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Senate Calendar

Thursday, March 20, 2008

73rd DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 211     Soliciting of architect proposals by a school district............................ 830

                        Education Committee Report................................................... 830

S. 354     Relating to public agency deferred compensation plans...................... 831

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 831

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 201     Relating to state employee whistleblower protection........................... 833

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 831

S. 270     Agreement to elect the president by national popular vote.................. 834

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 834

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 152     Lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products................. 834

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................... 834

S. 216     Designating snowboarding as the Vermont state sport........................ 838

                        Education Committee Report................................................... 838

S. 261     Relating to phthalates in products for young children.......................... 840

                        Health and Welfare Committee Report..................................... 840

S. 271     Relating to child support for children with disabilities.......................... 841

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 841

S. 275     Relating to motor vehicles passing bicyclists on highways................... 841

                        Transportation Committee Report............................................ 841

S. 294     Siting of a dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods............. 842

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................... 842

S. 301     Assaults on law enforcement officers & hate-motivated crimes........... 842

                        Judiciary Committee Report..................................................... 842

S. 304     Relating to a groundwater withdrawal permit program........................ 843

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................... 843

S. 322     Relating to dairy promotion council.................................................... 853

                        Agriculture Committee Report.................................................. 853

Committee Bill for Second Reading

S. 366     Administration of the voter’s oath or affirmation................................. 855

                        By the Committee on Government Operations.......................... 855

Joint Resolutions for Action

JRS  57  Posting of state contracts & grants in full text on the internet............... 855

JRH 54  Eliminating Enron Loophole regulatory exemption.............................. 855

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 26       Relating to electronic payment of wages............................................ 855

S. 112     Relating to victims compensation....................................................... 855

S. 114     Enhancing mental health parity........................................................... 855

S. 117     Relating to a statewide school year calendar...................................... 855

S. 244     Relating to self-storage facilities......................................................... 855

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 233     Temporary officiants for marriage and civil unions.............................. 855

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 856

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 856

S. 324     Relating to beer tasting...................................................................... 856

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report........... 856

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 858

Committee Bills for Second Reading

S. 368     Addition of new types of disinfectants to public water systems........... 858

                        By the Committee on Health and Welfare................................. 858

S. 373     Full funding of decommissioning costs of a nuclear plant..................... 858

                        By the Committee on Finance.................................................. 858

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 108     Relating to the election of U.S. Representative & U.S. Senator.......... 858

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 229     Access to public records................................................................... 859

                        Government Operations Committee Report.............................. 859

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 862

                        Appropriations Committee Report........................................... 862

                        Sen. Condos amendment......................................................... 862

                        Sen. Kittell and Sen. Collins amendment................................... 864

S. 311     Current use enrollment for conservation lands.................................... 864

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................... 864

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 869

                        Appropriations Committee Report........................................... 870

                        Sen. Kitchel amendment.......................................................... 871

S. 350     Energy independence and economic prosperity.................................. 872

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................... 872

                        Finance Committee Report...................................................... 893

Committee Bills for Notice

S. 369     Recognition of tribes & bands of native Americans by the Vermont commission on native American affairs      893

               By the Committee on Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs................ 893

S. 372     Evictions, unpaid rent, and abandoned property in rental prop............ 893

               By the Committee on Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs................ 893

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides................................ 893


S. 102     School dist. excess spending............................................................. 894

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................... 894

S. 344     Internet and mail order sales of tobacco products.............................. 894

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements....................... 894

Concurrent Resolutions for Notice

(For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to March 20, 2008 Calendar)

SCR   37   Recognizing the role of Vermont Transit and its employees.............. 109

SCR   38   Burlington Seahorses’ boys’ championship basketball team............. 110

HCR  236  Honoring the outstanding work of child care providers in VT.......... 110

HCR  237  Honoring the half-century active Bennington firefighters.................. 112

HCR  238  Missisquoi Valley Union H.S. girls’ ice hockey team...................... 113

HCR  239  Enosburg Falls H.S. girls’ basketball championship team................ 115

HCR  240  Congratulating the 2008 Essex H.S. cheerleading team.................. 116

HCR  241  Congratulating the 2008 Essex H.S. boys’ ice hockey team........... 117

HCR  242  Vermont Ice Storm the Empire Football League champions........... 118

HCR  243  Outstanding winter road clearance by AOT highway crews............ 119

HCR  244  In memory of John D. Picard......................................................... 120

HCR  245  Congratulating Vergennes Union H.S. cheerleading champions....... 121

HCR  246  In memory of Charlie Bristow........................................................ 122

HCR  247  Milton High School girls basketball championship team.................. 123

 



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 211

An act relating to soliciting of architect proposals by a school district.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Collins 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. § 559a is added to read:

§ 559a.  ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES

(a)  Prior to hiring an architect or engineer for evaluation, modification, renovation, or construction of school property, the school board shall solicit a statement of qualifications from at least three persons or firms that provide professional architectural or engineering services or both.

(b)  A school board may choose to continue working with the same architect or engineer or both from the initial study through design and project completion, without engaging in the selection process required by this section for each part of the project.  The initial advertisement shall include notice of this possibility.

(c)  A school board may retain an architect or engineer or both for a period not to exceed three years to provide “on‑call” professional guidance or assistance on one or more projects without engaging in the selection process required by this section if the total cost of all projects for which assistance is provided during that time does not exceed $500,000.00.

(d)  The school board shall adopt written criteria for the selection of semifinalists and finalists from among the persons or firms submitting a statement of qualifications.  The criteria shall include:

(1)  Prior similar experience.

(2)  Past performance on public and private projects.

(3)  Willingness to meet time and budget requirements.

(4)  Capacity to meet requirements.

(5)  Any other criteria the school board considers relevant.

(e)  Based upon the statements of qualifications received and the criteria adopted, the school board shall select the three most qualified applicants.  The school board shall rank the three selected applicants in priority order and shall send written notification of the selection and the order of preference to all persons or firms that responded to the invitation to submit qualifications.

(f)  The school board shall negotiate a contract for services with the most qualified person or firm at a level of compensation that is fair and reasonable.  When negotiating the contract, the school board may consider factors including the person’s or firm’s proposed fees, policies and practices regarding errors and omissions, history of completing projects within the contractual time and budget, and proposed rates for reimbursable expenses such as mileage and telephone charges.

(g)  If a satisfactory contract cannot be negotiated with the most highly qualified person or firm, then the school board may formally terminate negotiations and commence negotiations with the second and then third most qualified applicant until a satisfactory contract has been negotiated.

(h)  The requirements of this section shall not apply to projects initiated in any fiscal year in which state aid for school construction is suspended.

and that upon passage, the title shall be “AN ACT RELATING TO SOLICITING OF ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER PROPOSALS BY A SCHOOL BOARD”

(Committee vote: 4-1-0)

S. 354

An act relating to public agency deferred compensation plans.

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

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.  3 V.S.A. § 650 is amended to read:

§ 650. DEFINITIONS

The following definitions shall apply throughout this chapter unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Board" means the Vermont state retirement board.

(2) "Deferred compensation agreement" means any agreement authorized by this chapter entered into between a public agency and an employee of that agency providing for a reduction in the employee's compensation in return for the agency's promise to make deferred payments in the future.

(3)(2) "Employee" means any employee of a public agency whether appointed, elected or under contract to whom compensation is paid.

(3) “Other public agency” means a public agency described in subdivision (4)(B) or (C) of this section.

(4) "Public agency" means:

(A) the state, acting as a single unit employer on behalf of the general assembly and state agencies, departments, boards or commissions;

(B) any a county or municipality as defined in section subdivision 4303(4) of Title 24; and

(C) any a school district as defined in section subdivision 11(a)(10) of Title 16 or a supervisory union as defined in subdivision 11(a)(23) of Title 16.

(5)  “State board” means the Vermont state retirement board.

(6)  “Teachers’ board” means the Vermont state teachers’ retirement board.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 651 is amended to read:

§ 651. DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLANS AUTHORIZED

(a) Subject to collective bargaining rights of state employees involved, the state or any county, municipality, or school district, or supervisory union may, through any public agency, enter into a contractual agreement with any employee of that agency to defer, in whole or in part, that employee's compensation. Payroll reductions shall be made, in each instance, by the appropriate payroll officer.

(b) The state board may establish and administer a plan that conforms with Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code for the purpose of providing a deferred compensation program for state employees, including members of the general assembly, and for the employees of other public agencies that elect to participate in the state plan.

(c) Other public agencies may establish and administer a plan for the purpose of providing a deferred compensation program for their employees.

(d) The state board and other public agencies, which have or will establish a defined contribution deferred compensation plan, shall create a trust to conform with Section 457 the appropriate sections of the Internal Revenue Code.  The teachers’ board may create an investment program that will provide public agencies set forth in subdivision 650(4)(C) of this title operating plans under Subsection 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code with investment options.

(e) All assets and income which have been or shall be withheld or deferred  deposited pursuant to this chapter by the state of Vermont or its political subdivisions other public agencies shall be held in trust in any funding vehicle permitted by Subsection 403(b) and Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code for the exclusive benefit of the plan's plans’ participants and their beneficiaries until such time as the funds are distributed to the participant or the beneficiary of the participant in accordance with the terms of the deferred compensation plan.

(f) For state employees, including members of the general assembly, the state board shall be the trustees of the deferred compensation plan that conforms to Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code, and the state treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds in the trust. All payments from such the funds shall be made by the state treasurer or the treasurer's authorized agent.  An investment program established by the teachers’ board shall be optional for public agencies set forth in subdivision 650(4)(C) of this title who shall be the trustees of their respective plans created under Subsection 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(g) Any political subdivision administering a plan as a trust shall be required to name one or more persons as trustees of such plan, and to establish provisions relating to the removal or resignation of a trustee, the appointment of a successor and the methods by which the trustee may take necessary action as required under the plan.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

(Committee vote: 4-1-0)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable

S. 201

An act relating to state employee whistleblower protection.

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

(Committee vote: 3-1-2)

S. 270

An act relating to the agreement among the states to elect the president by national popular vote.

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

(Committee vote: 3-1-1)

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 152

An act relating to prevention of lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator McCormack for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Lead is highly toxic to humans, particularly to young children.

(2)  Exposure to lead can cause irreversible damage that results in

long-lasting, permanent neurological damage, such as decreases in I.Q.

(3)  Lead exposure has also been shown to be associated with school failure, delinquency, and criminal behavior.

(4)  There is no safe level of lead for humans.  The effects of lead exposure are cumulative, and exposure to a very small amount of lead dust over time can cause a serious increase in lead levels in blood.

(5)  There are multiple sources of lead exposure, including lead-based paint; soil; certain children’s products; water fixtures; and certain occupational environments.

(6)  There is no reason for children’s products made with lead to be sold or marketed in Vermont, or for not taking reasonable steps to reduce lead in all consumer products.

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. chapter 63, subchapter 1C is added to read:

Subchapter 1C.  Lead in Consumer Products

§ 2470e.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Children’s product” means any consumer product marketed for use by children under the age of 12, or whose substantial use or handling by children under 12 years of age is reasonably foreseeable, including toys, furniture, jewelry, vitamins and other supplements, personal care products, clothing, food, and food containers and packaging.

(2)(A)  Contain or containing lead," unaccompanied by a specific standard, means containing or having a surface coating containing the following amount of lead by weight of lead or lead compound, unless the commissioner of health, in consultation with the attorney general by rule, reduces this percentage generally or with respect to specific products:

(i)  0.06 percent as of July 1, 2008;

(ii)  0.03 percent as of January 1, 2009; and

(iii)  0.01 percent as of July 1, 2010.

(B)  If the standard set under this subsection is preempted by a federal standard as to any class of products, then “contain (or containing ) lead,” unaccompanied by a specific standard, means the lowest such federal standards applicable to such a class of products.

