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House Calendar

THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2008

101st DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 1:00 P M

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Actions Postponed Until Thursday, April 17, 2008

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 403    Postretirement cost of living adjustments......................................... 1721

Favorable

S. 344  Internet and Mail Order Sales of Tobacco Products......................... 1726

          Rep. French for Human Services

NEW BUSINESS

Favorable with Amendment

H. 629  VT’s System for Caring for the Mentally Ill Offenders...................... 1726

          Rep. Lorber for Institutions

          Rep. M. Johnson for Appropriations................................................... 1731

S. 233  Temporary Officiants at Marriages and Civil Unions.......................... 1732

          Rep. Evans for Government Operations

          Rep. Howard for Ways and Means..................................................... 1732

S. 241  Special Veteran and Gold Star Registration Plates............................ 1732

          Rep. Masland for Transportation

S. 342  Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Motor Vehicle Plates................... 1733

          Rep. Brennan for Transportation

S. 365    Capital construction and state bonding............................................ 1734

          Rep. Emmons for Corrections and Institutions

          Rep. M. Johnson for Appropriations................................................... 1760

          Rep. Helm Amendment....................................................................... 1761

          Rep. M. Johnson Amendment............................................................. 1762

          Rep. Howard et al Amendment........................................................... 1762

Favorable

S. 324  Relating to Beer and Wine Tastings.................................................. 1763

          Rep. McCormack for General, Housing and Military Affairs

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 636  Embezzlement by a Public Official.................................................... 1763

H. 641  Relating to Nursing Mothers in the Workplace................................. 1765

          Rep. McCormack Amendment........................................................... 1766

H. 862  Amendment to Charter Village of Waterbury................................... 1767

H. 883  Amendments to Vermont’s Public Retirement Systems..................... 1767

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment

S.  45  Relating to Right to Attend Town Meeting......................................... 1768

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

S. 226  Installation of Photoelectric Only Smoke Alarms............................... 1769

          Rep. Turner for General, Housing and Military Affairs

S. 271  Child Support for Children with Disabilities....................................... 1770

          Rep. Clarkson for Judiciary

S. 281  End-of-Life-Care and Pain Management.......................................... 1770

          Rep. Frank for Human Services

S. 301Penalties for Assaulting Officer and Assault with Bodily Fluids............. 1772                    Rep. Marek for Judiciary

S. 345  Lowering Cost of Workers’ Compensation Insurance....................... 1773

          Rep. Kitzmiller for Commerce

S. 357  Relating to Domestic Violence.......................................................... 1784

          Rep. Lippert for Judiciary

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 635  Relating to Reports of Child Abuse or Neglect................................. 1805

H. 709  Relating to Campgrounds................................................................ 1827

Ordered to Lie

H. 549    Establishing Buffer Zones Along Waterways................................... 1829

CONSENT CALENDAR

(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)

H.C.R. 269  Congratulating Mount Anthony UHS Wrestling Team............... 1829

H.C.R. 270  Congratulating Mount Anthony UHS Nordic Ski Team............ 1829

H.C.R. 271  Congratulating Mount Anthony UHS Ladies Basketball............ 1829

H.C.R. 272  In Memory of Bennington County Judge Esekiel S. Cross........ 1829

H.C.R. 273  Congratulating VT Frost Heaves on ABA Championship.......... 1829

H.C.R. 274  Honoring Washington Cty Mental Health Services 40th............ 1829

H.C.R. 275  Honoring Weybridge Town Manager Stanley James, Jr............ 1829

H.C.R. 276  Recognizing Efforts of William Woolsey................................... 1830

H.C.R. 277  In Memory of Representative David T. Clark........................... 1830

H.C.R. 278  Congratulating VT Woman NE Press Association Award......... 1830

H.C.R. 279  Honoring FIRST Robotics Teams from VT.............................. 1830

S.C.R.  45  Congratulating Elwin Cross NE Kingdom Citizen of Year........... 1830

S.C.R   46  Congratulating ONEK Productions on 15th Anniversary............ 1830

S.C.R.  47  Congratulating Caitlin Manahan 2008 Miss Hockey................... 1830

S.C.R.  48  Congratulating Granite Center Garden Club on 70th................... 1830

S.C.R.  49  Congratulating Marlboro College on 60th Anniversary............... 1830

S.C.R.  50  Congratulating WVMT Radio’s Charlie and Ernie on 10th......... 1830

S.C.R.  51  Congratulating MHS Peter Evans VT Principal of the Year   1830

ORDERS OF THE DAY

     Actions Postponed Until Thursday, April 17, 2008

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 403

          An act relating to postretirement cost of living adjustments for state employees;

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(13) is amended to read:

(13) "Normal retirement date" shall mean:

* * *

(D) with respect to a group F member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 62, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004, or completion of 30 years of creditable service, whichever is earlier; and with respect to a group F member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 65 and following completion of five years of creditable service, or attainment of 87 points reflecting a combination of the age of the member and number of years of service, whichever is earlier.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 459(b)(5) is amended to read:

§ 459. NORMAL AND EARLY RETIREMENT

* * *

(b) Normal retirement allowance.

* * *

(5)(A) Until January 1, 1995, upon normal retirement, a group F member shall receive a normal retirement allowance which shall be equal to 1-1/4 percent of his average final compensation times years of creditable service. On and after January 1, 1995, upon normal retirement, a group F member shall receive a normal retirement allowance equal to 1-1/4 percent of the member's average final compensation times years of membership service prior to January 1, 1991 plus a pension which when added to an annuity shall be equal to 1-2/3 percent of the member's average final compensation times years of membership service on and after January 1, 1991. The maximum retirement allowance shall be 50 percent of average final compensation.

(B)  A group F member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, upon normal retirement, shall receive a normal retirement allowance equal to 1-2/3 percent of the member's average final compensation times years of membership service. The maximum retirement allowance shall be 60 percent of average final compensation.

* * *

(d) Early retirement allowance.

* * *

(2)(A) Upon early retirement, a group F member, except facility employees of the department of corrections, and department of corrections employees who provide direct security and treatment services to offenders under supervision in the community and Woodside facility employees, shall receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to the normal retirement allowance reduced by one-half of one percent for each month the member is under age 62 at the time of early retirement. Group F members who have 20 years of service as facility employees of the department of corrections, as department of corrections employees who provide direct security and treatment services to offenders under supervision in the community or as Woodside facility employees or as Vermont state hospital employees who provide direct patient care shall receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to the normal retirement allowance at age 55 without reduction; provided the 20 years of service occurred in one or more of the following capacities as an employee of the department of corrections, Woodside facility [or Vermont state hospital]: facility employee, community service center employee or court and reparative service unit employee.

(B) Upon early retirement, a group F member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, except facility employees of the department of corrections and department of corrections employees who provide direct security and treatment services to offenders under supervision in the community and Woodside facility employees, shall receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to the normal retirement allowance reduced by:

(i) one-eighth of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued 35 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(ii) one-quarter of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued 30 years of service but less than 35 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(iii) one-third of one percent for each month the member is under age 65 , provided the member has accrued 25 years of service but less than 30 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(iv) five-twelfths of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued 20 years of service but less than 25 years of service at the time of early retirement;

(v) five-ninths of one percent for each month the member is under age 65, provided the member has accrued less than 20 years of service at the time of early retirement .

* * *

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 470(b) is amended to read:

(b)  For group F members, as of June 30 in each year, commencing January 1, 1991, a determination shall be made of the increase or decrease, to the nearest one-tenth of a percent of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding fiscal year.  The retirement allowance of each beneficiary in receipt of an allowance for at least one year on the next following December 31st shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, by an amount equal to one-half of the percentage increase or decrease.  Commencing January 1, 2014, the retirement allowance of each beneficiary who was an active contributing member of the group F plan as of June 30 , 2008 and who retires on or after July 1, 2008 shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, by an equal percentage of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding year.  The increase or decrease shall commence on the January 1st immediately following such December 31st.  The adjustment shall apply to group F members receiving an early retirement allowance only in the year following attainment of age 62, provided the member has received benefits for at least 12 months as of December 31 of the year preceding any January adjustment.  The maximum adjustment of any retirement allowance resulting from any such determination shall be five percent and the minimum shall be one percent, and no retirement allowance shall be reduced below the amount payable to the beneficiary without regard to the provisions of this section.

Sec. 4.  3 V.S.A. § 473(b)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  Contributions shall be made on and after the date of establishment at the rate of five percent of compensation except at a rate of 6.18 percent of compensation for each group C member unless such the member was a group C member on June 30, 1998 in which case contributions shall be at the rate of six percent of compensation for each such group C member who has elected not to have his or her compensation from the state be subject to Social Security withholding or at the rate of five percent of compensation if such the member elected to have compensation from the state subject to Social Security withholding and at the rate of 3.25 five percent of compensation for each group F member and, commencing July 1, 2019, at the rate of 4.75 percent of compensation for each group F member.  In determining the amount earnable by a member in a payroll period, the retirement board may consider the annual or other periodic rate of earnable compensation payable to such member on the first day of the payroll period as continuing throughout such payroll period, and it may omit deduction from compensation for any period less than a full payroll period if an employee was not a member on the first day of the payroll period, and to facilitate the making of deductions it may modify the deduction required of any member by such an amount as, on an annual basis, shall not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the annual earnable compensation upon the basis of which such deduction is to be made.  Each of the amounts shall be deducted until the member retires or otherwise withdraws from service, and when deducted shall be paid into the annuity savings fund, and shall be credited to the individual account of the member from whose compensation the deduction was made.

Sec. 5.  3 V.S.A. § 473(c) is amended to read:

(c) Employer contributions, earnings, and payments.

* * *

(2) Beginning with the actuarial valuation as of June 30, 2006, the contributions to be made to the fund by the state shall be determined on the basis of the actuarial cost method known as "entry age normal." On account of each member there shall be paid annually into the fund by the state an amount equal to a certain percentage percentages of the annual earnable compensation of such member, to be known as the "normal contribution," and an additional amount amounts equal to a certain percentage of the member's annual earnable compensation, to be known as the "basic accrued liability." and “additional accrued liability” contributions. The percentage rate rates of such the contributions shall be fixed on the basis of the liabilities of the retirement system as shown by actuarial valuation.

* * *

(4)(A) Until the unfunded accrued liability, excluding the portion described in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (4), is liquidated, the basic accrued liability contribution shall be the annual payment required to liquidate the unfunded accrued liability over a period of 30 years from July 1, 1988, provided that the amount of each annual basic accrued liability contribution after June 30, 1988 shall be five percent greater than the preceding annual basic accrued liability contribution. Any variation in the contribution of normal, basic, or unfunded accrued liability or additional unfunded accrued liability contributions from those recommended by the actuary and any actuarial gains and losses shall be added or subtracted to the unfunded accrued liability and amortized over the remainder of the 30-year period.

(B) Until the additional unfunded accrued liability created as of July 1, 2008, by the implementation of a group F cost-of-living adjustment equal to the full increase or decrease, to the nearest one-tenth of a percent of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding fiscal year as provided in subsection 470(b) of this title, is liquidated, the additional accrued liability contribution, shall be the annual payment required to liquidate the additional unfunded accrued liability over a period of 30 years from July 1, 2008, provided that the amount of each annual additional accrued liability contribution made after June 30, 2009 shall be five percent greater than the preceding annual additional accrued liability contribution.

* * *

Sec. 6.  3 V.S.A. § 479(a) is amended and (g) is added to read:

(a) As provided under section 631 of this title, a member who is insured by the respective group insurance plans immediately preceding the member's effective date of retirement shall be entitled to continuation of group insurance as follows:

(1)(A) coverage in the group medical benefit plan provided by the state of Vermont for active state employees; or

(B) for a group F plan member first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, coverage in the group medical benefit plan offered by the state of Vermont for active state employees and pursuant to the following, provided:

(i) a member who has completed five years and less than 10 years of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay the full cost of the premium;

(ii) a member who has completed 10 years and less than 15 years of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay 60 percent of the cost of the premium;

(iii) a member who has completed 15 years and less than 20 years of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay 40 percent of the cost of the premium;

(iv) a member who has completed 20 years or more of creditable service at his or her retirement shall pay 20 percent of the cost of the premium; and

(2) members who have completed 20 years of creditable service at their effective date of retirement shall be entitled to the continuation of life insurance in the amount of $5,000.00 $10,000.00.

(g)  A member of the group F plan who is first included in the membership of the system on or after July 1, 2008, who separates from service prior to being eligible for retirement benefits under this chapter, who have at least 20 years of creditable service, and who participated in the group medical benefit plan at the time of separation from service shall have a one-time option at the time retirement benefits commence to reinstate the same level of coverage, in the group medical benefit plan provided by the state of Vermont for active state employees, that existed at the date of separation from service.  Premiums for the plan shall be prorated between the retired member and the retirement system pursuant to subsection 479(a) of this title.

Sec. 7.  3 V.S.A. § 631(a)(9) is amended to read:

(9) The amount of life insurance for any retired employee shall be reduced and limited to $5,000.00 $10,000.00 on the date of his or her retirement. The provisions of this section shall apply to all retirees who complete 20 creditable years of service with the state before their retirement and are insured for group life insurance on their retirement dates. The total premiums for group life insurance provided under this section and section 632 of this title shall be paid by the state on behalf of employees retired in accordance with the terms of subdivision (2) of this subsection, on behalf of employees who are on sick leave without pay for a period not to exceed twelve months and on behalf of any employee on disability retirement until proof of total and permanent disability has been accepted by the insurance company.

Favorable

S. 344

An act relating to internet and mail order sales of tobacco products.

Rep. French of Randolph, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends that the bill ought to pass in concurrence.

(Committee Vote: 10-0-1)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/26/08 – P. 454 )

NEW BUSINESS

Favorable with Amendment

H. 629

     An act relating to an evaluation of Vermont’s system of caring for mentally ill offenders.

Rep. Lorber of Burlington, 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.  28 V.S.A. § 701a is amended to read:

§ 701a.  SEGREGATION OF INMATES WITH A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS FUNCTIONAL IMPAIRMENT

(a)  The commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 regarding the classification, treatment, and segregation of an inmate with a serious mental illness functional impairment as defined in subdivision 906(1) and identified under subchapter 6 of this title chapter; provided that the length of stay in segregation for an inmate with a serious mental illness functional impairment:

(1)  Shall not exceed 15 days if the inmate is segregated for disciplinary reasons.

(2)  Shall not exceed 30 days if the inmate requested the segregation, except that the inmate may remain segregated for successive 30-day periods following assessment by a qualified mental health professional and approval of a physician for each extension.

(3)  Shall not exceed 30 days if the inmate is segregated for any reason other than the reasons set forth in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, except that the inmate may remain segregated for successive 30-day periods following a due process hearing for each extension, which shall include assessment by a qualified mental health professional and approval of a physician.

(b)  For purposes of this title, and despite other names this concept has been given in the past or may be given in the future, “segregation” means a form of separation from the general population which may or may not include placement in a single occupancy cell and which is used for disciplinary, administrative, or other reasons.

(c)  On or before the 15th day of each month, the department’s health services director shall provide to the joint legislative corrections oversight committee a report that, while protecting inmate confidentiality, lists each inmate who was in segregation during the preceding month by a unique indicator and identifies the reason the inmate was placed in segregation, the length of the inmate’s stay in segregation, whether the inmate has a serious mental illness, functional impairment or is otherwise on the department’s mental health roster identified as receiving mental health services, and, if so, the nature of the mental illness functional impairment or services provided.  The report shall also indicate any incident of self harm or attempted suicide by inmates in segregation.  The committee chair shall ensure that a copy of the report is forwarded to the Vermont defender general and the executive director of Vermont Protection and Advocacy, Inc. on a monthly basis.

Sec 2.  28 V.S.A. chapter 11, subchapter 6 is amended to read:

Subchapter 6.  Services for Inmates with Serious

Mental Illness Functional Impairment

§ 906.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Serious mental illness functional impairment” means:

(A)  a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory, any of as diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional, which grossly substantially impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life and which substantially impairs the ability to function within the correctional setting; or

(B)  a developmental disability, traumatic brain injury or other organic brain disorder, or various forms of dementia or other neurological disorders, as diagnosed by a mental health professional, which substantially impair the ability to function in the correctional setting.

(2)  “Mental Qualified mental health professional” means a person with professional training, experience and demonstrated competence in the treatment of mental illness or serious functional impairments, who is a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, nurse, or other qualified person determined by the commissioner of mental health.

(3)  “Mental illness or disorder” means a condition that falls under any Axis I diagnostic categories or the following Axis II diagnostic categories as listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Volume IV, as updated from time to time:  borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, mental retardation,

obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder.

(4)  “Screening” means an initial survey to identify whether an inmate has immediate treatment needs or is in need of further evaluation.

§ 907.  MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE FOR INMATES; POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF COMMISSIONER

The commissioner shall administer a program of mental health services which shall be available to all inmates and shall provide adequate staff to support the program.  The program shall provide the following services:

(1)  Within 24 hours of admittance to a correctional facility all inmates shall be screened for any signs of serious mental illness or disorder, trauma, and serious functional impairment.  If as a result of the screening it is determined that the inmate has received developmental services in Vermont or similar services for neurological disorders or is currently receiving community rehabilitation and treatment services, he or she will automatically be designated as having a serious functional impairment.

(2)  A thorough evaluation, conducted in a timely and reasonable fashion by a qualified mental health professional, which includes a review of available medical and psychiatric records.  The evaluation shall be made of each inmate who:

 (A)  has a history of serious mental illness or disorder;

(B)  has significant trauma;

(C)  has received community rehabilitation and treatment services; or

(D)  who shows signs or symptoms of serious mental illness or disorder or of serious functional impairment at the initial screening or as observed subsequent to entering the department in a timely and reasonable fashion facility

The evaluation shall be conducted by a mental health professional who is qualified by training and experience to provide diagnostic, rehabilitative, treatment or therapeutic services to persons with serious mental illness.  The evaluation shall include review of available medical and psychiatric records. 

(3)  The development and implementation of an individual treatment plan, when a clinical diagnosis by a qualified mental health professional indicates an inmate is suffering from serious mental illness or disorder from or serious functional impairment.  The treatment plan shall be explained to the inmate by a qualified mental health professional.

(4)  Access to a variety of services and levels of care consistent with the treatment plan to inmates suffering serious mental illness or disorder or serious functional impairment.  These services shall include, as appropriate, the following:

(A)  Follow-up evaluations.

(B)  Crisis intervention.

(C)  Crisis beds.

(D)  Residential care within a correctional institution.

(E)  Clinical services provided within the general population of the correctional facility.

(F)  Services provided in designated special needs units.

(G)  As a joint responsibility with the department of mental health and the department of aging and independent living, and working with community mental health centers, the implementation of discharge planning for community services.

(H)  Other services that the department of corrections, the department of aging and independent living, and the department of mental health jointly determine to be appropriate.

(5)  Procedures to actively seek and identify any inmate who has not received the enhanced screening, evaluation and access to mental health services appropriate for inmates suffering from a serious mental illness or disorder or a serious functional impairment.

(6)  Special training to medical and correctional staff to enable them to identify and initially deal with inmates with a serious mental illness or disorder or a serious functional impairment.  This training shall include the following:

(A)  Recognition of signs and symptoms of serious mental illness or disorder or of serious functional impairment in the inmate population.

(B)  Recognition of signs and symptoms of chemical dependence and withdrawal.

(C)  Recognition of adverse reactions to psychotropic medication.

(D)  Recognition of improvement in the general condition of the inmate.

(E)  Recognition of mental retardation.

(F)  Recognition of mental health emergencies and specific instructions on contacting the appropriate professional care provider and taking other appropriate action.

(G)  Suicide potential and prevention.

(H)  Precise instructions on procedures for mental health referrals.

(I)  Any other training determined to be appropriate.

* * *

Sec. 3.  EVALUATION OF VERMONT'S SYSTEM OF CARING FOR                                          MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS

(a)  The legislative council and joint fiscal office, with assistance from the secretary of human services, the commissioner of mental health, the commissioner of corrections, the deputy commissioner of  alcohol and drug abuse prevention, and the court administrator shall:

(1)  conduct a review of Vermont’s system for determining where, how, and what services are provided to offenders with a mental illness;

(2)  develop options for providing service and care to mentally ill offenders; and

(3)  analyze the costs and benefits of each option.

(b)  The legislative council and joint fiscal office may seek assistance from higher education institutions.

(c)  The review of Vermont’s system under subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall include an examination of the system for determining competency to stand trial and caring for those declared incompetent, the services provided in Vermont’s communities, the work of the mental health courts, and services that are provided within the corrections system.

