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Senate Calendar

thursday, april 3, 2008

87 DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2O08

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

S. 350     Relating to energy independence and economic prosperity............... 1020

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................. 1041

                        Finance Committee Report.................................................... 1141

                        Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1141

                        Sen. Lyons and Sen. MacDonald amendment......................... 1141

Committee Bill for Second Reading

S. 371     Creation of agency of education & elimination of board of ed........... 1144

                        By the Committee on Education............................................. 1144

                        Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1144

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 403    Postretirement cost of living adjustments for state employees............ 1144

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 880    Vermont pension investment committee........................................... 1144

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1144

                        Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1144

Resolutions for Action

S.R. 25   Supporting creation of a veterans’ transitional housing facility........... 1145

JRH 52  Establishing an office of the National Nurse..................................... 1145

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 669    Relating to the Vermont historic downtown...................................... 1145

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report......... 1145

H. 859    Substance abuse treatment, voc. training, transitional housing for .............                   offenders to reduce recidivism, increase public safety & costs....................................................... 1167

               Judiciary Committee Report............................................................ 1167

               Appropriations Committee Report.................................................. 1182

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides.............................. 1184


S. 102     School dist. excess spending........................................................... 1184

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................. 1184

S. 211     Soliciting or architect proposals by a school district.......................... 1184

S. 348     Education/workforce training for children between ages 16 &18...... 1185

S. 369     Recognition of tribes & bands of native Americans by the Vermont .........                   commission on native American affairs      1185

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements..................... 1185

Concurrent Resolutions for Notice

For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to April 3, 2008 Calendar)

SCR 39    In memory of Dulcina Goulette-Sabourin......................................... 136

SCR 40    Rutland H.S. girls’ alpine skiing championship team......................... 137

SCR 41    Rutland H.S. boys’ and girls’ champion snowboarders.................... 138

HCR 255  South Royalton Woman’s Club 100th anniversary.......................... 140

HCR 256  Recognizing role of registered nurses in delivery of health care......... 142

HCR 257  Gaines Farm on receipt of Vermont Centennial Business Award...... 142

HCR 258  Brattleboro Reformer on Vermont Centennial Business Award...... 143

HCR 259  Congratulating Essex H.S. championship gymnastics team............... 145

HCR 260  In memory of Violet Coffin of Stratford.......................................... 146

HCR 261  American military personnel who have died in Iraq.......................... 147

HCR 262  Middlebury Inn on Vermont Centennial Business Award................. 150

HCR 263  Chipman Point on Vermont Centennial Business Award.................. 151

HCR 264  Congratulating the Palms Restaurant on diamond anniversary.......... 152

 



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment

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 by 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.

And by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct.

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

Reported without recommendation by Senator Bartlett for the Committee on Appropriations.

(Committee vote:  7-0-0)

AMENDMENT TO S. 350 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATORS LYONS AND MacDONALD, ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY

Senator Lyons and MacDonald, on behalf of the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy move to amend the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy as follows:

     First: By striking out Sec. 19 [amending 30 V.S.A. § 255 relating to RGGI] in its entirety, and by adding a new section to read:

Sec. 3a.  10 V.S.A. § 578 is amended to read:

§ 578. GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION GOALS

(a) General goal of greenhouse gas reduction. It is the goal of the state to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from within the geographical boundaries of the state and those emissions outside the boundaries of the state that are caused by the use of energy in Vermont in order to make an appropriate contribution to achieving the regional goals of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the 1990 baseline by:

(1) 25 percent by January 1, 2012;

(2) 50 percent by January 1, 2028;

(3) if practicable using reasonable efforts, 75 percent by January 1, 2050.

(b) Climate change action plan. The secretary will coordinate with the governor's commission on climate change established by executive order and will consult with any interested members of Vermont's business, agricultural, labor, and environmental communities in developing a climate change action plan. The secretary shall notify each member of the general assembly of the development of this plan and of the opportunity for public comment. This plan shall be developed in a manner that implements state energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a. Not later than September 1, 2007, the secretary shall present this plan to the committees of the general assembly having jurisdiction over matters relating to the environment, agriculture, energy, transportation, commerce, and public health.

(c) Implementation of climate change action plan. In order to facilitate the state's compliance with the goals established in this section, all state agencies shall consider, whenever practicable, any increase or decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in their decision-making procedures with respect to the purchase and use of equipment and goods; the siting, construction, and maintenance of buildings; the assignment of personnel; and the planning, design and operation of programs, services and infrastructure.  In addition, on or before January 1, 2010, giving due regard to the recommendations of the Vermont resource trust, the governor’s commission on climate change and its plenary group, the Vermont council on rural development, and others, the secretaries of the agencies of natural resources and transportation, and the commissioner of public service each shall adopt rules, in accordance with 3  V.S.A. chapter 25, to make appropriate and proportionate progress within their respective areas of jurisdiction to meet the goals established by this section. These rules shall be designed to:

(1) minimize costs and maximize the total benefit to the state, encourage

innovation, stimulate investment in low greenhouse gas technologies and

encourage early action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

(2) ensure that compliance with the rules furthers rather than conflicts with federal and state ambient air quality standards and goals to reduce

toxic air contaminant emissions;

(3) weigh overall societal potential benefits, including reductions in other air pollutants, diversification of energy sources, and other benefits to the economy, environment and public health;

(4) ensure that activities undertaken to comply with the rules do not disproportionately impact low-income communities;

(5) minimize the administrative burden of implementing and

complying with the rules;

(6) consider the significance of the contribution of each source or category of sources to state-wide greenhouse gas emissions; and

(7)  result in greenhouse gas emission reductions that are real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable and enforceable.

(d) Cost determinations.  To determine the cost effectiveness of these rules, the secretary or commissioner shall accord to greenhouse gas emissions a cost per ton of carbon dioxide as determined by the current Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or federal allowance price, whichever is higher.

(e) Report on effectiveness of rules.  The secretaries and the commissioner shall work cooperatively to monitor and enforce compliance with this section and the rules adopted pursuant to this section.  Reports on the effectiveness of these rules shall be submitted to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy and on transportation on July 1, 2012, and triennially thereafter.

(f) Advocacy for cap and trade program for greenhouse gases.  In order to increase the likelihood of the state meeting the goals established under this section, the secretary of natural resources and commissioner of public service shall advocate before appropriate regional or national entities and working groups in favor of the establishment of a regional or national cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.  This may take the form of an expansion of the existing regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), or it may entail the creation of an entirely new and separate regional or national cap and trade initiative.

     Second:  In Sec. 20 [Vermont Resources Trust] subsection (a), after the words “state treasurer” by inserting the words or a designee

     Third:  In Sec. 20, in subsection (c), before the colon, by adding the following: to consider the recommendations of the governor’s commission on climate change and its plenary group and the recommendations of the Vermont council on rural development

     Fourth:  In Sec. 20, by striking out subsection (d) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(d) In this process, the trust shall work with the Vermont climate collaborative and other interested persons and groups.

     Fifth:  In Sec. 20, subsection (e), in the first sentence, by striking out the following: “, and biennially thereafter”  and in the second sentence after the word “report” by striking out the word “shall” and inserting the word may

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

Committee Bill for Second Reading

S. 371

An act relating to the creation of an agency of education and the elimination of the state board of education.

By the Committee on Education.  (Sen. Collins for the Committee)

Reported favorably by Senator Bartlett for the Committee on Appropriations.

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 403

An act relating to postretirement cost of living adjustments for state employees.

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 880

An act relating to the Vermont pension investment committee.

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

(Committee vote: 4-1-0)

Reported favorably by Senator Bartlett for the Committee on Appropriations.

(Committee vote: 7-0-0)

(No House amendments)

Resolutions for Action

S.R. 25

Senate resolution in support of the creation of a veterans’ transitional housing facility in central Vermont.

(For text of resolution, see Senate Journal of April 2, 2008, page 495.)

J.R.H. 52

Joint resolution urging congress to enact legislation establishing an office of the National Nurse.

(For text of resolution, see Senate Journal of April 2, 2008, page 497.)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 669

An act relating to the Vermont historic downtown.

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

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

* * * Historic Downtown  Designation Duration * * *

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 2792(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A “Vermont downtown development board,” also referred to as the “state board,” is created to administer the provisions of this chapter.  The state board members shall be the following permanent members, or their designees:

(1)  The secretary of commerce and community development;.

(2)  The secretary of transportation;.

(3)  The secretary of natural resources;.

(4)  The secretary of human services;.

