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House Calendar

MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2008

112th DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 1:00 P M

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

S. 350  Relating to Energy Independence and Economic Prosperity............... 2649

Favorable with Amendment

S. 152  Prevention of Lead Poisoning in Consumer Products......................... 2649

          Rep. Mrowicki for Human Services

S. 261  Phthalates in Products for Young Children........................................ 2654

          Rep. Pugh for Human Services

S. 340  Mammography Patient Cost Containment......................................... 2654

          Rep. Copeland-Hanzas for Health Care

Favorable

S. 220  Confidentiality of Library Patron Records......................................... 2655

          Rep. Clarkson for Judiciary

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 558  Waste Facility Franchise Tax Exemption – Mining Waste................. 2655

H. 619  Regulation of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners................................. 2656

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

S. 112  Relating to Victims’ Compensation................................................... 2659

          Rep. Grad for Judiciary

          Rep. Hutchinson for Appropriations

S. 244  Relating to Self-Storage Facilities..................................................... 2659

          Rep. Consejo For Commerce

 

 

S. 246  Electronic Access to Criminal and Family Court Records.................. 2665

          Rep. Grad for Judiciary

          Rep. Sharpe for Ways and Means...................................................... 2671

S. 297  Clarifying Definition of “Stiff Hitch”................................................... 2672

          Rep. Brennan for Transportation

          Rep. Sharpe for Ways and Means

S. 358  Re Enhanced Driver Licenses........................................................... 2673

          Rep. Potter of Clarendon for Transportation

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 112  Protecting Health Care and Public from Disease............................... 2680

H. 353  Employee Free Choice for Bargaining Representative....................... 2680

H. 599  Re Boating While Intoxicated and Driving While Intoxicated............. 2682

H. 685  Enforcement of Environmental laws.................................................. 2688

H. 691  Executive and Judicial Branch Fees.................................................. 2688

H. 700  Relating to sale of Bottles of Wine at Festivals.................................. 2710

H. 783  Relating to Home Improvement Fraud............................................. 2711

H. 870  Regulations of Professions and Occupations..................................... 2715

H. 881  Utilities Facilitating Communications Facilities................................... 2718

H. 887  Relating to Health Care Reform....................................................... 2727

H. 890  Compensation for Certain State Employees..................................... 2755

 

Report Committee of Conference

S. 241  Special Veteran and Gold Star Registration Plates............................ 2764

Proposed Amendment to the Constitution

Prop. 5   Elections; voter’s oath; self-administration...................................... 2765

          Rep. Pearson for Government Operations

 

Ordered to Lie

H. 549  Establishing Waterfront Buffer Zones............................................... 2731

 

 

 

 


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

S. 350

An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

Favorable with Amendment

S. 152

An act relating to prevent ion of lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products.

Rep. Mrowicki of Putney, 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.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Lead is highly toxic to humans, particularly to young children.

(2)  Exposure to lead can cause irreversible damage that results in

long-lasting, permanent neurological damage, such as decreases in I.Q. scores.

(3)  Lead exposure has also been shown to be associated with school failure, delinquency, and criminal behavior.

(4)  There is no safe level of lead for humans.  Recent medical evidence has demonstrated that serious adverse health effects appear at extremely low blood levels.  Moreover, the effects of lead exposure are cumulative, and exposure to a very small amount of lead dust over time can cause a serious increase in lead levels in blood.

(5)  There are multiple sources of lead exposure, including lead-based paint; soil; certain children’s products; water fixtures; and certain occupational environments.

(6)  Although federal law limits the amount of lead in residential paint and in surface coatings on children’s products, it does not set specific caps on lead in children’s products generally or in other consumer products.

(7)  There is no reason for children’s products made with lead to be sold or marketed in Vermont, or for not taking reasonable steps to reduce lead in all consumer products.

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. chapter 63, subchapter 1C is added to read:

Subchapter 1C.  Lead in Consumer Products

§ 2470e.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Children’s product” means any consumer product marketed for use by children under the age of 12, or whose substantial use or handling by children under 12 years of age is reasonably foreseeable, including toys, furniture, jewelry, vitamins and other supplements, personal care products, clothing, food, and food containers and packaging.

(2)(A)  “Contain or containing lead,” unaccompanied by a specific standard, means containing or having a surface coating containing the following amount of lead by weight of lead or lead compound, unless the commissioner of health, in consultation with the attorney general by rule, reduces this percentage generally or with respect to specific products:

(i)  0.06 percent as of October 1, 2008;

(ii)  0.03 percent as of July 1, 2009; and

(iii)  0.01 percent as of January 1, 2010.

(B)  If the standard set under this subsection is preempted by a federal standard as to any class of products, then “contain (or containing) lead,” unaccompanied by a specific standard, means the lowest such federal standards and federal effective dates applicable to such a class of products.

(3)  “Nonresidential paints and primers” does not mean artists’ supplies.

§ 2470f.  PROHIBITION OF LEAD IN CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS

Except to the extent specifically preempted by federal law, no person shall manufacture, regardless of location, for sale in, offer for sale, sell in or into the stream of commerce, or otherwise introduce into the stream of commerce in Vermont any children’s product any component part of which contains lead.  This prohibition shall not apply to:

(1)  any part of a children’s product that is not accessible to a child through normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of such product.  A component part is not accessible under this section if such component part is not physically exposed by reason of a sealed covering or casing and does not

become physically exposed through reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of the product, except that paint, coatings, and electroplating shall not be considered barriers that would render lead in the substrate inaccessible to a child under this subdivision;

(2)  any component of a children’s product that is intended for children age eight and under, that complies with any more stringent federal or European Union standard for lead in consumer products or with a similar standard applicable in states with a total population of 25 million, and that is contained within a battery compartment that cannot be opened without a coin, screwdriver, or other common household tool; or

(3)  any power cord, USB cable, audio-visual cable, jack, connector, or similar device or component used in connection with or attached to a children’s product that:

(A)  conducts electric current;

(B)  is not a small part, as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 16 C.F.R. part 1501;

(C)  does not have a casing or coating that contains lead; and

(D)  complies with any more stringent federal or European Union standard for lead in consumer products or with a similar standard applicable in states with a total population of 25 million.

§ 2470g.  PROHIBITION OF LEAD IN JEWELRY

Except to the extent specifically preempted by federal law and in addition to the prohibition in section 2470f of this subchapter, no person shall manufacture, regardless of location, for sale in, offer for sale, or sell in or into the stream of commerce, or otherwise introduce into the stream of commerce in Vermont any article of jewelry or other metal decorative item containing lead that is not a children’s product as defined in section 2470e of this title, where the article, or any detachable part of the article, is the size of a small part as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 16 C.F.R. part 1501, unless the article is:

(1)  expressly and prominently advertised as adult jewelry;

(2)  not commonly understood to be an article for use by a child under age 12; and

(3)  accompanied by a point-of-sale disclosure prescribed by the attorney general to the effect that the article may contain lead at or above the prevailing legal limit for lead in children's products, if that is true.

§ 2470h.  CONSUMER WARNINGS; NOTIFICATION; PHASE-OUTS

Except to the extent specifically preempted by federal law:

(1)  Wheel weights.  Beginning January 1, 2010, the state of Vermont shall not use wheel weights containing lead in vehicles owned by the state or vehicles operated by the state under a long-term lease.  Beginning September 1, 2011, no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont a new motor vehicle with wheel weights containing lead.

(2)(A)  Plumbing fixtures and related supplies.  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2009, any person who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont plumbing fixtures whose wetted surfaces contain more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead, shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure.

(B)  Beginning January 1, 2010, no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont, or use in the state of Vermont, solder or flux for plumbing containing more than 0.2 percent lead, or plumbing fixtures whose wetted surfaces contain more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead.

(C)  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, any person who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont solder or flux containing more than 0.2 percent lead shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure.

(D)  For the purpose of subdivision (2) of this section, the term “plumbing fixtures” means pipes, pipe and plumbing fittings, and fixtures used to convey or dispense water for human consumption; and the “weighted average” lead content shall be calculated by multiplying the percentage of lead content within each component that comes into contact with water by the percent of the total wetted surface of the entire pipe and pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures, and adding all of the percentages. 

(3)  Nonresidential paints and primers.  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2010, any person who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont nonresidential paints and primers containing lead shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure.  Beginning January 1, 2011, no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont nonresidential paints or primers containing lead.  Beginning January 1, 2012, no person shall use nonresidential paints or primers containing lead in the state of Vermont.

(4)  Salvage building materials.  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, any person in commerce who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont salvage building materials made prior to 1978 shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products may contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure. 

(5)  Other.  The attorney general, in consultation with the commissioner of health, may by rule require warnings, notifications, or a combination of these relating to other products containing lead.

§ 2470i.  PROHIBITION ON REMOVAL OF LABELS

No person in commerce shall remove from a consumer product any warning label affixed to it that relates in whole or part to lead or lead hazards and which label is required by this state, the federal government, or any other state or country.

§ 2470j.  PROHIBITION ON PROVIDING SUBSTANTIAL ASSISTANCE

No person shall provide substantial assistance to a person in violation of section 2470f, 2470g, 2470h, or 2470i of this section with knowledge or reason to know of the violation. 

§ 2470k.  VIOLATIONS

(a)  A violation of this subchapter is deemed to be a violation of section 2453 of this title.

(b)  The attorney general has the same authority to make rules, conduct civil investigations, enter into assurances of discontinuance, and bring civil actions, and private parties have the same rights and remedies, as provided under subchapter 1 of this chapter.

§ 2470l.  SCOPE

(a)  Nothing in this act shall be construed to regulate firearms, ammunition or components thereof, hunting or fishing equipment or components thereof, lead pellets from air rifles, shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, casting, or reloading ammunition.

(b)  Nothing in this act shall be construed to alter the existing authority of the agency of natural resources to regulate the lead content of products used in connection with fishing and hunting.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 261

An act relating to phthalates in products for young children.

Rep. Pugh of South Burlington, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, subsection (b), following “child care article”, by inserting “intended for use by a child under three years of age if”and following “that” by inserting “product”                

Second:  In Sec. 1, subsection (g), following “The attorney general”, by striking “may investigate and prosecute violations of this section pursuant to the provisions of the Consumer Fraud Act” and inserting in lieu thereof “has the same authority to make rules, conduct civil investigations, enter into assurances of discontinuance, and bring civil actions, and private parties have the same rights and remedies as provided under subchapter 1 of chapter 63 of Title 9

Third:  By adding a subsection (h) as follows:

(h)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to regulate firearms; ammunition or components thereof; pellets from air rifles; shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, casting, or reloading ammunition; or hunting or fishing equipment or components thereof.

(Committee vote: 9-2-0)

S. 340

An act relating to mammography patient cost containment.

Rep. Copeland -Hanzas of Bradford, for the Committee on Health Care, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4100a is amended to read:

§ 4100a.  MAMMOGRAMS; COVERAGE REQUIRED

(a)  Insurers shall provide coverage for screening by low-dose mammography for the presence of occult breast cancer, as provided by this subchapter.  Benefits provided shall be at least as favorable as coverage for other radiological examinations and subject to the same dollar limits, deductibles, and coinsurance factors within the provisions of the policy cover the full cost of the mammography service, subject to a co-payment no greater than the co-payment applicable to care or services provided by a primary care physician under the insured’s policy, provided that no co-payment shall exceed $25.00.  Mammography services shall not be subject to deductible or coinsurance requirements.

 (b)  For females 50 40 years or older, coverage shall be provided for an annual screening. For females less than 50 40 years of age, coverage for screening shall be provided upon recommendation of a health care provider.

* * *

Sec. 2.  APPLICABILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on October 1, 2008 and shall apply to all health benefit plans on and after October 1, 2008 on such date as a health insurer offers, issues, or renews the health benefit plan, but in no event later than October 1, 2009.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Favorable

S. 220

An act relating to the confidentiality of library patron records.

Rep. Clarkson of Woodstock, for the Committee on Judiciary, recommends that the bill ought to pass in concurrence.

(Committee Vote: 8-1-2)

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 558

     An act relating to waste facility franchise tax exemption for mining waste.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(6) is amended to read:

(6)  For solid waste treatment, storage, transfer, or disposal facility certifications issued under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159:

* * *

(E)  original and renewal                  $200.00 plus $0.41

applications for facilities, certified                    per cubic yard of certified

pursuant to 10 V.S.A §§ 6605 and 6605b,     for facilities with an operational

that treat, store, or dispose of waste               capacity less than 25,000 cubic

generated solely from mining, extraction,         yards; for facilities with

or mineral processing                                      operational capacity above 15,000

                                                                      25,000 cubic yards $0.95 per

                                                                      cubic yard of operational capacity

                                                                      prorated and paid on an

                                                                      annual basis over the term

                                                       of the certification.

                                                       Maximum annual

                                                                      payment, $35,000.00

                                                                      $75,000.00.

* * *

Second:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 2a to read as follows:

Sec. 2a.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES PUBLICATION OF MONITORING

(a)  Upon certification of the OMYA facility under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159, the secretary of natural resources shall post on the website of the agency of natural resources the results of the monitoring activities required under the certification.

(b)  The agency of natural resources shall require staff time associated with the OMYA facility to be assigned a specific accounting code, and all work or review of the OMYA facility shall be accounted for with the assigned OMYA code.

H. 619

     An act relating to the regulation of sexual assault nurse examiners.

     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.  DESIGNATION

33 V.S.A. chapter 3, §§ 301–311 are designated as:

Subchapter 1.  General Provisions

Sec. 2.  33 V.S.A. chapter 3, subchapter 2 is added to read:

Subchapter 2.  Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

§ 321.  DEFINITION

As used in this chapter, “SANE” means sexual assault nurse examiner.

§ 322.  SANE BOARD

(a)  The SANE board is created for the purpose of regulating sexual assault nurse examiners.

(b)  The SANE board shall be composed of the following members:

(1)  the executive director of the Vermont nurses association, or designee;

(2)  the executive director of the Vermont hospital association, or designee;

(3)  the director of the Vermont state police crime lab, or designee;

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

(5)  an attorney with experience prosecuting sexual assault crimes, appointed by the attorney general;

(6)  the executive director of the Vermont center for crime victim services, or designee;

(7)  a law enforcement officer assigned to one of Vermont’s special units of investigation, appointed by the commissioner of public safety;

(8)  a law enforcement officer employed by a municipal police department, appointed by the executive director of the Vermont criminal justice training council;

(9)  three sexual assault nurse examiners, appointed by the attorney general;

(10)  a physician whose practice includes the care of victims of sexual assault, appointed by the Vermont medical society;

(11)  a pediatrician whose practice includes the care of victims of sexual assault, appointed by the Vermont chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians;

(12)  the coordinator of the Vermont victim assistance program, or designee;

(13)  the president of the Vermont alliance of child advocacy centers, or designee; and

(14)  the chair of the Vermont state board of nursing, or designee; and

(15)  the commissioner for children and families, or designee.

§ 323.  SANE PROGRAM CLINICAL COORDINATOR

A grant program shall be established by the Vermont center for crime victim services, subject to available funding, to fund a clinical coordinator position for the purpose of staffing the SANE program.  The position shall be contracted through the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.  The clinical coordinator shall consult with the SANE board in performing the following duties:

(1)  oversee the recruitment and retention of SANEs in the state of Vermont;

(2)  administer a statewide training program, including:

(A)  the initial SANE certification training;

(B)  ongoing training to ensure currency of practice for SANEs; and

(C)  advanced training programs as needed;

(3)  provide consultation and technical assistance to SANEs and hospitals regarding the standardized sexual assault protocol;

(4)  provide training and outreach to criminal justice and

community-based agencies as needed.

§ 324.  SANE BOARD; DUTIES

(a)  A person licensed under chapter 28 of Title 26 may obtain a specialized certification as a sexual assault nurse examiner if he or she demonstrates compliance with the requirements for specialized certification as established by the SANE board by rule.

(b)  The SANE board shall adopt the following by rule:

(1)  educational requirements for obtaining specialized certification as a sexual assault nurse examiner and statewide standards for the provision of education;

(2)  continuing education requirements and clinical experience necessary for maintenance of the SANE specialized certification;

(3)  a standardized sexual assault protocol and kit to be used by all physicians or hospitals in this state when providing forensic examinations of victims of alleged sexual offenses;

(4)  a system of monitoring for compliance; and

(5)  processes for investigating complaints, revoking certification, and appealing decisions of the board.

(c)  The SANE board may investigate complaints against a SANE and may revoke certification as appropriate.

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Amendment

S. 112

An act relating to victims’ compensation.

Rep. Grad of Moretown, for the Committee on Judiciary, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended by adding a new Sec. 5 to read as follows:

Sec. 5.  13  V.S.A. § 5353 is amended to read:

§ 5353. APPLICATION FOR COMPENSATION

(a) A victim or a dependent of a victim shall, upon application, be eligible for compensation if:

(1) a law enforcement official has filed a report concluding that a crime was committed which resulted in the injury or death of the victim; and

(2) the crime was committed in this state; or

(3) the victim is a Vermont resident, the state in which the crime occurred does not have an eligible crime victim's compensation program and the applicant would have been eligible for compensation under this chapter if the crime had been committed in this state; or

(4)  the victim is a Vermont resident who is injured or killed by an act of terrorism outside of the United Sates, to the extent that compensation is not otherwise available under federal law.

* * *

Rep. Hutchinson of Randolph, for the Committee on Appropriations, recommends the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the Committee on Judiciary.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 244

An act relating to self-storage facilities.

Rep. Consejo of Sheldon, 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.  SHORT TITLE

This act shall be known as the “Vermont Self-Storage Facility Act.”

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. chapter 98 is added to read:

CHAPTER 98.  STORAGE UNITS

§ 3950.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1)  “Last known address” means that address provided by the occupant in the rental agreement or the address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address.

(2)  “Occupant” means a person, successor, assignee, agent, or representative entitled to the use of storage space in a self-storage facility under a rental agreement to the exclusion of others.

(3)  “Owner” means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a

self-storage facility, an agent, or any other person authorized by the owner to manage the facility or to receive rent from an occupant under a rental agreement.

(4)  “Personal property” means movable property not affixed to land, and includes goods, merchandise, and household items.

(5)  “Rental agreement” means any written agreement that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or any other provision concerning the use and occupancy of a self-storage facility.

(6)  “Self-storage facility” means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to occupants who are to have access to such space for the purpose of storing and removing personal property.  A self-storage facility is not a “warehouse” as used in Article 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) as codified in Title 9A.  If an owner issues any warehouse receipt, bill of lading, or other document of title for the personal property stored, the owner and the occupant are subject to the U.C.C., and this act does not apply.

§ 3951.  RESIDENTIAL PURPOSES

(a)  No occupant shall use storage space at a self-storage facility for residential purposes.

(b)  No owner shall knowingly permit a storage space at a self-storage facility to be used for residential purposes.

§ 3952.  DISCLOSURES

(a)  A rental agreement shall contain the following:

(1)  The name and address of the owner and occupant.

(2)  The actual monthly occupancy charge, rent, or lease amount for the storage space provided, expressed in dollars.

(3)  An itemization of other charges imposed or which may be imposed in connection with the occupancy, a description of the charges, whether the charges are mandatory or optional, and the amount of each charge expressed in dollars.

(4)  A statement of whether property stored in the leased space is or is not insured by the owner against loss or damage and of the requirement that the occupant must provide his or her own insurance for any property stored.

(5)  A statement advising the occupant of the existence of the lien created by this chapter, that the property stored in the leased space may be sold to satisfy the lien, and that the owner shall not be liable for damage, loss, or alienation of items of sentimental nature or value.

(b)  The disclosures required under subdivisions (a)(4) and (a)(5) of this section shall be written in bold type and of a font size equal to or greater than the general text of the agreement.

§ 3953.  LIEN

The owner of a self-storage facility has a possessory lien upon all personal property located in a storage space at a self-storage facility for rent, labor, or other charges, present or future, in relation to the personal property, and for expenses relevant to its preservation or expenses reasonably incurred in its sale pursuant to this chapter.  The lien attaches as of the date the personal property is brought to or placed in a regular storage space at a self-storage facility in accordance with the provisions of a valid rental agreement.

§ 3954.  ENFORCEMENT OF LIEN

In the event of a default under the terms of a rental agreement, the lien created under this chapter may be enforced in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(1)  First notice of default.  No sooner than seven days after a default, the occupant shall be notified of the default by regular mail sent to his or her last known address.

(2)  Second notice of default.  No sooner than 14 days after mailing of the first notice, the occupant shall be notified of the default by certified mail sent to his or her last known address.  The second notice shall contain the following:

(A)  An itemized statement of the owner’s claim showing the sum due at the time of the notice and the date when the sum became due.

(B)  A brief and general description of the personal property subject to the lien.  There shall be no requirement to describe the specific contents of a storage space in a self-storage facility beyond stating that it is the contents of a specific storage space in a specific self-storage facility rented by a specific occupant.

(C)  A notice of denial of access to the personal property, if such denial is permitted under the terms of the rental agreement.

(D)  A demand for payment within a specified time not less than fifteen days after the mailing of the second notice of default.

(E)  A conspicuous statement that unless the claim is paid in full within the time stated in the notice, the personal property will be advertised for sale and sold according to law.

(3)  Advertisement.  After the expiration of the time given in the second notice under subdivision (2) of this section, an advertisement of the sale shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation where the self-storage facility is located.  The advertisement shall contain the following:

(A)  A brief and general description of the personal property as provided in subdivision (2)(B) of this section.

(B)  The address of the self-storage facility and the number, if any, of the space where the personal property is located and the name of the occupant.

(C)  The time, place, and manner of the sale.  If there is no newspaper of general circulation where the self-storage facility is located, the advertisement shall be posted at least 15 days before the date of the sale at the town hall where the self-storage facility is located in such fashion as the auction sales of real property are posted.

(D)  A sale or other disposition of goods as provided for in this chapter shall not be defeated or deemed not in compliance with this provisions of this chapter if the owner attempted, but was not able to obtain personal service on those persons entitled to notice or if the certified mail return receipt is not signed by the person to whom notice must be sent, unless the owner fails to publish in accordance with this section.

(4)  Notice to other lienholders.  Before the expiration of the time given in the second notice under subdivision (2) of this section, the owner shall determine whether the occupant owns any personal property subject to an active lien registered with the Vermont secretary of state.  If any such lien exists, the lienholder shall be notified by certified mail not less than 21 days prior to the sale of the property.  Such notice shall include the following:

(A)  A statement describing the property to be sold.  There shall be no requirement to describe the specific contents of a storage space in a self-storage facility beyond stating that it is the contents of a specific storage space in a specific self-storage facility rented by a specific occupant.

