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House Calendar

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2008

53rd DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 9:30 A M

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

H. 112  Protection of Health Care for Public Safety Personnel ....................... 705

          Rep. Fisher Amendment

H. 709  An Act Relating to Campgrounds...................................................... 705

H. 806  Relating to Public Water Systems...................................................... 705

H. 864  Miscellaneous Amendments to Education Law................................... 705

H. 870  Regulation of Professions and Occupations........................................ 705

          Rep. Evans Amendment

H. 873  Clean Up of Lake Champlain and other State Waters........................ 706

          Rep. Deen Amendment......................................................................... 706

Favorable with Amendment

H. 859  Relating to Reducing Recidivism and Corrections Costs..................... 706

          Rep. Rodgers for Institutions

          Rep. Acinapura for Appropriations....................................................... 713

NOTICE CALENDAR

H. 863  Affordable Housing and Smart Growth Development......................... 715

          Rep. Head for General, Housing and Military  Affairs

          Rep. Klein for Natural Resources and Energy........................................ 715

 

CONSENT CALENDAR

(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)

H.C.R. 217  Congratulating Vermont Girl Scouts........................................... 726

H.C.R. 218  Honoring Barbara Oles for Public Service.................................. 726

H.C.R. 219  Honoring Laurence Rossi for Civic Service................................ 726

H.C.R. 220  Congratulating Arthur Briggs for Civic Service............................ 726

H.C.R. 221  Congratulating Sarah Hurlbut Franklin Cty Person of Year......... 726

H.C.R. 222  Congratulating Frederic Duclos Barstow School  75th Year....... 726

H.C.R. 223  Congratulating Frank Pecora St. Michael’s Unsung Hero........... 727

H.C.R. 224  Congratulating Karen Richard 2007 Town Clerk of Year........... 727

H.C.R. 225  Congratulating Carolyn Wells for Public Service......................... 727

H.C.R. 226  Honoring Henry Andrew Raymond for Public Service................ 727

S.C.R.   34  In Memory of Dr. Lawrence Myers of Waitsfield........................ 727

S.C.R.   35  Honoring Clerk Treasurer Barre City Eugene Stratton................. 727


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

H. 112

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

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Fisher of Lincoln to H. 112

Moves to amend the bill in Sec. 1,

18 V.S.A. § 1141, by striking subsection (l) in its entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(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 except in instances of gross negligence or willful misconduct.  A health care provider’s duties under this section are not continuing but limited to testing and services performed under this section.

H. 709

     An act relating to campgrounds.

H. 806

     An act relating to public water systems.

H. 864

An act relating to making miscellaneous amendments to education law.

H. 870

An act relating to the regulations and professions and occupations.

     Amendment to be offered by Rep. Evans of Essex to H. 870

     Moves to amend the bill in Sec. 3, 3 V.S.A. § 129, by striking subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) as follows:

(c)  A board may assign one or more members of the board to investigate complaints and license applications.  These members shall have the assistance of an investigator for the office and an attorney assigned by the office of professional regulation who shall be responsible for prosecuting disciplinary and licensing cases before the board.  In the case of professions which have advisor appointees, the secretary may designate one or more of the advisor appointees or other licensed or certified members of the profession to assist in the investigation.  While acting in this capacity, a board member or advisor appointee shall not sit in adjudication of the case and shall not participate in ex parte communications with other board members regarding the case.  A board member whose term of office expires while an investigation is pending may continue through the completion of the case.  When a board is unable to assign one or more members to investigate complaints or license applications by reason of disqualification, resignation, vacancy or necessary absence, the secretary of state may, at the request of the board, appoint ad hoc members to serve on the board for investigation of that matter only.  Ad hoc members shall have the same qualifications as required by law for the absent members.

 H. 873

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

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. 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)

 

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

H. 863

     An act relating to creation and preservation of affordable housing and smart growth development.

(Rep. Head of South Burlington will speak for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.)

