdivision 9471(2)(A) of this title pursuant to the provisions of Title 8 and this title.

(2)  Notify a health insurer in writing of any proposed or ongoing activity, policy, or practice of the pharmacy benefit manager that presents, directly or indirectly, any conflict of interest with the requirements of this section.

(3)  With regard to the dispensation of a substitute prescription drug for a prescribed drug to a beneficiary in which the substitute drug costs more than the prescribed drug and the pharmacy benefit manager receives a benefit or payment directly or indirectly, disclose to the health insurer the cost of both drugs and the benefit or payment directly or indirectly accruing to the pharmacy benefit manager as a result of the substitution.

(4)  If the pharmacy benefit manager derives any payment or benefit for the dispensation of prescription drugs within the state based on volume of sales for certain prescription drugs or classes or brands of drugs within the state, pass that payment or benefit on in full to the health insurer.

(5)  Disclose to the health insurer all financial terms and arrangements for remuneration of any kind that apply between the pharmacy benefit manager and any prescription drug manufacturer that relate to benefits provided to beneficiaries under or services to the health insurer’s health plan, including formulary management and drug‑switch programs, educational support, claims processing, and pharmacy network fees charged from retail pharmacies and data sales fees.  A pharmacy benefit manager providing information under this subsection may designate that material as confidential.  Information designated as confidential by a pharmacy benefit manager and provided to a health insurer under this subsection may not be disclosed by the health insurer to any person without the consent of the pharmacy benefit manager, except that disclosure may be made by the health insurer:

(A)  in a court filing under the consumer fraud provisions of chapter 63 of Title 9, provided that the information shall be filed under seal and that prior to the information being unsealed, the court shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the pharmacy benefit manager on why the information should remain confidential;

(B)  when authorized by chapter 63 of Title 9;

(C)  when ordered by a court for good cause shown; or

(D)  when ordered by the commissioner as to a health insurer as defined in subdivision 9471(2)(A) of this title pursuant to the provisions of Title 8 and this title.

(d)  Compliance with the requirements of this section is required for pharmacy benefit managers entering into contracts with a health insurer in this state for pharmacy benefit management in this state.

§ 9473.  ENFORCEMENT

(a)  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, in addition to any remedy available to the commissioner under this title and any other remedy provided by law, a violation of this subchapter shall be considered a violation of the Vermont consumer fraud act in subchapter 1 of chapter 63 of Title 1.  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, all rights, authority, and remedies available to the attorney general and private parties to enforce the Vermont consumer fraud act shall be available to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

(b)  In connection with any action for violation of the Vermont consumer fraud act, the commissioner’s determinations concerning the interpretation and administration of the provisions of this subchapter and any rules adopted hereunder shall carry a presumption of validity.  The attorney general and the commissioner shall consult with each other prior to the commencement of any investigation or enforcement action with respect to any pharmacy benefit manager.

(c)  The commissioner may investigate, examine, or otherwise enforce a violation of this subchapter by a pharmacy benefit manager under section 9412 of this title as if the pharmacy benefit manager were a health insurer. 

(d)  The commissioner shall have the exclusive authority to investigate, examine, and otherwise enforce the provisions of this subchapter relating to a pharmacy benefit manager in connection with the pharmacy benefit manager’s contractual relationship with, and any other activity with respect to, a health insurer defined by subdivision 9471(2)(A) of this title.

(e)  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the commissioner and the attorney general may bring a joint enforcement action against any person or entity for a violation of this subchapter.

Sec. 9.  18 V.S.A. § 9421 is added to read:

§ 9421.  PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGEMENT; REGISTRATION; AUDIT

(a)  A pharmacy benefit manager shall not do business in this state without first registering with the commissioner on a form and in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.