(B)  A statement of the lienholder’s rights under this chapter.

(C)  A statement of the time, place, and manner of the sale of the property.

(5)  Sale.  Upon fulfillment of the notification and advertisement requirements of this section, sale of the personal property shall be permitted, provided the following conditions are met:

(A)  The sale of the personal property shall take place not sooner than 15 days after the first publication under subdivision (3) of this section.

(B)  Any sale of the personal property under this chapter shall conform to the terms of all notifications required under this section.  If the sale will not or does not take place as provided for in the notifications, then subsequent notifications shall be made in the same manner as the original notifications had been made.

(C)  Any sale of the personal property shall be held at the self-storage facility, or at the nearest suitable place.

(D)  Any sale of the personal property shall be performed in a commercially reasonable manner, meaning the owner sells the goods in the usual manner in any recognized market therefor, at the price current in such market at the time of the sale; or otherwise sold in conformity with commercially reasonable practices among dealers in the type of goods sold; however, the sale of more goods than apparently necessary to ensure satisfaction of the obligation is not commercially reasonable unless necessary due to the nature of the goods being sold or the manner in which they are customarily sold.  The fact that a better price could have been obtained by sale at a different time or by a different method from that selected by the owner is not of itself sufficient to establish that the sale was not made in a commercially reasonable manner.

(E)  Any sale or disposition of a motor vehicle shall be performed pursuant to chapter 21 of Title 23 and any sale or disposition of a vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle shall be performed pursuant to chapter 36 of Title 23.

(6)  Right of satisfaction.  Before any sale of personal property pursuant to this chapter, the occupant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien in full and the reasonable expenses incurred under this section, and thereby redeem the personal property.  Upon receipt of such payment, the owner shall return the personal property, and thereafter the owner shall have no liability to any person with respect to such personal property.

(7)  Proceeds in excess of lien amount.  In the event of sale under this section, the owner may satisfy the owner’s lien from the proceeds of the sale, but shall hold the balance, if any, for delivery on demand to the occupant.  If the occupant does not claim the balance of the proceeds such funds shall be paid over without interest to the treasurer of the state of Vermont in accordance with Chapter 14 of Title 27.

(8)  Rights of other lienholders.  The holder of any perfected lien or security interest on personal property stored in the storage unit and registered with the Vermont secretary of state may take possession of its liened property at any time prior to sale or other disposition.

(9)  Rights of purchasers.  A purchaser in good faith of the personal property sold to satisfy a lien, as provided elsewhere in this chapter, takes the property free of any rights of persons against whom the lien was valid, despite noncompliance by the owner with the requirements of this chapter.

§ 3955.  SUPPLEMENTAL NATURE OF ACT

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed in any manner to impair or affect the right of parties to create liens by special contract or agreement, nor shall it in any manner affect or impair other liens arising at common law or in equity, or by any statute in this state.

§ 3956.  SAVINGS CLAUSE

This chapter shall only apply to self-storage rental agreements entered into, extended, or renewed after January 1, 2009.  Rental agreements providing for monthly rental payments but providing no specific termination date shall be subject to this act on the first monthly rental payment date following January 1, 2009.

§ 3957.  SEVERABILITY

If any provision of this act or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect January 1, 2009.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 246

An act relating to electronic access to criminal and family court records.

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

Sec. 1.  12 V.S.A. § 5 is amended to read:

§ 5.  DISSEMINATION OF ELECTRONIC CASE RECORDS

(a)  The court shall not permit public access via the internet to criminal case records or family court case records.  The court may permit criminal justice agencies, as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2056a, Internet access to criminal case records for criminal justice purposes, as defined in section 2056a.

(b)  This section shall not be construed to prohibit the court from providing electronic access to:

(1)  court schedules of the district or family court, or opinions of the district court; or

(2)  state agencies in accordance with data dissemination contracts entered into under Rule 6 of the Vermont Rules of Electronic Access to Court Records.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 2056b is amended to read:

§ 2056b.  DISSEMINATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS TO PERSONS CONDUCTING RESEARCH

(a)  The Vermont criminal information center may provide Vermont criminal history records as defined in section 2056a of this title to bona fide persons conducting research related to the administration of criminal justice, subject to conditions approved by the commissioner of public safety to assure the confidentiality of the information and the privacy of individuals to whom the information relates.  Bulk criminal history data may only be provided in a format that excludes the subject’s name and any unique numbers that may reference the identity of the subject, except that the state identification number may be provided.  Researchers must sign a user agreement which specifies data security requirements and restrictions on use of identifying information.

(b)  No person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal history record information to any person who would not be eligible to receive the information pursuant to this subchapter other than the subject and properly designated employees of an organization who have a documented need to know the contents of the record.

(c)  A person who violates the provisions of this section with respect to unauthorized disclosure of confidential criminal history record information obtained from the center under the authority of this section shall be fined not more than $5,000.00.  Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation.

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 2056c is amended to read:

§ 2056c.  DISSEMINATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY CONVICTION RECORDS TO EMPLOYERS THE PUBLIC

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Applicant” means an individual seeking or being sought for employment, a volunteer position with an employer, or admission to a course of instruction offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(2)  “Criminal conviction record” means the record of convictions in Vermont.

(3)  “Employer” means any individual, organization, or governmental body, including 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 or an authorized agent.  Authorized agent shall include a person who is licensed under chapter 59 of Title 26 to provide private investigative services.

(4)  “The center” means the Vermont criminal information center.

(b)(1)  An employer may obtain from the center a criminal conviction record for any applicant who has given written authorization on a release form provided by the center, provided that the employer has filed a user’s agreement with the center.  The user’s agreement shall require the employer to comply with all statutes, rules, and policies regulating the release of criminal conviction records and the protection of individual privacy.  The user’s agreement shall be signed and kept current by the employer.

(2)  An individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state and which is a qualified entity that provides care or services to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c may obtain from the center an out-of-state criminal conviction record for any applicant who has given written authorization on a release form provided by the center, provided that the employer has filed a user’s agreement with the center and complies with all other provisions of this section.

(c)(1)  The employer may obtain a criminal conviction record only:

(A)  after the applicant has been given an offer of employment conditioned on the record check;

(B)  after a volunteer has been offered a position conditioned on the record check.

(2)  The Vermont criminal justice training council may obtain a criminal conviction record only after an applicant has been accepted into a course of instruction offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council conditioned on the record check.

(3)  An organization that receives a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall provide a free copy of such record to the record subject within ten days of receipt of the record.

(4)  An organization entitled to receive a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall not require an applicant to obtain or submit personally a copy of his or her criminal conviction record for purposes of employment or acceptance into a course offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(d)(1)  Employers shall be provided with informational material by the center prior to authorization to request criminal conviction records.  The materials shall address the following topics:

(A)  Requirements of the user agreement.

(B)  How to obtain criminal conviction records from the center.

(C)  How to interpret criminal conviction records.

(D)  How to obtain source documents summarized in the criminal conviction records.

(E)  Misuse of criminal conviction records.

(2)  Employers shall certify on the user agreement that they have read and understood the materials prior to receiving authorization to request records from the center.

(e)  The release form shall contain the applicant’s name, signature, date of birth, place of birth, and the signature as attested to by a notary public.  The release form shall state that the applicant has the right to appeal the findings to the center, pursuant to rules adopted by the commissioner of public safety.

(f)(1)  Except as otherwise authorized by this chapter, no person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal conviction record information or disclose the contents of a criminal conviction record without the record subject’s permission to any person other than the applicant and properly designated employees of the employer who have a documented need to know the contents of the record.

(2)  An employer who receives criminal conviction records pursuant to this section shall maintain a confidential log of all record requests as specified by the center.  The employer shall confidentially retain records relating to requests for criminal conviction records for a period of three years.  At the end of the retention period, if logs and records are to be destroyed, they shall be shredded.

(g)  A person who violates subsection (f) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00.  Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation.  The office of the attorney general shall have authority to enforce this section.

(h)  The center shall provide notice of the penalty for unauthorized disclosure on a form accompanying any report of a criminal conviction record to an employer.  The notice shall include, in boldface print, the following statements:  THE REQUESTOR AGREES TO USE CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORD INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE VERMONT CRIMINAL INFORMATION CENTER FOR THE PURPOSES INTENDED BY LAW.  THE REQUESTOR AGREES NOT TO DISCLOSE THE CONTENTS OF ANY CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORD WITHOUT THE APPLICANT’S PERMISSION TO ANY PERSON OTHER THAN THE APPLICANT AND PROPERLY DESIGNATED EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE A DOCUMENTED NEED TO KNOW THE CONTENTS OF THE RECORD. A VIOLATION MAY RESULT IN A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO $5,000.00. EACH UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE SHALL CONSTITUTE A SEPARATE CIVIL VIOLATION.

(i)  Nothing in this section shall create a statutory duty for an employer to perform a criminal conviction record check on every job applicant hired by the employer.  An employer’s failure to obtain a criminal conviction record on an employee who subsequently commits a criminal offense shall not be the sole factor in determining civil or criminal liability unless otherwise authorized by law.

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “The center” means the Vermont criminal information center.

(2)(A)  “Criminal conviction record” means the record of convictions in a Vermont district court.

(B)  Release of conviction records by the center pursuant to this section or pursuant to any other provision of state law which permits release of Vermont criminal records shall include only the charge for which the subject of the record was convicted, and shall not include docket numbers.

(b)  A person may obtain from the center a criminal conviction record for any purpose provided that the requestor has completed a user’s agreement with the center.  The user’s agreement shall prohibit the alteration of criminal records and shall require the requestor to comply with all statutes, rules, and policies regulating the release of criminal conviction records and the protection of individual privacy.  

(c)  Criminal conviction records shall be disseminated to the public by the center under the following conditions:

(1)  Public access to criminal conviction records shall be provided by a secure Internet site or other alternatives approved by the center. 

(2)  A requestor who wishes to receive criminal conviction records from the center shall accept the terms of a user agreement with the center.  The user agreement shall specify the conditions under which record information is being released and specify guidelines for the proper interpretation and use of the information.

(3)  Prior to receiving criminal conviction records using the center’s Internet site a requestor shall establish a secure, online account with the center.  Issuance of the account is conditioned upon the requestor’s willingness to accept the terms of a user agreement with the center which specifies the conditions under which record information is being released and specifies guidelines for the proper interpretation and use of the information.

(4)  All queries shall be by name and date of birth of the subject.

(5)  Only “no record” responses and record responses which constitute an exact match to the query criteria shall be returned automatically online.  In the event that query criteria suggest a possible match, center staff will determine whether the query criteria match a record in the repository and shall return the result to the requestor.

(6)  An electronic log shall be kept of all transactions that shall indicate the name of the requestor, the date of the request, the purpose of the request, and the result of the request.  This log shall not be available to any person, other than center staff on a need-to-know basis, except pursuant to a court order.  

(7)  The center’s Internet site shall provide an electronic mechanism for users to notify the center of possible record errors.

(8)  The center’s Internet site shall provide links to center training information regarding best practices for the use of record checks as part of a complete background check process.

(9)  The center shall charge a fee of $20.00 for each criminal record check query pursuant to this section.

(10)  No person entitled to receive a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall require an applicant to obtain, submit personally, or pay for a copy of his or her criminal conviction record.

Sec. 4.  20 V.S.A. § 2063 is amended to read:

§ 2063.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD FEES; CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FUND

(a)  Except as otherwise provided for in this section, the cost of each check for a criminal history record as defined in section 2056a of this title or a criminal conviction record as defined in section 2056c of this title based on name and date of birth shall be $10.00 $20.00.  Out-of-state criminal history record checks shall include any additional fees charged by the state from which the record is requested.

(b)  Requests made by criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes or other purposes authorized by state or federal law shall be exempt from all record check fees.  The following types of requests shall be exempt from the Vermont criminal record check fee:

(1)  Requests made by any individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state and which is a qualified entity that provides care or services to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c.

(2)  Requests made by researchers approved by the Vermont criminal information center to conduct research related to the administration of criminal justice.  A fee, however, may be charged by the center which shall reflect the cost of generating the requested information.

(3)  Requests made by individuals to review their own record at the Vermont criminal information center; however, copies of the individual's record are not exempt from the record check fee.

(4)  Requests made by the Vermont state housing authority and other public housing authorities pursuant to 24 V.S.A § 4010(c).

(c)(1)  The criminal history record check fund is established and shall be managed by the commissioner of public safety in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  All The first $179,000.00 of fees paid under this section shall be placed in the fund and used for personnel and equipment related to the processing, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history records.  The commissioner of finance and management may draw warrants for disbursements from this fund in anticipation of receipts.

(2)  After the first $179,000.00 of fees paid under this section shall be placed in the criminal history record check fund, all additional fees paid under this section shall go to the general fund.

(d)  The department of public safety shall have the authority, with the approval of the secretary of administration, to establish limited service positions as are necessary to provide criminal record checks in a timely manner, provided that there are sufficient funds in the criminal history record check fund to pay for the costs of these positions.

Sec. 5.  REPORT

On or before January 15, 2010, the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the judiciary and the Vermont crime information center, shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on the fiscal impacts of the records request fees established by this act.

Sec. 6.  REPEAL

20 V.S.A. § 2056g (dissemination of criminal history records to licensed private investigators) is repealed.

(Committee vote: 9-1-1)

Rep. Sharpe of Bristol, for the Committee on Ways and Means, recommends the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the Committee on Judiciary  and when further amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 4, 20 V.S.A. § 2063(c)(1), after the word “paid” by inserting the words “each year

Second:  In Sec. 4, 20 V.S.A. § 2063(c), by striking subdivision (2) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (2) to read as follows:

(2)  After the first $179,000.00 of fees paid each year under this section is placed in the criminal history record check fund, all additional fees paid during that year under this section shall go to the general fund.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 297

An act relating to clarifying the definition of “Stiff Hitch” in the motor vehicle statutes.

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. § 4(77) is amended to read:

§ 4.  DEFINITIONS

Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(77)  “Stiff hitch” shall mean a tow bar used by a self-propelled motor vehicle to tow another validly registered self-propelled motor vehicle while all the wheels of the towed vehicle remain in contact with the ground.  The towed vehicle shall not be required to be registered.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 3306(g) is added to read:

(g)  Except for subsection (b), nothing in this section shall apply to motorboats used exclusively for racing as sanctioned by the commissioner of the department of public safety under the provisions of section 3316 of this title, nor to a member of a sanctioned racing organization.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

Rep. Sharpe of Bristol, for the Committee on Ways and Means, reports the same without recommendation.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

S. 358

An act relating to enhanced driver licenses.

Rep. Potter of Clarendon, 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. § 4(78)and (79) are added to read:

(78)  “Enhanced license” shall mean an operator’s license, commercial driver license, junior operator’s license, or nondriver identification card that denotes identity and citizenship, and includes facilitative technology identified by the Department of Homeland Security.

(79)  “Personal radio frequency identification number chip” shall mean the number assigned to the transmitting chip in an enhanced license.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 102(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The commissioner may authorize background investigations for potential employees that may include criminal, traffic, and financial records checks; provided, however, that the potential employee is notified and has the right to withdraw his or her name from application.  Additionally, employees who are authorized to manufacture or produce operators’ licenses and identification cards, including enhanced licenses, may be subject to appropriate security clearance if required by federal law, including background investigations that may include criminal and traffic, records checks, and providing proof of United States citizenship.  The commissioner may, in connection with a formal disciplinary investigation, authorize an appropriate a criminal or traffic record background investigation of a current employee; provided, however, that the background review is necessary and relevant to the issue under disciplinary investigation.  Information acquired through a background the investigation that may be shall be provided to the commissioner or designated division director, and must be maintained in a secure manner.  If the information acquired is used as a basis for any disciplinary action, it must be given to the employee during any pre‑termination hearing or contractual grievance hearing to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to or dispute the information.  If no disciplinary action is taken against the employee, the information acquired through the background check shall be destroyed.
Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 7 is added to read: 
§ 7.  ENHANCED DRIVER LICENSE; MAINTENANCE OF DATABASE 
        INFORMATION; FEE
(a)  The face of an enhanced license shall contain the individual’s name, date of birth, gender, a unique identification number, full facial photograph or imaged likeness, address, signature, issuance and expiration dates, and citizenship.  The back of the enhanced license shall have a machine-readable zone.  A Gen 2 vicinity Radio Frequency Identification chip shall be embedded in the enhanced license in compliance with the security standards of the Department of Homeland Security.  Any additional personal identity information not currently required by the Department of Homeland Security shall need the approval of either the general assembly or the legislative committee on administration rules prior to the implementation of the requirements.

(b)  In addition to any other requirement of law or rule, before an enhanced license may be issued to a person, the person shall present for inspection and copying satisfactory documentary evidence to determine identity and United States citizenship.  An application shall be accompanied by:  a photo identity document, documentation showing the person’s date and place of birth, proof of the person’s Social Security number, and documentation showing the person’s principal residence address.  To be issued, an enhanced license must meet the same requirements as those for the issuance of a United States passport.  Before an application may be processed, the documents and information shall be verified as determined by the commissioner.  Any additional personal identity information not currently required by the Department of Homeland Security shall need the approval of either the general assembly or the legislative committee on administration rules prior to the implementation of the requirements.

(c)  No person shall compile or maintain a database of electronically readable information derived from an operator’s license, junior operator’s license, enhanced license, learner permit, or nondriver identification card.  This prohibition shall not apply to a person who accesses, uses, compiles, or maintains a database of the information for law enforcement or governmental 
purposes.

(d)  The fee for an enhanced license shall be $25.00 in addition to the fees otherwise established by this title.

(e)  The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15 for the purpose of reporting the associated costs, the number of enhanced licenses issued, implementation problems, recommended revisions, and other relevant information.

Sec.4.  23 V.S.A. § 8 is added to read:

§ 8.  PERSONAL RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION CHIP

        NUMBER PROTECTION

Personal radio frequency identification chip numbers shall be given protections as codified in 18 U.S.C. §2721 et. seq, (Drivers Privacy Protection Act), as of January 1, 2008, not including any subsequent amendments.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 601(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A resident who intends to operate motor vehicles shall procure a proper license.  A resident who has moved into the state from another jurisdiction with a valid license to operate motor vehicles under section 411 of this title shall procure a license within 60 days of moving into the state.  Operators’ licenses shall not be issued to nonresidents.  All operator licenses issued under this chapter shall expire every four years at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  All junior operator licenses shall expire at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  A person born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1. 

Sec. 6.  REPEAL

The following in Title 23 are repealed:

(1)  § 7(e) ( commissioner reporting on costs of enhanced license) is repealed on June 30, 2011;

(2)  § 618 (anatomical gifts);

(3)  § 4111(a)(10) (commercial driver license form regarding anatomical gifts).

Sec. 7.  18 V.S.A. § 5238(3) is amended to read:

(3)  “Document of gift” means an organ donor card, a statement attached to or imprinted on the reverse side of a Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license, a will, or other writing used to make an anatomical gift.

Sec. 8.  18 V.S.A. § 5239 is amended to read:

§ 5239.  MAKING, AMENDING, REVOKING, AND REFUSING TO

       MAKE ANATOMICAL GIFTS BY AN INDIVIDUAL

(a)  An individual who is at least 18 years of age may:

(1)  Make an anatomical gift for any of the purposes stated in

section 5242 of this title.

(2)  Limit an anatomical gift to one or more of those purposes.

(3)  Refuse to make an anatomical gift.

(b)  An anatomical gift may be made only by a document of gift signed by the donor.  If the donor cannot sign, the document of gift must be signed by another individual and by two witnesses, all of whom have signed at the direction and in the presence of the donor and of each other, and state that it has been so signed.

(c)  If a document of gift is attached to or imprinted on a donor’s motor vehicle operator’s license, the document of gift must comply with subsection (b) of this section. Revocation, suspension, expiration or cancellation of the license does not invalidate the anatomical gift.

(d)  An anatomical gift by will takes effect upon death of the testator, whether or not the will is probated.  If, after death, the will is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the validity of the anatomical gift is unaffected.

(e)(d)  A donor may amend or revoke an anatomical gift, not made by will, only by one of the following methods:

(1)  A signed statement.

(2)  An oral statement made in the presence of two individuals.

(3)  Any form of communication during a terminal illness or injury addressed to a physician.

(4)  The delivery of a signed statement to a specified donee to whom a document of gift had been delivered.

(f)(e)  The donor of an anatomical gift made by will may amend or revoke the gift in the manner provided for amendment or revocation of wills or as provided in subsection (e)(d) of this section.

(g)(f)  An anatomical gift that is not revoked by the donor before death is irrevocable and does not require the consent or concurrence of any person after the donor’s death.

(h)(g)  An individual may refuse to make an anatomical gift of the individual’s body or part by any one either of the following:

(1)  A writing signed in the same manner as a document of gift.

(2)  A statement attached to or imprinted on the donor’s Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license.

(3)  Any other writing used to identify the individual as refusing to make an anatomical gift.  During a terminal illness or injury, the refusal may be an oral statement or other form of communication. 

Sec. 9.  AUTHORITY FOR LIMITED SERVICE POSITIONS FOR THE

             DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Three limited service positions are created within the department of motor vehicles.  These shall be used for the administration of the enhanced license program and shall be for a period of three years. 

Sec. 10.  AUTHORIZATION

(a)  The general assembly hereby authorizes a special program consisting of $3,000,000.00 of transportation funds and, to the extent the transportation funds can be used to match available federal funds, such associated federal funds, within the agency of transportation to improve the condition of selected state, class 1, and town highways whose deteriorating condition has been exacerbated by the severe winter weather of 2007-08.

(b)  Of the total authorized amount of transportation funds, $1,000,000.00 shall be reserved for state highways and class 1 town highways and $2,000,000.00 shall be reserved for class 2 town highways.  Funds reserved for class 2 town highways shall be administered through the town highway class 2 roadway program.

(c)  The agency through its maintenance districts shall identify state highways and class 1 town highways, and in cooperation with town officials, class 2 town highways, to which simple, cost-effective repairs designed to last more than one year can be made to repair road damages.

Sec. 11.  SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION; TRANSFER OF
             APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  To implement the program authorized by this act:

(1)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the secretary of transportation may transfer balances of fiscal year 2008 appropriations not to exceed $388,162.00 within or between the department of motor vehicles and divisions or sections of the agency of transportation; and

(2)  Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 10g(h), the secretary of transportation is authorized to add additional class 1 town highway paving projects to the extent that funds are available from savings in approved capital projects in the transportation program.

(b)  The authority granted in subsection (a) of this section is limited to accomplishing the objectives of the program authorized by this act and shall expire upon the completion of the program.

