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Senate Calendar

tuesday, april 17, 2007

105th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

Third Reading

H. 400    Recapture of benefits by group C-Vt. State Retirement System.......... 682

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 528    Approval of amendment to the charter of the city of Montpelier......... 682

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 682

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 137    Restore Dept. of Mental Health/Commissioner of Mental Health........ 682

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 682

H. 526    Relating to education quality and cost control..................................... 683

                        Education Committee Report................................................... 683

                        Sens. Shumlin and Illuzzi amendment........................................ 694

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment............................................................. 695

                        Sen. Shumlin amendment......................................................... 697

House Proposal of Amendment

H. 360    Employment protection & training period for Vt. National Guard....... 697

Joint Resolution for Action

JRH 23  Implementation of the National Veterinary Medical Service Act......... 698

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 313    Administration & enforcement of fines within the judicial bureau......... 698

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 698

H. 368    Regulation of professions and occupations......................................... 715

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 715

H. 433    Next generation initiative of workforce development.......................... 715

                        Ec. Dev., Housing and General Affairs Committee Report........ 715

H. 527    Relating to the state’s transportation program.................................... 724

                        Transportation Committee Report............................................ 724

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 120     Wine tastings and farmers’ markets................................................... 746

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate application of pesticides........... 748


S. 102     Decreasing percentage to determine school dist. excess spending....... 748

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending districts & special education................ 748



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Third Reading

H. 400

An act relating to recapture of health insurance benefits by group C members of the Vermont state retirement system.

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 528

An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the city of Montpelier.

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

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 137

An act relating to the restoration of a department of mental health and a commissioner of mental health.

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  By adding a new Sec. 13a to read as follows:

Sec. 13a.  18 V.S.A. § 7401 is amended to read:

§ 7401.  Powers and duties

Except insofar as this part of this title specifically confers certain powers, duties, and functions upon others, the commissioner shall be charged with its administration.  The commissioner may:

* * *

(17)  ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the commissioners commissioner of education and social and rehabilitation services the commissioner for children and families in accordance with the provisions of chapter 43 of Title 33;

(18)  ensure the development of community‑based prevention and early intervention services for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services throughout all parts of the public and private health care delivery system;

(19)  ensure the development of chronic care services, addressing mental health and substance abuse, for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services with other chronic care initiatives, including the Blueprint for Health, and the care coordination and case management programs of the office of Vermont health access;

(20)  ensure the coordination of mental health, physical health, and substance abuse services provided by the public and private health care delivery systems;

(21)  ensure the coordination of public mental health and substance abuse services with mental health and substance abuse services offered through the private health care delivery system, including services offered by primary care physicians.

Second:  In Sec. 23, [REPORT] in the first sentence, after the date “January 15, 2008,” by inserting and on January 15 of every even-numbered year thereafter, and after the last sentence, by adding a new sentence to read:

The report shall address prevention, early intervention, and chronic care health services for children and adults, coordination of mental health, substance abuse, and physical health services, and coordination with all parts of the health care delivery system, public and private, including the office of Vermont health access, the office of alcohol and drug abuse, and primary care physicians.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 15, 2007, page 195.)

H. 526

An act relating to education quality and cost control.

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

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

* * * Findings * * *

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  Vermonters expect excellence from their schools and are justifiably proud of the state’s system of public education.

(b)  Vermont has demonstrated a commitment to equity in public school financing.  Nevertheless, the state cannot sustain public school spending at its present rate of growth. 

(c)  The general assembly acknowledges the commitment of school boards to managing costs under difficult circumstances.

(d)  The effect that a school funding system has on taxes should be more transparent.

(e)  It is important both to understand what Vermonters expect of their schools (including the expectations that are beyond the provision of traditional academic subjects) and to quantify the cost drivers that are causing increases in school budgets.  It is equally crucial to identify ways for schools to deliver these services more effectively. 

* * * Excess Spending Threshold; Weighted Membership * * *

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) is amended to read:

(12)  “Excess spending” means:

(A)  the per‑equalized pupil amount of:

(i)  the district’s education spending, plus any amount required to be added from a capital construction reserve fund under 24 V.S.A. § 2804(b); minus

(ii)  the portion of education spending which is approved school capital construction spending or deposited into a reserve fund under 24 V.S.A. § 2804 to pay future approved school capital construction costs, including that portion of tuition paid to an independent school designated as the public high school of the school district pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 827 for capital construction costs by the independent school which has received approval from the state board of education, using the processes for preliminary approval of public school construction costs pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(2);

(B)  in excess of 125 121 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Annually, by October 1, the commissioner shall send to school boards for inclusion in town reports and publish on the department website the following information:

(1)  the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year, and 125 121 percent of that average spending; and

* * *

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The commissioner shall determine the weighted long‑term membership for each school district using the long‑term membership from subsection (b) of this section and the following weights for each class:

Grade Level Weight

Elementary 1.0

Secondary 1.25 1.13

* * *

Sec. 5.  Sec. 6.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(h) is added to read:

(h)  The commissioner shall evaluate the accuracy of the weights established in subsection (c) of this section and, at the beginning of each biennium, shall propose to the house and senate committees on education whether the weights should stay the same or be adjusted.

Sec. 6.  SCHOOL DISTRICTS; ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING HIGH SPENDING

On or before January 15, 2008, the commissioner of education shall explore, analyze, and report to the general assembly regarding the reasons school districts exceed the excess spending threshold defined in 32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) and shall develop recommendations, including criteria, for exempting school districts from the consequences of exceeding the threshold in certain circumstances, including when:

(1)  The district has high costs for special education services, the department has recommended ways to lower the costs, the district has followed the recommendations, and the district still exceeds the threshold; or

(2)  The district has high costs for special education services, the department has been unable to identify ways to lower the costs, and the district still exceeds the threshold; or

(3)  The district pays tuition for all or most of its students to attend one or more schools outside of the district and the commissioner determines that it is not possible for the district to make alternative arrangements that would enable it to stay beneath the high spending threshold.

* * * School Construction * * *

Sec. 7.  16  V.S.A. § 3448(a)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  Approval of preliminary application.

(A)  When reviewing a preliminary application for approval, the commissioner shall consider:

(i)  regional educational opportunities and needs, including school building capacities across school district boundaries, and available infrastructure in neighboring communities;

(ii)  economic efficiencies;

(iii)  the suitability of an existing school building to continue to meet educational needs; and

(iv)  statewide educational initiatives and the strategic plan of the state board of education.

(B)  The commissioner may approve a preliminary application if:

(A)(i)  The project or part of the project fulfills a need occasioned by:

(i)(I)  conditions which threaten the health or safety of students or employees;

(ii)(II)  facilities which are inadequate to provide programs required by state or federal law or regulation;

(iii)(III)  excessive energy use resulting from the design of a building or reliance on fossil fuels or electric space heat; or

(iv)(IV)  deterioration of an existing building;

(B)(ii)  The need addressed by the project cannot reasonably be met by another means; and

(C)(iii)  The proposed type, kind, quality, size, and estimated cost of the project are suitable for the proposed curriculum and meet all legal standards.

* * * Superintendents * * *

Sec. 8.  SUPERINTENDENTS; VACANCIES; COMMISSIONER’S ROLE

On or before July 15, 2007, the commissioner of education and the state board of education shall submit a report to the senate and house committees on education concerning their respective responsibilities under 16 V.S.A. § 241(a), 16 V.S.A. § 261, and state board rules 3220 through 3241, all of which are set forth below.  In particular, the report shall address:

(1)  The protocol followed when the commissioner is notified of a vacancy or impending vacancy in a superintendent’s position.

(2)  The inquiries made by the commissioner or board concerning the process by which the supervisory union advertises for and selects a new superintendent and the qualifications of was selected.

(3)  The independent inquiries made by the commissioner or board concerning the qualifications of the superintendents considered or selected by the supervisory union board.

(4)  The nature and frequency of the “advice” provided pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 241(a).

* * * Qualifications of Business Managers * * *

Sec. 9.  FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND SUPERVISORY UNIONS

(a)  The commissioner of education, in consultation with the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, and the Vermont association for school business officials shall:

(1)  Examine the systems of financial management currently used by Vermont school districts and supervisory unions.

(2)  Examine the range of training and expertise currently held by persons responsible for the financial management of Vermont school districts and supervisory unions.

(3)  Examine and assess the training or credentials required of financial managers employed by public schools or school districts in other states.

(4)  Develop proposals to ensure that all school districts consistently use uniform, high‑quality financial management practices.

(b)  On or before November 15, 2007, the commissioner shall submit a report to the senate committee on education outlining the results of the examinations required in subdivisions (a)(1)–(3) of this section and recommending proposals to ensure uniform, high quality financial management practices as required in subdivision (a)(4) of this section.  The report shall include both an analysis of the budgetary impact, if any, of the commissioner’s proposals and drafts of any proposed legislation. 

* * * Mandates * * *

Sec. 10.  MANDATES; REPORT

The legislative council and the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont superintendents association, the Vermont principals’ association, the Vermont – national education association, the Vermont council for special education administrators, superintendents, principals, school board members, and school personnel shall examine the requirements placed on local school districts resulting from state legislation, board rules, and interagency cost shifts implemented since January 1, 1997.  The examination will identify and quantify associated process requirements, staffing effects, and financial implications.  Legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall prepare a report for submission to the senate and house committees on education on or before December 1, 2007.

* * * Special Education Costs; Study * * *

Sec. 11.  SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES PROVISIONS; STUDY

As a continuation of the fine work contained in the Report on the Provision of Special Education Services issued in January 2001, the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the secretary of human services, the commissioner of education, the commissioner of employment and training, the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals’ association, the Vermont – national education association, the Vermont council for special education administrators, the Vermont coalition for disability rights, the Vermont parent information center, and other members of the education community, shall study how the agency of human services, the department of education, and the department of employment and training should provide for special education services for eligible persons under 22 years of age in school or out of school.  They shall also:

(1)  assess the extent to which school districts have absorbed service costs for special needs children that were historically paid by other service providers, including the extent to which:

(A)  children formerly admitted to institutional care are now being provided services through special education;

(B)  costs now found in school budgets historically were part of the budgets of nonschool agencies;

(C)  costs now found in school budgets would be attributable to nonschool agencies; and

(D)  Medicaid funds are being used to provide services;

(2)  examine the interagency agreement regarding coordination of special education services entered into pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(12) to determine if services are currently provided and paid for in the most appropriate and cost-effective ways;

(3)  prepare an estimate of the number of children with individualized education plans (IEP) who lose health care coverage through Dr. Dynasaur because of nonpayment of a premium and the financial impact on schools because of the disenrollment in Dr. Dynasaur; and

(4)  report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly on or before November 1, 2007.

* * * High Special Education Costs; Departmental Review * * *

Sec. 12.  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. 

(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.

* * *

* * * Governance * * *

Sec. 13.  EDUCATION GOVERNANCE; COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION; COUNCIL ON EDUCATION GOVERNANCE

(a)  In May 2006, the commissioner of education released a white paper outlining a plan for changing education governance in Vermont and initiating a year of facilitated public discussions throughout the state.  The final discussion session is scheduled for May 2007. 

(b)  On or before December 1, 2007, the commissioner shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on education that describes insights obtained from the recently concluded public engagement process.  The report shall consider other governance models and shall also outline any proposals the commissioner wishes to make for restructuring governance in Vermont.  Any proposed changes should foster increased cooperation and collaboration among public schools and provide support for the new demands and expectations placed on schools by an increasingly technological and global society. 

(c)  The commissioner shall request the following organizations to submit, jointly or independently, recommendations regarding the future governance of school districts:  the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals’ association, and the Vermont national education association.  The commissioner shall include the recommendations in the report to the house and senate committees on education required in subsection (b) of this section.

* * * Small Schools Grants * * *

Sec. 14.  16 V.S.A. § 4015(e) is amended to read:

(e)  In the event that a school or schools which have received a grant under this section merge in any year following receipt of a grant, and the consolidated school is not eligible for a grant under this section or the small school grant for the consolidated school is less than the total amount of grant aid the schools would have received if they had not combined, the consolidated school shall continue to receive a grant for three years following consolidation.  The amount of the annual grant shall be:

(1)  In the first year following consolidation, an amount equal to the amount received by the school or schools in the last year of eligibility.

(2)  In the second year following consolidation, an amount equal to two‑thirds of the amount received in the previous year.

(3)  In the third year following consolidation, an amount equal to one-third of the amount received in the first year following consolidation.

