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Journal of the House

________________

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008

Rep. Partridge of Windham in Chair.

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Speaker Carolyn Partridge of Windham.

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 878

Rep. Sweaney of Windsor, for the committee on Government Operations, introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to elevator safety;

Which was read the first time and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

H. 629

House bill, entitled

An act relating to an evaluation of Vermont’s system of caring for mentally ill offenders;

Appearing on the Calendar, carrying an appropriation, under rule 35a, was referred to the committee on Appropriations.

Rules Suspended; Bill Committed

H. 635

On motion of Rep. Pugh of South Burlington, the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to reports of child abuse or neglect;

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

Pending the reading of the report of the committee on Human Services, on motion of Rep. Pugh of South Burlington, the bill was committed to the committee on Judiciary.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 55

Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution providing for a Joint Assembly to vote on the retention of two Superior Judges, one Environmental Judge and three District Judges;

By Senator Campbell

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the two Houses meet in Joint Assembly on Thursday, March 20, 2008, at ten o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon to vote on the retention of two Superior Judges, one Environmental Judge and three District Judges.  In case the vote to retain said Judges shall not be made on that day, the two Houses shall meet in Joint Assembly at ten o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon, on each succeeding day, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, and proceed until the above is completed.

Was taken up read and adopted in concurrence.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 338

Rep. Manwaring of Wilmington, for the committee on Government Operations, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to a state purchasing code of conduct;

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Vermont citizens believe employers should fairly compensate hard work, that the health and safety of working people should be protected, and that no form of unlawful discrimination or abuse should be tolerated.

(2)  Vermont citizens are aware that laws and regulations designed to safeguard basic tenets of ethical business practice are disregarded in many workplaces, commonly referred to as “sweatshops.”

(3)  State government purchase of goods made under abusive conditions on behalf of the state’s citizens offends Vermont citizens’ sense of justice and decency.

(4)  When the state of Vermont contracts with vendors whose suppliers profit by providing substandard wages and working conditions, Vermont’s businesses are put at a competitive disadvantage.

(5)  The state of Vermont believes in doing business with vendors who make a good-faith effort to ensure that their suppliers and those at the point of assembly adhere to the principles set forth in this act.

(b)  By this act, the general assembly intends that:

(1)  In its role as a market participant that procures apparel, footwear, and textiles, the state of Vermont seeks to protect the interests of Vermont citizens and businesses by exercising its state sovereignty to spend Vermont citizens’ tax dollars in a manner consistent with their express wishes that the state deal with responsible bidders who seek contracts to supply goods to the state of Vermont, and protect legally compliant Vermont businesses and workers from unfair competition created by downward pressure on prices and conditions attributable to businesses that violate applicable workplace laws.

(2)  Seeking to protect these local interests through the least discriminatory means available, the state of Vermont requires that all bidders seeking contracts to supply the state of Vermont with apparel, footwear, and textiles certify that they and, to the best of their knowledge, their suppliers at the point of assembly comply with workplace laws of the vendor’s or supplier’s site of assembly and with treaty obligations that are shared by the United States and the country in which the goods are assembled.

Sec. 2.  29 V.S.A. §§ 901–920 are designated as subchapter 1 which is added to read:

Subchapter 1.  General Provisions

Sec. 3.  29 V.S.A. chapter 49, subchapter 2 is added to read:

Subchapter 2.  State Purchasing of Apparel, Footwear, or Textiles

§ 921.  Application of subchapter; definitions

(a)  This subchapter applies to competitive bids for sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles pursuant to subchapter 1 of this chapter.

(b)  As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of buildings and general services.

(2)  “Independent monitor” means a nonprofit organization that is neither funded nor controlled, in whole or in part, by businesses that sell or manufacture apparel, footwear, or textiles.

§ 922.  BIDS FOR THE SALE OF APPAREL, FOOTWEAR, OR TEXTILES

(a)  The commissioner shall require that a bidder for the sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles certify that, to the best of the bidder’s knowledge, each supplier at the point of assembly of the goods:

(1) complies with all applicable wage, health, labor, environmental, and safety laws, legal guarantees of freedom of association, building and fire codes, and laws relating to discrimination in hiring, promotion, and compensation on the basis of race, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and affiliation with any political, nongovernmental, and civic group except when federal law precludes the state from attaching the procurement conditions provided in this subchapter; and

(2) complies with all human and labor rights treaty obligations that are shared by the United States and the country in which the goods are assembled, including obligations with regard to forced labor, indentured labor, slave labor, child labor, involuntary prison labor, physical and sexual abuse, and freedom of association.