§ 2470f.  PROHIBITION OF LEAD IN CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS

Except to the extent specifically preempted by federal law, no person shall manufacture for sale, offer for sale, or distribute in commerce in, or import into Vermont any children’s product any component part of which contains lead.  This prohibition shall not apply to any component part of a children's product that is not accessible to a child through normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of such product.  A component part is not accessible under this section if such component part is not physically exposed by reason of a sealed covering or casing and does not become physically exposed through reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of the product.

§ 2470g.  PROHIBITION OF LEAD IN JEWELRY

No person shall manufacture for sale, offer for sale, or distribute in commerce in, or import into Vermont any article of jewelry or other metal decorative item containing lead, where the article, or any detachable part of the article, is the size of a small part as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 16 C.F.R. part 1501, unless the article is:

(1)  expressly and prominently advertised as adult jewelry;

(2)  not commonly understood to be an article for use by a child under age 12; and

(3)  accompanied by a point-of-sale disclosure prescribed by the attorney general to the effect that the article may contain lead at or above the prevailing legal limit for lead in children's products, if that is true.

§ 2470h.  CONSUMER WARNINGS; NOTIFICATION; PHASE-OUTS

Except to the extent specifically preempted by federal law:

(1)  Wheel weights.  Beginning January 1, 2010, the state of Vermont shall ensure that no vehicles that are in the state fleet, whether purchased or leased, use wheel weights containing lead.  Beginning September 1, 2011, no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont a new motor vehicle with wheel weights containing lead.

(2)  Plumbing fixtures and related supplies.  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2009, any person who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont solder or flux containing more than 0.2 percent lead, or plumbing fixtures whose wetted surfaces contain more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead, shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure.  Beginning January 1, 2010, no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont, or use in the state of Vermont, solder or flux for plumbing containing more than 0.2 percent lead, or plumbing fixtures whose wetted surfaces contain more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead.  For the purpose of this subdivision, the term “plumbing fixtures” means pipes, pipe and plumbing fittings, and fixtures used to convey or dispense water for human consumption; and the “weighted average” lead content shall be calculated by multiplying the percentage of lead content within each component that comes into contact with water by the percent of the total wetted surface of the entire pipe and pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures, and adding all of the percentages.  In the event that the attorney general determines that any combination of the northeastern states with an aggregate population of at least ten million people has enacted a restriction or prohibition with respect to lead in solder or flux for plumbing or in plumbing fixtures that is more stringent than set out in this subdivision, that restriction or prohibition shall become effective in Vermont 180 days following the effective date of the attorney general’s determination.  For purposes of this subdivision, northeastern states include the six New England states, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. 

(3)  Nonresidential paints and primers.  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2010, any person who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont nonresidential paints and primers containing lead shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure.  Beginning January 1, 2011, no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont nonresidential paints or primers containing lead.  Beginning January 1, 2012, no person shall use nonresidential paints or primers containing lead in the state of Vermont.

(4)  Salvage building materials.  As prescribed by the attorney general, beginning January 1, 2009, any person who sells or offers for sale in or into the state of Vermont salvage building materials made prior to 1978 shall clearly and conspicuously post a warning at the point of sale, stating that these products may contain lead and shall also provide to each buyer prior to sale information on the risks of lead exposure. 

(5)  Motor vehicle batteries.  In the event that the attorney general determines that any combination of the northeastern states with an aggregate population of at least ten million people has enacted a restriction or prohibition on the sale or offer for sale of motor vehicle batteries containing lead, that restriction or prohibition shall become effective in Vermont 180 days following the effective date of the attorney general’s determination.  For purposes of this subsection, northeastern states include the six New England states, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. 

(6)  Other.  The attorney general, in consultation with the commissioner of health, may by rule require warnings, notifications, or a combination of these relating to other products containing lead.

§ 2470i.  PROHIBITION ON REMOVAL OF LABELS

No person shall remove from a consumer product any warning label affixed to it that relates in whole or part to lead or lead hazards and which label is required by this state, the federal government, or any other state or country.

§ 2470j.  PROHIBITION ON PROVIDING SUBSTANTIAL ASSISTANCE

No person shall provide substantial assistance to a person in violation of section 2470f, 2470g, 2470h, or 2470i of this section with knowledge or reason to know of the violation. 

§ 2470k.  VIOLATIONS

(a)  A violation of this subchapter is deemed to be a violation of section 2453 of this title.

(b)  The attorney general has the same authority to make rules, conduct civil investigations, enter into assurances of discontinuance, and bring civil actions, and private parties have the same rights and remedies, as provided under subchapter 1 of this chapter.

§ 2470l.  SCOPE

(a)  Nothing in this act shall be construed to regulate firearms, ammunition, lead pellets from air rifles, shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, casting, or reloading ammunition.

(b)  Nothing in this act shall be construed to alter the existing authority of the agency of natural resources to regulate the lead content of products used in connection with fishing and hunting.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 216

An act designating snowboarding as the Vermont state sport.

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

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

In recognition of the importance that sports can play in the personal lives of Vermonters and in the economic well-being of the state, the general assembly finds:

(1)   The history of snowboarding and skiing is heavily linked to Vermont.

(2)  In 1934, the country’s first ski area opened near Woodstock when the first rope tow ski lift was installed on Clinton Gilbert’s farm.  This was followed by many other historical Vermont firsts in the ski industry, including the nation’s first ski race held on Mount Mansfield in 1934, the nation’s first
J-bar lift installed at Bromley Ski Area in 1936, the nation’s first ski patrol established at Stowe Ski Area in 1936, the nation’s first T-bar lift installed at Pico Peak Ski Area in 1937, and the nation’s first major chair lift installed at the Stowe Ski Area in 1940.

(3)  In 1938, C. Minot Dole founded the National Ski Patrol in Vermont.  Dole later used the National Ski Patrol model to convince the U.S. Army to activate a division of American mountain soldiers on skis, known as the 10th Mountain Division.  Approximately 240 Vermonters served in the famed winter warfare division during World War II, with a dozen killed in action in the battle against the Germans in the Italian Alps.

(4)  In 1952, Rutland’s Andrea Mead-Lawrence, whose parents ran Pico Mountain, became the first American woman to win two Olympic gold medals in skiing.  Stowe’s Billy Kidd won the silver medal at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics and the gold and bronze medals at the 1970 World Championships.

The skiing Cochrans—Barbara Ann, Lindy, Marilyn, and Bobby—dominated the world racing scene in the 1960s and ’70s, with Barbara Ann winning the gold medal at the 1972 winter Olympics.  Nordic skier Bill Koch skied in four Olympics—1976, 1980, 1984, and 1992.  Koch won the 1976 silver medal, a first for an American Nordic skier. He won a bronze medal in the 1982 Federation Internationale de Ski Nordic World Championships and a bronze medal in the 1982 World Cup Championships.

(5)  Vermont is home to many public schools, academies, and colleges that are world-class training grounds for snowboarding and skiing.

(6)  In 1982, the Suicide Six Resort in Pomfret was the first resort in the United States to allow snowboarding.  In 1985, when Stratton Mountain introduced snowboarding, only five percent of ski areas in the country permitted snowboarding.  Today, 97 percent of ski areas in the nation welcome snowboarders on their slopes.

(7)  In the 1980s, Vermont was the first state in the country to host what is now known as a snowboard park at the Sonnenberg Ski Area in Barnard.

(8)  The U.S. Open for Snowboarding is held in Vermont.  This event is the renowned first competition for snowboarding and offers an exciting opportunity to watch the world’s best snowboarders exhibiting their skills. 

(9)  Vermonters have won two gold medals in snowboarding in the last three winter Olympic games.

(10)  The United States Olympic Committee named Hannah Teter of Belmont the 2006 Sportwoman of the Year, the top honor conferred by the committee.

(11)  The United States Olympic Committee named former United States Halfpipe Head Coach Bud Keene of Stowe the 2006 National Coach of the Year.

(12)  In 1977, Vermonter Jake Burton Carpenter founded a snowboard company in his barn and perfected the technology to build snowboards.  Today, this Burlington-based company is the worldwide leader in the manufacture and sale of snowboards.  Jake and Donna Burton Carpenter were inducted into the United States National Ski and Snowboarding Hall of Fame in 2007.

(13)  There is an alarmingly high, and still rising, percentage of obese children in the United States.  The sports of snowboarding and skiing promote healthy outdoor exercise for children, their parents, and people of all ages.

(14)  Vermont historically ranks as the 3rd largest snowboard and ski state with over four million snowboarder and skier visits per year.

(15)  Snowboarding and skiing at Vermont’s ski areas are a critical part of the Vermont economy, heritage, and way of life.

(16)  Designating snowboarding and skiing as the Vermont state sports will encourage individuals to travel to Vermont to snowboard and ski, to patronize local hotels and restaurants, and to purchase Vermont products.

Sec. 2.  1 V.S.A. § 516 is added to read:

§ 516.  STATE SPORTS

The state sports shall be snowboarding and skiing.

and that upon passage, the title shall be “AN ACT DESIGNATING SNOWBOARDING AND SKIING AS THE VERMONT STATE SPORTS”

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 261

An act relating to phthalates in products for young children.

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In subsections (b) and (c) of Sec.1, by striking out “January 1, 2009” and inserting in lieu thereof July 1, 2009, and

Second:  By striking out subsection (g) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (g) to read:

(g)  A violation of this section shall be deemed a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  The attorney general may investigate and prosecute violations of this section pursuant to the provisions of the Consumer Fraud Act.  

(Committee vote:  6-0-0)


S. 271

An act relating to child support for children with disabilities.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Cummings 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.  15 V.S.A. § 658(g) is added to read:

(g)  The court may order child support to continue up to the age of 22 for an individual with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities if the court finds that cessation of support would result in the individual losing:

(1)  housing and related services, thereby placing the individual at risk of being institutionalized, other than under the supervision of the department of corrections; or

(2)  health or community services.

Sec. 2.  SUNSET

This act shall be repealed effective July 1, 2012.

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

S. 275

An act relating to motor vehicles passing bicyclists on highways.

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

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.  23 V.S.A. § 1033 is amended to read:

§ 1033.  PASSING ON THE LEFT MOTOR VEHICLES AND VULNERABLE USERS

(a)  Passing motor vehicles.  Vehicles proceeding in the same direction may be overtaken and passed only as follows:

(1)  The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction may pass to its left at a safe distance, and when so doing shall exercise due care, may not pass to the left of the center of the highway unless the way ahead is clear of approaching traffic, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

(2)  Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

(b)  Passing vulnerable users.  As used in this subsection, “vulnerable user” means a pedestrian, a person operating a bicycle or other non-motor vehicle, a highway worker, a person riding or herding an animal, and a person operating a farm tractor or implement of husbandry.  The operator of a motor vehicle approaching or passing a “vulnerable user” shall exercise due care, which includes using every reasonable precaution, to safely clear the vulnerable user. 

Sec. 2.  REPEAL

The following sections of title 23 are repealed:

(1)  §1127 (passing a vehicle drawn by horses or other draft animals).

(2)  § 1053 (passing pedestrians on a highway).

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 294

An act relating to the optimal siting of a dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Hartwell for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended in Sec. 1, subsection (a), in the second sentence, after the words “include draft legislation that” by inserting the words retains the process by which the state may site a facility for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and that

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 301

An act relating to assaults on law enforcement officers and to hate-motivated crimes against law enforcement officers and firefighters.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Mullin 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.  13 V.S.A. § 1028 is amended to read:

§ 1028.  ASSAULT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER, EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL, OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL MEMBER; ASSAULT WITH BODILY FLUIDS

(a)  A person convicted of a simple or aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency room personnel, or member of emergency services personnel as defined in subdivision 2651(6) of Title 24 while the officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel member is performing a lawful duty, in addition to any other penalties imposed under sections 1023 and 1024 of this title, shall:

(1)(A)  For the first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year;

(B)  For a first offense of aggravated assault, be imprisoned not more than three years;

(2)  For the second offense and subsequent offenses, be imprisoned not more than ten years.