Rep. Klein of East Montpelier, for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

     By striking Secs.1 through 4, Secs. 5 through 7, and Sec.10 in their entirety, by inserting in lieu thereof the following, and by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct:

* * * Vermont Neighborhoods Program * * *

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 2791(15) is added to read:

(15)  “Vermont neighborhood” means an area of land that is in a municipality with an approved plan, a confirmed planning process, zoning bylaws, and subdivision regulations, and:

(A)  that is located in one of the following:

(i)  A designated downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center; or

(ii)  An area of land that is within the municipality and outside but contiguous to a designated downtown, village center, or new town center, and is not more than 50 percent of the total acreage of the designated downtown, village center, or new town center; and

(B)  that contains substantially the following characteristics:

(i)  Its contiguous land, if any, complements the existing downtown district, village center, or new town center by integrating new housing units with existing residential neighborhoods, commercial and civic services and facilities, and transportation networks, and is consistent with smart growth principles.                    

(ii)  It is served by either a municipal sewer infrastructure or a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the agency of natural resources.

(iii)  It incorporates minimum residential densities of no fewer than four units of single-family, detached dwelling units per acre, and higher densities for duplexes and multi-family housing.

(iv)  It incorporates neighborhood design standards that promote compact, pedestrian-oriented development patterns and networks of sidewalks or paths for both pedestrians and bicycles that connect with adjacent development areas.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2793d is added to read:
§ 2793d.  DESIGNATION OF VERMONT NEIGHBORHOODS

(a)  A municipality that has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, has adopted zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations in accordance with section 4442 of this title, and has a designated downtown district, a designated village center, a designated new town center or a designated growth center served by municipal sewer infrastructure or a community or alternative

wastewater system approved by the agency of natural resources, is authorized to apply for designation of a Vermont neighborhood.  A municipal decision to apply for designation shall be developed according to the procedures established in sections 4441 and 4442 of this title, with regard to the development by the planning commission of a proposed bylaw, and its adoption or rejection by the municipal legislative body.  

Designation is possible in two different situations:

(1)  If an application is submitted in compliance with this subsection for a designated Vermont neighborhood that would have boundaries that are entirely within the boundaries of a designated downtown district, designated village center, designated new town center, or designated growth center, the downtown board shall issue the designation.

(2)  If an application is submitted in compliance with this subsection, by a municipality that does not have a designated growth center and that proposes to create a Vermont neighborhood that has boundaries that include land that is not within its designated downtown, village center, or new town center, the downtown board, in its expanded configuration in which it considers growth center applications, shall consider the application.  This application may be for approval of one or more Vermont neighborhoods that is outside but contiguous to a designated downtown district, designated village center, or designated new town center.  The application for designation shall include a map of the boundaries of the proposed Vermont neighborhood, including the property outside but contiguous to a designated downtown district, village center, or new town center and evidence that the municipality has notified the regional planning commission and the regional development corporation of its application for this designation. 

(b)  Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the expanded downtown board shall designate a Vermont neighborhood if the board finds the applicant has met the requirements of subsections (a) and (c) of this section.  When designating a Vermont neighborhood, the board may change the boundaries that were contained in the application by reducing the size of the area proposed to be included in the designated neighborhood, but may not include in the designation land that was not included in the application for designation.  Any Vermont neighborhood designation shall terminate when the underlying downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center designation terminates.

(c)  The applicant shall demonstrate all of the following:

(1)  The municipality has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, and has adopted zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations in accordance with section 4442 of this title.

(2)  The cumulative total of all Vermont neighborhood land located within the municipality but outside a designated downtown district, designated village center, or designated new town center is not more than 50 percent of the total acreage of the designated downtown district, village center, or new town center.

(3)  The contiguous land of the Vermont neighborhood complements the existing designated downtown district, village center, or new town center by integrating new housing units with existing residential neighborhoods, commercial and civic services and facilities, and transportation networks, and the contiguous land, in combination with the designated downtown development district, village center, or new town center, is consistent with smart growth principles established under subdivision 2791(13) of this title.

(4)  The Vermont neighborhood will be served by either:

(A)  a municipal sewer infrastructure; or

(B)  a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the agency of natural resources.

(5)  The municipal zoning bylaw requires both of the following:

(A)  Minimum residential densities that may be calculated by excluding land occupied by community wastewater systems, flood hazard areas, wetlands, rare and irreplaceable natural areas, necessary wildlife habitat, or other resource lands that are not able to be developed due to state or federal regulation, and that shall require the following:

(i)  No fewer than four units of single-family, detached dwelling units per acre, exclusive of accessory apartments.

(ii)  Higher density for duplexes and multi-family housing.

