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House Calendar

FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008

67th DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 9:30 A M

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

H. 338  State Purchasing Code of Conduct.................................................... 922

H. 636  Embezzlement by a Public Official...................................................... 922

H. 641  Relating to Nursing Mothers in the Workplace................................... 922

H. 875  Sale of Transmission Facilities by Regulated Generators..................... 922

S. 108  Election of U.S. Representative and Senator by IRV Method.............. 922

          Rep. Pearson Amendment

Action Postponed Until Tuesday, March 18, 2008

H. 617  Relating to Guardianships.................................................................. 922

          Pending Action: Third reading of the bill

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 878  Relating to Elevator Safety................................................................. 922

          Rep. Devereux for Government Operations

Favorable with Amendment

H. 331  Relating to Financing the Purchase of a Mobile Home........................ 923

          Rep. Baker of West Rutland for General, Housing and Military Affairs

H. 436  Discussion of Ballot items at Town Meeting....................................... 929

          Rep. Martin of Wolcott for Government Operations

H. 588  Relating to Property Loaned to Museums.......................................... 933

          Rep. Livingston for Commerce

H. 689  Relating to Utility Prescriptive Rights.................................................. 937

          Rep. Shand for Commerce

H. 704  Notices of Transfer of Policies to an Affiliate...................................... 940

          Rep. Clerkin for Commerce

H. 736  Relating to Children of Incarcerated Parents....................................... 942

          Rep. Browning for Corrections and Institutions

H. 776  Computation of Basic Needs Budget and the Livable Wage............... 943

          Rep. Howrigan for General, Housing and Military Affairs

          Rep. Johnson for Appropriations........................................................... 943

Favorable

H. 700  Sale of Bottles of Wine at Festivals.................................................... 944

          Rep. Moran for General, Housing and Military Affairs

 

CONSENT CALENDAR

(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)

H.C.R. 227  Congratulating Poultney HS Cheerleading Champions................ 944

H.C.R. 228  Congratulating Howard Herrington Wal-Mart VT Teacher......... 945

H.C.R. 229  In Memory of former Representative Peter Martin...................... 945

H.C.R. 230  Congratulating Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on 25th ........... 945

H.C.R. 231  Congratulating Girl Scout Council of VT Award Winners........... 945

H.C.R. 232  Honoring Girl Scout Council During Girl Scout Week................. 945

H.C.R. 233  Honoring Federal TRIO Programs in Vermont........................... 945

H.C.R. 234  Congratulating BFA-St. Albans Girls’ Hockey Team.................. 945

H.C.R. 235 In Memory of Speaker and Lt. Governor John Burgess............... 945

 


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Third Reading

H. 338

     An act relating to a state purchasing code of conduct.

H. 636

     An act relating to embezzlement by a public official.

H. 641

     An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.

H. 875

An act relating to the sale  of real property or transmissions facilities by certain regulated generators of electricity.

S. 108

An act relating to the election of U.S. representative and U. S. senator by the instant runoff voting method.

     Proposal of Amendment to be offered by Rep. Pearson of Burlington to S. 108

     Moves the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill by striking Sec. 8 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 8.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to the 2008 general election and subsequent general elections.

Action Postponed Until Tuesday, March 18, 2008

H. 617

     An act relating to guardianships.

Pending Action: Third reading of the bill

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 878

An act relating to elevator safety.

(Rep. Devereux of Mount Holly will speak for the Committee on Government Operations.)

Favorable with Amendment

H. 311

     An act relating to financing the purchase of a mobile home.

Rep. Baker of West Rutland, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  9 V.S.A. § 2601 is amended to read:

§ 2601.  Definitions

(a)  As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, "mobile home" means:

(1)  Mobile home as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6201.

(2)  An unmotorized vehicle, other than a travel or recreational trailer, designed to be towed and designed or equipped for use as sleeping, eating or living quarters.

(b)  A mobile home remains a mobile home for purposes of this chapter even though it may be used for advertising, sales, display or promotion of merchandise or services, or for any other commercial purposes except the transportation of property.

(c)  A mobile home that was financed as residential real estate shall be defined as residential real estate.

(d)  “Permanently sited” means the mobile home has become affixed to the land.   Factors that tend to show a mobile home is permanently sited include:

(1)  The mobile home has been set up on blocks or otherwise stabilized so that the wheels do not form a major part of the structural support.

(2)  The mobile home has been connected to utilities such as electricity, sewage, water, gas, or oil.

(3)  Skirting has been installed around the base of the mobile home.

(4)  The wheels or axles have been removed.

(5)  The mobile home has been situated in a place that makes removal unlikely.

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. § 2603(b) is amended to read:

(b)  An obligation to finance a mobile home if consummated while the A mobile home that is or is intended to be permanently sited in a manner intended for continuous residential occupancy by the owner on land owned that is:

(1)  Owned by the owner of the mobile home shall be financed as a residence residential real estate.

(2)  Leased by the owner of the mobile home may be financed as residential real estate.

Sec. 3.  9 V.S.A. § 2604 is amended to read:

§ 2604Penalty REAL ESTATE DEEDS FOR MOBILE HOMES

A person who violates a provision of this chapter:

(1)  Except for violations of subsection 2603(e) of this title, shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 for each occurrence.

