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Journal of the House

________________

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2007

Rep. Carolyn Partridge of Windham in Chair.

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Thomas Charleton of Chester Baptist Church, Chester, Vt.

Message from the Senate No. 63

     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 pursuant to the request of the House for Committees of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the following House bills the President announced the appointment as members of such Committees on the part of the Senate:

H. 296.  An act relating to potable water supply and wastewater system permitting.

          Senator Lyons

          Senator Ayer

          Senator MacDonald

H. 313.  An act relating to the administration and enforcement of fines within the judicial bureau.

          Senator Sears

          Senator Campbell

          Senator Cummings

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 27

Rep. Hube of Londonderry offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution requesting Congress to maximize to the greatest extent possible the federal funding for state transportation construction projects and grant the states the maximum degree of flexibility in prioritization of projects to be financed;

Whereas, the transportation infrastructure of the state of Vermont was largely built in two phases:  initially in the 1920s–30s and then expanded in the 1950s–60s, and

Whereas, the maintenance costs of the state’s transportation infrastructure are easily obscured by the average 80‑year life cycles of transportation structures, and

Whereas, the state is just now approaching the first critical turning point in the life cycle of its mature transportation system in which significant portions of the original system are nearing the end of their useful lives and simultaneously, key portions of the expanded system are approaching the mid‑life point in their life cycles when major reconstruction work is called for, and

Whereas, the general assembly’s joint fiscal office has projected that the state of Vermont needs to be spending $153 million more each year than it is currently spending just to maintain the state’s transportation infrastructure in a serviceable condition, and

Whereas, traditional transportation funding resources have lagged behind general cost inflation for years, and

Whereas, transportation system construction costs have surged in recent years, rising over 18 percent in 2005 according to the Federal Highway Administration, and

Whereas, the maintenance, modernization and expansion of the state’s transportation system is vital to the state’s future economic health, and

Whereas, the imbalance between available resources and future infrastructure maintenance costs is so large and historically unique it raises important issues of intergenerational equity, and

Whereas, many other states are in the same situation and face the same issues as Vermont, and

Whereas, the integrity of the states’ transportation infrastructure is vital to the security and the economic health of the nation, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests Congress to maximize, to the greatest extent possible, the amount of funding that it appropriates for transportation construction projects within the states and grant the states the maximum flexibility in prioritizing the projects to be financed in each state, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

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

Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H.  28

Joint resolution commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Vermont Vietnam Veterans Memorial and all Vietnam War Veterans

Offered by:  Representatives Morrissey of Bennington, Acinapura of Brandon, Adams of Hartland, Ainsworth of Royalton, Allard of St. Albans Town, Ancel of Calais, Anderson of Montpelier, Andrews of Rutland City, Aswad of Burlington, Atkins of Winooski, Audette of S. Burlington, Baker of West Rutland, Barnard of Richmond, Bissonnette of Winooski, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Botzow of Pownal, Branagan of Georgia, Bray of New Haven, Brennan of Colchester, Browning of Arlington, Canfield of Fair Haven, Chen of Mendon, Cheney of Norwich, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Clark of Vergennes, Clarkson of Woodstock, Clerkin of Hartford, Condon of Colchester, Consejo of Sheldon, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Corcoran of Bennington, Courcelle of Rutland City, Davis of Washington, Deen of Westminster, Devereux of Mount Holly, Donaghy of Poultney, Donahue of Northfield, Donovan of Burlington, Dostis of Waterbury, Edwards of Brattleboro, Emmons of Springfield, Errecart of Shelburne, Evans of Essex, Fallar of Tinmouth, Fisher of Lincoln, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Flory of Pittsford, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph, Gervais of Enosburg, Gilbert of Fairfax, Godin of Milton, Grad of Moretown, Haas of Rochester, Head of S. Burlington, Heath of Westford, Helm of Castleton, Hosford of Waitsfield, Howard of Rutland City, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hube of Londonderry, Hudson of Lyndon, Hunt of Essex, Hutchinson of Randolph, Jerman of Essex, Jewett of Ripton, Johnson of South Hero, Johnson of Canaan, Keenan of St. Albans City, Keogh of Burlington, Kilmartin of Newport City, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Klein of East Montpelier, Koch of Barre Town, Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, Kupersmith of S. Burlington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, Larson of Burlington, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Lenes of Shelburne, Livingston of Manchester, Lorber of Burlington, Malcolm of Pawlet, Manwaring of Wilmington, Marcotte of Coventry, Martin of Springfield, Martin of Wolcott, Masland of Thetford, McAllister of Highgate, McCormack of Rutland City, McDonald of Berlin, McFaun of Barre Town, Milkey of Brattleboro, Miller of Shaftsbury, Minter of Waterbury, Monti of Barre City, Mook of Bennington, Moran of Wardsboro, Morley of Barton, Mrowicki of Putney, Myers of Essex, Nease of Johnson, Obuchowski of Rockingham, O’Donnell of Vernon, Ojibway of Hartford, Orr of Charlotte, Otterman of Topsham, Oxholm of Vergennes, Pearson of Burlington, Peaslee of Guildhall, Peltz of Woodbury, Peterson of Williston, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Potter of Clarendon, Pugh of S. Burlington, Randall of Troy, Rodgers of Glover, Scheuermann of Stowe, Shand of Weathersfield, Sharpe of Bristol, Shaw of Derby, Smith of Morristown, Stevens of Shoreham, Sunderland of Rutland Town, Sweaney of Windsor, Trombley of Grand Isle, Turner of Milton, Valliere of Barre City, Weston of Burlington, Winters of Williamstown, Wright of Burlington, Zenie of Colchester and Zuckerman of Burlington

Whereas, over 19,000 Vermonters served during the Vietnam War, and

Whereas, the first Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the United States was dedicated on October 30, 1982 in Sharon, Vermont as a fitting tribute to the memory of those Vermonters who lost their lives in the Vietnam War, and

