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Senate Calendar

wednesday, march 21, 2007

78th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007

Second Reading

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending districts and special education............. 295

                              Education Committee Report............................................. 295

                              Sen. McCormack amendment............................................ 298

House Proposal of Amendment

H. 302    Fiscal year 2007 budget adjustments................................................. 298

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 27       Increasing the minimum tip wage....................................................... 300

S. 37       Relating to mosquito control.............................................................. 300

S. 123     Increased sex offender registry requirements...................................... 301

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 169     Civil violations for animal cruelty........................................................ 301

                              Judiciary Committee Report............................................... 301

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 39       Health insurance reimbursement for naturopathic physicians............... 301

                              Health and Welfare Committee Report............................... 301

S. 45       Relating to the right to attend town meeting........................................ 302

                              Government Operations Committee Report........................ 302

S. 46                Wrongful discharge for voting or attending town meeting........... 302

                              Government Operations Committee Report........................ 302

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate application of pesticides........... 302

                              Government Operations Committee Report........................ 302

S. 82       Use of Vermont addresses and representations of Vermont origin...... 303

                              Ec. Dev., Housing and General Affairs Committee Report.. 303

S. 97       Relating to correctional facilities......................................................... 304

                              Judiciary Committee Report............................................... 304

                              Sen. Sears amendment....................................................... 308

S. 120     Wine tasting at farmer’s markets....................................................... 309

                              Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report..... 309

S. 137     Amount of phosphorus allowed in household cleansing products........ 311

                              Natural Resources Committee Report................................ 311

S. 143     Use of racing fuel containing additive MTBE ..................................... 312

                              Transportation Committee Report...................................... 312

S. 148     Requirements for application to be a designated new town center....... 312

                              Natural Resources & Energy Committee Report................. 312

S. 173     Awarding high school diplomas to veterans of the Vietnam war.......... 313

                              Education Committee Report............................................. 313

NOTICE CALENDAR

S. 190     Establishing a brownfields advisory committee................................... 313

S. 191     Financing, reappraisal, & infrastructure in tax increment districts......... 314

S. 194     Firefighters and cancer caused by employment.................................. 314

Committee Bills for Notice

S. 192     HIV name-based reporting............................................................... 314

S. 193     Ensuring health and safety on public construction projects.................. 314

S. 196     Failure to insure for workers’ compensation coverage........................ 314



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007

Second Reading

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)

AMENDMENT TO RECOMMENDATION OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION TO S. 118 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR McCORMACK

Senator McCormack moves to amend the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Education in Sec. 1, 16 V.S.A. §2974 subsection (g) by striking out subdivisions (1), (2), (3) and (4) in their entirety and by striking out subsection (h) in its entirety.

House 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.)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 27

An act relating to increasing the minimum tip wage.

S. 37

An act relating to mosquito control.


S. 123

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

Favorable

S. 169

An act relating to civil violations for animal cruelty.

Reported favorably by Senator Campbell for the Committee on Judiciary.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 39

An act relating to health insurance plan reimbursement for covered services provided by naturopathic physicians.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator White for the Committee on Health and Welfare.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by adding a Sec 2 to read as follows: 

Sec. 2.  8 V.S.A. chapter 107, subchapter 10 is added to read:

Subchapter 10.  Prostate Screenings

 § 4100f.  PROSTATE SCREENINGS; COVERAGE REQUIRED

(a)  Health insurers shall provide coverage for prostate cancer screenings.  Benefits provided shall be at least as favorable as coverage for other cancer screening procedures and subject to the same dollar limits, deductibles, and coinsurance factors within the provisions of the policy.

(b)  Coverage shall be provided for screenings at intervals consistent with the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control or upon recommendation of a health care provider.

(c)  For purposes of this section, “health insurer” is defined by subdivision 9402(9) of Title 18.  The term does not apply to coverage for specified disease or other limited benefit coverage.

(Committee vote: 6-0-0)


S. 45

An act relating to the right to attend town meeting.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Doyle for the Committee on Government Operations.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended in Sec. 1, 21 V.S.A. § 472b(a), in the first sentence, by striking out the word “An” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Subject to the efficient operation of a business, which shall prevail in any instance of conflict, an

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

S. 46

An act relating to wrongful discharge for voting or attending town meeting.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Flanagan for the Committee on Government Operations.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended in Sec. 1, 21 V.S.A. § 496a(a), in the first sentence, by striking out the word “No” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Subject to the efficient operation of a business, which shall prevail in any instance of conflict, no