* * * Education Property Tax Implications; Study * * *

Sec. 15.  EDUCATION PROPERTY TAX IMPLICATIONS; STUDY

The commissioner of taxes shall study the impact that the education property tax on homestead and nonresidential property has on various groups of taxpayers.  The commissioner shall design the study and select the groups of taxpayers in consultation with and upon the advice of the department of education and the joint fiscal office.  The commissioner shall submit a written report detailing the results of the study to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2008.    


* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 16.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Secs. 2 through 4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010 and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

(b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year. 

(c)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 3, 2007, page 488.)

AMENDMENT TO PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION TO H. 526 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATORS SHUMLIN AND ILLUZZI

     Senators Shumlin and Illuzzi move to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education by striking out Secs. 2, 3 and 16 in their entirety and inserting four new sections to be numbered Secs. 16, 17, 18, and 19 to read as follows:

Sec. 16. 16 V.S.A. §562a is added to read:

§ 562a School budget; Douglas supermajority

     Authorization by the electorate pursuant to section 562(8) of this title or a municipal charter shall require approval by sixty percent or more of those voting if the proposed amount of money exceeds 104 percent of the prior year authorization, and the proposed education spending per equalized pupil exceeds 104 percent of the education spending per equalized pupil of the prior year.

Sec. 17. 16 V.S.A. §562a is amended to read:

§ 562a School budget; Douglas supermajority

     Authorization by the electorate pursuant to section 562(8) of this title or a municipal charter shall require approval by sixty percent or more of those voting if the proposed amount of money exceeds 104 103.5 percent of the prior year authorization, and the proposed education spending per equalized pupil exceeds 104 103.5 percent of the education spending per equalized pupil of the prior year.


Sec. 18.  REPEAL

     Section 562a of Title 16 (supermajority vote requirement) is repealed January 1, 2013, effective for budgets for fiscal years 2014 and after.            

Sec. 19. EFFECTIVE DATES 

(a)  Sec.  4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010, and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

     (b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008, and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year.   

     (c)  Sec. 16 (school budget limit of 104%; supermajority vote) shall take effect upon passage but shall affect budgets for fiscal year 2009 only.

     (d)  Sec. 17 (school budget limit of 103.5%; supermajority vote) shall take effect January 1, 2009, and shall affect budgets for fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

(e)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

AMENDMENT TO PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION TO H. 526 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI

Senator Illuzzi moves to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education by striking out Sec. 16 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof two new sections to be numbered Secs. 15a and 16 to read as follows:

Sec. 15a.  16 V.S.A. § 563(11) is amended to read:

§ 563. POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS; PROPOSED BUDGET LIMITED TO COST OF LIVING INCREASE PLUS TWO PERCENT

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

* * *

(11) (A)  Shall prepare and distribute annually a proposed budget for the next school year according to such major categories as may from time to time be prescribed by the commissioner.  The proposed budget shall not exceed the previous budget approved by the voters by more than the New England Economic Project cumulative price index, as of November 15 preceding distribution of the proposed budget, for state and local government purchases of goods and services for the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed plus an additional two percent.  The school board may also present an alternative budget in a greater amount for the voters' consideration. 

(B)  At a school district's annual meeting, the electorate may vote to provide notice of availability of the school budget required by this subdivision to the electorate in lieu of distributing the budget. If the electorate of the school district votes to provide notice of availability, it must specify how notice of availability shall be given, and such notice of availability shall be provided to the electorate at least 30 days before the district's annual meeting. The proposed budget shall be prepared and distributed at least ten days before a sum of money is voted on by the electorate. Any proposed budget shall show the following information in a format prescribed by the commissioner of education:

(A) (i)  all revenues from all sources and expenses, including as separate items any assessment for a union school district or a supervisory union of which it is a member, and any tuition to be paid to a technical center;

(B) (ii) the specific amount of any deficit incurred in the most recently closed fiscal year and how the deficit was or will be remedied;

(C) (iii) the anticipated homestead tax rate and the percentage of household income used to determine income sensitivity in the district as a result of passage of the budget; including those portions of the tax rate attributable to the union school and supervisory union assessments; and

(D) (iv) in the case of a school district: (1) other than a union school district, the definition of "education spending," the number of pupils and number of equalized pupils in the school district, and the district's education spending per equalized pupil in the proposed budget and in each of the prior three years; or (2) in the case of a union school district, the amount of the assessment to each of the member districts and the amount of the assessments per equalized pupil in the proposed budget and for the past three years.

Sec. 16.  EFFECTIVE DATES 

(a)  Secs. 2 through 4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010, and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

(b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008, and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year. 

(c)  Sec. 15a shall take effect upon passage and apply only to budgets proposed for fiscal years 2009 and after.

(d)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

AMENDMENT TO PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION TO H. 526 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR SHUMLIN

Senator Shumlin moves to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education by striking out Sec. 16 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof two new sections to be numbered Secs. 16 and 17 to read as follows:

Sec. 16.  32 V.S.A. § 5402b is amended to read:

§ 5402b.  STATEWIDE EDUCATION TAX RATE ADJUSTMENTS

(a)  Annually, by December 1, the commissioner of taxes shall recommend to the general assembly, after consultation with the department of education, the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal office, the following adjustments in the statewide education tax rates under subdivisions 5402(a)(1) and (2) of this title:

* * *

(b)  If the commissioner makes a recommendation to the general assembly to adjust the education tax rates under section 5402 of this title, the commissioner shall also recommend a proportional adjustment to the applicable percentage base for homestead income based adjustments under section 6066 of this title, but the applicable percentage base shall not be adjusted below 1.8 percent.

Sec. 17. EFFECTIVE DATES 

(a)  Secs. 2 through  4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010, and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

     (b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008, and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year.   

(c)  Sec. 16 (no annual adjustment of the 2% "applicable percentage") shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to claims filed in 2008 and after.

     (d)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 360

An act relating to employment protection and training period for Vermont National Guard members.

     The House proposes to the Senate to amend the proposal of amendment by striking Sec. l, and  inserting a new Sec. 1 to read:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 491(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any duly qualified member of the “reserve components of the armed forces,” of the ready reserve, or an organized unit of the national guard who leaves a position other than a temporary position in the employ of any employer, for state active duty or to receive military training with the armed forces of the United States and who notifies the employer of the date of departure and date of return for purposes of military training 30 days prior to the date of departure or as soon as practical after being called into state service by the governor shall be granted absence with leave with or without pay.  If the employee provides evidence of the satisfactory completion of the training immediately upon return and is still qualified to perform the duties for such position shall upon request be entitled to 15 days of leave of absence in any calendar year for the purpose of engaging in military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority.  A leave of absence shall be with or without pay as determined by the employer.  Upon completion of the military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority, the employee shall be reinstated in that position with the same status, pay, and seniority, including seniority that accrued during the period of absence.

Joint Resolution for Action

J.R.H. 23

     Joint resolution relating to the implementation of the National Veterinary Medical Service Act.

(For text of resolution, see Senate Journal of April 13, 2007, page 451)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 313

An act relating to the administration and enforcement of fines within the judicial bureau.

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

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


Sec. 1.  4 V.S.A. § 1105 is amended to read:

§ 1105.  ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEFAULT

(a)  A violation shall be charged upon a summons and complaint form approved and distributed by the court administrator.  The complaint shall be signed by the issuing officer or by the state’s attorney.  The original shall be filed with the judicial bureau, a copy shall be retained by the issuing officer or state’s attorney and two copies shall be given to the defendant.  The complaint shall include a statement of rights, instructions, notice that a defendant may admit, not contest, or deny a violation, notice of the fee for failure to answer within 20 days, and other notices as the court administrator deems appropriate.  The court administrator, in consultation with appropriate law enforcement agencies, may approve a single form for charging all violations, or may approve two or more forms as necessary to administer the operations of the judicial bureau.

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

(c)  A person who admits or does not contest the allegations may so indicate and sign the complaint.  The bureau shall accept the admission or statement that the allegations are not contested and accept payment of the waiver penalty.

(d)  If the person sends in the amount of the waiver penalty without signing the complaint, the bureau shall accept the payment indicating that payment was made and that the allegations were not contested.

(e)  A person who denies the allegations may so indicate and sign the complaint.  Upon receipt, the bureau shall schedule a hearing.

(f)  If a person fails to appear or answer a complaint the bureau shall enter a default judgment against the person.  The bureau shall mail a notice to the person that a default judgment has been entered.  A default judgment may be set aside by the hearing officer for good cause shown.

(g)  All judicial bureau judgments shall contain a notice of tax setoff pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5941.


Sec. 2.  4 V.S.A. § 1109 is added to read:

§ 1109.  REMEDIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Amount due” means all financial assessments contained in a judicial bureau judgment, including penalties, fines, surcharges, court costs, and any other assessment authorized by law.

(2)  “Designated collection agency” means a collection agency designated by the court administrator.

(3)  “Designated credit bureau” means a credit bureau designated by the court administrator or the court administrator’s designee.

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

(c)  Civil contempt proceedings.  If an amount due remains unpaid for 75 days after the judicial bureau provides the defendant with a notice of judgment, the judicial bureau may initiate civil contempt proceedings pursuant to this subsection.

(1)  Notice of hearing.  The judicial bureau shall provide notice by first class mail sent to the defendant’s last known address that a contempt hearing will be held pursuant to this subsection, and that failure to appear at the contempt hearing may result in the sanctions listed in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(2)  Failure to appear.  If the defendant fails to appear at the contempt hearing, the hearing officer may direct the clerk of the judicial bureau to:

(A)  cause the matter to be reported to one or more designated credit bureaus; or

(B)  refer the matter to district court for contempt proceedings.

(3)  Hearing.  The hearing shall be conducted in a summary manner.  The hearing officer shall examine the defendant and any other witnesses and may require the defendant to produce documents relevant to the defendant’s ability to pay the amount due.  The state or municipality shall not be a party except with the permission of the hearing officer.  The defendant may be represented by counsel at the defendant’s own expense.

(4)  Contempt.

(A)  The hearing officer may conclude that the defendant is in contempt if the hearing officer states in written findings a factual basis for concluding that:

(i)  the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that he or she owed an amount due on a judicial bureau judgment;

(ii)  the defendant had the ability to pay all or any portion of the amount due; and

(iii)  the defendant failed to pay all or any portion of the amount due.

(B)  In the contempt order, the hearing officer may do one or more of the following:

(i)  Set a date by which the defendant shall pay the amount due.

(ii)  Assess an additional penalty not to exceed ten percent of the amount due.

(iii)  Direct the clerk of the judicial bureau to cause the matter to be reported to one or more designated credit bureaus.  The court administrator or the court administrator’s designee is authorized to contract with one or more credit bureaus for the purpose of reporting information about unpaid judicial bureau judgments.

(iv)  Recommend that the district court incarcerate the defendant until the amount due is paid.  If incarceration is recommended pursuant to this subdivision (4), the judicial bureau shall notify the district court that contempt proceedings should be commenced against the defendant.  The district court proceedings shall be de novo.  If the defendant cannot afford counsel for the contempt proceedings in district court, the defender general shall assign counsel at the defender general’s expense.

(d)  Collections.

(1)  If an amount due remains unpaid after the issuance of a notice of judgment, the court administrator may authorize the clerk of the judicial bureau to refer the matter to a designated collection agency.

(2)  The court administrator or the court administrator’s designee is authorized to contract with one or more collection agencies for the purpose of collecting unpaid judicial bureau judgments pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 7171.

(e)  For purposes of civil contempt proceedings, venue shall be statewide.

(f)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the court administrator is authorized to contract with a third party to collect fines, penalties, and fees by credit card, debit card, charge card, prepaid card, stored value card, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers, as authorized by 32 V.S.A. § 583, and to add on and collect, or charge against collections, a processing charge in an amount approved by the court administrator.

Sec. 3.  4 V.S.A. § 1110 is added to read:

§ 1110.  Licenses or governmental contracts

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Agency” means any unit of state government, including agencies, departments, boards, commissions, authorities, or public corporations.

(2)  “Contract” means a contract for the provision of goods, services, or real estate space.

(3)  “License” means any license, certification or registration issued by an agency to conduct a trade or business, including a license to practice a profession or occupation, or a license required to engage in recreational activities, including licenses to hunt, fish, or trap.

(b)  Every applicant for a license shall sign a statement that the applicant is in good standing with respect to any unpaid judgment issued by the judicial bureau or district court for fines or penalties for a violation or criminal offense.  A license may not be issued or renewed without such a statement.

(c)  No agency shall enter into, extend, or renew any contract unless the person submits a statement that the person is in good standing with respect to any unpaid judgment issued by the judicial bureau or district court for fines or penalties for a violation or criminal offense as of the date the contract is made.