(2)  Shall be subject to all the remedies and penalties available to a consumer and the attorney general under chapter 63 of this title.

(a)  Any mobile home purchased from a mobile home dealer on or after

July 1, 2008 that is financed as residential real estate pursuant to subsection 2603(b) of this title shall be conveyed by a warranty deed drafted in substantially the form provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(b)  An owner of a mobile home shall, upon financing or refinancing a mobile home as residential real estate or selling a mobile home that has been financed as residential real estate, issue to the grantee either a warranty deed or a quitclaim deed that is drafted in substantially the form provided in subsection (c) or (d) of this section.

(c)  A deed that is substantially in the form provided in this subsection shall, when duly executed and delivered, have the force and effect of a deed in fee simple to the grantee, the heirs, successors, and assigns, to their own use, with covenants on the part of the grantor, for the grantor, the grantor's heirs, executors, and administrators that, at the time of the delivery of the deed, the grantor was lawfully seized in fee simple of the mobile home; that the mobile home was free from all encumbrances, except as stated; that the grantor had good right to sell and convey the same to the grantee, the grantee's heirs, successors, and assigns; and that the grantor and the grantor's heirs, executors, and administrators shall warrant and defend the same to the grantee and the grantee's heirs, successors and assigns, against the lawful claims and demands of all persons.  No owner of land on which a mobile home is sited shall unreasonably withhold the consent required by this statutory form.

Form for Mobile Home Warranty Deed

                              , of                        ,                               County, State of____________,                         (“Grantor”), for consideration paid, grants to___________ of                   Street, Town (City) of                  ,____________ County, State of                  (“Grantee”), with warranty covenants, the________ (description of mobile home being conveyed: name of manufacturer, model and serial number and encumbrances, exceptions, reservations, if any) which mobile home is situated, or is to be situated, at __________ (state name of park, if any, and street address), Town (City) of __________, __________ County, State of Vermont.
The tract or parcel of land upon which the mobile home is situated, or is to be situated, is owned by                        by deed dated and recorded at Book        , Page      in the land records of the Town (City) of                        
.  

_______                        (wife) (husband) of said Grantor, releases to said Grantee all rights and other interests therein.
     Signed this __________ day of __________, ___.

(Here add acknowledgment)

__________, owner of the tract or parcel of land upon which the aforesaid mobile home is situated, or is to be situated, hereby consents to the conveyance of the mobile home.

Signed this __________ day of __________, ___.

(Here add acknowledgment)

[ ] Check box if the mobile home has been relocated from one site to another within Vermont, and attach a Relocation Statement in the form provided in section 2606 of this title.

(d)  A deed that is substantially in the form provided in this subsection shall, when duly executed and delivered, have the force and effect of a deed in fee simple to the grantee, the heirs, successors, and assigns, to their own use.  No owner of land on which the mobile home is sited shall unreasonably withhold consent required by this statutory form.

Form for Mobile Home Quitclaim Deed

___________, of ___________,              County, State  of__________ _________(“Grantor”), for

consideration paid, grants to___ ________ of _________ Street, Town (City) of ____       ,_   ____County, State of __________(“Grantee”), with quitclaim covenants, the (description of mobile home being conveyed:  name of manufacturer, model and serial number and encumbrances, exceptions, reservations, if any) which mobile home is situated, or is to be situated, at ________________ (state name of park, if any, and street address), Town (City) of _____________ County, State of Vermont.

The tract or parcel of land upon which the mobile home is situated, or is to be situated, is owned by ____________ by deed dated _____________ and recorded at Book ___, Page    , in the land records of the Town (City) of _________.  

    _____ (wife) (husband) of said Grantor releases to said Grantee all rights and other interest therein.

Signed this ___ day of _______    ,______.

(Here add acknowledgment)

_____________, owner of the parcel of land upon which the aforesaid mobile home is situated, or is to be situated, hereby consents to the conveyance of the mobile home.

Signed this ___day of__                __, _____.

(Here add acknowledgment)

[ ]  Check box if the mobile home has been relocated from one site to another within Vermont, and attach a relocation statement in the form provided in section 2606 of this title.

Sec. 4.  9 V.S.A. § 2605 is added to read:

§ 2605.  Mobile home bill of sale conversion process

The owner of any mobile home that was initially financed pursuant to a motor vehicle loan, motor vehicle retail installment contract, or another form of chattel mortgage shall, if the mobile home is subsequently financed as residential real estate pursuant to subsection 2603(b) of this title, file a request for purging of the security interest with the clerk of the municipality where the chattel mortgage for the mobile home was last recorded.

(1)  A request to purge the security interest of a mobile home shall include the most recent Vermont uniform bill of sale or certificate of origin, the terminated UCC financing statement or statements, and an executed warranty or quitclaim deed, which shall be drafted substantially in the form provided in section 2604 of this title.

(2)  Upon the filing of a request to purge the security interest of a mobile home with the clerk of the municipality where the chattel mortgage for the  mobile home was last recorded, and upon the owner's procuring the consent of the holders of any security interest in the mobile home shown to be unreleased, the mobile home shall become residential real estate.

(3)  Upon receiving a request to purge the security interest of a mobile home, the municipal clerk shall mark or stamp the originally filed Vermont uniform bill of sale or certificate of origin with the word “converted.”

(4)  A mobile home that has been converted to residential real estate shall not be converted or redefined as personal property.

