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Journal of the House



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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Taysir Al-Khatib of the Islamic Society of Vermont.

Colors Presented;

 Pledge of Allegiance

     The Green Mountain Boy Scout Council, Eagle Scouts, Troop 627, Michael Chichton of Fairfax, Brian Kennedy of Cambridge and Derek Lautenschlager of Jericho presented colors and Nicholas Blair of Fairfax led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 51

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment;

     By Senator Shumlin,

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, February 8, 2008, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

Was taken up read and adopted in concurrence.

House Resolution Adopted

H.R. 29

The committee on Commerce offered a House resolution, entitled

House resolution relating to the future of telecommunications services in Vermont;

Whereas, there is broad agreement across the political spectrum that Vermont’s work force is one of the state’s most important economic assets, and

Whereas, equally essential economic assets for the 21st century are the universal availability, high quality, full-time reliability, and flexible versatility of Vermont’s telecommunications infrastructure, and

Whereas, the telecommunications infrastructure begins with the basic telephone dial tone as its foundation, and its pinnacle is universally accessible, high speed, broadband capacity for the timely transmission and receipt of large swaths of data, digital audio, and high definition video, and

Whereas, the telecommunications infrastructure is a vital tool for elementary, secondary, and higher education; industrial development, including the expansion of existing commercial facilities and attracting new ones; and health care, and for an increasing number of Vermonters who work on a part- or full-time basis from home while remaining in continuous contact with their employers often located hundreds or thousands of miles away, and

Whereas, although an increasing number of providers are participants in the state’s telecommunications network, the state’s primary local telephone service provider remains a core member of this interconnected system, and

Whereas, the New England unit of the Bell Telephone System, and its direct line of corporate descendants, now operating as Verizon New England, have been the principal local telephone (land line) company in Vermont for over a century, and

Whereas, Verizon New England’s parent corporation seeks to sell its traditional land line services in the three northern New England states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to FairPoint Communications of North Carolina, and

Whereas, this transaction requires the approval of the state telecommunications regulatory panels in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont before it can be legally consummated, and

Whereas, both Verizon New England and FairPoint Communications have jointly applied to the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) to approve this corporate proposal, an application the board has been considering as Docket 7270, and

Whereas, the PSB, in its December 21, 2007 decision on Docket 7270  commented on the positive aspects of the proposed transaction, but rejected the proposal on the grounds that the anticipated $2.5-billion debt FairPoint Communications would incur, in conjunction with the company’s other financial obligations, would adversely affect Vermont consumers, and

Whereas, among the leading critics and opponents of the deal were the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) which argued that the financial arrangements necessary to implement the proposal would also adversely affect the company’s employees, and

Whereas, Verizon New England and FairPoint renegotiated the financial terms of the proposal, and this new alternative arrangement has the support of the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) which had questioned the financial soundness of the original proposal, and

Whereas, at a recent hearing of the committee on commerce, a financial analyst representing the CWA and the IBEW testified that the revised financial arrangements, which lower the proposed debt that FairPoint Communications will incur, would still jeopardize the company’s work force and their long-term economic livelihoods, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body requests the Public Service Board to afford due consideration to the economic sustainability of the current Verizon New England land line work force and the basic land line telephone infrastructure in Vermont in reaching its decision on the revised applications of the parties in Public Service Board Docket 7270, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Clerk of the House be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Public Service Board. 

Which was read and adopted.

Committee Appointments

     The Speaker announced Rep. McDonald of Berlin is appointed to the committee on Government Operations and Rep. Crawford of Burke is appointed to the committee on Education.

Third Reading; Bill Passed

H. 267

House bill, entitled

An act relating to industrial hemp;

Was taken up, read the third time and passed.


Action on Bill Postponed

H. 458

House bill, entitled

An act relating to digital corporate transactions;

Was taken up and pending the reading of the report of the committee on Commerce, on motion of Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Joint Resolution Referred

J.R.S. 49

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution relating to the collection of United States census data in Vermont;

Was taken up and in the Speaker’s discretion referred to the committee on Government Operations.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 50

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution urging Congress to include transportation infrastructure projects in the federal economic stimulus package;

Was taken up and adopted in concurrence.


At ten o’clock and ten minutes in the forenoon, on motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the House adjourned until Tuesday, Tuesday, February 12, 2008, at ten o’clock in the forenoon, pursuant to the provisions of J.R.S. 51.

Concurrent Resolutions Adopted

     The following concurrent resolutions, having been placed on the Consent Calendar on the preceding legislative day, and no member having requested floor consideration  as provided by the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, are hereby adopted in concurrence.

H.C.R. 206

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont high schools honored in the 2007 U.S. News & World Report rankings


H.C.R. 207

House concurrent resolution honoring Charlotte Morris for her diverse and much appreciated community service activities in the town of Fair Haven

H.C.R. 208

House concurrent resolution honoring Nancy Freeze for her career of outstanding leadership in the nursing profession

H.C.R. 209

House concurrent resolution congratulating Diane Bahrenburg of Colchester on being selected the 2008 Vermont Teacher of the Year

H.C.R. 210

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Green Mountain Council Boy Scout Eagle Class of 2007

S.C.R. 30.

     Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Spaulding Union High School Crimson Tide Division II championship football team.

S.C.R. 31. 

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Montpelier High School Solons 2007 championship girls' soccer team.

     [The full text of the concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate and House Calendar Addendum on the preceding legislative day and will appear in the volume of the Public Acts and Resolves of the 2008, sixty-ninth  Adjourned session]


Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont