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Journal of the House

________________

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2007

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Janet Bishop of Life in Christ Fellowship Church, Newport, VT.

House Bill Introduced

H. 548

Rep. Valliere of Barre City introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to providing legal redress for targets of workplace bullying;

Which was read the first time and referred to the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H.  37

Joint resolution authorizing the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation to enter into land exchanges and for the commissioner of fish and wildlife to accept a Labrador retriever for law enforcement purposes

Offered by:  Committee on Institutions

Whereas, subsection 2606(b) of Title 10 authorizes the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation to exchange or lease certain lands, with the approval of the general assembly, and

Whereas, the general assembly considers the following actions to be in the best interest of the state, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation is authorized to:

(1)  Convey the eight‑acre so‑called “Fiddler’s Elbow” parcel located in the town of Lowell to Dale Percy in exchange for a right‑of‑way and associated acreage of up to 15 acres located immediately adjacent to the Moss Glen Falls portion of C.C. Putnam State Forest in the town of Stowe, provided that the agency of transportation transfers the Fiddler’s Elbow parcel to the department of forests, parks and recreation as “surplus” property at no cost, and provided that the appraised value of the land and right‑of‑way at Moss Glen Falls is equal to or greater than the appraised value of the Fiddler’s Elbow parcel.

(2)  Notwithstanding 29 V.S.A. § 166, sell a portion of Willoughby state forest containing the so‑called Cheney House located near the south end of Lake Willoughby in the town of Westmore.  The sale shall include up to five acres of land necessary to encompass the Cheney House, associated wastewater treatment facilities, and associated outbuildings, structures, facilities, and access drives.  It shall not include any frontage on Lake Willoughby.  The commissioner shall follow the 29 V.S.A. § 166 process for sale of state lands.  However, proceeds from this sale shall be deposited in the department of forests, parks and recreation parks special fund for the following uses in the following order of priority:  implementation of a plan to develop Sentinel Rock State Park in Westmore; improvement of facilities in Willoughby state forest at the south end of Lake Willoughby; and construction of cabins at state parks.

(3)  Enter into a lease for a term of up to 50 years with Thom and Hallie McEvoy for the rehabilitation, care, and stewardship of the Preston‑Lefreniere homestead property in Camel’s Hump State Park in the town of Bolton.  The leasehold shall comprise up to 460 acres of the parcel, including the historic house, barns, and associated agricultural and forest lands.  The lease shall provide for the rehabilitation and residential use of the homestead, stabilization and renovation of the barns, and agricultural, forestry, and related educational, conservation, and recreational uses of the property consistent with department management goals, historic integrity of the structures and land, and legal restrictions associated with the parcel.  In lieu of a lease rental payment, lessees shall commit to an approved plan for renovating, improving, using, and maintaining the property and its associated structures.

(4)  Relinquish by quitclaim deed the state’s reversionary interest in a 0.17‑acre portion of the former Rutland Railroad property now owned by the town of South Hero so that the town may exchange the land for a 4.7‑acre parcel of an adjacent landowner.  The newly acquired parcel would be open and available for public recreational access and use. 

(5)  Amend the ski area lease with Burke 2000 LLC on Burke Mountain at Darling State Park to provide for three additional ten‑year extension periods and to make two additional technical amendments to the lease as follows:  title to all buildings, lifts, and other associated structures within the leasehold shall revert to the lessee, and the lessee shall have the right to assign or pledge the lease as collateral security for any mortgages or liens on its property.  Authorization to amend the lease is contingent on the completion of an economic study of the existing ski lease which demonstrates that the state of Vermont’s lease fee formula is in the best interest of the state and compares favorably to other publicly administered ski leases in peer jurisdictions, and be it further

Resolved: That the commissioner of fish and wildlife is authorized to accept, on the department’s behalf, a gift from Michael Cameron of Grand Isle of one Labrador retriever puppy for the department’s fish and game wardens’ use in law enforcement activities, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation and to the commissioner of fish and wildlife.

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

Rep. Larocque of Barnet abstained from voting on J.R.H. 37 pursuant to Rule 75.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

The Speaker placed before the House the following resolution which was read and in the Speaker’s discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

J.R.H.  38

Joint resolution relating to the safety of compact fluorescent light bulbs

By Representatives Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, Livingston of Manchester and Rodgers of Glover

Whereas, compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, and

Whereas, mercury and mercury compounds are highly toxic to humans and are particularly dangerous for children and fetuses, ecosystems, and wildlife, and

Whereas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concedes that not enough has been done by manufacturers and the government to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and to make it easier for them to do so, and

Whereas, although disposing of CFL bulbs in the trash is illegal in some states, most people still throw them out, and

Whereas, experts agree that it is not easy for the public to recycle these bulbs because individuals have to recycle them on a hazardous-waste collection day or at a special facility, and

Whereas, speaking on National Public Radio, John Skinner, the executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, stated that “the problem with the bulbs is that they’ll break before they get to the landfill.  They’ll break in containers, or they’ll break in a dumpster or they’ll break in the trucks.  Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens,” and

