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Journal of the House

________________

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend David Vanderlinde-Abernathy of the Congregational Church, Barre.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Will Kunin of South Burlington led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Message from the Senate No. 7

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

Madam Speaker:

I am directed to inform the House that the Senate has considered a joint resolution originating in the House of the following title:

J.R.H. 43.  Joint resolution designating October 18, 2008 as Vermont pumpkin carving day.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

     The Senate has on its part adopted Senate concurrent resolution of the following title:

     S.C.R. 26.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Hartford Hurricanes Division I championship football team.

     The Senate has on its part adopted concurrent resolutions originating in the House of the following titles:

     H.C.R. 176.  House concurrent resolution in memory of the American military personnel who have died in the service of their nation in Iraq from December 30, 2006 through December 19, 2007.

     H.C.R. 177.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Woodstock Union High School Lady Wasps Division II championship field hockey team.

     H.C.R. 178.  House concurrent resolution in memory of Rosendo Cueto.

     H.C.R. 179.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Sydney Perry of Middlesex, on her winning the 2007 Miss Vermont Teen USA title.

     H.C.R. 180.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Essex High School Hornets Division I championship girls’ soccer team.

     H.C.R. 181.  House concurrent resolution honoring Sally Bouffard for over four decades of dedicated public service at the department of education and state board of education.

     H.C.R. 182.  House concurrent resolution in memory of former Representative Ruth H. Towne of Berlin.

     H.C.R. 183.  House concurrent resolution honoring Elizabeth Christie for her efforts to improve the lives of Vermont’s children.

     H.C.R. 184.  House concurrent resolution honoring the participants in the construction of the new “Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition” home for the Vitale family in Athens.

House Bills Introduced

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

H. 649

By Reps. Otterman of Topsham Branagan of Georgia and Hube of Londonderry,

     An act relating to repeal of property tax exemptions;

     To the committee on Ways and Means.

H. 650

By Reps. Grad of Moretown, Chen of Mendon, Keogh of Burlington and Masland of Thetford,

     An act relating to the appointment of medical examiners;

     To the committee on Transportation.

H. 651

By Reps. Shand of Weathersfield, Chen of Mendon, Fallar of Tinmouth, Howrigan of Fairfield, Johnson of South Hero, Mitchell of Barnard and Turner of Milton,

     An act relating to novelty lighters;

     To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 652

By Reps. Grad of Moretown and Donaghy of Poultney,

     An act relating to assault on a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency personnel member;

     To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 653

By Rep. Obuchowski of Rockingham,

     An act relating to a Vermont wind power authority;

     To the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

H. 654

By Reps. Dostis of Waterbury and Klein of East Montpelier,

     An act relating to the attorney general consumer fraud rules with respect to the sale of liquefied petroleum gas and heating oil;

     To the committee on Commerce.

H. 655

     By Reps. Gilbert of Fairfax, Allard of St. Albans Town, Anderson of Montpelier, Branagan of Georgia, Clark of Vergennes, Consejo of Sheldon, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Gervais of Enosburg, Godin of Milton, Howrigan of Fairfield, McAllister of Highgate, Peltz of Woodbury and Westman of Cambridge,

     An act relating to nonprofit organizations and casino nights;

     To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 656

     By Reps. Anderson of Montpelier, McCullough of Williston, Ainsworth of Royalton, Ancel of Calais, Andrews of Rutland City, Audette of S. Burlington, Barnard of Richmond, Clarkson of Woodstock, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Courcelle of Rutland City, Deen of Westminster, Dostis of Waterbury, Evans of Essex, Fisher of Lincoln, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, French of Randolph, Gilbert of Fairfax, Hosford of Waitsfield, Hutchinson of Randolph, Keenan of St. Albans City, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Larocque of Barnet, Maier of Middlebury, Malcolm of Pawlet, Martin of Wolcott, Masland of Thetford, McFaun of Barre Town, Minter of Waterbury, Mitchell of Barnard, Monti of Barre City, Moran of Wardsboro, Mrowicki of Putney, Ojibway of Hartford, Pearson of Burlington, Randall of Troy, Shand of Weathersfield, Shaw of Derby, Smith of Morristown, Spengler of Colchester, Trombley of Grand Isle, Turner of Milton, Wheeler of Derby and Zuckerman of Burlington,

     An act relating to the management of waste tires;

     To the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.