(d)  The legislative council and joint fiscal office shall report their findings and recommendations to the corrections oversight committee on or before October 15, 2008, and to the senate committees on judiciary and health and welfare and the house committees on institutions and human services on or before January 15, 2009.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

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

First:  In Sec. 2, 28 V.S.A. § 907(1), by striking the subdivision in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (1) to read:

(1)  Within 24 hours of admittance to a correctional facility all inmates shall be screened for any signs of serious mental illness or disorder, trauma, or serious functional impairment. 

(A)  If as a result of the screening it is determined that the inmate is receiving services under the developmental services waiver or is currently receiving community rehabilitation and treatment services, he or she will automatically be designated as having a serious functional impairment.

(B)  If an inmate has signs of trauma, the person carrying out the regular medical screening upon admission to the facility shall further screen the inmate for indicators of posttraumatic stress disorder.  Signs of trauma are reports by a person of an event or series of events that is life-threatening or overwhelming, such as combat exposure, rape, sexual molestation, or domestic violence.  If indicators of posttraumatic stress disorder are found at the medical screening, the inmate will receive a thorough evaluation pursuant to subdivision (2) of this section.

Second:  In Sec. 2, 28 V.S.A. § 907(2), in subdivision (B), by striking the subdivision in its entirety and by relettering the remaining subdivisions to be alphabetically correct

Third:  By striking Sec. 3 in its entirety

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

S. 233

An act relating to temporary officiants for marriages and civil unions.

Rep. Evans of Essex, for the Committee on Government Operations, recommends that the bill ought to pass in concurrence.

(Committee Vote: 8-2-1)

Rep. Howard of Rutland City, for the Committee on Ways and means, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 5144a(a)(2), by striking “$150.00” and inserting in lieu thereof “$100.00

Second:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 5144a(b), in the second sentence, by striking the second instance of the word “marriage

Third:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(a)(2), by striking “$150.00” and inserting in lieu thereof “$100.00

Fourth:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(b), in the second sentence, by striking “marriage

(Committee vote: 8-0-2)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/21/08 – P. 398 )

S. 241

An act relating to the special veteran and gold star registration plates.

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

     First:  By striking Sec. 4 in its entirety and  adding a new Sec. 4 to read:

Sec. 4.  COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES REPORT ON

             ISSUANCE OF DISTINCTIVE REGISTRATION PLATES

The commissioner of motor vehicles shall report to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2009, on the best methods of administering the issuance of distinctive registration plates, including motorcycle plates, with the logo of the organization or group sponsoring or requesting the plates.  In addition to any other issue deemed appropriate by the commissioner, the report shall consider the advisability of requiring a bond or cash deposit and a minimum number of applicants before the plates may be produced.  The report shall also examine appropriate fees, the design of the plates, such as standard plates with logo decals, and if a minimum number of plates must be issued over a specific period in order for the program to continue.

     Second:  By adding a Sec. 5 to read:

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATES

Sec. 4 and this section shall take effect from passage, and the remainder of the act shall take effect on January 1, 2009.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 342

An act relating to Lake Champlain commemorative motor vehicle plates.

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

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 515c is added to read:

§ 515c.  LAKE CHAMPLAIN QUADRICENTENNIAL

              COMMEMORATIVE MOTOR VEHICLE PLATES

(a)  Legislative intent.  It is the intent of the general assembly to commemorate the 400 years since the discovery of Lake Champlain in 1609.  In order to provide an appropriate tribute to the 400th anniversary, it is the purpose of this section to provide for the generation of revenue to help underwrite the costs for this celebration by authorizing the design, purchase, sale, and display of commemorative motor vehicle plates.

(b)  Authority.  The Lake Champlain quadricentennial commission is authorized to design, produce, purchase, distribute, and sell commemorative motor vehicle plates as described in subsection (a) of this section.  Plates shall not be produced, sold, distributed, or displayed which are not approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles.

(c)  Use.  Residents of the state of Vermont may display one approved commemorative plate on the front of a registered motor vehicle as provided in this subsection.  The commemorative plates shall not be used instead of regular registration plates, nor are they required to be displayed on a motor vehicle.  The commemorative plate may be displayed on a motor vehicle registered as a pleasure car and on trucks registered for less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan, by covering the front registration plate with the commemorative plate from July 1, 2008 until June 30, 2010.  The regular front registration plate shall not be removed.  The rear registration plate shall be in place and clearly visible at all times.

(d)  Price.  The retail price shall be established by the Lake Champlain quadricentennial commission; however, the first 400 plates shall be numbered as such and shall sell for a premium price, and the remainder of the plates issued shall sell for not less than $25.00.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 365

     An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

     Rep. Emmons of Springfield, for the committee on Corrections and Institutions, respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  STATE BUILDINGS

The following is appropriated in total to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual allocations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – for improvements at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford:                                                            125,000

(2)  Statewide, building reuse:                                                      100,000

(3)  Statewide, contingency fund:                                                  500,000

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

(5)  Statewide, planning:                                                               25,000

(6)  Montpelier, 120 State Street, elevator replacement:   450,000

(7)  Montpelier, 120 State Street, window replacement:   500,000

(8)  Springfield state office building, supplement:                           300,000

(9)  St. Albans, 20 Houghton Street, roof repairs:                        250,000

(10)  St. Albans, 20 Houghton Street, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements:                                450,000

(11)  St. Albans, correctional facility sewer upgrade:         600,000

(12)  State Archives, relocation to Middlesex, design, and construction:

                                                                                                   1,500,000

Total appropriation – Section 1                                                           $11,800,000

Sec. 2.  TAXES

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

Total appropriation – Section 2                                                            $100,000

Sec. 3.  HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY LABORATORIES/BUILDING

#617 IN ESSEX

The sum of $5,000,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for construction and renovation of Building #617 in Essex, including co-location of the department of health and department of public safety forensics laboratories.                         

Total appropriation - Section 3                                                             $5,000,000

Sec. 4.  HUMAN SERVICES

The following is appropriated in total to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for the projects described in this section.

(1)  Vermont state hospital, ongoing security and maintenance:                                                                                                                           100,000

(2)  Vermont state hospital, to study the feasibility of converting the Dale correctional facility in Waterbury into a secure 15-bed state hospital facility, and for continued planning, design, and permitting associated with the certificate of need (CON) process for a new state hospital facility

or facilities:                                                                                250,000

(3)  Corrections, continuation of suicide abatement project:          124,000

(4)  Corrections, major maintenance and renovations:    1,845,000

Total appropriation – Section 4                                                             $2,319,000

Sec. 5.  JUDICIARY

The sum of $719,676 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary for security improvements, renovations, and mechanical upgrades at the Windham district and family courthouse in Brattleboro.

Total appropriation – Section 5                                                             $719,676

Sec. 6.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

The following sums are appropriated for building communities grants:

(1)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic preservation grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5601:                                                     150,000

(2)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic barns preservation grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5602.  However, funds shall not be granted to projects which propose to remove historic building features, even if they were added after the original construction of the building.  The division for historic preservation, with the approval of the commissioner of housing and community affairs, may use up to $40,000 of the funds appropriated in this subdivision to conduct a statewide census of Vermont barns for the purpose of future restoration efforts:                                                                        150,000

(3)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5603:                                                                        150,000

(4)  To the department of buildings and general services for the recreational facilities grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5604:                                                                                                                                                     150,000

(5)  To the department of buildings and general services for the human services and educational facilities competitive grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5605:                                                                                    150,000

(6)  To the department of information and innovation for the Vermont telecommunications authority for the broadband development grant program established in Sec. 3 of No. 79 of the Acts of 2007:                                    100,000

Total appropriation – Section 6                                                             $850,000

Sec. 7.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The following sums are appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for the following projects:

(1)  Major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided such maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services:                                                                             200,000

(2)  Continued planning and design to expand the visitors’ center at the Calvin Coolidge state historic site in Plymouth Notch.  These funds, and up to $84,100 of unexpended funds from previous years’ appropriations, may be used as matching funds for a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities:                                                                  200,000

(b)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the following projects:

(1)  Protecting, preserving, moving, or reinterring human remains discovered in unmarked burial sites:                                        25,000

(2)  Underwater preserves:                                                          25,000

(3)  Placement and replacement of roadside historic site markers:                                                                                                                                    10,000

Total appropriation – Section 7                                                             $460,000

Sec. 8.  EDUCATION

The following is appropriated in total to the department of education for the purposes described in this section:

(1)  State aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16, to be expended on projects prioritized for funding by the state board of education on December 18, 2007:                                                   9,993,250

(2)  For the Walden School District, for 25 percent of the eligible costs of roof repairs at the Walden School:                           6,750

Total appropriation – Section 8                                                         $10,000,000

Sec. 9.  AUSTINE SCHOOL

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for renovation of Holton Hall at the Austine School.

Total appropriation – Section 9                                                             $50,000

Sec. 10.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,600,000 is appropriated to the University of Vermont for construction, renovation, or maintenance projects.  The university shall file with the general assembly on or before January 15 an annual report that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations, including an explanation of the process for bidding for contractors or subcontractors where the amount of the contract or subcontract exceeds $50,000.

Total appropriation – Section 10                                                           $1,600,000

Sec. 11.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,600,000 is appropriated to the Vermont State Colleges for major facility maintenance.  The state colleges shall file with the general assembly on or before January 15 an annual report that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations, including an explanation of the process for bidding for contractors or subcontractors where the amount of the contract or subcontract exceeds $50,000.

Total appropriation – Section 11                                                           $1,600,000

Sec. 12.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)  The following is appropriated in total to the agency of natural resources for water pollution control projects:

(1)  State matching funds for the pollution control and clean water state revolving fund administered in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24:                                                                                2,100,000

(2)  Pollution control projects in Springfield and Newport City:                                                                                                                 2,000,000

(3)  Wastewater facilities project in Pownal:                     1,000,000

(4)  Interest on short‑term borrowing associated with delayed grant funding for the Pownal project:                                          120,000

Total Appropriation - Section 12(a)                                          $5,220,000

(b)  The following is appropriated in total to the agency of natural resources for the drinking water state revolving fund:                     1,900,000

(c)  The following is appropriated in total to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program to accelerate the reduction of phosphorus discharges into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state:

(1)  Ecosystem restoration and protection:                        1,200,000

(2)  Unregulated stormwater management:                        150,000

(3)  Wastewater phosphorus removal at municipal wastewater treatment plants:                                                                                  550,000

Total Appropriation - Section 12(c)                                              $1,350,000

(d)  The following sum is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the state’s year-one share of the federal match to conduct a three-year study of spring flooding in the city of Montpelier.  However, the state shall not enter into any commitment to pay for construction of flood control improvements without legislative approval:                                                100,000

(e)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for the purposes described in this subsection:

(1)  Rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure:          800,000

(2)  For the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for the procurement in fee simple or by easement of properties along the Long Trail:            25,000

Total Appropriation - Section 12(e)                                             $825,000

(f)  The following sums are appropriated  to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife for projects described in this subsection:

(1)  Filter building at the Bald Hill Fish Culture Station:   125,000

(2)  Road resurfacing, dismantling of a degraded building, or shooting range modifications at Buck Lake and Kehoe conservation camps, or any combination of these:                                                                      50,000

(3)  For the Lake Champlain Walleye Association, Inc. to upgrade and repair the walleye rearing, restoration, and stocking infrastructure:            25,000

(4)  For the purchase and installation of a generator at the Salisbury fish culture station:                                                                  $100,000

Total Appropriation  Section 12(f)                                   $300,000

Total appropriation – Section 12                                                                                                                                                                                            $10,245,000

Sec. 13.  MILITARY

The following is appropriated in total to the department of the military for the projects described in this section.  If the state’s share of site acquisition costs in subdivision (1) of this section exceeds $150,000, the department of the military may use funds appropriated in subdivision (2) of this section as needed for the state’s share:

(1)  Site acquisition for the combined northern field maintenance shop and Morrisville armory:                                                  150,000

(2)  Design and implementation of energy conservation projects at up to ten armories:                                                                   200,000

Total appropriation – Section 13                                                           $350,000

Sec. 14.  PUBLIC SAFETY

The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for removal of the pump island and underground storage tank in Waterbury.

Total appropriation – Section 14                                                           $15,000

Sec. 15.  FIRE SERVICE TRAINING

The following sums are appropriated for fire service training:

(1)  To the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont fire service training council for construction of a fire training facility at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford.  Capital funds appropriated for construction of this project shall not exceed the sum of $2,000,000:                         2,000,000

(2)  To Vermont State Colleges as the state’s financial contribution to the construction of a steel burn building at the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph.  The state’s appropriation is contingent upon receipt by Vermont Technical College of a $406,000 federal appropriation earmarked for construction of the steel burn building.  As a condition of the state’s appropriation, Vermont Technical College shall provide use of classrooms and dormitories for firefighter training during times when they are not otherwise needed for Vermont Technical College programs or services.  In the event the federal funds earmarked for this project are not received by January 1, 2009, the appropriation of this subdivision shall revert to the department of buildings and general services for future capital expenditures.  It is the intent of the general assembly that the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford shall be the headquarters for the fire service training council, and that the building constructed pursuant to this subdivision shall be a satellite building operated by the fire service training council.  The fire service training council shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Vermont Technical College regarding operation of the building:                                                                             240,000

Total appropriation – Section 15                                                           $2,240,000

Sec. 16.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

The following sums are appropriated in total to the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the purposes described in this section:

(1)  For the best management practice implementation cost share program, to continue to develop best management practices on Vermont farms.  Farmers participating in this program are eligible for cost share funds not to exceed $75,000 or 80 percent of a project:                                                          1,800,000

(2)  For the agricultural buffer program, to install water quality conservation buffers, and for the capital equipment assistance program established in S.290 of 2008.  Up to $250,000 of this amount shall be for the capital equipment assistance program, provided that the state’s share shall not exceed $50,000 or 50 percent of a project:                                       500,000

(3)  For the competitive grants program for agricultural fair capital projects.  No single entity shall be awarded more than ten percent of this appropriation:                                                                                        180,000

Total appropriation – Section 16                                                           $2,480,000

Sec. 17.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to Vermont Public Television as the state match for the federally mandated conversion of Vermont Public Television’s transmission sites to digital broadcasting format.

Total appropriation – Section 17                                                           $300,000

Sec. 18.  VERMONT INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

The sum of $214,770 is appropriated to Vermont Interactive Television for video upgrades, codec upgrades, monitor replacement, or any combination thereof, at Vermont Interactive Television sites.

Total appropriation – Section 18                                                           $214,770

Sec. 19.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

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

Total appropriation – Section 19                                                           100,000

Sec. 20.  VERMONT VETERANS HOME

The sum of $1,700,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans Home for the final phase of geothermal HVAC renovations.

Total appropriation – Section 20                                                           $1,700,000

Sec. 21.  VERMONT CENTER FOR CRIME VICTIM SERVICES

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at domestic violence shelters.  The Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services shall file with the commissioner of buildings and general services an annual report, on or before December 1, 2008, which details the status of the improvements funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

Total appropriation – Section 21                                                           $50,000

* * * Financing this Act * * *

Sec. 22.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

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

(1)  of the amount appropriated in Sec. 2(c) of No. 185 of the Acts of the 1995 Adj. Sess. (1996) (GOVnet for schools):                                 2,695.47

(2)  of the amount appropriated in Sec. 8(a)(6) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1997 (information technology):                                   14,440.22

(3)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 2(d) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 (EWIMS):                                                           11,500.50

(4)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 2(b) of No. 62  of the Acts of 1995 (satellite video recording equipment):                         4,211.50

(5)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 2a(b)(1) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 (VALS to GOVnet conversion):                     5,381.29

(6)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(p) of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (Vermont hydroelectric):                        152,675.59

(7)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4(e) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (illumination plan for Bennington Battle Monument):                                                                                                                                         528.99

(8)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 11(b) of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (creation of Civil War monument):             1,296.61

(9)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 3(f)(2) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (fit-up of a VCI building at the southern state correctional facility):                                                                                                                                          44,912.60

(10)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (Rutland courthouse renovations):                                39,249.25

(11)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 20 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery expansion design): 50,000.00

(12)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(c) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (renovations to Bennington courthouse to enhance security and litigant services):                                                                        198,844.00

(13)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 12(d) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (public safety outpost at the Williston rest area):                                                                                                                                           3,912.00

(14)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 1(1) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (design and construction of state archives at the triangle site in Montpelier) for the purpose of relocating the state archives to Middlesex pursuant to Sec. 1(12) of this act:                                                              1,695,547.50

(15)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(1) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (historic preservation grants):                                394.41

(16)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(1) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (historic preservation grants):                             23,016.00

(17)  for the purpose of closing and renovating correctional facilities pursuant to Sec. 4(4) of this act:

(A)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 3(c) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (corrections work camp):                                    78,587.41

(B)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4(c) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (corrections work camp):                           676,167.00

(C)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4(1) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (corrections work camp site acquisition):                           99,367.00

(18)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(b)(1) of No. 121 of the Acts of 2004 (historic barn grants):                                       241.93

(19)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(2) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (historic barn grants):                                      9,728.70

(20)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(2) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (historic barn grants):                            30,748.00

Total reallocations and transfers – Section 22                                $3,143,445.97

Sec. 23.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

(a)  The state treasurer is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $49,050,000 for the purpose of funding the appropriations of this act.  The state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, shall determine the appropriate form and maturity of the bonds authorized by this section consistent with the underlying nature of the appropriation to be funded.  The state treasurer shall allocate the estimated cost of bond issuance or issuances to the entities to which funds are appropriated pursuant to this section and for which bonding is required as the source of funds, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to authorize the state treasurer to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $54,650,000.  However, of this amount, $5,600,000 shall be authorized in the appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009.

Total bonding – Section 23                                                        $49,050,000

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec. 24.  AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER FUNDS

The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances among projects authorized in Sec. 12 of this act.

Sec. 25.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

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

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

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

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

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

(5)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept federal grant funds from the department of public safety for the purpose of purchasing, designing, and retrofitting a new emergency management facility and emergency operations center.  No state funds shall be appropriated to this project from general obligation bonds issued for capital construction under this act or any prior capital construction act. 

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

* * * Buildings and General Services * * *

Sec. 26.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS; BENNINGTON STATE OFFICE BUILDING; BUILDING #617 IN ESSEX JUNCTION

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.

(b)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to spend up to $250,000 from funds appropriated for the Bennington state office building in Sec. 1(14) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 for the purpose of developing a comprehensive proposal to meet state office building needs while supporting the downtown redevelopment initiative in the town of Bennington.  In developing the proposal, the commissioner may hire one or more consultants to evaluate existing and potential state office space in Bennington, and shall consult with the Bennington downtown task force created by Sec. 4 of No. 53 of the Acts of 2007 to explore and evaluate opportunities.  Any recommended proposal shall limit the state’s capital appropriation for the project to up to a total of $10 million, and the commissioner shall explore all potential funding opportunities for the proposal.  On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall submit a report to the senate committee on institutions and the house committees on corrections and institutions on behalf of the department of buildings and general services and the Bennington downtown task force regarding a plan for Bennington state offices and for the Bennington district and family courts.  The proposal may include any of the following:

(1)  Selling the current state office building and land, and relocating state programs, services, and staff to another site.

(2)  Redeveloping one or more state buildings.  Redevelopment may include any of the following for all or portions of the building or buildings:  renovations, razing, leasing, entering into condominium agreements, entering into partnership agreements, and location of state programs, services, and staff.

(3)  Purchase or lease of a building or buildings, or a portion of a building or buildings in the town of Bennington for relocation of state programs, services, and staff.

(4)  Purchase of land and construction of a building in the town of Bennington, with priority consideration given to the designated downtown development district; location of state programs, services, and staff in the downtown building; and potential use of a portion of the building by nonstate workers through a lease, condominium agreement, or partnership agreement.

(c)  Current construction plans and funding for the health and public safety laboratories at Building #617 in Essex referenced in Sec. 3 of this act require phased construction, which could potentially increase the overall cost of this project.  It is therefore deemed to be in the state’s best interest to expedite construction, and it is the intent of the general assembly to approve the exploration by the commissioner of buildings and general services of various development options that would expedite the construction process.  Notwithstanding sections 161, 165, and 166 of Title 29, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to explore, develop, and negotiate with the current property manager all development options available regarding the land and property commonly referred to as “Building #617” in Essex Junction.  Upon obtaining approval from the secretary of administration, and the chairs and vice chairs of the senate and house committees on appropriations, the senate committee on institutions, and the house committee on corrections and institutions, the commissioner of buildings and general services may undertake any of the following:

(1)  Enter into one or more development agreements that would expedite the design, development, construction, and occupancy of the proposed health and forensic laboratories.

(2)  Sell the state’s property or any portion thereof located at 30 and 42 Allen Martin Drive in Essex Junction.  The commissioner’s authority to sell includes the discretion to apply the proceeds from the sale to the state’s contribution or costs related to the development plan for the health and forensic laboratories.