(b)  In accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner, pharmacy benefit managers operating in the state of Vermont and proposing to contract for the provision of pharmacy benefit management shall notify health insurers when the pharmacy benefit manager provides a quotation that a quotation for an administrative‑services‑only contract with full pass through of negotiated prices, rebates, and other such financial benefits which would identify to the health insurer external sources of revenue and profit is generally available and whether the pharmacy benefits manager offers that type of arrangement.  Quotations for an administrative‑services‑only contract shall include a reasonable fee payable by the health insurer which represents a competitive pharmacy benefit profit.  This subsection shall not be interpreted to require a pharmacy benefits manager to offer an administrative‑services‑only contract.

(c)(1)  In order to enable periodic verification of pricing arrangements in administrative‑services‑only contracts, pharmacy benefit managers shall allow access, in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner, by the health insurer who is a party to the administrative‑services‑only contract to financial and contractual information necessary to conduct a complete and independent audit designed to verify the following:

(A)  full pass through of negotiated drug prices and fees associated with all drugs dispensed to beneficiaries of the health plan in both retail and mail order settings or resulting from any of the pharmacy benefit management functions defined in the contract;

(B)  full pass through of all financial remuneration associated with all drugs dispensed to beneficiaries of the health plan in both retail and mail order settings or resulting from any of the pharmacy benefit management functions defined in the contract; and

(C)  any other verifications relating to the pricing arrangements and activities of the pharmacy benefit manager required by the contract if required by the commissioner.

(d)  The department’s reasonable expenses in administering the provisions of this section may be charged to pharmacy benefit managers in the manner provided for in section 18 of Title 8.  These expenses shall be allocated in proportion to the lives of Vermonters covered by each pharmacy benefit manager as reported annually to the commissioner in a manner and form prescribed by the commissioner.  The department shall not charge its expenses to the pharmacy benefit manager contracting with the office of Vermont health access if the office notifies the department of the conditions contained in its contract with a pharmacy benefit manager.

(e)  The commissioner may adopt such rules as are necessary or desirable in carrying out the purposes of this section.  The rules also shall ensure that proprietary information is kept confidential and not disclosed by a health insurer.

(f)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Health insurer” is defined in subdivision 9471(2) of this title.

(2)  “Health plan” is defined in subdivision 9471(3) of this title.

(3)  “Pharmacy benefit management” is defined in subdivision 9471(4) of this title.

(4)  “Pharmacy benefit manager” is defined in subdivision 9471(5) of this title.

Sec. 10.  APPLICATION

Secs. 8 and 9 of this act apply to contracts executed or renewed on or after September 1, 2007.  For purposes of this section, a contract executed pursuant to a memorandum of agreement executed prior to September 1, 2007 is deemed to have been executed prior to September 1, 2007 even if the contract was executed after that date.

Sec. 11.  8 V.S.A. § 4088d is added to read:

§ 4088d.  NOTICE OF PREFERRED DRUG LIST CHANGES

A health insurer, as defined in subdivisions 9471(2)(A), (C), and (D) of Title 18, shall provide beneficiaries sufficient notice of any changes to the prescription drugs covered on its preferred drug list.  For purposes of this section, “sufficient notice” means:

(1)  written notice to affected beneficiaries specifying the drugs that have been added or removed from the preferred drug list, which shall be provided to beneficiaries at least 30 days prior to the effective date of such changes; or

(2)  written notice to a beneficiary that a specific drug is no longer covered on the preferred drug list at the time the beneficiary seeks a refill of that drug.  In such circumstances, the beneficiary shall not be denied coverage for the first requested refill after the change to the preferred drug list has taken place.  Subsequent refills, however, shall be subject to the requirements of the revised preferred drug list.

Sec. 12.  18 V.S.A. chapter 91 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 91.  GENERIC DRUGS PRESCRIPTION DRUG
COST CONTAINMENT

Sec. 13.  18 V.S.A. chapter 91, sections 4601–4608 are designated as subchapter 1 which is added to read:

Subchapter 1.  Generic Drugs

Sec. 14.  18 V.S.A. chapter 91, subchapter 2 is added to read:

Subchapter 2.  Evidence‑Based Education Program

§ 4621.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Department” means the department of health.

