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Senate Calendar

monday, april 21, 2008

105th DAY OF BIENNIAL SESSION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2008

S. 278     Relating to financing campaigns (VETOED)..................................... 1714

                              Pending Question:  Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the refusal of the Governor to approve the bill?

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2008

Second Reading

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 203    Relating to when a deceased spouse dies without a will.................... 1714

                        Judiciary Committee Report................................................... 1714

H. 290    Relating to underground utility damage prevention system................. 1723

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report......... 1723

H. 306    Relating to telemarketing................................................................. 1726

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report......... 1726

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment........................................................... 1726

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment........................................................... 1726

H. 330    Repeal of the law relating to municipal trailer park ordinances.......... 1729

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................. 1729

H. 515    Collection and disposal of mercury added thermostats..................... 1730

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................. 1730

H. 711    Agricultural, forestry, and horticultural education.............................. 1737

                        Education Committee Report................................................. 1737

H. 806    Relating to public water systems...................................................... 1738

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................. 1738

House Proposals of Amendment

S. 232     Relating to mobile polling stations.................................................... 1739

S. 240     Law enforcement exemption to social security breach notice act....... 1740

                        Sen. Sears amendment........................................................... 1740

S. 290     Relating to agricultural water quality................................................. 1741

S. 291     Farm agronomic practices program at Agency of Agriculture, Food, .......                   and Markets     1742

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 11      Relating to the commissioner of health............................................. 1743

H. 94      Retail sales and taxing of specialty beers.......................................... 1743

H. 700    Sale of bottles of wine at festivals.................................................... 1743

                        Sen. Illuzzi amendment........................................................... 1743

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 432    Establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day................................ 1746

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report......... 1746

H. 588    Relating to property loaned to museums.......................................... 1746

                        Ec. Dev., Housing and General Affairs Committee Report...... 1746

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 436    Misc. amend. to local election & municipal government laws............ 1746

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1746

                        Finance Committee Report.................................................... 1760

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 170    Retirees of the University of Vermont.............................................. 1760

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1760

H. 267    Relating to industrial  hemp.............................................................. 1760

                        Agriculture Committee Report................................................ 1760

H. 574    Container manufacturers to pay an additional one-half cent.............. 1760

                        Natural Resources and Energy Committee Report.................. 1760

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 402    Benefits by group F members of Vt. State Retirement system........... 1761

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1761

H. 617    Relating to guardianships................................................................. 1762

                        Judiciary Committee Report................................................... 1762

H. 777    Certificate of need program............................................................. 1764

                        Health and Welfare Committee Report................................... 1764

H. 867    Health insurance coverage plan for athletic trainer services............... 1770

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1770

H. 870    Regulation of professions and occupations....................................... 1772

                        Government Operations Committee Report............................ 1772

H. 885    Consistent measurement standards for economic growth.................. 1775

                        Ec. Dev., Housing & General Affairs Committee Report......... 1775


H. 890    Compensation for certain state employees....................................... 1784

               Government Operations Committee Report..................................... 1784

House Proposals of Amendment

S. 233     Temporary officiants for marriages and civil unions........................... 1795

S. 241     Special veteran and gold star registration plates............................... 1796

S. 342     Lake Champlain commemorative motor vehicle plates..................... 1796

S. 365     Capital construction and state bonding............................................. 1797

House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 641    An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.......................... 1825

ORDERED TO LIE

S. 70       Empowering municipalities to regulate pesticides.............................. 1826


S. 108     Electing U.S. Representative & U.S. Senator by instant runoff......... 1826

H. 331    Financing the purchase of a mobile home......................................... 1826

H. 332    Sale and closure of mobile home parks............................................ 1826

JRS 24   Congressional “fast track” review of trade agreements..................... 1829



 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2008

S. 278

An act relating to financing campaigns.

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

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2008

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 203

An act relating to increasing the amount of an estate to which a surviving spouse is entitled when the deceased spouse dies without a will.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Campbell 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.  REPEAL

Chapters 41, 43 and 45 of Title 14 are repealed.

Sec. 2.  14 V.S.A. chapter 42 is added to Part 2 to read:

Chapter 42.  Descent and Survivors’ Rights

Subchapter 1.  General Provisions

§ 301.  Intestate Estate

(a)  Any part of a decedent’s estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent’s heirs, except as modified by the decedent’s will.

(b)  A decedent’s will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or a class to inherit property.  If such an individual or member of such a class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent’s intestate estate which would have passed to that individual or member of such a class passes subject to any such limitation or exclusion set forth in the will.

(c)  Nothing in this section shall preclude the surviving spouse of the decedent from making the election and receiving the benefits provided by section 319 of this title.

§ 302.  Dower and Curtesy Abolished

The estates of dower and curtesy are abolished.

§ 303.  Afterborn Heirs

For purposes of this chapter and chapter 1 of this title relating to wills, an individual in gestation at a particular time is treated as living at that time if the individual lives 120 hours or more after birth.

Subchapter 2.  Survivors’ Rights and Allowances

§ 311.  Share of Surviving Spouse

After payment of the debts, funeral charges, and expenses of administration, the intestate share of the decedent’s surviving spouse is as follows.

(1)  The entire intestate estate if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent or if all of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse.

(2)  In the event there shall survive the decedent one or more descendants of the decedent, who are not descendants of the surviving spouse and are not excluded by decedent’s will from inheriting from the decedent, the surviving spouse shall receive one-half of the intestate estate.

§ 312.  Surviving Spouse to Receive Household Goods

Upon motion, the surviving spouse of a decedent may receive out of the decedent’s estate all furnishings and furniture in the decedent’s household when the decedent leaves no descendants who object.  If any objection is made by any of the descendants, the court shall decide what, if any, of such personally shall pass under this section.  Goods and effects so assigned shall be in addition to the distributive share of the estate to which the surviving spouse is entitled under other provisions of law.  In making a determination pursuant to this section, the court may consider the length of the decedent’s marriage, the sentimental and monetary value of the property, and the source of the decedent’s interest in the property.

§ 313.  Surviving spouse; vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle

Whenever the estate of a decedent who dies intestate consists principally of a vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, and title to the vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle shall automatically pass to the surviving spouse.

§ 314.  Share of Heirs other than Surviving Spouse

(a)  The balance of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent’s surviving spouse under section 311 of this title passes to the decedent’s descendants by right of representation. 

(b)  If there is no taker under subsection (a) of this section, the intestate estate passes in the following order: 

(1)  to the decedent’s parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent;

(2)  to the decedent’s siblings or the descendants of any deceased siblings by right of representation;

(3)  one-half of the intestate estate to the decedent’s paternal grandparents equally if they both survive or to the surviving paternal grandparent and one-half of the intestate estate to the decedent’s maternal grandparents equally if they both survive or to the surviving maternal grandparent and if decedent is survived by a grandparent, or grandparents on only one side, to that grandparent or those grandparents;

(4)  in equal shares to the next of kin in equal degree.

(c)  If property passes under this section by right of representation, the property shall be divided into as many equal shares as there are children or siblings of the decedent, as the case may be, who either survive the decedent or who predecease the decedent leaving surviving descendants.

§ 315.  Parent and Child Relationship

For the purpose of intestate succession, an individual is the child of his or her parents, regardless of their marital status, but a parent shall not inherit from a child unless the parent has openly acknowledged the child and not refused to support the child.  The parent and child relationship may be established in parentage proceedings under subchapter 3A of chapter 5 of Title 15.

§ 316.  Support of Surviving Spouse and Family During Settlement

The probate court may make reasonable allowance for the expenses of maintenance of the surviving spouse and minor children or either, constituting the family of a decedent, out of the personal estate or the income of real or personal estate from date of death until settlement of the estate, but for no longer a period than until their shares in the estate are assigned to them or, in case of an insolvent estate, for not more than eight months after administration is granted.  This allowance may take priority, in the discretion of the court, over debts of the estate.

§ 317.  Allowance to Children before Payment of Debts

When a person dies leaving children under 18 years of age, an allowance may be made for the necessary maintenance of such children until they become 18 years of age.  Such allowance shall be made before any distribution of the estate among creditors, heirs, or beneficiaries by will.

§ 318.  Allowance to Children After Payment of Debts

Before any partition or division of an estate among the heirs or beneficiaries by will, an allowance may be made for the necessary expenses of the support of the children of the decedent under 18 years of age until they arrive at that age.  The probate court may order the executor or administrator to retain sufficient estate assets for that purpose, except where some provision is made by will for their support.

§ 319.  Waiver of Will by Surviving Spouse

(a)  A surviving spouse may waive the provisions of the decedent’s will and instead elect to take one-half of the balance of the estate, after the payment of claims and expenses.

(b)  The surviving spouse must be living at the time this election is made.  If the surviving spouse is mentally disabled and cannot make the election personally, a guardian or attorney in fact under a valid durable power of attorney may do so.

(c)  The rights of election of the surviving spouse in subsection 319(a) of this chapter may be waived in whole or in part before marriage by a written contract or waiver signed by the surviving spouse that is witnessed and acknowledged.  Such an agreement is not enforceable if the surviving spouse proves any of the following:

(1)  the surviving spouse did not execute the written contract or waiver voluntarily;

(2)  the written contract or waiver was unfair when it was made;

(3)  one spouse did not have separate legal representation at the time the written contract or waiver was executed;

(4)  the surviving spouse was not provided with a full and fair financial disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the decedent; or

(5)  inadequate consideration was paid.

§ 320.  Effect of Divorce Order

A final divorce order from any state shall have the effect of nullifying a gift by will or inheritance by operation of law to an individual who was the decedent’s spouse at the time the will was executed if the decedent was no longer married to that individual at the time of death, unless his or her will specifically states to the contrary.

§ 321.  Conveyances to Defeat Spouse’s Interest

Except as provided in subsection 319(c) of this title, a voluntary transfer of any property by an individual during marriage, made without adequate consideration and for the primary purpose of defeating a surviving spouse in a claim to a share of the decedent’s property so transferred, shall be void and inoperative to bar the claim.  The decedent shall be deemed at the time of his or her death to be the owner and seised of an interest in such property sufficient for the purpose of assigning and setting out the surviving spouse’s share.

§ 322.  Unlawful Killing Affecting InheritancE

Notwithstanding sections 311 through 314 of this title or provisions otherwise made, in any case where an individual is entitled to inherit or receive property under the last will of a decedent, or otherwise, such individual’s share in the decedent’s estate shall be forfeited and shall pass to the remaining heirs or beneficiaries of the decedent if such person intentionally and unlawfully kills the decedent.  In any proceedings to contest the right of an individual to inherit or receive property under a will, the record of such person’s conviction of intentionally and unlawfully killing the decedent shall be admissible evidence that such person did intentionally kill the decedent.

Subchapter 3.  Descent, Omitted Issue and Lapsed Legacies

§ 331.  Degrees; How Computed:  Kindred of Half-Blood

Kindred of the half-blood shall inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.

§ 332.  Share of After-Born Child

When a child of a testator is born after the making of a will and provision is not therein made for that child, he or she shall have the same share in the estate of the testator as if the testator had died intestate unless it is apparent from the will that it was the intention of the testator that provision should not be made for the child.

§ 333.  Share of Child or Descendant of Child Omitted from Will

When a testator omits to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children, or for the descendants of a deceased child, and it appears that the omission was made by mistake or accident, the child or descendants, as the case may be, shall have and be assigned the same share of the estate of the testator as if the testator had died intestate.

§ 334.  After-born AND OMITTED Child; From What Part of Estate Share Taken

When a share of a testator's estate is assigned to a child born after the making of a will, or to a child or the descendant of a child omitted in the will, the share shall be taken first from the estate not disposed of by the will, if there is any.  If that is not sufficient, so much as is necessary shall be taken from the devisees or legatees in proportion to the value of the estate they respectively receive under the will.  If the obvious intention of the testator, as to some specific devise, legacy, or other provision in the will, would thereby be defeated, the specific devise, legacy, or provision may be exempted from such apportionment and a different apportionment adopted in the discretion of the court.

§ 335.  Beneficiary Dying before Testator: Descendants to Take

When a testamentary gift is made to a child or other kindred of the testator, and the designated beneficiary dies before the testator, leaving one or more descendants who survive the testator, such descendants shall take the gift that the designated beneficiary would have taken if he or she had survived the testator, unless a different disposition is required by the will.

§ 336.  Individual Absent and Unheard of; Share of Estate

If an individual entitled to a distributive share of the estate of a decedent is absent and unheard of for six years, two of which are after the death of the decedent, the probate court in which the decedent’s estate is pending may order the share of the absent individual distributed in accordance with the terms of the decedent’s will or the laws of intestacy as if such absent individual had not survived the decedent.  If the absent individual proves to be alive, he or she shall be entitled to the share of the estate notwithstanding prior distribution, and may recover in an action on this statute any portion thereof which any other individual received under order.  Before an order is made for the payment of distribution of any money or estate as authorized in this section, notice shall be given as provided by the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure.

§ 337.  Requirement that Individual Survive Decedent for 120 hours

Except as provided in the decedent’s will, an individual who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property, intestate succession, and taking under decedent’s will, and the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries shall be determined accordingly.  If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual who would otherwise be an heir or beneficiary survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period.  This section is not to be applied if its application would result in escheat.

§ 338.  DISTRIBUTION; ORDER IN WHICH ASSETS APPROPRIATED; ABATEMENT

(a)(1)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, shares of distributes given under a will abate, without any preference or priority as between real and personal property, in the following order:

(A)  property not disposed of by the will;

(B)  residuary devises and bequests;

(C)  general devises and bequests;

(D)  specific devises and bequests.

(2)  For purpose of abatement, a general devise or bequest charged on any specific property or fund is a specific devise or bequest to the extent of the value of the property on which it is charged, and upon the failure or insufficiency of the property on which it is charged, a general devise or bequest to the extent of the failure or insufficiency.  Abatement within each classification is in proportion to the amounts of property each of the beneficiaries would have received if full distribution of the property had been made in accordance with the terms of the will.

(b)  If the will expresses an order of abatement or if the testamentary plan or the express or implied purpose of a devise or bequest would be defeated by the order of abatement listed in subsection (a) of this section, the shares of the distributees shall abate as may be necessary to give effect to the intention of the testator.

(c)  If the subject of a preferred devise or bequest is sold or used incident to administration, abatement shall be achieved by appropriate adjustments in, or contribution from, other interests in the remaining assets.

§ 339.  REFERRAL TO STATE’S ATTORNEY

A probate judge who finds there is good cause to believe that an individual has misapplied fiduciary property in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 2540 shall make a report to the state’s attorney.

Sec. 3.  13 V.S.A. § 2540 is added to read:

§ 2540.  MISAPPLICATION OF FIDUCIARY PROPERTY

(a)  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “fiduciary” includes:

(A)  a trustee, a guardian, an administrator, an executor, a conservator, and a receiver;

(B)  an attorney in fact or an agent appointed under a durable power of attorney as provided by section 3508 of Title 14; and

(C)  any other person acting in a fiduciary capacity, but not a commercial bailee.

(2)  “Misapply” means deal with property contrary to:

(A)  an agreement under which the fiduciary holds the property; or

(B)  a law prescribing the custody or disposition of the property.

(b)  A person commits an offense if he or she intentionally or recklessly misapplies property he or she holds as a fiduciary in a manner that involves substantial risk of loss to the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property is held.

(c)  A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00 or both if the value of the property misapplied does not exceed $900.00 in value.

(d)  A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $5,000.00 or both if the value of the property misapplied exceeds $900.00 in value.

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 2578 is amended to read:

§ 2578.  RESTITUTION

(a)  A sentencing court may order reasonable restitution where:

(1)  merchandise stolen is not recovered or is recovered in damaged condition.  Damages shall be calculated based on retail value; or

(2)  fiduciary property has been misapplied pursuant to section 2540 of this title.  Damages shall be based on the value of the property misapplied.

(b)  Restitution may be ordered in addition to any other penalties imposed.

(c)  Restitution shall be supervised by the department of corrections.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 2023 is amended to read:

§ 2023.  TRANSFER OF INTEREST IN VEHICLE

(a)  If an owner transfers his or her interest in a vehicle, other than by the creation of a security interest, he or she shall, at the time of delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided therefor on the certificate or as the commissioner prescribes, and of the odometer reading or hubometer reading or clock meter reading of the vehicle at the time of delivery in the space provided therefor on the certificate, and cause the certificate and assignment to be mailed or delivered to the transferee or to the commissioner.  Where title to a vehicle is in the name of more than one person, the nature of the ownership must be indicated by one of the following on the certificate of title:

(1)  TEN ENT (tenants by the entirety);

(2)  JTEN (joint tenants);

(3)  TEN COM (tenants in common); or

(4)  PTNRS (partners); or

(5)  TOD (transfer on death).

(b)  Upon request of the owner or transferee, a lienholder in possession of the certificate of title shall, unless the transfer was a breach of his or her security agreement, either deliver the certificate to the transferee for delivery to the commissioner or, upon receipt from the transferee of the owner's assignment, the transferee's application for a new certificate and the required fee, mail or deliver them to the commissioner.  The delivery of the certificate does not affect the rights of the lienholder under his security agreement.

(c)  If a security interest is reserved or created at the time of the transfer, the certificate of title shall be retained by or delivered to the person who becomes the lienholder, and the parties shall comply with the provisions of section 2043 of this title.

(d)  Except as provided in section 2024 of this title and as between the parties, a transfer by an owner is not effective until the provisions of this section and section 2026 of this title have been complied with; however, an owner who has delivered possession of the vehicle to the transferee and has complied with the provisions of this section and section 2026 of this title requiring action by him or her is not liable as owner for any damages thereafter resulting from operation of the vehicle.

(e)  Notwithstanding other provisions of the law, whenever the estate of an individual who dies intestate consists principally of an automobile, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the motor vehicle and title to the same shall automatically and by virtue hereof pass to said surviving spouse.  Registration of the vehicle in the name of the surviving spouse shall be effected by payment of a transfer fee of $7.00.  This transaction is exempt from the provisions of the purchase and use tax on motor vehicles.

(1)  Notwithstanding other provisions of the law, and except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, whenever the estate of an individual consists in whole or in part of a motor vehicle, and the person's will or other testamentary document does not specifically address disposition of motor vehicles, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the motor vehicle and title to the motor vehicle shall automatically pass to the surviving spouse. Registration and title of the motor vehicle in the name of the surviving spouse shall be effected by payment of a transfer fee of $7.00.  This transaction is exempt from the provisions of the purchase and use tax on motor vehicles.

(2)  This subsection shall apply to no more than two motor vehicles, and shall not apply if the motor vehicle is titled in the name of one or more persons other than the decedent and the surviving spouse.

(f)  Where the title identifies a person who will become the owner upon the death of the principal owner (transfer on death), the principal owner shall have all rights of ownership and rights of transfer until his or her death.  The designated transferee shall have no rights of ownership until such time as the principal owner has died as established by a valid death certificate.  At that time, the transferee shall become the owner of the vehicle subject to any existing security interests.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 2 of this act shall only apply to the estates of persons dying after September 1, 2008.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 18, 2008, page 600.)

H. 290

An act relating to underground utility damage prevention system.

Reported favorably with recommendation of proposal of amendment by Senator Illuzzi 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.  30 V.S.A. § 7001(4) is amended and (11), (12), (13), and (14) are added to read:

(4)  "Excavation activities" means activities involving the removal of earth, rock or other materials in the ground, disturbing the subsurface of the earth, or the demolition of any structure, by the discharge of explosives or the use of powered or mechanized equipment, including but not limited to digging, trenching, blasting, boring, drilling, hammering, post driving, wrecking, razing, or tunneling, within 100 feet of an underground utility facility.  Excavation activities shall not include the tilling of the soil for agricultural purposes, routine gardening outside easement areas and public rights-of-way, activities relating to routine public highway maintenance, or the use of hand tools by a company, or the company’s agent or a contractor working under the agent’s direction, to locate or service the company’s facilities, provided the company has a written damage prevention program.

(11)  “Powered or mechanized equipment” means equipment that is powered or energized by any motor, engine, or hydraulic or pneumatic device and that is used for excavation or demolition work.

(12)  “Hand tools” means tools powered solely by human energy.

(13)  “Verified” means the location and depth has been physically determined.

(14)  “Damage prevention program” means a program established to ensure employees involved in excavation activities are aware of and utilize appropriate and safe excavating practices.

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 7004(e) is added to read:

(e)  Notice of excavation activities shall be valid for an excavation site until one of the following occurs:

(1)  The excavation is not completed within 30 days of the notification;

(2)  The markings become faded, illegible, or destroyed; or

(3)  The company installs new underground facilities in a marked area still under excavation.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 7006b is amended to read:

§ 7006b.  EXCAVATION AREA PRECAUTIONS

Any person engaged in excavating activities in the approximate location of underground utility facilities marked pursuant to section 7006 of this title shall take reasonable precautions to avoid damage to underground utility facilities, including but not limited to any substantial weakening of the structural or lateral support of such facilities or penetration, severance or destruction of such facilities.  When excavation activities involve horizontal or directional boring, the person engaged in excavation activities shall expose underground facilities to verify their location and depth, in a safe manner, at each location where the work crosses will cross a facility and at reasonable intervals when paralleling an underground facility.  Powered or mechanized equipment may only be used within the approximate location where the facilities have been verified.

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 7008 is amended to read:

§ 7008.  PENALTIES

(a)  Vermont Digsafe Program.  Any person who violates any provisions of sections 7004, 7006a, 7006b, or 7007 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00, in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided by law or any liability for actual damages.  Notices of probable violation shall be issued within 12 months from the date the department receives the underground facility damage report, unless an ongoing investigation requires an extension of time.