Sec. 5.  9 V.S.A. § 2606 is added to read:

§ 2606.  Relocating mobile homes to another

       municipality or state

(a)  If a deed for any mobile home is recorded by the clerk of the municipality in which the mobile home is sited, and if that mobile home is relocated to another site within the state of Vermont, the owner of the mobile home shall, within 10 days of the relocation, do all the following:

(1)  File with the clerk of the municipality where the deed was last recorded a relocation statement substantially in the form provided in this subsection.

(2)  File with the clerk of the municipality where the mobile home is relocated a copy of the relocation statement as required by subdivision (1) of this subsection, together with the deed filed with the clerk of the municipality where the mobile home was previously sited.  If the records of a municipality in which the deed or conveyance is recorded are destroyed, an attested copy of the deed or other conveyance from the county clerk shall have the same validity as a copy from the municipal clerk's office.

(3)  Provide a copy of the relocation statement filed pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection to the holders of any unreleased, recorded security interests in the mobile home.

Form for Relocation Statement

                              , of                        ,                               County, State of                         , is the owner of (description of mobile home: name of manufacturer, model and serial number and encumbrances, exceptions, reservations, if any), which mobile home has been relocated.

The mobile home was previously located at __________ (state name of park, if any, and street address), Town (City) of __________, __________ County, State of Vermont and title, if any, to the same was recorded at Book ___, Page ___, in the records of the Town (City) of __________.

The mobile home is has been relocated to  __________ (state name of park, if any, and street address), Town (City) of __________, __________ County, State of Vermont and title, if any, to the same was recorded at Book___ ___, Page ___, in the records of the Town (City) of __________. 

The tract or parcel of land upon which the mobile home is situated is owned by                        by deed dated                               and recorded at

Book        , Page      in the land records of the Town (City) of                        .  

The mobile home is subject to an existing mortgage by _____________in favor of _____________, recorded at Book ___, Page    , in the land records of the Town (City) of _________.

If the relocation is to a municipality in Vermont other than the municipality in which the deed to the Grantor was recorded, a duplicate original of the deed to the Grantor shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality of the relocation at the same time this statement is recorded.

       Signed this __________ day of __________, ___.

(b)  An out-of-state transfer statement substantially in the form provided in this subsection shall, when duly executed and recorded by the clerk of the municipality in which the mobile home was previously located, have the force and effect of transferring title of the mobile home to the grantee, the grantee's heirs, successors, and assigns and terminating the record title or deed of the mobile home in the municipal records under circumstances by which the mobile home is relocated outside this state.  No owner of land on which a mobile home is sited shall unreasonably withhold the consent required by this statutory form.  No mobile home may be relocated to a site outside this state unless all holders of liens, attachments, or encumbrances, if any, consent in writing on the transfer statement.

Form for Out-of-State Transfer Statement

__________, of __________, County, State of __________ (“Grantor”), for consideration paid, grants to __________, (complete mailing address) __________, of __________ Street, Town (City) of __________, __________ County, State of __________ (“Grantee”), the __________ (Description of mobile home being conveyed: name of manufacturer, model and serial number and encumbrances, exceptions, reservations, if any) which mobile home was situated at __________ (state name of park, if any, and street address), Town (City) __________ of __________ County, State of Vermont.
The tract or parcel of land upon which the mobile home was situated is owned by __________ by deed __________ dated __________ and recorded at Book___, Page ___ in the __________ County Registry of Deeds. __________ (wife) (husband) of said Grantor, releases to said Grantee all rights and other interest therein.

The mobile home is transferred subject to an existing mortgage by __________in favor of _____________, recorded at Book ___, Page    , in the land records of the Town (City) of _________, State of Vermont.

Signed this __________ day of __________, ___.

(Here add acknowledgment)

        __________, owner of the tract or parcel of land upon which the aforesaid mobile home was situated, hereby consents to the conveyance of the mobile home.

Signed this __ day of __________, ___.

(Here add acknowledgment)

        __________, holder of (lien, attachment or encumbrance) hereby consent to the conveyance of the aforesaid mobile home, subject to condition that the aforesaid (lien, attachment or encumbrance) shall remain in force and effect thereon.

Signed this __________ day of __________, ___.

(Here add acknowledgment)

(c)  An attachment, mortgage, security interest, lien, or other encumbrance on a mobile home, when properly perfected, shall be enforceable until released or discharged notwithstanding the relocation of the mobile home within or outside this state.

Sec. 6.  9 V.S.A. § 2607 is added to read:

§ 2607.  PENALTY

A person who violates a provision of this chapter:

(1)  Except for violations of subsection 2603(e) of this title, shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 for each occurrence.

(2)  Shall be subject to all the remedies and penalties available to a consumer and the attorney general under chapter 63 of this title.

(Committee vote: 8-0-0)

H. 436

     An act relating to discussion of ballot items at town meeting.

Rep. Martin of Wolcott, for the Committee on Government Operations, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  17 V.S.A. § 2456 is amended to read:

§ 2456.  DISQUALIFICATIONS

Notwithstanding the preceding sections of this subchapter, no person shall serve as an election official in any election in which his or her name appears on a ballot of the Australian ballot system as a candidate for any office unless he or she is the only candidate for that office, or unless the office for which he or she is a candidate is that of moderator, justice of the peace, town clerk,

clerk-treasurer, ward clerk, or inspector of elections.  When an Australian ballot is not used, a person shall not serve as an election official during the election to fill any office for which he or she is a nominee.  For the purpose of this section, "clerk-treasurer" means a person who is a candidate for the offices of town clerk and town treasurer at the same time.

