Download this document in MS Word format


AutoFill Template

Journal of the House

________________

TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2007

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Adelit Rukomanga, Associate, Christ Church, Montpelier.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Anna Jo Smith of Vergennes led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Message from the Senate No. 55

     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 considered a bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 405.  An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

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

Message from the Senate No. 56

     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 considered House proposal of amendment to Senate proposal of amendment to House bill entitled:

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

And has refused to concur therein and asks for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

The President pro tempore announced the appointment as members of such Committee on the part of the Senate:

          Senator White

          Senator Coppenrath

          Senator Doyle

House Bill Introduced

H. 544

Reps. Sharpe of Bristol, Deen of Westminster, Fisher of Lincoln and Head of South Burlington introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to collection of wages from dissolved corporations;

Which was read the first time and referred to the committee on Commerce.

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 545

Rep. Sweaney of Windsor, for the committee on Government Operations, introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to the agency of human services;

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

House Resolution Placed on Calendar

H.R. 17

Reps. Lippert of Hinesburg, Allard of St. Albans Town, Clarkson of Woodstock, Flory of Pittsford, Gervais of Enosburg, Jewett of Ripton, Komline of Dorset, Marek of Newfane and Pellett of Chester offered a House resolution, entitled

House resolution relating to designating April as Sexual Violence Awareness Month;

Whereas, sexual violence continues to be a major social crisis and epidemic in our communities, state, and society, and

Whereas, sexual violence affects every adult and child in Vermont as a victim-survivor, family member, significant other, friend, neighbor, or co‑worker of a victim-survivor, and

Whereas, volunteers and service providers in our communities are working to provide a continuum of care to sexual violence survivors through 24-hour hotlines, counseling, support groups, advocacy, medical care, and education, and

Whereas, the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and its 16-member programs seek to provide comprehensive support services for victims-survivors of sexual violence and prevent future victimization through public awareness and prevention work with Vermont youth, and

Whereas, the house of representatives has in recent years taken important steps toward improving the state’s response to sexual violence through expanded efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual violence, support victims-survivors, and prevent future crimes of sexual violence, and

Whereas, this legislative body recognizes the vital importance of increasing the general public’s awareness of sexual violence and supporting the agencies that provide services to people victimized by perpetrators of sexual violence, and

Whereas, we hold forth a vision of a state free from sexual violence in its many forms, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body designates April as Sexual Violence Awareness Month, and be it further

Resolved:  That the clerk of the house be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence in Montpelier.

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

Rules Suspended; Bill Committed

H. 352

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland,  the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to reducing lead hazards in housing;

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Pending the reading of the report of the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the bill was committed to the committee on Human Services.

 

 

Bill Called Up

S. 78

Rep. Lawrence of Lyndon called up House bill, entitled

An act relating to having the cost of picking up and hauling milk paid by the purchaser;

Which had been ordered to lie.  Thereupon, under the rule, the bill was ordered placed on the Calendar for action on the next legislative day.

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 453

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to the Job Start Program.;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 91

Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier, for the committee on Commerce, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration;

Reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  In Sec. 5., in the first sentence, after “directors” by striking “and approved by the commissioner” and inserting in lieu thereof “and approved by the commissioner”

Second:  After Sec. 13, by inserting four new sections to be Secs. 14, 15, 16, and 17 to read as follows:

Sec. 14.  8 V.S.A. § 6001(4) is amended to read:

(4)  “Captive insurance company” means any pure captive insurance company, association captive insurance company, sponsored captive insurance company, industrial insured captive insurance company, or risk retention group, or special purpose financial captive insurance company formed or licensed under the provisions of this chapter.  For purposes of this chapter, a branch captive insurance company shall be a pure captive insurance company with respect to operations in this state, unless otherwise permitted by the commissioner.

Sec. 15.  8 V.S.A. § 6014(c) and (e) are amended to read:

(c)  The annual minimum aggregate tax to be paid by a captive insurance company calculated under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be $7,500.00, and the annual maximum aggregate tax shall be $200,000.00.  The maximum aggregate tax to be paid by a sponsored captive insurance company shall apply to each protected cell only and not to the sponsored captive insurance company as a whole.  If a captive insurance company is a special purpose financial captive organized and licensed under subchapter 4 of this chapter and if such captive insurance company is subject to subsection (e) of this section as a captive insurance company under common ownership and control with one or more other captive insurance companies (collectively, the “consolidated group”), the premium tax calculated with respect to the consolidated group under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be allocated to each member of the consolidated group in the same proportion that the premium allocable to such member bears to the total premium of all members.  The consolidated group shall pay an aggregate premium tax equal to the greater of the sum of the premium tax allocated to the members and $7,500.00; provided: 

(1)  If the premium tax allocated to a member that is a special purpose financial captive exceeds $200,000.00, the premium tax allocated to such member shall be $200,000.00; and

(2)  If the total of premium tax allocated to all members of the consolidated group that are not special purpose financial captive insurance companies exceeds $200,000.00, the total of premium tax allocated to such members shall be $200,000.00.

* * *

(e)  Two Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, two or more captive insurance companies under common ownership and control shall be taxed, as though they were a single captive insurance company.    

Sec. 16.  8 V.S.A. § 6035 is amended to read:

§ 6035.  QUALIFICATION OF SPONSORS

A sponsor of a sponsored captive insurance company shall be an insurer licensed under the laws of any state, a reinsurer authorized or approved under the laws of any state, a captive insurance company formed or licensed under this chapter, a broker‑dealer registered with the department pursuant to chapter 150 of title 9, a financial institution as defined under subdivision 11101(32) of this title, or a financial institution holding company as defined under subdivision 11101(33) of this title, including any affiliate or subsidiary of such financial institution holding company, or any other person approved by the commissioner in the exercise of his or her discretion, after finding that the approval of a person as a sponsor is not inconsistent with the purposes of this chapterA risk retention group shall not be either a sponsor or a participant of a sponsored captive insurance company.

Sec. 17.  Subchapter 4 of chapter 141 of Title 8 is added to read:

Subchapter 4.  Special Purpose Financial Captive Insurance Companies

§ 6048a.  Applicable Law

(a)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be subject to the provisions of this subchapter and to the provisions of subchapter 1 of this chapter.  In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this subchapter and the provisions of subchapter 1 of this chapter, the provisions of this subchapter shall control.

(b)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be subject to all applicable rules adopted pursuant to section 6015 of this chapter that are in effect as of the effective date of this subchapter and that are promulgated after the effective date of this subchapter.

(c)  The commissioner may, by order, exempt a special purpose financial captive insurance company from any provision of this chapter or from any rule adopted pursuant to section 6015 of this chapter if the commissioner determines such provision to be inappropriate based on the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation. 

§ 6048b.  Existing Licenses

Except as otherwise determined by the commissioner, a captive insurance company that has been licensed by the commissioner pursuant to this chapter as of the effective date of this subchapter and that is engaged in or that will be engaged in an insurance securitization shall be subject to the provisions of this subchapter as a special purpose financial captive insurance company.  The commissioner may require such captive insurance company to take any action that the commissioner determines is reasonably necessary to bring such captive insurance company into compliance with the provisions of this subchapter.  The commissioner may issue an order described in section 6048d(b) with respect to such captive insurance company.

§ 6048c.  Definitions

For purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Ceding insurer” means an insurance company approved by the commissioner and licensed or otherwise authorized to transact the business of insurance or reinsurance in its state or country of domicile, which cedes risk to a special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to a reinsurance contract.

(2)  “Insolvency” and “insolvent” for purpose of applying the provisions of chapter 145 of this title to a special purpose financial captive insurance company, mean: 

 

(A)  That the special purpose financial captive insurance company is unable to pay its obligations when they are due, unless those obligations are the subject of a bona fide dispute; or

(B)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company has failed to meet all criteria and conditions for solvency of the special purpose financial captive insurance company established by the commissioner by rule or order.

(3)  “Insurance securitization” and “securitization” mean a transaction or a group of related transactions, which may include capital market offerings, that are effected through related risk transfer instruments and facilitating administrative agreements where all or part of the result of such transactions is used to fund the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s obligations under a reinsurance contract with a ceding insurer and by which: 

(A)  Proceeds are obtained by a special purpose financial captive insurance company, directly or indirectly, through the issuance of securities by the special purpose financial captive insurance company or any other person; or

(B)  A person provides one or more letters of credit or other assets for the benefit of the special purpose financial captive insurance company, which the commissioner authorizes the special purpose financial captive insurance company to treat as admitted assets for purposes of the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s annual report; where all or any part of such proceeds, letters of credit, or assets, as applicable, are used to fund the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s obligations under a reinsurance contract with a ceding insurer.  The terms “insurance securitization” and “securitization” do not include the issuance of a letter of credit for the benefit of the commissioner to satisfy all or part of the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s capital and surplus requirements under section 6048g of this chapter.

(4)  “Management” means the board of directors, managing board, or other individual or individuals vested with overall responsibility for the management of the affairs of the special purpose financial captive insurance company, including but not limited to officers or other agents elected or appointed to act on behalf of the special purpose financial captive insurance company.

(5)  “Organizational document” means: 

(A)  In the case of a special purpose financial captive insurance company formed as a stock corporation, the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s articles of incorporation and bylaws; and

(B)  In the case of a special purpose financial captive insurance company formed as a limited liability company, the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s articles of organization and operating agreement. 

(6)  “Security” shall have the same meaning as defined in 9 V.S.A.

§ 5102(28), and shall also include any form of debt obligation, equity, surplus certificate, surplus note, funding agreement, derivative, or other financial instrument that the commissioner designates, by rule or order, as a “security” for purposes of this subchapter.

(7)  “Special purpose financial captive insurance company” means a captive insurance company that has received a license from the commissioner to operate as a special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to this subchapter.

(8)  “Reinsurance contract” means a contract between a special purpose financial captive insurance company and a ceding insurer pursuant to which the special purpose financial captive insurance company agrees to provide reinsurance to the ceding insurer for risks associated with the ceding insurer’s insurance or reinsurance business.

(9)  “Special purpose financial captive insurance company security” means:

(A)  A security issued by a special purpose financial captive insurance company; or

(B)  A security issued by a third party, the proceeds of which are obtained directly or indirectly by a special purpose financial captive insurance company. 

(10)  “Surplus note” means an unsecured subordinated debt obligation possessing characteristics consistent with paragraph 3 of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Statement of Statutory Accounting Principals No. 41, as amended from time to time and as modified or supplemented by rule or order of the commissioner. 

§ 6048d.  Licensing; authority

(a)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may reinsure the risks of a ceding insurer only.  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may purchase reinsurance to cede the risks assumed under a reinsurance contract, subject to the prior approval of the commissioner.

