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Senate Calendar

Friday, april 11, 2008

95th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

CALLED UP

Committee Bill for Second Reading

S. 369     Recognition of tribes & bands of native Americans by the Vermont .........                   commission on native American affairs      1299

                        By the Committee on Ec. Dev., Housing & Gen. Affairs......... 1299

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 45       Relating to right to attend town meeting........................................... 1299

Resolution for Action

SR 26     People’s Republic of China’s human rights violations in Tibet........... 1299

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 775    Relating to low-profit limited liability companies............................... 1300

Second Reading

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 636    Relating to embezzlement by a public official.................................... 1300

                        Judiciary Committee Report................................................... 1300

H. 862    Amendments to the charter of the village of Waterbury.................... 1301

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1301

H. 883    Amendments to Vermont’s public retirement systems....................... 1302

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1302

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 764    Relating to expanded eligibility for Vermont veterans’ medal............ 1303

                        Government Operations Committee report............................. 1303


Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 641    Relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.................................... 1303

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report......... 1303

H. 865    Relating to Vermont milk commission.............................................. 1305

                        Agriculture Committee Report................................................ 1305

H. 884    Prekindergarten education programs through school districts............ 1310

                        Education Committee Report................................................. 1310

Constitutional Amendments

Prop. 1   General assembly, organizational session......................................... 1311

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1311

Prop. 5   Elections; voter’s oath; self-administration....................................... 1313

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1313

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides.............................. 1314


S. 102     School dist. excess spending........................................................... 1314

S. 108     Electing U.S. Representative & U.S. Senator by instant runoff......... 1314

S. 118     Fiscal review of high spending school districts.................................. 1314

S. 211     Soliciting or architect proposals by a school district.......................... 1315

S. 278     Relating to financing campaigns....................................................... 1315

S. 348     Education/workforce training for children between ages 16 &18...... 1315

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements..................... 1315

Concurrent Resolutions for Adoption

(For text of Resolutions, see Addendum to April 9, 2008 Calendar)

SCR 42    Recognizing VT Uniform Law Commissioner Carl Lisman............... 154

SCR 43    Bethany Church-United Church of Christ in Montpelier................... 155

SCR 44    Honoring Margaret Trautz for her exemplary career......................... 156

SCR 45    Elwin Cross Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.................. 158

HCR 265 Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters on its 75th anniversary............................. 159

HCR 266 Honoring Kermit & Margaret Richardson of Orange........................ 160

HCR 267 Basin Harbor Club Vt. Centennial Business Award.......................... 161

HCR 268 Windsor H.S. boys’ basketball championship team.......................... 163




 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

CALLED UP

Committee Bill for Second Reading

S. 369

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

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs (Sen. Illuzzi for the Committee).

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 45

An act relating to the right to attend town meeting.

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.  21 V.S.A. § 472b is added to read:

§ 472b.  TOWN MEETING LEAVE; EMPLOYEES; STUDENTS

(a)  Subject to the essential operation of a business or entity of state or local government, which shall prevail in any instance of conflict, an employee shall have the right to take unpaid leave from employment under this section or subsection 472(b) of this title for the purpose of attending his or her annual town meeting, provided the employee notifies the employer at least seven days prior to the date of the town meeting.  An employer shall not discharge or in any other manner retaliate against an employee for exercising the right provided by this section.

(b)  A student of voting age shall have the right to attend his or her annual town meeting, and the school shall not penalize or report the student as a truant for exercising the right provided by this section.

Resolution for Action

S.R. 26

Senate resolution relating to expressing strong opposition to, and urging effective and immediate congressional action to stop, the government of the People’s Republic of China’s human rights violations in the geographic area known as Tibet.

(For text of Resolution, see Senate Journal of April 9, 2008, page 583)

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 775

An act relating to low-profit limited liability companies.

