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Senate Calendar

friday, march 16, 2007

73rd DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 51       Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity..................... 199

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 34       Humane treatment of animals in schools and the right to an instructional alternative to dissection           199

                              Education Committee Report............................................. 199

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending districts and special education............. 199

                              Education Committee Report............................................. 199

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 37       Relating to mosquito control.............................................................. 203

                              Agriculture Committee Report............................................ 203

S. 94       Greenhouse gas reduction, efficiency utility, efficiency nega-rate charge on heating fuels, other matters re: building efficiency 203

                              Natural Resources Committee Report................................ 203

S. 123     Increased sex offender registry requirements...................................... 221

                              Judiciary Committee Report............................................... 221

Committee Bill for Notice

S. 183     Relating to the federal motor vehicle real ID act................................. 226

                              Committee on Transportation

House Proposal of Amendment

H. 302    Fiscal year 2007 budget adjustments................................................. 226

Ordered to Lie

S. 27       Increasing the minimum tip wage....................................................... 228


Concurrent Resolutions for Adoption

(For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to March 15, 2007 calendar)

HCR 63 Honoring Representative Francis K. Brooks...................................... 110

HCR 64 Gloria Gerdes for 30 years of public service to town of Roxbury........ 112

HCR 65 In memory of Andrea Parhamovich................................................... 113

HCR 66 Honoring the Vermont chapters of the American Red Cross.............. 115

HCR 67 Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission................... 116

HCR 68 Revolutionary War fortification of Mt. Independence anniversary....... 117

HCR 69 In memory of Margaret A. Maurice of Burlington.............................. 119

HCR 70 Vermont’s Junior Miss 2007 Alexandra Larrow of Vergennes........... 120

HCR 71 Vermont Girl Scout Council’s gold & silver award recipients............. 121

HCR 72 Honoring cancer survivors................................................................. 123

HCR 73 Honoring outstanding work of child care providers in Vermont........... 124




 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Third Reading

S. 51

An act relating to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 34

An act relating to humane treatment of animals in schools and the right to an instructional alternative to dissection.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Giard for the Committee on Education.

     The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, § 912, subsection (b), by striking out the words “harmful or destructive use” and inserting in lieu thereof the words use or dissection

Second:  In Sec. 1, § 912, subsection (d), by striking out the words “in the phylum chordata

Third:  In Sec. 1, § 913, subsection (a), by striking out the following:  “, and in public and independent elementary and secondary school-sponsored activities occurring at a location other than the school premises,

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 118

An act relating to fiscal review of high spending districts and special education.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.

     The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 2974 is amended to read:

§ 2974.  SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM; FISCAL REVIEW PANEL OF HIGH SPENDING DISTRICTS

(a)  Annually, the commissioner shall report on:

(1)  special education expenditures by school districts;

(2)  the rate of growth or decrease in special education costs, including the identity of high and low spending districts;

(3)  outcomes for special education students;

(4)  the availability of special education staff;

(5)  the consistency of special education program implementation statewide; and

(6)  the status of the education support systems in school districts; and

(7)  a statewide summary of the special education student count, including:

(A)  the percentage of the total average daily membership represented by special education students statewide and by school district;

(B)  the percentage of special education students by disability category; and

(C)  the percentage of special education students by in‑district placement, day placement, and residential placement.

(b)  The commissioner shall review high spending districts to determine Annually, but no later than October 1, based on the previous year’s expenditures, the commissioner shall notify high spending districts that they have been designated as such.  Each designated district shall respond within 60 days with an explanation of its spending to address whether:

(1)  costs could be decreased while still providing needed special education services;

(2)  the district made reasonable efforts to provide, purchase, or contract for goods or services that are the most reasonably priced yet appropriate for its students;

(3)  the district reported special education expenditures appropriately; and

(4)  all expenditures identified as special education expenditures were properly attributed to eligible students and the services for which the expenditures were made were included in the students’ individualized education plans;

(5)  the district’s special education staff‑to‑child count ratios were higher than the state average, including a breakdown of ratios by staffing categories;

(6)  the number of students in more restrictive environments such as day programs and residential placements was above the state average of special education students in those placements and, if so, information about the categories of disabilities for the students in such placements;

(7)  the district was in compliance with section 2901 of this title; and

(8)  if the district’s proportion of its average daily membership who are enrolled in special education exceeds 20 percent of the statewide average, any unusual community characteristics contributed to this condition.

(c)  The commissioner shall review low spending districts to determine the reasons for their spending patterns and whether those districts used cost‑effective strategies appropriate to replicate in other districts.

(d)  For the purposes of this section, a “high spending district” is a school district that, in the previous school year, spent at least 20 percent more than the statewide average of special education eligible costs per average daily membership.  Also for the purposes of this section, a “low spending district” is a school district that, in the previous school year, spent no more than 80 percent of the statewide average of special education eligible costs per average daily membership.

(e)  For the purpose of advising the commissioner and providing technical assistance to school districts, the state board shall appoint a fiscal review panel of seven people who have expertise in the areas of data collection and finance, and in the fields of special education, business or health and human services. The panel, at the request of a district school board, shall work with the department of education to review spending patterns and provision of special education services in the district and provide advice to the school board and staff concerning cost control mechanisms and cost‑effective practices. In addition, the panel shall make recommendations on what types of data to collect for purposes of the annual report required under subsection (a) of this section, and how the data should be analyzed.  If, after a review of a high spending district’s explanation, the commissioner finds that the explanation is not satisfactory, the commissioner shall conduct a performance review to include one or more of the following:

(1)  a review of the district’s special education student count patterns over time;

(2)  a review of the district’s compliance with section 2901 of this title and any unusual community characteristics that exist;

(3)  an on‑site review to examine a sample of special education student records and related financial and business records;

(4)  a review of the district’s compliance with federal and state requirements to provide a free appropriate public education to eligible students; and

(5)  a review of other factors.

(f)  Within 60 days of completing the performance review, the commissioner shall notify the district in writing of his or her findings and whether the results of the performance review are satisfactory or not satisfactory.  If the results of the performance review are not satisfactory to the commissioner, the commissioner and the school district jointly shall develop a remediation plan.  The district shall have two years to make progress on the remediation plan.  At the conclusion of the two years or earlier, the district shall report its progress on the remediation plan. 

(g)  Within 30 days of receipt of the district’s report of progress, the commissioner shall notify the district that its progress is either satisfactory or not satisfactory. 

(1)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the conclusion of the remediation plan, the commissioner shall notify the district that in the ensuing year the district will be subject to a withholding of up to 10 percent of its special education expenditures reimbursement under section 2963 of this chapter.

(2)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the end of the year in which a portion of the special education expenditures reimbursement was withheld under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the district that in the ensuing year the district will be subject to a withholding of up to 20 percent of its special education expenditures reimbursement.