Sec. 12.  FISCAL YEAR 2008 APPROPRIATION ADJUSTMENTS

(a)  Fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriations shall be reduced by the following amounts of transportation funds:

(1)  town highway emergency fund                 $690,000.00

(2)  policy and planning                           $300,000.00

(3)  town highway bridges                              $330,969.00

(4)  department of motor vehicles                   $100,000.00

(5)  rail                                                                   $1,096,451.00

(b)  Fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriations shall be reduced by the following amount in federal funds:

town highway bridges                                       $1,323,878.00

(c)  Fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriations shall be increased by the following amounts of transportation funds:

(1)  program development                                 $27,838.00

(2)  town highway class 2 roadway program $2,000,000.00

Sec. 13.  RUTLAND-MIDDLEBURY RAIL TRACK IMPROVEMENTS

Notwithstanding the authority granted in this act and in 19 V.S.A. § 10g(h), the funds authorized in the fiscal year 2009 transportation program for the Rutland-Middlebury track improvements project MP87-96 is exclusively reserved for the project.

Sec. 14.  REVERSIONS

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in fiscal year 2008, the following amount shall revert to the transportation fund from the account indicated:

8100001900  Transportation - town highway Vermont local roads  $ 37,838.00

Sec. 15.  FUND TRANSFERS

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law:

(1)  in fiscal year 2008, $1,000,000.00 shall be transferred from the central garage fund to the transportation fund.

(2)  in fiscal year 2009, $500,000.00 shall be transferred from the transportation fund to the central garage fund.

Sec. 16.  FISCAL YEAR 2009 APPROPRIATION ADJUSTMENTS AND
             FUND TRANSFERS

(a)  The transportation – program development operating expenses appropriation shall be reduced by $500,000.00 in transportation fund.

(b)  In addition to the transfer pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 13(c) but notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in fiscal year 2009, $500,000.00 shall be transferred to the central garage fund from the transportation fund.

Sec. 17.  BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES

(a)  Fiscal year 2008 authorized spending on the Swanton  STP ST MHTB(1) project is reduced from $1,500,000.00 to $0.00.  The fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriation to program development is reduced by $283,800.00 in transportation funds and $1,216,200.00 in federal funds.

(b)  Fiscal year 2009 authorized spending on the Swanton  STP ST MHTB(1) project is reduced from $600,000.00 to $0.00.  The fiscal year 2009 transportation appropriation to program development is reduced by $120,000.00 in transportation funds and $480,000.00 in federal funds.

(c)  The Swanton STP ST MHTB(1) project is removed from the state transportation program.

Sec. 18.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

The following capital appropriations, totaling $1,412,742.00, are reallocated to the transportation fund:

(1)  $528,190.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 1(14) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (Bennington courthouse and state office building).

(2)  $280,514.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 1(7) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (planning and design for addition to the state house).

(3)  $434,540.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 11(a) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (water pollution control).

(4)  $19,787.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 15(b)(2) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (Bennington sewer line).

(5)  $100,000.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 8(A)(3) of No. 149 of the Acts of 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (state-owned dams).

(6)  $ 49,711.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 5(e) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (Orange County courthouse).


Sec. 19.  19 V.S.A. § 10c(k) is added to read:

(k)  To the extent that federal regulations permit, signage for all state and town bridge projects spanning more than 20 feet in length shall be erected on both sides of the project for the duration of the project as follows:

(1)  The agency of transportation shall design the signs, and the contractor shall purchase and install the signs as part of the contract bid price.

(2)  The signs shall indicate the cost of the project.

(3)  Signs for state bridge projects shall include the following:  “This is an agency of transportation project paid for with your tax dollars.”

(4)  Signs for town bridge projects shall include the following:  “This is a project sponsored by (name of municipality) and the agency of transportation, and paid for with your tax dollars.”

Sec. 20.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage except for Sec. 3 which shall not take effect until the commissioner of motor vehicles determines that the systems necessary to operate the program are available.

(Committee vote: 10-0-1)

Senate Proposals of Amendment

H. 112

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

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 18  V.S.A. § 1141, subsection (e), before the period, by adding the following: 

, and may be considered unprofessional conduct under applicable licensing, certification, and registration laws” 

Second:  in Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 1001(k) by striking out the word “limited” and, following “chapter 21 of this title”, by inserting and such other information as the department of health determines to be necessary and appropriate

H. 353

     An act relating to employee free choice for bargaining representative.

     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. § 941(g) and (h) are amended to read:

(g)(1)  In determining the representation of state employees in a collective bargaining unit the board shall conduct a secret ballot of the employees and certify the results to the interested parties and to the state employer.  The original ballot shall be so prepared as to permit a vote against representation by anyone named on the ballot.  No representative will be certified with less than a majority of the votes cast.

* * *

(4)  Notwithstanding subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection, if the board determines that the petition filed is supported by the valid signature cards of 70 percent or more of the employees in the bargaining unit deemed appropriate by the board, it shall certify the petitioner as the bargaining representative.  Certification under this subdivision applies only when no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit.  An exclusive bargaining representative shall be decertified if the board determines that a decertification petition is supported by valid signature cards of 70 percent or more of the employees in the existing bargaining unit. If the 70 percent threshold is not met, decertification petitions shall be governed by subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection. A petitioner shall not be certified as exclusive bargaining representative pursuant to this subdivision unless the petitioner has notified the employer at the outset that the petitioner has commenced a campaign to organize employees of the employer and that the petitioner may seek to file a petition to represent employees without an election pursuant to this subdivision.  The board shall develop rules of practice to implement this subdivision.  The rules shall include model language for signature cards to ensure that the purpose of the card will be clearly understood by employees, including a provision that the card may be used to gain recognition of or decertify an exclusive bargaining representative without the board’s conducting an election.  The rules also shall include procedures that the board shall use to determine the validity of signature cards.  A card is invalid if it is coerced, obtained by fraud, or inauthentic.

(h)  A representative chosen by secret ballot for the purposes of collective bargaining by a majority of the votes cast or certified by the board pursuant to subdivision (g)(4) of this section shall be the exclusive representative of all the employees in such the unit for a minimum of one year.  Such The representative shall be eligible for reelection or recertification pursuant to subdivision (g)(4) of this section.

 

H. 599

     An act relating to boating while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated.

     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.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT

It is the intent of the general assembly in this act to address, among other issues, the Vermont supreme court’s decisions in State v. LaBounty, 2005 VT 124, and State v. Martin, 2007 VT 96.  In LaBounty, the court held that if more than one person was injured, an offender could be charged with only one count of grossly negligent operation of a motor vehicle with injury resulting.  Similarly, the court held in Martin that if more than one person was killed, an offender could be charged with only one count of boating while intoxicated with death resulting.  In this act, the general assembly responds to Martin and LaBounty by amending several motor vehicle statutes to permit an offender to be charged with a separate count of violating the statute for each person who was killed or injured as a result of the offense.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1091(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Grossly negligent operation.

(1)  A person who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway in a grossly negligent manner shall be guilty of grossly negligent operation.

(2)  The standard for a conviction for grossly negligent operation in violation of this subsection shall be gross negligence, examining whether the person engaged in conduct which involved a gross deviation from the care that a reasonable person would have exercised in that situation.

(3)  A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.  If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section, the person shall be imprisoned not more than four years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.  If serious bodily injury as defined in section 1021 of Title 13 or death of any person other than the operator results, the person shall be imprisoned for not more than 15 years or fined not more than $15,000.00, or both.  If serious bodily injury or death results to more than one person other than the operator, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 1133 is amended to read:

§ 1133.  ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE A POLICE OFFICER

(a)  No operator of a motor vehicle shall fail to bring his or her vehicle to a stop when signaled to do so by an enforcement officer:

(1)  displaying insignia identifying him or her as such; or

(2)  operating a law enforcement vehicle sounding a siren and displaying a flashing blue or blue and white signal lamp.

(b)(1)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(2)(A)  In the event that death or serious bodily injury to any person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator’s knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both.

(B)  If death or serious bodily injury to more than one person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator’s knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

(c)  In a prosecution under this section, the operator may raise as an affirmative defense, to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that the operator brought his or her vehicle to a stop in a manner, time, and distance that was reasonable under the circumstances.

* * *

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 1201 is amended to read:

§ 1201.  OPERATING VEHICLE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR OR OTHER SUBSTANCE; CRIMINAL REFUSAL

(a)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway:

(1)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more, or 0.02 or more if the person is operating a school bus as defined in subdivision 4(34) of this title; or

(2)  when the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3)  when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely; or

(4)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more if the person is operating a commercial motor vehicle as defined in subdivision 4103(4) of this title.

* * *

(e)  A person may not be convicted of more than one offense under violation of subsection (a) of this section arising out of the same incident.

* * *

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 1210 is amended to read:

§ 1210.  PENALTIES

* * *

(e)(1)  Death resulting.  If the death of any person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.  The provisions of this subsection do not limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

(2)  If the death of more than one person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

(f)(1)  Injury resulting.  If serious bodily injury, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2), results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00, or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.

(2)  If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to more than one person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each person injured.

* * *

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 3317 is amended to read:

§ 3317.  PENALTIES

* * *

(d)  Boating while intoxicated; privilege suspension.  Any person who is convicted of violating section 3323 of this title shall have his or her privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, suspended for a period of one year and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

(e)  Boating while intoxicated; criminal penalty.  Any person who violates a provision of section 3323 of this title shall be imprisoned for not more than one year and subject to the following fines:

(1)  for a first offense, not less than $200.00 nor more than $750.00;

(2)  for a second or subsequent offense, not less than $250.00 nor more than $1,000.00.

(f)(1)(A)  Boating while intoxicated; death resulting.  If the death of any person results from the violation of section 3323 of this title, the person convicted shall, instead of any other penalty imposed in this section, be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than five 15 years or fined not more than $2,000.00 $10,000.00,or both; but the provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

(B)  If the death of more than one person results from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

(2)(A)  Boating while intoxicated; serious bodily injury resulting.  If serious bodily injury, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2), results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

(B)  If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to more than one person other than the operator from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each person injured. 

* * *

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A. § 3323 is amended to read:

§ 3323.  OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR OR DRUGS; B.W.I.

(a)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this state while:

(1)  there is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood, as shown by analysis of his or her breath or blood; or

(2)  under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3)  under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of operating safely.

* * *

(e)  A person may not be convicted of more than one offense under violation of subsection (a) of this section arising out of the same incident.

Sec. 8.  9 V.S.A. chapter 82 is added to read:

CHAPTER 82.  SCRAP METAL PROCESSORS

§ 3021.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Authorized scrap seller” means a licensed plumber, electrician, HVAC contractor, building or construction contractor, demolition contractor, construction and demolition debris contractor, public utility, transportation company, licensed peddler or broker, an industrial and manufacturing company; marine, automobile, or aircraft salvage and wrecking company, or a government entity.

(2)  “Ferrous scrap” means any scrap metal consisting primarily of iron, steel, or both, including large manufactured articles such as automobile bodies that may contain other substances to be removed and sorted during normal processing operations of scrap metal.

(3)  “Metal article” means any manufactured item consisting of metal that is usable for its originally intended purpose without processing, repair, or alteration, including railings, copper or aluminum wire, copper pipe and tubing, bronze cemetery plaques, urns, markers, plumbing fixtures, and cast‑iron radiators.

(4)  “Nonferrous scrap” means any scrap metal consisting primarily of metal other than iron or steel, and does not include aluminum beverage cans, post-consumer household items, items removed during building renovations or demolitions, or large manufactured items containing small quantities of nonferrous metals such as automobile bodies and appliances.

(5)  “Proprietary article” means any of the following:

(A)  Any metal article stamped, engraved, stenciled, or marked as being or having been the property of a governmental entity, public utility, or a  transportation, shipbuilding, ship repair, mining, or manufacturing company.

(B)  Any hard-drawn copper electrical conductor, cable, or wire greater than 0.375 inches in diameter, stranded or solid.

(C)  Any aluminum conductor, cable, or wire greater than 0.75 inches in diameter, stranded or solid.

(D)  Metal beer kegs.

(E)  Manhole covers.

               (F)  Catalytic converters.

(6)  “Scrap metal” means any manufactured item or article that contains metal.

(7)  “Scrap metal processor” means a person authorized to conduct a business that processes and manufactures scrap metal into prepared grades for sale as raw material to mills, foundries, and other manufacturing facilities.

§ 3022.  PURCHASE OF NONFERROUS SCRAP, METAL ARTICLES, AND PROPRIETARY ARTICLES

(a)  A scrap metal processor may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles directly from an authorized scrap metal seller or the seller’s authorized agent or employee.

(b)  A scrap metal processor may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles from a person who is not an authorized scrap metal seller or the seller’s authorized agent or employee, provided the scrap processor complies with all the following procedures:

(1)  At the time of sale, requires the seller to provide a current government-issued photographic identification that indicates the seller’s full name, current address, and date of birth, and records in a permanent ledger the identification information of the seller, the time and date of the transaction, the license number of the seller’s vehicle, and a description of the items received from the seller.  This information shall be retained for at least five years at the processor’s normal place of business or other readily accessible and secure location.  On request, this information shall be made available to any law enforcement official or authorized security agent of a governmental entity who provides official credentials at the scrap metal processor’s business location during regular business hours.

(2)  Requests documentation from the seller of the items offered for sale, such as a bill of sale, receipt, letter of authorization, or similar evidence that establishes that the seller lawfully owns the items to be sold.

(3)  After purchasing an item from a person who fails to provide documentation pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, submits to the local law enforcement agency no later than the close of the following business day a report that describes the item and the seller’s identifying information required in subdivision (1) of this subsection, and holds the proprietary article for at least 15 days following purchase.

§ 3023.  PENALTIES

(a)  A scrap metal processor who violates any provision of this chapter for the first time may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each transaction.

(b)  A scrap metal processor who violates any provision of this chapter for a second or subsequent time shall be fined not more than $25,000.00 for each transaction.

Sec. 9.  4 V.S.A. § 1102(b) is amended to read:

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

* * *

(14)  Violations of 9 V.S.A. § 3023(a), relating to the purchase and sale of scrap metal.

H. 685

     An act relating to the enforcement of environmental laws.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking out Sec. 9 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 9.  10 V.S.A. § 8017 is amended to read:

§ 8017.  ANNUAL REPORT

The secretary and the attorney general shall report annually to the president pro tempore of the senate, the speaker of the house, the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, and the chairs of the senate and house committees on natural resources and energy.  The report shall be filed no later than January 15, on the enforcement actions taken under this chapter, and on the status of citizen complaints about environmental problems in the state.  The report shall describe, at a minimum, the number of violations, the actions taken, disposition of cases, the amount of penalties collected, and the cost of administering the enforcement program.

H. 691

     An act relating to executive and judicial branch fees.

     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:

* * * Department of Public Safety * * *

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A § 39(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Every person required to report the use or storage of hazardous chemicals or substances pursuant to EPCRA shall pay the following annual fees for each hazardous chemical or substance, as defined by the state emergency response commission, that is present at the facility:

(1)  $33.00 $35.00 for quantities between 100 and 999 pounds.

(2)  $50.00 $55.00 for quantities between 1,000 and 9,999 pounds.

(3)  $80.00 $90.00 for quantities between 10,000 and 99,999 pounds.

(4)  $250.00 $265.00 for quantities between 100,000 and 999,999 pounds.

(5)  $750.00 $800.00 for quantities exceeding 999,999 pounds.

(6)  An additional fee of $150.00 $175.00 will be assessed for each extremely hazardous chemical or substance as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 11002.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1203(k) is amended to read:

(k)  A copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense shall be provided to the defendant within ten days after the defendant requests the copy and pays a $15.00 $45.00 fee for its reproduction.  No fee shall be charged to a defendant whom the court has determined to be indigent.

* * * Department of Environmental Conservation * * *

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 2822(i) is amended to read:

(i)  The secretary shall not process an application for which the applicable fee has not been paid unless the secretary specifies that the fee may be paid at a different time or unless the person applying for the permit is exempt from the permit fee requirements pursuant to section 710 of Title 32.  In addition, the persons who are exempt under section 710 of Title 32 are also exempt from the application fees for stormwater operating permits specified in subdivisions (j)(2)(A)(iii)(I) and (II) of this section if they otherwise meet the requirements of section 710.  Municipalities shall be exempt from the payment of fees under this section except for those fees prescribed in subdivisions (j)(1), (2), (7), (8), (14), and (15) of this section for which a municipality may recover its costs by charging a user fee to those who use the permitted services, except that a municipality shall also be exempt from those fees for orphan stormwater systems prescribed in subdivision subdivisions (j)(2)(A)(iii) and (2)(B)(iv)(I) or (II) of this section when the municipality agrees to become an applicant or co-applicant for an orphan stormwater system under section 1264c of Title 10.  Applicants operating under SIC codes 2411, 2421, 2426, and 2429 shall be exempt from administrative processing fees pursuant to subdivision (j)(2) of this section and application review fees pursuant to subdivision (j)(2)(A)(iii)(IV) of this section.

Sec. 4.  Sec. 30b of Act 76 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 30b.  IMPLEMENTATION AND REVERSION

(a)  Sec. 30a (exclusion from general permit fees) shall take effect upon passage and shall be effective retroactively back to August 1, 2006.  The department of environmental conservation shall refund any fees collected from applicants operating under SIC codes 2411, 2421, 2426 and 2429 pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(2)(A)(iii)(IV) between August 1, 2006 and the effective date of this section June 30, 2008.

(b)  Sec. 30a (exclusion from general permit fees) shall expire on July 1, 2008 and, on that date, the content of 3 V.S.A. § 2822(i) shall revert to the content that existed before the amendment contained in this act.

* * * Sheriffs * * *

Sec. 5.  32 V.S.A. § 1591(1)(A) is amended to read:

(A)  For serving each process, the fees shall be as follows:

* * *

(ii)  $30.00 $50.00 upon presentation of each return of service for the service of papers relating to divorce, annulments, separations, or support complaints;

(iii)  $30.00 $50.00 upon presentation of each return of service for the service of papers relating to civil suits except as provided in subdivisions 1591(1)(A)(ii) and 1591(1)(A)(vii) of this title;

(iv)  $30.00 $50.00 upon presentation of each return of service for the service of a subpoena and shall be limited to that one fee for each return of service;

* * *

* * * Department of Labor * * *

Sec. 6.  21 V.S.A. § 711(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A worker’s compensation administration fund is created pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 to be expended by the commissioner for the administration of the worker’s compensation and occupational disease programs.  The fund shall consist of contributions from employers made at a rate of 0.42 0.81 percent of the direct calendar year premium for worker’s compensation insurance, one percent of self-insured worker’s compensation losses, and one percent of worker’s compensation losses of corporations approved under the chapter 9 of this title.  Disbursements from the fund shall be on warrants drawn by the commissioner of finance and management in anticipation of receipts authorized by this section.

Sec. 6a.  21 V.S.A. § 144(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The elevator safety review board is established within the department, and shall consist of five seven members, one of whom shall be the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, one of whom shall be the commissioner of labor or the commissioner of labor’s designee, and four five members to be appointed by the governor as follows: one representative from a major elevator manufacturing company; one representative from an elevator servicing company; an owner or manager of a multistoried building, in which a conveyance is installed; an elevator inspector; and an individual who actually installs, maintains and repairs conveyances.  The members appointed by the governor shall be appointed for staggered terms of three years, and shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

Sec. 6b.  21 V.S.A. § 152 is amended to read:

§ 152.  NEW INSTALLATIONS; ANNUAL INSPECTIONS AND REGISTRATIONS

(a)  A new conveyance shall not be placed in operation until it has been inspected by an elevator inspector other than the installer, and a certificate of operation has been issued.

(b)  Every conveyance subject to this subchapter shall be inspected annually by an elevator inspector who may charge a fee for the service as established by the board by rule.  Rules adopted by the board under this subsection shall take into account the degree of difficulty required by the inspection, the frequency of use of the conveyance, and the mode of operation of the conveyance, such as cable, traction, hydraulic, light use, or platform liftAn inspector may charge a fee not to exceed $100.00 for each inspection.  The inspector shall notify the department if a conveyance is found to be in violation of this subchapter or any rule adopted under this subchapter.

(c)  An elevator inspector shall issue a certificate of operation after the inspector has inspected a new or existing conveyance, and has determined that the conveyance is in compliance with this subchapter.  A certificate of operation shall be renewed annually.  An owner of a conveyance shall ensure that the required inspections and tests are performed at intervals that comply with rules adopted by the board.  Certificates of operation shall be clearly displayed on or in each conveyance or in each machinery room.

(d)  The department may issue a conditional certificate of operation for a conveyance that is not in complete compliance, provided the conveyance has been inspected and determined to be safe for temporary operation.  This conditional certificate of operation permits shall permit a conveyance to operate for no more than 30 180 days or until the conveyance is in compliance, whichever occurs first.

(e)  The inspector shall submit $25.00 of the fee charged for each inspection to the department for each certificate of operation issued under this subchapter.

(f)  As established by the board by rule, an inspector may charge a fee not to exceed $250.00 for each inspection, and this fee shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 6 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

(g)  Until rules are adopted under subsection (f) of this section, an inspector may charge a fee not to exceed $100.00, and this fee shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 6 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

Sec. 6c.  COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY; REPORT

By January 15, 2009, the commissioner of public safety shall file a report with the house and senate committees on government operations that identifies barriers to adequate training of elevator inspectors, elevator mechanics, and lift mechanics.

Sec. 6d.  REPEAL

21 V.S.A. § 152(g) (inspector fee cap of $100.00) shall be repealed on the effective date of rules adopted pursuant to 21 V.S.A. § 152.

Sec. 6e.  ELEVATOR SAFETY REVIEW BOARD; RULEMAKING

The general assembly finds that there exists an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare that necessitates the adoption of emergency rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 844 by the elevator safety review board as required by 21 V.S.A. § 152.  Emergency rules shall be filed as soon as possible after notice and an opportunity to be heard by persons who may be affected by them.  The board shall propose a permanent rule on the same subject at the same time that it adopts an emergency rule.

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A § 7 is added to read:

§ 7.  ENHANCED DRIVER LICENSE; MAINTENANCE OF DATABASE INFORMATION; FEE

(a)  The face of an enhanced license shall contain the individual’s name, date of birth, gender, a unique identification number, full facial photograph or imaged likeness, address, signature, issuance and expiration dates, and citizenship.  The back of the enhanced license shall have a machine readable zone.  A Gen 2 vicinity Radio Frequency Identification chip shall be imbedded in the enhanced license in compliance with the security standards of the Department of Homeland Security.