(d)  For the purposes of this section, a person is in good standing with respect to any unpaid judgment issued by the judicial bureau or district court for fines or penalties for a violation or criminal offense if:

(1)  60 days or fewer have elapsed since the date a judgment was issued; or

(2)  the person is in compliance with a repayment plan approved by the judiciary.

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 7171 is amended to read:

§ 7171.  Collection by complaint, information, or indictment

(a)  Fines, forfeitures, and penalties incurred or imposed by statute may be recovered by complaint, information, or indictment, unless some other mode of recovery is specially provided.

(b)  The attorney general court administrator is authorized to contract with private collection agencies for collection of fines, forfeitures, fees and penalties, fines, surcharges, court costs, and any other assessment authorized by law incurred or imposed by statute on persons who have failed to pay after reasonable notification of the debt, and the risk that the debt may be referred to a collection agency and that the debtor will be liable for the collection agency’s fee.  The attorney general and the court administrator may agree to pay collection agencies a fee based on a fixed rate for services rendered or a percentage of the amount actually collected by such agencies and remitted to the state.  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the attorney general may charge against such collections an agreed‑upon fixed rate or percentage of collections  The debtor shall be liable for the collection agency’s fee, in addition to the judgment amount.  The collection agency shall deduct its fee from the collected amount and remit the balance to the judiciary.  All collection agency fees shall be governed by the contract with the court administrator and shall be clearly disclosed in all notices sent by the collection agency to the debtor.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 2307 is amended to read:

§ 2307.  REMEDIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS

(a)  As used in this section:,

(1)  “Amount “amount due” means all financial assessments contained in a judicial bureau judgment, including penalties, fines, surcharges, court costs, and any other assessment authorized by law.

(2)  “Designated collection agency” means a collection agency designated by the court administrator.

(3)  “Designated credit bureau” means a credit bureau designated by the court administrator or the court administrator’s designee.

(b)  Notice of risk of suspension.  A judgment for a traffic violation shall contain a notice that failure to pay or otherwise satisfy the amount due within 20 30 days of the notice will result in suspension of the person’s operator’s license or privilege to operate, and the denial, if the person is the sole registrant, of the person’s application for renewal of a motor vehicle registration, until the amount due is paid or otherwise satisfied.  If the defendant fails to pay the amount due within 20 30 days of the notice and the case is not pending on appeal, the judicial bureau shall provide electronic notice thereof to the commissioner of motor vehicles who, after 20 days from the date of receiving the electronic notice, shall suspend the person’s operator’s license or privilege to operate and deny, if the person is the sole registrant, the person’s application for renewal of a motor vehicle registration until the amount due is paid or otherwise satisfied. 

(c)  Civil contempt proceedings.  If an amount due remains unpaid for 45 days after the judicial bureau provides the defendant with a notice of risk of suspension pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the judicial bureau may initiate civil contempt proceedings pursuant to this subsection.  During proceedings conducted pursuant to 4 V.S.A. § 1109, the hearing officer may apply the following mitigation remedies when the judgment is based upon a traffic violation:

(1)  Notice of hearing.  The judicial bureau shall provide notice by first class mail sent to the defendant’s last known address that a contempt hearing will be held pursuant to this subsection and that failure to appear at the contempt hearing may result in the sanctions listed in subdivision (c)(2) of this section and subject to procedures for tax setoffs under 32 V.S.A. § 5941.

(2)  Failure to appear.  If the defendant fails to appear at the contempt hearing, the hearing officer may direct the clerk of the judicial bureau to:

(A)  cause the matter to be reported to one or more designated credit bureaus; or

(B)  refer the matter to district court for contempt proceedings.

(3)  Hearing.  The hearing shall be conducted in a summary manner.  The hearing officer shall examine the defendant and any other witnesses and may require the defendant to produce documents relevant to the defendant’s ability to pay the amount due.  The state or municipality shall not be a party except with the permission of the hearing officer.  The defendant may be represented by counsel at the defendant’s own expense.

(4)  Mitigation remedies.

(A)(1)  The hearing officer may waive the reinstatement fee required by section 675 of this title or reduce the amount due on the basis of:

(i)(A)  the defendant’s driving history, ability to pay, or service to the community;

(ii)(B)  the collateral consequences of the violation; or

(iii)(C)  the interests of justice.

(B)(2)  The hearing officer may specify a date by which the defendant shall pay the amount due and may notify the commissioner of motor vehicles to reinstate the defendant’s operator’s license or privilege subject to payment of the amount due by the specified date.  If the defendant fails to pay the amount due by the specified date, the judicial bureau may notify the commissioner to suspend the defendant’s operator’s license or privilege.  A license may be reinstated under this subdivision only if the defendant’s license is suspended solely for failure to pay a judicial bureau judgment.

(C)(3)  The judicial officer shall have sole discretion to determine mitigation remedies pursuant to this subdivision, and the judicial officer’s determination shall not be subject to review or appeal in any court, tribunal, or administrative office.

(5)  Contempt.

(A)  The hearing officer may conclude that the defendant is in contempt if the hearing officer states in written findings a factual basis for concluding that:

(i)  The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that he or she owed an amount due on a judicial bureau judgment;

(ii)  The defendant had the ability to pay all or any portion of the amount due; and

(iii)  The defendant failed to pay all or any portion of the amount due.

(B)  The hearing officer may in the contempt order do one or more of the following:

(i)  Set a date by which the defendant shall pay the amount due;

(ii)  Assess an additional penalty not to exceed ten percent of the amount due;

(iii)  Direct the clerk of the judicial bureau to cause the matter to be reported to one or more designated credit bureaus.  The court administrator or the court administrator’s designee is authorized to contract with one or more credit bureaus for the purpose of reporting information about unpaid judicial bureau judgments; and

(iv)  Recommend that the district court incarcerate the defendant until the amount due is paid.  If incarceration is recommended pursuant to this subdivision, the judicial bureau shall notify the district court that contempt proceedings should be commenced against the defendant.  If the defendant cannot afford counsel for the contempt proceedings in district court, the defender general shall assign counsel at the defender general’s expense.

(d)  Collections.

(1)  If an amount due remains unpaid for one year after the issuance of a notice of risk of suspension pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and the defendant has failed to appear at a judicial bureau contempt hearing, the court administrator may authorize the clerk of the judicial bureau to refer the matter to a designated collection agency.

(2)(A)  The court administrator or the court administrator’s designee is authorized to contract with one or more collection agencies for the purpose of collecting unpaid judicial bureau judgments.

(B)  The court administrator may authorize a collection agency to settle a judicial bureau judgment for less than the amount due and to retain a portion of the amount collected for its services.  The judgment amount shall be reduced in the judicial bureau records to reflect the settlement amount and the fee retained by the collection agency.

(e)  For purposes of civil contempt proceedings, venue shall be statewide.

(f)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the court administrator is authorized to contract with a third party to collect fines, penalties, and fees by credit card, debit card, charge card, prepaid card, stored value card, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers, as authorized by 32 V.S.A. § 583, and to add on and collect a processing charge in an amount approved by the court administrator.

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 305a is added to read:

§ 305a.  –WHEN NOT ISSUED

The commissioner shall not renew the registration of a person who is the sole registrant after receiving notice from the judicial bureau that the person has not paid a judgment for a traffic violation.

Sec. 7.  32 V.S.A. § 509a is added to read:

§ 509a.  Judiciary overpayment; refund

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 509 of this title, when a person who owes money to the judiciary makes an overpayment, the judiciary shall forthwith refund to that person the amount of such overpayment; however, there shall be no obligation to refund sums in the amount of $10.00 or less.  If a person is owed a refund of more than $10.00 and cannot be located by the judiciary, the refund shall be submitted to the abandoned property procedure.  For refunds of $10.00 or less which are not demanded by the person within a year after the payment, the refund shall revert to the state and be deposited into the revenue fund where the original payment was deposited. 


Sec. 8.  32 V.S.A. § 583 is amended to read:

§ 583.  Credit card payments

(a)  A statewide officer or secretary of a state agency, commissioner of a state department, or the court administrator may accept payment of taxes, registration fees, license fees, penalties, fines, interest, charges, surcharges, or any other fees or amounts due the state by means of credit cards, debit cards, charge cards, prepaid cards, stored value cards, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers.

(b)  The court administrator may not accept credit cards, debit cards, charge cards, prepaid cards, stored value cards, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers for payments of fines, penalties or surcharges assessed by a circuit of the district court.  However, the court administrator may accept credit cards, debit cards, charge cards, prepaid cards, stored value cards, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers for any payments to the Chittenden, Essex, and Washington circuits of the district court.

(c)  The state treasurer shall negotiate and contract with banks and bank credit card companies or others to provide as a method of payment to state agencies, or departments, or the judiciary the use of credit card or debit card accounts or direct bank account withdrawals or transfers, and may agree to pay such bank or other company a fee or percentage of the amount collected and remitted to the state.  The court administrator may so contract for the judiciary with the approval of the state treasurer.  Notwithstanding section 502 of this title, an agency, a department, or the judiciary may charge against such collections the percentage or fee imposed.

(d)(c)  The state treasurer shall assist each statewide officer, secretary, commissioner, and court administrator who elects to accept payments, as authorized by this section, with establishing procedures for accepting those payments.

(e)(d)  A statewide officer or secretary of a state agency, a commissioner of a state department, or the court administrator who has authority to accept payment of fees, penalties, fines, charges, surcharges, or any other amounts due the state by a credit card, debit card, charge card, prepaid card, or stored value card shall not charge or collect any additional amounts for using such card to make the payment unless the agency develops a policy regarding additional charges.  Each policy and recommended charge, except that which is adopted and recommended by the court administrator, shall be approved by the secretary of administration prior to applying the charge.  Any such charge shall approximate the cost of providing the service. 

(f)(e)  By January 15 of each year, the treasurer, with the assistance of the court administrator, shall file a report with the general assembly and the joint fiscal committee which:

* * *

Sec. 9.  DEBT COLLECTION BY JUDICIARY

The court administrator is authorized to send a notice to defendants who have failed to pay judicial bureau and district court judgments issued prior to September 25, 2006 to inform them of the judiciary’s intent to collect the debt through any authorized means, and that the debt will be subject to procedures for tax setoffs under 32 V.S.A. § 5941.  Concurrent with providing the notice to the debtor, the judiciary shall assess a $10.00 collection fee which shall be added to the judgment amount and deposited in the court technology special fund established pursuant to 4 V.S.A. § 27.  If the defendant satisfies the judgment within 20 days, the fee shall be waived.  The court administrator may charge the cost of preparing and sending the notice against revenues collected in this effort.  This authorization shall expire on June 30, 2009.

Sec. 10.  12 V.S.A. § 5540a is amended to read:

§ 5540a.  JURISDICTION OVER SMALL CLAIMS; ASSISTANT JUDGES; ADDISON, CHITTENDEN, FRANKLIN, GRAND ISLE, LAMOILLE, ORANGE, ORLEANS, WASHINGTON, WINDHAM, AND WINDSOR COUNTIES

(a)  Subject to the limitations in this section and notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, assistant judges of Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Washington, Windham, and Windsor counties sitting alone shall hear and decide small claims actions filed under this chapter with the appropriate superior court if the assistant judges first elect to successfully complete the training required in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  With the exception of assistant judges authorized to preside in small claims matters prior to the effective date of this act who have successfully completed the testing requirements established herein, an assistant judge hearing cases under this section shall have completed at least 100 hours of relevant training and testing, and observed 20 hours of small claims hearings in accordance with the protocol for said training and observation which shall be established by a majority of the assistant judges of the state, which shall include attendance at colleges or classes available in various locations in and outside the state to lay judges.  An assistant judge who hears cases under this section shall complete 16 hours of continuing education every year relating to jurisdiction exercised under this section and shall file a certificate to such effect with the court administrator.  Training shall be paid for on a per capita basis of those judges electing to take the training by the county, which expenditure is hereby authorized.  Law clerk assistance available to superior court judges shall be available to the assistant judges.

(c)  A decision of an assistant judge shall be entered as a small claims judgment and may be appealed pursuant to section 5538 of this title.  The appeal shall be decided by the presiding judge.