H. 657

     By Reps. Maier of Middlebury, Chen of Mendon, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Keogh of Burlington, Leriche of Hardwick, McFaun of Barre Town, Milkey of Brattleboro, O'Donnell of Vernon, Ojibway of Hartford, Wheeler of Derby and Zenie of Colchester,

     An act relating to Medicaid coverage of naturopathic physicians;

     To the committee on Health Care.

H. 658

By Rep. Brenan of Colchester,

     An act relating to transfer of general fund balance to the transportation fund;

     To the committee on Appropriations.

H. 659

     By Reps. Gervais of Enosburg. Allard of St. Albans Town, Branagan of Georgia, Consejo of Sheldon, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Gilbert of Fairfax, Howrigan of Fairfield, Keenan of St. Albans City, LaVoie of Swanton, McAllister of Highgate and Perry of Richford,

     An act relating to approval of the adoption of the charter of the town of Enosburg;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

H. 660

By Reps. Livingston of Manchester, Bissonnette of Winooski, Botzow of Pownal, Consejo of Sheldon, Donahue of Northfield, Komline of Dorset, Larrabee of Danville and Marcotte of Coventry,

     An act relating to evictions, collection of unpaid rent, and disposal of abandoned personal property;

     To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

 

H. 661

     By Reps. Moran of Wardsboro, Consejo of Sheldon, Deen of Westminster, Donovan of Burlington, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fisher of Lincoln, Howard of Rutland City, Hutchinson of Randolph, Martin of Springfield, Masland of Thetford, McCormack of Rutland City, Mook of Bennington, Sharpe of Bristol, Smith of Morristown and Weston of Burlington,

     An act relating to ensuring health and safety on public construction projects by requiring OSHA safety training;

     To the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

H. 662

By Reps. Donahue of Northfield, Andrews of Rutland City and Koch of Barre Town,

     An act relating to guardianship and medical surrogacy;

     To the committee on Judiciary.

H. 663

     By Reps. Branagan of Georgia, Allard of St. Albans Town, Consejo of Sheldon, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Gervais of Enosburg, Gilbert of Fairfax, Keenan of St. Albans City, LaVoie of Swanton, McAllister of Highgate and Perry of Richford,

     An act relating to Vermont economic growth incentive first-year target;

     To the committee on Commerce.

H. 664

By Rep. Pugh of South Burlington,

     An act relating to unemployment insurance;

     To the committee on Commerce.

H. 665

By Reps. Marek of Newfane and Flory of Pittsford,

     An act relating to political party state committee membership;

     To the committee on Government Operations.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 45

Reps. Obuchowski of Rockingham, Ancel of Calais, Heath of Westford and Westman of Cambridge offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution urging Congress to repeal the planned Competitive Loan Auction Pilot program for the Federal Family Education Loan program’s PLUS LOANS to parents;

Whereas, the Higher Education Act of 1965 represented a major milestone in the expansion of the availability of a college education for millions of American youths, and

Whereas, an essential element in extending the affordability of a college education has been the availability of federally guaranteed loans through the Federal Family Education Loan program, and

Whereas, in the summer of 2007, Congress passed and the President signed an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965, Public Law 110-84, known as the “College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007,” and

Whereas, although this legislation contained many improvements to the accessibility and affordability of federal financial assistance, in the form of both grants and loans, for the nation’s college students, one extremely troublesome aspect of the Act is Section 701, directing the U.S. Secretary of Education to establish a “Competitive Loan Auction Pilot Program” that would require all of the prequalified participating lenders in each state of PLUS loans to parents under the Federal Family Education Loan program to submit a bid to serve as one the state’s two exclusive lenders of these loans, beginning in July 2009 for all new loan applicants, and

Whereas, the two lowest bidders would be designated as the exclusive PLUS loan originators in their respective states for a two-year period, and

Whereas, although the auction process would not be applicable to the lending of PLUS loans to graduate students or federal Stafford Loans, or to the interest rate on PLUS loans charged to parents, it could significantly impair parents’ accessibility to PLUS loans, and

Whereas, the auction process proposed under the Act is to be based on the procedure that the Federal Communications Commission uses to award certain frequencies on the broadcast spectrum, and

Whereas, the Center for American Progress has stated that the FCC spectrum auctions “neither serve the public interest nor realize the promised market efficiencies” and “have systematically resulted in market concentration and the growth of oligopolistic market power of major actors in the telecommunications industry,” and

 

Whereas, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has stated in a discussion paper that “loan auctions are riddled with problems for both taxpayers and borrowers,” and the paper predicts that families of college students who do not qualify for sources of need-based aid other than PLUS Loans “will be the biggest losers . . . and may be stuck with higher costing student loans,” and

Whereas, a 2001 study by the U.S. General Accounting Office suggested that “the diversity of lenders would likely decline” were an auctioning system for PLUS loans adopted, and

Whereas, the adoption of the auction system serves no beneficial purpose and will possibly add new financial burdens on the families of college students, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to repeal the planned Competitive Loan Auction Pilot program for the Federal Family Education Loan program’s PLUS LOANS to parents, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation. 