(b)  In conjunction with the issuance of a license to a special purpose financial captive insurance company, the commissioner may issue an order that includes any provisions, terms, and conditions regarding the organization, licensing, and operation of the special purpose financial captive insurance company that are deemed appropriate by the commissioner and that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.  Except as provided in sections 6048l and 6048m of this subchapter, a license issued to a special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to this chapter and any order issued to a special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to this subsection shall not be revoked, suspended, amended, or modified other than as follows: 

(1)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company consents to such revocation, suspension, amendment, or modification; or

(2)  The commissioner makes a showing of clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that such revocation, suspension, amendment, or modification is necessary to avoid irreparable harm to the special purpose financial captive insurance company or to the ceding insurer.

(c)  To qualify for a license, a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be subject, in addition to the requirements of subsection 6002(c) of this chapter, to the following:

(1)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation shall include:

(A)  a complete description of all significant transactions, including reinsurance, reinsurance security arrangements, securitizations, related transactions or arrangements, and to the extent not included in the transactions listed in this subdivision (A), a complete description of all parties other than the special purpose financial captive insurance company and the ceding insurer that will be involved in the issuance of special purpose financial captive insurance company securities and a description of any pledge, hypothecation, or grant of a security interest in any of the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s assets and in any stock or limited liability company interest in the special purpose financial captive insurance company;

(B)  the source and form of the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s capital and surplus;

(C)  the proposed investment policy of the special purpose financial captive insurance company;

(D)  a description of the underwriting, reporting, and claims payment methods by which losses covered by the reinsurance contract are reported, accounted for, and settled; 

(E)  pro forma balance sheets and income statements illustrating one or more adverse case scenarios, as determined under criteria required by the commissioner, for the performance of the special purpose financial captive insurance company under all reinsurance contracts; and

(F)  the proposed rate and method for discounting reserves, if the special purpose financial captive insurance company is requesting authority to discount its reserves. 

(2)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company shall submit an affidavit of its president, a vice‑president, the treasurer, or the chief financial officer that includes the following statements, to the best of such person’s knowledge and belief after reasonable inquiry: 

(A)  the proposed organization and operation of the special purpose financial captive insurance company comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter;

(B)  the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s investment policy reflects and takes into account the liquidity of assets and the reasonable preservation, administration, and management of such assets with respect to the risks associated with the reinsurance contract and the insurance securitization transaction; and

(C)  the reinsurance contract and any arrangement for securing the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s obligations under such reinsurance contract, including but not limited to any agreements or other documentation to implement such arrangement, comply with the provisions of this subchapter.

(3)  The application shall include copies of all agreements and documentation described in subdivision (c)(1) unless otherwise approved by the commissioner and any other statements or documents required by the commissioner to evaluate the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s application for licensure. 

(4)  The application shall include an opinion of qualified legal counsel, in a form acceptable to the commissioner, that the offer and sale of any special purpose financial captive insurance company securities complies with all applicable registration requirements or applicable exemptions from or exceptions to such requirements of the federal securities laws and that the offer and sale of securities by the special purpose financial captive insurance company itself comply with all registration requirements or applicable exemptions from or exceptions to such requirements of the securities laws of this state.  Such opinions shall not be required as part of the application if the special purpose financial captive insurance company includes a specific statement in its plan of operation that such opinions will be provided to the commissioner in advance of the offer or sale of any special purpose financial captive insurance company securities.

(d)  The commissioner may grant a license, that shall be valid through the next April 1 following the date of initial issuance and may be renewed annually thereafter, authorizing the special purpose financial captive insurance company to transact reinsurance business as a special purpose financial captive insurance company in this state upon finding that:

(1)  The proposed plan of operation provides for a reasonable and expected successful operation;

(2)  The terms of the reinsurance contract and related transactions comply with this subchapter;

(3)  The proposed plan of operation is not hazardous to any ceding insurer; and

(4)  The insurance regulator of the state of domicile of each ceding insurer has notified the commissioner in writing or otherwise has provided assurance satisfactory to the commissioner that it has approved or has not disapproved the transaction, provided that the commissioner shall not be precluded from issuing a license to a special purpose financial captive insurance company in the event that the insurance regulator of the state of domicile of a ceding insurer has not responded with respect to all or any part of the transaction. 

(e)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company shall provide the commissioner with a copy of a complete set of executed documentation of an insurance securitization no later than 30 days after the closing on the transactions for such securitization.

(f)  Subdivision 6002(c)(3) of this chapter shall apply to all information submitted pursuant to subsections (c) and (e) of this section and to any order issued to the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

§ 6048e.  Changes in plan of operation; voluntary
     dissolution or cessation of business

(a)  Any change in the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation shall require prior approval of the commissioner. 

(b)  Any transaction or series of transactions shall be subject to the prior approval of the commissioner if such transaction or series of transactions:

(1)  Is undertaken to dissolve a special purpose financial captive insurance company; or

(2)  Results in the termination of all or any part of a special purpose financial captive insurance company’s business; but no prior approval of the commissioner shall be required for any transaction or series of transactions described in this subdivision (2) if such transaction or series of transactions is done in accordance with a document or agreement described in the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation and if the commissioner is notified in advance of such transaction or series of transactions.

(c)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall notify the commissioner in advance of any change in the legal ownership of any security issued by the special purpose financial captive insurance company.

§ 6048f.  Formation

(a)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may be incorporated as a stock insurer with its capital divided into shares and held by its stockholders, or it may be organized as a manager‑managed limited liability company. 

(b)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company’s organizational documents shall limit the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s authority to transact the business of insurance or reinsurance to those activities that the special purpose financial captive insurance company conducts to accomplish its purposes as expressed in this subchapter.

§ 6048g.  Minimum Capital and Surplus

A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall not be issued a license unless it shall possess and thereafter maintain unimpaired paid‑in capital and surplus of not less than $250,000.00.

§ 6048h.  Securities

(a)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may:

(1)  subject to the prior approval of the commissioner, account for the proceeds of a surplus note issued by the special purpose financial captive insurance company as surplus; and

(2)  submit for prior approval of the commissioner periodic written requests for authorization to make payments of interest on and repayments of principal of surplus notes and other debt obligations issued by the special purpose financial captive insurance company, provided that the commissioner shall not approve such payment if the commissioner determines that such payment would jeopardize the ability of the special purpose financial captive insurance company or any other person to fulfill their respective obligations pursuant to the special purpose financial captive insurance company securitization agreements, the reinsurance contract, or any related transaction.  In lieu of approval of periodic written requests for authorization to make payments of interest on and repayments of principal of surplus notes and other debt obligations issued by the special purpose financial captive insurance company, the commissioner may approve a formula or plan, which shall be included in the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation as amended from time to time, for payment of interest, principal, or both with respect to such surplus notes and debt obligations.

(b)  In addition to the provisions of section 6005 of this chapter, no dividend or distribution may be declared or paid by a special purpose financial captive insurance company if such dividend or distribution would jeopardize the ability of the special purpose financial captive insurance company or any other person to fulfill the company’s or other person’s respective obligations pursuant to the special purpose financial captive insurance company securitization agreements, the reinsurance contract, or any related transaction.

(c)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company security shall not be subject to regulation as an insurance or reinsurance contract.  An investor in such a security or a holder of such a security shall not be considered to be transacting the business of insurance in this state solely by reason of having an interest in the security.  The underwriter’s placement or selling agents and their partners, commissioners, officers, members, managers, employees, agents, representatives, and advisors involved in an insurance securitization by a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall not be considered to be insurance producers or brokers or to be conducting business as an insurance or reinsurance company or as an insurance agency, brokerage, intermediary, advisory, or consulting business solely by virtue of their underwriting activities in connection with such securitization.

§ 6048i.  Permitted Reinsurance

(a)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may reinsure only the risks of a ceding insurer, pursuant to a reinsurance contract.  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may not issue a contract of insurance or a contract for assumption of risk or indemnification of loss other than such reinsurance contract. 

(b)  Unless otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner, a special purpose financial captive insurance company may not assume or retain exposure to insurance or reinsurance losses for its own account that are not funded by: 

(1)  Proceeds from a special purpose financial captive insurance company securitization or letters of credit or other assets described in subdivision 6048c(3) of this chapter;

(2)  Premium and other amounts payable by the ceding insurer to the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to the reinsurance contract; and

(3)  Any return on investment of the items in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(c)  The reinsurance contract shall contain all provisions reasonably required or approved by the commissioner, which requirements shall take into account the laws applicable to the ceding insurer regarding the ceding insurer taking credit for the reinsurance provided under such reinsurance contract. 

(d)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may cede risks assumed through a reinsurance contract to one or more reinsurers through the purchase of reinsurance, subject to the prior approval of the commissioner.

(e)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may enter into contracts and conduct other commercial activities related or incidental to and necessary to fulfill the purposes of the reinsurance contract, the insurance securitization, and this subchapter, provided such contracts and activities are included in the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation or are otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner.  Such contracts and activities may include but are not limited to:  entering into reinsurance contracts; issuing special purpose financial captive insurance company securities; complying with the terms of these contracts or securities; entering into trust, guaranteed investment contract, swap, or other derivative, tax, administration, reimbursement, or fiscal agent transactions; or complying with trust indenture, reinsurance, or retrocession; and other agreements necessary or incidental to effect an insurance securitization in compliance with this subchapter and the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation.

(f)  Unless otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner, a reinsurance contract shall not contain any provision for payment by the special purpose financial captive insurance company in discharge of its obligations under the reinsurance contract to any person other than the ceding insurer or any receiver of the ceding insurer.

(g)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall notify the commissioner immediately of any action by a ceding insurer or any other person to foreclose on or otherwise take possession of collateral provided by the special purpose financial captive insurance company to secure any obligation of the special purpose financial captive insurance company.

§ 6048j.  Disposition of Assets; Investments

(a)  The assets of a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be preserved and administered by or on behalf of the special purpose financial captive insurance company to satisfy the liabilities and obligations of the special purpose financial captive insurance company incident to the reinsurance contract, the insurance securitization, and other related agreements.

(b)  In the special purpose financial captive insurance company securitization, the security offering memorandum or other document issued to prospective investors regarding the offer and sale of a surplus note or other security shall include a disclosure that all or part of the proceeds of such insurance securitization will be used to fund the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s obligations to the ceding insurer. 

(c)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall not be subject to any restriction on investments other than the following:

(1)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall not make a loan to any person other than as permitted under its plan of operation or as otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner; and

(2)  The commissioner may prohibit or limit any investment that threatens the solvency or liquidity of the special purpose financial captive insurance company unless the investment is otherwise approved in its plan of operation or in an order issued to the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to subsection 6048d(b) of this chapter, as either is amended from time to time.

§ 6048k.  Annual Report; Books and Records

(a)  For purposes of subsection 6007(b) of this chapter: 

(1)  The commissioner shall, by rule or order, establish the form and content of the annual report to be filed by a special purpose financial captive insurance company; and

(2)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall report using statutory accounting principles, unless the commissioner requires, approves, or accepts the use of generally accepted accounting principles, in either case with any appropriate or necessary modifications or adaptations thereof required or approved or accepted by the commissioner and as supplemented by additional information required by the commissioner.   

(b)  A special purpose financial captive insurance company may make written application to file its annual report on a fiscal‑year basis.  If an alternative reporting date is granted, the commissioner shall establish the due date and content of any filing required by the special purpose financial captive insurance company in addition to its annual report.