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

S. 70

An act relating to empowering municipalities to regulate the application of pesticides within their borders.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Ayer for the Committee on Government Operations.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended in Sec. 1, 24 V.S.A. § 2291(23), by striking out the third sentence in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Regulations created by municipalities under this subdivision shall not regulate agricultural activities conducted consistent with accepted agricultural practices pursuant to 6 V.S.A. § 4810(a) and 10 V.S.A. § 1259(f), aquatic nuisance control activities conducted in compliance with a permit issued under 10 V.S.A. § 1263a, vegetation control activities undertaken by railroads pursuant 5 V.S.A. §§ 3671 and 3673 and 49 C.F.R. § 213.37, and roadside growth and vegetation control activities undertaken by the agency of transportation within the limits of a state highway pursuant to chapter 9 of Title 19.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

S. 82

An act relating to the use of Vermont addresses and representations of Vermont origin.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Miller for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

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.  ATTORNEY GENERAL; REPRESENTATIONS OF VERMONT ORIGIN; RULEMAKING

(a)  The attorney general shall amend the Representations of Vermont Origin rule CF 120.07 to include the following language:  “A company whose business it is to ship, distribute, or similarly process goods or provide services may use a Vermont address to describe the location of its own facilities in Vermont.  The company may also use, and permit the use of, its own name and Vermont address, as long as the company also discloses the name and out-of-state address of its client to identify where payments, returns, customer service inquiries, or similar transactions should be directed, and, when shipping goods, may use the name of the out-of-state client without that client’s address as long as the out-of-state address is provided within a reasonably short period of time, such as on an invoice.  A shipper or fulfillment house may not use, or permit the use of, a Vermont address to describe the location of its out-of-state client, in connection with the advertising, marketing, or selling of the client’s goods or services.”

(b)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and without having to comply with any further rulemaking requirements, the attorney general shall amend the Representations of Vermont Origin rule CF 120.07 by filing a revised adopted rule with the secretary of state and the legislative committee on administrative rules.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)


S. 97

An act relating to correctional facilities.

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.  9 V.S.A. § 4501 is amended to read:

§ 4501.  DEFINITIONS:

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(10)  “Undue burden” means significant difficulty or expense.  In determining whether an action would result in an undue burden, the following factors shall be considered:

(A)  The nature and cost of the action needed.

(B)  The overall financial resources of the site or sites involved in the action; the number of persons employed at the site; the effect on expenses and resources; legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation, including crime prevention measures, or any other impact of the action on the operation of the site.

(C)  The geographic separateness and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the site or sites in question to any parent corporation or entity.

(D)  If applicable, the overall financial resources of any parent corporation or entity; the overall size of the parent corporation or entity with respect to the number of its employees; and the number, type and location of its facilities.

(E)  If applicable, the type of operation or operations of any parent corporation or entity, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of the parent corporation or entity.

(F)  In claims brought under this chapter by individuals in the custody of the commissioner of the department of corrections, the legitimate institutional and security concerns of the correctional facility.

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. § 4506(e) is added to read:

§ 4506.  ENFORCEMENT; CIVIL ACTION

* * *

(e)  An inmate incarcerated in a department of corrections facility may file a charge of discrimination with the human rights commission for violation of this chapter only after exhausting all grievance procedures pursuant to rules adopted by the department under section 854 of Title 28.  This requirement shall not be necessary where the inmate demonstrates that:

(1)  the corrections facility does not maintain a relevant grievance procedure;

(2)  the department of corrections has not rendered a determination on the grievance procedure within 60 days;

(3)  the health or safety of the inmate would be jeopardized otherwise; or

(4)  requiring exhaustion would subject the inmate to substantial and imminent retaliation.

Sec. 3.  13 V.S.A. § 1027 is amended to read:

§ 1027.  DISTURBING PEACE BY USE OF MAIL, TELEPHONE, OR OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

(a)  A person who, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, or annoy, makes contact by means of a telephonic mail, telephone, or other electronic communication with another and (i) makes any request, suggestion, or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, or indecent; (ii) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of any person; or (iii) disturbs, or attempts to disturb, by repeated anonymous mailings, telephone calls, or other electronic communications, whether or not conversation ensues, the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of any person at the place where the communication or communications are received shall be fined not more than $250.00 or be imprisoned not more than three months or both.  If the defendant has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or of an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States which would have been an offense under this act if committed in this state, the defendant shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(b)  An intent to terrify, threaten, harass, or annoy may be inferred by the trier of fact from the use of obscene, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language or the making of a threat or statement or repeated anonymous mailings, telephone calls or other electronic communications as set forth in this section and any trial court may in its discretion include a statement to this effect in its jury charge.