(b)(1)  No person shall intentionally cause blood, vomitus, excrement, mucus, saliva, semen, or urine to come in contact with a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or member of emergency services personnel as defined in subdivision 2651(6) of Title 24 while the officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel member is performing a lawful duty. 

(2)  A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

The Committee further recommends that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows: “AN ACT RELATING TO ENHANCING THE PENALTIES FOR ASSAULTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND TO THE CRIME OF ASSAULT WITH BODILY FLUIDS”

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 304

An act relating to a groundwater withdrawal permit program.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Snelling for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

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.  10 V.S.A. § 1390 is amended to read:

§ 1390.  POLICY

It is the policy of the state of Vermont that it shall protect its groundwater resources to maintain high quality drinking water and shall manage its groundwater resources to minimize the risks of groundwater quality deterioration by limiting human activities that present unreasonable risks to the use classifications of groundwater in the vicinities of such activities while balancing the state's groundwater policy with the need to maintain and promote a healthy and prosperous agricultural community The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(1)  surface and subsurface water are inherently interrelated in both quality and quantity;

(2)  groundwater hydrology is a science that allows groundwater quality and quantity to be mapped and forecast;

(3)  groundwater is a mobile resource that is necessarily shared among all users;

(4)  all persons have a right to the beneficial use and enjoyment of groundwater free from unreasonable interference by other persons;

(5)  in recognition that the groundwater of Vermont is a precious, finite, and invaluable resource upon which there is an ever-increasing demand for present, new, and competing uses; and in further recognition that an adequate supply of groundwater for domestic, farming, and industrial uses is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Vermont, the withdrawal of groundwater of the state should be regulated in a manner that benefits the people of the state; is compatible with long-range water resource planning, proper management, and use of the water resources of Vermont; and is consistent with Vermont’s policy of managing groundwater as a public resource for the benefit of all Vermonters;

(6)  it is the policy of the state that the state shall protect its groundwater resources to maintain high-quality drinking water;

(7)  it is the policy of the state that the groundwater resources of the state shall be managed to minimize the risks of groundwater quality deterioration by limiting human activities that present unreasonable risks to the use classifications of groundwater in the vicinities of such activities while balancing the state’s groundwater policy with the need to maintain and promote a healthy and prosperous agricultural community;

(8)  it is the policy of the state that the common-law doctrine of absolute ownership of groundwater is hereby abolished; and

(9)  it is the policy of the state that the groundwater resources of the state are held in trust for the public.  The state shall manage its groundwater resources in accordance with the policy of this section and sections 1392 and 1418 of this title for the benefit of citizens who hold and share rights in such waters. 

Sec.  2.  10 V.S.A. chapter 48, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Groundwater Withdrawal Program

§ 1416.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Farming” means farming as the term is defined in subdivision 6001(22) of this title.

(2)  “Groundwater” means water below the land surface, including springs.

(3)  “Person” means any individual, partnership, company, corporation, cooperative, association, unincorporated association, joint venture, trust, the state of Vermont or any department, agency, subdivision, or municipality, the United States government or any department, agency, or subdivision, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(4)  “Spring” means a groundwater source where groundwater flows naturally to the surface of the earth, including any such groundwater intercepted via catchments or similar devices. 

(5)  “Surface water” means waters within the meaning of subdivision 1251(13) of this title.

(6)  “Water resources” means groundwater, surface water, and wetlands.

(7)  “Well” means any hole drilled, driven, bored, excavated, or created by similar method into the earth to locate, monitor, extract, or recharge groundwater where the water table or potentiometric surface is artificially lowered through pumping.

(8)  “Withdraw” or “withdrawal” means the intentional removal by any method or instrument of groundwater from a well, spring, or combination of wells or springs.

§ 1417.  EXISTING GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL; REPORTING

(a)  Any person that withdraws more than 20,000 gallons per day, averaged over any 30 consecutive-day period, at a single tract of land or place of business shall file a groundwater report with the secretary of natural resources on or before April 1 for the preceding calendar year.  The report shall be made on a form prescribed by the secretary and shall include:

(1)  the location, capacity, frequency, and rate of the withdrawal;

(2)  a description of the use of the water withdrawn; and

(3)  where feasible, the distance of each withdrawal from the nearest surface water source and wetland.

(b)  The agency of natural resources may require a withdrawal that is not reported as required under subsection (a) of this section to obtain a permit under section 1418 of this title.

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

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

(2)  a withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data.  The agency of natural resources shall record such withdrawals with the information from withdrawals reported under this section;

(3)  domestic, residential use;

(4)  groundwater withdrawal for farming;

(5)  public water systems, as that term is defined in section 1671 of this title; and

(6)  geothermal heat pumps used for residential heating.

(d)  The secretary of natural resources may adopt rules to implement this section, including methods for calculating or estimating the amount of groundwater withdrawn from a well or spring.

§ 1418.  GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL PERMIT

(a)  On and after July 1, 2010, no person, for commercial or industrial purposes, shall make a new or increased groundwater withdrawal of more than 57,600 gallons a day from any and all wells or springs on a single tract of land or at a place of business without first receiving from the secretary of natural resources a groundwater withdrawal permit.  The following shall constitute a “new or increased withdrawal”:

(1)  The expansion of any existing withdrawal through:

(A)  additional withdrawal from one or more new wells or springs; or

(B)  an increase in the rate of withdrawal from a well or spring above the maximum rate set forth in any existing permit issued by the secretary of natural resources under this section; or

(2)  For previously unpermitted withdrawals, an increase in the rate of withdrawal where the total withdrawal from all wells or springs on a single tract of land or at place of business exceeds 57,600 gallons per day.

(b)  The following are exempt from the permitting requirements of this section:

(1)  a groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purpose;

(2)  domestic, residential use;

(3)  groundwater withdrawal for farming;

(4)  public water systems, as that term is defined in section 1671 of this title; and

(5)  geothermal heat pumps used for residential heating.

(c)(1)  On or before the date of filing with the secretary of natural resources an application for a permit under this section, an applicant for a withdrawal under this section shall notify:

(A)  the clerk, legislative body, and any conservation commission in the municipality in which the proposed withdrawal is located;

(B)  municipalities that adjoin the municipality in which the proposed withdrawal is located;

(C)  the regional planning commission in the region where the proposed withdrawal is located;

(D)  all landowners adjoining the proposed withdrawal site, including all residents of a mobile home park adjoining the proposed withdrawal site; and

(E)  any public water systems permitted by the agency of natural resources in the municipality where the proposed withdrawal is located.

(2)  The applicant shall publish notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the withdrawal is proposed and shall post a copy of the notice in the municipal clerk’s office in the municipality in which the withdrawal is located.

(d)  The secretary may issue a permit under this section based on a review of the following:

(1)  the purpose for the withdrawal;

(2)  the location and source of the withdrawal;

(3)  the amount of the proposed withdrawal, including estimates of the projected mean and peak daily, monthly, and annual withdrawal;

(4)  the place of the proposed return flow of withdrawn water;

(5)  the estimated amount of water that will not be returned to the watershed where the proposed withdrawal is located;

(6)  the location, demand on, and yield of existing sources of groundwater and surface water utilized by the applicant;

(7)  a description of alternative means considered for satisfying the applicant’s stated use for water;

(8)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal is planned in a fashion that provides for efficient use of the water, and will avoid or minimize the waste of water;

(9)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal, in combination with other existing withdrawals, will meet the standards set by the secretary of natural resources in rule for establishing a safe yield;

(10)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal is consistent with the town or regional plan in which the proposed withdrawal is located, and with any duly adopted state policy to manage groundwater as a shared resource for the benefit of all citizens of the state, including any policies and programs of the state of Vermont regarding long-range planning, management, allocation, and use of groundwater and surface water in effect at the time the application for the withdrawal is filed;

(11)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on existing uses of water dependent on the same water source;

(12)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on a public water system permitted by the agency of natural resources;

(13)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on wetlands under the Vermont wetland rules or on other water resources hydrologically interconnected with the well or spring from which the proposed withdrawal would be made;

(14)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not violate the Vermont water quality standards.

(e)  As a condition of a permit issued under this section, groundwater withdrawals from a well or spring for drinking water supplies or farming shall be given priority over other uses during times of shortage.

(f)  A permit issued under this section to a facility that bottles groundwater shall include as a condition of the permit the drinking water quality requirements of chapter 56 of this title.

(g)  The secretary may require any person withdrawing groundwater in the state to obtain a permit under this section if the secretary determines that the withdrawal violates the Vermont water quality standards or has an undue adverse effect on an existing use of groundwater, a public water system permitted by the agency of natural resources, wetlands, or water resources hydrologically interconnected with the well or spring from which the withdrawal occurs.  The secretary shall make a determination under this section based on review of the information set forth under subsection (d) of this section that is readily available to the secretary.

(h)  A permit issued under this section shall be valid for the period of time specified in the permit but not for more than ten years.  A withdrawal permit issued under this section may be transferred upon a change of ownership of the facility or project for which the permit was issued, provided that the new owner applies for an administrative amendment to the permit certifying its agreement to comply with all terms and conditions of the transferred permit and assume all other associated obligations.

(i)  The following groundwater withdrawals shall be deemed to comply with the public trust requirements of the state for groundwater management and shall be entitled to a presumption that the withdrawal complies with the public trust requirements of the state:

(1)  A groundwater withdrawal permitted under this section; and

(2)  A groundwater withdrawal for farming conducted in compliance with the requirements of chapter 215 of Title 6.

(j)  At least 30 days before filing an application for a permit under this section, the applicant shall hold an informational hearing in the municipality in which the withdrawal is proposed in order to describe the proposed project and to hear comments regarding the proposed project.  Public notice shall be given by posting in the municipal offices of the town in which the withdrawal is proposed and by publishing in a local newspaper at least 10 days before the meeting.    

(k)  On or before July 1, 2010, the secretary shall adopt rules to implement this section.  When rules are adopted by the secretary under this section, section 1415 of this title shall be repealed.  The rules adopted under this section shall include:

(1)  requirements for the mitigation of an undue adverse effect on drinking water supplies, farming, public water systems, or any other affected use when the secretary determines such an undue adverse effect is likely to occur due to a proposed withdrawal;

(2)  requirements for the renewal of permits issued under this section. 

§ 1419.  ATTORNEYS FEES

A court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the substantially prevailing party in any proceeding to enforce the public trust requirements of the state regarding groundwater or in any proceeding regarding an alleged violation of the public trust requirements of the state regarding groundwater, except that the state shall not be required to pay attorney’s fees in any proceeding against it.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1410 is amended to read:

§ 1410.  GROUNDWATER; RIGHT OF ACTION

(a)  Findings and policy. The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(1)  surface and subsurface water are inherently interrelated in both quality and quantity;

(2)  groundwater hydrology is a science that allows groundwater quality and quantity to be mapped and forecast;

(3)  groundwater is a mobile resource that is necessarily shared among all users;

(4)  all persons have a right to the beneficial use and enjoyment of groundwater free from unreasonable interference by other persons; and

(5)  it is the policy of the state that the common-law doctrine of absolute ownership of groundwater is hereby abolished.

(b)  Definitions.  As used in this section:

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

(2)  “Surface water” means any water on the land surface.

(3)  “Person” means any individual, partnership, company, corporation, association, unincorporated association, joint venture, trust, municipality, the state of Vermont, or any agency, department or subdivision of the state, federal agency, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(c)(b)  Any person may maintain under this section an action for equitable relief or an action in tort to recover damages, or both, for the unreasonable harm caused by another person withdrawing, diverting or altering the character or quality of groundwater.

(d)(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c)(b) of this section, a person who alters groundwater quality or character as a result of agricultural or silvicultural activities, or other activities regulated by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets, shall be liable only if that alteration was either negligent, reckless or intentional.

