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Senate Calendar

friday, may 11, 2007

129th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

Joint Resolution for Action

JRH 34  Designating the month of June as Vermont birding month................. 1748

NOTICE CALENDAR

House Proposals of Amendment

S. 97       Relating to correctional facilities....................................................... 1748

S. 164     Relating to campaign finance........................................................... 1753

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate application of pesticides......... 1764


S. 102     Decreasing percentage to determine school dist. excess spending..... 1765

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending districts & special education.............. 1765

JRS 24   Federal “fast track” process for congressional review of international ......       trade agreements          1765

NOTICE OF BILL PENDING RECEIPT FROM THE HOUSE

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 92       Relating to groundwater mapping (pending receipt from House)....... 1765

Concurrent Resolutions for Action

(For text of Resolutions, see Calendar Addendum for May 10, 2007)

SCR 23     Congratulating Morgan Lilly and Ethan Verberg.............................. 232

SCR 24     Recognizing  former commissioner George Chaffee......................... 233


HCR 142  Thanking utility crews, municipal. empl., community org., &..................                               volunteers who assisted Rutland Cty. in storm-recovery effort................................................... 234

HCR 143  Honoring girl scouting in Vermont on the 95th anniversary .............. 236

HCR 144  Memory of John Dostal of Bennington............................................ 238

HCR 145  Southern Vermont College on its 80th anniversary.......................... 240

HCR 146  Congratulating Destination Imagination teams from Randolph.......... 241

HCR 147  Congratulating Nathaniel Alexander Soares ................................... 242

HCR 148  Memory of Gary Rosen................................................................. 244

HCR 149  Honoring John and Joyce Miner .................................................... 245

HCR 150  Honoring retiring town manager Jerome Mann Remillard ................ 246

HCR 151  Congratulating Hannah McMeekin and Garrett Bauman ................. 247

HCR 152  Lamoille UHS Lady Lancers Division II girls’ basketball team......... 249

HCR 153  Congratulating American Cancer Society on the Hope Lodge......... 250

HCR 154  Honoring Brattleboro Fire Chief David J. Emery............................. 251

HCR 155  Congratulating Dorothy McGuire on her 100th birthday................... 252

HCR 156  Honoring Jane Altobell as the Shaftsbury School nurse................... 254

HCR 157  Honoring Richford assistant town clerk Joyce Wetherby................. 255

HCR 158  Honoring Roger Gendron .............................................................. 256

HCR 159  Congratulating Gordon DeLong Pittsford town clerk-treasurer........ 257

HCR 160  Memory of William H. Leach......................................................... 258

HCR 161  Honoring Margaret Larivee ........................................................... 260

HCR 162  Catamount Elementary School in Bennington.................................. 261




 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Joint Resolution for Action

J.R.H. 34

An act designating the month of June as Vermont birding month.

(For text of Resolution, see Senate Journal of May 10, 2007, page 1335)

NOTICE CALENDAR

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 97

An act relating to correctional facilities.

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

Sec. 1.   4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102.  JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 4249 is amended to read:

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

(a)  No person shall knowingly carry or introduce or cause to be carried or introduced into a lockup, jail, prison, or correctional facility:

(1)  alcohol, malt or vinous beverages, or spirituous liquor;

(2)  marijuana; or

(3)  a regulated drug, other than marijuana, as defined in section 4201 of this title, except upon the prescription or direction of a practitioner as that term is defined in chapter 36 of Title 26; or

(4)  tobacco or tobacco products, except that an employee may possess or store tobacco or tobacco products in a locked automobile parked on the correctional facility grounds, store tobacco or tobacco products in a secure place within the correctional facility which is designated for storage of employee tobacco, and possess tobacco or tobacco products in a designated smoking area.

(b)  A person who violates subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than three months or fined not more than $300.00, or both.

(c)  A person who violates subdivision (a)(2) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

(d)  A person who violates subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(e)  A person who violates subdivision (a)(4) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $450.00 for the first offense and $900.00 for any subsequent offense.  An action under this subsection shall be brought in the same manner as for a traffic violation pursuant to chapter 24 of Title 23.