(c)  Unless otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner, a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall maintain its books, records, documents, accounts, vouchers and agreements in this state.  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall make its books, records, documents, accounts, vouchers and agreements available for inspection by the commissioner at any time.  A special purpose financial captive insurance company shall keep its books and records in such manner that its financial condition, affairs, and operations can be readily ascertained and so that the commissioner may readily verify its financial statements and determine its compliance with this chapter.

(d)  Unless otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner, all original books, records, documents, accounts, vouchers, and agreements shall be preserved and kept available in this state for the purpose of examination and inspection and until such time as the commissioner approves the destruction or other disposition of such books, records, documents, accounts, vouchers, and agreements.  If the commissioner approves the keeping of the items listed in this subsection outside this state, the special purpose financial captive insurance company shall maintain in this state a complete and true copy of each such original.  Books, records, documents, accounts, vouchers, and agreements may be photographed, reproduced on film, or stored and reproduced electronically.

§ 6048l.  LICENSE Suspension and Revocation

(a)  The commissioner shall notify a special purpose financial captive insurance company not less than 30 days before suspending or revoking its license pursuant to section 6009 of this chapter, which notice shall state the basis for such suspension or revocation.  The special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be afforded the opportunity for a hearing pursuant to the provisions of the Vermont Administrative Procedure Act, 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. 

(b)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section and 3 V.S.A. § 814(c), no prior notice or hearing shall be required if the grounds for suspension or revocation of a special purpose financial captive insurance company’s license pursuant to section 6009 of this chapter relate primarily to the financial condition or soundness of the special purpose financial captive insurance company or to a deficiency in its assets.

(c)  For purposes of this subchapter, reference to section 6004 in subdivision 6009(a)(2) shall be construed also as a reference to section 6048g. 

§ 6048m.  Delinquency

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of chapter 145 of this title shall apply in full to a special purpose financial captive insurance company.

(b)  Upon any order of supervision, rehabilitation, or liquidation of a special purpose financial captive insurance company, the receiver shall manage the assets and liabilities of the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter. 

(c)  Amounts recoverable by the receiver of a special purpose financial captive insurance company under a reinsurance contract shall not be reduced or diminished as a result of the entry of an order of conservation, rehabilitation, or liquidation with respect to a ceding insurer, notwithstanding any provision in the contracts or other documentation governing the special purpose financial captive insurance company securitization. 

(d)  Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 145 of this title or any other law of this state:

(1)  An application or petition or a temporary restraining order or injunction issued pursuant to the provisions of chapter 145 of this title with respect to a ceding insurer does not prohibit the transaction of business by a special purpose financial captive insurance company, including any payment by a special purpose financial captive insurance company made with respect to a special purpose financial captive insurance company security, or any action or proceeding against a special purpose financial captive insurance company or its assets;

(2)  The commencement of a summary proceeding with respect to a special purpose financial captive insurance company and any order issued by the court in such summary proceeding shall not prohibit payments by a special purpose financial captive insurance company and shall not prohibit the special purpose financial captive insurance company from taking any action required to make such payments, provided such payments are made: 

(A)  pursuant to a special purpose financial captive insurance company security or reinsurance contract; and

(B)  consistent with the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation and any order issued to the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to subsection 6048d(b), as either is amended from time to time. 

(3)  A receiver of a ceding insurer may not void a nonfraudulent transfer by a ceding insurer to a special purpose financial captive insurance company of money or other property made pursuant to a reinsurance contract; and

(4)  A receiver of a special purpose financial captive insurance company may not void a nonfraudulent transfer by the special purpose financial captive insurance company of money or other property: 

(A)  made to a ceding insurer pursuant to a reinsurance contract or made to or for the benefit of any holder of a special purpose financial captive insurance company security with respect to the special purpose financial captive insurance company security; and

(B)  made consistent with the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s plan of operation and any order issued to the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to subsection 6048d(b), as either is amended from time to time.

(e)  With the exception of the fulfillment of the obligations under a reinsurance contract and notwithstanding another provision of this subchapter or other laws of this state, the assets of a special purpose financial captive insurance company, including assets held in trust, on a funds‑withheld basis, or in any other arrangement to secure the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s obligations under a reinsurance contract, shall not be consolidated with or included in the estate of a ceding insurer in any delinquency proceeding against the ceding insurer pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter for any purpose including, without limitation, distribution to creditors of the ceding insurer. 

§ 6048n.  Sponsored Captives

In addition to the provisions of sections 6048a–6048m of this subchapter, the provisions of this section shall apply to any sponsored captive insurance company licensed as a special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to this subchapter.

(1)  A sponsored captive insurance company may be licensed as a special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter.

(2)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 2 of this chapter.  In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this subchapter and the provisions of subchapter 2 of this chapter, the provisions of this subchapter shall control.

(3)  Unless otherwise approved in advance by the commissioner, a participant in a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be a ceding insurer.  Any change in a participant shall be subject to prior approval by the commissioner.

(4)  Notwithstanding subdivision 6034(1) of this chapter, the special purpose financial captive insurance company may issue securities to any person approved in advance by the commissioner.

(5)  Notwithstanding section 6048g of this subchapter, the special purpose financial captive insurance company shall possess and thereafter maintain unimpaired paid‑in capital and surplus of not less than $500,000.00. 

(6)  The “general account” of a sponsored captive insurance company licensed as a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall mean all assets and liabilities of the sponsored captive insurance company not attributable to a protected cell.

(7)  Any security issued by a special purpose financial captive insurance company with respect to a protected cell and any other contract or obligation of the special purpose financial captive insurance company with respect to a protected cell shall include the designation of such protected cell and shall include a disclosure in a form and content satisfactory to the commissioner to the effect that the holder of such security and any counterparty to such contract or obligation have no right or recourse against the special purpose financial captive insurance company and its assets other than against assets properly attributable to such protected cell.  Notwithstanding the requirements of this subdivision (7) and subject to the provisions of this chapter and other applicable law or regulation, the failure to include such disclosure, in whole or part, in such security, contract, or obligation with respect to a protected cell shall not serve as the sole basis for a creditor, ceding insurer, or any other person to have recourse against the general account of the special purpose financial captive insurance company or against the assets of any other protected cell.

(8)  In addition to the provisions of section 6034 of this chapter, the special purpose financial captive insurance company shall be subject to the following with respect to its protected cells:

(A)  The special purpose financial captive insurance company shall establish a protected cell only for the purpose of insuring or reinsuring risks of one or more reinsurance contracts with a ceding insurer with the intent of facilitating an insurance securitization.  A separate protected cell shall be established with respect to each such ceding insurer, provided that a separate protected cell shall be established with respect to each reinsurance contract or contracts that are funded in whole or in part by a separate securitization transaction; and

(B)  A sale, an exchange, or another transfer of assets may not be made by the special purpose financial captive between or among any of its protected cells without the prior approval of the commissioner.

(9)  All attributions of assets and liabilities to the protected cells and the general account shall be in accordance with the plan of operation approved by the commissioner.  No other attribution of assets or liabilities may be made by a special purpose financial captive insurance company between its general account and any protected cell or between any protected cells.  The special purpose financial captive insurance company shall attribute all insurance obligations, assets, and liabilities relating to a reinsurance contract entered into with respect to a protected cell and shall attribute the related insurance securitization transaction, including any securities issued by the special purpose financial captive insurance company as part of the insurance securitization, to such protected cell. The rights, benefits, obligations, and liabilities of any securities attributable to such protected cell and the performance under such reinsurance contract and the related securitization transaction and any tax benefits, losses, refunds, or credits allocated pursuant to a tax allocation agreement to which the special purpose financial captive insurance company is a party, including any payments made by or due to be made to the special purpose financial captive insurance company pursuant to the terms of such agreement, shall reflect the insurance obligations, assets, and liabilities relating to the reinsurance contract and the insurance securitization transaction that are attributed to such protected cell.

(10)  For purposes of applying the provisions of chapter 145 of this title to a sponsored captive insurance company licensed as a special purpose financial captive insurance company, the definition of “insolvency” and “insolvent” in subdivision 6048c(2) shall be applied separately to each protected cell and to the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s general account.   

(11)  In addition to the provisions of section 6048m of this chapter:

(A)  The provisions of chapter 145 of this title shall apply to each protected cell of the special purpose financial captive.  Any proceeding or action taken by the commissioner pursuant to chapter 145 of this title with respect to a protected cell of a special purpose financial captive shall not be the sole basis for a proceeding pursuant to chapter 145 of this title with respect to any other protected cell of such special purpose financial captive insurance company or the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s general account.

(B)  The receiver of a special purpose financial captive insurance company shall ensure that the assets attributable to one protected cell are not applied to the liabilities attributable to another protected cell or to the special purpose financial captive insurance company’s general account unless an asset or liability is attributable to more than one protected cell, in which case the receiver shall deal with the asset or liability in accordance with the terms of any relevant governing instrument or contract.

(C)  The insolvency of a protected cell shall not be the sole basis for the commissioner to prohibit payments by the special purpose financial captive insurance company made pursuant to a special purpose financial captive insurance company security or reinsurance contract with respect to any other protected cell or to prohibit any action required to make such payments.

and by renumbering the following sections to be numerically correct.

Rep. Branagan of Georgia, for the committee on Ways and Means, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Commerce.

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

Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 527

The Senate proposed to the House to amend House bill, entitled

An act relating to state’s transportation program;

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

Sec. 1.    TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM; ADVANCEMENTS,                                       CANCELLATIONS, AND DELAYS

(a)  The state’s proposed fiscal year 2008 transportation program appended to the agency of transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2008 budget, as amended by this act, is adopted to the extent federal, state, and local funds are available. 

(b)  As used in this act, unless otherwise indicated, the term “agency” means the agency of transportation, and the term “secretary” means the secretary of transportation.  As used in this act, the table heading “As Proposed” means the transportation program referenced in subsection (a) of this section; the table heading “As Amended” means the amendments as made by this act; the table heading “Change” means the difference obtained by subtracting the “As Proposed” figure from the “As Amended” figure; and the term “change” or “changes” in the text refers to the project- and program-specific amendments, the aggregate sum of which equals the net “Change” in the applicable table heading.

* * * Program Development – Roadway * * *

Sec. 2.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – ROADWAY

The following modifications are made to the program development – roadway program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Morristown VT100 project, STP F 029-1(2), is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          PE                                   50,000             50,000                      0

          ROW                            150,000           550,000           400,000

          Construction                             0                      0                      0

          Other                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              200,000           600,000           400,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                                40,880             89,880             49,000

          Federal                          159,120           479,120           320,000

          Toll credits                                0             31,000             31,000

          Total                              200,000           600,000           400,000

(2)  The agency is directed to advance the Springfield TH 3 project, STP 0136(1), as a preventive maintenance project.  The scope of the project shall be determined in consultation between the agency and the town of Springfield. Upon agreement as to the scope of the project, the agency shall develop the project and be prepared to begin construction during state fiscal year 2009. 