Sec. 2.  17 V.S.A. § 2494 is amended to read:

§ 2494.  CONSTRUCTION WITH OTHER LAWS

Except as this subchapter affects the method of registering votes and ascertaining the result, the laws of this state pertaining to elections shall be applicable.  The laws pertaining to early or absentee voters shall in no way be affected by this subchapter, and votes cast by early or absentee voters shall be counted with votes registered on voting machines.  In towns using voting machines, the board of civil authority may vote to open polling places at 5:00 a.m., provided that at least three elections officials are present, two of whom are from different parties, solely for the purpose of checking voters who voted by early voter absentee ballot off the checklist and depositing the ballots into the ballot box or voting machine.  If all early voter absentee ballots have not been deposited into the voting machines before the closing of the polls at 7:00 p.m., the elections officials shall continue to deposit ballots using the same procedure as provided in subsection 2561(b) of this title, treating each ballot as a voter waiting to cast his or her ballot at the close of the polls.

Sec. 3.  17 V.S.A. § 2640(c) is amended to read:

(c)  In a town which starts its annual meeting on any day before the first Tuesday in March and which uses the Australian ballot system, Notwithstanding section 2508 of this title, public discussion of ballot issues and all other issues appearing in the warning, other than election of candidates, shall be permitted on that day at the annual meeting, regardless of the location of the polling place.

Sec. 4.  17 V.S.A. § 2664 is amended to read:

§ 2664.  BUDGET

A town shall vote such sums of money as it deems necessary for the interest of its inhabitants and for the prosecution and defense of the common rights.  It shall express in its vote the specific amounts, or the rate on a dollar of the grand list, to be appropriated for laying out and repairing highways and for other necessary town expenses.  If a town votes specific amounts in lieu of a rate on a dollar of the grand list, the selectmen selectboard shall, after the grand list book has been computed and lodged in the office of the town clerk, set the tax rate necessary to raise the specific amounts voted.  The selectboard may apply for grants and may accept and expend grants or gifts above those which are approved in the town budget.  The selectboard shall include, in its annual report, a description of all grants or gifts accepted during the year and associated expenditures.

Sec. 5.  17 V.S.A. § 2680(g) is amended to read:

(g)  Whenever a municipality has voted to adopt the Australian ballot system of voting on any public question or budget, except the budget revote as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the legislative body shall hold a public informational hearing on the question by posting warnings at least 10 days in advance of the hearing in at least two public places within the municipality and in the town clerk's office.  The hearing shall be held within the 10 days preceding the meeting at which the Australian ballot system is to be used.  The hearing under this subsection may be held in conjunction with the meeting held under subsection 2640(c), in which case the moderator shall preside.

Sec. 6.  24 V.S.A. § 871 is amended to read:

§ 871.  ORGANIZATION OF SELECTMEN SELECTBOARD;

     APPOINTMENTS

Forthwith after their election and qualification, the selectmen selectboard shall organize and elect a chairman chair and, if so voted, a clerk from among their number, and file a certificate of such election for record in the office of the town clerk.  Such selectmen shall The selectboard shall thereupon appoint from among the legally qualified voters a tree warden and may thereupon appoint from among the legally qualified voters the following officers who shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified, and shall certify such appointments to the town clerk who shall record the same:

(1)  Three fence viewers;

(2)  A poundkeeper, for each pound; voting residence in the town need not be a qualification for this office provided appointee gives his or her consent to the appointment;

(3)  One or more inspectors of lumber, shingles and wood; and

(4)  One or more weighers of coal; and

(5)  A tree warden.

Sec. 7.  24 V.S.A. § 1535(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The board may abate in whole or part taxes, interest, and or collection fees, other than those arising out of a corrected classification of homestead or nonresidential property, accruing to the town in the following cases:

* * *

Sec. 8.  24 V.S.A. § 4442(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Routine adoption.

(1)  A bylaw, amendment, or repeal shall be adopted by a majority of the members of the legislative body at a meeting that is held after the final public hearing, and shall be effective 21 days after adoption unless, by action of the legislative body, the bylaw, amendment, or repeal is warned for adoption by the municipality by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting of the municipality.

(2)  However, a rural town with a population of fewer than 2,500 persons, by action of the legislative body or by vote of that town at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue, may elect to require that bylaws, bylaw amendments, or bylaw repeals shall be adopted by vote of the town by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue.  That procedure shall then apply until rescinded by the voters at a regular or special meeting of the town.

Sec. 9.  32 V.S.A. § 1671(a)(6) is amended to read:

(6)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, for the recording or filing, or both, of any document that is to become a matter of public record in the town clerk's office, or for any certified copy of such document, a fee of $8.00 per page shall be charged; except that for the recording or filing, or both, of a property transfer return, a fee of $8.00 shall be charged;

Sec. 10.  32 V.S.A. § 4774(b) is amended to read:

(b)(1)  The treasurer or collector shall deposit to the general fund any tax overpayment by a taxpayer who has paid by mail or electronic fund transfer, provided that:

(1)(A)  the payment made was equal to the taxes due without regard to the discount under section 4773 of this title; and

(2)(B)  the overpayment amount is $2.00 $10.00 or less.