Whereas, a broken bulb in one’s home can end up costing a substantial amount of money to clean up or, even worse, can expose a family to continued exposure if a vacuum cleaner is used to clear away the bulb’s contents, and

Whereas, Efficiency Vermont is supporting and financing campaigns across the state to promote the use of CFL bulbs and has subsidized the sale of 40,000 of these bulbs to the town of Manchester alone, and

Whereas, Efficiency Vermont is not informing Vermonters about the potential risks of these bulbs, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests Efficiency Vermont to conduct a statewide public information campaign to educate the public about the potential health hazards from mercury in the event of breakage of CFL bulbs and about proper clean-up methods, including how to clean exposed carpeting, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly requests each solid waste district in the state to conduct a thorough investigation and report to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2008 to confirm that CFL bulbs are being disposed of properly, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly requests the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to commence a rulemaking procedure requiring CFL bulbs’ retail packaging to contain appropriate health warnings and information on the proper clean-up and disposal of these bulbs, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly requests Efficiency Vermont to provide, until such time as safety labeling appears on CFL bulb packaging, the distributors of these bulbs with a consumer information handout that includes a prominent warning alerting consumers of the potential health hazard from mercury if a CFL bulb should break, instructions for the safe clean-up and disposal of CFL bulbs, and contact information for the appropriate state authorities for individuals to contact if proper clean-up methods cannot be implemented, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Nancy Nord, acting chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, to Efficiency Vermont, and to each solid waste district.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

S. 27

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to increasing the minimum tip wage;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

S. 148

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the requirements for an application to be a designated new town center;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposals of amendment.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

S. 164

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to campaign finance and the Vermont campaign option;

Was taken up, and pending third reading of the bill Rep. Sunderland of Rutland Town moved to propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

     By adding a new Sec. 8a to read:

Sec. 8a.  LITIGATION REPORT; AUDITOR

Beginning January 1, 2008 and annually thereafter, the state auditor shall provide a report to the general assembly with a detailed accounting of all amounts paid by the state with state or federal funds in connection with any litigation challenging the validity of this act or a section of this act.  The report shall include costs, fees, damages, amounts paid to expert witnesses, salaries and benefits of state employees who work on the litigation, amounts paid to individuals under contract with the state who work on the litigation, attorney’s fees awarded to the other party, any other amounts awarded by the court, and the number of hours spent by state employees involved in the litigation.

Pending the question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by Rep. Sunderland of Rutland Town? Rep. Wright of Burlington 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 propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by Rep. Sunderland of Rutland Town?  was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 38.  Nays, 100.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Adams of Hartland

Ainsworth of Royalton

Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of Vergennes

Clerkin of Hartford

Donaghy of Poultney

Errecart of Shelburne

Flory of Pittsford

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Johnson of Canaan

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

LaVoie of Swanton

Livingston of Manchester

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

O'Donnell of Vernon

Oxholm of Vergennes

Peaslee of Guildhall

Scheuermann of Stowe

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

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

Clark of St. Johnsbury

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

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

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

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Hudson of Lyndon

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

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

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

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

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

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Weston of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Audette of S. Burlington

Donahue of Northfield

Heath of Westford

Helm of Castleton

Hunt of Essex

Kilmartin of Newport City

Larrabee of Danville

Larson of Burlington

Lawrence of Lyndon

Monti of Barre City

Shaw of Derby


 

     Rep. Johnson of South Hero explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     Costs borne by taxpayers are reviewed and approved by the Appropriations committee in a transparent and democratic process.  I don’t believe it is necessary to legislate yet another report.”

     Rep. Sunderland of Rutland Town explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     What do we have to hide?  This amendment simply asked that we track and report litigation costs associated with defending the questionable constitutionality of this bill.  It’s unfortunate that this Legislature is not open nor transparent enough to keep the people of Vermont informed.  What do we have to hide?”

     Pending third reading of the bill, Reps. Komline of Dorset and Wright of Burlington moved to amend the House recommendation of proposal of amendment as follows:

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

Sec. 1.  17 V.S.A. § 2801 is amended to read:

§ 2801.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(2)  “Clearly identified,” with respect to a candidate, means that:

(A)  The name of the candidate appears;

(B)  A photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or

(C)  The identity of the candidate is apparent by unambiguous reference.

(3)  “Contribution” means a payment, distribution, advance, deposit, loan, or gift of money or anything of value, paid or promised to be paid to a person for the purpose of influencing an election, advocating a position on a public question, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates in any election, but shall not include services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee or political party.  For purposes of this chapter, “contribution” shall not include a personal loan from a lending institution any of the following:

(A)  a personal loan of money to a candidate from a lending institution made in the ordinary course of business;

(B)  services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or political party;

(C)  unreimbursed travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by an individual who volunteers personal services to a candidate, if the cumulative amount of these expenses does not exceed $500.00 per election;

(D)  unreimbursed campaign‑related travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by the candidate or the candidate’s spouse or civil union partner;

(E)  the payment by a political party of the costs of preparation, display, or mailing or other distribution of a party candidate listing;

(F)  documents, in printed or electronic form, including party platforms, single copies of issue papers, information pertaining to the requirements of this title, lists of registered voters and voter identification information, created, obtained, or maintained by a political party for the general purpose of party building and provided to a candidate who is a member of that party or to another political party;

(G)  compensation paid by a political party to its employees whose job responsibilities are not for the specific and exclusive benefit of a single candidate in any election;

(H)  campaign training sessions provided to three or more candidates;

(I)  costs paid for by a political party in connection with a campaign event at which three or more candidates are present;

(J)  the use of offices, telephones, computers, and similar equipment when that use does not result in additional cost to the provider;

(K)  activity or communication designed to encourage individuals to register to vote or to vote if that activity or communication does not mention or depict a clearly identified candidate;

(L)  compensation paid by a political party to its employees or consultants for the purpose of providing assistance to another political party.