(5)  The commissioner of public safety;.

(6)  The commissioner of housing and community affairs; and.

(7)  The state historic preservation officer.

(8)  Three public members representative of local government, one of whom shall be designated by the Vermont league of cities and towns, and two shall be appointed by the governor.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2793(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The state board shall review a community’s designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the state board determines that the downtown development district no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action; .

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or .

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits established in section 2794 of this chapter without affecting any of the district’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the district’s designation, with such removal not without affecting any of the district’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 2793a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The state board shall review a village center designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If, at the any time of the review, the state board determines that the village center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (a) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action; .

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or .

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the village center’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the village center’s designation, with such removal not without affecting any of the village center’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 2793b(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The state board shall review a new town center designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the state board determines the new town center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action;.

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or.

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the new town center’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the new town center’s designation , with such removal not without affecting any of the town center’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 1-5 of this act shall take effect upon passage.

* * * Brownfield Reclamation * * *

Sec. 6.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this act is to create a property cleanup program within the agency of natural resources, that provides program participants with some protection from certain liabilities pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6615 in exchange for having the secretary of natural resources review and oversee work plans for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring a contaminated property.  The goals of the cleanup program are to:

(1)  Reduce and eliminate threats to human health and the environment presented by hazardous material contamination.

(2)  Establish risk‑based restrictions on future use of property when setting cleanup goals for a contaminated property.

(3)  Reuse historically productive properties that will revitalize communities and help address issues raised by economic shifts while maintaining and enhancing existing public infrastructure.

(4)  Utilize public investment and technical assistance to promote successful redevelopment projects.

(5)  Reduce state legal liability risks associated with a brownfields site for parties who assume responsibility for property remediation.

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. chapter 159, subchapter 3 is added to read:

Subchapter 3.  Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitations

§ 6641.  BROWNFIELD PROPERTY CLEANUP PROGRAM; CREATION; POWERS

(a)  There is created the brownfield property cleanup program to enable certain interested parties to request the assistance of the secretary to review and oversee work plans for investigating, abating, removing, remediating, and monitoring a property in exchange for protection from certain liabilities under section 6615 of this title.  The program shall be administered by the secretary who shall:

(1)  Specify an appropriate amount or type of insurance; require the posting of a bond or other form of financial assurance; or establish other qualifications for persons carrying out activities related to the cleanup program.

(2)  Contract with private engineers, hydrologists, and site professionals to provide the investigation and review required by this subchapter.  The contract may be financed from the oversight costs established in subdivision 6644(5) of this title, or may bill an applicant who is not liable under subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title for the services.

(3)  Release an applicant from state liability, provided the applicant is in compliance with this subchapter.

(b)  After approval of a site investigation work plan or a corrective action plan, the secretary shall notify the person of any future requirements under this subchapter, including a tentative schedule of processing times.

§ 6642.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Applicant” means a person who has applied for relief from state liability through participation in the program.

(2)  “Brownfield site” means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the release or threatened release of a hazardous material.  “Brownfield site” does not include any of the following:

(A)  A facility that is the subject of a planned or ongoing removal action under CERCLA.

(B)  A facility that is listed as a CERCLA site or is proposed for listing.

(C)  A facility that is the subject of any state or federal administrative or court order under any of the following authorities:

(i)  42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (CLERCLA) or 10 V.S.A. §6615 (state hazardous materials remediation).

(ii)  42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq. (solid waste disposal act) or 10 V.S.A chapter 159 (solid waste or hazardous waste).

(iii)  33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. (federal Water Pollution Control act) or 10 V.S.A. chapter 47 (water pollution control).

(iv)  15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (toxic substances control act).

(v)   42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq. (safe drinking water act) or 10 V.S.A. § chapter 56 (public water supply).

(D)  A facility that is subject to either of the following:

(i)  Corrective action under 42 U.S.C. § 6924(u) or 6928(h).

(ii)  Corrective action permit or order issued or modified to require the implementation of corrective measures.

(E)  A land disposal unit in regard to which both of the following apply:

(i)  A closure notification under subtitle C of  42 U.S.C. § 6921 et seq. has been submitted.

(ii)  Closure requirements have been specified in a closure plan or permit.

(F)  A facility that is subject to the jurisdiction, custody, or control of any instrumentality of the United States, except for land held in trust by the United States for an Indian tribe.

(G)  A portion of a facility to which both the following apply:

(i)  A release of polychlorinated biphenyls has occurred.

(ii)  Is subject to remediation under 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (toxic substances control act).

(H)  A portion of a facility for which assistance for response activity has been obtained under subtitle I of 42 U.S.C. § 6991 et seq. (solid waste disposal act) from the leaking underground storage tank trust fund established under 26 V.S.A. § 9508.

(3)  “CERCLA” means the Comprehensive Response Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq.

(4)  “Innocent current owner” means a person that owns real property where a release or threatened release of a hazardous material exists but the person did none of the following:

(A)  Held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender’s holding indicia of ownership in the property to assure the repayment of a financial obligation at the time of any disposal of hazardous materials on the property.

(B)  Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(C)  Operated or controlled the operation at the property of a facility for the storage treatment or disposal of hazardous materials at the time of the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(D)  Disposed of or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(E)  Generated the hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

(5)  “Program”  means the brownfield property cleanup program

(6)  “Remediation standards” means standards developed by the secretary for the remediation of contaminated properties.  The secretary shall determine appropriate remediation standards on a site‑specific basis and shall consider all the following:

(A)  Future land use and the appropriate use of institutional controls.

(B)  Environmental media, including soil, groundwater, surface water, and air.

(C)   Requirements for source removal, treatment, or containment.

(D)  Appropriate use of monitored natural attenuation.

(E)  Any other issue related to the protection of public health and the environment.

§ 6643.  APPLICATION PROCESS

A person shall apply to the secretary for participation in the program on a form determined by the secretary accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $500.00.  The application shall include:

(1)  A preliminary environmental assessment of the property, a legal description of the property, a description of the physical characteristics of the property, the nature and extent of releases and threatened releases at the property, and the risks to human health and the environment presented by the releases or threatened release, and any other information requested by the secretary.

(2)  A description of the proposed redevelopment and use of the property.

(3)  A certification that the applicant has given timely notification to the public that provides a reasonable opportunity for public comment to the secretary regarding the information and material provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section.

(4)  A notarized certification, on a form provided by the secretary, in which the applicant attests to all the following:

(A)  Each person who would benefit from liability protection pursuant to section 6653 of this title has disclosed to the secretary all information currently known to the person or in the person’s possession or control that relates to releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(B)  No person, including a principal, owner, director, affiliate, or subsidiary, who would benefit from liability protection pursuant to section 6653 of this title:

(i)  Currently holds or ever held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, except for either of the following:

(I)  A secured lender’s holding indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure repayment of a financial obligation.

(II)  An innocent current owner.

(ii)  Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(iii)  Currently operates or controls or ever operated or controlled the operation at the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials from which there was a release.

(iv)  Disposed of, or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(v)  Generated hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

§ 6644.  GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

Any person participating in the program shall do all the following:

(1)  Not provide any information required under this subchapter by fraud, intentional misrepresentation, failure to disclose material information, or providing false certification.

(2)  Not engage in any activity that is inconsistent or interferes with monitoring, investigation, abatement, removal, or remediation activities or the conditions or restrictions in a certificate of completion.

(3)  Provide access to and cooperate with the secretary and any person liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title acting subject to the approval of the secretary for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities at the property.   The grant of access and all other provisions that the secretary determines necessary may be memorialized in the form of an interest in real property that runs with the land and is binding against successors and assigns.

(4)  Comply with all rules and procedures required by the secretary and obtain all necessary permits, certifications, and other required authorizations prior to beginning any site investigation or corrective action plan activities.

(5)  If an innocent current owner, pay the secretary an oversight fee of $5,000.00.  Upon depletion of this $5,000.00 fee, the applicant shall pay any additional costs of the secretary’s review and oversight of the site investigation or corrective action plan, or both.  Upon completion of the secretary’s review and oversight, any funds remaining shall be returned to the applicant, as determined by the commissioner.

(6)  Provide the secretary with all documents and information relating to the performance of the investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities.

(7)   Defend, indemnify, save, and hold harmless the state from all claims and causes of action related to, or arising from, acts or omissions of the applicant in performing the site investigation and corrective action plan except in the case of either of the following:

(A)  Reimbursement of fees or costs improperly required by and paid to the secretary by the eligible person or successor.

(B)  A cause of action related to the state’s liability pursuant to subsection 6615(a) of this title.

§ 6645.  ELIGIBILITY

Not more than 30 days after the secretary receives a complete application, the secretary shall determine eligibility and provide written notice to the applicant of the secretary’s determination.  A person is eligible for participation in the program if the secretary determines all the following:

(1)  There is a release or threatened release of hazardous material at the property that the person proposes for remediation and redevelopment.

(2)  The applicant is not liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title for any release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the property or the person is an innocent current owner of the property.  The commissioner may accept an affidavit of innocence or may request further information and investigate to determine compliance with this subsection.  Any determination of innocence or liability under this subdivision is solely for the purpose of the initial eligibility determination for this program and shall have no collateral effect in other proceedings.

(3)  The property is a brownfield site or the secretary determines, on a site‑by‑site basis, both the following:

(A)  The property is not a brownfield site because it is excluded pursuant to subdivisions 6642(1)(A), (C)(ii) – (v), (D), (E), (G), or (H) of this title.

(B)  Participation in the program will promote the program objectives identified in subsection 6641(a) of this title.

§ 6646.  FORBEARANCE

The state may not bring an action against an applicant based on liability pursuant to subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title, provided that the applicant has been determined to be eligible for the program and is working in good faith toward meeting the obligations required by this subchapter.

§ 6647.  SITE INVESTIGATION

(a)  The applicant shall submit a site investigation work plan to the secretary.  The work plan shall identify the person or persons who will conduct the site investigation.  The work plan shall provide a site investigation that satisfies all the following objectives:

(1)  Defines the nature, source, degree, and extent of the contamination.

(2)  Defines all possible pathways for contaminant migration.

(3)  Presents data that quantify the amounts of contaminants migrating along each pathway.

(4)  Defines all relevant sensitive receptors.

(5)  Determines the risk of contamination to human health and the environment.

(6)  Identifies appropriate abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities, taking into consideration the proposed redevelopment for the property supported by sufficient information.

(7)  Provides a preliminary recommendation supported by sufficient information.

(b)  The secretary shall evaluate the site investigation work plan and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the site investigation work plan.  If the secretary approves the site investigation work plan with conditions or disapproves the work plan, the applicant shall submit a revised site investigation work plan for approval, or the applicant shall withdraw from the program.  The applicant shall submit any additional or corrected information requested by the secretary at any time during the evaluation of the site investigation work plan.

(c)  After approval of the site investigation work plan, the applicant shall implement the site investigation in accordance with the approved work plan.

(d)  After completion of the site investigation, the applicant shall submit a site investigation report that describes the information gathered and provides recommendations that address the items identified in subsection (a) of this section.  The secretary may approve the site investigation report or, prior to approval, may require revisions to the report or further site investigation work under an amended site investigation work plan, or both.

(e)  If the approved site investigation report concludes that no further investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required to protect adequately human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards, then the applicant may request a determination from the secretary that no additional investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required.  The secretary may make that determination if the secretary determines both the following:

(1)  Redevelopment and reuse of the property will not cause, allow, contribute to, worsen, or delay any release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property.

(2)  The releases or threatened releases that are not abated, removed, or remediated do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health, and the environment and applicable remediation standards are met.

(f)  If the approved site investigation report concludes that abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required to protect adequately human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards, the applicant shall submit a corrective action plan in accordance with section 6648 of this title.

§ 6648.  CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  A corrective action plan shall clearly describe the basis and details of a proposed cleanup strategy that includes ensuring technical feasibility, an effective engineering design, reasonable costs, protection of human health and the environment, and compliance with the remediation standards.  The corrective action plan shall include all the following:

(1)  A description of all releases or threatened releases existing at the property.

(2)  A proposed plan for abatement, removal, and remediation of any release or threatened release, including any condition that has led or could lead to a release or threatened release.

(3)  A plan for continued monitoring of the property during and after the investigation, abatement, removal, and remediation activities are completed.

(4)  A description of applicable remediation standards.

(5)  Plans for all the following:

(A)  Quality assurance.

(B)  Sampling and analysis.

(C)  Health and safety considerations.

(D)  Data management and record keeping.

(6)  A proposed schedule for implementation of each task set forth in the proposed corrective action plan.

(b)  The secretary shall evaluate the corrective action plan and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the corrective action plan.  The applicant shall submit any additional or corrected information requested by the secretary at any time during the evaluation of the corrective action plan.

(c)  The secretary may approve a corrective action plan for all or a portion of the releases or threatened releases at the property, provided the secretary determines that the corrective action plan will fulfill both the following:

(1)  Activities in the approved corrective action plan and the redevelopment and use of the property will not cause, contribute to, or worsen any release or threatened release of hazardous materials.

(2)  The corrective action plan provides for all investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities required to protect human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards.

(d)  If the secretary approves a corrective action plan that addresses only a portion of the releases or threatened releases at the property, the secretary must find that the releases or threatened releases that are not abated, removed, or remediated pursuant to the corrective action plan do not and will not pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment and are in compliance with remediation standards.

(e)  Prior to approval of the corrective action plan, the secretary shall provide notice to the public by publishing notice in a local newspaper of general circulation where the property is located and providing written notice to the clerk for the municipality in which the property is located.  The clerk shall post the notice in a location conspicuous to the public.  The secretary shall review any public comment submitted prior to approval of the corrective action plan.  The notice shall include all the following:

(1)  A description of any proposed abatement, investigation, remediation, removal, and monitoring activities.

(2)  A statement that the secretary is considering approving a corrective action plan that provides for those activities.

(3)  A request for public comment on the proposed activities to be submitted within 15 days after publication.

(4)  The name, telephone number, and address of an agency official who is able to answer questions and accept comments on the matter.

(f)  After approval of a corrective action plan and any amendments to the plan, the secretary shall notify the claimant of all the following information:

(1)  A summary of the nature of the contamination identified on the property and the major components of the corrective action plan.

(2)  A detailed description of any restrictions on the future use of the property.

(3)  The location where all information relating to an approved corrective action plan and site investigation may be reviewed.

(g)  The person receiving the approval shall file the notice of approval of the corrective action in the land records of the municipality in which the property is located within 15 days of receipt of the approval.

§ 6649.  AMENDMENTS TO A CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  Except for the corrective action plan adjustment limitations provided  under subsection (b) of this section, at the applicant’s request or in the secretary’s discretion, the secretary may amend the plan if the secretary determines that the amendment is necessary to protect public health and the environment.

(b)  An approved corrective action plan of an applicant who became a participant in the program prior to acquiring any ownership interest in the property and who is not otherwise liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title may be amended only at the secretary’s discretion, provided the amendments to the corrective action plan do not increase the costs of completion by more than 30 percent of the estimated costs of the original corrective action plan.

(c)  Notwithstanding issuance of a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6653 of this title, if at any time the secretary finds that a completed corrective action plan fails to protect adequately human health and the environment or fails to meet all applicable remediation and federal cleanup standards, the secretary may do any of the following;

(1)  Exercise authority pursuant to section 6615 of this title against any liable person except the person or the successor of the person that completed the corrective action plan.

(2)  Perform all investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities necessary to ensure the property meets all the applicable remediation standards.

§ 6650.  PROGRAM WITHDRAWAL

(a)  An applicant may withdraw from the program at any time, provided the applicant does all the following:

(1)  Files with the secretary a notice of intent to withdraw from the program.

(2)  Ensures that the site is stabilized.  Site stabilization includes any action necessary to ensure that work conducted at the property will not cause greater risk to human health and the environment than existed before the remediation work was begun and to ensure that the property will not pose an imminent hazard to human health or the environment.

(3)  Continues to comply with the general obligations of section 6644 of this title.

(b)  An applicant may withdraw from the program after the approval of a corrective action plan and the secretary has granted personal liability protection as authorized in subsection 6653(b) of this title provided the applicant does all the following:

(1)  Meets all the requirements of withdrawal pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(2)  Records a deed restriction on the property approved by the secretary.  The deed restriction shall include:

(A)  Any limitations on the uses of the property based on risk-based exposure criteria used in developing the corrective action plan.

(B)  Prohibitions against physical changes to the property.

(C)  A requirement that protective barriers to control remaining sources of contamination be installed and maintained.

(D)  Restrictions on groundwater use and requirements that alternative water supplies be provided.

(3)  Does not engage in an activity at the property that is inconsistent or interferes with the approved corrective action plan.

(4)  Does not violate any use restriction imposed on the property by the secretary.