(b)  Any company which does not mark the location of its underground facilities as required by section 7006 or 7006a of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00.  Notices of probable violation shall be issued within 12 months from the date the department receives the underground facility damage report, unless an ongoing investigation requires an extension of time.

* * *

(e)  Any person who violates any provisions of sections 7004 through 7007 of this title as to an underground gas distribution or transmission facility shall also be subject to the civil penalties described in section 2816 of this title.  However, a person who has been assessed a civil penalty pursuant to section 2816 of this title shall not be subject to the payment of an assessed penalty under the provisions of this section for the same violation.

Sec. 5.  30 V.S.A. § 2816(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Gas Pipeline Safety Program.  Any person who violates any statute, rule, regulation or order of the public service board relating to safety standards or safety practices applicable to transportation of gas through gas pipeline facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 $100,000.00 for each violation for each day that the violation persists.  However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $500,000.00 $1,000,000.00 for any related series of violations.  The penalty may be imposed by the board after notice to the offending person of the alleged violations and opportunity for hearing.

Sec. 6.  REPEAL

30 V.S.A. § 7004(d)(2) is repealed January 1, 2010.

After passage, the title of the bill is to be amended to read:

     AN ACT RELATING TO THE VERMONT DIG SAFE PROGRAM AND THE FEDERAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 17, 2007, page 612.)

H. 306

An act relating to telemarketing.

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

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

First:  In Sec. 1, 9 V.S.A. § 2464(a)(1)(B), at the end after the period by adding Isolated and inadvertent failure to comply with this record-keeping requirement shall not give rise to liability under this subsection, provided that the telemarketer has in place reasonable procedures designed to comply with this requirement.

Second:  By adding a new section, to be Sec. 2, to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. § 2464(a)(4) is amended to read:

(4) "Telemarketer" means any person who initiates telephone calls to, or who receives telephone calls from, a consumer in connection with a plan, program, or campaign to market goods or services. The term "telemarketer" does not include:

* * *

(C)  Any person who initiates telephone calls to or who receives telephone calls from a consumer in connection with collection of an amount due for goods or services previously provided to the consumer.

(D)  Any other category of persons that the attorney general may exempt by rule consistent with the purposes of this section.

and by renumbering the subsequent sections to be numerically correct

Third:  In the new Sec. 4, in 9 V.S.A. § 2464(e), in the introductory language by striking out the following: “federally-insured” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: federally insured and by striking out subdivision (1) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (1) to read as follows:

(1)  fail to obtain, before processing the transaction, any prior written authorization required by subdivision (b)(2) of this section or any tape recording or copy of a written confirmation required by subdivision (b)(3) of this section as part of the consumer’s express oral authorization; or

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 18, 2008, page 612.)

AMENDMENT to 2nd  PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING AND GENERAL AFFAIRS TO H. 306 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI

Senator Illuzzi moves that the Second proposal of amendment of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs be amended in Sec. 2, 9 V.S.A. §2464(a)(4) by adding a new subparagraph (D) to read as follows:

          (D)  Any company registered with and regulated by the public service board.

     And by re-lettering the remaining subparagraph to be alphabetically correct.

PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT TO H. 306 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI

Senator Illuzzi moves that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 1 to read as follows:

Sec. 1.  Findings and Purpose.

     (a)  Findings. 

(1)  Section 2464 was enacted in 1997 in response to complaints about certain telemarketing practices.  By way of example, a fraudulent telemarketer, often based in another country, would charge a Vermonter’s bank account.  The only piece of information needed to do was the code number at the bottom of the consumer’s check, know as a “MICR” code.  Armed with that information, the telemarketer would hire a U.S. based third party processor to print up unsigned checks, called “demand drafts,” to: (a) deposit into the telemarketer’s own bank account; or (b) to electronically withdraw funds from the consumer’s account, using what is called an “automated clearing house” or “ACH” debit.

(2)  Although debits are often used, they are not often reported because many consumers don’t know that their bank accounts can be charged without their permission.

(3) The Attorney General’s Office testified that one court action started with a single complaint from an elderly consumer’s daughter who found an unauthorized charge on her mother’s bank statement, which in turn led to the discovery of 100 Vermont victims. 

(4)  Fraudulent telemarketers obtain bank account numbers by tricking consumers; by promising goods and services that they don’t deliver; and, by buying lists of past victims’ account information. 

(5)  The existing law, Section 2464, currently provides protections for Vermont consumers against the fraudulent practices identified above.  If a telemarketer wishes to charge a Vermonter’s bank account using a demand draft, often referred to as an unsigned check, the telemarketer must first obtain written permission.  If the telemarketer wishes to charge the consumer’s account with an ACH debit, the telemarketer can only do so based on an inbound call from the consumer, or based on a prior business relationship with the consumer, but in either event, the telemarketer must also confirm the consumer’s consent, typically with a digital voice recording, although a written confirmation is sufficient.  The third-party processors hired by telemarketers must follow the same standards.

     (b)  Purpose.  This act eliminates two weaknesses in the existing law: 

(1)  The first weakness is that when a telemarketer confirm a consumer’s consent to an ACH debit, the confirmation is usually done by only recording a short “verification” portion of the telemarketing call.  This limited recording has little information on it and often doesn’t reveal what has been offered in exchange for the funds.  To address that issue, Section 2 of the act requires that to support an ACH debit, the telemarketing call must describe the goods and services offered and any materials terms of the transaction, and, if the telemarketer wants to confirm the consumer’s consent with a recording, the entire call must be recorded.

(2) The second weakness is that there is often a delay of years before a fraudulent telemarketer’s debits to Vermonters’ bank accounts are discovered.  It is important for the attorney general or a state’s attorney to be able to review telemarketing and processor records going back for longer than the two year period they are now required to be kept. 

(3)  While the statute of limitations for the filing of a consumer fraud action is six years, this act adopts a middle ground, extending the record-retention requirements for telemarketers and third-party processors to four years.  These changes appear in the act as follows:  Section 2 requires telemarketers to keep their call recordings or written confirmations relating to ACH debits for four years.  Section 3 requires telemarketers to keep consumers’ written authorizations for demand drafts for four years.  Section 4 requires third-party processors to obtain written and recorded authorizations from the telemarketers for which they process, and to keep related records for four years.

(4)  This act excuses a telemarketer’s “isolated and inadvertent” failure to keep records for the requisite four years, clarifies that a “telemarketer” under this section of the consumer fraud act does not include a debt collector, since a debt collector is not marketing goods or services.

(5)  This act exempts  from the definition of “telemarketer” in 9 V.S.A. §2464(a)(4) any company  registered with and regulated by the public service board.

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

H. 330

An act relating to repeal of the law relating to municipal trailer park ordinances.

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

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.  REPEAL

(a)  As of July 1, 2008, subchapter 9 of chapter 61 of Title 24, relating to municipal ordinances for trailer parks, is repealed.

(b)  A municipal ordinance adopted under subchapter 9 of chapter 61 of Title 24 prior to July 1, 2008 shall remain in effect until July 1, 2010, unless repealed by the municipality prior to that date.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 2, 2007, page 790.)

H. 515

An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-added thermostats.

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

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

The general assembly finds:

(1)  According to a 2004 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, titled “International Mercury Market Study and the Role and Impact of U.S. Environmental Policy,” more than 10 percent of the estimated mercury reservoir in the United States is in thermostats.

(2)  In 2000, thermostat manufacturers General Electric, Honeywell, and White Rodgers established the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) that runs the program for collecting mercury‑containing thermostat discarded in Vermont.  Under the TRC program, thermostat wholesalers volunteer to place bins where heating, ventilation, and air‑conditioning (HVAC) contractors can discard thermostats.

(3)  The manufacturers of mercury‑containing thermostats, with the cooperation of the agency of natural resources, should be encouraged to submit a single unified plan for the collection of mercury‑containing thermostats, the cost of which should be appropriately apportioned between participating manufacturers.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 7102 is amended to read:

§ 7102.  Definitions

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(6)(A)  “Manufacturer” means any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, governmental entity, organization, combination, or joint venture that (i) produces a mercury‑added product, or (ii) serves as an importer or domestic distributor of a mercury‑added product produced outside the United States.

(B)  This definition shall not apply to retailers for whom importing is not their primary business.

(C)  In the case of a multi‑component mercury‑added product, the manufacturer is the last manufacturer to produce or assemble the product.

(D)  In the case of mercury‑containing thermostats, the manufacturer is the original equipment manufacturer.

* * *

(16)  “Mercury‑containing thermostat” means a product or device that uses a  mercury switch to sense and control room temperature through communication with heating, ventilating, or air‑conditioning equipment.  “Mercury‑containing thermostat” includes thermostats used to sense and control room temperature in residential, commercial, industrial, and other buildings but does not include a thermostat used to sense and control temperature as part of a manufacturing process.

(17)  “Person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, cooperative, association, firm, sole proprietorship, governmental agency, or other entity.

(18)  “Thermostat retailer” means a person who sells thermostats of any kind directly to homeowners or other nonprofessionals through any selling or distribution mechanism, including but not limited to sales using the internet or catalogues.  A retailer may also be a wholesaler if it meets the definition of wholesaler.

(19)  “Thermostat wholesaler” means a person that is engaged in the distribution and wholesale sale of heating, ventilation, and air‑conditioning components to contractors who install heating, ventilation, and air‑conditioning components.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 7107 is amended to read:

§ 7107.  DISCARDED MERCURY‑ADDED PRODUCTS

(a)  Management of discarded mercury‑added products.  After July 1, 2007, discarded mercury‑added products, except for mercury‑added button cell batteries, products containing mercury‑added button cell batteries as their only mercury‑added components, and photographic film shall be managed as provided in this section.

(1)  Disposal ban.  No person shall knowingly dispose of mercury‑added products in a solid waste landfill or combustor.

(2)  Source separation.  Except as otherwise provided by this section, every person who discards solid waste shall separate mercury‑added products from that solid waste for management as hazardous waste or universal hazardous waste, according to all applicable state and federal regulations.  Any contractor who replaces or removes mercury‑added products shall assure that any discarded mercury‑added product is subject to proper separation and management as a hazardous waste or universal hazardous waste.  Any contractor who replaces a mercury‑containing thermostat from a building shall deliver the mercury‑containing thermostat to an appropriate collection location for recycling.
* * *

(d)  Removal of mercury‑added components.  The agency shall conduct a study and make recommendations for requirements to remove effectively and feasibly mercury‑added components in products prior to disposal or recycling processes.  This report shall identify removal and collection systems at public and private solid waste management facilities and salvage businesses, manufacturer‑sponsored or operated collection and take‑back programs; and other feasible programs.  The agency will identify costs mechanisms for financing such programs.  The study shall address removal and collection of mercury‑added components in automobiles and the collection of switches, relays, and gauges in home appliances, heating devices, and other equipment.  The agency shall report to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2006.  The agency shall conduct a study, and in consultation with the advisory committee on mercury pollution, make recommendations on methods to increase recycling of mercury thermostats.  The study shall identify incentive‑based programs and other feasible programs, including costs and mechanisms for financing such programs. The agency shall report to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2008.

* * *

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 7116 is added to read:

§ 7116.  MERCURY‑CONTAINING THERMOSTATS

(a)  Manufacturer responsibility.  Each thermostat manufacturer that has offered for final sale, sold at final sale, or has distributed mercury containing thermostats in Vermont shall, individually or collectively:

(1)  Not later than October 1, 2008 submit a plan to the agency for approval that describes a collection and financial incentive program for mercury thermostats.  The program contained in this plan shall ensure that the following take place:

(A)  that an effective education and outreach program shall be developed and shall be directed toward wholesalers, retailers, contractors, and homeowners.  There shall be no cost to thermostat wholesalers or thermostat retailers for education and outreach materials. 

(B)  that handling and recycling of mercury‑containing thermostats are accomplished in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the universal waste rules adopted by the secretary.

(C)  that containers for mercury‑containing thermostat collection are provided to all thermostat wholesalers.  The cost to thermostat wholesalers shall be limited to an initial, reasonable one‑time fee per container as specified in the plan.

(D)  that collection systems are provided to all collection points registered pursuant to subdivision (d)(3) of this section.  Collection systems can include individual product mail back or multiple collection containers.  The cost to registered collection points shall be limited to an initial, reasonable one‑time fee per container as specified in the plan.

(E)  that a financial incentive is established with a minimum value of $5.00 for the return of each mercury‑containing thermostat to a thermostat wholesaler by a contractor or service technician.  The financial incentive shall be in the form of cash or coupons that are redeemable by the contractor or service technician.

(F)  that a financial incentive is established with a minimum value of $5.00 to homeowners or non‑professionals for the return of each mercury‑containing thermostat to a collection point registered with the agency.  The financial incentive shall be in the form of cash or in the form of a coupon that can be redeemed for cash from the manufacturer or can redeemed for a credit toward purchase of general merchandize in the retail location where the thermostat was returned.

(G)  mechanisms to protect against the fraudulent return of thermostats are established.

(2)  No later than April 1, 2009, implement a mercury thermostat collection plan approved by the secretary under subsection (d)(1) of this section.

(3)  Beginning in 2010, submit an annual report to the secretary by April 1 of each year that includes, at a minimum, all of the following:

(A)  The number of mercury‑containing thermostats collected and recycled by that manufacturer pursuant to this section during the previous calendar year.

(B)  The estimated total amount of mercury contained in the thermostat components collected by that manufacturer pursuant to this section.

(C)  An evaluation of the effectiveness of the manufacturer’s collection program and the financial incentive.

(D)  An accounting of the administrative costs incurred in the course of administering the collection and recycling program and the financial incentive plan.

(b)  Thermostat wholesaler and thermostat retailer responsibilities. 
(1)  By April 1, 2009, a thermostat wholesaler shall not offer for final sale, sell at final sale, or distribute thermostats unless the wholesaler:
(A)  acts as a collection site for thermostats that contain mercury.
(B)  promotes and utilizes the collection containers provided by thermostat manufacturers to facilitate a contractor collection program as established by subsection (a) of this section, and all other tasks as needed to establish and maintain a cost‑effective manufacturer collection and financial incentive program.
(2)  By April 1, 2009, a thermostat retailer shall not offer for final sale, sell, or distribute thermostats in the state unless the thermostat retailer participates in an education and outreach program to educate consumers on the collection program for mercury thermostats.

(c)  Sales prohibition.  Beginning April 1, 2009, the following sales prohibitions shall apply to manufacturers, thermostat wholesalers, and thermostat retailers:

(1)  A manufacturer not in compliance with this section is prohibited from offering any thermostat for final sale in the state, selling any thermostat at final sale in the state, or distributing any thermostat in the state.  A manufacturer not in compliance with this section shall provide the necessary support to thermostat wholesalers and thermostat retailers to ensure the manufacturer’s thermostats are not offered for final sale, sold at final sale, or distributed in this state.

(2)  A thermostat wholesaler or thermostat retailer shall not offer for final sale, sell at final sale, or distribute in this state any thermostat of a manufacturer that is not in compliance with this section.

(d)  Agency responsibilities.

(1)  Within 60 days of receipt of a complete application from a manufacturer, the agency shall review and may grant, deny, or approve with modifications a manufacturer plan required by subdivision (a)(1) of this section.  The agency shall not approve a plan unless all elements of subdivision (a)(1) are adequately addressed.  In reviewing a plan, the agency may consider consistency of the plan with collection and financial incentive requirements in other states and consider consistency between manufacturer collection programs.  In reviewing plans, the agency shall ensure that education and outreach programs are uniform and consistent to ensure ease of implementation by thermostat wholesalers and thermostat retailers.

(2)  The agency shall establish a process under which a plan submitted by a manufacturer is, prior to plan approval, available for public review and comment for 30 days.  The agency shall consult with interested persons, including representatives from thermostat manufacturers, environmental groups, thermostat wholesalers, thermostat retailers, service contractors, municipalities, and solid waste districts.

(3)  Registered collection points.  The agency shall maintain and post on the agency of natural resources’ website a list of municipalities, solid waste districts, and thermostat retailers who wish to register as collection points for mercury thermostats.

(4)  Education and outreach.  In conjunction with the educational and outreach programs implemented by manufacturers, the agency shall conduct an education and outreach program directed toward wholesalers, retailers, contractors, and homeowners to promote the collection of discarded mercury‑containing thermostats.

(5)  Report.  By January 15, 2010, and annually thereafter, the agency shall submit a report on the collection and recycling of mercury‑containing thermostats in the state to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy.  The report due in 2010 must include a description and discussion of the financial incentive plan established under this section and recommendations for any statutory changes concerning the collection and recycling of mercury‑containing thermostats.  Subsequent reports must include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the thermostat collection and recycling programs established under this section, information on actual collection rates, and recommendations for any statutory changes concerning the collection and recycling of mercury‑containing thermostats.  These reporting requirements may be combined with other reports on mercury that the agency is required to provide to the general assembly.

(e)  Rate of collection.  By July 1, 2010, the agency shall estimate the number of out‑of‑service thermostats generated in Vermont on an annual basis, in consultation with interested persons, including representatives from thermostat manufacturers, thermostat wholesalers, thermostat retailers, service contractors, environmental groups, municipalities, and solid waste districts.  Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 50 percent of the out-of-service mercury‑containing thermostats in the state, the agency shall, in consultation with interested persons, require modifications to manufacturers’ collection plans in an attempt to improve collection rates in accordance with these goals.

Sec. 5.  MERCURY ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT ON TOXIC SUBSTANCES

(a)  On or before January 15, 2009, the mercury advisory committee shall report to the senate and house committees on natural resources and energy and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources regarding expansion of the jurisdiction of the mercury advisory committee to include review of additional toxic substances.  In preparing the report, the committee may consult with interested parties.  The report shall include:

(1)  A summary of existing Vermont programs that identify or address the use of and risks posed by harmful toxic substances.

(2)  A summary of how other states identify and minimize the risk posed by harmful toxic substances.

(3)  A recommendation as to how the jurisdiction of the mercury advisory committee can be expanded to address additional toxic substances.

(4)  When a recommendation is made to expand the jurisdiction of the mercury advisory committee under subdivision (1) of this subsection:

(A)  Recommended toxic substances or categories of toxic substances that should be added to the jurisdiction of the mercury advisory committee;

(B)  Recommended statutory changes to the mercury advisory committee’s statutory charge under 10 V.S.A. § 7113;

(C)  Recommended improvement to the toxic use reduction and hazardous waste reduction programs established under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159;

(D)  A recommended date to which the repeal of the mercury advisory committee should be extended; and

(E)  The estimated cost, if any, of expanding the jurisdiction of the mercury advisory committee.

(b)  For the purposes of this section, the mercury advisory committee shall consist of the members set forth in 10 V.S.A. § 7113(a), the attorney general of Vermont or his or her designee, and a member of a consumer interest group to be appointed by the governor.

Sec. 6.  SUNSET

Subdivisions 7116(a)(3) (reporting requirement for manufacturers of mercury-containing thermostats) and (d)(4) (agency of natural resources reporting requirement regarding mercury-containing thermostats) of Title 10 shall be repealed on April 2, 2015.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

H. 711

An act relating to agricultural forestry, and horticultural education.

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

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

First:  In Sec. 3, subsection (a), by striking out the words “and the department of education shall jointly perform” and inserting in lieu thereof the following:  , the department of education, the Vermont technical college, and the Vermont youth conservation corps jointly shall perform, in consultation with the department of corrections,

Second:  In Sec. 3, subsection (a), after the word “provide” by inserting the words recommendations for

Third:  In Sec. 3, subsection (b), subdivision (5), by striking out words “The need for a statewide specialist to provide” and inserting in lieu thereof the words Options for providing statewide leadership on

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 1, 2008, page 805; April 2, 2008, page 848.)


H. 806

An act relating to public water systems.

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

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.  10 V.S.A. § 1675a is added to read:

§ 1675a.  PERMITTING EXEMPTION

(a)  The requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, except the construction permitting requirements, shall not apply to a public water system that:

(1)  Consists only of distribution and storage facilities and does not have any collection and treatment facilities;

(2)  Obtains all of its water from, but is not owned or operated by, a public water system to which this chapter applies;

(3)  Does not engage in the sale of water to any person.  For purposes of this section and subdivision 203(3) of title 30,  a “sale” of water does not occur when:

(A) the rate charged to the consumer by the receiving water system is the same as the rate charged by the public water system for supplying water to the receiving water system; and

(B) the receiving water system follows the uniform water and sewer disconnect requirements of chapter 129 of title 24, except that section 5147 of title 24 shall not apply and appeals shall be governed by the Vermont rules of civil procedure; and

(4)  Is not a carrier which conveys passengers in interstate commerce;

(5)  Serves less than 500 persons; and

(6)  Is served by a public water system that certifies to the secretary that:

(A)  The receiving public water system is responsible for the repair and maintenance of their own water system unless otherwise agreed to by the wholesale system; and

(B)  The public water system supplying water to the receiving water system is responsible for:

(i)  including the receiving public water system in its water quality sampling plans;

(ii)  providing consumer confidence reports to the receiving system’s users; and

(iii)  issuing public notice to the receiving system’s users if a violation of a drinking water contaminant standard exists or if the secretary determines that a condition exists that may present a risk to public health.

(b)  The water system supplying water to the receiving water system is responsible for the requirements contained in subdivision (a)(6)(B) of this section until 180 days after the water system supplying water to the receiving water system files a notice with the secretary of natural resources and the receiving system of its intent to withdraw from any obligation made under subdivision (a)(6)(B) of this section.

(c)  Notwithstanding the exemption contained in subsection (a) of this section, the secretary of natural resources may take any reasonable steps that are necessary to abate a public health threat at a public water system that is otherwise exempt

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 203(3) is amended to read:

(3) A company other than a municipality or a water system exempted under the provisions of section 1675a of title 10 engaged in the collecting, sale and distribution of water for domestic, industrial, business or fire protection purposes;

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 28, 2008, page 431.)