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

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Nuovo of Middlebury, the following remarks by Reps. Sweaney of Windsor and Rep. Lawrence of Lyndon were ordered printed in the Journal:

     Remarks of Rep. Sweaney of Windsor:

“Madam Speaker:

Today we begin our session minus the Member from Lyndon who has been in his seat almost every day that the legislature has met for the past 35 years. The passing of Rep. Cola Hudson leaves us with an immense void. Since coming here 12 years ago and serving continuously on Gov. Ops., I have grown to consider Cola my dear friend, mentor and counsel. It will be hard to hold committee without his presence.

Ten years ago I placed his name in nomination for the Board of Trustee of the Vermont State Colleges to serve the unexpired 2-year term of the late Representative Robert Harris of Windsor. I learned so much about him during the process of information gathering and writing my nominating speech. I want to share some of what I learned with you.

Cola's values reflect all that we hold dear in Vermont: Quality, Loyalty, Fairness, Common Sense, and, above all, a commitment to the belief that people come before politics. Because of those beliefs, this self-described conservative Republican developed a very special, long-standing camaraderie with Governor Madeleine Kunin. He also valued his friendship with Representative Sara Edwards, or “the atomic blonde” as he lovingly dubbed her, and he found a new friend with Rep. Chris Pearson who he liked to joke with Cola about his liberal ideas. He loved Rep. Westman and Rep. McDonald and in fact he loved us all in spite of our faults. We were his family.

Cola was born in 1926 in Lyndon, Vermont to Merle and Dorothy Hudson, and he grew up in the home where his mother was born. He milked cows, mowed hay, cut wood and was active in the 4-H. He attended a one-room school in Lyndon through the eighth grade, and then graduated from the Lyndon Institute in 1944.

He attended Lyndon State College, majoring in history and philosophy. His non-partisan outlook on life had its beginnings early on in his life since both of his parents, according to him, were Democrats. He had two brothers, both of whom predeceased him.

In 1966 Cola started working for the Lyndon School District as a janitor. And all of us who have worked in schools know that the individual in this position holds the true power and ability to understand the organization and get things done. In addition to his regular duties, he spent numerous hours in school consoling not only distraught students, but distraught teachers as well. Cola had a special fondness for young people and especially those who would take the time to listen to his sage advice.

Cola Hudson was elected to his seat in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1972 and is now in the 35th year of service to the people of Lyndon and the rest of Vermont. His dedication to people and their needs was further demonstrated by his volunteer service on the Board of the Northeast Training

Organization, as well as serving on the board of the Community Action Program in the Snelling Administration. This social service agency focused on helping low income families to access food, shelter and clothing.

 There is probably no other member of this body who better understands the workings of state government agencies, since most of his legislative career was spent on the Committee on Government Operations. He chaired that committee from 1983 through 1986 and again in 2001 through 2004 and he was presently the ranking member. His counsel and sound advice have made him a much-respected advocate for quality in state government.

During his tenure in the Legislature he served previously on the VT State Colleges Board of Trustees. He authored the bill in 1978 that allocated the two legislator positions on that board.

When I was elected to the Windsor House seat, my mentor and campaign manager, Bob Harris, gave me lots of advice. One piece that stands out among his words of guidance was that, of all the Legislators in the House, Cola Hudson was the one person that I should get to know. I have since learned to value Cola's wisdom, his intellect, and his counsel. Cola was my dear friend. I am thankful for the lovely day we spent together this fall in his beautiful Kingdom, the kingdom that he served so well. I have our picture, taken that day, over my desk at home. He will continue to give me advice and I will continue to love him and his memory. Vermont suffers a great lose with his passing.

ENOUGH SAID, MADAME SPEAKAH”

     Remarks by Rep. Lawrence of Lyndon.

“Madam Speaker:

This past weekend I lost a district mate and true Vermont friend.  This presentation is not to share the sadness that many of us have, but to openly express the joy that many of us have had by having Representative Cola Hudson as our associate.

Representative Hudson served the people of his district and people of Vermont for three and one-half decades.  Think of that for a moment, that is longer than many of this legislative body have in years of birthday anniversaries.