(3)  Reallocate any unencumbered prior capital appropriations for the development and construction of the health and forensic laboratories to the state’s contribution or costs related to the plan for expedited construction.  

(4)  Enter into operating leases or agreements, including condominium agreements, or other agreements such as lease-purchase, lease-lease back,

sell-lease back, land lease, or any combination thereof to expedite the construction of Building #617 in Essex Junction.

(d)  In order to expedite the placement of the state public safety laboratories, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to pursue options for location of the laboratories other than the Building #617 location.  Upon obtaining approval from the secretary of administration, and the chairs and vice chairs of the senate and house committees on appropriations, the senate committee on institutions, and the house committee on corrections and institutions, the commissioner may:

(1)  Enter into one or more development agreements that would expedite the design, development, construction, and occupancy of the state public safety laboratories.

(2)  Sell all or a portion of Building #617and associated land pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166.

(3)  Reallocate any unencumbered prior capital appropriations for the development and construction of the health and forensic laboratories to the state’s contribution or costs related to the plan for expedited placement.  

(4)  Enter into operating leases or agreements, including condominium agreements, or other agreements such as lease-purchase, lease-lease back,

sell-lease back, land lease, or any combination thereof to expedite the placement of the laboratories.

(e)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to spend any funds remaining from $50,000 appropriated in Sec. 13(b) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 for the purpose of negotiating a purchase price and purchasing an option to buy land in Westminster for a new public safety field station to serve southeastern Vermont.  Any option shall be purchased pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(3)(B).  The commissioner may also use these funds to begin the process of obtaining the necessary permits to build the field station.

Sec. 27.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; MISCELLANEOUS

(a)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to sell or lease 900 square feet of state-owned land at the Newport state office building in the town of Newport.  After payment of any costs and fees associated with the transaction, proceeds from a sale shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d), and proceeds from a lease shall be deposited into a property management fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160.

(b)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to subdivide and sell, at fair market value based on an appraisal paid for by the prospective purchaser, a section of state-owned property located on Railroad Row in the town of Hartford.  After payment of any costs and fees associated with the sale, proceeds shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d).

(c)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to subdivide and sell, as described in this subsection, the real property commonly referred to as the “Former Tree Farm Property” and associated buildings located in the town and village of Essex.  The property is located on the east side of Old Colchester road, the northerly part of the property being located in the town of Essex and the southerly part of the property being located in the village of Essex Junction.  Proceeds from the sale or sales, net of all related development, permitting, relocation, and sale costs, shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d).  The commissioner may:

(1)  Negotiate and enter into a sales agreement with the town of Essex, the village of Essex Junction, the Tree Farm Management Group, Inc., or any combination thereof for the sale of the parcel currently subject to a lease agreement between the state of Vermont, the town of Essex, and the village of Essex Junction; provided that the terms of the sale include a covenant restricting use of the land to educational, agricultural, and recreational uses and prohibiting development for housing, commercial, or industrial use.

(2)  Sell the wooded portion of the land on the eastern side, provided that the terms of the sale include a covenant restricting use of the land to educational, agricultural, and recreational uses and prohibiting development for housing, commercial, or industrial use.

(3)  Sell the small parcel in the western corner which contains the barn at fair market value.  However, the commissioner shall first give the town of Essex a right of first refusal on this portion of the land.

(d)  Pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166, the commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, shall sell, lease, subdivide, convert into condominiums, or any combination thereof, the Thayer School building located at 1193 North Avenue in Burlington; provided, however, that any transaction includes the stipulation that the department of motor vehicles must remain at the site.  After payment of any costs and fees associated with the transaction, proceeds from a sale shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d), and proceeds from a lease shall be deposited into a property management fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160.

(e)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services may sell or lease land, mineral rights, or both, as follows:

(1)  the land and mineral rights are those located at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Council in Pittsford that adjoin land currently operated by Casella Property Management for purposes of gravel excavation and sale;

(2)  the transaction is limited to no more than three acres of land or mineral rights;

(3)  the term of a lease is limited to no more than 10 years;

(4)  the sale or lease price shall be based upon the fair market value of the source mineral rights; and

(5)  after payment of any costs and fees associated with the transaction, proceeds from a sale shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d), and proceeds from a lease shall be deposited into a property management fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160.

(f)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services, with approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to sell the building and associated land in Middlesex known as Playcare to North American Playcare, Inc. at fair market value.  If the commissioner is unable to negotiate a sale agreement with North American Playcare, Inc., he or she may sell the building and associated land, following the procedures in 29 V.S.A. § 166(b).

Sec. 28.  LOCATION OF STATE OFFICES

(a)  Sec. 2(a)(5) of No. 61 of the Acts of 2001 and Sec. 28 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002), relating to occupancy of 133 State Street in Montpelier by the secretary of state, are repealed.

(b)  18 V.S.A. § 3(b), relating to the location in Chittenden County of the executive and administrative offices of the department of health, is repealed.

Sec. 29.  3 V.S.A. § 260(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The principal office of each administrative department shall be located at such location as the secretary of the agency of administration determines with the approval of the governor, except that the principal office of the health department shall be in Burlington, and the military department shall be at Camp Johnson.

Sec. 30.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(31) and (32) are added to read:

(31)  Receive payments from vendors through the real-time demand response program (DRP).  The commissioner may contract with third‑party brokers or directly with Independent System Operators to generate or to reduce electrical demand or both for state-owned facilities in return for payments to the state which shall be retained by the facilities operations revolving fund established in section 160a of this title.

(32)  Accept funds and other contributions for state house renovations and restorations; educational, interpretive, and curatorial projects pertaining to the state house; and acquisition of historic furnishings, fixtures, and works of art for projects that pertain to the state house.

Sec. 31.  32 V.S.A. § 701a(c) is added to read:

(c)  The sums appropriated and spending authority authorized by a capital construction act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.

Sec. 32.  EVIDENCE ROOM; STUDY

The commissioner of buildings and general services shall consult with the chair of the  preservation of evidence committee created by Sec. 2 of No. 60 of the Acts of 2007 to determine options for construction of an evidence room for retention of evidence collected in criminal cases.  The commissioner shall recommend a place for location of an evidence room to the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions on or before January 15, 2009.

* * * Health and Public Safety Laboratory * * *

Sec. 33.  PATRICIA SCOVILLE DNA LABORATORY

The DNA laboratory in the state forensics laboratory shall be named in honor of Patricia Scoville in its present location and in any subsequent location.           

* * * Judiciary * * *

Sec. 34.  INVENTORY OF COUNTY COURTHOUSES

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly to establish a consistent formula for use of a county courthouse by the supreme court, district court, family court, and judicial bureau.  In keeping with this intent, the commissioner of buildings and general services and the court administrator shall conduct an inventory of all county courthouses in the state and report to the senate committee on institutions and the house committees on corrections and institutions on or before January 15, 2009 on the following:

(1)  ownership of each county courthouse;

(2)  the number of state courts occupying space in county courthouses and county courts occupying space in state courthouses;

(3)  existing financial and other agreements between the court administrator and the assistant judges for use of a county courthouse by a state court or use of a state courthouse by a county court; and

(4)  a recommendation for a fee-for-space formula for use of a county courthouse by a state court or use of a state courthouse by a county court.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to continue with the use and operation of each existing county courthouse currently in use.

* * * Building Communities Grants * * *

Sec. 35.  REPEAL

The following are repealed:

(1)  Sec. 35 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005, relating to a broadband development competitive grant program.

(2)  Sec. 34 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005, relating to a recreational and educational facilities grant program.

(3)  Sec. 36 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005, relating to a human services competitive grant program.

Sec. 36.  24 V.S.A.  chapter 137 is added to read:

Chapter 137:  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

§ 5601.  HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANT PROGRAM

There is established an historic preservation grant program which shall be administered by the division for historic preservation in the agency of commerce and community development.  Grants shall be made available to municipalities and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations on a one-for-one matching basis for restoring buildings and structures.

§ 5602.  HISTORIC BARNS PRESERVATION GRANT PROGRAM

There is established an historic barns preservation grant program which shall be administered by the division for historic preservation in the agency of commerce and community development.  Grants shall be made available to municipalities and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations on a one-for-one matching basis for restoring historic barns.

§ 5603.  CULTURAL FACILITIES GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  There is established a cultural facilities competitive grant program to be administered by the Vermont arts council and made available on a one‑for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources.  No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other grant established in this chapter.  No portion of a grant shall be used to pay salaries. 

(b)  Grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis. Before it notifies an applicant that the applicant will be awarded a grant, the Vermont arts council shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.  In recommending grant awards, a review panel shall give priority consideration to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need or are in underserved areas of the state. 

(c)  The Vermont arts council shall administer the cultural facilities grant program for ease of use by grant applicants.  To accomplish this, the Vermont arts council shall:

(1)  work in conjunction with the other grant programs included in this chapter to accommodate the needs of grant applicants;

(2)  ensure that the cultural facilities grant application deadlines are consistent with other grant programs included in this chapter;

(3)  provide an application form and process with clear instructions and examples to help applicants complete the form and which include an opportunity for a community to demonstrate its ability to generate required matching funds from local fundraising or other efforts;

(4)  establish a selection process which ensures equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(5)  ensure accountability by grant recipients.           

§ 5604.  RECREATIONAL FACILITIES GRANT PROGRAM 

(a)  Creation of program.  There is created a recreational facilities grant program to be the successor to and a continuation of the recreational and educational facilities grant program established in Sec. 34 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the development and creation of community recreational opportunities in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000.00 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every one dollar awarded under this program.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a recreational facilities grant advisory committee to include the commissioners of forests, parks and recreation and of buildings and general services or the commissioners’ designees; a representative of the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association; two members of the Vermont general assembly, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; a representative of the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council; and one citizen member to be appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The citizen member shall serve for a term of two years or until his or her successor is appointed. 

(c)  Process.  The recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the recreational facilities grant program for ease of use by applicants.  To accomplish this, the committee shall:

(1) develop an application form and process with clear instructions and examples to help applicants complete the form and which include an opportunity for a community to demonstrate its ability to generate required matching funds from local fundraising or other efforts;

(2)  establish a selection process which ensures equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(3)  ensure accountability by grant recipients.           

(d)  Before it notifies an applicant that the applicant will be awarded a grant, the recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

§ 5605.  HUMAN SERVICES AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES

              COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  Creation of program.  There is created a human services and educational facilities grant program to be the successor to and a continuation of the human services competitive grant program established in Sec. 36 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the major maintenance, renovation, or development of facilities for the delivery of human services and health care or for the development of educational opportunities in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000.00 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that at least three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every dollar awarded under this program.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a human services and educational facilities grant advisory committee to include the secretary of human services or the secretary’s designee; the commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner’s designee; two members of the Vermont general assembly, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; and three representatives of broad-based community organizations, such as the United Way of Vermont, who shall be selected and appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The members appointed by the governor shall serve for terms of two years or until their successors are appointed.

(c)  Process.  The human services and educational facilities grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the human services and educational facilities grant program for ease of use by applicants.  To accomplish this, the committee shall:

(1) develop an application form and process with clear instructions and examples to help applicants complete the form and which include an opportunity for a community to demonstrate its ability to generate required matching funds from local fundraising or other efforts;

(2)  establish a selection process which ensures equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(3)  ensure accountability by grant recipients.           

(d)  Before it notifies an applicant that the applicant will be awarded a grant, the human services and educational facilities grant advisory committee shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

* * * Education * * *

Sec. 37.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(5)(B) is amended to read:

(5)  Final approval for construction aid.

***

(B)  The state board may approve a final application for a project provided that:

* * *

(v)  the project has otherwise met the requirements of sections

3447–3456 of this title; and

(vi)  if the proposed project includes a playground, the project includes a requirement that the design and construction of playground equipment follow the guidelines set forth in the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Handbook for Public Playground Safety; and

(vii)  if the total estimated cost of the proposed project is less than $50,000.00, no performance bond or irrevocable letter of credit shall be required.

Sec. 38.  CONTINUATION OF SUSPENSION OF STATE AID FOR

               SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

In Sec. 36 of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007, the general assembly suspended state aid for school construction in order to provide time to enable the commissioner of education and the commissioner of finance and management to make recommendations for a sustainable plan for state aid to school construction.  In the absence of a viable plan for funding school construction, the general assembly hereby extends the period of suspension until a plan is developed and adopted.

* * * University of Vermont * * *

Sec. 39.  16 V.S.A. § 2363 is added to read:

§ 2363.  RESERVE FUNDS

(a)  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College may create and establish one or more special funds, herein referred to as “debt service reserve funds,” and shall pay into each such debt service reserve fund:

(1)  any moneys appropriated and made available by the state for the purpose of such fund;

(2)  any proceeds of the sale of notes or bonds, to the extent provided in the resolution or resolutions of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College authorizing the issuance thereof; and

(3)  any other moneys that may be made available to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for the purpose of such fund from any other source or sources.

(b)  All moneys held in any debt service reserve fund, except as hereinafter provided, shall be used, as required, solely for the payment of the principal or purchase or redemption price of or interest or redemption premium on bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund or of sinking fund payments with respect to such bonds or notes; provided, however, that moneys in any such fund shall not be withdrawn therefrom at any time in such amount as would reduce the amount of such fund to less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for such fund as hereafter provided except for the purpose of making payments, when due, of principal, interest, redemption premiums, and sinking fund payments with respect to bonds and notes secured in whole or in part by such fund for the payment of which other moneys of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College are not available.  Any income or interest earned by any debt service reserve fund may be transferred to other funds or accounts of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College to the extent that it does not reduce the amount of such fund below the requirement for such fund.

(c)  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall not at any time issue bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund if upon the issuance of such bonds or notes the amount in such debt service reserve fund will be less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for such fund, unless the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College at the time of issuance of such bonds or notes shall deposit in such fund from the proceeds of the bonds or notes so to be issued, or from other sources, an amount that, together with the amount then in such fund, will not be less than the debt service reserve requirement established for such fund. The debt service reserve requirement for any debt service reserve fund shall be established by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College prior to the issuance of any bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund and shall not be required to exceed “maximum debt service,” which shall mean, as of any particular date of computation, an amount equal to the greatest of the respective amounts, for the then current or any future fiscal year of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, of annual debt service on the bonds and notes of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College secured or to be secured in whole or in part by such debt service reserve fund.

(d)  In the computation of the amount of the debt service reserve funds for the purpose of this section, securities in which any of such funds shall be invested shall be valued at par if purchased at par or at amortized value, as such term is defined by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, if purchased at other than par.

(e)  In order to assure the maintenance of the debt service reserve requirement in each debt service reserve fund established by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, there may be appropriated annually and paid to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for deposit in each such fund such sum as shall be certified by the chair of the board of trustees of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house as is necessary to restore each such debt service reserve fund to an amount equal to the debt service reserve requirement for such fund. The chair shall annually, on or about February 1, make and deliver to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house his or her certificate stating the sum required to restore each such debt service reserve fund to the amount aforesaid, and the sum so certified may be appropriated, and if appropriated, shall be paid to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College during the then current state fiscal year. The principal amount of bonds or notes outstanding at any one time and secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $66,000,000.00, provided that the foregoing shall not impair the obligation of any contract or contracts entered into by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College in contravention of the Constitution of the United States of America.

(f)  The proceeds of any bonds or notes secured by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this section shall be applied solely to costs of reconstruction, rehabilitation, or improvement of existing facilities or property of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.

* * * Vermont State Colleges * * *

Sec. 40.  16 V.S.A. § 2186 is added to read:

§ 2186.  Reserve Funds

(a)  The Vermont State Colleges may create and establish one or more special funds, herein referred to as “debt service reserve funds,” and shall pay into each such debt service reserve fund:

(1)  any moneys appropriated and made available by the state for the purpose of such fund;

(2)  any proceeds of the sale of notes or bonds, to the extent provided in the resolution or resolutions of the Vermont State Colleges authorizing the issuance thereof; and

(3)  any other moneys that may be made available to the Vermont State Colleges for the purpose of such fund from any other source or sources.

(b)  All moneys held in any debt service reserve fund, except as hereinafter provided, shall be used, as required, solely for the payment of the principal or purchase or redemption price of or interest or redemption premium on bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund or of sinking fund payments with respect to such bonds or notes; provided, however, that moneys in any such fund shall not be withdrawn therefrom at any time in such amount as would reduce the amount of such fund to less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges for such fund as hereafter provided except for the purpose of making payments, when due, of principal, interest, redemption premiums, and sinking fund payments with respect to bonds and notes secured in whole or in part by such fund for the payment of which other moneys of the Vermont State Colleges are not available.  Any income or interest earned by any debt service reserve fund may be transferred to other funds or accounts of the Vermont State Colleges to the extent that it does not reduce the amount of such fund below the requirement for such fund.

(c)  The Vermont State Colleges shall not at any time issue bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund if upon the issuance of such bonds or notes the amount in such debt service reserve fund will be less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges for such fund, unless the Vermont State Colleges at the time of issuance of such bonds or notes shall deposit in such fund from the proceeds of the bonds or notes so to be issued, or from other sources, an amount that, together with the amount then in such fund, will not be less than the debt service reserve requirement established for such fund. The debt service reserve requirement for any debt service reserve fund shall be established by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges prior to the issuance of any bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund and shall not be required to exceed “maximum debt service,” which shall mean, as of any particular date of computation, an amount equal to the greatest of the respective amounts, for the then current or any future fiscal year of the Vermont State Colleges, of annual debt service on the bonds and notes of the Vermont State Colleges secured or to be secured in whole or in part by such debt service reserve fund.

(d)  In the computation of the amount of the debt service reserve funds for the purpose of this section, securities in which any of such funds shall be invested shall be valued at par if purchased at par or at amortized value, as such term is defined by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges, if purchased at other than par.

(e)  In order to assure the maintenance of the debt service reserve requirement in each debt service reserve fund established by the Vermont State Colleges, there may be appropriated annually and paid to the Vermont State Colleges for deposit in each such fund such sum as shall be certified by the chair of the board of trustees of the Vermont State Colleges to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house as is necessary to restore each such debt service reserve fund to an amount equal to the debt service reserve requirement for such fund. The chair shall annually, on or about February 1, make and deliver to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house his or her certificate stating the sum required to restore each such debt service reserve fund to the amount aforesaid, and the sum so certified may be appropriated, and if appropriated, shall be paid to the Vermont State Colleges during the then current state fiscal year. The principal amount of bonds or notes outstanding at any one time and secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $34,000,000.00 provided that the foregoing shall not impair the obligation of any contract or contracts entered into by the Vermont State Colleges in contravention of the Constitution of the United States of America.

(f)  The proceeds of any bonds or notes secured by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this section shall be applied solely to costs of reconstruction, rehabilitation, or improvement of existing facilities or property of the Vermont State Colleges.

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 41.  FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES

               PROGRAM; MATCHING FUNDS; REALLOCATION

(a)  Currently more than $20,000,000 in Federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) pollution reduction funds are available to Vermont farmers to reduce manure runoff into rivers and streams.  This funding is available if the state can provide $750,000 in state assistance for this purpose.  Therefore, the following funds shall be used to provide the state share:

(1)  $125,000 from funds for stream stabilization grants appropriated under Sec. 11(c)(2) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007.

(2)  $75,000 from funds for best management practices appropriated under Sec. 15(a) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007.

(3)  $220,000 from funds for ecosystem restoration and protection appropriated under Sec. 12(c)(1) of this act.

(4)  $250,000 from funds for best management practices appropriated under Sec. 16(1) of this act.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to appropriate the remaining $100,000 of required state matching funds in the appropriations act of 2008 for fiscal year 2009.

Sec. 42.  SHADOW LAKE FISH AND WILDLIFE ACCESS AREA; RIGHT                                  OF WAY

The commissioner of fish and wildlife is authorized to negotiate an agreement with Junnie and Nellie Peck, who own land adjacent to the Shadow Lake Fishing Access.  The agreement may provide, for a consideration of $1.00, an easement across the land owned by the fish and wildlife department to enable the landowners to access their residence.

* * * Military * * *

Sec. 43.  20 V.S.A. § 542 is amended to read:

§ 542.  ACQUISITION, MAINTENANCE AND DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY FOR THE NATIONAL GUARD USE

In the name of the state, the board shall be responsible for the real estate and personal property of the national guard.  The board may acquire or purchase, and maintain and dispose of by sale or otherwise real estate and personal property.  Upon determination by the board that real estate is to be disposed of, the disposal shall be at fair market value, and proceeds shall be allocated to future capital appropriations.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 44.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

(Committee vote: 8-0-3)

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

First:  In Sec. 12 (c)(1) by striking “1,200,000” and inserting in lieu thereof “1,120,000”, and the end of subsection (c) by adding two new subdivisions to read:

(4)  For the Farmers Watershed Alliance, to reduce phosphorus loads to Lake Champlain:                                                                                 30,000

(5)  For the Natural Resource Conservation Districts, to reduce phosphorus loads to the waters of the state:                        50,000

Second:  In Sec. 26(c) in the last sentence before subdivision (1) by striking the words before the colon, and inserting in lieu thereof:

After consultation with the chairs and vice-chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions, and upon approval from the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal committee, the commissioner of buildings and general services may undertake any of the following

Third:  In Sec. 27(d), in the first sentence, following the words “secretary of administration” by inserting “and the joint fiscal committee

Fourth:  In Sec. 36, 24  V.S.A. §5604(a), at the end of the subdivision by adding a sentence to read:

No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other grant program established in this chapter.

Fifth:  In Sec. 36, 24  V.S.A. §5604(c)(2), by striking “and”, and at the end of subdivision (3) before the period by inserting “; and (4) ensure that the grant application deadlines are consistent with other grant programs included in this chapter

Sixth:  In Sec. 36, 24  V.S.A. §5605(a), at the end of the subdivision by adding a sentence to read:

No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other grant program established in this chapter.

Seventh:  In Sec. 36, 24  V.S.A. §5605(c)(2), by striking “and”, and at the end of subdivision (3) before the period by inserting “; and (4) ensure that the grant application deadlines are consistent with other grant programs included in this chapter

Eighth:  In Sec. 41(3), by striking “$220,000” and inserting in lieu thereof “$200,000

(Committee vote: 10-1-0)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/14/08 – P. 314 )

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Helm of Castleton to S. 365

     Moves to amend the report of the committee on Corrections and Institutions in Sec. 15 by striking the section in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 15 to read:

Sec. 15.  FIRE SERVICE TRAINING

The sum of $2,240,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont fire service training council for construction of a fire training facility at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford.         

Total appropriation – Section 15                                               $2,240,000

 

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Johnson of South Hero to S. 365

Moves the report of the Committee on Corrections and Institutions be amended in Sec. 26(d), in the second sentence, by striking the words before the colon, and inserting in lieu thereof:

After consultation with the chairs and vice-chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions, and upon approval from the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal committee, the commissioner of buildings and general services may undertake any of the following

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Howard of Rutland City, Andrews of Rutland City, Courcelle of Rutland City and McCormack to S. 365

Moves to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee of Corrections and Institutions as follows:

First:  In Sec. 8, at the end of the section by adding a new subdivision (3) to read:

(3)  For the Rutland City School district to pay for a school energy performance audit:                                                    41,583

And by striking the Total appropriation line and inserting in lieu thereof

Total appropriation – Section 8                                              $10,041,583

Second:  In Sec. 6, by striking the section in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 6 to read:

Sec. 6.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

The following sums are appropriated for building communities grants:

(1)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic preservation grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5601:                                         143,000

(2)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic barns preservation grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5602.  However, funds shall not be granted to projects which propose to remove historic building features, even if they were added after the original construction of the building.  The division for historic preservation, with the approval of the commissioner of housing and community affairs, may use up to $40,000 of the funds appropriated in this subdivision to conduct a statewide census of Vermont barns for the purpose of future restoration efforts:                                                           143,000

(3)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5603:                                                            143,000

(4)  To the department of buildings and general services for the recreational facilities grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5604:     143,000

(5)  To the department of buildings and general services for the human services and educational facilities competitive grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5605:                                                            143,000

(6)  To the department of information and innovation for the Vermont telecommunications authority for the broadband development grant program established in Sec. 3 of No. 79 of the Acts of 2007:                        93,417

Total appropriation – Section 6                                                 $808,417

Favorable

S. 324

An act relating to beer and wine tastings.

Rep. McCormack of Rutland City, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends that the bill ought to pass in concurrence.

(Committee Vote: 7-0-1)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/21/08 – P. 400; 3/26/08 – P. 459 )

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 636

     An act relating to embezzlement by a public official.

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

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 2537 is amended to read:

§ 2537.  PERSON HOLDING PROPERTY IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY OR BELONGING TO THE STATE OR A MUNICIPALITY

A state, county, town, or municipal officer or other person who in his or her official capacity receives, collects, controls, or holds money, obligations, or securities belonging to a corporation, public or private, or to a private person, or other property, who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use any of such money, obligations or, securities, or other property, or a person who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use, money or other property belonging to the state or to a county or municipality as defined in 1 V.S.A. § 126, or a municipal corporation, or a special purpose district, shall be guilty of larceny and shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 7554 is amended to read:

§ 7554.  RELEASE PRIOR TO TRIAL

(a)  Any person charged with an offense, other than a person held without bail under section 7553 or 7553a of this title, shall at his or her appearance before a judicial officer be ordered released pending trial in accordance with this section.

* * *

(2)  If the judicial officer determines that conditions of release imposed to assure appearance will not reasonably protect the public, the judicial officer may in addition impose the least restrictive of the following conditions or the least restrictive combination of the following conditions which will reasonably assure protection of the public:

(A)  Place the person in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him or her.

(B)  Place restrictions on the travel, association, or place of abode of the person during the period of release.

(C)  Require the person to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program.  The judicial officer shall take into consideration the defendant’s ability to comply with an order of treatment and the availability of treatment resources.

(D)  Impose any other condition found reasonably necessary to protect the public, except that a physically restrictive condition may only be imposed in extraordinary circumstances.

(E)  If the person is a state, county, or municipal officer charged with violating section 2537 of this title, the court may suspend the officer’s duties in whole or in part, if the court finds that it is necessary to protect the public.

* * *

Sec. 3.  32 V.S.A. § 167(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In connection with any of his or her duties, the auditor of accounts may administer oaths and may subpoena any person to appear before him or her. Such persons shall testify under oath and be subject to the penalties of perjury, and may be examined concerning any matter relating to the statutory duties of the auditor provided by section 163 of this title.  Nothing in this subsection shall limit a person’s fifth amendment rights against self‑incrimination.

(For text see House Journal 3/13/08 – P. 525)

H. 641

     An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.

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

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 302 is amended to read:

§ 302.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

"Employer" as used in this subchapter shall mean and include an individual, a partnership, an association, a corporation, a legal representative, trustee, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, and any common carrier by rail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within the state.  means any individual, organization, or governmental body including any partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within this state, and any agent of such employer, which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state.

"Employee" shall mean and include every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, as defined in this section in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment.  means every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to perform services.

Sec. 2.  21 V.S.A. § 305 is added to read:

§ 305.  NURSING MOTHERS IN THE WORKPLACE

(a)  For an employee who is a nursing mother, the employer shall for three years after the birth of a child:

(1)  provide reasonable time, either compensated or uncompensated, throughout the day to express breast milk for her nursing child.  The decision to provide compensated time shall be in the sole discretion of the employer, unless modified by a collective bargaining agreement; and

(2)  make a reasonable accommodation to provide appropriate private space that is not a bathroom stall.

(b)  An employer may be exempted from the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if providing time or an appropriate private space for expressing breast milk would substantially disrupt the employer’s operations.

(c)  An employer shall not retaliate or discriminate against an employee who exercises the right provided under this section. 

(d)  In lieu of an enforcement action through the Vermont Judicial Bureau, the attorney general or a state’s attorney may enforce the provisions of this subchapter by bringing a civil action for temporary or permanent injunctive relief, economic damages, including prospective lost wages for a period not to exceed one year, investigative and court costs.  The attorney general or a state’s attorney may conduct an investigation of an alleged violation and enter into a settlement agreement with the employer.  Such investigation shall not be a prerequisite to bringing a court action.

Sec. 3.  21 V.S.A. § 303 is amended to read:

§ 303. PENALTY; JUDICIAL BUREAU

Any employer who violates the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for each and every violation.

Sec. 4.  4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

* * *

(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(14)  Violations of 21 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 1, relating to conditions for employment.

(For text see House Journal 3/13/08- P. 519)

Amendment to be offered by Rep. McCormack of Rutland City to Senate Proposal of Amendment to H. 641

Moves to concur with the Senate proposal of amendment with further amendment as follows:

First:  By striking Sec. 1 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 302 is amended to read:

§ 302.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Employer” as used in this subchapter shall mean and include an individual, a partnership, an association, a corporation, a legal representative, trustee, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, and any common carrier by rail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within the state.  means any individual, organization, or governmental body, including any partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air, or express company doing business in or operating within this state, and any agent of the employer, that has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state.

(2) “Employee” shall mean and include every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, as defined in this section in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment.  means every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to perform services.

Second:  In Sec.1, 21 V.S.A. § 305 in subsection (d) in the first sentence by striking the word “subchapter” and inserting in lieu thereof the word “section

H. 862

     An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the village of Waterbury.

The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 5 by striking out the words “upon passage” and inserting in lieu thereof the words January 1, 2009

No House Amendments

H. 883

     An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to Vermont's public retirement systems.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 3, 3 V.S.A. § 495, by striking out subsection (d) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d)  Upon becoming a member of the retirement system to which he or she has transferred, such person shall thereafter be eligible for such benefits or annuities as are provided by law in such retirement system, including the credits for previous service in the retirement system from which the person has transferred as provided in subsection (e) of this section.  The average final compensation used to calculate the benefit payable at retirement shall be determined by using the earnable compensation which affords the highest consecutive years of earnings under either the system from which or to which he or she transferred, provided, however, that if he or she retires on a retirement allowance in the system to which he or she transferred within five years after said transfer, the benefits or annuities payable with respect to the service credit in the system from which he or she transferred shall not be greater than those which would have been payable with respect to such service had he or she remained in said system.  Except for the determination of the average final compensation as set forth in this subsection, the benefits for a member who transferred from one retirement system to another shall be calculated as follows:

(1)  a member who transfers after July 1, 2007 and before June 30, 2008 shall have the option to have the service from the first system calculated according to the provisions of either the first or the second system at the time of retirement;

(2)  a member who transfers on or before June 30, 2007 or on or after July 1, 2008 shall have his or her benefits calculated according to the provisions of the system or systems under which the benefits were accrued;

(3)  when benefits calculated according to the provisions of two or more retirement systems are combined under this subsection, they may exceed the maximum percentage of average final compensation established for each plan.

No House Amendments

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment

S. 45

     An act relating to the right to attend town meeting.

The Senate has concurred in the House proposal of amendment with the following amendment thereto:

In Sec. 1. 21 V.S.A. §472b by adding two new subsections, to be subsections (c) and (d), to read as follows:

     (c)  The requirement of subsection (b) shall not apply to a student who is in state custody in a secure facility.

     (d)  The requirement of subsection (b) shall not create an obligation for any parent, guardian or custodian to take any affirmative action to enable the student to attend an annual town meeting.

(For text see House Journal 4/3/08 – P. 857)

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

S. 226

An act relating to requiring the installation of photoelectric only smoke alarms.

Rep. Turner of Milton, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, subdivision (a)(3), near the end, by striking “is” and inserting “are”, in subdivision (a)(5), by striking “;” and inserting “.”, in subdivision (a)(6), by striking “are” and inserting “is”, by adding a new subdivision, to be subdivision (a)(10), to read as follows:

(10)  Photoelectric-type smoke detectors provide earlier detection and warning than ionization-type smoke detectors in smoldering fires by minutes or tens of minutes.  Ionization-type smoke detectors provide earlier detection and warning than photoelectric-type smoke detectors in flaming fires by seconds or tens of seconds.  Therefore, although this act requires

photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors for the reasons set forth in these findings, the general assembly does not discourage the use of ionization-type smoke detectors and combination smoke detectors in addition to

photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors.

by renumbering the remaining subdivisions to be numerically correct and

in subsection (b), after “Therefore” by adding “,

Second:  In Sec. 2, 9 V.S.A. § 2882(a) and (b), in both of the two instances, by striking “photoelectric type only” and inserting in lieu thereof “photoelectric-only-type

Third:  In Sec. 3, 9 V.S.A. § 2883(a) and (b), in both of the two instances, by striking “photoelectric type only” and inserting in lieu thereof “photoelectric-only-type

Fourth:  In Sec. 5 (Effective Date), in subsection (a), by striking “July 1, 2008” and inserting in lieu thereof “upon passage”; in subsection (b), by striking “single family” and inserting in lieu thereof  “single-family” and by striking “July 1, 2008” and inserting in lieu thereof “January 1, 2009”; in subsection (c), by striking “Sec. 2. (b) and Sec. 3” and inserting in lieu thereof “Secs. 2(b) and 3”; and in subsection (d), by striking ‘“photoelectric type only”’ and inserting in lieu thereof “photoelectric-only-type” and after “prohibit” by inserting “and does not discourage

and that after passage, the title of the bill should read: “

AN ACT RELATING TO REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF

PHOTOELECTRIC-ONLY-TYPE SMOKE DETECTORS

(Committee vote: 8-0-0)

(For text see Senate Journal 2/27/08 – P. 243; 2/28/08 – P. 248 )

S. 271

An act relating to child support for children with disabilities.

Rep. Clarkson of Woodstock, for the Committee on Judiciary, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended by striking Sec. 1. in its entirety, and inserting a new Sec. 1. to read:

Sec. 1.  15 V.S.A. § 658(g) is added to read:

(g)  Upon motion, the court may extend child support up to the age of 22 for an individual found by the court to have significant physical, mental, or developmental disabilities.  The court shall consider the factors identified in section 659 of this title in making its decision.  The parent seeking the order shall provide the court with documentation of the child’s disability.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/21/08 – P/ 401 )

S. 281

An act relating to end-of-life care and pain management.

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

Sec. 1.  STUDY AND REPORT ON PALLIATIVE CARE, END-OF-LIFE CARE, AND PAIN MANAGEMENT

(a)  The office of the attorney general, in cooperation with the departments of health and of disabilities, aging, and independent living, shall convene and lead a group of stakeholders to discuss and make recommendations on legislative and non-legislative solutions for improving:

(1)  palliative care,

(2)  end-of-life care,

(3)  management of chronic pain, and

(4)  access to these services for children.

(b)  Participants shall include:

(1)  the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care;

(2)  the Hospice and Palliative Care Council of Vermont;

(3)  the Vermont health care ombudsman;

(4)  the Vermont long-term care ombudsman;

(5)  Patient Choices at End of Life – Vermont;

(6)  the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare;

(7)  the Community of Vermont Elders;

(8)  the Vermont Ethics Network;

(9)  the Vermont Health Care Association;

(10)  the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems;

(11)  the Vermont Medical Society;

(12)  the Vermont Coalition on Disability Rights;

(13)  the American Cancer Society;

(14)  AARP Vermont;

(15)  one representative appointed by the speaker of the house and one senator appointed by the president pro tempore; and

(16)  other interested stakeholders.

(c)  The group shall consider:

(1)  available data and studies from existing sources and evaluate their utility for driving improvements in palliative care, end-of-life care, and pain management services across settings in this state;

(2)  the value and feasibility of conducting ongoing studies or preparing an annual report card, or both;

(3)  recommendations for improving ongoing coordination of activities directed toward improving palliative care, end-of-life care, and pain management services throughout the state;

(4)  how best to protect the interests of persons who:

(A)  have a terminal illness,

(B)  are receiving hospice care, or

(C)  are suffering chronic pain;

(5)  how to advance the goal of improving health care services for children with painful or life-threatening medical conditions, including:

(A)  the current availability of insurance coverage for pediatric palliative care services and treatment for chronic pain, and

(B)  avenues for increasing children’s access to care;

(6)  recommendations for improving methods of informing consumers about options in this state for end-of-life care, palliative care, and management of chronic pain, and about the importance of having an advance directive, including means to ensure that:

(A)  persons suffering from chronic pain are aware of their right to request or reject the use of all medications, and

(B)  persons with a terminal illness are informed about their end-of-life care options;

(7)  recommendations on the adoption and implementation of statewide standards on pain management for each of the health care professions licensed in this state; and

(8)  such other issues as the group determines necessary and appropriate.

(d)  No later than January 15, 2009, the stakeholders’ group shall provide a written progress report on its initial findings and recommendations, including the appropriateness of an annual report card, to the house committees on human services and on health care and the senate committee on health and welfare.  No later than December 15, 2009, the group shall provide a final report on its findings and recommendations, including recommendations on the group’s continued duration and future activities, to the house committees on human services and on health care and the senate committee on health and welfare.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

(For text see Senate Journal 2/28/08 – P. 251 )

S. 301

An act relating to enhancing the penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer and to the crime of assault with bodily fluids.

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

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 1028 is amended to read:

§ 1028.  ASSAULT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER,                                  EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL, OR EMERGENCY

               MEDICAL PERSONNEL MEMBER

A person convicted of a simple or aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency room personnel, or member of emergency services personnel as defined in subdivision 2651(6) of Title 24 while the officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel member is performing a lawful duty, in addition to any other penalties imposed under sections 1023 and 1024 of this title, shall:

(1)  For the first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year;

(2)  For the second offense and subsequent offenses, be imprisoned not more than ten years.

And request that the title be amended to read as follows “AN ACT RELATING TO ASSAULTS ON EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL” 

(Committee vote: 9-0-1)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/21/08 – P. 402 )

S. 345

An act relating to lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(a)  The general assembly finds the following:

(1)  The workers’ compensation program was established in 1915 to dispense with the concept of negligence by providing compensation to any employee who is injured on the job and to limit employers’ exposure to lawsuits for negligence in the workplace.  In addition, this program removed the need for injured employees to rely on tax-funded public assistance programs.

(2)  The National Council on Compensation Insurance, NCCI, the nation’s largest provider of workers’ compensation and employee injury data, recommends to the Vermont department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration proposed workers’ compensation voluntary market loss costs and assigned risk market rates by classification codes.

(3)  In March 2008, the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration approved an average 4.2 percent decrease in both the voluntary market loss costs and assigned risk market rates, representing the largest decrease in a decade.  This decrease provided many Vermont employers, including sawmill, logging, and carpentry operations, hospitals, restaurants, and ski areas, with a modest decrease in their workers’ compensation premiums. Other Vermont employers with good safety records may enjoy even higher premium rate reductions.

(4)  The decrease is attributed mainly to a decline in workplace injuries.  Two major cost drivers of workers’ compensation premiums are the frequency of claims and the seriousness of claims.  Another cost driver is medical costs which are increasing more rapidly than the rate of inflation.  The duration of claims also adds to workers’ compensation costs.

(5)  Despite recent stability in workers’ compensation rates, the comparatively high cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Vermont remains an issue of great concern to many Vermont employers.

(6)  The increased implementation of safety training programs and measures by Vermont employers has reduced the frequency of workplace injuries, which is the most effective way to reduce workers’ compensation costs.

(7)  The fact that only 8.5 percent of the Vermont employers are in the residual market validates that workers’ compensation insurers perceive that the Vermont workers’ compensation program is working effectively.  The residual market is less than half the size it was five years ago indicating that many employers have found appropriate coverage in the voluntary market, in which employers can benefit from competition between carriers.  The lack of competition among carriers for certain industries such as dairy farming presents a disadvantage for those industries.

(8)   Workers’ compensation premiums for farmers are increasing while premiums for most other employer categories are going down. Farming is inherently more hazardous than many other industries, and the pool of farmers to spread the risk is small.  Agricultural workers have a higher frequency and suffer more serious work injuries than other workers, particularly those working on farms with hoofed animals.

(9)  It is important to provide incentives to improve farm safety through comprehensive training programs.  Extensive outreach and safety education will go a long way toward reducing workers’ compensation premium rates for farmers. The Vermont farm bureau, the agency of agriculture, the U.S. department of agriculture, the university of Vermont extension service, and other organizations are working to develop enhanced farm safety training programs.

(10)  A significant number of employers are improperly classifying employees as “independent contractors” either due to a lack of understanding or knowingly to avoid legal obligations under federal and state labor and tax laws governing payment of wages, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and income and social security taxation.

(11)  Misclassification of employees as “independent contractors” adversely impacts the Vermont economy because it deprives workers of legal protections and benefits; reduces compliance with employment and safety standards; gives employers who misclassify an improper financial competitive advantage over law-abiding businesses; deprives the state of substantial revenue; and imposes indirect costs from decreased legitimate business activity and increased demand for social services.  A recent survey of workers’ compensation insurers conducted in compliance with No. 57 of the Acts of 2007 reveals that misclassification is a significant problem that may add 10 to 20 percent or more to the cost of workers’ compensation.

(12)  Historically, compliance and enforcement have been divided among various governmental entities, which reduces efficiency and effectiveness.  Improved cooperation, sharing information, and joint enforcement of serious violations would be effective approaches to reducing employer misclassification.

(13)  While a reduction in workers’ compensation benefits would lower workers’ compensation premiums across all class codes, this reduction would be at the expense of injured workers and provide little incentive for improving safety.