(c)  An offense committed by use of a mail, telephone, or other electronic communication device as set forth in this section shall be considered to have been committed at either the place where the telephone call or calls originated or at the place where the mailings, communication or communications, or calls were received.

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

§ 1102.  JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

* * *

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

* * *

(11)  violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4234b(b), relating to selling ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base;

(12)  violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4249(f), relating to the introduction of tobacco or tobacco products into a correctional facility.

Sec. 5.  18 V.S.A. § 4249(f) is added to read:

§ 4249.  TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL OR REGULATED DRUGS INTO PLACES OF DETENTION

* * *

(f)  No person shall knowingly carry or introduce or cause to be carried or introduced tobacco or tobacco products into a correctional facility.  An individual who violates this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for the first offense and $2,500.00 for any subsequent offense.  An action under this subsection shall be brought in the same manner as for a traffic violation pursuant to chapter 24 of Title 23.

Sec. 6.  28 V.S.A. § 802 is amended to read:

§ 802.  CORRESPONDENCE OF INMATES

(a)  Any authorized employee of any correctional facility shall have the right to inspect all correspondence by or to inmates of the facility.  The employee shall have the right to withhold and prevent the transmission of material intended to be sent through the mails by or to an inmate if the material is contraband as defined by the rules of the facility or constitutes a clear and present danger to the security of the facility.

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any correspondence from an inmate to any public official of the state or of the United States, shall not be impeded in its transmission, nor shall it be inspected, opened, copied, duplicated, photographed, or examined in any way.

(c)  An inmate shall not correspond through the mail with another inmate committed to the custody and supervision of the department of corrections, whether in the same facility or in a different facility, except as follows:

(1)  To communicate with immediate family members who are inmates also in the custody and supervision of the department of corrections, subject to the prior approval of the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.

(2)  To communicate with other inmates where the inmate’s classification or treatment team deems the correspondence in the best interests of both parties.

(3)  To communicate with another inmate regarding legal matters, so long as the superintendent or his or her designee knows the second inmate customarily offers legal advice to other inmates.

(4)  To correspond with other inmates, so long as the correspondence has been approved by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee at his or her sole discretion.

(d)  Negative contact list.

(1)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an inmate shall not correspond with any individual on the department of corrections’ negative contact list.

(2)  An individual may be added to the negative contact list by notifying the department of corrections in writing that he or she does not wish to receive any communications from a particular inmate or group of inmates.

(3)  A parent or authorized legal guardian of a minor may add the minor child to the negative contact list by notifying the department of corrections in writing that he or she does not wish the minor child to receive any communication from a particular inmate or group of inmates.  If the inmate is a parent of the minor, the inmate shall be presumed to have the right to have contact with the minor, unless the facility superintendent, in consultation with the director of victim services, finds the correspondence would not be in the best interests of the child.

Sec. 7.  JOINT LEGISLATIVE CORRECTIONS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

(a)  During the 2007 interim, the joint legislative corrections oversight committee shall engage policymakers and social scientists to pursue and obtain current and accurate data of the prevalence of current and recent inmates with serious mental illness.  The production of this data is necessary for the general assembly to plan for the future acute care needs of all persons with serious mental illnesses, including persons committed to corrections’ custody. 

(b)  The committee shall:

(1)  Study the number of mental health hospital beds needed, including those required by:

(A)  Inmates with acute mental health treatment needs.

(B)  Criminal defendants committed for pre-trial forensic evaluation in an inpatient setting.

(C)  Criminal defendants found incompetent to stand trial or insane at the time of the offense.

(2)  Review policies from other states that address issues of mental health in inmate populations.  The committee may consult with the National Council of State Legislatures or the Council of State Governments to meet the requirements of this subdivision.

(3)  Consider whether a separate inpatient psychiatric facility, administered by the agency of human services, for inmates with severe mental illness would address the mental health needs of the inmate population.

(4)  Consider whether “serious mental illness,” as defined in subdivision 906(1) of Title 28, should be amended to include all forms of developmental disabilities, including mental retardation, traumatic brain injury, autism, various forms of dementia, and other mental impairments that significantly and negatively impact daily functioning.

(c)  The committee shall report its findings and recommendations for legislation to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2008.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

AMENDMENT TO RECOMMENDATION OF AMENDMENT TO S. 97 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR SEARS

Senator Sears, on behalf of the Committee on Judciary, moves that the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Judiciary be amended by striking out Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. § 4506(e) is added to read:

§ 4506.  ENFORCEMENT; CIVIL ACTION

* * *

(e)(1)  except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, an inmate incarcerated in a department of corrections facility shall not bring an action for violation of this chapter unless the inmate has exhausted all grievance procedures pursuant to rules adopted by the department under section 854 of Title 28.

