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Senate Calendar

Saturday, May 12, 2007

130th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

NOTICE CALENDAR

House Proposals of Amendment

S. 53       Relating to motor vehicles............................................................... 1772

S. 92       Relating to groundwater mapping.................................................... 1772

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides.............................. 1774

S. 102     School district excess spending....................................................... 1774

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................. 1775

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of  trade agreements.................... 1775

Confirmations

Kenneth Perine - Member of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.............................................       1775

Christine Hart - Member of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs............................................................ .      1775

Kathryn Larsen – Member of the State Board of Education – By Senator Nitka for the Committee on Education.     1775

Text of Joint House Resolutions to be Introduced

JRH 39  Requesting Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions................ 1775

JRH 42  Recognizing the importance of farmers’ markets in Vermont............. 1777

 




 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

NOTICE CALENDAR

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 53

An act relating motor vehicles.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 1 to read as follows:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4(73) is amended to read:

Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(73)  “Neighborhood electric vehicle” means a self‑propelled, electrically‑powered motor vehicle which:

(A)  is emission free;

(B)  is designed to carry four or fewer persons;

(C)  is designed to be, and is, operated at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less;

(D)  has at least four wheels in contact with the ground;

(E)  has an unladen a gross vehicle weight of rating less than 1,800 3,000 pounds;

(F)  conforms to the minimum safety equipment requirements as adopted in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 500, Low Speed Vehicles (49 C.F.R. 571, 500).

     And by renumbering the remaining sections of the bill to be numerically correct.

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.

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.

 

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  (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  (5/11)

Kathryn Larsen of Wilmington – Member of the State Board of Education – By Senator Nitka for the Committee on Education.  (5/11)

 

Text of Joint House Resolutions to be Introduced

J.R.H.  39

Joint resolution requesting Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the authorization of a 90,000‑pound weight limitation for all vehicles with a minimum of five axles traveling on interstate highways in Vermont

Offered by:  House Committee on Transportation

Whereas, greenhouse gas emissions’ impact on a changing Vermont climate and economic development are a growing concern, and

Whereas, operating vehicles on the interstate highways in Vermont, instead of on state and local highways, promotes greater efficiencies and an improved quality of life, and

Whereas, the largest Vermont-based source of greenhouse gas emissions is derived from motor vehicle exhaust systems, and emissions and congestion increase in towns and villages when trucks are forced to travel on local roads instead of along the state’s interstate highways, and

Whereas, in the surrounding New England states and the state of New York, commodity shippers are authorized to ship multiple goods on different segments of those states’ interstate highways in vehicles weighing up to 90,000 pounds, and

Whereas, in Vermont, however, with the exception of shipments of water and milk, the maximum shipping weight, without a special permit, is 80,000 pounds, and

Whereas, this lower weight threshold necessitates more large freight vehicles to transport goods and, consequently, increases the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and places additional wear and tear on both the interstate highways’ system and Vermont’s state and local highways, and

Whereas, interstate highways’ are built to the highest safety standards of any roads in the United States and, as demonstrated in our neighboring states, can withstand the impact of 90,000-pound vehicles traveling along their surfaces, and

Whereas, it is not equitable that haulers shipping milk or water in vehicles having five or more axles are subject to a 90,000-pound weight limitation while shipments of other commodities in these identical vehicles must abide by a lower 80,000-pound limit in Vermont, and

Whereas, in addition to the reduction in greenhouse gases, and the decreased wear and tear on state and municipal highways, the raising of the 80,000‑pound weight-hauling limitation in Vermont to 90,000 pounds would also encourage increased trans-border commerce traveling to and from Canada through the state and mean additional revenue for Vermont’s businesses, and

Whereas, these vehicles are equipped with the necessary brake and suspension systems to transport safely weight loads equal to 90,000 pounds, and

Whereas, vehicles weighing in excess of 80,000 pounds can be operated on the interstate at the present time, but only with single-trip permits, issued by the department of motor vehicles, which are both expensive and time‑consuming to obtain, and

Whereas, the efficient shipment of commodities requires reliance on a balanced transportation system that includes rail, air, and an interstate highway system that is available for commodity shipments of up to 90,000 pounds, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests Congress to grant statutory authorization permitting a 90,000‑pound weight limitation for all commodities transported in truck tractors, semi‑trailer combinations, or truck‑trailer combinations having five or more axles and traveling on interstate highways in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

J.R.H.  42

Joint resolution recognizing the importance of farmers’ markets in Vermont

Offered by:  Representatives Stevens of Shoreham, and others

Whereas, Vermonters increasingly seek fresh locally‑grown produce, and the U.S. Census of Agriculture has documented this consumer trend, reporting that Vermont’s direct food sales on a per‑capita basis are 5.5 times higher than the national average, and

Whereas, in many communities, the opportunity to purchase nutritious and wholesome Vermont agricultural products directly from the farmer producer is afforded to consumers at local farmers’ markets, and

Whereas, farmers’ markets, whose numbers have increased over 50 percent in recent years, are centers of community commerce that provide a convenient and welcomed outlet for area farmers to exercise their entrepreneurial skills while enabling customers to purchase fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, cheese, baked goods, and jams, and

Whereas, in 2005, farmers’ markets in Vermont reported net sales totaling $3,511,000.00, and

Whereas, farmers’ markets represent a unique business model whose leadership consists of volunteers, and they offer farmers the opportunity to test new products and, on occasion, farmers’ market sales result in a vendor deciding to open a permanently located facility to sell the product, and

Whereas, farmers’ markets serve as magnets for downtowns and village centers, attracting additional shoppers to stores and restaurants situated near the market as demonstrated in a survey of an August farmers’ market day in downtown Montpelier that documented $1.80 of additional spending in downtown for every dollar spent at the farmers’ market that morning for a combined total of $39,000.00 of consumer spending, and

Whereas, recognizing the mutual advantage that a farmers’ market brings to both the vendors and permanent retail establishments, municipalities, and private landowners often rent the land to the market at an extremely reasonable cost, and

Whereas, farmers’ markets are community gathering spots, serve as employment opportunities for musicians, and provide children’s activities, and

Whereas, both farmers and the cities and town hosts derive economic benefits from their association with farmers’ markets, and the consumer is the ultimate winner, bringing home the very best that Vermont agriculture has to offer, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly recognizes the importance of farmers’ markets in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Jessie Schmidt at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont in Richmond.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us