(3)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the end of the year in which a portion of the special education expenditures reimbursement was withheld under subdivision (2) of this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the district that the state board of education will impose a plan of remediation, which may include administration by the state of the district’s special education program. 

(4)  If the district makes satisfactory progress under any subdivision of this subsection, the commissioner shall release to the district any special education expenditures reimbursement withheld for the prior fiscal year only.

(h)  Within 10 days after receiving the commissioner’s notice under subdivisions (g)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the district may challenge the commissioner’s decision by filing a written objection to the state board of education outlining the reasons the district believes it made satisfactory progress on the remediation plan.  The commissioner may file a written response within 10 days after the district’s objection is filed.  The board may give the district and the commissioner an opportunity to be heard.  The board’s decision shall be final.  The state shall withhold no portion of the district’s reimbursement before the state board issues its decision under this subsection.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 37

An act relating to mosquito control.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Giard for the Committee on Agriculture.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by adding Secs. 2 and 3 to read:

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 4831 is amended to read:

§ 4831.  CREATION OF COMMITTEE

The legislative branch of any two or more municipalities may by agreement create a joint municipal survey committee to plan for the strengthening of local governments and to promote plans for more efficient and economical operation of local government services within or by the participating municipalities.  For purposes of establishing a mosquito control district under chapter 85 of Title 6, a municipality may create a municipal survey committee under this section with all the powers and duties that a joint municipal survey committee possesses under this chapter.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 94

An act relating to greenhouse gas reduction, the efficiency utility, assessing an efficiency nega-rate charge on heating fuels, and other matters relating to building efficiency.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Lyons for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

* * * Expanded Efficiency Utility * * *

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 203a is added to read:

§ 203a.  HEATING FUEL SAVINGS CHARGE TO FUND EXPANDED EFFICIENCY UTILITY

(a)  Purpose.  The general assembly finds and determines that:

(1)  as specified in section 202a of this title, it is state energy policy to assure the efficient use of energy resources and cost‑effective demand management;

(2)  as is specified in section 202b of this title, a comprehensive state energy plan is to be developed as a way of implementing state energy policy;

(3)  it is appropriate to build upon the work already done by the efficiency utility established under the authority of section 209 of this title in reducing energy costs for Vermonters and to integrate that work into a broader program that will serve the needs of the people of the state in an even better manner;

(4)  under the status quo, since efficiency charges may be assessed by the board only on regulated electricity and natural gas providers, the benefits from programs funded by those charges have not been designed to meet fully the thermal efficiency needs of consumers who rely on heating oil, kerosene, propane, and coal, upon which no efficiency charge yet has been assessed;

(5)  with the growing certainty that global climate change is caused in significant part by human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it is particularly important to reduce the extent to which these emissions result from the inefficient use of carbon‑containing fuels, regardless of the nature of the source;

(6)  it is desirable for the state to lower the risk of high fuel prices and vulnerable supplies, while at the same time strengthening the Vermont economy by establishing a system that will be able to make continuous progress by promoting all forms of energy end‑use efficiency, comprehensive sustainable building design, and integrated renewable energy installations. 

(b)  Heating fuel savings charge.  The board shall establish a heating fuel savings charge, to take effect on January 1, 2008, at a level of one percent of annual gross receipts, or the volumetric equivalent, as adjusted by the board to assure an annual cap of revenue for the first 12 months of $5,000,000.00.   This annual rate may not be increased before July 1, 2009. This heating fuel savings charge shall be assessed as determined by the board, which may be based upon the gross receipts or total volumetric sales of all retail sellers receiving more than $10,000.00 annually for the sale of one or more of the following:

(1)  heating oil, kerosene, or propane, to the extent that none of them are used to propel a motor vehicle or for electrical generation by a company as defined in this title; or

(2)  coal.

(c)  Fund.  Proceeds of the heating fuel savings charge assessed under this section shall be paid to a fund administrator appointed by the board under this section.  Balances in the fund that are derived from this funding source shall be fuel consumers’ funds.  Balances in the fund shall be used to carry out cost‑effective efficiency measures and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sectors other than, or in addition to, the electricity use sector, and shall be carried forward and remain in the fund at the end of each fiscal year.  These monies shall not be available to meet the general obligations of the state.  Interest earned shall remain in the fund.  The fund may be managed and implementation of the program shall be overseen by the entity established by the board under this section.  The fund shall be managed subject to the relevant provisions of subsection 209(e) of this title.

(d)  Review of amount of fuel savings charge.  The charge established by the board pursuant to this section shall be reviewed by the board to determine its adequacy to meet the public’s needs for energy services, after safety concerns are addressed.  In this process, due consideration shall be given to the magnitude of the efficiency charge burden imposed on, or the equivalent level of expenditure by, regulated providers of electricity and natural gas, the resources dedicated to efficiency purposes already provided through electric rates, the estimated available cost‑effective investment potential for efficiency investments through comprehensive energy efficiency programs which are designed to meet the public’s need for energy services through efficiency or conservation in all customer classes and areas of opportunity and which are designed to acquire the full amount of cost‑effective savings from those programs.  As circumstances and programs evolve, the amount of the fuel savings charge shall be reviewed, based on an assessment of unrealized energy efficiency potential, and shall be adjusted as necessary in order to realize all reasonably available, cost‑effective energy efficiency savings.  In adjusting the amount of the fuel savings charge and its allocation, the board shall determine an appropriate balance among the following objectives:  reducing the size of future heating fuel purchases; reducing the generation of greenhouse gases; minimizing the expense of purchasing heating fuel; providing efficiency and conservation as a part of a comprehensive resource supply strategy; providing the opportunity for all Vermonters to participate in efficiency and conservation programs; providing that residential and commercial sector benefits generally shall be proportional to sector contributions; and targeting efficiency and conservation efforts to locations, markets, or customers where they may provide the greatest value.

(e)  Limited jurisdiction.  The public service board and the department of public service shall have jurisdiction under this section with respect to retail sellers of heating fuel. That jurisdiction shall be limited to the establishment and revision of the fuel savings charge.  No jurisdiction is created under this section to require these entities to conduct least cost integrated planning under section 218c of this title.

(f)  Consumer notice.  The board shall provide retail providers of heating fuel with written materials for display to consumers regarding how to obtain information about energy efficiency programs approved under this section.  These written materials shall include, at a minimum, a toll free telephone number at which this information may be obtained.

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 201(c) is added to read:

(c)  As used in this chapter, “fuel savings charge” means an efficiency charge to be assessed by the board under section 203a of this title, at a rate established under that section, in order to limit societal vulnerability to increasing petroleum costs, to build the jobs and the sustainable economy that are tied to greater energy independence, and to finance a reduction in the generation of greenhouse gases from the use of fossil fuels for purposes of heating buildings, by assuring wider availability of weatherization and efficiency programs, regardless of the fuel source of the building.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 203 is amended to read:

§ 203.  JURISDICTION OF CERTAIN PUBLIC UTILITIES

The public service board and the department of public service shall have jurisdiction over the following described companies within the state, their directors, receivers, trustees, lessees, or other persons or companies owning or operating such companies and of all plants, lines, exchanges, and equipment of such companies used in or about the business carried on by them in this state as covered and included herein.  Such jurisdiction shall be exercised by the board and the department so far as may be necessary to enable them to perform the duties and exercise the powers conferred upon them by law.  The board and the department may, when they deem the public good requires, examine the plants, equipment, lines, exchanges, stations, and property of the companies subject to their jurisdiction under this chapter.