(3)(4)  “Expenditure” means a payment, disbursement, distribution, advance, deposit, loan, or gift of money or anything of value, paid or promised to be paid, for the purpose of influencing an election, advocating a position on a public question, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates.  For the purposes of this chapter, “expenditure” shall not include any of the following:

(A)  a personal loan of money to a candidate from a lending institution made in the ordinary course of business;

(B)  services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or political party;

(C)  unreimbursed travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by an individual who volunteers personal services to a candidate, if the cumulative amount of these expenses does not exceed $500.00 per election;

(D)  unreimbursed campaign‑related travel expenses incurred within the state of Vermont and paid for by the candidate or the candidate’s spouse or civil union partner.

(5)  “Party candidate listing” means any communication by a political party that:

(A)  lists the names of at least three candidates for election to public office;

(B)  is distributed through public advertising such as broadcast stations, cable television, newspapers and similar media, or through direct mail, telephone, electronic mail, publicly accessible sites on the internet or personal delivery;

(C)  treats all candidates in the communication in a substantially similar manner; and

(D)  is limited to:

(i)  the identification of each candidate, with which pictures may be used;

(ii)  the offices sought;

(iii)  the offices currently held by the candidates;

(iv)  the party affiliation of the candidates and a brief statement about the party or the candidates’ positions, philosophy, goals, accomplishments, or biographies;

(v)  encouragement to vote for the candidates identified; and

(vi)  information about voting, such as voting hours and locations.

(4)(6)  “Political committee” or “political action committee” means any formal or informal committee of two or more individuals, or a corporation, labor organization, public interest group, or other entity, not including a political party, which receives contributions of more than $500.00 and makes expenditures of more than $500.00 in any one calendar year for the purpose of supporting or opposing one or more candidates, influencing an election, or advocating a position on a public question in any election or affecting the outcome of an election.

(5)(7)  “Political party” means a political party organized under chapter 45 of this title or and any committee established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the party, including any subsidiary, branch, or local unit thereof and including national or regional affiliates of the party and shall be considered a single, unified political party.  The national affiliate of the political party shall be considered a separate political party.

(6)(8)  “Single source” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons which is not a political committee or political party.

(7)(9)  “Election” means the procedure whereby the voters of this state or any of its political subdivisions select a person to be a candidate for public office or fill a public office, or to act on public questions including voting on constitutional amendments.  Each primary, general, special, run‑off, or local election shall constitute a separate election.

(8)(10)  “Public question” means an issue that is before the voters for a binding decision.

(9)(11)  “Two‑year general election cycle” means the 24‑month period that begins 38 days after a general election. Expenditures related to a previous campaign and contributions to retire a debt of a previous campaign shall be attributed to the earlier campaign cycle.

(10)(12)  “Full name” means an individual’s full first name, middle name or initial, if any, and full legal last name, making the identity of the person who made the contribution apparent by unambiguous reference.

(11)(13)  “Telephone bank” means more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature that are made to the general public within any 30‑day period.

Sec. 2.  17 V.S.A. § 2801a is amended to read:

§ 2801a.  EXCEPTIONS

The definitions of “contribution,” “expenditure,” and “electioneering communication” shall not apply to:

(1)  any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication which has not been paid for, or such facilities are not owned or controlled, by any political party, committee, or candidate; and

(2)  any communication distributed through a public access television station if the communication complies with the laws and rules governing the station, and all candidates in the race have an equal opportunity to promote their candidacies through the station.

Sec. 3.  17 V.S.A. § 2805 is amended to read:

§ 2805. LIMITATIONS OF CONTRIBUTIONS

(a) A No candidate for state representative or local office or political committee shall not accept contributions totaling more than $200.00 $1,000.00 from a single source, political committee or political party in any two-year general election cycle for any election. A candidate for state senator or county office shall not accept contributions totaling more than $300.00 from a single source, political committee or political party in any two-year general election cycle. A candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of accounts, or attorney general shall not accept contributions totaling more than $400.00 from a single source, political committee or political party in any two-year general election cycle. A political committee, other than a political committee of a candidate, or a political party shall not accept contributions totaling more than $2,000.00 from a single source, political committee or political party in any two-year general election cycle.

(b) A single source, political committee or political party shall not contribute more to a candidate, political committee or political party than the candidate, political committee or political party is permitted to accept under subsection (a) of this section.  No candidate or political committee shall accept contributions totaling more than $3,000.00 from a political committee for any election.

