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Senate Calendar

tuesday, march 11, 2008

64th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

Consideration Postponed to Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Third Reading

S. 357     Domestic violence............................................................................. 562

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment............................................................. 562

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 336     Relating to juvenile judicial proceedings............................................. 564

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 564

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

JRH 27  Maximize federal funding for transportation construction projects....... 574

JRH 39  Reducing greenhouse gas emissions with weight limits........................ 574

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 210     Appointment of town school district treasurer.................................... 574

                        Committee on Government Operations..................................... 574

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 246     Electronic access to criminal and family court records........................ 575

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 575

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 581

S. 247     Relating to scrap metal processors.................................................... 582

                        Ec. Dev., Housing and Gen. Affairs Committee Report............. 582

S. 311     Current use enrollment for conservation lands.................................... 584

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................... 584

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 589

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 351     Consolidating management of public records..................................... 590

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

S. 89       Payment of rent into court pursuant to a commercial lease.................. 598

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 598

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 112     Relating to victims compensation....................................................... 598

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 598

S. 231     Studying lowering the drinking age..................................................... 599

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & Gen. Affairs Committee Report............... 599

S. 233     Temporary officiants for marriages and civil unions............................. 601

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 601

S. 341     Registration of pet merchants............................................................ 601

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 601

S. 348     Education/workforce training for children between ages 16 & 18....... 603

                        Education Committee Report................................................... 603

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides................................ 607


S. 102     School dist. excess spending............................................................. 607

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................... 607

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements....................... 607

 



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

Consideration Postponed to Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Third Reading

S. 357

An act relating to domestic violence.

AMENDMENT TO S. 357 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI BEFORE THIRD READING

Senator Illuzzi moves to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 3, 12 V.S.A. §5133(d)(3), by striking out the words “and is being released from prison” and by striking out the word “shall” and inserting in lieu thereof the word may

Second:  By striking out Sec. 9 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 9.  13 V.S.A. §1045 is added to read:

§1045.  INTERFERENCE WITH ACCESS TO EMERGENCY SERVICES

(a)  A person who, during or within a reasonable time period following the commission of a crime, willfully or recklessly prevents or attempts to prevent a person from seeking or receiving emergency medical assistance, emergency assistance from a third party, or assistance from a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer, shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b)  Information that the defendant made or attempted to make inaccessible or inoperable a telephone or other electronic communication device shall also be admissible as evidence in connection with an action alleging a violation of this section.

Third:  By striking out Sec. 10 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 10. 13 V.S.A. §1047 is added to read:

§1047. OFFENSE COMMITTED WITHIN THE PRESENCE OF A CHILD

When imposing sentence following a conviction for conduct prohibited by this subchapter, the court may take into consideration whether the offense was committed within the presence of a child, which includes whether the child was in a position to see or hear events leading up to the commission of the offense, or its immediate aftermath.

     Fourth:  In Sec. 11, 13 V.S.A. §2602(e) after the words “prior conviction for” by inserting lewd or lascivious conduct,

     Fifth:  In Sec. 12, 15 V.S.A. §668a, subdivision (e)(2), by striking out the last sentence and inserting in lieu thereof the following:  A hearing shall be held within ten days from the date on which the order was issued. In courts which do not regularly meet five days per week, the hearing shall be held within ten days, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable.  Hearings may be conducted over the telephone or through the use of other electronic means, unless the court orders otherwise for good cause shown.

     Sixth:  In Sec. 13, 15 V.S.A. §1103, by striking out subsection (c) and inserting the following:

(c)  If the court finds that the defendant has abused the plaintiff and that there is a danger of further abuse ,or that the defendant has been convicted of domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, stalking, aggravated stalking, lewd or lascivious conduct, lewd or lascivious conduct with child, use of a child in a sexual performance, or consenting to a sexual performance, the court shall may make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff, the children, or both ,which.  The court may consider the defendant’s past conduct, as defined in section 5131 of Title 12, , as relevant information of a danger of further abuse, including instances of prior abuse or threatening behavior, whether or not that conduct resulted in one or more criminal convictions, and whether or not that conduct was contained in a prior court order that was dismissed at the request of the plaintiff.  The court order may include the following:

* * *

     Seventh:  In Sec. 14, 15 V.S.A. §1105 (a), in the last sentence after the words “actual notice” by inserting the words on the record and by adding a new sentence to read as follows: An affidavit from a law enforcement officer or a court officer that the defendant received actual notice on the record shall be admitted into evidence and shall constitute a permissive inference in a criminal action and a rebuttable presumption in any civil action that the defendant received actual notice of the order.

     Eighth:  In Sec. 15, 15 V.S.A. §665a, subsection (a), after the words “the prior ten years” by inserting or in a proceeding in which a child has been found to be in need of care and supervision pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 55 of Title 33,

     Ninth:  In Sec. 15, 15 V.S.A. §665a, by adding a new subsection (e) to read as follows:

     (e) Notwithstanding any applicable confidentiality requirements to the contrary, any information maintained by the family court relating to findings in a petition alleging the child has been found to be in need of care and supervision may be obtained and relied upon by the parties and the court in developing a parent-child contact order; provided, however, that any documents obtained from a juvenile proceeding and introduced into evidence shall be filed under seal with the court at the conclusion of the hearing and any documents obtained by the parties shall remain confidential.

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 336

An act relating to juvenile judicial proceedings.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 5102, by striking out subdivision (18) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (18) to read:

(18)  “Protective supervision” means the authority granted by the court to the department in a juvenile proceeding to take reasonable steps to monitor compliance with the court’s order, including unannounced visits to the child’s home.

Second:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 5102, by striking out subdivision (22) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (22) to read:

(22)  “Youth” shall mean a person who is the subject of a motion for youthful offender status or who has been granted youthful offender status.

Third:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A., by striking out § 5108 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new § 5108 to read:

§ 5108.  Authority to issue warrants  

(a)  The court may order a parent, guardian, or custodian to appear at any hearing or a parent to appear with the child who is the subject of a petition.

(b)  If, after being summoned, cited, or otherwise notified to appear, a party fails to do so, the court may issue a warrant for the person’s appearance. 

(c)  If the child is with the parent, guardian, or custodian, the court may issue a warrant for the parent, guardian, or custodian to appear in court with the child or, in the alternative, the court may issue an order for an officer to pick up the child and bring the child to court.

(d)  If a summons cannot be served or the welfare of the child requires that the child be brought forthwith into the custody of the court, the court may issue a warrant for the parent, guardian, or custodian to appear in court with the child.  In the alternative, the court may issue an order for an officer to pick up the child and bring the child to court during court hours.

(e)  A person summoned who fails to appear without reasonable cause may be found in contempt of court.

Fourth:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 5110, by striking out subsection (e) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (e) to read:

(b)  The general public shall be excluded from hearings under the juvenile judicial proceedings chapters, and only the parties, their counsel, witnesses, persons accompanying a party for his or her assistance, and such other persons as the court finds to have a proper interest in the case or in the work of the court, including a foster parent or a representative of a residential program where the child resides, may be admitted by the court.  This subsection shall not prohibit a victim’s exercise of his or her rights under sections 5233 and 5234 of this title and as otherwise provided by law.

Fifth:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 5117(a), after “transferred for criminal prosecution” by adding or youthful offender status is revoked

Sixth: In Sec. 2, 33  V.S.A. § 5203, by striking out subsection (e) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (e) to read:

(e)  Motions to transfer a case to family court for youthful offender treatment shall be made under section 5281 of this title.  

Seventh:  In Sec. 2, 33  V.S.A. § 5203, by striking out subsection (f) in its entirety.

Eighth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. chapter 52, subchapter 2, by adding § 5235 to read:

§ 5235.  JUVENILE RESTITUTION

(a)  Restitution shall be considered in every case in which a victim of a delinquent act has suffered a material loss.  For purposes of this section, “material loss” means uninsured property loss, uninsured out-of-pocket monetary loss, uninsured lost wages, and uninsured medical expenses.

(b)  When ordered, restitution may include:

(1)  return of property wrongfully taken from the victim;

(2)  cash, credit card, or installment payments paid to the restitution unit; and

(3)  payments in kind, if acceptable to the victim.

(c)  In awarding restitution, the court shall make findings in accordance with subdivision 5262(b)(2) of this title.

(d)  If restitution is ordered, the victim shall be entitled to payment from the crime victims’ restitution fund, pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 5363.  An order of restitution shall establish the amount of material loss incurred by the victim, which shall be the restitution judgment order.  Every order of restitution shall include:

(1)  the juvenile’s name and address;

(2)  the name of the victim;

(3)  the amount ordered; and

(4)  any co-defendant names if applicable.

(e)  In the event the juvenile is unable to pay the restitution judgment order at the time of disposition, the court shall fix the amount thereof, which shall not exceed an amount the juvenile can or will be able to pay, and shall fix the manner of performance or refer to a restorative justice program that will address how loss resulting from the delinquency will be addressed, subject to modification under section 5264 of this title.

(f)  The court shall transmit a copy of a restitution order to the restitution unit, which shall make payment to the victim in accordance with 13 V.S.A. § 5363.

(g)  To the extent that the victims’ compensation board has made payment to or on behalf of the victim in accordance with chapter 167 of Title 13, restitution, if imposed, shall be paid to the restitution unit, which shall make payment to the crime victims’ compensation fund.

(h)  When restitution is requested but not ordered, the court shall set forth on the record its reasons for not ordering restitution.

(i)  Any information concerning restitution payments made by a juvenile shall be available to the Vermont restitution unit for purposes of determining restitution obligations of adult and juvenile co-defendants.

