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House Calendar

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2008

52nd DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 10:00 AM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

Action Postponed Until Thursday, February 28, 2008

H. 709  An Act Relating to Campgrounds...................................................... 676

          Rep. Wright Amendment

.... Action Postponed Until Thursday, February 28, 2008

H. 864  Miscellaneous Amendments to Education Law................................... 677

          Rep. Donovan for Education

          Rep. Pearson et al Amendment............................................................. 677

          Rep. Komline Amendment.................................................................... 679

          Rep. Donovan Amendment................................................................... 680

          Rep. Kilmartin Amendment................................................................... 682

Third Reading

H. 352  Reducing Lead Hazards in Housing.................................................... 685

H. 867  Insurance Plan for Athletic Trainer Services....................................... 685

J.R.H. 45  Repeal Planned Competitive Loan Auction Pilot Program.............. 685

Committee Bills for Second Reading

H. 870  Regulation of Professions and Occupations........................................ 685

          Rep. Evans for Government Operations

H. 873  Clean Up of Lake Champlain and other State Waters........................ 685

          Rep. Deen for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources

          Rep. Deen Amendment......................................................................... 685

Favorable with Amendment

H. 112  Protection of Health Care for Public Safety Personnel ....................... 685

          Rep. Fisher for Human Services

H. 806  Relating to Public Water Systems...................................................... 689

          Rep. Randall for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment

S. 209  Vermont Energy and Affordability Act................................................ 690

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

H. 859  Relating to Reducing Recidivism and Corrections Costs..................... 692

          Rep. Rodgers for Institutions

          Rep. Acinapura for Appropriations....................................................... 699

CONSENT CALENDAR

(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)

H.C.R. 217  Congratulating Vermont Girl Scouts........................................... 701

H.C.R. 218  Honoring Barbara Oles for Public Service.................................. 701

H.C.R. 219  Honoring Laurence Rossi for Civic Service................................ 701

H.C.R. 220  Congratulating Arthur Briggs for Civic Service............................ 701

H.C.R. 221  Congratulating Sarah Hurlbut Franklin Cty Person of Year......... 701

H.C.R. 222  Congratulating Frederic Duclos Barstow School  75th Year....... 701

H.C.R. 223  Congratulating Frank Pecora St. Michael’s Unsung Hero........... 702

H.C.R. 224  Congratulating Karen Richard 2007 Town Clerk of Year........... 702

H.C.R. 225  Congratulating Carolyn Wells for Public Service......................... 702

H.C.R. 226  Honoring Henry Andrew Raymond for Public Service................ 702

S.C.R.   34  In Memory of Dr. Lawrence Myers of Waitsfield........................ 702

S.C.R.   35  Honoring Clerk Treasurer Barre City Eugene Stratton................. 702

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

H. 709

     Action Postponed Until Thursday, February 28, 2008

An act relating to campgrounds.

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

( Committee Vote: 7-0-1)

     Amendment to be offered by Rep. Wright of Burlington to H. 709

     Moves to amend the bill as follows:

     First:  In Sec. 1, in 9 V.S.A. § 4452 in (7) before the words “van camper” by inserting the word “and

     Second:  By striking Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. §6204(f) is added to read:

(f) This chapter shall not apply to the rental or use of campsites occupied for vacation or recreational purposes by camping units, such as: tents, yurts, tepees, lean-tos, camping cabins, and recreational vehicles, including motor homes, folding camping trailers, conventional travel trailers, fifth wheel travel trailers, truck campers, van campers, and conversion vehicles designed and used for travel, recreation, and camping.

.... Action Postponed Until Thursday, February 28, 2008

H. 864

An act relating to making miscellaneous amendments to education law.

Pending Action: Second Reading

(Rep. Donovan of Burlington will speak for the Committee on Education.)

Amendment to be offered by Reps. Pearson of Burlington, Bray of New Haven, Cheney of Norwich, Donahue of Northfield, Flory of Pittsford, Haas of Rochester, Hube of Londonderry, Krawczyk of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney, Nuovo of Middlebury, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Stevens of Shoreham and Zuckerman of Burlington to H. 864

     Move the bill be amended by adding two new sections to be Secs. 3a and 3b to read as follows:

Sec. 3a.  16 V.S.A. § 563 is amended to read:

§ 563.  POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS; FORM OF VOTE IF BUDGET EXCEEDS BENCHMARK AND DISTRICT SPENDING IS ABOVE AVERAGE

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(11)(A)  Shall prepare and distribute annually a proposed budget for the next school year according to such major categories as may from time to time be prescribed by the commissioner. 

(B)  If the proposed budget contains education spending in excess of the Maximum Inflation Amount, and the district’s education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed was in excess of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in that same fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education, then in lieu of any other statutory or charter form of budget adoption or budget vote, the board shall present the budget to the voters by means of a divided question, in the form of vote provided in subdivision (ii) of this subsection.