(c) A candidate, political party or political committee shall not accept, in any two-year general election cycle, more than 25 percent of total contributions from contributors who are not residents of the state of Vermont or from political committees or parties not organized in the state of Vermont.  No candidate or political committee shall accept contributions totaling more than $1,000.00 from a candidate for federal office for any election.

(d) A candidate shall not accept a monetary contribution in excess of $50.00 unless made by check, credit or debit card, or other electronic transfer.

(e) A candidate, political party, or political committee shall not knowingly accept a contribution which is not directly from the contributor, but was transferred to the contributor by another person for the purpose of transferring the same to the candidate, or otherwise circumventing the provisions of this chapter. It shall be a violation of this chapter for a person to make a contribution with the explicit or implicit understanding that the contribution will be transferred in violation of this subsection.

(f) This section shall not be interpreted to limit the amount a candidate or his or her immediate family may contribute to his or her own campaign. For purposes of this subsection, "immediate family" means individuals related to the candidate in the first, second or third degree of consanguinity.

(g)(f) The limitations on contributions established by this section shall not apply to contributions made for the purpose of advocating a position on a public question, including a constitutional amendment.

(h)(g) For purposes of this section, the term "candidate" includes the candidate's political committee.

(h)  The contribution limitations contained in this section shall be adjusted for inflation by increasing them based on the Consumer Price Index.  Increases shall be rounded up to the nearest $10.00.  Increases shall be effective for the first two‑year general election cycle beginning after the general election held in 2008.  On or before July 1, 2009, the secretary of state shall calculate and publish the amount of each limitation that will apply to the election cycle in which July 1, 2009 falls.  On July 1 of each subsequent odd‑numbered year, the secretary shall publish the amount of each limitation for the election cycle in which that publication falls.

Sec. 4.  REPEAL

17 V.S.A. § 2805a (campaign expenditure limitations) is repealed.

Pending the question, Shall the House amend the recommendation of proposal of amendment as offered by Reps. Komline of Dorset and Wright of Burlington? Rep. Wright of Burlington 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 recommendation of proposal of amendment as offered by Reps. Komline of Dorset and Wright of Burlington?  was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 46.  Nays, 95.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Ainsworth of Royalton

Allard of St. Albans Town

Anderson of Montpelier

Baker of West Rutland

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Clerkin of Hartford

Donaghy of Poultney

Errecart of Shelburne

Flory of Pittsford

Helm of Castleton

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Livingston of Manchester

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

O'Donnell of Vernon

Oxholm of Vergennes

Peaslee of Guildhall

Scheuermann of Stowe

Stevens of Shoreham

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Ancel of Calais

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Browning of Arlington

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

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

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

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

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

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

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Weston of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Donahue of Northfield

Hunt of Essex

Kilmartin of Newport City

Larocque of Barnet

Lawrence of Lyndon

Monti of Barre City

Perry of Richford

Shaw of Derby


 

     Rep. Jerman of Essex explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I vote no on the amendment.  I am confident that a majority of Vermonters believe there should be reasonable limits on monetary contributions to political campaigns.  I believe we have set prudent limits which have more than doubled the previous maximums.  We have set new limits equal to or surpassing those in other states which have survived constitutional challenge.”

     Rep. Martin of Wolcott explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I believe that large contributions reduce public trust.  That candidates do favor contributors who give them large amounts of money to their campaign.  This is why I voted no for this amendment.  The limits are too high.

     Our committee worked hard to find a contribution limit that would allow constitutional limits but not have the appearance of favoritism.  I believe we achieved it in our bill.”

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

Recess

At one o’clock in the afternoon, the Speaker declared a recess until two o’clock in the afternoon.

At two o’clock and two minutes in the fifteen, the Speaker called the House to order.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 92

Rep. Deen of Westminster, for the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to groundwater mapping;

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

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking the last sentence of 10 V.S.A. § 1416(a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof:

The office of the state geologist shall also identify areas of interest that require additional mapping, including location of water wells and mapping of surficial geology and bedrock.  The office of the state geologist may also conduct geophysical studies as funds allow.

Second:  By adding Secs. 3 and 4 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. Chapter 48, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Water Withdrawal Reporting

§1417.  WATER WITHDRAWAL REPORTING

(a)  As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Groundwater” means water below the land surface.

(2)  "Withdrawal" means the removal of groundwater from one source by any method or instrument.  All groundwater withdrawals from a particular source that are made or controlled by a single person are considered to be a single withdrawal of water.

(b)  Annually, on or before August 1, a person withdrawing more than 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day shall file a groundwater withdrawal report with the agency of natural resources for the previous year ending June 30, unless exempt under subsection (c) of this section or rules adopted by the secretary of natural resources under subsection (e) of this section.

(c)  The following are exempt from the reporting requirements of this section:

(1)  A groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purposes;

(2)  A withdrawal from a storage pond that does not have a lake, river, stream, or brook as an inlet, constructed for storing water for crop irrigation or watering livestock;

(3)  A withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data; and 

(4)  Ordinary household use.