(d)  An assistant judge upon successful completion of the training under subsection (b) of this section, shall cause the superior court clerk to notify the court administrator of the assistant judge's successful completion of training. Upon receipt of such notification, small claims cases which require a hearing shall first be set for hearing before an assistant judge in the superior court in the county and shall be heard by the assistant judge.  If the assistant judge is unavailable due to illness, vacation, administrative leave, disability, or disqualification, the administrative judge pursuant to section 22 of Title 4 may assign a judge, or appoint and assign a member of the Vermont bar to serve temporarily as an acting judge, to hear small claims cases in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Washington, Windham, and Windsor counties.  No action filed or pending shall be heard at or transferred to any other location unless agreed to by the parties.  If both assistant judges of the county elect to successfully complete training to hear these matters, the senior assistant judge shall make the assignment of cases to be heard by each assistant judge.  The assistant judges, once qualified to preside in these matters, shall work with the court administrator's office and the administrative judge such that the scheduling of small claims cases before the assistant judges are at such times as to permit adequate current court personnel to be available when these cases are heard.

(e)  This section shall be repealed effective on July 1, 2008 July 1, 2011.

Sec. 11.  13 V.S.A. § 7043a is added to read:

§ 7043a.  Licenses or governmental contracts

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Agency” means any unit of state government, including agencies, departments, boards, commissions, authorities, or public corporations.

(2)  “Contract” means a contract for the provision of goods, services, or real estate space.

(3)  “License” means any license, certification, or registration issued by an agency to conduct a trade or business, including a license to practice a profession or occupation, or a license required to engage in recreational activities, including a license to hunt, fish, or trap.

(b)  Every applicant for a license shall sign a statement that the applicant is in good standing with respect to any restitution order.  A license may not be issued or renewed without such a statement.

(c)  No agency shall enter into, extend, or renew any contract unless the person submits a statement that the person is in good standing with respect to any restitution order as of the date the contract is made.

(d)  For the purposes of this section, a person is in good standing with respect to any restitution order if:

(1)  60 days or fewer have elapsed since the date a restitution judgment was issued;

(2)  the person is in compliance with a repayment plan approved by the restitution unit; or

(3)  the person is in compliance with a court-ordered restitution judgment order.

Sec. 12.  15 V.S.A. § 798 is amended to read:

§ 798.  ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS; SUSPENSION OF LICENSES

(a)  Upon noncompliance with an order issued under section 606 of this title, a motion may be filed seeking an order for suspension of licenses under this section.  The motion shall be scheduled for hearing in accordance with the Vermont Rules of Family Proceedings within 30 days of the filing of the motion.  At a hearing under this subsection, the obligor shall have the opportunity to present evidence relating to the reasons for noncompliance.  An inability to comply shall be a defense in an action brought under this subsection.  The noncomplying party shall have the burden of demonstrating inability to comply.  An order issued under subsection (b) of this section is in addition to other remedies available at law.

(b)  Upon a finding of noncompliance with an order issued under section 606 of this title and a delinquency of at least one-quarter of the annual support obligation, a family court judge or magistrate, if assigned by the presiding family court judge, may order a civil suspension of a noncomplying party 's motor vehicle operator's license issued under chapter 9 of Title 23 or commercial driver license issued under chapter 39 of Title 23, recreational license, and any other license certification or registration issued by an agency to conduct a trade or business, including a license to practice a profession or occupation.

(c)  Upon receipt of a license suspension order issued under this section, the license issuing authority shall suspend the license according to the terms of the order.  Prior to suspending the license, the license issuing authority shall notify the license holder of the pending suspension and provide the license holder with an opportunity to contest the suspension based solely on the grounds of mistaken identity or compliance with the underlying child support order.  The license shall be reinstated within five days of a reinstatement order from the court or notification from the office of child support or the custodial parent, where the rights of that parent have not been assigned to the office of child support, that the parent is in compliance with the underlying child support order.  The license issuing authority shall charge a reinstatement fee as provided for in section 675 of Title 23, or as otherwise provided by law or rule.

(d)  The license issuing authority shall adopt procedural rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter 25 of Title 3 to implement the provisions of this section.

(e)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section to the contrary, after notifying the obligor of the pending revocation or suspension and giving the obligor an opportunity to object and request a grievance hearing pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 4108 to contest the suspension on the grounds that the action is improper due to a mistake of fact, the office of child support may direct a licensing authority, with the exception of the department of motor vehicles, to revoke or suspend an obligor's right to a license,  and with respect to hunting, fishing and trapping, the right to hunt, fish and trap, without obtaining a modification of the court order if any amount due under the order has accumulated to one-twelfth of the annualized amount of child support.  All objections to the suspension shall be made to the office of child support and not to the licensing authority, and the licensing authority shall not be required to hold a hearing before suspending a license pursuant to this subsection.

(f)  A license shall be reinstated within five days of notification from the office of child support or the custodial parent, where the rights of that parent have not been assigned to the office of child support, that the obligor is in compliance with the underlying child support order or repayment plan.  The licensing authority shall charge a reinstatement fee as provided by law or rule.

Sec. 13.  APPROPRIATION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION

There is appropriated the amount of $190,000.00 from the general fund to the center for crime victims services.  The center shall use the funds to present grants to organizations that provide services to victims of domestic violence.  These funds shall be used for programs that are designed to prevent domestic violence and are targeted at the needs of children in families affected by domestic violence.  At the end of FY08, any unexpended portion of this appropriation shall be carried forward and used for the same purpose.

Sec. 14.  REPORTS

(a)(1)  The commissioner of the department of fish and wildlife, in consultation with the court administrator, the office of child support, the center for crime victims services, the department of motor vehicles, and the department of information and innovation, shall develop a proposal for an automated system for the department of fish and wildlife to suspend a license to hunt, fish, or trap for a violation of:

(A)  4 V.S.A. § 1110, relating to any unpaid judgment issued by the judicial bureau or district court for fines or penalties for a criminal offense;

(B)  13 V.S.A. § 7043, relating to failure to comply with a restitution order; and

(C)  15 V.S.A. §§ 795 and 798, relating to failure to comply with a child support order.

(2)  The commissioner shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary and to legislative council not later than December 1, 2007 regarding the proposed automated system and any costs associated with implementation.

(b)  The commissioner of the department of motor vehicles and the court administrator shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary no later than December 1, 2007 on methods to protect the interests of innocent owners when suspending the registrations of motor vehicles titled to more than one person on account of the failure of one of the titleholders to pay to the judicial bureau judgments for traffic violations.

(c)  The Vermont law school is requested to provide a report to the senate and house committees on judiciary no later than November 15, 2008 on the results and performance of assistant judges in deciding small claims cases.  The report shall include an analysis of a sufficient number of small claims decisions by assistant judges to permit a statistically supportable conclusion about whether the percentage of the decisions containing clear error is within a range which provides substantial justice to litigants. 

Sec. 15.  VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A committee is established to study certain issues related to victims of sexual assault.  The committee shall examine:

(1)  the financial cost of forensic sexual assault examination and other health care needs of sexual assault victims, including follow-up care for victims undergoing PEP, best practices in other states, and whether the cost of forensic sexual assault examinations should be capped;

(2)  how forensic sexual assault examination kits are collected and transported by law enforcement and how the kits are received and processed by the Vermont Forensic Laboratory;

(3)  the currency of practice standards for sexual assault nurse examiners, oversight and enforcement of standards, and the training and certification opportunities available in Vermont;

(4)  the feasibility of instituting a pediatric sexual assault examination program in Vermont.  The committee shall review the study conducted by the Vermont children’s alliance and consult with other state and national organizations with expertise in pediatric sexual assault examiner programs;

(5)  whether a victim of sexual assault shall be considered eligible for the victims compensation program based solely on a report to a sexual assault nurse examiner;

(6)  the current funding sources for the sexual assault nurse examiner program and the need for additional resources.

(b)  The committee shall consist of the following members:

(1)  One member appointed by the Vermont center for crime victim services, who shall serve as co-chair of the committee.

(2)  One member appointed by the Vermont center for the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse, who shall serve as co-chair of the committee.

(3)  One member appointed by the Vermont hospital association.

(4)  One member appointed by the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.

(5)  A survivor of sexual assault appointed by the Vermont center for crime victim services.

(6)  One member appointed by the department of public safety.

(7)  The director of the Vermont forensic laboratory.

(8)  One member of the Vermont children’s alliance.

(9)  A pediatrician appointed by the Vermont medical society.

(10) A sexual assault nurse examiner appointed by the sexual assault nurse examiner advisory board.

(11)  One member of the senate appointed by the committee on committees.

(c)  The committee shall have the assistance and cooperation of all state and local agencies and departments.  The center for crime victim services shall convene the meetings and provide professional and administrative support for the committee.

(d)(1)  Members of the committee who are not state employees shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses through the center for crime victim services to the same extent that legislative members of committees are entitled to such compensation and reimbursement under 2 V.S.A. § 406. 

(2)  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, the legislative member of the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses as provided by 2 V.S.A. § 406.

(e)  The committee shall present its findings and recommendations, including proposals for legislative action, to the general assembly no later than December 1, 2007.

Sec. 16.  Sec. 9 of No. 169 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read:

Sec. 9.  DISSEMINATION OF ELECTRONIC CASE RECORDS

The judiciary shall not permit public access via the internet to criminal case records or family court case records prior to June 1, 2007 July 1, 2008.  The court may permit criminal justice agencies, as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2056a, internet access to criminal case records for criminal justice purposes, as defined in section 2056a. 

Sec. 17.  EFFECTIVE DATE

(a)  In Sec. 5 of this act, 23 V.S.A. § 2307(b), the provisions relating to the denial of a motor vehicle registration, and Sec. 6 in its entirety shall take effect January 1, 2010. 

(b)  Secs. 3 and 11 shall take effect January 1, 2008.

(c)  Sec. 16 shall take effect on passage.

(d)  All other sections shall take effect July 1, 2007.


and, that upon passage, the title shall read:  “AN ACT RELATING TO THE ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF JUDICIAL FINES AND JURISDICTION OF ASSISTANT JUDGES OVER SMALL CLAIMS”

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

H. 368

An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations.

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 78 to read as follows:

Sec. 78.  BOARD OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY; RULEMAKING

No later than August 1, 2007, the board of public accountancy shall initiate rulemaking pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 to amend the board’s existing attest and audit experience requirements by filing proposed rules with the secretary of state.  The amended rules shall reflect applicant experience in non-public accounting settings and competency in the application of audit and attest techniques.  The board shall report its progress to the house and senate committees on government operations by January 15, 2008.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

H. 433

An act relating to the next generation initiative of workforce development through workforce development programs and internships.

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

     First:  By striking out Sec. 4 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

* * * Consolidation of Grant Programs* * *

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 543 is added to read:

§ 543.  WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND; GRANT PROGRAMS

(a)  Creation.  There is created a workforce education and training fund in the department of labor to be managed in accordance with subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

(b)  Purposes.  The fund shall be used exclusively for two purposes: (1)  training to improve the skills of Vermont workers including those who are unemployed, underemployed or in transition, and (2)  student internships to provide work-based learning opportunities with Vermont employers for students from public and private high schools, regional technical centers, the community high school of Vermont and colleges.

(c)  Administrative Support.  Administrative support for the grant award process shall be provided by the departments of labor and economic development.  Technical, administrative, financial and other support shall be provided whenever appropriate and reasonable from the workforce development council and all other public entities involved in economic development, workforce development and training, and education.

(d)  Eligible Activities.  Awards from the fund shall be made to entities that collaborate with employers and businesses, including private, public, and nonprofit entities, institutions of higher education, technical centers, and workforce development programs.  Funding shall be for training programs and student internship programs that offer education, training, apprenticeship, mentoring, or work-based learning activities, or any combination; that use innovative intensive student-oriented competency based or collaborative approaches to workforce development; and that link workforce education and economic development strategies.  Training programs or projects that demonstrate actual increased income and economic opportunity for employees and employers may be funded for more than one year. Student internships that involve the same employer may be funded multiple times provided that new students participate.

(e)  Standards Against Which Training Program Applications Will Be Evaluated.  The workforce development council, in consultation with the commissioners of labor and economic development, shall develop criteria consistent with subsection (d) of this section for awards made under this section, and the commissioners of labor and economic development shall develop process for making awards.  The process shall include the following:

(1)  Applications shall be sent to and reviewed by the local workforce investment board and within seven business days forwarded to the commissioner, unless this time requirement is waived by the applicant.

(2)  If the review by the local workforce investment board as required by subdivision (1) of this subsection is not completed within seven business days, the applicant may directly file the application with the commissioner without further review by the local workforce investment board.  