Second Reading

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 636

An act relating to embezzlement by a public official.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Mullin 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.  13 V.S.A. § 2537 is amended to read:

§ 2537.  PERSON HOLDING PROPERTY IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY OR BELONGING TO THE STATE OR A MUNICIPALITY

A state, county, town, or municipal officer or other person who in his or her official capacity receives, collects, controls, or holds money, obligations, or securities belonging to a corporation, public or private, or to a private person, or other property, who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use any of such money, obligations or, securities, or other property, or a person who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use, money or other property belonging to the state or to a county or municipality as defined in 1 V.S.A. § 126, or a municipal corporation, or a special purpose district, shall be guilty of larceny and shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 7554 is amended to read:

§ 7554.  RELEASE PRIOR TO TRIAL

(a)  Any person charged with an offense, other than a person held without bail under section 7553 or 7553a of this title, shall at his or her appearance before a judicial officer be ordered released pending trial in accordance with this section.

* * *

(2)  If the judicial officer determines that conditions of release imposed to assure appearance will not reasonably protect the public, the judicial officer may in addition impose the least restrictive of the following conditions or the least restrictive combination of the following conditions which will reasonably assure protection of the public:

(A)  Place the person in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him or her.

(B)  Place restrictions on the travel, association, or place of abode of the person during the period of release.

(C)  Require the person to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program.  The judicial officer shall take into consideration the defendant’s ability to comply with an order of treatment and the availability of treatment resources.

(D)  Impose any other condition found reasonably necessary to protect the public, except that a physically restrictive condition may only be imposed in extraordinary circumstances.

(E)  If the person is a state, county, or municipal officer charged with violating section 2537 of this title, the court may suspend the officer’s duties in whole or in part, if the court finds that it is necessary to protect the public.

* * *

Sec. 3.  32 V.S.A. § 167(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In connection with any of his or her duties, the auditor of accounts may administer oaths and may subpoena any person to appear before him or her. Such persons shall testify under oath and be subject to the penalties of perjury, and may be examined concerning any matter relating to the statutory duties of the auditor provided by section 163 of this title.  Nothing in this subsection shall limit a person’s fifth amendment rights against self‑incrimination.

(Committee Vote: 4-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 13, 2008, page 525.)

H. 862

An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the village of Waterbury.

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 5 by striking out the words “upon passage” and inserting in lieu thereof the words January 1, 2009

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

H. 883

An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to Vermont’s public retirement systems.

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 in Sec. 3, 3 V.S.A. § 495, by striking out subsection (d) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d)  Upon becoming a member of the retirement system to which he or she has transferred, such person shall thereafter be eligible for such benefits or annuities as are provided by law in such retirement system, including the credits for previous service in the retirement system from which the person has transferred as provided in subsection (e) of this section.  The average final compensation used to calculate the benefit payable at retirement shall be determined by using the earnable compensation which affords the highest consecutive years of earnings under either the system from which or to which he or she transferred, provided, however, that if he or she retires on a retirement allowance in the system to which he or she transferred within five years after said transfer, the benefits or annuities payable with respect to the service credit in the system from which he or she transferred shall not be greater than those which would have been payable with respect to such service had he or she remained in said system.  Except for the determination of the average final compensation as set forth in this subsection, the benefits for a member who transferred from one retirement system to another shall be calculated as follows:

(1)  a member who transfers after July 1, 2007 and before June 30, 2008 shall have the option to have the service from the first system calculated according to the provisions of either the first or the second system at the time of retirement;

(2)  a member who transfers on or before June 30, 2007 or on or after July 1, 2008 shall have his or her benefits calculated according to the provisions of the system or systems under which the benefits were accrued;

(3)  when benefits calculated according to the provisions of two or more retirement systems are combined under this subsection, they may exceed the maximum percentage of average final compensation established for each plan.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 764

An act relating to expanded eligibility for Vermont veterans’ medal.

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

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 641

An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.

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

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

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 302 is amended to read:

§ 302.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

"Employer" as used in this subchapter shall mean and include an individual, a partnership, an association, a corporation, a legal representative, trustee, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, and any common carrier by rail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within the state.  means any individual, organization, or governmental body including any partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within this state, and any agent of such employer, which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state.

"Employee" shall mean and include every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, as defined in this section in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment.  means every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to perform services.

