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Journal of the House

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2007

At nine o'clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon the Speaker called the House to order.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Speaker, Gaye Symington of Jericho.

Memorial Service

The Speaker placed before the House the following name of a member of past sessions of the Vermont General Assembly who had passed away recently:

John M. Lindley, Jr. of Montpelier who represented Springfield in the sessions of 1965, 1966 and 1967.

Thereupon, the members of the House rose for a moment of prayer in memory of the deceased member.  The Clerk was thereupon directed to send a copy of the House Journal to the bereaved family.

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. 364

By Rep. Nuovo of Middlebury,

An act relating to requiring that Act 250 appeals from the district environmental commissions be heard before the land use panel;

To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 365

By Reps. Sharpe of Bristol, Cheney of Norwich, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fisher of Lincoln, Maier of Middlebury, McCullough of Williston, Orr of Charlotte and Weston of Burlington,

An act relating to creation of a carbon tax;

To the committee on Ways and Means.

H. 366

By Rep. McCullough of Williston,

     An act relating to the presence of attorneys at inquest and grand jury proceedings;

     To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 367

By Reps. Hube of Londonderry and Pearson of Burlington,

     An act relating to optional cash payment of property tax adjustment amounts;

     To the committee on Ways and Means.

H. 368

By the committee on Government Operations,

     An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations;

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

H. 369

By Rep. Hube of Londonderry,

     An act relating to school district choice regarding membership in a supervisory union;

     To the committee on Education.

H. 370

     By Reps. Haas of Rochester, Andrews of Rutland City, Donahue of Northfield, Donovan of Burlington, Fisher of Lincoln, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph, Mrowicki of Putney, Orr of Charlotte, Pugh of S. Burlington and Randall of Troy,

     An act relating to school enrollment of state-placed children;

     To the committee on Education.

H. 371

     By Rep. Corcoran of Bennington,

     An act relating to requiring polls to be open at 5:00 a.m. on the day of a general election;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 372

     By Reps. Barnard of Richmond, Donovan of Burlington, Evans of Essex and Jerman of Essex,

     An act relating to the rendering of nursing and medical services by professional corporations;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 373

     By Reps. Fisher of Lincoln, Donahue of Northfield, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Martin of Wolcott, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Wheeler of Derby, Wright of Burlington and Zuckerman of Burlington,

     An act relating to the agreement among the states to elect the President by National Popular Vote;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 374

     By Reps. Valliere of Barre City, Brooks of Montpelier, Head of South Burlington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier and Monti of Barre City,

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

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 375

     By Rep. Peterson of Williston,

     An act relating to illegal wiretapping;

     To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 376

     By Reps. Koch of Barre Town, Fisher of Lincoln, Morrissey of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney and Pugh of South Burlington,

     An act relating to prompt payment of electronic prescription drug claims;

     To the committee on Health Care.

H. 377

     By Rep. Peterson of Williston, (By Request),

     An act relating to reciprocal meals and rooms tax exemption for public school teachers and students;

     To the committee on Ways and Means.

H. 378

     By Rep. Pellett of Chester,

     An act relating to lawnmower and tractor safety;

     To the committee on Transportation.

H. 379

     By Reps. Milkey of Brattleboro and Donahue of Northfield,

     An act relating to the practice of Christian science nursing;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

Rules Suspended: Bill Committed

H. 59

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

An act relating to hunting with a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

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

Pending the reading of the report of the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, on motion of Rep. Lippert of Hinesburg, the bill was committed to the committee on Judiciary.

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

H. 361

House bill, entitled

An act relating to pay scale, death benefit and tuition benefits for members of the National Guard;

Appearing on the Calendar, carrying an appropriation, under rule 35a, was referred to the committee on Appropriations.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 17

The committee on Transportation offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution relating to legislative approval for purchase of equipment for Amtrak Vermont services;

Whereas, Vermont faces significantly escalating costs of continuing the existing state-sponsored Amtrak services, and

Whereas, the administration’s proposal to purchase new equipment to be used in a demonstration project for a reconfigured Vermonter service will lower the long-term costs of continuing the Amtrak services as well as afford the state flexibility in responding to changing travel demand, and

Whereas, in Sec. 20 of No. 175 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), the general assembly directed the Vermont agency of transportation not to purchase, contract for construction, or otherwise contract for the use of any railroad locomotion or rolling stock equipment intended for use in connection with Amtrak services without the approval of the general assembly, and

Whereas, Amtrak is prepared to enter into a three-year demonstration project to deliver rail passenger service on the “Vermonter” route between New Haven, CT and St. Albans, VT, utilizing diesel multiple unit (DMU) equipment, and

Whereas, Amtrak completed an exhaustive competitive procurement process in 2003 that resulted in the selection of Colorado Rail Car and Vermont intends to utilize the results of that procurement process, and

Whereas, $17.5 million in financing for this demonstration project is available to the state of Vermont through the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and

Whereas, Amtrak is prepared to provide a grant of $2 million to assist the state of Vermont with certain costs related to the demonstration project, including transition costs, maintenance facilities, marketing, engineering oversight, and service improvements for Vermont stations, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly approves the state of Vermont’s purchase, through the agency of transportation, of five Colorado Rail Car units, consisting of three motorized units and two passenger cars to be used for one trip per day in each direction in the state for the demonstration project, subject to the following conditions:

(1)  The DMU equipment selected by Amtrak through a competitive procurement process in 2003 must be utilized;

(2)  The purchase contract entered into with Colorado Rail Car shall include an option to purchase future equipment and the option shall include pricing protections;

(3)  The DMU equipment must meet or exceed FRA current structural safety requirements; 

(4)  The DMU equipment must comply with accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);

(5)  Financing for the demonstration project must be available under the FRA’s RRIF program;

(6)  The vendor of the DMU equipment must agree, should the state of Vermont determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful, to act as the state’s agent to sell the DMU equipment at a minimum of 90 percent of the purchase price and, should the DMU equipment not sell within one year, to purchase the DMU equipment back at 90 percent of the purchase price; and

(7)  The contract for construction and purchase of the DMU equipment must be approved by the state treasurer and include financial guarantees to assure successful manufacture and delivery of the DMU equipment, as well as performance of the vendor’s undertakings to sell or buy back the DMU equipment, should the state determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful, and be it further

Resolved:  That the trains authorized by this joint resolution shall stop in Connecticut only in Hartford and New Haven, unless other stops have an annual volume of 20,000 or more passengers, or unless Connecticut contributes toward the costs of additional stops, and be it further

Resolved:  That if an agreement is reached with any other states to contribute to additional Connecticut stops, the agency of transportation is directed to report to the house and senate committees on transportation if the general assembly is in session, or, if not in session, to the joint transportation oversight committee, and be it further

Resolved:  That the agency of transportation is directed to enter into discussions with the other northeastern states, principally Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, regarding cost sharing for Amtrak service, scheduling, and route selections, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of transportation is directed to develop a plan for successful marketing and management of the new Amtrak passenger service by January 15, 2008, and is further directed to assemble a group to coordinate all modes of public and private transportation relating to passenger train travel in the state, including discussions regarding scheduling and route selections.  This group shall consult with the Vermont rail council and its sub group.  The group shall consist of a member from each of the following:  the rail division of the agency of transportation, the Vermont public transit association, the Vermont truck and bus association, the Vermont rail council, the Vermont department of tourism and marketing, the Vermont ski area association, and the Vermont league of cities and towns, and be it further

Resolved:  That the agency of transportation is directed to review the final contracts with Amtrak and Colorado Rail Car prior to their execution, with the house and senate committees on transportation, and be it further

Resolved:  That the agency of transportation is directed to present the management and marketing plan to the house and senate committees on transportation, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Neale Lunderville, secretary of the agency of transportation.       

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

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Baker of West Rutland, the following remarks by Rep. Morrissey of Bennington were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker:

     A resolution was read earlier thanking the state employees who work in Bennington’s State Office Building.  I am honored to introduce to you Madame Speaker and this Assembly on behalf of our Bennington delegation, a representation of that incredible group of individuals who work in Bennington.  They truly know and have lived up to the motto of “Service Above Self.”  For since the Vermont Health Department at the beginning of October ordered the closure of the Bennington State Offices due to the extremely high rates of sarcoidosis, asthma and other health issues of those working in that complex,  they have continued to work at that site not knowing the additional health risks it may have presented.  They have stayed focused to the mission of serving Vermonter’s, Benningtonians and our constituents.  They have done this with great dedication, commitment and professionalism, in spite of the many challenges that government bureaucracy has put in their way to exit that building since October.

     We commend our state employees and thank them for their outstanding service for you truly are “The Best of the Best,” all 135 of you.

     Madame Speaker, in the Senate seats is a representation of all 135 employees from Bennington.  I am honored to introduce to you, Valerie Miner, Carolyn Hickok, Beth Pelczar and members of the Vermont State Employees Association.”

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 313

House bill, entitled

An act relating to the administration and enforcement of fines within the judicial bureau;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Favorable Report; Third Reading Ordered

H. 93

Rep. Valliere of Barre City, for the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to beer producers’ interest in retail liquor licenses;

Reported in favor of its passage.  The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and third reading ordered.

Adjournment

At ten o’clock  and ten minutes in the forenoon, on motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the House adjourned until Tuesday, February 27, 2007, at ten o’clock in the forenoon, pursuant to the provisions of J.R.S. 18.

Concurrent Resolutions Adopted

     The following concurrent resolutions, having been placed on the Consent Calendar on the preceding legislative day, and no member having requested floor consideration  as provided by the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, are hereby adopted in concurrence.

H.C.R.  43

House concurrent resolution thanking the Vermont agency of transportation’s district and central garage forces for their heroic response to the 2007 Valentine’s Day blizzard;

H.C.R.  44

House concurrent resolution honoring Vermont wood products and fine furnishings and the creative artisans who produce these products;

 

 

H.C.R.  45

House concurrent resolution honoring Adeline Baker on the conclusion of her outstanding career at the Mountain Valley Medical Clinic;

H.C.R.  46

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team;

H.C.R.  47

House concurrent resolution honoring retiring Vermont Life Magazine editor Tom Slayton;

S.C.R. 9.

Senate concurrent resolution thanking the state employees who work in the Bennington state office building.

     [The full text of the concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate and House Calendar Addendum on the preceding legislative day and will appear in the volume of the Public Acts and Resolves of the 2007, sixty-ninth  Adjourned session]

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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