(3)  The unspent funds authorized for expenditure for the Waterbury Main Street project, FEGC F‑013-4(13), in fiscal year 2007 shall be brought forward and used in fiscal year 2008 to advance the improvements at the intersection of Park Row and Main Street.

(4)  A new project is added to the SFY 2007 and SFY 2008 development and evaluation section:  Pittsford police academy has received an earmark for a project to provide a driver training pad at the criminal justice and fire service training center in Pittsford.  The pad will facilitate in the training of various protection agencies in the defensive operation of their vehicle and to conduct emergency vehicle operations, fire, rescue training, “stopping vehicle training” and for motorcycle licensing.  The project consists of constructing a 350′ x 125′ bituminous concrete training pad with an 800′ long x 20′ wide bituminous concrete acceleration/approach road to the pad.  The amount of federal funds available from the earmark is $491,964 (100 percent - Federal).  The project shall appear as follows: Pittsford STP SKID(1).

(5)  The Middlebury Cross Street project STP 5900( ) which was inadvertently omitted from the agency’s proposed FY08 transportation program as submitted to the general assembly, shall be included by the agency in its publication of the transportation program as enacted by the general assembly pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 10g(f).

(6)  The agency shall continue its commitment to the Bennington Bypass South project, NH F 019-1(4), as evidenced by the acquisition of right-of-way during state fiscal year 2007, for removal of material from the northern segment to the southern segment, for use as stage one sites for the Bennington Bypass North project, NH F 019-1(5).  At such time as construction funds are identified for the Bennington Bypass South project NH F 019-1(4), the agency shall advance this project on the development and evaluation (D & E) list.

* * * Bridge Programs * * *

Sec. 3.    INTERSTATE, STATE, AND TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGE                      PROGRAMS

To rectify an agency oversight while developing the proposed transportation capital program, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 10g(n), the agency is authorized to expend development and evaluation funds identified for unnamed candidate projects in the interstate, state, and town highway bridge programs on listed candidate projects in each program according to the priority rating and status of such projects within the project development process.

Sec. 4.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – STATE BRIDGE

The following modifications are made to the program development – state bridge program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Williamstown BRS 0204(4) project, replacement of BR10 over brook No. 2, is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          PE                                     1,603               1,603                      0

          ROW                              48,716             48,716                      0

          Construction                  850,000           450,000          -400,000

          Other                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              900,319           500,319          -400,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                              180,064           100,064            -80,000

          Federal                          720,255           400,255          -320,000

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                              900,319           500,319          -400,000

* * * Maintenance * * *

Sec. 5.  MAINTENANCE

(a)  Total authorized spending in the maintenance program is modified as follows:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services           32,933,303      32,933,303                      0

          Operating Expenses       30,858,345      30,711,345          -147,000

          Grants                                206,500           206,500                      0

          Total                              63,998,148      63,851,148          -147,000

       Sources of funds

          State                              60,174,213      60,027,213          -147,000

          Federal                            3,723,935        3,723,935                      0

          Local                                  100,000           100,000                      0

          Total                              63,998,148      63,851,148          -147,000

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  To reduce funding for intelligent transportation system (ITS) projects by $347,000 of transportation funds.  The agency shall continue to operate the “511” traveler information service at not less than the same level of service as provided in fiscal year 2007.  Subject to this condition, the agency shall allocate the remaining authorized funds for ITS projects at its discretion.

(2)  To add $100,000 of transportation funds for a small improvement project to construct an underground cattle pass on Vermont Route 100 to serve the so-called Turner Farm.  In fiscal year 2008, the agency shall use the authorized funds for the sole purpose of designing, permitting, and installing an underground cattle pass and associated highway traffic safety features.  The associated work is contingent upon the Turner estate donating any necessary right-of-way outside the existing highway right-of-way.  Moreover, the Turner estate, for itself and its successors-in-interest, must agree to a maintenance and liability agreement satisfactory to the agency.  Once completed, the existing cattle crossing signs and warning signals will be removed by the agency.

(3)  To add $100,000 of transportation funds to be used for the acquisition of vehicle-mounted sweeper attachments to aid in the removal of debris from the roadway in support of bicycle and pedestrian activities.

* * * Rest Area Capital Construction * * *

Sec.6.  REST AREAS

The following modifications are made to the rest areas program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Hartford I-91 rest area sewer line project, IM BLDG(1), is amended to read:

FY08                         As Proposed    As Amended             Change

PE                                   50,000             50,000                      0

ROW                                       0                      0                      0

Construction               2,950,000        3,250,000           300,000

Other                                        0                      0                      0

Total                           3,000,000        3,300,000           300,000

Sources of funds                                                                            

State                              300,000           600,000           300,000

Federal                       2,700,000        2,700,000                      0

Local                                        0                      0                      0

Total                           3,000,000        3,300,000           300,000

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 7.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

(a)  Authorized spending by the department of motor vehicles is amended to read:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services           17,134,501      17,247,046           112,545

          Operating Expenses         7,629,667        7,629,667                      0

          Grants                                339,000           339,000                      0

          Total                              25,103,168      25,215,713           112,545

       Sources of funds

          State                              23,329,029      23,441,574           112,545

          Federal                            1,774,139        1,774,139                      0

          Local                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              25,103,168      25,215,713           112,545

(b)  This change is made to add $112,545 in state funds for the DMV computer system upgrade project.

* * * Policy and Planning * * *

Sec. 8.  POLICY AND PLANNING

Authorized spending in policy and planning is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services        4,969,906        4,921,906            -48,000

          Operating Expenses       964,875           964,875                      0

          Grants                         4,690,227        4,690,227                      0

          Total                         10,625,008      10,577,008            -48,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                           2,597,643        2,592,843              -4,800

          Federal                       7,887,365        7,844,165            -43,200

          Other                             140,000           140,000                      0

          Total                         10,625,008      10,577,008            -48,000

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 9.  PUBLIC TRANSIT 

The following modifications are made to the public transit program:

(1)  For the purpose of redirecting capital assets for use in the acquisition of new buses and equipment for public transportation, the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, shall sell, for fair market value, a 2003 MCI 4500D motor coach, owned by the state and purchased with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, to Greyhound Lines, Inc.  Subject to the prior approval of the FTA, the sale proceeds of $215,775.71 shall be applied as soon as practicable to purchase a minimum of three new medium-size rural service delivery, public transit buses, in accordance with the highest priority needs in the agency's capital program.

(2)(A)  Authorized spending in the public transit program is amended to read:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal services                948,669           948,669                      0

          Operating expenses               77,517             77,517                      0

          Grants                           16,225,259      16,641,035           415,776

          Other                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              17,251,445      17,667,221           415,776

       Sources of funds

          State                                5,899,044        6,271,620           372,576

          Federal                          11,352,401      11,395,601             43,200

          Other                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              17,251,445      17,667,221           415,776

(B)  These changes are made:

(i)  to incorporate the spending of $215,775.71 in transportation funds authorized in subsection (1) of this section;

(ii)  to add $156,800 in transportation funds and $43,200 in federal funds to authorized spending in the public transit elders and persons with disabilities program for critical medical care transportation services.  These funds are authorized on a one-time basis to provide emergency supplemental funding to the elderly and disabled transportation program.  The funds are intended to provide program security by setting aside supplementary elderly and disabled transportation program funds (E&D funds) for critical care transportation appropriated for fiscal year 2008.  In order to maintain program integrity and prevent the revision of allocation and spending patterns based upon the existence of this new supplemental fund, all agencies receiving such funding shall maintain in fiscal year 2008 the funding amounts initially programmed for by the regional elderly and disabled advisory committees in fiscal year 2007.  Further, in an effort to develop a more consistent approach to the use of E&D funds by diverse regional entities, the agency shall provide revised or additional E&D program management guidance, or both, to be followed by all recipients of this funding.  The agency of transportation shall hold these supplemental funds in reserve, and shall disperse these funds to agencies that have grant agreements with the agency for the provision of elderly and disabled transportation services only in the event that a shortfall of E&D funds occurs as a result of unanticipated high demand for non-Medicaid, critical care transportation services which results in a lack of funds available to continue critical care transportation services.

Sec. 10. CRITICAL CARE TRANSPORTATION STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A critical care transportation study committee is established, consisting of representatives of the agency of transportation and the agency of human services as designated by the secretaries of the respective agencies; a representative of the Vermont area agencies on aging; a representative of the Vermont center for independent living; a representative of the Vermont association of adult day care services; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent rural public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent urban public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont kidney foundation; and a representative of the American Cancer Society.  For the purposes of this section, critical care transportation is defined as transportation to and from dialysis and cancer treatment medical services for Vermonters not eligible for Medicaid transportation services.  The committee shall be co-chaired by a representative of the agency of transportation and a representative of the agency of human services as designated by the secretaries of the respective agencies.

(b)  The committee shall review the current service delivery system for critical care transportation, and develop recommendations for program administration approaches that will ensure critical care transportation program stability, and eliminate annual regional fluctuations of need, and make policy recommendations toward the establishment of prudent and predictable funding that is tied to clear policy objectives determined to be reasonable, sustainable, and affordable.  The committee shall consider such issues as program coordination among nonprofit agencies and funding sources, sustainability of funding, ease of administration, compatibility with other programs, need for service, and other issues it deems relevant to determine its recommendations. 

(c)  The agency of human services and agency of transportation shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(d)  The committee shall deliver its report, including any recommendations for proposed legislation, to the house and senate committees on appropriations and transportation, to the house committee on human services, and the senate committee on health and welfare by December 1, 2007. 

* * * Park & Ride Municipal Initiative Program * * *

Sec. 11.  PARK AND RIDE MUNICIPAL INITIATIVE PROGRAM

Authorized spending in the park & ride municipal initiative program is amended to read:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          PE                                      200,000           262,000             62,000

          ROW                                            0                      0                      0

          Construction                                  0                      0                      0

          Other                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                                   200,000           262,000             62,000

       Sources of funds

          State                                   200,000           262,000             62,000

          Federal                                          0                      0                      0

          Local                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                                   200,000           262,000             62,000

* * * Town Highway Emergency Fund * * *

Sec. 12.  TOWN HIGHWAY EMERGENCY FUND

Funding of the town highway emergency fund is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services                      0                      0                      0

          Operating Expenses                  0                      0                      0

          Grants                         1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

          Total                           1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

       Sources of funds

          State                           1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

          Federal                                     0                      0                      0

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                           1,185,893           750,000          -435,893

* * * Town Highway Class 2 Roadway Program * * *

Sec. 13.  TOWN HIGHWAY CLASS 2 ROADWAY

Authorized spending on the town highway class 2 roadway program is amended to read:

       FY08                        As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal Services                      0                      0                      0

          Operating Expenses                  0                      0                      0

          Grants                         4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

          Total                           4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

       Sources of funds                                                                           

          State                           4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

          Federal                                     0                      0                      0

          Local                                        0                      0                      0

          Total                           4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

* * * VT 2A/VT 289 – VT 127 Corridor * * *

Sec. 14.  TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS ALONG CORRIDOR BETWEEN EXISTING VT 2A/VT 289 INTERCHANGE IN TOWN OF ESSEX AND VT 127 (HEINEBERG DRIVE) IN TOWN OF COLCHESTER

(a)  For purposes of this section, “corridor” means the corridor between the existing VT 2A/VT 289 interchange in the town of Essex and VT 127 (Heineberg Drive) in the town of Colchester.

