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Journal of the House

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2007

At three o’clock in the afternoon the Speaker called the House to order.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Timothy Eberhardt from St. Johns Episcopal Church, Randolph.

Message from the Senate No. 18

     A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Marshall, its Assistant Secretary, as follows:

Madam Speaker:

I am directed to inform the House that the Senate has on its part adopted a joint resolution of the following title:

J.R.S. 16.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

In the adoption of which the concurrence of the House is requested.

House Bills Introduced

House bills of the following titles were severally introduced.  Pending first reading of the bills, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bills were read the first time by number and referred or placed on the Calendar as follows:

H. 248

     By Reps. Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Bissonnette of Winooski, Botzow of Pownal, Clerkin of Hartford, Consejo of Sheldon, Davis of Washington, Kupersmith of S. Burlington, Livingston of Manchester, Marcotte of Coventry, Shand of Weathersfield and Sunderland of Rutland Town,

An act relating to establishing the Vermont Telecommunications Authority to advance broadband and wireless communications infrastructure throughout the state;

To the committee on Commerce.

 

 

H. 249

     By Reps. Brooks of Montpelier, Moran of Wardsboro, Consejo of Sheldon, Deen of Westminster, Donovan of Burlington, Fisher of Lincoln, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, French of Randolph, Godin of Milton, Haas of Rochester, Jewett of Ripton, Johnson of South Hero, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Larson of Burlington, Lenes of Shelburne, Lorber of Burlington, Mrowicki of Putney, Obuchowski of Rockingham, Pearson of Burlington, Pugh of S. Burlington, Stevens of Shoreham, Trombley of Grand Isle, Weston of Burlington and Zuckerman of Burlington,

An act relating to increasing the basic tip minimum wage;

To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 250

By Rep. Sharpe of Bristol (By request)

An act relating to post-appeal review panel for workers’ compensation claims;

To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 251

By Rep. Obuchowski of Rockingham,

     An act relating to elected officials and executive sessions;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 252

     By Reps. Keenan of St. Albans City, Trombley of Grand Isle, Acinapura of Brandon, Head of S. Burlington and Moran of Wardsboro

     An act relating to provision of gas and electric service outside dwelling units;

     To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 253

By Reps. Rodgers of Glover and Larocque of Barnet,

An act relating to residential property tax valuation at time of sale;

To the committee on Ways and Means.

H. 254

By the committee Government Operations,

An act relating to the transfer of payroll functions from the department of human resources to the department of finance and management;

Under the rule, placed on the Notice Calendar for notice tomorrow.

H. 255

By Rep. Obuchowski of Rockingham,

An act relating to the use of handheld photo radar devises to detect speeding violations;

To the committee on Transportation.

H. 256

     By Reps. Barnard of Richmond, Mook of Bennington, Livingston of Manchester, Komline of Dorset, Evans of Essex,  Clarkson of Woodstock, Acinapura of Brandon, Allard of St. Albans Town, Ancel of Calais, Andrews of Rutland City, Aswad of Burlington, Atkins of Winooski, Audette of S. Burlington, Baker of West Rutland, Bissonnette of Winooski, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Botzow of Pownal, Branagan of Georgia, Bray of New Haven, Brennan of Colchester, Brooks of Montpelier, Canfield of Fair Haven, Chen of Mendon, Cheney of Norwich, Clark of Vergennes, Clerkin of Hartford, Condon of Colchester, Consejo of Sheldon, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Davis of Washington, Deen of Westminster, Devereux of Mount Holly, Donovan of Burlington, Dostis of Waterbury, Edwards of Brattleboro, Emmons of Springfield, Fallar of Tinmouth, Fisher of Lincoln, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Flory of Pittsford, Frank of Underhill, Gervais of Enosburg, Gilbert of Fairfax, Godin of Milton, Grad of Moretown, Head of S. Burlington, Heath of Westford, Hosford of Waitsfield, Howard of Rutland City, Hunt of Essex, Jerman of Essex, Jewett of Ripton, Keenan of St. Albans City, Keogh of Burlington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Klein of East Montpelier, Koch of Barre Town, Krawczyk of Bennington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, Larson of Burlington, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Lenes of Shelburne, Lippert of Hinesburg, Marcotte of Coventry, Marek of Newfane, Martin of Springfield, Martin of Wolcott, Masland of Thetford, McAllister of Highgate, McCormack of Rutland City, McCullough of Williston, McDonald of Berlin, Milkey of Brattleboro, Miller of Shaftsbury, Monti of Barre City, Moran of Wardsboro, Morley of Barton, Morrissey of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney, Myers of Essex, Nease of Johnson, Nuovo of Middlebury, O'Donnell of Vernon, Ojibway of Hartford, Orr of Charlotte, Partridge of Windham, Pearson of Burlington, Pellett of Chester, Peltz of Woodbury, Perry of Richford, Peterson of Williston, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Potter of Clarendon, Rodgers of Glover, Scheuermann of Stowe, Shand of Weathersfield, Sharpe of Bristol, Smith of Morristown, Spengler of Colchester, Stevens of Shoreham, Sweaney of Windsor, Symington of Jericho, Trombley of Grand Isle, Turner of Milton, Valliere of Barre City, Weston of Burlington, Wheeler of Derby, Wright of Burlington, Zenie of Colchester and Zuckerman of Burlington ,

An act relating to requiring vaccination against cervical cancer;

To the committee on Human Services.