(b)  Prior to the awarding of a contract, a bidder for the sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles shall submit a list of the names and addresses of suppliers at the point of assembly of goods subject to the bid process.

(c)  If, after complying with the filing requirements of this section, a bidder is awarded a contract, that contractor shall, during the term of the contract, promptly inform the commissioner of any change in the information furnished to the commissioner pursuant to this section.

§ 923.  EXCEPTION

The commissioner may accept a bid from and award a contract to a supplier who has not met the requirements provided in section 922 of this title if, after reasonable investigation by the commissioner, it appears that the required unit or item of supply or brand of that unit or item is procurable by the state from only that supplier or under other extraordinary circumstances.  The approval of an exception pursuant to this section shall be documented in writing, signed by the commissioner, and retained as part of the contract file.

§ 924.  REPORT

By January 15 of each year, the commissioner shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on government operations concerning the degree of voluntary compliance with this subchapter; the number of vendors who agreed to and the number that declined to comply with the provisions of this subchapter; the status of the commissioner’s efforts to coordinate with other states with those jurisdictions’ efforts to develop an effective strategy to monitor vendor compliance with the requirements of this subchapter or with similar requirements of those jurisdictions; a description of any exceptions approved pursuant to section 923 of this title; and any other information relevant to this subchapter.

§ 925.  Complaints of noncompliance with SUBCHAPTER; investigations of complaints

(a)  The commissioner shall initiate an investigation to determine whether a violation of this subchapter has occurred if:

(1)  The commissioner has knowledge that a contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(2)  The contractor informs the commissioner that the contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(3)  A worker for a contractor or for a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract files a written complaint directly with the commissioner stating that the contractor or supplier, to the best of the worker’s knowledge, is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(4)  A third party established and based in the United States, on behalf of or on the basis of information from a worker or workers, files directly with the commissioner a written complaint, signed and dated under oath before an official authorized by applicable law to administer oaths, stating that, to the best of the third party’s knowledge, a contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(5)  A third party established and based outside the United States, on behalf of or on the basis of information from a worker or workers, files directly with the commissioner a signed and dated written complaint stating that, to the best of the third party’s knowledge, a contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(b)  After receiving a complaint alleging noncompliance with this subchapter, the commissioner shall contact in a timely manner, in writing and by certified letter, the contractor that is the subject of the complaint or whose supplier is the subject of the complaint.

§ 926.     DETERMINATIONS OF NONCOMPLIANCE WITH                                                      SUBCHAPTER

(a)  In making a determination of whether a violation of this subchapter has occurred, the commissioner may take into account any factors, information, sources of information, and materials determined reliable and relevant by the commissioner, as determined on a case-by-case basis.  The commissioner has specific authority and discretion to employ an independent monitor to investigate a complaint.

(b)  The determination of whether a party subject to a complaint is in compliance with this subchapter is solely that of the commissioner.

(c)  After rendering a determination under this section, the commissioner promptly shall inform the complainant and contractor in writing.

§ 927.  CONSEQUENCES OF NONCOMPLIANCE WITH SUBCHAPTER

If, in the opinion of the commissioner, a contractor that has been determined to be not in compliance with this subchapter does not make good-faith efforts to change its practices or use its bargaining position with an offending supplier to change the supplier’s practices, the commissioner may take appropriate remedial action, including barring the contractor from bidding on future state contracts or terminating the state’s contract with the contractor.  Reference to the authority given in this section shall be specifically referenced in state contracts with contractors that are subject to this subchapter.

§ 928.  COORDINATION WITH OTHER JURISDICTIONS

The commissioner shall coordinate with other jurisdictions of the United States of America with those jurisdictions’ efforts to develop an effective strategy to monitor vendor compliance with the requirements of this subchapter or similar requirements of those jurisdictions.