(5)  Promptly reports and addresses contamination caused or exacerbated by a negligent or reckless action during corrective action.

§ 6651.  IMPLEMENTATION OF CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  The applicant shall perform all investigation, abatement, remediation, removal, and monitoring activities in accordance with the approved corrective action plan, any amendments to the plan, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. 

(b)  If prior to the issuance of the certificate of completion, the applicant through the performance of an approved site investigation or corrective action plan worsens an existing release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property, or causes a new release or threatened release, the applicant shall immediately notify the secretary, prepare and submit to the secretary an amendment to the corrective action plan for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring of the release or threatened release, and carry out the amended corrective action plan as approved by the secretary.

§ 6652.  CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

(a)  After completion of all activities required by the corrective action plan, the applicant shall file a completion report with the secretary.  The completion report shall include all the following:

(1)  Description of the activities performed under the corrective action plan and any amendments to the plan.

(2)  Description of any problems encountered

(3)  Certification by the applicant that the activities were performed in accordance with the corrective action plan.

(b)  Upon receipt of the completion report, the secretary shall determine whether additional work is required in order to complete the plan.  The applicant shall perform any additional activities necessary to complete the corrective action plan as required by the secretary and shall submit a new completion report.  When the secretary determines that the applicant has successfully completed the corrective action plan and paid all fees and costs due under this subchapter, the secretary shall issue a certificate of completion, which certifies that the work is completed.  The certificate of completion shall include a description of any land use restrictions and other conditions required by the corrective action plan.

(c)  If, on request of the applicant, the secretary determines that no further investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required, the secretary shall issue a certificate of completion that includes a description of any required land use restrictions.

(d)  The secretary may determine that a corrective action plan and any amendments of an applicant who participated in the program prior to acquiring an ownership interest in the property and is not otherwise liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title have been substantially completed and that all fees and costs due under this subchapter have been paid and issue a certificate of completion.  The certificate of completion shall certify that the work is completed and may include conditions for operation and monitoring in addition to the requirements pursuant to section 6653 of this title.

(e)  A certificate of completion issued pursuant to this section shall contain a statement that the protection from liability pursuant to subsection 6653(a) of this title is in effect.  The person receiving the certificate of completion shall file it in the land records for the municipality in which the property is located.

§ 6653.  RELEASE FROM LIABILITY;  PERSONAL RELEASE FROM LIABILITY

(a)  An applicant who has obtained a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6652 of this title and successor owners of the property included in the certificate of completion who are not otherwise liable under section 6615 for the release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the property shall not be liable under subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title for any of the following:

(1)  A release or threatened release that existed at the property at the time of the approval of the corrective action plan and complies with one or both of the following:

(A)  Was discovered after the approval of the corrective action plan by means that were not recognized standard methods at the time of approval of the corrective action plan.

(B)  The material was not regulated as hazardous material until after approval of the corrective action plan.

(2)  Cleanup after approval of the corrective action plan was done pursuant to more stringent cleanup standards effective after approval of the corrective action plan.

(b)  A person who meets the requirements of subsection 6650(b) of this title shall not be liable under subdivision 6615 (a)(1) of this title for the release of a hazardous material that is addressed in a corrective action plan approved by the secretary.  A release from liability under this subsection is personal and does not run with the property or apply to successors in interest to the property.

(c)  A release from liability under this section or forbearance from action provided by section 6646 of this title does not extend to any of the following:

(1)  A release or threatened release of a hazardous material that was not present at the time the applicant submitted an application pursuant to this subchapter where the release or threatened release:

(A)  has not been addressed under an amended corrective action plan approved by the secretary; or

(B)  was caused by intentional or reckless conduct by the applicant or agents of the applicant.

(2)  Failure to comply with the general obligations established in section 6644 of this title.

(3)  A release that occurs subsequent to the issuance of a certificate of completion.

(d)  There shall be no protection from liability under this section or forbearance under section 6646 of this title for a successor if that successor or any of its principals, owners, directors, affiliates, or subsidiaries:

(1)  Ever held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender who holds indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure repayment of a financial obligation, except in the case of an innocent owner.

(2)   Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property.

(3)  Currently operates or controls or ever operated or controlled the operation on the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials from which there was a release or threatened release of hazardous materials.

(4)  Disposed of or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(5)  Generated hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

§ 6654.  BROWNFIELD REVITALIZATION FUND; CREATION; ASSISTANCE

(a)  There is created a brownfield revitalization fund that shall be a special fund created pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 to be administered by the secretary of commerce and community development to aid applicants in the redevelopment of brownfield cleanup program by assessing and remediating sites.  Moneys received by the secretary of natural resources for application and participation in the program shall be deposited in the redevelopment of contaminated properties account of the environmental contingency fund established in section 1283 of this title.

(b)  The fund shall comprise of all the following;

(1)  State or federal funds appropriated by the general assembly.

(2)  Gifts, grants, or other contributions.

(c)  A person may apply to the secretary of commerce and community development for financial assistance in the form of a grant or loan from the brownfield revitalization fund for the purpose of completing characterization, assessment, or remediation of a site only after receipt of a work plan approved by the secretary submitted pursuant to the brownfield property cleanup program unless the application is for a project that has been determined to be ineligible for the program and is otherwise appropriate for funding pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(d)  In order to determine an award of financial assistance, the secretary of commerce and community development in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall consider all the following:

(1)  The extent to which the proposed project will facilitate the identification and reduction of threats to human health and the environment associated with exposure to hazardous materials, pollutants, or contaminants.

(2)  The extent to which the proposed project will facilitate the use or reuse of existing infrastructure.

(3)  The potential for the proposed project to stimulate economic development.

(4)  The extent to which the proposed project will respond to local or regional housing needs.

(5)  The level of participation by a local community relating to remediation and future use of the brownfield site.

(6)  The extent to which a grant or loan will meet the needs of a community that due to a small population or the low income of the community is unable to draw on other funding sources for environmental remediation and subsequent redevelopment of the area in which a brownfield site is located.

(7)  The extent to which a grant or loan will facilitate the creation or preservation of or an addition to a park, greenway, underdeveloped property, recreational property, or other property used for nonprofit purposes.

(8)  The extent to which the grant or loan will create a more balanced geographic distribution of awards from the brownfield revitalization fund.

(e)  A grant may be awarded by the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, provided:

(1)  A grant may not exceed $50,000.00 for characterization and assessment of a site.

(2)  A grant may not exceed $200,000.00 for remediation of a site.

(3)  A grant may be used by an applicant to purchase environmental insurance relating to the performance of the characterization, assessment, or remediation of a brownfield site in accordance with a corrective action plan approved by the secretary of natural resources.

(4)  Financial assistance may be provided to applicants by developing a risk sharing pool, an indemnity pool, or other insurance mechanism designed to help applicants.

(5)  All reports generated by financial assistance from the brownfield revitalization fund, including site assessments, site investigations, feasibility studies, corrective action plans, and completion reports shall be provided as hard copies to the secretaries of commerce and community development and of natural resources.

(f)  The Vermont economic development authority, VEDA, is authorized to make loans on behalf of the state pursuant to this section.  Annually, the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources in consultation with the VEDA manager shall determine an amount from the brownfield revitalization program that will be available to VEDA for loans.  Proceeds from repayment of loans shall be deposited in the brownfield revitalization fund and shall be available for future grants and loans under this section.  Loans under this subsection shall be issued and administered by VEDA, provided:

(1)  Loan may be awarded only to applicants who have been determined eligible by the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, and the secretary of commerce and community development has certified that the applicant and the project are eligible for financing or assistance under this section and the project has priority for an award of financial assistance.

(2)  A loan to an applicant may not exceed $250,000.00 and may be used for characterization, assessment, or remediation subject to all the following conditions:

(A)  Repayment of a loan shall commence no later than one year following completion of the project for which the loan was used.

(B)  The rate of interest on loans shall be set by VEDA in consultation with the secretary of commerce and community development.  The interest rate shall be sufficiently attractive to advance the purposes of this subchapter and may be less than the prevailing borrowing rates available to similarly situated applicants from private lenders, but not less than zero percent.

(C)  Loans shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in a loan agreement executed by VEDA and the applicant.  The loan agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the loan and repayment and any other terms and conditions determined to be necessary by VEDA and the secretaries of natural resources or of commerce and community development.

(D)  Disbursement of loan proceeds shall be based on certification by the loan recipient that costs for which reimbursement is requested have been incurred or paid by the recipient for activities under the approved plan.  The loan recipient shall provide supporting evidence of payment on request of VEDA.  Interim financing charges or short-term interest costs may constitute an allowable cost of a project for which a loan may be used.

