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Journal of the House

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TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007

Rep. Carolyn Partridge of Windham in Chair.

At ten o'clock in the forenoon the Speaker called the House to order.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Roberta Hodge of Free Methodist Church, Burlington.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Jasper Craven of Peacham led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Message from the Senate No. 47

     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 bill of the following title:

S. 94.  An act relating to establishing an expanded efficiency utility and other matters relating to energy conservation and decreasing the generation of greenhouse gases.

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

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 541

Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier, for the committee on Commerce, introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to extending the repeal of alternative regulation election by small eligible telecommunications carriers;

Which was read the first time and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

 

Senate Bills Referred

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

S. 177

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to child poverty in Vermont;

To the committee on Human Services.

S. 194

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to firefighters and cancer caused by employment;

To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 21

Reps. Frank of Underhill, Bray of New Haven, Davis of Washington, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fisher of Lincoln, Haas of Rochester, McCullough of Williston, Nuovo of Middlebury, Pearson of Burlington, Randall of Troy and Zuckerman of Burlington offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution in support of the worldwide ONE Campaign and urging Congress to appropriate and the President to spend an additional one percent of the federal budget on the goals of the ONE Campaign;

Whereas, the G-8 countries are publicly committed to helping alleviate world poverty and addressing the large number of AIDS cases in Africa, and

Whereas, an organization of citizens has established the worldwide ONE Campaign to support its respective countries' commitments to these goals through governmental assistance and the actions of each individual, and

Whereas, each one of us is able to make a difference on both of these critical public policy challenges, and

Whereas, the ONE Campaign is asking Congress to appropriate and the President to spend an additional one percent of the federal budget to alleviate world poverty and address the large number of AIDS cases in Africa, and

Whereas, the general assembly recognizes that, by helping those at the bottom of the economic ladder, a more secure, healthy, and prosperous world will be created, and

Whereas, the ONE Campaign's mission statement reads: 

“We believe that in the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is the time to join with other countries in a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty.  We recognize that a pact including such measures as fair trade, debt relief, fighting corruption and directing additional resources for basic needs — education, health, clean water, food, and care for orphans —would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the poorest countries, at a cost equal to just one percent more of the United States budget.  We commit ourselves — one person, one voice, one vote at a time — to make a better, safer world for all,” now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly supports the goals of the ONE Campaign to alleviate world poverty and AIDS, and asks that the Congress appropriate, and the President spend, an additional one percent of the federal budget on the goals listed in this resolution and that each one of us commit ourselves to achieving these goals, 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.

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

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

J.R.H. 22

Reps. Mrowicki of Putney, Davis of Washington, Deen of Westminster, Milkey of Brattleboro, Pearson of Burlington, Stevens of Shoreham and Zenie of Colchester offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution designating Sunday, April 15, 2007 as Generosity Sunday in Vermont;

Whereas, the Network of Spiritual Progressives in Vermont, and around the country, brings people of all paths together to uphold the ethical and moral values common to every faith tradition, and

Whereas, the strength and stature of our nation depend on upholding the values of compassion, generosity, equality, freedom, justice, social responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life, and

Whereas, a campaign to shift the security paradigm from domination to generosity, understanding, and compassion would be a more effective means to peace, and

Whereas, the key to global security is working with the rest of the world to reduce poverty, hunger, homelessness, and disease, and

Whereas, the Network of Spiritual Progressives proposes a Global Marshall Plan to address these destabilizing problems, similar to the plan that rebuilt the war-torn nations of WWII, and

Whereas, the Vermont Network of Spiritual Progressives in Brattleboro will be hosting Generosity Weekend and Generosity Sunday events on Sunday, April 15, 2007, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly designates April 15, 2007 as Generosity Sunday in Vermont in recognition of the principle that generosity, understanding, and compassion should be the basis for all human interactions, be they commercial, political, or social, or be they personal, local, national, or international, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont Network of Spiritual Progressives in Brattleboro.

Which was read and, in the Speaker’s discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