(b)  The agency, in cooperation with the Chittenden County metropolitan planning organization (CCMPO), shall provide a projected timeline for transportation improvements along the corridor.  The timeline shall address the following:

(1)  Major steps, including environmental reviews;

(2)  The agency’s best current estimate of the time, workforce, and financial resources needed and likely to be available for transportation improvements along the corridor;

(3)  The CCMPO’s best current estimate of its future year-by-year prioritization of transportation improvements along the corridor within the CCMPO’s transportation improvement plan (TIP);

(4)  The agency’s best current estimate of its future year by year prioritization of transportation improvements along the corridor pursuant to the requirements of 19 V.S.A. § 10g(l)-(m) (priority ratings); and

(5)  The projected fiscal year for starting and ending each of the project process steps for transportation improvements along the corridor, with appropriate caveats.    

(c)  The agency shall present the projected timeline to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2008.

* * * Agency Fleet * * *

Sec. 15.  AGENCY VEHICLE FLEET

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 13(b), the agency is authorized to add one pickup truck with a plow and hopper spreader and one loader to the fleet.

* * * Cancellation of Projects * * *

Sec. 16.  CANCELLATION OF PROJECTS

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 10g(f) (legislative approval for cancellation of projects), the general assembly approves cancellation of the following projects:

(1)  Bike and pedestrian facilities:

(A)  Swanton STP BIKE(29)S (bike/ped path) (town has requested termination); and

(B)  Williston STP WALK(22) (bike/ped path) (town has requested termination);

(2)  Roadway:

(A)  Fairlee SB VT 00(002) (interpretive center) (town has requested termination); and

(B)  Windsor SB VT 00(003) (waypoint interpretive center) (town has requested termination).

* * * Interpretive Signing for Official Byways * * *

Sec. 17.  10 V.S.A. § 489 is amended to read:

§ 489.  ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS DIRECTIONAL SIGNS

(a)  Lawful businesses and points of interest and cultural, educational, and religious facilities are eligible for official business directional signs, subject to the provisions of this chapter and to rules and regulations promulgated by the travel information council, and subject further to any federal law, rule, or regulation affecting the allocation of federal highway funds or other funds to or for the benefit of this state or any agency or subdivision thereof of the state.

(b)  Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, brown-and-white official business directional signs as requested by the local byways organization may be allowed for the purpose of directing travelers to interpretive information sites along officially designated state and federal byways only.  An official business directional sign authorized under this subsection shall be located on the same state designated byway as the interpretive information site to which the sign directs attention.

* * * Service of Necessity Petitions * * *

Sec. 18.  19 V.S.A. § 506(a)(1) is amended to read:

(a)  The agency shall prepare a notice of the necessity hearing.  The notice shall include the names of the municipalities in which the lands to be taken or affected are located; the names of all interested persons within the meaning of subdivision 501(2) of this chapter; and a brief statement identifying the proposed project and its location, and the date, time and place of the necessity hearing.  The agency shall make service of copies of the petition, the notice of hearing and the survey (for the purposes of this section, “survey” means a plan, profile, or cross-section of the proposed project) as follows:

(1)  Upon interested persons in accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process, except as stated in subsection (b) of this section and in section 519 of this title or, with respect to interested parties with no known residence or place of business within the state, by certified mail, return receipt requested.  The copy of the survey that is served upon interested persons need include only the particular property in which those persons have an interest.

* * * Compensation Hearings; Projects Extending into Two

or More Counties * * *

Sec. 19.  19 V.S.A. § 511 is amended to read:

§ 511.  HEARING TO DETERMINE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION

(a)  Following a determination of the necessity of the taking as above provided, when an owner of land or rights and the agency of transportation are unable to agree on the amount of compensation to be paid, and if the agency of transportation desires to proceed with the taking, the transportation board shall appoint a time and place in the county where the land is situated for examining the premises and hearing parties interested, giving at least 10 days' notice in writing to the person owning the land or having an interest in the land.  At that time and place, a member or members of the transportation board shall hear any person having an interest in the land and desiring to be heard.

(b)  If the land proposed to be acquired extends into two or more counties, the board may hold a single hearing in one of the counties to determine compensation.  In fixing the place for hearing, the transportation board shall take into consideration the needs of the parties. 

* * * Traffic-Control Signals * * *

Sec. 20.  23 V.S.A. § 1022(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Steady red signal.

(1)  Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

(2)  Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one way street into a one way street, after stopping as required by subdivision (c)(1) of this section subsectionSuch vehicular This traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.  No motorist shall turn right when facing a red arrow signal indication unless a regulatory sign is present which permits this movement. 

(3)  Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 1023 of this title, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

* * * Approval of Real Estate Transaction in Charlotte * * *

Sec. 21.  APPROVAL FOR CONVEYANCE OF REAL ESTATE IN TOWN OF CHARLOTTE

Subject to the approval of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to convey to the Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc. (VELCO) or an affiliated company, for use as a site for an electrical power substation in connection with the Northwest Reliability Project, for fair market value, part of the land acquired by the state of Vermont in 2000 for a commuter rail station and parking lot, which were part of the Charlotte–Burlington commuter train project.  The conveyance may include an easement over the state’s remaining property for vehicular access to Ferry Road (VT F-5; TH 3).

* * * Agency Cooperation with Regional Planning Commissions * * *

Sec. 22.  19 V.S.A. § 10l is added to read:

§ 10l.  AGENCY COOPERATION WITH REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

(a)  Legislative intent.  The general assembly finds that regional planning commissions possesses a unique expertise that enables the agency to conduct rural transportation planning and local consultation activities that build upon the integration of land use, environmental, and economic development inputs.  To ensure the agency continues to meet its local consultation requirements found in 23 C.F.R. part 250.212, the general assembly requires the following duties of regional planning commissions as part of an annual contract and work preparing the transportation planning initiative (TPI).

(b)  Duties of regional planning commissions.  Regional planning commissions, serving areas of the state not qualifying as a Metropolitan Planning Area under federal regulations, shall implement the transportation planning initiative (TPI) program.  This program provides the mechanism by which the agency coordinates policy development and planning to ensure the involvement by Vermont citizens and rural local officials.  It shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Ensuring that local officials and citizens are involved in the

statewide transportation planning process. 

(2)  Providing technical assistance to facilitate local officials and staff in making transportation policy and investment decisions.

(3)  Coordinating town planning and development regulations to meet better state transportation policies and investment priorities.

(4)  Participating in state and national transportation policy and planning development processes to ensure regional and local input.

(5)  Implementing a project evaluation process to prioritize all transportation projects within the regions utilizing state or federal funds to be included in the state transportation program.

(6)  Developing and maintaining a regional, multi-modal transportation plan that clearly details regional and local project, planning, and policy priorities. 

(7)  Maintaining a regional transportation advisory committee (TAC) that reviews and provides input on all major state and federal transportation planning and policy decisions.  In order to facilitate this input, the regional planning commissions, in collaboration with the agency of transportation, shall provide warning and notice of all public meetings regarding transportation plans, projects, and proposals.

* * * Registration for Specialized Fuel-Driven Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 23.  23 V.S.A. § 4(22) is amended to read:

(22)  "Nongasoline driven motor vehicle" “Specialized fuel-driven motor vehicle”  shall include all motor vehicles, the power for which is generated otherwise than by gasoline, except diesel driven vehicles using or by diesel "fuel" as defined in section 3002 of this title, excluding steam road rollers, tractors used entirely for work on the farm and vehicles running only upon rails or tracks.

Sec. 24.  23 V.S.A. § 362 is amended to read:

§ 362.  NONGASOLINE AND NONDIESEL SPECIALIZED FUEL MOTOR VEHICLES AND MOTOR BUSES

The annual fee for the registration of any "nongasoline driven specialized fuel-driven motor vehicle" as defined in section 4 of this title but not including and of motor buses, as defined in section 3002 of this title and registered in this state, shall be one and three quarters three-quarters times the amount of the annual fee provided for a motor vehicle of the classification and weight under the terms of this chapter.

Sec. 25.  REPEAL

23 V.S.A. chapter 8 (bus taxation proration agreement) is repealed.

* * * Development Review Applications; Notice Requirements * * *

Sec. 26.  24 V.S.A. § 4464(a)(1) and (2) are amended to read:  

(a)  Notice procedures.  All development review applications before an appropriate municipal panel under procedures set forth in this chapter shall require notice as follows.

(1)  A warned public hearing shall be required for conditional use review, variances, administrative officer appeals, and final plat review for subdivisions.  Any public notice for a warned public hearing shall be given not less than 15 days prior to the date of the public hearing by all the following:

(A)  Publication of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality affected.

(B)  Posting of the same information in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2), including posting within view from the public right‑of‑way most nearly adjacent to the property for which an application is made.

(C)  Written notification to the applicant and to owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to any public right‑of‑way including the owners of properties which would be contiguous to the property subject to development but for the interposition of a highway or other public right-of-way and, in any situation in which a variance is sought regarding setbacks from a state highway, also including written notification to the secretary of transportation.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

(2)  Public notice for hearings on all other types of development review, including site plan review, shall be given not less than seven days prior to the date of the public hearing, and shall include at a minimum all the following:

(A)  Posting of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with the time and location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2).

(B)  Written notification to the applicant and to the owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to right‑of‑way including the owners of properties which would be contiguous to the property subject to development but for the interposition of a highway or other public right-of-way and, in any situation in which a variance is sought regarding setbacks from a state highway, also including written notification to the secretary of transportation.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

* * * Transportation State Policy * * *

Sec. 27.  19 V.S.A. § 10b(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Transportation projects shall be designed to In developing the state’s annual transportation program, the agency shall, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional, and state agency plans:

(1)  Develop or incorporate designs that provide safe and efficient transportation and to promote economic opportunities for Vermonters and the best use of the state's natural environmental and historic resources, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by Act No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional and state agency plans.

(2)  Manage available funding to:

(A)  give priority to preserving the functionality of the existing transportation infrastructure, and

(B)  adhere to credible project delivery schedules.

* * * Repeal * * *

Sec. 28.  REPEAL; STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT

(a)  19 V.S.A. § 10 g(g) (planning meetings) is repealed.

(b)  This repeal does not absolve the agency of transportation from its existing public involvement responsibilities under 23 C.F.R. § 450.212(f), as certified to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.  This annual certification outlines the agency’s public involvement responsibilities in three areas:  the transportation planning initiative (TPI); development and adoption of the long-range transportation plan; and development and adoption of the state transportation improvement plan (STIP).