(b)  Therefore, it is the purpose of this act to address the problems of employee misclassification and miscoding, improve farm safety, and make other positive changes to the workers’ compensation laws that are intended to reduce the cost of workers’ compensation.

Sec. 2.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this act:

(1)  “Misclassification” means improperly classifying employees as independent contractors for the purposes of workers’ compensation insurance or unemployment insurance, as the context dictates.

(2)  “Miscoding” means the improper categorization of employees under the national council on compensation insurance (NCCI) worker classification codes, which account for varying levels of risk attributable to different job types for the purposes of determining workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

* * * Fraud and Misclassification * * *

Sec. 3.  8 V.S.A. § 4750(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner may require an insurer to file annually its anti-fraud plan with the department and an annual summary of the insurer’s anti-fraud activities and results, including misclassification and miscoding.  A workers’ compensation insurer shall file an anti-fraud plan with the department of labor, including information about fraud investigations, referrals, or prosecutions involving Vermont workers’ compensation claims, misclassifications, and miscoding, if requested by the commissioner of labor.  Information regarding fraud investigations and referrals shall not be public unless the commissioner of labor or the attorney general commences administrative or criminal proceedings.

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 2031 is amended to read:

§ 2031.  INSURANCE FRAUD

(a)  Definitions.  As used in this section:

* * *

(2)  “Insurance policy” has the same meaning as in 8 V.S.A. § 4722(3) and includes a workers’ compensation policy issued pursuant to chapter 9 of Title 21.

(3)  “Insurer” has the same meaning as in 8 V.S.A. § 4901(2) and includes a workers’ compensation insurer pursuant to chapter 9 of Title 21.

(4)  “Person” means a natural person, company, corporation, unincorporated association, partnership, professional corporation, agency of government, or any other entity.

* * *

(g)  This section shall not apply to workers’ compensation fraud. Cases involving workers’ compensation fraud shall be prosecuted under section 2024 of this title.

(h)  The public policy of this state is that the standards of this section shall not apply or be introduced into evidence in any civil or administrative proceeding, whether to argue public policy, materiality, or for any other purpose.

Sec. 5.  CREATION OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION EMPLOYEE

             CLASSIFICATION AND CODING TASK FORCE

(a)  There is created a workers’ compensation classification and coding task force to be composed of eight members to include the following:

(1)  The commissioner of labor or designee.

(2)  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration or designee.

(3)  The attorney general or designee.

(4)  One member from the house committee on commerce to be appointed by the speaker.

(5)  One member of the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs to be appointed by the committee on committees.

(6)  A member from the insurance industry appointed by the American Insurance Association.

(7)  Two members appointed by the employer and employee members of the department of labor advisory counsel established in 21 V.S.A. § 1306 as follows:

(A)  One member who represents labor.

(B)  One member who represents management.

(b)  The task force shall meet as needed, and the legislative council shall provide administrative support.

(c)  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, the legislative members shall be entitled to the same per diem compensation and reimbursement of necessary expenses as provided to members of standing committees under 2 V.S.A. § 406.

(d)  The task force shall:

(1)  Investigate and analyze misclassification and miscoding of employees and offer recommendations to address the following:

(A)  Coordination, speed, and efficiency of communication among appropriate governmental entities and law enforcement organizations in the prevention, investigation, and enforcement of actual and suspected employee misclassification and miscoding.

(B)  Ways to improve outreach to and public education for businesses and labor to promote wider understanding of and compliance with the requirements for classifying and coding employees.  This outreach and education shall identify costs associated with misclassification and miscoding, help businesses identify incidents of misclassification and miscoding, and encourage filing of complaints and identification of potential violators.

(2)  The task force shall issue a progress report on or before January 1, 2009, and a final report on or before October 15, 2009.  Both reports shall be provided to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs.  The progress report shall outline the task force’s advancement in its investigation, and the final report shall outline the task force’s findings and recommendations regarding the following:

(A)  A description of progress made by state government to reduce the frequency of employee misclassification and miscoding, including the number of employers cited for violations related to misclassification and miscoding, a description of the types of misclassification and miscoding cited, the approximate number of employees affected, and the amount of wages, premiums, taxes, and other payments or penalties collected.

(B)  Administrative, legislative, or regulatory changes designed to reduce misclassification and miscoding of employees by improving public and business education, sharing information, and increasing the cooperation and efficiency of enforcement of employee misclassification.

(C)  A consistent, workable, and fair method for determining independent contractor status both in regard to workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation.

(D)  Any other issue relevant to reducing the incidences of employee misclassification and miscoding including a recommendation as to whether the task force should continue meeting and, if so, for how long.

Sec. 6.  FRAUD ENFORCEMENT STUDY; DEPARTMENT OF LABOR;

             DEPARTMENT OF BANKING, INSURANCE, SECURITIES, AND

              HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION

The department of labor in collaboration with the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration and the attorney general shall perform an assessment of the fraud problem and develop proposals for legislation that will improve the effectiveness and enforcement of the current fraud statutes, including specific recommendations for improving enforcement, stimulating interagency cooperation including information sharing and prosecution, and creating a fraud unit complete with proposals for staffing, reporting, structure, and funding.  The department of labor shall issue a progress report on or before February 1, 2009, and a final report on or before October 15, 2009.  Both reports shall be provided to the governor, the house committee on commerce, and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs.  The progress report shall outline the department of labor’s advancement in its assessment, and the final report shall contain a comprehensive outline of the assessment and legislative proposals.

* * * Safety Incentives * * *

Sec. 7.  WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DISCOUNTS; IMPROVED EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY; STUDY; DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; DEPARTMENT OF BANKING, INSURANCE, SECURITIES, AND HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION

(a)  The department of labor and the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration in consultation with the department of labor advisory council established in 21 V.S.A. § 1306 shall investigate and, as appropriate, propose specific legislation and administrative rules that affect the following:

(1)  Providing workers’ compensation premium discounts for employers whose employees have demonstrated the successful implementation and effectiveness of a workplace safety certification program.

(2)  Providing rate reductions for employers who implement an effective return-to-work program or a drug and alcohol prevention program, or both.

(3)  Reviewing the fairness of the distribution of workers’ compensation liability for preexisting conditions.

(4)   Surveying other state workplace safety discount programs to evaluate their effectiveness in improving workplace safety as well as their impact on premiums paid by nonparticipants.

(5)  Improving the rate of return to employment for claimants receiving permanent disability benefits by examining best practices for returning injured employees to work that have been used successfully by providers, employers, and relevant programs in Vermont and other jurisdictions.

(6)  Assuring the application of best practices to the vocational rehabilitation system in order to improve its functionality and effectiveness in increasing employability.

(7)  Identifying and facilitating the implementation of industry best practices and other methods designed to increase substantially workplace safety.   

(b)  The department of labor shall issue a progress report on or before February 1, 2009, and a final report on or before October 15, 2009.  Both reports shall be provided to the governor, the house committee on commerce, and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs.  The progress report shall outline the department of labor’s advancement in its study, and the final report shall contain a comprehensive outline of the study, as well as suggestions for legislation and administrative rulemaking.

* * * First‑Aid‑Only Injuries and Deductible Policies * * *

Sec. 8.  21 V.S.A. § 640(e) is added to read:

(e)  In the case of a work‑related, first‑aid‑only injury, the employer shall file the first report of injury with the department of labor.  The employer shall file the first report of injury with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or pay the medical bill within 30 days.  If the employer contests a claim, a first report of injury shall be forwarded to the department of labor and the insurer within five days of notice.  If additional treatment or medical visits are required or if the employee loses more than one day of work, the claim shall be promptly reported to the workers’ compensation insurer, which shall adjust the claim.  “Work‑related, first‑aid‑only‑treatment” means any one-time treatment that generates a bill for less than $750.00 and for which the employee loses no time from work except for the time for medical treatment and recovery not to exceed one day of absence from work.

Sec. 9.  21 V.S.A. § 687(e) is added to read:

(e)  All insurance carriers authorized to write workers’ compensation insurance coverage in Vermont shall make available, at the written request of the employer, a workers’ compensation insurance rate that contains a deductible provision that binds the employer to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurer for at least the first $500.00 of benefits, medical or indemnity, due to an injured employee.  Claims shall be adjusted and paid by the insurer, and the employer shall reimburse the insurer for the amount of the deductible.

* * * Evaluation of Permanent Impairment * * *

Sec. 10.  EVALUATION OF PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT; USE OF AMA

                GUIDES

Notwithstanding 21 V.S.A. § 648(b), the department of labor shall continue to use the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, fifth edition, until such time as the commissioner of labor, in consultation with the department of labor advisory council established in 21 V.S.A. § 1306, has evaluated an analysis of the sixth edition performed by NCCI or other appropriate rating agency to assure that adoption of the sixth edition will not have a significantly detrimental impact on injured workers entitled to permanent disability benefits.  At least 60 days before adopting the sixth edition, the department shall submit a written report to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, outlining the analysis that formed the basis for determining that use of the sixth edition will not have a significantly detrimental impact on injured workers entitled to permanent disability benefits.

* * * Computation of Average Weekly Wage and COLA Adjustment * * *

Sec. 11.  21 V.S.A. § 650(a) and (d) are amended to read:

(a)  Average weekly wages shall be computed in such manner as is best calculated to give the average weekly earnings of the worker during the 12 26 weeks preceding an injury; but where, by reason of the shortness of the time during which the worker has been in the employment, or the casual nature of the employment, or the terms of the employment, it is impracticable to compute the rate of remuneration, average weekly wages of the injured worker may be based on the average weekly earnings during the 12 26 weeks previous to the injury earned by a person in the same grade employed at the same or similar work by the employer of the injured worker, or if there is no comparable employee, by a person in the same grade employed in the same class of employment and in the same district.  If during the period of 12 26 weeks an injured employee has been absent from employment on account of sickness or suspension of work by the employer, then only the time during which the employee was able to work shall be used to determine the employee’s average weekly wage.  If the injured employee is employed in the concurrent service of more than one insured employer or self-insurer the total earnings from the several insured employers and self-insurers shall be combined in determining the employee’s average weekly wages, but insurance liability shall be exclusively upon the employer in whose employ the injury occurred.  The average weekly wage of a volunteer firefighter, volunteer rescue or ambulance worker, volunteer reserve police officer, or volunteer as set forth in subdivision 1101(b)(4) of Title 3, who is injured in the discharge of duties as a firefighter, rescue or ambulance worker, police officer, or state agency volunteer, shall be the employee’s average weekly wage in the employee’s regular employment or vocation but the provisions of section 642 of this title relative to maximum weekly compensation and weekly net income rates, shall apply.  For the purpose of calculating permanent total or permanent partial disability compensation, the provisions relating to the maximum and minimum weekly compensation rate shall apply.  In any event, if a worker at the time of the injury is regularly employed at a higher wage rate or in a higher grade of work than formerly during the 12 26 weeks preceding the injury and with larger regular wages, only the larger wages shall be taken into consideration in computing the worker’s average weekly wages.

(d)  Compensation computed pursuant to this section shall be adjusted annually on July 1, so that such compensation continues to bear the same percentage relationship to the average weekly wage in the state as computed under this chapter as it did at the time of injury.  Temporary total or temporary partial compensation shall first be adjusted on the first July 1 following the receipt of 26 weeks of benefits.

* * * Temporary Total Two‑Year Review * * *

Sec. 12.  21 V.S.A. § 642a is added to read:

§ 642a.  TEMPORARY TOTAL; INSURER REVIEW

The employer shall review every claim for temporary total disability benefits that continues for more than 104 weeks.  No later than 30 days after 104 weeks of continuous temporary total disability benefits have been paid, the employer shall file with the department and the claimant a medical report from a physician that evaluates the medical status of the claimant, the expected duration of the disability, and when or if the claimant is expected to return to work.  If the evaluating physician concludes that the claimant has reached a medical end result, the employer shall file a notice to discontinue.

* * * Vocational Rehabilitation * * *

Sec. 13.  21 V.S.A. § 641(a)(1) and (c) are amended to read:

(1)  The employer shall designate a vocational rehabilitation provider from a list provided by the commissioner to initially provide services. Thereafter, absent good cause, the employee may have only one opportunity to select another vocational rehabilitation provider from a list provided by the commissioner upon giving the employer written notice of the employee’s reasons for dissatisfaction with the designated provider and the name and address of the provider selected by the employee. 

(c)  Any vocational rehabilitation plan for a claimant presented to the employer shall be deemed valid if the employer was provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the plan and has made no objections or changes within 21 days after submission.

(d)  The commissioner may adopt rules necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.

Sec. 14.  VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION; DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

(a)  The commissioner of labor shall consult with the department of labor advisory council established in 21 V.S.A. § 1306 to review current practices and activities in the following areas:

(1)  Insurance carriers providing timely notification to the department of labor of all claimants who have been out of work for 90 consecutive days and the department requiring immediate administrative enforcement for any failure to provide that notification.

(2)  Ensuring that all lost‑time claimants receive simple, understandable notices of their rights to and how to request vocational rehabilitation services no later than their receipt of their first workers’ compensation indemnity benefits.

(3)  Enabling timely review and resolution of insurance coverage and payment issues and other disputes arising in the development and implementation of vocational rehabilitation services.

(4)  Developing performance standards to measure the success of vocational rehabilitation plans and other appropriate approaches to increase the number of injured workers returning to suitable employment.

(b)  The department shall issue a written report to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs on or before March 15, 2009.  The report shall outline any deficiencies discovered under subsection (a) of this section and any rules to be adopted to solve the deficiencies.

* * * Attorney Fees * * *

Sec. 15.  21 V.S.A. § 678 is amended to read:

§ 678. COSTS; ATTORNEY FEES

* * *

(b)  In appeals to the superior or supreme courts, if the claimant, if he or she prevails, he or she shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s attorney fees as approved by the court, and interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum on that portion of any award the payment of which is contested.  Interest shall be computed from the date of the award of the commissioner.

* * *

(d)  In cases that are not resolved pursuant to a formal hearing, the commissioner may award reasonable attorney fees if the claimant has retained an attorney in response to an actual or effective denial of a claim, a hearing has been requested, and thereafter payments are made to the claimant as a result of the attorney’s efforts. 

* * * Assistance to Claimants * * *

Sec. 16.  ASSISTANCE TO CLAIMANT; BARGAINING AGENT;

                RULEMAKING; DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

The department of labor shall adopt a rule that permits a representative of the claimant’s bargaining unit to provide informal assistance to a workers’ compensation claimant in regard to any claim for workers’ compensation benefits in all aspects except at a formal hearing.

* * * Farm Safety Programs * * *

Sec. 17.  FARM SAFETY PROGRAMS; AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE,

               FOOD AND MARKETS; STUDIES

(a)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets in collaboration with the department of labor and the University of Vermont extension service shall:

(1)  In collaboration with farm organizations and other relevant organizations develop farm safety and occupational health best management practices for the protection of farm workers and shall develop educational programs that will enable farm workers to understand and comply with those best management practices.

(2)  In collaboration with the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration and representatives of the insurance industry investigate the feasibility of developing a safety certification program for farms.  The investigation shall consider approaches to providing a premium reduction for farmers certified under such a safety certification program.

(3)  In collaboration with the University of Vermont extension service rural and agricultural vocational rehabilitation program (RAVR) develop rural and agricultural vocational rehabilitation best management practices for use by vocational rehabilitation counselors.

(b)  Administrative support shall be provided by the legislative council and the joint fiscal office.

(c)  The results and recommendations resulting from the studies required under subsection (a) of this section shall be presented in a written report to the senate committees on agriculture and on economic development, housing and general affairs and to the house committees on agriculture and on commerce on or before February 1, 2009.

Sec. 18.  FIRST-AID-ONLY INJURIES AND DEDUCTIBLE POLICIES;

STUDY

By July 1, 2012, the department of labor shall report to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs on the utilization of 21 V.S.A. § 640(e) and 21 V.S.A. § 687(e).  The report shall summarize the frequency of use, the insurer experience, and realized cost savings of the provisions, as well as a recommendation of whether the provisions should be retained in statute, repealed, or terminated at a future point certain through the addition of a sunset provision.

(Committee vote: 9-2-0)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/25/08 – P. 437; 3/27/08 – P. 472 )

S. 357

An act relating to domestic violence.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  The general assembly finds that domestic violence directly affects the lives of Vermont’s citizens each year.  Domestic violence is a pervasive community problem which requires a comprehensive approach by the state, the public, and community providers to prevent, respond to, and remedy its devastating effects.  Domestic violence is consistently the leading cause of homicides in Vermont each year.  According to the 2008 Vermont Fatality Review Commission Report data covering 1994–2007, 50 percent of all Vermont homicides during the past 13 years were related to domestic violence.  In 2007, 64 percent of all Vermont homicides were domestic-violence-related. Reported occurrences of domestic violence continue to rise, and many incidents continue to go unreported.  The 16-member programs of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence responded to 15,259 hotline crisis calls and served 8,337 victims of domestic violence in 2006.  An increasing number of families in Vermont are homeless due to domestic violence.  The member programs of the Vermont Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence sustained a 27-percent increase in bed-nights in 2007. 

(b)  The general assembly recognizes the importance of specific intervention programs for domestic violence offenders in breaking the generational cycle of domestic violence.  The general assembly recommends that persons convicted of domestic assault be referred to appropriate intervention programs provided by the department of corrections or certified by the Vermont council on domestic violence.  In instances where certified programs are not available, alternative programs should be provided with a focus placed on victim safety and offender accountability.

Sec. 2.  12 V.S.A. § 5131 is amended to read:

§ 5131.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(5)  “Sexually assaulted the plaintiff” means that the defendant engaged in conduct that meets elements of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2602, sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3252, or aggravated sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3253, use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2822, or consenting to a sexual performance as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2823 and that the plaintiff was the victim of the offense.

* * *

Sec. 3.  12 V.S.A. § 5134 is amended to read:

§ 5134.  EMERGENCY RELIEF

(a)  In accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, a person other than a family or household member as defined in 15 V.S.A. § 1001(2) may file a complaint for a temporary order against stalking or sexual assault. Such complaint shall be filed during regular court hours.  The plaintiff shall submit an affidavit in support of the order.  The court may issue a temporary order under this chapter ex parte, without notice to the defendant, upon motion and findings by the court that the defendant has stalked or sexually assaulted the plaintiff.  An order may be granted requiring the defendant to refrain from stalking or sexually assaulting the plaintiff and to refrain from interfering with the plaintiff’s personal liberty  The court may order the defendant to stay away from the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s children, or both, and may make any other such order it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s children, or both.

* * *

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 1030 is amended to read:

§ 1030.  VIOLATION OF ABUSE PREVENTION ORDER OR AN ORDER

       AGAINST STALKING OR SEXUAL ASSAULT

(a)  A person who commits an act prohibited by a court or who fails to perform an act ordered by a court in violation of an abuse prevention order issued under chapter 21 of Title 15 or chapter 69 of Title 33, or an order against stalking or sexual assault issued under chapter 178 of Title 12, after the person has been served notice of the contents of the order as provided in those chapters; or a foreign abuse prevention order or an order against stalking or sexual assault issued by a court in any other state, federally recognized Indian tribe, territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia; shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b)  A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section or is convicted of an offense under this section and has previously been convicted of domestic assault under section 1042 of this title, first degree aggravated domestic assault under section 1043 of this title, or second degree aggravated domestic assault under section 1044 of this title shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

* * *

Sec. 5.  13 V.S.A. § 1042 is amended to read:

§ 1042.  DOMESTIC ASSAULT

Any person who attempts to cause or wilfully or recklessly causes bodily injury to a family or household member, or wilfully causes a family or household member to fear imminent serious bodily injury shall be imprisoned not more than one year 18 months or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

Sec. 6.  13 V.S.A. § 1044 is amended to read:

§ 1044.  SECOND DEGREE AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC ASSAULT

(a)  A person commits the crime of second degree aggravated domestic assault if the person:

(1)  commits the crime of domestic assault and causes bodily injury to another person and such conduct violates:

(A)  specific conditions of a criminal court order in effect at the time of the offense imposed to protect that other person;

(B)  a final abuse prevention order issued under section 1103 of Title 15;

(C)  an order against stalking or sexual assault issued under chapter 178 of Title 12; or

(D)  an order against abuse of a vulnerable adult issued under chapter 69 of Title 33.

(2)  commits a second or subsequent offense of domestic assault, which causes bodily injury the crime of domestic assault; and

(A)  has a prior conviction within the last ten years for violating an abuse prevention order issued under section 1030 of this title; or

(B)  has a prior conviction for domestic assault under section 1042 of this title.

(b)  A person who commits the crime of second degree aggravated domestic assault shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(c)  Conduct constituting the offense of second degree aggravated domestic assault under this section shall be considered a violent act for the purpose of determining bail.

