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Senate Calendar

friday, march 30, 2007

87th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

CONSIDERATION POSTPONED UNTIL TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2007

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 115     Transparency of prescription drug pricing and information.................. 406

                              Health and Welfare Committee Report............................... 406

                              Finance Committee Report................................................ 414

                              Sen. Condos amendment................................................... 418

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2007

Third Reading

S. 190     Establishing a brownfields advisory committee................................... 418

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 143     Use of racing fuel containing additive MTBE ..................................... 419

H. 72      Approval of amendments to the charter of the city of Barre................ 419

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 51      Amendments to the charter of the village of Newbury........................ 419

                              Government Operations Committee Report........................ 419

H. 97      Ability of unified towns & gores of Essex county to incur debt............ 419

                              Government Operations Committee Report........................ 419

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 121     Relating to autism.............................................................................. 419

                              Education Committee Report............................................. 419

                              Appropriations Committee Report..................................... 422


ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate application of pesticides........... 424

S. 194     Firefighters and cancer caused by employment.................................. 424


S. 196     Failure to insure for workers’ compensation coverage........................ 425

Concurrent Resolution for Adoption

(For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to March 29, 2007 calendar)

HCR 82 Mt. Anthony Union H.S. wrestling team’s 19th consecutive win......... 139

HCR 83 Claire Bohannon, Alburg on business “Claire’s Country Garden......... 140

HCR 84 Gordon Bruce Foster of Fair Haven for community service................ 141

HCR 85 Honoring Daniel O’Brien ................................................................. 142

HCR 86 Poultney High School championship cheerleading team...................... 143

HCR 87 Proctor High School championship basketball team........................... 145

HCR 88 Congratulating Smugglers’ Notch Resort on its 50th anniversary........ 146

HCR 89 South Royalton School championship boys’ basketball team.............. 147

HCR 90 Congratulating Burr & Burton Academy girls’ ice hockey team.......... 149

HCR 91 Vergennes Union H.S. championship cheerleading team..................... 150

HCR 92 Commemorating the 230th anniversary of Battle of Bennington.......... 151

HCR 93 Honoring scholastic geography events to be held on March 30........... 152



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

CONSIDERATION POSTPONED UNTIL TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2007

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 115

An act relating to increasing transparency of prescription drug pricing and information.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking out 33 V.S.A. § 1998(a)(7) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (7) to read:

(7)  A plan to inform Vermonters of the availability of health services provided by federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and FQHC look-alikes, including that prescription drug pricing is more affordable, focusing on participants in the Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs, state employees, individuals under the supervision of corrections, individuals receiving workers’ compensation benefits if applicable, and any other state or publicly funded purchaser of prescription drugs.

Second:  In Sec. 1, by striking out 33 V.S.A. § 1998(c)(1) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (1) to read:

(c)(1)  The director may implement the pharmacy best practices and cost control program for any other health benefit plan within or outside this state that agrees to participate in the program.  For entities in Vermont, the director shall directly or by contract implement the program through a joint pharmaceuticals purchasing consortium.  The joint pharmaceuticals purchasing consortium shall be offered on a voluntary basis no later than January 1, 2008, with mandatory participation by state or publicly funded, administered, or subsidized purchasers to the extent practicable and consistent with the purposes of this chapter, by January 1, 2010.  If necessary, the office of Vermont health access shall seek authorization from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to include purchases funded by Medicaid. “State or publicly funded purchasers” shall include the department of corrections, the division of mental health, Medicaid, the Vermont Health Access Program (VHAP), Dr. Dynasaur, Vermont Rx, VPharm, Healthy Vermonters, Healthy Vermonters Plus, workers’ compensation, and any other state or publicly funded purchaser of prescription drugs.

Third:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 1998(f)(6), by striking out the following:  reference to “(a)(8) and inserting in lieu thereof the following (c)(1)

Fourth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 1998(g), by striking out the following: “, such as the Oregon Health and Science University Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP),

Fifth:  In Sec. 3, 33 V.S.A. § 2005(a)(3), by inserting the words and the office of Vermont health access where they firstly appear, after the words “department of health

Sixth:  In Sec. 5, 33 V.S.A. § 2010(b) by striking out the words “or may adopt its own standards by rule

Seventh:  In Sec. 5, by striking out subsection 33 V.S.A. § 2010(d) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (d) to read:

(d)  When a manufacturer of prescription drugs dispensed in this state reports the information required under subsection (a) of this section, the president, chief executive officer, or a designated employee of the manufacturer shall certify to the office, on a form provided by the director of the office of Vermont health access, that the reported prices are the same as those reported to the federal government as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1396r‑8(b)(3) for the applicable rebate period.  A designated employee shall be an employee who reports directly to the chief executive officer or president and who has been delegated to make the certification under this section.