And that upon passage the title of the bill shall be amended to read:

“AN ACT RELATING TO State Purchasing of Apparel, Footwear, or Textiles”

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 641

Rep. McCormack of Rutland City, for the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace;

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

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 305 is added to read:
§ 305.  NURSING MOTHERS IN THE WORKPLACE

(a)  For an employee who is a nursing mother for up to three years after the birth of a child, the employer shall:

(1)  Provide uncompensated time throughout the day to express breast milk for her nursing child.

(2)  Make a reasonable accommodation to provide appropriate private space that is not a bathroom stall or a small storage area.

(b)  An employer may be exempted from the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if providing time for expressing breast milk would seriously disrupt the employer’s operations.

(c)  An employer shall not discriminate against an employee who exercises the rights provided under this section. 

Sec. 2.  21 V.S.A. § 303 is amended to read:

§ 303. PENALTY

Any employer who violates the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for each and every violation.

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 amend the bill as recommended by the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs? Rep. McCormack of Rutland City moved to amend the report of the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, as follows:

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

Sec. 3.  4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

* * *

(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(14)  Violations of 21 V.S.A. § 305, relating to employment practices for nursing mothers in the workplace.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the report of the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, as amended, was agreed to and third reading was ordered.

Speaker Symington back in Chair.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 108

Rep. Pearson of Burlington, for the committee on Government Operations, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the election of U.S. representative and U.S. senator by the instant runoff voting method;

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

     In Sec. 3, 17 V.S.A. § 2473a(b), by striking “the Vermont municipal clerks and treasurers association” and inserting in lieu thereof “local election officials

Rep. Larson of Burlington, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Government Operations.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up and read the second time and the report of the committees on Government Operations and Appropriations was agreed to.

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read a third time? Rep. Adams of Hartland demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number.  The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the bill be read a third time?  was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 81.  Nays, 60.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Barnard of Richmond

Botzow of Pownal

Bray of New Haven

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clarkson of Woodstock

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fisher of Lincoln

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Godin of Milton

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

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

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

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 who voted in the negative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allard of St. Albans Town

Andrews of Rutland City

Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Crawford of Burke

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Errecart of Shelburne

Fallar of Tinmouth

Flory of Pittsford

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Helm of Castleton

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hunt of Essex

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lewis of Derby

Livingston of Manchester

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

McNeil of Rutland Town

Mook of Bennington

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Peaslee of Guildhall

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Potter of Clarendon

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Clark of Vergennes

Johnson of Canaan

Larrabee of Danville

Miller of Shaftsbury

Monti of Barre City

Morley of Barton

O'Donnell of Vernon


 

 

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

“Madam Speaker:

     I vote “No”.  The Constitution does not give me two or more choices in descending order.  It gives me one vote for each position.  In a two member House District or a six member Senate District, the confusion and convolution is beyond the comprehension of the brightest among us.”

     Rep. Marcotte of Coventry explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I cannot vote for a $90,000 appropriation for IRV which our town clerks do not support and only 53 towns support.  Yet two weeks ago we could not find any money to help educate parents on the dangers of lead.”

     Rep. Moran of Wardsboro explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I support S.108 because:

     1.) I believe in majority rule .  At my town meeting we vote as many times as necessary to arrive at a majority accepted candidate.  S.108 accomplishes this democratic process in a realistic fashion;

     2.) I believe every citizen should have a real, equal say in how we are governed.  Either by espousing a cause or by running for office.  Regardless of political party and without abandoning what they stand for in the process.”

     Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     To clarify for the record – 53 out of 56 towns that voted, supported using IRV.

     Kenneth Arrow won the Nobel Prize for proving that there can never be a perfect voting method.

     But it is also worth noting that the American Political Science Association has adopted IRV to elect their own national president, because it is the fairest method to find a majority winner.”

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 617

House bill, entitled

An act relating to guardianships;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, on motion of Rep. Jewett of Ripton, action on the bill was postponed until Tuesday, March 18, 2008.

Third Reading; Resolution Adopted

J.R.H. 54

Joint resolution, entitled

     Joint resolution urging Congress to eliminate the Enron Loophole regulatory exemption for energy and metal commodities traded on electronic commodities markets.