(d)  A report required under subsection (b) of this section shall include information on water use, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the location of the withdrawal including, where feasible, the distance of each groundwater withdrawal from the nearest surface water source.  The secretary of natural resources may allow water withdrawal volumes to be calculated as estimates and to be reported in ranges established by the secretary.  Water withdrawal reports shall be submitted to the secretary of natural resources in a form prescribed by the secretary.

(e)  On or before April 1, 2008, the secretary of natural resources, after consultation with the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and other interested parties, shall adopt rules implementing the requirements of this section.  The rules may include:

(1)  Additional information to be included in the report required under subsection (d) of this section; and

(2)  Additional uses or activities that are exempt from the requirements of this section.

Sec. 4.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT

On or before January 15, 2011, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy with a recommendation as to whether the groundwater withdrawal reporting required by section 1417 of Title 10 should continue, should be amended, or should be repealed.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up and read the second time.

Pending the question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources? Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington moved to amend the recommendation of proposal of amendment offered by the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, as follows:

First:  In the second instance of amendment, in Sec. 3, by striking subsection 1417(c) of Title 10 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(c)  The following are exempt from the reporting requirements of this section:

(1)  A groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purposes;

(2)  A withdrawal for use in farming, as that term is defined in section 6001 of this title;

(3)  A withdrawal for use in agricultural or dairy processing;

(4)  A withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data; and 

(5)  Ordinary household use.

Second:  By adding Sec. 3a to read as follows:

Sec. 3a.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS
               SURVEY OF GROUNDWATER USE

On or before July 1, 2008, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall conduct a survey of farms and agricultural and dairy processors in Vermont that withdraw in excess of 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day during a calendar year.  The survey shall request information on estimated water use, the purpose or general use of the water, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the general location of the withdrawal.  Upon completion of the survey, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall submit the information collected to the agency of natural resources.

Third:  In the second instance of amendment, in Sec. 4, by striking “and the senate committee on natural resources and energy” where it appears and inserting in lieu thereof “, the senate committee on natural resources, and the house and senate committees on agriculture

Which was agreed to.

Rep. Partridge of Windham in Chair.

Pending the question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, as amended? Rep. Baker of West Rutland 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 propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, as amended? was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 115.  Nays, 16.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Ainsworth of Royalton

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

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

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

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

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

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Klein of East Montpelier

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

LaVoie of Swanton

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

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Oxholm of Vergennes

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Scheuermann of Stowe

Sharpe of Bristol

Shaw of Derby

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Sunderland of Rutland Town

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


 

Those who voted in the negative are:


Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Branagan of Georgia

Helm of Castleton

Hube of Londonderry

Hudson of Lyndon

Johnson of Canaan

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

McAllister of Highgate

Morley of Barton

Otterman of Topsham

Peaslee of Guildhall

Stevens of Shoreham

Turner of Milton

Winters of Williamstown


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


Andrews of Rutland City

Davis of Washington

Donahue of Northfield

Flory of Pittsford

Heath of Westford

Hunt of Essex

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Koch of Barre Town

Larson of Burlington

Lawrence of Lyndon

Marcotte of Coventry

Monti of Barre City

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Rodgers of Glover

Shand of Weathersfield

Symington of Jericho

Wright of Burlington


 

     Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

Third Reading; 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. 177

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to child poverty in Vermont.

S. 190

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to establishing.

S. 192

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to relating to HIV name-based reporting.

Third Reading; Resolution Passed

J.R.H. 27

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;

Was taken up, 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. 27

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to increasing the minimum tip wage;

S. 148

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the requirements for an application to be a designated new town center;

S. 177

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to child poverty in Vermont.

S. 190

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to establishing.

S. 192

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to relating to HIV name-based reporting.

J.R.H. 27

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;

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment Agreed to;

Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended; Bill Read Third Time and Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment;

S. 67

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

An act relating to closure of the Bennington State Office building;

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

Rep. Koch of Barre Town, for the committee on Institutions, to which had been referred the bill reported in favor of its passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment as follows:

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

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

(a)  The general assembly finds the following:

(1)  The state of Vermont has owned and operated the Bennington state office building (BSOB) located at 200 Veteran’s Memorial Drive since 1977.

(2)  In 1990, the state of Vermont completed a significant addition to the BSOB increasing the total square footage to 63,500 square feet.  At the end of 2006, approximately 135 people were employed at the BSOB.

(3)  Results of a health survey conducted by the Vermont department of health in 2006 found that the occupants of the BSOB reported higher than expected rates of sarcoidosis.

(4)  Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown causes characterized by inflammation in one or more organs and may cause slight‑to‑major pain and disability.

(5)  To date, six current or former state employees who worked in the BSOB report that they have been diagnosed with sarcoidosis.  According to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, nationally, sarcoidosis occurs at a rate of one in 10,000 people. 

(b)  Although the cause of sarcoidosis is not yet known and the relationship of sarcoidosis to the environment of the Bennington state office building cannot be determined, the general assembly is concerned about the welfare of any current and former state employees and intends to ensure that eligible affected state employees receive reasonable compensation for their suffering.  

Sec. 2.  SARCOIDOSIS BENEFIT TRUST FUND; CREATION; PURPOSE

(a)  The sarcoidosis benefit trust fund is hereby created to be managed in accordance with subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 and administered by the department of buildings and general services.  The fund shall be composed of donations, contributions, or appropriations made to the fund.