 (B)  Neighborhood design standards that promote compact, pedestrian-oriented development patterns that include the following:

(i)  Pedestrian scale and orientation of development.  Networks of sidewalks or paths, or both, are provided and available to the public to connect the Vermont neighborhood with adjacent development areas, existing and planned adjacent sidewalks, paths, and public streets and the designated downtown, village center, or new town center.

(ii)  Interconnected and pedestrian-friendly street networks.  Street networks are designed to safely accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles through the provisions of sidewalks on at least one side of the street, on-street parking, and traffic-calming features.

 (d)  Incentives for Vermont neighborhoods include the following:

(1)  The agency of natural resources shall charge no more than a $50.00 fee for wastewater applications where the applicant has received an allocation for sewer capacity from an approved municipal system.  Act 250 fees for residential developments in Vermont neighborhoods shall be 50 percent of the fee normally charged.

(2)  Fifty percent of Act 250 fees for all proposed development in Vermont neighborhoods shall be paid upon application, and 50 percent shall be paid within 30 days of the issuance of a decision.

(3)  No land gains tax shall be levied on a transfer of land in Vermont neighborhoods.

(e)   Initial designation shall be for a period of three years.  After that time has expired, the expanded state board shall review a Vermont neighborhood concurrently with the next periodic review conducted of the underlying designated entity, even if the underlying designated entity was not designated originally by the expanded state board.  However, the expanded board may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the expanded state board determines that the designated Vermont neighborhood no longer meets the standards for designation established in this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require corrective action;

(2)  remove the Vermont neighborhood designation, with that removal not affecting any of the benefits previously awarded to the designated Vermont neighborhood; or

(3)  limit eligibility for the benefits established in this chapter, with the limitation not affecting any of the benefits previously awarded to the designated Vermont neighborhood.

(f)  Designation decisions made under this section may be appealed to the environmental court pursuant to Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules for Environmental Proceedings by an interested person as defined in subsection 4465(b) of this title.  Review by the environmental court shall be de novo.

* * * Agency of Natural Resources Fees * * *

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(4)(D) is amended to read:

(D)  Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subdivision,:

* * *

(ii)  when a potable water supply is subject to the fee provisions of this subdivision and subdivision (j)(7)(A) of this section, only the fee required by subdivision (j)(7)(A) shall be assessed; and

(iii)  when a project is subject to the fee provision for the subdivision of land and the fee provision for potable water supplies and wastewater systems of this subdivision, only the higher of the two fees shall be assessed; and

(iv)  when a project is located in a Vermont neighborhood, as designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A, the fee shall be no more than $50.00 in situations in which the application has received an allocation for sewer capacity from an approved municipal system.

* * * Act 250 Provisions * * *  

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(3)(B) and (C) are amended to read:  

(3)(A)  “Development” means:

* * *

(B)(i)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (3)(A) of this section, if a project consists exclusively of any combination of mixed income housing or mixed use and is located entirely within a growth center designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793c or within a downtown development district designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793, “development” means:

(i)(I)  Construction of mixed income housing with 200 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 200 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 25,000 or more.

(II)  Construction of mixed income housing with 100 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 100 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 20,000 15,000 or more, but less than 25,000.

(ii)(III)  Construction of mixed income housing with 50 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 50 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 10,000 7,000 or more but less than 20,000 15,000.

(iii)(IV)  Construction of mixed income housing with 30 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 30 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 5,000 3,000 or more and less than 10,000 7,000.

(iv)(V)  Construction of mixed income housing with 25 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 25 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of less than 5,000 3,000.

(v)(VI)  Construction of 10 or more units of mixed income housing or a mixed use project with 10 or more housing units where the construction involves the demolition of one or more buildings that are listed on or eligible to be listed on the state or national register of historic places.  However, demolition shall not be considered to create jurisdiction under this subdivision if the division for historic preservation has determined the proposed demolition will have no adverse effect, an effect that will not be adverse provided that specified conditions are met, or an adverse effect that will be adequately mitigated, and if any imposed conditions are enforceable through a grant condition, deed covenant, or other legally binding document.

(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (3)(A) of this section, if a project consists exclusively of mixed income housing located entirely within a Vermont neighborhood designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793d, but outside of a growth center designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793c or a downtown development district designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793, “development" shall be determined in accordance with the numerical thresholds established in subdivision (3)(B)(i) of this section.