(i)  “Maximum Inflation Amount” in this section means:

(I)  the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil, as defined in subdivision 4001(6) of this title, in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education, multiplied by the New England Economic Project Cumulative Price Index percentage change, as of November 15 preceding distribution of the proposed budget, for state and local government purchases of goods and services for the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed, plus one percentage point; plus the district’s education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education;

(II)  multiplied by the higher of the following amounts as determined by the commissioner of education:

(aa)  the district’s equalized pupil count in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed; or

(bb)  the district’s equalized pupil count in the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed.

(ii)  Form of vote.

“School Budget Question #1:

Shall the voters of the         School District approve a total budget in the amount of [$                 ], which includes the Maximum Inflation      Amount of education spending?

“School Budget Question #2:

If Question #1 is approved, shall the voters of the School District also approve additional education spending of [$      ]?”

(C)(B)  At a school district’s annual meeting, the electorate may vote to provide notice of availability of the school budget required by this subdivision to the electorate in lieu of distributing the budget.  If the electorate of the school district votes to provide notice of availability, it must specify how notice of availability shall be given, and such notice of availability shall be provided to the electorate at least 30 days before the district’s annual meeting. The proposed budget shall be prepared and distributed at least ten days before a sum of money is voted on by the electorate.  Any proposed budget shall show the following information in a format prescribed by the commissioner of education:

* * *

Sec. 3b.  REPEAL

Sec. 6 (effective date for requiring a divided question when voting for school budgets that exceed the Maximum Inflation Amount) of No. 82 of the Acts of 2007 is repealed.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Komline of Dorset to H. 864

     Moves to amend the bill by adding Secs. 35, 36 and 37 to read:

Sec. 35. 16 V.S.A. § 4032 is added to read:

§   4032.  EDUCATION COST CONTAINMENT GRANTS

     In any year in which a district's education spending per equalized pupil is less than 103 percent of its prior-year education spending per equalized pupil, any municipality which is a member of that school district shall receive a cost containment grant to be used to provide homestead education property tax credits on the municipality's education property tax bills for the current year.  An education cost containment grant shall be equal to 60 percent of the difference between 103 percent of the district's prior-year education spending and its current-year education spending, and the grant shall be distributed by the commissioner of education to the member municipality or pro-rata to the member municipalities, based on each member's portion of the education tax assessment for the current-year school budget.  A homestead tax credit under this section shall be shown on the taxpayer's homestead education property tax bill, and shall be calculated as a percentage of the unadjusted education property tax liability, using the same percentage for all taxpayers. 

Sec. 36.  16 V.S.A. § 4025(b)(4) is added to read:        

     (4) To make payments required under section 4032 of this title for education cost containment.

Sec. 37.  EFFECTIVE DATE

          Secs. 35 and 36 of this act (education cost containment grants and tax credits) shall take effect January 1, 2008.

and by renumbering the current Sec. 35 in the bill to be Sec. 38.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Donovan of Burlington to H. 864

     Moves that the bill be amended by adding seven new sections to be Secs. 19 through 25 to read:

* * * Excess Spending * * *

Sec. 19.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) is amended to read:

(12)  “Excess spending” means:

* * *

(B)  in excess of 125 123 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 20.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  in excess of 123 120 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 21.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Annually, by October 1, the commissioner shall send to school boards for inclusion in town reports and publish on the department website the following information:

(1)  the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year, and 125 123 percent of that average spending; and

* * *

Sec. 22.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(h)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year, and 123 120 percent of that average spending; and

Sec. 23.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Secs. 19 and 21 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2009 and shall apply to budgets for school years 2009–2010 and 2010‑2011.

(b)  Secs. 20 and 22 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2011, and shall apply to budgets for school years 2011–2012 and after.

* * * Divided Vote * * *

Sec. 24.  16 V.S.A. § 563 is amended to read:

§ 563.  POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS; FORM OF VOTE IF BUDGET EXCEEDS BENCHMARK AND DISTRICT SPENDING IS ABOVE AVERAGE

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(11)(A)  Shall prepare and distribute annually a proposed budget for the next school year according to such major categories as may from time to time be prescribed by the commissioner. 

(B)  If the proposed budget contains education spending in excess of the Maximum Inflation Amount, and the district's education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed was in excess of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in that same fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education, then in lieu of any other statutory or charter form of budget adoption or budget vote, the board shall present the budget to the voters by means of a divided question, in the form of vote provided in subdivision (ii) of this subsection.

(i)  "Maximum Inflation Amount" in this section means:

(I)  the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil, as defined in subdivision 4001(6) of this title, in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education, multiplied by the New England Economic Project Cumulative Price Index percentage change, as of November 15 preceding distribution of the proposed budget, for state and local government purchases of goods and services for the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed, plus one percentage point; plus the district's education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education;

(II)  multiplied by the higher of the following amounts as determined by the commissioner of education:

(aa)  the district's equalized pupil count in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed; or

(bb)  the district's equalized pupil count in the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed.