* * * Smugglers Notch * * *

Sec. 29.  23 V.S.A. § 1006b is added to read:

§ 1006b.  SMUGGLERS NOTCH; WINTER CLOSURE OF VERMONT ROUTE 108

The agency of transportation may close the Smugglers Notch segment of Vermont Route 108 during periods of winter weather.  Closings shall become effective when signs to inform the traveling public are in place at both closure points.  These signs shall conform to the standards of section 1025 of this title.

* * * Town Highway Structures and Class 2 Roadway Programs * * *

Sec. 30.  19 V.S.A. § 306(e) is amended to read:

(e)  State aid for town highway structures.  There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for maintenance, including actions to extend life expectancy, and construction of bridges, culverts, and other structures, including causeways and retaining walls, intended to preserve the integrity of the traveled portion of class 1, 2, and 3 town highways.  Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated state share cost of $3,490,000.00 at a minimum as new grants.  The agency’s proposed appropriation for the program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year.  In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the town highway structures program exceed the amount appropriated, the agency shall advise the governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the general assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the agency has previously committed to completing those projects.  Funds received as grants for state aid for town highway structures may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

Sec. 31.  19 V.S.A. § 306(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Class 2 town highway roadway program.  There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for resurfacing, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of paved or unpaved class 2 town highways.  Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated state share cost of $4,240,000.00 at a minimum as new grants.  The agency’s proposed appropriation for the program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year.  In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the town highway class 2 roadway program exceed the amount appropriated, the agency shall advise the governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the general assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the agency has previously committed to completing those projects.  Funds received as grants for state aid under the class 2 town highway roadway program may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

Sec. 32.  19 V.S.A. § 309b(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Notwithstanding § 309a subsections (a), (b) and (c) of section 309a of this title, a municipality may use a grant awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program to provide the nonfederal matching funds required to draw down a federal earmark.  In all such cases, the grant shall be matched by local funds as provided in this section.  The intended use of a town highway grant as matching funds for a federal earmark shall not entitle a municipal grant applicant to any priority for a grant award in any fiscal year.  When grants awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program are used to satisfy nonfederal matching requirements for federal earmarks, the term “project costs” in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall refer only to the nonfederal match for the federal earmark. 

Sec. 33.  19 V.S.A. § 309a(d) is added to read:

(d)  In any case of highway or bridge construction in which a municipality bears a share of the project costs, the fair market value of any land, material, or services donated by the municipality and used in the project shall be credited to the municipality’s share of the project costs subject to the provisions of 23 U.S.C. § 323 with respect to a federal aid project, with any surplus being thereafter credited to the remainder of the nonfederal match requirement.

* * * Enhancement Grant Program * * *

Sec. 34.  19 V.S.A. § 38(g) is amended to read:

(g)  Each year, up to $200,000.00 of the grant program or such lesser sum if all eligible applications amount to less than $200,000.00 shall be reserved for municipalities for eligible salt and sand shed projects.  Grant awards for eligible projects shall not exceed $50,000.00 per project.  Regarding the balance of grant program funds, in In evaluating applications for enhancement grants, the transportation enhancement grant committee shall give preferential weighting to projects involving as a primary feature a bicycle or pedestrian facility.  The degree of preferential weighting and the circumstantial factors sufficient to overcome the weighting shall be in the complete discretion of the transportation enhancement grant committee.

* * * Access to State Highway Rights-of-Way;

Appeal to Transportation Board ** *

Sec. 35.  19 V.S.A. § 5(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The board shall:

(1)  hear appeals from agency decisions and rulings regarding measurement, description or reclassification of town highways pursuant to section 305 of this title;

(2)  hear and determine small claims pursuant to section 20 of this title;

(3)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of decisions of the secretary of transportation when he or she assumes the powers and duties of a selectboard in highway matters in unorganized towns and gores pursuant to section 16 of this title;

(4)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, regarding legal disputes in the execution of contracts;

(5)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of decisions of the secretary in administering the provisions of Title 24, relating to junkyards;

(6)  provide appellate review when requested in writing, regarding the fairness of rents and fees charged for the occupancy or use of state-owned properties administered by the agency;

(7)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of agency decisions and rulings regarding private and commercial access to state highway rights-of-way pursuant to the permit process established in section 1111 of this title;

(7)(8)  in coordination with the agency, hold public hearings for the purpose of obtaining public comment on the development of state transportation policy, the mission of the agency, and state transportation planning, capital programming, and program implementation;

(8)(9)  hear and determine disputes involving the decision of a selectboard under subdivision 302(a)(3)(B) or subsection 310(a) of this title not to plow and make negotiable a class 2 or 3 town highway or section of a highway during the winter or involving discontinuances of class 3 or 4 town highways extending into adjacent towns under the provisions of subsection 771(c) of this title; and

(9)(10)  when requested by the secretary, conduct public hearings on matters of public interest, after which it shall transmit its findings and recommendations to the secretary and the chairs of the senate and house committees on transportation in a report which shall be a public document.

Sec. 36.  LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FOR PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT FOR AMTRAK VERMONT SERVICE 

(a)  Pursuant to Sec. 20 of No. 175 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), the general assembly approves the state of Vermont’s purchase, through the agency, of diesel multiple unit (DMU) equipment for a demonstration project to improve Amtrak passenger train service to Vermont.

(b)  This approval is subject to the following conditions:

(1)  Financing for the demonstration project must be available under the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

(2)  There must be availability of a grant of $2 million from Amtrak to assist with certain costs related to the demonstration project, including transition costs, maintenance facilities, marketing, engineering oversight, and service improvements to Vermont stations.

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

(4)  The purchase contract with the DMU vendor shall include an option to purchase future equipment, with pricing protections.

(5)  The DMU equipment must meet or exceed current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) structural safety requirements. 

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

(7)  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.

(8)  The contract for construction and purchase of the DMU equipment must be approved by the state treasurer and the attorney general as including sufficient 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.

(9)  Any agreements between the state of Vermont and Amtrak or the FRA must be flexible enough to permit redeployment of the DMU equipment in the event of the reconfiguration of Amtrak service to Vermont.  

Sec. 37.  PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION; COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

(a)  The agency shall add staff capacity (either an additional position or a consultant, as determined by the secretary) to develop options for an efficient, well-coordinated public transportation system with emphasis on connectivity adjustments that might be necessary as a result of implementing any options listed under subsection (b) of this section.  The agency shall examine the feasibility of making public transportation in Vermont seamless, efficient, and user-friendly, with usable connections among in-state and out-of-state points.  In conducting research and developing recommendations, the agency shall consult with the University of Vermont and with the state’s congressional delegation.

(b)  The agency shall examine the costs and benefits of various elements of the public transportation system, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1)  Terminating Amtrak’s “Vermonter” service in its entirety;

(2)  Converting Amtrak’s “Vermonter” or “Ethan Allen” service from conventional locomotive-hauled trains to diesel multiple units (DMUs);

(3)  Making White River Junction the northern terminus for Amtrak’s “Vermonter” service, either with conventional locomotive-hauled trains or DMUs; and

(4)  Coordination of all modes of transportation, including intercity bus and other bus systems, park and rides, Amtrak passenger train services, and air travel.  

(c)  On or before January 15, 2008, the agency shall submit a report on public transportation connectivity, with appropriate recommendations, to the house and senate committees on transportation.

* * * Barre Town; Access to Commercial Property * * *

Sec. 38.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION APPROVAL; ACCESS TO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY NEAR VT 14/63 INTERSECTION

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. chapter 17 (limited access facilities), the agency is directed to approve the existing one-way entry to the commercial property located southwesterly of the Vermont Route 14/63 intersection in Barre Town at mile marker 0140, subject to the property owner compensating the state for the current fair market value of the access rights previously acquired by the state.  

* * * Relocation of Dummerston DMV Office * * *

Sec. 39.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES OFFICE IN                                  DUMMERSTON; RELOCATION REPORT

The agency is directed to examine options for improving the facility and parking at the existing department of motor vehicles office in Dummerston versus renting separate space in the vicinity that meets the needs of the public. If a rental solution is found, upon the recommendation of the commissioner of motor vehicles, the chairs of the senate and house committees on transportation may approve proceeding with this option.  If an upgrade to the current facility is recommended, the agency shall report this option to the senate and house committees on transportation by January 15, 2008. 

* * * Bike and Pedestrian Accommodation Activities; Report * * *

Sec. 40. BIKE–PEDESTRIAN ACCOMMODATION ACTIVITIES;                          REPORT

By January 15, 2008, the agency shall provide a report to the senate and house committees on transportation summarizing all calendar year 2007 construction season expenditures in support of bike and pedestrian facilities and accommodations, including, but not limited to, enhancement projects, the bike/ped program, and features for the accommodation of cyclists and pedestrians that are included as part of paving or other projects.

* * * Municipal Indebtedness; Certain Bridge and Roadway Projects * * *

Sec. 41.  24 V.S.A. § 1759(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any bond issued under this subchapter shall draw interest at a rate not to exceed the rate approved by the voters of the municipal corporation in accordance with section 1758 of this title, or if no rate is specified in the vote under that section, at a rate approved by the legislative branch of the municipal corporation, such interest to be payable semiannually.  Such bonds or bond shall be payable serially, the first payment to be deferred not later than from one to five years after the issuance of the bonds and subsequent payments to be continued annually in equal or diminishing amounts so that the entire debt will be paid in not more than 20 years from the date of issue.  In the case of bonds issued for the purchase or development of a municipal forest, the first payment may be deferred not more than 30 years from the date of issuance thereof. Thereafter such bonds or bond shall be payable annually in equal or diminishing amounts so that the entire debt will be paid in not more than 60 years from the date of issue.  In the case of bonds issued for improvements on public highways that have a useful life of at least 30 years and that involve bridge construction or roadway reconstruction, including a bridge component, the entire debt will be paid in not more than 30 years from the date of issue.

* * * Railroad Farm Crossing; Study Committee * * *

Sec. 42.  RAILROAD FARM CROSSING STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  Contemporary changes in railroad operations, agricultural practices, land use and development patterns, environmental regulation, and recreational activities across the state require legislative review of state and federal regulations related to railroad grade crossings for agricultural, private, and public purposes.  A study committee is established to examine allowed usages of farm crossings, and shall consist of:  one representative each from the agency of transportation; agriculture, food and markets; and natural resources, appointed by the respective secretaries; one member from the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, appointed by the governor; one member from the senate committee on transportation appointed by the committee on committees; one member from the house committee on transportation appointed by the speaker; one public member appointed by the governor; and a member of the transportation board appointed by the chair of the board.

(b)  The committee is directed to:

(1)  Clarify the definition of "agricultural use," including a review of potential benefits and adverse impacts that statutory modifications will have in regard to safety, liability, and agricultural land conservation.

(2)  Solicit testimony from agricultural, environmental, and law enforcement organizations, railroads operating in the state, Vermont Operation Lifesaver, Inc., the Federal Railroad Administration, the emergency management division of the department of public safety, and the Vermont league of cities and towns.

(c)  Legislative members shall be compensated in accordance with section 1052 of Title 32.

(d)  The committee is authorized to meet up to four times, and the agency of transportation shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(e)  The committee shall deliver its report to the senate and house committees on transportation, on agriculture, and on natural resources and energy by December 1, 2007.