(e)(d)  Factors to be considered in determining the unreasonableness of any harm referred to in subsection (c), above, (b) of this section, shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(1)  the purpose of the respective uses or activities affected;

(2)  the economic, social and environmental value of the respective uses, including protection of public health;

(3)  the nature and extent of the harm caused, if any;

(4)  the practicality of avoiding the harm, if any;

(5)  the practicality of adjusting the quantity or quality of water used or affected and the method of use by each party;

(6)  the maintenance or improvement of groundwater and surface water quality;

(7)  the protection of existing values of land, investments, enterprises and productive uses;

(8)  the burden and fairness of requiring a person who causes harm to bear the loss; and

(9)  the burden and fairness of requiring a person to bear the loss, who causes harm in the conduct of reasonable agricultural activities, utilizing good agricultural practices conducted in conformity with federal, state and local laws and regulations.

(f)(e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or supplant any other statutory or common-law remedies.

(f)  For the purposes of this section, a person who obtains and complies with a withdrawal permit issued pursuant to the requirements of section 1418 of this title shall be presumed to be engaged in a reasonable use of groundwater and not to cause unreasonable harm under subsection (b) of this section. 

Sec. 4.  6 V.S.A. § 4851 is amended to read:

§ 4851.  PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR LARGE FARM OPERATIONS

* * *

(g)  A farm that is permitted under this section and that withdraws more than 50,000 gallons of groundwater per day averaged over any 30 consecutive- day period, shall annually report estimated water use to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets.  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall share information reported under this subsection with the agency of natural resources.

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 1671(5) is amended to read:

(5)(A)  “Public water system” means any system, or combination of systems owned or controlled by a person, which provides drinking water through pipes or other constructed conveyances to the public and which:

(A)(i)(A)  has at least 15 service connections; or

(A)(ii)(B)  serves an average of at least 25 individuals for at least 60 days a year.

Public water system shall also mean any part of a piped system which does not provide drinking water, if use of such a part could affect the quality or quantity of the drinking water supplied by the system. Public water system shall also mean a system which bottles drinking water for public distribution and sale.

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 1675(g) is amended to read:

(g)(1)  Effective July 1, 2006, a public water system applying for a permit under this section for the bottling of more than 50,000 gallons of drinking water a day from a single source for public distribution and sale shall, in addition to complying with the requirements of this chapter and any rules adopted thereunder, submit to the Vermont state geologist and the department of environmental conservation a geologic cross section and groundwater contour map of an area, the size of which shall be in conformance with appendix A, part 3, subsection 3.3.5.2 of the Vermont water supply rule, surrounding the proposed source.

(2)  The requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall apply to a public water system permitted under this section when the system proposes to expand the bottling of drinking water from a single source such that the total gallons of water bottled from the single source would exceed 50,000 gallons a day.

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(3) is amended to read:

(3)(A)  "Development" means:

(i)  The construction of improvements on a tract or tracts of land, owned or controlled by a person, involving more than 10 acres of land within a radius of five miles of any point on any involved land, for commercial or industrial purposes in a municipality that has adopted permanent zoning and subdivision bylaws.

* * *

(ix)  Any withdrawal of more than 500,000 gallons of groundwater per day that requires a permit under 10 V.S.A. § 1418.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

S. 322

An act relating to dairy promotion council.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Giard for the Committee on Agriculture.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Vermont’s conventional dairy farmers have lost purchasing power in recent decades because the farm gate price paid for their milk has not kept pace with inflation.  In 1980, the average price paid was $13.06 per hundredweight, which, when adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $30.95 in 2006 dollars.  The average price for milk in 2006 was $12.88.

(2)  The farmer’s share of the retail dollar continues to slide. In the United States, the farmer’s share of the retail food dollar fell from a high of 40 percent in 1973 to below 20 percent in 2000.

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 2978(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Included among the powers of the council in connection with the enforcement of this chapter are the powers to require reports from any person subject to this chapter; to adopt, rescind, modify, and amend all proper and necessary rules, regulations and orders to administer this chapter, which rules, regulations and orders shall be promulgated by publication in the manner prescribed therefor by the council and shall have the force and effect of law when not inconsistent with existing laws; to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, take depositions, and certify to official acts; to require any dealer to keep such true and accurate records and to make such reports covering purchases, sales, and receipts of dairy products and related matters as the council deems reasonably necessary for effective administration, which records shall be open to inspection by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets at any reasonable time and as often as may be necessary, but information thus obtained shall not be published or be open to public inspection in any manner revealing any individual dealer's identity, except as required in proceedings to enforce compliance; to keep accurate books, records, and accounts of all of its dealings, and to make annually a full report of its doings to the house and senate committees on agriculture and the governor, which shall show the amount of money received and the expenditures thereof.  The report shall use generally accepted accounting practices and a comprehensive cost–benefit analysis to determine the return per hundredweight to the individual farmer on their investment in promotion.  The exact return per dollar of investment shall be reported. The report shall also include an analysis of using a competitive bid process for promotion activities supported by the council. The report shall be submitted on or before January 1.  The Vermont agency of agriculture, food and markets shall perform the administrative work of the council as directed by the council.  The council shall reimburse the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the cost of services performed by the agency.

Sec. 3.  LIVESTOCK STUDY

The legislative council shall consult with local producers, the Vermont congressional delegation, the agency of agriculture, and the department of education and develop proposals for a Vermont locally produced meat in schools program. The goals shall be to use existing resources to procure locally produced food products processed in Vermont and inspected by the Vermont agency of agriculture, to bolster the safety of the food in schools while supporting the Vermont agricultural industry.

Sec. 4.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE SLAUGHTER ON PREMISES STUDY

In recent years there has been increasing interest in the slaughter of animals on the farm for use by other households for economic, ethnic, and humane reasons. The concept has been supported by adherents of community supported agriculture as well. Because of the interrelationship of state and federal statutes and rules pertaining to the practice, what leeway exists for state action is not clear. The agency of agriculture shall consult with federal authorities and report on what options are available. The agency shall also look at what other solutions might be proposed such as cooperative custom slaughterhouses. The report shall also look at the cost of building approved facilities in Vermont and compare that with other states in order to try to provide more options for Vermont producers.


Committee Bill for Second Reading

S. 366

An act relating to the administration of the voter’s oath or affirmation.

By the Committee on Government Operations.

Joint Resolutions for Action

J.R.S. 57

Joint resolution requesting the Agency of Administration to post all state contracts and grants in full text on the internet.

(For text of resolution, see Senate Journal of March 18, 2008, page 322)

J.R.H. 54

Joint resolution urging Congress to eliminate the Enron Loophole regulatory exemption for energy and metal commodities traded on electronic commodities markets.

(For text, see Senate Journal of March 18, 2008, page 324)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

S. 26

An act relating to electronic payment of wages.

S. 112

An act relating to victims compensation.

S. 114

An act relating to enhancing mental health parity.

S. 117

An act relating to a statewide school year calendar.

S. 244

An act relating to self-storage facilities.

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

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)

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. §5144a(3) by striking out the figure “$25.00” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $150.00

Second:  In the last section of the bill by striking out the following: “Sec. 2” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Sec. 4

Third:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(3), by striking out the figure “25.00” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $150.00

(Committee vote: 6-1-0)

S. 324

An act relating to beer tasting.

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.  7 V.S.A. § 67 is amended to read: 

§ 67.  WINE AND MALT BEVERAGE TASTINGS; PERMIT; PENALTIES

(a)  Provided an applicant submits to the department of liquor control a written application in a form required by the department accompanied by the permit fee as required by subdivision 231(15) of this title at least 15 days prior to the date of the wine or malt beverage tasting event and the applicant is determined to be in good standing, the department of liquor control may grant a permit to conduct a wine or malt beverage tasting event to:

(1)  A second class licensee.  The permit authorizes the employees of the permit holder to dispense vinous or malt beverages to retail customers of legal age on the licensee's premises.  Vinous or malt beverages for the tasting shall be from the inventory of the licensee or purchased from a wholesale dealer. Pursuant to this permit, a second class licensee may conduct no more than one wine tasting two tastings per month.

(2)  A licensed manufacturer or rectifier of vinous or malt beverages. The permit authorizes the permit holder to dispense vinous beverages produced by the manufacturer or rectifier to retail customers of legal age for consumption on the premises of a second class licensee or at a farmers' market. Pursuant to this permit, a manufacturer or rectifier may conduct no more than one tasting a day on the premises of a second class licensee.  No more than four wine tasting permits per month for a tasting event held on the premises of second class licensees shall be permitted.

* * *

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

(1)  May continue for no more than six hours in duration, with no more than six vinous beverages to be offered at a single event, and no more than two ounces of any single vinous beverage and no more than a total of eight ounces of various vinous or malt beverages to be dispensed to a customer.  No more than four eight customers may be served at one time.

(2)  Shall be conducted totally within an area that is clearly cordoned off by barriers that extend no further than 10 feet from the point of service, and a sign that clearly states that no one under the age of 21 may participate in the wine tasting shall be placed in a visible location at the entrance to the wine tasting area.

(c)  The holder of a permit issued under this section shall keep an accurate accounting of the vinous or malt beverages consumed at a tasting event and shall be responsible for complying with all applicable laws under this title.

(d)  Promotional wine or beer tasting.

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

(2)  A holder of a wholesale dealer's license may dispense vinous or malt beverages for promotional purposes at the wholesale dealer's premises without charge to invited employees of first, second, and third class licensees, provided the invited employees are of legal drinking age, and the wholesale dealer obtains a permit pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

* * *

(f)  The holder of a permit issued under this section that provides alcoholic beverages to an underage individual or permits an individual under the age of 18 to serve alcoholic beverages at a wine or malt beverage tasting event under this section shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Condos for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

Committee Bills for Second Reading

S. 368

An act relating to the addition of new types of disinfectants to public water systems.

By the Committee on Health and Welfare.

S. 373

An act relating to full funding of decommissioning costs of a nuclear plant.

By the Committee on Finance.

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 108

An act relating to the election of U. S. Representative and U. S. Senator.

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

     In Sec. 3, 17 V.S.A. § 2473a(b), by striking “the Vermont municipal clerks and treasurers association” and inserting in lieu thereof local election officials and by striking Sec. 8 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 8 as follows:

Sec. 8.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to the 2008 general election and subsequent general elections.

NOTICE CALENDAR

S. 229

An act relating to access to public records.

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

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.  1 V.S.A. § 318 is amended to read:

§ 318.  PROCEDURE

* * *

(b)  Any person making a request to any agency for records under subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed to have exhausted his the person’s administrative remedies with respect to each request if the agency fails to comply within the applicable time limit provisions of this section.  Upon any determination by an agency to comply with a request for records, the records shall be made available promptly to the person making such request.  Any notification of denial of any request for records under this section shall set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial of such request.

(c)  Any denial of access by the custodian of a public record may be appealed to the head of the agency.  The head of the agency shall make a written determination on an appeal within five business days after the receipt of the appeal.  A written determination shall include the asserted statutory basis for denial and a brief statement of the reasons and supporting facts for denial.  If the head of the agency reverses the denial of a request for records, the records shall be promptly made available to the person making the request.  A failure by the agency to comply with any of the time limit provisions of this section shall be deemed a final denial of the request for records by the agency.

Sec. 2.  1 V.S.A. § 321 is added to read:

§ 321.  PUBLIC RECORDS ACT REVIEW COMMITTEE

(a)  There is established a committee to review the requirements of the public records act and the numerous exemptions to that act in order to assure the integrity, viability, and the ultimate purposes of the act.  The review committee shall consist of the following members:

(1)  One member of the senate appointed by the committee on committees;

(2)  One member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house;

(3)  The attorney general or his or her designee;

(4)  The secretary of administration or his or her designee;

(5)  The state auditor or his or her designee;

(6)  The state archivist or his or her designee;

(7)  One representative of municipal interests, appointed by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns;

(8)  One representative of the Vermont press association, appointed by the association;

(9)  One representative of school or educational interests appointed by the governor;

(10)  One representative of a statewide coalition of advocates of freedom of access appointed by the speaker of the house;

(11)  One member of the American Civil Liberties Union appointed by the union;

(12)  One representative of the judiciary appointed by the court administrator.