(ii)  Form of vote.

"School Budget Question #1:

Shall the voters of the         School District approve a total budget in the amount of [$                 ], which includes the Maximum Inflation                  Amount of education spending?

"School Budget Question #2:

If Question #1 is approved, shall the voters of the School District also approve additional education spending of [$      ]?"

* * *

Sec. 25.  REPEAL

Sec. 6 (effective date for requiring a divided question when voting for school budgets that exceed the Maximum Inflation Amount) of No. 82 of the Acts of 2007 is repealed.

and by renumbering Sec. 19 to be Sec. 26

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Kilmartin of Newport to H. 864

Moves to substitute the following for the amendment as offered by Representative Donovan:

     By adding seven new sections to the  bill to be Secs. 19 through 25 to read:

* * * Excess Spending * * *

Sec. 19.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) is amended to read:

(12)  “Excess spending” means:

* * *

(B)  in excess of 125 123 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 20.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  in excess of 123 120 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 21.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Annually, by October 1, the commissioner shall send to school boards for inclusion in town reports and publish on the department website the following information:

(1)  the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year, and 125 123 percent of that average spending; and

* * *

Sec. 22.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(h)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year, and 123 120 percent of that average spending; and

Sec. 23.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Secs. 19 and 21 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2009 and shall apply to budgets for school years 2009–2010 and 2010‑2011.

(b)  Secs. 20 and 22 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2011, and shall apply to budgets for school years 2011–2012 and after.

* * * Divided Vote * * *

Sec. 24.  16 V.S.A. § 563 is amended to read:

§ 563.  POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS; FORM OF VOTE IF BUDGET EXCEEDS BENCHMARK AND DISTRICT SPENDING IS ABOVE AVERAGE “EXCESS SPENDING” THRESHOLD

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(11)(A)  Shall prepare and distribute annually a proposed budget for the next school year according to such major categories as may from time to time be prescribed by the commissioner. 

(B)  If the per equalized pupil amount of the district’s proposed budget contains education spending in excess of the Maximum Inflation Amount, and the district's education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed was in excess of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in that same fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education is “excess spending” as that term is defined in 32 V.S.A. § (12), then in lieu of any other statutory or charter form of budget adoption or budget vote, the board shall present the budget to the voters by means of a divided question, in the following form: of vote provided in subdivision (ii) of this subsection.

(i)  "Maximum Inflation Amount" in this section means:

(I)  the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil, as defined in subdivision 4001(6) of this title, in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education, multiplied by the New England Economic Project Cumulative Price Index percentage change, as of November 15 preceding distribution of the proposed budget, for state and local government purchases of goods and services for the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed, plus one percentage point; plus the district's education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education;

(II)  multiplied by the higher of the following amounts as determined by the commissioner of education:

(aa)  the district's equalized pupil count in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed; or

(bb)  the district's equalized pupil count in the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed.

(ii)  Form of vote.

"School Budget Question #1:

Shall the voters of the         School District approve a total budget in the amount of [$                 ], which includes the Maximum Inflation Amount of education spending represents that amount of the proposed budget that does not exceed the “excess spending” threshold defined in 32 V.S.A. § 5401(12)?

"School Budget Question #2:

If Question #1 is approved, shall the voters of the School District also approve additional education spending of [$      ]?"

* * *

Sec. 25.  Sec. 6 of No. 82 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 5 of this act (form of vote if budget exceeds the maximum inflation amount “excess spending” threshold) shall apply to budgets for fiscal years 2010 (school year 2009-2010) through 2014 (school year 2013-2014) only.

and by renumbering the existing Sec. 19 to be Sec. 26

 

 

Third Reading

H. 352

     An act relating to reducing lead hazards in housing.

H. 867

An act relating to health insurance plan coverage for athletic trainer services.

J. R. H. 45

     Joint resolution urging Congress to repeal the planned Competitive Loan Auction Pilot program for the Federal Family Education Loan program’s PLUS LOANS to parents.

Committee Bills for Second Reading

H. 870

An act relating to the regulations and professions and occupations.

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

H. 873

An act relating to the cleanup of Lake Champlain and other state waters.

(Rep. Deen of Westminster will speak for the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.)

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Deen of Westminster to H. 873

     Moves that the bill be amended in Sec. 9, 10 V.S.A. § 6001(3)(D), in subdivision (vi), after “chapter 159 of this title” by inserting “, excluding regulation of wastewater sludge or septage,” 

Favorable with Amendment

H. 112

     An act relating to protection of health care and public safety personnel from communicable disease.

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

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 5 is added to read:

Subchapter 5.  Communicable Disease Testing

§ 1140.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Bloodborne pathogen” means a pathogenic microorganism that is present in human blood and can cause disease in humans.  Such pathogens include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

(2)  “Emergency personnel” shall have the same meaning as in section 3171 of Title 20, but shall also include members of a ski patrol trained through the National Ski Patrol or substantially similar program.