(2)  “Evidence‑based” means based on criteria and guidelines that reflect high‑quality, cost‑effective care.  The methodology used to determine such guidelines shall meet recognized standards for systematic evaluation of all available research and shall be free from conflicts of interest.  Consideration of the best available scientific evidence does not preclude consideration of experimental or investigational treatment or services under a clinical investigation approved by an institutional review board.

§ 4622.  Evidence‑based education Program

(a)(1)  The department, in collaboration with the attorney general, the University of Vermont area health education centers program, and the office of Vermont health access, shall establish an evidence‑based prescription drug education program for health care professionals designed to provide information and education on the therapeutic and cost‑effective utilization of prescription drugs to physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs.  The department may collaborate with other states in establishing this program.

(2)  The program shall notify prescribers about commonly used brand-name drugs for which the patent has expired within the last 12 months or will expire within the next 12 months.  The department and the office of Vermont health access shall collaborate in issuing the notices.

(3)  To the extent permitted by funding, the program may include the distribution to prescribers of samples of generic medicines used to treat chronic conditions common in Vermont.

(b)  The department shall request information and collaboration from physicians, pharmacists, private insurers, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, the drug utilization review board, medical schools, the attorney general, and any other programs providing an evidence‑based education to prescribers on prescription drugs in developing and maintaining the program.

(c)  The department may contract for technical and clinical support in the development and the administration of the program from entities conducting independent research into the effectiveness of prescription drugs.

(d)  The department and the attorney general shall collaborate in reviewing the marketing activities of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Vermont and determining appropriate funding sources for the program, including awards from suits brought by the attorney general against pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Sec. 15.  GENERIC DRUG SAMPLE PILOT PROJECT

(a)  As part of the evidence-based education program established in subchapter 2 of chapter 91 of Title 18, the department of health, in collaboration with the office of Vermont health access and the University of Vermont area health education centers program, shall establish a pilot project to distribute vouchers for a sample of generic drugs used to treat high cholesterol, including statins, and informational and educational materials to prescribers.  The department and office may expand the pilot program to include other classes of prescription drugs used to treat common chronic conditions for which there is a generic medicine available. 

(b)  The office of Vermont health access shall fund the vouchers from the fee established in section 1998b of Title 33 and shall provide payment to the pharmacy dispensing the prescription drugs in exchange for the voucher.  The office shall establish a payment rate, including a dispensing fee, using the rules and procedures for the Medicaid program.

Sec. 16.  Prescription Drug Pricing; Federally Qualified
   Health Centers

No later than January 1, 2008, the department of health shall create a plan to inform Vermonters of the availability of health services provided by federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and FQHC look‑alikes, including information about prescription drug pricing, focusing on state employees, individuals under the supervision of corrections, individuals receiving workers’ compensation benefits if applicable, and any other state or publicly funded purchaser of prescription drugs for whom the cost of prescription drugs is likely to be higher than prices under Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act.

* * * Prescription Drug Data Confidentiality * * *

Sec. 17.  18 V.S.A. chapter 91, subchapter 3 is added to read:

Subchapter 3.  Information Requirements

§ 4631.  Confidentiality of Prescription Information

(a)  The general assembly finds that it has become an increasingly common practice for information identifying physicians and other prescribers in prescription records to be used to target pharmaceutical marketing and gifts toward physicians who prescribe the most expensive drugs for their patients.  This practice raises drug costs for all Vermont residents and compromises the professional autonomy of physicians.  It is the intent of the general assembly to ensure the privacy of Vermonters and health care professionals by prohibiting the commercial use of prescription information.

(b)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Commercial purpose” shall include advertising, marketing, promotion, or any activity that is intended to be used or is used to influence sales or the market share of a pharmaceutical product, influence or evaluate the prescribing behavior of an individual health care professional, market prescription drugs to patients, or evaluate the effectiveness of a professional pharmaceutical detailing sales force.