* * *

(7)  That part of the business of a company which consists of the sale directly to the public of any combination of propane, coal, heating oil, or kerosene (but not any amounts being used to propel a motor vehicle, and not any amounts being used for electrical generation by a company as defined in this title); provided that the company has sales of these fuels, not excluded by this subdivision, totaling more than $10,000.00 annually.  This jurisdiction is only for purposes of assessing and collecting the fuel savings charge authorized by section 203a of this title.

* * * Existing Efficiency Utility * * *

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 209(d)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  In place of utility‑specific programs developed pursuant to section 218c of this title, the board may shall, after notice and opportunity for hearing, provide for the development, implementation, and monitoring of gas and electric energy efficiency and conservation programs and measures including programs and measures delivered in multiple service territories, by appointing one or more entities appointed by the board for these purposes a qualified entity as an energy efficiency utility.  An appointment of an expanded energy efficiency utility shall be made under this section and section 203a of this title, on a schedule that provides the expanded energy efficiency utility adequate time to prepare for the delivery of relevant services no later than January 1, 2008.  Despite this appointment, however, the board may allow the Burlington Electric Department and the Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. to continue to provide efficiency services within their respective service territories.  The board may include appropriate combined heat and power systems that result in the conservation and efficient use of energy and meet the applicable agency of natural resources’ air quality standards.  The Except with regard to a transmission company, the board may specify that the implementation of these programs and measures appointment of an energy efficiency utility to deliver services within an electric utility’s service territory satisfies a that electric utility’s corresponding obligations, in whole or in part, under section 218c of this title and under any prior orders of the board.

Sec. 5.  30 V.S.A. § 209(d)(5) is added to read:

(5)  Effective January 1, 2009, an energy efficiency utility shall have the same unrestricted term of appointment as is most common for electric and gas utilities in the state.  The board may terminate an energy efficiency utility’s appointment, but only for good cause, such as fraud, material adverse effects upon the general good of the state, or sustained failure to meet the performance targets established in subdivision (e)(2) of this section, and only if so shown after notice and an opportunity for hearing.

Sec. 6.  30 V.S.A. § 209(e) and (f) are amended to read:

(e)  The board shall:

(1)  Ensure that all retail consumers, regardless of retail electricity or, gas, or heating fuel provider, will have an opportunity to participate in and benefit from a comprehensive set of cost‑effective energy efficiency programs and initiatives designed to overcome barriers to participation.

(2)  Require that continued or improved efficiencies be made in the production, delivery, and use of energy efficiency services, including the use of compensation mechanisms for any energy efficiency utility that are based upon verified savings in energy usage and demand, and other performance targets specified by the board.  The linkage between compensation and verified savings in energy usage and demand (and other performance targets) shall be reviewed and adjusted not less than triennially by the board.

* * *

(7)  Provide a reasonably stable multiyear budget and planning cycle and promote program improvement, program stability, enhanced access to capital and personnel, improved integration of program designs with the budgets of regulated companies providing energy services, and maturation of programs and delivery resources.    

* * *

(10)  Provide for the independent evaluation of programs delivered under subsection (d) of this section and those delivered under section 203a of this title.

(11)  Require that any entity approved appointed by the board under subsection (d) of this section shall:

(A)  deliver board‑approved programs in an effective, efficient, timely, and competent manner and meet standards that are consistent with those in section 218c of this title, the board’s orders in public service board docket 5270, and any relevant board orders in subsequent energy efficiency proceedings; and

(B)  independently report and recommend to the board, the legislature, and the public measures and policies intended to achieve the purposes of section 202a of this title, and, more generally, the purposes of this title.

(12)  Require verification, on or before January 1, 2003, and every three years thereafter, by an independent auditor of the reported energy and capacity savings and cost‑effectiveness of programs delivered by any entity appointed by the board to deliver energy efficiency programs under subdivision (d)(2) of this section and under section 203a of this title.

* * *

(14)  Consider the impact on retail electric rates of programs delivered under subsection (d) of this section and the impact on fuel prices of programs delivered under section 203a of this title.

(15)  Establish a building efficiency program to be run by the efficiency utility, that shall be designed to make continuous progress by promoting all forms of energy end‑use efficiency and comprehensive sustainable building design.  The program may utilize performance‑based compensation.  The program administrator may secure and administer revenue from other sources.

(16)  Require that any entity appointed by the board under section 203a of this title shall:

(A)  deliver board‑approved programs in an effective, efficient, timely, and competent manner and meet standards that are consistent with any relevant board orders in subsequent energy efficiency proceedings;

(B)  annually report to the general assembly on expenditures under the program and on projected budget needs for the upcoming five years.

(f)  Appointment under this section shall not render such an entity subject to the general provisions of chapters 3 and 5 of this title, except to the degree provided for by the board in such an appointment or specific future order.  Appointment of, oversight of, and revenue determinations for such an energy efficiency utility shall fall within the regulatory powers and jurisdiction of the board and, as is the case regarding the regulation of the revenues, terms and conditions of service and compensation of gas and electric utilities shall not be considered a contractual activity of the state.

(g)  The public service board may prescribe, by rule or order, standards for the labeling of electricity delivered or intended for delivery to ultimate consumers as to price, terms, sources and objective environmental impacts, along with such procedures as it deems necessary for verification of information contained in such labels.  The public service board may prescribe, by rule or by order, standards and criteria for the substantiation of such labeling or of any claims regarding the price, terms, sources and environmental impacts of electricity delivered or intended for delivery to ultimate consumers in Vermont, along with enforcement procedures and penalties.  When establishing standards for the labeling of electricity, the board shall weigh the cost, as well as the benefits, of compliance with such standards.  With respect to companies distributing electricity to ultimate consumers, the board may order disclosure and publication, not to occur more than once each year, of any labeling required pursuant to the standards established by this subsection. Standards established under this subsection may include provisions for:

* * * Coordination with Efficiency Utility * * *

Sec. 6.  30 V.S.A. § 218c(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Each regulated electric or gas company shall prepare and implement a least cost integrated plan for the provision of energy services to its Vermont customers.  In preparing the efficiency portion of an integrated plan, a regulated company shall consult with any entity appointed by the board to deliver energy efficiency programs under subdivision 209(d)(2) of this title or under section 203a of this title.  Proposed plans shall be submitted to the department of public service and the public service board.  The board, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may approve a company’s least cost integrated plan if it determines that the company’s plan complies with the requirements of subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

Sec. 7.  REPORTS ON ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDING INCENTIVES AND ON PROGRAM INTEGRATION

The department of public service, in consultation with the efficiency utility, shall work with representatives of the buildings trades, architects, real estate sales professionals, bankers, nonprofit housing providers, and other interested persons to develop recommendations to the general assembly with regard to:

(1)  How best to create incentives to encourage the economic development likely to accompany the voluntary use of residential and commercial building practices and material that are best suited to limit the amount of energy consumed and greenhouse gases generated, without creating hardships among the users of the building.