(b)  The review committee shall review and analyze each of the exemptions in statute to the review and disclosure of public records required by section 317 of this title.  Annually, the review committee shall review at least 20 exemptions in statute to the review and disclosure of public records required by section 317 of this title.  Prior to each legislative session, the committee shall report to the house and senate committees on government operations and the house and senate committees on judiciary with recommendations concerning whether any public records act exemption should be repealed, amended, or remain unchanged.  The report of the committee may take the form of draft legislation. 

(c)  In reviewing and making recommendation regarding an existing public records act exemption under subsection (b) of this section, the committee shall review the following criteria:

(1)  Whether a record protected by an exemption is required to be collected and maintained;

(2)  The value to an agency or to the public in maintaining a record protected by the exemption;

(3)  Whether federal law requires a record to be confidential;

(4)  Whether the exception protects an individual’s privacy interest and, if so, whether that interest substantially outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of records;

(5)  Whether public disclosure puts a business at a competitive disadvantage and, if so, whether that business’s interest substantially outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of records;

(6)  Whether public disclosure compromises the position of a public agency in negotiations and, if so, whether that public agency’s interest substantially outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of records;

(7)  Whether public disclosure jeopardizes the safety of a member of the public or the public in general and, if so, whether that safety interest substantially outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of records;

(8)  Whether the exception is as narrowly tailored as possible; and

(9)  Any other criteria that assist the review committee in determining the value of the exception as compared to the public’s interest in the record protected by the exception. 

(d)  On or before January 15, 2010, the review committee shall report to the senate and house committees on government operations with a recommended fee structure for staff time associated with complying with and reviewing public records requests.  In making a recommendation under this subsection, the review committee shall attempt to balance the public policy in allowing for access to the public records of the state with the cost of public records requests on public agencies.

(e)  The review committee may hold public hearings and solicit the input of interested parties regarding exemptions under its review.  Meetings of the review committee and public hearings held by the review committee shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 2 of chapter 5 of Title 1.  The office of the secretary of state shall provide staff services to the committee.  Members of the committee may receive a per diem and expenses pursuant to section 1010 of Title 32.

Sec. 3.  18 V.S.A. § 5001 is amended to read:

§ 5001.  VITAL RECORDS; FORMS OF CERTIFICATES

(a)  Certificates of birth, marriage, civil union, divorce, death, and fetal death shall be in form prescribed by the commissioner of health and distributed by the health department.

(b)  Beginning January 1, 2010, all certificates of birth, marriage, civil union, divorce, death, and fetal death shall be issued on unique paper with

antifraud features approved by the commissioner of health and available from the health department.

Sec. 4.  1 V.S.A. § 317(b) is amended to read:

(b)  As used in this subchapter, “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 any written or recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which is produced or acquired in the course of public 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.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Ayer for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations, with the following amendment thereto:  By striking out Sec. 2 in its entirety and renumbering the remaining section  of the bill to be numerically correct.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

AMENDMENT TO S. 229 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR CONDOS

Senator Condos moves to amend the bill by adding a new section to read as follows:

Sec. 5.  32 V.S.A. § 405 is added to read:

§ 405.  TAXPAYER TRANSPARENCY WEBSITE

(a)  As used in this section “expenditure of state funds” means the disbursement of state funds, whether appropriated or nonappropriated, excluding: 

(1)  the transfer of funds between two state agencies;

(2)  payments of state or federal assistance to an individual;

(3)  child support payments; and

(4)  refunds issued by the department of taxes resulting from the overpayment of tax.

(b)  Beginning January 1, 2010, the secretary of administration shall develop and operate a website accessible by the public that shall include:

(1)  state revenue received in each fiscal year;

(2)  the total amount of state funds expended in each fiscal year;

(3)  individual expenditures of state funds in each fiscal year, including the type of transaction, the funding or expending agency, and a description of the purpose of the funding action or expenditure;

(4)  the total number of state contracts, their monetary value, and the number and percentage of Vermont businesses and out-of-state businesses awarded state contracts;

(5)  the name and principal location of the entity or recipients of state funds, excluding release of information relating to an individual's place of residence; and

(6)  The full text of state contracts with a monetary value of $25,000.00 or more.

(c)  Nothing in this section shall require the disclosure of information which is exempt from disclosure or confidential under state or federal law.  Prior to posting a state contract under subsection (b) of this section, the secretary of administration shall redact information that is exempt from disclosure or confidential under state or federal law.

(d)  The disclosure of information required by this section shall create no liability whatsoever, civil or criminal, to the state of Vermont or any member of the department of finance or any employee thereof for disclosure of the information or for any error or omission in a disclosure required by this section.


AMENDMENT TO S. 229 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATORS KITTELL AND COLLINS

Senators Kittell and Collins move to amend the bill by adding a new section to read as follows:

Sec. 5.  32 V.S.A. § 313 is added to read:

§ 313.  GRANT REPORT

(a)  Beginning January 15, 2009, each executive branch agency or department shall issue an annual report on all grants made by the agency or department in the preceding calendar year.  The report shall be formatted as a table and shall include:

(1)  An identification number or code for each grant issued by an agency;

(2)  The name and address of every applicant for each grant;

(3)  The name and address of the ultimate recipient of grant monies;

(4)  A description of the purpose or use of the grant;

(5)  The amount of the grant; and

(6)  Whether the agency acquired the grant funds from a federal or a state funding source.

(b)  Grant reports issued under this section shall be public records available for inspection and review.

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

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

The Committee recommends that the bill be amended by the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, as amended by the Committee on Finance with, the following amendments thereto:

First:  By striking out the Second recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Finance in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Second:  By adding a new section to be numbered 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 on April 1, 2009 in the use value appraisal program established under chapter 124 of Title 32.  The fee shall be due on or before May 1, 2009 and shall be deposited into the program special fund created pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 3756(e) for improvements to the program.  If the fee is not paid on each parcel enrolled on or before July 1, 2009, then each parcel on which the fee is not paid shall be withdrawn from the program effective for the 2009 tax year.

Second:  By adding a new section to the bill to be numbered Sec. 9a to read as follows:

Sec. 9a.  32 V.S.A. §3760 (a) is amended to read:

(a)(1)  Annually the state shall pay to each town municipality the amount necessary to limit its tax rate increase in the prior year due to the loss of municipal property tax revenue for that year based on use value of enrolled property as compared to municipal property tax revenue for that year based on fair market value of enrolled property, to zero.

     (2)  The director of property valuation and review shall determine the amount of the available funds under this section to be paid to each town municipality, and a town municipality may appeal the director's decision in the same manner and under the same procedures as an appeal from a decision of a board of civil authority, as set forth in subchapter 2 of chapter 131 of this title.

     (3)  On November 1 of each year, the director of property valuation and review shall pay to each municipality the amount calculated as described in this section. If the appropriation for the year is insufficient to pay the full amount due to every town municipality under this subsection, payments in that year shall be made to such towns proportionately.

     (4)  If the appropriation for the year is insufficient to pay the full amount due to any town for enrolled property owned by another municipality, the town in which the property is located may assess the other municipality and the other municipality shall pay the difference.

     (5)  The director's calculation of payment amounts to municipalities shall be based on grand list values and total tax appropriations as submitted to the director for the prior year.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

AMENDMENT TO S. 311 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR KITCHEL ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS

Senator Kitchel, on behalf of the Committee on Appropriations, moves to amend the bill by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 9a to read as follows:

Sec. 9a.  32 V.S.A. §3760 (a) is amended to read:

(a)(1)  Annually the state shall pay to each town municipality the amount necessary to limit its tax rate increase in the prior year due to the loss of municipal property tax revenue for that year based on use value of enrolled property as compared to municipal property tax revenue for that year based on fair market value of enrolled property, to zero.

     (2)  The director of property valuation and review shall determine the amount of the available funds under this section to be paid to each town municipality, and a town municipality may appeal the director's decision in the same manner and under the same procedures as an appeal from a decision of a board of civil authority, as set forth in subchapter 2 of chapter 131 of this title.

     (3)  On November 1 of each year, the director of property valuation and review shall pay to each municipality the amount calculated as described in this section. If the appropriation for the year is insufficient to pay the full amount due to every town municipality under this subsection, payments in that year shall be made to such towns proportionately.

     (4)  If the appropriation for the year is insufficient to pay the full amount due to any town for enrolled property owned by another municipality, the town in which the property is located may assess the other municipality and the other municipality shall pay the difference.

     (5)  The director's calculation of payment amounts to municipalities shall be based on grand list values and total tax appropriations as submitted to the director for the prior year.

S. 350

An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator Lyons for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

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

* * * State Agency Energy Plan * * *

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 2291(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The secretary of administration with the cooperation of the commissioners of public service and of buildings and general services shall develop and oversee the implementation of a state agency energy plan for state government.  The plan shall be adopted by June 30, 2005, modified as necessary, and readopted by the secretary on or before January 15 of each fifth year subsequent to 2005.  The plan shall accomplish the following objectives and requirements:

(1)  To conserve resources, save energy, and reduce pollution.  The plan shall devise strategies to identify to the greatest extent feasible, all opportunities for conservation of resources through environmentally and economically sound infrastructure development, purchasing, and fleet management, and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency available to the state which are cost effective on a life cycle cost basis.

(2)  To consider state policies and operations that affect energy use.

(3)  To devise a strategy to implement or acquire all prudent opportunities and investments in as prompt and efficient a manner as possible.

(4)  To include appropriate provisions for monitoring resource and energy use and evaluating the impact of measures undertaken.

(5)  To identify education, management, and other relevant policy changes that are a part of the implementation strategy.

(6)  To devise a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The plan shall include steps to encourage more efficient trip planning, to reduce the average fuel consumption of the state fleet, and to encourage alternatives to solo-commuting state employees for commuting and job-related travel.

(7)  To develop a comprehensive program for the cost-effective installation of solar energy equipment on state buildings, pursuant to which the department of public service, working in conjunction with the department of buildings and general services, shall ensure that solar energy equipment is installed no later than October 1, 2010 on all state buildings, state parking facilities, and state-owned swimming pools that are heated with fossil fuels or electricity, where feasible.

(A)  For purposes of this subdivision, it is feasible to install solar energy equipment if adequate space on or adjacent to a building is available, if the solar energy equipment is cost-effective, and if funding is available from the state or another source.

(B)  Any solar energy equipment installed pursuant to this subdivision shall meet applicable standards and requirements imposed by state and local permitting authorities.

(C)  The department of buildings and general services shall establish a schedule designating when solar energy equipment will be installed on each building and facility, with priority given to buildings and facilities where installation is most feasible.

(D)  Solar energy equipment shall be installed, where feasible, as part of the construction of all state buildings and state parking facilities for which construction commences on or after October 1, 2010.

(E)  The department of buildings and general services, in consultation with the department of public service, may adopt policies and procedures for the purposes of this subdivision.

(F)  For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms have the following meanings:

(i)  “Cost-effective” means that the present value of the savings generated over the life of the solar energy system, including consideration of the value of the energy produced during peak and off-peak demand periods and the value of a reliable energy supply not subject to price volatility, exceeds the present value cost of the solar energy equipment by not less than 10 percent. The present value cost of the solar energy equipment does not include the cost of unrelated building components.  The department, in making the present value assessment, shall obtain interest rates, discount rates, and consumer price index figures from the state treasurer, and shall take into consideration air emission reduction benefits and the value of stable energy costs.

(ii)  “Solar energy equipment” means equipment the primary purpose of which is to provide for the collection, conversion, storage, or control of solar energy for the purpose of heat production, electricity production, or simultaneous heat and electricity production, or for the purpose of limiting the extent to which the building is heated by the sun.  Equipment used for limiting solar gain shall include shades and curtains, certain window film, and turf roofs.

* * * Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets * * *

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 1(c),(d), and (e) are added to read:

(c)  The secretary shall provide data and funding recommendations to the Vermont resource trust with regard to:

(1)  Funding and implementing the natural resources conservation service (NRCS) grassland reserve program in order to increase carbon sequestration.

(2)  Providing cost-share assistance for farmers to purchase manure injection equipment to retrofit existing manure spreaders or purchase new equipment.

(3)  Providing cost-share assistance for farms to develop and implement nutrient management plans for smaller dairy farms and continuing to provide annual assistance so that existing plans on medium-sized farms continue to be implemented.

(4)  Providing cost-share assistance under the farm agronomic practices program so that farms implement cover crops and other soil erosion and land cover practices.

(5)  Other ways to create incentives for carbon sequestration on farm and forest land, Vermont’s “green bank.”

(d)  The secretary shall continue the agency’s methane capture program and shall collaborate with the Vermont resource trust with regard to the availability of additional funds for these purposes.  The goal of the methane digester portion of the program shall be to digest and use 15 percent of the state’s dairy cattle manure by 2012, and 50 percent by 2028.  The goal of a second aspect of this emissions reduction program shall be to increase the percentage of manure composted on poultry and on appropriate livestock farms to 25 percent by 2012, and 50 percent by 2028. 

(e)  The secretary shall develop recommendations for measures to reduce the loss and fragmentation of primary agricultural soils located in rural areas.  The state’s goal is to reduce the rate at which agricultural lands are converted to development by 25 percent by 2012 and to reduce that rate by 50 percent by 2020. 

* * * Air Quality * * *

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 552 is amended to read:

§ 552.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(11)  “Greenhouse gas” means any chemical or physical substance that is emitted into the air and that the secretary may reasonably anticipate to cause or contribute to climate change, including, but not limited to, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 580 is added to read:

§ 580.  GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES; REGISTRY

(a)  Inventory and forecasting.  The secretary shall work, in conjunction with other states or a regional consortium, to establish a periodic, consistent, and complete inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks, and an accompanying forecast of future greenhouse gas emissions in at least five- and ten-year increments, out to the year 2030.  The initial version of this inventory shall be published by no later than July 1, 2009, and updates shall be published triennially thereafter.  The forecast shall reflect projected growth, as well as the implementation of scheduled policy initiatives.  The inventory shall reflect all natural- and human-caused emissions generated within the state, as well as emissions associated with energy imported and consumed in the state.  The secretary shall consult with the Vermont resource trust with regard to the trust providing funding to assist in implementation of this section.

(b)  Emissions reporting.  By no later than January 15, 2009, the secretary shall develop rules to require, in phases, the reporting and verification of statewide greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor and eventually enforce compliance with this program.  The requirements shall include provisions for owner reporting according to an accessible and easy-to-understand format that will yield information with regard to all greenhouse gas emissions in a type and format that a regional registry can accommodate.  In addition, the rules shall:

(1)  Require the monitoring and annual public reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from all significant sources beginning with the sources or categories of sources that contribute the most to statewide emissions.  Reporting should be required on an organization-wide basis within the state, as well as on a significant-emitter-by-significant-emitter basis.  At any time before an entity is subject to reporting requirements under the rules, the entity shall be allowed to report emissions associated with its own activities and with any programs it may implement in order to reduce its emissions.

(2)  Account for greenhouse gas emissions from all electricity consumed in the state, including transmission and distribution line losses from electricity generated within the state or imported from outside the state.

(3)  Ensure rigorous and consistent accounting of emissions, and provide reporting tools and formats to ensure collection of necessary data.  Emission reports shall be verified through self-certification and shall be subject to spot checks by the department of environmental conservation; however, in order to qualify for future registry purposes, reports should undergo third party verification.  Reporting of emissions from greenhouse gas reduction projects shall qualify for reporting when they are identified as such and adhere to equally rigorous quantification standards.

(4)  Ensure that major greenhouse gas emission sources maintain comprehensive records of all reported greenhouse gas emissions.

(c)  Registry.  The secretary shall work, in conjunction with other states or a regional consortium, to establish a regional or national greenhouse gas registry that allows for the greatest possible flexibility in order to accommodate the range of greenhouse gas mitigation approaches that are likely to evolve.

(1)  The registry shall be designed to apply to the entire state and to as large a geographic area beyond state boundaries as is possible.

(2)  It shall accommodate as broad an array of sectors, sources, facilities and approaches as is possible, and shall allow sources to start as far back in time as is permitted by good data, affirmed by third-party verification.

(3)  It shall accommodate registration of project-based reductions or “offsets” that are equally rigorously quantified.

(4)  It shall incorporate safeguards adequate to ensure that reductions are not double-counted by multiple registry participants, and to ensure appropriate transparency.

(5)  The state and its political subdivisions shall be able to participate in the registry for purposes of registering reductions associated with their programs, direct activities, or efforts, including the registration of emission  reductions associated with the stationary and mobile sources they own, lease, or operate.  Similarly, the state and its political subdivisions should be allowed

to participate in emission trading if and when such a program is developed and authorized. 

(d)  Rules.  The secretary may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section and shall review existing and proposed international, federal, and state greenhouse gas emission reporting programs and make reasonable efforts to promote consistency among the programs established pursuant to this section and other programs, and to streamline reporting requirements on greenhouse gas emission sources.  Nothing in this section shall limit a state agency from adopting any rule within its authority.

* * * Pollution Abatement Facilities * * *

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 1278(a) is amended to read:

 (a)  Findings.  The general assembly finds that the state shall protect Vermont’s lakes, rivers, and streams from pollution by implementing programs to prevent sewage spills to Vermont waters and by requiring emergency planning to limit the damage from spills which do occur.  In addition, the general assembly finds it to be cost-effective and generally beneficial to the environment to continue state efforts to ensure energy efficiency in the operation of treatment facilities.

* * * Solid Waste Planning * * *

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 6604(a) and (c) are amended to read:

(a)  No later than April 30, 1988 the secretary shall publish and adopt, after notice and public hearing pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, a solid waste management plan which sets forth a comprehensive state-wide strategy for the management of waste, including whey.  No later than July 1, 1991, the secretary shall publish and adopt, after notice and public hearing pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, a hazardous waste management plan, which sets forth a comprehensive statewide strategy for the management of hazardous waste.

(1)(A)  The plans shall be based upon the following priorities, in descending order:

(A)(i)  the greatest feasible reduction in the amount of waste generated;

(B)(ii)  reuse and recycling of waste to reduce to the greatest extent feasible the volume remaining for processing and disposal;

(C)(iii)  waste processing to reduce the volume or toxicity of the waste stream necessary for disposal;

(D)(iv)  land disposal of the residuals.

(B)  Processing and disposal alternatives shall be preferred which do not foreclose the future ability of the state to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. In determining feasibility, the secretary shall evaluate alternatives in terms of their expected life-cycle costs.

(2)  The plans shall be revised at least once every five years and shall include:

(A)  methods to reduce and remove material from the waste stream, including commercially generated and other organic wastes, used clothing, and construction and demolition debris, and to separate, collect, and recycle, treat or dispose of specific waste materials that create environmental, health, safety, or management problems, including, but not limited to, tires, batteries, obsolete electronic equipment, and unregulated hazardous wastes.  These portions of the plans shall include strategies to assure recycling in the state, and to prevent the incineration or other disposal of marketable recyclables.  They shall consider both the current solid waste stream and its projected changes, and shall be based on:

(i)  an analysis of the volume and nature of wastes generated in the state, the sources of those wastes, and the current fate or disposition of those wastes;

(ii)  an assessment of the feasibility and cost of recycling each type of waste, including an assessment of the feasibility of providing the option of single source recycling;

(iii)  a survey of existing and potential markets for each type of waste that can be recycled;

(B)  a proposal for the development of facilities and programs necessary at the state, regional or local level to achieve the priorities identified in subdivision (a)(1) of this section.  Particular consideration shall be given to the need for additional regional or local composting facilities, the need to expand the collection of commercially generated organic wastes, and the cost effectiveness of developing single stream waste management infrastructure adequate to serve the entire population, which may include material recovery centers.  These portions of the plan shall be based, in part, on an assessment of the status, capacity, and life expectancy of existing treatment and disposal facilities, and they shall include siting criteria for waste management facilities, and shall establish requirements for full public involvement.

(3)  A goal of the plans shall be to reach a per-capita diversion rate of 35 percent by 2012 and 50 percent by 2028.   The effectiveness of the plans shall be assessed no less frequently than every three years, with regard to progress in meeting these goals, and they shall be revised to be more aggressive if trends indicate the goals may not be met, with consideration given to instituting additional waste diversion measures, including the establishment of a

source-separated organics waste program and disallowing the landfilling of organic wastes.

(c)  The secretary shall hold public hearings, perform studies as required, conduct ongoing analyses, develop and promote prototype residential and commercial waste prevention programs, develop sector-specific waste minimization strategies in conjunction with affected parties and local communities, develop a statewide communications portal that will promote and keep citizens aware of effective waste reduction and minimization initiatives, and make recommendations to the general assembly with respect to the development of accessible, cost-effective and sustainable policies, strategies and educational and media campaigns that will promote cultural and behavioral changes across the state, leading to a reduction of the waste stream.  In this process, the secretary shall consult with manufacturers of commercial products and of packaging used with commercial products, retail sales enterprises, health and environmental advocates, waste management specialists, the general public, and state agencies.  The goal of the process is to ensure that packaging used and products sold in the state are not an undue burden to the state’s ability to manage its waste.  The secretary shall work with solid waste management districts to determine if cost‑effective engineering support could be provided to businesses wishing to reduce packaging and shipping material costs and shall seek voluntary changes on the part of the industrial and commercial sector in both their practices and the products they sell, so as to serve the purposes of this section.  In this process, the secretary shall encourage manufacturers to assure that end-of-life management solutions for their products are reasonable and consistent with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of waste.  The secretary may obtain voluntary compliance schedules from the appropriate industry or commercial enterprise, and shall entertain recommendations for alternative approaches.  The secretary shall report at the beginning of each biennium to the general assembly, with any recommendations or options for legislative consideration.

* * *

* * * Transportation * * *

Sec. 7.  19 V.S.A. § 10b is amended to read:

§ 10b.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; GENERAL

(a)  The agency shall be the responsible agency of the state for the development of transportation policy.  It shall develop a mission statement to reflect state transportation policy encompassing all modes of transportation, developing and adhering to performance standards which address the need for transportation projects that will improve the state’s economic infrastructure, as well as the use of resources in efficient, coordinated, cost effective, and environmentally sound ways.  The overall scoping of agency projects shall include a cost-benefit analysis weighing conservation factors, efficiency opportunities, and congestion mitigation strategies.  Transportation development shall be managed and executed toward specific performance standards to reduce vehicular miles traveled and toward increasing public transportation ridership.  The agency shall coordinate education efforts with those of the Vermont resource trust established under 30 V.S.A. § 236 and those of local and regional planning entities to address conservation and efficiency opportunities and practices in local and regional transportation, and to support employer or local or regional government-led conservation, efficiency, rideshare, and bicycle programs and other innovative transportation advances, especially employer-based incentives.

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

(1)  Develop or incorporate designs that provide safe and efficient transportation and promote economic opportunities for Vermonters and the best use of the state’s environmental and historic resources. 

(2)  Manage available funding to:

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

(B)  adhere to credible project delivery schedules.

* * *

Sec. 8.  19 V.S.A. § 10e is amended to read:

§ 10e.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; RAILROADS

(a)  The general assembly recognizes that rail service, both passenger and freight, is an integral part of the state’s transportation network. Accordingly, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Vermont:

(1)  to To provide opportunities for rail passenger services by cooperating with the federal government, other states, and providers of those services, with priority to be given to the services likely to complement Vermont’s economic development efforts and meet the needs of the traveling public;.  It is a goal of the state to increase passenger rail use within the state by 100 percent by 2018 and by 200 percent by 2028.