(2)  “Electronic transmission intermediary” means an entity that provides the infrastructure that connects the computer systems or other electronic devices used by health care professionals, prescribers, pharmacies, health care facilities and pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers, third‑party administrators, and agents and contractors of those persons in order to facilitate the secure transmission of an individual’s prescription drug order, refill, authorization request, claim, payment, or other prescription drug information.

(3)  “Health care facility” shall have the same meaning as in section 9402 of this title.

(4)  “Health care professional” shall have the same meaning as in section 9402 of this title.

(5)  “Health insurer” shall have the same meaning as in section 9410 of this title.

(6)  “Pharmacy” means any individual or entity licensed or registered under chapter 36 of Title 26.

(7)  “Prescriber” means an individual allowed by law to prescribe and administer prescription drugs in the course of professional practice.

(8)  “Regulated records” means information or documentation from a prescription written by a prescriber doing business in Vermont or a prescription dispensed in Vermont.

(c)  A health insurer, a self‑insured employer, an electronic transmission intermediary, a pharmacy, or other similar entity shall not license, transfer, use, or sell regulated records which include prescription information containing patient‑identifiable or prescriber‑identifiable data for any commercial purpose.

(d)  This section shall not apply to:

(1)  the license, transfer, use, or sale of regulated records for the limited purposes of pharmacy reimbursement; prescription drug formulary compliance; patient care management; utilization review by a health care professional, the patient’s health insurer, or the agent of either; or health care research;

(2)  the dispensing of prescription medications to a patient or to the patient’s authorized representative;

(3)  the transmission of prescription information between an authorized prescriber and a licensed pharmacy, between licensed pharmacies, or that may occur in the event a pharmacy’s ownership is changed or transferred;

(4)  care management educational communications provided to a patient about the patient’s health condition, adherence to a prescribed course of therapy and other information relating to the drug being dispensed, treatment options, recall or patient safety notices, or clinical trials;

(5)  the collection, use, or disclosure of prescription information or other regulatory activity as authorized by chapter 84, chapter 84A, or section 9410 of this title, or as otherwise provided by law;

(6)  the collection and transmission of prescription information to a Vermont or federal law enforcement officer engaged in his or her official duties as otherwise provided by law;

(7)  the collection, use, transfer, or sale of patient and prescriber data for commercial purposes if the data do not identify a person, and there is no reasonable basis to believe that the data provided could be used to identify a person.

(e)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general may file an action in superior court for a violation of this section or of any rules adopted under this section by the attorney general.  The attorney general shall have the same authority to investigate and to obtain remedies as if the action were brought under the Vermont consumer fraud act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  Each violation of this section or of any rules adopted under this section by the attorney general constitutes a separate civil violation for which the attorney general may obtain relief. 

Sec. 18.  1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(38) is added to read:

(38)  records held by the agency of human services, which include prescription information containing patient-identifiable or prescriber‑identifiable data, that could be used to identify a patient or prescriber, except that the records shall be made available upon request for medical research purposes consistent with those expressed in sections 4621, 4631, 4632, 4633, and 9410 of Title 18 and chapters 84 and 84A of Title 18, or law enforcement activities.

Sec. 19.  18 V.S.A. § 9410(g) is amended to read:

(g)  Any person who knowingly fails to comply with the requirements of this section or rules adopted pursuant to this section shall be fined subject to an administrative penalty of not more than $1,000.00 per violation.  The commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $10,000.00 each for those violations the commissioner finds were willful. In addition, any person who knowingly fails to comply with the confidentiality requirements of this section or rules adopted pursuant to this section  and  uses, sells or transfers the data or information for commercial advantage, pecuniary gain, personal gain or malicious harm shall be  subject to an administrative penalty of not more than $50,000.00 per violation.  The powers vested in the commissioner by this subsection shall be in addition to any other powers to enforce any penalties, fines or forfeitures authorized by law.