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 232

An act relating to mobile polling stations.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by adding Sec. 3 and Sec. 4 as follows:

Sec. 3.  PURPOSE

The general assembly intends that the authorization for use of mobile polling stations created by this act is a pilot project and shall only be effective until July 1, 2009.

Sec. 4.  SECRETARY OF STATE; REPORT

The secretary of state shall report to the house and senate committees on government operations by January 15, 2009 on the results of the use of mobile polling stations.

S. 240

An act relating to repealing the sunset of the law enforcement exemption to the social security breach notice act.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  REPEAL OF SUNSET OF LAW ENFORCEMENT EXEMPTION TO SOCIAL SECURITY BREACH NOTICE ACT

Sec. 5 of No. 162 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read:

Sec. 5.  SUNSET

9 V.S.A. § 2435(h) (exemption for law enforcement agencies from security breach notice act) shall be repealed June 30, 2008 2009.

The House further proposes to amend the title by striking the word “Social”.

PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT TO HOUSE PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT TO S. 240 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR SEARS

Senator Sears moves that the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment with the following amendment:

By striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  EXTENSION OF SUNSET OF LAW ENFORCEMENT EXEMPTION TO SECURITY BREACH NOTICE ACT

Sec. 5 of No. 162 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read:

Sec. 5.  SUNSET

9 V.S.A. § 2435(h) (exemption for law enforcement agencies from security breach notice act) shall be repealed June 30, 2008 2012.

After passage, the title of the bill is to be amended to read:

An act relating to EXTENDING the sunset of the law enforcement exemption to the security breach notice act


House Proposal of Amendment

S. 290

An act relating to agricultural water quality.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lie thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  6 V.S.A. § 4828 is added to read:

§ 4828.  CAPITAL EQUIPMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

(a)  It is the purpose of this section to provide assistance to contract applicators and farms to purchase or use innovative manure injection equipment that will aid in the reduction of surface runoff of agricultural wastes to state waters, improve water quality of state waters, reduce odors from manure application, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce costs to farmers.

(b)  The capital equipment assistance program is created in the agency of agriculture, food and markets to provide farms and custom applicators in Vermont with state financial assistance for the purchase of new or innovative manure injection equipment to improve manure application or nutrient management plan implementation.

(c)  Assistance under this section shall in each fiscal year be allocated according to the following priorities and as further defined by rule by the secretary:

(1)  First priority shall be given to capital equipment to be used on farm sites that are serviced by custom applicators and that are located in descending order within the boundaries of:

(A)  the Lake Champlain Basin;

(B)  the Lake Memphremagog Basin;

(C)  the Connecticut River Basin; and

(D)  the Hudson River Basin.

(2)  Next priority shall be given to capital equipment to be used at a farm site which is located in descending order within the boundaries of:

(A)  the Lake Champlain Basin;

(B)  the Lake Memphremagog Basin;

(C)  the Connecticut River Basin; and

(D)  the Hudson River Basin.

(d)  On or before January 15, 2009, and annually thereafter, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall report to the house and senate committees on agriculture and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources regarding the performance of and results achieved by providing capital assistance to custom applicators and farms for new or innovative manure injection equipment.

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 291

An act relating to the farm agronomic practices program at the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  6 V.S.A. § 4951 is added to read:

§ 4951.  FARM AGRONOMIC PRACTICES PROGRAM

(a)  The farm agronomic practices assistance program is created in the agency of agriculture, food and markets to provide the farms of Vermont with state financial assistance for the implementation of soil-based practices that improve soil quality and nutrient retention, increase crop production, minimize erosion potential, and reduce agricultural waste discharges.  The following practices shall be eligible for assistance to farms under the grant program:

(1)  conservation crop rotation;

(2)  cover cropping;

(3)  strip cropping;

(4)  cross-slope tillage;

(5)  zone or no-tillage;

(6)  pre-sidedress nitrate tests;

(7)  annual maintenance of a nutrient management plan that is no longer receiving funding under a state or federal contract, provided the maximum assistance provided to a farmer under this subdivision shall be $1,000.00 per year; and

(8)  educational and instructional activities to inform the farmers and citizens of Vermont of:

(A)  the impact on Vermont waters of agricultural waste discharges;

(B)  the federal and state requirements for controlling agricultural waste discharges.

(b)  Funding available under section 4827 of this title for nutrient management planning may be used to fund practices under this section.

Sec. 2.  REPEAL

Sec. 80a of No. 215 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is hereby repealed and replaced by 6 V.S.A. § 4951.

Sec. 3.  6 V.S.A. § 4824(a) is amended to read:

(a)  State grant.  State financial assistance awarded under this subchapter shall be in the form of a grant.  When a state grant is intended to match federal financial assistance for the same on-farm improvement project, the state grant shall be awarded only when the federal financial assistance has also been approved for or awarded.  An applicant for a state grant shall pay at least 15 percent of the total eligible project cost.  The dollar amount of a state grant shall be equal to the total eligible project cost, less 15 percent of the total as paid by the applicant, and less the amount of any federal assistance awarded, except that a state grant shall not exceed 50 80 percent of the total eligible project cost.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

NEW BUSINESS

Third Reading

H. 11

An act relating to the commissioner of health.

H. 94

An act relating to retail sales and taxing of specialty beers.

H. 700

An act relating to sale of bottles of wine at festivals.

PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT TO H. 700 TO BE OFFERED BY SENATOR ILLUZZI BEFORE THIRD READING

Senator Illuzzi moves that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by adding two new sections to be numbered Secs. 2 and 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. chapter 82 is added to read:

CHAPTER 82.  SCRAP METAL PROCESSORS

§ 3021.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Authorized scrap seller” means:

     (A)  a licensed plumber, electrician, or HVAC contractor;

     (B)  An established and known building or construction contractor, demolition contractor, construction and demolition debris contractor;

     (C)  a public utility, transportation company, licensed peddler or broker;

     (D)  an established and known industrial or manufacturing company; marine, automobile, or aircraft salvage and wrecking company; or

     (E)  a government entity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(D)  Metal beer kegs.

(E)  Manhole covers.

(F)  Catalytic converters.

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

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

§ 3022.  PURCHASE OF NONFERROUS SCRAP, METAL ARTICLES, AND PROPRIETARY ARTICLES

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

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

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

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

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

§ 3023.  PENALTIES

(a)  A scrap metal processor who violates any provision of this chapter for the first time may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each transaction.

(b)  A scrap metal processor who violates any provision of this chapter for a second or subsequent time shall be fined not more than $25,000.00 for each transaction.

Sec. 3.  4 V.S.A. § 1102(b) is amended to read:

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

* * *

(14)  Violations of 9 V.S.A. § 3023(a), relating to the purchase and sale of scrap metal.

Second Reading

Favorable

H. 432

An act relating to establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

Reported favorably by Senator Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

H. 588

An act relating to property loaned to museums.

Reported favorably by Senator Illuzzi for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal of March 18, 2008, page 591.)

H. 436

An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to local election and municipal government laws.

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

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.  3 V.S.A. § 2473a(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The receipt and expenditure of moneys from the revolving fund shall be under the supervision of the business manager and at the direction of the publisher, subject to the provisions of this section.  Vermont Life magazine shall maintain accurate and complete records of all receipts and expenditures by and from the fund, and shall make an annual report on the condition of the fund to the secretary of the agency, who shall in turn provide the report to the secretary of administration.  The fund shall be audited annually by the auditor of accounts.

Sec. 2.  7 V.S.A. § 805 is amended to read:

§ 805.  -AUDIT OF OPERATIONS

On or before February 28 of each year, each state college and university licensed under this chapter shall submit a financial report on its operations under this chapter to audit by the state auditor of accounts. Such audit shall examine the financial condition and operation of such licensees for the preceding calendar year and shall be submitted to the liquor control board by April 1 of each year.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 2177(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The books and accounts financial statements of the corporation shall be audited annually as of June 30 under the supervision of the auditor of accounts who shall publish the audit report in detail by an independent public accounting firm registered in Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The auditor of accounts or his or her designee shall be the state’s nonvoting representative to an audit committee established by the board

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 2281 is amended to read:

§ 2281.  ANNUAL AUDIT; REPORTS; CONTROL OF FUNDS

(a)  The books and accounts of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall be audited annually as of June 30, under the supervision of the auditor of accounts.  The report of such audit shall be published in detail by the auditor of accounts by an independent accounting firm registered in the state of Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The auditor of accounts or his or her designee shall be the state’s nonvoting representative to an audit committee established by the board

* * *

(f)  Control of funds appropriated and of the work carried on under the terms of section 2321 of this title shall be vested in the board of trustees of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall provide an accounting service which shall account for the expenditure of funds by divisions and shall make an annual financial report to the governor of the state.  All funds appropriated to the agricultural college shall be kept in a separate account and shall be audited annually by the auditor of accounts an independent accounting firm registered in the state of Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Sec. 5.  16 V.S.A. § 2835 is amended to read:

§ 2835.  CONTROLS, AUDITS, AND REPORTS

Control of funds appropriated and all procedures incident to the carrying out of the purposes of this chapter shall be vested in the board.  The books of account of the corporation shall be audited annually under the direction of the auditor of accounts by an independent public accounting firm registered in the state of Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and a the resulting audit report filed with the secretary of administration not later than November 1 each year.  The auditor of accounts or his or her designee shall be the state’s nonvoting representative to an audit committee established by the board.  Biennially, the board shall report to the legislature on its activities during the preceding biennium.

Sec. 6.  17 V.S.A. § 2353(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The name of any person shall be printed upon the primary ballot as a candidate for nomination by any major political party for any office indicated, if petitions containing the requisite number of signatures made by legal voters, in substantially the following form, are filed with the proper official, together with the person's written consent to having his or her name printed on the ballot:

STATE OF VERMONT

County of  .......................... )

ss.

City (town) of  .................... )

 

I join in a petition to place on the primary ballot of the .............................................................. party the name of  ........................................................., whose residence is in the (city), (town) of  ............................................... in the county of ............................................., for the office of  ………………............................. to be voted for on Tuesday, the  .................................. day of September, 20  ..................; and I certify that I am at the present time a registered voter and am qualified to vote for a candidate for this office.

Sec. 7.  17 V.S.A. § 2402 is amended to read:

§ 2402.  REQUISITES OF STATEMENT

(a)  A statement of nomination shall contain:

* * *

(4)  In the case of nomination for president or vice president of the United States, the name and state of residence of each candidate for such office, together with the name, town of residence, and correct mailing address of each nominee for the office of elector.  The statement of nomination shall include certification by the town clerk of each town where the signers appear to be voters that the persons whose names appear as signers of the statement are registered voters in the town and of the total number of valid signers from the town.  Only the number of signers certified by each town clerk shall count toward the required number of signatures.  The statement shall also be accompanied by a consent form from each nominee for elector.  The consent form shall be similar to the consent form prescribed in section 2361 of this title.

(b)  To constitute a valid nomination, a statement shall contain signatures of voters qualified to vote in an election for the office in question, equal in number to at least:

(1)  For presidential and vice presidential offices, 1,000;

(2)  For state and congressional offices, 250 500;

* * *

(c)  A statement shall state that each signer is qualified to vote in an election for the office in question and that the voter's residence is as set forth next to the voter's name.  Every statement of nomination shall include the certificate of the town clerk where the signers appear to be voters, certifying whether the persons whose names appear as signers of the statement are registered voters in the town.  Only those names certified by the town clerk to be those of registered voters of the town shall count toward the required number of signatures.

(d)  A statement of nomination and a completed and signed consent form shall be filed not later than the time for filing the statements prescribed in section 2386 of this title sooner than the first Monday in June and not later than the third day after the primary election.  No public official receiving nominations shall accept a petition unless a completed and signed consent form is filed at the same time.

(e)  The secretary of state shall prescribe and furnish forms for a statement of nomination.

Sec. 8.  17 V.S.A. § 2456 is amended to read:

§ 2456.  DISQUALIFICATIONS

Notwithstanding the preceding sections of this subchapter, no person shall serve as an election official in any election in which his or her name appears on a ballot of the Australian ballot system as a candidate for any office unless he or she is the only candidate for that office, or unless the office for which he or she is a candidate is that of moderator, justice of the peace, town clerk,

clerk-treasurer, treasurer, ward clerk, or inspector of elections.  When an Australian ballot is not used, a person shall not serve as an election official during the election to fill any office for which he or she is a nominee.  For the purpose of this section, "clerk-treasurer" means a person who is a candidate for the offices of town clerk and town treasurer at the same time.

Sec. 9.  17 V.S.A. § 2494 is amended to read:

§ 2494.  CONSTRUCTION WITH OTHER LAWS

Except as this subchapter affects the method of registering votes and ascertaining the result, the laws of this state pertaining to elections shall be applicable.  The laws pertaining to early or absentee voters shall in no way be affected by this subchapter, and votes cast by early or absentee voters shall be counted with votes registered on voting machines.  In towns using voting machines, the board of civil authority may vote to open polling places at 5:00 a.m., provided that at least three elections officials are present, two of whom are from different parties, solely for the purpose of checking voters who voted by early voter absentee ballot off the checklist and depositing the ballots into the ballot box or voting machine.  If all early voter absentee ballots have not been deposited into the voting machines before the closing of the polls at 7:00 p.m., the elections officials shall continue to deposit ballots using the same procedure as provided in subsection 2561(b) of this title, treating each ballot as a voter waiting to cast his or her ballot at the close of the polls.

Sec. 10.  17 V.S.A. § 2561(a) is amended to read:

(a)  At all elections using the Australian ballot system, the polls shall may open no earlier than 5:00 a.m. and shall open no later than 10:00 a.m. as set by the board of civil authority in each town unless the board of civil authority has elected to open the polls earlier than 6:00 a.m. as provided in section 2494 of this title.  The polls in all polling places shall close at 7:00 p.m.

Sec. 11.  17 V.S.A. § 2640(c) is amended to read:

(c)  In a town which starts its annual meeting on any day before the first Tuesday in March and which uses the Australian ballot system, Notwithstanding section 2508 of this title, public discussion of ballot issues and all other issues appearing in the warning, other than election of candidates, shall be permitted on that day at the annual meeting, regardless of the location of the polling place.

Sec. 12.  17 V.S.A. § 2664 is amended to read:

§ 2664.  BUDGET

A town shall vote such sums of money as it deems necessary for the interest of its inhabitants and for the prosecution and defense of the common rights.  It shall express in its vote the specific amounts, or the rate on a dollar of the grand list, to be appropriated for laying out and repairing highways and for other necessary town expenses.  If a town votes specific amounts in lieu of a rate on a dollar of the grand list, the selectmen selectboard shall, after the grand list book has been computed and lodged in the office of the town clerk, set the tax rate necessary to raise the specific amounts voted.  The selectboard may apply for grants and may accept and expend grants or gifts above those which are approved in the town budget.  The selectboard shall include, in its annual report, a description of all grants or gifts accepted during the year and associated expenditures.

Sec. 13.  17 V.S.A. § 2680 is amended to read:

§ 2680.  AUSTRALIAN BALLOT SYSTEM; GENERAL

* * *

(c)  Budgets.  A vote whether to use the Australian ballot system to establish the budget shall be in substantially the following form:

"Shall (name of municipality) adopt its budget article or articles by Australian ballot?"

If a budget voted on by Australian ballot is rejected, the legislative body shall prepare a revised budget.  The legislative body shall establish a date for the vote on the revised budget, and shall take appropriate steps to warn a public informational meeting on the budget and the vote.  The date of the public informational meeting shall be at least five days following the public notice. The date of the vote shall be at least seven days following the public notice. The vote on the revised budget shall be by Australian ballot and shall take place in the same locations that the first vote was taken.  The budget shall be established if a majority of all votes cast are in favor.  If the revised budget is rejected, the legislative body shall repeat the procedure in this subsection until a budget is adopted.  Once a municipality votes to establish its budget by the Australian ballot system, the vote on the budget shall be taken by Australian ballot until the municipality votes to discontinue use of the system.

* * *

(g)  Whenever a municipality has voted to adopt the Australian ballot system of voting on any public question or budget, except the budget revote as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the legislative body shall hold a public informational hearing on the question by posting warnings at least 10 days in advance of the hearing in at least two public places within the municipality and in the town clerk's office.  The hearing shall be held within the 10 days preceding the meeting at which the Australian ballot system is to be used.  The hearing under this subsection may be held in conjunction with the meeting held under subsection 2640(c), in which case the moderator shall preside.

Sec. 14.  19 V.S.A. § 13 is amended to read:

§ 13.  Central garage fund

* * *

(f)  Annually the auditor of accounts shall conduct an examination of the central garage revolving fund and report his or her findings in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 163(5).

(g)  [Repealed.]

(h)  For purposes of this section, “equipment” means registered motor vehicles and highway maintenance equipment assigned to the central garage.

(i)(g)  Each year at the September meeting of the joint transportation oversight committee called pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 12b(d), the agency shall present to the joint transportation oversight committee a report detailing:

* * *

Sec. 15.  20 V.S.A. § 3546 is amended to read:

§ 3546.  INVESTIGATION OF VICIOUS DOMESTIC PETS OR WOLF-HYBRIDS; ORDER

* * *

(d)  The procedures provided in this section shall only apply if the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is not a rabies suspect.  If a member of the legislative body or a municipal official designated by the legislative body determines that the animal is a rabies suspect, the provisions of subchapter 5 of this chapter and the rules of the department of health shall apply.

(e)  The procedures provided in this section shall not apply if the voters of a municipality, at a special or annual meeting duly warned for the purpose, have authorized the legislative body of the municipality to regulate domestic pets or wolf-hybrids by ordinances that are inconsistent with this section, in which case those ordinances shall apply.

Sec. 16.  20 V.S.A. § 3549 is amended to read:

§ 3549.  DOMESTIC PETS OR WOLF-HYBRIDS, REGULATION BY TOWNS

The legislative body of a city or town by ordinance may regulate the keeping, leashing, muzzling, restraint, impoundment, and destruction of domestic pets or wolf-hybrids and their running at large.

Sec. 17.  22 V.S.A. § 281 is amended to read:

§ 281.  MEMBERS AND TRUSTEES EX OFFICIO

The secretary of state, auditor of accounts and the state librarian, by virtue of their offices, shall be members of the Vermont Historical Society and of the board of trustees thereof.

Sec. 18.  24 V.S.A. § 871 is amended to read:

§ 871.  ORGANIZATION OF SELECTMEN SELECTBOARD; APPOINTMENTS

Forthwith after their election and qualification, the selectmen selectboard shall organize and elect a chairman chair and, if so voted, a clerk from among their number, and file a certificate of such election for record in the office of the town clerk.  Such selectmen shall The selectboard shall thereupon appoint from among the legally qualified voters a tree warden and may thereupon appoint from among the legally qualified voters the following officers who shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified, and shall certify such appointments to the town clerk who shall record the same:

(1)  Three fence viewers;

(2)  A poundkeeper, for each pound; voting residence in the town need not be a qualification for this office provided appointee gives his or her consent to the appointment;

(3)  One or more inspectors of lumber, shingles and wood; and

(4)  One or more weighers of coal; and

(5)  A tree warden.

* * *

Sec. 19.  24 V.S.A. § 2291(10) is amended to read:

§ 2291.  ENUMERATION OF POWERS

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

* * *

(10)  To regulate the keeping of dogs, and to provide for their leashing, muzzling or, restraint, impoundment, and destruction.

* * *

Sec. 20.  24 V.S.A. § 4442(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Routine adoption.

(1)  A bylaw, bylaw amendment, or bylaw repeal shall be adopted by a majority of the members of the legislative body at a meeting that is held after the final public hearing, and shall be effective 21 days after adoption unless, by action of the legislative body, the bylaw, bylaw amendment, or bylaw repeal is warned for adoption by the municipality by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting of the municipality.

(2)  However, a rural town with a population of fewer than 2,500 persons, by action of the legislative body or by vote of that town at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue, may elect to require that bylaws, bylaw amendments, or bylaw repeals shall be adopted by vote of the town by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue.  That procedure shall then apply until rescinded by the voters at a regular or special meeting of the town.

Sec. 21.  29 V.S.A. § 160(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall supervise the receipt and expenditure of moneys comprising the property management revolving fund, subject to the provisions of this section.  He or she shall maintain accurate and complete records of all such receipts and expenditures, and shall make an annual report on the condition of the fund to the secretary of administration.  All balances remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over to the following year, and the fund shall be audited by the auditor of accounts.

Sec. 22.  29 V.S.A. § 168(b)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  All balances remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over to the following year, and the auditor of accounts shall audit the fund.

Sec. 23.  32 V.S.A. § 163 is amended to read:

§ 163.  DUTIES OF THE AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS

In addition to any other duties prescribed by law, the auditor of accounts shall:

(1)  Examine annually the financial statements of the funds of state government and at his or her discretion audit financial and other records Annually perform or contract for the audit of the basic financial statements of the state of Vermont and, at his or her discretion, conduct governmental audits as defined by governmental auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), of every department, institution, and agency of the state including trustees or custodians of retirement and other trust funds held by the state or any officer or officers of the state, and also including every county officer who receives or disburses funds of the state or for the benefit of the state or any county.  He or she shall upon request of a town establish a uniform system of accounting and reporting.

(2)  In his or her discretion, conduct a continuing post audit of all disbursements made through the office of the commissioner of finance and management or the office of the state treasurer, including disbursements to a municipality, school supervisory union, school district, or county.

* * *

(4)  Upon request, assist the commissioner of finance and management in the preparation of the state budget.