(2)  How to assure or facilitate the installation of appropriate and substantial weatherization, particularly with regard to multiple dwellings, rental property, and other instances in which the owner may lack incentives to weatherize because energy costs are paid by a tenant; including the advisability of creating weatherization requirements that must be met at the time of sale.

(3)  How to encourage or require better disclosure of building energy efficiency and weatherization leading up to the time of sale of the building.

* * * Low Income Weatherization * * *

Sec. 8.  33 V.S.A. § 2501(d)–(i) are added to read:

(d)  This fund shall be used solely for the purpose of funding weatherization services to low income Vermonters.  Borrowing from the fund to provide cash flow assistance to LIHEAP, or enhancement of the LIHEAP program if unmet need is determined to be critical, may be authorized by the general assembly if it is determined that such borrowing will not affect cash flow to the weatherization contractors.  All funds borrowed must be repaid to the fund by the end of the fiscal year in which they were borrowed.

(e)  A full annual accounting of the revenues and expenditures of the weatherization trust fund will be provided by the agency of administration to the house and senate committees on appropriations and on natural resources and energy.

(f)  The low income weatherization program will be guided by a five‑year plan that is drafted with the specific purpose of improving continuously the comfort, safety, and affordability in low income housing and to reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas generation in that housing.  The plan shall describe a five‑year strategy, with a three‑year detailed work plan.  Each year, the strategy and the work plan shall be updated by one year.  The initial plan and subsequent updates will be developed by a weatherization oversight committee, working cooperatively with the office of economic opportunity.  The weatherization oversight committee will be composed of:  three representatives, including two representatives of weatherization contractors and one director of a community action program appointed by the Vermont community action directors association; a representative appointed by the energy efficiency utility provided for in 30 V.S.A. § 209; a low income representative appointed by the Vermont low income advocacy council; a representative appointed by the Vermont housing finance agency; a representative of a local or regional nonprofit land trust that develops affordable housing appointed by the housing and conservation board; a representative from the office of home heating assistance; a member of the Vermont house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house; a member of the senate, appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate; a representative of renewable energy installers, to be appointed by renewable energy Vermont; a representative with expertise in climate change reduction appointed by the joint energy committee; a representative of the workforce development council; and a representative of the office of economic opportunity.  The office of economic opportunity shall provide support and full drafting assistance to the weatherization oversight committee in the production of this plan and required updates.  

(g)  The initial plan shall be completed and provided to the general assembly by December 20, 2007.  The plan shall include the following:

(1)  A five‑year strategy to ensure stable financing and capacity‑building in the regional weatherization programs, including a plan for ramp‑up of services consistent with sound management practices.

(2)  A full examination of the effect of the federal Department of Energy rules guiding the federal portion of weatherization funds that now also guide the use of state funds, and steps that could be taken with the state funds to expand the number of units served, the comprehensiveness of services offered, and the greenhouse gas reduction effect of the program.  This will include, where appropriate, the potential for revisions in eligibility, both statewide and by region.

(3)  A comprehensive strategy to use the expanded weatherization program to reduce the rapidly increasing annual requirements for LIHEAP funds.

(4)  A full discussion of efficiencies and improved services to be gained in continuing coordination with Efficiency Vermont, the Burlington electric department and Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. energy efficiency programs, and any other partnerships that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

(5)  Full consideration of strategies and documentation that may be required to secure any greenhouse gas cap‑and‑trade revenues for furtherance of the program.

(6)  Strategies for appropriate use of renewable energy technologies to secure long‑term affordability for low income households.

(7)  Financing strategies that might leverage other funds to increase efficiency and renewable energy investment in low income housing.

(8)  Estimation of job training requirements to implement the plan, how they may be met, and the role of weatherization programs in providing training for their own programs, and for the expanded efficiency utility program as well.

(9)  A comprehensive plan for evaluation of the program, documentation of savings and other benefits, and regular reporting to the administration and the general assembly.

(h)  The office of economic opportunity may, with the support of the weatherization oversight committee, implement administrative changes to the operation of the low income weatherization program that are within its authority to make, prior to submitting the plan.  All such changes will be described in the plan.

(i)  The weatherization oversight committee will continue in effect after the initial plan is submitted, and shall meet regularly to provide guidance to the office of economic opportunity in implementing the plan and in formulating annual updates of the strategy and work plan.

* * * Energy Planning * * *

Sec. 9.  30 V.S.A. § 202 is amended to read:

§ 202.  ELECTRICAL ENERGY PLANNING

(a)  The department of public service, through the director for regulated utility planning, shall constitute the responsible utility planning agency of the state for the purpose of obtaining for all consumers in the state proper utility service at minimum cost under efficient and economical management consistent with other public policy of the state.  The director shall be responsible for the provision of plans for meeting emerging trends related to electrical energy demand, supply, safety and, conservation, and continuing reductions in the generation of greenhouse gases in the production or use of energy.

(b)  The department, through the director, shall prepare an electrical energy plan for the state.  The plan shall be for a 20‑year period and shall serve as a basis for state electrical energy policy.  The electric energy plan shall be based on the principles of “least cost integrated planning” set out in and developed under section 218c of this title.  The plan shall include at a minimum:

(1)  an overview, looking twenty 20 years ahead, of statewide growth and development as they relate to future requirements for electrical energy, including patterns of urban expansion, statewide and service area economic growth, shifts in transportation modes, modifications in housing types and design, conservation, the increasing global importance of continual reductions in the generation of greenhouse gases, and other trends and factors which, as determined by the director, will significantly affect state electrical energy policy and programs;

(2)  an assessment of all energy resources available to the state for electrical generation or to supply electrical power, including among others, fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro‑electric, biomass, wind, fuel cells, and solar energy and strategies for minimizing the economic and environmental costs of energy supply, including the production of pollutants and greenhouse gases, by means of efficiency and emission improvements, fuel shifting, and other appropriate means;

(3)  estimates of the projected level of electrical energy demand and the projected level of greenhouse gases generated as a byproduct of the generation of electrical energy;

(4)  a detailed exposition, including capital requirements and the estimated cost to consumers, of how such demand shall be met, and how the generation of those greenhouse gases may be continually reduced, based on the assumptions made in subdivision (1) of this subsection and the policies set out in subsection (c) of this section; and

(5)  specific strategies for reducing electric rates and for reducing the generation of greenhouse gases to the greatest extent possible in Vermont over the most immediate five‑year period, for the next succeeding five‑year period, and long‑term sustainable strategies for achieving and maintaining the lowest possible electric rates and generation of greenhouse gases over the full 20‑year planning horizon consistent with the goal of maintaining a financially stable electric utility industry in Vermont.