(f)  As used in this section, “correctional facility” means any secure or staff-secure building, enclosure, space, or structure of or supported by the department and used for the confinement of persons committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections, or for any other matter related to such confinement.

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 802 is amended to read:

§ 802.  CORRESPONDENCE OF INMATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d)  Negative contact list.

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

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

(3)  A parent or authorized legal guardian of a minor may add the minor child to the negative contact list of any inmate who is not the parent of the child by notifying the department of corrections in writing that he or she does not wish the minor child to receive any correspondence through the mail from a particular inmate.  If the inmate is a parent of the minor, the inmate shall have the right to have contact with the minor, unless the inmate is prohibited by court order from contacting the child.

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 120(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Required participation.  All persons under the custody of the commissioner of corrections who are under the age of 22 23 and have not received a high school diploma shall participate in the education program unless exempted by the commissioner.

Sec. 5.  2 V.S.A. § 801 (b) and (c) are amended to read:

§ 801.  CREATION OF COMMITTEE

* * *

(b)  The committee shall be composed of eight 10 members:  four five members of the house of representatives, who shall not all be from the same party, appointed by the speaker of the house; and four five members of the senate, who shall not all be from the same party, appointed by the committee on committees.  In addition to one member‑at‑large appointed from each chamber, one appointment shall be made from each of the following house and senate committees:  appropriations, judiciary, and institutions, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on human services.

(c)  The committee shall elect a chair, vice chair, and clerk from among its members and shall adopt rules of procedure.  The chair shall rotate biennially between the house and the senate members.  The committee shall keep minutes of its meetings and maintain a file thereof.  A quorum shall consist of five six members.

* * *

Sec. 6.  JOINT LEGISLATIVE CORRECTIONS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE; MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES; REDUCTION OF RECIDIVISM

(a)  During the 2007 interim, the joint legislative corrections oversight committee shall engage policymakers, social scientists, and interested persons to:

(1)  gather and review current and accurate data of the prevalence of current and recent inmates with serious mental illness, use the data to project the future acute care needs of all persons with serious mental illnesses who are or will be committed to corrections’ custody, and develop recommendations for legislative change that will meet these needs; and

(2)  develop a strategic plan to reduce the number of Vermont offenders confined to corrections facilities by 30 percent within the ensuing 10‑year period. 

(b)  In working with data under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the committee shall:

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

(A)  Inmates with acute mental health treatment needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(5)  Review the department of corrections’ policies governing the administration of drugs prescribed to treat mental health issues among the inmate population, including:

(A)  The economic cost of current prescription policies.

(B)  The effectiveness of prescription drugs in treating mental illness within the inmate population.

(C)  Current trends in the use of particular categories of drugs to treat mental illness within the inmate population.

(D)  The department’s policies regarding off‑label usage of prescription drugs.

(c)  In preparing the strategic plan required by subdivision (a)(2) of this section, the committee shall:

(1)  Include projections for incarceration rates based on current department of corrections’ practices;

(2)  Identify programs that aim to reduce recidivism and prevent crime;

(3)  Consider alternatives to current sentencing practices, particularly for nonviolent, first‑time offenders;

(4)  Consult with interested persons and experts in the field to determine best practices which might lead to successful implementation of the strategic plan;

(5)  Develop cost estimates of any resources needed to implement the strategic plan; and

(6)  Include in its report a draft of any legislative action recommended to implement the strategic plan.

(d)  The committee shall report to the general assembly:

(1)  data gathered pursuant to subdivision (a)(1) of this section and its findings and recommendations for legislative action on or before October 15, 2007, and

(2)  the strategic plan developed pursuant to subdivision (a)(2) of this section on or before January 15, 2008.

Sec. 7.  COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTIONS; COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION; MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

On or before January 15, 2008, the commissioner of corrections and the commissioner of education shall provide to the house committee on institutions, the senate committee on judiciary, and the senate and house committees on education a copy of a memorandum of understanding executed and signed by the two commissioners as required by an interagency agreement required under Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  The memorandum shall describe the legal, service provision, financial, and accounting roles and responsibilities of each of their agencies regarding special education services delivery by the Community High School of Vermont.