(5)  From time to time, as examinations audits are completed, report his or her audit findings first to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate, then to the governor, the secretary of administration, the commissioner of finance and management, and the head of the department, institution, or agency covered by the report.  The audit reports shall be public records and four 10 copies of each report shall be furnished to and kept in the state library for public use.

(6)(5)  Make special audits of any department, institution, and agency as the governor may from time to time require.

(7)(6)  Make a biennial report Report on or before February 15 of each year to the general assembly house and senate committees on appropriations in which he or she shall summarize his or her significant findings, and make such comments and recommendations as he or she finds necessary.

(8)(7)  Subject to the provisions of chapter 13 of Title 3, employ and set the compensation of such assistants, clerical or otherwise, as he or she deems necessary for the proper and efficient administration of his or her office.  However, he or she shall not expend or authorize expenditure of funds for his or her office in excess of the amount appropriated for his or her office in any fiscal year.

(9)  Approve and coordinate all requests by state departments, agencies, commissions and state-created authorities for accounting or auditing services by an independent accounting firm for any of the departments’, agencies’, commissions’ or state-created authorities’ funds, financial accounts, and records, or for any accounting or auditing services for which payment is to be made from any funds controlled or administered by any state department, agency, commission or state-created authority, prior to the negotiation of any contractual obligations with the independent firms.  All audit reports and reports of findings and recommendations issued by an independent accounting firm under this section shall be addressed to the auditor of accounts for distribution in accordance with subdivision 5 of this section.

(10)(8)  Require all state departments and agencies to file with the auditor of accounts all audit reports and reports of findings and recommendations received as a result of audits and examinations conducted by or for any federal agency.

(11)(9)  Perform, or contract with independent public accountants licensed in the state of Vermont to perform, financial and compliance audits as required by the Federal Single Audit Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. § 7501 et seq. This subdivision shall not apply to the University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges.

(12)(A)  Biennially audit the economic advancement tax incentives program established under chapter 151, subchapter 11E of this title to determine compliance with that subchapter and all other applicable statutes and regulations.  The auditor’s report shall be made available to the general assembly during the fourth quarter of the second year of each biennium. The auditor shall include in this biennial audit verifications of any of the inspections done by the tax department of awardees of economic advancement tax incentives to determine the relationship between performance and credits claimed.

(B)(10)  Biennially audit the Vermont employment growth incentive program established under 32 V.S.A. § 5930b and other applicable statutes and regulations, and report the audit to the general assembly, the Vermont department of taxes, and the Vermont economic progress council by March 31 after the audit yearThe audit shall include a comparative examination of the economic advancement tax incentive program and the Vermont employment growth incentives program with respect to performance measurements, program expenditure controls, the adequacy and availability of program information, and recommendations for improved accountability and fiscal controls.  The auditor shall develop benchmarks, known as “best management practices” that in the judgment of the auditor need to be met so that the Vermont employment growth incentives program may be administered in the most fiscally sound and well-managed manner.  The auditor’s report shall be submitted during the first quarter of the second year of each biennium to the department of taxes and the economic incentive review board established by 32 V.S.A. § 5930a(a) (except that in the second year of the 2007-2008 biennium the auditor’s report shall be submitted to the Vermont economic progress council).  The department and the board (and in the 2007-2008 biennium, the council) shall review the auditor’s report and in the fourth quarter of each biennium report to the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, the senate committee on finance, the house committee on commerce and the house committee on ways and means in response to the findings and recommendations of the auditor together with any recommendations for improvements or amendments.

Sec. 24.  32 V.S.A. § 167(a) is amended to read:

(a)  For the purpose of examination and audit authorized by law, all the records, accounts, books, papers, reports, and returns in all formats of all departments, institutions, and agencies of the state including the trustees or custodians of trust funds and all municipal, school supervisory union, school district, and county officers who receive or disburse funds for the benefit of the state, shall be made available to the auditor of accounts.  It shall be the duty of each officer of each department, institution, and agency of the state or municipality, school supervisory union, school district, or county to provide the records, accounts, books, papers, reports, returns, and such other explanatory information when required by the auditor of accounts.

Sec. 25.  32 V.S.A. § 431(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The treasurer, the auditor and the governor shall select the banks in which the funds of the state treasury shall be deposited.  Each agency or department of the state shall be required to obtain the approval of the treasurer to establish and maintain a bank account of a selected bank as well as develop procedures, approved by the treasurer, to reconcile a bank account.  The treasurer shall annually furnish the auditor, on a timely basis, a certified statement from each bank, with which he or she has an account, of the amount of such account.

Sec. 26.  32 V.S.A. § 432 is amended to read:

§ 432.  MANAGEMENT OF INVESTED STATE MONEY

In the management of funds and securities belonging to the state or held in the treasury, with approval of the governor and auditor of accounts, he or she may change the form of investment thereof by exchange of securities or by sale and reinvestment of the same, as may be required for the safety and permanent security of such funds, may collect accruing interest and reinvest the same and may collect, enforce payment of, and reinvest all maturing securities and obligations and, for such purposes, may make legal transfers of the title of the same.

Sec. 27.  32 V.S.A. § 901 is amended to read:

§ 901.  BORROWING MONEY

The treasurer shall not make a contract binding the state for money borrowed unless it is countersigned by the secretary of state and the auditor.

Sec. 28.  32 V.S.A. § 1001(d)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  Membership.  Committee membership shall consist of:

(A)  As ex officio members:

(i)  the state treasurer;

(ii)  the auditor of accounts;

(iii)  the secretary of administration; and

(iv)(iii)  the secretary of the Vermont municipal bond bank.

(B)  One individual not an official or employee of state government appointed by the governor for a two-year term.

(C)  The auditor of accounts who shall be a nonvoting ex officio member.

Sec. 29.  32 V.S.A. § 1671(a)(6) is amended to read:

(6)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, for the recording or filing, or both, of any document that is to become a matter of public record in the town clerk's office, or for any certified copy of such document, a fee of $8.00 per page shall be charged; except that for the recording or filing, or both, of a property transfer return, a fee of $8.00 shall be charged;

Sec. 30.  32 V.S.A. § 4774(b) is amended to read:

(b)(1)  The treasurer or collector shall deposit to the general fund any tax overpayment by a taxpayer who has paid by mail or electronic fund transfer, provided that:

(1)(A)  the payment made was equal to the taxes due without regard to the discount under section 4773 of this title; and

(2)(B)  the overpayment amount is $2.00 $10.00 or less.

(2)  If the taxpayer requests refund of such an overpayment within one year of payment, the treasurer or collector shall refund it.

Sec. 31.  32 V.S.A. § 5137 is amended to read:

§ 5137.  RECORDING DELINQUENT PAYMENTS

A collector of taxes for a town or municipality within it shall receipt for every payment made to the collector on account of delinquent taxes.  Such receipt shall be written in triplicate in a bound book or other permanent record purchased at the expense of the municipality and shall indicate the date of the payment, the name of the person making the payment, the name of the person against whom was assessed the tax on which the payment is to be applied, the year in which such tax was assessed and if a partial payment on an annual tax bill, whether applied on poll, personal property or real estate taxes.  Such collector shall detach and deliver the original receipt forthwith to the person making the payment and one copy thereof within 30 days to the town clerk who shall keep such copy on file.  Such collector shall purchase at the expense of the municipality for which the collector is acting a sufficient number of such bound triplicate receipt books having the sets of originals and copies consecutively numbered.  Annually, on or before February 5, the collector shall deliver to the auditors of each municipality for which the collector is acting all such bound volumes in which entries pertaining to such municipality have been made during the year ending January 31 next preceding, and the auditors shall audit the books forthwith and after the completion of audit shall return such books to such collector.

Sec. 32.  REPEAL

(a)  10 V.S.A. § 1960(f) (annual audit of advisory committee books) shall be repealed.

(b)  32 V.S.A. § 163(10) (biennial audit of employment growth incentive program) shall be repealed on December 31, 2012.

Sec. 33.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 6 and 7 shall take effect upon passage.

and that upon passage, the title of the bill shall read:

“AN ACT RELATING TO MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS TO ELECTION AND GOVERNMENT LAWS

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 19, 2008, page 635; March 20, 2008, page 649.)

Reported favorably by Senator Condos for the Committee on Finance.

(Committee vote: 6-0-1)

NOTICE CALENDAR

Favorable

H. 170

An act relating to retirees of the University of Vermont.

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

(Committee vote: 4-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 21, 2008, page 655.)

H. 267

An act relating to industrial hemp.

Reported favorably by Senator Maynard for the Committee on Agriculture.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 7, 2008, page 157.)

H. 574

An act relating to requiring beverage container manufacturers to pay an additional one-half cent per container to retailers who do not commingle containers.

Reported favorably by Senator Hartwell for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

(Committee vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 25, 2008, page 740.)

Favorable with Proposal of Amendment

H. 402

An act relating to recapture of health insurance benefits by group F members of the Vermont state retirement system.

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 by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 459(d) is amended to read:

(d) Early retirement allowance.

* * *

(4) Notwithstanding subdivisions (d)(1) and (2) of this subsection, an elected county sheriff, an employee of the department of fish and wildlife assigned to law enforcement duties, an employee of the military department assigned to airport firefighting duties or a group C member shall upon early retirement receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to his or her normal retirement allowance computed under subsection (b) of this section.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 500 is amended to read:

§ 500. DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT PLAN

* * *

(f)  An employee who has elected to participate in the defined contribution plan and, after having accrued a minimum of five years of service, becomes disabled as determined by the social security administration or by a state purchased disability insurance policy while currently employed by the state, shall be entitled to continue the same health and dental benefits that are available to members of the Vermont state retirement system who qualify for disability retirement benefits.

(g)  Upon retirement, employees who elect to participate in the defined contribution retirement plan shall be entitled to the same life, dental, and health insurance benefits available to members of the Vermont state retirement system.

(g)(h) The state treasurer shall certify to the governor or governor-elect a statement of the percentage of the payroll of all participating employees sufficient to fund all operating expenses of the defined contribution retirement plan and all contributions of the state which will become due and payable during the next biennium. Contributions by the state shall be charged to the departmental appropriation from which the employees' salaries are paid and shall be included in each departmental budgetary request.

(h)(i) The plan shall be administered by the state treasurer who shall adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this chapter.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments.)

H. 617

An act relating to guardianships.

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

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

First:  In Sec.1, 14 V.S.A. § 3061(9), after “in” by adding subdivision 9701(7) of Title 18. 

Second:  In Sec. 1, 14 V.S.A. § 3071(b), after “3069” by striking out “and 3070” and inserting in lieu thereof and 3070

Third:  In Sec. 1, 14 V.S.A. § 3072(a), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (2) to read as follows:

(2)  No individual may be appointed or serve as guardian for a person under or in need of guardianship if the individual operates a boarding home, residential care home, assisted living residence, nursing home, group home, developmental home, correctional facility, psychiatric unit at a designated hospital, or other similar facility in which the person under or in need of guardianship resides or is receiving care.

Fourth:  In Sec. 1, 14 V.S.A. § 3072(b), by striking out subdivisions (1) and (2) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new subdivisions (1) and (2) to read as follows:

(1)  the preference of the ward the nomination of a guardian in an advance directive or in a will;

(2)  any current or past expressed preferences of the respondent;

Fifth:  In Sec.1, 14 V.S.A. § 3075(e), by striking out “3069(b)(2)” and inserting in lieu thereof 3069(c)(2)

Sixth:  In Sec. 1, 14 V.S.A. § 3075, by striking out subsections (g), (h), and (i) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new subsections (g) and (h) to read as follows:

(g)(1)  The guardian shall obtain prior written approval by the probate court following notice and hearing:

(A)  if the person under guardianship objects to the guardian’s decision, on constitutional grounds or otherwise;

(B)  if the court orders prior approval for a specific surgery, procedure, or treatment, either in its initial order pursuant to subdivision 3069(c)(2) of this title or anytime after appointment of a guardian;

(C)  except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, and unless the guardian is acting pursuant to an advance directive, before withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment other than antibiotics; or

(D)  unless the guardian is acting pursuant to an advance directive, before consenting to a do-not-resuscitate order unless a clinician as defined in subdivision 9701(5) of Title 18 certifies that the person under guardianship is likely to experience cardiopulmonary arrest before court approval can be obtained.  In such circumstances, the guardian shall immediately notify the court by telephone of the need for a decision, shall obtain the clinician’s certification prior to consenting to the do-not-resuscitate order and shall file the clinician’s certification with the court after consent has been given.

(2)  The requirements of subdivision (1)(C) of this subsection shall not apply if obtaining a court order would be impracticable due to the need for a decision before court approval can be obtained.  In such circumstances, the guardian shall immediately notify the court by telephone of the need for a decision, and shall notify the court of any decision made.

(h)  The procedures in chapter 181 of Title 18 shall be the exclusive mechanism:

(1)  For admission to inpatient psychiatric care when the person under guardianship objects to the guardian’s decision on constitutional grounds or otherwise.

(2)  To obtain approval for administration of nonemergency involuntary psychiatric medication to a person under guardianship.

Seventh:  In Sec. 1, 14 V.S.A. § 3077(a), after “Any” by adding A

Eighth:  By striking Sec. 3 (Guardianship Task Force) in its entirety.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 12, 2008, page 491; March 19, 2008, page 640.)

H. 777

An act relating to the certificate of need program.

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

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.  18 V.S.A. § 9432(4) is amended to read:

(4)  “Capital expenditure” means an expenditure for the plant or equipment which is not properly chargeable as an expense of operation and maintenance and includes acquisition by purchase, donation, leasehold expenditure, or operating lease which is treated as capital expense in accordance to the accounting standards established for lease expenditures by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, calculated over the length of the lease for plant or equipment, and includes assets having an expected life of at least three years.  A capital expenditure includes the cost of studies, surveys, designs, plans, working drawings, specifications and other activities essential to the acquisition, improvement, expansion, or replacement of the plant and equipment.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 9439(b) is amended to read:

(b)  When a letter of intent to compete has been filed, the review process is suspended and the time within which a decision must be made as provided in subdivision 9440(c)(2) 9440(d)(4) of this title is stayed until the competing application has been ruled complete or for a period of 55 days from the date of notification under subdivision 9440(b)(4) 9440(c)(8) as to the original application, whichever is shorter.

Sec. 3.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(c)(6) is amended to read:

(6)  If an applicant fails to respond to an information request under subdivision (4) of this subsection within six months or, in the case of review cycle applications under section 9439 of this title, within such time limits as the commissioner shall establish by rule, the application will be deemed inactive unless the applicant has, within said six months, filed an adequate, as determined by the commissioner, amended letter of intent requests in writing that the application be reactivated and the commissioner grants the request.  If an applicant fails to respond to an information request within 12 months or, in the case of review cycle applications under section 9439 of this title, within such time limits as the commissioner shall establish by rule, the application will become invalid unless the applicant requests, and the commissioner grants, an extension.

Sec. 4.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(c)(9) is amended to read:

(9)  The health care ombudsman’s office established under section 4089j subchapter 1A of chapter 107 of Title 8 or, in the case of nursing homes, the long-term care ombudsman’s office established under section 7502 of Title 33, is authorized but not required to participate in any administrative or judicial review of an application under this subchapter and shall be considered an interested party in such proceedings upon filing a notice of intervention with the commissioner.

Sec. 5.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(d)(4) and (7) are amended to read:

(4)  A review shall be completed and the commissioner shall make a final decision within 120 days after the date of notification under subdivision (b)(4)(c)(4) of this section.  Whenever it is not practicable to complete a review within 120 days, the commissioner may extend the review period up to an additional 30 days.  Any review period may be extended with the written consent of the applicant and all other applicants in the case of a review cycle process.

(7)  Notice of the final decision shall be sent to the applicant, competing applicants, and interested parties.  This notice The final decision shall make include written findings and conclusions stating the basis of the decision.

Sec. 5a.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The commissioner shall adopt rules governing procedures for the expeditious processing of applications for replacement, repair, rebuilding, or reequipping of any part of a health care facility or health maintenance organization destroyed or damaged as the result of fire, storm, flood, act of God, or civil disturbance, or any other circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, and of applications where the health care facility is affected by bankruptcy proceedings, where the commissioner finds that the circumstances require action in less time than normally required for review. If the nature of the emergency requires it, an application under this subsection may be reviewed by the commissioner only, without notice and opportunity for public hearing or intervention by any party.

Sec. 5b.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(g) is added to read:

(g)  If the commissioner has reason to believe that the applicant has violated a provision of this subchapter, a rule adopted pursuant to this subchapter, or the terms or conditions of a prior certificate of need, the commissioner may take into consideration such violation in determining whether to approve, deny, or approve the application subject to conditions.  The applicant shall be provided an opportunity to contest whether such violation occurred, unless such an opportunity has already been provided.  The commissioner may impose as a condition of approval of the application that a violation be corrected or remediated before the certificate may take effect.

Sec. 5c.  18 V.S.A. § 9445(d) is added to read:

(d)  The commissioner shall adopt by rule criteria for assessing the circumstances in which a violation of a provision of this subchapter, a rule adopted pursuant to this subchapter, or the terms or conditions of a certificate of need require that a penalty under this section shall be imposed, and criteria for assessing the circumstances in which a penalty under this section may be imposed.

Sec. 5d.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(c)(5) is amended to read:

(5)  An applicant seeking expedited review of a certificate of need application may simultaneously file a letter of intent and an application with the commissioner.  Upon making a determination that the proposed project may be uncontested and does not substantially alter services, as defined by rule, or upon making a determination that the application relates to a health care facility affected by bankruptcy proceedings, the commissioner shall issue public notice of the application and the request for expedited review and identify a date by which a competing application or petition for interested party status must be filed.  If a competing application is not filed and no person opposing the application is granted interested party status, the commissioner may formally declare the application uncontested and may issue a certificate of need without further process, or with such abbreviated process as the commissioner deems appropriate.  If a competing application is filed or a person opposing the application is granted interested party status, the applicant shall follow the certificate of need standards and procedures in this section, except that in the case of a health care facility affected by bankruptcy proceedings, the commissioner after notice and an opportunity to be heard may issue a certificate of need with such abbreviated process as the commissioner deems appropriate, notwithstanding the contested nature of the application.

Sec. 5e.  18 V.S.A. § 9440(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The commissioner shall adopt rules governing procedures for the expeditious processing of applications for replacement, repair, rebuilding, or reequipping of any part of a health care facility or health maintenance organization destroyed or damaged as the result of fire, storm, flood, act of God, or civil disturbance, or any other circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, and of applications where the health care facility is affected by bankruptcy proceedings, where the commissioner finds that the circumstances require action in less time than normally required for review. If the nature of the emergency requires it, an application under this subsection may be reviewed by the commissioner only, without notice and opportunity for public hearing or intervention by any party.

Sec. 6.  18 V.S.A. § 9444 is amended to read:

§ 9444.  REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATES; MATERIAL CHANGE

The commissioner may revoke a certificate of need for substantial noncompliance with the scope of the project as designated in the application, or for failure to comply with the conditions set forth in the certificate of need granted by the commissioner.  In the event that after a project has been approved, its proponent wishes to materially change the scope or cost of the approved project, all such changes are subject to review under this subchapter. If a change itself would be considered a new health care project as defined in subsection 9434(a) section 9434 of this title, it shall be considered as material.  If the change itself would not be considered a new health care project as defined in subsection 9434(a) section 9434 of this title, the commissioner may decide not to review the change and shall notify the applicant and all parties of such decision.  Where the commissioner decides not to review a change, such change will be deemed to have been granted a certificate of need.

Sec. 7.  18 V.S.A. § 9445 is amended to read:

§ 9445.  ENFORCEMENT

(a)  Any person who offers or develops any new health care project within the meaning of this subchapter without first obtaining a certificate of need as required herein, or who otherwise violates any of the provisions of this subchapter, shall may be subject to the following administrative sanctions by the commissioner, after notice and an opportunity to be heard:

(1)  The state shall not issue a commissioner may order that no license or certificate permitted to be issued by the department or any other state agency may be issued to any health care facility to operate, offer, or develop any new health care project in violation of this subchapter and without a certificate of need or certificate of exemption issued pursuant thereto for a specified period of time, or that remedial conditions be attached to the issuance of such licenses or certificates.

(2)  The state shall not furnish from any reimbursement program commissioner may order that payments or reimbursements to the entity for claims made under any health insurance policy, subscriber contract, or health benefit plan offered or administered by any public or private health insurer, including the Medicaid program and any other health benefit program administered by the state, nor shall any entity chartered under the laws of this state or any person doing business in the state provide reimbursement for any new health care project offered or developed in contravention of the requirements of this subchapter be denied, reduced, or limited, and in the case of a hospital that the hospital’s annual budget approved under subchapter 7 of this chapter be adjusted, modified or reduced.

(3)(b)  In addition to all other sanctions, if any person offers or develops any new health care project without first having been issued a certificate of need or certificate of exemption therefore, or violates any other provision of this subchapter or any lawful rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, the commissioner and health care providers or consumers located in the state shall have standing to maintain a civil action in the superior court of the county wherein such alleged violation has occurred, or wherein such person may be found, to enjoin, restrain, or prevent such violation.  Upon written request by the commissioner, it shall be the duty of the attorney general of the state to furnish appropriate legal services and to prosecute an action for injunctive relief to an appropriate conclusion, which shall not be reimbursed under subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(b)(c)  After notice and an opportunity for hearing, the commissioner may impose on a person who knowingly violates a provision of this subchapter, or a rule or order adopted pursuant to this subchapter or section 15 of Title 8, a civil administrative penalty of no more than $40,000.00, or in the case of a continuing violation, a civil administrative penalty of no more than $100,000.00 or one-tenth of one percent of the gross annual revenues of the health care facility, whichever is greater, which shall not be reimbursed under subdivision (a)(2) of this section, and the commissioner may order the entity to cease and desist from further violations, and to take such other actions necessary to remediate a violation.  A person aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner under this subdivision may appeal the commissioner’s decision to the supreme court.