(c)  In developing the plan, the department shall take into account the protection of public health and safety; preservation of environmental quality; the potential for reduction of rates paid by all retail electricity customers; the potential for reduction of electrical demand through conservation, including alternative utility rate structures; use of load management technologies; efficiency of electrical usage; utilization of waste heat from generation; and utility assistance to consumers in energy conservation.  The department shall place a premium upon continuing reductions in the generation of greenhouse gases.

(d)  In establishing plans, the director shall:

(1)  Consult with:

* * *

(J)  an entity designated to meet the public’s need for energy efficiency services under subdivision 218c(a)(2) of this title or designated under section 203a of this title;

* * *

(2)  To the extent necessary, include in the plan surveys to determine needed and desirable plant improvements and extensions and coordination between utility systems, joint construction of facilities by two or more utilities, methods of operations, and any change that will produce better service or, reduce costs, or reduce the generation of greenhouse gases.  To this end, the director may require the submission of data by each company subject to supervision, of its anticipated electrical demand, including load fluctuation, supplies, costs, the generation of greenhouse gases and its plan to meet that demand, and those greenhouse gas reductions, together with such other information as the director deems desirable.

(3)  Work in conjunction with the energy efficiency entity designated under subsection 209(d) of this title or under section 203a of this title to develop 20‑year projections for efficiency programs administered by that entity, and to incorporate those projections into the state electrical energy plan.

* * *

(f)  After adoption by the department of a final plan, any company seeking board authority to make investments, to finance, to site or construct a generation or transmission facility or to purchase electricity or rights to future electricity, shall notify the department of the proposed action and request a determination by the department whether the proposed action is consistent with the plan.  In its determination whether to permit the proposed action, the board shall consider the department’s determination of its consistency with the plan along with all other factors required by law or relevant to the board’s decision on the proposed action.  If the proposed action is inconsistent with the plan, the board may nevertheless authorize the proposed action if it finds that there is good cause to do so.  To the extent that the inconsistency entails an excessive generation of greenhouse gases, the board may authorize the proposed action only if it finds that there is compelling reason to do so.  The department shall be a party to any proceeding on the proposed action, except that this section shall not be construed to require a hearing if not otherwise required by law.

* * *

Sec. 10.  30 V.S.A. § 202a is amended to read:

§ 202a.  STATE ENERGY POLICY

It is the general policy of the state of Vermont:

(1)  To assure, to the greatest extent practicable, that Vermont can meet its energy service needs in a manner that is adequate, reliable, secure, and sustainable; that assures affordability and encourages the state’s economic vitality, continuing and substantial reductions in the generation of greenhouse gases, the efficient use of energy resources and cost effective cost‑effective demand side management; and that is environmentally sound.

(2)  To identify and evaluate on an ongoing basis, resources that will meet Vermont’s energy service needs in accordance with the principles of least cost integrated planning; including efficiency, conservation and load management alternatives, wise use of renewable resources, continuing and substantial reductions in the generation of greenhouse gases, and environmentally sound energy supply.

Sec. 11.  30 V.S.A. § 202b is amended to read:

§ 202b.  STATE COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY PLAN

(a)  The department of public service, in conjunction with other state agencies designated by the governor, and in consultation with the efficiency utility designated under subsection 209(d) or section 203a of this title, shall prepare a comprehensive state energy plan covering at least a 20‑year period.  The plan shall seek to implement the state energy policy set forth in section 202a of this title.  The plan shall include:

(1)  A comprehensive analysis and projections regarding the use, cost, supply, and environmental effects of all forms of energy resources used within Vermont and regarding all greenhouse gases generated within the state, including the state’s progress in meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals established in 10 V.S.A. § 578.

(2)  Recommendations for state implementation actions, regulation, legislation, and other public and private action to carry out the comprehensive energy plan.

* * *

(e)  By no later than January 10, 2008, the department shall complete and deliver to the general assembly a comprehensive energy plan, which, in addition to other requirements, shall include a comprehensive set of policy options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The plan shall provide specific recommendations for increasing the energy efficiency of Vermont’s built environment, including strategies to increase the efficiency of new residential buildings, the efficiency of existing residential buildings, and the efficiency of new and existing commercial and industrial buildings, including industrial processes.

* * * Energy Efficiency Mortgages * * *

Sec. 12.  ENERGY EFFICIENCY MORTGAGES

On or before January 15, 2008, the Vermont housing finance agency and the Vermont economic development authority, respectively, shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the house committee on commerce, and the senate committee on finance regarding the feasibility of establishing programs to support energy efficiency residential and commercial building mortgages of up to 15 percent of the appraised value of a dwelling or commercial building for energy saving improvements, weatherization, or energy efficiency for which the monthly mortgage or loan payment does not exceed the likely reduction in utility and heating costs for the dwelling or commercial building.

* * * Inclining Residential Rates and Smart Meters * * *

Sec. 13.  30 V.S.A. § 218(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The department of public service shall propose, and the board through the establishment of rates of return, rates, tolls, charges, or schedules shall encourage the implementation by electric and gas utilities of energy‑efficiency and load management measures which will be cost‑effective for the utilities and their customers on a life cycle cost basis.  The board shall approve rate designs to encourage the efficient use of natural gas and electricity, including consideration of the creation of an inclining block rate structure for residential rate customers with an initial block of low‑cost power available to all residences.  The board shall solicit one or more volunteer municipal companies or cooperatives to conduct one or more pilot projects to establish an inclining block structure for residential rate customers and to establish the optimal role for advanced metering systems used in conjunction with time‑of‑day rates. Costs incurred in conducting these pilot programs shall be recoverable by the companies or cooperatives as specified by the board.  The board shall use the pilot projects to investigate:

(1)  the parameters that might be developed for general applicability in the event that inclining block structures for residential rate customers becomes a general requirement throughout the state; and

(2)  how best to deploy advanced metering systems so as to assure in a timely and cost‑effective fashion that customers throughout the state are empowered to use and respond cost‑effectively to price signals made possible through advanced metering systems.

* * * Act 250 * * *

Sec. 1410 V.S.A. § 6025(f) is added to read:

(f)  The land use panel, in consultation with the efficiency utility established under 30 V.S.A. § 209(d) or § 203a shall adopt rules that update the requirements of subdivision 6086(a)(9)(F) of this title to respond to the evolution of planning in response to climate change and other factors, the development of new and more efficient designs, and increases in fuel prices that lead to shorter payback periods for efficiency measures, and shall thereby assure the updated identification of the best available technology for efficient use or recovery of energy.  Rules adopted under this subsection shall complement building standards accorded presumptive weight under this chapter and shall address areas not covered by those standards.