Whereas, it is important to remember always those members of the American Armed Forces, from both Vermont and across the nation, who made the ultimate sacrifice when called to serve their nation in the Vietnam War, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly highly commends all Vietnam veterans and their families for their outstanding service to Vermont, the United States, Southeast Asia, and the world, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly commends and applauds the upcoming 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vermont Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly calls upon all citizens to participate in special observances surrounding the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vermont Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sharon, Vermont on October 27, 2007, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

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

Speaker Gaye Symington back in Chair.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 91

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

     An act relating to the Rozo McLaughlin farm-to-school program;

     In Sec. 2, 6 V.S.A. § 4722, by designating the existing paragraph as subsection (a) and by adding a subsection (b) to read as follows:

(b)  For the purposes of this section and section 4723 of this title, the secretary may provide funds to one or more technical assistance providers to provide farm to school education and teacher trainings to more school districts and to assist the secretary and commissioner of education to carry out farmer and food service worker trainings.

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

S. 7

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the compassionate use of marijuana for medical purposes;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Reps. Kilmartin of Newport City, Acinapura of Brandon, Baker of West Rutland, Branagan of Georgia, Canfield of Fair Haven, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Clark of Vergennes, Devereux of Mount Holly, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Helm of Castleton, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hudson of Lyndon, Johnson of Canaan, Koch of Barre Town, Krawczyk of Bennington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Marcotte of Coventry, Morrissey of Bennington, Otterman of Topsham, Peaslee of Guildhall, Shaw of Derby, Sunderland of Rutland Town, Valliere of Barre City, Wheeler of Derby and Winters of Williamstown moved to propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

By adding five new sections, to be numbered Secs. 2-6, to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. chapter 115 is added to read:

CHAPTER 115.  PARENTAL NOTIFICATION OF ABORTION

§ 5281.  Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Abortion” means the use of any means to terminate the pregnancy of a female known to be pregnant with knowledge that the termination with those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the fetus.

(2)  “Fetus” means any individual human organism from fertilization until birth.

(3)  “Health care provider” means any health care professional who is authorized to perform an abortion and is proposing to provide an abortion.   

§ 5282.  Notification

(a)  No abortion shall be performed upon an unemancipated minor or upon a minor for whom a guardian has been appointed, according to subdivisions 2645(1), (2), (3), and (4) of Title 14, until 48 hours after written notification of the pending abortion has been delivered to at least one parent of the unemancipated minor or to the guardian of the minor. 

(b)  The notification required by this section shall be delivered at the parent’s or guardian’s usual place of abode, if possible; otherwise, at any other appropriate place, and shall be:

(1)  personally delivered to the parent or guardian by the attending health care provider proposing to provide the abortion or an agent of the health care provider; or

(2)  sent to the parent or guardian by certified mail, return receipt requested, delivery restricted to the addressee.  Time of delivery shall be deemed to occur at the time the return receipt is signed by the recipient.

§ 5283.  Limitations

(a)  Notification required under section 5282 of this title shall not be required if:

(1)  the attending health care provider proposing to provide the abortion certifies in the minor’s medical record that the abortion is necessary to prevent the minor’s death or serious physical injury to the minor, and there is insufficient time to provide the required notification to a parent or guardian; or

(2)  the parent or guardian entitled to notification certifies in writing, with proof of identification, that he or she has been notified of the minor’s intent to have an abortion; or 

(3)  a court authorizes the health care provider to proceed with the abortion pursuant to the following procedure:

(A)  A minor, with the assistance of her health care provider and without notification to a parent or guardian, may petition any probate court for a waiver of the parental notification requirement.  The petition shall be in simple form prescribed by rules adopted by the Vermont supreme court, and shall include a statement that the petitioner is pregnant, that notification has not been waived, and that the minor has not petitioned any other court for a waiver to the notification requirement relating to this pregnancy.

(B)  The probate court shall forthwith appoint an attorney and an appropriately-trained guardian ad litem for the minor.

(C)  The probate court shall hold an ex parte hearing on a petition filed under this subdivision (3), which may be in a setting other than a traditional courtroom.  The hearing shall be informal and closed to the public.  Strict rules of evidence shall not apply.  Witnesses shall be sworn, and the testimony shall be audio-recorded.  A copy of the audio recording shall be made available to the minor without cost.

(D)  Probate court proceedings under this subdivision (3) shall be given precedence over other pending matters to the extent necessary to ensure that the court reaches a decision promptly and in the best interests of the minor. 

(E)  The probate court shall hear the matter and issue a written entry order within three business days after the petition is filed, except that the three‑business-day limitation may be extended at the request of the minor.  A certified copy of the court’s written entry order shall be sent to the minor’s health care provider.  If the court fails to rule within three business days of receiving the petition or fails to rule by the expiration of any extension, the petition is granted.  A certified copy of the automatic waiver of parental notification shall be delivered forthwith to the minor’s health care provider.  

(F)  The probate court shall issue an order authorizing the minor to consent to an abortion without the notification of a parent or guardian if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, any of the following:

(i)  upon an evaluation of relevant factors, including a minor’s age, intelligence, reasoning ability, and emotional state, the minor is sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy and provide for her own post-abortion care, and understands the nature, risks, and consequences of the procedure to be performed;

(ii)  notification would place the minor at substantial risk of being physically or emotionally harmed by a parent or guardian;

(iii)  notification would cause irreparable harm to the minor’s relationship with her parent or guardian; or

(iv)  notification is not in the best interests of the minor. 

(b)  All records of proceedings that take place under this section shall remain confidential and be placed under seal.  Any information that is sent to the minor’s health care provider in accordance with this section shall become part of the minor’s confidential medical record.