S. 164

An act relating to campaign finance.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Large campaign contributions reduce public confidence in the electoral process and increase the risk and the appearance that candidates and elected officials will not act in the best interests of all Vermont citizens.

(2)  Some candidates and elected officials, particularly when time is limited, respond and give access to contributors who make large contributions in preference to those who make small or no contributions.

(3)  In Vermont, contributions greater than the amounts specified in this act are considered by the general assembly, candidates, and elected officials to be large contributions.

(4)  In Vermont, contributions in the amounts permitted in this act adequately allow contributors to express their opinions, levels of support, and affiliations with respect to candidates, political committees, and political parties.

(5)  In Vermont, candidates can raise sufficient monies to fund effective campaigns from contributions no larger than the amounts specified in this act.

(6)  Limiting large contributions will encourage direct and small group contact between candidates and the electorate and will encourage the personal involvement of a larger number of citizens in campaigns, both of which are crucial to public confidence and the robust debate of issues.

(7)  In Vermont, campaign expenditures by persons who are not candidates have been increasing and public confidence is eroded when unidentified expenditures are made, particularly during the final days of a campaign.

(8)  Identification of persons who publish political advertisements and electioneering communications assists in enforcement of the campaign finance limitations established by this act.

(9)  Aggregate contributions limitations are necessary to limit the influence of a single source, political committee, or political party in an election.

(10)  There is an extensive record supporting the need for the regulation of campaign finance in Vermont that was compiled during the consideration of No. 64 of the Acts of 1997, and that was considered by the courts during the litigation of Landell v. Sorrell, 118 F.Supp. 459 (D.Vt. 2000), aff’d in part and vacated in part, 382 F.3d 91 (2d Cir. 2004), rev’d and remanded sub nom. Randall v. Sorrell, 126 S. Ct. 2479 (2006).

(11)  This act is necessary in order to implement more fully the provisions of Article 8 of Chapter I of the Constitution of the State of Vermont, which declares “That all elections ought to be free and without corruption, and that all voters, having a sufficient, evident, common interest with, and attachment to the community, have a right to elect officers, and be elected into office, agreeably to the regulations made in this constitution.”

Sec. 2.  17 V.S.A. § 2801 is amended to read:

§ 2801.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Candidate” means an individual who has taken affirmative action to become a candidate for state, county, local, or legislative office in a primary, special, general, or local election.  An affirmative action shall include one or more of the following:

(A)  accepting contributions or making expenditures totalling $500.00 or more; or

(B)  filing the requisite petition for nomination under this title or being nominated by primary or caucus; or

(C)  announcing that he or she seeks an elected position as a state, county, or local officer or a position as representative or senator in the general assembly.

(2)  “Clearly identified,” with respect to a candidate, means that:

(A)  The name of the candidate appears;

(B)  A photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or

(C)  The identity of the candidate is apparent by unambiguous reference.

(3)  “Contribution” means a payment, distribution, advance, deposit, loan, or gift of money or anything of value, paid or promised to be paid to a person for the purpose of influencing an election, advocating a position on a public question, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates in any election, but shall not include services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee or political party.  For purposes of this chapter, “contribution” shall not include a personal loan from a lending institution any of the following:

(A)  a personal loan of money to a candidate from a lending institution made in the ordinary course of business;

(B)  services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or political party;

(C)  unreimbursed travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by an individual who volunteers personal services to a candidate, if the cumulative amount of these expenses does not exceed $500.00 per election;

(D)  unreimbursed campaign‑related travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by the candidate or the candidate’s spouse or civil union partner;

(E)  the payment by a political party of the costs of preparation, display, or mailing or other distribution of a party candidate listing;

(F)  documents, in printed or electronic form, including party platforms, single copies of issue papers, information pertaining to the requirements of this title, lists of registered voters and voter identification information, created, obtained, or maintained by a political party for the general purpose of party building and provided to a candidate who is a member of that party or to another political party;

(G)  compensation paid by a political party to its employees whose job responsibilities are not for the specific and exclusive benefit of a single candidate in any election;

(H)  campaign training sessions provided to three or more candidates;

(I)  costs paid for by a political party in connection with a campaign event at which three or more candidates are present;

(J)  the use of offices, telephones, computers, and similar equipment when that use does not result in additional cost to the provider;

(K)  activity or communication designed to encourage individuals to register to vote or to vote if that activity or communication does not mention or depict a clearly identified candidate;

(L)  compensation paid by a political party to its employees or consultants for the purpose of providing assistance to another political party.