H. 257

     By Reps. Lippert of Hinesburg, Clarkson of Woodstock, Ancel of Calais, Aswad of Burlington, Atkins of Winooski, Bissonnette of Winooski, Brooks of Montpelier, Cheney of Norwich, Clerkin of Hartford, Donovan of Burlington, Evans of Essex, Fisher of Lincoln, French of Randolph, Head of S. Burlington, Jerman of Essex, Jewett of Ripton, Larocque of Barnet, Lorber of Burlington, Maier of Middlebury, Marek of Newfane, Martin of Springfield, Martin of Wolcott, Milkey of Brattleboro, Miller of Shaftsbury, Minter of Waterbury, Monti of Barre City, Myers of Essex, Ojibway of Hartford, Pearson of Burlington, Pellett of Chester, Peterson of Williston, Pugh of S. Burlington, Sweaney of Windsor and Valliere of Barre City,

An act relating to the codification of existing community justice centers;

To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 258

By Rep. Myers of Essex (By request),

An act relating to increasing the legal age for purchase and use of tobacco products to 21;

To the committee on Human Services.

H. 259

     By Reps. Klein of East Montpelier, Botzow of Pownal, Canfield of Fair Haven, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fisher of Lincoln, French of Randolph, Haas of Rochester, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Krawczyk of Bennington, Leriche of Hardwick, Maier of Middlebury, Marek of Newfane, Masland of Thetford, McCullough of Williston, Monti of Barre City, Mrowicki of Putney, Nuovo of Middlebury, Pellett of Chester, Peltz of Woodbury, Sharpe of Bristol, Trombley of Grand Isle and  Zuckerman of Burlington,

     An act relating to enhancing public awareness and participation in enforcement of environmental laws;

To the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

H. 260

     By Reps. Monti of Barre City, Brooks of Montpelier, Audette of S. Burlington, Barnard of Richmond, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Brennan of Colchester, Corcoran of Bennington, Hunt of Essex, Klein of East Montpelier, McFaun of Barre Town, O’Donnell of Vernon, Potter of Clarendon and Valliere of Barre City ,

     An act relating to inclusion of full-time capitol police in Group C of the Vermont Employees’ retirement system;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 261

By Rep. Johnson of Canaan,

     An act relating to notice of security breaches;

     To the committee on Commerce.

Resolution Referred to Committee

H.R. 10

Reps. LaVoie of Swanton, Perry of Richford, Allard of St. Albans Town, Branagan of Georgia, Consejo of Sheldon, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Gervais of Enosburg, Gilbert of Fairfax, Howrigan of Fairfield, Keenan of St. Albans City and McAllister of Highgate offered a joint resolution, entitled

House resolution in opposition to the issuance of a certificate of need for a proposed ambulatory surgical center;

Whereas, 18 V.S.A § 9431 provides that it is the policy of the state of Vermont that “all new health care projects be offered and developed in a manner which avoids unnecessary duplication and contains or reduces increases in the cost of delivering services,” and

Whereas, this law also requires that a new health care facility maintain and improve “the quality and access to health care services,” and

Whereas, a proposed ambulatory surgical center is included within the scope of this statutory directive, and therefore, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration (the commissioner) is required to grant an ambulatory surgical center a certificate of need (CON) prior to the facility’s construction and offering of any medical services to the public, and

Whereas, the commissioner will grant a CON only if the public policy objectives stated in 18 V.S.A. § 9431 are satisfied, and

Whereas, a proposal is pending before the commissioner for the establishment of an ambulatory surgical center, and

Whereas, three area hospitals, Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Northwest Medical Center in St. Albans, and Porter Medical Center in Middlebury, have testified in this CON review process that they have sufficient capacity in their existing surgical suites to provide the same surgical care that the new organization is proposing, and that granting the CON would, contrary to law, be authorizing the duplication of existing medical services, and

Whereas, during a period of time when cost containment has been a major concern in the health care field, a proposed new surgical center would add in excess of $2 million in capital expenses to Vermont’s health care system, and

Whereas, the center is proposing an operating margin of 20–40 percent while, in contrast, Northwest Medical Center operates on a margin in the 6–8 percent range, and

Whereas, revenue-generating services that an ambulatory surgical center would provide are important for hospitals to offer in order that the hospitals are able to provide essential but money-losing services, including obstetrics, emergency rooms, wellness programs, and mental health support, and

Whereas, if the requested CON is granted to the proposed ambulatory surgical center, more ambulatory centers seeking to draw on hospitals’  revenue-generating medical services will emerge, and

Whereas, prospective patients should be concerned that a stand-alone ambulatory surgical center is not held to the same quality standards as a hospital, and

Whereas, the fact that health care regulations are applied less stringently to stand-alone ambulatory surgical centers than to hospitals affects both the quality of service and cost for patients, and

Whereas, as a result of this lower regulatory burden, the proposed ambulatory surgical center will have an unfair competitive advantage over a hospital, and

Whereas, the granting of the center’s application would violate fundamental Vermont public policy pertaining to construction of new health care facilities,  now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body expresses its opposition to the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration granting a certificate of need for the construction and operation of a proposed ambulatory surgical center, and be it further

Resolved:  That the clerk of the house be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the public oversight commission.