(c)  For purposes of this section, any probate judge who grants a waiver of notification based upon a decision that the pregnancy is a result of abuse, neglect, or the commission of a crime against the minor, or any guardian ad litem who has a suspicion that the pregnancy is a result of abuse, neglect, or the commission of a crime against the minor, shall report or cause a report to be made within 24 hours after the decision, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4913 and 4914 of Title 33.   

§ 5284.  APPEAL

(a)  An expedited, confidential appeal to the presiding judge of the family court in the county in which the probate court action occurred, pursuant to section 5283 of this title, shall be available to any minor for whom the probate court denies a waiver of notification. 

(b)  Notice of an appeal must be filed in family court within 11 days of the probate court decision. 

(c)  Within three business days of filing the notice of appeal, the presiding judge of the family court shall conduct a hearing de novo and issue a decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law, on this matter.  The

three-business-day limitation may be extended at the request of the minor. 

(d)  The presiding judge of the family court shall hold an ex parte hearing on a notice of appeal filed under this section, which may be in a setting other than a traditional courtroom.  The hearing shall be informal and closed to the public.  Strict rules of evidence shall not apply.  Witnesses shall be sworn, and the testimony shall be audio-recorded.  A copy of the audio recording shall be made available to the minor without cost.

(e)  Family court proceedings under this section shall be given precedence over other pending matters to the extent necessary to ensure that the court reaches a decision promptly and in the best interests of the minor. 

(f)  A certified copy of the family court’s written decision shall be sent to the minor’s health care provider.  If the family court fails to rule within three business days of receiving the notice of appeal or fails to rule by the expiration of any extension, the request for a waiver of notification is granted.  A certified copy of the automatic waiver of parental notification shall be delivered forthwith to the minor’s health care provider.

(g)  The presiding judge of the family court shall issue an order authorizing the minor to consent to an abortion without the notification of a parent or guardian if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that any of the requirements of subdivision 5283(a)(3)(F) of this chapter have been met.

(h)  All records of proceedings that take place under this section shall remain confidential and be placed under seal.  Any information that is sent to the minor’s health care provider in accordance with this section shall become part of the minor’s confidential medical record.

(i)  For purposes of this section, any presiding judge of a family court who grants a waiver of notification based upon a finding that the pregnancy is a result of abuse, neglect, or the commission of a crime against the minor, or any guardian ad litem who has a suspicion that the pregnancy is a result of abuse, neglect, or the commission of a crime against the minor, shall report or cause a report to be made within 24 hours after the finding has been made, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4913 and 4914 of Title 33.

§ 5285.  LIMITATIONS ON APPEAL

An order authorizing an abortion without notification shall not be subject to appeal.

§ 5286.  RECUSAL; FEES AND COSTS 

(a)  In the event of a judge’s recusal, a substitute judge shall be appointed immediately, and the hearing and decision shall be concluded within two business days thereafter.

(b)  No filing fees or court costs shall be required of the minor in either the probate court or the family court.

Sec. 3.  4 V.S.A. § 311 is amended to read:

§ 311.  JURISDICTION GENERALLY

The probate court shall have jurisdiction of the probate of wills, the settlement of estates, trusts created by will, trusts of absent person's estates, charitable, cemetery and philanthropic trusts, irrevocable trusts created by inter vivos agreements solely for the purpose of removal and replacement of trustees pursuant to subsection 2314(c) of Title 14, the appointment of guardians, and of the powers, duties, and rights of guardians and wards, proceedings concerning chapter 231 of Title 18, accountings of attorneys in fact where no guardian has been appointed and the agent has reason to believe the principal is incompetent, relinquishment for adoption, adoptions, uniform gifts to minors, changes of name, issuance of new birth certificates, amendment of birth certificates, correction or amendment of marriage certificates, correction or amendment of death certificates, emergency waiver of premarital medical certificates, proceedings relating to cemetery lots, trusts relating to community mausoleums or columbariums, proceedings relating to the conveyance of a homestead interest of a spouse under a legal disability, the issuance of declaratory judgments, issuance of certificates of public good authorizing the marriage of persons under 16 years of age, waiver of parental notification prior to performing an abortion on an unemancipated minor, appointment of administrators to discharge mortgages held by deceased mortgagees, appointment of trustees for persons confined under sentences of imprisonment, fixation of compensation and expenses of boards of arbitrators of death taxes of Vermont domiciliaries, and as otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 4.  4 V.S.A. § 311a is amended to read:

§ 311a.  VENUE GENERALLY

For proceedings authorized to probate courts, venue shall lie in a district of the court as follows:

* * *

(30)  Waiver of parental notification prior to performing an abortion on an unemancipated minor:  in the district or county where the minor petitions the probate court for a waiver of the parental notification requirement.

Sec. 5.  4 V.S.A. § 454 is amended to read:

§ 454.  JURISDICTION

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the family court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and dispose of the following proceedings filed or pending on or after October 1, 1990.  The family court shall also have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and dispose of any requests to modify or enforce any orders issued by the district or superior court relating to the following proceedings:

* * *

(b)  The family court shall have appellate jurisdiction to hear and dispose of an appeal from the probate court regarding a waiver of parental notification prior to performing an abortion on an unemancipated minor. 

Sec. 6.  18 V.S.A. chapter 42A is added to read:

CHAPTER 42A.  PREGNANCY INFORMATION

AND COUNSELING FOR MINORS

§ 1870.  PROVISION OF INFORMATION AND COUNSELING

Prior to providing services related to pregnancy, a health care provider, as defined in subdivision 9432(8) of this title, or a mental health professional, as defined in subdivision 7101(13) of this title, shall, to the extent already required by the providers’ code of professional conduct, provide information and counseling in a manner and language that will be understood by the minor, including:

(1)  an explanation that the information is being given objectively, and is not intended to coerce, persuade, or induce the minor to make a particular decision;

(2)  an explanation that the minor may withdraw or reconsider a decision related to her pregnancy, within certain limits, which shall also be explained to her;

(3)  an explanation to the minor of the options available for managing pregnancy decisions and follow-up care;

(4)  an explanation that public and private agencies are available to assist the minor with services related to her pregnancy, and that a list of these agencies and the services available from each will be provided if the minor requests;

(5)  a discussion of the possibility of involving the minor’s parents, guardian, or other adult family members in the minor’s reproductive health care decision‑making; and

(6)  an adequate opportunity for the minor to ask questions and receive answers concerning reproductive health care.  The health care provider and mental health professional shall indicate where the minor can receive the information requested if he or she, or both, are unable to provide such information.