Ninth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5251(3), after “removal” by adding from the child’s current home

Tenth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5252(b)(2), after “taking temporary custody of the child.” by striking out “If” and inserting in lieu thereof The officer shall contact the department and, if

Eleventh:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5253(a)(1)(A), by striking out “may have” and inserting in lieu thereof has

Twelfth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5255(e), by striking out subdivision (5) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (5) to read:

(5)(A)  The identity of a noncustodial parent and any relatives known to the department who may be suitable, willing, and available to assume temporary custody of the child.

(B)  With respect to any person whom the department identifies pursuant to this subdivision, the department shall conduct an assessment of the suitability of the person to care for the child.  The assessment shall include consideration of the person’s ability to care for the child’s needs, a criminal records check on the person, and a check of allegations of prior child abuse or neglect by the person or by other adults in the person’s home.  The court may continue the hearing if necessary to permit the department to complete the assessment.

Thirteenth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5255(f), after “removal” by adding , custody,

Fourteenth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5256(a), after “return” by striking out “in” and inserting in lieu thereof to

Fifteenth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A. § 5256(b)(1), after “protect the child” by adding and the community

Sixteenth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A., by striking out § 5258 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new § 5258 to read as follows:

§ 5258.  PostDisposition Review and Permanency Review for Delinquents in Custody

Whenever custody of a delinquent child is transferred to the commissioner, the custody order of the court shall be subject to a postdisposition review hearing pursuant to section 5320 of this title and permanency reviews pursuant to section 5321 of this title.  At the permanency review, the court shall consider only the permanency goal and whether the department should continue to maintain custody of the child and shall not consider the appropriateness of the particular placement chosen by the department.

Seventeenth:  In Sec. 2, 33 V.S.A., by striking out subchapter 5 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subchapter 5 to read as follows:

Subchapter 5.  Youthful Offenders

§ 5281.  MOTION IN DISTRICT COURT

(a)  A motion may be filed in the district court requesting that a defendant under 18 years of age in a criminal proceeding who had attained the age of 10 but not the age of 18 at the time the offense is alleged to have been committed be treated as a youthful offender.  The motion may be filed by the state’s attorney, the defendant, or the court on its own motion.

(b)  Upon the filing of a motion under this section and the entering of a conditional plea of guilty by the youth, the district court shall enter an order deferring the sentence and transferring the case to the family court for a hearing on the motion.  Copies of all records relating to the case shall be forwarded to the family court.  Conditions of release and any department of corrections supervision or custody shall remain in effect until the family court approves the motion for treatment as a youthful offender and orders conditions of juvenile probation pursuant to section 5284 of this title.

(c)  A plea of guilty entered by the youth pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be conditional upon the family court granting the motion for youthful offender status. 

(d)(1)  If the family court denies the motion for youthful offender treatment pursuant to subsection 5284 of this title, the case shall be returned to the district court and the youth shall be permitted to withdraw the plea.  The conditions of release imposed by the district court pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall remain in effect, and the case shall proceed as though the motion for youthful offender treatment had not been made. 

(2)  Subject to Rule 11 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rule 410 of the Vermont Rules of Evidence, the family court’s denial of the motion for youthful offender treatment and any information related to the youthful offender proceeding shall be inadmissible against the youth for any purpose in the subsequent criminal proceeding in district court.   

§ 5282.  REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT

(a)  Within 30 days after the case is transferred to family court, unless the court extends the period for good cause shown, the department shall file a report with the family court.

(b)  A report filed pursuant to this section shall include the following elements:

(1)  A recommendation as to whether youthful offender status is appropriate for the youth.

(2)  A disposition case plan including proposed services and proposed conditions of juvenile probation in the event youthful offender status is approved. 

(3)  A description of the services that may be available for the youth when he or she reaches 18 years of age.

(c)  A report filed pursuant to this section is privileged and shall not be disclosed to any person other than the department, the court, the state’s attorney, the youth, the youth’s attorney, the youth’s guardian ad litem, the department of corrections, or any other person when the court determines that the best interests of the youth would make such a disclosure desirable or helpful.

§ 5283.  HEARING IN FAMILY COURT

(a)  Timeline.  A hearing on the motion for youthful offender status shall be held no later than 35 days after the transfer of the case from district court.

(b)  Notice.  Notice of the hearing shall be provided to the state’s attorney; the youth; the youth’s parent, guardian, or custodian; the department; and the department of corrections.

(c)  Hearing procedure.   

(1)  If the motion is contested, all parties shall have the right to present evidence and examine witnesses.  Hearsay may be admitted and may be relied on to the extent of its probative value.   If reports are admitted, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to examine those persons making the reports, but sources of confidential information need not be disclosed.

(2)  Hearings under subsection 5284(a) of this title shall be open to the public.  All other youthful offender proceedings shall be confidential.

(d)  The burden of proof shall be on the moving party to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a child should be granted youthful offender status.  If the court makes the motion, the burden shall be on the youth.

(e)  Further hearing.  On its own motion or the motion of a party, the court may schedule a further hearing to obtain reports or other information necessary for the appropriate disposition of the case.    

§ 5284.  DETERMINATION AND ORDER

(a)  In a hearing on a motion for youthful offender status, the court shall first consider whether public safety will be protected by treating the youth as a youthful offender.  If the court finds that public safety will not be protected by treating the youth as a youthful offender, the court shall deny the motion and return the case to district court pursuant to subsection 5281(d) of this title.  If the court finds that public safety will be protected by treating the youth as a youthful offender, the court shall proceed to make a determination under subsection (b) of this section.

(b)(1)  The court shall deny the motion if the court finds that:

(A)  the youth is not amenable to treatment or rehabilitation as a youthful offender; or

(B)  there are insufficient services in the juvenile court system and the department to meet the youth’s treatment and rehabilitation needs.

(2)  The court shall grant the motion if the court finds that:

(A)  the youth is amenable to treatment or rehabilitation as a youthful offender; or

(B)  there are sufficient services in the juvenile court system and the department to meet the youth’s treatment and rehabilitation needs.

(c)  If the court approves the motion for youthful offender treatment, the court:

(1)  shall approve a disposition case plan and impose conditions of juvenile probation on the youth; and

(2)  may transfer legal custody of the youth to a parent, relative, person with a significant relationship with the youth, or commissioner, provided that any transfer of custody shall expire on the youth’s eighteenth birthday. 

(d)  The department shall be responsible for supervision of and providing services to the youth until he or she reaches the age of 18.  A lead case manager shall be designated who shall have final decision-making authority over the case plan and the provision of services to the youth.  The youth shall be eligible for appropriate community-based programming and services provided by the department.

(e)  The youth shall not be permitted to withdraw his or her plea of guilty after youthful offender status is approved except to correct manifest injustice pursuant to rule 32(d) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure. 

§ 5285.  Modification or revocation of disposition

(a)  If it appears that the youth has violated the terms of juvenile probation ordered by the court pursuant to subdivision 5284(c)(1) of this title, a motion for modification or revocation of youthful offender status may be filed in family court.  The court shall set the motion for hearing as soon as practicable. The hearing may be joined with a hearing on a violation of conditions of probation under section 5265 of this title.  A supervising juvenile or adult probation officer may detain in an adult facility a youthful offender who has attained the age of 18 for violating conditions of probation.  

(b)  A hearing under this section shall be held in accordance with section 5268 of this title.

(c)  If the court finds after the hearing that the youth has violated the terms of his or her probation, the court may:

(1)  maintain the youth’s status as a youthful offender, with modified conditions of juvenile probation if the court deems it appropriate;

(2)  revoke the youth’s status as a youthful offender status and return the case to the district court for sentencing; or

(3)  transfer supervision of the youth to the department of corrections.

(d)  If a youth’s status as a youthful offender is revoked and the case is returned to the district court under subdivision (c)(2) of this section, the district court shall hold a sentencing hearing and impose sentence.  When determining an appropriate sentence, the district court may take into consideration the youth’s degree of progress toward rehabilitation while on youthful offender status.  The district court shall have access to all family court records of the proceeding.  

§ 5286.  Review prior to the age of 18

(a)  The family court shall review the youth’s case before he or she reaches the age of 18 and set a hearing to determine whether the court’s jurisdiction over the youth should be continued past the age of 18.   The hearing may be joined with a motion to terminate youthful offender status under section 5285 of this title.  The court shall provide notice and an opportunity to be heard at the hearing to the state’s attorney, the youth, the department, and the department of corrections. 

(b)  After receiving a notice of review under this section, the state may file a motion to modify or revoke pursuant to section 5285 of this title.  If such a motion is filed, it shall be consolidated with the review under this section and all options provided for under section 5285 of this title shall be available to the court.

(c)  The following reports shall be filed with the court prior to the hearing:

(1)  The department shall report its recommendations, with supporting justifications, as to whether the family court should continue jurisdiction over the youth offender past the age of 18 and, if continued jurisdiction is recommended, whether the department or the department of corrections should   be responsible for supervision of the youthful offender.

(2)  If the department recommends that the department of corrections be responsible for supervision of the youthful offender past the age of 18, the department shall notify the department of corrections, which shall report on the services which would be available for the youth in the event supervision over him or her is transferred to the department of corrections.  

(d)  If the court finds that it is in the best interest of the youth and consistent with community safety to continue the case past the age of 18, it shall make an order continuing the court’s jurisdiction up to the age of 22.  The order shall specify whether the youth will be supervised by the department or the department of corrections.  Irrespective of which department is specified in the order, the department and the department of corrections shall jointly develop a case plan for the youth and coordinate services and share information to ensure compliance with and completion of the juvenile disposition.

(e)  If the court finds that it is not in the best interest of the youth to continue the case past the age of 18, it shall terminate the disposition order, discharge the youth, and dismiss the case in accordance with section 5287(c) of this title.