Sec. 2.  21 V.S.A. § 305 is added to read:

§ 305.  NURSING MOTHERS IN THE WORKPLACE

(a)  For an employee who is a nursing mother for up to three years after the birth of a child, the employer shall:

(1)  provide reasonable time, either compensated or uncompensated, throughout the day to express breast milk for her nursing child.  The decision to provide compensated time shall be in the sole discretion of the employer, unless modified by a collective bargaining agreement; and

(2)  make a reasonable accommodation to provide appropriate private space that is not a bathroom stall.

(b)  An employer may be exempted from the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if providing time or an appropriate private space for expressing breast milk would substantially disrupt the employer’s operations.

(c)  An employer shall not retaliate or discriminate against an employee who exercises the right provided under this section. 

(d)  In lieu of an enforcement action through the Vermont Judicial Bureau, the attorney general or a state’s attorney may enforce the provisions of this subchapter by bringing a civil action for temporary or permanent injunctive relief, economic damages, including prospective lost wages for a period not to exceed one year, investigative and court costs.  The attorney general or a state’s attorney may conduct an investigation of an alleged violation and enter into a settlement agreement with the employer.  Such investigation shall not be a prerequisite to bringing a court action.

Sec. 3.  21 V.S.A. § 303 is amended to read:

§ 303. PENALTY; JUDICIAL BUREAU

Any employer who violates the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for each and every violation.

Sec. 4.  4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

* * *

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

* * *

(14)  Violations of 21 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 1, relating to conditions for employment.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 12, 2008, page 518.)

H. 865

An act relating to Vermont milk commission.

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

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.  Sec. 6(c) of No. 50 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

(c)  The milk commission shall commence the rulemaking process necessary to implement the provisions of Sec. 4 of this act within 60 days of the effective date of this act.  The rule shall take effect when, by rule, legislation, or other agreement, New York and one other state in the Northeast Marketing Area, Federal Order 1, have accomplished the purpose of Sec. 4 of this act or on January 15 July 1, 2009, whichever comes first.

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 2922 is amended to read:

§ 2922.  VERMONT MILK COMMISSION; MEMBERSHIP

(a)  There shall be a Vermont milk commission, to consist of seven nine members, one member of which shall be the secretary of agriculture, food and markets.  The secretary shall be chair of the commission and serve without compensation.  A quorum shall be a majority of the commission.  The commission shall act only by an affirmative vote of at least six members.  The remaining commission members shall serve for terms of three years, except for the legislative members who shall serve for the term of their election, and be chosen as follows:

* * *

(5)  One member from the house committee on agriculture chosen by the speaker and one member from the senate committee on agriculture chosen by the president pro tempore of the senate.  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, these two legislative members shall be entitled to the same per diem compensation and reimbursement of necessary expenses as provided members of standing committees under 2 V.S.A. § 406.

(b)  All expenditures under this subchapter shall be paid from the receipts hereunder.

Sec. 3.  6 V.S.A. § 2923 is amended to read:

§ 2923.  ADMINISTRATIVE WORK

The Vermont agency of agriculture, food and markets shall perform the administrative work of the commission as directed by the commission.  The commission shall may reimburse the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the cost of services performed by the department agency.  The commission may enter into contracts with and employ technical experts and authorize and retain legal counsel, and other such officers, agents, and employees as are necessary to effect the purposes of this chapter, and may fix their qualifications, duties, and compensation.  The contract remuneration and employment compensation shall be paid from the Vermont milk commission fund and shall be subject to the limitations of section 2924 of this chapter.

Sec. 4.  6 V.S.A. § 2924 is amended to read:

§ 2924.  POWERS AND DUTIES; PRICING AUTHORITY; PUBLIC HEARINGS

(a)  Authority over milk prices.  The commission may establish an equitable minimum or maximum price, or both, and the manner of payments, which shall be paid producers or associations of producers by handlers, and the prices charged consumers and others for fluid milk used in dairy products by distributors or handlers.

(b)  Equitable minimum producer prices.  The commission may establish by rule order after notice and hearing an equitable minimum price to be paid to dairy producers for milk produced in Vermont on the basis of the use thereof in the various classes, grades, and forms.  Because of the need to react immediately to changing market conditions and prices, an equitable minimum price may be established by emergency rule.  Prices so established which exceed federal order prices shall be collected by the commission from the handlers for distribution to dairy producers as a blend price.  The cost of the contracts and employment pursuant to section 2923 of this title and of administering the collection and distribution of these moneys shall be covered by such moneys, not to exceed $50,000.00 $100,000.00.