(2)  If the taxpayer requests refund of such an overpayment within one year of payment, the treasurer or collector shall refund it.

Sec. 11.  32 V.S.A. § 5137 is amended to read:

§ 5137. RECORDING DELINQUENT PAYMENTS

A collector of taxes for a town or municipality within it shall receipt for every payment made to the collector on account of delinquent taxes.  Such receipt shall be written in triplicate in a bound book or other permanent record purchased at the expense of the municipality and shall indicate the date of the payment, the name of the person making the payment, the name of the person against whom was assessed the tax on which the payment is to be applied, the year in which such tax was assessed and if a partial payment on an annual tax bill, whether applied on poll, personal property or real estate taxes.  Such collector shall detach and deliver the original receipt forthwith to the person making the payment and one copy thereof within 30 days to the town clerk who shall keep such copy on file.  Such collector shall purchase at the expense of the municipality for which the collector is acting a sufficient number of such bound triplicate receipt books having the sets of originals and copies consecutively numbered.  Annually, on or before February 5, the collector shall deliver to the auditors of each municipality for which the collector is acting all such bound volumes in which entries pertaining to such municipality have been made during the year ending January 31 next preceding, and the auditors shall audit the books forthwith and after the completion of audit shall return such books to such collector.

and that upon passage, the title of the bill shall read:

“AN ACT RELATING TO MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS TO LOCAL ELECTION AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT LAWS

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

H. 588

     An act relating to property loaned to museums.

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

Sec. 1.  27 V.S.A. chapter 12 is added to read:

Chapter 12.  Museum Property

§ 1151.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Lender” means a person whose name appears on the records of a museum as the person legally entitled to, or claiming to be legally entitled to, property held by the museum or, if such person is deceased, the legal heirs of such person.

(2)  “Loan” means a deposit of property not accompanied by a transfer of title to the property.

(3)  “Museum” means an institution operated by a nonprofit corporation or a public agency primarily for educational, scientific, historic preservation, or aesthetic purposes, and the institution owns, cares for, exhibits, studies, collects, archives, or catalogues property.  “Museum” also includes historical societies, parks, monuments, and libraries.

(4)  “Property” means a tangible object, animate or inanimate, that has intrinsic, historic, artistic, scientific, or cultural value, and the object is under the care of a museum.

§ 1152.  PROPERTY HELD WITHOUT A LOAN AGREEMENT

Any property held by a museum that is not subject to a loan agreement and has been held for 10 or more years and has remained unclaimed shall be deemed to be abandoned.  The property shall become the property of the museum, provided the museum has given notice pursuant to section 1154 of this title and no assertion of title has been filed for the property within 180 days from the date of the third published notice.

§ 1153.  PROPERTY HELD PURSUANT TO A LOAN AGREEMENT

(a)  Property in the possession of a museum subject to a loan agreement shall be deemed to be donated to the museum, provided:

(1)  No claim is made or action filed to recover the property after termination of the loan.

(2)  The museum provided notice as required pursuant to section 1154 of this title.

(3)  No assertion of title has been filed within 180 days following the date of the third published notice.

(b)  A museum may terminate a loan of property if the loan was for an indefinite term and the property has been held by the museum for 10 years or more by providing notice pursuant to section 1154 of this title.  For the purposes of this chapter, property on permanent loan shall be considered property loaned for an indefinite term.   

(c)  A museum may terminate a loan of property loaned for a specified term by providing notice pursuant to section 1154 of this title any time after the expiration of the specified term or earlier if permitted by the loan agreement.

(d)  The owner of property on loan to a museum shall notify the museum promptly of any transfer of ownership or change in address of the owner.

(e)  Prior to acceptance of a loan of property, a museum shall provide to the owner of the property written notice of the provisions of this chapter.

§ 1154.  NOTICE REQUIREMENTS BY MUSEUMS FOR

LOANED PROPERTY

(a)  A museum required to provide notice pursuant to this chapter shall mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, written notice to the last known owner at the most recent address.  If the museum has no record of the owner’s address or the museum has not received written proof of receipt of the mailed notice within 30 days after mailing, the museum shall publish at least one notice each month for three consecutive months in the principal newspaper of general circulation in each of the following:

(1)  the county of the last known address of the owner, if known.

(2)  the county in which the museum is located.  For the purposes of this subdivision, if property is loaned to a branch of a museum, the museum shall be considered to be located in the county in which the branch is located, otherwise a museum shall be located in the county in which it has its principal place of business.

(b)  The published notice shall contain all the following:

(1)  The notice shall be entitled:  “Notice of Abandonment.”

(2)  A clear description of the unclaimed property.

(3)  The last known name and address of the owner.

(4)  A request that any person who has any knowledge of the whereabouts of the owner provide written notice to the museum.

(5)  The name and address of the museum.

(6)  The name, address, and contact information of the person to be contacted regarding the property.

(7)  A statement that if written assertion of title is not presented by the owner to the museum within 180 days after the date of the final published notice, the property shall be considered abandoned or donated and shall become the property of the museum.