* * * Biodiesel * * *

Sec. 15.  USE OF BIODIESEL IN STATE OFFICE BUILDINGS, STATE GARAGES, AND THE STATE VEHICLE FLEET

(a)  Definitions.  As used in this section:

(1)  “Biodiesel blend” means a blend of biodiesel fuel and petroleum diesel fuel or petroleum heating fuel that contains at least two percent biodiesel fuel by volume.

(2)  “Biodiesel fuel” means a renewable, biodegradable, mono alkyl ester combustible liquid fuel derived from vegetable oil or animal fat which meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification D6751‑02 for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate Fuel.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2008, the department of buildings and general services shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the house and senate committees on transportation, the house and senate committees on agriculture, the house committee on commerce, the house committee on ways and means, and the senate committee on finance with recommendations on increasing the use of biodiesel blends in state office buildings, state garages, and in the state transportation fleet.  The report shall include:

(1)  A summary of the current use of biodiesel blends in state office buildings, state garages, and the state transportation fleet;

(2)  A summary of the biodiesel fuel production capacity, storage facilities, and distribution facilities currently available in Vermont;

(3)  Recommendations on how to increase the use of biodiesel blends in all state office buildings, state garages, and in the state transportation fleet, wherever feasible, to five percent biodiesel (B5) by December 31, 2008, and increase to at least 10 percent biodiesel (B10) by 2012;

(4)  Recommendations for increasing biodiesel fuel production, storage facilities, and distribution facilities;

(5)  A summary of current information on the performance of biodiesel blends for use as heating fuel and as a motor vehicle fuel;

(6)  A summary of the national and regional quality assurance and quality control measures in use for blending biodiesel fuel;

(7)  A summary of any obstacles to increasing biodiesel use in state buildings, state garages, and the state transportation fleet; and

(8)  A proposed work plan that would implement the recommendations for increasing the biodiesel use outlined in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(c)  The department of buildings and general services shall consult with the agency of transportation on the development of the report, and shall conduct at least one public hearing to review the draft report, and to solicit comments, prior to finalizing the report.

* * * Transportation * * *

Sec. 16.  STUDY ON INCENTIVES FOR EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION

(a)  There is established a study committee on incentives for efficient transportation.  The committee shall include a member of the house appointed by the speaker, and a member of the senate appointed by the president pro tempore, who jointly shall convene the committee.  In addition, the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore shall each appoint a representative of an environmental group.  The governor shall appoint two automobile dealers, one specializing in American‑made automobiles, one specializing in foreign‑made automobiles.  Other members shall include individuals appointed by the governor to represent the tax department, the tourism industry, a regional transportation organization, and a Vermont member of the association of automotive engineers.

(b)  By December 15, 2007, the committee shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and on transportation, to the house committee on ways and means, and to the senate committee on finance with:

(1)  Draft legislation containing efficiency‑related tax and fee incentives and disincentives among and within vehicle weight classes.

(2)  Recommendations regarding the use of cash subsidies for efficient motor vehicle operation behavior.

(3)  Recommendations regarding state purchase of motor vehicles that favor fuel efficient vehicles.

(4)  Recommendations for public education regarding efficient transportation.

(5)  Other recommendations regarding the wise and efficient use of transportation, including how best to provide additional funds to expedite the use of non-motorized transportation. 

(c)  The committee shall be entitled to administrative support from the  agency of transportation.

(d)  Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406.  Committee members not employed by the state shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

Sec. 17.  9 V.S.A. chapter 138 is added to read:

Chapter 138.  Right to CONSERVE ENERGY

§ 4481.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

The general assembly finds that prohibiting or limiting the ability of people voluntarily to conserve energy is contrary to the public interest. It is the purpose of this chapter to encourage energy conservation by discouraging governmental regulations and practices and private contracts which restrict the use of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy savings devices, or that impede non-motorized transportation on state and town highways.

§ 4482.  TRIENNIAL REPORT ON LIMITATIONS ON RIGHT TO CONSERVE ENERGY

By no later than January 1, 2008, and triennially thereafter, the commissioner of housing and community affairs shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy regarding the extent to which private covenants within the state restrict the use of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy saving devices, together with any related recommendations on that issue.

* * *  Contract Addendum with Efficiency Utility * * *

Sec. 18.  CONTRACT WITH EFFICIENCY UTILITY

The board shall provide for the availability of expanded services by the efficiency utility under the provisions of 30 V.S.A. § 203a no later than January 1, 2008.  For the year 2008, this expansion of scope of the efficiency utility shall be in the form of an addendum to the existing contract between the board and the efficiency utility.   The public service board shall direct the energy efficiency utility to prepare a proposal for meeting the objectives of section 203a.   The board shall institute a collaborative process to review the proposal and develop it more fully.  The board shall allow public comment and input on the proposal, as presented by the efficiency utility, or as revised during any collaborative process, shall hold at least  two public hearings on the proposal, and shall either accept or modify it.  Thereafter, the board shall provide for the delivery of expanded efficiency services under the provisions of 30 V.S.A. § 209(d)(2), as amended.

The Committee further recommends that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows:

AN ACT RELATING TO ESTABLISHING AN EXPANDED EFFICIENCY UTILITY AND OTHER MATTERS RELATING TO ENERGY CONSERVATION AND DECREASING THE GENERATION OF GREENHOUSE GASES.

(Committee vote: 4-1-0)

S. 123

An act relating to increased sex offender registry requirements for noncompliant high-risk sex offenders.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Sears for the Committee on Judiciary.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.   13 V.S.A. § 5407 is amended to read:

§ 5407.  SEX OFFENDER’S DUTY TO REPORT

(a)  A Except as provided in section 5411d of this title, a sex offender shall report to the department as follows:

(1)  if convicted of a registry offense in another state, within 10 days after either establishing residence in this state or crossing into this state for purposes of employment, carrying on a vocation, or being a student, the sex offender shall provide the information listed in subsection 5403(a) of this title;

(2)  annually within 10 days after the registrant’s birthday, or if a person is determined to be a sexually violent predator, that person shall report to the department every 90 days;

(3)  within three days after any change of address, or if a person is designated as a high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411b of this title, that person shall report to the department within 36 hours;

(4)  within three days after the registrant enrolls in or separates from any postsecondary educational institution; and

(5)  within three days after any change in place of employment; and

(6)  within three days of any name change.

* * *

(f)  A person required to register as a sex offender under this subchapter shall continue to comply with this section for the life of that person, except during periods of incarceration, if that person:

(1)  has at least one prior conviction for an offense described in subdivision 5401(10) of this subchapter or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction of the United States;

(2)  has been convicted of a sexual assault as defined in section 3252 of this title or aggravated sexual assault as defined in section 3253 of this title; however, if a person convicted under section 3252 is not more than six years older than the victim of the assault and if the victim is 14 years or older, then the offender shall not be required to register for life if the age of the victim was the basis for the conviction; or

(3)  has been determined to be a sexually violent predator pursuant to section 5405 of this subchapter title; or

(4)  has been designated as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411d of this title.