Sec. 20.  33 V.S.A. § 1998b is added to read:

§ 1998b.  Manufacturer Fee

(a)  Annually, each pharmaceutical manufacturer of prescription drugs that are paid for by Medicaid, the Vermont Health Access Program, Dr. Dynasaur, VPharm or Vermont Rx shall pay a fee to the agency of human services.  The fee shall be 0.5 percent of the previous calendar year’s drug spending and shall be assessed based on manufacturer labeler codes as used in the Medicaid rebate program.

(b)  Fees collected under this section shall fund the implementation and operation of subdivision 2466a(c)(1) of Title 9 and the evidence‑based education program established in subchapter 2 of Title 18.

(c)  The secretary of human services or designee shall make rules for the implementation of this section.

* * * Consumer Protection; False Advertising * * *

Sec. 21.  9 V.S.A. § 2466a is added to read:

§ 2466a.  Consumer Protections; Prescription Drugs

(a)  A violation of section 4631 of Title 18 shall be considered a violation under this chapter.

(b)  As provided in section 9473 of Title 18, a violation of section 9472 shall be considered a violation under this chapter.

(c)(1)  It shall be a violation under this chapter for a manufacturer of prescription drugs to present or cause to be presented in the state a regulated advertisement if that advertisement does not comply with the requirements concerning drugs and devices and prescription drug advertising in federal law and regulations under 21 United States Code, Sections 331 and 352(n) and 21 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 202 and state rules.  A warning or untitled letter issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of federal law and regulations.

(2)  For purposes of this section:

(A)  “Manufacturer of prescription drugs” means a person authorized by law to manufacture, bottle, or pack drugs or biological products, a licensee or affiliate of that person, or a labeler that receives drugs or biological products from a manufacturer or wholesaler and repackages them for later retail sale and has a labeler code from the federal Food and Drug Administration under 21 Code of Federal Regulations, 2027.20 (1999).

(B)  “Regulated advertisement” means:

(i)  the presentation to the general public of a commercial message regarding a prescription drug or biological product by a manufacturer of prescription drugs that is broadcast on television, cable, or radio from a station or cable company that is physically located in the state, broadcast over the internet from a location in the state, or printed in magazines or newspapers that are printed, distributed, or sold in the state; or

(ii)  a commercial message regarding a prescription drug or biological product by a manufacturer of prescription drugs or its representative that is conveyed:

(I)  to the office of a health care professional doing business in Vermont, including statements by representatives or employees of the manufacturer and materials mailed or delivered to the office; or

(II)  at a conference or other professional meeting occurring in Vermont.

(d)  No person shall sell, offer for sale, or distribute electronic prescribing software that advertises, uses instant messaging and pop‑up advertisements, or uses other means to influence or attempt to influence the prescribing decision of a health care professional through economic incentives or otherwise and which is triggered or in specific response to the input, selection, or act of a health care professional or agent in prescribing a specific prescription drug or directing a patient to a certain pharmacy.  This subsection shall not apply to information provided to the health care professional about pharmacy reimbursement, prescription drug formulary compliance, and patient care management.

* * * Insurance Marketing * * *

Sec. 22.  8 V.S.A. § 4804(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner may suspend, revoke, or refuse to continue or renew any license issued under this chapter if, after notice to the licensee and to the insurer represented, and opportunity for hearing, he or she finds as to the licensee any one or more of the following conditions:

* * *

(8)  The licensee has committed any unfair trade practice or fraud as defined in this title.  It shall be an unfair practice under this section for a licensee to:

(A)(i)  sell, solicit, or negotiate the purchase of health insurance in this state through an advertisement which makes use directly or indirectly of any method of marketing which fails to disclose in a conspicuous manner that a purpose of the method of marketing is solicitation of insurance, and that contact will be made by an insurance agent or insurance company. 

(ii)  Use an appointment that was made to discuss Medicare products or to solicit the sale of Medicare products to solicit sales of any other insurance products unless the consumer requests the solicitation, and the products to be discussed are clearly identified to the consumer in writing at least 48 hours in advance of the appointment. 