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

Bill Read Second Time; Bill Amended and Third Reading Ordered

H. 875

Rep. Errecart of Shelburne spoke for the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

House bill entitled

An act relating to the sale of real property or transmissions facilities by certain regulated generators of electricity;

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

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

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

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 109 is amended to read:

§ 109.  SALES AND LEASES; HEARINGS

(a)  Except in connection with replacement or exchange, a corporation or a foreign corporation subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board, shall not make a sale or lease or series of sales or leases in any one calendar year constituting ten percent or more of the company's property located within this state and actually used in or required for public service operations nor merge nor consolidate pursuant to the provisions of sections 301-307 of this title, nor after any such sale, lease, consolidation, or merger shall any subsequent like action be taken, except after opportunity for hearing by the public service board and a finding by such board that the same will promote the general good of the state.  Such notice of the hearing shall be given as the board directs.  A certificate of consent of the public service board shall be filed with the secretary of state.  

(b)  No company owning or operating an electric generating plant in this state with a capacity of 80 megawatts, or greater, may sell or lease any real property or transmission facilities located at that plant that are required or may be required to generate electricity, interconnect generation facilities with electric transmission facilities, or transmit electricity from the plant, without first obtaining a certificate of consent from the public service board. 

     (c)  No company owning or operating an electric transmission facility located in this state that is capable of operating at 100 kilovolts or greater may sell or lease any real property or equipment that is required or may be required to transmit electricity using that facility without first obtaining a certificate of consent from the public service board.

(d)  To obtain a certificate of consent pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the company shall notify the board and department in writing of its intention to enter into such a sale or lease at least 45 days before the effective date of the proposed transaction.  Within 30 days of receiving this notice, the department shall file a written recommendation with the board as to whether it should consent to the proposed sale or lease, and whether further inquiry or hearing is warranted.  Within 15 days of receiving the department’s recommendation, and after considering the company’s notice and the department’s recommendation, the board shall determine whether further inquiry into the proposed sale or lease is warranted and, if so, shall so proceed. If the department recommends approval of the proposed transaction without further inquiry or opportunity for hearing, and if the board takes no further action within 15 days after the department has filed such a recommendation, then the proposed transaction shall be deemed approved as consistent with the general good of the state.

(e)  The public service board shall issue a certificate of consent under this section only if it determines that the proposed transaction shall promote the general good of the state. 

(f)  Any notice provided by a company pursuant to subsection (d) of this section shall be accompanied by a statement containing the material terms of the proposed transaction and such further explanation of the proposed transaction as the board may prescribe.  The board may adopt such rules as it deems appropriate for determining the necessity for and scope of any inquiry or hearing concerning a request for board consent to a sale or lease under subsection (b) or (c) of this section.  In developing these rules, the board shall ensure that due consideration is given to issues such as potential rate payer impacts of the transactions to be reviewed and least cost integrated planning principles as defined in subdivision 218c(a)(1) of this title.  The board’s rulemaking authority under this section shall include the discretion to:

(1)  decrease to no less than 50 megawatts the threshold for review under subsection (b) of this section;

(2)  establish a minimum value threshold to trigger review under subsection (b) or (c) of this section; and

(3)  adopt or amend other rules appropriately to minimize duplicative regulatory review under this title.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Which was agreed to and third reading was ordered.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 636

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

An act relating to embezzlement by a public official;

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

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 2537 is amended to read:

§ 2537.  PERSON HOLDING PROPERTY IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY OR BELONGING TO THE STATE OR A MUNICIPALITY

A state, county, town, or municipal officer or other person who in his or her official capacity receives, collects, controls, or holds money, obligations, or securities belonging to a corporation, public or private, or to a private person, or other property, who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use any of such money, obligations or, securities, or other property, or a person who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use, money or other property belonging to the state or to a county or municipality, or a municipal corporation, or a special purpose district, shall be guilty of larceny and shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 7554 is amended to read:

§ 7554.  RELEASE PRIOR TO TRIAL

(a)  Any person charged with an offense, other than a person held without bail under section 7553 or 7553a of this title, shall at his or her appearance before a judicial officer be ordered released pending trial in accordance with this section.