(c)  A copy of all notices required in this chapter relating to property in the form of identifiable works of art that changed hands in Europe between the years 1933 and 1945 shall be sent to The Art Loss Register or any successor organization having similar purposes on or before the date on which the notices are mailed or first published.

§ 1155.  PROVISION OF MISSION STATEMENT

(a)  Prior to the acquisition of property by gift, a museum, upon request, shall provide a donor or prospective donor with a written copy of its mission statement and collections policy, which shall include policies and procedures of the museum related to deaccessioning.

(b)  If the museum has the knowledge of a planned bequest of any property prior to the death of the testator, the museum shall provide the testator with a written copy of its mission statement and collections policy, which shall include policies and procedures of the museum relating to deaccessioning.

(c)  Any museum that routinely makes its mission statement and collections policy available on its website shall be deemed to have complied with this section.

§ 1156.  PROPERTY VESTED IN MUSEUMS

(a)  If no written assertion of title has been presented by the owner to the museum within 180 days after the date of the third published notice, title to the property shall vest in the museum free of all claims of the owner and any other person claiming under the owner.

(b)  A person who purchases or otherwise acquires property from a museum acquires good title to the property if the museum has acquired title to the property under this chapter.

§ 1157.  EXEMPTIONS

This chapter shall not apply to either of the following:

(1)  Any property that changed hands by theft, seizure, confiscation, forced sale, or other involuntary means in Europe between 1933 and 1945.

(2)  Any property reported as stolen in writing to a law enforcement officer, insurer, or The Art Loss Register, or any successor organization having similar purposes, notwithstanding any notice provided pursuant to section 1155 of this title.

§ 1158.  RECORD OF ACQUISITION

The museum shall maintain or continue to maintain to the extent such information is available a record of acquisition whether by purchase, bequest, gift, loan, or otherwise of property for display or collection and of deaccessioning or loan of property currently held or thereafter acquired for display or collection.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

H. 689

     An act relating to utility prescriptive rights.

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

Sec. 1.  TITLE

This act may be referred to as the Utility Prescriptive Rights Act of 2008.

Sec. 2.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  There are currently many instances where the utilities in Vermont maintain and operate utility lines in rights-of-way without having any record of an easement or other right to occupy such rights-of-way.

(2)  In some instances, the easement was not obtained when the line was initially constructed; in other instances, the easement document was lost or never recorded in the land records. 

(3)  Such utility lines often existed in their current location without written easements for many years, even decades. 

(4)  Vermont law generally recognizes that one may obtain property rights, including easements and rights-of-way, by adverse possession after 15 years of open, notorious, and hostile possession of the property; however, a single Vermont statute creates an exception to that doctrine for utility line easements.

(5)  Many of the utility lines which lack easements are old and will need to be rebuilt in order for the utilities to continue to provide reliable service. 

(6)  It is likely that such necessary rebuilding will be delayed if the utilities must go through individual and costly public service board condemnation proceedings in order to obtain easements where none exists today. 

(7)  Where a line is already in place, it is poor public policy to allow a landowner to impede necessary rebuilding of the line and impose expense on remaining customers by forcing the utility to commence a condemnation proceeding to obtain an easement. 

(8)  There is clearly a need for utilities to hold easements over rights‑of‑way where utility lines have already been built. 

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 111a is added to read:

§ 111a.  PREEXISTING UTILITY LINES

(a)  When a corporation seeks to condemn property or an easement or other right over property where a currently existing utility line, that has not been abandoned, was in place on July 1, 2008, there is a rebuttable presumption that the condemnation of the property right authorizing the existing utility line or lines is necessary in order that the petitioner may render service to the public, provided that the property right is limited to that which is required to allow the operation, maintenance, and repair of the existing line or lines and the replacement of the existing utility facilities with equivalent facilities in the usual course of business.

(b)  When a corporation seeks to condemn property or establish an easement or other right over property where a utility line, that has not been abandoned, was in place on July 1, 2008, the corporation shall present a petition to the public service board and to the department of public service describing the property or right, and why the action is necessary.  The property or right shall be limited to that which is required to allow the operation, maintenance, and repair of the existing line or lines and the replacement of the existing utility facilities with equivalent facilities in the usual course of business.  The board shall issue a citation upon each person whose property or right the petitioner proposes to condemn and each municipality and each planning body where the property is located, or on absent persons in such manner as the supreme court may by rule provide for service of process in civil actions, including by publication. 

(c)  Upon the filing of the petition with the board and department, any pending actions and proceedings against the petitioner affecting its right to use and enjoy the subject property are stayed for the pendency of the condemnation proceeding before the board, and the petitioner may enter upon the property to be condemned for the purposes of examination and obtaining necessary information in order to proceed with the taking and to conduct the minimum amount of maintenance and repairs necessary to provide service.

(d)  The board shall fix the time and the place for hearing.

(e)  If the utility line for which the corporation seeks to acquire easements through condemnation under this section crosses more than one property, the corporation may petition the board to hold a single hearing to determine necessity for all persons subject to condemnation under subsection (b) of this section.

(f)  A person owning or having an interest in lands or rights to be taken may stipulate as to the necessity of the taking.  The stipulation shall be filed with the board.  The board shall issue an order on necessity within 45 days upon receiving the stipulation.