§ 5287.  Termination or continuance of PROBATION

(a)  A motion may be filed at any time in the family court requesting that the court terminate the youth’s status as a youthful offender and discharge him or her from probation.  The motion may be filed by the state’s attorney, the youth, the department, or the court on its own motion.  The court shall set the motion for hearing and provide notice and an opportunity to be heard at the hearing to the state’s attorney, the youth, and the department.   

(b)  In determining whether a youth has successfully completed the terms of probation, the court shall consider:

(1)  the degree to which the youth fulfilled the terms of the case plan and the probation order;

(2)  the youth’s performance during treatment;

(3)  reports of treatment personnel; and

(4)  any other relevant facts associated with the youth’s behavior.

(c)  If the court finds that the youth has successfully completed the terms of the probation order, it shall terminate youthful offender status, discharge the youth from probation, and file a written order dismissing the family court case.  The family court shall provide notice of the dismissal to the district court, which shall dismiss the district court case. 

(d)  Upon discharge and dismissal under subsection (c) of this section, all records relating to the case in the district court shall be expunged, and all records relating to the case in the family court shall be sealed pursuant to section 5119 of this title.

(e)  If the court denies the motion to discharge the youth from probation, the court may extend or amend the probation order as it deems necessary.

§ 5288.  Rights of victims in youthful offender proceedings

(a)  The victim in a proceeding involving a youthful offender shall have the following rights:

(1)  To be notified by the prosecutor in a timely manner when a court proceeding is scheduled to take place and when a court proceeding to which he or she has been notified will not take place as scheduled.

(2)  To be present during all court proceedings subject to the provisions of Rule 615 of the Vermont Rules of Evidence and to express reasonably his or her views concerning the offense and the youth.

(3)  To request notification by the agency having custody of the youth before the youth is released from a residential facility.

(4)  To be notified by the prosecutor as to the final disposition of the case.

(5)  To be notified by the prosecutor of the victim’s rights under this section.

(b)  In accordance with court rules, at a hearing on a motion for youthful offender treatment under section 5281 of this title, the court shall ask if the victim is present and, if so, whether the victim would like to be heard regarding disposition.  In ordering disposition, the court shall consider any views offered at the hearing by the victim.  If the victim is not present, the court shall ask whether the victim has expressed, either orally or in writing, views regarding disposition and shall take those views into consideration in ordering disposition.

(c)  No youthful offender proceeding shall be delayed or voided by reason of the failure to give the victim the required notice or the failure of the victim to appear.

(d)  For purposes of this section “victim” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 5301(4) of Title 13.

Eighteenth: By striking out Sec. 3 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 3 to read:

Sec. 3.  33  V.S.A. chapter 53 is added to read:

CHAPTER 53.  CHILDREN IN NEED OF

CARE OR SUPERVISION  

[RESERVED]

Nineteenth:  By adding a new Sec. 4 to read:

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 5363(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The restitution unit shall make disbursements from the restitution special fund only to pay restitution obligations arising under section 7043 of this title or 33 V.S.A. § 5262, to support the restitution unit, or pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

Twentieth:  By adding a new Sec. 5 to read:

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on January 1, 2009, except for 33 V.S.A. chapter 52, subchapter 5 (youthful offenders), which shall take effect on July 1, 2008.

and by renumbering the remaining section to be numerically correct.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

J.R.H. 27

Joint resolution requesting Congress to maximize to the greatest extent possible the federal funding for state transportation construction projects and grant the states the maximum degree of flexibility in prioritization of projects to be financed.

J.R.H. 39

Joint Resolution requesting Congress to reduce green house 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.

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 210

An act relating to the appointment of a town school district treasurer pending election at a special or annual meeting.

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

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 246

An act relating to electronic access to criminal and family court records.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  12 V.S.A. § 5 is amended to read:

§ 5.  DISSEMINATION OF ELECTRONIC CASE RECORDS

(a)  The court shall not permit public access via the internet to criminal case records or family court case records.  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.

(b)  This section shall not be construed to prohibit the court from providing electronic access to:

(1)  court schedules or opinions of the district court; or

(2)  state agencies in accordance with data dissemination contracts entered into under Rule 6 of the Vermont Rules of Electronic Access to Court Records.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 2056b is amended to read:

§ 2056b.  DISSEMINATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS TO PERSONS CONDUCTING RESEARCH

(a)  The Vermont criminal information center may provide Vermont criminal history records as defined in section 2056a of this title to bona fide persons conducting research related to the administration of criminal justice, subject to conditions approved by the commissioner of public safety to assure the confidentiality of the information and the privacy of individuals to whom the information relates.  Bulk criminal history data may only be provided in a format that excludes the subject’s name and any unique numbers that may reference the identity of the subject, except that the state identification number may be provided.  Researchers must sign a user agreement which specifies data security requirements and restrictions on use of identifying information.

(b)  No person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal history record information to any person who would not be eligible to receive the information pursuant to this subchapter other than the subject and properly designated employees of an organization who have a documented need to know the contents of the record.

(c)  A person who violates the provisions of this section with respect to unauthorized disclosure of confidential criminal history record information obtained from the center under the authority of this section shall be fined not more than $5,000.00.  Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation.

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 2056c is amended to read:

§ 2056c.  DISSEMINATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY CONVICTION RECORDS TO EMPLOYERS THE PUBLIC

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Applicant” means an individual seeking or being sought for employment, a volunteer position with an employer, or admission to a course of instruction offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(2)  “Criminal conviction record” means the record of convictions in Vermont.

(3)  “Employer” means any individual, organization, or governmental body, including partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air, or express company or an authorized agent.  Authorized agent shall include a person who is licensed under chapter 59 of Title 26 to provide private investigative services.

(4)  “The center” means the Vermont criminal information center.

(b)(1)  An employer may obtain from the center a criminal conviction record for any applicant who has given written authorization on a release form provided by the center, provided that the employer has filed a user’s agreement with the center.  The user’s agreement shall require the employer to comply with all statutes, rules, and policies regulating the release of criminal conviction records and the protection of individual privacy.  The user’s agreement shall be signed and kept current by the employer.

(2)  An individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state and which is a qualified entity that provides care or services to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c may obtain from the center an out-of-state criminal conviction record for any applicant who has given written authorization on a release form provided by the center, provided that the employer has filed a user’s agreement with the center and complies with all other provisions of this section.

(c)(1)  The employer may obtain a criminal conviction record only:

(A)  after the applicant has been given an offer of employment conditioned on the record check;

(B)  after a volunteer has been offered a position conditioned on the record check.

(2)  The Vermont criminal justice training council may obtain a criminal conviction record only after an applicant has been accepted into a course of instruction offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council conditioned on the record check.

(3)  An organization that receives a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall provide a free copy of such record to the record subject within ten days of receipt of the record.

(4)  An organization entitled to receive a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall not require an applicant to obtain or submit personally a copy of his or her criminal conviction record for purposes of employment or acceptance into a course offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(d)(1)  Employers shall be provided with informational material by the center prior to authorization to request criminal conviction records.  The materials shall address the following topics:

(A)  Requirements of the user agreement.

(B)  How to obtain criminal conviction records from the center.

(C)  How to interpret criminal conviction records.

(D)  How to obtain source documents summarized in the criminal conviction records.

(E)  Misuse of criminal conviction records.

(2)  Employers shall certify on the user agreement that they have read and understood the materials prior to receiving authorization to request records from the center.

(e)  The release form shall contain the applicant’s name, signature, date of birth, place of birth, and the signature as attested to by a notary public.  The release form shall state that the applicant has the right to appeal the findings to the center, pursuant to rules adopted by the commissioner of public safety.

(f)(1)  Except as otherwise authorized by this chapter, no person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal conviction record information or disclose the contents of a criminal conviction record without the record subject’s permission to any person other than the applicant and properly designated employees of the employer who have a documented need to know the contents of the record.

(2)  An employer who receives criminal conviction records pursuant to this section shall maintain a confidential log of all record requests as specified by the center.  The employer shall confidentially retain records relating to requests for criminal conviction records for a period of three years.  At the end of the retention period, if logs and records are to be destroyed, they shall be shredded.

(g)  A person who violates subsection (f) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00.  Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation.  The office of the attorney general shall have authority to enforce this section.

(h)  The center shall provide notice of the penalty for unauthorized disclosure on a form accompanying any report of a criminal conviction record to an employer.  The notice shall include, in boldface print, the following statements:  THE REQUESTOR AGREES TO USE CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORD INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE VERMONT CRIMINAL INFORMATION CENTER FOR THE PURPOSES INTENDED BY LAW.  THE REQUESTOR AGREES NOT TO DISCLOSE THE CONTENTS OF ANY CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORD WITHOUT THE APPLICANT’S PERMISSION TO ANY PERSON OTHER THAN THE APPLICANT AND PROPERLY DESIGNATED EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE A DOCUMENTED NEED TO KNOW THE CONTENTS OF THE RECORD. A VIOLATION MAY RESULT IN A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO $5,000.00. EACH UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE SHALL CONSTITUTE A SEPARATE CIVIL VIOLATION.

(i)  Nothing in this section shall create a statutory duty for an employer to perform a criminal conviction record check on every job applicant hired by the employer.  An employer’s failure to obtain a criminal conviction record on an employee who subsequently commits a criminal offense shall not be the sole factor in determining civil or criminal liability unless otherwise authorized by law.

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “The center” means the Vermont criminal information center.

(2)(A)  “Criminal conviction record” means the record of convictions in a Vermont district court.

(B)  Release of conviction records by the center pursuant to this section or pursuant to any other provision of state law which permits release of Vermont criminal records shall include only the charge for which the subject of the record was convicted, and shall not include docket numbers.

(b)  A person may obtain from the center a criminal conviction record for any purpose provided that the requestor has completed a user’s agreement with the center.  The user’s agreement shall prohibit the alteration of criminal records and shall require the requestor to comply with all statutes, rules, and policies regulating the release of criminal conviction records and the protection of individual privacy.  

