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Journal of the House

________________

FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2007

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Douglas Wysookey-Johnson, Executive Director of Faith-at-Work, Burlington.

Senate Bills Referred

Senate bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the first time and referred as follows:

S. 115

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to increasing transparency of prescription drug pricing and information;

To the committee on Health Care.

S. 121

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to autism spectrum disorders;

To the committee on Human Services.

S. 190

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to establishing a brownfields advisory committee;

To the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 28

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, April 6, 2007, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, April 10, 2007.

Was taken up read and adopted in concurrence.

Rules Suspended; Action Postponed

S. 57

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Lippert of Hinesburg,  the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to eliminating certain sunset provisions and extending the juvenile proceedings study committee;

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Pending reading of the report of the committee on Judiciary, Rep. Lippert of Hinesburg moved to postpone action until after consideration of House bill 531, which was agreed to.

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

H. 520

House bill, entitled

An act relating to the conservation of energy and increasing the generation of electricity within the state by use of renewable resources;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Johnson of Canaan moved to amend the bill as follows:

In Sec. 8, 30 V.S.A. § 246(c)(3), after the period by adding the following:

The board shall not waive review regarding whether construction will have an undue adverse effect on esthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, and the public health and safety.

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed.

Third Reading; Bills Passed

House bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed:

H. 528

House bill, entitled

An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the city of Montpelier;

H. 531

House bill, entitled

An act relating to ensuring success in health care reform;

Consideration Resumed;

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered;

Rules Suspended; Bill Read Third Time and Passed in Concurrence

with Proposal of Amendment;  Rules Suspended:

Bill Ordered Messaged to the Senate Forthwith

S. 57

Consideration resumed on Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to eliminating certain sunset provisions and extending the juvenile proceedings study committee;

Rep. Flory of Pittsford, for the committee on Judiciary, to which the bill had been referred reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

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

Sec. 1.  REPEAL OF SUNSET FOR WARRANTS BY FAX

The following sections, all related to the sunset for warrants by fax, are repealed:

(1)  Sec. 4 of No. 44 of the Acts of 1997.

(2)  Sec. 34 of No. 121 of the Acts of the 1997 Adj. Sess. (1998).

(3)  Sec. 3 of No. 131 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002).

Sec. 2.  Sec. 8 of No. 198 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Session (2006) is amended to read:

Sec. 8.  STUDY

(a)  A committee shall be established for the purpose of studying and recommending legislative changes to chapter 55 of Title 33, relating to juvenile delinquency and children in need of care or supervision proceedings. 

* * *

(d)  The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on judiciary by January 15, 2007 January 1, 2008, after which the committee shall cease to exist.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

The bill was read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment 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 in concurrence with proposal of amendment.  The bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment and, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bill was ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith.

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

H. 537

House bill, entitled

An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Fisher of Lincoln moved to amend the bill as follows:

First: by striking Sec. 128 and inserting a new Sec. 128 to read:

Sec. 128. Department for children and families - child development

Personal services                                                           2,943,906

Operating expenses                                                          762,228

Grants                                                                         66,735,506                       

Total                                                                           70,441,640

Source of funds

General fund                                                                39,690,938

Special funds                                                                    865,000

Global commitment fund                                                3,040,746

Federal funds                                                               26,619,204

Interdepartmental transfer                                                 225,752

Total                                                                           70,441,640

Second:  By inserting a new Sec. 128a to read:

Sec. 128a.  CHILD CARE; SUBSIDY

The department for children and families shall fully fund the child care subsidy program, including increasing the income eligibility standards from the 1999 federal poverty guidelines to the 2007 federal poverty guidelines in order to comply with 33 V.S.A. § 3512 and increasing the child care subsidy rates to the 75th percentile of Vermont market rates in accordance with the standards set by the federal Child Care Bureau.

Third:  By inserting a new Sec. 128b to read:

Sec. 128b.  32 V.S.A. § 5811(21)(B) is amended to read:

(21)  “Taxable income” means federal taxable income:

* * *

(B)  Decreased by the following items of income (to the extent such income is included in federal adjusted gross income):

(i)  income from United States government obligations; and

(ii)  40 percent of the first $15,000.00 in capital gains.  In this subdivision (21)(B), “capital gains” means adjusted net capital gain income as defined in Section 1(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Thereupon, Rep. Fisher of Lincoln asked and was granted leave of the House to withdraw his amendment.

Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Koch of Barre Town moved to amend the bill as follows:

In Sec. 278(a)(2) by striking the following: “Sec. 253b(a)(3)”  and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Sec. 277(a)(3) and by adding a new subsection (3) to read: (3) Third, any remaining funds shall be reserved for replacement of the Vermont state hospital.

Which was disagreed to.

Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Hube of Londonderry moved to amend the bill as follows:

     On page 152, following line 7, by inserting a new Sec. 279a to read:

Sec. 279a.  FY 2007 EDUCATION FUND TRANSFER

     (a) In fiscal year 2007, there is transferred from the general fund to the education fund the amount of  $7, 064,000.00.

(b) This section shall take effect from passage.

Which was disagreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time.

Thereupon, Rep. Larson of Burlington asked and was granted leave of the House to offer an amendment after third reading, which was agreed to.

Pending the question, Shall the bill pass? Rep. Larson of Burlington moved to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 291, by striking subsection (b) in 32 V.S.A. § 6066a in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof:

"(b) The commissioner shall also pay to the municipality include in the total property tax adjustment amount determined under subsection (a) of this section, for credit to the taxpayer for homestead property tax liabilities, any income tax overpayment remaining after allocation under section 3112 of this title and setoff under section 5934 of this title, which the taxpayer has directed to be used for payment of property taxes."

Which was agreed to.

Pending the question, Shall the bill pass? Rep. Partridge of Windham demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the bill pass? was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 131.  Nays, 4.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Flory of Pittsford

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Godin of Milton

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Helm of Castleton

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hudson of Lyndon

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Johnson of Canaan

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Krawczyk of Bennington

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

Larson of Burlington

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Shaw of Derby

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Symington of Jericho

Trombley of Grand Isle

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Ainsworth of Royalton

Errecart of Shelburne

Hube of Londonderry

Komline of Dorset


Those members absent with leave of the House and not voting are:


Allard of St. Albans Town

Aswad of Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Clarkson of Woodstock

Donaghy of Poultney

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Koch of Barre Town

Lorber of Burlington

McAllister of Highgate

Monti of Barre City

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Rodgers of Glover

Sweaney of Windsor

Westman of Cambridge


 

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 94

House bill, entitled

An act relating to retail sales and taxing specialty beers;

Was taken up and pending the reading of the report of the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, on motion of Rep. Wright of Burlington, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

 

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 535

Rep. Manwaring of  Wilmington spoke for the committee on Government Operations.

Rep. Keenan of St. Albans City, for the committee on Appropriations, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to the creation of a state law enforcement study committee;

Reported in favor of its passage when amended as follow:

In Sec. 1(a), after “commissioner of public safety” by striking “or his or her designee” and after “the director of the Vermont state employees’ association or his or her designee;” and before “the commissioner of fish and wildlife”, by inserting the director of the Vermont state police or his or her designee;

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time, report of the committee on Appropriations agreed to and third reading ordered.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

J.R.S. 22

Rep. Ainsworth of Royalton, for the committee on Agriculture, to which had been referred Senate resolution, entitled

Joint resolution urging Congress to enact S. 340 the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007);

Recommended the House propose to the Senate to amend the resolution by striking the resolution in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Joint resolution urging Congress to enact either S.340 or H.R.371, the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007)

Whereas, agricultural operations in Vermont require many labor intensive jobs, and

Whereas, in search of individuals to accept these jobs, Vermont’s agricultural managers have turned to foreign workers, and

Whereas, the federal H-2A program allows foreigners to enter the United States for seasonal employment in the agricultural sector, and

Whereas, for many years, Vermont apple orchards and other seasonal farm operations have availed themselves of the H-2A program with great success, and

Whereas, unlike the apple harvesting season that lasts for a limited period of time in the late summer and early fall, dairy farming continues 365 days a year, and

Whereas, there are now approximately 2,000 foreign workers who are essential to their employer’s business operations and who are employed year-round on dairy farms across the state, and

Whereas, the current H-2A program addresses the need for seasonal agricultural labor but fails to meet the needs of year-round dairy operations, and

Whereas, in order to enable these dairy farm employees and similarly situated persons in other states to remain on the job, S.340 and H.R.371, the AgJOBS Act of 2007, have been introduced in the United States Congress, and

Whereas, the provisions of the AgJOBS Act provide that undocumented foreign workers who satisfy further work requirements, have not committed serious criminal offenses, apply within the time limits provided, and are otherwise admissible under the provisions of federal immigration law, may be granted blue card status, and