Sec. 7.  13 V.S.A. § 1031 is added to read:

§ 1031.  INTERFERENCE WITH ACCESS TO EMERGENCY SERVICES

A person who, during or after the commission of a crime, willfully prevents or attempts to prevent a person from seeking or receiving emergency medical assistance, emergency assistance from a third party, or emergency assistance from law enforcement shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $5,000.00 or both.

Sec. 8.  13 V.S.A. § 2602 is amended to read:

§ 2602.  LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT WITH CHILD

(a)(1)  No person shall willfully and lewdly commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 16 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of such person or of such child.

(2)  This section shall not apply if the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the conduct is consensual.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be:

(1)  For a first offense, imprisoned not less than two years and not more than 15 years, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(2)  For a second offense, imprisoned not less than five years and a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

(3)  For a third or subsequent offense, imprisoned not less than ten years and a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

* * *

(e)  Any prior conviction for sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault shall be considered a prior offense for purposes of sentencing enhancement.  This section shall not apply to a person who was convicted of sexual assault committed when the person was younger than 19 years of age and which involved consensual sex with a child at least 15 years of age.

Sec. 9.  15 V.S.A. § 668a is amended to read:

§ 668a.  ENFORCEMENT OF VISITATION

(a)  When a noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay child support or alimony and who is awarded visitation rights fails to pay child support or alimony, the custodial parent shall not refuse to honor the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights.

(b)  When a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights, the noncustodial parent shall not fail to pay any ordered child support or alimony.

(c)  If a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights, the court shall enforce such rights unless it finds good cause for the failure or that a modification of the visitation rights is in the best interests of the child.  Unless restoration of the visitation is not in the best interests of the child, enforcement of the visitation rights shall include the restoration of the amount of visitation improperly denied.  When a party files a motion for enforcement of parent-child contact under this subsection, the court shall conduct a hearing within 30 days of service of the motion.

(d)  A person who violates this section may be punished by contempt of court or other remedies as the court deems appropriate, including awarding attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.

(e)(1)  If a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights without good cause, the court may modify the parent-child contact order if found to be in the best interests of the child.  Good cause shall include a pattern or incidence of domestic or sexual violence, a history of failure to honor the visitation schedule agreed to in the parent child contact order, or reasonable fear for the child or the custodial parent’s safety.

Good cause shall include:

(A)  a pattern or incidence of domestic or sexual violence;

(B)  a reasonable fear for the child’s or the custodial parent’s safety; or

(C)  a history of failure to honor the visitation schedule agreed to in the parent-child contact order.

(2)  A custodial parent, upon a showing of good cause as defined in subdivision (1)(A) or (B) of this subsection, may receive an ex parte order suspending a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights until a court hearing is held. A hearing shall be held within 10 days from the issuance of the order. 

(f)  All parent-child contact orders issued by the family court in connection with a divorce or parentage proceeding shall bear the following statement:  “A PERSON WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH ALL TERMS OF THE CURRENT ORDER GOVERNING PARENT-CHILD CONTACT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CONTEMPT OF COURT CHARGES. THE COURT MAY IMPOSE ADDITIONAL REMEDIES, INCLUDING A MODIFICATION OF THE CURRENT PARENT-CHILD CONTACT ORDER IF FOUND TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.” 

Sec. 10.  15 V.S.A. § 1103 is amended to read:

§ 1103.  REQUESTS FOR RELIEF

(a)  Any family or household member may seek relief from abuse by another family or household member on behalf of him or herself or his or her children by filing a complaint under this chapter.  The plaintiff shall submit an affidavit in support of the order.

(b)  Except as provided in section 1104 of this title, the court shall grant relief only after notice to the defendant and a hearing.  The plaintiff shall have the burden of proving abuse by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c)  If the court finds that the defendant has abused the plaintiff and that there is a danger of further abuse, the court shall make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff, the children, or both, which may include the following: (1)  The court shall make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff, the children, or both, if the court finds that the defendant has abused the plaintiff, and:

(A)  there is a danger of further abuse; or

(B)  the defendant is currently incarcerated and has been convicted of one of the following:  murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, stalking, aggravated stalking, lewd or lascivious conduct with child, use of a child in a sexual performance, or consenting to a sexual performance.

(2)  In determining whether there is a danger of further abuse, the court may consider the defendant’s past conduct within the prior ten years as relevant evidence, including instances of prior abuse as defined in section 1101 of Title 15, or threatening behavior as defined in section 5131 of Title 12.

(3)  The court order may include the following:

(1)(A)  an order that the defendant refrain from abusing the plaintiff, his or her children or both and from interfering with their personal liberty, including restrictions on the defendant’s ability to contact the plaintiff or the children in person, by phone or by mail and restrictions prohibiting the defendant from coming within a fixed distance of the plaintiff, the children, the plaintiff’s residence, or other designated locations where the plaintiff or children are likely to spend time;

(2)(B)  an order that the defendant immediately vacate the household and that the plaintiff be awarded sole possession of a residence;

(3)(C)  a temporary award of parental rights and responsibilities in accordance with the criteria in section 665 of this title;

(4)(D)  an order for parent-child contact under such conditions as are necessary to protect the child or the plaintiff, or both, from abuse.  An order for parent-child contact may if necessary include conditions under which the plaintiff may deny parent-child contact pending further order of the court;

(5)(E)  if the court finds that the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff, an order that the defendant pay the plaintiff’s living expenses for a fixed period of time not to exceed three months;

(6)(F)  if the court finds that the defendant has a duty to support the child or children, a temporary order of child support pursuant to chapter 5 of this title, for a period not to exceed three months.  A support order granted under this section may be extended if the relief from abuse proceeding is consolidated with an action for legal separation, divorce, or parentage;

(7)(G)  an order concerning the possession, care and control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held as a pet by either party or a minor child residing in the household.

* * *

Sec. 11.  15 V.S.A. § 1105 is amended to read:

§ 1105.  SERVICE

(a)  A complaint or ex parte temporary order or final order issued under this chapter shall be served in accordance with the rules of civil procedure and may be served by any law enforcement officer.  Abuse orders shall be served at the earliest possible time and shall take precedence over other summonses and orders.  Orders shall be served in a manner calculated to insure the safety of the plaintiff.  Methods of service which include advance notification to the defendant shall not be used.  The person making service shall file a return of service with the court stating the date, time and place at which the order was delivered personally to the defendant.  A defendant who attends a hearing held under section 1103 or 1104 of this title at which a temporary or final order under this chapter is issued, and who receives notice from the court on the record that the order has been issued, shall be deemed to have been served.

* * *

Sec. 12.  15 V.S.A. § 665a is added to read:

§ 665a.  CONDITIONS OF PARENT-CHILD CONTACT IN CASES

       INVOLVING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(a)  If within the prior ten years, one of the parents has been convicted of domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault against the other parent, or has been found to have committed abuse against a family or household member, as defined in section 1101 of this title, the court shall award parent-child contact to that parent under such conditions as it finds necessary and appropriate to ensure the safety and protection of the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic violence.

(b)  In a parent-child contact order issued under subsection (a) of this section, a court may:

(1)  order an exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting;

(2)  order parent-child contact supervised by another person or agency;

(3)  order the perpetrator of domestic violence to participate in, to the satisfaction of the court, a program of intervention for perpetrators, where available, or other designated counseling as a condition of the visitation;

(4)  if alcohol or drugs were involved in the domestic abuse, order the perpetrator of domestic violence to abstain from being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances without a prescription during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding parent-child contact;

(5)  order the perpetrator of domestic violence to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised parent-child contact, provided that the perpetrator can afford to pay the fee;

(6)  prohibit overnight parent-child contact;

(7)  impose any other condition that is deemed necessary or appropriate to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of domestic violence, or another family or household member.

(c)  Whether or not parent-child contact is allowed, the court may order the address of the child and the victim to be kept confidential.

(d)  If a court allows a family or household member to supervise

parent-child contact, the court shall establish conditions to be followed during

parent-child contact.

Sec. 13.  15 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 4 is added to read:

Subchapter 4.  Vermont Council on Domestic Violence

§ 1171.  CREATION OF VERMONT COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC
              VIOLENCE

There is created the Vermont council on domestic violence.  The council shall provide leadership for Vermont’s statewide effort to eradicate domestic violence.

§ 1172.  PURPOSE; POWERS; DUTIES

(a)  The council shall:

(1)  facilitate opportunities for dialogue, advocacy, education, and support among state agencies, advocacy groups, and the public;

(2)  collect, review, and analyze data and information relating to domestic violence;

(3)  provide assistance in developing effective responses to domestic violence, including model policies and procedures, prevention and education initiatives, and domestic-violence-related programs for the criminal justice and human services sectors; specifically, the council shall work with the department of state’s attorneys and the department of corrections to develop recommendations for practice in evidence-based prosecution, risk assessment with domestic violence offenders, the use of deferred sentences in domestic violence cases, standardized probation conditions for domestic violence offenders, appropriate programming options for domestic violence offenders, and strategies for addressing victims of domestic violence who commit crimes as a result of the coercion of a batterer;

(4)  recommend changes in state programs, laws, administrative regulations, policies, and budgets related to domestic violence;

(5)  establish and maintain standards for intervention programs for perpetrators of domestic violence, and develop a process for certifying that programs are complying with the standards;

(6)  review and comment upon legislation relating to domestic violence introduced in the general assembly at the request of any member of the general assembly or on its own initiative; and

(7)  study the issue of employment discrimination against victims of domestic violence and suggest model workplace protections and policies.

(b)  The council shall collaborate with the Vermont fatality review commission to develop strategies for implementing the commission’s recommendations.

(c)  The council shall make a biennial report to the general assembly, the governor, the supreme court, and the people of Vermont explaining all relevant data about domestic violence collected by the council, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of Vermont’s current domestic violence intervention response strategies.

§ 1173.  COMPOSITION AND MEETINGS

(a)  The council shall consist of the following members to be appointed as follows:

(1)  To be appointed by the governor:

(A)  one member of the public who shall be a survivor of domestic violence;

(B)  a representative from the same-sex domestic violence service provider community;

(C)  a representative from the deaf and disability service provider community;

(D)  a representative from the department of state’s attorneys;

(E)  a prosecutor from one of the STOP Domestic Violence units;

(F)  a member of the Vermont clergy;

(G)  one member of the public representing the interests of children exposed to domestic violence.

(2)  To be appointed by the chief justice of the Vermont supreme court:

(A)  five members of the judiciary, one of whom may be a magistrate, one of whom may be an assistant judge, and one of whom may be a court manager;

(B)  one guardian ad litem;

(C)  a representative of Vermont Legal Aid;

(D)  a representative of the Vermont bar experienced in family law.

(3)  The following members:

(A)  the secretary of human services or designee;

(B)  the director of the Vermont criminal information center or designee;

(C)  the defender general or designee;

(D)  the attorney general or designee;

(E)  the executive director of the Vermont center for crime victims services or designee;

(F)  the director of the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence or designee;

(G)  the executive director of the criminal justice training council or designee;

(H)  the executive director of the Vermont commission on women or designee;

(I)  a representative from each county domestic violence task force;

(J)  a representative from Vermont’s supervised visitation coalition;

(K)  a representative from the Vermont police chiefs’ association;

(L)  a representative from the Vermont sheriffs’ association;

(M)  a representative from the Vermont coalition of batterer intervention services;

(N)  the commissioner of the department for children and families or designee;

(O)  the commissioner of the department of public safety or designee;

(P)  the commissioner of the department of corrections or designee; and

(Q)  the commissioner of the department of education or designee.

(b)  The council may establish any committees necessary to carry out its duties.

(c)  The council shall meet at least quarterly to conduct its business.

Sec. 14.  20 V.S.A. § 2365 is added to read:

§ 2365.  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRAINING

(a)  In order to remain certified, law enforcement officers shall receive by 2010 at least eight hours of domestic violence training in a program approved by the Vermont criminal justice training council and the Vermont network against sexual and domestic violence.

(b)  Law enforcement officers shall receive domestic violence retraining every two years in a program approved by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(c)  The Vermont police academy shall employ a domestic violence trainer.

Sec. 15.  33 V.S.A. § 4917 is amended to read:

§ 4917.  MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS; EMPANELING

(a)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services, or his or her designee may empanel a multi-disciplinary team or a special investigative multi-task force team or both wherever in the state there may be a probable case of child abuse or neglect which warrants the coordinated use of several professional services.

(b)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services, or his or her designee, in conjunction with professionals and community agencies, shall appoint members to the multi-disciplinary or special investigative multi-task force teams which may include persons who are trained and engaged in work relating to child abuse or neglect such as medicine, mental health, social work, nursing, day care, education, law, or law enforcement.  Additional persons may be appointed when the services of those persons are appropriate to any particular case.

(c)  The empaneling of a multi-disciplinary or special investigative

multi-task force team shall be authorized in writing and shall specifically list the members of the team.  This list may be amended from time to time as needed as determined by the commissioner or his or her designee.

Sec. 16.  STUDY OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST VICTIMS

        OF DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE

(a)  A committee is established to study the issue of housing discrimination against victims of domestic and sexual violence.

(b)  The committee shall consist of:

(1)  one member appointed by the agency of human services;

(2)  one member appointed by the Vermont public housing agency;

(3)  one member appointed by the Vermont apartment owners’ association;

(4)  one member appointed by Vermont legal aid;

(5)  one member appointed by the Champlain valley office of economic opportunity;

(6)  one member appointed by the Vermont department of housing and community affairs;

(7)  one member appointed by the Vermont human rights commission; and

(8)  one member appointed by the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.

(c)  The committee shall convene its first meeting not later than

September 1, 2008.  The executive director of the Vermont human rights commission is designated to convene the initial meeting.  The Vermont human rights commission shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee may utilize the expertise of nonmembers in its work.  The committee shall report its findings to the senate committees on judiciary and on economic development, housing and general affairs and the house committees on judiciary and on general, housing and military affairs no later than December 15, 2008.  The report shall include an analysis of policies adopted by other states and recommendations to the general assembly about how to respond to the problem of housing discrimination.

Sec. 17.  STUDY OF THE HARASSMENT AND BULLYING OF
               STUDENTS IN VERMONT SCHOOLS

(a)  A committee is established to study the issue of harassment and bullying in Vermont schools.  The committee shall examine:

(1)  the need for further training of educators and school staff to recognize and appropriately respond to the harassment and bullying of students;

(2)  the need for legislative enactments to address cyber-bullying;

(3)  state laws and regulations regarding harassment and bullying;

(4)  school policies and procedures regarding harassment and bullying; and

(5)  any other issues regarding harassment and bullying that the committee deems relevant.

(b)  The committee shall also study the issue of cyber-bullying of Vermont students and recommend measures to address this growing and destructive phenomenon.

(c)  The committee shall consist of:

(1)  one member appointed by the Vermont department of education;

(2)  one member appointed by the Vermont school boards association;

(3)  one member appointed by the Vermont superintendents association;

(4)  one member appointed by the Vermont principals association;

(5)  one member appointed by the Vermont national education association;

(6)  one member appointed by the Vermont human rights commission;

(7)  one member appointed by the Vermont commission on women;

(8)  one member appointed by outright Vermont;

(9)  one member appointed by the Vermont ecumenical council;

(10)  one member appointed by the ALANA community organization;

(11)  one member appointed by the Vermont office of attorney general;

(12)  one law enforcement officer knowledgeable in the investigation of computer crime to be appointed by the Vermont department of public safety;

(13)  two members with expertise and experience in school issues, one to be appointed by the speaker of the house and one to be appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate;

(14)  two youths, one to be appointed by the speaker of the house and one to be appointed by the pro tempore of the senate; and

(15)  one member appointed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont.

(d)  The committee shall convene its first meeting no later than

September 1, 2008.  The executive director of the Vermont human rights commission is designated to convene the initial meeting.  The Vermont human rights commission shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee may utilize the expertise of non-members in its work. 

(e)  The committee shall report its findings to the senate committees on judiciary and on education, and to the house committees on judiciary and on education no later than December 15, 2008.  The report shall include a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of harassment and bullying in Vermont schools.

Sec. 18.  13 V.S.A. § 7282 is amended to read:

§ 7282.  ASSESSMENT

(a)  In addition to any penalty or fine imposed by the court or judicial bureau for a criminal offense or any civil penalty imposed for a traffic violation, including any violation of a fish and wildlife statute or regulation, violation of a motor vehicle statute, or violation of any local ordinance relating to the operation of a motor vehicle, except violations relating to seat belts and child restraints and ordinances relating to parking violations, the clerk of the court or judicial bureau shall levy an additional fee of:

* * *

(8)(A)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2006, but before July 1, 2008, $26.00, of which $18.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

(B)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2008, $39.00, of which $18.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

* * *

Sec. 19.  32 V.S.A. § 1431 is amended to read:

§ 1431.  FEES IN SUPREME, SUPERIOR, DISTRICT, FAMILY, AND

  ENVIRONMENTAL COURTS

* * *

(b)(1)  Prior to the entry of any cause in the superior court or environmental court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $225.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section.

(2)  Prior to the entry of any divorce or annulment proceeding in the family court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $225.00 $275.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section; however, if the divorce or annulment complaint is filed with a stipulation for a final order acceptable to the court, the fee shall be $75.00.

* * *

Sec. 20.  32 V.S.A. § 1712 is amended to read:

§ 1712.  TOWN CLERKS

Town clerks shall receive the following fees in the matter of vital registration:

(1)  For issuing and recording a marriage or civil union license, $23.00 $35.00 to be paid by the applicant, $8.00 $10.00 of which sum shall be retained by the town clerk as a fee and $15.00 $25.00 of which sum shall be paid by the town clerk to the state treasurer in a return filed quarterly upon forms furnished by the state treasurer and specifying all fees received by him or her during the quarter.  Such quarterly period shall be as of the first day of January, April, July, and October.

* * *

Sec. 21.  8 V.S.A. § 4080f is amended to read:

§ 4080f.  CATAMOUNT HEALTH

(a)  As used in this section:

* * *

(9)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur, and had no private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for any of the following reasons:

(A)  the The individual’s private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage ended because of:

(i)  loss of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer-sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;

(ii)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(iii) divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(iv)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(v)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or .

(B)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(C)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

Sec. 22.  33 V.S.A. § 1973 is amended to read:

§ 1973.  VERMONT HEALTH ACCESS PLAN

(a)  The agency of human services or its designee shall establish the Vermont health access plan (VHAP) pursuant to a waiver of federal Medicaid law.  The plan shall remain in effect as long as a federal 1115 demonstration waiver is granted or renewed.

(b)  The purpose of the Vermont health access plan is to provide health care coverage for uninsured or underinsured low income Vermonters.  The agency of human services or its designee shall establish rules regarding eligibility and administration of the plan.

(c)  An individual who has been enrolled in an approved

employer-sponsored insurance plan with premium assistance under section 1974 of this title shall not be subject to a 12-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Vermont health access plan as provided for in subdivision 1974(d)(1).

(d)  An individual who has been enrolled in Catamount Health, with or without premium assistance, shall not be subject to a 12-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Vermont health access plan.

(e)  For purposes of this section, “uninsured” means:

(1)  an An individual with household income, after allowable deductions, at or below 75 percent of the federal poverty guideline for households of the same size; .

(2)  an An individual who had no private insurance or

employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application; or .

(3)  an An individual who lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for any of the following reasons:

(A)  the The individual’s coverage ended because of:

(i)  loss of employment;

(ii)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(iii)  divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(iv)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(v)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or .

(B)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(C)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

Sec. 23.  33 V.S.A. § 1974 is amended to read:

§ 1974.  EMPLOYER-SPONSORED INSURANCE; PREMIUM

       ASSISTANCE

* * *

(c)  Uninsured individuals; premium assistance.

(1)  For the purposes of this subsection:

* * *

(B)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur and had no private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for the following reasons:

(i)  the individual’s coverage ended because of:

(I)  of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer-sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;

(II)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(III)  divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(IV)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(V)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or .

(ii)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(iii)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A.

§ 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the required information.

* * *

Sec. 24.  33 V.S.A. § 1982 is amended to read:

§ 1982.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Catamount Health” means the health benefit plan offered under section 4080f of Title 8.

(2)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur and had no private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for the following reasons:

(A)  the individual’s private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage ended because of:

(i)  loss of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer-sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;

(ii)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(iii)  divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(iv)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(v)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or  .

(B)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(C)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A.

§ 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

* * *

Sec. 25.  APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  The amount of $1,147,000.00 from the general fund shall be available in FY 2009 for the center for crime victim services for the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.  This amount shall be used to fund domestic violence prevention programs and services in order to break the generational cycle of domestic violence and to support the victims of domestic and sexual violence.