(3)  “Employer” means the organization on whose behalf a worker is employed or volunteering when rendering health services to a source patient pursuant to this subchapter.

(4)  “Health care provider” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 9432(8) of this title.

(5)  “Health care worker” means any individual or employee of a health care provider who provides medical or other health services in the course of the worker’s employment.

(6)  “Health services” means activities and functions that are directly related to care, treatment, or diagnosis of a patient, including emergency medical treatment.

(7)  “Manner sufficient to transmit” means consistent with current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Vermont.

(8)  “Public safety personnel” means an individual employed or volunteering for a fire department, police department, or ambulance service.

(9)  “Source patient” means an individual who, in the course of receiving health services, may have exposed a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel to blood or bodily fluids in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne disease.

(9)  “Worker” means emergency personnel, health care worker, or public safety personnel.

§ 1141.  COMMUNICABLE DISEASE TESTING

(a)  A health care provider may order a test for bloodborne pathogens if a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel has been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of the source patient in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne pathogen-related illness to the affected worker while engaged in rendering health services to the source patient, and provided that:

(1)  the source patient:

(A)  has provided informed consent, as defined in subsection 9701(16) of this title; or

(B)  is deceased;

(2)  the worker has provided a blood sample and consented to testing for bloodborne pathogens and a physician has documented that bloodborne pathogen test results are needed for beginning, continuing, modifying, or discontinuing medical treatment for the worker;

(3)  a physician with specialty training in infectious diseases has confirmed that the worker has been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of the source patient in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne pathogen-related illness;

(4)  a health care provider has informed the worker of the confidentiality requirements in subsection (c) of this section and the penalties for unauthorized disclosure of source patient information under subsection (e) of this section; and

(5)  a health care provider has informed the source patient of the purpose and confidentiality provisions in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, respectively, if applicable.

(b)  Bloodborne pathogen test results of a source patient obtained under subsection (a) of this section are for diagnostic purposes and to determine the need for treatment or medical care specific to a bloodborne pathogen-related illness of a worker.  Test results may not be used as evidence in any criminal or civil proceedings.

(c)  The result of a test ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is protected health information subject to the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and contained in 45 C.F.R., Parts 160 and 164, and any subsequent amendments.  Test results shall be confidential except that the worker who sustained the exposure, the health care provider who ordered the test, and the source patient, upon his or her request, shall be informed of the test results.  Test results reported to the worker and documented in his or her medical record shall not include any personally identifying information relative to the source patient.  Test results shall be transmitted to the commissioner of health pursuant to subsection (i) of this section.

(d)  Prior to laboratory testing of a source patient’s blood sample for bloodborne pathogens, personal identifiers shall be removed from the sample.

(e)  Unauthorized disclosures of test results obtained under this section shall be subject to the penalties provided under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. subsections 1320d-5 and 1320d-6.

(f)  The results of rapid testing technologies shall be considered preliminary and may be released in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions as approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.  Corroborating or confirmatory testing must be conducted as follow-up to a positive preliminary test.

(g)  The health care provider who requested the test shall provide the source patient and the worker an opportunity to receive follow-up testing and shall provide information on options for counseling, as appropriate.

(h)  Records pertaining to testing performed pursuant to this section shall not be recorded in the source patient’s medical record unless authorized by the source patient and shall not be maintained in the location where the test is ordered or performed for more than 60 days.

(i)  A laboratory having personal knowledge of a test result under this section shall transmit within 24 hours a report thereof to the department of health pursuant to subsection 1001(k) of this title.

(j)  The employer of any worker exposed to blood or bodily fluids while rendering health services to a source patient during the performance of normal job duties shall maintain an incident report with information regarding the exposure that is relevant to a workers’ compensation claim.  The employer shall not be provided or have access to information personally identifying the source patient.

(k)  The costs of all diagnostic tests authorized by these provisions shall be borne by the employer of the worker.

(l)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a health care provider who orders or performs a test under this section shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability for doing so.  A health care provider’s duties under this section are not continuing but limited to testing and services performed under this section.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 1001(k) is added to read:

(k)  The commissioner shall maintain a separate database of reports received pursuant to subsection 1141(i) of this title for the limited purpose of tracking the number of tests performed pursuant to subchapter 5, chapter 21 of this title.  The database shall not include any information that personally identifies a patient.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

H. 806

     An act relating to public water systems.