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Westman of Cambridge moved that the House refuse to concur and ask for a Committee of Conference, which was agreed to, and the Speaker appointed as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the House:

Rep. Westman of Cambridge

Rep. Audette of South Burlington

Rep. Corcoran of Bennington

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 137

     The Senate proposed to the House to amend House bill, entitled

     An act relating to the restoration of a department of mental health and a commissioner of mental health;

First:  By adding a new Sec. 13a to read as follows:

Sec. 13a.  18 V.S.A. § 7401 is amended to read:

§ 7401.  Powers and duties

Except insofar as this part of this title specifically confers certain powers, duties, and functions upon others, the commissioner shall be charged with its administration.  The commissioner may:

* * *

(17)  ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the commissioners commissioner of education and social and rehabilitation services the commissioner for children and families in accordance with the provisions of chapter 43 of Title 33;

(18)  ensure the development of community‑based prevention and early intervention services for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services throughout all parts of the public and private health care delivery system;

(19)  ensure the development of chronic care services, addressing mental health and substance abuse, for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services with other chronic care initiatives, including the Blueprint for Health, and the care coordination and case management programs of the office of Vermont health access;

(20)  ensure the coordination of mental health, physical health, and substance abuse services provided by the public and private health care delivery systems;

(21)  ensure the coordination of public mental health and substance abuse services with mental health and substance abuse services offered through the private health care delivery system, including services offered by primary care physicians.

Second:  In Sec. 23, [REPORT] in the first sentence, after the date “January 15, 2008,” by inserting and on January 15 of every even-numbered year thereafter, and after the last sentence, by adding a new sentence to read:

The report shall address prevention, early intervention, and chronic care health services for children and adults, coordination of mental health, substance abuse, and physical health services, and coordination with all parts of the health care delivery system, public and private, including the office of Vermont health access, the office of alcohol and drug abuse, and primary care physicians.

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 526

The Senate proposed to the House to amend House bill, entitled

An act relating to education quality and cost control;

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

* * * Findings * * *

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  Vermonters expect excellence from their schools and are justifiably proud of the state’s system of public education.

(b)  Vermont has demonstrated a commitment to equity in public school financing.  Nevertheless, the state cannot sustain public school spending at its present rate of growth. 

(c)  The general assembly acknowledges the commitment of school boards to managing costs under difficult circumstances.

(d)  The effect that a school funding system has on taxes should be more transparent.

(e)  It is important both to understand what Vermonters expect of their schools (including the expectations that are beyond the provision of traditional academic subjects) and to quantify the cost drivers that are causing increases in school budgets.  It is equally crucial to identify ways for schools to deliver these services more effectively. 

Sec. 2.  [Deleted]

Sec. 3.  [Deleted]

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The commissioner shall determine the weighted long‑term membership for each school district using the long‑term membership from subsection (b) of this section and the following weights for each class:

Grade Level Weight

Elementary 1.0

Secondary 1.25 1.13

* * *

Sec. 5.  Sec. 6.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(h) is added to read:

(h)  The commissioner shall evaluate the accuracy of the weights established in subsection (c) of this section and, at the beginning of each biennium, shall propose to the house and senate committees on education whether the weights should stay the same or be adjusted.

Sec. 6.  SCHOOL DISTRICTS; ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING HIGH SPENDING

On or before January 15, 2008, the commissioner of education shall explore, analyze, and report to the general assembly regarding the reasons school districts exceed the excess spending threshold defined in 32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) and shall develop recommendations, including criteria, for exempting school districts from the consequences of exceeding the threshold in certain circumstances, including when:

(1)  The district has high costs for special education services, the department has recommended ways to lower the costs, the district has followed the recommendations, and the district still exceeds the threshold; or

(2)  The district has high costs for special education services, the department has been unable to identify ways to lower the costs, and the district still exceeds the threshold; or

(3)  The district pays tuition for all or most of its students to attend one or more schools outside of the district and the commissioner determines that it is not possible for the district to make alternative arrangements that would enable it to stay beneath the high spending threshold.

* * * School Construction * * *

Sec. 7.  16  V.S.A. § 3448(a)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  Approval of preliminary application.

(A)  When reviewing a preliminary application for approval, the commissioner shall consider:

(i)  regional educational opportunities and needs, including school building capacities across school district boundaries, and available infrastructure in neighboring communities;

(ii)  economic efficiencies;

(iii)  the suitability of an existing school building to continue to meet educational needs; and

(iv)  statewide educational initiatives and the strategic plan of the state board of education.

(B)  The commissioner may approve a preliminary application if:

(A)(i)  The project or part of the project fulfills a need occasioned by:

(i)(I)  conditions which threaten the health or safety of students or employees;

(ii)(II)  facilities which are inadequate to provide programs required by state or federal law or regulation;

(iii)(III)  excessive energy use resulting from the design of a building or reliance on fossil fuels or electric space heat; or

(iv)(IV)  deterioration of an existing building;

(B)(ii)  The need addressed by the project cannot reasonably be met by another means; and

(C)(iii)  The proposed type, kind, quality, size, and estimated cost of the project are suitable for the proposed curriculum and meet all legal standards.

* * * Superintendents * * *

Sec. 8.  SUPERINTENDENTS; VACANCIES; COMMISSIONER’S ROLE

On or before July 15, 2007, the commissioner of education and the state board of education shall submit a report to the senate and house committees on education concerning their respective responsibilities under 16 V.S.A. § 241(a), 16 V.S.A. § 261, and state board rules 3220 through 3241, all of which are set forth below.  In particular, the report shall address:

(1)  The protocol followed when the commissioner is notified of a vacancy or impending vacancy in a superintendent’s position.

(2)  The inquiries made by the commissioner or board concerning the process by which the supervisory union advertises for and selects a new superintendent and the qualifications of was selected.

(3)  The independent inquiries made by the commissioner or board concerning the qualifications of the superintendents considered or selected by the supervisory union board.

(4)  The nature and frequency of the “advice” provided pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 241(a).

* * * Qualifications of Business Managers * * *

Sec. 9.   FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND SUPERVISORY UNIONS

(a)  The commissioner of education, in consultation with the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, and the Vermont association for school business officials shall:

(1)  Examine the systems of financial management currently used by Vermont school districts and supervisory unions.

(2)  Examine the range of training and expertise currently held by persons responsible for the financial management of Vermont school districts and supervisory unions.

(3)  Examine and assess the training or credentials required of financial managers employed by public schools or school districts in other states.

(4)  Develop proposals to ensure that all school districts consistently use uniform, high‑quality financial management practices.

(b)  On or before November 15, 2007, the commissioner shall submit a report to the senate committee on education outlining the results of the examinations required in subdivisions (a)(1)–(3) of this section and recommending proposals to ensure uniform, high quality financial management practices as required in subdivision (a)(4) of this section.  The report shall include both an analysis of the budgetary impact, if any, of the commissioner’s proposals and drafts of any proposed legislation. 

* * * Mandates * * *

Sec. 10.  MANDATES; REPORT

The legislative council and the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont superintendents association, the Vermont principals’ association, the Vermont – national education association, the Vermont council for special education administrators, superintendents, principals, school board members, and school personnel shall examine the requirements placed on local school districts resulting from state legislation, board rules, and interagency cost shifts implemented since January 1, 1997.  The examination will identify and quantify associated process requirements, staffing effects, and financial implications.  Legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall prepare a report for submission to the senate and house committees on education on or before December 1, 2007.

* * * Special Education Costs; Study * * *

Sec. 11.  SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES PROVISIONS; STUDY

As a continuation of the fine work contained in the Report on the Provision of Special Education Services issued in January 2001, the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the secretary of human services, the commissioner of education, the commissioner of employment and training, the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals’ association, the Vermont – national education association, the Vermont council for special education administrators, the Vermont coalition for disability rights, the Vermont parent information center, and other members of the education community, shall study how the agency of human services, the department of education, and the department of employment and training should provide for special education services for eligible persons under 22 years of age in school or out of school.  They shall also:

(1)  assess the extent to which school districts have absorbed service costs for special needs children that were historically paid by other service providers, including the extent to which:

(A)  children formerly admitted to institutional care are now being provided services through special education;

(B)  costs now found in school budgets historically were part of the budgets of nonschool agencies;

(C)  costs now found in school budgets would be attributable to nonschool agencies; and

(D)  Medicaid funds are being used to provide services;

(2)  examine the interagency agreement regarding coordination of special education services entered into pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(12) to determine if services are currently provided and paid for in the most appropriate and cost-effective ways;

(3)  prepare an estimate of the number of children with individualized education plans (IEP) who lose health care coverage through Dr. Dynasaur because of nonpayment of a premium and the financial impact on schools because of the disenrollment in Dr. Dynasaur; and

(4)  report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly on or before November 1, 2007.

* * * High Special Education Costs; Departmental Review * * *

Sec. 12.  16 V.S.A. § 2974 is amended to read: 

§ 2974.  SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM; FISCAL REVIEW PANEL OF HIGH SPENDING DISTRICTS

(a)  Annually, the commissioner shall report on:

(1)  special education expenditures by school districts;

(2)  the rate of growth or decrease in special education costs, including the identity of high and low spending districts;

(3)  outcomes for special education students;

(4)  the availability of special education staff;

(5)  the consistency of special education program implementation statewide; and

(6)  the status of the education support systems in school districts; and

(7)  a statewide summary of the special education student count, including:

(A)  the percentage of the total average daily membership represented by special education students statewide and by school district;

(B)  the percentage of special education students by disability category; and

(C)  the percentage of special education students by in‑district placement, day placement, and residential placement.

(b)  The commissioner shall review high spending districts to determine Annually, but no later than October 1, based on the previous year’s expenditures, the commissioner shall notify high spending districts that they have been designated as such.  Each designated district shall respond within 60 days with an explanation of its spending to address whether:

(1)  costs could be decreased while still providing needed special education services;

(2)  the district made reasonable efforts to provide, purchase, or contract for goods or services that are the most reasonably priced yet appropriate for its students;

(3)  the district reported special education expenditures appropriately; and

(4)  all expenditures identified as special education expenditures were properly attributed to eligible students and the services for which the expenditures were made were included in the students’ individualized education plans;

(5)  the district’s special education staff‑to‑child count ratios were higher than the state average, including a breakdown of ratios by staffing categories;

(6)  the number of students in more restrictive environments such as day programs and residential placements was above the state average of special education students in those placements and, if so, information about the categories of disabilities for the students in such placements;

(7)  the district was in compliance with section 2901 of this title; and

(8)  if the district’s proportion of its average daily membership who are enrolled in special education exceeds 20 percent of the statewide average, any unusual community characteristics contributed to this condition.

(c)  The commissioner shall review low spending districts to determine the reasons for their spending patterns and whether those districts used cost‑effective strategies appropriate to replicate in other districts.