(2)  to To preserve and modernize for continued freight railroad service those railroad lines, both within the state of Vermont and extending into adjoining states, which directly affect the economy of the state or provide connections to other railroad lines which directly affect the economy of the state;.  It is a goal of the state to increase the use of rail freight within the state by 50 percent by 2018 and by 100 percent by 2028.

(3)  in In those cases where continuation of freight railroad service is not economically feasible under present conditions, to preserve established railroad rights-of-way for future reactivation of railroad service, trail corridors, and other public purposes not inconsistent with future reactivation of railroad service; and.

(4)  to To seek federal aid for rail projects that implement this section’s policy goals.

(5)  To maintain and improve intercity bus and rail and freight and commuter rail services, and the necessary intermodal connections, and to increase the efficiency of equipment and the extent to which equipment selection and operation can limit or avoid the emission of greenhouse gases.

(6)  To plan to accommodate increased ridership with city‑to‑city and commuter rail service.

(b)  To complement the regular maintenance efforts of the lessee/operators of state-owned railroads, taking into account each line’s long-term importance to the state’s transportation network, economic development, the resources available to the lessee/operator and relevant provisions of leases and other agreements, the agency may develop programs to assist in major rehabilitation or replacement of obsolete bridges, structures, rails, and other fixtures. 

Sec. 9.  19 V.S.A. § 10f is amended to read:

§ 10f.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

(a)  It shall be the state’s policy to make maximum use of available federal funds for the support of public transportation.  State operating support funds shall be included in agency operating budgets to the extent that funds are available. It shall be the state’s policy to support the maintenance of existing public transportation services and the creation of new service that is accessible and affordable to those who use these services.

(b)  The agency of transportation shall develop and periodically update a plan for investment in public transportation services and infrastructure as part of an integrated transportation system consistent with the goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 5083, and regional transportation development plan proposals and regional plans as required by 24 V.S.A. § 5089.

(1)  The plan shall include components that shall coordinate rideshare, public transit, park and ride, interstate, and bicycle and pedestrian planning and investment at the state, regional, and local levels, and create or expand regional connections within the state, in order to maximize interregional ridesharing and access to public transit.

(2)  The agency shall develop and make available to the traveling public a statewide geographic information system (GIS) database that coordinates all transportation options, facilities, and programs, and that provides web-based access to all modes of transportation and all inter-connection opportunities.

Sec. 10.  19 V.S.A. § 2310 is amended to read:

§ 2310.  PAVEMENT OF HIGHWAY SHOULDERS

(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10c of this title, it is the policy of the state to provide paved shoulders on major state highways with the intent to develop an integrated bicycle route system and to make it easier and safer for pedestrian traffic.  This shall not apply to the interstate highway and certain other limited access highways.

(b)  Any construction, or reconstruction, including upgrading and resurfacing projects on these highways, shall include paved shoulders unless the agency deems certain sections to be cost prohibitive maintain or improve existing access and road surface conditions for bicycles and pedestrians along the shoulders of these highways.

* * * Municipal Ordinances * * *

Sec. 11.  24 V.S.A. § 2291a is added to read:

§ 2291a.  CLOTHESLINES

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no municipality, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the installation of clotheslines.  This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.

* * * Zoning * * *

Sec. 12.  24 V.S.A. § 4413(g) is added to read:

(g)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a bylaw adopted under this chapter shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the installation of clotheslines.

Sec. 13.  24 V.S.A. § 4414 is amended to read:

§ 4414.  ZONING; PERMISSIBLE TYPES OF REGULATIONS

Any of the following types of regulations may be adopted by a municipality in its bylaws in conformance with the plan and for the purposes established in section 4302 of this title.

* * *

(14)  Green building incentives.  A municipality may encourage the use of low‑embodied energy in construction materials, planned neighborhood developments that allow for reduced use of fuel for transportation, and increased use of renewable technology by providing for reduced permit review or increased density, or both, for:

(A)  homes that meet standards established in the Vermont builds greener program–leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) for homes, or similar programs;

(B)  commercial or industrial buildings that meet significantly advanced construction standards for efficiency, as described in LEED, or other applicable advanced construction efficiency standards that address issues such as building size, use of renewable energy sources, compact development patterns, proximity to services, minimizing energy in transporting materials, use of local resources, use of embodied energy, and the use of comprehensive analytical tools that will result in structures and usage patterns that require less energy.

* * * Covenants * * *

Sec. 14.  27 V.S.A. § 544 is added to read:

§ 544.  CLOTHESLINES

(a)  No deed restrictions, covenants, or similar binding agreements running with the land shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting clotheslines from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restrictions, covenants, or binding agreements.  A property owner may not be denied permission to install clotheslines by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings not exceeding three stories in height.

(b)  In any litigation arising under the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(c)  The legislative intent in enacting this section is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of renewable resources in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of driving the costs of owning and operating commercial or residential property beyond the capacity of private owners to maintain.  This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.

* * * Combined Heat and Power * * *

Sec. 15.  30 V.S.A. § 202(i) is added to read:

(i)  It shall be a goal of the electrical energy plan to assure, by 2028, that at least 60 MW of power are generated within the state by combined heat and power (CHP) facilities powered by renewable fuels.  In order to meet this goal, the plan shall include incentives for development and strategies to identify locations in the state that would be suitable for CHP.  The plan shall include strategies to assure the consideration of CHP potential during any process related to the expansion of natural gas services in the state.

* * * Public Service Board * * *

Sec. 16.  30 V.S.A. § 209(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The provisions of section 218 of this title notwithstanding, the public service board shall, under sections 803-804 of Title 3, adopt rules applicable to companies subject to this chapter which:

* * *

(2)  Regulate or prescribe the grounds upon which the companies may disconnect or refuse to reconnect service to customers; and

(3)  Regulate and prescribe reasonable procedures used by companies in disconnecting or reconnecting services and billing customers in regard thereto; and

(4)  Encourage the in-state deployment of farm biogas energy systems by authorizing contributions in aid of construction for electric service extensions to farms, as necessary to ensure the economic viability of farm biogas systems that utilize on-farm manure as the primary input, with the costs of those line extensions included in rates.  The rules shall include standards regarding the length of line extensions that may be eligible for assistance, and may relate the length of an eligible line extension to the size of a particular facility.

Sec. 17.  30 V.S.A. § 218(e) is added to read:

(e)  The board shall allow a company to recover a premium on the allowed return on equity for the company’s investment in new renewable energy generation or new combined heat and power projects located in Vermont.

* * * Least-Cost Planning * * *

Sec. 18.  30 V.S.A. § 218c(a) is amended to read:

(a)(1)  A “least cost integrated plan” for a regulated electric or gas utility is a plan for meeting the public’s need for energy services, after safety concerns are addressed, at the lowest present value life cycle cost, including environmental and economic costs, through a strategy combining investments and expenditures on energy supply, transmission and distribution capacity, transmission and distribution efficiency, and comprehensive energy efficiency programs.  Economic costs shall be determined with due regard to the information developed under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 580, establishing a greenhouse gas registry, to the state’s progress in meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals, and to the value of the financial risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions from various power sources.

* * *

* * * Cap and Trade Program * * *

Sec. 19.  30 V.S.A. § 255 is amended to read:

§ 255.  REGIONAL COORDINATION TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE

     GASES

(a)  Legislative findings.  The general assembly finds:

(1)  There is a growing scientific consensus that the increased anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are enhancing the natural greenhouse effect, resulting in changes in the earth’s climate.

(2)  Climate change poses serious potential risks to human health and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems globally, regionally, and in Vermont.

(3)  A carbon constraint on fossil fuel-fired electricity generation and on other forms of fossil fuel consumption and the development of a CO2 allowance trading mechanism will create a strong incentive for the creation and deployment of more efficient fuel-burning technologies, renewable resources, and end-use efficiency resources and will lead to lower dependence on imported fossil fuels.

(4)  Absent federal action, a number of states are taking actions to work regionally to reduce power sector carbon emissions.

(5)  Vermont has joined with at least six other states to design the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and, in 2005, Vermont’s governor signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signaling Vermont’s intention to develop rules and programs to participate in RGGI.

(6)  It is crucial to manage Vermont’s implementation of RGGI and its consumption of fossil fuels for transportation, residential and commercial heating, and industrial processes, so as to maximize the state’s contribution to lowering carbon emissions while:

(A)  minimizing impacts on electric system reliability and unnecessary costs to Vermont power consumers;

(B)  assuring transportation needs are able to be met at affordable prices;

(C)  assuring the availability of adequate space heat and processing heat for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes.

(7)  The accelerated deployment of low-cost thermal and electrical energy efficiency, and the strategic use of low- and zero-carbon generation, the selective use of switching fuel sources, and the design and use of systems that limit vehicular miles travelled and increase vehicular efficiency, are the best means to achieve these goals.

(8)  It is crucial that funds made available from operation of a regional carbon credits cap and trade system be devoted to the benefit of Vermont power consumers through investments in a strategic portfolio of energy efficiency and low-carbon generation resources.

(b)  Cap and trade program creation.

(1)  The agency of natural resources and the public service board shall, through appropriate rules and orders, establish a carbon cap and trade program that will limit and then reduce the total carbon emissions released:

(A)  by major electric generating stations that provide electric power to Vermont utilities and end-use customers;

(B)  for transportation purposes;

(C)  for space and process heating purposes

(2)  Vermont rules and orders establishing a carbon cap and trade program shall be designed initially so as to permit the holders of carbon credits to trade them in a regional market proposed to be established through the RGGI.  The program shall be expanded to address the carbon sources not covered by RGGI, in coordination with efforts in other states, shall rely upon auctions to determine allocations of permits for substantial sources of carbon, shall be designed to strengthen linkages between greenhouse gas reduction policies and other established programs such as RGGI, and shall pursue recognizing more nonelectric sector initiatives as RGGI offsets.  Consideration shall be given to allowing the trading of credits among RGGI-certified state greenhouse gas cap and trade programs. 

(c)  Allocation of tradable carbon credits.

(1)  The secretary of natural resources, by rule, shall establish a set of annual carbon budgets for emissions associated with the electric power sector in Vermont consistent with the 2005 RGGI MOU, including any amendments to that MOU, and on a reciprocal basis with the other states participating in the RGGI process.  Similarly, the secretary, by rule, shall establish a set of annual carbon budgets for emissions associated with transportation, space heating, and industrial processes.

(2)  In order to provide the maximum long-term benefit to Vermont electric consumers, particularly benefits that will result from accelerated and sustained investments in energy efficiency and other low-cost, low-carbon power system, transportation system, and other investments, the public service board, by rule or order, shall establish a process to allocate 100 percent of the Vermont statewide budget of tradable power sector carbon credits and the proceeds from the sale of those credits through allocation to one or more trustees acting on behalf of consumers in accordance with the following principles.  To the extent feasible, the allocation plan shall accomplish the following goals:

(A)  minimize windfall financial gains to power generators and other consumers of fossil fuels as a result of the operation of the cap and trade program, considering both the costs that power generators and other consumers of fossil fuels may incur to participate in the program and any power revenue increases they are likely to receive as a result of changes in regional power markets;

(B)  employ an administrative structure that will enable program managers to perform any combination of holding, banking, and selling carbon credits in regional, national, and international carbon credit markets in a financially responsible and market-sensitive fashion, and provide funds to defray the reasonable costs of the program trustee or trustees and Vermont’s pro-rata share of the costs of the RGGI regional organization and of any other regional cap and trade organization;

(C)  optimize the revenues received from the management and sale of carbon credits for the benefit of Vermont electric customers, fossil fuel consumers, and the Vermont economy;

(D)  minimize any incentives from operation of the cap and trade program for Vermont utilities or fossil fuel consumers to increase the overall carbon emissions associated with serving their customers;

(E)  build upon existing regulatory and administrative structures and programs that lower power, transportation, and heating costs, improve efficiency, and lower the state’s carbon profile of the state’s power supply while minimizing adverse impacts on electric system reliability and unnecessary costs to Vermont power consumers, assuring transportation needs are able to be met at affordable prices, and assuring the availability of adequate space heat and processing heat for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes;

(F)  ensure that carbon credits allocated under the RGGI portion of this program and revenues associated with their sale remain power system assets managed for the benefit of electric consumers, particularly benefits that will result from accelerated and sustained investments in energy efficiency and other low-cost, low-carbon power system investments, and ensure that carbon credits allocated under the other portions of the program and the associated revenues remain assets managed for the benefit of transportation consumers and consumers of space heat and process heat;

(G)  where practicable, support efforts recommended by the agency of natural resources or the department of public service to stimulate or support investment in the development of innovative power sector carbon emissions abatement technologies that have significant carbon reduction potential.