Whereas, foreign workers granted blue card status would be considered “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” except for the receipt of certain federal benefits, and they would be afforded procedural rights and protections with respect to their employment, and

Whereas, the act contains provisions for a foreign worker who has been granted blue card status to gain permanent resident status subject to the completion of additional work requirements, the payment of any federal income taxes owed, and the absence of any major criminal activity, and

Whereas, the act also makes provisions for the residence of spouses and minor children, and

Whereas, the burden of producing documentation to qualify for an upgraded residency status would rest with the foreign worker, and

Whereas, the act also makes important revisions to the current H-2A temporary worker program that provide employment preferences for American citizens and green card holders while affording procedural rights and minimum working conditions for the covered foreign workers, and

Whereas, S.340 and H.R.371 represent a fair balancing of the interests of the agricultural community, American workers, foreign workers, and the federal government’s legitimate need to protect the integrity of our nation’s borders, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to enact either S.340 or H.R.371, the “Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007” (the AgJOBS Act of 2007), and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

The resolution, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time, report of the committee on Agriculture agreed to and third reading ordered.

Bills Messaged to Senate Forthwith

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the following bills were ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith:

H. 520

House bill, entitled

An act relating to the conservation of energy and increasing the generation of electricity within the state by use of renewable resources;

H. 528

House bill, entitled

An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the city of Montpelier;

H. 531

House bill, entitled

An act relating to ensuring success in health care reform;

H. 537

House bill, entitled

An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government;

Message from the Senate No. 46

     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 passed Senate bills of the following titles:

S. 177.  An act relating to child poverty in Vermont.

S. 194.  An act relating to firefighters and cancer caused by employment.

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

The Senate has considered bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 81.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the city of Burlington.

H. 169.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the town of Williston.

And has passed the same in concurrence.

The Senate has considered a bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 360.  An act relating to employment protection and training period for Vermont National Guard members.

And has passed the same in concurrence with proposals of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the House is requested.

     The Senate has on its part adopted Senate concurrent resolutions of the following titles:

S.C.R. 14.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Rice Memorial High School Green Knights Division I boys’ basketball championship team.

S.C.R. 15.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls’ ice hockey team.

S.C.R. 16.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School championship girls’ gymnastic team.

S.C.R. 17.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets state championship girls’ and boys’ indoor track and field teams.

     The Senate has on its part adopted concurrent resolutions originating in the House of the following titles:

     H.C.R. 94.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Danville Indians Division IV championship girls’ basketball team.

     H.C.R. 95.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the independent telephone companies in Vermont for their extensive installation of broadband access in their respective market areas.

     H.C.R. 96.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 two-year college All-Vermont Academic Team and the Vermont recipients of the national academic two-year college student awards.

     H.C.R. 97.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Grace Paley on her outstanding tenure as Vermont’s state poet.

     H.C.R. 98.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Bill O’Neil on being named the 2006 nation high school boys’ hockey coach of the year.

     H.C.R. 99.  House concurrent resolution honoring registered nurses’ contribution to quality heath care services in Vermont.

     H.C.R. 100.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Brattleboro Community High School of Vermont’s 2007 Division II Brattleboro Recreation League championship men’s basketball team.

Adjournment

At two o’clock  and fifteen minutes in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the House adjourned until Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at ten o’clock in the forenoon, pursuant to the provisions of J.R.S. 28.

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.  94

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Danville Indians Division IV championship girls’ basketball team.

H.C.R.  95

House concurrent resolution congratulating the independent telephone companies in Vermont for their extensive installation of broadband access in their respective market areas

H.C.R.  96

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 two-year college All‑Vermont Academic Team and the Vermont recipients of the national academic two-year college student

H.C.R.  97

House concurrent resolution congratulating Grace Paley on her outstanding tenure as Vermont’s state poet

H.C.R. 98

House concurrent resolution congratulating Bill O’Neil on being named the 2006 national high school boys’ hockey coach of the year

H.C.R.  99

House concurrent resolution honoring registered nurses’ contribution to quality health care services in Vermont

H.C.R.  100

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Brattleboro Community High School of Vermont’s 2007 Division II Brattleboro Recreation League championship men’s basketball team

S.C.R.  14.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Rice Memorial High School Green Knights Division I boys' basketball championship team.

S.C.R.  15.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls' ice hockey team.

S.C.R.  16.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School championship girls' gymnastic team.

S.C.R.  17.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets state championship girls' and boys' indoor track and field teams.

     [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]

 

 



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Montpelier, Vermont


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