Which was read and, in the Speaker’s discretion, referred to the committee on Health Care.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 14

Reps. Pugh of South Burlington, Donahue of Northfield, Frank of Underhill and Sweaney of Windsor offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution requesting state agencies, departments, and offices to cease publishing calendars for free distribution;

Whereas, the finances of the state of Vermont are in a precarious condition as the general assembly prepares to adopt a budget adjustment act and looks forward to the fiscal year 2008 budgetary deliberations, and

Whereas, the budgetary review process will be painful, and many worthy programs will be granted insufficient funding for the coming fiscal year, and

Whereas, when assessing potential budgetary cuts, the legislature will be seeking to protect essential public services at the possible loss of desirable, but more peripheral, programs that do not rise to the same level of societal  importance, and

Whereas, in light of the stringent scrutiny many public programs will face, the practice of state agencies, departments, and offices publishing calendars for no-cost distribution to legislators and others is completely inappropriate, and

Whereas, although the calendars may be colorful and contain useful consumer information, they cannot be justified in these tight budgetary times, and

Whereas, it is not the primary or even ancillary mission of any state agency, department, or office to publish calendars, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests state agencies, departments, and offices to cease publishing calendars for free distribution to legislators and the public, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Mike Smith, secretary of administration. 

Which was read and, in the Speaker’s discretion, treated as a bill and referred to the committee on Government Operations.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 16

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment;

     By Senator Shumlin,

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, February 9, 2007, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, February 13, 2007.

Was taken up read and adopted in concurrence.

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 113

House bill, entitled

An act relating to all-age access for tobacco cessation programs;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

S. 32

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to appointments and terms for energy coordinators;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence.

Third Reading; Resolution Passed

J.R.H. 2

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution related to the adoption of the federal REAL ID Act;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Rules Suspended; Bill Amended and Third Reading Ordered;

Rules Suspended; Bill Read the Third Time and Passed;  Rules Suspended and the Bill was Ordered Messaged to the Senate Forthwith

H. 213

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to interim assistance to the dairy industry and the development of long-term goals for a viable agricultural sector;

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, was taken up for immediate consideration. 

Rep. Perry of Richford spoke for the committee on Agriculture.

Rep. Smith of Morristown, for the committee on Ways and Means, to which the bill had been referred, reported the same without recommendation.

Rep. Heath of Westford for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2(b), in the second sentence, by striking “330” and inserting in lieu thereof “431” and, in the last sentence, by striking “maintain the current interest rate” and inserting in lieu thereof “keep interest rates as low as possible

Second:  In Sec. 3(a) in the second sentence by striking “(f)” and inserting in lieu thereof “(c)

Third:  In Sec. 5(a), after “appropriated” by inserting “from the general fund” and by striking “$3.7” and inserting in lieu thereof “$3

Fourth:  In Sec. 5(b) by striking “$212,500.00” and inserting in lieu thereof “$200,000.00

Fifth:  By striking Secs. 6,7, and 8 in their entirety and adding new Secs. 6 and 7 to read as follows:

Sec. 6.  FUNDING OFFSETS

The administration and the legislature have agreed to:

(1)  Recognize and directly apply to the general fund $600,000.00 from the consumer protection fund in fiscal year 2007.

(2)  Remove or reduce the following appropriations from the governor’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2008:

(A)  $700,000.00 for judicial case management system;

(B)  Reduce from $400,000.00 to $150,000.00 Regional Marketing Organizations; and

(C)  Reduce debt service cost by $100,000.00.

(3)  Recognize vendor incentive payments of $500,000.00 to the general fund in fiscal year 2007.

(4)  Reduce LIHEAP from $990,000.00 to $590,000.00 in the governor’s budget adjustment proposal for fiscal year 2007.

(5)  Recognize and directly apply to the general fund increases from the captive insurance fund at the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration:

(A)  $360,000.00 in fiscal year 2007; and

(B)  $290,000.00 in fiscal year 2008.

Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

Thereupon, the report of the committee on Appropriations was agreed to and third reading ordered.

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bill placed on all remaining stages of passage.  The bill was read the third time and passed and, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland the rules were suspended and the bill was ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith.

Adjournment

At four o’clock in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the House adjourned until tomorrow at nine o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon.

 

 

 

 

 



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