Cola was proud of his accomplishments in whatever he was doing.  He was employed as a janitor for many years prior to coming to Montpelier.  He and I often discussed his experiences with the students, the teachers and the principals.  He was proud that he had the ability and interest to help a child who was having a bad day at school and the time spent with that student resulted in a better learning experience.

Cola stated that the proudest moment in his life was when he took his oath as a Freshman legislator in this House; he realized the responsibility that the people of his district had given him and he was going to represent them as best as he could.  I believe he did that.

I know Cola would like to thank the people of this body because you were his friends and family.  Many of you made special efforts to call or visit him this past weekend, he made mention of that to me and in the short visits I was able to make, he reflected how important that was to him.

Not many of us will have the fortunate experience of being in a position of doing what we would like to do best at the end of our life; Cola was in control up until the very end, may we all be thankful for that.

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford, the following remarks by Reps. Kilmartin of Newport City and Rep. Edwards of Brattleboro were ordered printed in the Journal:

     Remarks by Rep. Kilmartin of Newport City:

“Madam Speaker:

I penned these words very early Monday morning to share with Cola’s three longtime roommates: Rich Westman, whose personal burden at this moment are already enormous; Bill Johnson; and Bob Helm; because their loss and grief I suspect are equal to or greater than that experienced by the rest of us.

Cola was a plain homespun man of elegance, simplicity and civility.  He was plain spoken and always demonstrated “uncommon” common sense, profound insight, and intelligence.  I envy you who served with him for more years than I, especially Obie.

I sense that while our loss is very great now, it will be even more so in the future, when we all look for that plain spoken wisdom and experience to guide and strengthen us, but he is not there to provide it.

That empty seat in the Chamber speaks volumes of the emptiness we feel, and will not soon, if ever, be filled with a man of Cola’s stature.  I dread looking at that empty seat.  I rode the elevator three times with Cola on Thursday last, and talked about sitting down for a talk…now there will be silence and only memories.

Cola was always supportive of me, even when I “stepped out of line”.  He got mad at me, but it soon passed.  I think he thought of me as an “errant grandson, who sooner or later would get back on the reservation and stay there.”  I hope I did.  I know I grew to desire Cola’s respect and approval more than anyone else in the House.

I soon learned, even in  those first two years of my “freshman rant” that it was best to go to Cola and “sound him out” or “get advice”.  My respect and affection for Cola had no boundaries, and I remember fondly several trips to his mountaintop home in the dead of winter, from which you could see forever.  I am confident that today Cola has a far better and joyous view than we have.

Thank you for letting me share with you.”

     Remarks by Rep. Edwards of Brattleboro:

“Madam Speaker:

Rep. Hudson and I were having a philosophical conversation at his seat in the well, when he brought to my attention a speech he had given to the eighth grade graduating class of 1973, Lyndon Campus School.  Please allow me to read aloud the following:

‘I think the last few weeks of trying to decide on what to speak about tonight has been one of the most searching periods of my whole life.

When I accepted the invitation to be the speaker at your program, I realized that unless I truly believed what I told you, then I had no business to pass along thirty minutes of my thoughts for your consideration.  Especially on one of the hopefully greatest nights of your life.

With this in the back of my mind then the job became one of deciding what would be the most helpful thoughts to express to a group of 8th grade graduates just starting out on a journey, that will hopefully, take you perhaps 75 years or more to complete.  Thoughts that sometime during that journey might have some meaning to you personally, and, I hope most sincerely, might be of help to you as you travel.

I finally narrowed my thinking down to three areas which are: No.1. Trust yourself; No. 2. Never stop learning and thinking; No. 3. Never give up a certain amount of dreaming in your life.  With this done the rest of the message will become a fill-in of my thoughts on these three areas.’

Cola was very proud of his speech and with good reason.  No one I know walked the talk better than Cola Hudson.”

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Barnard of Richmond, the following remarks by Reps.  Ancel of Calais, Wright of Burlington, Partridge of Windham, Livingston of Manchester and Clark of Vergennes were ordered printed in the Journal:

     Remarks by Rep. Ancel of Calais:

“Madam Speaker:

“In 1973 I was a newly hired staff person at the Legislative Council.  Cola Hudson was a newly elected legislator.  Our friendship began when Cola was asked to serve on the Government Operations Committee which was the committee I was assigned to staff.

Cola and I probably disagreed more than we agreed.  But we shared a common past and a love for this institution and especially this House.  Our friendship lasted 35 years.