Eighth:  In Sec. 6, 33 V.S.A. § 2003, after subsection (b), by inserting the following:

(c)  As used in this section:

(1)  "Beneficiary" means any individual enrolled in either the Healthy Vermonters program or the Healthy Vermonters Plus program.

(2)  "Healthy Vermonters beneficiary" means any individual Vermont resident without adequate coverage:

(A)  who is at least 65 years of age, or is disabled and is eligible for Medicare or Social Security disability benefits, with household income equal to or less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont health access plan, as amended; or

(B)  whose household income is equal to or less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont Health access plan, as amended.

(3)  "Healthy Vermonters Plus beneficiary" means any individual Vermont resident without adequate coverage:

(A)  whose household income is greater than 300 percent and equal to or less than 350 percent of the federal poverty level, as calculated under the rules of the Vermont health access plan, as amended; or

(B)  whose family incurs unreimbursed expenses for prescription drugs, including insurance premiums, that equal five percent or more of household income or whose total unreimbursed medical expenses, including insurance premiums, equal 15 percent or more of household income.

Ninth:  In Sec. 7, in 18  V.S.A. §9472, by striking out subdivision (a)(1) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (a)(1) to read:

(a)  Unless the contract provides otherwise, a pharmacy benefit manager that provides pharmacy benefit management for a health plan shall:

(1)  Discharge its duties with reasonable care and diligence and be fair and truthful under the circumstances then prevailing that a pharmacy benefit manager acting in like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims.  In the case of a health benefit plan offered by a health insurer as defined by subdivision 9471(2)(A) of this title, the health insurer shall remain responsible for administering the health benefit plan in accordance with the health insurance policy or subscriber contract or plan and in compliance with all applicable provisions of Title 8 and this title.

Tenth:  In Sec. 7, in 18 V.S.A. §9472 by striking out subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read:

(c)  Compliance with the requirements of this section is required for pharmacy benefit managers entering into contracts with a health insurer in this state for pharmacy benefit management in this state.

Eleventh: In Sec. 7, by striking out 18 V.S.A. § 9473 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new § 9473 to read:

§ 9473.  ENFORCEMENT

(a)  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, in addition to any remedy available to the commissioner under this title and any other remedy provided by law, a violation of this subchapter shall be considered a violation of the Vermont consumer fraud act in subchapter 1 of chapter 63 of Title 1.  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, all rights, authority, and remedies available to the attorney general and private parties to enforce the Vermont consumer fraud act shall be available to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

(b)  In connection with any action for violation of the Vermont consumer fraud act, the commissioner’s determinations concerning the interpretation and administration of the provisions of this subchapter and any rules adopted hereunder shall carry a presumption of validity.  The attorney general and the commissioner shall consult with each other prior to the commencement of any investigation or enforcement action with respect to any pharmacy benefit manager.

(c)  The commissioner may investigate, examine, or otherwise enforce a violation of this subchapter by a pharmacy benefit manager under section 9412 of this title as if the pharmacy benefit manager were a health insurer. 

(d)  The commissioner shall have the exclusive authority to investigate, examine, and otherwise enforce the provisions of this subchapter relating to a pharmacy benefit manager in connection with the pharmacy benefit manager's contractual relationship with, and any other activity with respect to, a health insurer defined by subdivision 9471(2)(A) of this title.

(e)  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the commissioner and the attorney general may bring a joint enforcement action against any person or entity for a violation of this subchapter.