(iii)  Solicit the sale of Medicare products door-to-door prior to receiving an invitation from a consumer.

(B)  As used in this subdivision, the term “Medicare products” includes Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D, and Medicare supplement plans;

* * *

Sec. 23.  Recodification

The following sections of Title 33 as amended by this act are recodified as follows:

(1)  Section 2005 shall be section 4632 of Title 18.

(2)  Section 2005a shall be section 4633 of Title 18.

(3)  Section 2008 shall be section 4634 of Title 18.

(4)  Section 2006 shall be section 852 of Title 2.

Sec. 24.  Repeal

Section 2009 of Title 33 is repealed.

(Committee vote: 9-1-1)

S. 133

An act relating to the operation of a motor vehicle by junior operators and primary safety belt enforcement.

Rep. Grad of Moretown, for the Committee on Judiciary, 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:

Sec. 1.  TITLE OF THE ACT

This act shall be known as and may be cited as the "Highway Traffic Safety Act of 2007."

* * * Legislative Findings * * *

Sec. 2.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

* * * General Findings * * *

(1)  In December 2006, the governor transmitted to the Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, the Strategic Highway Plan for Vermont that stated "The first half of 2006 was trending toward a near record-breaking year for highway deaths and incapacitating injuries."  In response to this trend, the Strategic Highway Fatality Plan for Vermont was created with the mission to "minimize the occurrence and severity of crashes, related human suffering, and economic losses on the Vermont transportation network."

(2)  In response to this increase, the commissioner of public safety held a law enforcement summit to develop collaborative strategies to combat these fatalities.

(3)  According to the governor's highway safety office, each highway fatality costs the state of Vermont more than $900,000.00.

(4)  In further recognition of the terrible toll in terms of human suffering, and financial loss resulting from motor vehicle crashes, on July 6, 2006, the Vermont department of health’s injury prevention program hosted the 2006 Symposium on Preventing Crashes Among Young Drivers at the Inn at Essex, Vermont.  The symposium brought together key leaders in highway safety, transportation, public health, and youth development for an in-depth,

multi-disciplinary exploration of crashes among young drivers and opportunities for prevention.

* * * Teen Driving Safety * * *

(1)  The Strategic Highway Safety Plan for Vermont of 2006, signed by the governor and endorsed by state agencies stated that “new language” should be added to the existing graduated driver license legislation to achieve:

(A)  Restrictions on passengers in cars driven by young drivers.

(B)  Nighttime limitations for young drivers.

(C)  Primary safety belt enforcement to the age of 18.

(D)  No cell phone use for junior operators. 

(2)  From a public health perspective, "Motor vehicle crashes are among the most serious problems facing teenagers (Anatomy of Crashes Involving Young Drivers-Preventing Teen Motor Crashes).  According to the National Center for Disease Control, highway injuries and deaths constitute the largest reason for  youth injuries and deaths, and therefore constitute a public health risk warranting remedial action.

(3)  According to the above sources, the 2002 cost of crashes involving drivers ages 20 through 25 was $40.8 billion.  (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2006.)

(4)  A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on junior operators demonstrated that a single passenger nearly doubled the risk of a fatal crash, and two or more passengers raise the risk five-fold for the junior operator.

(5)  Nighttime is one of the riskiest times of day for junior operators due to DUI, darkness, and sleep deprivation in teens.  Midnight to 2 a.m. is the most dangerous time.

* * * Cell Phones * * *

(1)  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration policy on cell phones states "The primary responsibility of the driver is to operate a motor vehicle safely.  The task of driving requires full attention and focus.  Cell phone use can distract drivers from this task, risking harm to themselves and others.  Therefore, the safest course of action is to refrain from using a cell phone while driving."

(2)  Teens, driving, and cell phones are a dangerous mix due to teens' vulnerability to distractions and accidents. ("Teens, phones, cars, a bad mix", The Sunday Rutland Herald, June 26, 2005--Source--The National Transportation Safety Board.)