(b)  Of the appropriation in subsection (a) of this section, the amount of $76,805.00 from the general fund shall be available for the Vermont police academy to employ a domestic violence training and curriculum development coordinator.

Sec. 26.  PILOT PROGRAM

The general assembly recognizes the significant impact of domestic violence on victims and their children.  The department for children and families, division of economic services, may expand emergency and general assistance pilot programs and may develop at least one pilot program specifically addressing the needs of victims of domestic violence.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

(For text see Senate Journal 3/14/908 – P. 316 )

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 635

     An act relating to reports of child abuse or neglect.

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

Sec. 1.  33 V.S.A. § 4911 is amended to read:

§ 4911.  Purpose

The purpose of this subchapter is to:

(1)  protect Protect children whose health and welfare may be adversely affected through abuse or neglect;.

(2)  strengthen Strengthen the family and make the home safe for children whenever possible by enhancing the parental capacity for good child care;.

(3)  provide Provide a temporary or permanent nurturing and safe environment for children when necessary; and for these purposes require the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect, an assessment or investigation of such reports and provision of services, when needed, to such child and family.

(4)  Establish a range of responses to child abuse and neglect that take into account different degrees of child abuse or neglect and which recognize that child offenders should be treated differently from adults.

(5)  Establish a tiered child protection registry that balances the need to protect children and the potential employment consequences of a registry record for persons who are substantiated for child abuse and neglect. 

Sec. 2.  33 V.S.A. § 4912 is amended to read:

§ 4912.  Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Child” means an individual under the age of majority.

(2)  An “abused or neglected child” means a child whose physical health, psychological growth and development or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare.  An “abused or neglected child” also means a child who is sexually abused or at substantial risk of sexual abuse by any person.

(3)  “Harm” can occur by:

(A)  Physical injury or emotional maltreatment;

(B)  Failure to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or health care.  For the purposes of this subchapter, “adequate health care” includes any medical or nonmedical remedial health care permitted or authorized under state law.  Notwithstanding that a child might be found to be without proper parental care under chapter 55 of Title 33, a parent or other person responsible for a child’s care legitimately practicing his or her religious beliefs who thereby does not provide specified medical treatment for a child shall not be considered neglectful for that reason alone; or

(C)  Abandonment of the child.

(4)  “Risk of harm” means a significant danger that a child will suffer serious harm other than by accidental means, which harm would be likely to cause physical injury, neglect, emotional maltreatment or sexual abuse.

(5)  “A person responsible for a child’s welfare” includes the child’s parent; guardian; foster parent; any other adult residing in the child’s home who serves in a parental role; an employee of a public or private residential home, institution or agency; or other person responsible for the child’s welfare while in a residential, educational, or child care setting, including any staff person.

(6)  “Physical injury” means death, or permanent or temporary disfigurement or impairment of any bodily organ or function by other than accidental means.

(7)  “Emotional maltreatment” means a pattern of malicious behavior which results in impaired psychological growth and development.

(8)  “Sexual abuse” consists of any act or acts by any person involving sexual molestation or exploitation of a child including but not limited to incest, prostitution, rape, sodomy, or any lewd and lascivious conduct involving a child.  Sexual abuse also includes the aiding, abetting, counseling, hiring, or procuring of a child to perform or participate in any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, depicts a sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse involving a child.

(9)  “Multi‑disciplinary team” means a group of professionals, paraprofessionals and other appropriate individuals, empanelled by the commissioner of social and rehabilitation services under this chapter, for the purpose of assisting in the identification and investigation review of cases of child abuse and neglect, coordinating treatment services for abused and neglected children and their families and promoting child abuse prevention.

(10)  “Substantiated report” means that the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee has determined after investigation that a report is based upon accurate and reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child has been abused or neglected.

(11)  [Repealed.]

(12)  “Member of the clergy” means a priest, rabbi, clergy member, ordained or licensed minister, leader of any church or religious body, accredited Christian Science practitioner, person performing official duties on behalf of a church or religious body that are recognized as the duties of a priest, rabbi, clergy, nun, brother, ordained or licensed minister, leader of any church or religious body, or accredited Christian Science practitioner. 

(13)  “Redacted investigation file” means the intake report, the investigation activities summary, and case determination report that are amended in accordance with confidentiality requirements set forth in subsection 4913(d) of this title.

(14)  “Child abuse and neglect protection registry” means a record of all investigations that have resulted in a substantiated report on or after January 1, 1992.

(15)  “Registry record” means an entry in the abuse and neglect child protection registry that consists of the name of an individual substantiated for child abuse or neglect, the date of the finding, the nature of the finding, and at least one other personal identifier, other than a name, listed in order to avoid the possibility of misidentification.

(16)  “Investigation” means a response to a report of child abuse or neglect that begins with the systematic gathering of information to determine whether the abuse or neglect has occurred and, if so, the appropriate response.  An investigation shall result in a formal determination as to whether the reported abuse or neglect has occurred.

(17)  “Assessment” means a response to a report of child abuse or neglect that focuses on the identification of the strengths and support needs of the child and the family, and any services they may require to improve or restore their well-being and to reduce the risk of future harm.  The child and family assessment does not result in a formal determination as to whether the reported abuse or neglect has occurred.

Sec. 3.  33 V.S.A. § 4913 is amended to read:

§ 4913.  REPORTING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT;

(a)  Any physician, surgeon, osteopath, chiropractor, or physician’s assistant licensed, certified, or registered under the provisions of Title 26, any resident physician, intern, or any hospital administrator in any hospital in this state, whether or not so registered, and any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, emergency medical personnel as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 2651(6), dentist, psychologist, pharmacist, any other health care provider, child care worker, school superintendent, school teacher, school librarian, child care worker, school principal, school guidance counselor, and any other individual who is regularly employed by a school district, or who is contracted and paid by a school district to provide student services for 5 or more hours per week during the school year, mental health professional, social worker, probation officer, police officer, camp owner, camp administrator, camp counselor, or member of the clergy who has reasonable cause to believe that any child has been abused or neglected shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of section 4914 of this title within 24 hours.  As used in this subsection, “camp” includes any residential or nonresidential recreational program.

(b)  Any other concerned person not listed in subsection (a) of this section who has reasonable cause to believe that any child has been abused or neglected may report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of section 4914 of this title. The commissioner shall inform the person who made the report under subsection (a) of this section:

(1)  whether the report was accepted as a valid allegation of abuse or neglect;

(2)  whether an assessment was conducted and, if so, whether a need for services was found; and

(3)  whether an investigation was conducted and, if so, whether it resulted in a substantiation.

(c)  Any other concerned person not listed in subsection (a) of this section who has reasonable cause to believe that any child has been abused or neglected may report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of section 4914 of this title.

(c)(d)(1)  Any person enumerated in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, other than a person suspected of child abuse, who in good faith makes a report to the department of social and rehabilitation services shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of making a report. 

(2)  An employer or supervisor shall not discharge; demote; transfer; reduce pay, benefits, or work privileges; prepare a negative work performance evaluation; or take any other action detrimental to any employee because that employee filed a good faith report in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.  Any person making a report under this subchapter shall have a civil cause of action for appropriate compensatory and punitive damages against any person who causes detrimental changes in the employment status of the reporting party by reason of his or her making a report.

(d)(e)  The name of and any identifying information about either the person making the report or any person mentioned in the report shall be confidential unless:

(1)  the person making the report specifically allows disclosure or unless;

(2)  a human services board proceeding or a judicial proceeding results therefrom or unless;

(3)  a court, after a hearing, finds probable cause to believe that the report was not made in good faith and orders the department to make the name of the reporter available; or

(4)  a review has been requested pursuant to section 4916a of this title, and the department has determined that identifying information can be provided without compromising the safety of the reporter or the persons mentioned in the report.

(e)(f)(1)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $500.00.

(2)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section with the intent to conceal abuse or neglect of a child shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(3)  This section shall not be construed to prohibit a prosecution under any other provision of law.

(f)(g)  Except as provided in subsection (g)(h) of this section, a person may not refuse to make a report required by this section on the grounds that making the report would violate a privilege or disclose a confidential communication.

(g)(h)  A member of the clergy shall not be required to make a report under this section if the report would be based upon information received in a communication which is:

(1)  made to a member of the clergy acting in his or her capacity as spiritual advisor;

(2)  intended by the parties to be confidential at the time the communication is made;

(3)  intended by the communicant to be an act of contrition or a matter of conscience; and

(4)  required to be confidential by religious law, doctrine, or tenet.

(h)(i)  When a member of the clergy receives information about abuse or neglect of a child in a manner other than as described in subsection

(g)(h) of this section, he or she is required to report on the basis of that information even though he or she may have also received a report of abuse or neglect about the same person or incident in the manner described in subsection (g)(h) of this section. 

Sec. 4.  33 V.S.A. § 4914 is amended to read:

§ 4914.  NATURE AND CONTENT OF REPORT; TO WHOM MADE

A report shall be made orally or in writing to the commissioner for children and families or designee.  The commissioner or designee shall request the reporter to follow the oral report with a written report, unless the reporter is anonymous.  Reports shall contain the name and address or other contact information of the reporter as well as the names and addresses of the child and the parents or other persons responsible for the child’s care, if known; the age of the child; the nature and extent of the child’s injuries together with any evidence of previous abuse and neglect of the child or the child’s siblings; and any other information that the reporter believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injuries or reasons for the neglect as well as in protecting the child and assisting the family.  If a report of child abuse or neglect involves the acts or omissions of the commissioner for children and families or employees of that the department, then the report shall be directed to the secretary of the agency of human services who shall cause the report to be investigated by other appropriate agency staff other than staff of the department for children and families.  If the report is substantiated, services shall be offered to the child and to his or her family or caretaker according to the requirements of section 4915 4915b of this title.

Sec. 5.  33 V.S.A. § 4915 is amended to read:

§ 4915.  ASSESSMENT AND INVESTIGATION; REMEDIAL ACTION

(a)  Upon receipt of a report of abuse or neglect, the department shall promptly determine whether it constitutes an allegation of child abuse or neglect as defined in section 4912 of this title.  The department shall respond to reports of alleged neglect or abuse that occurred in Vermont and to out-of-state conduct when the child is a resident of or is present in Vermont. 

(b)  If the report is accepted as a valid allegation of abuse or neglect, the department shall determine whether to conduct an assessment as provided for in section 4915a of this title or to conduct an investigation as provided for in section 4915b of this title.  The department shall begin either an assessment or an investigation within 72 hours after the receipt of a report made pursuant to section 4914 of this title, provided that it has sufficient information to proceed.  The commissioner may waive the 72-hour requirement only when necessary to locate the child who is the subject of the allegation or to ensure the safety of the child or social worker.

(c)  The decision to conduct an assessment shall include consideration of the following factors:

(1)  the nature of the conduct and the extent of the child’s injury, if any;

(2)  the accused person’s prior history of child abuse or neglect, or lack thereof; and

(3)  the accused person’s willingness or lack thereof to accept responsibility for the conduct and cooperate in remediation. 

(d)  The department shall conduct an investigation when an accepted report involves allegations indicating substantial child endangerment.  For purposes of this section, “substantial child endangerment” includes conduct by an adult involving or resulting in sexual abuse, and conduct by a person responsible for a child’s welfare involving or resulting in abandonment, child fatality, malicious punishment, or abuse or neglect that causes serious physical injury.  The department may conduct an investigation of any report.

(e)  The department shall begin an immediate investigation if, at any time during an assessment, it appears that an investigation is appropriate.

(f)  The department may collaborate with child protection, law enforcement, and other departments and agencies in Vermont and other jurisdictions to evaluate risk to a child and to determine the service needs of the child and family.  The department may enter into reciprocal agreements with other jurisdictions to further the purposes of this subchapter.

 (b)  The investigation, to the extent that it is reasonable under the facts and circumstances presented by the particular allegation of child abuse, shall include all of the following:

(1)  A visit to the child’s place of residence or place of custody and to the location of the alleged abuse or neglect.

(2)  An interview with, or observance of the child reportedly having been abused or neglected.  If the investigator elects to interview the child, that interview may take place without the approval of the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian, provided that it takes place in the presence of a disinterested adult who may be, but shall not be limited to being, a teacher, a member of the clergy, child care provider regulated by the department, or a nurse.

(3)  Determination of the nature, extent, and cause of any abuse or neglect.

(4)  Determination of the identity of the person alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect.

(5)(A)  The identity, by name, of any other children living in the same home environment as the subject child.  The investigator shall consider the physical and emotional condition of those children and may interview them, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection, unless the subject child is the person who is alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect.

(B)  The identity, by name, of any other children who may be at risk if the abuse was alleged to have been committed by someone who is not a member of the subject child’s household.  The investigator shall consider the physical and emotional condition of those children and may interview them, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection, unless the subject child is the person who is alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect.

(6)  A determination of the immediate and long-term risk to each child if that child remains in the existing home or other environment.

(7)  Consideration of the environment and the relationship of any children therein to the person alleged to be responsible for the suspected abuse or neglect.

(8)  All other data deemed pertinent.

(c)  For cases investigated by the department, the commissioner may, to the extent that it is reasonable, provide assistance to the child and the child’s family.

(d)  The commissioner, designee, or any person required to report under section 4913 or any other person performing an investigation pursuant to section 4914 may take or cause to be taken, photographs of trauma visible on a child who is the subject of a report.  The commissioner or designee may seek consultation with a physician.  If it is indicated as appropriate by the physician, the commissioner or designee may cause the child who is subject of a report to undergo a radiological examination, without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.

(e)  Services may be provided to the child’s immediate family whether or not the child remains in the home.

(f)  The department shall report to and request assistance from law enforcement in the following circumstances:

(1)  Investigations of child sexual abuse by an alleged perpetrator age 10 or older.

(2)  Investigations of serious physical abuse or neglect of a child likely to result in criminal charges or requiring emergency medical care.

(3)  Situations potentially dangerous to the child or department worker.

Sec. 6.  33 V.S.A. § 4915a is added to read:

§ 4915a.  Procedures for Assessment

(a)  An assessment, to the extent that is reasonable under the facts and circumstances presented by the particular valid allegation of child abuse or neglect, shall include the following:

(1)  An interview with the child’s parent, guardian, foster parent, or any other adult residing in the child’s home who serves in a parental role.  The interview shall focus on ensuring the immediate safety of the child and mitigating the future risk of harm to the child in the home environment.

(2)  An evaluation of the safety of the subject child and any other children living in the same home environment.  The evaluation may include an interview with or observation of the child or children.  Such interviews or observations shall occur with the permission of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian.

(3)  In collaboration with the family, identification of family strengths, resources, and service needs, and the development of a plan of services that reduces the risk of harm and improves or restores family well-being. 

(b)  The assessment shall be completed within 45 days.  Upon written justification by the department, the assessment may be extended, not to exceed a total of 60 days.

(c)  Families have the option of declining the services offered as a result of the assessment.  If the family declines the services, the case shall be closed unless the department determines that sufficient cause exists to begin an investigation or to request the state’s attorney to file a petition pursuant to chapter 55 of this title.  In no instance shall a case be investigated solely because the family declines services.

(d)  When an assessment case is closed, there shall be no finding of abuse or neglect and no indication of the intervention shall be placed in the registry.  However, the department shall document the outcome of the assessment.

Sec. 7.  33 V.S.A. § 4915b is added to read:

§ 4915b.  Procedures for Investigation

(a)  An investigation, to the extent that it is reasonable under the facts and circumstances presented by the particular allegation of child abuse, shall include all of the following:

(1)  A visit to the child’s place of residence or place of custody and to the location of the alleged abuse or neglect.

(2)  An interview with or observation of the child reportedly having been abused or neglected.  If the investigator elects to interview the child, that interview may take place without the approval of the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian, provided that it takes place in the presence of a disinterested adult who may be, but shall not be limited to being, a teacher, a member of the clergy, a child care provider regulated by the department, or a nurse.

(3)  Determination of the nature, extent, and cause of any abuse or neglect.

(4)  Determination of the identity of the person alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect.

(5)(A)  The identity, by name, of any other children living in the same home environment as the subject child.  The investigator shall consider the physical and emotional condition of those children and may interview them, unless the child is the person who is alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(B)  The identity, by name, of any other children who may be at risk if the abuse was alleged to have been committed by someone who is not a member of the subject child’s household.  The investigator shall consider the physical and emotional condition of those children and may interview them, unless the child is the person who is alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(6)  A determination of the immediate and long‑term risk to each child if that child remains in the existing home or other environment.

(7)  Consideration of the environment and the relationship of any children therein to the person alleged to be responsible for the suspected abuse or neglect.

(8)  All other data deemed pertinent.

(b)  For cases investigated and substantiated by the department, the commissioner shall, to the extent that it is reasonable, provide assistance to the child and the child’s family.  For cases investigated but not substantiated by the department, the commissioner may, to the extent that it is reasonable, provide assistance to the child and the child’s family.  Nothing contained in this section or section 4915a of this title shall be deemed to create a private right of action.

(c)  The commissioner, designee, or any person required to report under section 4913 of this title or any other person performing an investigation may take or cause to be taken photographs of trauma visible on a child who is the subject of a report.  The commissioner or designee may seek consultation with a physician.  If it is indicated appropriate by the physician, the commissioner or designee may cause the child who is subject of a report to undergo a radiological examination without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. 

(d)  Services may be provided to the child’s immediate family whether or not the child remains in the home. 

(e)  The department shall report to and request assistance from law enforcement in the following circumstances:

(1)  Investigations of child sexual abuse by an alleged perpetrator age 10 or older.

(2)  Investigations of serious physical abuse or neglect likely to result in criminal charges or requiring emergency medical care.

(3)  Situations potentially dangerous to the child or department worker.

(f)  The department shall not substantiate cases in which neglect is caused solely by the lack of financial resources of the parent or guardian.

Sec. 8.  33 V.S.A. § 4916 is amended to read:

§ 4916.  CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT PROTECTION REGISTRY; RECORDS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT  

(a)(1)  The commissioner shall maintain a abuse and neglect child protection registry which shall contain a record of all investigations that have resulted in a substantiated report on or after January 1, 1992.  Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, prior to placement of a substantiated report on the registry, the commissioner shall comply with the procedures set forth in section 4916a of this title.

(2)  In cases involving sexual abuse or serious physical abuse of a child, the commissioner in his or her sole judgment may list a substantiated report on the registry pending any administrative review after:

(A)  Reviewing the investigation file.

(B)  Making written findings in consideration of:

(i)  the nature and seriousness of the alleged behavior; and

(ii)  the person’s continuing access to children.

(3)  A person alleged to have abused or neglected a child and whose name has been placed on the registry in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be notified of the registry entry, provided with the commissioner’s findings, and advised of the right to seek an administrative review in accordance with section 4916a of this title.

(4)  If the name of a person has been placed on the registry in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection, it shall be removed from the registry if the substantiation is rejected after an administrative review.

(b)  A registry record means an entry in the abuse and neglect child protection registry that consists of the name of an individual substantiated for child abuse or neglect, the date of the finding, the nature of the finding, and at least one other personal identifier, other than a name, listed in order to avoid the possibility of misidentification.

(c)  The commissioner shall adopt rules to permit use of the registry records as authorized by this subchapter while preserving confidentiality of the registry and other department records related to abuse and neglect.

(d)  Registry records shall only be disclosed to the commissioner or person designated by the commissioner to receive such records, persons assigned by the commissioner to investigate reports, the person reported on, an employer as defined in subsection 4919(e) of this title, or a state’s attorney or the attorney general. In no event shall registry records be made available for employment purposes other than as set forth in section 309 or 4919 of this title, or for credit purposes. Any person who violates this subsection shall be fined not more than $500.00. 

For all substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect made on or after the date the final rules are adopted, the commissioner shall create a registry record that reflects a designated child protection level related to the risk of future harm to children.  This system of child protection levels shall be based upon an evaluation of the risk the person responsible for the abuse or neglect poses to the safety of children.  The risk evaluation shall include consideration of the following factors:

(A)  the nature of the conduct and the extent of the child’s injury, if any;

(B)  the person’s prior history of child abuse or neglect as either a victim or perpetrator; 

(C)  the person’s response to the investigation and willingness to engage in recommended services; and

(D)  the person’s age and developmental maturity.

(e)(1)  Verbal Notice. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall promptly inform a parent or guardian of the child that a report has been made and substantiated. If a parent or guardian is under investigation for abuse or neglect, such information need only be provided to that parent or guardian in accordance with subsection 4916(d) of this title.

(2)  Written Records. Absent good cause shown by the department, if a report has been substantiated, the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall provide upon request the redacted investigation file to the child’s parent or guardian or, if there is a pending juvenile proceeding or if the child is in custody of the commissioner, to the child’s attorney.