House Resolution Referred to Committee

H.R.  15

Reps. Shaw of Derby, Acinapura of Brandon, Ainsworth of Royalton, Allard of St. Albans Town, Anderson of Montpelier, Atkins of Winooski, Audette of S. Burlington, Baker of West Rutland, Barnard of Richmond, Bissonnette of Winooski, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Botzow of Pownal, Bray of New Haven, Browning of Arlington, Canfield of Fair Haven, Chen of Mendon, Cheney of Norwich, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Condon of Colchester, Courcelle of Rutland City, Deen of Westminster, Devereux of Mount Holly, Evans of Essex, Fallar of Tinmouth, Fisher of Lincoln, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, French of Randolph, Gervais of Enosburg, Head of S. Burlington, Hosford of Waitsfield, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hube of Londonderry, Hudson of Lyndon, Johnson of Canaan, 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, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Leriche of Hardwick, Livingston of Manchester, Malcolm of Pawlet, Marcotte of Coventry, Martin of Springfield, Martin of Wolcott, McAllister of Highgate, McCullough of Williston, Miller of Shaftsbury, Minter of Waterbury, Moran of Wardsboro, Morley of Barton, Morrissey of Bennington, Myers of Essex, Obuchowski of Rockingham, O'Donnell of Vernon, Orr of Charlotte, Otterman of Topsham, Oxholm of Vergennes, Pearson of Burlington, Peaslee of Guildhall, Pellett of Chester, Peltz of Woodbury, Peterson of Williston, Potter of Clarendon, Randall of Troy, Rodgers of Glover, Shand of Weathersfield, Sharpe of Bristol, Spengler of Colchester, Stevens of Shoreham, Turner of Milton, Valliere of Barre City, Wheeler of Derby, Winters of Williamstown and Zenie of Colchester  offered a joint resolution, entitled

House resolution urging Congress to enact the “Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease, Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2007”;

Whereas, Lyme disease is a common, but frequently misunderstood, illness that, if not caught early and treated properly, can cause serious health problems, and

Whereas, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is usually transmitted by a tick bite, and early signs of infection may include a rash and flue-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue, and

Whereas, although Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics if caught early, frequently, it is undetected because the disease mimics other illnesses or may be misdiagnosed, and

Whereas, because this bacterial infection can affect many different organs and organ systems, Lyme disease can lead to severe heart, neurological, eye, and joint problems, and

Whereas, the ticks that spread Lyme disease also spread other diseases such as ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis, even though Lyme Disease does account for 95 percent of all vector-borne infections in the United States, and

Whereas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the Lyme-disease reported cases are only 10 percent of actual cases that meet its surveillance criteria, and

Whereas, because there is a persistence of symptomatology in many persons who have contracted Lyme disease, without reliable testing, it is much more difficult to treat its victims, and

Whereas, the “Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2007” would advance the treatment of and cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases by expanding federally supported prevention, education, treatment, and research activities related to Lyme and other tick‑borne diseases; authorizing an annual $20 million appropriation for fiscal years 2008 through 2012 for these activities; requiring the secretary of health and human services to report each year to Congress on these activities, including recommendations for further research and education, and establishing a Tick‑Borne Diseases Advisory Committee within the office of the secretary of health and human services, and

Whereas, Lyme disease is of particular concern to residents of New England, including Vermont to which the disease, which was previously reported more frequently in southern New England, has now spread, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this body urges Congress to enact the “Lyme and Tick‑Borne Disease, Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2007,” and be it further

Resolved:  That the clerk of the house be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States and to the members of the Vermont congressional delegation.

Which was read and in the Speaker’s discretion was referred to the committee on Human Services.

Committee Relieved of Consideration

and Bill Committed to Other Committee

H. 486

Rep. Ancel of Calais moved that the committee on Education be relieved of House bill, entitled

An act relating to bullying, cyberbullying, and discrimination in schools;

And that the bill be committed to the committee on Judiciary, which was agreed to.

Favorable Reports; Third Reading Ordered

H. 94

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

An act relating to retail sales and taxing specialty beers;

Reported in favor of its passage. 

Rep. Winters of Williamstown, for the committee on Ways and Means, 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.

 

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

H. 535

House bill, entitled

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

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

First:  In Sec. 1, subsection (a) after “the commissioner of fish and wildlife or his or her designee;” by inserting “the chief warden”; after “the commissioner of motor vehicles or his or her designee;” by inserting “the director of the enforcement and safety division of the department of motor vehicles”; and after “the commissioner of liquor control or his or her designee” by inserting “; and the director of the enforcement division of the department of liquor control

Second:  In Sec. 1, subdivision (b)(1), after “policing” by inserting “and enforcement

Third:  In Sec. 1, by striking subdivision (b)(2) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (b)(2) as follows:

(2)  identify the various state policing and enforcement services, their respective core missions and priorities, areas of specialized training and expertise, and the operational and fiscal relationships among these services;

Fourth:   In Sec. 1, by striking subdivision (b)(4) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (b)(4) as follows:

(4)  focus its recommendations on:  the need for a higher volume of police and enforcement services; lowering response times; reducing overtime; eliminating duplication of effort; lowering overall operating expenses; enhancing training opportunities; tightening coordination, strengthening communications and sharing information; and enhancing the overall quality of state policing  and enforcement services.

Which was agreed to. 

Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Perry of Richford moved to amend the bill as amended by the committee on Appropriations on page 1 lines 18 and 19 by striking the  following:  the director of the Vermont state police or his or her designee

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

Thereupon, the bill was read a third time and passed.