(b)  The fund shall be used to provide compensation to any eligible current or former state employee who has been diagnosed with sarcoidosis after working in the Bennington state office building.  To be eligible for benefits under this section, a state employee shall meet both of the following conditions:

(1)  The diagnosis of sarcoidosis occurred after at least five months of continuous employment in the Bennington state office building located at 200 Veterans Memorial Drive.

(2)  The state employee has waived the right to any civil action against the state for damages relating to sarcoidosis and to workers’ compensation benefits relating to sarcoidosis pursuant to chapter 9 of Title 21.  The waiver shall be on a form approved by the commissioner of labor.

(c)  Unless the state has provided conclusive evidence that the sarcoidosis was caused by circumstances unrelated to the state employee’s exposure in the Bennington state office building, a state employee who meets the conditions set forth in subsection (b) of this section is entitled to all of the following benefits:

(1)  Reimbursement for medical expenses incurred for treatment of sarcoidosis prior to the effective date of this act not covered by other medical insurance.  Treatment of sarcoidosis after the effective date of this act shall be paid by the fund in accordance with the fee schedule established by the department of labor.

(2)  Reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses related to treatment of the sarcoidosis pursuant to rules adopted by the department of labor.

(3)  Temporary disability payments for wages lost from the time the eligible employee was unable to work as the result of sarcoidosis until the employee reaches a medical end result or returns to full‑time employment.  Payment under this subdivision shall be limited to the difference between any federal or state provided disability benefits received by the eligible state employee or to which the eligible state employee is entitled and two‑thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage computed for the 12 weeks prior to becoming disabled from work due to sarcoidosis.  The average weekly wage shall be computed in accordance with rules adopted by the department of labor and chapter 9 of Title 21.

(4)  Wage replacement benefits when an eligible state employee returns to work less than full time.  Payment under this subdivision shall be the difference between the gross wages earned and the employee’s average weekly wage computed pursuant to subdivision (3) of this section less any federal‑ or state‑provided disabilities benefits paid. 

(5)  Permanent disability payments for any permanent impairment of function resulting from sarcoidosis.  Impairment shall be evaluated in accordance with the most recent edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. 

(6)  Where appropriate, an eligible state employee shall be referred to the vocational rehabilitation division of the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living for evaluation of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation benefits under existing programs.

(d)  Eligible state employees shall provide documentation for reimbursement for out‑of‑pocket medical treatment and lost wages incurred prior to the effective date of this act no later than one year after the effective date of the act or within two years after the claim is reasonably discoverable and apparent.

(e)  Claims for compensation under the provisions of this section shall not be assignable and shall be exempt from all claims of creditors or third party payers.

(f)  The department of labor shall:

(1)  Adopt rules regarding determination of claims, dispute resolution procedures, and any other issue relating to effecting the purpose of the fund.

(2)  Create standard forms to assure efficient administration of the fund.

(3)   Resolve any disputes that arise between a state employee and the fund including eligibility for payment from the fund, causation, or the type or amount of benefit owed.

(g)  The department of buildings and general services shall continue to pay voluntary payments at least for out‑of‑pocket medical expenses for treatment of the sarcoidosis until rules have been adopted by the department of labor, and shall be credited for all voluntary payments made.

Sec. 3.  BENNINGTON STATE OFFICE BUILDING; CLOSURE

No state employee shall be permitted to work in the Bennington state office building located at 200 Veterans Memorial Drive until the department of health has determined that the air quality and health conditions of the building are safe and free from levels of airborne pathogens, particulates, mold, and other environmental contaminants that are likely to cause injury or disease to humans.  This prohibition shall not apply to employees who are properly equipped to work in the building to perform rehabilitation and reconstruction work necessary to make the building habitable as an office. 

Sec. 4.  BENNINGTON STATE OFFICE LOCATION TASK FORCE

(a)  The Bennington state office location task force is created to act as the representative of the “legislative body of the municipality” as that term is used in 24 V.S.A. § 2794(a)(13).  The task force is created specifically to evaluate the best alternatives for permanent relocation of the state employees in the event that the department of health determines that the Bennington state office building cannot be reoccupied and used as an office building.  If relocation is necessary, the task force shall consider multiple locations within the downtown area that are within easy walking distance of each other in the designated downtown district of Bennington.  The task force shall carry out the purposes of this section consistent with chapter 76a of Title 24.  

(b)  The task force shall be composed of nine members to include the following:

(1)  The chair of the Bennington selectboard, who shall be chair of the task force.

(2)  The Bennington town manager, or designee.

(3)  The director of planning and development for Bennington, or designee.

(4)  A member of the Bennington planning commission.

(5)  The executive director of the Better Bennington Corporation, or designee.

(6)  The executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, or designee.

(7)  The director of the Vermont state employees’ association, or designee.

(8)  A member of the house of representatives representing Bennington appointed by the speaker of the house.

(9)  A member of the senate from Bennington district appointed by the committee on committees.

(c)  The task force shall consult with the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs prior to developing findings and recommendations.