(f)  Awards. Based on guidelines set by the council, the commissioner of labor shall make awards to:

(1)  (Training Programs) public, private, and nonprofit entities for existing or new and innovative training programs.  There shall be a preference for programs that include training for new or otherwise vacant positions, but awards may be made to applicants seeking to retrain incumbent workers.  Awards under this subdivision shall be made to programs or projects that:  

     (A)  offer innovative programs of intensive, student-centric, competency-based education, training, apprenticeship, or mentoring, or any combination of these; 

(B)  address the needs of workers who are unemployed, underemployed, or are at risk of becoming unemployed due to changing workplace demands, to increase productivity, and to provide skills to incumbent workers;

(C)  lead to jobs paying at least 200 percent of the current minimum wage or  at least 150 percent if benefits are included; this requirement may be waived when warranted by regional or occupational wages or economic reality;

     (D)  require a measurable investment from involved employers;

     (E)  do not duplicate, supplant, or replace other programs funded with public money; 

     (F)  articulate clear goals and demonstrate readily accountable, reportable, and measurable results;

                   (G)  demonstrate how the trainee will become employed at the end of the training period; if the applicant cannot guarantee that the trainee will be employed by an identified employer at the end of the training period, the grant application shall demonstrate employer involvement and how the training program is likely to lead to employment in fields in which there is demand.

(2) (Internship Program) Public and private entities for internship programs that match Vermont employers with students from public and private secondary schools, regional technical centers, the community high school of Vermont, and Vermont colleges. For the purposes of this section, “internship” means a learning experience working with an employer where the intern may, but does not necessarily, receive academic credit, financial remuneration, a stipend, or any combination of these. Awards under this subdivision may be used to fund the cost of administering an internship program and, based on need, to provide students with a stipend during the internship.  Awards may be made only to programs or projects that:

(A)  do not replace or supplant existing positions;

(B)  create real workplace expectations and consequences;

(C)  provide a process that measures progress toward mastery of skills, attitude, behavior, and sense of responsibility required for success in that workplace; 

(D)  are designed to motivate and educate secondary and postsecondary students through work-based learning opportunities with Vermont employers that are likely to lead to real employment;

(E)  provide mechanisms that promote employer involvement with secondary and postsecondary students, curriculum, and the delivery of education at the involved schools;

(F)  involve Vermont employers or resident Vermont workers; and

(G)  offer students a continuum of learning, experience, and relationships with employers that will make it financially possible and attractive for graduates to continue to work and live in Vermont.

(g)  Accountability.  The commissioners of labor and economic development and the workforce development council shall:

(1)  develop evaluation standards to measure the effectiveness of the programs and projects funded by this section, which shall include an objective process that documents the state return on investment;

(2)  on or before December 1 of each year, submit a report to the governor, the speaker of the house, the president pro-tempore of the senate, the chair of the house committee on commerce, and the chair of the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs with the following information for the prior fiscal year:

     (A)  the number of applications received, grants awarded, jobs created, including wages for each, jobs filled, including wages for each, internships created, and interns served; the information shall be categorically posted every quarter on the department of labor’s website;

(B)  funds needed for the next fiscal year; and

(C)  the extent to which the program has improved coordination, cooperation, and effective expenditure of resources by workforce education and training entities and increased employers participation in and provision of workforce training opportunities and internships by employers, educational institutions, and other private entities; and

     Second:  By striking out Sec. 6 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

***WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP***

(a)  The commissioner of labor shall be the leader for workforce development strategy and accountability. The commissioner will work with a subcommittee of the workforce development council and will be composed of eight members to include four business members and a higher education member of the council appointed by the governor, the secretary of human services, the commissioners of education, and economic development.  Membership shall be coincident with their terms on the workforce development council.  The workforce development council shall provide administrative support to the leadership committee.  The commissioner of labor shall be the chair of the committee.  The duties of the leader include:

(1)  Developing a limited number of challenging measurable criteria for the workforce development system that supports the creation of good jobs in order to assure   a strong, appropriate, and sustainable economic environment in Vermont.

(2)  Receiving reports, on a schedule defined by the committee, from each state agency and public institution of higher education that provides education or training that prepares individuals for employment.  Each agency or institution shall report the following information:

(A)  A description of the mission and programs as they relate to preparing individuals for employment and meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers.

(B)  The measurable accomplishments that have contributed to the achievement of the overarching goals.

(C)  Identification of any innovations made in the delivery of services.

(D)  The future plans that will contribute to the achievement of the goals.

(E)  The extent to which the program has established working partnerships and collaborations with other organizations that reduce duplication or enhance the delivery of services, or both.

(F)  Any other information that the committee may deem necessary and relevant.

(3)  Accepting information required under subdivision (2) of this subsection, on a voluntary basis, from other education and training organizations that would like recognition for their contributions. 

(4)  Based on this information, issue an annual report to the governor and the general assembly on or before December 1. The report shall systematically evaluate the accomplishments of the system and the agencies and institutions.  The information shall include:

(A)  System-wide accomplishments toward achieving each of the overarching goals.

(B)  Recognition of any notable accomplishments, innovations, collaborations, grants received, or new funding sources developed by participating agencies, institutions, or other education and training organizations.

(C)  Evaluation of the contribution of each provider in effecting the goals.

(D)  Identification of any areas for improvement, including time frames, expected annual participation and contributions.

(E)  Adjustments to the goals.

(F)  Recommendations for the allocation of next generation funds and other public resources.

(5)  Developing an integrated workforce strategy that incorporates economic development, workforce development, and education to provide all Vermonters with the best education and training available in order to create a strong, appropriate, and sustainable economic environment that supports a healthy state economy.

(6)  Developing strategies to:

(A)  Coordinate public and private workforce programs in order to assure that information is easily accessible to students, employees, and employers and that all information and necessary counseling is available through one contact.

(B)  Stimulate more effective communication between the business community and schools and colleges, both public and private.

     Third:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 4a to read as follows:

* * * Sustainable Funding* * *

Sec. 4a.  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SUSTAINABLE FUNDING COMMITTEE; CREATION; DURATION

(a)  The workforce development sustainable funding committee is created consisting of three business members from the workforce development council appointed by the council executive committee, one business representative appointed by the senate president pro tempore, one business representative appointed by the speaker of the house, and three business members appointed by the governor representing business organizations.  The committee shall make a recommendation regarding new sustainable long term funding sources to support the future funding needs to adequately support ongoing workforce development efforts.  The governor, speaker, and president pro-tem jointly shall select the chair from the members of the committee.

(b)  The committee shall make a comprehensive review of workforce development funding strategies used successfully in other states and countries and determine which if any are suitable and workable for Vermont.

(c)  The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, the house committee on commerce, and the governor on or before December 1, 2007.

(d)  The joint fiscal office and legislative council shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee may request administrative support from the tax department, finance department, or the workforce development council and other agencies as required.

     Fourth:  By striking out Sec. 7 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 7.  APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  WETF.  The amount of $2,700,000.00 is appropriated to the Vermont workforce education and training fund, which is administered by the department of labor, for workforce development to supplement funds appropriated in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations act. 

(b)  VSAC Scholarships. The amount of $4,000,000.00 is appropriated to the Vermont student assistance corporation for the purpose of awarding need-based scholarships.  None of the funds appropriated herein shall be used for administrative overhead.

(c)  Career And Alternative Workforce Education.  The amount of $750,000.00 is appropriated to the department of labor for the purpose of awarding grants to support out-of-school youth, youth at risk, and youth at risk of remaining unemployed with outcomes that lead to employment or continued education, as follows: 

(1) (Vocational Career Exploration Programs).  The amount of $200,000.00 is appropriated to regional technical centers and comprehensive high schools for summer career exploration programs for students entering grades 7 through 9.

(2)  (Alternative Workforce Education Programs).  The amount of $550,000.00 to regional technical centers, comprehensive high schools, the community high school of Vermont, and non-profit organizations, designated by the workforce development council, for alternative and intensive vocational/academic programs for students entering grades 11 and 12 in order to earn necessary credits toward graduation.

(d)  VTP.  The amount of $1,300,000.00 is appropriated to the Vermont training program, which is administered by the department of economic development, to supplement funds appropriated in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations act.

(e)  Dual Enrollment Programs.  The amount of $800,000 is appropriated for dual enrollment programs as follows:

     (1)  (VSC) the amount of $500,000 is appropriated to the Vermont state colleges ; and

     (2)  (VSAC) the amount of $300,000 is appropriated to the Vermont student assistance corporation.

(f)  Technical Education Equipment. The amount of $200,000.00 is appropriated to the department of education, for the purchase of technical education equipment for technical education centers and comprehensive high schools to be distributed equally to each center and high school with no local matching funds required.

(g)  Non-degree VSAC Scholarships.  The amount of $1,000,000.00 is appropriated to the Vermont student assistance corporation for the purpose of providing non-degree grants to Vermonters to improve job skills and increase overall employability by enrolling in a post-secondary education or training program, including adult-technical education that is not part of a degree or accredited certificate program to supplement other funds made available for this purpose from the omnibus appropriations act for fiscal year 2008 using the model was used in fiscal 2007.  A portion of this appropriation shall be used for grants for indirect educational expenses to students enrolled in training programs that will lead directly to job placement. The grants shall not exceed $3,000 per student.  None of the funds appropriated herein shall be used for administrative overhead.    

(h)  Career Exploration Programs.  The amount of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of education for the purpose of awarding grants to regional technical centers and comprehensive high schools for summer career exploration programs for students entering grades six through nine.

(i)  Adult Technical Education Programs.  The amount of $1,000,000.00 is appropriated to the department of labor, working with the workforce development council, for the purpose of awarding grants to regional technical centers and comprehensive high schools to provide adult technical education, as that term is defined in 16 V.S.A. §1522, to unemployed and underemployed Vermont adults.

(j)  Accountability.  On or before March 15, 2008, the entities receiving appropriations under this section shall report to the house committees on commerce and education and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, regarding the distribution of funds, the number and categories of students served, the categorical number and amount of scholarships distributed, the geographic distribution of the funds and the number and types of jobs created.  

     Fifth: By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 5a to read as follows:

Sec. 5a.  16 V.S.A. § 1565(b)(1)(C) is  amended to read:

(C)  Adult service coordinators' salary assistance shall not exceed be 50 percent of actual salaries and benefits.  Payment under this subsection does not preclude a district from using other state and federal grants to supplement the actual salaries and benefits of adult service coordinators.

     Sixth:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 6a to read as follows:

Sec. 6a.  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT; REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION; EMPLOYER CASH INCENTIVES; S.145 STUDY

The commissioners of labor and economic development, in consultation with the executive directors of the regional development corporations, shall study whether a program should be created to enable employers to offer cash incentives to employees to encourage workforce development. The study shall examine:

(1)  benefits and likely outcomes of cash incentives;

(2)  how these incentives would be delivered, to whom, and when;

(3)  long term funding sources if cash incentives are determined to be beneficial;

(4)  criteria for offering cash incentives;

(5)  methods for assuring accountability;

(6)  any other issue determined to be relevant to this proposal and

(7) sustainable funding sources.

(b)  The commissioners shall issue a written report of recommendations to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs on or before December 1, 2007.     

     Seventh:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 6b to read as follows:

Sec 6b.   CAREER READINESS CERTIFICATE; S.185 PILOT PROJECTS

(a)  The commissioner of labor may create up to two pilot career readiness certificate programs and use up to $6,000 of the funds appropriated to the department from workforce education and training fund.  The pilot programs shall be with a regional technical center or comprehensive high school providing technical education as defined in 16 V. S. A. Section 1522 or any workforce training program funded by this act.  In developing the pilot projects, the commissioner shall consult with the grant recipients to select 100 workforce training participants who will be given a nationally validated work readiness assessment that identifies levels of proficiency in specific academic, technical and work-ethic skills.  The work readiness assessment shall be administered at the beginning of the training program and at the conclusion of the program.  Those participants who demonstrate a level of proficiency determined by the commissioner to be appropriate for the applicable employment sector will be awarded a Career Readiness Certificate.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner is authorized to receive in-kind contributions and grants from private and public sources to assist with the implementation of these pilot projects.

(b)  On or before December 15, 2008, the commissioner shall report to the governor, the house commerce and education committees, and to the senate economic development, general affairs and housing and education committees the effectiveness of the pilot projects, together with any  recommendations.  The report shall include recommendations related to further development of the Career Readiness Certificate program.  On or before January 15, 2008, the commissioner may provide a status report or preliminary results of these pilot programs. 

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 23, 2007, page 405.)

H. 527

An act relating to the state’s transportation program.

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

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

Sec. 1.  TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM; ADVANCEMENTS, CANCELLATIONS, AND DELAYS

(a)  The state’s proposed fiscal year 2008 transportation program appended to the agency of transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2008 budget, as amended by this act, is adopted to the extent federal, state, and local funds are available. 