Third Reading; Resolution Passed

J.R.S. 22

Joint 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);

Was taken up, and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered;

Rules Suspended; Bill Read Third Time  and Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment;  Rules Suspended and the Bill was Ordered Messaged to the Senate Forthwith

S. 124

Rep. Fisher of Lincoln, for the committee on Human Services, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to planning and evaluating options for inpatient psychiatric hospital services;

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.  STATE HOSPITAL; PLANNING; INDEPENDENT EVALUATION

(a)  The general assembly recognizes that there are some regulatory and legislative constraints on the department of health’s planning efforts related to developing new inpatient psychiatric services.  Nevertheless, the general assembly finds:

(1)  There has been inadequate evaluation of the options available to the state regarding the provision of inpatient psychiatric hospital services which are now provided at the Vermont state hospital (VSH).

(2)  The projected costs to plan, construct, and privately operate a 40‑ to 60‑patient bed facility on the main campus of Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) in Burlington have not been adequately analyzed and compared with the projected costs of a publicly operated state facility or several smaller private or public facilities across the state.  Furthermore, FAHC has not made the necessary 50‑year commitment to host and operate the facility.

(3)  As found by the Public Oversight Commission (POC) in its recommendation dated January 10, 2007 concerning the VSH Conceptual certificate of need (CON), the construction cost for new inpatient services approaches $100 million which, the POC suggested, is beyond the fiscal capability of the state if the overall components of the Futures Project, including necessary expansions to the community mental health system, were to be implemented and adequately funded.

(4)  No operating cost estimates of the proposed FAHC inpatient psychiatric facility or any other facility have been developed.

(5)  No determinative analysis has been made of the costs and policy implications that will be required to meet federal funding requirements associated with partnering or not partnering with a general hospital. 

(6)  Issues of concern to potential host communities have not been adequately addressed, including governance, accountability, and sustainability; design and development of the facility; public safety; the impact on municipal services, housing, community mental health programs, other community resources, and reimbursement to the host communities for the costs associated with such impacts.

(7)  The state’s community mental health system may be threatened by the cost to operate psychiatric inpatient services that are not adequately planned within the budgetary context of the full continuum of necessary mental health services.

(b)  The general assembly reaffirms its intent as stated in Sec. 141a of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) that all mental health programs, services, and supports, including inpatient psychiatric services, be provided to individuals with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses or emotional disorders in a holistic, comprehensive continuum of care, that consumers be treated at all times with dignity and respect, that public resources be allocated efficiently and produce the best positive outcomes, and that direct services overseen and provided by the agency of human services and its community partners be client- and family-centered and -driven, accessible, and culturally competent, and it furthermore reaffirms the guiding principles identified therein for purposes of the Futures Plan.

(c)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the remaining balance of the $1 million appropriated in Sec. 271(a)(3) of No. 215 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) shall remain subject to the requirements as directed in Sec. 4 of  No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), subdivisions (a)(2)(A)(ii) and (a)(2)(B), for use by the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to continue planning, designing, and permitting associated with the creation of a new inpatient facility to replace the current Vermont state hospital, except such funds expended for consulting services described in subsection (d) of this section.

(d)(1)  The committee on committees of the senate and the speaker of the house are authorized to retain one or more consultants to:

(A)  compile, analyze, and review the planning that has been done to date for replacing the services now provided at the VSH, including a review of the feasibility of recertifying the existing state hospital and obtaining authority to secure federal funding to support its operations;

(B)  investigate and make recommendations on the necessary steps to secure federal funding for the development of one or more regional or satellite psychiatric facilities in conjunction with other general hospitals and institutions for mental diseases, or stand-alone facilities, or both;

(C)  review and make recommendations regarding the feasibility of all the options available to the state for providing inpatient psychiatric services, taking into account the capacity needed; the time required to achieve the delivery of services; projected capital and operational costs; assurances of quality of care; the extent to which there will be integration with the chronic care initiative and integration of mental health care with overall health care; and the alternatives of public, private, public-private partnership, or other combination of operation and ownership structures; and

(D)  analyze the impact of the population involved in the criminal justice system on the needs, services, and costs of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.

(2)  The committee on committees of the senate and the speaker of the house are authorized to spend up to $100,000.00 from the appropriation referenced in subsection (c) of this section to accomplish the purposes of this subsection. 

(3)  The consultant or consultants shall report preliminary progress on or before May 1, 2007  jointly to the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations and Institutions Committees, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and the House Human Services Committee.  A final report shall be submitted to the above mentioned committee chairs, and to the Joint Fiscal Committee, the Mental Health Oversight Committee, the Secretary of Administration, and the Secretary of Human Services no later than June 30, 2007.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE                         

This act shall take effect from passage.

Rep. Johnson of South Hero, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as proposed by the Committee on Human Services and when further amended as follows:

In Sec. 1(d)(3), by striking “May” and inserting in lieu thereof September and by striking “June 30” and inserting in lieu thereof November 1

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendments offered by the committees on Human Services and Appropriations 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.

Adjournment

At eleven o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon, on motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the House adjourned until tomorrow at one o’clock and in the afternoon.

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us