(3)(4)  “Expenditure” means a payment, disbursement, distribution, advance, deposit, loan, or gift of money or anything of value, paid or promised to be paid, for the purpose of influencing an election, advocating a position on a public question, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates.  For the purposes of this chapter, “expenditure” shall not include any of the following:

(A)  a personal loan of money to a candidate from a lending institution made in the ordinary course of business;

(B)  services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or political party;

(C)  unreimbursed travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by an individual who volunteers personal services to a candidate, if the cumulative amount of these expenses does not exceed $500.00 per election;

(D)  unreimbursed campaign‑related travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by the candidate or the candidate’s spouse or civil union partner.

(5)  “Party candidate listing” means any communication by a political party that:

(A)  lists the names of at least three candidates for election to public office;

(B)  is distributed through public advertising such as broadcast stations, cable television, newspapers and similar media, or through direct mail, telephone, electronic mail, publicly accessible sites on the internet or personal delivery;

(C)  treats all candidates in the communication in a substantially similar manner; and

(D)  is limited to:

(i)  the identification of each candidate, with which pictures may be used;

(ii)  the offices sought;

(iii)  the offices currently held by the candidates;

(iv)  the party affiliation of the candidates and a brief statement about the party or the candidates’ positions, philosophy, goals, accomplishments, or biographies;

(v)  encouragement to vote for the candidates identified; and

(vi)  information about voting, such as voting hours and locations.

(4)(6)  “Political committee” or “political action committee” means any formal or informal committee of two or more individuals, or a corporation, labor organization, public interest group, or other entity, not including a political party, which receives contributions of more than $500.00 and makes expenditures of more than $500.00 in any one calendar year for the purpose of supporting or opposing one or more candidates, influencing an election, or advocating a position on a public question in any election or affecting the outcome of an election.

(5)(7)  “Political party” means a political party organized under chapter 45 of this title or and any committee established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the party, including any subsidiary, branch, or local unit thereof and including national or regional affiliates of the party and shall be considered a single, unified political party.  The national affiliate of the political party shall be considered a separate political party.

(6)(8)  “Single source” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons which is not a political committee or political party.

(7)(9)  “Election” means the procedure whereby the voters of this state or any of its political subdivisions select a person to be a candidate for public office or fill a public office, or to act on public questions including voting on constitutional amendments.  Each primary, general, special, run‑off, or local election shall constitute a separate election.

(8)(10)  “Public question” means an issue that is before the voters for a binding decision.

(9)(11)  “Two‑year general election cycle” means the 24‑month period that begins 38 days after a general election. Expenditures related to a previous campaign and contributions to retire a debt of a previous campaign shall be attributed to the earlier campaign cycle.

(10)(12)  “Full name” means an individual’s full first name, middle name or initial, if any, and full legal last name, making the identity of the person who made the contribution apparent by unambiguous reference.

(11)(13)  “Telephone bank” means more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature that are made to the general public within any 30‑day period.

Sec. 3.  17 V.S.A. § 2801a is amended to read:

§ 2801a.  EXCEPTIONS

The definitions of “contribution,” “expenditure,” and “electioneering communication” shall not apply to:

(1)  any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication which has not been paid for, or such facilities are not owned or controlled, by any political party, committee, or candidate; and

(2)  any communication distributed through a public access television station if the communication complies with the laws and rules governing the station, and all candidates in the race have an equal opportunity to promote their candidacies through the station.

Sec. 4.  17 V.S.A. § 2805 is amended to read:

§ 2805.  LIMITATIONS OF CONTRIBUTIONS

(a)  A candidate for state representative or local office shall not accept contributions totaling more than $200.00 $250.00 from a single source, or political committee or political party in for any two‑year general election cycle.