Twelfth:  In Sec. 8, in 18 V.S.A. § 9421, by striking out subsections (b) and (c)(1) in their entirety and inserting a new (b) and (c)(1) to read:

(b)  In accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner, pharmacy benefit managers operating in the state of Vermont and proposing to contract for the provision of pharmacy benefit management shall notify health insurers when the pharmacy benefit manager provides a quotation that a quotation for an administrative-services-only contract with full pass through of negotiated prices, rebates, and other such financial benefits which would identify to the health insurer external sources of revenue and profit is generally available and whether the pharmacy benefits manager offers that type of arrangement.  Quotations for an administrative-services-only contract shall include a reasonable fee payable by the health insurer which represents a competitive pharmacy benefit profit.  This subsection shall not be interpreted to require a pharmacy benefits manager to offer an administrative-services-only contract.

(c)(1)  In order to enable periodic verification of pricing arrangements in administrative-services-only contracts, pharmacy benefit managers shall allow access, in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner, by the health insurer who is a party to the administrative-services-only contract to financial and contractual information necessary to conduct a complete and independent audit designed to verify the following:

(A)  full pass through of negotiated drug prices and fees associated with all drugs dispensed to beneficiaries of the health plan in both retail and mail order settings or resulting from any of the pharmacy benefit management functions defined in the contract;

(B)  full pass through of all financial remuneration associated with all drugs dispensed to beneficiaries of the health plan in both retail and mail order settings or resulting from any of the pharmacy benefit management functions defined in the contract; and

(C)  any other verifications relating to the pricing arrangements and activities of the pharmacy benefit manager required by the contract if required by the commissioner.

Thirteenth:  In Sec. 12, 18 V.S.A. § 4622(a),after the following: “attorney general,” by inserting the following:  the University of Vermont area health center program, and the office of Vermont health access

Fourteenth:  In Sec. 12, 18 V.S.A. § 4622(c), by striking out the following “, such as the Oregon Health and Science University Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP)

Fifteenth:  By striking out Sec. 13 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 13 to read:

Sec. 13.  REPORT ON NEW HAMPSHIRE CONFIDENTIALITY OF PRESCRIPTION INFORMATION LAW

The staff of the legislative council shall report to the house committee on health care and the senate committee on health and welfare on the status of New Hampshire’s law prohibiting the commercial use of prescriber-identifiable data contained in prescription data no later than November 1, 2007.  The report shall include a summary of any court decisions and status of the litigation on this law currently pending in New Hampshire and any related information provided by the state of New Hampshire. 

Sixteenth:  By striking out Secs. 14, 15, and 16 in their entirety

Seventeenth:  By striking out Sec. 17 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 17 to read:

Sec. 17.  18 V.S.A. chapter 91, subchapter 5 is added to read:

Subchapter 5.  Unconscionable Pricing

§ 4651.  Purpose

The purpose of this subchapter is to ensure Vermonters affordable access to prescription drugs necessary for the treatment of certain health conditions determined to be a serious public health problem in the state.

§ 4652.  DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Affected party” means any person directly or indirectly affected by unconscionable prices of prescription drugs, including any organization representing such persons or any person or organization representing the public interest.

(2)  “Most favored purchase price” means the price offered with all rights and privileges accorded by the seller to the most favored purchaser in Vermont.

(3)  “Purchaser” means any person who engages primarily in selling drugs directly to consumers.

(4)  “Seller” means any person who trades in drugs for resale to purchasers in this state.

§ 4653.  UnconsCionable Pricing PROHIBITED

A manufacturer of prescription drugs or its licensee shall not sell, supply for sale, or impose minimum resale requirements for a prescription drug necessary to treat a serious public health threat provided for in section 4654 of this title that results in that prescription drug being sold in Vermont for an unconscionable price.

§ 4654.  SERIOUS PUBLIC health THREAT

(a)(1)  The commissioner of health may issue a declaration that a health condition or disease is prevalent in Vermont to such an extent as to constitute a serious public health threat.

(2)  The attorney general may request a determination by the commissioner of health on whether a health condition or disease meets the criteria in this section.  If the attorney general makes a request under this subdivision, the commissioner of health shall consider the request.