§ 1871.  MEDICAL EMERGENCY EXCEPTION

Information and counseling required under section 1870 of this title shall not be required if a health care provider determines that a medical emergency exists and complicates the pregnancy or the health, safety, or well-being of the minor to the extent that an immediate abortion is necessary.

Thereupon, Rep. Pugh of South Burlington raised a Point of Order in that the recommendation of proposal of amendment is not germane to the bill, which Point of Order the Speaker ruled well taken.

Rep. Kilmartin of Newport City moved to suspend the rules to permit consideration of an amendment ruled not germane.

Pending the question, Shall the House suspend rules to permit consideration of an amendment ruled not germane? Rep. Kilmartin of Newport City demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the House suspend rules to permit consideration of an amendment ruled not germane?  was decided in the negative. Yeas, 39.  Nays, 107. (A ¾ vote of 98 needed.)

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clerkin of Hartford

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Flory of Pittsford

Helm of Castleton

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

Morrissey of Bennington

O'Donnell of Vernon

Otterman of Topsham

Peaslee of Guildhall

Shaw of Derby

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown


Those who voted in the negative are:


Adams of Hartland

Ainsworth of Royalton

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

Bray of New Haven

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clark of Vergennes

Clarkson of Woodstock

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Errecart of Shelburne

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Godin of Milton

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Howard of Rutland City

Lawrence of Lyndon

Morley of Barton


 

     Rep. Donahue of Northfield explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

We spend more time than I would choose to cast symbolic votes in this body.  This amendment does not belong attached to this bill; it deserves the full process of this legislature.  But as a symbolic vote, I must vote yes in support of the young girls of this state whom we abandon in the name of their right to live with the consequences of a very adult decision: to end the life of the child they carry.”

Rep. Wright of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I voted no despite my support for parental notification. I do not believe this is the correct avenue, nor the right time for this debate.  However, the debate should happen, hopefully when we come back in January rather than the waning days of this session.”

     Thereupon, the bill was read a third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

Third Readings; Bills Passed in Concurrence

 with Proposal of Amendment

Bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

S. 82

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use of Vermont addresses and representations of Vermont origins.

S. 116

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to miscellaneous election law amendments.

S. 121

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to autism spectrum disorders.

Third Reading; Resolution Passed

J.R.H. 21

Joint resolution, entitled

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

Was read the third time and passed.

Bills and Resolution Messaged to Senate Forthwith

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

S. 7

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the compassionate use of marijuana for medical purposes;

S. 82

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use of Vermont addresses and representations of Vermont origins.

S. 116

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to miscellaneous election law amendments.

S. 121

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to autism spectrum disorders.

 

J.R.H. 21

Joint resolution, entitled

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

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment Agreed to

and Third Reading Ordered

S. 143

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

An act relating to authorizing the use of racing fuel containing the additive MTBE or other gasoline ethers;

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

Rep. Anderson of Montpelier, for the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resource, to which the bill had been referred reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 577(b)(4), by inserting “motorcycles,” before “all-terrain vehicles” and after “snowmobiles,

Second:  In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 577(b)(5), by inserting “on an oval track” before “permitted under section 4802” and after “a race or contest

Third:  By adding a Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

The bill was read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment agreed to and third reading ordered.

Rep. Carolyn Partridge of Windham in Chair.

Rules Suspended; Favorable Report; Bill Read Second Time; Consideration Interrupted by Recess

H. 546

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

An act relating to compensation and retirement benefits for certain state employees and emergency management;

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

Rep. Atkins of Winooski spoke for the committee on Government Operations.

Rep. Keenan of St. Albans City, for the committee on Appropriations to which the bill had been referred reported in favor of its passage. 

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time.

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time?

Recess

At eleven o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon, the Speaker declared a recess until one o’clock in the afternoon.

Afternoon

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

     Speaker Gaye Symington in Chair.

Consideration Resumed; Bill Amended and Third Reading Ordered

H. 546

Consideration resumed on House bill, entitled

An act relating to compensation and retirement benefits for certain state employees and emergency management;

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read a third time? Rep. Atkins of Winooski moved to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 15, in the first sentence, by striking “the group A plan of the Vermont state retirement system or” and in the second sentence by striking “or group A

Which was agreed to and third reading of the bill was ordered.

Rules Suspended; Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 78

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

An act relating to reconsideration or rescission of votes in local elections;

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

The Senate proposed to the House to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 1, 17 V.S.A. § 2661, by striking out subsection (e) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (e) to read:

(e)  At a meeting duly warned for the purpose, the voters of a municipality may require that a majority vote in favor of reconsideration or rescission shall not be effective unless the number of votes cast in favor of reconsideration or rescission exceeds a certain percentage of the number of votes cast for the prevailing side at the original meeting.  A vote to require a percentage, or increase or decrease a percentage, shall be in substantially the following form:  “Shall the (name of municipality) require that the percentage of votes cast in favor of reconsideration or rescission exceed (percentage) of the number of votes cast for the prevailing side at the original meeting?”  Once the voters of a municipality have voted to require a percentage, that percentage shall remain in effect until the voters of the municipality vote to increase or decrease the percentage.