(2)  Subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply if the inmate demonstrates that:

(A)  the corrections facility does not maintain a relevant grievance procedure;

(B)  more than 60 days have passed from the date that the grievance was originally filed, and the department of corrections has not rendered a final determination;

(C)  the health or safety of the inmate would be jeopardized otherwise; or

(D)  requiring exhaustion would subject the inmate to substantial and imminent retaliation.

S. 120

An act relating to wine tastings at farmers’ markets.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Miller for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

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.  7 V.S.A. § 2(15) is amended to read:

(15)  “Manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license”:  a license granted by the liquor control board that permits the holder to manufacture or rectify, as the case may be, malt beverages and vinous beverages for export and for sale to bottlers or wholesale dealers, or spirituous liquors for export and for sale to the liquor control board, upon application of a manufacturer or rectifier and the payment to the liquor control board of the license fee as required by subdivision 231(1) of this title for either license.  The liquor control board may grant to a licensed manufacturer or rectifier a first class restaurant or cabaret license or first and third class restaurant or cabaret license permitting the licensee to sell alcoholic beverages to the public only at the manufacturer’s premises.  A manufacturer of malt beverages who also holds a first class restaurant or cabaret license may serve to a customer malt beverages by the glass, not to exceed eight glasses at one time and not to exceed four ounces in each glass.  The liquor control board may grant to a licensed manufacturer or a rectifier of malt beverages a second class license permitting the licensee to sell alcoholic beverages to the public only at the manufacturer’s or rectifier’s premises.  Upon application and payment of the license fee as required by subdivision 231(11) of this title, the liquor control board may grant to a licensed manufacturer or rectifier of vinous beverages up to 10 fourth class or farmers’ market licenses permitting the licensee to sell these beverages by the bottle to the public at the licensed premises or at a farmers’ market provided that the beverages were produced by the manufacturer or rectifier.  No more than a combined total of ten fourth class and farmers’ market licenses may be granted to any licensed manufacturer or rectifier.  An application for a farmers’ market license shall include copies of the farmers’ market regulations, the agreement between the farmers’market and the applicant, and the location and dates of operation of the farmers’ market.  A farmers’ market license shall be valid for all dates of operation for a specific farmers’ market location.  However, in no case may a person with an interest in more than one manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license have an interest in more than four fourth class licenses.  The manufacturer or rectifier shall pay directly to the commissioner of taxes the sum of 26 1/2 cents per gallon for every gallon of malt beverage and the sum of 55 cents per gallon for each gallon of vinous beverage manufactured by the manufacturer or rectifier and provided for sale pursuant to the first class license or the second class license or the fourth class license or combination thereof held by the manufacturer or rectifier.  Holders of a manufacturer’s or rectifier’s second class license for malt beverages may distribute, with or without charge, malt beverages by the glass, not to exceed two ounces per product and eight ounces in total, to all persons of legal drinking age.  The malt beverages must be consumed upon the premises of the holder of the license.  At the request of a person holding a first class or second class license, a holder of a manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license for malt beverages may distribute without charge to the management and staff of the license holder, provided they are of legal drinking age, no more than four ounces per person of a malt beverage for the purpose of promoting the beverage.  Written notice shall be provided to the department of liquor control at least 10 days prior to the date of the tasting.

Sec. 2.  7 V.S.A. § 67(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Provided an applicant submits to the department of liquor control a written application in a form required by the department accompanied by the permit fee as required by subdivision 231(15) of this title at least 15 days prior to the date of the wine tasting event and the applicant is determined to be in good standing, the department of liquor control may grant a permit to conduct a wine tasting event to:

* * *

(2)  A licensed manufacturer or rectifier of vinous beverages.  The permit authorizes the permit holder to dispense vinous beverages produced by the manufacturer or rectifier to retail customers of legal age for consumption on the premises of a second class licensee or at a farmers’ market.  Pursuant to this permit, a manufacturer or rectifier may conduct no more than one tasting a day on the premises of a second class licensee.  No more than four wine tasting permits per month for a tasting event held on the premises of second class licensees and no more than 60 wine tasting permits per year for a tasting event held on the premises of a farmers’ market shall be issued to any manufacturer or rectifier.