Rep. Randall of Troy, for the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1675a is added to read:

§ 1675a.  PERMITTING EXEMPTION

(a)  The requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, except the construction permitting requirements, shall not apply to a public water system that:

(1)  Consists only of distribution and storage facilities and does not have any collection and treatment facilities;

(2)  Obtains all of its water from, but is not owned or operated by, a public water system to which this chapter applies;

(3)  Does not sell water to any person, for any other reason than the supply of water to another water system;

(4)  Is not a carrier which conveys passengers in interstate commerce; and

(5)  Is served by a public water system that certifies to the secretary that:

(A)  The receiving public water system is responsible for the repair and maintenance of their own water system unless otherwise agreed to by the wholesale system and

(B)  The public water system supplying water to the receiving water system is responsible for:

(i)  including the receiving public water system in its water quality sampling plans;

(ii)  providing consumer confidence reports to the receiving system’s users; and

(iii)  issuing public notice to the receiving system’s users if a violation of a drinking water contaminant standard exists or if the secretary determines that a condition exists that may present a risk to public health.

(b)  The water system supplying water to the receiving water system is responsible for the requirements contained in subdivision (a)(5)(B) of this section until 180 days after the water system supplying water to the receiving water system files a notice with the secretary of natural resources and the receiving system of its intent to withdraw from any obligation made under subdivision (a)(5)(B) of this section.

(c)  Notwithstanding the exemption contained in subsection (a) of this section, the secretary of natural resources may take any reasonable steps that are necessary to abate a public health threat at a public water system that is otherwise exempt.

(Committee vote: 8-0-1)

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment

S. 209

An act relating to the Vermont energy efficiency and affordability act.

The Senate has considered the House  proposal of amendment to Senate bill of the following title:

S. 209An act relating to the Vermont energy efficiency and affordability act.

The Senate has concurred in the House Proposal of amendment with the following amendments thereto, in which the concurrence of the House is requested:

     First:  In Sec, 11, 30 V.S.A. § 203a(a) by striking out the following:

:  (1)  net revenues above costs associated with payments from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO‑NE) for capacity savings resulting from the activities of an energy efficiency utility designated under subdivision 209(d)(2) of this title;

(2)

     Second: In Sec. 12, 30 V.S.A. § 209(d), after subdivision (6), by adding a new subdivision to be numbered subdivision (7) to read as follows:

(7)  Net revenues above costs associated with payments from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO‑NE) for capacity savings resulting from the activities of the energy efficiency utility designated under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be deposited into the electric efficiency fund established by this section.

     Third:  After Sec. 13, by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 13a to read as follows:

  * * * Affordability * * *

Sec. 13a.  30 V.S.A. § 218(e) is added to read:

(e)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the board, on its own motion or upon petition of any person, may issue an order approving a rate schedule, tariff, agreement, contract, or settlement that provides reduced rates for low income electric utility consumers better to assure affordability.  For the purposes of this subsection, “low income electric utility consumer” means a customer who has a household income at or below 150 percent of the current federal poverty level.  When considering whether to approve a rate schedule, tariff, agreement, contract, or settlement for low income electric utility consumers, the board shall take into account the potential impact on, and cost‑shifting to, other utility customers.

     Fourth: In Sec. 14, amending 30 V.S.A. § 219a, in subdivision (g)(5), by striking out the second sentence, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Various buildings owned by municipalities, including water and wastewater districts, fire districts, villages, school districts, and towns, may constitute a group net metering system.  A union or district school facility shall be considered in the same group net metering system with buildings of its member municipalities that are located within the service area of the same electric company that serves the facility.

     Fifth: In Sec. 14, amending 30 V.S.A. § 219a, by striking subsection (l) and inserting the following:

(l) The board shall adopt rules regarding the application of the esthetics criterion established in subdivision 248(b)(5) of this title to an application for a certificate under this section for a single, net metered wind turbine that is less than 150 feet in height.

     Sixth:  In Sec. 15, 30 V.S.A. § 235(a), after the second sentence, by inserting the following:  The contracts entered into during the first year after the effective date of this section shall be for a period of time of no greater than three years.

     And in subsection (c), after the period, by adding the following:

During fiscal year 2009, any contracts or grants to be made from the fund for other than administrative purposes shall be subject to appropriation by the general assembly.  The department shall provide the joint fiscal committee, at the committee’s November 2008 meeting, with a preliminary report on the program to be presented to the public service board.

      

     Seventh: In Sec. 25, in 32 V.S.A. § 5402c(c), by striking out the following: “a 15 percent nameplate capacity” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 15 percent of the facility’s average capacity factor

     Eighth: By striking out Sec. 36 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 36 to read as follows:

Sec. 36.  REPORT ON VALUATION OF NET METERED SYSTEMS

     By December 1, 2008, the department of taxes shall present to the House and Senate committees on natural resources and energy a report on how net metered systems are now being valued and taxed at the town and municipal level in Vermont and recommendations on how such customer-sited renewable energy generation should be valued for property tax purposes by towns and municipalities.

(For text see House Journal 2/13/08- P. 198 – P. 238; 2/14/08 – P. 266  )

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

H. 859

     An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and reduce corrections costs.

Rep. Rodgers of Glover, for the Committee on Institutions, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Vermont’s incarcerated population is growing at an unsustainable rate.