(E)  In the event of default, any amounts owed on the loan shall be considered a debt for the purposes of 32 V.S.A. § 5932(4).  VEDA may recover this debt pursuant to the set-off debt collection remedy established pursuant to 32 V.S.A. §§ 5833 and 5934.

(F)  The applicant has certified that all state and federal permits and licenses necessary to undertake the project for which financing is being sought have been or will be obtained prior to disbursement of loan funds by VEDA.

(G)  The secretary of commerce and community development has certified to VEDA that the applicant and the project are eligible for financing or assistance under this section, and the project has priority for financial assistance.

(3)  The secretary of commerce and community development in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall maintain a prioritized list of projects that are eligible for financial assistance under this section at least annually.  In order to prioritize, the secretary of commerce and community development shall consider at a minimum, the criteria set forth in subsection (d) of this section and the following:

(A)  The severity of any health or environmental hazard to be remediated.

(B)  The population to be served.

(C)  The readiness of the project to proceed to the next planning or construction step.

(4)  Neither the state nor VEDA shall be responsible for owning or operating a project or for completing a corrective action plan if a grant or loan recipient defaults on a loan obligation, abandons the project site, or fails to complete a corrective action plan to the satisfaction of the secretary.

(5)  The secretary of commerce and community development or the secretary of natural resources and VEDA may enter into agreements on behalf of the state with federal agencies in order to obtain grants and awards to further the purposes of the brownfield revitalization fund, provided that any grant or award has been approved in compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 5.

(6)  Annually on or before January 15, the secretary of commerce and community development and VEDA in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall submit a report to members of the joint fiscal committee, the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs and on natural resources and the house committees on commerce and on natural resources and energy.  The report shall include information for the previous fiscal year, including the balance in the fund, grant and loan awards made, funds anticipated to be available in the next fiscal year, information relating to brownfield remediation activities, including the number, location, and status of brownfield sites and any other related information.

§ 6655.  STATE PLAN FOR BROWNFIELD RECLAMATION

The agency of natural resources and the agency of commerce and community development shall jointly develop a state plan for brownfield reclamation that includes both of the following:

(1)  An inventory and assessment of potential sites prioritized by the ease of reducing the threat to public health, the availability of development opportunities, and the highest expected return on public investment.

(2)  Methods and strategies for coordinating remediation with eventual usage of the sites, reclamation of high priority projects, financing projects with various public and private funding, and assuring consistent investment by the state for a minimum of ten years in order to return as many properties as possible to recreation, parks, green space, housing, and commercial uses.

§6656.  BROWNFIELD ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a)  There is established a brownfield reuse and environmental liability limitation advisory committee to review the operation of the program established under this subchapter and to recommend program and legislative changes to improve the program and increase brownfield cleanup.  The advisory committee shall submit an annual report of its work and recommendations to the general assembly on or before January 15.  The committee shall be composed of the following 10 members:

(1)  The secretary or designee who shall be chair.

(2)  The secretary of commerce and community affairs or designee who shall be vice chair.

(3)  The attorney general or designee.

(4)  A member of the Vermont association of planning and development agencies, appointed by the association.

(5)  Six members to be appointed by the chair:

(A)  A developer of large projects with experience in brownfield redevelopment.

(B)  A developer of small projects with experience in brownfield redevelopment.

(C)  An attorney with experience representing brownfield redevelopers.

(D)  Two commercial real estate brokers with experience in the sale of brownfield properties.

(E)  A representative of a regional development corporation.

(b)  The advisory committee shall focus its deliberations on the following issues: 

(1)  Fair distribution of historic liability.

(2)  Funding mechanisms.

(3)  Exemptions for regional development corporations.

(4)  Other recommendations of the advisory committee.

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 6615(d)(3) and (i) are amended to read:

(3)  A municipality shall not be liable under this section provided that the municipality can show all the following:

* * *

(C)  The municipality has entered into an agreement with the secretary regarding sale of the property acquired or has undertaken abatement, investigation, remediation, or removal activities as required by section 6615a of this title subchapter 3 of this chapter.

(i)  In an action brought by the secretary under this section, a responsible person may implead, or in a separate action a responsible person may sue, another responsible person or persons and may obtain contribution or indemnification.  A responsible person who has resolved its liability to the state under this section through a judicially approved settlement and a secured lender or fiduciary with whom the secretary has entered into an agreement under subsection (h) of this section shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnification regarding matters addressed in the judicially approved settlement or in the agreement.  Likewise, an eligible a person or successor who has obtained a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6615a of this title subchapter 3 of this chapter shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnification regarding releases or threatened releases described in the approved corrective action plan, as amended.  Such a settlement or agreement or certificate of completion does not discharge any other potentially responsible person unless its terms so provide, but it reduces the potential liability of other potentially responsible persons by the relief agreed upon.  A secured lender or fiduciary with whom the secretary has entered into an agreement under subsection (h) of this section may not seek contribution or indemnification on the basis of such agreement from any other potentially responsible person.  In any action for contribution or indemnification, the rights of any person who has resolved its liability to the state shall be subordinate to the rights of the state.

Sec. 9.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 6615a (redevelopment of contaminated properties) is repealed.

The Committee further proposes that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows:

     A BILL RELATING TO THE DURATION OF HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DESIGNATIONS AND BROWNFIELD RECLAMATION.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

H. 859

An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce corrections costs.

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

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Vermont’s incarcerated population is growing at an unsustainable rate.

(2)  Property and drug offenders are the fastest growing segment of the prison population.  Between 2000 and 2006, over half the increase in the felony prison population was due to property and substance abuse offenses.

(3)  Seventy-seven percent of those sentenced for a property or drug felony have a substance abuse disorder.  Two-thirds of them report having received mental health treatment in the past.  Fifty-five percent report being frequently unemployed prior to incarceration.

(4)  Of those incarcerated for a property or drug felony, only 13 percent are receiving treatment.

(b)  The general assembly further finds that:

(1)  Each month approximately 70 inmates meet the criteria for reentering the community under the supervision of the commissioner of corrections on conditional reentry status.  However, almost half are not released because of insufficient housing options.

(2)  Studies show that the length of sentences served by offenders does not affect their recidivism rates.  Therefore, current law authorizes the commissioner of corrections to release certain offenders on reintegration furlough 90 days prior to the minimum sentence date.  However, on average, eligible inmates serve only 53 days in reintegration furlough status.  If all those who are eligible serve the full 90 days of reintegration status, the result could be a savings of up to 90 corrections beds.

(c)  Therefore, in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce the cost to the state of incarcerating offenders, it is the intent of the general assembly to increase substance abuse treatment services, vocational training, and transitional housing available to offenders; and establish processes for reducing incarceration time when appropriate.

(d)  It is further the intent of the general assembly that the provisions of this act are a long-range plan to guide expenditures from additional corrections savings in future years.

(e)  The general assembly recognizes and values the dedication and experience of the classified state employees of the department of corrections, whose skill and expertise will continue to be needed as the department continues to pursue its goals and mission.

(f)  [RESERVED; STATE EMPLOYEES]        

Sec. 2.  28 V.S.A. § 1(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The department shall formulate its programs and policies recognizing that almost all criminal offenders ultimately return to the community, and that the traditional institutional prisons fail to reform or rehabilitate, operating instead to increase the risk of continued criminal acts following release.  The department shall develop and implement a comprehensive program which will provide necessary closed custodial confinement of frequent, dangerous offenders, but which also will establish as its primary objective the disciplined preparation of offenders for their responsible roles in the open community.  The department shall ensure that the comprehensive program required by this subsection includes a process by which each offender sentenced to any term of imprisonment other than for life without parole, within 30 days after receiving his or her sentence, shall begin to develop and implement a plan preparing for return to the community.  The department shall assess each offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services and shall use the results of this assessment in preparing the reentry plan.  The department may assess an offender sentenced to a minimum term of more than five years later than 30 days after the offender receives the sentence but shall assess the offender at least within a year of the offender’s receiving the sentence.

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 102(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner is charged with the following powers:

* * *

(5)  To order the assignment and transfer of persons committed to the custody of the commissioner to correctional facilities, including out-of-state facilities.