(b)  In addition to any other requirement of law or rule, before an enhanced license may be issued to a person, the person shall present for inspection and copying satisfactory documentary evidence to determine identity and United States citizenship.  An application shall be accompanied by: a photo identity document, documentation showing the person’s date and place of birth, proof of the person’s Social Security account number, and documentation showing the person’s principal residence address.  Before an application may be processed, the documents and information shall be verified as determined by the commissioner.

(c)  No person shall compile or maintain a database of electronically readable information derived from an operator’s license, junior operator’s license, enhanced license, learner permit, or nondriver identification card.  This prohibition shall not apply to a person who accesses, uses, compiles, or maintains a database of the information for law enforcement or governmental purposes.

(d)  The fee for an enhanced license shall be $25.00 in addition to the fees otherwise established by this title.

Sec. 8.  23 V.S.A. § 1402(e) is added to read:

(e)  Pilot project allowing annual permits for low bed trailers.

(1)  The commissioner may issue an annual permit to allow the transportation of a so-called “low-bed” trailer.  A “low-bed” trailer is defined as a trailer manufactured for the primary purpose of carrying heavy equipment on a flat-surfaced deck, which deck is at a height equal to or lower than the top of the rear axle group.

(2)  A blanket permit may be obtained for an annual fee of $250.00 per unit, provided the total vehicle length does not exceed 75 feet, does not exceed a loaded width of 12’6”, does not exceed a total weight of 108,000 lbs., and has a height not exceeding 14 feet.

(3)  Warning signs and flags shall be required if the vehicle exceeds 75 feet in length, or exceeds 8’6” in width.

(4)  This subsection shall expire on June 30, 2010.  No later than

January 15, 2010, the department of motor vehicles, after consultation with the agency of transportation, Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and Vermont Truck and Bus Association, shall report to the house and senate committees on transportation on the results of this two year pilot project.  The report shall include recommendations on extending this provision on low bed trailers, as well as other recommendations relating to longer vehicle lengths.

* * * Criminal Justice Training Council * * *

[Sec. 9.  DELETED]

[Sec. 10.  DELETED]

Sec. 11.  20 V.S.A. § 2355(f)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  The tuition fee for basic training required under section 2358 of this title shall be $5,847.00 $6,417.00.  This fee shall not be charged for persons employed by police agencies at the time of training.

* * * Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets * * *

Sec. 12.  6 V.S.A. § 2964(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A producer or packer of agricultural products produced in Vermont annually may apply to the secretary for an identification label which may be applied to his or her products to indicate that they have been produced in Vermont and have met standards of quality as have been or may be established by the secretary.  The person requesting the labels shall annually pay a fee based on the volume of sales for each category of products in the previous year according to the following fee schedule:  $20.00 $25.00 for a prior annual sales volume less than $20,000.00 $25,000.00; $50.00 for a prior annual sales volume from $20,000.00 $25,000.00 to under $100,000.00; $150.00 $100.00 for a prior annual sales volume from $100,001.00 to $500,000.00; $250.00 for a prior annual sales volume from $500,001.00 to $1,000,000.00 $100,000.00 to $250,000.00; and $500.00 for a prior annual sales volume greater than $1,000,000.00 $250,000.00.  The applicant shall also pay for the cost of all labels requested.

Sec. 13.  20 V.S.A. § 4301(4) is added to read:

(4)  “Animal vendor” means a person permitted under this chapter to advertise for the sale or exchange for value of one or more animals. 

Sec. 14.   20 V.S.A. § 4303a is added to read:

§ 4303a.  ANIMAL VENDOR PERMIT; PROHIBITIONS

(a)  A person may apply for an animal vendor’s permit in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, accompanied by a permit fee of $50.00.  A permit shall be valid for 60 days from the date of issuance by the  commissioner.

(b)  A person may not advertise in print, on television or radio, or on the Internet the sale or exchange for value of one or more animals unless the person:

(1)  Holds a valid animal vendor permit pursuant to subsection (a) of this section;

(2)  Is a registered animal shelter pursuant to section 3903 of this title;

(3)  Holds a kennel permit issued pursuant to 3681 of this title; or

(4)  Holds a pet dealer license issued pursuant to section 3906 of this title.

(c)  Any person permitted to advertise the sale of an animal under this  section shall include the title of the permit and the permit number in any  printed sale material, including websites, advertisements in periodicals, brochures, signs, and in any advertisement on television or radio.  This permit information also shall be provided to a purchaser of an animal from the permit holder.

(d)  A person who violates this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of $300.00 for each day the person fails to comply with this section.

(e)  Any monies generated by the permit fees or the penalties assessed under this section shall be used to fund the Vermont spay neuter incentive program administered by the agency of agriculture, food and markets and shall be used only for:

(1)  Costs associated with animal sterilization and associated procedures;

(2)  Enforcement of this section; and

(3)  Costs of administration of this section.

Sec. 15.  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 20 V.S.A. § 4303a, relating to animal vendor permits.

* * *

Sec. 16.  ADMINISTRATION

The agency of agriculture, food and markets  may contract the administration of the requirements created by Sec. 13 of this act with the contract administrator of the Vermont spay and neuter incentive program; provided that no more than five hours per week will be authorized for this purpose; and provided that the contractor shall be responsible for contacting individuals in violation of this chapter in an attempt to bring them into compliance.

* * * Judiciary * * *

Sec. 17.  4 V.S.A. § 1105 is amended to read:

§ 1105.  Answer to complaint; default

* * *

(b)  A person who is charged with a violation shall have 20 days from the date the complaint is issued to admit or deny the allegations or to state that he or she does not contest the allegations in the complaint.  The judicial bureau shall assess against a defendant a fee of $10.00 $20.00 for failure to answer a complaint within the time allowed.  The fee shall be assessed in the default judgment and deposited in the court technology special fund established pursuant to section 27 of this title.

* * *

Sec. 18.  4 V.S.A. § 1109 is amended to read:

§ 1109.  Remedies for failure to pay

* * *

(b)  A judicial bureau judgment shall provide notice that a $15.00 $30.00 fee shall be assessed for failure to pay within 30 days.  If the defendant fails to pay the amount due within 30 days, the fee shall be added to the judgment amount and deposited in the court technology special fund established pursuant to section 27 of this title.

* * *

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

§ 1431.  Fees in supreme, superior, district, family, and environmental courts

(a)  Prior to the entry of any cause in the supreme court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $225.00 $250.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section.

(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 $250.00 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.

* * *

(4)  Prior to the entry of any motion or petition to vacate, modify or enforce an order for parental rights and responsibilities, parent-child contact, or maintenance in the family court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $75.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section; however,.  Prior to the entry of any motion or petition to vacate or modify an order for parental rights and responsibilities, parent-child contact, or maintenance in the family court, there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $100.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section.  However, if the motion or petition is filed with a stipulation for an order acceptable to the court, the fee shall be $25.00.  All motions or petitions filed by one party at one time shall be assessed one fee.

* * *

(c)  Prior to the entry of a small claims action there shall be paid to the clerk for the benefit of the state county in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section, a fee of $60.00 $75.00 if the claim is for more than $500.00 $1,000.00 and $35.00 $50.00 if the claim is for $500.00 $1,000.00 or less.  The filing fee for civil suspension proceedings filed pursuant to 23 V.S.A § 1205 shall be $75.00, which shall be taxed in the bill of costs in accordance with sections 1433 and 1471 of this title  Prior to the entry of any postjudgment motion in a small claims action, there shall be paid to the clerk for the benefit of the county a fee of $50.00.  The fee for every counterclaim in small claims’ proceedings shall be $25.00, payable to the county, if the counterclaim is for more than $500.00, and $15.00 if the counterclaim is for $500.00 or less.

(d)  Prior to the entry of any subsequent pleading which sets forth a claim for relief in the supreme court or the superior, environmental, or district court, there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $100.00 for every appeal, cross-claim, or third-party claim and a fee of $75.00 for every counterclaim in the superior or environmental court in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section.  The fee for every counterclaim in small claims’ proceedings shall be $25.00 if the counterclaim is for more than $500.00 and $15.00 if the counterclaim is for $500.00 or less.  The fee for an appeal of a magistrate’s decision in the family court shall be $100.00.  The filing fee for civil suspension proceedings filed pursuant to

23 V.S.A § 1205 shall be $75.00, which shall be taxed in the bill of costs in accordance with sections 1433 and 1471 of this title.

(e)  Prior to the filing of any postjudgment motion in the superior, environmental, or district court, including motions to reopen civil suspensions, there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $50.00 $75.00 except for small claims actions for which the fee shall be $25.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section.

(f)  The filing fee for all actions filed in the judicial bureau shall be $30.00 $50.00; the state or municipality shall not be required to pay the fee; however, if the respondent denies the allegations on the ticket, the fee shall be taxed in the bill of costs in accordance with sections 1433 and 1471 of this title and shall be paid to the clerk of the bureau for the benefit of the state.

(g)  Prior to the filing of any postjudgment motion in the judicial bureau there shall be paid to the clerk of the bureau, for the benefit of the state, a fee of $25.00 $35.00.  Prior to the filing of any appeal from the judicial bureau to the district court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court, for the benefit of the state, a fee of $75.00 $100.00.

(g)(h)  Pursuant to Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure 3.1, Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure 24(a), or District Court Civil Rules 3.1, part or all of the filing fee may be waived if the court finds that the applicant is unable to pay it.  The clerk of the court or the clerk's designee shall establish the in forma pauperis fee in accordance with procedures and guidelines established by administrative order of the supreme court.

Sec. 20.  32 V.S.A. § 1434(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The following entry fees shall be paid to the probate court for the benefit of the state, except for subdivision (13)(17) of this subsection which shall be for the benefit of the county in which the fee was collected:

(1)  Estates of $10,000.00 or less                                 $35.00        $25.00

(2)  Estates of more than $10,000.00 to

not more than $150,000.00 $50,000.00                                           $75.00

(3)  Estates of more than $50,000.00 to

not more than $150,000.00                                                            $200.00

(4)  Estates of more than $150,000.00 to

not more than $500,000.00                                           $150.00    $375.00

(4)(5)  Estates of more than $500,000.000 to

not more than $1,000,000.00                                        $325.00    $625.00

(6)  Estate of more than $1,000,000.00 to

not more than $5,000,000.00                                                      $1,000.00

(7)  Estates of more than $5,000,000.00 to

not more than $10,000,000.00                                                    $1,500.00

(8)  Estates of more than $10,000,000.00                                   $1,750.00

(5)(9)  Testamentary trusts of $20,000.00 or less             $50.00

(6)(10)  Testamentary trusts of more than $20,000.00        $100.00

(7)(11)  Annual accounts on testamentary trusts of

more than $20,000.00                                                     $25.00      $30.00

(8)(12)  Annual accounts on decedents’ estates

filed for any period ending more than one year

following the opening of the estate                                                     $25.00

(9)(13)  Adoptions                                                                           $75.00

(10)(14)  Guardianships for minors                                                   $35.00

(11)(15)  Guardianships for adults                                                    $50.00

(12)(16)  Petitions for change of name                  $50.00 $75.00

(13)(17)  Filing of a will for safekeeping, except

that there shall be no fee for the filing of subsequent

wills in that district for the same person                                 $20.00

(14)(18)  Corrections for vital records                                  $25.00

(15)(19)  Orders of authorization                                                      $25.00

(16)(20)  Conveyances of title to real estate pursuant

to section 1801 of Title 14                                                                $50.00

(17)(21)  Petitions for the removal of a trustee pursuant

to 14 V.S.A. § 2314(c) of trusts of $20,000.00 or less         $50.00

(18)(22)  Petitions for removal of a trustee pursuant

to 14 V.S.A. § 2314(c) of trusts more than $20,000.00      $100.00

(19)(23)  Petitions concerning advance directives pursuant

to 18 V.S.A. § 9718                                                                        $75.00

(20)(24)  Civil actions brought pursuant to subchapter 3

of chapter 107 of Title 18.                                                                $50.00

Sec. 21.  32 V.S.A. § 1751 is amended to read:

§ 1751.  Fees when not otherwise provided

* * *

(b)  Whenever probate, district, environmental, family, or superior court officers and employees or officers and employees of the judicial bureau furnish copies or certified copies of records, the following fees shall be collected for the benefit of the state:

* * *

(5)  For a response to a request for a record of criminal history of a person based upon name and date of birth, $10.00 $30.00.

(6)  For appointment as an acting judge pursuant to 4 V.S.A § 22(b) for the purpose of performing a marriage, $150.00.

However, the fees provided for in this subsection shall not be assessed by these officers and employees in furnishing copies or certified copies of records to any agency of any municipality, state, or federal government or to veterans honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States, their dependents or beneficiaries, in the prosecution of any claim for benefits from the United States government, or any state agency.

Sec. 22.  32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 6 is amended to read:

Subchapter 6.  Executive and Judicial Branch Fees

§ 601.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

     It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish a uniform policy on the creation and review of executive and judicial branch fees, and to require that any such fee be created solely by the general assembly.

§ 602.  DEFINITIONS

* * *

(2)  "Fee":

(A)  Means a monetary charge by an agency or the judiciary for a service or product provided to, or the regulation of, specified classes of individuals or entities.

* * *

§ 605.  CONSOLIDATED EXECUTIVE BRANCH ANNUAL FEE REPORT AND REQUEST

* * *

§ 605a.  CONSOLIDATED JUDICIAL BRANCH FEE REPORT AND REQUEST

(a)  The justices of the supreme court or the court administrator if one is appointed pursuant to 4 V.S.A. § 21, in consultation with the justices of the supreme court, shall submit a consolidated judicial branch fee report and request no later than the third Tuesday of the legislative session of 2011 and every three years thereafter.  The report shall be submitted to the house committee on ways and means, the senate committee on finance, and the house and senate committees on government operations.

(b)  A fee report shall contain for each fee in existence on the preceding July 1:

(1)  Its statutory authorization and termination date if any.

(2)  Its current rate or amount and the date this was last set or adjusted by the general assembly or by the joint fiscal committee.

(3)  The fund into which its revenues are deposited.

(4)  The revenues derived from it in each of the two previous fiscal years.

(c)  A fee request shall contain any proposal to:

(1)  Create a new fee, or change, reauthorize, or terminate an existing fee, which shall include a description of the services provided or the function performed.

(2)  Set a new or adjust an existing fee rate or amount.  Each new or adjusted fee rate shall be accompanied by information justifying the rate, which may include:

(A)  The relationship between the revenue to be raised by the fee or change in the fee and the cost or change in the cost of the service, product, or regulatory function supported by the fee, with costs construed pursuant to subdivision 603(2) of this title.

(B)  The inflationary pressures that have arisen since the fee was last set.

(C)  The effect on budgetary adequacy if the fee is not increased.

(D)  The existence of comparable fees in other jurisdictions.

(E)  Policies that might affect the acceptance or the viability of the fee amount.

(F)  Other considerations.

(3)  Designate, or redesignate, the fund into which revenue from a fee is to be deposited.

(d)  For the purpose of the review and report a "fee" shall mean any source of state revenue classified by the department of finance and management accounting system as "fees."

§ 606.  LEGISLATIVE FEE REVIEW PROCESS; FEE BILL

When the consolidated fee report reports and request is requests are submitted to the general assembly pursuant to section sections 605 and 605a of this title, it they shall immediately be forwarded to the house ways and means committee, which shall consult with other standing legislative committees having jurisdiction of the subject area of a fee contained in the report reports and request requests.  As soon as possible, the ways and means committee shall prepare and introduce a "consolidated fee bill" proposing:

(1)  The creation, change, reauthorization, or termination of any fee.

(2)  The amount of a newly created fee, or change in amount of an existing or reauthorized fee.

(3)  The designation, or redesignation, of the fund into which revenue from a fee is to be deposited.

* * * Department of Buildings and General Services * * *

Sec. 23.  3 V.S.A. § 2476 is amended to read:

§ 2476.  DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM AND MARKETING

(a)  The department of tourism and marketing of the agency is created, as successor to the department of travel.  The department shall be administered by a commissioner.

(b)  The department of tourism and marketing shall be responsible for the promotion of Vermont goods and services as well as the promotion of Vermont's travel, recreation and cultural attractions through advertising and other informational programs, and for provision of travel and recreation information and services to visitors to the state, in coordination with other agencies of state government, chambers of commerce and travel associations, and the private sector.

(c)  A special fund is established to be administered as provided under subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, and to be known as the brochure distribution special fund for the purposes of ensuring that the fees collected under this subsection are utilized to fund travel destination promotion and information at the state's travel information centers. Revenues to the fund shall be those fees collected for the placement and distribution of brochures of businesses in the state travel information centers and in other locations deemed appropriate by the department.

(d)  The department of tourism and marketing is authorized to accept brochure distribution fees, and to enter into agreements with other state agencies and departments to provide marketing, promotion and advertising services.  On and after July 1, 1997, all departments engaging in marketing activities shall submit to and coordinate marketing plans with the commissioner of the department of tourism and marketing.

(e)(d)  The department shall annually prepare a report, to be included in the report of the agency required by section 2422 of this title, on the status of the Connecticut River valley tourism district, and how it is meeting the goals of the department.

Sec. 24.  29 V.S.A. § 169 is added to read:

§ 169.  BROCHURE DISTRIBUTION FEES

(a)  The department of buildings and general services is authorized to accept brochure distribution fees, and to enter into agreements with other state agencies and departments to provide marketing, promotion, and advertising services.

(b)  A special fund is established to be administered as provided under subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, and to be known as the brochure distribution special fund for the purposes of ensuring that the fees collected under this section are utilized to fund travel destination promotion and information at the state's travel information centers.  Revenues to the fund shall be those fees collected for the placement and distribution of brochures of businesses in the state travel information centers and in other locations deemed appropriate by the department.

(c)  Brochure distribution fees authorized under subsection (a) of this section shall be set by the department and shall be based on the location or locations of distribution, the size of the brochures, and the number of brochures distributed.  The department shall report the details of the fees established under this section every three years pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 605.

Sec. 25.  32 V.S.A § 603 is amended to read:

§ 603.  FEE CREATION, AMOUNT AND ADJUSTMENT OF AMOUNT

* * *

(3)  Fees for transcripts, reproductions not covered by subsection 316(d) of Title 1, conferences, forms for commercial use, publications and costs of distribution, advertising, training, charges to attend one-time agency events, and sales of products are hereby authorized, and the following, unless otherwise specified by law, may be set by the department providing the service or product, and shall be reasonably and directly related to their costs, as provided in subdivision (2) of this section:

(A)  transcripts;

(B)  reproductions not covered by subsection 316(d) of Title 1;

(C)  conferences;

(D)  forms for commercial use;

(E)  publications of the department;

(F)  costs of distribution of department materials;

(G)  advertising for department services or products;

(H)  training;

(I)  charges to attend one-time department events; and

(J)  sales of department products.

(4)  Fees collected under this subdivision (3) of this section shall be credited to special funds established and managed pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of this title, and shall be available to the charging departments to offset the costs of providing these services or products.  However, for purposes of fees established under this subdivision for copies of public records, the fees shall be calculated as provided in 1 V.S.A. § 316.  These fees shall be reported in accordance with section 605 of this title.

* * * Department of Corrections * * *

Sec. 26.  28 V.S.A § 801 is amended to read:

§ 801.  Medical care of inmates

* * *

(d)  The department is authorized to deduct a fee of up to $5.00 from inmate accounts for each request for sick call initiated by an inmate.  The fee shall be deposited into a special fund administered pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 and used to offset the department’s costs of medical services.  If the department implements a program to collect fees pursuant to this subsection it shall do so in accordance with the most recent National Commission on Correctional Health Care recommendations on charging inmates a fee for health care services.  The department shall report on a quarterly basis the development and implementation of an inmate co-payment system to the Joint Corrections Oversight Committee. 

(e)  The department shall establish and maintain policies for the delivery of health care in accordance with the above standards.

* * * Vermont State Archives * * *

Sec. 27.  32 V.S.A. § 1715(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Upon payment of a $10.00 fee, the commissioner of health or the commissioner of buildings and general services Vermont state archives and records administration shall provide certified copies of vital records or shall ascertain and certify what the vital records available to the commissioners show, except that the commissioners shall not copy the word "illegitimate" from any birth certificate furnished.  The fee for the search of the vital records is $3.00 which is credited toward the fee for the first certified copy based upon the search.

* * * Attorney General * * *

Sec. 28.  3 V.S.A. § 163(c)(9) is amended to read:

(9)  Each participant shall pay a fee to the local juvenile court diversion project.  The amount of the fee shall be determined by project officers based upon the financial capabilities of the participant.  The fee shall not exceed $50.00 $150.00.  The fee shall be a debt due from the participant, but shall not be grounds for exclusion from participation in the program.  Fees under this subdivision shall be paid to the court diversion fund and shall be used solely for the purpose of the court diversion program.

* * * Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and Health Care Administration * * *

Sec. 29.  9 V.S.A. § 5302(e) is amended to read:

(e)  At the time of the filing of the information prescribed in subsections (a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section, the issuer shall pay to the commissioner a fee of $1.00 for each $1,000.00 of the aggregate amount of the offering of the securities to be sold in this state for which the issuer is seeking to perfect a notice filing under this section, but in no case shall such fee be less than $400.00 nor more than $1,250.00 $600.00.  If the notice filing is withdrawn or otherwise terminated, the commissioner shall retain the fee paid.  Open-end investment companies subject to 15 U.S.C. § 80a-1 et seq. shall pay an initial notice filing fee and annual renewal fee for each portfolio or class of investment company securities for which a notice filing is submitted.

Sec. 30.  9 V.S.A. § 5305(b) is amended to read:

(b)  A person filing a registration statement shall pay a filing fee of $1.00 for each $1,000.00 of the aggregate amount of the offering of the securities to be sold in this state for which the applicant is seeking registration, but in no case shall such fee be less than $400.00 nor more than $1,250.00 $600.00.  Open-end investment companies shall pay a registration fee and an annual renewal fee for each portfolio as long as the registration of those securities remains in effect.  If a registration statement is withdrawn before the effective date or a preeffective stop order is issued under section 5306 of this chapter, the commissioner shall retain the fee.

Sec. 31.  9 V.S.A. § 5410(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The fee for an individual is $55.00 $60.00 when filing an application for registration as an agent, $55.00 $60.00 when filing a renewal of registration as an agent, and $55.00 $60.00 when filing for a change of registration as an agent.  If the filing results in a denial or withdrawal, the commissioner shall retain the fee.

* * * Secretary of State * * *

Sec. 32.  9A V.S.A. § 9-525(a)(1) and (2) are amended to read:

(1)  $20.00 $25.00 if the record is communicated in writing; and

(2)  $20.00 $25.00 if the record is communicated by another medium authorized by filing office rule.