(b)  As used in this act, unless otherwise indicated, the term “agency” means the agency of transportation, and the term “secretary” means the secretary of transportation.  As used in this act, the table heading “As Proposed” means the transportation program referenced in subsection (a) of this section; the table heading “As Amended” means the amendments as made by this act; the table heading “Change” means the difference obtained by subtracting the “As Proposed” figure from the “As Amended” figure; and the term “change” or “changes” in the text refers to the project- and program-specific amendments, the aggregate sum of which equals the net “Change” in the applicable table heading.

* * * Program Development – Roadway * * *

Sec. 2.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – ROADWAY

The following modifications are made to the program development – roadway program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Morristown VT100 project, STP F

029-1(2), is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          PE                                   50,000             50,000                      0

          ROW                            150,000           550,000           400,000

          Construction                             0                      0                      0

          Other                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              200,000           600,000           400,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                                40,880             89,880             49,000

          Federal                          159,120           479,120           320,000

          Toll credits                                0             31,000             31,000

          Total                              200,000           600,000           400,000

(2)  The agency is directed to advance the Springfield TH 3 project, STP 0136(1), as a preventive maintenance project.  The scope of the project shall be determined in consultation between the agency and the town of Springfield. Upon agreement as to the scope of the project, the agency shall develop the project and be prepared to begin construction during state fiscal year 2009. 

(3)  The unspent funds authorized for expenditure for the Waterbury Main Street project, FEGC F‑013-4(13), in fiscal year 2007 shall be brought forward and used in fiscal year 2008 to advance the improvements at the intersection of Park Row and Main Street.

(4)  A new project is added to the SFY 2007 and SFY 2008 development and evaluation section:  Pittsford police academy has received an earmark for a project to provide a driver training pad at the criminal justice and fire service training center in Pittsford.  The pad will facilitate in the training of various protection agencies in the defensive operation of their vehicle and to conduct emergency vehicle operations, fire, rescue training, “stopping vehicle training” and for motorcycle licensing.  The project consists of constructing a 350′ x 125′ bituminous concrete training pad with an 800′ long x 20′ wide bituminous concrete acceleration/approach road to the pad.  The amount of federal funds available from the earmark is $491,964 (100 percent - Federal).  The project shall appear as follows: Pittsford STP SKID(1).

(5)  The Middlebury Cross Street project STP 5900( ) which was inadvertently omitted from the agency’s proposed FY08 transportation program as submitted to the general assembly, shall be included by the agency in its publication of the transportation program as enacted by the general assembly pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 10g(f).

(6)  The agency shall continue its commitment to the Bennington Bypass South project, NH F 019-1(4), as evidenced by the acquisition of right-of-way during state fiscal year 2007, for removal of material from the northern segment to the southern segment, for use as stage one sites for the Bennington Bypass North project, NH F 019-1(5).  At such time as construction funds are identified for the Bennington Bypass South project NH F 019-1(4), the agency shall advance this project on the development and evaluation (D & E) list.

* * * Bridge Programs * * *

Sec. 3.  INTERSTATE, STATE, AND TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGE PROGRAMS

To rectify an agency oversight while developing the proposed transportation capital program, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 10g(n), the agency is authorized to expend development and evaluation funds identified for unnamed candidate projects in the interstate, state, and town highway bridge programs on listed candidate projects in each program according to the priority rating and status of such projects within the project development process.

Sec. 4.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – STATE BRIDGE

The following modifications are made to the program development – state bridge program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Williamstown BRS 0204(4) project, replacement of BR10 over brook No. 2, is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          PE                                     1,603               1,603                      0

          ROW                              48,716             48,716                      0

          Construction                  850,000           450,000          -400,000

          Other                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              900,319           500,319          -400,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                              180,064           100,064            -80,000

          Federal                          720,255           400,255          -320,000

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              900,319           500,319          -400,000

* * * Maintenance * * *

Sec. 5.  MAINTENANCE

(a)  Total authorized spending in the maintenance program is modified as follows:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services           32,933,303      32,933,303                      0

          Operating Expenses       30,858,345      30,711,345          -147,000

          Grants                                206,500           206,500                      0

          Total                              63,998,148      63,851,148          -147,000

       Sources of funds

          State                              60,174,213      60,027,213          -147,000

          Federal                            3,723,935        3,723,935                      0

          Local                                  100,000           100,000                      0

          Total                              63,998,148      63,851,148          -147,000

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  To reduce funding for intelligent transportation system (ITS) projects by $347,000 of transportation funds.  The agency shall continue to operate the “511” traveler information service at not less than the same level of service as provided in fiscal year 2007.  Subject to this condition, the agency shall allocate the remaining authorized funds for ITS projects at its discretion.

(2)  To add $100,000 of transportation funds for a small improvement project to construct an underground cattle pass on Vermont Route 100 to serve the so-called Turner Farm.  In fiscal year 2008, the agency shall use the authorized funds for the sole purpose of designing, permitting, and installing an underground cattle pass and associated highway traffic safety features.  The associated work is contingent upon the Turner estate donating any necessary right-of-way outside the existing highway right-of-way.  Moreover, the Turner estate, for itself and its successors-in-interest, must agree to a maintenance and liability agreement satisfactory to the agency.  Once completed, the existing cattle crossing signs and warning signals will be removed by the agency.

(3)  To add $100,000 of transportation funds to be used for the acquisition of vehicle-mounted sweeper attachments to aid in the removal of debris from the roadway in support of bicycle and pedestrian activities.

* * * Rest Area Capital Construction * * *

Sec.6.  REST AREAS

The following modifications are made to the rest areas program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Hartford I-91 rest area sewer line project, IM BLDG(1), is amended to read:

FY08                         As Proposed    As Amended             Change

PE                                   50,000             50,000                      0

ROW                                       0                      0                      0

Construction               2,950,000        3,250,000           300,000

Other                                        0                      0                      0

Total                           3,000,000        3,300,000           300,000

Sources of funds                                                                            

State                              300,000           600,000           300,000

Federal                       2,700,000        2,700,000                      0

Local                                        0                      0                      0

Total                           3,000,000        3,300,000           300,000

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 7.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

(a)  Authorized spending by the department of motor vehicles is amended to read:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services           17,134,501      17,247,046           112,545

          Operating Expenses         7,629,667        7,629,667                      0

          Grants                                339,000           339,000                      0

          Total                              25,103,168      25,215,713           112,545

       Sources of funds

          State                              23,329,029      23,441,574           112,545

          Federal                            1,774,139        1,774,139                      0

          Local                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              25,103,168      25,215,713           112,545

(b)  This change is made to add $112,545 in state funds for the DMV computer system upgrade project.

* * * Policy and Planning * * *

Sec. 8.  POLICY AND PLANNING

Authorized spending in policy and planning is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services        4,969,906        4,921,906            -48,000

          Operating Expenses       964,875           964,875                      0

          Grants                         4,690,227        4,690,227                      0

          Total                         10,625,008      10,577,008            -48,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                           2,597,643        2,592,843              -4,800

          Federal                       7,887,365        7,844,165            -43,200

          Other                             140,000           140,000                      0

          Total                         10,625,008      10,577,008            -48,000

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 9.  PUBLIC TRANSIT 

The following modifications are made to the public transit program:

(1)  For the purpose of redirecting capital assets for use in the acquisition of new buses and equipment for public transportation, the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, shall sell, for fair market value, a 2003 MCI 4500D motor coach, owned by the state and purchased with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, to Greyhound Lines, Inc.  Subject to the prior approval of the FTA, the sale proceeds of $215,775.71 shall be applied as soon as practicable to purchase a minimum of three new medium-size rural service delivery, public transit buses, in accordance with the highest priority needs in the agency's capital program.

(2)(A)  Authorized spending in the public transit program is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal services                948,669           948,669                      0

          Operating expenses               77,517             77,517                      0

          Grants                           16,225,259      16,684,383           459,124

          Other                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              17,251,445      17,710,569           459,124

       Sources of funds

          State                                5,899,044        6,314,968           415,924

          Federal                          11,352,401      11,395,601             43,200

          Other                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              17,251,445      17,710,569           459,124

(B)  These changes are made:

(i)  to incorporate the spending of $215,775.71 in transportation funds authorized in subsection (1) of this section;

(ii) to add an additional $43,348 in transportation funds to the public transit – capital equipment replacement program; and

(iii)  to add $156,800 in transportation funds and $43,200 in federal funds to authorized spending in the public transit elders and persons with disabilities program for critical medical care transportation services.  These funds are authorized on a one-time basis to provide emergency supplemental funding to the elderly and disabled transportation program.  The funds are intended to provide program security by setting aside supplementary elderly and disabled transportation program funds (E&D funds) for critical care transportation appropriated for fiscal year 2008.  In order to maintain program integrity and prevent the revision of allocation and spending patterns based upon the existence of this new supplemental fund, all agencies receiving such funding shall maintain in fiscal year 2008 the funding amounts initially programmed for by the regional elderly and disabled advisory committees in fiscal year 2007.  Further, in an effort to develop a more consistent approach to the use of E&D funds by diverse regional entities, the agency shall provide revised or additional E&D program management guidance, or both, to be followed by all recipients of this funding.  The agency of transportation shall hold these supplemental funds in reserve, and shall disperse these funds to agencies that have grant agreements with the agency for the provision of elderly and disabled transportation services only in the event that a shortfall of E&D funds occurs as a result of unanticipated high demand for non-Medicaid, critical care transportation services which results in a lack of funds available to continue critical care transportation services.

Sec. 10. CRITICAL CARE TRANSPORTATION STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A critical care transportation study committee is established, consisting of representatives of the agency of transportation and the agency of human services as designated by the secretaries of the respective agencies; a representative of the Vermont area agencies on aging; a representative of the Vermont center for independent living; a representative of the Vermont association of adult day care services; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent rural public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent urban public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont kidney foundation; and a representative of the American Cancer Society.  For the purposes of this section, critical care transportation is defined as transportation to and from dialysis and cancer treatment medical services for Vermonters not eligible for Medicaid transportation services.  The committee shall be co-chaired by a representative of the agency of transportation and a representative of the agency of human services as designated by the secretaries of the respective agencies.

(b)  The committee shall review the current service delivery system for critical care transportation, and develop recommendations for program administration approaches that will ensure critical care transportation program stability, and eliminate annual regional fluctuations of need, and make policy recommendations toward the establishment of prudent and predictable funding that is tied to clear policy objectives determined to be reasonable, sustainable, and affordable.  The committee shall consider such issues as program coordination among nonprofit agencies and funding sources, sustainability of funding, ease of administration, compatibility with other programs, need for service, and other issues it deems relevant to determine its recommendations. 

(c)  The agency of human services and agency of transportation shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(d)  The committee shall deliver its report, including any recommendations for proposed legislation, to the house and senate committees on appropriations and transportation, to the house committee on human services, and the senate committee on health and welfare by December 1, 2007. 

* * * Park & Ride Municipal Initiative Program * * *

Sec. 11.  PARK & RIDE MUNICIPAL INITIATIVE PROGRAM

Authorized spending in the park & ride municipal initiative program is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          PE                                 200,000           250,000             50,000

          ROW                                       0                      0                      0

          Construction                             0                      0                      0

          Other                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              200,000           250,000             50,000

       Sources of funds

          State                              200,000           250,000             50,000

          Federal                                     0                      0                      0

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              200,000           250,000             50,000

* * * Town Highway Emergency Fund * * *

Sec. 12.  TOWN HIGHWAY EMERGENCY FUND

Funding of the town highway emergency fund is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services                      0                      0                      0

          Operating Expenses                  0                      0                      0

          Grants                         1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

          Total                           1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

       Sources of funds

          State                           1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

          Federal                                     0                      0                      0

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                           1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

* * * Town Highway Class 2 Roadway Program * * *

Sec. 13.  TOWN HIGHWAY CLASS 2 ROADWAY

Authorized spending on the town highway class 2 roadway program is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services                      0                      0                      0

          Operating Expenses                  0                      0                      0

          Grants                         4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

          Total                           4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                           4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

          Federal                                     0                      0                      0

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                           4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

* * * VT 2A/VT 289 – VT 127 Corridor * * *

Sec. 14.  TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS ALONG CORRIDOR BETWEEN EXISTING VT 2A/VT 289 INTERCHANGE IN TOWN OF ESSEX AND VT 127 (HEINEBERG DRIVE) IN TOWN OF COLCHESTER

(a)  For purposes of this section, “corridor” means the corridor between the existing VT 2A/VT 289 interchange in the town of Essex and VT 127 (Heineberg Drive) in the town of Colchester.