(2)  Property and drug offenders are the fastest growing segment of the prison population.  Between 2000 and 2006, over half the increase in the felony prison population was due to property and substance abuse offenses.

(3)  Seventy-seven percent of those sentenced for a property or drug felony have a substance abuse disorder.  Two-thirds of them report having received mental health treatment in the past.  Fifty-five percent report being frequently unemployed prior to incarceration.

(4)  Of those incarcerated for a property or drug felony, only 13 percent are receiving treatment.

(b)  The general assembly further finds that:

(1)  Each month approximately 70 inmates meet the criteria for reentering the community under the supervision of the commissioner of corrections on conditional reentry status.  However, almost half are not released because of insufficient housing options.

(2)  Studies show that the length of sentences served by offenders does not affect their recidivism rates. Therefore, current law authorizes the commissioner of corrections to release certain offenders on reintegration furlough 90 days prior to the minimum sentence date.  However, on average, eligible inmates serve only 53 days in reintegration furlough status.  If all those who are eligible serve the full 90 days of reintegration status, the result could be a savings of up to 90 corrections beds.

(c)  Therefore, in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce the cost to the state of incarcerating offenders, it is the intent of the general assembly to increase substance abuse treatment services, vocational training, and transitional housing available to offenders; and establish processes for reducing incarceration time when appropriate.

(d)  It is further the intent of the general assembly that the provisions of this act are a long range plan to guide expenditures from additional corrections savings in future years. 

Sec. 2.  Reserved

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 723(c) is added to read:

(c)  Prior to release under this section, the department shall screen, and if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  To prepare for reentry into the community.

(A)  Any offender sentenced to incarceration may shall be furloughed to the community up to 90 days prior to completion of the minimum sentence, at the commissioner’s discretion and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (C) of this subdivision (8), provided that an offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 180 days shall not be eligible for furlough under this subdivision until the offender has served at least one-half of his or her minimum term of incarceration.

* * *

(C)  The commissioner may authorize reintegration furlough under subdivisions (A) and (B) of this subdivision (8) only if the days are awarded the commissioner determines that public safety is not compromised and that the offender will receive community services necessary to reduce the chances of recidivism.  The commissioner shall make the determination in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 designed to:

(i)  Evaluate factors such as risk of reoffense, history of violent behavior, history of compliance with community supervision, compliance with the case plan, progress in treatment programs designed to reduce criminal risk, and obedience to rules and regulations of the facility.

(ii)  Ensure adequate departmental supervision of the offender when furloughed into the community.

(iii)  Ensure that each offender has a reentry plan which identifies services necessary to succeed upon reentry and that the necessary services are available to the offender. 

* * *

(E)  Prior to release under this subdivision (8), the department shall screen, and if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan, and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 5.  STATEWIDE DRUG COURT STUDY

The court administrator, the deputy commissioner of the alcohol and drug abuse program in the department of health, and the commissioner of mental health shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary by December 15, 2008 on the advisability and feasibility of expanding the drug court program to every county in the state.  The report shall address:

(1)  the financial costs of expanding the drug court program statewide;

(2)  the workforce impact which a statewide expansion of the program would have, and whether new staff would be required;

(3)  whether current state facilities have the capacity to support statewide expansion, and whether and where any new facilities would be required; and

(4)  any other matter deemed relevant to the issue of statewide drug court expansion.    

 

Sec. 6.  FACILITIES REORGANIZATION AND RENOVATION; BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEARS 2009 AND 2010

(a)  Department of corrections expenditures on correctional services including out-of-state beds grew from $93,255,650.00 in fiscal year 2004 to $120,533,309.00 in fiscal year 2008.  The amount of funding proposed for fiscal year 2009 is $123,589,833.00.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to achieve savings in the department of corrections that will be reinvested in substance abuse screening and treatment and reentry support which results in reduced recidivism by the proposed reorganization of three correctional facilities as follows:

(1)  Northwest Regional Correctional Facility.  Transfer men to other facilities, renovate the space, and transfer women from the Dale Correctional Facility and Southeast Correctional Facility to the Northwest Regional Correctional Facility,

(2)  Dale State Correctional Facility.  Close the building as a correctional facility.

(3)   Southeast Correctional Facility.  Renovate space to become a 100‑bed work camp for felony drug and property offenders.

(c)  In fiscal year 2009, a savings of $600,000.00 is anticipated as a result of this reorganization.  The department of corrections shall reinvest these funds in fiscal year 2009 as follows:

(1)  The amount of $100,000.00 shall be to increase the capacity of the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) to provide services to those offenders with drug abuse disorders who are on preapproved furlough status under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7).

(2)  The amount of $208,000.00 shall be for entering into contracts with several community‑based substance abuse treatment providers in different geographic regions of the state to provide the substance abuse treatment services to persons on conditional reentry status pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of 28 V.S.A. or furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808.