Sec. 33.  11 V.S.A. § 1625(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A person, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation required by the provisions of this chapter to file a return, shall, at the time of filing as provided, pay a registration fee of $40.00 $50.00 to the secretary of state for the benefit of the state.

Sec. 34.  11 V.S.A. § 3013(a) (1), (15), and (16) are amended to read:

(1)  Articles of organization $ 75.00 $100.00

(15)  Annual report of a domestic limited liability company 20.00 25.00

(16)  Annual report of a foreign limited liability company 100.00 125.00

* * *

Sec. 35.  11A  V.S.A. § 1.22(a)(16) and (17) are amended to read:

* * *

(16)  Annual report of a foreign corporation 150.00 175.00

(17)  Annual report of a domestic corporation 25.00 $35.00

* * *

[Sec. 36.  DELETED]

Sec. 37.  23 V.S.A. § 4(78) is added to read:

(78)  “Enhanced license” shall mean an operator’s license, commercial driver license, junior operator’s license, or nondriver identification card that denotes identity and citizenship, and includes facilitative technology identified by the Department of Homeland Security.

Sec. 38.  23 V.S.A. § 102(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The commissioner may authorize background investigations for potential employees that may include criminal, traffic, and financial records checks; provided, however, that the potential employee is notified and has the right to withdraw his or her name from application.  Additionally, employees who are authorized to manufacture or produce operators’ licenses and identification cards, including enhanced licenses, may be subject to appropriate security clearance if required by federal law, including background investigations that may include criminal and traffic, records checks, and providing proof of United States citizenship.  The commissioner may, in connection with a formal disciplinary investigation, authorize an appropriate a criminal or traffic record background investigation of a current employee; provided, however, that the background review is necessary and relevant to the issue under disciplinary investigation.  Information acquired through a background the investigation that may be shall be provided to the commissioner or designated division director, and must be maintained in a secure manner.  If the information acquired is used as a basis for any disciplinary action, it must be given to the employee during any pre‑termination hearing or contractual grievance hearing to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to or dispute the information.  If no disciplinary action is taken against the employee, the information acquired through the background check shall be destroyed.
Sec. 39.  23 V.S.A. § 7 is added to read: 
§ 7.  ENHANCED DRIVER LICENSE; MAINTENANCE OF DATABASE INFORMATION; FEE
(a)  The face of an enhanced license shall contain the individual’s name, date of birth, gender, a unique identification number, full facial photograph or imaged likeness, address, signature, issuance and expiration dates, and citizenship.  The back of the enhanced license shall have a machine-readable zone.  A Gen 2 vicinity Radio Frequency Identification chip shall be embedded in the enhanced license in compliance with the security standards of the Department of Homeland Security.

(b)  In addition to any other requirement of law or rule, before an enhanced license may be issued to a person, the person shall present for inspection and copying satisfactory documentary evidence to determine identity and United States citizenship.  An application shall be accompanied by:  a photo identity document, documentation showing the person’s date and place of birth, proof of the person’s Social Security number, and documentation showing the person’s principal residence address.  To be issued, an enhanced license must meet the same requirements as those for the issuance of a United States passport.  Before an application may be processed, the documents and information shall be verified as determined by the commissioner.

(c)  No person shall compile or maintain a database of electronically readable information derived from an operator’s license, junior operator’s license, enhanced license, learner permit, or nondriver identification card.  This prohibition shall not apply to a person who accesses, uses, compiles, or maintains a database of the information for law enforcement or governmental purposes.

(d)  The fee for an enhanced license shall be $25.00 in addition to the fees otherwise established by this title.

Sec. 40.  23 V.S.A. § 601(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A resident who intends to operate motor vehicles shall procure a proper license.  A resident who has moved into the state from another jurisdiction with a valid license to operate motor vehicles under section 411 of this title shall procure a license within 60 days of moving into the state.  Operators’ licenses shall not be issued to nonresidents.  All operator licenses issued under this chapter shall expire every four years at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  All junior operator licenses shall expire at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  A person born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1. 

Sec. 41.  REPEAL

The following in Title 23 are repealed:

(1)  § 618 (anatomical gifts); and

(2)  § 4111(a)(10) (commercial driver license form regarding anatomical gifts).

Sec. 42.  18 V.S.A. § 5238(3) is amended to read:

(3)  “Document of gift” means an organ donor card, a statement attached to or imprinted on the reverse side of a Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license, a will, or other writing used to make an anatomical gift.

Sec. 43.  18 V.S.A. § 5239 is amended to read:

§ 5239.  MAKING, AMENDING, REVOKING, AND REFUSING TO MAKE ANATOMICAL GIFTS BY AN INDIVIDUAL

(a)  An individual who is at least 18 years of age may:

(1)  Make an anatomical gift for any of the purposes stated in

section 5242 of this title.

(2)  Limit an anatomical gift to one or more of those purposes.

(3)  Refuse to make an anatomical gift.

(b)  An anatomical gift may be made only by a document of gift signed by the donor.  If the donor cannot sign, the document of gift must be signed by another individual and by two witnesses, all of whom have signed at the direction and in the presence of the donor and of each other, and state that it has been so signed.

(c)  If a document of gift is attached to or imprinted on a donor’s motor vehicle operator’s license, the document of gift must comply with subsection (b) of this section. Revocation, suspension, expiration or cancellation of the license does not invalidate the anatomical gift.

(d)  An anatomical gift by will takes effect upon death of the testator, whether or not the will is probated.  If, after death, the will is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the validity of the anatomical gift is unaffected.

(e)(d)  A donor may amend or revoke an anatomical gift, not made by will, only by one of the following methods:

(1)  A signed statement.

(2)  An oral statement made in the presence of two individuals.

(3)  Any form of communication during a terminal illness or injury addressed to a physician.

(4)  The delivery of a signed statement to a specified donee to whom a document of gift had been delivered.

(f)(e)  The donor of an anatomical gift made by will may amend or revoke the gift in the manner provided for amendment or revocation of wills or as provided in subsection (e)(d) of this section.

(g)(f)  An anatomical gift that is not revoked by the donor before death is irrevocable and does not require the consent or concurrence of any person after the donor’s death.

(h)(g)  An individual may refuse to make an anatomical gift of the individual’s body or part by any one either of the following:

(1)  A writing signed in the same manner as a document of gift.

(2)  A statement attached to or imprinted on the donor’s Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license.

(3)  Any other writing used to identify the individual as refusing to make an anatomical gift.  During a terminal illness or injury, the refusal may be an oral statement or other form of communication. 

Sec. 44.  AUTHORITY FOR LIMITED SERVICE POSITIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Three limited service positions are created within the department of motor vehicles.  These shall be used for the administration of the enhanced license program and shall be for a period of three years. 

Sec. 45.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage, except for Sec. 3 which shall not take effect until the commissioner of motor vehicles determines that the systems necessary to operate the program are available.

H. 700

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

     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.  7 V.S.A. § 2(27) is amended to read:

(27)  “Special events permit”:  a permit granted by the liquor control board permitting a person holding a manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license to attend an event open to the public, which has been approved by the local licensing authority, to sell by the glass or by unopened bottle the malt or vinous beverage manufactured or rectified by the license holder.  No more than 12 special events’ permits shall be issued to a holder of a manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license during a year.  The fee for the permit is as required by subdivision 231(13) of this title, and shall be paid to the department of liquor control.  Requests for a special events’ permit shall be submitted to the department of liquor control and received by the department at least 15 days prior to the date of the event.  Each manufacturer or rectifier planning to attend a single special event under this permit may be listed on a single permit. However each attendance at a special event shall count toward the manufacturer’s or rectifier’s 12 special event permit limitation.

H. 783

     An act relating to home improvement fraud.

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

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 2029 is amended to read:

§ 2029. HOME IMPROVEMENT FRAUD

(a) As used in this section, "home improvement" includes the fixing, replacing, remodeling, removing, renovation, alteration, conversion, improvement, demolition, or rehabilitation of or addition to any building or land, or any portion thereof, which is used or designed to be used as a residence or dwelling unit. Home improvement shall include the construction, replacement, installation, paving, or improvement of driveways, roofs, and sidewalks, and the limbing, pruning, and removal of trees or shrubbery and other improvements to structures or upon land that is adjacent to a dwelling house.

(b) A person commits the offense of home improvement fraud when he or she knowingly enters into a contract or agreement, written or oral, for $500.00 or more, with an owner for home improvement, or into several contracts or agreements for $2,500.00 or more in the aggregate, with more than one owner for home improvement, and he or she knowingly:

(1) promises performance that he or she does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed, in whole or in part;

(2) misrepresents a material fact relating to the terms of the contract or agreement or to the condition of any portion of the property involved;

(3) uses or employs any unfair or deceptive act or practice in order to induce, encourage, or solicit such person to enter into any contract or agreement or to modify the terms of the original contract or agreement; or

(4) when there is a declared state of emergency, charges for goods or services related to the emergency a price that exceeds two times the average price for the goods or services and the increase is not attributable to the additional costs incurred in connection with providing those goods or services.

(c) It shall be a permissive inference that the person acted knowingly under subdivision (b)(1) of this section if the person fails to perform the contract or agreement and, when the owner requests performance of the contract or agreement or a refund of payments made, the person fails to:

(1) return the payments or deliver the materials or make and comply with a reasonable written repayment plan for the return of the payments; or

(2) make and comply with a reasonable written plan for completion of the contract or agreement.

(d) A person convicted of home improvement fraud shall register with the department of labor office of attorney general. The court shall notify the department of labor office of attorney general of a conviction under this section. A person who is sentenced pursuant to subdivisions (e)(2), (3), or (4) of this section shall not engage in home improvement activities for compensation unless he or she has filed a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit with the department of labor in an amount of not less than $50,000.00. The department shall release the letter of credit at such time when:

(1) any claims against the person relating to home improvement fraud have been paid;

(2) there are no pending actions or claims against the person for home improvement fraud; and

(3) the person has not been engaged in home improvement activities for at least six years and has signed an affidavit attesting to such.

(e)(1) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, if the loss to a single consumer is less than $1,000.00.

(2) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(3) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both, if:

(A) the loss to a single consumer is $1,000.00 or more; or

(B) the loss to more than one consumer is $2,500.00 or more in the aggregate.

(4) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subdivision (3) of this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(5) A person who violates subsection (d) or (f) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(f)  A person who is sentenced pursuant to subdivision (e)(2), (3), or (4) of this section may engage in home improvement activities for compensation only if:

(1)  the work is for a company or individual engaged in home improvement activities, and the person first notifies the company or individual of the conviction and notifies the office of attorney general of the person’s current address and telephone number; the name, address, and telephone number of the company or individual for whom the person is going to work; and the date on which the person will start working for the company or individual; or

(2)  the person notifies the office of attorney general of the intent to engage in home improvement activities, and that the person has filed a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit with the office in an amount of not less than $50,000.00, and pays on a regular basis all fees associated with maintaining such bond or letter of credit.

(g)  The office of attorney general shall release the letter of credit at such time when:

(1)  any claims against the person relating to home improvement fraud have been paid;

(2)  there are no pending actions or claims against the person for home improvement fraud; and

(3)  the person has not been engaged in home improvement activities for at least six years and has signed an affidavit so attesting.

(h)  A person who is convicted of fraudulent acts related to home improvement shall be required to comply with subsections (d) and (f) of this section.

(i)  A person may be required to comply with subsections (d) and (f) of this section by an assurance of discontinuance, a consent decree, a civil judgment, or other court order.

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. § 4005a is added to read:

§ 4005a.  FUND HELD IN TRUST; COMMINGLING; NO EFFECT ON TITLE TO REAL PROPERTY

(a)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Claim” means any valid claim for materials furnished or services rendered in the construction, repair, remodeling, improvement, or renovation of any building or structure for which the claimant has a lien or the right to claim a lien.

(2)  “Express trust” means funds that have been paid by an owner, for or in connection with services, labor, or materials used in an improvement of real property, which are to be held by a contractor or subcontractor, in express trust, for those services, labor, or materials.  Any such contractor or subcontractor who accepts money from any owner or contractor shall become the trustee of the express trust that is created pursuant to this section.  The amounts received by such contractor or subcontractor under or in connection with each building project shall be a separate trust and the contractor or subcontractor, or any successor or assign or both of such contractor or subcontractor that hold such trust funds, shall be a trustee thereof.  These funds are not required to be held in any separate account by a contractor or subcontractor.  Such trust shall be effective against and shall have priority over any unsecured interest of a party seeking payment from such contractor or subcontractor for claims other than those that are due and owing by reason of the specific building project for which the trust was created, whether such creditors are foreign attachment or other judicial lien creditors, a trustee in bankruptcy or similar creditors or representatives or creditors of the contractor or subcontractor.

(b)  Funds held in express trust are not required to be held in any separate account by a contractor or subcontractor.

(c)  No express trust shall be required for a federal, state, or municipal project.

(d)  The amount payable to any contractor or subcontractor under any contract for the construction, repair, remodeling, improvement, or renovation of any building or structure shall, upon receipt by such contractor or subcontractor, be held in express trust by such contractor or subcontractor for the payment of all claims that are due and owing, or to become due and owing, by such contractor or subcontractor by reason of such construction, repair, remodeling, improvement, or renovation.

(e)  Any amount required to be held in express trust under this section shall be applied to the payment of the corresponding claims specified in this section.

(f)  Nothing herein shall be construed to create a lien on real property.  The existence of an express trust under this section shall not prohibit the filing or enforcement of a lien against the affected real property pursuant to chapter 51 of Title 9 by any claimant.  A priority lien of a secured lender shall not be subordinate to an express trust.

(g)  In the case of an express trust which is not held by a corporation, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company, liability for sums due under this section shall only attach to the principal or head of the company which holds the funds under the express trust.

H. 870

     An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  By adding a new Sec. 6a to read as follows:

Sec. 6a.  26 V.S.A. § 273 is amended to read:

§ 273.  EXEMPTIONS

The provisions of this chapter regulating barbers and cosmetologists shall not:

* * *

(3)  prohibit a licensee from providing barbering or cosmetology services outside a licensed shop so long as those services are limited to only:

* * *

(C)  persons as part of a special occasion event so long as those services are limited to hair styling and makeup and the sanitation standards expected of licensees in licensed shops are followed;

* * *

Second:  By adding a new Sec. 8a to read as follows:

Sec. 8a.  26 V.S.A. § 378 is added to read:

§ 378.  LIMITED TEMPORARY LICENSES

(a)  Notwithstanding section 371 of this title, the board may grant an applicant a limited temporary license to practice podiatry for a period of up to 54 weeks if the applicant:

(1)  furnishes the board with satisfactory proof that he or she has attained the age of majority;

(2)  has received a diploma or certificate of graduation from an accredited school of podiatric medicine approved by the board;

(3)  has been appointed as an intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer in a licensed hospital or in a clinic which is affiliated with a licensed hospital, or in a hospital or an institution maintained by the state, or in a clinic or an outpatient clinic affiliated with or maintained by the state; and

(4)  pays the fee set forth in subdivision 1401a(a)(3) of this title.

(b)  A limited temporary license may be renewed upon payment of the fee set forth in subdivision 1401a(a)(3) of this title for the period of the applicant’s postgraduate training, internship, or fellowship program.

(c)  A limited temporary license shall entitle the applicant to practice podiatry only in the hospital or other institution designated on his or her certificate of limited temporary license and in clinics operated by or affiliated with that designated hospital or institution and only if the applicant is under the direct supervision and control of a licensed podiatrist.  The licensed podiatrist shall be legally responsible and liable for all negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of the limited temporary licensee and shall file with the board the name and address both of himself or herself and of the limited temporary licensee and the name of the hospital or other institution.

(d)  A limited temporary license shall be revoked upon the death or legal incompetency of the supervising licensed podiatrist or, upon 10 days’ written notice, by withdrawal of his or her filing by the supervising licensed podiatrist.  A limited temporary licensee shall at all times exercise the same standard of care and skill as a licensed podiatrist.  Termination of appointment as intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer of a designated hospital or institution shall operate as a revocation of a limited temporary license.

Third:  By adding a new Sec. 9a to read as follows:

Sec. 9a.  26 V.S.A. § 996(e) is amended to read:

(e) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, an applicant for renewal shall have satisfactorily completed continuing education as required by the board. For purposes of this subsection, the board shall require, by rule, not less than six nor more than ten hours of approved continuing education as a condition of renewal.   A licensee who is licensed as a funeral director shall only be required to complete continuing education requirements for a funeral director and not those for an embalmer.

Fourth:  By adding a new Sec. 10a to read as follows:

Sec. 10a.  26 V.S.A. § 1256(e) is amended to read:

(e) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, an applicant for renewal as a funeral director shall have satisfactorily completed continuing education as required by the board. For purposes of this subsection, the board shall require, by rule, not less than six nor more than ten hours of approved continuing education as a condition of renewal and may require up to three hours of continuing education for removal personnel in the subject area of universal precautions and infectious diseases.  An applicant for renewal as a funeral director who is over the age of 65 shall have satisfactorily completed two hours of approved continuing education as a condition of renewal.

Fifth:  In Sec. 14, 26 V.S.A. § 2081a(1), by striking out the first instance of the word “therapy” and inserting in lieu thereof the word therapist

Sixth:  In Sec. 17, 26 V.S.A. § 2085(a), by striking out the first sentence in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new first sentence to read as follows:  A physical therapist shall be professionally responsible and legally liable for all aspects of the physical therapy care of each of his or her patients, including care provided by physical therapist assistants, physical therapy aides, and assistive personnel.

Seventh:  In Sec. 17, 26 V.S.A. § 2085(c)(2), in the second sentence, by striking out the word “delegated” and inserting in lieu thereof the word assigned

Eighth:  In Sec. 37, 26 V.S.A. § 4121, by striking out subdivision (11)(12) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision to read as follows:

(11)(12)  ”Topical medicines” mean medicines applied to the surface of the body and include topical analgesics, anesthetics, antiseptics, scabicides, antifungals, antibacterials, and cryo-agents, and anti-inflammatory agents.

Ninth:  By adding a new Sec. 46 to read as follows:

Sec. 46.  OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION; BOARD OF FUNERAL SERVICE; STUDY

The office of professional regulation, in consultation with the board of funeral service, funeral consumers, providers of funeral services, and other stakeholders identified by the office, shall study the necessity of amending the statutes and administrative rules relating to funeral service in Vermont in the interest of public protection.  The study shall address the reorganization of the embalmer, crematory, and funeral services chapters of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, possible restructuring of the composition of the funeral board, continuing education requirements, and other amendments as deemed appropriate by the office and the board.  The office shall report to the house and senate committees on government operations with its recommendations no later than January 15, 2009.

Tenth:  By adding a new Sec. 47 to read as follows:

Sec. 47.  NURSING; MILITARY SERVICE; OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION; REPORT

By January 1, 2009, the office of professional regulation shall file a report with the general assembly that evaluates whether, and if so under what circumstances, an applicant for licensure to practice nursing should be eligible for licensure if he or she has received appropriate training and performed duties while enlisted in military service in lieu of satisfaction of a required educational program.  The office, as appropriate, shall consult with the Vermont state board of nursing, the military department, and the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs.

Eleventh:  By adding a new Sec. 47a to read as follows:

Sec. 47a.  EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS; MILITARY SERVICE; DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; REPORT; COLLABORATION

(a)  The General Assembly finds that there is a critical shortage of nurses and emergency medical technicians in Vermont, hampering the ability of Vermonters to obtain affordable and timely and quality medical care.

(b)  By January 15, 2009, the commissioner of the Department of Health shall file a report with the House and Senate Government Operations that evaluates whether, and if so under what circumstances, an applicant for licensure as an emergency medical technician should be eligible for licensure, exemption from licensure when employed by certain health care facilities, if he or she has received comparable training and performed duties while enlisted in military service in lieu of satisfaction of a required educational or testing program, or both.  The commissioner, as appropriate, shall consult with the executive director of the Vermont state board of nursing, the adjutant general, and the director of the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs.

(c)  The commissioner of health shall collaborate to the extent feasible with the director of the office of professional regulation regarding the comparable evaluation required by Sec. 47 of this Act for individuals with military service qualifying for licensing as nurses.

H. 881

     An act relating to the role of electric and gas utilities in facilitating the deployment of communications facilities throughout the state.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  As found in 30 V.S.A. § 8060(a)(1): “ The availability of mobile telecommunications and broadband services is essential for promoting the economic development of the state, the education of its young people and life‑long learning, the delivery of cost-effective health care, the public safety, and the ability of citizens to participate fully in society and civic life.”

(2)  Electric and gas companies have networks that extend throughout the state.  Some of these networks can be leveraged to improve the economics of deploying mobile telecommunications and broadband service throughout the state.

(3)  Electric and gas companies hold easements that allow for specific utility use, but certain of these easements may not allow for the attachment or the installation of communications facilities.

(4)  Therefore, the goals of the general assembly in this act are to ensure that electric and gas utilities allow and enable access to their facilities and easements to communications companies as a necessary element of serving the public good in a flexible manner that is fair to both the utilities’ ratepayers and customers of communications service providers.

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. chapter 92 is added to read:

CHAPTER 92.  ACCESS FOR THE INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

§ 8090.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Communications facilities” shall mean facilities that are used to send and receive audio, images, data, or other information via any electromagnetic media, including wires, cables, microwaves, radio waves, light waves, or any combination of these or similar media.

(2)  “Communications service provider” shall mean the Vermont telecommunications authority, a company subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board under subdivision 203(5) or section 502 of this title, or a broadband service provider who is considered to be an “attaching entity” pursuant to subsection 209(g) of this title.

(3)  “Company” or “companies” shall mean an electric or gas utility subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board.

§ 8091.  ACCESS TO FACILITIES

(a)  Any company shall allow and enable access to its plant and equipment where possible for the installation and maintenance of communications facilities by communications service providers.

(b)  When constructing or substantially reconstructing lines or structures used for electric or gas transmission or electric distribution, a company shall allow for the construction and maintenance of communications facilities thereupon if requested by a communications service provider.

(c)  Access and services required by this section shall be subject to regulation by the public service board and department of public service and shall be offered on rates, terms, and conditions, including terms of ownership of facilities, established in section 8092 of this chapter, except that services under tariffs developed pursuant to public service board rules regarding pole attachments shall be governed by those rules.

(d)  Owners of self-generation facilities, those not connected to the electric grid and net-metered generators, shall not be obligated to comply with this section.

(e)  If a communications service provider requests services from a company pursuant to this title, then the communications service provider shall be responsible for all of the costs the company incurs to obtain any easements or limited rights in property necessary to provide those services to the communications service provider, including compensation, legal fees, and the administrative costs of the utility.