* * *

(h)  A registrant who has no permanent address shall report to the department to notify it as to his or her temporary residence.  Temporary residence, for purposes of this section, need not include an actual dwelling or numbered street address, but shall identify a specific location.  A registrant shall not be required to check in daily if he or she makes acceptable other arrangements with the department to keep his or her information current.  The department may enter into an agreement with a local law enforcement agency to perform this function, but shall maintain responsibility for compliance with this subsection.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 5411 is amended to read:

§ 5411.  NOTIFICATION TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND LOCAL COMMUNITY

* * *

(e)  After 10 years have elapsed from the completion of the sentence, a person required to register as a sex offender for life pursuant to section 5407 of this title who is not designated as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411d of this title may petition the district court for a termination of community notification, including the internet.  The state shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim of the proceeding, and consider victim testimony regarding the petition.  If the registrant was convicted of a crime which requires lifetime registration, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person is a high‑risk sex offender.  Should the registrant present evidence that he or she is not a high‑risk offender, the state shall have the burden of proof to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the person remains a high risk to reoffend.  The court shall consider whether the offender has successfully completed sex offender treatment.  The court may require the offender to submit to a psychosexual evaluation.  If the court finds that there is a high risk of reoffense, notification shall continue.  The Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to these proceedings.  A lifetime registrant may petition the court to be removed from community notification requirements once every 60 months.  The presumption under this section that a lifetime registrant is a high‑risk offender shall not automatically subject the offender to increased public access to his or her status as a sex offender and related information under subdivision (c)(1) of this section or section 5411a of this title.

Sec. 3.  13 V.S.A. § 5411a is amended to read:

§ 5411a.  ELECTRONIC POSTING OF THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

(a)  Notwithstanding sections 2056a–2056e of Title 20, the department shall electronically post information on the internet in accordance with subsection (b) of this section regarding the following sex offenders, upon their release from confinement:

* * *

(5)(A)  Sex offenders who have not complied with sex offender treatment recommended by the department of corrections or who are ineligible for sex offender treatment.  The department of corrections shall establish rules for the administration of this subdivision and shall specify what circumstances constitute noncompliance with treatment and criteria for ineligibility to participate in treatment.  Offenders subject to this provision shall have the right to appeal the department of corrections’ determination in superior court in accordance with Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.  This subdivision shall apply prospectively and shall not apply to those sex offenders who did not comply with treatment or were ineligible for treatment prior to March 1, 2005. 

(B)  The department of corrections shall notify the department if a sex offender who is compliant with sex offender treatment completes his or her sentence but has not completed sex offender treatment.  As long as the offender complies with treatment, the offender shall not be considered noncompliant under this subdivision and shall not be placed on the internet registry in accordance with this subdivision alone.  However, the offender shall submit to the department proof of continuing treatment compliance every three months.  Proof of compliance shall be a form provided by the department that the offender’s treatment provider shall sign, attesting to the offender’s continuing compliance with recommended treatment.  Failure to submit such proof as required under this subdivision shall result in the offender’s placement on the internet registry in accordance with subdivision (A) of this subdivision (5).

* * *

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 5411d is added to read:

§ 5411d.  DESIGNATION OF NONCOMPLIANT HIGH‑RISK SEX OFFENDER

(a)  Prior to releasing a person from total confinement, the department of corrections shall designate the person as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender if the person:

(1)  Is incarcerated on or after the effective date of this act for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as defined in section 2602 of this title, sexual assault as defined in section 3252 of this title, aggravated sexual assault as defined in section 3253 of this title, or any attempt to commit a crime listed herein, or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction of the United States.

(2)  Is not subject to indeterminate life sentences under section 3271 of this title.

(3)  Is designated as a high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411b of this title.

(4)  Is noncompliant with sex offender treatment as defined by department of corrections’ directives.

(b)  Noncompliant high‑risk sex offenders shall report to the department as follows:

(1)  In person, within 15 days from the date of release from department of corrections’ supervision, and within every 30 days thereafter.

(2)   Prior to any change of address.  However, if the change of address is unanticipated, the offender shall report within one day of the change of address.

(3)  Prior to enrollment in or separation from any postsecondary educational institution.  However, if the change in school status is unanticipated, the offender shall report within one day of the change.

(4)  Within one day of any change in a place of employment.

(c)  In addition to the registry information required in section 5403 of this title, a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender shall provide the department with the make, model, color, registration, and license plate number of any vehicle the person operates prior to operation.  An offender found in operation of a vehicle not on the list provided to the department shall be considered to be in violation of this subsection.

(d)  The department shall arrange for the noncompliant high‑risk sex offender to have his or her digital photograph updated annually for purposes of the electronic registry as provided in section 5411a of this title.  An offender who is requested by the department to report to the department or a local law enforcement agency for the purpose of being photographed for the internet registry shall comply with the request within 30 days.

(e)  The department shall conduct periodic unannounced registry compliance checks on noncompliant high‑risk sex offenders to verify the accuracy of registry information.  The department may enter into an agreement with a local law enforcement agency to perform duties under this subsection and under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, but shall maintain responsibility for compliance with this subsection.

(f)(1)  A noncompliant high‑risk sex offender may petition the district court to be relieved from the heightened registry requirements in this section once every five years from the date of designation.  The offender shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she:

(A)  no longer qualifies as a high‑risk offender as defined in section 5401 of this title and rules adopted by the department of corrections in accordance with section 5411b of this title; and

(B)  has complied with and completed sex offender treatment as provided by department of corrections’ directives.

(2)  The Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to these proceedings.

(3)  If the court finds that the offender is not high‑risk and has successfully completed treatment, the court shall order that the offender is no longer considered a noncompliant high‑risk offender and is subsequently relieved from the heightened registry requirements of this section; however, the offender shall still continue to comply with sex offender registry and other requirements as provided elsewhere in this subchapter.

(g)(1)  A noncompliant high‑risk sex offender who violates any of the registry requirements under this section shall be imprisoned for a maximum term of life.  A sentence may be suspended in whole or in part, or the person may be eligible for parole or release on conditional reentry or furlough, provided the person is subject to electronic monitoring using an active global positioning system.  Electronic monitoring shall be an addition to intensive supervision by the department of corrections.

(2)  In a criminal proceeding for violating any of the registry requirements under this section, a defendant shall be prohibited from challenging his or her status as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender.

Sec. 5.  4 V.S.A. § 437 is amended to read:

§ 437.  Civil jurisdiction of district court

The district court shall have jurisdiction of the following actions:

* * *

(9)  Sex offender notification proceedings pursuant to 13 V.S.A.

 § 5411(c) subsections 5411(e)  and 5411d(f) of Title 13.