(d)  For the purposes of this section, a “high spending district” is a school district that, in the previous school year, spent at least 20 percent more than the statewide average of special education eligible costs per average daily membership.  Also for the purposes of this section, a “low spending district” is a school district that, in the previous school year, spent no more than 80 percent of the statewide average of special education eligible costs per average daily membership.

(e)  For the purpose of advising the commissioner and providing technical assistance to school districts, the state board shall appoint a fiscal review panel of seven people who have expertise in the areas of data collection and finance, and in the fields of special education, business or health and human services. The panel, at the request of a district school board, shall work with the department of education to review spending patterns and provision of special education services in the district and provide advice to the school board and staff concerning cost control mechanisms and cost‑effective practices. In addition, the panel shall make recommendations on what types of data to collect for purposes of the annual report required under subsection (a) of this section, and how the data should be analyzed.  If, after a review of a high spending district’s explanation, the commissioner finds that the explanation is not satisfactory, the commissioner shall conduct a performance review to include one or more of the following:

(1)  a review of the district’s special education student count patterns over time;

(2)  a review of the district’s compliance with section 2901 of this title and any unusual community characteristics that exist;

(3)  an on‑site review to examine a sample of special education student records and related financial and business records;

(4)  a review of the district’s compliance with federal and state requirements to provide a free appropriate public education to eligible students; and

(5)  a review of other factors.

(f)  Within 60 days of completing the performance review, the commissioner shall notify the district in writing of his or her findings and whether the results of the performance review are satisfactory or not satisfactory.  If the results of the performance review are not satisfactory to the commissioner, the commissioner and the school district jointly shall develop a remediation plan.  The district shall have two years to make progress on the remediation plan.  At the conclusion of the two years or earlier, the district shall report its progress on the remediation plan. 

(g)  Within 30 days of receipt of the district’s report of progress, the commissioner shall notify the district that its progress is either satisfactory or not satisfactory. 

(1)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the conclusion of the remediation plan, the commissioner shall notify the district that in the ensuing year the district will be subject to a withholding of up to 10 percent of its special education expenditures reimbursement under section 2963 of this chapter.

(2)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the end of the year in which a portion of the special education expenditures reimbursement was withheld under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the district that in the ensuing year the district will be subject to a withholding of up to 20 percent of its special education expenditures reimbursement.

(3)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the end of the year in which a portion of the special education expenditures reimbursement was withheld under subdivision (2) of this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the district that the state board of education will impose a plan of remediation. 

(4)  If the district makes satisfactory progress under any subdivision of this subsection, the commissioner shall release to the district any special education expenditures reimbursement withheld for the prior fiscal year only.

(h)  Within 10 days after receiving the commissioner’s notice under subdivisions (g)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the district may challenge the commissioner’s decision by filing a written objection to the state board of education outlining the reasons the district believes it made satisfactory progress on the remediation plan.  The commissioner may file a written response within 10 days after the district’s objection is filed.  The board may give the district and the commissioner an opportunity to be heard.  The board’s decision shall be final.  The state shall withhold no portion of the district’s reimbursement before the state board issues its decision under this subsection.

* * *

* * * Governance * * *

Sec. 13.  EDUCATION GOVERNANCE; COMMISSIONER OF
 EDUCATION; COUNCIL ON EDUCATION GOVERNANCE

(a)  In May 2006, the commissioner of education released a white paper outlining a plan for changing education governance in Vermont and initiating a year of facilitated public discussions throughout the state.  The final discussion session is scheduled for May 2007. 

(b)  On or before December 1, 2007, the commissioner shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on education that describes insights obtained from the recently concluded public engagement process.  The report shall consider other governance models and shall also outline any proposals the commissioner wishes to make for restructuring governance in Vermont.  Any proposed changes should foster increased cooperation and collaboration among public schools and provide support for the new demands and expectations placed on schools by an increasingly technological and global society. 

(c)  The commissioner shall request the following organizations to submit, jointly or independently, recommendations regarding the future governance of school districts:  the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals’ association, and the Vermont national education association.  The commissioner shall include the recommendations in the report to the house and senate committees on education required in subsection (b) of this section.

* * * Small Schools Grants * * *

Sec. 14.  16 V.S.A. § 4015(e) is amended to read:

(e)  In the event that a school or schools which have received a grant under this section merge in any year following receipt of a grant, and the consolidated school is not eligible for a grant under this section or the small school grant for the consolidated school is less than the total amount of grant aid the schools would have received if they had not combined, the consolidated school shall continue to receive a grant for three years following consolidation.  The amount of the annual grant shall be:

(1)  In the first year following consolidation, an amount equal to the amount received by the school or schools in the last year of eligibility.

(2)  In the second year following consolidation, an amount equal to two‑thirds of the amount received in the previous year.

(3)  In the third year following consolidation, an amount equal to one-third of the amount received in the first year following consolidation.

* * * Education Property Tax Implications; Study * * *

Sec. 15.  EDUCATION PROPERTY TAX IMPLICATIONS; STUDY

The commissioner of taxes shall study the impact that the education property tax on homestead and nonresidential property has on various groups of taxpayers.  The commissioner shall design the study and select the groups of taxpayers in consultation with and upon the advice of the department of education and the joint fiscal office.  The commissioner shall submit a written report detailing the results of the study to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2008.    

Sec. 15a.  32 V.S.A. § 5402b is amended to read:

§ 5402b.  STATEWIDE EDUCATION TAX RATE ADJUSTMENTS

(a)  Annually, by December 1, the commissioner of taxes shall recommend to the general assembly, after consultation with the department of education, the secretary of administration and the joint fiscal office, the following adjustments in the statewide education tax rates under subdivisions 5402(a)(1) and (2) of this title:

* * *

(b)  If the commissioner makes a recommendation to the general assembly to adjust the education tax rates under section 5402 of this title, the commissioner shall also recommend a proportional adjustment to the applicable percentage base for homestead income based adjustments under section 6066 of this title, but the applicable percentage base shall not be adjusted below 1.8 percent.

Sec. 16. 16 V.S.A. §562a is added to read:

§ 562a School budget; Douglas supermajority

     Authorization by the electorate pursuant to section 562(8) of this title or a municipal charter shall require approval by sixty percent or more of those voting if the proposed amount of money exceeds 104 percent of the prior year authorization, and the proposed education spending per equalized pupil exceeds 104 percent of the education spending per equalized pupil of the prior year.

Sec. 17. 16 V.S.A. §562a is amended to read:

§ 562a School budget; Douglas supermajority

     Authorization by the electorate pursuant to section 562(8) of this title or a municipal charter shall require approval by sixty percent or more of those voting if the proposed amount of money exceeds 104 103.5 percent of the prior year authorization, and the proposed education spending per equalized pupil exceeds 104 103.5 percent of the education spending per equalized pupil of the prior year.

Sec. 18.  REPEAL

     Section 562a of Title 16 (supermajority vote requirement) is repealed January 1, 2013, effective for budgets for fiscal years 2014 and after.            

Sec. 18a.  VOLUNTARY CONSOLIDATION; TAX BENEFIT

There is created a committee consisting of two members to be appointed by the committee on committees of the senate, two members to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and four members to be appointed by the governor, and a chair to be jointly chosen by all three leaders to develop a system to provide tax incentives to school districts that voluntarily consolidate.  The chair shall convene the first meeting of the committee on or before July 1, 2007.  The department of education shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee shall present a detailed plan to provide tax benefits to consolidating districts to the general assembly on or before December 1, 2007.  Committee members shall receive no financial compensation for service on the committee.

Sec. 19. EFFECTIVE DATES 

(a)  Sec.  4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010, and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

     (b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008, and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year.   

     (c)  Sec. 16 (school budget limit of 104%; supermajority vote) shall take effect upon passage but shall affect budgets for fiscal year 2009 only.

     (d)  Sec. 17 (school budget limit of 103.5%; supermajority vote) shall take effect January 1, 2009, and shall affect budgets for fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

(e)  Sec. 15a (no annual adjustment of the 2% "applicable percentage") shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to claims filed in 2008 and after.

(f)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

 

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Donovan of Burlington moved that the House refuse to concur and ask for a Committee of Conference, which was agreed to, and the Speaker appointed as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the House:

Rep. Ancel of Calais

Rep. Clark of Vergennes

Rep. Sharpe of Bristol

House Resolution Adopted

H.R. 16

House resolution, entitled

     House resolution urging Congress to continue the federal Essential Air Service subsidy for the Rutland state airport;

Which taken up and adopted on the part of the House.

Recess

At eleven o’clock and ten minutes in the forenoon, the Speaker declared a recess until the fall of the gavel.

Afternoon

At three o’clock and ten minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker called the House to order.

Message from Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Ms. Kiersten Bourgeois, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Madam Speaker:

I am directed by the Governor to inform the House that on the twenty-third day of April, 2007, he approved and signed bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 156    An act relating to approval of an amendment to the charter of                                               the town of Brattleboro;

H. 254    An act relating to  the transfer of payroll functions from                                                  Department of Human Resources to the Department of                                                            Finance and Management;

H. 525    An act relating to the Vermont Fire Service Training Council                                                 and the Division of Fire Safety.

Committees of Conference Appointed

Pursuant to the request of the Senate for Committees of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on bills of the following titles, the Speaker appointed members of such Committees on the part of the House as follows:

S. 37

     An act relating to mosquito control;

     The Speaker appointed as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the House:

   Rep. Malcolm of Pawlet

   Rep. Spengler of Colchester

               Rep. Bray of New Haven

House Resolution Placed on Calendar

H.R. 18

Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Ancel of Calais, Aswad of Burlington, Barnard of Richmond, Davis of Washington, Donovan of Burlington, Edwards of Brattleboro, Haas of Rochester, Hutchinson of Randolph, Lenes of Shelburne, Leriche of Hardwick, Lorber of Burlington, Marek of Newfane, Masland of Thetford, McCullough of Williston, Milkey of Brattleboro, Mitchell of Barnard, Mrowicki of Putney, Nuovo of Middlebury, Pearson of Burlington, Randall of Troy, Rodgers of Glover, Sharpe of Bristol, Spengler of Colchester, Weston of Burlington and Zenie of Colchester offered a House resolution, entitled

House resolution urging Vermont’s Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives to introduce, and the state’s U.S. Senators to support, a resolution requiring the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to initiate an impeachment proceeding against the President and the Vice President of the United States;

Whereas, President George Walker Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney have exercised the duties of their respective offices with respect to both domestic and foreign affairs in ways that raise serious questions of constitutionality, statutory legality, and abuse of the public trust, and

Whereas, the President’s conduct in his role as Commander in Chief in leading our nation into the military conflict in Iraq, and the Vice President’s continual advocacy for American troops remaining in Iraq, have cost the United States much of the good will that was extended to our country in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, and

Whereas, the President’s and the Vice President’s domestic leadership on issues relating to individual privacy and personal liberty under law has raised constitutional issues of the greatest concern to the nation’s citizenry, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body urges Vermont’s Representative in the United States House of Representatives to introduce, and Vermont’s United States Senators to support, a resolution requiring the United States House Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President and the Vice President of the United States, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Clerk of the House 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, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

Adjournment

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

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us