* * * Safety Belts * * *

(1)  States with primary enforcement average 10 percent higher usage than states with secondary enforcement.

(2)  A crash involving an unrestrained person costs 55 percent more than for someone who was restrained.

(3)  Approximately 74 percent of the costs associated with crashes are paid for by society, the victim pays the balance.

(4)  Drivers who do not wear safety belts are also most likely to engage in risky driving behavior, such as speeding or drinking and driving.

(5)  Traffic crashes are a health care issue, not an enforcement issue.  As Dr. Eliot Nelson, pediatrician at Vermont's Childrens Hospital and professor at the UVM school of medicine said "By passing primary (enforcement), the legislature can save more lives with one stroke of the pen than I can in a lifetime of practice."

* * * Stickers Indicating Operation by Junior Operators * * *

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 607(d) is added to read:

(d)  The department of motor vehicles shall issue removable stickers which shall be affixed to the interior rear window of all vehicles when operated by a junior operator.  The sticker shall indicate that the vehicle is being operated by a junior operator. 

* * * Junior Operator Curfew * * *

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 614(c) is added to read:

(c)  A person operating with a junior operator’s license shall not operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5:00 a.m. except when the operator is traveling on a direct route between work and home, or traveling for a school‑related activity.

* * * Operation After Recall Is a Civil Violation * * *

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 676 is amended to read:

§ 676.  OPERATION AFTER SUSPENSION, REVOCATION, OR

            REFUSAL, OR RECALL - CIVIL VIOLATION

(a)  A person whose license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been revoked, suspended or, refused, or recalled by the commissioner of motor vehicles for any reason other than a violation of sections 1091(b), 1094(b), 1128(b) or (c), or 1201 or a suspension under section 1205 of this title and who operates or attempts to operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway before the license or privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle has been reinstated by the commissioner commits a civil traffic violation.

(b)  In establishing a prima facie case against a person accused of violating this section, the judicial bureau shall accept as evidence, a printout attested to by the law enforcement officer as the person’s motor vehicle record showing convictions and resulting license suspensions.  The admitted motor vehicle record shall establish a permissive inference that the person was under suspension or had his or her license revoked or recalled on the dates and time periods set forth in the record.  The judicial bureau shall not require a certified copy of the person’s motor vehicle record from the department of motor vehicles to establish the permissive inference.

* * * Restriction on the Use of Cellular Telephones * * *

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 1095a is added to read:

§ 1095a.  WIRELESS TELEPHONE USE

(a)  A person operating a motor vehicle with a learner permit under the provisions of section 617 of this title or with a junior operator license under the provisions of section 607 of this title shall not use any wireless telephone or hand-held electronic device while operating on the traveled portion of the highway.

(b)  A person operating a motor vehicle with a valid license shall be prohibited from using any wireless telephone or hand-held electronic communication device while operating on the traveled portion of the highway.

(c)  The prohibition in subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to hands-free operation of a telephone.  The prohibitions in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall not apply if it is necessary to place an emergency 911 call.  As used in this subsection, "hands-free" means a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of the mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a conversation without the use of either hand; provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.

* * * Primary Enforcement of Safety Belt Law * * *

Sec. 7.  REPEAL

23 V.S.A. § 1259(e) (secondary enforcement of safety belt law) is repealed.

Sec. 8.  ACCEPTANCE OF FEDERAL FUNDS

The state is authorized to accept any additional funding available from the federal government attributable to the passage of this act.

Sec. 9.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on June 30, 2007.

(Committee vote: 9-1-1)

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Thursday, April 26, 2007, Room 11 –  3:00 – 6:00 PM   - House Committee on Education  -  H. 526 – Governor’s cap proposals.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE

To all House Members:

Please turn  your HCR Resolutions in to Michael Chernick by April 26, 2007.   Thank you.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us