(d)  Appointment of consumer trustees.  The public service board, by rule, order, or competitive solicitation, may appoint one or more consumer trustees to receive, hold, bank, and sell tradable carbon credits created under this program.  Trustees may include Vermont electric distribution utilities, the fiscal agent collecting and disbursing funds to support the statewide efficiency utility, or a financial institution or other entity with the expertise and financial resources to manage a portfolio of carbon credits for the long-term benefit of Vermont consumers.

(e)  Reports.  By January 15 of each year, commencing in 2007, the department of public service in consultation with the agency of natural resources and the public service board shall provide to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the senate committee on finance, and the house committee on commerce a report detailing the implementation and operation of RGGI, the implementation and operation of the expanded cap and trade program, and the revenues collected and the expenditures made under this section, together with recommended principles to be followed in the allocation of funds.

(f)  Program expansion.  The agency of natural resources and the public service board shall endeavor to coordinate with surrounding states the timing of the program expansion under this section, or the establishment of a separate cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions that are not subject to RGGI.

Sec. 20.   VERMONT RESOURCE TRUST

(a)  The Vermont resource trust is established, to consist of nine members who shall not be members of the general assembly at the time of appointment.  Members shall include the state treasurer together with one member appointed by the speaker of the house, one member appointed by the committee on committees, and two members appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a board member of the Vermont climate collaborative.  In addition, there shall be a chair and a vice chair appointed by joint action of the speaker of the house, the committee on committees, and the governor, and two additional public members appointed in this manner.  Members shall be appointed who have skills and knowledge that will support the needs of the trust, which may include persons with knowledge of business, “green” business and technology, economics, public health, public utilities, ecological science, carbon trading, transportation and land use planning and development, forestry and ecology, waste management, and education. 

(b)  The powers of the trust are vested in its members, and a quorum shall consist of five members.  No action of the trust shall be considered valid unless the action is supported by a majority vote of its members.  The trust shall be entitled to staff assistance from the natural resources board and from the agency of natural resources, which shall coordinate any requested assistance from state agencies and departments.  The trust shall invite public input, form task forces, work with stakeholder groups and state entities, work with local, state-based, and national interest groups, and take other appropriate steps to gather information and develop its recommendations.

(c)  The primary mission of the trust shall be:

(1)  to identify barriers to be overcome in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the state;

(2)  to identify areas that merit priority consideration in this regard because of their ease of implementation and their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

(3)  to develop recommendations for ways to overcome those barriers;

(4)  to identify resource needs and funding options; and

(5)  to facilitate state and private entities in addressing these issues.

(d)  In this process, the trust shall consider the recommendations of the governor’s commission on climate change and its plenary group, the recommendations of the Vermont council on rural development, and other approaches, and shall work with the Vermont climate collaborative and other interested persons and groups.

(e)  The trust shall present an initial report to the general assembly by no later than January 5, 2009, and biennially thereafter.  The report shall include any recommendations for whether the trust shall continue to exist subsequent to submitting its report, and proposed legislative language, if necessary.

* * * State Treasurer * * *

Sec. 21.  32 V.S.A. § 433(d) is added to read:

(d)  In a manner consistent with the guidelines developed under this section, the treasurer may invest in projects that are eligible under the clean energy development fund established under 10 V.S.A. § 6523 and in other appropriate mechanisms in order to promote investment in innovative and profitable clean technology businesses and industries in the state.  The treasurer shall give particular attention to investments that would:  generate attractive returns both in the short term and long term; leverage significant and positive interest in the private sector venture capital markets; create jobs and economic growth in clean energy and technology industries in Vermont; and promote greater energy independence and environmental protection for the state.

* * * Appraised Value of Energy Measures * * *

Sec. 22.  32 V.S.A. § 3481 is amended to read:

§ 3481.  DEFINITIONS

The following definitions shall apply in this Part and chapter 101 of this title, pertaining to the listing of property for taxation:

(1)  “Appraisal value” shall mean, :

(A)  with respect to property enrolled in a use value appraisal program, the use value appraisal as defined in subdivision 3752(12) of this title, multiplied by the common level of appraisal, and with respect to all other property, the estimated fair market value.  The estimated fair market value of a property is the price which the property will bring in the market when offered for sale and purchased by another, taking into consideration all the elements of the availability of the property, its use both potential and prospective, any functional deficiencies, and all other elements such as age and condition which combine to give property a market value.  Those elements shall include a consideration of a decrease in value in nonrental residential property due to a housing subsidy covenant as defined in section 610 of Title 27, or the effect of any state or local law or regulation affecting the use of land, including but not limited to chapter 151 of Title 10 or any land capability plan established in furtherance or implementation thereof, rules adopted by the state board of health and any local or regional zoning ordinances or development plans.  In determining estimated fair market value, the sale price of the property in question is one element to consider, but is not solely determinative.

(B)  For residential rental property that is subject to a housing subsidy covenant or other legal restriction, imposed by a governmental,

quasi-governmental, or public purpose entity, on rents that may be charged, fair market value shall be determined by an income approach using the following elements:

(A)(i)  market rents with utility allowance adjustments for the geographic area in which the property is located as determined by the federal office of Housing and Urban Development or in the case of properties authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 1437, 12 U.S.C. § 1701q, 42 U.S.C. § 1485, 12 U.S.C. § 1715z-1, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f, and 24 CFR Part 882 Subpart D and E, the higher of contract rents (meaning the amount of federal rental assistance plus any tenant contribution) and HUD market rents;

(B)(ii)  actual expenses incurred with respect to the property which shall be provided by the property owner in a format acceptable to the commissioner and certified by an independent third party, such as a certified public accounting firm or public or quasi-public funding agency;

(C)(iii)  a vacancy rate that is 50 percent of the market vacancy rate as determined by the United States Census Bureau with local review by the Vermont housing finance agency; and

(D)(iv)  a capitalization rate that is typical for the geographic area determined and published annually prior to April 1 by the division of property valuation and review after consultation with the Vermont housing finance agency.

(C)  “Appraisal value” shall not include the value of renewable energy and energy efficiency components in or on a building.  “Value of renewable energy and energy efficiency components” means the original cost of, and installation charges for, any or all of the following:

(i)  Replacement of existing windows with energy efficient windows.

(ii)  Replacement of energy inefficient hot water heaters with energy efficient heaters.

(iii)  Replacement or addition of insulation and curtains or shades with high insulating characteristics.

(iv)  Sealing of basements for purposes of energy efficiency.

(v)  Addition of storm windows and storm doors.

(vi)  Placement of solar photovoltaic systems and solar water and space heating systems and any related equipment.

(vii)  Erection of wind turbines and related equipment;

(ix)  Installation of geothermal space and water heating systems;

(x)  Installation of hydropower equipment;

(xi)  Installation of fuel cells that rely on renewable fuels;

(xii)  Replacement of inefficient energy heating systems with efficient systems.

Sec. 23.  APPLICABILITY OF APPRAISAL SECTION

Sec. 22, amending 32 V.S.A. § 3481 (exclusion of energy efficiency components from tax appraisal value), shall apply to energy efficiency components incorporated into or added to any building and completed on or after April 1, 2009.

* * *  Weatherization Program * * *

Sec. 24.  33 V.S.A. § 2502(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In addition, the director shall supplement, or supplant, any federal program with a state home weatherization assistance program providing:

* * *

(3)  funding for the installation of solar domestic hot water systems on eligible homes.

* * * Methane Digesters * * *

Sec. 25.  REGIONAL DAIRY METHANE DIGESTERS

(a)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets, in conjunction with the commissioner of public service, shall seek federal funding to evaluate the potential for manure management centers at potential sites for regional dairy bio-digesters.  In particular, the initiative shall examine the technical and economic feasibility of collecting dairy waste, transporting it, digesting it to produce energy, and returning digested manure to participating farms.

(b)  The secretary of natural resources shall review and make appropriate regulatory revisions or recommend appropriate statutory amendments to its regulatory programs that may be preventing the use of wastes, such as food processing wastes, whey, and brewers’ waste, in farm-based methane digester systems.

(Committee vote: 4-1-0)

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, with the following amendments thereto:

First: By striking out Sec.16 [amending 30 V.S.A. § 209(d) relating to line extensions] in its entirety.

Second:  By striking out Sec. 17 [adding 30 V.S.A. § 218(e) relating to returns on equity] in its entirety.

Third: In Sec. 20 subsection (a), in the first sentence, by striking out the word: “nine” and inserting the word eight and in the second sentence, by striking out the words “the state treasurer together with

Fourth: By striking out Sec. 21 [adding 32 V.S.A. § 433(d) relating to the state treasurer] in its entirety.

Fifth: By striking out Sec. 22 [amending 32 V.S.A. § 3481 relating to appraised value] and Sec. 23 [applicability of previous section] in their entirety.

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

Committee Bills for Notice

S. 369

An act relating to recognition of tribes and bands of native Americans by the Vermont commission on native American affairs.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

S. 372

An act relating to evictions, unpaid rent, and abandoned property in rental property.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

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.

S. 344

An act relating to internet and mail order sales of tobacco products.

     PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

(For text of Report of Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs see Senate Calendar for March 12, 2008, page 620).

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.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS

     The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or Representative requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the next legislative day.  Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively.

S.C.R. 37.

Senate concurrent resolution recognizing the outstanding role of Vermont Transit and its employees in the state's transportation history.

H.C.R. 236

House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding work of child care providers in Vermont  


H.C.R. 237

House concurrent resolution honoring the half-century active Bennington firefighters

H.C.R. 238

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Missisquoi Valley Union High School Thunderbirds 2008 Division II girls’ ice hockey championship team

H.C.R. 239

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Enosburg Falls High School Hornets Division III girls’ basketball championship team

H.C.R. 240

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets Division I cheerleading team

H.C.R. 241

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets’ Division I championship boys’ ice hockey team

H.C.R. 242

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Ice Storm on winning the 2007 Empire Football League championship and being named the 2007 American Football Association Triple-A national champions

H.C.R. 243

House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding winter road clearance performance of the agency of transportation highway crews

H.C.R. 244

House concurrent resolution in memory of John D. Picard

H.C.R. 245

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II cheerleading champions

H.C.R. 246

House concurrent resolution in memory of Charlie Bristow

H.C.R. 247

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Milton High School Yellowjackets Division II girls’ basketball championship team


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)

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)

Gordon Winters of Swanton - Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees - By Senator Collins for the Committee on Education.  (3/13)

Tess Savage of Bristol - Member of the State Board of Education - By Senator Giard for the Committee on Education.  (3/13)

Jeffrey L. Davis of Williston - Member of the University of Vermont Board of Trustees - Sen. Starr for the Committee on Education.  (3/19)

JOINT ASSEMBLY

Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 10:30 A.M. - House Chamber - Retention of Superior Court Judges:  Hon. Amy M. Davenport, Hon. Katherine A. Hayes.

Retention of District Judges:  Hon. Nancy S. Corsones, Hon. Walter M. Morris, Jr., Hon. David T. Suntag.

Retention of Environmental Judge:  Merideth Wright.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

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.



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Montpelier, Vermont


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