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Journal of the House

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Richard Forcier of the Universalist Church, Barre.

Message from the Senate No. 5

     A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Marshall, its Assistant Secretary, as follows:

Madam Speaker:

I am directed to inform the House that the Senate has on its part passed Senate bill of the following title:

S. 318.  An act relating to the authority of Vermont municipalities to acquire facilities and other assets.

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

House Bills Introduced

House bills of the following titles were severally introduced.  Pending first reading of the bills, on motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the rules were suspended and the bills were read the first time by number and referred as follows:

H. 617

By Reps. Jewett of Ripton, Clarkson of Woodstock and Flory of Pittsford,

An act relating to guardianships;

To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 618

By Rep. Ancel of Calais,

An act relating to an appropriation to the Vermont center for independent living’s youth leadership forum;

To the committee on Appropriations.

H. 619

By Rep. Pellett of Chester,

An act relating to the regulation of sexual assault nurse examiners;

To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 620

By Rep. Obuchowski of Rockingham,

An act relating to employment breaks;

To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 621

By Reps. Jewett of Ripton, Flory of Pittsford and Minter of Waterbury,

An act relating to establishing a cost-containment committee within the Agency of Transportation;

To the committee on Transportation.

H. 622

By Reps. Clarkson of Woodstock and Grad of Moretown,

An act relating to conditional licenses, penalties, and treatment for persons convicted of DUI;

To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 623

By Reps. Bray of New Haven, Ainsworth of Royalton, Godin of Milton, Malcolm of Pawlet and Perry of Richford,

An act relating to workers’ compensation and agriculture;

To the committee on Agriculture.

H. 624

By Reps. Ojibway of Hartford, Clerkin of Hartford, Courcelle of Rutland City, Keogh of Burlington, Leriche of Hardwick, Mitchell of Barnard and Mrowicki of Putney,

An act relating to credit and debit card number truncation;

To the committee on Commerce.

 

 

H. 625

     By Reps.  Allard of St. Albans Town, Atkins of Winooski, Baker of West Rutland, Donaghy of Poultney, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Gervais of Enosburg, Helm of Castleton, Howrigan of Fairfield and McAllister of Highgate,

An act relating to crimes against an unborn child;

To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 626

By Reps. Flory of Pittsford, Acinapura of Brandon, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Canfield of Fair Haven, Errecart of Shelburne, Helm of Castleton, Hube of Londonderry, Johnson of Canaan, Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, LaVoie of Swanton, McAllister of Highgate, McDonald of Berlin, McNeil of Rutland Town, Peaslee of Guildhall, Scheuermann of Stowe, Shaw of Derby, Valliere of Barre City, Westman of Cambridge and Wright of Burlington,

An act relating to contribution limits, reporting, and access to campaign finance information;

To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 627

By Rep. Pillsbury of Brattleboro (By Request),

An act relating to sled dogs;

To the committee on Agriculture.

Senate Bill Referred

S. 318

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the authority of Vermont municipalities to acquire facilities and other assets;

Was taken up, read the first time and referred to the committee on Commerce.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 44

Reps. Maier of Middlebury and Zenie of Colchester offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution approving the Vermont information technology leaders’ (VITL) health information technology plan as required by 22  V.S.A. §903(g);

Whereas, the Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) is a nonprofit, public-private partnership incorporated in Vermont, and

Whereas, VITL is an integral part of the development of health information technology in this state, and

Whereas, VITL has developed the Vermont health information technology plan pursuant to 22 V.S.A. § 903(c), and

Whereas, the Vermont health information technology plan outlines a vision for health information technology in Vermont; identifies key stakeholders, strategies, and objectives; provides standards for health information exchange, including a privacy and security framework; presents an overview of the technology architecture; and details the funding and governance of health information technology in this state, and

Whereas, 22 V.S.A. § 903(g) allows the Vermont health information technology plan, upon recommendation of the commissioner of information and innovation and approval by the general assembly, to serve as the framework within which the commissioner reviews certificate of need applications for information technology, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly approves the Vermont health information technology plan, as submitted by VITL, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc.

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

House Resolution Referred to Committee

H.R. 28

Reps. Komline of Dorset, Adams of Hartland, Ainsworth of Royalton, Baker of West Rutland, Branagan of Georgia, Brennan of Colchester, Canfield of Fair Haven, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Clark of Vergennes, Clerkin of Hartford, Devereux of Mount Holly, Donaghy of Poultney, Errecart of Shelburne, Flory of Pittsford, Hube of Londonderry, Hudson of Lyndon, Johnson of Canaan, Kilmartin of Newport City, Koch of Barre Town, Krawczyk of Bennington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Livingston of Manchester, Marcotte of Coventry, McAllister of Highgate, McDonald of Berlin, McFaun of Barre Town, McNeil of Rutland Town, Morrissey of Bennington, Myers of Essex, O'Donnell of Vernon, Oxholm of Vergennes, Peaslee of Guildhall, Scheuermann of Stowe, Shaw of Derby, Turner of Milton, Valliere of Barre City, Westman of Cambridge, Winters of Williamstown and Wright of Burlington offered a House resolution, entitled

House resolution directing the committee on appropriations, as part of the FY 2008 budget adjustment bill, to reduce funding for the 2008 legislative session in the amount of $1,000,000.00, and to add $1,000,000.00 to the Low Income Heating Assistance Program;

Whereas, the FY 2009 state budget is anticipated to be extremely tight, and essential state government services of extreme importance to many Vermonters are threatened with potential cutbacks in their appropriations, and