* * *

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 202 is amended to read:

§ 202.  POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMISSIONER REGARDING PROBATION

The commissioner shall be charged with the following powers and responsibilities regarding the administration of probation:

(1)  To maintain general supervision of persons placed on probation, and to prescribe rules and regulations, consistent with any orders of the court, governing the conduct of such persons;

(2)  To supervise the administration of probation services and establish policies and standards and make rules and regulations regarding probation investigation, supervision, case work and case loads, record keeping, and the qualification of probation officers.  The commissioner may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on probation.  Transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment shall be used for such purposes as preventing persons whose licenses have been suspended for DUI from operating motor vehicles on Vermont highways.  

Sec. 5.  28 V.S.A. § 205 is amended to read:

§ 205.  PROBATION

(a)(1)  After passing sentence, a court may suspend all or part of the sentence and place the person so sentenced in the care and custody of the commissioner upon such conditions and for such time as it may prescribe in accordance with law or until further order of court.

(2)  The term of probation for misdemeanors shall be for a specific term not to exceed two years unless the court, in its sole discretion, specifically finds that the interests of justice require a longer or an indefinite period of probation.

(3)(A)  The term of probation for nonviolent felonies shall not exceed the statutory maximum term of imprisonment for the offense unless the court, in its sole discretion, specifically finds that the interests of justice require a longer or an indefinite period of probation.

(B)  As used in this subdivision, "nonviolent felonies" means an offense which is not:

(i)  a listed crime as defined in subdivision 5301(7) of Title 13; or

(ii)  an offense involving sexual exploitation of children in violation of chapter 6 of Title 13.

(4)  Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the court from terminating the period of probation and discharging a person pursuant to section 251 of this title.

(5)  The probation officer of a person on probation for a specific term shall review the person's case file during probation and, not less than 45 days prior to the expiration of the probation term, may file a petition with the court requesting the court to extend the period of probation for a specific term not to exceed one year in order to provide the person the opportunity to complete programming consistent with special conditions of probation.  A hearing on the petition for an extension of probation under this subsection shall comply with the procedures set forth in Rule 32.1 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  The victim of a listed crime as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7) for which the offender has been placed on probation shall have the right to request, and receive from the department of corrections information regarding the offender's general compliance with the specific conditions of probation. Nothing in this section shall require the department of corrections to disclose any confidential information revealed by the offender in connection with participation in a treatment program.

(c)(1)  Unless the court in its discretion finds that the interests of justice require additional standard and special conditions of probation, when the court orders a specific term of probation for a qualifying offense, the only conditions of probation shall be that the probationer:

(A)  register with the department of corrections’ probation and parole office in his or her district;

(B)  notify the probation officer of his or her current address each month; and

(C)  not have probable cause found for a criminal offense during the term of probation.

(2)  As used in this subsection, “qualifying offense” means:

(A)  Unlawful mischief under 13 V.S.A. § 3701.

(B)  Retail theft under 13 V.S.A. §§ 2575 and 2577.

(C)  Operating after suspension or revocation of license under 23 V.S.A. § 674(a).

(D)  Bad checks under 13 V.S.A. § 2022.

(E)  Theft of services under 13 V.S.A. § 2582.

(F)  Disorderly conduct under 13 V.S.A. § 1026, unless the original charge was a listed offense as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7).

(G)  Theft of rented property under 13 V.S.A. § 2591.

(H)  Operation without consent of owner under 23 V.S.A. § 1094(a).

(I)  Petit larceny under 13 V.S.A. § 2502.

(J)  Negligent operation of a motor vehicle under 23 V.S.A.

§ 1091(a).

(K)  False reports to law enforcement under 13 V.S.A. § 1754.

(L)  Setting fires under 13 V.S.A. § 508.

(M)  A first offense of a minor’s misrepresenting age, procuring, possessing, or consuming liquors under 7 V.S.A. § 657.

(N)  Simple assault by mutual consent under 13 V.S.A. § 1023(b).

(O)  Unlawful trespass under 13 V.S.A. § 3705(a).

(P)  A first offense of possession under 18 V.S.A. § 4230(a)(1).

Sec. 6.  28 V.S.A. § 252(b) is amended and (d) is added to read:

(b)  When imposing a sentence of probation, the court may, as a condition of probation, require that the offender:

* * *

(16)  Satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to his or her rehabilitation.  The court shall not impose a condition prohibiting the offender from engaging in any legal behavior unless the condition is reasonably related to the offender’s rehabilitation.

(d)  The commissioner shall review the record of each probationer serving a specified term during the month prior to the midpoint of that probationer’s specified term and may file a motion requesting the sentencing court to dismiss the probationer from probation or deduct a portion of the specified term from the period of probation if the offender has successfully completed a program or has attained a goal or goals specified by the conditions of probation.  The commissioner may include in the motion a request that the court deduct a portion of the specified term for each condition completed or goal attained. Any motion under this section shall be made at the sole discretion of the commissioner pursuant to a rule adopted by the commissioner under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

Sec. 7.  28 V.S.A. § 256 is added to read:

§ 256.  CASELOAD CAPACITY; HIGH RISK OFFENDERS

(a)  Probation officers designated to work exclusively with offenders 21 years of age and younger shall have caseloads of no more than 25 youths.

(b)  The department shall review the severity of offenses and assess the risk to reoffend of all offenders older than 21 years of age under its jurisdiction in the community and assign one of the following levels of supervision to each offender: 

(1)  Risk management supervision, which shall mean supervision at a level of intensity that includes case planning and measures to reduce risk of reoffense.

(2)  Response supervision, which shall mean monitoring of the offender’s compliance with conditions of probation or parole, including staff responding to violation behavior.

(3)  Administrative supervision, which shall mean monitoring of the offender’s address and compliance with the law. 

(c)  An offender may be reassigned to a lower supervision level after a reassessment of the offender’s risk.

(d)  The department shall establish the following probation officer caseload ranges for offender profiles:

(1)  All listed offenders requiring risk management shall be supervised at no more than 45 offenders per probation officer.

(2)  All nonlisted offenders requiring risk management shall be supervised at no more than 60 offenders per probation officer.

(3)  All offenders requiring response supervision shall be supervised at no more than 150 offenders per probation officer.

(4)  All offenders requiring administrative supervision may be supervised on caseloads consistent with the capacity of automated status reporting systems as established by the department.

(5)  When there is a mixed profile caseload in which a single probation officer supervises offenders with different supervision levels and at least

one-third of the offenders require a more intensive supervision demand than the other offenders, the caseload shall be supervised at the lowest level of offender-to-staff ratio. 

(e)  If the caseloads established in subsection (d) of this section are exceeded for longer than 120 days, the commissioner shall be authorized to designate community correctional officers to partially augment staffing caseloads.  If such designation does not remedy the excess caseloads:

(1)  The commissioner shall report to the joint corrections oversight committee the causes for the excess and proposals for addressing them.

(2)  The department shall have the authority, if the commissioner believes that the excess will not be eliminated within 60 days, to hire persons from the states position vacancy pool as limited service employees for an initial period of up to one year.  The initial period may be extended for up to two more years if the department deems it necessary.

(f)  Each time a position is established under subdivision (e)(2) of this section, the commissioner shall report it at the next meeting of the joint corrections oversight committee.  The costs for each position shall be presented in the department’s budget adjustment proposal and, if the positions are necessary for an ongoing period, in the department’s annual budget request.

Sec. 8.  28 V.S.A. § 403(1) is amended to read:

(1)  To supervise and control persons placed on parole, subject to the rules and orders of the parole board as to the conditions of parole.  The commissioner may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on parole.  Transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment shall be used for such purposes as preventing persons whose licenses have been suspended for DUI from operating motor vehicles on Vermont highways;

Sec. 9.  28 V.S.A. § 723(c) is added to read:

(c)  Prior to release under this section, the department shall screen and, if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 10.  28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  To prepare for reentry into the community.

* * *

(E)  An offender incarcerated for driving while under the influence of alcohol under 13 V.S.A. § 1210(d) or (e) may be furloughed to the community up to 180 days prior to completion of the minimum sentence at the commissioner’s discretion and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (C) of this subdivision (8), provided that an offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 270 days shall not be eligible for furlough under this subdivision until the offender has served at least 90 days of his or her minimum term of incarceration and provided that the commissioner uses electronic equipment to monitor continually the offender’s location and blood alcohol level.

(F)  Prior to release under this subdivision (8), the department shall screen, and if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 11.  28 V.S.A. § 808(b) is amended to read:

(b)  An inmate granted a furlough pursuant to this section may be accompanied by an employee of the department, in the discretion of the commissioner, during the period of the inmate's furlough.  The department may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on furlough.