(b)  The agency, in cooperation with the Chittenden County metropolitan planning organization (CCMPO), shall provide a projected timeline for transportation improvements along the corridor.  The timeline shall address the following:

(1)  Major steps, including environmental reviews;

(2)  The agency’s best current estimate of the time, workforce, and financial resources needed and likely to be available for transportation improvements along the corridor;

(3)  The CCMPO’s best current estimate of its future year-by-year prioritization of transportation improvements along the corridor within the CCMPO’s transportation improvement plan (TIP);

(4)  The agency’s best current estimate of its future year by year prioritization of transportation improvements along the corridor pursuant to the requirements of 19 V.S.A. § 10g(l)-(m) (priority ratings); and

(5)  The projected fiscal year for starting and ending each of the project process steps for transportation improvements along the corridor, with appropriate caveats.    

(c)  The agency shall present the projected timeline to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2008.

* * * Agency Fleet * * *

Sec. 15.  AGENCY VEHICLE FLEET

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 13(b), the agency is authorized to add one pickup truck with a plow and hopper spreader and one loader to the fleet.

* * * Cancellation of Projects * * *

Sec. 16.  CANCELLATION OF PROJECTS

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 10g(f) (legislative approval for cancellation of projects), the general assembly approves cancellation of the following projects:

(1)  Bike and pedestrian facilities:

(A)  Swanton STP BIKE(29)S (bike/ped path) (town has requested termination); and

(B)  Williston STP WALK(22) (bike/ped path) (town has requested termination);

(2)  Roadway:

(A)  Fairlee SB VT 00(002) (interpretive center) (town has requested termination); and

(B)  Windsor SB VT 00(003) (waypoint interpretive center) (town has requested termination).

* * * Interpretive Signing for Official Byways * * *

Sec. 17.  10 V.S.A. § 489 is amended to read:

§ 489.  ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS DIRECTIONAL SIGNS

(a)  Lawful businesses and points of interest and cultural, educational, and religious facilities are eligible for official business directional signs, subject to the provisions of this chapter and to rules and regulations promulgated by the travel information council, and subject further to any federal law, rule, or regulation affecting the allocation of federal highway funds or other funds to or for the benefit of this state or any agency or subdivision thereof of the state.

(b)  Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, brown-and-white official business directional signs as requested by the local byways organization may be allowed for the purpose of directing travelers to interpretive information sites along officially designated state and federal byways only.  An official business directional sign authorized under this subsection shall be located on the same state designated byway as the interpretive information site to which the sign directs attention.

* * * Service of Necessity Petitions * * *

Sec. 18.  19 V.S.A. § 506(a)(1) is amended to read:

(a)  The agency shall prepare a notice of the necessity hearing.  The notice shall include the names of the municipalities in which the lands to be taken or affected are located; the names of all interested persons within the meaning of subdivision 501(2) of this chapter; and a brief statement identifying the proposed project and its location, and the date, time and place of the necessity hearing.  The agency shall make service of copies of the petition, the notice of hearing and the survey (for the purposes of this section, “survey” means a plan, profile, or cross-section of the proposed project) as follows:

(1)  Upon interested persons in accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process, except as stated in subsection (b) of this section and in section 519 of this title or, with respect to interested parties with no known residence or place of business within the state, by certified mail, return receipt requested.  The copy of the survey that is served upon interested persons need include only the particular property in which those persons have an interest.

* * * Compensation Hearings; Projects Extending into Two

or More Counties * * *

Sec. 19.  19 V.S.A. § 511 is amended to read:

§ 511.  HEARING TO DETERMINE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION

(a)  Following a determination of the necessity of the taking as above provided, when an owner of land or rights and the agency of transportation are unable to agree on the amount of compensation to be paid, and if the agency of transportation desires to proceed with the taking, the transportation board shall appoint a time and place in the county where the land is situated for examining the premises and hearing parties interested, giving at least 10 days' notice in writing to the person owning the land or having an interest in the land.  At that time and place, a member or members of the transportation board shall hear any person having an interest in the land and desiring to be heard.

(b)  If the land proposed to be acquired extends into two or more counties, the board may hold a single hearing in one of the counties to determine compensation.  In fixing the place for hearing, the transportation board shall take into consideration the needs of the parties. 

* * * Traffic-Control Signals * * *

Sec. 20.  23 V.S.A. § 1022(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Steady red signal.

(1)  Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

(2)  Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one way street into a one way street, after stopping as required by subdivision (c)(1) of this section subsectionSuch vehicular This traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.  No motorist shall turn right when facing a red arrow signal indication unless a regulatory sign is present which permits this movement. 

(3)  Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 1023 of this title, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

* * * Approval of Real Estate Transaction in Charlotte * * *

Sec. 21.  APPROVAL FOR CONVEYANCE OF REAL ESTATE IN TOWN OF CHARLOTTE

Subject to the approval of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to convey to the Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc. (VELCO) or an affiliated company, for use as a site for an electrical power substation in connection with the Northwest Reliability Project, for fair market value, part of the land acquired by the state of Vermont in 2000 for a commuter rail station and parking lot, which were part of the Charlotte–Burlington commuter train project.  The conveyance may include an easement over the state’s remaining property for vehicular access to Ferry Road (VT F-5; TH 3).

* * * Agency Cooperation with Regional Planning Commissions * * *

Sec. 22.  19 V.S.A. § 10l is added to read:

§ 10l.  AGENCY COOPERATION WITH REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

(a)  Legislative intent.  The general assembly finds that regional planning commissions possesses a unique expertise that enables the agency to conduct rural transportation planning and local consultation activities that build upon the integration of land use, environmental, and economic development inputs.  To ensure the agency continues to meet its local consultation requirements found in 23 C.F.R. part 250.212, the general assembly requires the following duties of regional planning commissions as part of an annual contract and work preparing the transportation planning initiative (TPI).

(b)  Duties of regional planning commissions.  Regional planning commissions, serving areas of the state not qualifying as a Metropolitan Planning Area under federal regulations, shall implement the transportation planning initiative (TPI) program.  This program provides the mechanism by which the agency coordinates policy development and planning to ensure the involvement by Vermont citizens and rural local officials.  It shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Ensuring that local officials and citizens are involved in the

statewide transportation planning process. 

(2)  Providing technical assistance to facilitate local officials and staff in making transportation policy and investment decisions.

(3)  Coordinating town planning and development regulations to meet better state transportation policies and investment priorities.

(4)  Participating in state and national transportation policy and planning development processes to ensure regional and local input.

(5)  Implementing a project evaluation process to prioritize all transportation projects within the regions utilizing state or federal funds to be included in the state transportation program.

(6)  Developing and maintaining a regional, multi-modal transportation plan that clearly details regional and local project, planning, and policy priorities. 

(7)  Maintaining a regional transportation advisory committee (TAC) that reviews and provides input on all major state and federal transportation planning and policy decisions.  In order to facilitate this input, the regional planning commissions, in collaboration with the agency of transportation, shall provide warning and notice of all public meetings regarding transportation plans, projects, and proposals.

* * * Registration for Specialized Fuel-Driven Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 23.  23 V.S.A. § 4(22) is amended to read:

(22)  "Nongasoline driven motor vehicle" “Specialized fuel-driven motor vehicle”  shall include all motor vehicles, the power for which is generated otherwise than by gasoline, except diesel driven vehicles using or by diesel "fuel" as defined in section 3002 of this title, excluding steam road rollers, tractors used entirely for work on the farm and vehicles running only upon rails or tracks.

Sec. 24.  23 V.S.A. § 362 is amended to read:

§ 362.  NONGASOLINE AND NONDIESEL SPECIALIZED FUEL MOTOR VEHICLES AND MOTOR BUSES

The annual fee for the registration of any "nongasoline driven specialized fuel-driven motor vehicle" as defined in section 4 of this title but not including and of motor buses, as defined in section 3002 of this title and registered in this state, shall be one and three quarters three-quarters times the amount of the annual fee provided for a motor vehicle of the classification and weight under the terms of this chapter.

Sec. 25.  REPEAL

23 V.S.A. chapter 8 (bus taxation proration agreement) is repealed.

* * * Development Review Applications; Notice Requirements * * *

Sec. 26.  24 V.S.A. § 4464(a)(1) and (2) are amended to read:  

(a)  Notice procedures.  All development review applications before an appropriate municipal panel under procedures set forth in this chapter shall require notice as follows.

(1)  A warned public hearing shall be required for conditional use review, variances, administrative officer appeals, and final plat review for subdivisions.  Any public notice for a warned public hearing shall be given not less than 15 days prior to the date of the public hearing by all the following:

(A)  Publication of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality affected.

(B)  Posting of the same information in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2), including posting within view from the public right‑of‑way most nearly adjacent to the property for which an application is made.

(C)  Written notification to the applicant and to owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to any public right‑of‑way including the owners of properties which would be contiguous to the property subject to development but for the interposition of a highway or other public right-of-way and, in any situation in which a variance is sought regarding setbacks from a state highway, also including written notification to the secretary of transportation.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

(2)  Public notice for hearings on all other types of development review, including site plan review, shall be given not less than seven days prior to the date of the public hearing, and shall include at a minimum all the following:

(A)  Posting of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with the time and location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2).

(B)  Written notification to the applicant and to the owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to right‑of‑way including the owners of properties which would be contiguous to the property subject to development but for the interposition of a highway or other public right-of-way and, in any situation in which a variance is sought regarding setbacks from a state highway, also including written notification to the secretary of transportation.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.


* * * Transportation State Policy * * *

Sec. 27.  19 V.S.A. § 10b(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Transportation projects shall be designed to In developing the state’s annual transportation program, the agency shall, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional, and state agency plans:

(1)  Develop or incorporate designs that provide safe and efficient transportation and to promote economic opportunities for Vermonters and the best use of the state's natural environmental and historic resources, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by Act No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional and state agency plans.

(2)  Manage available funding to:

(A)  give priority to preserving the functionality of the existing transportation infrastructure, and

(B)  adhere to credible project delivery schedules.

* * * Repeal * * *

Sec. 28.  REPEAL; STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT

(a)  19 V.S.A. § 10 g(g) (planning meetings) is repealed.

(b)  This repeal does not absolve the agency of transportation from its existing public involvement responsibilities under 23 C.F.R. § 450.212(f), as certified to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.  This annual certification outlines the agency’s public involvement responsibilities in three areas:  the transportation planning initiative (TPI); development and adoption of the long-range transportation plan; and development and adoption of the state transportation improvement plan (STIP).

* * * Smugglers Notch * * *

Sec. 29.  23 V.S.A. § 1006b is added to read:

§ 1006b.  SMUGGLERS NOTCH; WINTER CLOSURE OF VERMONT ROUTE 108

The agency of transportation may close the Smugglers Notch segment of Vermont Route 108 during periods of winter weather.  Closings shall become effective when signs to inform the traveling public are in place at both closure points.  These signs shall conform to the standards of section 1025 of this title.

* * * Town Highway Structures and Class 2 Roadway Programs * * *

Sec. 30.  19 V.S.A. § 306(e) is amended to read:

(e)  State aid for town highway structures.  There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for maintenance, including actions to extend life expectancy, and construction of bridges, culverts, and other structures, including causeways and retaining walls, intended to preserve the integrity of the traveled portion of class 1, 2, and 3 town highways.  Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated state share cost of $3,490,000.00 at a minimum as new grants.  The agency’s proposed appropriation for the program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year.  In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the town highway structures program exceed the amount appropriated, the agency shall advise the governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the general assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the agency has previously committed to completing those projects.  Funds received as grants for state aid for town highway structures may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

Sec. 31.  19 V.S.A. § 306(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Class 2 town highway roadway program.  There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for resurfacing, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of paved or unpaved class 2 town highways.  Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated state share cost of $4,240,000.00 at a minimum as new grants.  The agency’s proposed appropriation for the program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year.  In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the town highway class 2 roadway program exceed the amount appropriated, the agency shall advise the governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the general assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the agency has previously committed to completing those projects.  Funds received as grants for state aid under the class 2 town highway roadway program may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.


Sec. 32.  19 V.S.A. § 309b(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Notwithstanding § 309a subsections (a), (b) and (c) of section 309a of this title, a municipality may use a grant awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program to provide the nonfederal matching funds required to draw down a federal earmark.  In all such cases, the grant shall be matched by local funds as provided in this section.  The intended use of a town highway grant as matching funds for a federal earmark shall not entitle a municipal grant applicant to any priority for a grant award in any fiscal year.  When grants awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program are used to satisfy nonfederal matching requirements for federal earmarks, the term “project costs” in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall refer only to the nonfederal match for the federal earmark. 