(b)  At minimum, the commissioner shall consider the following factors when declaring that a health condition or disease is a serious public health threat:

(1)  if a large number of Vermonters suffer from the health condition and the condition is life-threatening in the short term or has a severe consequence to health in the short term, or if the condition is highly contagious and threatens a large number of Vermonters;

(2)  if the costs to the state, employer-sponsored insurance, and private insurers of treating the health condition with prescription drugs would be expensive without intervention allowed for under this chapter;

(3)  if the cost of a prescription drug or a class of prescription drugs used to treat the health condition is prohibitively expensive, to the extent that information is available;

(4)  whether a prescription drug or class of prescription drugs is essential for maintaining health or life;

(5)  whether consumers affected with the health condition are unable to afford the prescription drug at the current price; and

(6)  other relevant factors as determined by the commissioner.

§ 4655.  Unconscionable pricing; PRIMA FACIE CASE

(a)  A prima facie case of unconscionable pricing as prohibited in section 4653 of this title shall be established where the wholesale price of a prescription drug in Vermont is over 30 percent higher than the prices available to federal agencies under the federal supply schedule, the prices available through the Healthy Vermonters program, or the most favored purchase price.

(b)  If a prima facie case of unconscionable pricing is shown, the burdens of providing evidence and of proving by a preponderance of the evidence shall shift to the defendant to show that a prescription drug is not unconscionably priced by showing the demonstrated costs of invention, development, and production of the prescription drug, global sales and profits to date, consideration of any government‑funded research that supported the development of the drug, and the impact of price on access to a prescription drug by residents and the government of Vermont.

§ 4656.  consumer fraud ACTION

The attorney general or state’s attorney shall enforce the provisions of this section under the Vermont consumer fraud act in chapter 63 of Title 9.  All rights, authority, and remedies available to enforce the consumer fraud act shall be available to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 4657.  Civil Action

(a)  Any affected party shall have standing to file a civil suit in a court of competent jurisdiction for a violation of this chapter and to seek a remedy, including declaratory and injunctive relief.

(b)  Whenever an affected party, other than the attorney general, brings an action pursuant to this chapter, a copy of any pleadings shall be served on the attorney general pursuant to Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. Failure to comply with this provision shall not affect the validity of the proceedings commenced under this section.

§ 4658.  Remedies FOR CIVIL ACTIONS

If in an action brought by an affected party under section 4657 of this title, a court determines that any person has violated this chapter, the court is authorized to render:

(1)  temporary, preliminary, or permanent injunctions to enjoin the sales of prescription drugs in Vermont at unconscionable prices;

(2)  an order of damages, including treble damages;

(3)  an order requiring reimbursement to the state of Vermont for the reasonable value of its services and its expenses in investigating and prosecuting the action;

(4)  costs and reasonable attorney’s fees; and

(5)  any other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Eighteenth:  By striking out Sec. 19 in its entirety and inserting a new Sec. 19 to read as follows:

Sec. 19.  9 V.S.A. § 2466a is added to read:

§ 2466a.  Consumer Protections; Prescription Drugs

(a)  A violation of section 4655 of Title 18 shall be considered a violation under this chapter.

(b)  As provided in section 9473 of Title 18, a violation of section 9472 shall be considered a violation under this chapter.

(c)(1)  It shall be a violation under this chapter for a manufacturer of prescription drugs to present or cause to be presented in the state a regulated advertisement if that advertisement does not comply with the requirements concerning misbranded drugs and devices and prescription drug advertising of federal law and regulations under 21 United States Code, Sections 331 and 352(n) and 21 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 202 and state rules.  A warning or untitled letter issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of federal law and regulations.

(2)  For purposes of this section:

(A)  “Manufacturer of prescription drugs” means a person authorized by law to manufacture, bottle, or pack drugs or biological products, a licensee or affiliate of that person, or a labeler that receives drugs or biological products from a manufacturer or wholesaler and repackages them for later retail sale and has a labeler code from the federal Food and Drug Administration under 21 Code of Federal Regulations, 2027.20 (1999).

(B)  “Regulated advertisement” means the presentation to the general public of a commercial message regarding a prescription drug or biological product by a manufacturer of prescription drugs that is broadcast on television, cable, or radio from a station or cable company that is physically located in the state, broadcast over the internet from a location in the state, or printed in magazines or newspapers that are printed, distributed, or sold in the state.