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Martin of Wolcott 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. Martin of Wolcott

Rep. Jerman of Essex

Rep. Hudson of Lyndon

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

S. 51

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to prohibiting discrimination on basis of gender identity;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. LaVoie of Swanton moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

     In the second instance, in Sec. 18a, by adding a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

(c)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the protections of this act shall apply only to a person who has conclusively determined that the person’s gender identity is inconsistent with the person’s assigned sex at birth.

Which was disagreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read a third time.

Pending the question, Shall the bill pass? Rep. Adams of Hartland demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the bill pass? was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 118.  Nays, 28.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Ainsworth of Royalton

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Browning of Arlington

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clarkson of Woodstock

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fisher of Lincoln

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Godin of Milton

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Komline of Dorset

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Donaghy of Poultney

Errecart of Shelburne

Fallar of Tinmouth

Flory of Pittsford

Helm of Castleton

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Kilmartin of Newport City

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

Morrissey of Bennington

Otterman of Topsham

Peaslee of Guildhall

Shaw of Derby

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Winters of Williamstown


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


Howard of Rutland City

Koch of Barre Town

Morley of Barton


 

     Rep. Kilmartin of Newport City explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I cannot assent to a bill that confuses and confounds an objective determinable genetic fact and then gives benefits and protections to an undefineable status that is claimed to be present one moment only to disappear the next moment.”

     Rep. Lippert of Hinesburg explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     This vote is for Jes and Sarah and Liz and Dave and Heather and so many other amazing Vermonters who have been waiting for these legal protections to protect their lives.

     It is time for Vermont to join 10 other states and over 75 municipalities in protecting our citizens from acts of discrimination based on gender identity.  I look forward to our actions today establishing these important legal protections from discrimination.  It is time!”

Message from the Senate No. 64

     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 bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 47.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the city of South Burlington which require voter approval of city and school district budgets

And has passed the same in concurrence.

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

H. 99.  An act relating to a legislative interim study committee on public libraries.

H. 449.  An act relating to foster care services and supports.

H. 520.  An act relating to the conservation of energy and increasing the generation of electricity within the state by use of renewable resources.

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

The Senate has considered House proposals of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

S. 39.  An act relating to health insurance plan reimbursement for covered services provided by naturopathic physicians.

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

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

          Senator Mullin

          Senator White

          Senator Flanagan

Pursuant to the request of the House for Committees of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the following House bills the President announced the appointment as members of such Committees on the part of the Senate:

H. 521.  An act relating to miscellaneous substantive tax amendments.

          Senator Cummings

          Senator Condos

          Senator McDonald

H. 537.  An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government.

          Senator Bartlett

          Senator Sears

          Senator Snelling

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

S. 133

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the operation of a motor vehicle by junior operators and primary safety belt enforcement;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Reps. O’Donnell of Vernon and Livingston of Manchester moved the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

First:  By adding a new Sec. 8 to read as follows:

* * * Persons under the Age of 18 Riding in Rear of Pickup Trucks * * *

Sec. 8.  23 V.S.A. § 1091a is added to read:

§ 1091a.  PERSONS UNDER AGE 18 RIDING IN REAR OF PICKUP
    TRUCKS

A person under the age of 18 years of age shall not be transported in the rear portion of a pickup truck.

and by renumbering the existing Sec. 8 to be Sec. 9

Second:  In renumbered Sec. 9(b), by striking out “Sec. 7” and inserting in lieu thereof the following:  “Secs. 7 and 8

Thereupon, Rep. O’Donnell of Vernon  asked and was granted leave of the House to withdraw her amendment.

Pending third reading of the bill, Reps. Allard of St. Albans, Lippert of Hinesburg and Grad of Moretown moved to propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

     By striking Sec. 4 and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 4 to read as follows:

* * * Junior Operator Night‑Time Restriction * * *

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 614(c) and (d) are added to read:

(c)  A person operating with a junior operator’s license shall not operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5:00 a.m. except when carrying the signed and dated written permission of a parent or guardian that contains the parent's or guardian's contact information, including a home and work address and phone numbers, or except when:

(1)  traveling on a direct route between work and home;

(2)  traveling for a school‑related activity; or

(3)  going to or returning from hunting or fishing, provided the operator has in his or her possession hunting or fishing equipment and a valid hunting or fishing license.

(d)  A person in violation of subsection (c) of this section shall be allowed to drive his or her vehicle on a direct route home, following issuance of a traffic ticket by a law enforcement officer.

Pending the question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as offered by Reps. Allard of St. Albans Town, et al? Reps. Weston of Burlington, LaVoie of Swanton, Stevens of Shoreham and Zuckerman of Burlington moved to amend the recommendation of proposal of amendment offered by Reps. Allard of St. Albans Town, et al, as follows:

     By striking the words “between midnight and 5:00 am”, and by inserting in lieu thereof the words “between 1:00 am and 5:00 am”.

Which was disagreed to.

Thereupon, Rep. McCullough of Williston moved to amend the House proposal of amendment offered by Reps. Allard of St. Albans Town, et al, as follows:

In Sec. 4 §614(c), by striking the following

(3)  going to or returning from hunting or fishing, provided the operator has in his or her possession hunting or fishing equipment and a valid hunting or fishing license.