Last week we shared a hug and best wishes for the New Year.  This Chamber will not be the same without him.”

     Remarks by Rep. Wright of Burlington:

“Madam Speaker:

One of the things I was cautioned about when I first joined the legislature was:  never block Cola’s parking space.  He was the chairman of my committee so I took this advice seriously.  One day I had the misfortune of having to park awkwardly next to Cola’s car.  The attendant told me he’d find me if I had to move my car.

The Sergeant-at-Arms came to find me a few hours later.  Cola had a dentist appointment and couldn’t move his car.  I quickly went out to the parking lot to find Cola waiting for me.  It would be inappropriate to repeat the remarks Cola made to me but I can tell you they were very colorful.  I asked Cola why it was okay for Representative Bostic to park in his space.  Cola replied, “I gotta protect my boys from the kingdom”.  That was Cola – he always looked out for his representatives from the kingdom, his district and the people of Vermont.  People from across the state of Vermont that knew Cola would say “he was one of us”.

     Remarks by Rep. Partridge of Windham:

“Madam Speaker:

When I was a brand new legislator, my friend, the member from Springfield, Rep. Emmons, said, “You’re a school bus driver, right?”  I said that, yes, I was, and she said, “Well there’s someone you have to meet!”  She took me over and introduced me to Cola.  We exchanged a few words about being school bus drivers and over the years, I grew to really care for Cola.  Though Cola and I rarely voted the same way, I considered him a friend - he was a dear heart.  I will miss him terribly.  But I know that on into the future, when the debate on the Floor goes on for an extended period of time, I will hear Cola’s voice saying, “Madam Speaker, I hope I live long enough to vote on this bill!”

     Remarks by Rep. Livingston of Manchester:

Madam Speaker:

“Cola was not a fashion plate – I think he wore the same old green jacket and brown pants every day for all the fourteen years we worked together.  So one day I brought him several suits from a family member figuring we could really dress him up.  Weeks went by – months maybe – and I never saw any of the suits and they were nice suits; pin-strip, three pieces….. Finally, on a special occasion on the floor, I looked over and saw a pin-striped suit on Cola!  But when he stood up, sure enough, he had on the same old brown pants. Bless him, Cola was not about image, just substance.”

     Remarks by Rep. Clark of Vergennes:

“Madam Speaker:

We all know that Rep. Cola Hudson was a school custodian in his Lyndonville area, but we also know he was more than just a school custodian, he was in fact a custodian – a savior of our old Vermont spirit of patience, commitment, conservatism, fiscal responsibility and humor.  We will not only miss Cola Hudson in person but the spirit of Vermont which he embodied.”

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, the following remarks by Rep. Aswad of Burlington were ordered printed in the Journal:

 “Madam Speaker:

In the early 1930’s, before almost all of the members of this body were born, my classmate and best friend’s mother died.

She had had an extra-marital affair, became pregnant and panicked for fear of her abusive husband.  Abortions were illegal then; so she went to a clandestine abortion clinic.  They botched the procedure and she contracted a severe tetanus infection.  There were no strong antibiotics in our formulary then so she succumbed to a painful and tragic death.

Madam Speaker, that tragedy should not and cannot happen today because the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Roe Vs Wade, in a seven to two decision, ruled that every woman has the right to privacy, autonomy, and safety in making personal decisions regarding reproduction and family planning.  It still allows that, in our free society, all individuals will make correct decisions affecting themselves and their families in light of their own moral and religious beliefs.

Today we celebrate the 35th anniversary of that historic decision.  May it ever be so.”

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Wright of Burlington, the following remarks by Rep. Atkins of Winooski were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker:

Cola would be getting antsy right about now.  He would be ready to give one of his famous one-liners.  My favorite is, “Madam Speaker, everything’s been said, just everybody ain’t said it yet.”

When Government Operations votes on a bill, one of my first thoughts always is “what does Cola think?”  I hope all of us will ask that question in all our deliberations.  We must not lose Cola’s conservative viewpoint.

I hope Cola continues to give us all direction and when we stray too far, I hope he gives us a Cola Adjustment.

Thank you Madam Speaker.”

