Friday, april 4, 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2O08
Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment
S. 350 Relating to energy independence and economic prosperity............... 1189
Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................. 1189
Finance Committee Report.................................................... 1210
Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1210
Sen. Lyons and Sen. MacDonald amendment......................... 1210
Committee Bill for Second Reading
S. 371 Creation of agency of education & elimination of board of ed........... 1213
By the Committee on Education............................................. 1213
Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1213
UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2008
H. 880 Vermont pension investment committee........................................... 1213
Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1213
Appropriations Committee Report......................................... 1213
Favorable with Proposal of Amendment
H. 859 Substance abuse treatment, voc. training, transitional housing for ............. offenders to reduce recidivism, increase public safety & costs....................................................... 1214
Judiciary Committee Report............................................................ 1214
Appropriations Committee Report.................................................. 1229
Favorable with Proposal of Amendment
H. 338 State purchasing of apparel, footwear or textiles.............................. 1231
Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1231
House Proposal of Amendment
S. 280 An act relating to prosthetic parity................................................... 1232
ORDERED TO LIE
S. 70 Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides.............................. 1233
S. 102 School dist. excess spending........................................................... 1233
S. 118 Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................. 1233
S. 211 Soliciting or architect proposals by a school district.......................... 1233
S. 348 Education/workforce training for children between ages 16 &18...... 1233
S. 369 Recognition of tribes & bands of native Americans by the Vermont ......... commission on native American affairs 1233
JRS 24 Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements..................... 1234
Concurrent Resolutions for Adoption
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
UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2008
Favorable with Recommendation of Amendment
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
(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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
* * *
Regulate or prescribe the grounds upon which the companies may disconnect or
refuse to reconnect service to customers;
(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
(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.
accelerated deployment of low-cost thermal and electrical energy
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.
order to provide the maximum long-term benefit to Vermont
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
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
revenue increases they are likely to receive as a result of changes in regional
(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;
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;
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:
“Appraisal value” shall mean
(A) with respect to property enrolled in a use value appraisal program, the use value appraisal as defined in subdivision 3752(12) of this title, multiplied by the common level of appraisal, and with respect to all other property, the estimated fair market value. The estimated fair market value of a property is the price which the property will bring in the market when offered for sale and purchased by another, taking into consideration all the elements of the availability of the property, its use both potential and prospective, any functional deficiencies, and all other elements such as age and condition which combine to give property a market value. Those elements shall include a consideration of a decrease in value in nonrental residential property due to a housing subsidy covenant as defined in section 610 of Title 27, or the effect of any state or local law or regulation affecting the use of land, including but not limited to chapter 151 of Title 10 or any land capability plan established in furtherance or implementation thereof, rules adopted by the state board of health and any local or regional zoning ordinances or development plans. In determining estimated fair market value, the sale price of the property in question is one element to consider, but is not solely determinative.
(B) For residential rental property that is subject to a housing subsidy covenant or other legal restriction, imposed by a governmental,
quasi-governmental, or public purpose entity, on rents that may be charged, fair market value shall be determined by an income approach using the following elements:
(A)(i) market rents with
utility allowance adjustments for the geographic area in which the property is
located as determined by the federal office of Housing and Urban Development or
in the case of properties authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 1437, 12 U.S.C. § 1701q,
42 U.S.C. § 1485, 12 U.S.C. § 1715z-1, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f, and 24 CFR Part 882
Subpart D and E, the higher of contract rents (meaning the amount of federal
rental assistance plus any tenant contribution) and HUD market rents; (B)(ii) actual expenses
incurred with respect to the property which shall be provided by the property
owner in a format acceptable to the commissioner and certified by an
independent third party, such as a certified public accounting firm or public
or quasi-public funding agency; (C)(iii) a vacancy rate that is
50 percent of the market vacancy rate as determined by the United States Census
Bureau with local review by the Vermont housing finance agency; and (D)(iv) a capitalization rate
that is typical for the geographic area determined and published annually prior
to April 1 by the division of property valuation and review after consultation
with the Vermont housing finance agency.
(C) “Appraisal value” shall not include the value of renewable energy and energy efficiency components in or on a building. “Value of renewable energy and energy efficiency components” means the original cost of, and installation charges for, any or all of the following:
(i) Replacement of existing windows with energy efficient windows.
(ii) Replacement of energy inefficient hot water heaters with energy efficient heaters.
(iii) Replacement or addition of insulation and curtains or shades with high insulating characteristics.
(iv) Sealing of basements for purposes of energy efficiency.
(v) Addition of storm windows and storm doors.
(vi) Placement of solar photovoltaic systems and solar water and space heating systems and any related equipment.
(vii) Erection of wind turbines and related equipment;
(ix) Installation of geothermal space and water heating systems;
(x) Installation of hydropower equipment;
(xi) Installation of fuel cells that rely on renewable fuels;
(xii) Replacement of inefficient energy heating systems with efficient systems.
Sec. 23. APPLICABILITY OF APPRAISAL SECTION
Sec. 22, amending 32 V.S.A. § 3481 (exclusion of energy efficiency components from tax appraisal value), shall apply to energy efficiency components incorporated into or added to any building and completed on or after April 1, 2009.
* * * Weatherization Program * * *
Sec. 24. 33 V.S.A. § 2502(b) is amended to read:
(b) In addition, the director shall supplement, or supplant, any federal program with a state home weatherization assistance program providing:
* * *
(3) funding for the installation of solar domestic hot water systems on eligible homes.