(b)  A candidate for state senator or county office shall not accept contributions totaling more than $300.00 $500.00 from a single source, or political committee or political party in for any two‑year general election cycle.

(c)  A candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of accounts, or attorney general shall not accept contributions totaling more than $400.00 $750.00 from a single source, or political committee or political party in for any two‑year general election cycleA political committee, other than a political committee of a candidate, or a political party shall not accept contributions totaling more than $2,000.00 from a single source, political committee or political party in any two‑year general election cycle.

(d)  A candidate for the office of governor shall not accept contributions totaling more than $1,000.00 from a single source or political committee in any election.

(b)(e)  A single source, political committee or political party shall not contribute more to a candidate, political committee or political party than the candidate, political committee or political party is permitted to accept under subsection (a) of this section than $20,000.00 to all candidates in any two‑year general election cycle.  A single source shall not contribute more than $20,000.00 to all political committees and political parties in any two‑year general election cycle.

(c)(f)  A candidate, political party or political committee shall not accept, from a political party contributions totaling more than the following amounts in any two‑year general election cycle, more than 25 percent of total contributions from contributors who are not residents of the state of Vermont or from political committees or parties not organized in the state of Vermont:

(1)  For the office of governor, $30,000.00;

(2)  For the office of lieutenant governor, $10,000.00;

(3)  For the office of secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of accounts, or attorney general, $5,000.00;

(4)  For the office of state senator or county office, $2,000.00;

(5)  For the office of state representative or local office, $1,000.00.

(g)  A single source, political committee, or political party shall not contribute more to a candidate, political committee, or political party than the candidate, political committee, or political party is permitted to accept under subsections (a) through (d) and (f) of this section.

(d)(h)  A candidate shall not accept a monetary contribution in excess of $50.00 unless made by check, credit or debit card, or other electronic transfer.

(e)(i)  A candidate, political party, or political committee shall not knowingly accept a contribution which is not directly from the contributor, but was transferred to the contributor by another person for the purpose of transferring the same to the candidate, or otherwise circumventing the provisions of this chapter.  It shall be a violation of this chapter for a person to make a contribution with the explicit or implicit understanding that the contribution will be transferred in violation of this subsection.

(f)(j)  This section shall not be interpreted to limit the amount a candidate or his or her immediate family may contribute to his or her own campaign.  For purposes of this subsection, “immediate family” means individuals related to the candidate in the first, second or third degree of consanguinity a candidate’s spouse or civil union partner, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sister, brother, stepparent, stepgrandparent, stepchild, stepgrandchild, stepsister, stepbrother, mother‑in‑law, father‑in‑law, brother‑in‑law, sister‑in‑law, son‑in‑law, daughter‑in‑law, guardian, or former guardian.

(g)(k)  The limitations on contributions established by this section shall not apply to contributions made for the purpose of advocating a position on a public question, including a constitutional amendment.

(h)(l)  For purposes of this section, the term “candidate” includes the candidate’s political committee.

(m)  The contribution limitations contained in this section shall be adjusted for inflation by increasing them based on the Consumer Price Index.  Increases shall be rounded up to the nearest $10.00.  Increases shall be effective for the first two‑year general election cycle beginning after the general election held in 2008.  On or before July 1, 2009, the secretary of state shall calculate and publish the amount of each limitation that will apply to the election cycle in which July 1, 2009 falls.  On July 1 of each subsequent odd‑numbered year, the secretary shall publish the amount of each limitation for the election cycle in which that publication falls.

(n)  Contributions accepted by candidates shall be treated as follows:

(1)  A candidate who accepts a contribution prior to the date of the primary election may designate the contribution, or portion of the contribution, as either a primary or general election contribution.  Once designated, a general election contribution accepted prior to the primary election shall be accounted for separately.

(2)  A contribution accepted by a candidate after the date of the primary election shall be a general election contribution.  A candidate may designate a contribution, or portion of the contribution, accepted after the date of the primary election as a primary election contribution only for the purpose of retiring debt incurred for the primary election.

(3)  Contributions that were accepted prior to the primary election may be used for the general election if all debt incurred for the primary election has been retired.