(g)  A stipulation under subsection (f) of this section shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to before a person authorized to take acknowledgments.  The stipulation shall include the following:

(1)  a recital that the person or persons executing the stipulation have examined the proposed easement, which includes a description of the property or rights to be taken; and

(2)  an explanation of the legal and property rights affected.

(h)  If a hearing is required, the board shall hear all persons whose property or right is the subject of the condemnation petition and who wish to be heard at the time and place appointed for the hearing.  The board shall make findings of fact, and by its order, determine whether necessity requires the taking of the land and rights as set forth in the petition.

(i)  Following a determination of necessity pursuant to subsection (f) or (h) of this section, the board shall expeditiously appoint a time and place for examining the premises and provide an opportunity for a hearing on the issue of compensation, giving at least 10 days’ notice in writing to the persons that are subject to the condemnation petition.

(j)  Compensation for the taking or use of property rights under the provision of this section shall be the diminution of value caused by the existence of such utility lines across the property at the time the petition was filed with the board.  Where a property owner acquired the property with the utility line already in place, there is a rebuttable presumption that the diminution in value was reflected in the terms of acquiring the property.

(k)  The board shall fix the compensation to be paid to each person from whom land or rights are taken, and the petitioner shall file and record within 30 days the order in the office of the clerk of the town where the land is situated, and shall deliver to each person or persons a copy of that portion of the order directly affecting the person or persons and shall pay or tender the award to each person entitled which may be accepted, retained, and disposed of to his or her own use without prejudice to the person’s right of appeal.  If the petitioner took possession of the condemned property under subsection (i) of this section,  the petitioner shall tender the amount of the board’s award to the persons affected by the taking.  The petitioner shall tender any additional payment required by the board’s final compensation order. 

(l)  Section 112 of this title does not apply to petitions filed under this section.  An appeal or review relating to an action under this section shall be to the supreme court pursuant to section 12 of this title.

(m)  Nothing in this section shall impact any permitting or regulatory requirements that may apply to the corporation.

(Committee vote: 7-3-1)

H. 704

     An act relating to notices of transfer of policies to an affiliate proved by an insurer.

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

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 3882(c) is added to read:

(c)  An insurer may transfer a policy to an affiliate, as defined by subdivision 3681(1) of this title, upon expiration of the policy without providing notice of nonrenewal, provided that:

(1)  the rating by A. M. Best or a similarly qualified rating service of the affiliate is equal to or better than the transferring insurer;

(2)  there is no diminution in the terms and conditions of coverage; and

(3)  notice of the transfer is provided to the insured at least 45 days prior to the transfer by first class mail, and in connection with such notice the insurer:

(A)  complies with any requirements of federal law relating to notice of adverse credit determination;

(B)  includes in the notice of transfer a telephone number of the insurer, or the producer, if any, and a toll free telephone number of the insurer in the case of personal lines policies, where the insured can learn additional information concerning the transfer and the reasons for the transfer; and

(C)  complies with the other provisions of this section relating to renewal policies.

Sec. 2.  8 V.S.A. § 4225a is added to read:

§ 4225a.  RENEWAL POLICIES

(a)  If the insurer has the necessary information to issue the renewal policy, the insurer shall confirm in writing at least 45 days prior to expiration its intention to renew the policy and the premium at which the policy is to be renewed.  The insured shall have the right to renew the policy at this premium.

(b)  An insurer not complying with subsection (a) of this section shall grant its insured renewal coverage at the rate or premium in effect under the expiring or expired policy or at rates lawfully in effect on the expiration date, which have been approved by the commissioner.  This shall be done on a pro rata basis and shall continue for 45 days after the insurer confirms renewal coverage and premium.  This subsection shall not apply if the insured accepts the renewal policy.

(c)  An insurer may transfer a policy to an affiliate, as defined by subdivision 3681(1) of this title, upon expiration of the policy without providing notice of nonrenewal, provided that:

(1)  the rating by A. M. Best or a similarly qualified rating service of the affiliate is equal to or better than the transferring insurer;

(2)  there is no diminution in the terms and conditions of coverage; and

(3)  notice of the transfer is provided to the insured at least 45 days prior to the transfer by first class mail, and in connection with such notice the insurer:

(A)  complies with any requirements of federal law relating to notice of adverse credit determination;

(B)  includes in the notice of transfer a telephone number of the insurer, or the producer, if any, and a toll free telephone number of the insurer in the case of personal lines policies, where the insured can learn additional information concerning the transfer and the reasons for the transfer; and

(C)  complies with the other provisions of this section relating to renewal policies.

Sec. 3.  8 V.S.A. § 4715(c) is added to read:

(c)  An insurer may transfer a policy to an affiliate, as defined by subdivision 3681(1) of this title, upon expiration of the policy without providing notice of nonrenewal, provided that:

(1)  the rating by A. M. Best or a similarly qualified rating service of the affiliate is equal to or better than the transferring insurer;

(2)  there is no diminution in the terms and conditions of coverage; and

(3)  notice of the transfer is provided to the insured at least 45 days prior to the transfer by first class mail, and in connection with such notice the insurer:

(A)  complies with any requirements of federal law relating to notice of adverse credit determination;

(B)  includes in the notice of transfer a telephone number of the insurer, or the producer, if any, and a toll free telephone number of the insurer in the case of personal lines policies, where the insured can learn additional information concerning the transfer and the reasons for the transfer;

(C)  complies with the other provisions of this section relating to renewal policies.

and that upon passage, the title of the bill shall be:  “AN ACT RELATING TO NOTICES OF TRANSFER BY AN INSURER OF POLICIES TO AN AFFILIATE”

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

H. 736

     An act relating to children of incarcerated parents.