(c)  Criminal conviction records shall be disseminated to the public by the center under the following conditions:

(1)  Public access to criminal conviction records shall be provided by a secure Internet site or other alternatives approved by the center. 

(2)  A requestor who wishes to receive criminal conviction records from the center shall accept the terms of a user agreement with the center.  The user agreement shall specify the conditions under which record information is being released and specify guidelines for the proper interpretation and use of the information.

(3)  Prior to receiving criminal conviction records using the center’s Internet site a requestor shall establish a secure, online account with the center.  Issuance of the account is conditioned upon the requestor’s willingness to accept the terms of a user agreement with the center which specifies the conditions under which record information is being released and specifies guidelines for the proper interpretation and use of the information.

(4)  All queries shall be by name and date of birth of the subject.

(5)  Only “no record” responses and record responses which constitute an exact match to the query criteria shall be returned automatically online.  In the event that query criteria suggest a possible match, center staff will determine whether the query criteria match a record in the repository and shall return the result to the requestor.

(6)  An electronic log shall be kept of all transactions that shall indicate the name of the requestor, the date of the request, the purpose of the request, and the result of the request.  This log shall not be available to any person, other than center staff on a need-to-know basis, except pursuant to a court order.  

(7)  The center’s Internet site shall provide an electronic mechanism for users to notify the center of possible record errors.

(8)  The center’s Internet site shall provide links to center training information regarding best practices for the use of record checks as part of a complete background check process.

(9)  The center shall charge a fee of $20.00 for each criminal record check query pursuant to this section.

(10)  No person entitled to receive a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall require an applicant to obtain, submit personally, or pay for a copy of his or her criminal conviction record.

Sec. 4.  20 V.S.A. § 2063 is amended to read:

§ 2063.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD FEES; CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FUND

(a)  Except as otherwise provided for in this section, the cost of each check for a criminal history record as defined in section 2056a of this title or a criminal conviction record as defined in section 2056c of this title based on name and date of birth shall be $10.00 $30.00.  Out-of-state criminal history record checks shall include any additional fees charged by the state from which the record is requested.

(b)  Requests made by criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes or other purposes authorized by state or federal law shall be exempt from all record check fees.  The following types of requests shall be exempt from the Vermont criminal record check fee:

(1)  Requests made by any individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state and which is a qualified entity that provides care or services to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c.

(2)  Requests made by researchers approved by the Vermont criminal information center to conduct research related to the administration of criminal justice.  A fee, however, may be charged by the center which shall reflect the cost of generating the requested information.

(3)  Requests made by individuals to review their own record at the Vermont criminal information center; however, copies of the individual's record are not exempt from the record check fee.

(4)  Requests made by the Vermont state housing authority and other public housing authorities pursuant to 24 V.S.A § 4010(c).

(c)(1)  The criminal history record check fund is established and shall be managed by the commissioner of public safety in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  All One-third of the fees paid under this section shall be placed in the fund and used for personnel and equipment related to the processing, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history records.  The commissioner of finance and management may draw warrants for disbursements from this fund in anticipation of receipts.

(2)  Two-thirds of the fees paid under this section shall go to the general fund.  

(d)  The department of public safety shall have the authority, with the approval of the secretary of administration, to establish limited service positions as are necessary to provide criminal record checks in a timely manner, provided that there are sufficient funds in the criminal history record check fund to pay for the costs of these positions.

Sec. 4.  REPORT

On or before January 15, 2010, the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the judiciary and the Vermont crime information center, shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on the fiscal impacts of the records request fees established by this act.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

20 V.S.A. § 2056g (dissemination of criminal history records to licensed private investigators) is repealed.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 3, 20 V.S.A. § 2056c(c)(9), by striking out “$20.00” and inserting in lieu thereof $30.00

Second:  In Sec. 4, 20 V.S.A. § 2063, by striking out subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read:

(c)(1)  The criminal history record check fund is established and shall be managed by the commissioner of public safety in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  All The first $200,000.00 of  fees paid under this section shall be placed in the fund and used for personnel and equipment related to the processing, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history records.  The commissioner of finance and management may draw warrants for disbursements from this fund in anticipation of receipts.

(2)  After the first $200,000.00 of fees paid under this section shall be placed in the criminal history record check fund, all additional fees paid under this section shall go to the general fund.

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

S. 247

An act relating to scrap metal processors.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  9 V.S.A. chapter 82 is added to read:

CHAPTER 82.  SCRAP METAL PROCESSORS

§ 3021.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Authorized scrap seller” means a licensed plumber, electrician, HVAC contractor, building or construction contractor, demolition contractor, construction and demolition debris contractor, public utility, transportation company, licensed peddler or broker, an industrial and manufacturing company; marine, automobile, or aircraft salvage and wrecking company, or a government entity.

(2)  “Ferrous scrap” means any scrap metal consisting primarily of iron, steel, or both, including large manufactured articles such as automobile bodies that may contain other substances to be removed and sorted during normal processing operations of scrap metal.

(3)  “Metal article” means any manufactured item consisting of metal that is usable for its originally intended purpose without processing, repair, or alteration, including railings, copper or aluminum wire, copper pipe and tubing, bronze cemetery plaques, urns, markers, plumbing fixtures, and cast-iron radiators.

(4)  “Nonferrous scrap” means any scrap metal consisting primarily of metal other than iron or steel, and does not include aluminum beverage cans, post-consumer household items, items removed during building renovations or demolitions, or large manufactured items containing small quantities of nonferrous metals such as automobile bodies and appliances.

(5)  “Proprietary article” means any of the following:

(A)  Any metal article stamped, engraved, stenciled, or marked as being or having been the property of a governmental entity, public utility, or a  transportation, shipbuilding, ship repair, mining, or manufacturing company.

(B)  Any hard-drawn copper electrical conductor, cable, or wire greater than 0.375 inches in diameter, stranded or solid.

(C)  Any aluminum conductor, cable, or wire greater than 0.75 inches in diameter, stranded or solid.

(D)  Metal beer kegs.

(E)  Manhole covers.

(6)  “Scrap metal” means any manufactured item or article that contains metal.

(7)  “Scrap metal processor” means a person authorized to conduct a business that processes and manufactures scrap metal into prepared grades for sale as raw material to mills, foundries, and other manufacturing facilities.

§ 3022.  PURCHASE OF NONFERROUS SCRAP, METAL ARTICLES,

              AND PROPRIETARY ARTICLES

(a)  A scrap metal processor may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles directly from an authorized scrap metal seller or the seller’s authorized agent or employee.

(b)  A scrap metal processor may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles from a person who is not an authorized scrap metal seller or the seller’s authorized agent or employee, provided the scrap processor complies with all the following procedures:

(1)  At the time of sale, requires the seller to provide a current government-issued photographic identification that indicates the seller’s full name, current address, and date of birth, and records in a permanent ledger the identification information of the seller, the time and date of the transaction, the license number of the seller’s vehicle, and a description of the items received from the seller.  This information shall be retained for at least five years at the processor’s normal place of business or other readily accessible and secure location.  On request, this information shall be made available to any law enforcement official or authorized security agent of a governmental entity who provides official credentials at the scrap metal processor’s business location during regular business hours.

(2)  Requests documentation from the seller of the items offered for sale, such as a bill of sale, receipt, letter of authorization, or similar evidence that establishes that the seller lawfully owns the items to be sold.

(3)  After purchasing an item from a person who fails to provide documentation pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, submits to the local law enforcement agency no later than the close of the following business day a report that describes the item and the seller’s identifying information required in subdivision (1) of this subsection, and holds the proprietary article for at least 15 days following purchase.

§ 3023.  PENALTIES

(a)  Civil penalty.  Any scrap metal processor who fails to comply with any provision of this chapter may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each transaction that violates the provisions of this chapter.

(b)  Criminal penalty.  Any scrap metal processor who intentionally violates any provision of this chapter shall be imprisoned not more than 60 days or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both, for each transaction.

Sec. 2.  4 V.S.A. § 1102(b) is amended to read:

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

* * *

(14)  Violations of chapter 28 of Title 9, relating to the purchase and sale of scrap metal.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 311

An act relating to current use enrollment for conservation lands and ecologically significant lands.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator MacDonald for the Committee on Natural Resources.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS; INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that the use value appraisal program:

(1)  Continues to achieve the goals of the program although the goal of protecting natural ecological systems was not being specifically met. The 20‑percent rule should be amended to allow for more flexibility in the enrollment of ecological areas, such as rare or exemplary natural communities, riparian buffers, wetlands, vernal pools, and significant wildlife habitat;

(2)  Needs electronic coordination;

(3)  Must have staff increases at the division of property valuation and review and at the department of forests, parks and recreation;

(4)  Needs administrative streamlining;

(5)  Should provide consistent oversight between the agricultural and forest land programs;

(6)  Should generate more funding for sufficient administration of the program;

(7)  Has serious misperceptions about it in the minds of the general public, listers, potentially eligible landowners, enrolled landowners, attorneys, and realtors that the state must lead an educational effort to correct.

(b)  Therefore, the general assembly intends that this act will improve this successful program.

* * * New Application at Time of Transfer of Ownership * * *

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 3756(e) is amended to read:

(e)  Once a use value appraisal has been applied for and granted under this section, such appraisal shall remain in effect for subsequent tax years pursuant to the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, and until the property concerned is transferred to another owner or is no longer eligible under provisions of section 3752 or 3755 of this chapter, or due to a change of use or as otherwise provided in section 3757 of this chapter.  If enrolled property is transferred to another owner, the new owner shall be entitled to continue to have the eligible property appraised at its use value, provided the property remains eligible and provided the new owner shall elect the continuation of use value appraisal on the property transfer tax return at the time of transfer and, within 30 days of the transfer, has applied to the director and paid the fees described in this subsection.  The grant of use value appraisals of agricultural forest land and farm buildings shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality by the clerk of the municipality.  The department of taxes may collect from applicants the fees specified in subdivision 1671(a)(6) or subsection 1671(c) of this title, for deposit in a special fund established and managed pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of this title, and which shall be available as payment for the fees of the clerk of the municipality.