§ 8092.  RATES; TERMS; CONDITIONS

(a)  Any company providing electric or gas service under public service board jurisdiction pursuant to this title shall prepare and file with the public service board, with a copy provided to the commissioner of the department of public service and the director for public advocacy, a statement of generally available rates, terms, and conditions for attachments and installations required under section 8091 of this chapter.  The nature and specificity of such statement may take into account the nature and size of the company, an assessment of the types of communications facilities for which requests are most likely, and such other factors as necessary to ensure that the rates, terms, and conditions set forth in the statement are sufficiently flexible to meet the capacities of the company, the interests of the company’s ratepayers, and the goal of facilitating broadband and wireless service.

(b)  The department and the board shall review the statement of generally available rates, terms, and conditions filed by each company.  In the event that the board or the department has grounds to believe that the rates, terms, or conditions are not just and reasonable, the board may open an investigation into the statement.  In the absence of an investigation, or while such an investigation is pending, the company’s filed statement of rates, terms, and conditions shall take effect or shall remain in effect without requiring the approval of the board.  Changes to any company’s filed statement of rates, terms, and conditions shall not take effect until 45 days after the statement has been filed with the board and the department.

(c)  In the event of a board investigation into a company’s statement of rates, terms, and conditions pursuant to this chapter, the board may alter or change the rates, terms, or conditions in effect for attachments and installations after notice and hearing, upon a finding that the company’s rates, terms, or conditions are not just and reasonable.  In making its determination, the board shall consider evidence that may be presented regarding the commercial reasonableness of the rates given the local market and the public interest in reasonable rates for electric or gas service and availability of communications services in the state.  Any change in rates, terms, and conditions required as a result of a board investigation shall be effective as of the date of the board’s order without any refund.

(d)  The statement shall include rates, terms, and conditions for services for which the company may reasonably expect to receive requests, including at a minimum:

(1)  For wireline communications facilities:

(A)  Attachment of communications facilities to electric transmission facilities and maintenance of these communications facilities.

(B)  Contribution to construction for communications facilities installed concurrently with the construction or reconstruction of electric and gas company facilities when requested by a communications service provider.

(2)  For wireless communication facilities:

(A)  Attachment of communications facilities to electric transmission and generation facilities and maintenance of these communications facilities.

(B)  Contribution to construction for communications facilities installed concurrently with the construction or reconstruction of electric company facilities when requested by a communications service provider.

(e)  Rates, terms, and conditions for contributions to construction and for maintenance of communications facilities installed concurrently when companies are constructing or substantially reconstructing electric transmission or distribution lines or structures or gas transmission lines shall be based on the incremental cost of adding the communications facility to the project, as long as the communications facilities will provide service in the municipality in which they are located and surrounding municipalities.

(f)  The company may negotiate rates, terms, and conditions of service that deviate from the statement of rates, terms, and conditions on file, but the company may not refuse a request to provide service in accordance with the rates, terms, and conditions on file.  Section 229 of this title does not apply to deviations from the statement of rates, terms, and conditions, unless a company provides service pursuant to this chapter to an affiliate of the company that is not an electric or gas utility. 

(g)  Companies with facilities meeting the requirements of this section shall submit their statement of rates, terms, and conditions within 150 days of the date of the enactment of this legislation.

(h)  A company may limit wireline attachments on electric transmission structures exclusively carrying voltages of 110 kV or higher to fiber-optic facilities attached and maintained by the company, if the company allows communications service providers to use fiber-optic facilities installed and maintained by the company and offers to install such fiber-optic facilities on such electric transmission structures where there are not sufficient facilities for use by communications service providers.  Rates, terms, and conditions for access to such company-attached and company-maintained facilities shall be made available consistent with the requirements of this section.

(i)  The public service board may establish rules to implement this chapter.  Such rules may include default rates, terms, and conditions to implement subsections (c) and (h) of this section.  As part of the implementation of this chapter, the board shall establish rules to require, to the extent the board is not preempted, communications providers to extend their facilities as far as the board’s authority permits.

§ 8093.  NOTIFICATION

(a)  For cases of gas transmission projects, and for projects involving electric transmission lines requiring approval pursuant to section 248 of this title, companies shall provide notice to the Vermont telecommunications authority at the same time that they provide notice pursuant to subdivision 248(a)(4)(C) of this title.

(b)  In cases of projects involving electric transmission or distribution lines which do not require approval pursuant to section 248 of this title, and which are greater than 2,500 feet, companies under the jurisdiction of the public service board shall notify the Vermont telecommunications authority of the project at least 90 days prior to planned commencement of construction for company-initiated projects, or as soon as possible for customer-initiated projects or projects required for urgent reasons of service quality or reliability.

(c)  The notice shall include:

(1)  The location of the project, including the town and a description of the route to be followed;

(2)  The nature of the project;

(3)  The date the project is planned to commence;

(4)  The contact person for the project and his or her contact information.

(d)  For good cause shown by a company, the public service board may shorten or eliminate the notice period required under this section.

(e)  In the alternative to filing notice under subsection (b) of this section, a company may file with the public service board, the department of public service, and the Vermont telecommunications authority its capital plan or construction work plan, describing the location of linear projects which do not require approval pursuant to section 248 of this title, and in the case of a

multi-year plan, the year in which a linear project is scheduled to commence.  No construction called for under the capital plan or construction work plan shall commence until the plan has been on file for at least 90 days, unless the construction is required for customer-initiated projects or for urgent reasons of service quality or reliability.

(f)  A company may specify in its statement of rates, terms, and conditions a deadline or procedure for requests to attach or add communications facilities to a project.  Unless otherwise specified by the company in its statement of rates, terms, and conditions, a company shall provide a period for responses of not less than either 45 days after notice is provided, if the company provides notice pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or 45 days before the planned construction commences, if the company provides notice pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.  If a company does not receive a response by the deadline or according to the procedure established for responding to the notice required by this section, it may commence construction of a project prior to the end of the notice period required under subsection (b) or (e) of this section.

§ 8094.  EVALUATION OF COMMERCIAL WIRELESS NETWORKS

(a)  No company subject to public service board jurisdiction and providing electric service shall begin construction of a two-way point-to-multipoint mobile wireless communication network for the purpose of communication between its facilities for its own personnel unless:

(1)  The company has solicited proposals from commercial wireless service providers; and

(2)  For solicitations issued after July 1, 2008, the company has provided notice prior to the solicitation to the Vermont telecommunications authority and to the commissioner of the department of public service and the director for public advocacy.

(b)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize or disallow the costs of such a network for the purpose of a rate proceeding for the company.

§ 8095.  LIMITATION

Nothing in this chapter limits the existing rights and obligations of entities currently authorized to attach to poles and other facilities pursuant to board rule 3.700. 

§ 8096.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT

The general assembly intends that this chapter will result in improved and increased access to mobile telecommunications and broadband services for all underserved Vermont households and businesses.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 110a is added to read:

§ 110a. INCLUSION OF COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

When a gas or electric utility subject to the jurisdiction of the board files a petition to condemn an easement or limited right in property, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that access to the utility’s facilities provided pursuant to chapter 92 of this title shall be a necessary component of the utility’s rendering of adequate service to the public.

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 111a is added to read:

§ 111a.  PREEXISTING UTILITY LINES

(a)  When a corporation seeks to condemn property or an easement or other right over property where a currently existing utility line capable of operating at 100 kilovolts or less that has not been abandoned and was in place on July 1, 1993, there is a rebuttable presumption that the condemnation of the property right authorizing the existing utility line or lines is necessary in order that the petitioner may render service to the public, provided that the property right is limited to that which is required to allow the operation, maintenance, and repair of the existing line or lines, and does not (1) significantly alter the capabilities or capacity of the line or lines, (2) materially alter the degree of land use associated with the presence of the line or lines, and (3) authorize the company to perform replacements or upgrades that would have a significant impact under the criteria set forth in section 248 of this title. 

(b)  When a corporation seeks to condemn property or establish an easement or other right over property where a utility line, that has not been abandoned, was in place on July 1, 1993, the corporation shall present a petition to the public service board and to the department of public service describing the property or right, and why the action is necessary.  The property or right shall be limited to that which is required to allow the operation, maintenance, and repair of the existing line or lines, subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (a) of this section.  The board shall issue a citation upon each person whose property or right the petitioner proposes to condemn and each municipality and each planning body where the property is located, or on absent persons in such manner as the supreme court may by rule provide for service of process in civil actions, including by publication. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(j)  There shall be rebuttable presumptions that compensation for the taking or use of property rights under the provision of this section shall be the diminution of value caused by the existence of such utility lines across the property at the time the petition was filed with the board and that, where a property owner acquired the property with the utility line already in place, the diminution in value was reflected in the terms of acquiring the property.  Upon rebuttal of either of these presumptions under the standard set forth in subsection (m) of this section, the board shall determine compensation pursuant to the criteria established by subdivision 112(3) of this title.

(k)(1)  When the board renders judgment, it shall send by registered mail to each of the parties in interest or their attorneys, within 30 days thereafter, a certified copy of such judgment.  If the judgment is in favor of the petitioner, the board, in the same manner, shall send to such parties a certified copy of the findings which shall include a description of the property or right to be condemned.  The petitioner shall cause a certified copy of the judgment and findings to be recorded in the clerk’s office of the town or towns in which such property is located within 30 days after the clerk receives the copies.

(2)  Upon the payment or deposit of the amounts awarded by the board, with interest, in accordance with its order, the petitioner shall be the owner of the property or right described in the findings.  However, when an appeal is taken as provided in section 12 of this title, such ownership shall be an equitable title only with right of possession until the judgment of the supreme court is complied with.

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

(m)  The presumptions arising under subsections (a) and (j) of this section shall operate in accordance with the provisions of Vermont Rule of Evidence 301(a).  These presumptions shall shift only the burden of production, and shall lose their effect as soon as any evidence to support a finding of the nonexistence of the presumed fact is introduced.

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

Sec. 5.  INVESTIGATION INTO SUBSTATION NETWORKS

The public service board shall conduct an investigation into the benefits and costs of construction of fiber-optic or other telecommunications facility networks linking electric company substations and submit a report to the committees of jurisdiction of the general assembly on or before January 15, 2009.  In addition to other information it deems appropriate, the public service board shall require from each electric company an analysis of the likely cost of connecting its substations with fiber-optic facilities and other alternative means, and the benefits to electric company operations, including benefits for system management and reliability.  If it finds good cause to do so, the board may excuse companies without more than one substation and companies which have already connected all company substations with fiber-optic facilities.  In the event that the public service board determines that the benefit of such a network exceeds its costs, it shall recommend an implementation schedule for construction of such a network and include the schedule in its report.  The board may issue an implementation schedule for individual companies prior to January 15, 2009.

H. 887

     An act relating to health care reform.

     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:

* * * Expanding Affordable Coverage * * *

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4080a(h)(2)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  The commissioner’s rules shall permit a carrier, including a hospital or medical service corporation and a health maintenance organization, to establish rewards, premium discounts, split benefit designs, rebates, or otherwise waive or modify applicable co-payments, deductibles, or other cost‑sharing amounts in return for adherence by a member or subscriber to programs of health promotion and disease prevention.  The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of health, the director of the blueprint for health, and the director of the office of Vermont health access in the development of health promotion and disease prevention rules that are consistent with the Blueprint for Health.  Such rules shall:

* * *

(iii)  provide that the reward under the program is available to all similarly situated individuals and shall comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; and

* * *

Sec. 2.  EXPEDITED RULEMAKING

No later than January 1, 2009 and notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 25 of Title 3, the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall adopt rules to implement the healthy lifestyle insurance discount and split benefit design established in subsection 4080a(h) of Title 8.  The rules for the split benefit design shall include provisions that promote good health, prevent disease, and encourage healthier lifestyles without penalizing individuals due to disability, poor health, or socioeconomic status.  The department shall adopt the rules pursuant to the following expedited rulemaking process:

(1)  After publication in three daily newspapers with the highest average circulation in the state of a notice of the rules to be adopted pursuant to this process and at least a 14-day public comment period following publication, the department shall file final proposed rules with the legislative committee on administrative rules.

(2)  The legislative committee on administrative rules shall review and may approve or may object to the final proposed rules under section 842 of Title 3, except that its action shall be completed by the committee no later than 14 days after the final proposed rules are filed with the committee.

(3)  The department may adopt a properly filed final proposed rule:

(A)  after the passage of 14 days from the date of filing final proposed rules with the legislative committee on administrative rules;

(B)  after receiving notice of approval from the committee; or

(C)  if the department has received a notice of objection from the legislative committee on administrative rules, after having responded to the objection from the committee pursuant to section 842 of Title 3.

(4)  Rules adopted under this section shall be effective upon being filed with the secretary of state and shall have the full force and effect of rules adopted pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3.  Rules filed by the department with the secretary of state pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be in full compliance with section 843 of Title 3 and shall be accepted by the secretary of state if filed with a certification by the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration that the rule is required to meet the purposes of this section.

Sec. 3.  EXPANDING ACCESS TO CATAMOUNT HEALTH

(a)  No later than March 1, 2009, the secretary of human services shall apply to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a waiver amendment to allow Vermont to lower the waiting period for coverage under Catamount Health and the Vermont health access plan to six months from the current 12 months.  Within 60 days following approval of the waiver, the secretary of administration shall submit to the commission on health care reform created pursuant to section 901 of Title 2 a recommendation on whether to proceed with reducing the waiting period.  Upon receipt of the secretary’s recommendation, the commission on health care reform shall consider:

(1)  the availability of resources;

(2)  issues surrounding implementation; and

(3)  potential benefits to the health care system.

(b)  The commission on health care reform shall make a recommendation to the senate committees on health and welfare and on appropriations and the house committees on health care and on appropriations on whether to proceed with or delay implementation of the reduction in the waiting period.  The committees shall present their recommendations to the general assembly, which shall make a determination whether to proceed with implementation of the reduced waiting period.

Sec. 4.  8 V.S.A. § 4080f(a)(9) is amended to read: 

(9)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur, and:  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,; who has had a nongroup health insurance plan with an annual deductible of no less than $10,000.00 for an individual or an annual deductible of no less than $20,000.00 for two‑person or family coverage for at least six months; or who 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, including a reduction in hours that results in ineligibility for employer-sponsored coverage, unless the employer has terminated its employees or reduced their hours 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 receiving coverage 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- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, decreased enrollment below a threshold set for continued coverage, or otherwise terminated studies.

Sec. 5.  33  V.S.A. § 1983 is amended to read: 

§ 1983.  Eligibility

(a)(1)  Except as provided in subdivisions (3), and (4), and (5) of this subsection, an individual shall be eligible for Catamount Health assistance if the individual is an uninsured Vermont resident without access to an approved employer-sponsored insurance plan under section 1974 of this title.

* * *

(5)  An individual shall not be eligible for Catamount Health assistance for the first 12 months of coverage if the individual is solely eligible under the high deductible standard outlined in 8 V.S.A. § 4080f(a)(9).

Sec. 6.  33 V.S.A. § 1973(e) is amended to read: 

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

(1)  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 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 individual who lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for the following reasons:

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

(i)  loss of employment, including a reduction in hours that results in ineligibility for employer-sponsored coverage, unless the employer has terminated its employees or reduced their coverage 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 receiving coverage 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- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, decreased enrollment below a threshold set for continued coverage, or otherwise terminated studies.

(4)  An individual who was eligible for Catamount Health solely under the high deductible standard outlined in 8 V.S.A. § 4080f(a)(9) shall not be eligible for VHAP for the first 12 months of coverage.

Sec. 7.  33 V.S.A. § 1974 is amended to read: 

* * *

(b) VHAP-eligible premium assistance.

* * *

(6)  An individual shall not be eligible for premium assistance for the first 12 months of coverage if the individual is solely eligible under the high deductible standard outlined in 8 V.S.A. § 4080f(a)(9).

* * *

(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 private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage ended because of:

(I)  loss of employment, including a reduction in hours that results in ineligibility for employer-sponsored coverage, unless the employer has terminated its employees or reduced their hours 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 receiving coverage 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- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, decreased enrollment below a threshold set for continued coverage, or otherwise terminated studies.

* * *

(3) The premium assistance program under this subsection shall provide a subsidy of premiums or cost-sharing amounts based on the household income of the eligible individual, with greater amounts of financial assistance provided to eligible individuals with lower household income and lesser amounts of assistance provided to eligible individuals with higher household income. Until an approved employer-sponsored plan is required to meet the standard in subdivision (4)(B)(ii) of this subsection, the subsidy shall include premium assistance and assistance to cover cost-sharing amounts for chronic care health services covered by the Vermont health access plan that are related to evidence-based guidelines for ongoing prevention and clinical management of the chronic condition specified in the blueprint for health in section 702 of Title 18. Notwithstanding this subsection, an individual shall not be eligible for premium assistance for the first 12 months of coverage if the individual is solely eligible under the high deductible standard outlined in 8 V.S.A. § 4080f(a)(9).

* * *

Sec. 8.  33 V.S.A. § 1982(2) is amended to read: 

(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, including a reduction in hours that results in ineligibility for employer-sponsored coverage, unless the employer has terminated its employees or reduced their hours 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 receiving coverage 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- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, decreased enrollment below a threshold set for continued coverage, or otherwise terminated studies.

* * * Preexisting Conditions under Catamount Health * * *

Sec. 9.  8 V.S.A. § 4080f(e) is amended to read:

(e)(1)  For a 12‑month period from the effective date of coverage earliest date of application, a carrier offering Catamount Health may limit coverage of preexisting conditions which existed during the 12‑month period before the effective date of coverage earliest date of application, except that such exclusion or limitation shall not apply to chronic care if the individual is participating in a chronic care management program, nor apply to pregnancy.  A carrier shall waive any preexisting condition provisions for all individuals and their dependents who produce evidence of continuous creditable coverage during the previous nine months.  If an individual has a preexisting condition excluded under a subsequent policy, such exclusion shall not continue longer than the period required under the original contract or 12 months, whichever is less.  The carrier shall credit prior coverage that occurred without a break in coverage of 63 days or more.  A break in coverage shall be tolled after the earliest date of application, subject to reasonable time limits, as defined by the commissioner, for the individual to complete the application process.  For an eligible individual, as such term is defined in Section 2741 of Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a carrier offering Catamount Health shall not limit coverage of preexisting conditions.

(2)  Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, a carrier offering Catamount Health shall not limit coverage of preexisting conditions for subscribers who apply before November 1, 2008.  This subdivision (2) shall not apply to claims incurred prior to the effective date of this section.

* * * 75 Percent Rule * * *

Sec. 10.  8 V.S.A. § 4080a(l) is amended to read:

(l)(1)  A registered small group carrier which is not a nonprofit health maintenance organization shall may require that at least 75 percent or less of the employees or members of a small group with more than 10 employees participate in the carrier’s plan, provided that if a nonprofit health maintenance organization provides a small group plan to more than 25 percent of the employees or members of the small group, a registered small group carrier may offer or continue to provide its small group plan to the remaining employees or members.  A registered small group carrier may require that 50 percent or less of the employees or members of a small group with 10 or fewer employees or members participate in the carrier’s plan.  A small group carrier’s rules established pursuant to this subsection shall be applied to all small groups participating in the carrier’s plans in a consistent and nondiscriminatory manner.

(2)  For purposes of this requirement the requirements set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection (l), the a registered small group carrier shall not include in its calculation an employee or member who is already covered by another group health benefit plan as a spouse or dependent or who is enrolled in Catamount Health, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Medicare.  Employees or members of a small group who are enrolled in the employer’s plan and receiving premium assistance under chapter 19 of Title 33 shall be considered to be participating in the plan for purposes of this section.  If the small group is an association, trust, or other substantially similar group, this the participation requirement requirements shall be calculated on an employer-by-employer basis.

(3)  A small group carrier may not require recertification of compliance with the participation requirements set forth in this section more often than annually at the time of renewal.  If, during the recertification process, a small group is found not to be in compliance with the participation requirements, the small group shall have 120 days to become compliant prior to termination of the plan.

* * * Preventing Chronic Conditions Through Healthy Lifestyles * * *

Sec. 11.  COMMUNITY PLANS

The commissioner of health, through the 12 district health offices, shall work with communities in each region to develop comprehensive plans that identify and prioritize community needs relating to wellness and healthy living.  The 12 district health offices shall involve schools, worksites, and other stakeholders interested in improving community health and shall consult existing sources of community‑level population health data.  In drafting the plans, the commissioner shall work with community stakeholders to develop an inventory of policy and environmental supports related to wellness and healthy living.  Such plans shall be made available to the public. 

Sec. 12.  18 V.S.A. § 104b is amended to read:

§ 104b.  COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS GRANTS

(a)  The commissioner shall establish a program for awarding competitive, substantial, multi-year grants to comprehensive community health and wellness projects.  Successful projects must:

* * *

(4)  use strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective in reaching the desired outcome; and

(5)  provide data for evaluating and monitoring progress;

(6)  include a plan for ensuring that all food vending machines located in public buildings within the control of the grant recipient contain foods and portion sizes consistent with the Vermont nutrition and fitness policy guidelines or other relevant science-based resources; and

(7)  address socioeconomic or other barriers that stand in the way of fit and healthy lifestyles in their communities.

(b)  The commissioner, through the 12 district health offices, shall assist communities by:

(1)  providing technical assistance to support communities in following a consistent and coordinated approach to planning and implementation, including practices such as needs assessment, defined priorities, action plans, and evaluation;

(2)  providing access to best and promising practices and approved public policies;

(3)  providing assistance to help communities develop public awareness materials and communication tools with well-researched and well-coordinated messaging;

(3) (4)  helping projects communities obtain and maximize funding from all applicable sources; and

(4)(5)  providing other assistance as appropriate.

* * *

(e)  By January 15 1 of each year, the commissioner shall report on the status of the program to the general assembly, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committees on human services and on health care by including a section on prevention grants in the annual report of the Blueprint for Health.

* * *

Sec. 13.  INVENTORY OF COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAMS

The commissioner of health, in collaboration with the commissioner of education and the secretaries of agriculture, food and markets and of transportation, shall compile an inventory of all programs both inside and outside the agencies and departments that award grants or similar funding and that provide technical assistance to supervisory unions and school districts to address issues such as nutrition and physical activity (both indoor and outdoor) for students and staff, obesity, tobacco use, and substance abuse.  The inventory shall include for each program a description of the program purposes, priorities, and any restrictions on the use of funds or technical assistance.  The inventory shall be accompanied by recommendations on how state agencies and other state funding sources may improve coordination of grant awards and technical assistance for school health initiatives and how to work with school districts with a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to planning and implementation, including practices such as needs assessment, defined priorities, action plans, and evaluations and the involvement of school health teams and school health coordinators in community planning efforts.  The recommendations shall also propose a coordinated process for awarding grants to support school health, such as coordination or integration with the community grants process in section 104b of Title 18.  The inventory and recommendations must be submitted to the senate committees on health and welfare and education, the house committees on health care, on human services, and on education, and made available on the internet for review by town offices and school districts, no later than January 15, 2009.