Message from the Senate No. 8

     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 bills of the following titles:

S. 257.  An act relating to Medicaid coverage of naturopathic physicians.

S. 278.  An act relating to financing campaigns.

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

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 580

House bill, entitled

An act relating to terms of members of the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 599

Rep. Jewett of Ripton, for the committee on Judiciary, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to boating while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated;

Reported in favor of its passage when amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT

It is the intent of the general assembly in this act to address, among other issues, the Vermont supreme court’s decisions in State v. LaBounty, 2005 VT 124, and State v. Martin, 2007 VT 96.  In LaBounty, the court held that if more than one person was injured an offender could be charged with only one count of grossly negligent operation of a motor vehicle with injury resulting.  Similarly, the court held in Martin that if more than one person was killed an offender could be charged with only one count of boating while intoxicated with death resulting.  In this act, the general assembly responds to Martin and LaBounty by amending several motor vehicle statutes to permit an offender to be charged with a separate count of violating the statute for each person who was killed or injured as a result of the offense.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1091(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Grossly negligent operation.

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

(2)  The standard for a conviction for grossly negligent operation in violation of this subsection shall be gross negligence, examining whether the person engaged in conduct which involved a gross deviation from the care that a reasonable person would have exercised in that situation.

(3)  A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.  If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section, the person shall be imprisoned not more than four years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.  If serious bodily injury as defined in section 1021 of Title 13 or death of any person other than the operator results, the person shall be imprisoned for not more than 15 years or fined not more than $15,000.00, or both.  If serious bodily injury or death results to more than one person other than the operator, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 1133 is amended to read:

§ 1133.  ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE A POLICE OFFICER

(a)  No operator of a motor vehicle shall fail to bring his or her vehicle to a stop when signaled to do so by an enforcement officer:

(1)  displaying insignia identifying him or her as such; or

(2)  operating a law enforcement vehicle sounding a siren and displaying a flashing blue or blue and white signal lamp.

(b)(1)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(2)(A)  In the event that death or serious bodily injury to any person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator’s knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both.

(B)  If death or serious bodily injury to more than one person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator’s knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

(c)  In a prosecution under this section, the operator may raise as an affirmative defense, to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that the operator brought his or her vehicle to a stop in a manner, time, and distance that was reasonable under the circumstances.

* * *

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 1201 is amended to read:

§ 1201.  OPERATING VEHICLE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF

               INTOXICATING LIQUOR OR OTHER SUBSTANCE; CRIMINAL

               REFUSAL

(a)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway:

(1)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more, or 0.02 or more if the person is operating a school bus as defined in subdivision 4(34) of this title; or

(2)  when the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3)  when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely; or

(4)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more if the person is operating a commercial motor vehicle as defined in subdivision 4103(4) of this title.

* * *

(e)  A person may not be convicted of more than one offense under violation of subsection (a) of this section arising out of the same incident.

* * *

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 1210 is amended to read:

§ 1210.  PENALTIES

* * *

(e)(1)  Death resulting.  If the death of any person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.  The provisions of this subsection do not limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

(2)  If the death of more than one person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

(f)(1)  Injury resulting.  If serious bodily injury, as defined in 13 V.S.A.

§ 1021(2), results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00, or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.

(2)  If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to more than one person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each person injured.

* * *

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 3317 is amended to read:

§ 3317.  PENALTIES

* * *

(d)  Boating while intoxicated; privilege suspension.  Any person who is convicted of violating section 3323 of this title shall have his or her privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, suspended for a period of one year and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

(e)  Boating while intoxicated; criminal penalty.  Any person who violates a provision of section 3323 of this title shall be imprisoned for not more than one year and subject to the following fines:

(1)  for a first offense, not less than $200.00 nor more than $750.00;

(2)  for a second or subsequent offense, not less than $250.00 nor more than $1,000.00.

(f)(1)(A)  Boating while intoxicated; death resulting.  If the death of any person results from the violation of section 3323 of this title, the person convicted shall, instead of any other penalty imposed in this section, be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than five 15 years or fined not more than $2,000.00 $10,000.00,or both; but the provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

(B)  If the death of more than one person results from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

(2)(A)  Boating while intoxicated; serious bodily injury resulting.  If serious bodily injury, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2), results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

(B)  If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to more than one person other than the operator from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each person injured. 

* * *

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A. § 3323 is amended to read:

§ 3323.  OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICATING

               LIQUOR OR DRUGS; B.W.I.

(a)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this state while:

(1)  there is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood, as shown by analysis of his or her breath or blood; or

(2)  under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3)  under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of operating safely.

* * *

(e)  A person may not be convicted of more than one offense under violation of subsection (a) of this section arising out of the same incident.

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

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 43

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution relating to Town Meeting adjournment;

Was taken up and adopted in concurrence.

Adjournment

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

 

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us