Pending the question, Shall the House amend the proposal of amendment offered by Reps. Allard of St. Albans, et al, as recommended by Rep. McCullough of Williston? Rep. Komline of Dorset demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the House amend the proposal of amendment offered by Reps. Allard of St. Albans, et al, as recommended by Rep. McCullough of Williston? was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 39.  Nays, 103.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Bray of New Haven

Chen of Mendon

Clarkson of Woodstock

Courcelle of Rutland City

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Godin of Milton

Head of S. Burlington

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Johnson of South Hero

Keenan of St. Albans City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Lippert of Hinesburg

Manwaring of Wilmington

Martin, C. of Springfield

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

Milkey of Brattleboro

Mook of Bennington

Nuovo of Middlebury

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Pellett of Chester

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Shand of Weathersfield

Spengler of Colchester

Sweaney of Windsor

Zenie of Colchester


Those who voted in the negative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Ainsworth of Royalton

Allard of St. Albans Town

Anderson of Montpelier

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Cheney of Norwich

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Errecart of Shelburne

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Flory of Pittsford

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of Canaan

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Leriche of Hardwick

Livingston of Manchester

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McAllister of Highgate

McFaun of Barre Town

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Moran of Wardsboro

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Peaslee of Guildhall

Peltz of Woodbury

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Sharpe of Bristol

Shaw of Derby

Smith of Morristown

Stevens of Shoreham

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Trombley of Grand Isle

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Barnard of Richmond

Heath of Westford

Helm of Castleton

Howard of Rutland City

Larson of Burlington

Monti of Barre City

Morley of Barton


 

     Pending the recurring question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by Reps. Allard of St. Albans Town, et al? Rep. Stevens of Shoreham moved to strike in subsection (c) the following:

     between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

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

     Thereupon, the recurring question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by Reps. Allard of St. Albans Town, et al? was agreed to.

     Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Donahue of Northfield moved the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

     By striking Sec. 6 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec.  6. 23 V.S.A § 1191(a) is amended to read:

(a) Negligent operation.

(1) A person who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway in a negligent manner shall be guilty of negligent operation.

(2) The standard for a conviction for negligent operation in violation of this subsection shall be ordinary negligence, examining whether the person breached a duty to exercise ordinary care. The duty to exercise ordinary care includes the duty to maintain full attention and focus on the safe operation of the motor vehicle.

(3) A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. If the person has been previously convicted of a violation of this subsection, the person shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both.

     Which was disagreed to.

     Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

 

Rules Suspended; Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 229

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

     An act relating to corrections and clarifications to the health care affordability act of 2006 and related legislation;

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

The Senate proposed to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  By striking out Sec. 11 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 11 to read:

Sec. 11.  33 V.S.A. § 1974(b) and (c) are amended to read:

(b)  VHAP‑eligible premium assistance.

* * *

(3)  The agency shall determine whether it is cost‑effective to the state to enroll an individual in an approved employer‑sponsored insurance plan with the premium assistance under this subsection as compared to enrolling the individual in the Vermont health access plan. If the agency determines that it is cost‑effective, the individual shall be required to enroll in the approved employer‑sponsored plan as a condition of continued assistance under this section or coverage under the Vermont health access plan, except that dependents who are children of eligible individuals shall not be required to enroll in the premium assistance program.  Notwithstanding this requirement, an individual shall be provided benefits under the Vermont health access plan until the next open enrollment period offered by the employer or insurer.  The agency shall not consider the medical history, medical conditions, or claims history of any individual for whom cost‑effectiveness is being evaluated.

(c)  Uninsured individuals; premium assistance.

* * *

(5)  The agency shall determine whether it is cost‑effective to the state to require the individual to purchase the approved employer‑sponsored insurance plan with premium assistance under this subsection instead of Catamount Health established in section 4080f of Title 8 with assistance under subchapter 3a of chapter 19 of this title.  If providing the individual with assistance to purchase Catamount Health is more cost‑effective to the state than providing the individual with premium assistance to purchase the individual’s approved employer‑sponsored plan, the state shall provide the individual the option of purchasing Catamount Health with assistance for that product.  An individual may purchase Catamount Health and receive Catamount Health assistance until the approved employer‑sponsored plan has an open enrollment period, but the individual shall be required to enroll in the approved employer‑sponsored plan in order to continue to receive any assistance.  The agency shall not consider the medical history, medical conditions, or claims history of any individual for whom cost‑effectiveness is being evaluated.

Second:  By striking out Sec. 24 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new Secs. 24 and 24a to read:

Sec. 24.  22 V.S.A. § 903 is added to read:

§ 903.  HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

(a)  The commissioner shall facilitate the development of a statewide health information technology plan that includes the implementation of an integrated electronic health information infrastructure for the sharing of electronic health information among health care facilities, health care professionals, public and private payers, and patients.  The plan shall include standards and protocols designed to promote patient education, patient privacy, physician best practices, electronic connectivity to health care data, and, overall, a more efficient and less costly means of delivering quality health care in Vermont.

(b)  The health information technology plan shall:

(1)  support the effective, efficient, statewide use of electronic health information in patient care, health care policymaking, clinical research, health care financing, and continuous quality improvements;

(2)  educate the general public and health care professionals about the value of an electronic health infrastructure for improving patient care;

(3)  promote the use of national standards for the development of an interoperable system, which shall include provisions relating to security, privacy, data content, structures and format, vocabulary, and transmission protocols;

(4)  propose strategic investments in equipment and other infrastructure elements that will facilitate the ongoing development of a statewide infrastructure;

(5)  recommend funding mechanisms for the ongoing development and maintenance costs of a statewide health information system, including funding options and an implementation strategy for a loan and grant program;

(6)  incorporate the existing health care information technology initiatives in order to avoid incompatible systems and duplicative efforts;

(7)  integrate the information technology components of the blueprint for health established in chapter 13 of Title 18, the global clinical record, and all other Medicaid management information systems being developed by the office of Vermont health access, information technology components of the quality assurance system, the program to capitalize with loans and grants electronic medical record systems in primary care practices, and any other information technology initiatives coordinated by the secretary of administration pursuant to section 2222a of Title 3; and

(8)  address issues related to data ownership, governance, and confidentiality and security of patient information.

(c)(1)  The commissioner shall contract with the Vermont information technology leaders (VITL), a broad‑based health information technology advisory group that includes providers, payers, employers, patients, health care purchasers, information technology vendors, and other business leaders, to develop the health information technology plan, including applicable standards, protocols, and pilot programs.  In carrying out their responsibilities under this section, members of VITL shall be subject to conflict of interest policies established by the commissioner to ensure that deliberations and decisions are fair and equitable.