Sec. 3.  PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX RETURN

     The commissioner of taxes shall amend the property transfer tax return to include an election to continue eligible property in the use value appraisal program at the time of transfer to a new owner, as allowed under 32 V.S.A. § 3756(e).

* * * Application Fee * * *

Sec. 4.  32 V.S.A. § 3756(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The owner of eligible agricultural land, farm buildings, or managed forest land shall be entitled to have eligible property appraised at its use value provided the owner shall have applied to the director on or before September 1 of the previous tax year, on a form approved by the board and provided by the director.  A fee of $25.00 shall accompany the application.  A farmer, whose application has been accepted on or before December 31 by the director of the division of property valuation and review of the department of taxes for enrollment for the use value program for the current tax year, shall be entitled to have eligible property appraised at its use value, if he or she was prevented from applying on or before September 1 of the previous year due to the severe illness of the farmer.

* * * Increase Time and Flexibility to Inspect Forest Parcels * * *

Sec. 5.  32 V.S.A. § 3755(b)(3) and (c) are amended to read:

(3)  there has not been filed with the director an adverse inspection report by the department stating that the management of the tract is contrary to the forest or conservation management plan, or contrary to the minimum acceptable standards for forest or conservation management.  The management activity report of conformance with any management plan shall be on a form prescribed by the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation in consultation with the commissioner of taxes and shall include a detachable section signed by all the owners that shall contain the federal tax identification numbers of all the owners.  The section containing federal tax identification numbers shall not be made available to the general public, but shall be forwarded to the commissioner of taxes within 30 days after receipt and used for tax administration purposes.  If any owner shall satisfy the department that he or she was prevented by accident, mistake or misfortune from filing a management plan which is required to be filed on or before October 1 or an annual conformance a management activity report which is required to be filed on or before February 1 of the year following the year when the management activity occurred, the department may receive that management plan or annual conformance management activity report at a later date; provided, however, no management plan shall be received later than December 31 and no annual conformance management activity report shall be received later than March 1.

(c)  At intervals not to exceed five years, the The department of forests, parks and recreation shall audit periodically review the management plans and each year review the conformance management activity reports for each parcel of managed forest land qualified for use value appraisal.  Likewise, at that have been filed.  At intervals not to exceed five ten years, that department shall inspect each tract parcel of managed forest land qualified for use value appraisal to verify that the terms of the management plan have been carried out in a timely fashion.  If that department finds that the management of the tract is contrary to the conservation or forest management plan, or contrary to the minimum acceptable standards for conservation or forest management, it shall file with the owner, the assessing officials and the director an adverse inspection report within 30 days of the inspection.

Sec. 6.  32 V.S.A. § 3756(i) is amended to read:

(i)  The director shall remove from use value appraisal an entire parcel of managed forest land and notify the owner in accordance with the procedure in subsection (b) of this section when the department of forests, parks and recreation has not received a conformance management activity report or has received an adverse inspection report, unless the lack of conformance consists solely of the failure to make prescribed planned cutting.  In that case, the director may delay removal from use value appraisal for a period of one year at a time to allow time to bring the parcel into conformance with the plan.

* * * Allow for Management of Ecological Areas * * *

Sec. 7.  COMMISSIONER OF FORESTS, PARKS AND RECREATION

The commissioner of forests, parks and recreation shall amend the minimum standards of forest management to expand the eligibility of Site 4 land and to identify certain ecologically sensitive areas that will be allowed to be managed for other purposes than timber production, as follows:

(1)  A parcel may be eligible if no more than 20 percent of the acres to be enrolled are Site 4, plus open and not to be restocked within two years, plus ecologically significant areas designated by the department.  These acres need not be managed for timber production.

(2)  The commissioner shall take note of and incorporate criteria developed by the Vermont nongame and natural heritage program, the American Tree Farm System, and the Forest Stewardship Council, in addition to the criteria submitted in testimony, for determining ecologically sensitive areas.  The public shall be given an opportunity to comment on the amended standards.

(3)  If more than 20 percent of the acres to be enrolled are Site 4, plus open plus ecologically significant and not to be managed for timber production, landowners may apply to the commissioner for approval.  The applications shall be reviewed by the county foresters of the county where the parcel is located.  In no situation shall a parcel be approved that does not provide for at least 80 percent of the land classified as Site 1, 2, or 3 to be managed for timber production. 

(4)  The amended standards shall be in effect before September 1, 2008.

(5)  The commissioner shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy on the changes in the standards on or before January 15, 2009.

* * * Flexibility in Updating Use Value on Town Grand List * * *

Sec. 8.  32 V.S.A. § 4111(e) and (g) are amended to read:

(e)  When the listers return the grand list book to the town clerk, they shall notify by first class mail, on which postage has been prepaid and which has been addressed to their last known address, all affected persons, listed as property owners in the grand list book of any change in the appraised value of such property or any change in the allocation of value to the homestead as defined under subdivision 5401(7) of this title or the housesite as defined under subdivision 6061(11) of this title, and also notify them of the amount of such change and of the time and place fixed in the public notice hereinafter provided for, when persons aggrieved may be heard.  No notice shall be required for a change solely to reflect a new use value set by the current use advisory board.  Notices shall be mailed at least 14 days before the time fixed for hearing.  Such personal notices shall be given in all towns and cities within the state, anything in the charter of any city to the contrary notwithstanding.  At the same time, the listers shall post notices in the town clerk’s office and in at least four other public places in the town or in the case of a city, in such other manner and places as the city charter shall provide, setting forth that they have completed and filed such book as an abstract and the time and place of the meeting for hearing grievances and making corrections.  Unless the personal notices required hereby were sent by registered or certified mail, or unless an official certificate of mailing of the same was obtained from the post office, in the case of any controversy subsequently arising it shall be presumed that the personal notices were not mailed as required.

(g)  A person who feels aggrieved by the action of the listers and desires to be heard by them, shall, on or before the day of the grievance meeting, file with them his or her objections in writing and may appear at such grievance meeting in person or by his or her agents or attorneys.  No grievance shall be allowed for a change solely to reflect a new use value set by the current use advisory board.  Upon the hearing of such grievance, the parties thereto may submit such documentary or sworn evidence as shall be pertinent thereto.

* * * Municipalities Allowed to Enroll Land in Other Municipalities * * *

Sec. 9.  32 V.S.A. § 3752(10) is amended to read:

(10)  “Owner” means the person who is the owner of record of any land, provided that a municipality shall not be an owner for purposes of this subchapter.  When enrolled land is mortgaged, the mortgagor shall be deemed the owner of the land for the purposes of this subchapter, until the mortgagee takes possession, either by voluntary act of the mortgagor or foreclosure, after which the mortgagee shall be deemed the owner.

Sec. 10.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage except for Sec. 8 which shall apply to grand lists of April 1, 2009 and after.

and that upon passage, the title of the act shall be: “AN ACT RELATING TO THE USE VALUE APPRAISAL PROGRAM”

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and that the bill be further amended as follows:

First:  By striking out Sec. 4 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 4 to read as follows:

Sec. 4.  32 V.S.A. § 3756(e) is amended to read:

(e)  Once a use value appraisal has been applied for and granted under this section, such appraisal shall remain in effect for subsequent tax years pursuant to the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, and until the property concerned is no longer eligible under provisions of section 3752 or 3755 of this chapter, or due to a change of use or as otherwise provided in section 3757 of this chapter.  The grant of use value appraisals of agricultural forest land and farm buildings shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality by the clerk of the municipality.  The department of taxes may collect from applicants the fees specified in subdivision 1671(a)(6) or subsection 1671(c) of this title, and a fee of $25.00 for deposit in a special fund established and managed pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of this title, and which. The fund shall be available as payment for the fees of the clerk of the municipality and for the improvement of the program.

Second:  By adding a new section to be Sec. 10 to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  ONE-TIME CURRENT USE PARCEL FEE

The department of taxes shall assess a one-time fee of $25.00 on each parcel enrolled in the use value appraisal program established under chapter 124 of Title 32.  The fee shall be due on or before June 30, 2009 and shall be deposited into the program special fund created pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 3756(e) for improvements to the program.

and by renumbering the following section to be numerically correct

(Committee vote: 6-0-1

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 351

An act relating to consolidating management of public records.

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.  1 V.S.A. § 317a is added to read:

§ 317a.  DISPOSITION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

A custodian of public records shall not destroy, give away, sell, discard, or damage any record or records in his or her charge, unless specifically authorized by law or under a record schedule approved by the state archivist pursuant to subdivision 117(a)(5) of Title 3.

Sec. 2.  1 V.S.A. § 320 is amended to read:

§ 320.  PENALTIES

(a)  Whenever the court orders the production of any public agency records, improperly withheld from the complainant and assesses against the agency reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs, and the court additionally issues a written finding that the circumstances surrounding the withholding raise questions whether the agency personnel acted arbitrarily or capriciously with respect to the withholding, the department of human resources if applicable to that employee, shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted against the officer or employee who was primarily responsible for the withholding.  The department, after investigation and consideration of the evidence submitted, shall submit its findings and recommendations to the administrative authority of the agency concerned and shall send copies of the findings and recommendations to the officer or employee or his or her representative.  The administrative authority shall take the corrective action that the department recommends.