The commissioner shall develop rules for the implementation of a system of child protection registry levels for substantiated cases.  The rules shall address:

(1)  the length of time a person’s name appears on the registry;

(2)  when and how names are expunged from the registry;

(3)  whether the person is a juvenile or an adult;

(4)  whether the person was charged with or convicted of a criminal offense arising out of the incident of abuse or neglect; and

(5)  whether a family court has made any findings against the person.

(f)(1)  The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee may inform the following persons that a report has been substantiated:

(A)  The person responsible for supervising the staff in the child’s residential, educational or child care setting.

(B)  Upon request, to the person who made the report under subsection 4913(a) of this title.

(C)  Any person authorized by law to receive such information.

(2)  A person receiving information under this subsection shall not disclose that information to persons who are not involved with the provision of treatment services under section 4915 of this title to the abused or neglected child.

Sec. 9.  33 V.S.A. § 4916a is amended to read:

§ 4916a.  CHALLENGING PLACEMENT ON THE REGISTRY

(a)  If an investigation conducted in accordance with section 4915 4915b of this title results in a determination that a report of child abuse or neglect should be substantiated, the department shall notify the person alleged to have abused or neglected a child of the following:

(1)  The nature of the substantiation decision, and that the department intends to enter the record of the substantiation into the registry.

(2)  Who has access to registry information and under what circumstances.

(3)  The implications of having one’s name placed on the registry as it applies to employment, licensure, and registration.

(4)  The right to request a review of the substantiation determination by an administrative reviewer, the time in which the request for review shall be made, and the consequences of not seeking a review.

(5)  The right to receive a copy of the commissioner’s written findings made in accordance with subdivision 4916(a)(2) of this title if applicable.

(b)  Under this section, notice by the department to a person alleged to have abused or neglected a child shall be by first class mail sent to the person’s last known address.

(c)(1)  A person alleged to have abused or neglected a child may seek an administrative review of the department's intention to place the person's name on the registry by notifying the department within 14 days of the date the department mailed notice of the right to review in accordance with subsections (a) and (b) of this section.  The commissioner may grant an extension past the 14-day period for good cause, not to exceed 28 days after the department has mailed notice of the right to review.

(2)  The administrative review may be stayed upon request of the person alleged to have committed abuse or neglect if there is a related case pending in court.  During the period the review is stayed, the person’s name shall be placed on the registry with an additional entry that the substantiation decision has been appealed.  Any authorized individual inquiring whether the person’s name is on the registry shall be informed that the name is on the registry and the substantiation decision has been appealed.  The court where the case is being adjudicated shall inform the registry review unit when the case is concluded.

(d)  The department shall hold an administrative review conference within 14 35 days of receipt of the request for review.  At least seven ten days prior to the administrative review conference, the department shall provide to the person requesting review a copy of the redacted investigation file, notice of time and place of the conference, and conference procedures, including information that may be submitted and mechanisms for providing testimony.  The department shall also provide to the person those redacted investigation files that relate to prior investigations that the department has relied upon to make its substantiation determination in the case in which a review has been requested.

(e)  At the administrative review conference, the person who requested the review shall be provided with the opportunity to present documentary evidence or other information that supports his or her position and provides information to the reviewer in making the most accurate decision regarding the allegation.  The department shall have the burden of proving that it has accurately and reliably concluded that a reasonable person would believe that the child has been abused or neglected by that person.  Upon the person’s request, the conference may be held by teleconference.

(f)  The department shall establish an administrative case review unit within the department and contract for the services of administrative reviewers.  An administrative reviewer shall be a neutral and independent arbiter who has no prior involvement in the original investigation of the allegation. 

(g)  Within seven days of the conference, the administrative reviewer shall:

(1)  reject the department’s substantiation determination;

(2)  accept the department’s substantiation; or

(3)  place the substantiation determination on hold and direct the department to further investigate the case based upon recommendations of the reviewer.

(h)  If the administrative reviewer accepts the department’s substantiation determination, a registry record shall be made immediately.  If the reviewer rejects the department’s substantiation determination, no registry record shall be made.

(i)  Within seven days of the decision to reject or accept or to place the substantiation on hold in accordance with subsection (g) of this section, the administrative reviewer shall provide notice to the person of his or her decision.  If the administrative reviewer accepts the department's substantiation, the notice shall advise the person of the right to appeal the administrative reviewer's decision to the human services board in accordance with section 4916b of this title.

(j)  Persons whose names were placed on the registry on or after January 1, 1992 but prior to July September 1, 2007 shall be entitled to an opportunity to seek an administrative review to challenge the substantiation pursuant to this section.

(k)  If no administrative review is requested, the department’s decision in the case shall be final, and the person shall have no further right of review under this section.  The commissioner may grant a waiver and permit such a review upon good cause shown.  Good cause may include an acquittal or dismissal of a criminal charge arising from the incident of abuse or neglect.

(l)  In exceptional circumstances, the commissioner, in his or her sole and nondelegable discretion, may reconsider any decision made by a reviewer.  A commissioner’s decision that creates a registry record may be appealed to the human services board in accordance with section 4916b of this title.

Sec. 10.  33 V.S.A. § 4916c is amended to read:

§ 4916c.  PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT FROM THE REGISTRY

(a)  A person whose name has been placed on the registry prior to July 1, 2009 and has been listed on the registry for at least seven three years may file a written request with the commissioner, seeking a review for the purpose of expunging an individual registry record.  A person whose name has been placed on the registry on or after July 1, 2009 and has been listed on the registry for at least seven years may file a written request with the commissioner, seeking a review for the purpose of expunging an individual registry record.  The commissioner shall grant a review upon request.

(b)  The person shall have the burden of proving that a reasonable person would believe that he or she no longer presents a risk to the safety or well‑being of children.  Factors to be considered by the commissioner shall include:

(1)  The nature of the substantiation that resulted in the person’s name being placed on the registry.

(2)  The number of substantiations, if more than one.

(3)  The amount of time that has elapsed since the substantiation.

(4)  The circumstances of the substantiation that would indicate whether a similar incident would be likely to occur.

(5)  Any activities that would reflect upon the person’s changed behavior or circumstances, such as therapy, employment, or education.

(6)  References that attest to the person’s good moral character.

(c)  At the review, the person who requested the review shall be provided with the opportunity to present any evidence or other information, including witnesses, that supports his or her request for expungement.  Upon the person’s request, the review may be held by teleconference.

(d)  A person may seek a review under this section no more than once every 36 months. 

(e)  Within 30 days of the date on which the commissioner mailed notice of the decision pursuant to this section, a person may appeal the decision to the human services board.  The person shall be prohibited from challenging his or her substantiation at such hearing, and the sole issue before the board shall be whether the commissioner abused his or her discretion in denial of the petition for expungement.  The hearing shall be on the record below, and determinations of credibility of witnesses made by the commissioner shall be given deference by the board.

(f)  The department shall take steps to provide reasonable notice to persons on the registry of their right to seek an expungement under this section.  Actual notice is not required.   Reasonable steps may include activities such as the production of an informative fact sheet about the expungement process, posting of such information on the department website, and other approaches typically taken by the department to inform the public about the department’s activities and policies.  The department shall send notice of the expungement process to any person listed on the registry for whom a registry check has been requested.

Sec. 11.  33 V.S.A. § 4916d is amended to read:

§ 4916d.  AUTOMATIC EXPUNGEMENT OF REGISTRY RECORDS

  OF MINORS

Registry entries concerning a person who was substantiated for behavior occurring before the person reached 10 years of age shall be expunged when the person reaches the age of 18, provided that the person has had no additional substantiated registry entries.  A registry record shall not be made of a person substantiated for behavior occurring before the person reached 11 years of age, except in extraordinary circumstances.  A person substantiated for behavior occurring after the person reached 11 but before 18 years of age and whose name has been listed on the registry for at least three years may file a written request with the commissioner, seeking a review for the purpose of expunging an individual registry record in accordance with section 4916c of this title.  

Sec. 12.  33 V.S.A. § 4917 is amended to read:

§ 4917.  Multi-disciplinary teams; empaneling

(a)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services, or his or her designee may empanel a multi-disciplinary team wherever in the state there may be a probable case of child abuse or neglect which warrants the coordinated use of several professional services.

(b)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services, or his or her designee, in conjunction with professionals and community agencies, shall appoint members to the multi-disciplinary teams which may include persons who are trained and engaged in work relating to child abuse or neglect such as medicine, mental health, social work, nursing, day child care, education, law or law enforcement.  Additional persons may be appointed when the services of those persons are appropriate to any particular case.

(c)  The empanelling of a multi-disciplinary team shall be authorized in writing and shall specifically list the members of the team.  This list may be amended from time to time as needed as determined by the commissioner or his or her designee.

Sec. 13.  33 V.S.A. § 4918 is amended to read:

§ 4918.  Multi-disciplinary teams; functions; guidelines

(a)  Multi-disciplinary teams shall assist local district offices of the department of social and rehabilitation services in identifying and treating child abuse and or neglect cases.  With respect to any case referred to it, the team shall may assist the district office by providing:

(1)  case diagnosis or identification,;

(2)  a comprehensive treatment plan,; and

(3)  coordination of services pursuant to the treatment plan.

(b)  Multi-disciplinary teams may also provide public informational and educational services to the community about identification, treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.  It shall also foster communication and cooperation among professionals and organizations in its community, and provide such recommendations or changes in service delivery as it deems necessary.

Sec. 14.  33 V.S.A. § 4919 is amended to read:

§ 4919.  DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION REGISTRY RECORDS

(a)  The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee may disclose a registry information record only as set forth in section 4916 of this title or as follows:

(1)  To the state’s attorney or the attorney general;.

(2)  To the owner or operator of a facility regulated by the department for the purpose of informing the owner or operator that employment of a specific individual may result in loss of license or, registration, certification, or authorization as set forth in section 309 of this title;.

(3)  To an employer if such information is used to determine whether to hire or retain a specific individual providing care, custody, treatment, transportation, or supervision of children or vulnerable adults.  The employer may submit a request concerning a current employee, volunteer, grantee, or contractor or an individual to whom the employer has given a conditional offer of a contract, volunteer position, or employment.  The request shall be accompanied by a release signed by the current or prospective employee, volunteer, grantee, or contractor.  If that individual has a record of a substantiated report, the commissioner shall provide the registry record to the employer;.  The employer shall not disclose the information contained in the registry report.

(4)  To the commissioner commissioners of disabilities, aging, and independent living, and of mental health, or the commissioner’s designee their designees, for purposes related to the licensing or registration of facilities regulated by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living; those departments.

(5)  To the commissioner commissioners of health or, of disabilities, aging, and independent living, and of mental health, or the commissioner’s designee their designees, for purposes related to oversight and monitoring of persons who are served by or compensated with funds provided by the departments of health and of disabilities, aging, and independent living, those departments, including persons to whom a conditional offer of employment has been made;.

(6)  Upon request or when relevant to other states’ adult protective services offices; and.

(7)  Upon request or when relevant to other states’ child protection agencies.

(8)  To the person substantiated for child abuse and neglect who is the subject of the record.

(b)  An employer providing transportation services to children or vulnerable adults may disclose registry records obtained pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section to the agency of human services or its designee for the sole purpose of auditing the records to ensure compliance with this subchapter.  An employer shall provide such records at the request of the agency or its designee.  Only registry records regarding individuals who provide direct transportation services or otherwise have direct contact with children or vulnerable adults may be disclosed.

(c)  Volunteers shall be considered employees for purposes of this section.

(d)  Disclosure of registry records or information or other records used or obtained in the course of providing services to prevent child abuse or neglect or to treat abused or neglected children and their families by one member of a multidisciplinary team to another member of that team shall not subject either member of the multidisciplinary team, individually, or the team as a whole, to any civil or criminal liability notwithstanding any other provision of law.

(e)  “Employer,” as used in this section, means a person or organization who employs or contracts with one or more individuals to care for or provide transportation services to children or vulnerable adults, on either a paid or volunteer basis. 

(f)  In no event shall registry records be made available for employment purposes other than as set forth in this subsection, or for credit purposes.  Any person who violates this subsection shall be fined not more than $500.00.

(g)  Nothing in this subsection shall limit the department’s right to use and disclose information from its records as provided in section 4921 of this chapter.

Sec. 15.  33 V.S.A. § 4920 is amended to read:

§ 4920.  Retaliatory action by employer prohibited

An employer or supervisor shall not discharge, demote, transfer, reduce pay, benefits or work privileges, prepare a negative work performance evaluation or take any other action detrimental to any employee because that employee filed a good faith report in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter. Any person making a report under this subchapter shall have a civil cause of action for appropriate compensatory and punitive damages against any person who causes detrimental changes in the employment status of the reporting party by reason of his or her making a report.

Sec. 16.  33 V.S.A. § 4921 is added to read:

§ 4921.  Department’s Records of abuse and neglect

(a)  The commissioner shall maintain all records of all investigations, assessments, reviews, and responses initiated under this subchapter.  The department may use and disclose information from such records in the usual course of its business, including to assess future risk to children, to provide appropriate services to the child or members of the child’s family, or for other legal purposes.

(b)  The commissioner shall promptly inform the parents, if known, or guardian of the child that a report has been accepted as a valid allegation pursuant to subsection 4915(b) of this title and the department’s response to the report.  The department shall inform the parent or guardian of his or her ability to request records pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(c)  Upon request, the redacted investigation file shall be disclosed to:

(1)  the child’s parents, foster parent, or guardian, absent good cause shown by the department, provided that the child’s parent, foster parent, or guardian is not the subject of the investigation; and

(2)  the person alleged to have abused or neglected the child, as provided for in subsection 4916a(d) of this title.

(d)  Upon request, department records created under this subchapter shall be disclosed to:

(1)  the court, parties to the juvenile proceeding, and the child’s guardian ad litem if there is a pending juvenile proceeding or if the child is in the custody of the commissioner;

(2)  the commissioner or person designated by the commissioner to receive such records; 

(3)  persons assigned by the commissioner to conduct investigations;

(4)  law enforcement officers engaged in a joint investigation with the department, an assistant attorney general, or a state’s attorney;

(5)  other state agencies conducting related inquiries or proceedings; and 

(6)  probate courts involved in guardianship proceedings.  The probate court shall provide a copy of the record to the respondent, the respondent’s attorney, the petitioner, the guardian upon appointment, and any other individual, including the proposed guardian, determined by the court to have a strong interest in the welfare of the respondent.

(e)(1)  Upon request, relevant department records created under this subchapter may be disclosed to:

(A)  service providers working with a person or child who is the subject of the report; and

(B)  other governmental entities for purposes of child protection.

(2)  Determinations of relevancy shall be made by the department.

Sec. 17.  33 V.S.A. § 4922 is added to read:

§ 4922.  RULEMAKING

(a)  The commissioner shall develop rules to implement this subchapter. These shall include:

 (1)  rules setting forth criteria for determining whether to conduct an assessment or an investigation;

(2)  rules setting out procedures for assessment and service delivery;

(3)  rules outlining procedures for investigations;

(4)  rules for conducting the administrative review conference;

(5)  rules regarding access to and maintenance of department records of investigations, assessments, reviews, and responses;

(6)  rules regarding the tiered registry as required by section 4916 of this title; and

(7)  rules setting forth criteria for determining what substantiated behavior constitutes extraordinary circumstances for the purpose of placing the name of a person under 11 years of age on the child protection registry.

(b)  The rules shall strike an appropriate balance between protecting children and respecting the rights of a parent or guardian, including a parent or guardian with disabilities, and shall recognize that persons with a disability can be successful parents.  The rules shall include the possible use of adaptive equipment and supports.

(c)  These rules shall be adopted no later than July 1, 2009.

Sec. 18.  33 V.S.A. § 4923 is added to read:

§ 4923.  REPORTING

The commissioner shall publish an annual report regarding reports of child abuse and neglect no later than June 30, for the previous year.  The report shall include:

(1)  The number of reports accepted as valid allegations of child abuse or neglect.

(2)  The number of reports that resulted in an investigative response; particularly:

(A)  the number of investigations which resulted in a substantiation;

(B)  the types of maltreatment substantiated;

(C)  the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, by category; and

(D)  the gender and age group of the substantiated victims.

(3)  The number of reports that resulted in an assessment response; particularly:

(A)  the general types of maltreatment alleged in cases which received an assessment response; and

(B)  the number of assessments that resulted in the recommendation of services.

(4)  Trend information over a five-year period.  Beginning with the adoption of the assessment response and continuing over the next five years, the report shall explain the impact of the assessment response on statistical reporting.

Sec. 19.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Sec. 3 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2009.

(b)  In Sec. 5 of this act, the amendments in 33 V.S.A. § 4915(b), (c), (d), and (e) shall take effect upon adoption of final rules by the department for children and families.

(c)  Sec. 6 of this act shall take effect upon adoption of final rules by the department for children and families.

(d)  Sec. 9 of this act shall take effect on September 1, 2008.

(For text see House Journal 3/21/08 – P. 656; 3/25/08 – P. 739 )

H. 709

     An act relating to campgrounds.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.  Chapter 138. Campgrounds is added to Title 9, to read as follows:

Chapter 138. CAMPGROUNDS

§4470.  CAMPGROUNDS; REMOVAL

(a)  Definition.  A recreational campground or camping park is property where transient residence is offered or provided for seasonal or short-term vacation or recreational purposes on which may be located cabins, tents, or lean-tos or campsites designed for temporary set-up of portable or mobile camping, recreational, or travel dwelling units including tents, campers, and recreational vehicles such as motor homes, travel trailers, truck campers, and van campers.

(b)  An owner, operator, or agent of a recreational campground or camping park may remove or cause to be removed from a recreational campground or camping park any person who does any of the following:

(1)  refuses to pay registration or fees;

(2)  denies others the right to quiet enjoyment of the use of the recreational campground or camping park;

(3)  violates any municipal or state law; or

(4)  violates the published or posted rules of the recreational campground or camping park.

(c)  A person who refuses to immediately leave the property after he or she has been told to do so by the owner, operator, or agent shall be in violation of 13 V.S.A. §3705(a) and may be prosecuted for unlawful trespass.  If any conduct involves the use of a motor vehicle, the person may be prosecuted for any applicable violation of Title 23.  For the purposes of this section, the property on which a campground or camp park is located shall be considered open to the free flow and circulation of traffic.  The person may be removed from the premises by a law enforcement officer on request of the owner, operator, or agent.

(d)  The owner, operator, or agent shall employ reasonable means to protect any personal property left at a campground or camping park by a person who has left or has been removed.  A reasonable storage fee which is published or posted may be charged for any personal property left at the campground or camping park.  If the owner does not take possession of the personal property within six months of the date the property has been left at the campground, the owner, operator or agent may dispose of it in a commercial reasonable manner and then pay to the owner the sale proceeds less any storage and sales fees incurred.

No House Amendments

 

Ordered to Lie

H. 549

     An act relating to establishing buffer zones along waterways of the state.

Pending question: Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Fish Wildlife & Water Resources committee and the committee on Appropriations ?

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, April 17, 2008)

H.C.R. 269

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Mount Anthony Union High Patriots’ 2008 Vermont championship wrestling team on winning a national record-setting 20th consecutive state title

H.C.R. 270

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Mount Anthony Union High School Lady Patriots Division I championship Nordic ski team

H.C.R. 271

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Mount Anthony Union High School 2008 Lady Patriots’ Division I girls’ basketball championship team

H.C.R. 272

House concurrent resolution in memory of former Bennington County Assistant Judge Ezekiel S. Cross

H.C.R. 273

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Frost Heaves on winning the 2008 American Basketball Association championship

H.C.R. 274

House concurrent resolution honoring Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc. on its fortieth anniversary

H.C.R. 275

House concurrent resolution honoring retiring Weybridge town moderator Stanley James Jr.


H.C.R. 276

House concurrent resolution recognizing the lifesaving efforts of William Woolsey

H.C.R. 277

House concurrent resolution in memory of Representative David T. Clark of St. Johnsbury

H.C.R. 278

House concurrent resolution congratulating Vermont Woman on winning the 2007 New England Press Association’s Newspaper of the Year Award and related honors

H.C.R. 279

House concurrent resolution honoring the 2008 FIRST Robotics Competition teams from Vermont

S.C.R. 45.

  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Elwin Cross on being named the 2008 Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

S.C.R. 46. 

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating ONEK Productions on its 15th anniversary.

S.C.R. 47.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Caitlin Manahan on being named the 2008 Miss Hockey.

S.C.R. 48.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Granite Center Garden Club on its 70th anniversary.

S.C.R. 49. 

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Marlboro College on its 60th anniversary.

S.C.R. 50. 

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating WVMT radio’s Charlie and Ernie In The Morning on the radio program’s 10th anniversary.

S.C.R. 51. 

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Montpelier High School principal Peter Evans on his designation as the 2008 Vermont Principal of the Year.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us