Sec. 14.  NUTRITION GUIDELINES FOR COMPETITIVE FOOD AND BEVERAGE SALES IN SCHOOLS

(a)  The commissioner of education shall collaborate with the commissioner of health and the secretary of agriculture, food and markets to update the current Vermont nutrition policy guidelines applicable to competitive foods and beverages sold outside the federally reimbursable school nutrition programs.  The revised guidelines shall rely on science-based nutrition standards recommended by the alliance for a healthier generation, the institute of medicine, and other relevant science-based resources and shall be available to school districts before the 2008–2009 school year.

(b)  By January 15, 2009, the commissioners of education and of health shall report to the house committees on agriculture, on education, on health care, and on human services, and the senate committees on health and welfare and on education regarding the number of school districts that have and have not adopted a nutrition policy that is substantially the same as the Vermont nutrition policy guidelines applicable to competitive foods and beverages as revised in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.  The report shall include specific information about how policies adopted by the school boards may differ from the Vermont nutrition policy guidelines and include recommendations on how to ensure that all Vermont school districts will meet the state school nutrition guidelines by July 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.  [DELETED]:

Sec. 16.  HEALTHY COMMUNITY DESIGN AND ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS

(a)  The commissioner of health, in consultation with the secretaries of agriculture, foods and markets and of transportation, the commissioners of the departments of education, of housing and community affairs, and of forests, parks, and recreation, and the regional planning association, shall make recommendations on how to strengthen strategies for environmental and policy change to increase healthy choices in Vermont communities and how to enhance coordination among existing programs and funding.  In addition, the commissioner, through the 12 district health offices, shall work with communities to support efforts in planning, implementation, and obtaining funding from applicable sources.  Recommended environmental and policy change strategies shall include ways to:

(1)  Promote and support opportunities for physical activity at the community level through increasing access to walking and bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, safe routes to schools, indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, and parks and other recreational areas;

(2)  Increase access to healthy foods in Vermont communities, including local foods, through strategies such as food pricing and economic approaches, food and beverage marketing and promotion, improving access to affordable healthy foods in low income communities, and other promising food‑related policy and environmental strategies; and

(3)  Promote the goals of physical activity, nutrition, and healthy living in planning processes that involve zoning and land use, growth centers, and downtown revitalization.

(b)  The commissioner shall make recommendations in a consolidated report on healthy living initiatives to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committees on health care and on human services on priorities and recommendations no later than January 15, 2009.

Sec. 17.  HEALTHY WORKSITES

(a)(1)  The commissioner of health shall convene a work group to identify priorities and develop recommendations to enhance collaborative learning and interactive sharing of best practices in worksite wellness and employee health management, through approaches such as statewide or regional worksite wellness conferences, web‑enhanced resources and seminars, and the worksite recognition awards of the governor’s council on physical fitness and sports.

(2)  The work group should examine best practices in Vermont and other states that include:

(A)  Use of premium discounts, reduced cost sharing, or other financial incentives to encourage employee participation in wellness and health promotion activities;

(B)  Strategies to spread the adoption of workplace policies and practices that support breastfeeding for mothers;

(C)  Strategies to reach out to small employers and their employees who lack access to worksite wellness programs, such as the use of the VT 2‑1‑1 information and referral service as an information resource for healthy diet and physical activity, and the use of hospital‑based programs offering classes and one-to-one counseling similar to hospital-based tobacco use prevention programs; and

(D)  Use of financial incentives (such as small grants or tax credits) for small employers to establish worksite wellness programs, and the feasibility of group‑purchasing arrangements to help small employers gain access to worksite wellness products at a lower cost.

(b)  The commissioner shall make recommendations in a consolidated report on healthy living initiatives to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committees on health care and on human services on priorities and recommendations no later than January 15, 2009.

Sec. 18.  PROMOTING HEALTHY WEIGHT THROUGH PRIMARY CARE

(a)  The commissioner of health shall coordinate with the Blueprint for Health director on practice‑based pilot projects to promote effectiveness in implementing evidence-based recommendations for the promotion of healthy weight and for the assessment, prevention, and treatment of obesity in primary care settings, in consultation with the Vermont child health improvement program and the area health education centers program.  The pilot projects shall focus on best practices in implementation by working with members of the medical practice to design, test, and evaluate strategies for changing office systems to better support efforts to promote healthy weight and prevent obesity in children and adults. 

(b)(1)  The commissioner shall convene a work group comprising the three major insurance carriers in Vermont, the office of Vermont health access, self‑insured employers, school health personnel and students, and health care providers to review recommended best practices in primary care settings for the promotion of healthy weight and for the for the assessment, prevention, and treatment of child and adolescent eating disorders, overweight, and obesity and to recommend changes in coverage and payment policies as needed to support best practices that have a high health impact and cost-effectiveness.  As part of its review, the work group should:

(A)  Review models of successful obesity prevention and care strategies developed by insurance carriers and primary care practices in Vermont and other states;

(B)  Identify the respective roles of health practitioners shown to be most effective and cost-effective in the promotion of healthy weight and the assessment, prevention, and treatment of obesity, including physicians, dieticians, nonmedical counselors, self‑management groups, weight management programs, physical activity counselors, and others;

(C)  Review models for standard third party payment of breastfeeding education and support services;

(D)  Develop a plan for promoting measurement and tracking of the body mass index (BMI) percentile for children and adolescents, such as through the collection of data relating to BMI, lack of physical exercise, and inappropriate diet and eating habits using the ICD‑9‑DM V‑codes in the ninth edition of International Classification of Disease Codes;

(E)  Include in the tracking plan guidelines for how such information will be coordinated and shared in order to maintain reasonable expectations of privacy; and 

(F)  Identify ways that payment policies might encourage stronger relationships among primary care practices, public health supports (such as WIC clinics for children under the age of six years), and school health personnel.

(2)  The commissioner shall make recommendations in a consolidated report on healthy living initiatives to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committees on health care and on human services on priorities and recommendations no later than January 15, 2009.

Sec. 19.  18 V.S.A. § 11 is amended to read: 

§ 11.  CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: COALITION FOR HEALTHY ACTIVITY, MOTIVATION, AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS (CHAMPPS)/FIT AND HEALTHY Advisory Council

The department of health shall:

* * *

(6)  Convene a CHAMPPS/Fit and healthy advisory council chaired by the commissioner of health or designee and composed of state agencies and private sector partners which shall advise the commissioner on developing, implementing, and coordinating initiatives to increase physical activity and improve nutrition and reduce overweight and obesity. 

(A)  The functions and duties of the council shall include:

(i)  Recommending ways that the department of health and other state agencies can reach out to communities, schools, worksites, and municipal and regional planners to assist them in creating environments and policies conducive to healthy living for all Vermonters; and

(ii)  Assessing available resources and funding streams, recommending how best to coordinate those initiatives and resources across state agencies and private sector organizations for the greatest impact, and recommending new initiatives and priorities utilizing data and best-practice guidelines. 

(B)  The department of health shall review the fit and healthy Vermonters prevention plan and the status of its major initiatives with the advisory council at least every three years.  The advisory council shall advise and make recommendations to the department of health as the department develops an annual work plan setting forth prioritized strategies to implement a three-year prevention plan.

Sec. 20.  FOODS CONTAINING ARTIFICIAL TRANS FAT AND MENU LABELING

The Vermont department of health, in collaboration with the Vermont hospitality council, the American Heart Association, and representatives of the food service industry in Vermont, shall develop proposed labeling that will inform consumers of the presence of trans fats in food service facilities.  The department of health shall also recommend methods for making Vermont free of artificial trans fats in prepared foods by 2012.  Recommendations shall be presented to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committee on health care by January 15, 2009.

Sec. 21.  16 V.S.A. § 133(c) is added to read: 

(c)  Vermont school districts may include a module within the secondary school health class curricula relating to cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus.  The department of education shall work with relevant medical authorities to update the current model module to reflect up-to-date information and practices for health education in this area.

Sec. 22.  AHEC COUNTER DETAILING PROJECT

(a)  The Vermont area health education centers (AHEC) shall establish an evidence‑based prescription drug education program for health care professionals designed to provide information and education to physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals on the therapeutic and cost‑effective utilization of prescription drugs.  The program shall use the evidence-based standards developed by the Blueprint for Health, and AHEC shall collaborate with other states that are working on similar programs.  AHEC shall share information that would potentially strengthen programs or leverage limited resources and shall notify prescribers about commonly used brand-name drugs for which the patent has expired within the past 12 months or will expire in the coming 12 months.  The Vermont department of health and the office of Vermont health access shall collaborate in issuing notices.  To the extent permitted by funding, the program may include the distribution of vouchers for samples of generic medicines.

(b)  The sum of $70,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to AHEC in fiscal year 2009 to support the counter-detailing project, provided that such appropriation shall expire upon collection of the first dollar of the manufacturer fee established in section 2004 of Title 33 and all funds remaining from this appropriation redeposited in the general fund. 

* * * Supporting Health Information Technology * * *

Sec. 23.  22 V.S.A. § 903 is amended to read:

§ 903.  health information technology

* * *

(c)(1)  The commissioner shall contract enter into a grant agreement with the Vermont information technology leaders (VITL), a broad‑based health information technology advisory group that includes providers, payers, employers, patients, health care purchasers, information technology vendors, and other business leaders, to develop the health information technology plan, including applicable standards, protocols, and pilot programs.  In carrying out their responsibilities under this section, members of VITL shall be subject to conflict of interest policies established by the commissioner to ensure that deliberations and decisions are fair and equitable.

* * *

(g)  On or before January 1, 2007, VITL shall submit to the commission on health care reform, the secretary of administration, the commissioner of information and innovation, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, the director of the office of Vermont health access, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on health care a preliminary health information technology plan for establishing a statewide, integrated electronic health information infrastructure in Vermont, including specific steps for achieving the goals and objectives of this section. A final plan shall be submitted July 1, 2007.  The plan shall include also recommendations for self-sustainable funding for the ongoing development, maintenance, and replacement of the health information technology system.  Upon recommendation by the commissioner of information and innovation and approval by the general assembly, the plan shall serve as the framework within which certificate of need applications for information technology are reviewed under section 9440b of Title 18 by the commissioner.  VITL shall update the plan annually to reflect emerging technologies, the state’s changing needs, and such other areas as VITL deems appropriate and shall submit the updated plan to the commissioner.  Upon approval by the commissioner, VITL shall distribute the updated plan to the commission on health care reform; the secretary of administration; the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration; the director of the office of Vermont health access; the senate committee on health and welfare; the house committee on health care; affected parties; and interested stakeholders.

* * *

(h)  Beginning January 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, VITL shall file a report with the commission on health care reform, the secretary of administration, the commissioner, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, the director of the office of Vermont health access, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on health care.  The report shall include an assessment of progress in implementing the provisions of this section, recommendations for additional funding and legislation required, and an analysis of the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of the pilot program authorized under subsection (e) of this section, including, to the extent these can be measured, reductions in tests needed to determine patient medications, improved patient outcomes, or reductions in administrative or other costs achieved as a result of the pilot program.  In addition, VITL shall file quarterly progress reports with the secretary of administration and the health access oversight committee and shall publish minutes of VITL meetings and any other relevant information on a public website.

* * *

Sec. 24.  E‑PRESCRIBING STUDY

(a)  The director of the commission on health care reform and the VITL project review committee shall conduct a planning and feasibility study to determine the impact of implementing a statewide e‑prescriber program. 

(b)  The study shall address:

(1)  a consideration of the best methods of access to e‑prescribing, including the use of freestanding handheld devices, web-based options, and e‑prescribing modules integrated with electronic medical records; 

(2)  identification of an appropriate business model, including incentives to encourage provider participation;

(3)  an inventory of current e-prescribing activities and existing capacity for e-prescribing in this state;

(4)  a cost-benefit analysis of creating a statewide e-prescriber program;

(5)  the ability of an e-prescriber program to ensure the privacy and security of prescription data, including controls over data-mining;

(6)  state and national studies and reports on data-mining in e-prescribing and the appropriate use of e-prescription information;

(7)  the use of practice management systems and electronic claims data sources through the Vermont health information exchange;

(8)  existing state and national initiatives such as the National

e-Prescribing Patient Safety Initiative and Massachusetts’s Partners Health Care; and

(9)  an assessment of the readiness of pharmacies to participate in e‑prescribing and the impact on independent pharmacies.

(c)  No later than January 15, 2009, the director of the commission on health care reform shall report on the findings of the study to the commission on health care reform, the house committee on health care, and the senate committee on health and welfare.

* * * Investing in Vermont’s Health Care System and Workforce * * *

Sec. 25.  HEALTH IMPROVEMENT APPROPRIATIONS

The amount of $60,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the Vermont department of health for the child psychiatry division in the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families (VCCYF) to support child tele-psychiatry pilots in community health centers that will: 

(1)  Pair Vermont health centers’ medical, nursing, social work, and psychology staff with the UVM VCCYF child psychiatric consultative team;

(2)  Provide monthly training and education resources for health center staff by UVM faculty;

(3)  Help strengthen and expand the newly established UVM child psychiatry fellowship program; and

(4)  Provide critical child psychiatry assessment and consulting services across the state that will establish relationships to help recruit and retain new child psychiatrists for Vermont.

* * * Fair Standards for Provider Contracts with Insurers * * *

Sec. 26.  18 V.S.A. § 9418 is amended to read:

§ 9418.  payment for health care services

* * *

(i)  If In addition to any other remedy provided by law, if the commissioner finds that a health plan has engaged in a pattern and practice of violating this section, the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty against the health plan of no more than $500.00 for each violation, and may order the health plan to cease and desist from further violations and order the health plan to remediate the violation.  In determining the amount of penalty to be assessed, the commissioner shall consider the following factors:

(1)  The appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the financial resources and good faith of the health plan.

(2)  The gravity of the violation or practice.

(3)  The history of previous violations or practices of a similar nature.

(4)  The economic benefit derived by the health plan and the economic impact on the health care facility or health care provider resulting from the violation.

(5)  Any other relevant factors.

(j)  A health plan in this state shall not impose on any provider any retrospective denial of a previously paid claim or any part of that previously paid claim, unless: 

(1)  The health plan has provided at least 30 days’ notice of any retrospective denial or overpayment recovery or both in writing to the provider.  The notice must include:

(A)  the patient’s name;

(B)  the service date;

(C)  the payment amount;

(D)  the proposed adjustment; and

(E)  a reasonably specific explanation of the proposed adjustment.

(2)  The time that has elapsed since the date of payment of the previously paid claim does not exceed 12 months. 

(k)  The retrospective denial of a previously paid claim shall be permitted beyond 12 months from the date of payment for any of the following reasons: 

(1)  The plan has a reasonable belief that fraud or other intentional misconduct has occurred;

(2)  The claim payment was incorrect because the provider of the insured was already paid for the health services identified in the claim;

(3)  The health care services identified in the claim were not delivered by the provider; 

(4)  The claim payment is the subject of adjustment with another health insurer; or

(5)  The claim payment is the subject of legal action.

(l) Notwithstanding this section, a health plan may not retroactively deny or recoup a pharmacy point-of-sale payment except in the circumstances of fraud, intentional misconduct, a member not receiving the prescription, or error in the processing of the claim. 

(m)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a health plan from applying payment policies that are consistent with applicable federal or state laws and regulations, or to relieve a health plan from complying with payment standards established by federal or state laws and regulations, including rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 9408 of this title relating to claims administration and adjudication standards, and rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 9414 of this title and section 4088f of Title 8 relating to pay for performance or other payment methodology standards.

(n)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to stand-alone dental plans or to a workers’ compensation policy of a casualty insurer licensed to do business in Vermont.

Sec. 27.  18 V.S.A. § 9418a is added to read:

§ 9418a.  PROCESSING CLAIMS, DOWNCODING, AND ADHERENCE TO CODING RULES

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Claim” means any claim, bill or request for payment for all or any portion of provided health care services that is submitted by:

(A)  A health care provider or a health care facility pursuant to a contract or agreement with the health plan; or

(B)  A health care provider, a health care facility or a patient covered by the health plan.

(2)  “Contest” means the circumstance in which the health plan was not provided with:

(A)  Sufficient information needed to determine payer liability; or

(B)  Reasonable access to information needed to determine the liability or basis for payment of the claim.

(3)  “Health plan” means a health insurer, disability insurer, health maintenance organization, or medical or hospital service corporation, but does not include a stand-alone dental plan or a workers’ compensation policy of a casualty insurer licensed to do business in Vermont.  “Health plan” also includes a health plan that requires its medical groups, independent practice associations, or other independent contractors to pay claims for the provision of health care services.

(b)  Health plans shall accept and initiate the processing of all health care claims submitted by a health care provider pursuant to and consistent with the current version of the American Medical Association’s current procedural terminology (CPT) codes, reporting guidelines and conventions; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services health care common procedure coding system (HCPCS); the National Correct Coding Initiative; the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs coding; or other appropriate standards, guidelines, or conventions approved by the commissioner. 

(c)  Nothing in this section shall preclude a health plan from determining that any such claim is not eligible for payment in full or in part, based on a determination that: 

(1)  The claim is contested as defined in subdivision 9418(a)(3) of this title;

(2)  The service provided is not a covered benefit under the contract, including a determination that such service is not medically necessary or is experimental or investigational;

(3)  The insured did not obtain a referral, prior authorization, or precertification, or satisfy any other condition precedent to receiving covered benefits from the health care provider;

(4)  The covered benefit exceeds the benefit limits of the contract;

(5)  The person is not eligible for coverage or is otherwise not compliant with the terms and conditions of his or her coverage agreement;

(6)  The health plan has a reasonable belief that fraud or other intentional misconduct has occurred; or

(7)  The health plan determines through coordination of benefits that another health insurer is liable for the claim.  

(d)  Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require a health plan to pay or reimburse a claim, in full or in part, or to dictate the amount of a claim to be paid by a health plan to a health care provider. 

(e)  No health plan shall automatically reassign or reduce the code level of evaluation and management codes billed for covered services (downcoding), except that a health plan may reassign a new patient visit code to an established patient visit code based solely on CPT codes, CPT guidelines, and CPT conventions. 

(f)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, and other than the edits contained in the conventions in subsection (b) of this section, health plans shall continue to have the right to deny, pend, or adjust claims for covered services on other bases and shall have the right to reassign or reduce the code level for selected claims for covered services based on a review of the clinical information provided at the time the service was rendered for the particular claim or a review of the information derived from a health plan’s fraud or abuse billing detection programs that create a reasonable belief of fraudulent or abusive billing practices, provided that the decision to reassign or reduce is based primarily on a review of clinical information. 

(g)  Every health plan shall publish on its provider website and in its provider newsletter the name of the commercially available claims editing software product that the health plan utilizes and any significant edits, as determined by the health plan, added to the claims software product after the effective date of this section, which are made at the request of the health plan.  The health plan shall also provide such information upon written request of a health care provider who is a participating member in the health plan’s provider network. 

(h)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, if the commissioner finds that a health plan has engaged in a pattern and practice of violating this section, the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty against the health plan of no more than $500.00 for each violation, and may order the health plan to cease and desist from further violations and order the health plan to remediate the violation.  In determining the amount of penalty to be assessed, the commissioner shall consider the following factors:

(1)  The appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the financial resources and good faith of the health plan.

(2)  The gravity of the violation or practice.

(3)  The history of previous violations or practices of a similar nature.

(4)  The economic benefit derived by the health plan and the economic impact on the health care facility or health care provider resulting from the violation.

(5)  Any other relevant factors.

(i)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a health plan from applying payment policies that are consistent with applicable federal or state laws and regulations, or to relieve a health plan from complying with payment standards established by federal or state laws and regulations, including rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 9408 of this title relating to claims administration and adjudication standards, and rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 9414 of this title and section 4088f of Title 8 relating to pay for performance or other payment methodology standards.

Sec. 28.  18 V.S.A. § 9418b is added to read:

§ 9418b.  PRIOR AUTHORIZATION

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Claim” means any claim, bill or request for payment for all or any portion of provided health care services that is submitted by:

(A)  A health care provider or a health care facility pursuant to a contract or agreement with the health plan; or

(B)  A health care provider, a health care facility or a patient covered by the health plan.

(2)  “Health plan” means a health insurer, disability insurer, health maintenance organization, or medical or hospital service corporation but does not include a stand-alone dental plan or a workers’ compensation policy of a casualty insurer licensed to do business in Vermont.  “Health plan” also includes a health plan that requires its medical groups, independent practice associations or other independent contractors to pay claims for the provision of health care services.

(b)  Health plans shall pay claims for health care services for which prior authorization was required by and received from the health plan, unless:

(1)  The insured was not a covered individual at the time the service was rendered;

(2)  The insured’s benefit limitations were exhausted;

(3)  The prior authorization was based on materially inaccurate information from the health care provider;

(4)  The health plan has a reasonable belief that fraud or other intentional misconduct has occurred; or 

(5)  The health plan determines through coordination of benefits that another health insurer is liable for the claim.

(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a health plan from denying continued or extended coverage as part of concurrent review, denying a claim if the health plan is not primarily obligated to pay the claim, or applying payment policies that are consistent with an applicable law, rule, or regulation. 

(d)  A health plan shall furnish, upon request from a health care provider, a current list of services and supplies requiring prior authorization. 

(e)  A health plan shall post a current list of services and supplies requiring prior authorization to the insurer’s website. 

(f)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, if the commissioner finds that a health plan has engaged in a pattern and practice of violating this section, the commissioner may impose an administrative penalty against the health plan of no more than $500.00 for each violation, and may order the health plan to cease and desist from further violations and order the health plan to remediate the violation.  In determining the amount of penalty to be assessed, the commissioner shall consider the following factors:

(1)  The appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the financial resources and good faith of the health plan.

(2)  The gravity of the violation or practice.

(3)  The history of previous violations or practices of a similar nature.

(4)  The economic benefit derived by the health plan and the economic impact on the health care facility or health care provider resulting from the violation.

(5)  Any other relevant factors.

(g)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a health plan from applying payment policies that are consistent with applicable federal or state laws and regulations, or to relieve a health plan from complying with payment standards established by federal or state laws and regulations, including rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 9408 of this title relating to claims administration and adjudication standards, and rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 9414 of this title and section 4088f of Title 8 relating to pay for performance or other payment methodology standards.