Sec. 8.  18 V.S.A. § 9437 is amended to read:

§ 9437. CRITERIA

A certificate of need shall be granted if the applicant demonstrates and the commissioner finds that:

(1) the application is consistent with the health resource allocation plan;

(2) the cost of the project is reasonable, because:

(A) the applicant's financial condition will sustain any financial burden likely to result from completion of the project;

(B) the project will not result in an undue increase in the costs of medical care.  In making a finding under this subdivision the commissioner shall consider and weigh relevant factors including:

(i)  the financial implications of the project on hospitals and other clinical settings, including the impact on their services, expenditures, and charges; 

(ii)  whether the impact on  services, expenditures and charges is outweighed by the benefit of the project to the public; and

Sec. 9.  EMERGENCY RULES; EFFECTIVE DATE; PROSPECTIVE REPEAL

(a)  The commissioner may adopt emergency rules to carry out the purposes of Sec. 5a of this act.

(b)  This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008, except that Sec. 5a of this act shall take effect on passage, and Sec. 5e of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.

(c)  Subsection (a) of this section shall be repealed on June 30, 2009.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for March 17, 2008, page 607.)


H. 867

An act relating to health insurance plan coverage for athletic trainer services.

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 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.  COVERAGE FOR COVERED SERVICES PROVIDED BY ATHLETIC TRAINERS

(a)  To the extent a health insurance plan provides coverage for a particular type of health service or for any particular medical condition that is within the scope of practice of athletic trainers, a licensed athletic trainer who acts within the scope of practice authorized by law shall not be denied reimbursement by the health insurer for those covered services if the health insurer would reimburse another health care provider for those services.  A health insurer may require that the athletic trainer services be provided by a licensed athletic trainer under contract with the insurer.  Services provided by athletic trainers may be subject to reasonable deductibles, co-payment and co-insurance amounts, fee or benefit limits, practice parameters, and utilization review consistent with applicable rules adopted by the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration; provided that the amounts, limits, and review shall not function to direct treatment in a manner unfairly discriminative against athletic trainer care, and collectively shall be no more restrictive than those applicable under the same policy for care or services provided by other health care providers but allowing for the management of the benefit consistent with variations in practice patterns and treatment modalities among different types of health care providers.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as impeding or preventing either the provision or coverage of health care services by licensed athletic trainers within the lawful scope of athletic trainer practice.

(b)  As used in this section, “health insurance plan” means an individual or group health insurance policy, a hospital or medical service corporation or health maintenance organization subscriber contract, or another health benefit plan offered, issued, or renewed for a person in this state by a health insurer, as defined in subdivision 9402(7) of Title 18.  The term shall not include benefit plans providing coverage for specific disease or other limited benefit coverage.

Sec. 2.  26 V.S.A. § 2086 is added to read:

§ 2086.   PATIENT CARE MANAGEMENT

(a)  A physical therapist shall be professionally responsible and legally liable for all aspects of the physical therapy care of each of his or her patients.  The director of the office of professional regulation shall identify by rule physical therapy services that only a physical therapist may perform.  At a minimum, a physical therapist shall provide:

(1)  the initial examination and documentation for each of his or her patients;

(2)  periodic reexamination and documentation of each of his or her patients;

(3)  the documented discharge of the patient, including the response to therapeutic intervention at the time of discharge.

(b)  A physical therapist shall ensure the qualifications of all physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides under his or her direction or supervision.

(c)  For each of his or her patients on each date of treatment, a physical therapist shall provide all of the therapeutic intervention that requires the expertise of a physical therapist and shall determine the use of physical therapist assistants or physical therapy aides who provide for the delivery of care that is safe, effective, and efficient, provided the assigned acts, tasks, or procedures do not exceed the person’s education or training and provided:

(1)  A physical therapist assistant shall work under a physical therapist’s supervision.  A physical therapist assistant may document care pursuant to the existing treatment plan from the supervising physical therapist.

(2)  A physical therapist may use physical therapy aides for designated routine tasks.  A physical therapy aide shall work under the on-site supervision of a physical therapist who is continuously on site and present at the facility, who is immediately available to assist the person being supervised in the services being performed, and who maintains continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment session in which a component of treatment is assigned.  This supervision by the physical therapist may extend to off-site supervision of the aide only when the physical therapy aide is accompanying and working directly with a physical therapist assistant with a specific patient or when performing nonpatient-related tasks.

(d)  A physical therapist’s responsibility for patient care management shall include accurate documentation of and billing for the services provided.

(e)  A physical therapist shall be responsible for communicating the status of a patient’s progress and other relevant information to the patient’s referring health care professional unless the patient declines to authorize release of the patient’s physical therapy records.

Sec. 3.  REPEAL

(a)  26 V.S.A. § 2081a(1) (definition of assistive personnel) shall be repealed on July 1, 2009.

(b)  26 V.S.A. § 2085 (legal liability for physical therapists) shall be repealed on July 1, 2009.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATE: APPLICABILITY

(a)  Sec. 1 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and shall apply to all health benefit plans offered, issued, or renewed on or after October 1, 2008.

(b)  Sec. 2 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 27, 2008, page 350.)

H. 870

An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations.

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

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

First:  By adding a new Sec. 6a to read as follows:

Sec. 6a.  26 V.S.A. § 273 is amended to read:

§ 273.  EXEMPTIONS

The provisions of this chapter regulating barbers and cosmetologists shall not:

* * *

(3)  prohibit a licensee from providing barbering or cosmetology services outside a licensed shop so long as those services are limited to only:

* * *

(C)  persons as part of a special occasion event so long as those services are limited to hair styling and makeup and the sanitation standards expected of licensees in licensed shops are followed;

* * *

Second:  By adding a new Sec. 8a to read as follows:

Sec. 8a.  26 V.S.A. § 378 is added to read:

§ 378.  LIMITED TEMPORARY LICENSES

(a)  Notwithstanding section 371 of this title, the board may grant an applicant a limited temporary license to practice podiatry for a period of up to 54 weeks if the applicant:

(1)  furnishes the board with satisfactory proof that he or she has attained the age of majority;

(2)  has received a diploma or certificate of graduation from an accredited school of podiatric medicine approved by the board;

(3)  has been appointed as an intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer in a licensed hospital or in a clinic which is affiliated with a licensed hospital, or in a hospital or an institution maintained by the state, or in a clinic or an outpatient clinic affiliated with or maintained by the state; and

(4)  pays the fee set forth in subdivision 1401a(a)(3) of this title.

(b)  A limited temporary license may be renewed upon payment of the fee set forth in subdivision 1401a(a)(3) of this title for the period of the applicant’s postgraduate training, internship, or fellowship program.

(c)  A limited temporary license shall entitle the applicant to practice podiatry only in the hospital or other institution designated on his or her certificate of limited temporary license and in clinics operated by or affiliated with that designated hospital or institution and only if the applicant is under the direct supervision and control of a licensed podiatrist.  The licensed podiatrist shall be legally responsible and liable for all negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of the limited temporary licensee and shall file with the board the name and address both of himself or herself and of the limited temporary licensee and the name of the hospital or other institution.

(d)  A limited temporary license shall be revoked upon the death or legal incompetency of the supervising licensed podiatrist or, upon 10 days’ written notice, by withdrawal of his or her filing by the supervising licensed podiatrist.  A limited temporary licensee shall at all times exercise the same standard of care and skill as a licensed podiatrist.  Termination of appointment as intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer of a designated hospital or institution shall operate as a revocation of a limited temporary license.

Third:  By adding a new Sec. 9a to read as follows:

Sec. 9a.  26 V.S.A. § 996(e) is amended to read:

(e) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, an applicant for renewal shall have satisfactorily completed continuing education as required by the board. For purposes of this subsection, the board shall require, by rule, not less than six nor more than ten hours of approved continuing education as a condition of renewal.   A licensee who is licensed as a funeral director shall only be required to complete continuing education requirements for a funeral director and not those for an embalmer.

Fourth:  By adding a new Sec. 10a to read as follows:

Sec. 10a.  26 V.S.A. § 1256(e) is amended to read:

(e) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, an applicant for renewal as a funeral director shall have satisfactorily completed continuing education as required by the board. For purposes of this subsection, the board shall require, by rule, not less than six nor more than ten hours of approved continuing education as a condition of renewal and may require up to three hours of continuing education for removal personnel in the subject area of universal precautions and infectious diseases.  An applicant for renewal as a funeral director who is over the age of 65 shall have satisfactorily completed two hours of approved continuing education as a condition of renewal.

Fifth:  In Sec. 14, 26 V.S.A. § 2081a(1), by striking out the first instance of the word “therapy” and inserting in lieu thereof the word therapist

Sixth:  In Sec. 17, 26 V.S.A. § 2085(a), by striking out the first sentence in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new first sentence to read as follows:  A physical therapist shall be professionally responsible and legally liable for all aspects of the physical therapy care of each of his or her patients, including care provided by physical therapist assistants, physical therapy aides, and assistive personnel.

Seventh:  In Sec. 17, 26 V.S.A. § 2085(c)(2), in the second sentence, by striking out the word “delegated” and inserting in lieu thereof the word assigned

Eighth:  In Sec. 37, 26 V.S.A. § 4121, by striking out subdivision (11)(12) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision to read as follows:

(11)(12)  ”Topical medicines” mean medicines applied to the surface of the body and include topical analgesics, anesthetics, antiseptics, scabicides, antifungals, antibacterials, and cryo-agents, and anti-inflammatory agents.

Ninth:  By adding a new Sec. 46 to read as follows:

Sec. 46.  OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION; BOARD OF FUNERAL SERVICE; STUDY

The office of professional regulation, in consultation with the board of funeral service, funeral consumers, providers of funeral services, and other stakeholders identified by the office, shall study the necessity of amending the statutes and administrative rules relating to funeral service in Vermont in the interest of public protection.  The study shall address the reorganization of the embalmer, crematory, and funeral services chapters of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, possible restructuring of the composition of the funeral board, continuing education requirements, and other amendments as deemed appropriate by the office and the board.  The office shall report to the house and senate committees on government operations with its recommendations no later than January 15, 2009.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for February 29, 2008, page 467.)

H. 885

An act relating to the developing consistent measurement standards for economic growth.

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:

Part I

*** Consistent Measurement Standards for Economic Growth ***

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS; INTENT; BENCHMARKING

(a)  The general assembly finds:

(1)  A review of several rankings for Vermont’s competitiveness and their differentiation shows very disparate results.  For example, the Beacon Hill Institute ranked Vermont twelfth and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) ranked Vermont fiftieth on their economic development competitiveness index.   Each outside ranking entity chose different factors.

(2)  Within Vermont, our measurement techniques show variations.  Job and employment data in the state suffer from definitional disparities which create conflicts for those trying to use the data.  The newly established and recently released “unified economic development budget” would be improved by the consistent use of benchmarking by state agencies.  Testimony on this study before the general assembly raised concern over state agency benchmarking because of the differing data issues and measuring approaches that affect their use by state government in Vermont.

(b)  The general assembly has a responsibility for the promotion of economic development in Vermont that builds on the unique strengths and challenges of doing business in Vermont.  The general assembly is interested in what criteria it should use to evaluate the effectiveness of economic development efforts.  Many states have structures and methods for measuring the effectiveness of economic development efforts.

(c)  The commission on the future of economic development is charged with benchmarking and measuring economic development.

(d)  Therefore, it is the intent of the general assembly in adopting this act to establish a logical structure and coherent and uniform set of benchmarks for economic development in this state.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1(h) is added to read:

(h)  The commission on the future of economic development with its staff,  using as a resource the joint fiscal office and legislative council staff, shall:

(1)  review the techniques and products of evaluations of economic development utilized by other states;

(2)  develop goals for Vermont benchmarks that build on the unique strengths and challenges of conducting business in Vermont;

(3)  identify a cohort of relevant comparables, considering both domestic and international examples; and

(4)  evaluate Vermont’s economic development benchmarking.

Sec. 3.  LABOR MARKET MEASURES

The department of labor shall collaborate with the joint fiscal office and the agency of commerce and community development to develop a mutually acceptable set of employment measures and a means of communicating them to the General Assembly.

Sec. 4.  REPEAL

Sec. 225 of No. 65 of the Acts of 2007 is repealed.

Sec. 5.  RESERVED

Part II

*** Workforce Education and Training ***

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 543 is amended to read:

§ 543.  WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND; GRANT PROGRAMS

* * *

(b)  Purposes.  The fund shall be used exclusively for the following two purposes:

* * *

(2)  internships to provide work-based learning opportunities with Vermont employers for students from Vermont colleges, public and private high schools, regional technical centers, and the Community High School of Vermont, and for students who are Vermont residents attending college, high school, technical or vocational schools out of state.

* * *

(d)  Eligible Activities.  Awards from the fund shall be made to employers and entities that offer programs that require collaboration between employees and businesses, including private, public, and nonprofit entities, institutions of higher education, technical centers, and workforce development programs.  Funding shall be for training programs and student internship programs that offer education, training, apprenticeship, mentoring, or work-based learning activities, or any combination; that employ innovative intensive student‑oriented competency-based or collaborative approaches to workforce development; and that link workforce education and economic development strategies.  Training programs or projects that demonstrate actual increased income and economic opportunity for employees and employers may be funded for more than one year.  Student internships and training programs that involve the same employer may be funded multiple times, provided that new students participate.

* * *

(f)  Awards.  Based on guidelines set by the council, the commissioner of labor shall make awards to the following:

(1)  Training Programs.  Public, private, and nonprofit entities for existing or new innovative training programs.  There shall be a preference for programs that include training for newly created or vacant positions.  Awards may be made to programs that retrain incumbent workers.  Awards under this subdivision shall be made to programs or projects that do all the following:

* * *

(G)  demonstrate an integrated connection between training and employment including a commitment by participating employers to hire those who successfully complete a training program.   If employment is not guaranteed at the successful completion of the training, the applicant must demonstrate employer involvement and that the training is likely to lead to employment in fields in which there is demand for jobs.

(H) The department shall ensure there are resources available in each quarter of the fiscal year.

* * *

* * Regional Technical Centers; Assistant Directors for Adult Education *

Sec. 7.  16 V.S.A. § 1541(c) is amended to read:

(c)  In consultation with its regional advisory board, a school board which operates a regional technical center shall:

* * *

(4)  employ and, as need requires, dismiss an adult services’ coordinator assistant director for adult education and, subject to section 243 of this title, a director of technical education;

Sec. 8.  16 V.S.A. § 1565 is amended to read:

§ 1565.  SALARY ASSISTANCE

(a)  The state board shall reimburse a school district operating a technical center for a portion of its cost in paying the salary of the following persons:

(1)  the director of technical education;

(2)  a person whose principal duty is to provide guidance services for technical students;

(3)  a person whose principal duty is to find job training opportunities for students during the time they are enrolled at the technical center;

(4)  an adult services coordinator assistant director for adult education;

(5)  an assistant director of technical education, if the technical center has full-time equivalent enrollment of at least 150 and the sending school population is at least 30 percent of the technical center’s total full-time equivalent enrollment.

(b)  Assistance under this section shall be determined by a formula and standards established by rule of the state board.  The formula and those standards:

(1)  shall provide different levels of support for different positions as follows:

(A)  Directors and guidance coordinators’ salary assistance shall be 50 percent of the state average salary and benefits for each position, or 50 percent of the actual salary and benefits for each individual, whichever is less;

(B)  Assistant Except for assistant directors for adult education, assistant directors, if the district is eligible, and co-op teachers’ salary assistance shall be 35 percent of the state average salary and benefits for each position, or 35 percent of the actual salary and benefits for each individual, whichever is less;

(C)  Adult service coordinators’ salary Salary assistance for assistant directors for adult education shall be up to 50 percent of actual salaries and benefits the state average salary and benefits paid to full-time assistant directors for adult education; salary assistance shall be prorated for part-time assistant directors.  Salary assistance under this subdivision (1)(C) shall not be paid from the education fund to the extent that the obligation is not fully funded from the general fund.  State general fund assistance shall be divided so that each district employing an assistant director receives the same base amount of state salary support. The base support shall be pro-rated for part-time assistant directors.  Payment under this subsection does not preclude a district from using other state and federal grants to supplement the actual salaries and benefits of adult service coordinators assistant directors for adult education.

Sec. 9.  INTENT; TRANSITIONAL PROVISION

(a) Nothing in Secs. 7 or 8 of this act shall be construed to prohibit a technical center from hiring both an assistant director of technical education and an assistant director for adult education or to reduce salary assistance for other technical center positions.

(b) Any person employed as an adult service coordinator on the effective date of this act shall assume the position, title, benefits and responsibilities of assistant director of adult education.

Sec. 10.  ADULT TECHNICAL EDUCATION;  workforce education and training; REPORT

(a)  The general assembly finds:

(1)  There are financial disincentives for secondary schools to encourage students to consider attending a technical education center as a viable educational option.

(2)  Adult enrollment in technical centers offered during the day is permitted on a “space-available” basis.

(3)  The costs of an adult attending a technical education center is paid by the district of residence if the adult does not have a high school diploma.  An adult who has a diploma can be charged up to 40% of the cost.

(4)  Financial support for technical education programs is limited to those students enrolled on October 15 and March 15.  There is no funding for summer programs.

(5)  The regional technical centers offer very few programs outside of the traditional school day and academic year.  A secondary student may attend the classes offered in the late afternoon or evening, but funding through the school district of residence is not available for these courses if the student also attends other secondary education classes during the school day.

(6)  Because state funding is based on a three-year average enrollment, it is increasingly difficult to begin new programs despite climbing enrollments.

(b)  The Commissioner of Education shall :

(1)  Outline and review the current method or methods by which tuition is paid for students enrolled in secondary schools (“secondary students”) to attend regional technical center programs.

(2)  Consider and propose potential solutions to any barriers preventing, discouraging, or failing to encourage secondary students to attend regional technical center programs, including scheduling issues, availability of classes outside the traditional school day and academic year, and financial disincentives.

(3)  Outline and review the current method or methods by which the cost of adults attending programs at a regional technical center is funded, both for adults who have a high school diploma and for those who do not.

(4)  Consider and propose potential solutions to any barriers preventing, discouraging, or failing to encourage adults, with and without a high school diploma, to attend regional technical centers, including scheduling issues, availability of classes outside the traditional school day and academic year, and financial disincentives.

(5)  Consider and propose potential financial and other incentives to encourage regional technical centers to offer technical education programs at times other than the traditional school day and academic year and to otherwise make technical education programs more available to secondary students and to adults with and without high school diplomas.

(6)  Consider the positive and negative aspects of including within the definition of “pupil” for purposes of determining a district’s average daily membership all adult students with a high school diploma who are attending programs at a regional technical center and consider and propose other methods of subsidizing tuition for these students.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner shall submit a written report to the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, the house committee on commerce, and the senate and house committees on education detailing the results of the work performed pursuant to this section and all potential methods of addressing the identified issues.

Part III

*** Workforce Development for Green Industries ***

Sec. 11.  FINDINGS; PURPOSE

(a)  The general assembly finds the following:

(1)  There is a growing global demand for products and services that will reduce the impact on the natural environment by individuals, businesses, governments, and many other entities.

(2)  There is a common international perception that Vermont has a very well‑defined green identity, a reputation developed through years of commitment to environmental integrity.

(3)  Vermont’s resources should be used to build a vibrant and strong environmental industry sector that creates high-wage jobs for Vermonters through the development and export of value‑added products and services designed to reduce our collective impact on the environment.

(4)  Vermont must create a framework that stimulates the innovation and investment necessary to expand the development of new renewable energy sources and distribution capacity.

(5)  Vermont’s economic development strategy must be designed to raise Vermont’s profile as a hub of environmental integrity, innovation, and opportunity for working Vermonters.

(b)  The purpose of this act is to effect the following:

(1)  To understand better and quantify the economic value and market opportunities and benefits of the emerging environmental technology sector in Vermont so that Vermont can derive economic value in the form of job creation, innovation, and development of technologies, products, and services that protect and enhance the environment.

(2)  To formulate a strategy for environmental technology sector workforce development and training and develop programs that promote and market that sector and create a competitive workforce equipped with the necessary skills and competencies to assure that Vermont is strategically positioned to compete effectively in environmental technology industries and the global marketplace and space.

Sec. 12.  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN; ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY SECTOR JOB TRAINING; LABOR FORCE ANALYSIS

(a)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Environmental technology employee” means a fulltime employee primarily engaged in providing goods or delivering services in the environmental technology sector.

(2)  “Environmental technology sector” means businesses and organizations that work in or are related to at least one of the following:

(A)  Waste management, including waste collection, treatment, disposal, reduction, recycling, and remediation.

(B)  Natural resource protection and management, including water and wastewater purification and treatment, air pollution control and prevention or remediation, soil and groundwater protection or remediation, and hazardous waste control or remediation.

(C)  Energy efficiency or conservation.

(D)  Clean energy, including solar, wind, wave, hydro, geothermal, hydrogen, fuel cells, waste-to-energy, or biomass.

(E)  Any other environmental technology certified by the secretary of commerce and community development.

(b)  The commissioner of labor in collaboration with the secretary of commerce shall perform a labor force analysis using the inventory of green business developed by the agency of commerce and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  The analysis shall include the geographic distribution of existing businesses and anticipated opportunities for business recruitment in the environmental technology sector.  The analysis shall be issued in a written report to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs no later than February 1, 2009 and shall include:

(1)  Regional profiles that identify the concentration and distribution of environmental technology opportunities in Vermont.

(2)  The skills and competencies necessary for successful employment in the environmental technology sector.