(3)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to fund the establishment of a pilot program to:

(A)  conduct a voluntary and confidential screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the time of arraignment of individuals charged with felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(B)  conduct a mandatory screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs following adjudication and prior to sentencing of individuals found guilty of felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(C)  provide the results of any screening and assessment conducted under this section to the judge following adjudication and prior to sentencing so that the judge can use the information to determine the level of treatment to be provided while the individual is in the custody of the commissioner of corrections; and

(D)  enable the commissioner to gather data regarding the prevalence of co-occuring substance abuse and mental health disorders.   

(4)  The amount of $88,000.00 shall be to assess offenders for substance abuse treatment needs prior to release.

(d)  Additional savings in fiscal 2009 from reorganization of correctional facilities may be available depending on the timing of the reorganization.  Any additional fiscal year 2009 savings shall be reinvested as follows and in the following order: 

(1)  The amount of $150,000.00 to provide grants to community providers of transitional housing to increase the number of beds available by 10 beds for three to six months of housing for at least 20 offenders reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28;

(2)  The amount of $650,000.00 shall be to provide vocational training and residential substance abuse programs in a work camp for felony drug and property offenders;

(3)  The amount of $1,000,000.00 shall be for the purpose of expanding the corrections reentry housing program to include the addition of 60 new transitional housing beds as well as expanding housing search and retention resources to include funding for housing assistance granted to housing authorities to be used in accordance with DOC directives;

(4)  The amount of $365,000.00 shall be to expand the ISAP program to include a residential component for those who have been furloughed to the community pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); and

(5)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to develop the capacities of the substance abuse treatment system to work effectively with offenders, and function efficiently as a collaborative system.

(e)  In fiscal year 2010, a savings of $3 million is anticipated from reorganization of correctional facilities and other provisions of this act, assuming all inflationary needs of the department are funded.  Therefore, the commissioner of corrections shall develop a budget for fiscal year 2010 which reinvests the savings so that all the programs begun under subsection (c) of this section are funded again, and all the programs described in subsection (d) of this section are funded.

(f)  The joint fiscal office shall track and report to the joint fiscal committee in January and July of 2009, savings in the corrections budget resulting from the proposed closing of the Dale State Correctional Facility, transfer of men from the Northwest Correctional Facility to other facilities, transfer of women from the Dale Correctional Facility and Southeast Correctional Facility to the Northwest Correctional Facility, renovation of the Southeast Correctional Facility to be a work camp, and savings resulting from the provisions of this act. 

Sec. 7.  ACCOUNTABILITY; REPORTS

(a)  On or before January 15, 2010, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on:

(1)  the prevalence of co-occuring mental health and substance abuse disorders among those committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections;

(2)  the success of and problems encountered in:

(A) expanding the ISAP program pursuant to Sec.6(c)(1) of this act:

(B) implementing the pilot program authorized and funded in Sec. 6(c)(3) of this act, as well as, recommendations for continuing the program, or expanding the program, or both; and

(C)  developing reentry plans which identify necessary services needed upon release, and in working with community providers to ensure that each offender receives those services immediately upon release; and

(3)  the progress made since passage of this act in establishing a comprehensive system of community substance abuse treatment services which is coordinated with corrections services.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2011, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on the successes of and problems encountered in working to meet the following goals with the funds provided and through the programs established in this act:

(1)  increase by at least 30 the number of offenders with sentences of one or more years placed in the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(2)  move at least 10 offenders who are in the intensive phase of receiving ISAP services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7), and who are unsuccessful and would otherwise be reincarcerated to a community-based residential substance abuse treatment program which may be a component of ISAP;

(3)  incarcerate no more than 20 percent of offenders who are receiving substance abuse treatment services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); 

(4)  reduce by 10 percent the number of reincarcerations of those on conditional reentry with a high need for substance abuse treatment;

(5)  increase the number of inmates released on furlough, pursuant to 28  V.S.A. § 808, by 25 individuals per month; and

(6)  increase the average number of days released on reintegration furlough pursuant to 28  V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) prior to the minimum sentence to as close to 90 days as possible. 

(c)  Until the corrections oversight committee informs the commissioner that it no longer requires the information, the commissioner of corrections shall include in monthly reports to the committee:

(1)  the number of inmates eligible for furlough under 28 V.S.A.

§ 808 and considered appropriate for release by the commissioner but who have not been released because the commissioner is unable to find appropriate housing, employment, treatment, or other services;

(2)  which treatment or other services would have been necessary and in which geographic region the services would have been needed, to enable release; and

(3)  the number of days of incarceration that could have been avoided if the community resources had been available and these offenders had been released.

(d)  The joint fiscal office and office of finance and management shall jointly document the impact of the policies and provisions of this act on corrections costs and shall report their findings to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2010 and in January of each year for five years thereafter.