(d)  No person shall sell, offer for sale, or distribute electronic prescribing software that advertises, uses instant messaging and pop-up advertisements, or uses other means to influence or attempt to influence the prescribing decision of a health care professional through economic incentives or otherwise and which is triggered or in specific response to the input, selection, or act of a health care professional or agent in prescribing a specific prescription drug or directing a patient to a certain pharmacy.  This subsection shall not apply to information provided to the health care professional about pharmacy reimbursement, prescription drug formulary compliance, and patient care management.

and by renumbering all Secs. to be numerically correct

(Committee vote: 6-0-0)

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Cummings for the Committee on Finance.

The Committee recommends that the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Health and Welfare be further amended as follows:

First:  By striking out the Seventeenth recommendation of amendment in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Seventeenth:  By striking out Sec. 17 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 17 to read:

Sec. 17.  18 V.S.A. chapter 91, subchapter 5 is added to read:

Subchapter 5.  Unconscionable Pricing

§ 4651.  Purpose

The purpose of this subchapter is to ensure Vermonters affordable access to prescription drugs necessary for the treatment of certain health conditions determined to be a serious public health problem in the state.

§ 4652.  DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Affected party” means any person in Vermont directly or indirectly affected by unconscionable prices of prescription drugs, including any organization representing such persons or any person or organization representing the public interest.

(2)  “Most favored purchase price” means the price offered with all rights and privileges accorded by the seller to the most favored purchaser in Vermont.

(3)  “Purchaser” means any person who engages primarily in selling drugs directly to consumers.

(4)  “Seller” means any person who trades in drugs for resale to purchasers in this state.

§ 4653.  UnconsCionable Pricing PROHIBITED

A manufacturer of prescription drugs or its licensee shall not sell in Vermont for an unconscionable price a prescription drug necessary to treat a serious public health threat provided for in section 4654 of this title.

§ 4654.  SERIOUS PUBLIC health THREAT

(a)(1)  The commissioner of health may issue a declaration that a health condition or disease is prevalent in Vermont to such an extent as to constitute a serious public health threat.

(2)  The attorney general may request a determination by the commissioner of health on whether a health condition or disease meets the criteria in this section.  If the attorney general makes a request under this subdivision, the commissioner of health shall consider the request.

(b)  At minimum, the commissioner shall consider the following factors when declaring that a health condition or disease is a serious public health threat:

(1)  the number of Vermonters that suffer from the health condition;

(2)  the costs to the state, employer-sponsored insurance, and private insurers of treating the health condition with prescription drugs;

(3)  the cost of a prescription drug or a class of prescription drugs used to treat the health to the extent that information is available;

(4)  whether a prescription drug or class of prescription drugs is essential for maintaining health or life;

(5)  whether consumers affected with the health condition are unable to afford the prescription drug at the current price; and

(6)  other relevant factors as determined by the commissioner.

§ 4655.  Unconscionable pricing; PRIMA FACIE CASE

(a)  A prima facie case of unconscionable pricing as prohibited in section 4653 of this title shall be established where the price of a prescription drug in Vermont is over 30 percent higher than the prices available to federal agencies in Vermont under the federal supply schedule, the prices available through the Healthy Vermonters program, or the most favored purchase price available in Vermont.

(b)  If a prima facie case of unconscionable pricing is shown, the burdens of providing evidence and of proving by a preponderance of the evidence shall shift to the defendant to show that a prescription drug is not unconscionably priced by showing the demonstrated costs of invention, development, and production of the prescription drug, global sales and profits to date, consideration of any government‑funded research that supported the development of the drug, and the impact of price on access to a prescription drug by residents and the government of Vermont.

§ 4656.  consumer fraud ACTION

The attorney general or state’s attorney shall enforce the provisions of this section under the Vermont consumer fraud act in chapter 63 of Title 9.  All rights, authority, and remedies available to enforce the consumer fraud act shall be available to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 4657.  Civil Action

(a)  Any affected party shall have standing to file a civil suit in a court of competent jurisdiction for a violation of this chapter and to seek a remedy, including declaratory and injunctive relief.

(b)  Whenever an affected party, other than the attorney general, brings an action pursuant to this chapter, a copy of any pleadings shall be served on the attorney general pursuant to Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. Failure to comply with this provision shall not affect the validity of the proceedings commenced under this section.