(C)  For the purposes of determining jurisdiction under subdivisions (3)(A) and (3)(B) of this section:

(i)  Housing units constructed by a person partially or completely outside a designated downtown development district or designated growth center shall not be counted to determine jurisdiction over housing units constructed by a person entirely within a designated downtown development district or designated growth center.

(ii)  Within any continuous period of five years, housing units constructed by a person entirely within a designated downtown district, or designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood shall be counted together with housing units constructed by a person partially or completely outside a designated downtown development district, or designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood to determine jurisdiction over the housing units constructed by a person partially or completely outside the designated downtown development district, or designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood and within a five-mile radius.

(iii)  All housing units constructed by a person within a designated downtown development district, or designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood within any continuous period of five years, commencing on or after the effective date of this subdivision, shall be counted together, but only if they are part of a discrete project located on a single tract or multiple contiguous tracts of land.

(iv)  In the case of  a project undertaken by a railroad, no portion of a railroad line or railroad right-of-way that will not be physically altered as part of the project shall be included in computing the amount of land involved.  In the case of a project undertaken by a person to construct a rail line or rail siding to connect to a railroad’s line or right-of-way, only the land used for the rail line or rail siding that will be physically altered as part of the project shall be included in computing the amount of land involved.

(v)  Notwithstanding subdivision (C)(iii) of this subdivision (3), any affordable housing units, as defined by this section, (3)(A)(iv) and subdivision (19) of this section, jurisdiction shall be determined exclusively by counting housing units, and when counting housing units to determine jurisdiction, only housing units in a discrete project on a single tract or multiple contiguous tracts of land shall be counted, regardless of whether located within an area designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A, provided that the housing units are affordable housing units, as defined by this section, that are subject to housing subsidy covenants as defined in 27 V.S.A. § 610 that preserve their affordability for a period of 99 years or longer, and that are constructed by a person within a designated downtown development district, designated village center, or designated growth center, shall count toward the total number of housing units used to determine jurisdiction only if they were constructed within the previous 12-month period, commencing on or after the effective date of this subdivision.

Sec. 5. REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 6001(16)(rural growth areas definition) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(31) and (32) are added to read:

(31)  “Existing settlement” means an extant community center similar to the traditional Vermont center which is compact in size and contains a mixture of uses which may include commercial, industrial, and residential components which are, to a large extent, within walking distance of each other, and which have appreciably higher densities than densities that occur outside these areas.  For the purposes of this subdivision, the term shall include downtown development districts designated in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 2793, village centers designated in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 2793a, new town centers designated in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 2793b, growth centers designated in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 2793c, and Vermont neighborhoods designated in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 2793d.  This term specifically excludes areas of commercial, highway-oriented uses commonly referred to as “strip development.”

(32)  “Strip development” means linear commercial development along an arterial highway leading from an existing settlement or connecting two existing settlements.  The characteristics of strip development, which need not all be present in order for strip development to exist, include the following:  broad road frontage; individual curb cuts for individual projects; lack of connection to existing settlements by anything except highway; limited accessibility to pedestrians; and lack of coordination with surrounding projects in terms of design, signs, lighting and parking.

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. § 6083a is amended to read:

§ 6083a.  ACT 250 FEES

* * *

(d)  Fees for residential development in a Vermont neighborhood designated according to 24 V.S.A. § 2793d shall be no more than 50 percent of the fee otherwise charged, with 50 percent due with the application and 50 percent due within 30 days after issuance of a decision. 

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 6086(a)(5) is amended to read:

(5)  Will not cause unreasonable congestion or unsafe conditions with respect to use of the highways, sidewalks, bikeways, waterways, railways, airports, and airways, and other means of transportation existing or proposed and provides appropriate connections to transit, bicycle, and pedestrian networks, where existing or planned, with the objective of minimizing motor vehicle use.

Sec. 9.  10 V.S.A. § 6086(a)(9)(L) is amended to read:

(L)  Rural growth areas. A permit will be granted for the development or subdivision of rural growth areas when it is demonstrated by the applicant that in addition to all other applicable criteria provision will be made in accordance with subdivisions (9)(A) “impact of growth,” (G) “private utility service,” (H) “costs of scattered development” and (J) “public utility services” of subsection (a) of this section for reasonable population densities, reasonable rates of growth, and the use of cluster planning and new community planning designed to economize on the cost of roads, utilities and land usage.