(Committee vote: 9-0-2)

Rep. Acinapura of Brandon, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the Committee on Institutions and when further amended as follows:

     By striking Sec. 6 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 6 to read:

Sec. 6.  BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 2009

(a)  Department of corrections expenditures on correctional services including out-of-state beds grew from $93,255,650.00 in fiscal year 2004 to $120,533,309.00 in fiscal year 2008.  The amount of funding proposed for fiscal year 2009 is $123,589,833.00.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to achieve savings in the department of corrections budget which will be reinvested in substance abuse screening, assessment, treatment, and reentry support to result in reduced recidivism.

(c)  In fiscal year 2009, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall spend $600,000 as follows:

(1)  The amount of $100,000.00 shall be to increase the capacity of the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) to provide services to those offenders with drug abuse disorders who are on preapproved furlough status under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7).

(2)  The amount of $212,000.00 shall be for entering into contracts with several community‑based substance abuse treatment providers in different geographic regions of the state to provide the substance abuse treatment services to persons on conditional reentry status pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of 28 V.S.A. or furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808.

(3)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to fund the establishment of a pilot program at a location approved by the court administrator to:

(A)  conduct a voluntary and confidential screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the time of arraignment of individuals charged with felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(B)  conduct a mandatory screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs following adjudication and prior to sentencing of individuals found guilty of felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(C)  provide the results of any screening and assessment conducted under this section to the judge following adjudication and prior to sentencing so that the judge can use the information to determine the level of treatment to be provided while the individual is in the custody of the commissioner of corrections; and

(D)  enable the commissioner to gather data regarding the prevalence of co-occuring substance abuse and mental health disorders.   

(4)  The amount of $88,000.00 shall be to assess offenders for substance abuse treatment needs prior to release.

(d)  Based on a recommendation from either the commissioner of corrections or the corrections oversight committee, the joint fiscal committee may authorize further spending of funds from the fiscal year 2009 corrections appropriation for all or part of the following, in the following order:

(1)  The amount of $150,000.00 to provide grants to community providers of transitional housing to increase the number of beds available by 10 beds for three to six months of housing for at least 20 offenders reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28;

(2)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to develop the capacities of the substance abuse treatment system to work effectively with offenders, and function efficiently as a collaborative system;

 (3)  The amount of $1,000,000.00 shall be for the purpose of expanding the corrections reentry housing program to include the addition of 60 new transitional housing beds as well as expanding housing search and retention resources to include funding for housing assistance granted to housing authorities to be used in accordance with DOC directives; and

(4)  The amount of $365,000.00 shall be to expand the ISAP program to include a residential component for those who have been furloughed to the community pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7).

 (e)  The joint fiscal office shall track and report to the joint fiscal committee in January and July of 2009 savings in the corrections budget resulting from the provisions of this act. 

(Committee Vote: 11-0-0)

CONSENT CALENDAR

Concurrent Resolutions for Notice Under Joint Rule 16

     The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the House and Senate and have been printed in the Senate and House Addendum to today’s calendars. These will be adopted automatically unless a member requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the next legislative day.  Requests for floor consideration should be communicated to the Clerk of the House or to a member of his staff.

(For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to House and Senate Notice Calendar for Thursday, February 28, 2008)

H.C.R. 217

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Girl Scouts selected to attend the 52nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

H.C.R. 218

House concurrent resolution honoring Barbara Oles for her public service as Guilford town clerk and treasurer and as a leader among her colleagues

H.C.R. 219

House concurrent resolution honoring Laurence Rossi for his civic service in the town of Woodbury

H.C.R. 220

House concurrent resolution congratulating Arthur Briggs for a half-century of civic service as a member of the Cavendish volunteer fire department

H.C.R. 221

House concurrent resolution congratulating Sarah Hurlbut on being named the recipient of the Franklin County Person of the Year Award

H.C.R. 222

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Frederic Duclos Barstow Memorial School on its 75th anniversary

 

H.C.R. 223

     House concurrent resolution congratulating Frank Pecora on being named a St. Michael’s College unsung hero.

H.C.R. 224

House concurrent resolution congratulating Colchester town clerk and treasurer Karen Richard on being named the 2007 Vermont Town Clerk of the Year

H.C.R. 225

House concurrent resolution honoring Carolyn Wells for her outstanding public service in the town of Worcester

 

H.C.R. 226

House concurrent resolution honoring Henry Andrew Raymond for his tireless community service in the town of Fairfax

 

S.C.R. 34. 

Senate concurrent resolution in memory of Dr. Lawrence Myers of Waitsfield.

S.C.R. 35. 

Senate concurrent resolution honoring Barre City Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Stratton on his service to the community.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

     Thursday, March 13, 2008, Room 11 – 6 – 8 PM,  House Committee on Ways and Means – H. 866 – Education Adjusted Gross Income Tax & H. 869 – Local Affordability Education Formula (LEAF)

     Thursday, March 27, 2008, Room 11 – 5:00 – 7:00 PM, House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources – H. 543  Funding of the Department of Fish and Wildlife

 

 

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us