(3)  Projection of employer needs and employee skills required for the future of the environmental technology sector.

(c)  The commissioner of labor shall develop a workforce development plan relating to green building, energy efficiency, and renewable energy industries.  The plan shall be developed in consultation with the following groups:  the apprenticeship program; the building trades; the Vermont workforce development council; the association of weatherization contractors; Efficiency Vermont; Vermont Technical College; the association of general contractors; associated industries of Vermont; Vermont businesses for social responsibility; Vermont fuel dealers association; the coalition for workforce solutions; Renewable Energy Vermont; Vermont small business development centers; the  association of vocational‑technical schools; the association of adult service coordinators; Vermont green building network; and the green institute for the advancement of sustainability.

* * * Employment Practices ***

Sec. 13.   21 V.S.A. §358 is amended to read:

§ 358. ADMINISTRATION

The commissioner and the commissioner's authorized representatives have full power and authority for all the following:

* * *

(4) To recommend and determine the amount of deductions for board, lodging, apparel, or other items or services supplied by the employer or any other conditions or circumstances as may be usual in a particular employer-employee relationship, including gratuities; provided, however, that in no case shall the total remuneration received by an employee, including wages, board, lodging, apparel, or other items or services supplied by the employer, including gratuities, be less than the minimum wage rate set forth in section 384 of this title.   No deduction may be made for the care, cleaning, or maintenance of required apparel.  No deduction for required apparel shall be made without the employee’s express written authorization and the deduction shall not:

(A)   Reduce the total remuneration received by an employee below the hourly minimum wage.

(B)  Include any administrative fees or charges.

(C)  Amend, nullify or violate the terms and conditions of any collective bargaining agreement.

* * *

Sec. 14.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage.

(Committee Vote: 5-0-0)

(No House amendments)

H. 890

An act relating to compensation for certain state employees.

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

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.  32 V.S.A. § 1003 is amended to read:

§ 1003.  STATE OFFICERS

(a)  Each elective officer of the executive department is entitled to an annual salary as follows:

                                        Annual Salary           Annual Salary

                                        as of                                as of 

                                         July 8, 2007              July 5, 2009

   Governor                        $150,067                    $157,494

   Lieutenant Governor          63,701                         68,105

   Secretary of State               95,156                      100,661

   State Treasurer                   95,156                      100,661

   Auditor of Accounts           95,156                      100,661

   Attorney General              113,915                      120,077

(b)  The governor may appoint each officer of the executive branch listed in this subsection at a starting salary ranging from the base salary stated for that position to a salary which does not exceed the maximum salary unless otherwise authorized by this subsection.  The maximum salary for each appointive officer shall be 50 percent above the base salary.  Annually, the governor may grant to each of those officers an annual salary adjustment subject to the maximum salary.  The annual salary adjustment granted to officers under this subsection shall not exceed the average of the total rate of adjustment available to classified employees under the collective bargaining agreement then in effect.  In addition to the annual salary adjustment specified in this subsection, the governor may grant a special salary increase subject to the maximum salary, or a bonus, to any officer listed in this subsection whose job duties have significantly increased, or whose contributions to the state in the preceding year are deemed especially significant.  Special salary increases or bonuses granted to any individual shall not exceed the average of the total rate of adjustment available to classified employees under the collective bargaining agreement then in effect.

(1)  Heads of the following departments, offices, and agencies:

                                                                   Base Salary           Base Salary

                                                                         as of                     as of

                                                                  July 8, 2007           July 5, 2009

   (A)           Administration                           $90,745                  $93,921

   (B)           Agriculture, food and markets     90,745                     93,921

   (C)           Banking, insurance, securities,

                   and health care administration      84,834                 87,803

   (D)          Buildings and general services      84,834                     87,803

   (E)           Children and families                    84,834                    87,803

   (F)           Commerce and community                     

                     development                                90,745                93,921

   (G)           Corrections                                    84,834                87,803             

   (H)           Defender general                           76,953                79,646  

   (I)            Disabilities, aging, and

                    independent living                        84,834                   87,803         

   (J)            Economic development                 76,953                   79,646

   (K)           Education                                       84,834                 87,803 

   (L)           Environmental conservation          84,834                    87,803   

   (M)          Finance and management              84,834                   87,803   

   (N)           Fish and wildlife                           76,953                   79,646    

   (O)           Forests, parks and recreation        76,953                  79,646   

   (P)           Health                                            84,834                  87,803     

   (Q)           Housing and community affairs    76,953                     79,646

   (R)           Human resources                           84,834                  87,803   

   (S)           Human services                              90,745                93,921

   (T)           Information and innovation           84,834                    87,803

   (U)           Labor                                             84,834                 87,803 

   (V)           Libraries                                        76,953                  79,646   

   (W)          Liquor control                                76,953                 79,646   

   (X)            Lottery                                          76,953                 79,646  

   (Y)            Mental health                                  84,834                87,803         

   (Z)            Military                                         76,953 84,834    87,803 

   (Z)(AA)    Motor vehicles                              76,953                  79,646 

   (AA)(BB)  Natural resources                         90,745                93,921    

   (BB)(CC)   Natural resources board

                      chairperson                                  76,953                 79,646  

   (CC)(DD)   Public Safety                               84,834                 87,803     

   (DD)(EE)   Public service                              84,834                  87,803      

   (EE)(FF)    Taxes                                           84,834                 87,803   

   (FF)(GG)   Tourism and marketing               76,953                    79,646    

   (GG)(HH)  Transportation                             90,745                  93,921    

   (HH)(II)     Vermont health access                84,834                   87,803  

   (II)(JJ)        Veterans Veterans’ home           76,953                   79,646   

(2)  The secretary of administration may include the director of the office of professional regulation in any pay plans which may be established under the authority of subsection 1020(c) of this title, provided the minimum hiring rate does not fall below a base salary, as of July 8, 2007, of $65,239.00 and, as of July 5, 2009, of $67,522.00.

* * *

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 1003(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The annual salaries of the officers of the judicial branch named below shall be as follows:

                                                      Annual Salary   Annual Salary Annual Salary

                                                             as of                    as of               as of

                                                          July 8, 2007      July 6, 2008   July 5, 2009

   (1)           Chief justice of supreme court  $135,421    $137,522      $142,335

   (2)           Each associate justice                 129,245       131,346          135,943

   (3)           Administrative judge                  129,245       131,346           135,943

   (4)           Each superior judge                    122,867          124,968       129,342

   (5)           Each district judge                      122,867       124,968          129,342

   (6)           Each magistrate                            92,641            94,742         98,058

   (7)           Each judicial bureau hearing

officer                                             92,641     94,742              98,058

Sec. 3.  32 V.S.A. § 1141(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The compensation of each assistant judge of the superior court, which shall be paid by the state, shall be $136.28 a day as of July 9, 2006 and $142.04 a day as of July 8, 2007, $147.01 a day as of July 6, 2008, and $152.16 as day as of July 5, 2009 for time spent in the performance of official duties and necessary expenses as allowed to classified state employees.  Compensation under this section shall be based on a half-day minimum and hourly thereafter.

Sec. 4.  32 V.S.A. § 1142(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The annual salaries of the judges of probate in the several probate districts, which shall be paid by the state in lieu of all fees or other compensation, shall be as follows:

                                                    Annual Salary   Annual Salary  Annual Salary

                                                          as of                   as of                 as of

                                                       July 8, 2007    July 6, 2008      July 5, 2009

(1)        Addison                   $59,321               $61,397           $63,546

(2)       Bennington                51,559                   53,364             55,232

(3)       Caledonia                   59,321                 61,397             63,546

(4)       Chittenden                  91,402                 93,503             96,776

(5)       Essex                          28,853                 29,863             30,908

(6)       Fair Haven                  43,594                 45,120             46,699

(7)       Franklin                        59,321               61,397             63,546

(8)       Grand Isle                     28,853               29,863             30,908

(9)        Hartford                       59,321               61,397             63,546

(10)      Lamoille                       43,594               45,120             46,699

(11)      Manchester                  43,594               45,120             46,699

(12)      Marlboro                      51,559               53,364             55,232

(13)      Orange                         51,559               53,364             55,232

(14)      Orleans                       51,559               53,364             55,232

(15)      Rutland                         75,859               77,960             80,689 

(16)      Washington                  75,859               77,960             80,689  

(17)      Westminster                 43,594               45,120             46,699

(18)      Windsor                       51,559               53,364             55,232

Sec. 5.  32 V.S.A. § 1181 is amended to read:

§ 1181.  COUNTY CLERKS

The annual salaries of the county clerks in the respective counties which shall be paid by the state in lieu of all fees or other compensation paid by the state, shall be as follows:

                                                        Annual Salary Annual Salary Annual Salary

                                                               as of                 as of              as of

                                                         July 8, 2007    July 6, 2008     July 5, 2009

   (1)      Addison County          $64,627           $66,728           $69,063

   (2)      Bennington County       64,627              66,728             69,063

   (3)      Caledonia County         64,627             66,728             69,063

   (4)      Chittenden County        78,189             80,290             83,100

   (5)      Essex County                35,119             36,348             37,620

   (6)      Franklin County            64,627             66,728             69,063

   (7)      Grand Isle County         35,119             36,348             37,620

   (8)      Lamoille County           64,627              66,728             69,063

   (9)      Orange County              64,627            66,728             69,063

   (10)     Orleans County             64,627            66,728             69,063

   (11)     Rutland County            71,921             74,022             76,613

   (12)     Washington County      71,921             74,022             76,613

   (13)     Windham County          64,627            66,728             69,063

   (14)      Windsor County           68,539            70,640             73,112

Sec. 6.  32 V.S.A. § 1182(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The annual salaries of the sheriffs of all counties except Chittenden shall be $65,812.00 as of July 8, 2007 and $70,290.00 as of July 5, 2009.  The annual salary of the sheriff of Chittenden County shall be $69,646.00 as of July 8, 2007 and $74,258.00 as of July 5, 2009.

Sec. 7.  32 V.S.A. § 1183(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The annual salaries of state’s attorneys shall be:

                                                     Annual Salary          Annual Salary

                                                           as of                         as of

                                                       July 8, 2007           July 5, 2009

   (1)  Addison County          $89,020                    $94,310

   (2)  Bennington County       89,020                       94,310

   (3)  Caledonia County          89,020                     94,310

   (4)  Chittenden County         93,069                     98,501

   (5)  Essex County                 66,766                     71,277

   (6)  Franklin County             89,020                     94,310

   (7)  Grand Isle County          66,766         71,277

   (8)  Lamoille County            89,020                      94,310

   (9)  Orange County               89,020        94,310

   (10)  Orleans County            89,020                     94,310

   (11)  Rutland County            89,020         94,310

   (12)  Washington County      89,020         94,310

   (13)  Windham County         89,020         94,310

   (14)  Windsor County           89,020         94,310

Sec. 8.  2 V.S.A. § 63(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The base salary for the sergeant at arms shall be $42,675.00 as of

July 8, 2007 and $44,169.00 as of July 5, 2009.

Sec. 9.  RATE OF ADJUSTMENT

For purposes of determining annual salary adjustments, special salary increases, and bonuses under subsections 1003(b) and 1020(b) of Title 32, “the total rate of adjustment available to classified employees under the collective bargaining agreement” shall be deemed to be 3.5 percent for those earning up to and including $28.85/hour for fiscal year 2009, but in no case shall an adjustment result in an annual salary exceeding $60,000.00, and 3.5 percent for fiscal year 2010.

Sec. 10.  PAY ACT APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  Executive branch.  The two-year agreements between the state of Vermont and the Vermont state employees’ association for the defender general, nonmanagement, supervisory, state police, and corrections bargaining units, for the period July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010, shall be funded as follows:

(1)  Fiscal year 2009:

(A)  General fund.  The amount of $538,094.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of administration for proportional distribution to the departments of corrections, defender general, state’s attorneys and sheriffs, and public safety to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(B)  Transportation fund.  The amount of $1,210,258.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the secretary of administration for distribution to the agency of transportation and the department of public safety to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(C)  Other funds.  The administration shall provide additional spending authority to departments through the existing process of excess receipts to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.  The estimated amounts are $1,205,810.00 from special fund sources and $4,016,461.00 from federal and other sources.    

(2)  Fiscal year 2010:

(A)  General fund.  The amount of $6,297,693.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of administration for distribution to departments for the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(B)  Transportation fund.  The amount of $2,180,510.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the secretary of administration for distribution to the agency of transportation and the department of public safety to fund the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(C)  Other funds.  The administration shall provide additional spending authority to departments through the existing process of excess receipts to fund the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.  The estimated amounts are $1,230,031.00 from special fund sources and $4,095,444.00 from federal and other sources.

(b)  Judicial branch.  

(1)  For all exempt employees with annual salaries of $60,000.00 or more as of July 5, 2008, the implementation of salary increases as of July 6, 2008, and for all employees whose salaries are specified in Secs. 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this act, shall be postponed unless the general assembly determines the economic situation in fiscal year 2009 no longer merits the postponement of these salary increases, which shall become effective on a date determined by the general assembly.

(2)  The annual salary of an exempt employee who earns an annual salary of less than $60,000.00 as of July 5, 2008 shall not be increased to a salary greater than $60,000.00.

(3)  The two-year agreements between the state of Vermont and the Vermont state employees’ association for the judicial bargaining unit for the period July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010, and salary increases for exempt employees earning annual salaries of less than $60,000.00 as of July 5, 2008, shall be funded as follows:

(1)  Fiscal year 2009; general fund.  The amount of $330,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the judiciary to fund the fiscal year 2009 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(2)  Fiscal year 2010; general fund.  The amount of $706,615.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the judiciary to fund the fiscal year 2010 collective bargaining agreement and the requirements of this act.

(c)  Legislative branch.  

(1)  For the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010, shall be funded as follows:   Fiscal year 2010; general fund.  The amount of $143,670.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the legislature to fund the fiscal year 2010 requirements of this act.  This appropriation shall be allocated to the respective legislative appropriation units as determined by the chief legislative counsel and the chief legislative fiscal officer.

(2)  The annual salary of an exempt employee who earns $60,000.00 shall receive no adjustment.  The annual salary of an exempt employee who earns an annual salary of less than $60,000.00 as of July 5, 2008 shall not be increased to a salary greater than $60,000.00.

(d)  With due regard to the possible availability of other funds, for fiscal year 2009, the secretary of administration may transfer from the various appropriations and various funds and from the receipts of the liquor control board such sums as the secretary may determine to be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act to the various agencies supported by state funds.

(e)  This section shall include sufficient funding to ensure administration of exempt attorney pay plans, including deputy state’s attorneys and public defenders, subject to the approval of the secretary of administration.

Sec. 11.  APPROPRIATION REDUCTIONS

(a)  Position reductions.  The secretary of administration shall reduce fiscal year 2009 general fund appropriations in the executive branch of state government by $1,834,728.00 consistent with reductions in positions in the executive branch.  The secretary shall provide a report to the general assembly in January 2009 that lists all appropriation reductions, transfers, and substitutions within fiscal year 2009 appropriated funds that are proposed to achieve the general fund savings in this subsection.

(b)  Reductions in contractual services and temporary positions.  The secretary of administration shall reduce fiscal year 2009 general fund appropriations budgeted for contractual services and temporary positions in the executive branch of state government by $2,300,000.00.  The secretary shall provide a report to the general assembly in January 2009 that lists all appropriation reductions, transfers, and substitutions within fiscal year 2009 appropriated funds that are proposed to achieve the general fund savings in this subsection.

Sec. 12.  STATE GOVERNMENT LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

(a)  There is created a joint state government legislative oversight committee whose membership shall be appointed each biennial session of the general assembly.  The committee shall oversee changes in state government with a commitment to the provision of quality public service in a cost-efficient and effective manner, and work with and provide assistance to other legislative committees on matters related to state government.  In particular, the committee shall analyze public services required by law and establish an ongoing process to align financial and staff resources to provide those services.  The committee shall also review models of state government from other states.

(b)  The committee shall comprise eight members:  four members of the house of representatives, two from the committee on government operations and two from the committee on appropriations, who shall not all be from the same party, appointed by the speaker of the house; and four members of the senate, two from the committee on government operations and two from the committee on appropriations, who shall not all be from the same party, appointed by the committee on committees.

(c)  The committee shall elect a chair, vice chair, and clerk from among its members and shall adopt rules of procedure.  The chair shall rotate biennially between the house and the senate members.  The committee shall keep minutes of its meetings and maintain a file thereof.  A quorum shall consist of five members.

(d)  When the general assembly is in session, the committee shall meet at the call of the chair.  The committee may meet four times during adjournment, and may meet more often subject to approval of the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the senate.

(e)  When state employee positions are eliminated, the secretary of administration shall submit to the committee and the joint fiscal committee a report that shall include:

(1)  Total financial implications by department of the position eliminations, including specific savings by fund type.

(2)  For each specific position:

(A)  The department organizational chart for each division affected, including identification of the position eliminated and all other positions that are vacant at the start of fiscal year 2009;

(B)  The title, position number, and date the position was vacated;

(C)  The reason that the position is available for elimination;

(D)  Position classification:  exempt; classified; applicable bargaining unit, if any;

(E)  The projected fiscal year 2009 savings attributable to the position by funding source and appropriations by name and unit.

(F)  A statement on how the service or activity with which that position was involved will be addressed.

(f)  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses as provided under subsection 406(a) of Title 2.

(g)  The professional and clerical services of the joint fiscal office and the legislative council shall be available to the committee.

(h)  At least annually, the committee shall report its activities, together with recommendations, if any, to the general assembly.

Sec. 13.  PAY ACT FUNDING

(a)  The commissioner of finance and management shall submit a preliminary plan to the joint fiscal committee at its September/October 2008 meeting on levels of funding for the pay act for fiscal year 2009 funding.  The plan shall outline the funds available and any additional offsets the commissioner is planning to offer to meet pay act requirements.  The Committee shall hear any testimony it deems necessary on the service impact of the pay act funding for fiscal year 2009. 

(b)  At the November meeting of the joint fiscal committee, the commissioner shall submit a  report, including the following:

(1)  The allocation by department and section from the fiscal year 2008 pay act appropriation and the appropriation for pay act needs in Sec. 10 of this act and any other offsets to meet pay act needs;

(2)  The source of funds and the specific percentage of need being met in each department from the allocation;

(3)  Any proposed transfers between departments to meet pay act needs;

(4)  A summary of fiscal impacts by department in fiscal year 2009 due to shortfalls in pay act funds and added assessments of internal service funds;

(5)  A preliminary assessment of the administration’s intention to meet departmental pay act expense roll‑outs for fiscal year 2010.

Sec. 13a.  3 V.S.A. § 2222(i) is amended to read:

(i)  The secretary of administration is authorized to transfer vacant positions throughout the executive branch of state government, and to adjust appropriations in the executive branch in accordance with the secretary's statewide vacancy savings plan that reflects realistic savings due to vacant positions. Such appropriation adjustments shall result in no change to the total statewide legislative appropriations to the executive branch. This authority is separate from the secretary's authority provided in section 706 of Title 32. A report of all actions taken during the preceding fiscal year pursuant to this authority shall be furnished to the legislature no later than January 15 of each year.  The report shall include a list of all authorized filled and vacant positions by department and all positions subject to this subdivision and shall indicate whether each position is classified, exempt, or temporary.  In addition, the secretary shall periodically furnish the legislature with a report of accomplishments and recommendations concerning improvements in better managing resources on a statewide basis.

Sec. 13b.  SECRETARY OF ADMINISTRATION; REPORT; STATE EMPLOYEE POSITIONS

(a)  The general assembly finds that the goal in reducing state employee positions is to meet certain financial targets and not to simply reduce positions.  Because the general assembly needs detailed information to evaluate the specific actions required to meet these financial targets, the reports required by this section and 3 V.S.A. § 2222(i) are necessary for the general assembly to perform its constitutional responsibilities.

(b)  The secretary of administration shall submit the report required under 3 V.S.A. § 2222(i) to the joint fiscal committee and chairs of every legislative standing committee on July 1, 2008, September 1, 2008, and November 1, 2008.  In addition to the information required by 3 V.S.A. § 2222(i), the secretary shall also report on the number of positions eliminated since January 1, 2008 by department and indicate whether each position is classified, exempt, or temporary.  The secretary shall also recommend positions for elimination that are necessary to meet the financial targets and explain the projected fiscal year savings attributable to the position by funding source and appropriations by name and unit.

Sec. 13c.  POSITIONS ELIMINATIONS

Notwithstanding 3 V.S.A. § 327(b), no position shall be eliminated or abolished unless by act of the general assembly.

Sec. 14.  REPEAL

(a)  Sec. 12 of this act shall be repealed on July 1, 2013.

(b)  Sec. 13c of this act shall be repealed on July 1, 2009.

(Committee Vote: 4-0-1)

(For House amendments, see House Journal for April 1, 2008, page 820; April 2, 2008, page 845.)

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 233

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

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

First:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 5144a(a)(2), by striking “$150.00” and inserting in lieu thereof “$100.00

Second:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 5144a(b), in the second sentence, by striking the second instance of the word “marriage

Third:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(a)(2), by striking “$150.00” and inserting in lieu thereof “$100.00

Fourth:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(b), in the second sentence, by striking “marriage

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 241

An act relating to special veteran and gold star registration plates.

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

First:  By striking Sec. 4 in its entirety and  adding a new Sec. 4 to read:

Sec. 4.  COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES REPORT ON ISSUANCE OF DISTINCTIVE REGISTRATION PLATES

The commissioner of motor vehicles shall report to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2009, on the best methods of administering the issuance of distinctive registration plates, including motorcycle plates, with the logo of the organization or group sponsoring or requesting the plates.  In addition to any other issue deemed appropriate by the commissioner, the report shall consider the advisability of requiring a bond or cash deposit and a minimum number of applicants before the plates may be produced.  The report shall also examine appropriate fees, the design of the plates, such as standard plates with logo decals, and if a minimum number of plates must be issued over a specific period in order for the program to continue.