Settlement Patterns.

(i)  Inside existing settlements, a permit shall be granted for development or subdivision of land if the applicant, in addition to other applicable criteria, demonstrates that the project will not significantly detract from Vermont’s historic settlement pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside, which shall be accomplished by complying with planned densities that are appreciably higher than densities outside existing settlements within the municipality and region.  

(ii)  In rural areas outside existing settlements, a permit shall be granted for development or subdivision if, in addition to all other applicable criteria, the applicant demonstrates that the project:

(I)  will not substantially detract from Vermont’s historic settlement pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside, which shall be accomplished by contributing to overall densities that are appreciably lower than densities planned for existing settlements within the municipality and region;

(II)  will not establish or extend a pattern of strip development along public highways.  In situations in which a pattern of strip development has already been established, development should reinforce compact in-fill site design;

(III)  will promote an efficient use of land, energy, roads, utilities and other supporting infrastructure through compact site development, clustering, or conservation subdivision design, in order to avoid conflicts with agriculture, forestry, and other natural resource‑based land uses; and will promote the preservation of open space, as well as the protection of headwaters, streams, shorelines, floodways, rare and irreplaceable natural areas, necessary wildlife habitat, wetlands, endangered species, productive forest lands, and primary agricultural soils.

* * * Consolidated Appeals * * *

Sec. 10.  10 V.S.A. § 8502(9) is added to read:

(9) “State board,” also referred to as the “Vermont downtown development board,”  means a board created pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2792. 

Sec. 11.  10 V.S.A. § 8503(b)(4) is added to read:

(4)  Appeals from designation decisions issued by the state board in its review of a Vermont neighborhood for conformance with the criteria of 24 V.S.A. §  2793d. 

Sec. 12.  10 V.S.A. § 8504(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Act 250 and agency appeals.  Within 30 days of the date of the act or decision, any person aggrieved by an act or decision of the secretary, a district coordinator, or a district commission under the provisions of law listed in section 8503 of this title, or any party by right, may appeal to the environmental court. Within 30 days of the date of a Vermont neighborhood designation decision issued by the state board under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A, an interested person, as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 4465(b), may appeal to the environmental court.

Sec. 13.  10 V.S.A. § 8504(c)(2) is amended to read:

(2) Upon the filing of an appeal from the act or decision of the secretary or from a Vermont neighborhood designation decision of the state board  under the provisions of law listed in section 8503 of this title, the appellant shall provide notice of the filing of an appeal to the following persons: the applicant before the agency of natural resources or the state board, if other than the appellant; the owner of the land where the project is located if the applicant is not the owner; the municipality in which the project is located; the municipal and regional planning commissions for the municipality in which the project is located; if the project site is located on a boundary, any adjacent Vermont municipality and the municipal and regional planning commissions for that municipality; any state agency affected; the solid waste management district in which the project is located, if the project constitutes a facility pursuant to subdivision 6602(10) of this title; all persons required to receive notice of receipt of an application or notice of the issuance of a draft permit; and all persons on any mailing list for the decision involved. In addition, the appellant shall publish notice not more than 10 days after providing notice as required under this subsection, at the appellant's expense, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the project which is the subject of the decision.

Sec. 14.  10 V.S.A. § 8504(n) is amended to read:

(n) Intervention. Any person may intervene in a pending appeal if that person:

(1) appeared as a party in the action appealed from and retained party status;

(2) is a party by right;

(3) is the natural resources board, or either panel of the board;

(4) is a person aggrieved, as defined in this chapter;

(5) qualifies as an "interested person," as established in 24 V.S.A. § 4465, with respect to appeals under 24 V.S.A. chapter 117 or appeals of a Vermont neighborhood designation decision by the state board; or

(6) meets the standard for intervention established in the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

* * * Chapter 117 Conditional Use Appeals * * *

Sec. 15.  24 V.S.A. § 4471(e) is added to read:

(e)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a determination by an appropriate municipal panel that the density of a proposed residential development within a designated downtown development district, designated growth center, or Vermont neighborhood seeking conditional use approval shall not result in an undue adverse effect on the character of the area affected as provided in subdivision 4414(3)(A)(ii) of this title is not subject to appeal.