Sec. 29.  18 V.S.A. § 9408a is amended to read: 

§ 9408a.  uniform provider credentialing

* * *

(d)  An insurer or a A hospital shall notify a provider concerning the status of the provider’s completed credentialing application not later than:

(1)  Sixty days after the insurer or hospital receives the completed credentialing application form; and

(2)  Every 30 days after the notice is provided under subdivision (1) of this subsection, until the hospital makes a final credentialing determination concerning the provider. 

* * *

(f)  An insurer shall act upon and finish the credentialing process of a completed application submitted by a provider within 60 calendar days of receipt of the application.  An application shall be considered complete once the insurer has received all information and documentation necessary to make its credentialing determination as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section. 

Sec. 30.  FAIR CONTRACTING STANDARDS STUDY

The Vermont medical society, in collaboration with the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration; the Vermont association of hospital and health systems; insurers; practice managers; and other interested parties, shall work to address the following issues and report to the house committee on health care and the senate committee on health and welfare or before January 15, 2009:

(1)  Fair and transparent contracting standards for providers participating in health insurance plans;

(2)  Categories of coverage;

(3)  Rental networks; and

(4)  Most favored nation clauses. 

Sec. 31.  RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS STUDY

The Vermont medical society, in collaboration with the department of health, the area health education centers program, and the Vermont association of hospitals and health systems, shall work to address the issue of the use of restrictive covenants in employment contracts of health care professionals and the impact of restrictive covenants on recruitment and retention of health care professionals in Vermont and shall report to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committee on health care on or before January 15, 2009. 

Sec. 32.  WORKERS’ COMPENSATION STUDY

The Vermont medical society, in collaboration with the Vermont association of hospitals and health systems; the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration; the department of labor; workers’ compensation carriers; practice managers; and other interested parties, shall work to address the following issues and shall report to the senate committees on health and welfare and on economic development, housing and general affairs and the house committees on health care and on commerce on or before January 15, 2009:

(1)  Timely payment of workers’ compensation claims;

(2)  Notification and resolution process for contested claims;

(3)  Enforcement of timely payment, including assessment of interest and penalties;

(4)  Charges for examinations, reviews, and investigations in connection with workers’ compensation claims;

(5)  Filing of carriers’ written claims processing practices with the department of labor;

(6)  Development of online claim processing and claim tracking systems accessible to health care providers; and

(7)  Uniform claims processing standards for workers’ compensation insurers.

* * * Phase Out of the Health Insurance Safety Net * * *

Sec. 33.  8 V.S.A. § 4080c is amended to read:

§ 4080c.  HEALTH INSURANCE SAFETY NET

(a)  Upon payment of the required premium, the secretary of administration shall make health insurance available for the following:

(1)  Individuals in the nongroup market as of April 1, 1992 and individuals in the small group market as of July 1, 1992 who lose coverage for any of the following reasons:

(A)  Their insurer withdraws from the marketplace in Vermont.

(B)  Their insurer fails to register as of July 1, 1993 as a carrier qualified to provide nongroup insurance coverage.

(2)  Individuals in the group market who prior to December 31, 2008 are terminated, laid off, or otherwise separated from employment and who are not subsequently covered or eligible for coverage under another group health insurance plan.  Eligibility for coverage under this subdivision shall commence at the end of any health insurance continuation right provided by state or federal law.

(3)  Eligibility under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall terminate on December 31, 2008.

(b)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, coverage under this section shall be offered by nonprofit hospital and medical service corporations chartered in Vermont pursuant to chapters 123 and 125 of Title 8 at substantially similar terms and prices for the period beginning April 1, 1992 and ending when universal access is implemented by the general assembly on December 31, 2011.  The secretary may make coverage available under this section from any other insurer or health maintenance organization licensed to do business in Vermont.  The provisions of section 5115 of this title, relating to the duty of health maintenance organizations, shall not apply to coverage made available under this section.  No person may offer a health benefit plan or insurance policy under this section as a means of circumventing the requirements of section 4080b of this title, and the commissioner shall adopt, by rule, standards and a process to carry out the provisions of this prohibition.

* * *

(d)  Any surplus income realized by a carrier through participation in the program established by this section shall be applied to reduce or mitigate increases in premiums paid by other nongroup policyholders.  As used in this subsection, “surplus income” means a carrier’s premium income, less the carrier’s claims paid and incurred and the carrier’s reasonable administrative costs of no more than eight percent.

(e)  The commissioner shall by rate authorization provide for the phased adjustment of the prices provided in subsection (c) of this section so that for policies or contracts renewing on or after January 1, 2012, rates under this section shall be identical to rates provided in other nongroup policies or contracts offered or issued to individuals, with attention to making such rate adjustment as smooth as practicable over the years 2009, 2010, and 2011.  A nongroup carrier required to offer safety net coverage may withdraw all safety net products for policies or contracts renewing on or after January 1, 2012.

(f)  No later than October 1, 2008, the commissioner shall issue guidelines for the development and approval of a plan for the reasonable phase-out by December 31, 2011 of the separate safety net risk pool established in this section.  On or after October 1, 2008, a nongroup carrier covering lives in the safety net pool may propose a phase-out plan to the commissioner together with such information necessary to review the plan adequately.  The commissioner shall approve the plan if he or she finds that the plan will carry out the purposes of this section, provides adequate protection for lives covered in the safety net pool, and allows former safety net subscribers to choose coverage with any nongroup carrier or purchase any other health insurance product for which they are eligible.  The plan shall be deemed approved within 60 days of an adequate filing, as determined by the commissioner, unless sooner approved, disapproved, or approved subject to such conditions as the commissioner determines are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section and to provide adequate protection for lives covered in the safety net pool.

(g)  This section is repealed as of December 31, 2011, except that such repeal shall not affect the rate authorizations required under subsection (e) of this section or the ability of a nongroup carrier to withdraw safety net rates and forms for policies and contracts renewing on or after January 1, 2012.

Sec. 34.  8 V.S.A. § 4080b(h) is amended to read:

(h)(1)  A registered nongroup carrier shall use a community rating method acceptable to the commissioner for determining premiums for nongroup plans.  Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the following risk classification factors are prohibited from use in rating individuals and their dependents:

(A)  demographic rating, including age and gender rating;

(B)  geographic area rating;

(C)  industry rating;

(D)  medical underwriting and screening;

(E)  experience rating;

(F)  tier rating; or

(G)  durational rating.

(2)(A)  The Notwithstanding any provision in sections 4516, 4588, and 5115 of this title, the commissioner shall, by rule, adopt standards and a process for permitting registered nongroup carriers to use one or more risk classifications in their community rating method, provided that the premium charged shall not deviate above or below the community rate filed by the carrier by more than 20 percent, and provided further that the commissioner’s rules may not permit any medical underwriting and screening and shall give due consideration to the need for affordability and accessibility of health insurance.  The commissioner in applying such rule shall not discriminate between or among nongroup carriers.

* * *

Sec. 35.  8 V.S.A. § 4516 is amended to read:

§ 4516.  ANNUAL REPORT TO COMMISSIONER

Annually, on or before March 15, a hospital service corporation shall file with the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration a statement sworn to by the president and treasurer of the corporation showing its condition on December 31.  The statement shall be in such form and contain such matters as the commissioner shall prescribe.  To qualify for the tax exemption set forth in section 4518 of this title, the statement shall include a certification that the hospital service corporation operates on a nonprofit basis for the purpose of providing an adequate hospital service plan to individuals of the state, both groups and nongroups, without discrimination based on age, gender, geographic area, industry, and medical history, except as allowed by subdivisions 4080a(h)(2)(B) and 4080b(h)(2)(B) 4080b(h)(2) of this title. 

Sec. 36.  8 V.S.A. § 4588 is amended to read:

§ 4588.  ANNUAL REPORT TO COMMISSIONER

Annually, on or before March 15, a medical service corporation shall file with the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration a statement sworn to by the president and treasurer of the corporation showing its condition on December 31, which shall be in such form and contain such matters as the commissioner shall prescribe.  To qualify for the tax exemption set forth in section 4590 of this title, the statement shall include a certification that the medical service corporation operates on a nonprofit basis for the purpose of providing an adequate medical service plan to individuals of the state, both groups and nongroups, without discrimination based on age, gender, geographic area, industry, and medical history, except as allowed by subdivisions 4080a(h)(2)(B) and 4080b(h)(2)(B) 4080b(h)(2) of this title. 

Sec. 37.  8 V.S.A. § 5115 is amended to read:

§ 5115.  DUTY OF NONPROFIT HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS

Any nonprofit health maintenance organization subject to this chapter shall offer nongroup plans to individuals in accordance with section 4080b of this title without discrimination based on age, gender, industry, and medical history, except as allowed by subdivisions 4080a(h)(2)(B) and 4080b(h)(2)(B) 4080b(h)(2) of this title. 

Sec. 38.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage. 

H. 890

     An act relating to compensation for certain 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.  FINDINGS AND PURPOSE          

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  As found in 30 V.S.A. § 8060(a)(1): “ The availability of mobile telecommunications and broadband services is essential for promoting the economic development of the state, the education of its young people and life‑long learning, the delivery of cost-effective health care, the public safety, and the ability of citizens to participate fully in society and civic life.”

(2)  Electric and gas companies have networks that extend throughout the state.  Some of these networks can be leveraged to improve the economics of deploying mobile telecommunications and broadband service throughout the state.

(3)  Electric and gas companies hold easements that allow for specific utility use, but certain of these easements may not allow for the attachment or the installation of communications facilities.

(4)  Therefore, the goals of the general assembly in this act are to ensure that electric and gas utilities allow and enable access to their facilities and easements to communications companies as a necessary element of serving the public good in a flexible manner that is fair to both the utilities’ ratepayers and customers of communications service providers.

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. chapter 92 is added to read:

CHAPTER 92.  ACCESS FOR THE INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

§ 8090.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Communications facilities” shall mean facilities that are used to send and receive audio, images, data, or other information via any electromagnetic media, including wires, cables, microwaves, radio waves, light waves, or any combination of these or similar media.

(2)  “Communications service provider” shall mean the Vermont telecommunications authority, a company subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board under subdivision 203(5) or section 502 of this title, or a broadband service provider who is considered to be an “attaching entity” pursuant to subsection 209(g) of this title.

(3)  “Company” or “companies” shall mean an electric or gas utility subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board.

§ 8091.  ACCESS TO FACILITIES

(a)  Any company shall allow and enable access to its plant and equipment where possible for the installation and maintenance of communications facilities by communications service providers.

(b)  When constructing or substantially reconstructing lines or structures used for electric or gas transmission or electric distribution, a company shall allow for the construction and maintenance of communications facilities thereupon if requested by a communications service provider.

(c)  Access and services required by this section shall be subject to regulation by the public service board and department of public service and shall be offered on rates, terms, and conditions, including terms of ownership of facilities, established in section 8092 of this chapter, except that services under tariffs developed pursuant to public service board rules regarding pole attachments shall be governed by those rules.

(d)  Owners of self-generation facilities, those not connected to the electric grid and net-metered generators, shall not be obligated to comply with this section.

(e)  If a communications service provider requests services from a company pursuant to this title, then the communications service provider shall be responsible for all of the costs the company incurs to obtain any easements or limited rights in property necessary to provide those services to the communications service provider, including compensation, legal fees, and the administrative costs of the utility.

§ 8092.  RATES; TERMS; CONDITIONS

(a)  Any company providing electric or gas service under public service board jurisdiction pursuant to this title shall prepare and file with the public service board, with a copy provided to the commissioner of the department of public service and the director for public advocacy, a statement of generally available rates, terms, and conditions for attachments and installations required under section 8091 of this chapter.  The nature and specificity of such statement may take into account the nature and size of the company, an assessment of the types of communications facilities for which requests are most likely, and such other factors as necessary to ensure that the rates, terms, and conditions set forth in the statement are sufficiently flexible to meet the capacities of the company, the interests of the company’s ratepayers, and the goal of facilitating broadband and wireless service.

(b)  The department and the board shall review the statement of generally available rates, terms, and conditions filed by each company.  In the event that the board or the department has grounds to believe that the rates, terms, or conditions are not just and reasonable, the board may open an investigation into the statement.  In the absence of an investigation, or while such an investigation is pending, the company’s filed statement of rates, terms, and conditions shall take effect or shall remain in effect without requiring the approval of the board.  Changes to any company’s filed statement of rates, terms, and conditions shall not take effect until 45 days after the statement has been filed with the board and the department.

(c)  In the event of a board investigation into a company’s statement of rates, terms, and conditions pursuant to this chapter, the board may alter or change the rates, terms, or conditions in effect for attachments and installations after notice and hearing, upon a finding that the company’s rates, terms, or conditions are not just and reasonable.  In making its determination, the board shall consider evidence that may be presented regarding the commercial reasonableness of the rates given the local market and the public interest in reasonable rates for electric or gas service and availability of communications services in the state.  Any change in rates, terms, and conditions required as a result of a board investigation shall be effective as of the date of the board’s order without any refund.

(d)  The statement shall include rates, terms, and conditions for services for which the company may reasonably expect to receive requests, including at a minimum:

(1)  For wireline communications facilities:

(A)  Attachment of communications facilities to electric transmission facilities and maintenance of these communications facilities.

(B)  Contribution to construction for communications facilities installed concurrently with the construction or reconstruction of electric and gas company facilities when requested by a communications service provider.

(2)  For wireless communication facilities:

(A)  Attachment of communications facilities to electric transmission and generation facilities and maintenance of these communications facilities.

(B)  Contribution to construction for communications facilities installed concurrently with the construction or reconstruction of electric company facilities when requested by a communications service provider.

(e)  Rates, terms, and conditions for contributions to construction and for maintenance of communications facilities installed concurrently when companies are constructing or substantially reconstructing electric transmission or distribution lines or structures or gas transmission lines shall be based on the incremental cost of adding the communications facility to the project, as long as the communications facilities will provide service in the municipality in which they are located and surrounding municipalities.

(f)  The company may negotiate rates, terms, and conditions of service that deviate from the statement of rates, terms, and conditions on file, but the company may not refuse a request to provide service in accordance with the rates, terms, and conditions on file.  Section 229 of this title does not apply to deviations from the statement of rates, terms, and conditions, unless a company provides service pursuant to this chapter to an affiliate of the company that is not an electric or gas utility. 

(g)  Companies with facilities meeting the requirements of this section shall submit their statement of rates, terms, and conditions within 150 days of the date of the enactment of this legislation.

(h)  A company may limit wireline attachments on electric transmission structures exclusively carrying voltages of 110 kV or higher to fiber-optic facilities attached and maintained by the company, if the company allows communications service providers to use fiber-optic facilities installed and maintained by the company and offers to install such fiber-optic facilities on such electric transmission structures where there are not sufficient facilities for use by communications service providers.  Rates, terms, and conditions for access to such company-attached and company-maintained facilities shall be made available consistent with the requirements of this section.

(i)  The public service board may establish rules to implement this chapter.  Such rules may include default rates, terms, and conditions to implement subsections (c) and (h) of this section.  As part of the implementation of this chapter, the board shall establish rules to require, to the extent the board is not preempted, communications providers to extend their facilities as far as the board’s authority permits.

§ 8093.  NOTIFICATION

(a)  For cases of gas transmission projects, and for projects involving electric transmission lines requiring approval pursuant to section 248 of this title, companies shall provide notice to the Vermont telecommunications authority at the same time that they provide notice pursuant to subdivision 248(a)(4)(C) of this title.

(b)  In cases of projects involving electric transmission or distribution lines which do not require approval pursuant to section 248 of this title, and which are greater than 2,500 feet, companies under the jurisdiction of the public service board shall notify the Vermont telecommunications authority of the project at least 90 days prior to planned commencement of construction for company-initiated projects, or as soon as possible for customer-initiated projects or projects required for urgent reasons of service quality or reliability.

(c)  The notice shall include:

(1)  The location of the project, including the town and a description of the route to be followed;

(2)  The nature of the project;

(3)  The date the project is planned to commence;

(4)  The contact person for the project and his or her contact information.

(d)  For good cause shown by a company, the public service board may shorten or eliminate the notice period required under this section.

(e)  In the alternative to filing notice under subsection (b) of this section, a company may file with the public service board, the department of public service, and the Vermont telecommunications authority its capital plan or construction work plan, describing the location of linear projects which do not require approval pursuant to section 248 of this title, and in the case of a

multi-year plan, the year in which a linear project is scheduled to commence.  No construction called for under the capital plan or construction work plan shall commence until the plan has been on file for at least 90 days, unless the construction is required for customer-initiated projects or for urgent reasons of service quality or reliability.

(f)  A company may specify in its statement of rates, terms, and conditions a deadline or procedure for requests to attach or add communications facilities to a project.  Unless otherwise specified by the company in its statement of rates, terms, and conditions, a company shall provide a period for responses of not less than either 45 days after notice is provided, if the company provides notice pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or 45 days before the planned construction commences, if the company provides notice pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.  If a company does not receive a response by the deadline or according to the procedure established for responding to the notice required by this section, it may commence construction of a project prior to the end of the notice period required under subsection (b) or (e) of this section.

§ 8094.  EVALUATION OF COMMERCIAL WIRELESS NETWORKS

(a)  No company subject to public service board jurisdiction and providing electric service shall begin construction of a two-way point-to-multipoint mobile wireless communication network for the purpose of communication between its facilities for its own personnel unless:

(1)  The company has solicited proposals from commercial wireless service providers; and

(2)  For solicitations issued after July 1, 2008, the company has provided notice prior to the solicitation to the Vermont telecommunications authority and to the commissioner of the department of public service and the director for public advocacy.

(b)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize or disallow the costs of such a network for the purpose of a rate proceeding for the company.

§ 8095.  LIMITATION

Nothing in this chapter limits the existing rights and obligations of entities currently authorized to attach to poles and other facilities pursuant to board rule 3.700. 

§ 8096.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT

The general assembly intends that this chapter will result in improved and increased access to mobile telecommunications and broadband services for all underserved Vermont households and businesses.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 110a is added to read:

§ 110a. INCLUSION OF COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

When a gas or electric utility subject to the jurisdiction of the board files a petition to condemn an easement or limited right in property, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that access to the utility’s facilities provided pursuant to chapter 92 of this title shall be a necessary component of the utility’s rendering of adequate service to the public.

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 111a is added to read:

§ 111a.  PREEXISTING UTILITY LINES

(a)  When a corporation seeks to condemn property or an easement or other right over property where a currently existing utility line capable of operating at 100 kilovolts or less that has not been abandoned and was in place on July 1, 1993, there is a rebuttable presumption that the condemnation of the property right authorizing the existing utility line or lines is necessary in order that the petitioner may render service to the public, provided that the property right is limited to that which is required to allow the operation, maintenance, and repair of the existing line or lines, and does not (1) significantly alter the capabilities or capacity of the line or lines, (2) materially alter the degree of land use associated with the presence of the line or lines, and (3) authorize the company to perform replacements or upgrades that would have a significant impact under the criteria set forth in section 248 of this title. 

(b)  When a corporation seeks to condemn property or establish an easement or other right over property where a utility line, that has not been abandoned, was in place on July 1, 1993, the corporation shall present a petition to the public service board and to the department of public service describing the property or right, and why the action is necessary.  The property or right shall be limited to that which is required to allow the operation, maintenance, and repair of the existing line or lines, subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (a) of this section.  The board shall issue a citation upon each person whose property or right the petitioner proposes to condemn and each municipality and each planning body where the property is located, or on absent persons in such manner as the supreme court may by rule provide for service of process in civil actions, including by publication. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(j)  There shall be rebuttable presumptions that compensation for the taking or use of property rights under the provision of this section shall be the diminution of value caused by the existence of such utility lines across the property at the time the petition was filed with the board and that, where a property owner acquired the property with the utility line already in place, the diminution in value was reflected in the terms of acquiring the property.  Upon rebuttal of either of these presumptions under the standard set forth in subsection (m) of this section, the board shall determine compensation pursuant to the criteria established by subdivision 112(3) of this title.

(k)(1)  When the board renders judgment, it shall send by registered mail to each of the parties in interest or their attorneys, within 30 days thereafter, a certified copy of such judgment.  If the judgment is in favor of the petitioner, the board, in the same manner, shall send to such parties a certified copy of the findings which shall include a description of the property or right to be condemned.  The petitioner shall cause a certified copy of the judgment and findings to be recorded in the clerk’s office of the town or towns in which such property is located within 30 days after the clerk receives the copies.

(2)  Upon the payment or deposit of the amounts awarded by the board, with interest, in accordance with its order, the petitioner shall be the owner of the property or right described in the findings.  However, when an appeal is taken as provided in section 12 of this title, such ownership shall be an equitable title only with right of possession until the judgment of the supreme court is complied with.

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

(m)  The presumptions arising under subsections (a) and (j) of this section shall operate in accordance with the provisions of Vermont Rule of Evidence 301(a).  These presumptions shall shift only the burden of production, and shall lose their effect as soon as any evidence to support a finding of the nonexistence of the presumed fact is introduced.

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

Sec. 5.  INVESTIGATION INTO SUBSTATION NETWORKS

The public service board shall conduct an investigation into the benefits and costs of construction of fiber-optic or other telecommunications facility networks linking electric company substations and submit a report to the committees of jurisdiction of the general assembly on or before January 15, 2009.  In addition to other information it deems appropriate, the public service board shall require from each electric company an analysis of the likely cost of connecting its substations with fiber-optic facilities and other alternative means, and the benefits to electric company operations, including benefits for system management and reliability.  If it finds good cause to do so, the board may excuse companies without more than one substation and companies which have already connected all company substations with fiber-optic facilities.  In the event that the public service board determines that the benefit of such a network exceeds its costs, it shall recommend an implementation schedule for construction of such a network and include the schedule in its report.  The board may issue an implementation schedule for individual companies prior to January 15, 2009.

Report Committee of Conference

S.241

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate Bill, entitled:

S.241.  AN ACT RELATING TO THE SPECIAL VETERAN AND GOLD STAR REGISTRATION PLATES.

Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that Senate concur with the House.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF    COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF THE SENATE                                                         THE HOUSE

 Sen. Jane Kitchel                                          Rep. James Masland

Sen. Richard Mazza                                              Rep. Heidi Scheuerman

Sen. Philip Scott                                                     Rep. James Fitzgerald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constitutional Amendments

Proposal 5

Rep. Pearson, for the Committee on Government Operations, recommends the Proposal ought to be adopted.

( Committee Vote: 10-0-1)

(For text see Senate Journal April 17, 2008 – P.649 )

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?

 

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us