Sec. 33.  19 V.S.A. § 309a(d) is added to read:

(d)  In any case of highway or bridge construction in which a municipality bears a share of the project costs, the fair market value of any land, material, or services donated by the municipality and used in the project shall be credited to the municipality’s share of the project costs subject to the provisions of 23 U.S.C. § 323 with respect to a federal aid project, with any surplus being thereafter credited to the remainder of the nonfederal match requirement.

* * * Enhancement Grant Program * * *

Sec. 34.  19 V.S.A. § 38(g) is amended to read:

(g)  Each year, up to $200,000.00 of the grant program or such lesser sum if all eligible applications amount to less than $200,000.00 shall be reserved for municipalities for eligible salt and sand shed projects.  Grant awards for eligible projects shall not exceed $50,000.00 per project.  Regarding the balance of grant program funds, in In evaluating applications for enhancement grants, the transportation enhancement grant committee shall give preferential weighting to projects involving as a primary feature a bicycle or pedestrian facility.  The degree of preferential weighting and the circumstantial factors sufficient to overcome the weighting shall be in the complete discretion of the transportation enhancement grant committee.

* * * Access to State Highway Rights-of-Way;

Appeal to Transportation Board ** *

Sec. 35.  19 V.S.A. § 5(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The board shall:

(1)  hear appeals from agency decisions and rulings regarding measurement, description or reclassification of town highways pursuant to section 305 of this title;

(2)  hear and determine small claims pursuant to section 20 of this title;

(3)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of decisions of the secretary of transportation when he or she assumes the powers and duties of a selectboard in highway matters in unorganized towns and gores pursuant to section 16 of this title;

(4)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, regarding legal disputes in the execution of contracts;

(5)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of decisions of the secretary in administering the provisions of Title 24, relating to junkyards;

(6)  provide appellate review when requested in writing, regarding the fairness of rents and fees charged for the occupancy or use of state-owned properties administered by the agency;

(7)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of agency decisions and rulings regarding private and commercial access to state highway rights-of-way pursuant to the permit process established in section 1111 of this title;

(7)(8)  in coordination with the agency, hold public hearings for the purpose of obtaining public comment on the development of state transportation policy, the mission of the agency, and state transportation planning, capital programming, and program implementation;

(8)(9)  hear and determine disputes involving the decision of a selectboard under subdivision 302(a)(3)(B) or subsection 310(a) of this title not to plow and make negotiable a class 2 or 3 town highway or section of a highway during the winter or involving discontinuances of class 3 or 4 town highways extending into adjacent towns under the provisions of subsection 771(c) of this title; and

(9)(10)  when requested by the secretary, conduct public hearings on matters of public interest, after which it shall transmit its findings and recommendations to the secretary and the chairs of the senate and house committees on transportation in a report which shall be a public document.

Sec. 36.  LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FOR PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT FOR AMTRAK VERMONT SERVICE 

(a)  Pursuant to Sec. 20 of No. 175 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), the general assembly approves the state of Vermont’s purchase, through the agency, of diesel multiple unit (DMU) equipment for a demonstration project to improve Amtrak passenger train service to Vermont.

(b)  This approval is subject to the following conditions:

(1)  Financing for the demonstration project must be available under the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

(2)  There must be availability of a grant of $2 million from Amtrak to assist with certain costs related to the demonstration project, including transition costs, maintenance facilities, marketing, engineering oversight, and service improvements to Vermont stations.

(3)  The DMU equipment selected by Amtrak through a competitive procurement process in 2003 must be utilized.

(4)  The purchase contract with the DMU vendor shall include an option to purchase future equipment, with pricing protections.

(5)  The DMU equipment must meet or exceed current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) structural safety requirements. 

(6)  The DMU equipment must comply with accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

(7)  The vendor of the DMU equipment must agree, should the state of Vermont determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful, to act as the state’s agent to sell the DMU equipment at a minimum of 90 percent of the purchase price and, should the DMU equipment not sell within one year, to purchase the DMU equipment back at 90 percent of the purchase price.

(8)  The contract for construction and purchase of the DMU equipment must be approved by the state treasurer and the attorney general as including sufficient guarantees to assure successful manufacture and delivery of the DMU equipment, as well as performance of the vendor’s undertakings to sell or buy back the DMU equipment, should the state determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful.

(9)  Any agreements between the state of Vermont and Amtrak or the FRA must be flexible enough to permit redeployment of the DMU equipment in the event of the reconfiguration of Amtrak service to Vermont.  

Sec. 37.  PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION; COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

(a)  The agency shall add staff capacity (either an additional position or a consultant, as determined by the secretary) to develop options for an efficient, well-coordinated public transportation system with emphasis on connectivity adjustments that might be necessary as a result of implementing any options listed under subsection (b) of this section.  The agency shall examine the feasibility of making public transportation in Vermont seamless, efficient, and user-friendly, with usable connections among in-state and out-of-state points.  In conducting research and developing recommendations, the agency shall consult with the University of Vermont and with the state’s congressional delegation.

(b)  The agency shall examine the costs and benefits of various elements of the public transportation system, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1)  Terminating Amtrak’s “Vermonter” service in its entirety;

(2)  Converting Amtrak’s “Vermonter” or “Ethan Allen” service from conventional locomotive-hauled trains to diesel multiple units (DMUs);

(3)  Making White River Junction the northern terminus for Amtrak’s “Vermonter” service, either with conventional locomotive-hauled trains or DMUs; and

(4)  Coordination of all modes of transportation, including intercity bus and other bus systems, park and rides, Amtrak passenger train services, and air travel.  

(c)  On or before January 15, 2008, the agency shall submit a report on public transportation connectivity, with appropriate recommendations, to the house and senate committees on transportation.

* * * Barre Town; Access to Commercial Property * * *

Sec. 38.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION APPROVAL; ACCESS TO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY NEAR VT 14/63 INTERSECTION

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. chapter 17 (limited access facilities), the agency is directed to approve the existing one-way entry to the commercial property located southwesterly of the Vermont Route 14/63 intersection in Barre Town at mile marker 0140, subject to the property owner compensating the state for the current fair market value of the access rights previously acquired by the state.  

* * * Relocation of Dummerston DMV Office * * *

Sec. 39.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES OFFICE IN DUMMERSTON; RELOCATION REPORT

The agency is directed to examine options for improving the facility and parking at the existing department of motor vehicles office in Dummerston versus renting separate space in the vicinity that meets the needs of the public. If a rental solution is found, upon the recommendation of the commissioner of motor vehicles, the chairs of the senate and house committees on transportation may approve proceeding with this option.  If an upgrade to the current facility is recommended, the agency shall report this option to the senate and house committees on transportation by January 15, 2008. 

* * * Bike and Pedestrian Accommodation Activities; Report * * *

Sec. 40.  BIKE–PEDESTRIAN ACCOMMODATION ACTIVITIES; REPORT

By January 15, 2008, the agency shall provide a report to the senate and house committees on transportation summarizing all calendar year 2007 construction season expenditures in support of bike and pedestrian facilities and accommodations, including, but not limited to, enhancement projects, the bike/ped program, and features for the accommodation of cyclists and pedestrians that are included as part of paving or other projects.

* * * Municipal Indebtedness; Certain Bridge and Roadway Projects * * *

Sec. 41.  24 V.S.A. § 1759(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any bond issued under this subchapter shall draw interest at a rate not to exceed the rate approved by t`he voters of the municipal corporation in accordance with section 1758 of this title, or if no rate is specified in the vote under that section, at a rate approved by the legislative branch of the municipal corporation, such interest to be payable semiannually.  Such bonds or bond shall be payable serially, the first payment to be deferred not later than from one to five years after the issuance of the bonds and subsequent payments to be continued annually in equal or diminishing amounts so that the entire debt will be paid in not more than 20 years from the date of issue.  In the case of bonds issued for the purchase or development of a municipal forest, the first payment may be deferred not more than 30 years from the date of issuance thereof. Thereafter such bonds or bond shall be payable annually in equal or diminishing amounts so that the entire debt will be paid in not more than 60 years from the date of issue.  In the case of bonds issued for improvements on public highways that have a useful life of at least 30 years and that involve bridge construction or roadway reconstruction, including a bridge component, the entire debt will be paid in not more than 30 years from the date of issue.

* * * Railroad Farm Crossing; Study Committee * * *

Sec. 42.  RAILROAD FARM CROSSING STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  Contemporary changes in railroad operations, agricultural practices, land use and development patterns, environmental regulation, and recreational activities across the state require legislative review of state and federal regulations related to railroad grade crossings for agricultural, private, and public purposes.  A study committee is established to examine allowed usages of farm crossings, and shall consist of:  one representative each from the agency of transportation; agriculture, food and markets; and natural resources, appointed by the respective secretaries; one member from the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, appointed by the governor; one member from the senate committee on transportation appointed by the committee on committees; one member from the house committee on transportation appointed by the speaker; one public member appointed by the governor; and a member of the transportation board appointed by the chair of the board.

(b)  The committee is directed to:

(1)  Clarify the definition of "agricultural use," including a review of potential benefits and adverse impacts that statutory modifications will have in regard to safety, liability, and agricultural land conservation.

(2)  Solicit testimony from agricultural, environmental, and law enforcement organizations, railroads operating in the state, Vermont Operation Lifesaver, Inc., the Federal Railroad Administration, the emergency management division of the department of public safety, and the Vermont league of cities and towns.

(c)  Legislative members shall be compensated in accordance with section 1052 of Title 32.

(d)  The committee is authorized to meet up to four times, and the agency of transportation shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(e)  The committee shall deliver its report to the senate and house committees on transportation, on agriculture, and on natural resources and energy by December 1, 2007.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 22, 2007, page 384.)

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 120

An act relating to wine tastings and farmers’ markets.

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

     First:  By striking  Sec. 2. and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

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

§ 67. WINE TASTINGS; PERMIT; PENALTIES

(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.

(b) A wine tasting event held pursuant to this section, not to include wine tasting events conducted on the premises of a manufacturer or rectifier or on the premises of a fourth class licensee pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section or a promotional tasting promotional tastings pursuant to subdivision (d)(1) of this section:

* * *

(d) Promotional wine tasting.

(1) At the request of a holder of a first class or second class license, a holder of a manufacturer's, rectifier's, or wholesale dealer's license may distribute without charge to the first or second class licensee's management and staff, provided they are of legal drinking age, two ounces per person of vinous beverages for the purpose of promoting the beverage. No permit is required under this subdivision, but written notice of the event shall be provided to the department of liquor control at least 10 five days prior to the date of the tasting.

* * *

(3)  At the request of a holder of a wholesale dealer’s license, a first class licensee may dispense malt or vinous beverages for promotional purposes without charge to invited management and staff of first, second, or third class licensees, provided they are of legal drinking age.  The event shall be held on the premises of the first class licensee.  The first class licensee shall be responsible for complying with all applicable laws under this title. No permit is required under this subdivision, but the wholesale dealer shall provide written notice of the event to the department  of liquor control at least 10 days prior to the date of the tasting.

     Second:  By adding a new Sec. 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

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. 102

An act relating to decreasing the percentage to determine a school district’s excess spending.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 118

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

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)

Barbara Zander of St. Johnsbury - Family Court Magistrate - By Sen. Cummings for the Committee on Judiciary.  (4/4)

Celine F. Champine of Newport Center - Member of the Community High School of Vermont Board - By Sen. Starr for the Committee on Education.  (4/6)

Richard Fraser of South Ryegate - Member of the Community High School of Vermont Board - By Sen. Nitka for the Committee on Education.  (4/6)

Blanche Kelley of Rutland - Member of the Community High School of Vermont Board - By Sen. Giard for the Committee on Education. (4/6)

Kathryn  T. Boardman of Shelburne - Member of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (4/18)

David Coen of Shelburne - Member of the Public Service Board - By Sen. Ayer for the Committee on Finance.  (4/18)

Steven Gurin of Barre - Member of the Educational and Health Buildings Finance Agency - By Sen. Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (4/18)

Paulettte Thabault of South Burlington - Commissioner of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration - By Sen. Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (4/18)

Paulette Thabault of South Burlington - Commissioner of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration - by Sen. Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (4/18)

PUBLIC HEARING

     Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - Room 11 - 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Re:  Retirement-Cost of Living Adjustment - Senate and House Committees on Government Operations.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us