Sec. 12.  33 V.S.A. § 708 is amended to read:

§ 708.  TREATMENT AND SERVICES

* * *

(d)  A person judged by a law enforcement officer to be incapacitated, and who has not been charged with a crime, may be lodged in protective custody in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections for up to 24 hours or until judged by the person in charge of the facility to be no longer incapacitated, if and only if:

(1)  The person refuses to be transported to an appropriate facility for treatment, or if once there, refuses treatment or leaves the facility before he or she is considered by the responsible staff of that facility to be no longer incapacitated; or

(2)  No approved substance abuse treatment program with detoxification capabilities and no staff physician or other medical professional at the nearest licensed general hospital can be found who will accept the person for treatment.

(e)  No person shall be lodged in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections under subsection (d) of this section without first being evaluated by a substance abuse crisis team, a designated substance abuse counselor, a clinical staff person of an approved substance abuse treatment program with detoxification capabilities or a professional medical staff person at a licensed general hospital emergency room and found to be indeed incapacitated.

(f)  No lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections shall refuse to admit an incapacitated person in protective custody whose admission is requested by a law enforcement officer, in compliance with the conditions of this section.

(g)  Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, a person under 18 years of age who is judged by a law enforcement officer to be incapacitated and who has not been charged with a crime shall not be held at a lockup or community correctional center. If needed treatment is not readily available the person shall be released to his or her parent or guardian.  If the person has no parent or guardian in the area, arrangements shall be made to house him or her according to the provisions of chapter 55 of this title.  The official in charge of an adult jail or lockup shall notify the director of the office of drug and alcohol abuse of any person under the age of 18 brought to an adult jail or lockup pursuant to this chapter.

(h)  If an incapacitated person in protective custody is lodged in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections, his or her family or next of kin shall be notified as promptly as possible.  If the person is an adult and requests that there be no notification, his or her request shall be respected.

(i)  A taking into protective custody under this section is not an arrest.

(j)  Law enforcement officers or persons responsible for supervision in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections or members of a substance abuse crisis team or designated substance abuse counselors who act under the authority of this section are acting in the course of their official duty and are not criminally or civilly liable therefor, unless for gross negligence or willful or wanton injury.

Sec. 13.  33 V.S.A. § 708a is added to read:

§ 708a.  INCARCERATION FOR INEBRIATION PROHIBITED

No person who has not been charged with a crime shall be incarcerated in a facility operated by the department of corrections on account of the person’s inebriation.

Sec. 14.  TRANSITION UNITS

(a)  The general assembly intends in this act to provide the opportunity for a successful transition to offenders who are eligible for release into the community.

(b)  The department of corrections shall establish a transition unit within the Northwest State Correctional Facility which enables inmates to work in the community while residing in the facility.  The unit shall be modeled on the transition unit at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

(c)  The department shall make every effort to incorporate a transition unit into any facility where renovations are necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

(d)  The department shall report to the corrections oversight committee on or before September 30, 2008, on the implementation of this section, including a plan for establishing transition units at all state correctional facilities.   

Sec. 15.  BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEARS 2009 AND 2010

(a)  Findings.  Department of corrections expenditures on correctional services including out-of-state beds grew from $93,255,650.00 in fiscal year 2004 to $120,533,309.00 in fiscal year 2008.  The amount of funding proposed for fiscal year 2009 is $123,589,833.00.  This rate of increase has been and remains unsustainable.

(b)  Action.  In order to reduce the unsustainable increases in the expenditures of the department of corrections, the following action shall be taken by the executive branch:

(1)  In fiscal year 2009, the Dale Correctional Facility in Waterbury shall be closed.

(2)  In fiscal year 2009, the mission of the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor shall change to be a therapeutic community in a work camp model, consistent with any further directive set forth in the 2007 Capital Construction Act, S.365.

(3)  In fiscal year 2009, sections of the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton shall be closed and the facility otherwise configured to house and program women consistent with any further directive set forth in the 2007 Capital Construction Act, S.365.

(c)  Goal; fiscal year 2009.  It is the goal of the general assembly to achieve in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009 approximately $600,000.00 in savings in the department of corrections budget, which will be reinvested in substance abuse screening, assessment, treatment, and reentry support, the goal of which is to reduce recidivism for the target group indentified in Sec. 1(a) of this act.

(d)  Goal; fiscal year 2010.  It is the goal of the general assembly to achieve in fiscal year 2010 approximately $3,044,949 in savings in the department of corrections budget, some of which will be reinvested in a variety of effective programs to further reduce recidivism for the target group indentified in

Sec. 1(a) of this act. 

Sec. 16b.  ANTICIPATED BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 2009 

(a)  In the last quarter of fiscal year 2009, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall reinvest $600,000.00 as follows:

(1)  the amount of $150,000.00 shall be used to fund substance abuse programs and vocational training in a state work camp facility;

(2)  the amount of $450,000.00 shall be transferred to the secretary of human services and used to fund the following activities:

(A)  $200,000.00 shall be used to expand the capacity of community alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment providers to provide services, including services to public inebriates; and

(B)  $250,000.00 shall be used to expand the availability of public inebriate beds outside the department of corrections.

(b)  The joint fiscal office shall track and report to the joint fiscal committee in January and July of 2009 savings in the corrections budget resulting from the provisions of this act.

Sec. 17.  ANTICIPATED BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 2010

In fiscal  year 2010, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall reinvest a portion of the savings identified by either the commissioner of corrections or the corrections oversight committee as follows:

(1)  $150,000.00 to increase the capacity of the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP), which provides services on an intensive out-patient basis;

(2)  $150,000.00 to expand the ISAP program to include a community based residential substance abuse treatment component for those who have been furloughed to the community pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(3)  $150,000.00 to enter into contracts with several community-based substance abuse treatment providers in different geographic regions of the state and to provide the substance abuse treatment services to persons on conditional reentry status pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28;

(4)  $650,000.00 to provide vocational training and residential substance abuse programs in one or more state-owned and -operated work camps;

(5)  $1,200,000.00 to provide grants to community providers to increase by 60 the number of beds available for at least 120 offenders who will be staying in the transitional housing for three to six months before reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry, pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28, provided that the new transitional housing shall include a range from lightly supervised with no treatment programs to heavily supervised with wrap-around treatment programs and provided that $200,000.00 of the amount shall be used to provide life skills services programming; and

(6)  $211,000.00 to purchase electronic monitoring equipment, including automated voice recognition telephone equipment, global position monitoring system bracelets, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment; the commissioner shall use the equipment to augment supervision of offenders on probation, parole, or furlough and to enhance the capacity of field staff to monitor and control offenders who would otherwise be incarcerated;  

(7)  $110,000.00 for recovery centers; and

(8)(A)  $200,000.00 shall be transferred to the secretary of human services to expand the capacity of community alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment providers to provide services, including services to public inebriates.

(B)   $200,000.00 shall be transferred to the secretary of human services to fund the establishment of a pilot program at a location approved by the court administrator to:

(i)  conduct a voluntary and confidential screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the time of arraignment of individuals charged with felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(ii)  conduct a mandatory screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs following adjudication and prior to sentencing of individuals found guilty of felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(iii)  provide the results of any screening and assessment conducted under this section to the judge following adjudication and prior to sentencing so that the judge can use the information to determine the level of treatment to be provided while the individual is in the custody of the commissioner of corrections; and

(iv)  enable the commissioner to gather data regarding the prevalence of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Sec. 18.  STATEWIDE DRUG COURT STUDY

The court administrator, the defender general, the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, the deputy commissioner of the department of health in charge of the alcohol and drug abuse, and the commissioner of mental health shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary by December 15, 2008, on the advisability and feasibility of expanding the drug court program to every county in the state.  The report shall address:

(1)  the financial costs of expanding the drug court program statewide;

(2)  the workforce impact which a statewide expansion of the program would have and whether new staff would be required;

(3)  whether current state facilities have the capacity to support statewide expansion and whether and where any new facilities would be required; and

(4)  any other matter deemed relevant to the issue of statewide drug court expansion.    

Sec. 19.  PUBLIC INEBRIATES TASK FORCE

(a)  A public inebriates task force is established.  The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1)  Two members employed by the office of alcohol and drug abuse appointed by the commissioner of the department of health.

(2)  Two substance abuse treatment providers appointed by the substance abuse treatment providers association.

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

(4)  One member appointed by the Vermont police association.

(5)  One member appointed by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

(6)  Two members appointed by the Vermont medical society who shall be hospital emergency room personnel.