     Second:  By adding a Sec. 5 to read:

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATES

Sec. 4 and this section shall take effect from passage, and the remainder of the act shall take effect on January 1, 2009.

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 342

An act relating to Lake Champlain commemorative motor vehicle plates.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 515c is added to read:

§ 515c.  LAKE CHAMPLAIN QUADRICENTENNIAL COMMEMORATIVE MOTOR VEHICLE PLATES

(a)  Legislative intent.  It is the intent of the general assembly to commemorate the 400 years since the discovery of Lake Champlain in 1609.  In order to provide an appropriate tribute to the 400th anniversary, it is the purpose of this section to provide for the generation of revenue to help underwrite the costs for this celebration by authorizing the design, purchase, sale, and display of commemorative motor vehicle plates.

(b)  Authority.  The Lake Champlain quadricentennial commission is authorized to design, produce, purchase, distribute, and sell commemorative motor vehicle plates as described in subsection (a) of this section.  Plates shall not be produced, sold, distributed, or displayed which are not approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles.

(c)  Use.  Residents of the state of Vermont may display one approved commemorative plate on the front of a registered motor vehicle as provided in this subsection.  The commemorative plates shall not be used instead of regular registration plates, nor are they required to be displayed on a motor vehicle.  The commemorative plate may be displayed on a motor vehicle registered as a pleasure car and on trucks registered for less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan, by covering the front registration plate with the commemorative plate from July 1, 2008 until June 30, 2010.  The regular front registration plate shall not be removed.  The rear registration plate shall be in place and clearly visible at all times.

(d)  Price.  The retail price shall be established by the Lake Champlain quadricentennial commission; however, the first 400 plates shall be numbered as such and shall sell for a premium price, and the remainder of the plates issued shall sell for not less than $25.00.

House Proposal of Amendment

S. 365

An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

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

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  STATE BUILDINGS

The following is appropriated in total to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual allocations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – for improvements at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford:                                                            125,000

(2)  Statewide, building reuse:                                                      100,000

(3)  Statewide, contingency fund:                                                  500,000

(4)  Statewide, major maintenance:                                               7,000,000

(5)  Statewide, planning:                                                               25,000

(6)  Montpelier, 120 State Street, elevator replacement:   450,000

(7)  Montpelier, 120 State Street, window replacement:   500,000

(8)  Springfield state office building, supplement:                           300,000

(9)  St. Albans, 20 Houghton Street, roof repairs:                        250,000

(10)  St. Albans, 20 Houghton Street, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements:                                450,000

(11)  St. Albans, correctional facility sewer upgrade:         600,000

(12)  State Archives, relocation to Middlesex, design, and construction:

                                                                                                   1,500,000

Total appropriation – Section 1                                                           $11,800,000

Sec. 2.  TAXES

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes for an ongoing project to update statewide quadrangle maps through digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping.

Total appropriation – Section 2                                                            $100,000

Sec. 3.  HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY LABORATORIES/BUILDING #617 IN ESSEX

The sum of $5,000,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for construction and renovation of Building #617 in Essex, including co-location of the department of health and department of public safety forensics laboratories.                         

Total appropriation - Section 3                                                             $5,000,000

Sec. 4.  HUMAN SERVICES

The following is appropriated in total to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for the projects described in this section.

(1)  Vermont state hospital, ongoing security and maintenance:                                                                                                                           100,000

(2)  Vermont state hospital, to study the feasibility of converting the Dale correctional facility, converting the Brooks facility, or contracting for new construction to create a secure residential facility in Waterbury, and for continued planning, design, and permitting associated with the certificate of need (CON) process for a facility or facilities to replace any of the functions of the current Vermont State hospital:                                                  250,000

 (3)  Corrections, continuation of suicide abatement project:         124,000

(4)  Corrections, major maintenance and renovations:    1,845,000

Total appropriation – Section 4                                                             $2,319,000

Sec. 5.  JUDICIARY

The sum of $719,676 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary for security improvements, renovations, and mechanical upgrades at the Windham district and family courthouse in Brattleboro.

Total appropriation – Section 5                                                             $719,676

Sec. 6.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

The following sums are appropriated for building communities grants:

(1)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic preservation grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5601:                                                     150,000

(2)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the historic barns preservation grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5602.  However, funds shall not be granted to projects which propose to remove historic building features, even if they were added after the original construction of the building.  The division for historic preservation, with the approval of the commissioner of housing and community affairs, may use up to $40,000 of the funds appropriated in this subdivision to conduct a statewide census of Vermont barns for the purpose of future restoration efforts:                                                                        150,000

(3)  To the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5603:                                                                        150,000

(4)  To the department of buildings and general services for the recreational facilities grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5604:                                                                                                                                                     150,000

(5)  To the department of buildings and general services for the human services and educational facilities competitive grant program established in 24 V.S.A. § 5605:                                                                                    150,000

(6)  To the department of information and innovation for the Vermont telecommunications authority for the broadband development grant program established in Sec. 3 of No. 79 of the Acts of 2007:                                    100,000

Total appropriation – Section 6                                                             $850,000

Sec. 7.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The following sums are appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for the following projects:

(1)  Major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided such maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services:                                                                             200,000

(2)  Continued planning and design to expand the visitors’ center at the Calvin Coolidge state historic site in Plymouth Notch.  These funds, and up to $84,100 of unexpended funds from previous years’ appropriations, may be used as matching funds for a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities:                                                                  200,000

(b)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the following projects:

(1)  Protecting, preserving, moving, or reinterring human remains discovered in unmarked burial sites:                                        25,000

(2)  Underwater preserves:                                                          25,000

(3)  Placement and replacement of roadside historic site markers:                                                                                                                                    10,000

Total appropriation – Section 7                                                             $460,000

Sec. 8.  EDUCATION

The following is appropriated in total to the department of education for the purposes described in this section:

(1)  State aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16, to be expended on projects prioritized for funding by the state board of education on December 18, 2007:                                                   9,993,250

(2)  For the Walden School District, for 25 percent of the eligible costs of roof repairs at the Walden School:                           6,750

Total appropriation – Section 8                                                                                                                                                                                             $10,000,000

Sec. 9.  AUSTINE SCHOOL

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for renovation of Holton Hall at the Austine School.

Total appropriation – Section 9                                                             $50,000

Sec. 10.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,600,000 is appropriated to the University of Vermont for construction, renovation, or maintenance projects.  The university shall file with the general assembly on or before January 15 an annual report that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations, including an explanation of the process for bidding for contractors or subcontractors where the amount of the contract or subcontract exceeds $50,000.

Total appropriation – Section 10                                                           $1,600,000

Sec. 11.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,600,000 is appropriated to the Vermont State Colleges for major facility maintenance.  The state colleges shall file with the general assembly on or before January 15 an annual report that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations, including an explanation of the process for bidding for contractors or subcontractors where the amount of the contract or subcontract exceeds $50,000.

Total appropriation – Section 11                                                           $1,600,000

Sec. 12.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)  The following is appropriated in total to the agency of natural resources for water pollution control projects:

(1)  State matching funds for the pollution control and clean water state revolving fund administered in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24:                                                                                2,100,000

(2)  Pollution control projects in Springfield and Newport City:                                                                                                                 2,000,000

(3)  Wastewater facilities project in Pownal:                     1,000,000

(4)  Interest on short‑term borrowing associated with delayed grant funding for the Pownal project:                                          120,000

Total Appropriation - Section 12(a)                                          $5,220,000

(b)  The following is appropriated in total to the agency of natural resources for the drinking water state revolving fund:                     1,900,000

(c)  The following is appropriated in total to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program to accelerate the reduction of phosphorus discharges into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state:

(1)  Ecosystem restoration and protection:                        1,120,000

(2)  Unregulated stormwater management:                        150,000

(3)  Wastewater phosphorus removal at municipal wastewater treatment plants:                                                                                 550,000

(4)  For the Farmers Watershed Alliance, to reduce phosphorus loads to Lake Champlain:                                                           30,000

(5)  For the Natural Resource Conservation Districts, to reduce phosphorus loads to the waters of the state:                             50,000

Total Appropriation - Section 12(c)                                            $1,350,000

(d)  The following sum is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the state’s year-one share of the federal match to conduct a three-year study of spring flooding in the city of Montpelier.  However, the state shall not enter into any commitment to pay for construction of flood control improvements without legislative approval:                                                100,000

(e)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for the purposes described in this subsection:

(1)  Rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure:          800,000

(2)  For the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for the procurement in fee simple or by easement of properties along the Long Trail:            25,000

Total Appropriation - Section 12(e)                                          $825,000

(f)  The following sums are appropriated  to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife for projects described in this subsection:

(1)  Filter building at the Bald Hill Fish Culture Station:   125,000

(2)  Road resurfacing, dismantling of a degraded building, or shooting range modifications at Buck Lake and Kehoe conservation camps, or any combination of these:                                                                      50,000

(3)  For the Lake Champlain Walleye Association, Inc. to upgrade and repair the walleye rearing, restoration, and stocking infrastructure:            25,000

(4)  For the purchase and installation of a generator at the Salisbury fish culture station:                                                                  $100,000

Total Appropriation  Section 12(f)                                            $300,000

Total appropriation – Section 12                                                                                                                                                                                            $10,245,000

Sec. 13.  MILITARY

The following is appropriated in total to the department of the military for the projects described in this section.  If the state’s share of site acquisition costs in subdivision (1) of this section exceeds $150,000, the department of the military may use funds appropriated in subdivision (2) of this section as needed for the state’s share:

(1)  Site acquisition for the combined northern field maintenance shop and Morrisville armory:                                                  150,000

(2)  Design and implementation of energy conservation projects at up to ten armories:                                                                   200,000

Total appropriation – Section 13                                                           $350,000

Sec. 14.  PUBLIC SAFETY

The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety for removal of the pump island and underground storage tank in Waterbury.

Total appropriation – Section 14                                                           $15,000

Sec. 15.  FIRE SERVICE TRAINING

The following sums are appropriated for fire service training:

(1)  To the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont fire service training council for construction of a fire training facility at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford.  Capital funds appropriated for construction of this project shall not exceed the sum of $2,000,000:                         2,000,000

(2)  To Vermont State Colleges as the state’s financial contribution to the construction of a steel burn building at the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph.  The state’s appropriation is contingent upon receipt by Vermont Technical College of a $406,000 federal appropriation earmarked for construction of the steel burn building.  As a condition of the state’s appropriation, Vermont Technical College shall provide use of classrooms and dormitories for firefighter training during times when they are not otherwise needed for Vermont Technical College programs or services.  In the event the federal funds earmarked for this project are not received by January 1, 2009, the appropriation of this subdivision shall revert to the department of buildings and general services for future capital expenditures.  It is the intent of the general assembly that the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont in Pittsford shall be the headquarters for the fire service training council, and that the building constructed pursuant to this subdivision shall be a satellite building operated by the fire service training council.  The fire service training council shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Vermont Technical College regarding operation of the building:                                                                             240,000

Total appropriation – Section 15                                                           $2,240,000

Sec. 16.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

The following sums are appropriated in total to the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the purposes described in this section:

(1)  For the best management practice implementation cost share program, to continue to develop best management practices on Vermont farms.  Farmers participating in this program are eligible for cost share funds not to exceed $75,000 or 80 percent of a project:                                                          1,800,000

(2)  For the agricultural buffer program, to install water quality conservation buffers, and for the capital equipment assistance program established in S.290 of 2008.  Up to $250,000 of this amount shall be for the capital equipment assistance program, provided that the state’s share shall not exceed $50,000 or 50 percent of a project:                                       500,000

(3)  For the competitive grants program for agricultural fair capital projects.  No single entity shall be awarded more than ten percent of this appropriation:                                                                                        180,000

Total appropriation – Section 16                                                           $2,480,000

Sec. 17.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to Vermont Public Television as the state match for the federally mandated conversion of Vermont Public Television’s transmission sites to digital broadcasting format.

Total appropriation – Section 17                                                           $300,000

Sec. 18.  VERMONT INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

The sum of $214,770 is appropriated to Vermont Interactive Television for video upgrades, codec upgrades, monitor replacement, or any combination thereof, at Vermont Interactive Television sites.

Total appropriation – Section 18                                                           $214,770

Sec. 19.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of public safety, division of fire safety for the Vermont rural fire protection task force to continue the dry hydrant program.

Total appropriation – Section 19                                                           100,000

Sec. 20.  VERMONT VETERANS HOME

The sum of $1,700,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans Home for the final phase of geothermal HVAC renovations.

Total appropriation – Section 20                                                           $1,700,000

Sec. 21.  VERMONT CENTER FOR CRIME VICTIM SERVICES

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at domestic violence shelters.  The Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services shall file with the commissioner of buildings and general services an annual report, on or before December 1, 2008, which details the status of the improvements funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

Total appropriation – Section 21                                                           $50,000

* * * Financing this Act * * *

Sec. 22.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

The following sums are reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 of this act, unless otherwise specified:

(1)  of the amount appropriated in Sec. 2(c) of No. 185 of the Acts of the 1995 Adj. Sess. (1996) (GOVnet for schools):                                 2,695.47

(2)  of the amount appropriated in Sec. 8(a)(6) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1997 (information technology):                                   14,440.22

(3)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 2(d) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 (EWIMS):                                                           11,500.50

(4)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 2(b) of No. 62  of the Acts of 1995 (satellite video recording equipment):                         4,211.50

(5)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 2a(b)(1) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 (VALS to GOVnet conversion):                     5,381.29

(6)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(p) of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (Vermont hydroelectric):                        152,675.59

(7)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4(e) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (illumination plan for Bennington Battle Monument):                                                                                                                                         528.99

(8)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 11(b) of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) (creation of Civil War monument):             1,296.61

(9)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 3(f)(2) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (fit-up of a VCI building at the southern state correctional facility):                                                                                                                                          44,912.60

(10)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (Rutland courthouse renovations):                                39,249.25

(11)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 20 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery expansion design): 50,000.00

(12)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(c) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (renovations to Bennington courthouse to enhance security and litigant services):                                                                        198,844.00

(13)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 12(d) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (public safety outpost at the Williston rest area):                                                                                                                                           3,912.00

(14)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 1(1) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (design and construction of state archives at the triangle site in Montpelier) for the purpose of relocating the state archives to Middlesex pursuant to Sec. 1(12) of this act:                                                              1,695,547.50

(15)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(1) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (historic preservation grants):                                394.41

(16)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(1) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (historic preservation grants):                             23,016.00

(17)  for the purpose of closing and renovating correctional facilities pursuant to Sec. 4(4) of this act:

(A)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 3(c) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (corrections work camp):                                    78,587.41

(B)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4(c) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (corrections work camp):                           676,167.00

(C)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 4(1) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (corrections work camp site acquisition):                           99,367.00

(18)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 5(b)(1) of No. 121 of the Acts of 2004 (historic barn grants):                                       241.93

(19)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(2) of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 (historic barn grants):                                      9,728.70

(20)  of the amount appropriated by Sec. 16(a)(2) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (historic barn grants):                            30,748.00

Total reallocations and transfers – Section 22                                $3,143,445.97

Sec. 23.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

(a)  The state treasurer is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $49,050,000 for the purpose of funding the appropriations of this act.  The state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, shall determine the appropriate form and maturity of the bonds authorized by this section consistent with the underlying nature of the appropriation to be funded.  The state treasurer shall allocate the estimated cost of bond issuance or issuances to the entities to which funds are appropriated pursuant to this section and for which bonding is required as the source of funds, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to authorize the state treasurer to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $54,650,000.  However, of this amount, $5,600,000 shall be authorized in the appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009.

Total bonding – Section 23                                                        $49,050,000

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec. 24.  AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER FUNDS

The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances among projects authorized in Sec. 12 of this act.

Sec. 25.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

(a)  Notwithstanding section 5 of Title 32 (acceptance of grants):

(1)  The commissioner of environmental conservation, with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, may accept federal grants made available through the federal Clean Water Act and the federal Drinking Water Act in accordance with chapter 120 of Title 24.  Acceptance of this grant money is hereby approved, provided all notifications are made under subsection 4760(a) of Title 24.

(2)  The commissioner of corrections, with the approval of the secretary of human services, may accept federal grants made available through federal crime bill legislation. 

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds, equipment, and services from any source, including federal appropriations, for the installation, operation, implementation, or maintenance of energy conservation measures or improvements at state buildings.

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept federal grant funds in connection with the state health and forensic laboratories.  These funds may be used to defray or supplement costs in Sec. 3 of this act.

(5)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept federal grant funds from the department of public safety for the purpose of purchasing, designing, and retrofitting a new emergency management facility and emergency operations center.  No state funds shall be appropriated to this project from general obligation bonds issued for capital construction under this act or any prior capital construction act. 

(b)  Each receipt of a grant or gift authorized by this section shall be reported by the commissioner of the department receiving the funds to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to the joint fiscal committee. 

 

 

* * * Buildings and General Services * * *

Sec. 26.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS; BENNINGTON STATE OFFICE BUILDING; BUILDING #617 IN ESSEX JUNCTION

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.

(b)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to spend up to $250,000 from funds appropriated for the Bennington state office building in Sec. 1(14) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 for the purpose of developing a comprehensive proposal to meet state office building needs while supporting the downtown redevelopment initiative in the town of Bennington.  In developing the proposal, the commissioner may hire one or more consultants to evaluate existing and potential state office space in Bennington, and shall consult with the Bennington downtown task force created by Sec. 4 of No. 53 of the Acts of 2007 to explore and evaluate opportunities.  Any recommended proposal shall limit the state’s capital appropriation for the project to up to a total of $10 million, and the commissioner shall explore all potential funding opportunities for the proposal.  On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall submit a report to the senate committee on institutions and the house committees on corrections and institutions on behalf of the department of buildings and general services and the Bennington downtown task force regarding a plan for Bennington state offices and for the Bennington district and family courts.  The proposal may include any of the following:

(1)  Selling the current state office building and land, and relocating state programs, services, and staff to another site.

(2)  Redeveloping one or more state buildings.  Redevelopment may include any of the following for all or portions of the building or buildings:  renovations, razing, leasing, entering into condominium agreements, entering into partnership agreements, and location of state programs, services, and staff.

(3)  Purchase or lease of a building or buildings, or a portion of a building or buildings in the town of Bennington for relocation of state programs, services, and staff.

(4)  Purchase of land and construction of a building in the town of Bennington, with priority consideration given to the designated downtown development district; location of state programs, services, and staff in the downtown building; and potential use of a portion of the building by nonstate workers through a lease, condominium agreement, or partnership agreement.

(c)  Current construction plans and funding for the health and public safety laboratories at Building #617 in Essex referenced in Sec. 3 of this act require phased construction, which could potentially increase the overall cost of this project.  It is therefore deemed to be in the state’s best interest to expedite construction, and it is the intent of the general assembly to approve the exploration by the commissioner of buildings and general services of various development options that would expedite the construction process.  Notwithstanding sections 161, 165, and 166 of Title 29, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to explore, develop, and negotiate with the current property manager all development options available regarding the land and property commonly referred to as “Building #617” in Essex Junction.  After consultation with the chairs and vice-chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions, and upon approval from the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal committee, the commissioner of buildings and general services may undertake any of the following:

(1)  Enter into one or more development agreements that would expedite the design, development, construction, and occupancy of the proposed health and forensic laboratories.

(2)  Sell the state’s property or any portion thereof located at 30 and 42 Allen Martin Drive in Essex Junction.  The commissioner’s authority to sell includes the discretion to apply the proceeds from the sale to the state’s contribution or costs related to the development plan for the health and forensic laboratories.

(3)  Reallocate any unencumbered prior capital appropriations for the development and construction of the health and forensic laboratories to the state’s contribution or costs related to the plan for expedited construction.   

(4)  Enter into operating leases or agreements, including condominium agreements, or other agreements such as lease-purchase, lease-lease back,

sell-lease back, land lease, or any combination thereof to expedite the construction of Building #617 in Essex Junction.

(d)  In order to expedite the placement of the state public safety laboratories, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to pursue options for location of the laboratories other than the Building #617 location.  After consultation with the chairs and vice-chairs of the senate and house committees on institutions, and upon approval from the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal committee, the commissioner of buildings and general services may undertake any of the following:

(1)  Enter into one or more development agreements that would expedite the design, development, construction, and occupancy of the state public safety laboratories.

(2)  Sell all or a portion of Building #617and associated land pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166.

(3)  Reallocate any unencumbered prior capital appropriations for the development and construction of the health and forensic laboratories to the state’s contribution or costs related to the plan for expedited placement.  

(4)  Enter into operating leases or agreements, including condominium agreements, or other agreements such as lease-purchase, lease-lease back,

sell-lease back, land lease, or any combination thereof to expedite the placement of the laboratories.

(e)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to spend any funds remaining from $50,000 appropriated in Sec. 13(b) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 for the purpose of negotiating a purchase price and purchasing an option to buy land in Westminster for a new public safety field station to serve southeastern Vermont.  Any option shall be purchased pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(3)(B).  The commissioner may also use these funds to begin the process of obtaining the necessary permits to build the field station.

Sec. 27.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; MISCELLANEOUS

(a)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to sell or lease 900 square feet of state-owned land at the Newport state office building in the town of Newport.  After payment of any costs and fees associated with the transaction, proceeds from a sale shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d), and proceeds from a lease shall be deposited into a property management fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160.

(b)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to subdivide and sell, at fair market value based on an appraisal paid for by the prospective purchaser, a section of state-owned property located on Railroad Row in the town of Hartford.  After payment of any costs and fees associated with the sale, proceeds shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d).