* * *

(c)  Public hearings.  In order to be informed of the status of the state's dairy industry, the commission shall hold a public hearing:

(1)  At least annually.

(2)  Whenever the price paid to producers in Vermont, including the federal market order price and any over-order premiums, on average, has been reduced $0.50 or more for the previous month, except when such increase is attributable to normal seasonal changes in price by five percent or more over the last month or by 10 percent or more over the last three months.

(3)  Whenever the retail price, on average, has increased by more than $0.08 10 percent per gallon within a three-month period or $0.32 15 percent per gallon within a 12-month period.

(4)  Whenever the cost of production increases by 10 percent or more within a 12-month period.

(5)  Whenever a loss or substantial lessening of the supply of fluid dairy products of proper quality in a specified market has occurred or is likely to occur and that the public health is menaced, jeopardized, or likely to be impaired or deteriorated by the loss or substantial lessening of the supply of fluid dairy products of proper quality in a specified market.

* * *

(e)  Premiums on handlers and distributors for milk used in dairy products sold at retail in Vermont.  The commission may assess a premium on handlers and distributors for milk used in dairy products sold at retail in Vermont.  The premiums assessed and received shall be paid to the state treasury and deposited in the special fund established pursuant to section 2938 of this chapter.  The proceeds of the premium shall be distributed to dairy producers as a blend price.  Any applicable provision of subsections 2925(b)-(f) of this title shall apply to the assessment of such premiums.  In assessing these premiums, the commission shall also take into account any similar assessments made by other New England states.

Sec. 5.  6 V.S.A. § 2925 is amended to read:

§ 2925.  MINIMUM PRODUCER PRICE REGULATION

(a)  The commission may make, rescind, or amend a rule an order regulating minimum producer prices if the commission finds that the federal milk marketing order minimum price is adequate or inadequate as the case may be to ensure that the price paid to dairy producers will cover the costs of milk production and provide a reasonable economic return to dairy producers sufficient to ensure a stable milk production and distribution system in Vermont.  The commission may amend or rescind a rule without a public hearing when necessary to conform the price with an increase in the federal market order price.

(b)  Guidelines for setting prices.  In setting equitable minimum prices, the commission may investigate and ascertain what are reasonable costs and charges for producing, hauling, handling, processing and any other services performed in respect to fluid dairy products.  The board commission shall take into consideration the balance between production and consumption of milk dairy products, the costs of production and distribution, the purchasing power of the public and the price necessary to yield a reasonable return to the producer producers, handlers, and to the distributors.

* * *

(2)  Minimum retail prices should reflect the lowest price at which milk purchased from Vermont producers can be received, processed, packaged, and distributed by handlers and distributors at a just and reasonable return.

(3)  In establishing minimum producer and retail prices, the commission shall make applicable findings regarding the competitive position of Vermont producers and their costs, handler and distributor costs, and reasonable rates of return, and actual handler and distributor rates of return.

* * *

(e)  Purchases by or sales to authorized officials of any town or city charity or public welfare department or by charitable organizations approved by the city or town officials for charitable uses, and school lunch milk, shall be exempt from the price-fixing provisions of this chapter.

(f)  This chapter shall apply to milk produced outside the state subject to regulation by the state in the exercise of its constitutional police powers.  Any sale or purchase by distributors or handlers of such milk within this state at a price less than a regulated minimum price shall be unlawful.

(g)  This section shall not apply to a producer-handler with an annual production of one million pounds of milk or less.

Sec. 6.  6 V.S.A. § 2929 is amended to read:

§ 2929.  POWER TO MAKE ORDERS AND CONDUCT HEARINGS; REGULATIONS

(a)  In administering this section and sections 2675, 2725, 2726, 2921-2928, and 2931-2933 of this title chapter, the commission shall have the power to make orders hereunder, conduct hearings, subpoena, and examine under oath producers, handlers, and distributors, their books, records, documents, correspondence, and accounts, and any other person it deems necessary to carry out the purposes and intent of said sections this chapter.