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

Sec. 1.  CORRECTIONS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE; CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS; REPORT

(a)  During the summer and fall of 2008, the corrections oversight committee shall spend at least one meeting investigating issues regarding minor children of incarcerated parents.  The investigation shall include:

(1)  A report from the commissioner of corrections on data on the prevalence of inmates who are parents of minor children.

(2)  Identification of mail, telephone, and visiting policies that promote appropriate family contact.

(3)  Current practices and appropriate training for law enforcement officers regarding behavior and protocols when arresting parents who are responsible for or might be responsible for minor children.

(4)  A report from the secretary of human services on how to provide appropriate support and assistance to the children of incarcerated parents.                                                                                                                                     

(b)  The committee shall make recommendations regarding:

(1)  Ways to increase and improve appropriate contact between minor children and their incarcerated parents.

(2)  Data to be collected to enable the general assembly to understand the impact of incarceration of parents on minor children and to help policy makers access resources and formulate solutions.  The committee shall also make recommendations on how the data will be collected.

(3)  Appropriate training for law enforcement officers regarding behavior and protocols when arresting parents who are responsible for or might be responsible for minor children.

(4)  Cost estimates of resources needed to make recommended changes.

(5)  Appropriate support and assistance to the children of incarcerated parents using existing resources, programs, and staff of the agency of human services.

(c)  The committee shall report its findings and recommendations on or before January 15, 2009. 

Sec. 2.  2 V.S.A. § 801(d) is amended to read:

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

(Committee vote: 9-0-2)

H. 776

     An act relating to computation of the basic needs budget and the livable wage.

Rep. Howrigan of Fairfield, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

     In Sec. 2, subsection (b)(3), on line 20, by striking “a minority party” and inserting in lieu thereof “the largest minority party

(Committee vote: 7-0-1)

Rep. Johnson of South Hero, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill be amended as follows:

First: In Sec. 1, in 2  V.S.A. §505, by striking subsections (c) and (d) and by inserting new subsections (c) and (d) to read:

(c)  The report and any revisions shall be presented to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs The methodology for calculating basic needs budgets shall be built on methodology described in the November 9, 1999 livable income study committee report, modified as appropriate by any statutory changes made by the general assembly and subsequent modifications adopted by the joint fiscal committee under subsection (d) of this section.

(d)  The joint fiscal committee may adopt modifications to the methodology used to determine the basic needs budget calculations under subsection (c) of this section to account for public policy changes, data availability, or any other factors that have had an impact on any aspects of the methodology. Changes or revisions in methodology adopted by the committee shall be effective no later than November in the year preceding the release of the report.

Second:  In Sec. 2, in subsection (a), by striking the second sentence, and adding a new subsection (d) to read:

(d) The council shall convene at least every ten years, or as requested by the joint fiscal committee.

Third:  In Sec. 2, in subsection (c), following the second sentence, by adding the following: For service on the council, members of the council who are members of the general assembly shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. §406; and other members of the council who are not also state employees shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses as provided to members of state boards by 32 V.S.A. §1010.

(Committee vote: 8-1-2)

Favorable

H. 700

     An act relating to sale of  bottles of wine at festivals.

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

( Committee Vote: 8-0-0)

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, March 13, 2008)

H.C.R. 227

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Poultney High School Blue Devils Division III 2008 cheerleading champions

H.C.R. 228

House concurrent resolution congratulating Howard Herrington on being named the 2007 Wal-Mart Vermont Teacher of the Year

H.C.R. 229

 House concurrent resolution in memory of former Representative Peter Martin of St. Albans Town

H.C.R. 230

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on their 25th anniversary

H.C.R. 231

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Girl Scout Council of Vermont’s 2007 Gold and Silver Award winners

H.C.R. 232

House concurrent resolution honoring the Girl Scout Council of Vermont during Girl Scout Week

H.C.R. 233

House concurrent resolution honoring the Federal TRIO Programs in Vermont

H.C.R. 234

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 BFA-St. Albans Comets girls’ Division I championship hockey team

 

H.C.R. 235

House concurrent resolution in memory of former speaker of the house and lieutenant governor John Burgess of Brattleboro

 

JOINT ASSEMBLY

Thursday, March 21, 2008 - 10:30 A.M. - House Chamber - Retention of Superior Court Judges:  Hon. Amy M. Davenport, Hon. Katherine A. Hayes.

Retention of District Judges:  Hon. Nancy S. Corsones, Hon. Walter M. Morris, Jr., Hon. David T. Suntag.

Retention of Environmental Judge:  Merideth Wright.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

     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

 

CROSSOVER DEADLINE

            All bills must be reported out by the committees of reference by the end of the day of Friday, March 14.  Bills that are then referred to a money committee must be reported out of the money committee by the end of the day of the following Friday, March 21. 

 

            Exceptions to the foregoing deadlines include the major money bills (Appropriations, Transportation, Capital Construction, and the Misc. Tax Bill).

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us