§ 4658.  Remedies FOR CIVIL ACTIONS

If in an action brought by an affected party under section 4657 of this title, a court determines that any person has violated this chapter, the court is authorized to render:

(1)  temporary, preliminary, or permanent injunctions to enjoin the sales of prescription drugs in Vermont at unconscionable prices;

(2)  an order of damages, including treble damages;

(3)  an order requiring reimbursement to the state of Vermont for the reasonable value of its services and its expenses in investigating and prosecuting the action;

(4)  costs and reasonable attorney’s fees; and

(5)  any other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Second:  By striking out the Fifteenth recommendation of amendment in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Fifteenth:  By striking out Sec. 13 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 13 to read:

Sec. 13.  18 V.S.A. § 4634 is added to read:

§ 4634.  Pharmaceutical Marketer Prescription Information Disclosure Program

(a)  When a pharmaceutical marketer engages in any form of prescription drug marketing directly to a physician or other person authorized to prescribe prescription drugs, the marketer shall disclose to the physician or other prescriber any identifiable prescription information, relating to the physician or other prescriber, accessible to the pharmaceutical marketer.  If the information is available to the marketer, disclosure shall include the name of the prescriber, name of patient, name of the drug, date of the prescription, and amount of the drug prescribed.  The marketer shall also provide the prescriber with an information sheet describing any program that the manufacturing company participates in that collects, assembles, transfers, or reviews identifiable prescription information for commercial purposes.  Such programs shall include sales force effectiveness programs. 

(b)  The marketer shall provide the prescriber with a form that would enable the prescriber to opt in to the program, creating identifiable prescription information relating to the prescriber for commercial purposes.

(c)  The disclosures, information sheets, and opt‑in required under this section shall be on a form and in a manner prescribed by the office of the attorney general.  The attorney general may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.

(d)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general after consultation with the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration and the commissioner of health may file an action in superior court for a violation of this section or of rules adopted under this section.  In any such action, the attorney general shall have the same authority to investigate and to obtain remedies as if the action were brought under the consumer fraud act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  Each violation of this section or of rules adopted under this section constitutes a separate civil violation for which the attorney general may obtain relief.

(e)  As used in this section:

(1) “Commercial purpose” shall include advertising, marketing, promotion, or any activity that is intended to be used or is used to influence sales or the market share of a pharmaceutical product, to influence or evaluate the prescribing behavior of an individual health care professional, to market prescription drugs to patients, or to evaluate the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical detailing sales force. 

(2) “Pharmaceutical manufacturing company” is defined by subdivision 4632(c)(5) of this title.

(3) “Pharmaceutical marketer” is defined by subdivision 4632(c)(4) of this title.

Third:  That the bill be amended in Sec. 21 (recodification), in subdivision (a), after the word “section” where it secondly appears by striking out the number “4634” and inserting in lieu thereof the number 4535

(Committee vote: 5-1-1)

AMENDMENT TO S. 115 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR CONDOS

Senator Condos moves to amend the first amendment of the Committee on Finance (amending the seventeenth amendment of the Committee on Health and Welfare), in §4655(a), after the words “established where the” by inserting the word manufacturer’s

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2007

Third Reading

S. 190

An act relating to establishing a brownfields advisory committee.


NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 143

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

H. 72

An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the city of Barre.

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 51

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

Reported favorably by Senator Coppenrath for the Committee on Government Operations.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

H. 97

An act relating to the ability of the unified towns and gores of Essex county to incur indebtedness.

Reported favorably by Senator Coppenrath for the Committee on Government Operations.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 121

An act relating to autism.

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.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Autism is identified as a pervasive developmental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).  Pervasive developmental disorders include: autistic disorder; Asperger’s disorder; pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified; Rett’s disorder; and childhood disintegrative disorder.  These disorders are often referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

(2)  Although this act pertains to ASD, it is noteworthy that autism is a neurologically based developmental disorder that can have profound lifelong effects in social interaction, the ability to communicate, imagination, and the establishment of relationships.

(3)  Children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders by psychologists, developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, and neurologists.

(4)  In 1992, only 13 Vermont children with autism spectrum disorders received special education in Vermont.  According to the preliminary December 1, 2006 child count, 582 children with autism spectrum disorders are currently receiving special education in Vermont.

(5)  There is no single intervention that will be effective for all individuals with autism spectrum disorders or for the same individual across his or her lifespan.