(b)  Any order issued under this chapter shall only be made final after a public hearing and after publication of a proposed order for public review and comment for 30 days following the publication of the proposed order.

(c)  The commission may adopt, promulgate and enforce such reasonable rules, and regulations, and procedures as are deemed necessary to carry out the administration of the provisions of this section and sections 2675, 2725, 2726, 2921-2928 and 2931-2933 of this title chapter.

Sec. 7.  6 V.S.A. § 2931(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Within 20 days after any final order or decision has been made by the commission, any party to the action or proceeding before the commission, or any person directly affected thereby, may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined in the action or proceeding, or covered or included in the order, specifying in the motion for rehearing the ground therefor.  The commission may grant such rehearing if in its opinion good reason therefore is stated in such motion.

Sec. 8.  6 V.S.A. § 2932 is amended to read:

§ 2932.  DETERMINATION OF MOTION FOR REHEARING

Upon the filing of a motion for rehearing, the commission shall within ten days, either grant or deny the motion, or suspend the order or decision complained of pending further consideration, and any order of suspension may be upon terms and conditions prescribed by the commission.

Sec. 9.  6 V.S.A. § 2938 is added to read:

§ 2938.  FUND ESTABLISHED

The Vermont milk commission fund is established in the state treasury and shall be administered by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund.  Proceeds from this chapter shall be deposited into the fund.  The fund shall be used as necessary for the purposes of this chapter.  The treasurer shall distribute funds as directed by the commission.

Sec. 10.  6 V.S.A. § 2723a(a) is amended to read:

(a)  It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute fluid dairy products as a distributor, as defined in this chapter, without a license issued by the commissioner secretary.  The commissioner secretary shall license all distributors annually.  Application for the license shall be made to the commissioner secretary upon a form furnished by the commissioner secretary.  The application shall be accompanied by an annual license fee of $15.00 for one year or any part thereof.  The license period shall be from January 1 to December 31.

Sec. 11.  6 V.S.A. § 2981(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Each distributor handler shall pay the Vermont milk commission council each month two cents per hundredweight on all fluid milk sold for consumption within the state of Vermont.  Each distributor handler shall file a report and pay the distributor's handler’s hundredweight fee to the commission council on forms provided for that purpose, except that distributors handlers who sell less than 100 quarts of fluid milk per day may file reports and pay the prescribed hundredweight fees at the end of each three-month period.  In case the same fluid milk is handled by more than one distributor handler, the first distributor handler within the state dealing in or handling the fluid milk shall be the distributor handler within the meaning of this chapter.

Sec. 12.  REPEAL

6 V.S.A. §§ 2928, 2930, 2951, and 2987(b) are repealed.

Sec. 13.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

H. 884

An act relating to ensuring quality in prekindergarten education programs offered by or through school districts.

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

The Committee recommends that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, subsection (a) by striking out the words “any prekindergarten education program offered by a school district” and inserting in lieu thereof the words any prekindergarten education program operated by a school district or by a private provider on behalf of a school district

Second:  By adding a new section to be Sec. 3 to read:

Sec. 3.  Sec. 15 of No. 62 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 15.  EFFECTIVE DATES

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2007, except that the rules required by Sec. 3 of this act shall apply beginning in the 2008–2009 academic year.  A prekindergarten education program operated by a school district or by a private provider on behalf of a school district that was operating on or before
October 1, 2008 shall have one year from the effective date of the rules required by Sec. 3 of this act to achieve full compliance with provisions in the rules related to conducting child development assessments and governing the manner in which school districts and private providers establish and negotiate contract payments.

(Committee Vote:  5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

Proposed Amendment To The Constitution

PROPOSAL 1

(Second day on Notice Calendar pursuant to Rule 77)

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

Subject:  General assembly; organizational session.

The Committee recommends that the proposal be amended by striking out the proposal in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

PROPOSAL 1

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide for an organizational session of the Vermont General Assembly on the first Wednesday in December following each general election for the exclusive purposes of organization, swearing in of members, and selection of officers.

Sec. 2.  Section 7 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 7.  [ORGANIZATIONAL AND BIENNIAL SESSIONS]

On the first Wednesday in December following each general election, the General Assembly shall meet for one day for an organizational session for the exclusive purposes of organizing, swearing in members, and selecting officers.