(b)  In the event of noncompliance with the order of the court, the superior court may punish for contempt the responsible employee or official, and in the case of a uniformed service, the responsible member.

(c)  A person who willfully destroys, gives away, sells, discards, or damages a public record without having authority so to do, shall be fined at least $50.00 but not more than $1,000.00 for each offense.

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 117 is amended to read:

§ 117.  PUBLICATION AND PRESERVATION OF STATE PAPERS VERMONT STATE ARCHIVES AND RECORDS  ADMINISTRATION

(a)  As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Archival Records management” means the systematic identification and management of archival public records to assure their authenticity and accessibility from the creation to ultimate disposition.

(2)  “Archives” or “archival records” means public records, as defined in 1 V.S.A. § 317(b), which have continuing legal, administrative, or historic value.

(3)  “Identification” “Appraisal” means the identification, classification, and analysis and appraisal of all public records, regardless of physical form or characteristics, to determine their value and ultimate disposition, based upon their:

(A)  current administrative, legal, and fiscal use;

(B)  evidential and informational content;

(C)  arrangement and condition;

(D)  intrinsic value; and

(E)  relationship to other records.

(4)  “Public record” or “public document” means all papers, documents, machine readable materials, or any other written or recorded matters, regardless of their physical form or characteristics, that are produced or acquired in the course of agency business.  Individual salaries and benefits of and salary schedules relating to elected or appointed officials and employees of public agencies shall not be exempt from public inspection and copying.

(5)  “Record schedule” means a manual, directive, or policy containing descriptions of and disposition instructions for retention, access, and management of all public records or public documents. 

(b)  There is created within the office of the secretary of state the division of Vermont state archives and records administration which is charged with administering and implementing an archival a records management program for state government in accordance with professional archival practice records and information management practices and principles which shall be styled “the state archives and records administration program.”  The secretary shall have legal custody of the state’s archival records.

(c)  The secretary shall adopt policies and procedures necessary to carry out the provisions of this section and shall report annually to the governor and the general assembly on the state archives and records administration program.

(d)  The secretary may appoint an archives advisory committee to provide assistance and support for the state archives and records administration program.

(e)  The secretary may adopt rules consistent with this chapter section.

(f)  There shall be a director of the division of Vermont state archives and records administration who shall have the title of “state archivist,” and who shall be qualified by education and professional experience to perform the duties of the office.  The state archivist shall be a classified position within the office of secretary of state.

(g)  In fulfilling the duties of the state archives and records administration program, the state archivist shall:

(1)  coordinate with the commissioner of buildings and general services for compliance with section 218 of this title and sections 453 and 454 of Title 22 to identify, schedule, and manage all public records with archival value;

(2)  establish and administer an archival a records management program for the application of effective and efficient methods to the creation, utilization, maintenance, reformatting, retention, destruction, and preservation of state archival public records;

(3)(2)  cooperate with the heads of state agencies or public bodies to establish and maintain a program for the identification appraisal and scheduling, and preservation of archival of public records;

(4)(3)  analyze, develop, establish, and coordinate standards, procedures, and techniques for the creation of, preservation of, and access to archival public records;

(5)  analyze and identify archival records in state agencies;

(6)  cooperate with the commissioner of buildings and general services in the development of comprehensive records retention and disposition schedules that identify archival records;

(7)(4)  take custody of archival records with the approval of their originating agency in accordance with record schedules approved by the state archivist;

(5)  maintain a record center to hold inactive records in accordance with approved records schedules approved by the state archivist;

(6)  administer a central reformatting program for public records, including land records in the possession of municipal or county officers.  Public records that are microfilmed, electronically captured, or otherwise reformatted shall be taken and received in all courts, public offices, and official bodies as prima facie evidence;

(8)(7)  arrange, describe, and preserve archival records, and promote their use by government officials, educators, historians, and the public through the secretary of state’s website or other publication, or both;

(9)(8)  permit the public to inspect, examine, and study the archives, provided that any record placed in the keeping of the office of the secretary of state under special terms or conditions of law restricting their use shall be made accessible only in accord with those terms and conditions;

(10)(9)  cooperate with and assist to the extent practicable state institutions, departments, agencies, municipalities, and other political subdivisions and individuals engaged in the activities in the field of public records, archives, manuscripts, and history;

(10)  accept for filing copies of land records submitted in microfilm, electronic media, or similar compressed form by municipal or county clerks;

(11)  provide advice, assistance, and consultation to state agencies, political subdivisions, historical agencies, libraries, and other Vermont organizations on the effective management of archival records; receive grants, gifts, aid, or assistance, of any kind, from any source, public or private, for the purpose of managing or publishing public records; and

(12)  serve on the Vermont historical records advisory board, as described in 44 U.S.C. § 2104, to encourage systematic documentation in Vermont and the collecting of archival records; and

(13)  publish or otherwise exhibit and promote those archival records are judged to be of publishable value.

(h)  Each volume published under the provisions of this section shall be called state papers of Vermont and numbered consecutively after the last volume of that title printed and published under the authority of No. 259 of the Acts of 1912 and shall be evidence in court and shall have the same force as the original documents.

(i)  All volumes printed under authority of this section shall be delivered to the state librarian who shall deliver one copy to such elective and appointive state officers and such town and county clerks and such local historical societies and to each public high school and college library in the state, and to the library of each private school acting as a public high school as shall request it in writing for the permanent files of their offices.  The state librarian shall also furnish four copies to the Vermont historical society.  The remaining volumes shall be disposed of by the state librarian through liberal exchanges with other libraries and institutions or through sale at such prices as the state librarian shall establish.

(j)  All volumes of the state papers of Vermont, published under authority of this or any other previous law, shall be evidence in court and shall have the same force as the original documents.

Sec. 4.  3 V.S.A. § 218 is amended to read:

§ 218.  AGENCY/DEPARTMENT RECORDS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

(a)  The general assembly finds that public records are essential to the administration of state and local government.  Public records contain information which allows government programs to function, provides officials with a basis for making decisions, and ensures continuity with past operations. Public records document the legal responsibilities of government, help protect the rights of citizens, and provide citizens a means of monitoring government programs and measuring the performance of public officials.  Public records provide documentation for the functioning of government and for the retrospective analysis of the development of Vermont government and the impact of programs on citizens.  Public records in general and archival records in particular need to be systematically managed to preserve their legal, historic, and informational value, to provide ready access to vital information, and to promote the efficient and economical operation of government.

(b)  The head of each state agency or department shall establish, maintain, and implement an active and continuing program approved by the commissioner of buildings and general services with respect to public records, and the secretary of state with respect to archival records, Vermont state archives and records administration for the effective management, preservation, and disposition of records, regardless of their physical form or characteristics, for which that head is responsible.

(c)  For an agency or department records program to be approved by the commissioner of buildings and general services with respect to public records, and the secretary of state with respect to archival records Vermont state archives and records administration, the head of each state agency or department shall:

* * *

(5)  establish and maintain other records related to management of the agency’s or department’s records as required by the director of public records or the state archivist Vermont state archives and records administration;

(6)  provide for furnishing to the division of public records and state archives, such special reports regarding the records of the agency or department as the department of buildings and general services or the secretary of state Vermont state archives and records administration may deem necessary;

(7)  process, store, and preserve records kept by the agency or department in an efficient and economical manner;

(8)  where practicable, consolidate or eliminate existing records of the agency or department and control the creation of new records; and

(9)  maintain the records of the agency or department in a manner that permits the prompt and orderly removal of records authorized for destruction; and

(10)  implement and sustain a record schedule in accordance with requirements established by the Vermont state archives and records administration under section 117 of this title and the department of information and innovation under subdivision 2222(a)(10) of this title.

(d)  The head of each state agency or department shall designate a member of his or her staff as the records officer for his or her agency or department and shall notify the department of buildings and general services Vermont state archives and records administration in writing of the name and title of the person designated.

(e)  The Vermont state archives and records administration shall approve all agency record schedules, as defined by section 117 of this title, unless set forth in a general record schedule issued by the Vermont state archives and records administration.  Authorizations by the public records advisory board regarding the disposition of public records shall remain in effect until superseded by a record schedule issued or approved by the Vermont state archives and records administration.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

22 V.S.A. chapter 11 (commissioner of buildings and general services authority to manage public records) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  2 V.S.A. § 752(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The committee shall prepare, adopt, and maintain a long-range plan of at least five years for information technology operations and services in the legislative branch.  The plan shall analyze the costs and benefits and risk management aspects of maintaining authentic and accessible legislative records as required by Vermont law.  In the preparation of the plan, the committee shall consult with members of the general assembly, the legislative staff information systems team established by section 753 of this title, and other legislative staff, the state archivist, the commissioner of buildings and general services, other representatives of the executive and judicial branches of state government, and members of the public.  The committee shall provide the house and senate committees on government operations with copies of the plan and any amendment to the plan.

Sec. 7.  18 V.S.A. § 5002 is amended to read:

§ 5002.  RETURNS; TABLES

The health commissioner shall prepare from the returns of births, marriages, civil unions, deaths, fetal deaths, and divorces required by law to be transmitted to the commissioner such tables and append thereto such recommendations as he or she deems proper, and during the month of July in each even year, shall cause the same to be published as directed by the board.  The commissioner shall file and preserve all such returns.  The commissioner shall periodically transmit the original returns or photostatic or photographic copies to the director of public records state archivist who shall keep the returns, or photostatic or photographic copies of the returns, on file for use by the public.  The commissioner and the director of public records state archivist shall each, independently of the other, have power to issue certified copies of such records.