(3)  A licensed manufacturer or rectifier of vinous beverages with a fourth class or farmers’ market license.  The permit authorizes licenses authorize the licensee to dispense, with or without charge, vinous beverages by the glass, not to exceed two ounces per product and a total of eight ounces to a retail customer of legal age for consumption on the licensee’s premises or at a farmers’ market.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 137

An act relating to reducing the amount of phosphorus allowed in household cleansing products used in dishwashers.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator MacDonald 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:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1382 is amended to read:

§ 1382.  PROHIBITIONS

(a)  No household cleansing products except those used in dishwashers, for cleansing medical and surgical equipment, food and beverage processing equipment, and dairy equipment may be distributed, sold, offered, or exposed for sale at retail, after April 1, 1978, or at wholesale, after January 1, 1978, or used in a commercial establishment in this state, after April 1, 1978, which shall contain a phosphorus compound in concentrations in excess of a trace quantity.

(b)  No household cleansing products used in dishwashers, for cleansing medical and surgical equipment and food and beverage processing equipment, may be distributed, sold, offered, or exposed for sale at retail, after April 1, 1978, or at wholesale, after January 1, 1978, or used in a commercial establishment in this state, after April 1, 1978, which shall contain a phosphorus compound in concentrations in excess of 8.7 percent by weight expressed as elemental phosphorus.  No household cleansing products used in dishwashers may be distributed, sold, offered, or exposed for sale at retail or wholesale after July 1, 2010, which shall contain a phosphorus compound in concentrations in excess of a trace quantity.

* * *

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 143

An act relating to authorizing the use of racing fuel containing the additive MTBE or other gasoline ethers.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Scott  for the Committee on Transportation.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended in Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 577 on page 2, by striking out subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

(c)  A fuel product used in a race or sports car event, as both are defined in 26 V.S.A. § 4801, may contain a gasoline ether and may be sold at retail or sold for use in the state, provided that it is sold in prepackaged drums, pails, or containers.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 148

An act relating to the requirements for an application to be a designated new town center.

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 adding a Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 6093(a)(3)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection and subdivision 6086(a)(9)(B)(iii) of this title pertaining to a development or subdivision on primary agricultural soils outside a designated growth center, the district commission may, in appropriate circumstances, approve off‑site mitigation or some combination of onsite and off‑site mitigation if that action is deemed consistent with the agricultural elements of local and regional plans and the goals of section 4302 of Title 24 and the project incorporates innovative land use design resulting in compact development patterns on the project tract.  For projects located outside a designated growth center, all factors used to calculate suitable mitigation acreage or fees, or some combination of these measures, shall be as specified in this subsection, subject to a ratio of no less than 2:1, but no more than 3:1.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 173

An act relating to the awarding of high school diplomas to veterans of the Vietnam war.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Nitka 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. § 563(25) is amended to read:

§ 563.  POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(25)  Shall, if it is a school board of a school district which maintains a secondary school, upon request, award a high school diploma to any Vermont resident who served in the military in World War II or, the Korean War, or during the Vietnam era from February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975, was honorably separated from active federal military service, and does not hold a high school diploma.  The state board shall develop and make available an application form for veterans who wish to request a high school diploma.

The Committee further recommends that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows: “AN ACT RELATING TO THE AWARDING OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO VETERANS OF THE VIETNAM ERA”

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

NOTICE CALENDAR

S. 190

An act relating to establishing a brownfields advisory committee.

(Sen. Carris for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs).

S. 191

An act relating to financing reappraisal, and infrastructure in tax increment financing districts.

(Sen. Condos for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs). 

S. 194

An act relating to firefighters and cancer caused by employment.

(Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs).

Committee Bills for Notice

S. 192

An act relating to HIV name-based reporting.

(Sen. Flanagan for the Committee on Health and Welfare).

S. 193

An act relating to ensuring health and safety on public construction projects.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

S. 196

An act relating to failure to insure for workers’ compensation coverage by employers and contractors.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

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)

John LaBarge of South Hero - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/21)

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.

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

FY 2008 Budget

ADVOCATES TESTIMONY

     On Monday afternoon, March 26 beginning at 3:00 pm, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be taking testimony from advocates regarding the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget in Room 10 of the State House.  To schedule time before the Committee please contact Becky Buck at the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office located at 1 Baldwin Street (phone:  828-5969).  

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).

     124.  Vermont Labor Relations Board 2006 Annual Report.  (March 2007)

     125.  Status Report-Orphan Stormwater System Grant Project.  (Department of Environmental Conservation, Water Quality Division, Stormwater Section)  (March 2007).

     126.  Coordinated Healthy Activity, Motivation and Prevention Programs Inventory.  (Agency of Human Services, Department of Health)  (March 2007).

     127.  Vermont Department of State’s Attorneys Annual Report.  (March 2007).



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The Vermont General Assembly
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