The General Assembly shall meet biennially, for the commencement of a biennial session, on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, beginning in A.D. 1915.

Sec. 3.  Section 17 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 17.  [OATH OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The Representatives having met on the day appointed by law for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, and chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oath prescribed in the foregoing section oaths:

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help you God.  (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.  The words “office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress” shall be construed to mean any office created directly or indirectly by Congress, and for which emolument is provided from the Treasury of the United States, other than that of a member of the commissioned or enlisted personnel in the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States while not on extended active duty.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.  So help you God. (Or in the case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof.  So help you God. (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

Sec. 4.  Section 46 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 46.  [TERMS OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The term of office of Senators and Representatives shall be two years, commencing on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January in December following their election.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

Chapter II § 16 of the Vermont Constitution (oath for members of the House of Representatives) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITION

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.  The term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2010 shall terminate on the first Tuesday of December 2012, and the term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2012 shall convene on the first Wednesday in December 2012.

(Committee vote:  5-0-0)

Proposed Amendment to the Constitution

PROPOSAL 5

(First day on Notice Calendar pursuant to Rule 77)

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

Subject:  Elections; Voter’s oath; self-administration.

The Committee recommends that the proposal be amended by striking out the proposal in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

PROPOSAL 5

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide that a person who will attain the age of 18 by the date of the general election shall have the right to vote in the primary election.

Sec. 2.  Section 42 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 42.  [Voter’s qualifications and oath]

Every person of the full age of eighteen years who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the following oath or affirmation, shall be entitled to all the privileges of a voter of this state:

You solemnly swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.

Every person who will attain the full age of eighteen years by the date of the general election who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the oath or affirmation set forth in this section, shall be entitled to vote in the primary election.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70

An act relating to empowering municipalities to regulate the application of pesticides within their borders.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 102

An act relating to decreasing the percentage to determine a school district’s excess spending.

PENDING QUESTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 108

An act relating to the election of U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator by the instant runoff voting method.

PENDING QUESTION:  Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the refusal of the Governor to approve the bill?

S. 118

An act relating to fiscal review of high spending districts and special education.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 211

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

S. 278

An act relating to financing campaigns.

PENDING QUESTION:  Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the refusal of the Governor to approve the bill?

S. 348

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

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

J.R.S. 24

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the resolution.

CONSENT CALENDAR

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, Error! Bookmark not defined., 2006.

S.C.R. 42.

Senate concurrent resolution recognizing Vermont Uniform Law Commissioner Carl Lisman for his continuing assistance to the general assembly.

By Senators Doyle, Cummings and Scott,


S.C.R. 43.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Bethany Church-United Church of Christ of Montpelier on its bicentennial anniversary.

   By Senators Kitchel and Coppenrath,

     By Representative French of Randolph

S.C.R. 44.

Senate concurrent resolution honoring Margaret Trautz for her exemplary career contributions to the advancement of public policy in the areas of education, health and social welfare.

S.C.R. 45.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Elwin Cross on being named the 2008 Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

H.C.R. 265

House concurrent resolution congratulating Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters on the retailer’s 75th anniversary

H.C.R. 266

House concurrent resolution honoring Kermit and Margaret Richardson for their dedication as citizen public servants in the town of Orange

H.C.R. 267

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Basin Harbor Club on its receipt of a 2008 Vermont Centennial Business Award

H.C.R. 268

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Windsor High School Yellow Jackets Division II boys’ basketball championship team

CONFIRMATIONS

The following appointments will be considered by the Senate, as a group, under suspension of the Rules, as moved by the President pro tempore, for confirmation together and without debate, by consent thereby given by the Senate.  However, upon request of any senator, any appointment may be singled out and acted upon separately by the Senate, with consideration given to the report of the Committee to which the appointment was referred, and with full debate; and further, all appointments for the positions of Secretaries of Agencies, Commissioners of Departments, Judges, Magistrates, and members of the Public Service Board shall be fully and separately acted upon.

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).

136.  Management of Stormwater Impaired Waters Annual Report. (Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation).  (April 2008).



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