(4)  Expenditures related to a previous two-year general election cycle and contributions to retire a debt of a previous two-year general election cycle shall be attributed to the earlier two-year general election cycle.

(5)  Independent candidates and minor party candidates, who do not have primary elections, may accept contributions prior to the primary election date in the same manner and subject to the same limits as major party candidates.

(o)  A candidate accepts a contribution when the contribution is deposited in the candidate’s campaign account.

Sec. 5.  17 V.S.A. § 2805b is added to read:

§ 2805b.  LIMITATIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS; POLITICAL COMMITTEES; POLITICAL PARTIES

(a)  In any two-year general election cycle:

(1)  A political committee, other than a political committee of a candidate, shall not accept contributions totaling more than $2,000.00 from a single source, political committee, or political party.

(2)  A political party shall not accept contributions totaling more than $2,000.00 from a single source or political committee.

(3)  A political party shall not accept contributions totaling more than $30,000.00 from another political party.

(b)  The contribution limitations contained in this section shall be adjusted for inflation by increasing them based on the Consumer Price Index.  Increases shall be rounded up to the nearest $10.00.  Increases shall be effective for the first two‑year general election cycle beginning after the general election held in 2008.  On or before July 1, 2009, the secretary of state shall calculate and publish the amount of each limitation that will apply to the election cycle in which July 1, 2009 falls.  On July 1 of each subsequent odd‑numbered year, the secretary shall publish the amount of each limitation for the election cycle in which that publication falls.

(c)  In any two-year general election cycle:

(1)  A single source, political committee, or political party shall not contribute more than $2,000.00 to a political committee, other than a political committee of a candidate. 

(2)  A single source or political committee shall not contribute more than $2,000.00 to a political party. 

(3)  A political party shall not contribute more than $30,000.00 to another political party. 

(d)  The limitations on contributions established by this section shall not apply to contributions made for the purpose of advocating a position on a public question, including a constitutional amendment.

Sec. 6.  17 V.S.A. § 2809 is amended to read:

§ 2809.  ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RELATED COORDINATED EXPENDITURES

(a)  A related coordinated campaign expenditure made on a candidate’s behalf shall be considered a contribution to the candidate on whose behalf it was made.

(b)  A related coordinated campaign expenditure made on a candidate’s behalf shall be considered an expenditure by the candidate on whose behalf it was made.  However, if the expenditure did not exceed $50.00, the expenditure shall not be considered an expenditure by the candidate on whose behalf it was made.

(c)  For the purposes of this section, a “related coordinated campaign expenditure made on the candidate’s behalf” means any expenditure intended to promote the election of a specific candidate or group of candidates, or the defeat of an opposing candidate or group of candidates, if intentionally facilitated by, solicited by or approved by the candidate or the candidate’s political committee made by a single source, political committee, or political party in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s political committee or an agent, unless otherwise exempt under subdivision 2801(3) or (4) or section 2801a of this title.

(d)  An expenditure made by a political party or by a political committee that recruits or endorses candidates, that primarily benefits six or fewer candidates who are associated with the political party or political committee making the expenditure, is presumed to be a related expenditure made on behalf of those candidates.  An expenditure made by a political party or by a political committee that recruits or endorses candidates, that substantially benefits more than six candidates and facilitates party or political committee functions, voter turnout, platform promotion or organizational capacity shall not be presumed to be a related expenditure made on a candidate’s behalf.  In addition, an expenditure shall not be considered a “related campaign expenditure made on the candidate’s behalf” if all of the following apply:

(1)  The expenditures were made in connection with a campaign event whose purpose was to provide a group of voters with the opportunity to meet the candidate personally.

(2)  The expenditures were made only for refreshments and related supplies that were consumed at that event.

(3)  The amount of the expenditures for the event was less than $100.00.