(d)  The task force shall hold its first meeting within 30 days after the diagnostic report on the building is issued, and shall meet as needed thereafter.  No later than January 15, 2008, the task force shall issue a written report of its findings and recommendations for office space for state employees in the designated downtown of Bennington to the Bennington selectboard, the commissioner of buildings and general services, the senate committee on institutions and appropriations and the house committees on institutions and appropriations. 

Sec. 5.  APPROPRIATION; TRANSFER AUTHORITY

(a)  There is appropriated from the state insurance reserve fund to the sarcoidosis benefit trust fund in fiscal year 2008 the amount of $150,000.00.

(b)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 135, the secretary of administration is authorized to transfer moneys from the state insurance reserve fund to the sarcoidosis benefit trust fund as needed to pay projected claims determined to be eligible pursuant to Sec. 2 of this act.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2007, except that the department of labor shall begin the rule‑making process upon passage of this act.

Rep. Miller of Shaftsbury, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Institutions.

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.

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bill placed on all remaining stages of passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment. 

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

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment Agreed to;

Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended; Bill Read Third Time and Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment;

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

Rep. Minter of Waterbury, for the committee on Transportation, to which had been referred the bill recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources and when father amended as follows:

     By adding a Sec. 2 to read as follows:

* * * Emissions Labeling for New Vehicles * * *

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 579 is added to read:

§ 579.  VEHICLE EMISSIONS LABELING PROGRAM FOR NEW
MOTOR VEHICLES

(a)  Not later than September 1, 2009, the commissioner of environmental conservation, in consultation with the commissioner of motor vehicles, shall establish a vehicle emissions labeling program for new motor vehicles sold or leased in the state with a model year of 2010 or later.

(b)  Vehicle emissions labels under this program shall include the vehicle’s emissions score, comparing the vehicle’s emissions with the emissions from all vehicle models of the same model year for which a label is required, presented in both a continuous bar format and a single qualitative score or in an alternative graphical representation that the commissioner of environmental conservation determines will more effectively convey the information to consumers.  The label shall also include the average vehicle emissions score for vehicles within the same vehicle class as the vehicle to which the label is affixed and any other relevant information, as determined by the commissioner of environmental conservation.  The commissioner of environmental conservation is encouraged to consult with counterparts in California and Connecticut who have advanced a comparable program in those states, and is additionally encouraged to develop a model whereby the automobile manufacturers install the labels.

(c)  The vehicle emissions label shall be affixed to the vehicle in a clearly visible location, as determined by the commissioner of environmental conservation and the commissioner of motor vehicles.

(d)  No new motor vehicle with a model year of 2010 or later shall be sold or leased in the state without a vehicle emissions label that meets the requirements of this section affixed to it.

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.

Speaker Gaye Symington back in Chair.

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bill placed on all remaining stages of passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment.  The bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

 Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment Agreed to;

Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended; Bill Read Third Time and Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment;

S. 196

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

An act relating to failure to insure for workers’ compensation coverage by employers and contractors;

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

First:  In Sec. 1, 21 V.S.A. § 690, by striking the introductory paragraph of subdivision (b)(1) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(b)(1)  In addition to any other authority provided to the commissioner pursuant to this chapter, the commissioner may issue a written request to a contractor engaged in the business of nonresidential building or construction to provide a workers’ compensation compliance statement on a form provided by the commissioner.  For the purposes of this subsection, a contractor includes subcontractors and independent contractors.  The form shall require all the following information:

Second:  In Sec. 1, 21 V.S.A. § 690, in subdivision (b)(3), by striking the final sentence and inserting in lieu thereof the following: “No contractor shall be required to provide more than one workers’ compensation compliance statement per year, unless the commissioner explains the need for each additional statement.

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

Sec. 6.  PROOF OF INSURANCE; MISCLASSIFICATION OF COVERED

             EMPLOYEES; STUDY; COMMISSIONER OF LABOR

(a)  The commissioner of labor in consultation with the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration shall study the following:

(1)  The feasibility and cost associated with making the National Council on Compensation Insurance proof of coverage services available to the public as workers’ compensation coverage verification through the department of labor’s website.

(2)   The extent and nature of misclassifying workers in Vermont for the purpose of lowering or avoiding workers’ compensation premium costs, including classifying as independent contractors workers who otherwise meet the criteria as covered employees under Vermont workers’ compensation  laws.

(3)  The effectiveness of Vermont’s current laws, programs, and policies to counter such misclassification.

(b)  The commissioner shall present findings and recommendations regarding the issues studied in subsection (a) of this section to the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs and to the house committees on commerce and on general, housing and military affairs on or before December 15, 2007.

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.

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bill placed on all remaining stages of passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment. 

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

Rules Suspended; Favorable Report; House Resolution Adopted

H.R. 22

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

House resolution authorizing an interim study committee to develop legislation related to forestry;

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

Rep. Johnson of South Hero, for the committee on Appropriations, to which the resolution had been referred reported in favor of its passage.

     Thereupon, the resolution was adopted on the part of the House.