(6)  National Research Council findings suggest that up to 48 percent of young children with autism spectrum disorders make marked progress when they receive intensive early intervention.

Sec. 2.  INTERAGENCY INITIATIVE TO ENHANCE SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

(a)  ASD Initiative.  On or before January 15, 2008, the secretary of human services and the commissioner of education shall develop a state plan for and begin implementation of a comprehensive initiative designed to sustain and enhance services provided by existing public and private entities to Vermonters with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families.  The plan shall include detailed budget projections, a feasibility analysis for a structured fee schedule, and estimated appropriation requirements for each year of implementation.  The agency of human services, through the department for children and families, the department of health, and the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living, shall assume primary responsibility for the ASD initiative.  The secretary of human services and the commissioner of education shall enter into an interagency agreement detailing their respective responsibilities on or before August 15, 2007.  Subject to receipt of sufficient appropriations as outlined in the initiative plan, the ASD initiative shall be fully implemented by November 15, 2012.  

(b)  Advisory board.  The Act 264 advisory board’s responsibilities are expanded to include serving as the advisory board for the ASD initiative. 

(c)  Services.  In an effort to improve the consistency of both access to and quality of services across the education and human services systems:

(1)  The agency shall enter into contracts with existing and new public and private providers of developmental, mental health, and early intervention services to:

     (A)  Expand the existing capacity for early and accurate diagnosis of ASD by facilitating the sufficient availability of specialists to all regions of the state.

     (B)  Provide technical assistance and training to primary care physicians on screening protocols.

     (C)  Provide training, technical assistance, and consultation to schools, local agencies, and other providers of developmental, mental health, and early intervention services.

(2)  The department of education shall:

(A)  Award grants pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 2967(b)(3) to the Vermont interdisciplinary team for intensive special education to expand the team’s capacity to serve individuals with ASD and their families.

(B)  Award grants to parent resource centers and other parent organizations offering support to families of individuals with ASD to provide training and technical assistance, to maintain a web-based clearinghouse of resources, including public and private funding opportunities, and strategies for navigating provider services, and to create and expand support groups.

(3)  The agency, the department, or both, may enter into contracts with state or national experts to provide training required by this act and may coordinate with existing entities, such as the higher education collaborative, private autism collaboratives, and early education providers.

(4)  The agency and department shall plan for the gradual development of model regional resource centers at existing locations of developmental services, mental health, and other local agency providers, with satellite sites in other areas of the state.  The purpose of the regional resource centers is to provide consultation, training, technical assistance, and otherwise create a hub of information regarding effective strategies in supporting individuals with ASD and their families.

(d)  Evaluation and report.  Annually, the agency and the department shall evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative, identify unmet needs, and modify the program to address the unmet needs.  The agency and the department shall file a written report of their evaluation with the governor, the house and senate committees on education, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on human services on or before January 15 of each year through 2012.

and that, upon passage, the bill’s title shall be:  “AN ACT RELATING TO AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS”

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Miller for the Committee on Appropriations.

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.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Autism is identified as a pervasive developmental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM‑IV).  Pervasive developmental disorders include: autistic disorder; Asperger’s disorder; pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified; Rett’s disorder; and childhood disintegrative disorder.  These disorders are often referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

(2)  Although this act pertains to ASD, it is noteworthy that autism is a neurologically based developmental disorder that can have profound lifelong effects in social interaction, the ability to communicate, imagination, and the establishment of relationships.

(3)  Children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders by psychologists, developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, and neurologists.

(4)  In 1992, only 13 Vermont children with autism spectrum disorders received special education in Vermont.  According to the preliminary December 1, 2006 child count, 582 children with autism spectrum disorders are currently receiving special education in Vermont.

(5)  There is no single intervention that will be effective for all individuals with autism spectrum disorders or for the same individual across his or her lifespan.

(6)  National Research Council findings suggest that up to 48 percent of young children with autism spectrum disorders make marked progress when they receive intensive early intervention.