For the purposes of this section, a “coordinated campaign expenditure made on the candidate’s behalf” does not mean:

(1)  the cost of invitations and postage and of food and beverages voluntarily provided by an individual to provide an opportunity for a group of voters to meet a candidate, if the cumulative value of these activities by the individual on behalf of any candidate does not exceed $500.00 per election;

(2)  the sale of any food or beverage by a vendor at a charge less than the normal comparable charge, for use at a campaign event providing an opportunity for a group of voters to meet a candidate, if the charge to the candidate is at least equal to the cost of the food or beverages to the vendor and if the cumulative value of the food or beverages does not exceed $500.00 per election; or

(3)  amounts expended by an association or a membership organization in compiling and disseminating a nonpartisan voter guide that includes reports of votes on legislation by, or answers to written questions directed to, all or substantially all of the candidates seeking election to the general assembly or to statewide office, about the candidates’ positions on issues of concern to the association or organization, if both of the following apply:

(A)  the association or organization identifies itself as the sponsor of the communication, and accepts no funding from a candidate, political committee, or political party to defray the costs of the voter guide;

(B)  the voter guide does not contain a phrase such as “vote for,” “re‑elect,” “support,” “cast your ballot for,” “(name of candidate) for Senate,” “(name of candidate) in (year),” “vote against,” “defeat,” or “reject,” or other material that refers to a clearly identified candidate for office and that promotes or supports a candidate for that office, or attacks or opposes a candidate for that office.

* * *

Sec. 7.  17 V.S.A. § 2893(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In addition to any other reports required to be filed under this chapter, a person who makes expenditures for any one mass media activity totaling $500.00 or more within 30 days of a primary or general election shall, for each activity, file a mass media report with the secretary of state and send a copy copies, by a verifiable method of sending, of the mass media report and the complete mass media activity in the same format as distributed to the public to each candidate whose name or likeness is included in the activity within 24 hours of the expenditure or activity, whichever occurs first at the same time as the release of the information contained in the mass media activity to the public.  For the purposes of this section, a person shall be treated as having made an expenditure if the person has executed a contract to make the expenditure.  The report shall identify the person who made the expenditure with the name of the candidate involved in the activity and any other information relating to the expenditure that is required to be disclosed under the provisions of subsections 2803(a) and (b) of this title.

Sec. 8.  EVALUATION OF 2008 PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS

The house and senate committees on government operations shall evaluate the 2008 primary and general elections to determine whether the major provisions of this act are accomplishing their intended purposes.

Sec. 9.  REPEAL

17 V.S.A. § 2805a (campaign expenditure limitations) is repealed.

Sec. 10.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 17, 2007.

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.

J.R.S. 24

Joint resolution relating to the federal “fast track” process for congressional review of international trade agreements.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the resolution.

NOTICE OF BILL PENDING RECEIPT FROM THE HOUSE

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 92

An act relating to groundwater mapping.

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

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking the last sentence of 10 V.S.A. § 1416(a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof:

The office of the state geologist shall also identify areas of interest that require additional mapping, including location of water wells and mapping of surficial geology and bedrock.  The office of the state geologist may also conduct geophysical studies as funds allow.

Second:  By adding Secs. 3 and 4 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. Chapter 48, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Water Withdrawal Reporting

§1417.  WATER WITHDRAWAL REPORTING

(a)  As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Groundwater” means water below the land surface.

(2)  "Withdrawal" means the removal of groundwater from one source by any method or instrument.  All groundwater withdrawals from a particular source that are made or controlled by a single person are considered to be a single withdrawal of water.

(b)  Annually, on or before August 1, a person withdrawing more than 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day shall file a groundwater withdrawal report with the agency of natural resources for the previous year ending June 30, unless exempt under subsection (c) of this section or rules adopted by the secretary of natural resources under subsection (e) of this section.

(c)  The following are exempt from the reporting requirements of this section:

(1)  A groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purposes;

(2)  A withdrawal for use in farming, as that term is defined in section 6001 of this title;

(3)  A withdrawal for use in agricultural or dairy processing;

(4)  A withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data; and 

(5)  Ordinary household use.

(d)  A report required under subsection (b) of this section shall include information on water use, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the location of the withdrawal including, where feasible, the distance of each groundwater withdrawal from the nearest surface water source.  The secretary of natural resources may allow water withdrawal volumes to be calculated as estimates and to be reported in ranges established by the secretary.  Water withdrawal reports shall be submitted to the secretary of natural resources in a form prescribed by the secretary.