* * *

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Committee Bill for Notice

S. 183

An act relating to the federal motor vehicle real ID act.

By the Committee on Transportation.

House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 302

An act relating to fiscal year 2007 budget adjustments.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the proposals of amendment as follows:

     First:  In the first proposal of amendment in subsection (a) by striking out the words “to maintain salaries and benefits”

     Second:  In the ninth proposal of amendment at the end of subsection (g) by adding the words on a one-time basis

     Third:  In the tenth proposal of amendment by striking out subsection (b) in its entirety

     Fourth:  By striking out the twelfth proposal of amendment in its entirety

     Fifth:  By striking out the thirteenth proposal of amendment in its entirety

     Sixth:  By striking out the fifteenth proposal of amendment in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

          Fifteenth:  In Sec. 60, by striking out the figure “1,778,138,935” where it twice appears and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 1,777,897,870 and by striking out the figure “1,307,222,597” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 1,306,981,532 and by striking out the figure “1,041,775” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 1,041,775

     Seventh:  By striking out the nineteenth proposal of amendment in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

          Sec. 109.  NEXT GENERATION FUND

(a)  Of the total sum transferred from the fiscal year 2007 general fund to the next generation initiative fund, the sum of $1,100,000 is appropriated as follows:

(1)  The sum of $400,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the issuance of Vermont training program grants pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 531.

(2)  The sum of $700,000 is appropriated to the workforce education and training fund created in Sec. 157a(d) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1999 as amended by Sec. 14 of No. 212 of the Acts of 2006.

     The House further proposes to amend the bill as follows:

     First:  By striking out Sec. 3 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.    Sec. 30 of No. 215 of the Acts of 2006 is amended to read:

Sec. 30.  Buildings and general services - fee for space

          Personal services                        10,529,817                   10,529,817

          Operating expenses                    10,548,400                   16,063,035

               Total                                     21,078,217                   26,592,852

     Source of funds

          Internal service funds                  21,078,217                   26,592,852

* * *

     (b)  The department shall increase the facilities operations charges to the agency of human services in fiscal year 2007 by $2,100,000 for the costs associated with the Bennington state office building.  The department shall credit $1,450,000 of this charge from state funds transferred else where.

     Second:  In Sec. 7 by striking out the figure “139,800,352” where it twice appears and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 141,640,641 and by striking out the figure “46,412,649” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 48,252,938

     Third:  In Sec. 85(a)(2), by striking out the figure “$13,895,042” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $14,029,517

     Fourth:  In Sec. 85(a)(3) after the words “fiscal year 2007” by inserting the following:  , and the secretary of administration shall transfer $300,000 to the general fund from available federal receipt funds in the agency of human services for the costs of the Bennington state office building at the close of fiscal year 2007

     Fifth:  In Sec. 85(a)(4), by striking out the figure “3,674,346” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 4,864,635

     Sixth:  In Sec. 90(a)(2) by striking out the figure “$11,272,219” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $10,516,405

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 27, 2007, page 171; February 28, 2007, page 187.)

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 27

An act relating to increasing the minimum tip wage.

PENDING ACTION:  Shall the bill be read the third time?

(For text of the Report of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, see Senate Calendar for March 1, 2007, page 161.)

Concurrent Resolutions

     The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or Representative requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the next legislative day.  Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively.

H.C.R.  63.

House concurrent resolution honoring Representative Francis K. Brooks.

H.C.R.  64.

House concurrent resolution honoring Gloria Gerdes for her 30 years of exemplary public service in the town of Roxbury.

H.C.R.  65.

House concurrent resolution in memory of Andrea Parhamovich.

H.C.R.  66.

House concurrent resolution honoring the community service and life‑saving activities of the Vermont chapters of the American Red Cross.

H.C.R.  67.

House concurrent resolution welcoming the Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission to the state house.

H.C.R.  68.

House concurrent resolution commemorating the 230th anniversary of the Revolutionary War fortification of Mount Independence in Orwell, Vermont.

H.C.R.  69.

House concurrent resolution in memory of Margaret A. Maurice of Burlington.

H.C.R.  70.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Alexandra Larrow of Vergennes on her designation as Vermont’s Junior Miss 2007.

H.C.R.  71.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Vermont Girl Scout Council’s gold and silver award recipients.

H.C.R.  72.

House concurrent resolution honoring cancer survivors.

H.C.R.  73.

House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding work of child care providers in Vermont.

CONFIRMATIONS

The following appointments will be considered by the Senate, as a group, under suspension of the Rules, as moved by the President pro tempore, for confirmation together and without debate, by consent thereby given by the Senate.  However, upon request of any senator, any appointment may be singled out and acted upon separately by the Senate, with consideration given to the report of the Committee to which the appointment was referred, and with full debate; and further, all appointments for the positions of Secretaries of Agencies, Commissioners of Departments, Judges, Magistrates, and members of the Public Service Board shall be fully and separately acted upon.

Robert Britt of South Burlington - Member of the Vermont Economic Development Authority - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (1/25)

David E. L. Brown of Shelburne - Member of the Board of Libraries - By Sen. Giard for the Committee on Education.  (1/31)

John Rosenthal of Charlotte - Member of the Board of Libraries - By Sen. Doyle for the Committee on Education.  (1/31)

Kenneth Gibbons of Hyde Park - Member of the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Finance Agency - By Sen. McCormack for the Committee on Finance.  (2/2)

David R. Coates of Colchester - Member of the Municipal Bond Bank - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (2/21)

Paul. Beaulieu of Manchester Center - Member of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency - By Sen. Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (2/21)

Susan Davis of Shelburne - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/13)

Jireh Billings of Bridgewater - Member of the Capitol Complex Commission - By Sen. Campbell for the Committee on Institutions.  (3/14)

Bonnie Rutledge of Waterbury - Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles - By Sen. Shumlin for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/16)

JOINT ASSEMBLY

     Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 10:30 A.M. - House Chamber - Retention of Superior Court Judges:  Hon. William Cohen, Hon. M. Kathleen Manley, Hon. Matthew Katz.

     Retention of District Judges:  Hon. James Crucitti, Hon. M. Patricia Zimmerman, Hon. Ben Joseph, and Hon. Thomas Zonay.

REPORTS ON FILE

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §20(c), one (1) copy of the following reports is on file in the office of the Secretary of the Senate:

     119. Transportation of Individuals in the Custody of the State.  (Agency of Human Services, Department of Health)  (March 2007).

     120.  Errata to the Implementation of Act 114 at the Vermont State Hospital Report.  (Agency of Human Services, Department of Health)  (March 2007).

     121.  Act 145, Vermont Products and Nutrition Education in Schools.  (Agency of Human Services)  (March 2007).

     122.  Blueprint for Health Annual Report.  (Agency of Human Services, Department of Health)  (March 2007).

     123.  Adult Job Training Funding.  (Department of Labor)  (March 2007).



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us