Sec. 8.  18 V.S.A. § 5008 is amended to read:

§ 5008.  TOWN CLERK; RECORDING AND INDEXING PROCEDURES

A town clerk shall file for record and index in volumes all certificates and permits received in a manner prescribed by the public records director state archivist.  Each volume or series shall contain an alphabetical index.  Marriage certificates shall be filed for record in one volume or series, civil unions in another, birth certificates in another, and death certificates and burial-transit and removal permits in another.  However, in a town having less than 500 inhabitants, the town clerk may cause marriage, civil union, birth and death certificates, and burial-transit and removal permits to be filed for record in one volume, provided that none of such volumes shall contain more than 250 certificates and permits.  All volumes shall be maintained in the town clerk’s office as permanent records.

Sec. 9.  18 V.S.A. § 5148 is amended to read:

§ 5148.  EVIDENCE OF MARRIAGE

A copy of the record of the marriage made by a person required by law at the time the marriage was solemnized, to make and keep the record certified by such person, or by the town or county clerk or the commissioner of health or the director of public records state archivist, if the record is in his or her office, shall be in all courts presumptive evidence of the fact of such marriage.

Sec. 10.  18 V.S.A. § 5167 is amended to read:

§ 5167.  EVIDENCE OF CIVIL UNION

A copy of the record of the civil union received from the town or county clerk, the commissioner of health or the director of public records state archivist shall be presumptive evidence of the civil union in all courts.

Sec. 11.  24 V.S.A. § 1161 is amended to read:

§ 1161.  GENERAL INDEX

(a)(1)  A town clerk shall keep a general index of transactions affecting the title to real estate wherein he or she shall enter in one column, in alphabetical order, the name of the grantor to the grantee and, in a parallel column, the name of the grantee from the grantor, of every deed, conveyance, mortgage, lease or other instrument affecting the title to real estate, and each writ of attachment, notice of lien or other instrument evidencing or giving notice of an encumbrance on real estate which is filed or recorded in the town clerk’s office, with the name of the book, volume, or other manner of recording and the page of record in the following form:

* * *

(2)  If the instrument is executed on behalf of, or to convey the interest of another party, the same shall be indexed in the name of the other party as grantor.  In case the instrument is executed by more than one grantor and to more than one grantee, the name of each grantor and each grantee shall be indexed.  When the party is a natural person the name shall be indexed under the first letter of such person’s surname, and when the party is a corporation the name shall be indexed under the first letter of the first word of its name disregarding articles and initials.  For purposes of this section, a defendant against whose property a writ of attachment is filed or a person against whose property a lien is asserted, shall be considered a grantor, and a plaintiff filing a writ, or a person asserting a lien shall be considered a grantee.  Land plats filed in the office shall be indexed in such manner as the public records director state archivist shall by rule prescribe.  The general index may be kept electronically.

* * *

Sec. 12.  TRANSFER AND FUNDS AND POSITIONS

All employees, positions, and equipment and the remaining balances of the appropriation for public records are transferred from the department of buildings and general services to the office of the secretary of state.  The department of buildings and general services’ vital records special fund and the department of buildings and general services’ public records special fund along with monies in them shall be transferred to the office of the secretary of state and renamed the vital records special fund and public records special fund.

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

S. 89

An act relating to permitting payment of rent into court pursuant to a commercial lease.

Reported favorably by Senator Nitka for the Committee on Judiciary.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 112

An act relating to victims compensation.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 5, 32 V.S.A. § 1407, by striking out subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read:

The state shall bear the costs of medical and psychological examinations administered to victims of crime committed in this state, in instances where that examination is requested by a law enforcement officer or a prosecuting authority of the state or any of its subdivisions.  The state shall also bear the costs of medical examinations administered to victims in cases of alleged sexual assault where the victim obtains such an examination prior to receiving such a request.  If, as a result of a sexual assault examination, the alleged victim has been referred for mental health counseling, the state shall bear the costs of such examination.  These costs may be paid from the victims' compensation fund from funds appropriated for that purpose.  The fund shall reimburse health care facilities and health care providers located in Vermont as defined in section 9402 of Title 18 at 70 percent of the billed charges for these claims, and the health care provider or facility shall not bill any balance to the crime victim.  A victim, at his or her own expense, may obtain copies of the results of an examination under this section.

Second: In Sec. 5, 32 V.S.A. § 1407, by striking out subsection (b) in its entirety.

Third: By striking out Sec. 3 and Sec. 6 in their entirety.

And by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

S. 231

An act relating to studying lowering the drinking age.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  DRINKING AGE TASK FORCE; CREATED

(a)  There is created a drinking age task force to study the implications and costs of lowering the drinking age.  The task force shall be composed of seven members.  No later than August 15, 2008, the commissioner, director, or chair of the following entities shall each appoint a member to the task force:

(1)  Vermont liquor control board.

(2)  Vermont department of public safety.

(3)  Vermont department of health, office on alcohol and drug abuse programs.

(4)  State’s attorneys.

(5)  Vermont department of education.

(b)  The chair of the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs and the chair of the house committee on general, housing and military affairs shall each appoint a member from their committee to serve on the task force without per diem pay and the two members shall serve as co-chairs of the task force.

(c)  The task force shall take testimony from one or more members of the following groups:

(1)  College or university administration.

(2)  College or university law enforcement organization.

(3)  Nonprofit youth services organization.

(4)  Stop teen alcohol risk team (START).

(5)  Center for health and learning.

(6)  Mothers against drunk driving (MADD).

(7)  Choose responsibility.

(8)  Vermont secondary or postsecondary students.

(9)  Any other relevant or interested group or organization

(d)  The task force shall study the benefits and disadvantages of the present drinking age of 21 and the implications of lowering the drinking age and shall offer recommendations for state and federal action in light of its findings in a written report to the senate committees on judiciary and on economic development, housing and general affairs and the house committees on judiciary and on general, housing and military affairs on or before January 15, 2009.  In its deliberations, the task force shall consider at least the following:

(1)  Experiences of other countries such as Canada and members of the European Union in which there is a lower drinking age or no drinking age. 

(2)  The usefulness in reducing underage and binge drinking of a standardized alcohol education course coupled with provisional licensing for 18- to 20-year-olds, including the cost to implement these programs.

(3)  The impact of a lower drinking age coupled with alcohol education and a provisional drinking license on the rates of alcohol consumption and abuse by 18- to 20-year-olds and those under 18, related violence, negative consequences, and drunk driving.

(4)  The effectiveness of underage drinking enforcement in Vermont and the impact on enforcement of education and licensing of 18- to 20-year-olds.

(5)  The cost implications of lowering the drinking age in regard to prosecution, courts, enforcement, lost time at school or work, treatment, and families.

(6)  The National Minimum Drinking Age Act.

(7)  Actions and proposed changes to drinking policies in other states.

(e)  The task force shall meet no fewer than five times, shall meet at least one time before September 15, 2008, and shall issue a written report no later than January 15, 2009.

(f)  The legislative council and joint fiscal office shall provide administrative support to the task force.  The task force may also request administrative support from the department of liquor control and the department of education as needed.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 233

An act relating to temporary officiants for marriages and civil unions.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 5144a(a), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and renumbering subdivision (3) as subdivision (2)

Second:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(a), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and renumbering subdivision (3) as subdivision (2)

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 341

An act relating to registration of pet merchants.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1. 20 V.S.A. § 4301(4) is added to read:

(4)  “Animal vendor” means a person permitted under this chapter to advertise for the sale or exchange for value of one or more animals.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 4303a is added to read:

§ 4303a.  ANIMAL VENDOR PERMIT; PROHIBITIONS

(a)  A person may apply for an animal vendor’s permit in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, accompanied by a permit license fee of $50.00.  A permit shall be valid for 60 days from the date of issuance by the commissioner.

(b)  A person may not advertise in print, on television or radio, or on the internet the sale or exchange for value of one or more animals unless the person:

(1) Holds a valid animal vendor permit pursuant to subsection (a) of this section,

(2) Is a registered animal shelter pursuant to section 3903 of this title,

(3) Holds a kennel permit issued pursuant to 3681 of this title, or

(4) Holds a pet dealer license issued pursuant to section 3906 of this title.

(c)  Any person permitted to advertise the sale of an animal under this section shall include the title of the permit and the permit number in any printed sale material, including websites, advertisements in periodicals, brochures, signs, and in any advertisement on television or radio.  This permit information also shall be provided to a purchaser of an animal from the permit holder.

(d)  The commissioner may assess an administrative penalty of not more than $300.00 for each day of noncompliance against any person or advertising agent that fails to include this permit information in any printed sale material, including websites, advertisements in periodicals, brochures, signs, and in any advertisement on television or radio.

(e) Any monies generated by the permit fees or the penalties assessed under this section shall be used to fund the Vermont spay neuter incentive program administered by the agency of agriculture and shall be used only for:

(1)  Costs associated with animal sterilization and associated procedures;

(2)  Enforcement of this section; and

(3)  Costs of administration of this section.

Sec. 3.  RULES RELATING TO THE VERMONT SPAY NEUTER INCENTIVE PROGRAM; VETERINARIANS; AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE

The agency of agriculture shall adopt rules under chapter 25 of title 3 for the Vermont spay and neuter incentive program (VSNIP) that include:

(1) A requirement that a veterinarian shall, within 60 days of issuance of a certificate of rabies vaccination for a dog, provide a copy of the certificate, or otherwise provide identifying information pertaining to the certificate, to the agency of agriculture.

(2)  A requirement that the agency of agriculture, no less often than four times per year, provide a copy of the certificate or otherwise provide identifying information pertaining to the certificate, to the clerk of the municipality in which the owner of the dog resides.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

S. 348

An act relating to education or workforce training for children between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 1121a is added to read:

§ 1121a.  EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS WHO MAY NOT COMPLETE SECONDARY SCHOOL; SUPPORT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL COMPLETION

Each superintendent shall ensure that every public school within his or her jurisdiction implements the following:

(1)  Education support teams shall attempt to identify each student whose academic progress, behavior, or other indicators suggest, at any age, that the student may not complete his or her secondary education.