Whereas, the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides essential financial assistance to many Vermonters who are experiencing a tremendous economic strain because of the skyrocketing increase in the cost of heating fuel this winter, and

Whereas, regardless of budgetary developments that may emerge later this session, LIHEAP is confronted with an immediate need for additional revenue as heating fuel assistance has already been cut, and

Whereas, this reduced allocation for heating assistance support has created a severe burden on many Vermonters, and

Whereas, the general assembly, if it performs its legislative duties in a timely and efficient manner, should be able to transact its business by April 12 without sacrificing careful review and deliberations on pending matters, and

Whereas, if the general assembly completed the 2008 legislative session on April 12, there would be a net savings of approximately $1,000,000.00 that could be reallocated to LIHEAP funding, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That the committee on appropriations is directed, as part of the FY 2008 budget adjustment bill, to reduce funding for the 2008 legislative session in the amount of $1,000,000.00, and to add $1,000,000.00 to the Low Income Heating Assistance Program in addition to the funds already appropriated to this program in Act 65 for fiscal year 2008.

Which was read and referred to the committee on Appropriations.

     Rep. Partridge of Windham in Chair.

 

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Pellett of Chester, the following remarks by Rep.  Symington of Jericho were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker:

I’d like to share with you my observations of a scene that has been in my thoughts for the last few days.

Last weekend I visited Representative Westman at his parents’ home on Westman Road which begins in my district, in Underhill.  The previous evening I had started up the wrong end of the road and was deterred by the ruts of a dirt road in midwinter thaw without daylight.  On my second try in mid-Sunday daylight, from the other end of the horseshoe road, I found very impressive newly laid cracked rock (gravel would be too dainty a term) leading up to the Westman farmhouse.

Rich was just inside the door, with his mom seated in a comfortable arm chair behind him.  Two other legislative colleagues, the members from Waterbury, were already there.  I took a seat on the couch, looking out over fields of what is appropriately names, the Pleasant Valley.  To my right the Old Man of Mount Mansfield’s profile filled the eastern window.  To drive south from Cambridge to Underhill on Pleasant Valley is to appreciate the power of the sleeping man of the mountain, the power and peace he brings to this valley.

Rich pointed to a red brick house, just a bit up the valley.  In that house, in the room where he spent many hours, four generations of his family had been born.  His mother had grown up in Jeffersonville.  She and Rich’s dad had rented the farm from his grandfather until the 1970’s when they bought it. 

Rich’s father is 74 and still milks 70 cows out of a herd of 100 animals on the farm.  Entering the barn for morning milking now almost 2 weeks ago, with arms loaded with Clorox, he had fallen and hit his hip on the lip of the concrete entranceway, shattering the ball of his hip.  He drew himself inside and waited for a couple of hours until he could be helped.  He now boasts a new ceramic hip and I predict there ’s a reverse-generation tussle is ahead, with different opinions of how long it will be before he’s back in the barn.  Son says not until April.  Father isn’t specific, but there’s a light in his eye that is likely to burn sooner.  He estimated he has missed no more than 12 milkings in the last 11 years since he was last laid up with illness.

Rich’s mother has been undergoing treatment for cancer for the last year.  She and her family have decided to stop her chemotherapy treatments and now she is home, sitting or lying on a bed in the front room, with full view of the farm and under the shadow of Mount Mansfield, where she has raised her family, carried her share of the farm, and watched her son become a respected leader in the Vermont community.  She speaks of Vermont politics with strong opinions, gently needling us to remind us of our imperfections, regardless of what party label we carry.  Coming up the road, I had thought that big load of cracked rock could be attributed to the Chair of the Transportation Committee living here.  I left with the distinct impression that his mother could have laid it there herself, or had single handedly managed to make sure it was there.

We listened to the connections to families down the valley, family names I, as a relative newcomer, know by the road names Corbett and Ellsworth. We looked through a book of pictures from the life and recent death of an aunt and the family she shared her life with.  We learned that the Blands and Fergusons and others down the road had organized meals to such an extent that their freezer is overloaded.  As we spoke, Rich attended to his mother, adjusting her blankets and eventually helping her with a strong but gentle arm, to move to her bed just nearby.

This was a scene of a family supporting itself through a painful transition and looking back through a life well lived, of a community reaching out to do what it can to give support, of a son giving a wonderful gift to his mother through his arm at her back when she needs it, the teasing when she’s ready for it, the bacon and eggs he cooks each morning for her that she doesn’t really want but he knows she needs.  These are the simple acts of strength and love that bind us as a human family.  And, to the east the Man in the Mountain waits, providing the welcome, power and peace it has provided to those four generations of Westmans through the daily miracles of their lives and through the miracles still ahead.

May we all keep this special family and this beautiful valley in our thoughts and prayers.”

Committee Relieved of Consideration

and Bill Committed to Other Committee

H. 559

Rep. Helm of Castleton moved that the committee on Appropriations be relieved of House bill, entitled

An act relating to flood control along the Honey Brook in Barre Town;

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

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 590

House bill, entitled

An act relating to the spelling of the name of the town and village of Alburg;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Message from the Senate No. 6

     A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Marshall, its Assistant Secretary, as follows:

Madam Speaker:

I am directed to inform the House that the Senate has on its part adopted joint resolutions of the following titles:

J.R.S. 43.  Joint resolution relating to Town Meeting adjournment.

J.R.S. 44.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

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

Adjournment

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

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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