(7)  Two members appointed by the Vermont recovery network.

(8)  Two employees of the department of corrections appointed by the commissioner of the department of corrections.

(b)  The task force shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary, institutions, and appropriations no later than January 1, 2009 with a plan to ensure that public inebriates are given appropriate care rather than incarcerated.  The plan shall ensure the regional availability of supportive voluntary and secured accommodations for public inebriates by January 1, 2010, and shall include a timetable for providing reimbursement of expenses to programs that house and maintain public inebriates.

Sec. 20.  ACCOUNTABILITY; REPORTS

(a)  On or before January 15, 2010, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on:

(1)  the prevalence of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders among those committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections;

(2)  the success of and problems encountered in:

(A)  expanding the ISAP program pursuant to Sec. 6(c)(1) of this act:

(B)  implementing the pilot program authorized and funded in Sec. 6(c)(3) of this act, as well as recommendations for continuing the program or expanding the program or both; and

(C)  developing reentry plans which identify services needed upon release and in working with community providers to ensure that each offender receives those services immediately upon release;

(3)  the progress made since passage of this act in establishing a comprehensive system of community substance abuse treatment services which is coordinated with corrections services;

(4)  the first 50 people who received administrative probation under subsection 2059(c) of Title 28, including tracking each such person for two years after the sentence is imposed and reporting whether the person committed further offenses and the nature of those offenses; and

(5)  a proposal to increase the furlough days for nonlisted offenders from the existing average of 53 to a target of 75. 

(b)  The department of corrections shall upon passage of this act manage  existing furlough procedures to create the same amount of financial savings that the department would have realized had this act made it mandatory to furlough offenders 90 days prior to completion of the offenders’ minimum sentence.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2011, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on the successes of and problems encountered in working to meet the following goals with the funds provided and through the programs established in this act:

(1)  increase by at least 30 the number of offenders with sentences of one or more years placed in the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(2)  move at least 10 offenders who are in the intensive phase of receiving ISAP services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7) and who are unsuccessful and would otherwise be reincarcerated to a community-based residential substance abuse treatment program which may be a component of ISAP;

(3)  incarcerate no more than 20 percent of offenders who are receiving substance abuse treatment services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); 

(4)  reduce by 10 percent the number of reincarcerations of those on conditional reentry with a high need for substance abuse treatment;

(5)  increase the number of inmates released on furlough, pursuant to 28  V.S.A. § 808, by 25 individuals per month; and

(6)  increase the average number of days released on reintegration furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) prior to the minimum sentence to as close to 90 days as possible. 

(d)  Until the corrections oversight committee informs the commissioner that it no longer requires the information, the commissioner of corrections shall include in monthly reports to the committee:

(1)  the number of inmates eligible for furlough under 28 V.S.A.

§ 808 and considered appropriate for release by the commissioner but who have not been released because the commissioner is unable to find appropriate housing, employment, treatment, or other services;

(2)  which treatment or other services would have been necessary and in which geographic region the services would have been needed, to enable release; and

(3)  the number of days of incarceration that could have been avoided if the community resources had been available and these offenders had been released.

(e)  On or before January 15, 2011, the court administrator's office, in consultation with the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs in the Vermont department of health, the department of corrections, the defender general, and the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on the costs, cost savings, and effectiveness of the pilot project established pursuant to Sec. 17(a)(8)(B) of this act and shall make a recommendation as to the continuation of the pilot project and its expansion to other counties.

(f)  The joint fiscal office and office of finance and management shall jointly document the impact of the policies and provisions of this act on corrections costs and shall report their findings to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2010, and in January of each year for five years thereafter.

Sec.21.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008, except for Secs. 12, 13, and 14, which shall take effect on July 1, 2010.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as recommended by the Committee on Judiciary, with the following amendments thereto:

First:  In Sec. 1, (Findings) by adding a new subsection (f) to read as follows:

(f)  The general assembly intends the following results from the restructuring necessary to achieve the cost savings required for this act:

(1)  The incumbents in the five classified positions that will be eliminated at Northwest State Correctional Facility shall continue to be employed at that facility in classified positions that are vacant, unless the incumbents voluntarily seek employment in other state positions or leave state service.

(2)  The temporary and exempt superintendent positions at the Dale facility shall be eliminated.

(3)  An incumbent in a classified position that will be eliminated at the Dale facility who does not accept any existing vacant classified position and who exercises the contractual right to fill an existing temporary position at any department facility shall receive his or her classified position base salary and the benefits of the bargaining unit to which that temporary position would be assigned if permanent, with the exceptions of scheduling days of work, shift assignment, and post assignment. The rights established by this subdivision shall be available until January 1, 2011, or until an affected employee accepts an existing classified position, whichever occurs first.

(4)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, all existing state employee contract provisions and protections shall remain fully in force for any affected corrections employee covered by the contract.

Second:  In Sec. 17, (Budgetary Savings) by striking out subdivision (5) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (5) to read as follows:

(5)(A)  $1,200,000.00 to provide grants to community providers to increase by 60 the number of beds available for at least 120 offenders who will be staying in the transitional housing for three to six months before reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry, pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28, provided that the new transitional housing shall include a range from lightly supervised with no treatment programs to heavily supervised with wrap-around treatment programs, and that $200,000.00 of this amount shall be used to provide life skills programming. 

(B)  To the extent that the purposes identified in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (5) can be accomplished without using all of the funds appropriated in that subdivision, the department may use up to $200,000.00 of the appropriation to expand housing readiness, search, and retention services, housing assistance funding which may be granted to housing authorities and other community agencies in response to requests for proposals or memorandums of understanding entered into in accordance with department policy and directives; and

Third:  In Sec. 20, (Reports) subsection (a), by striking out subdivision (4) in its entirety and renumbering the remaining subdivisions to be numerically correct.

Fourth:  In Sec. 20, (Reports) by adding a new subsection (g) to read:

(g) The Vermont center for justice research shall study and evaluate the effectiveness of the system of administrative probation established by subsection 2059(c) of Title 28, including whether the people who receive such probation commit further offenses, and the nature of those offenses.  The center shall report its evaluation of administrative probation to the senate and house committees on judiciary on or before December 15, 2011.

(Committee Vote: 7-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 29, 2008, page 468.)

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. 211

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.


S. 348

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

PENDING QUESTION:  Shall the recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Education be amended as recommended by the Committee on Appropriations?

S. 369

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

J.R.S. 24

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the resolution.

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. 39.

Senate concurrent resolution in memory of former Legislative Council operations' manager Dulcina Goulette-Sabourin.

S.C.R. 40.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Rutland High School Raiders girls' alpine skiing championship team.

S.C.R. 41. 

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Rutland High School Raiders boys’ and girls’ champion snowboarders.

H.C.R. 255

House concurrent resolution congratulating the South Royalton Woman’s Club on the 100th anniversary of its membership in the State Federation of Women’s Clubs.

H.C.R. 256

House concurrent resolution recognizing the role of registered nurses in the delivery of health care in Vermont.

H.C.R. 257

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Gaines Farm on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.

H.C.R. 258

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Brattleboro Reformer on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.

H.C.R. 259

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets championship gymnastics team.

H.C.R. 260

House concurrent resolution in memory of Violet Coffin of Stratford.

H.C.R. 261

House concurrent resolution in memory of the American military personnel who have died in the service of their nation in Iraq from December 20, 2007 through March 27, 2008.

H.C.R. 262

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Middlebury Inn on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.

H.C.R. 263

House concurrent resolution congratulating Chipman Point on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.

H.C.R. 264

House concurrent resolution congratulating The Palms Restaurant on its diamond anniversary.

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)

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

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

Thomas R. Tremblay of Essex Junction - Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety - By Sen. Shumlin for the Committee on Transportation.  (3/25)

Richard G. Grassi of White River Junction - Member of the Parole Board - By Sen. Campbell for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/4)

Heather Shouldice of East Calais - Member of the Capitol Complex Commission - By Sen. Coppenrath for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/4)

Susan Hayward of Middlesex - Member of the Capitol Complex Commission - By Sen. Scott for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/4)

Dean George of Middlebury - Member of the Parole Board - By Sen. Mazza for the Committee on Institutions.  (4/4)

REPORTS ON FILE

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

133.  Report on 2006 and 2007 Amendments to Title 2, Chapter 11, Lobbyist Registration.  (Office of the Secretary of State)  (March 2008).

134.  Transfer on Death Provisions for Motor Vehicles.  (Agency of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles).  (March 2008).



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Montpelier, Vermont


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