(2)  Education support teams shall work with every student identified in subdivision (1) of this section and, to the extent possible, the student’s parents or guardians to develop and update annually a personal education plan (“PEP”).  The PEP shall identify those services necessary for the student’s successful completion of elementary and secondary school and shall outline the procedure for obtaining the services, which may include the following:

(A)  Research-based literacy instruction to support the student to attain grade-level reading proficiency, if such support is needed.  

(B)  The assignment of an adult mentor, who may be the student’s parent or guardian, a community volunteer, or some other individual, to provide academic, career, and emotional support to the student until completion of secondary school.

(C)  Applied or work-based learning opportunities for secondary school students, particularly those that foster appropriate social interactions with adults and other students.

(D)  The opportunity, when appropriate, to participate in dual enrollment courses, with tutorial support provided as needed.

(E)  The opportunity, when appropriate, to participate in outreach programs with the Vermont student assistance corporation, including academic support services, workshops, summer programs, and career counseling.

(F)  Any other service to encourage the successful completion of elementary and secondary school. 

(3)  When a school determines that a student’s early withdrawal from secondary school is imminent, the school shall provide information to that student about alternative paths to graduation, regardless of whether the student was previously identified or served under subdivision (1) or (2) of this section.  

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 1122 is amended to read:

§ 1122.  PUPILS OVER SIXTEEN CHILDREN WHO ARE 16 YEARS OLD AND OLDER; WAIVER

A person having the control of a child over sixteen years of age who allows such child to become enrolled in a public school, shall cause such child to attend such school continually for the full number of the school days of the term in which he is so enrolled, unless such child is mentally or physically unable to continue, or is excused in writing by the superintendent or a majority of the school directors.  In case of such enrollment, such person, and the teacher, child, superintendent, and school directors shall be under the laws and subject to the penalties relating to the attendance of children between the ages of seven and sixteen years. 

(a)  The legal guardian or guardians of a child who is at least 16 but less than 18 years old shall cause the child to be enrolled in and attend a public or approved independent secondary school for the number of days and hours required for satisfactory completion of the academic year, except under the following circumstances:

(1)  The commissioner determines that the child is mentally or physically unable to be enrolled.

(2)  The child is enrolled in and attending:

(A)  A postsecondary school, as defined in subdivision 176(b)(1) of this title, that is approved or accredited in Vermont or another state; or

(B)  A postsecondary technical education program as defined in subdivision 1522(12) of this title. 

(3)  The child has completed all credits and other requirements necessary for secondary graduation.

(4)  The child was in a home study program under section 166b of this title for at least one year at the secondary level when he or she was younger than 16 years old and will continue to be under his or her guardian’s educational supervision until age 18.

(5)  The child has been granted a waiver pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section.

(b)  A student who is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and who is not subject to the exceptions set out in subdivisions (a)(1) through (4) of this section may terminate his or her secondary education in a public or approved independent school upon receiving a waiver from an administrator or counselor designated by the school board of the district in which the student resides.  To obtain a waiver, the student shall meet with the designee and discuss alternative paths to graduation and other approved alternatives to secondary school, which may include the high school completion program created by section 1049a of this title, a home study program pursuant to section 166b of this title, the Northlands Job Corps Center, an education program approved by the department of education, or a workforce development program eligible to receive funding from the department of labor.  When the student has selected an alternative to enrollment in the secondary school, the designee shall issue written approval for the student to terminate his or her enrollment in the public or approved independent school and shall provide a copy to the student, the student’s legal guardian or guardians, the school board, and the program in which the student intends to participate. 

(c)  A student subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section who either chooses not to pursue an alternative pursuant to that subsection or terminates his or her participation in the alternative program prior to the age of 18 may request from the school board of the district in which the student resides a waiver of the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section.  To obtain a waiver, the student, and the student’s legal guardian or guardians if possible, shall meet with school board and explain the reasons that he or she is requesting the waiver and his or her plans for education, workforce training, or employment until reaching the age of 18.  The board may suggest and discuss other alternatives with the student. 

(1)  If the board approves the student’s request for a waiver, the board shall issue written approval for the child to terminate his or her enrollment in the public or approved independent school pursuant to subsection (a) or to terminate attendance in an alternative program pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.  The board shall provide a copy of the waiver to the student, the student’s legal guardian or guardians, the school in which the student was or is enrolled, and any alternative program the student had been attending. 

(2)  If the board does not approve the student’s request for a waiver, the student shall be considered truant under the provisions of this chapter unless the student withdraws the request and complies with subsection (a) or (b) of this section.  The student may appeal the board’s decision to the commissioner, whose decision shall be final; provided, however, that a subsequent action may be filed in superior court.

(d)  The departments of labor and of education shall publish, and update at least annually, a list of all programs under their respective jurisdictions that meet the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

(e)  During the period in which the child is enrolled in and attending a public or approved independent secondary school pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or an alternative program pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the child, the child’s legal guardian or guardians, and the superintendent and school directors of the district in which the child resides shall be subject to the laws and penalties relating to the attendance of children between the ages of seven and 18 years. 

(f)  The provisions of this section shall also apply to an emancipated minor.

Sec. 3.  HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION PROGRAM; GRADUATION EDUCATION PLAN; GUIDELINES

The department of education shall amend the high school completion program’s guidelines to:

(1)  Require that the graduation education plan for each 16‑ and 17‑year‑old student include services relevant to the student’s goals that provide:

(A)  Career exploration.

(B)  Workforce training.

(C)  Workplace readiness training.

(D)  Preparation for postsecondary training or education and transitioning assistance. 

(2)  Recommend that the graduation education plan for each student who is older than 17 years of age include the elements listed in subdivision (1) of this section.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and shall apply beginning in the 2008–2009 academic year.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

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 QUESTION:  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.

Kevin Dorn of Essex Junction - Secretary of the Agency of Commerce & Community Development - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Bruce Hyde of Granville - Commissioner of the Department of Tourism & Marketing - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

John Hall of St. Johnsbury - Commissioner of the Department of Housing & Community Development - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Michael W. Quinn of Essex Junction - Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board and Commissioner of the Department of Labor - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board & Commissioner of the Department of Labor - By Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/17)

Brian Vachon of Middlesex - Member of the State Board of Education - By Sen. Doyle for the Committee on Education.  (1/17)

Gerald J. Myers of Winooski - Commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services - By Sen. Scott for the Committee on Institutions.  (1/23)

Thomas Scala of Brattleboro - Member of the Vermont Lottery Commission - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/23)

Virginia Barry of Barre - Member of the Vermont Lottery Commission - By Sen. Condos for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.  (1/23)

David J. Kurzman of Beecher Falls - Member of the Vermont Economic Development Authority - By Sen. Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (1/23)

Heidi Pelletier of Montpelier – Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees – By Senator Doyle for the Committee on Education. (1/23)

Jessica Bullock of Clarendon – Member of the State Board of Education – By Senator Nitka for the Committee on Education. (1/23)

David Herlihy of Waitsfield - Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources - By Senator Doyle for the Committee on Government Operations.  (2/8)

Fayneese Miller of South Burlington - Member of the State Board of Education - By Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.  (2/13)

Lisa Mitiguy Randall of Colchester - Chair of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency - By Senator Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (2/13)

Nathaniel M. Hayward of South Hero - Member of the Vermont Economic Development Authority - By Senator Condos for the Committee on Finance.  (2/13)

Peter J. Wright of Lake Elmore - Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees - By Senator Starr for the Committee on Education.  (2/13)

Jeffrey L. Davis of Williston - Member of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Board of Trustees - By Senator Starr for the Committee on Education.  (2/20)

David R. Kimel of St. Albans - Member of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank - By Senator McCormack for the Committee on Finance.  (2/21)

James E. Potvin of Mount Holly - Member of the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency - By Senator Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (2/20)

John W. Valente of Rutland - Director of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank - By Senator Carris for the Committee on Finance.  (2/27)

Sandra Predom of Mount Holly - Member of the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency - By Senator Carris for the Committee on Finance.  (2/27)

Edward T. Ogarzalek of Rutland - Member of the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Financing Agency - By Senator Maynard for the Committee on Finance.  (2/27)

John C. Stewart of Jericho Center - Member of the Community High School of Vermont Board - By Senator Giard for the Committee on Education.  (2/29)

Susan Roush Bruce of St. Albans - Member of the Board of Libraries - By Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.  (2/29)

REPORTS ON FILE

Pursuant to the provisions of 2 V.S.A. §20(c), one (1) copy of the following reports is on file in the office of the Secretary of the Senate:

125.  An Act Relating to Education Quality and Cost Control:  Financial Management of School Districts and Supervisory Unions, 2007 Report6 on Act 82, Sec. 18.  (Department of Education, School Finance Division).  (February 2008).

126.  An Act Relating to Education Quality and Cost Control:  Education Governance, 2007 Report on Act 82, Sec. 19.  (Department of Education).  (February 2008).

127.  Report to the Legislature to Address Services for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  (Agency of Human Services and Department of Education).  (February 2008).

128.  Vermont 2008 Success Beyond Six.  (Department of Mental Health and Department of Education).  (February 2008).

129.  School Environmental Health Report.  (Agency of Human Services, Department of Health)  (February 2008).

130.  Conservation Motor Vehicle Registration Plate Program Report .  (Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife).  (February 2008).

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Thursday, March 13, 2008 - Room 11 - 6:00-8:00 p.m. - H. 866 - Education Adjusted Gross Income Tax and H. 869 - Local Education Affordability Formula (LEAF) - House Committee on Ways and Means.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 - Room 11 - 5:00-7:00 p.m. - H. 543 - Funding of the Department of Fish and Wildlife - House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us