(e)  On or before April 1, 2008, the secretary of natural resources, after consultation with the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and other interested parties, shall adopt rules implementing the requirements of this section.  The rules may include:

(1)  Additional information to be included in the report required under subsection (d) of this section; and

(2)  Additional uses or activities that are exempt from the requirements of this section.

Sec. 3a.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS SURVEY OF GROUNDWATER USE

On or before July 1, 2008, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall conduct a survey of farms and agricultural and dairy processors in Vermont that withdraw in excess of 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day during a calendar year.  The survey shall request information on estimated water use, the purpose or general use of the water, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the general location of the withdrawal.  Upon completion of the survey, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall submit the information collected to the agency of natural resources.

Sec. 4.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT

On or before January 15, 2011, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, the senate committee on natural resources, and  the house and senate committees on agriculture with a recommendation as to whether the groundwater withdrawal reporting required by section 1417 of Title 10 should continue, should be amended, or should be repealed.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Concurrent Resolutions for Adoption Under Joint Rule 16a

     The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or Representative requests floor consideration before today’s adjournment.  Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively.  For text of resolutions, see Addendum to Senate Calendar of Thursday, May 10, 2007.

S.C.R. 23.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Morgan Lilly and Ethan Verberg for their prize-winning performances at the Vermont State Skills U.S.A. Diesel Competition.

S.C.R. 24.

     Senate concurrent resolution recognizing the role of former commissioner of banking and insurance George Chaffee in helping to establish the captive insurance industry in Vermont.

H.C.R.  142

House concurrent resolution thanking the utility crews, municipal employees, community organizations, and volunteers who assisted Rutland County in its storm-recovery effort

H.C.R.  143

     House concurrent resolution honoring girl scouting in Vermont on the 95th anniversary of Girl Scouts U.S.A.

H.C.R.  144

House concurrent resolution in memory of John Dostal of Bennington


H.C.R.  145

House concurrent resolution congratulating Southern Vermont College on its 80th anniversary

H.C.R. 146

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Destination Imagination teams from Randolph

H.C.R.  147

House concurrent resolution congratulating Nathaniel Alexander Soares on being named the Vermont state winner of the 2007 AXA Achievement Scholarship

H.C.R.  148

House concurrent resolution in memory of Gary Rosen

H.C.R. 149

House concurrent resolution honoring John and Joyce Miner for their devoted service on behalf of Vermont’s veterans

H.C.R. 150

House concurrent resolution honoring retiring town manager Jerome Mann Remillard for his many years of public service in the town of Brattleboro

H.C.R. 151

House concurrent resolution congratulating Hannah McMeekin and Garrett Bauman on their commendable service as United States Senate pages

H.C.R.  152

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Lamoille Union High School Lady Lancers Division II championship girls’ basketball team

H.C.R. 153

House concurrent resolution congratulating the American Cancer Society on the construction of the outstanding new Hope Lodge in Burlington

H.C.R.  154

House concurrent resolution honoring Brattleboro Fire Chief David J. Emery

H.C.R.  155

House concurrent resolution congratulating Dorothy McGuire of Shaftsbury on her 100th birthday

H.C.R.  156

House concurrent resolution honoring Jane Altobell for her outstanding 35‑year career as the Shaftsbury School nurse

H.C.R. 157

House concurrent resolution honoring Richford assistant town clerk Joyce Wetherby

H.C.R.  158

House concurrent resolution honoring Roger Gendron for his public service on behalf of the citizens of Richford

H.C.R.  159

House concurrent resolution congratulating Gordon DeLong on the completion of his exemplary career as Pittsford town clerk-treasurer

H.C.R.  160

House concurrent resolution in memory of William H. Leach

H.C.R.  161

House concurrent resolution honoring Margaret Larivee for her dedicated public service on behalf of the town of Richford

H.C.R.  162

House concurrent resolution commemorating the proud history of the Catamount Elementary School in Bennington

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.

Kenneth Perine of Middlebury - Member of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee.  (5/11)

Christine Hart of Brattleboro - Member of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee.  (5/11)

 



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Montpelier, Vermont


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