* * * Methane Digesters * * *
Sec. 25. REGIONAL DAIRY METHANE DIGESTERS
(a) The secretary of agriculture, food and markets, in conjunction with the commissioner of public service, shall seek federal funding to evaluate the potential for manure management centers at potential sites for regional dairy bio-digesters. In particular, the initiative shall examine the technical and economic feasibility of collecting dairy waste, transporting it, digesting it to produce energy, and returning digested manure to participating farms.
(b) The secretary of natural resources shall review and make appropriate regulatory revisions or recommend appropriate statutory amendments to its regulatory programs that may be preventing the use of wastes, such as food processing wastes, whey, and brewers’ waste, in farm-based methane digester systems.
(Committee vote: 4-1-0)
Reported favorably with recommendation of amendment by Senator MacDonald for the Committee on Finance.
The Committee recommends that the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, with the following amendments thereto:
First: By striking out Sec.16 [amending 30 V.S.A. § 209(d) relating to line extensions] in its entirety.
Second: By striking out Sec. 17 [adding 30 V.S.A. § 218(e) relating to returns on equity] in its entirety.
Third: In Sec. 20 subsection (a), in the first sentence, by striking out the word: “nine” and inserting the word eight and in the second sentence, by striking out the words “the state treasurer together with”
Fourth: By striking out Sec. 21 [adding 32 V.S.A. § 433(d) relating to the state treasurer] in its entirety.
Fifth: By striking out Sec. 22 [amending 32 V.S.A. § 3481 relating to appraised value] and Sec. 23 [applicability of previous section] in their entirety.
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.
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
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)
UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2008
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)
Favorable with Proposal of Amendment
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.
(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
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.
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
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.)
An act relating to state purchasing of apparel, footwear or textiles.
Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Coppenrath for the Committee on Government Operations.
The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:
First: In Sec. 1, subdivision (b)(2), by striking out the words “certify that they and, to the best of their knowledge,” and inserting in lieu thereof the words provide certification that
Second: In Sec. 3, 29 V.S.A. § 922(a), in the first sentence, by striking out the words “certify that, to the best of the bidder’s knowledge, each” and inserting in lieu thereof the words provide certification from each supplier that the
Third: By adding a new Sec. 4 to read as follows:
Sec. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect upon passage.
(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)
(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 13, 2008, page 514.)
House Proposal of Amendment
An act relating to prosthetic parity.
The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1. 8 V.S.A. § 4088f is added to read:
§ 4088f. PROSTHETIC PARITY
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Health insurance plan” means any health insurance policy or health benefit plan offered by a health insurer, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9402, as well as Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, and any other public health care assistance program offered or administered by the state or by any subdivision or instrumentality of the state. The term shall not include policies or plans providing coverage for specific disease or other limited benefit coverage.
(2) “Prosthetic device” means an artificial limb device to replace, in whole or in part, an arm or a leg.
(b) A health insurance plan shall provide coverage for prosthetic devices in all health plans at least equivalent to that provided by the federal Medicare program. Coverage may be limited to the prosthetic device that is the most appropriate model that is medically necessary to meet the patient’s medical needs. Any dispute between the insured and the carrier concerning coverage and the application of this section shall be subject to independent external review under section 4089f of this title.
(c) A health insurance plan may require prior authorization for prosthetic devices in the same manner and to the same extent as prior authorization is required for any other covered benefit.
(d) A health insurance plan shall provide coverage under this section for the medically necessary repair or replacement of a prosthetic device.
(e) A health insurance plan shall not impose any annual or lifetime dollar maximum on coverage for prosthetics that is less than the annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies generally to all terms and services covered under the plan.
(f) The coverage required may not be subject to a deductible, co-payment, or coinsurance provision that is less favorable to a covered individual than the deductible, co-payment, or coinsurance provisions that apply generally to other non-primary care items and services under the health plan.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on October 1, 2008 and shall apply to all health benefit plans on and after October 1, 2008 on such date as a health insurer offers, issues, or renews the health benefit plan, but in no event later than October 1, 2009.
ORDERED TO LIE
An act relating to empowering municipalities to regulate the application of pesticides within their borders.
PENDING ACTION: Second reading of the bill.
An act relating to decreasing the percentage to determine a school district’s excess spending.
PENDING QUESTION: Second reading of the bill.
An act relating to fiscal review of high spending districts and special education.
PENDING ACTION: Second reading of the bill.
An act relating to soliciting or architect proposals by a school district.
PENDING ACTION: Second reading of the bill.
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?
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.
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 for Adoption Under Joint Rule 16a
The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or Representative requests floor consideration before today’s adjournment. Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively. For text of resolutions, see Addendum to Senate Calendar of Thursday, April 3, 2008.
Senate concurrent resolution in memory of former Legislative Council operations' manager Dulcina Goulette-Sabourin.
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Rutland High School Raiders girls' alpine skiing championship team.
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Rutland High School Raiders boys’ and girls’ champion snowboarders.
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.
House concurrent resolution recognizing the role of registered nurses in the delivery of health care in Vermont.
House concurrent resolution congratulating the Gaines Farm on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.
House concurrent resolution congratulating the Brattleboro Reformer on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.
House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets championship gymnastics team.
House concurrent resolution in memory of Violet Coffin of Stratford.
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.
House concurrent resolution congratulating the Middlebury Inn on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.
House concurrent resolution congratulating Chipman Point on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award.
House concurrent resolution congratulating The Palms Restaurant on its diamond anniversary.
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).
135. Vermont’s Reach Up Program Annual Report. (Agency of Human Services, Department of Children and Families). (April 2008).
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