Sec. 2.  PLAN FOR AN INTERAGENCY INITIATIVE TO ENHANCE SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

(a)  ASD Initiative Plan.  On or before January 15, 2008, the secretary of human services and the commissioner of education shall develop a proposed state plan for a system of care to address the needs of Vermonters with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families, that is consistent with the Vermont Interagency White Paper on Autism Spectrum Disorders: Report to the Act 264 Board, issued March 2006.  The agency of human services, through the department for children and families, the department of health, and the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living, shall assume primary responsibility for developing the proposed plan.  The agency, together with the department of education, shall engage families of individuals with ASD and members of the Act 264 advisory board in the planning process.

(b)  The proposed plan shall include:

(1)  A review of supports and services currently available to individuals with ASD and their families.

(2)  Strategies for enabling access to early and accurate diagnosis of ASD.

(3)  Identification of deficiencies in the current system of care, regarding both the types of services provided and the availability of services in all areas of the state.

(4)  Projections of the future needs of individuals with ASD in Vermont. 

(5)  Identification of the additional support and services needed for an effective system of care for individuals with ASD and identification of potential federal and other funding sources for this system.

(6)  Strategies for the use of existing and new resources to provide training, technical assistance, information dissemination, and consultation to families, schools, local agencies, and other providers of developmental, mental health, and early intervention services.

(7)  A review of the current role of schools in connection with the provision of ASD-related services, including the financial impact that the provision of these services has on school budgets.

(8)  Recommendations for any change in the role of schools in connection with the provision of ASD-related services, including the financial impact that the recommended changes might have on school budgets.

(9)  Consideration of:

(A)  Whether the current allocation of costs for the provision of ASD-related services between the education system and the agency of human services is appropriate.

(B)  How the current and potential costs of ASD-related services provided by schools might be assumed by the agency of human services and whether such assumption would be appropriate and advisable.

(10)  Strategies for encouraging collaboration with higher education programs to provide a sufficient number of well‑trained professionals to provide ASD‑related services in all regions of the state.

(11)  A process by which the proposed plan for a system of care will be implemented, including consideration of how existing resources might be used or redirected to support the system.

(12)  Recommendations for how unmet needs might be satisfied, including any proposals for amendments to legislation or rules.

(13)  Provisions ensuring regular review and revision of the proposed system of care.

(c)  The agency and the department shall file a written plan consistent with this section with the governor and the general assembly on or before January 15, 2008.

and that, upon passage, the title of the bill be amended to read:  “AN ACT RELATING TO AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS”

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 194

An act relating firefighters and cancer caused by employment.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 196

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

PENDING ACTION:  Third reading of the bill.

Concurrent Resolutions for Adoption

CONSENT CALENDAR

Concurrent Resolutions for Adoption Under Joint Rule 16a

     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 today’s adjournment.  Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively.  For text of resolutions, see Addendum to Senate Calendar of Thursday, March 29, 2007.

H.C.R. 82

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Mt. Anthony Union High School Patriots’ wrestling team on winning its 19th consecutive state championship

H.C.R. 83

     House concurrent resolution congratulating Claire Bohannon of Alburg on her award-winning business “Claire’s Country Garden”

H.C.R.  84

House concurrent resolution honoring Gordon Bruce Foster of Fair Haven for his exemplary community service

H.C.R.  85

House concurrent resolution honoring Daniel O’Brien for his service on the Vermont liquor control board, and as a business and political leader in Vermont

H.C.R.  86

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Poultney High School championship Division III cheerleading team

H.C.R.  87

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Proctor High School Phantoms Division IV championship basketball team


H.C.R.  88

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Smugglers’ Notch Resort on its 50th anniversary

H.C.R.  89

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 South Royalton School Royals Division III championship boys’ basketball team

H.C.R.  90

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Burr and Burton Academy Bulldogs championship Division II girls’ ice hockey team

H.C.R.  91

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II championship cheerleading team

H.C.R.  92

House concurrent resolution commemorating the 230th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington

H.C.R.  93

House concurrent resolution honoring the scholastic geography events to be held on March 30 in Burlington

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)

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

Susan K. Blair of Colchester - Alternate Member of the Parole Board - By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Institutions.  (3/23)

William J. Pettengill of Guilford - Member Parole Board - By Sen. Coppenrath for the Committee on Institutions.  (3/23)

Jeffrey Larkin of Duxbury - Member of the Travel Information Council - By Sen. Scott for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/28)

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - Room 11 - 6:00-9:00 - Re:  Public Transit - House Committee on Transportation.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us