(c)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to subdivide and sell, as described in this subsection, the real property commonly referred to as the “Former Tree Farm Property” and associated buildings located in the town and village of Essex.  The property is located on the east side of Old Colchester road, the northerly part of the property being located in the town of Essex and the southerly part of the property being located in the village of Essex Junction.  Proceeds from the sale or sales, net of all related development, permitting, relocation, and sale costs, shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d).  The commissioner may:

(1)  Negotiate and enter into a sales agreement with the town of Essex, the village of Essex Junction, the Tree Farm Management Group, Inc., or any combination thereof for the sale of the parcel currently subject to a lease agreement between the state of Vermont, the town of Essex, and the village of Essex Junction; provided that the terms of the sale include a covenant restricting use of the land to educational, agricultural, and recreational uses and prohibiting development for housing, commercial, or industrial use.

(2)  Sell the wooded portion of the land on the eastern side, provided that the terms of the sale include a covenant restricting use of the land to educational, agricultural, and recreational uses and prohibiting development for housing, commercial, or industrial use.

(3)  Sell the small parcel in the western corner which contains the barn at fair market value.  However, the commissioner shall first give the town of Essex a right of first refusal on this portion of the land.

(d)  Pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166, the commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, and the joint fiscal committee shall sell, lease, subdivide, convert into condominiums, or any combination thereof, the Thayer School building located at 1193 North Avenue in Burlington; provided, however, that any transaction includes the stipulation that the department of motor vehicles must remain at the site.  After payment of any costs and fees associated with the transaction, proceeds from a sale shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d), and proceeds from a lease shall be deposited into a property management fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160.

(e)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services may sell or lease land, mineral rights, or both, as follows:

(1)  the land and mineral rights are those located at the Robert H. Wood, Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Council in Pittsford that adjoin land currently operated by Casella Property Management for purposes of gravel excavation and sale;

(2)  the transaction is limited to no more than three acres of land or mineral rights;

(3)  the term of a lease is limited to no more than 10 years;

(4)  the sale or lease price shall be based upon the fair market value of the source mineral rights; and

(5)  after payment of any costs and fees associated with the transaction, proceeds from a sale shall be deposited into a capital fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 166(d), and proceeds from a lease shall be deposited into a property management fund pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 160.

(f)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166(b), the commissioner of buildings and general services, with approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to sell the building and associated land in Middlesex known as Playcare to North American Playcare, Inc. at fair market value.  If the commissioner is unable to negotiate a sale agreement with North American Playcare, Inc., he or she may sell the building and associated land, following the procedures in 29 V.S.A. § 166(b).

Sec. 28.  LOCATION OF STATE OFFICES

(a)  Sec. 2(a)(5) of No. 61 of the Acts of 2001 and Sec. 28 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002), relating to occupancy of 133 State Street in Montpelier by the secretary of state, are repealed.

(b)  18 V.S.A. § 3(b), relating to the location in Chittenden County of the executive and administrative offices of the department of health, is repealed.

Sec. 29.  3 V.S.A. § 260(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The principal office of each administrative department shall be located at such location as the secretary of the agency of administration determines with the approval of the governor, except that the principal office of the health department shall be in Burlington, and the military department shall be at Camp Johnson.

Sec. 30.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(31) and (32) are added to read:

(31)  Receive payments from vendors through the real-time demand response program (DRP).  The commissioner may contract with third‑party brokers or directly with Independent System Operators to generate or to reduce electrical demand or both for state-owned facilities in return for payments to the state which shall be retained by the facilities operations revolving fund established in section 160a of this title.

(32)  Accept funds and other contributions for state house renovations and restorations; educational, interpretive, and curatorial projects pertaining to the state house; and acquisition of historic furnishings, fixtures, and works of art for projects that pertain to the state house.

Sec. 31.  32 V.S.A. § 701a(c) is added to read:

(c)  The sums appropriated and spending authority authorized by a capital construction act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.

Sec. 32.  EVIDENCE ROOM; STUDY

The commissioner of buildings and general services shall consult with the chair of the  preservation of evidence committee created by Sec. 2 of No. 60 of the Acts of 2007 to determine options for construction of an evidence room for retention of evidence collected in criminal cases.  The commissioner shall recommend a place for location of an evidence room to the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions on or before January 15, 2009.

* * * Health and Public Safety Laboratory * * *

Sec. 33.  PATRICIA SCOVILLE DNA LABORATORY

The DNA laboratory in the state forensics laboratory shall be named in honor of Patricia Scoville in its present location and in any subsequent location.           

Sec. 33a.  VERMONT STATE HOSPITAL PLANNING

(a) The Department of Mental Health shall ensure that any space renovated with state funds on or near the current Vermont State Hospital grounds which will be used to accommodate or enhance treatment programs at the current Vermont State Hospital shall be designed to meet any future needs of a secure residential program if the program is offered on or near the current Vermont State Hospital building grounds.

(b) On or before the date of filing of a CON application relating to replacement of any of the functions of the current Vermont State Hospital, the commissioner of mental health shall submit a Vermont State Hospital replacement master plan to the joint fiscal committee and mental health oversight committee.

(c)  Any CON application filed with the department of Banking, Insurance, and Health Care Administration for any part of the Vermont state hospital replacement master plan, or for continued planning, design, and permitting for any component of the current functions of the state hospital, shall simultaneously be submitted to the joint fiscal committee and mental health oversight committee.   

(d)  The conditions stated in the CON application regarding consideration of sites, funding, and operations shall be adhered to by the department.  When the department submits any planning updates as required by the CON, the documents shall be submitted to all appropriate legislative committees, with executive summaries describing the submissions provided to both joint fiscal committee and mental health oversight committees. 

* * * Judiciary * * *

Sec. 34.  INVENTORY OF COUNTY COURTHOUSES

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly to establish a consistent formula for use of a county courthouse by the supreme court, district court, family court, and judicial bureau.  In keeping with this intent, the commissioner of buildings and general services and the court administrator shall conduct an inventory of all county courthouses in the state and report to the senate committee on institutions and the house committees on corrections and institutions on or before January 15, 2009 on the following:

(1)  ownership of each county courthouse;

(2)  the number of state courts occupying space in county courthouses and county courts occupying space in state courthouses;

(3)  existing financial and other agreements between the court administrator and the assistant judges for use of a county courthouse by a state court or use of a state courthouse by a county court; and

(4)  a recommendation for a fee-for-space formula for use of a county courthouse by a state court or use of a state courthouse by a county court.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to continue with the use and operation of each existing county courthouse currently in use.

* * * Building Communities Grants * * *

Sec. 35.  REPEAL

The following are repealed:

(1)  Sec. 35 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005, relating to a broadband development competitive grant program.

(2)  Sec. 34 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005, relating to a recreational and educational facilities grant program.

(3)  Sec. 36 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005, relating to a human services competitive grant program.

Sec. 36.  24 V.S.A.  chapter 137 is added to read:

Chapter 137:  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

§ 5601.  HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANT PROGRAM

There is established an historic preservation grant program which shall be administered by the division for historic preservation in the agency of commerce and community development.  Grants shall be made available to municipalities and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations on a one-for-one matching basis for restoring buildings and structures.

§ 5602.  HISTORIC BARNS PRESERVATION GRANT PROGRAM

There is established an historic barns preservation grant program which shall be administered by the division for historic preservation in the agency of commerce and community development.  Grants shall be made available to municipalities and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations on a one-for-one matching basis for restoring historic barns.

§ 5603.  CULTURAL FACILITIES GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  There is established a cultural facilities competitive grant program to be administered by the Vermont arts council and made available on a one‑for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources.  No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other grant established in this chapter.  No portion of a grant shall be used to pay salaries. 

(b)  Grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis. Before it notifies an applicant that the applicant will be awarded a grant, the Vermont arts council shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.  In recommending grant awards, a review panel shall give priority consideration to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need or are in underserved areas of the state. 

(c)  The Vermont arts council shall administer the cultural facilities grant program for ease of use by grant applicants.  To accomplish this, the Vermont arts council shall:

(1)  work in conjunction with the other grant programs included in this chapter to accommodate the needs of grant applicants;

(2)  ensure that the cultural facilities grant application deadlines are consistent with other grant programs included in this chapter;

(3)  provide an application form and process with clear instructions and examples to help applicants complete the form and which include an opportunity for a community to demonstrate its ability to generate required matching funds from local fundraising or other efforts;

(4)  establish a selection process which ensures equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(5)  ensure accountability by grant recipients.           

§ 5604.  RECREATIONAL FACILITIES GRANT PROGRAM 

(a)  Creation of program.  There is created a recreational facilities grant program to be the successor to and a continuation of the recreational and educational facilities grant program established in Sec. 34 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the development and creation of community recreational opportunities in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000.00 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every one dollar awarded under this program. No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other grant program established in this chapter.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a recreational facilities grant advisory committee to include the commissioners of forests, parks and recreation and of buildings and general services or the commissioners’ designees; a representative of the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association; two members of the Vermont general assembly, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; a representative of the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council; and one citizen member to be appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The citizen member shall serve for a term of two years or until his or her successor is appointed. 

(c)  Process.  The recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the recreational facilities grant program for ease of use by applicants.  To accomplish this, the committee shall:

(1) develop an application form and process with clear instructions and examples to help applicants complete the form and which include an opportunity for a community to demonstrate its ability to generate required matching funds from local fundraising or other efforts;

(2)  establish a selection process which ensures equitable selection of grant recipients;

(3)  ensure accountability by grant recipients; and

 (4) ensure that the grant application deadlines are consistent with other grant programs included in this chapter.    

(d)  Before it notifies an applicant that the applicant will be awarded a grant, the recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

§ 5605.  HUMAN SERVICES AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  Creation of program.  There is created a human services and educational facilities grant program to be the successor to and a continuation of the human services competitive grant program established in Sec. 36 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the major maintenance, renovation, or development of facilities for the delivery of human services and health care or for the development of educational opportunities in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000.00 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that at least three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every dollar awarded under this program. No grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other grant program established in this chapter.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a human services and educational facilities grant advisory committee to include the secretary of human services or the secretary’s designee; the commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner’s designee; two members of the Vermont general assembly, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the senate committee on committees; and three representatives of broad-based community organizations, such as the United Way of Vermont, who shall be selected and appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The members appointed by the governor shall serve for terms of two years or until their successors are appointed.

(c)  Process.  The human services and educational facilities grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the human services and educational facilities grant program for ease of use by applicants.  To accomplish this, the committee shall:

(1) develop an application form and process with clear instructions and examples to help applicants complete the form and which include an opportunity for a community to demonstrate its ability to generate required matching funds from local fundraising or other efforts;

(2)  establish a selection process which ensures equitable selection of grant recipients;

(3)  ensure accountability by grant recipients; and

(4) ensure that the grant application deadlines are consistent with other grant programs included in this chapter.    

(d)  Before it notifies an applicant that the applicant will be awarded a grant, the human services and educational facilities grant advisory committee shall provide notice of the award and the time and location of any award presentation to the chairs of the senate committee on institutions and the house committee on corrections and institutions and to those members of the general assembly who represent the area in which a successful applicant resides.

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

* * * Education * * *

Sec. 37.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(5)(B) is amended to read:

(5)  Final approval for construction aid.

***

(B)  The state board may approve a final application for a project provided that:

* * *

(v)  the project has otherwise met the requirements of sections

3447–3456 of this title; and

(vi)  if the proposed project includes a playground, the project includes a requirement that the design and construction of playground equipment follow the guidelines set forth in the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Handbook for Public Playground Safety; and

(vii)  if the total estimated cost of the proposed project is less than $50,000.00, no performance bond or irrevocable letter of credit shall be required.

Sec. 38.  CONTINUATION OF SUSPENSION OF STATE AID FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

In Sec. 36 of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007, the general assembly suspended state aid for school construction in order to provide time to enable the commissioner of education and the commissioner of finance and management to make recommendations for a sustainable plan for state aid to school construction.  In the absence of a viable plan for funding school construction, the general assembly hereby extends the period of suspension until a plan is developed and adopted.

* * * University of Vermont * * *

Sec. 39.  16 V.S.A. § 2363 is added to read:

§ 2363.  RESERVE FUNDS

(a)  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College may create and establish one or more special funds, herein referred to as “debt service reserve funds,” and shall pay into each such debt service reserve fund:

(1)  any moneys appropriated and made available by the state for the purpose of such fund;

(2)  any proceeds of the sale of notes or bonds, to the extent provided in the resolution or resolutions of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College authorizing the issuance thereof; and

(3)  any other moneys that may be made available to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for the purpose of such fund from any other source or sources.

(b)  All moneys held in any debt service reserve fund, except as hereinafter provided, shall be used, as required, solely for the payment of the principal or purchase or redemption price of or interest or redemption premium on bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund or of sinking fund payments with respect to such bonds or notes; provided, however, that moneys in any such fund shall not be withdrawn therefrom at any time in such amount as would reduce the amount of such fund to less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for such fund as hereafter provided except for the purpose of making payments, when due, of principal, interest, redemption premiums, and sinking fund payments with respect to bonds and notes secured in whole or in part by such fund for the payment of which other moneys of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College are not available.  Any income or interest earned by any debt service reserve fund may be transferred to other funds or accounts of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College to the extent that it does not reduce the amount of such fund below the requirement for such fund.

(c)  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall not at any time issue bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund if upon the issuance of such bonds or notes the amount in such debt service reserve fund will be less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for such fund, unless the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College at the time of issuance of such bonds or notes shall deposit in such fund from the proceeds of the bonds or notes so to be issued, or from other sources, an amount that, together with the amount then in such fund, will not be less than the debt service reserve requirement established for such fund. The debt service reserve requirement for any debt service reserve fund shall be established by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College prior to the issuance of any bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund and shall not be required to exceed “maximum debt service,” which shall mean, as of any particular date of computation, an amount equal to the greatest of the respective amounts, for the then current or any future fiscal year of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, of annual debt service on the bonds and notes of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College secured or to be secured in whole or in part by such debt service reserve fund.

(d)  In the computation of the amount of the debt service reserve funds for the purpose of this section, securities in which any of such funds shall be invested shall be valued at par if purchased at par or at amortized value, as such term is defined by resolution of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, if purchased at other than par.

(e)  In order to assure the maintenance of the debt service reserve requirement in each debt service reserve fund established by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, there may be appropriated annually and paid to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College for deposit in each such fund such sum as shall be certified by the chair of the board of trustees of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house as is necessary to restore each such debt service reserve fund to an amount equal to the debt service reserve requirement for such fund. The chair shall annually, on or about February 1, make and deliver to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house his or her certificate stating the sum required to restore each such debt service reserve fund to the amount aforesaid, and the sum so certified may be appropriated, and if appropriated, shall be paid to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College during the then current state fiscal year. The principal amount of bonds or notes outstanding at any one time and secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $66,000,000.00, provided that the foregoing shall not impair the obligation of any contract or contracts entered into by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College in contravention of the Constitution of the United States of America.

(f)  The proceeds of any bonds or notes secured by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this section shall be applied solely to costs of reconstruction, rehabilitation, or improvement of existing facilities or property of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.

* * * Vermont State Colleges * * *

Sec. 40.  16 V.S.A. § 2186 is added to read:

§ 2186.  Reserve Funds

(a)  The Vermont State Colleges may create and establish one or more special funds, herein referred to as “debt service reserve funds,” and shall pay into each such debt service reserve fund:

(1)  any moneys appropriated and made available by the state for the purpose of such fund;

(2)  any proceeds of the sale of notes or bonds, to the extent provided in the resolution or resolutions of the Vermont State Colleges authorizing the issuance thereof; and

(3)  any other moneys that may be made available to the Vermont State Colleges for the purpose of such fund from any other source or sources.

(b)  All moneys held in any debt service reserve fund, except as hereinafter provided, shall be used, as required, solely for the payment of the principal or purchase or redemption price of or interest or redemption premium on bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund or of sinking fund payments with respect to such bonds or notes; provided, however, that moneys in any such fund shall not be withdrawn therefrom at any time in such amount as would reduce the amount of such fund to less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges for such fund as hereafter provided except for the purpose of making payments, when due, of principal, interest, redemption premiums, and sinking fund payments with respect to bonds and notes secured in whole or in part by such fund for the payment of which other moneys of the Vermont State Colleges are not available.  Any income or interest earned by any debt service reserve fund may be transferred to other funds or accounts of the Vermont State Colleges to the extent that it does not reduce the amount of such fund below the requirement for such fund.

(c)  The Vermont State Colleges shall not at any time issue bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund if upon the issuance of such bonds or notes the amount in such debt service reserve fund will be less than the debt service reserve requirement established by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges for such fund, unless the Vermont State Colleges at the time of issuance of such bonds or notes shall deposit in such fund from the proceeds of the bonds or notes so to be issued, or from other sources, an amount that, together with the amount then in such fund, will not be less than the debt service reserve requirement established for such fund. The debt service reserve requirement for any debt service reserve fund shall be established by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges prior to the issuance of any bonds or notes secured in whole or in part by such fund and shall not be required to exceed “maximum debt service,” which shall mean, as of any particular date of computation, an amount equal to the greatest of the respective amounts, for the then current or any future fiscal year of the Vermont State Colleges, of annual debt service on the bonds and notes of the Vermont State Colleges secured or to be secured in whole or in part by such debt service reserve fund.

(d)  In the computation of the amount of the debt service reserve funds for the purpose of this section, securities in which any of such funds shall be invested shall be valued at par if purchased at par or at amortized value, as such term is defined by resolution of the Vermont State Colleges, if purchased at other than par.

(e)  In order to assure the maintenance of the debt service reserve requirement in each debt service reserve fund established by the Vermont State Colleges, there may be appropriated annually and paid to the Vermont State Colleges for deposit in each such fund such sum as shall be certified by the chair of the board of trustees of the Vermont State Colleges to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house as is necessary to restore each such debt service reserve fund to an amount equal to the debt service reserve requirement for such fund. The chair shall annually, on or about February 1, make and deliver to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house his or her certificate stating the sum required to restore each such debt service reserve fund to the amount aforesaid, and the sum so certified may be appropriated, and if appropriated, shall be paid to the Vermont State Colleges during the then current state fiscal year. The principal amount of bonds or notes outstanding at any one time and secured in whole or in part by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed $34,000,000.00 provided that the foregoing shall not impair the obligation of any contract or contracts entered into by the Vermont State Colleges in contravention of the Constitution of the United States of America.

(f)  The proceeds of any bonds or notes secured by a debt service reserve fund to which state funds may be appropriated pursuant to this section shall be applied solely to costs of reconstruction, rehabilitation, or improvement of existing facilities or property of the Vermont State Colleges.

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 41.  FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM; MATCHING FUNDS; REALLOCATION

(a)  Currently more than $20,000,000 in Federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) pollution reduction funds are available to Vermont farmers to reduce manure runoff into rivers and streams.  This funding is available if the state can provide $750,000 in state assistance for this purpose.  Therefore, the following funds shall be used to provide the state share:

(1)  $125,000 from funds for stream stabilization grants appropriated under Sec. 11(c)(2) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007.

(2)  $75,000 from funds for best management practices appropriated under Sec. 15(a) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007.

(3)  $200,000 from funds for ecosystem restoration and protection appropriated under Sec. 12(c)(1) of this act.

(4)  $250,000 from funds for best management practices appropriated under Sec. 16(1) of this act.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to appropriate the remaining $100,000 of required state matching funds in the appropriations act of 2008 for fiscal year 2009.

Sec. 42.  SHADOW LAKE FISH AND WILDLIFE ACCESS AREA; RIGHT                                  OF WAY

The commissioner of fish and wildlife is authorized to negotiate an agreement with Junnie and Nellie Peck, who own land adjacent to the Shadow Lake Fishing Access.  The agreement may provide, for a consideration of $1.00, an easement across the land owned by the fish and wildlife department to enable the landowners to access their residence.

Sec. 42a.  MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS; CONSULTATION

On or before October 1, 2008, the secretary of natural resources shall meet with representatives of any municipality that wishes to evaluate treatment options for the upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant.  As part of the evaluation, the agency of natural resources shall consider alternative options for upgrade of the existing wastewater treatment plant, including tertiary filter options.  The evaluation of alternative options shall include an analysis of the environmental and operational issues and full, life-cycle costs of proposed improvements to the waste water treatment plant for the purpose of phosphorous removal.  On or before January 15, 2009, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and the house committee on corrections and institutions and the senate committee on institutions with a summary of the consultations required by this section and a summary of the proposed treatment options for the evaluated wastewater treatment plants.

* * * Military * * *

Sec. 43.  20 V.S.A. § 542 is amended to read:

§ 542.  ACQUISITION, MAINTENANCE AND DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY FOR THE NATIONAL GUARD USE

In the name of the state, the board shall be responsible for the real estate and personal property of the national guard.  The board may acquire or purchase, and maintain and dispose of by sale or otherwise real estate and personal property.  Upon determination by the board that real estate is to be disposed of, the disposal shall be at fair market value, and proceeds shall be allocated to future capital appropriations.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 44.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 641

An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the proposal of amendment as follows:

     First:  By striking Sec. 1 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:

(1)  “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 the employer, that has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state.

(2) “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.

     Second:  In Sec.1, 21 V.S.A. § 305 in subsection (d) in the first sentence by striking the word “subchapter” and inserting in lieu thereof the word “section

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. 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?

H. 331

An act relating to financing the purchase of a mobile home.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

H. 332

An act relating to sale and closure of mobile home parks.

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the bill.

J.R.S. 24

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

PENDING ACTION:  Second reading of the resolution.

CONFIRMATIONS

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

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)



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us