(2)  VITL shall be designated in the plan to operate the exclusive statewide health information exchange network for this state, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (g) of this section requiring the recommendation of the commissioner and the approval of the general assembly before the plan can take effect.  Nothing in this section shall impede local community providers from the exchange of electronic medical data.

(d)  The following persons shall be members of VITL:

(1)  the commissioner, who shall advise the group on technology best practices and the state’s information technology policies and procedures, including the need for a functionality assessment and feasibility study related to establishing an electronic health information infrastructure under this section;

(2)  the director of the office of Vermont health access or his or her designee;

(3)  the commissioner of health or his or her designee; and

(4)  the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration or his or her designee.

(e)  On or before July 1, 2006, VITL shall initiate a pilot program involving at least two hospitals using existing sources of electronic health information to establish electronic data sharing for clinical decision support, pursuant to priorities and criteria established in conjunction with the health information technology advisory group.

(1)  Objectives of the pilot program shall include:

(A)  supporting patient care and improving quality of care;

(B)  enhancing productivity of health care professionals and reducing administrative costs of health care delivery and financing;

(2)  Objectives of the pilot program may include:

(A)  determining whether and how best to expand the pilot program on a statewide basis;

(B)  implementing strategies for future developments in health care technology, policy, management, governance, and finance; and

(C)  ensuring patient data confidentiality at all times.

(f)  The standards and protocols developed by VITL shall be no less stringent than the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and contained in 45 C.F.R., Parts 160 and 164, and any subsequent amendments.  In addition, the standards and protocols shall ensure that there are clear prohibitions against the out‑of‑state release of individually identifiable health information for purposes unrelated to treatment, payment, and health care operations, and that such information shall under no circumstances be used for marketing purposes.  The standards and protocols shall require that access to individually identifiable health information is secure and traceable by an electronic audit trail.

(g)  On or before January 1, 2007, VITL shall submit to the commission on health care reform, the secretary of administration, the commissioner, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, the director of the office of Vermont health access, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on health care a preliminary health information technology plan for establishing a statewide, integrated electronic health information infrastructure in Vermont, including specific steps for achieving the goals and objectives of this section.  A final plan shall be submitted July 1, 2007.  The plan shall include also recommendations for self‑sustainable funding for the ongoing development, maintenance, and replacement of the health information technology system.  Upon recommendation by the commissioner and approval by the general assembly, the plan shall serve as the framework within which certificate of need applications for information technology are reviewed under section 9440b of Title 18 by the commissioner.

(h)  Beginning January 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, VITL shall file a report with the commission on health care reform, the secretary of administration, the commissioner, the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, the director of the office of Vermont health access, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on health care.  The report shall include an assessment of progress in implementing the provisions of this section, recommendations for additional funding and legislation required, and an analysis of the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of the pilot program authorized under subsection (e) of this section, including, to the extent these can be measured, reductions in tests needed to determine patient medications, improved patient outcomes, or reductions in administrative or other costs achieved as a result of the pilot program.  In addition, VITL shall file quarterly progress reports with the secretary of administration and the health access oversight committee and shall publish minutes of VITL meetings and any other relevant information on a public website.

(i)  VITL is authorized to seek matching funds to assist with carrying out the purposes of this section.  In addition, it may accept any and all donations, gifts, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services from the federal or any local government, or any agency thereof, and from any person, firm, or corporation for any of its purposes and functions under this section and may receive and use the same, subject to the terms, conditions, and regulations governing such donations, gifts, and grants.

(j)  The commissioner, in consultation with VITL, may seek any waivers of federal law, of rule, or of regulation that might assist with implementation of this section.

(k)  VITL, in collaboration with the commissioner, health insurers, the Vermont Association of Hospitals & Health Systems, Inc., and other departments and agencies of state government, shall establish a loan and grant program to provide for the capitalization of electronic health records systems in blueprint communities and at primary care practices serving low income Vermonters.  Health information technology acquired under a grant or loan authorized by this section shall comply with data standards for interoperability adopted by VITL and the state health information technology plan.  An implementation plan for this loan and grant program shall be incorporated into the state health information technology plan.

Sec. 24a.  HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INTERIM FUND AND ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD PILOT PROGRAM

(a)  Purpose.  It is the intent of the general assembly that use of electronic health records for all Vermonters shall be promoted and encouraged.  The general assembly recognizes that the use and sharing of electronic health records have the potential to improve the quality of care delivered to Vermonters and, in the long term, to help contain increases in the costs of medical care.  Since many providers, especially primary care providers serving low income Vermonters, lack the capital to acquire the information technology necessary to implement electronic health records for their patients, a financing program is needed to facilitate the adoption of electronic health record use by providers. 

(b)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Commissioner” shall mean the commissioner of the department of information and innovation.

(2)  “Department” shall mean the department of information and innovation.

(3)  “Pilot site” shall mean a blueprint community and primary care providers serving low income Vermonters in other communities. 

(c)  Vermont information technology leaders shall establish a health information technology fund which shall be used only during the duration of the electronic health record pilot program described in this section.  The interim fund shall be used for the purposes of:

(1)  encouraging and facilitating the development and utilization of electronic health records by pilot sites; and

(2)  promoting the sharing of electronic health records using the Vermont health information infrastructure created and managed by the Vermont health information technology leaders. 

(d)  VITL and the secretary of administration shall engage in activities designed to achieve the goal of raising at least $1 million for the interim fund created by this section and shall seek to raise these funds from a broad range of stakeholders who would benefit from electronic health records, including commercial health insurers, in relation to the number of insured and self‑insured lives each services in Vermont, the Vermont Association of Hospitals & Health Systems, Inc., self‑insured employers, other payers, and other sources.  On or before September 1, 2007, VITL and the secretary of administration shall report the results of the fundraising activities to the house committee on health care, the senate committee on health and welfare, and the commission on health care reform. 

(e)  On or before October 1, 2007, VITL shall issue a request for proposals:

(1)  to provide computer software or systems, or both, in connection with the development and implementation of a system to enable electronic health records use by pilot sites; and

(2)  for implementation‑consulting vendors to assist pilot sites with related training and system configuration support and upgrades to enable the implementation and use of electronic health record systems.  

(f)  On or before November 1, 2007, VITL shall establish criteria and award conditions for the selection of pilot sites. 

(g)  On or before January 1, 2008, VITL shall commence awarding pilot sites licenses to implement electronic health record systems, making use of the vendors selected in the process described in subsection (e) of this section. 

(h)  VITL shall include in the annual report required pursuant to section 9417 of Title 18 information concerning the interim fund and pilot program created pursuant to this section and shall additionally provide that report to the commissioner of health.  Information in the report concerning this program shall include:

(1)  an assessment of progress in implementing the provisions of this section including the acceptance of electronic health record use by providers, patients, and payers;

(2)  recommendations for additional funding and legislation required; and

(3)  an analysis of the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of the health information technology fund.   

(i)  VITL may use a portion of the interim fund for its costs in implementing and managing the electronic health record pilot program.

Third:  in Sec. 27, 21 V.S.A. § 2002(3) by striking out the following:  “under either a private or a public plan” and inserting in lieu thereof the following:  under either a private plan or any public plan that is not supported by state funding

Fourth:  In Sec. 27, 21 V.S.A. § 2002(6) by striking out the figure “25” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure 30

Fifth:  By adding four new sections to be numbered Secs. 32, 33, 34 and 35 to read as follows:

Sec. 32.  3 V.S.A. § 2222a(c)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  The Vermont health information technology project pursuant to section 9417 of Title 18 903 of Title 22.

Sec. 33.  18 V.S.A. § 9416(a) is amended to read: 

(a)  The commissioner shall contract with the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, Inc. to implement and maintain a statewide quality assurance system to evaluate and improve the quality of health care services rendered by health care providers of health care facilities, including managed care organizations, to determine that health care services rendered were professionally indicated or were performed in compliance with the applicable standard of care, and that the cost of health care rendered was considered reasonable by the providers of professional health services in that area.  The commissioner shall ensure that the information technology components of the quality assurance system are incorporated into and comply with the statewide health information technology plan developed under section 9417 of this title 903 of Title 22 and any other information technology initiatives coordinated by the secretary of administration pursuant to section 2222a of Title 3.

Sec. 34.  18 V.S.A. § 9437 is amended to read: 

§ 9437.  CRITERIA

A certificate of need shall be granted if the applicant demonstrates and the commissioner finds that:

* * *

(7)  if the application is for the purchase or lease of new health care information technology, it conforms with the health information technology plan established under section 9417 of this title 903 of Title 22, upon approval of the plan by the general assembly.

Sec. 35.  18 V.S.A. § 9440b is amended to read: 

§ 9440b.  INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY; REVIEW PROCEDURES

Notwithstanding the procedures in section 9440 of this title, upon approval by the general assembly of the health information technology plan developed under section 9417 of this title 903 of Title 22, the commissioner shall establish by rule standards and expedited procedures for reviewing applications for the purchase or lease of health care information technology that otherwise would be subject to review under this subchapter.  Such applications may not be granted or approved unless they are consistent with the health information technology plan and the health resource allocation plan.  The commissioner’s rules may include a provision requiring that applications be reviewed by the health information advisory group authorized under subsection 9417(c) of this title section 903 of Title 22.  The advisory group shall make written findings and a recommendation to the commissioner in favor of or against each application.

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Leriche of Hardwick 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. Leriche of Hardwick

Rep. McFaun of Barre Town

Rep. Maier of Middlebury

Rules Suspended; Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 113

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

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

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

     The Senate proposed to the House to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 1, 18 V.S.A. § 9503(b) by striking out “Quitline” and inserting in lieu thereof a quitline approved by VDH

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Rules Suspended; Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 518

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

An act relating to technical tax amendments;

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

     The Senate proposed to the House to amend the bill as follows:

     First:  By striking out Sec. 4 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 4 to read as follows:

Sec. 4.  32 V.S.A. § 5941(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)  The court shall include in any judgment a notice that any unpaid amounts shall amount of a fine, penalty, surcharge, or fee, but not damages, may be certified to the department for a setoff on the judgment debtor’s income tax refund and property tax adjustment under chapter 154 of this title, and the notice shall explain how the judgment debtor may challenge the certification.

(b) Sections 5934(c) and 5936 of this title, relating to the procedure for contesting the debt, shall not apply to a court seeking information setoff from a judgment debtor under this subchapter.

     Second:  In Sec. 9, 32 V.S.A., §6061 in the first line of subsection (14), by striking through the word "municipality's" as follows:  "municipality's"

     Third:  In Sec. 9, 32 V.S.A. §6061 subsection (14) by striking out the word “subdivsion” and inserting in lieu thereof subdivision

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Bills Messaged to Senate Forthwith

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

H. 78

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

An act relating to reconsideration or rescission of votes in local elections;

S. 51

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to prohibiting discrimination on basis of gender identity;

S. 133

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the operation of a motor vehicle by junior operators and primary safety belt enforcement;

H. 229

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to corrections and clarifications to the health care affordability act of 2006 and related legislation;

Rules Suspended; Action Ordered Messaged to Senate Forthwith

 and Bill Delivered to the Governor Forthwith

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and action on the bill was ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith and the bill delivered to the Governor forthwith.

H. 113

House bill, entitled

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

H. 518

House bill, entitled

An act relating to technical tax amendments;

Adjournment

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

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us