* * * Reports * * *

Sec. 16.  REPORT ON POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM

By no later than January 15, 2009, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy with regard to the agency’s implementation of and compliance with the municipal pollution control priority system rules, and as to the impact of these rules on development.

Sec. 16.   STATE SURPLUS LAND AND HOUSING

     The department of housing and community affairs, in consultation with the Vermont housing finance agency, the Vermont housing and conservation board, and other interested parties, shall develop program recommendations for the use of state land that may be available and appropriate for the creation of affordable housing, exclusively.  The proposal shall include methods to ensure that each affordable housing project shall include a substantial number of permanently affordable units.  The department shall present the program recommendations no later than January 15, 2009 to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs, the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, and the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy.

(Committee vote: 7-4-0)

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

Reports Received

The Clerk of the House has received the following reports, copies of which may be ordered from his office:

91.    Legislative Study of State Aid to Support Public Libraries.  Joint Fiscal and Legislative Council.

92.    Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund 2007 Annual Report & 10 Year Retrospective.

93.    Autism Spectrum Disorders Report to Legislature to Address Services for Individuals.  Agency of Human Services.  241-2648

94.    Vermont Environmental Protection Agency Pollution Control revolving Fund Report.  Department of Environmental Conservation.   241-3742

95.    Workforce Development Leadership Committee Report.  Department of Labor.  828-4000

96.    Equipment Revolving Fund Report.  Agency of Administration.  828-3322

97.    Transportation of Individual in the Custody of the State for 2008 Report.  241-2100

98.    Annual 2007 Report of Vermont Labor Relations Board.  828-2700

99.    Energy Efficiency Utility Program Revenues and Expenditures 2006.  Public Service Board.  800-253-0191

100.Financial incentives related to increasing mercury thermostat Collections.  Agency of Natural Resources.  241-3808

101.Conservation of Motor Vehicle Registration Plate Program.  Department of Fish and Wildlife.  241-3700

102.Capital Projects Funded in whole or in part by State Capital Appropriations.  University of Vermont.  656-0219

103.Income from Mountain Top Communication Sites Annual report.  Department of Forests, Parks and recreation.  244-1481

104.School Environmental Health report.  Department of Health.  863-7281

105.Vermont Advance Directive Registry Report.  Department of Health.  863-7280

106.Making Appropriations for the Support of Government: Racially and Ethnically Diverse Teachers; Recruitment and Retention.  Electronic Report

107.Miscellaneous changes to education Law: Statewide Network for Distance Learning.  Electronic Report

108.Miscellaneous changes to education Law: Pregnant and Parenting Pupils attending Teen Parent Education Programs.  Electronic Report.

109.Education Quality and Cost Control: Special education Programs; Fiscal Review.  Electronic Report.

110.Education Quality and Cost Control: Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Department of education.  Electronic Report.

111.Education Quality and Cost Control: Financial Management of School Districts and supervisory Unions.  Electronic Report.

112.Education Quality and Cost Control: Education Governance.  Electronic Report.

113.2008 report on Act 60 of 1997: Equal Educational Opportunity: Measuring Equity.  Electronic Report.

114.2008 report on Act 117 of 2000: An Act to Strengthen the Capacity of Vermont’s Education System to Meet the Educational Needs of all Vermont students.  Electronic Report.

115.2008 report on Act 150 of 2000: An Act Relating to Public School Choice in Grades 9–12.   Electronic Report.

116.2008 Report on Act 176 of 2006:  The High School Completion Program.  Electronic Report.

117.Report  to Legislature to Address Services for Individual with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Electronic Report.

118.Vermont 2008: Success Beyond Six Final Report.  Electronic Report.

119.Information Technology 5 Year Plan and Vermont Web Portal Board. Department of Information & Innovation.

120.Unidentified Corridors.  Vermont Policy and Planning Division  828-3441

121.Vermont Advance Directive Registry Report.  Department of Health.  863-7280

122.Vermont State Housing Annual Report.  828-3295

123.Assessment of Environmental & Public Health Impacts of Omya’s Operations in Florence, Vt: Integrated Report.

124.Vermont Municipal Bond Bank 2007 Annual Report.

125.Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency 2007 Annual Report.   223-2717

126.Vermont Workforce Development Council 2007 Annual Report.  828-4156

 

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us