Joint Resolution Read Second Time; Third Reading Ordered;

Rules Suspended; Resolution Read the Third Time and Passed

J.R.H. 30

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and Joint resolution, entitled

     Joint resolution encouraging the inclusion of international education programs in the curriculum and extracurricular activities of Vermont’s colleges and universities in order to meet the challenges of a global society.

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

Thereupon, the resolution was read the second time and third reading ordered.

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the resolution placed on all remaining stages of passage. 

Thereupon, the resolution was read the third time and passed.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

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 Speaker placed before the House the following Committee of Conference report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment.

Sen. Claire Ayer

Sen. George Coppenrath

Sen. Jeanette White

Committee on the part of the Senate

Rep. Linda Martin

Rep. Tim Jerman

Rep. Cola Hudson

Committee on the part of the House

Which was considered and adopted on the part of the House.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 39

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

An act relating to the health insurance plan reimbursement for covered services provided by naturopathic physicians;

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

The Speaker placed before the House the following Committee of Conference report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends

that the House recede from its proposal of amendment in its concurrence and that the bill be further amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4088d is added to read:

§ 4088d.  COVERAGE FOR COVERED SERVICES PROVIDED BY
                 NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS

(a)  A health insurance plan shall provide coverage for medically necessary health care services covered by the plan when provided by a naturopathic physician licensed in this state for treatment within the scope of practice described in chapter 81 of Title 26.  Health care services provided by naturopathic physicians may be subject to reasonable deductibles, co‑payment and co‑insurance amounts, fee or benefit limits, practice parameters, cost‑effectiveness and clinical efficacy standards, and utilization review consistent with any applicable regulations published by the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration.  Any amounts, limits, standards, and review shall not function to direct treatment in a manner unfairly discriminative against naturopathic care, and collectively shall be no more restrictive than those applicable under the same policy to care or services provided by other primary care physicians, but may allow for the management of the benefit consistent with variations in practice patterns and treatment modalities among different types of health care providers.  A health insurance plan may require that the naturopathic physician’s services be provided by a licensed naturopathic physician under contract with the insurer or shall be covered in a manner consistent with out‑of‑network provider reimbursement practices for primary care physicians; however, this shall not relieve a health insurance plan from compliance with applicable BISHCA Rule 10 network adequacy requirements.  Nothing contained herein shall be construed as impeding or preventing either the provision or the coverage of health care services by licensed naturopathic physicians, within the lawful scope of naturopathic practice, in hospital facilities on a staff or employee basis.

(b)  As used in this section, “health insurance plan” means any individual or group health insurance policy, any hospital or medical service corporation or health maintenance organization subscriber contract, or any other health benefit plan offered, issued, or renewed for any person in this state by a health insurer, as defined by 18 V.S.A. § 9402.  The term shall not include benefit plans providing coverage for specific disease or other limited benefit coverage.

Sec. 2.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS REGARDING PROSTATE

             CANCER SCREENING

     The general assembly finds:

(1)  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routine screening for prostate cancer using prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for digital rectal examination (DRE).

(2)  While medical organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Urologic Association do not recommend universal or routine prostate cancer screening, those  organizations do, however, generally agree that men over age 50 and those with increased risk for prostate cancer are appropriate candidates for screening.

Sec. 3.  8 V.S.A. chapter 107, subchapter 10 is added to read:

Subchapter 10.  Prostate Screenings

§ 4100f.  PROSTATE SCREENINGS; COVERAGE REQUIRED

(a)  Health insurers shall provide coverage for prostate cancer screenings consistent with the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or upon recommendation of a health care provider.  Benefits provided shall be at least as favorable as coverage for other cancer screening procedures and subject to the same dollar limits, deductibles, and coinsurance factors within the provisions of the policy.

(b)  For purposes of this section, “health insurer” is defined by subdivision 9402(9) of Title 18.  The term does not apply to coverage for specified disease or other limited benefit coverage.

Sec. 4.  APPLICABILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on October 1, 2007 and shall apply to all health benefit plans on and after October 1, 2007 on such date as a health insurer offers, issues, or renews the health benefit plan, but in no event later than October 1, 2008.

     and the committee further recommends that, after passage, the title of the bill shall be:  AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN REIMBURSEMENT FOR COVERED SERVICES PROVIDED BY NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS AND FOR RECOMMENDED PROSTATE CANCER SCREENINGS

Rep. Virginia Milkey

Rep. Patricia O’Donnell

Rep. Hilde Ojibway

Committee on the part of the House

Sen. Kevin Mullin

Sen. Jeanette White

Sen. Edward Flanagan

Committee on the part of the Senate

Which was considered and adopted on the part of the House.

Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H. 34

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution designating the month of June as Vermont Birding Month;

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

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. 67

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to closure of the Bennington State Office building;

S. 143

     Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 196

     Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to failure to insure for workers’ compensation coverage by employers and contractors;

J.R.H. 30

Joint resolution, entitled

     Joint resolution encouraging the inclusion of international education programs in the curriculum and extracurricular activities of Vermont’s colleges and universities in order to meet the challenges of a global society.

S. 39

House bill, entitled

An act relating to the health insurance plan reimbursement for covered services provided by naturopathic physicians;

Adjournment

At four o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the House adjourned until tomorrow at eleven o’clock in the forenoon.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us