* * *

(2)  If the judicial officer determines that conditions of release imposed to assure appearance will not reasonably protect the public, the judicial officer may in addition impose the least restrictive of the following conditions or the least restrictive combination of the following conditions which will reasonably assure protection of the public:

(A)  Place the person in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him or her.

(B)  Place restrictions on the travel, association, or place of abode of the person during the period of release.

(C)  Require the person to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program.  The judicial officer shall take into consideration the defendant’s ability to comply with an order of treatment and the availability of treatment resources.

(D)  Impose any other condition found reasonably necessary to protect the public, except that a physically restrictive condition may only be imposed in extraordinary circumstances

(E)  If the person is a state, county, or municipal officer charged with violating section 2537 of this title, the court may suspend the officer’s duties in whole or in part, if the court finds that it is necessary to protect the public.

* * *

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 176 is amended to read:

§ 176.  DEPUTY CLERK

A county clerk may, subject to the approval of the assistant judges, appoint one or more deputies who may perform the duties of clerk for whose acts he or she shall be responsible and whose deputations he or she may revoke at pleasure.  A record of the appointments shall be made in the office of the clerk.  In case of the death of the clerk or his or her inability to act, the deputy or deputies in order of appointment shall perform the duties of the office until a clerk is appointed.  In case of the suspension of the clerk’s duties as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, the deputy or deputies in order of appointment shall perform the duties of the office until the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is resolved.  The compensation for the deputy clerk shall be fixed by the assistant judges and paid for by the county.  Such compensation may include such employment benefits as are presently provided to state employees including, but not limited to, health insurance, life insurance, and pension plan, the expense for which shall be borne by the county and the employees.

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 211 is amended to read:

§ 211.  APPOINTMENT; VACANCY

Biennially, on February 1, the assistant judges of the superior court shall appoint a treasurer for the county who shall hold office for two years and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified.  If such treasurer dies or in the opinion of the assistant judges becomes disqualified, they may appoint a treasurer for the unexpired term.  If the treasurer has his or her duties suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, the assistant judges may appoint a person to perform the duties of the treasurer until the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is resolved.

Sec. 5.  24 V.S.A. § 294 is amended to read:

§ 294.  SHERIFF IMPRISONED

If a sheriff is confined in prison by legal process, or has his or her duties suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, his or her functions as sheriff shall be suspended.  When he or she is released from imprisonment during his or her term of office, he or she shall file a certificate of his or her discharge signed by one of the judges of the superior court, in the office of the county clerk, and deliver a like certificate to the high bailiff.  Thereupon he or she shall resume the powers and execute the duties of sheriff.

Sec. 6.  24 V.S.A. § 363 is amended to read:

§ 363.  DEPUTY STATE’S ATTORNEYS

A state’s attorney may appoint as many deputy state’s attorneys as necessary for the proper and efficient performance of his or her office, and with the approval of the governor, fix their pay not to exceed that of the state’s attorney making the appointment, and may remove them at pleasure.  Deputy state’s attorneys shall be compensated only for periods of actual performance of the duties of such office.  Deputy state’s attorneys shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses incurred in connection with their official duties when approved by the state’s attorneys and the commissioner of finance.  Deputy state’s attorneys shall exercise all the powers and duties of the state’s attorneys except the power to designate someone to act in the event of their own disqualification.  If the state’s attorney’s duties are suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, the deputy or deputies in order of appointment shall perform the duties of the state’s attorney until the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is resolved.  Deputy state’s attorneys may not enter upon the duties of the office until they have taken the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the state and the oath of office required by the constitution, and until such oath together with their appointment is filed for record with the county clerk.  In case of a vacancy in the office of state’s attorney, the appointment of the deputy shall expire upon the appointment of a new state’s attorney.

Sec. 7.  24 V.S.A. § 961 is amended to read:

§ 961.  VACANCY OR SUSPENSION OF OFFICER’S DUTIES

(a)  When a town officer resigns his or her office, or has been removed therefrom, or dies, or becomes insane or removes from town, such office shall become vacant.  Notice of this vacancy shall be posted by the legislative body in at least two public places in the town, and in and near the town clerk’s office, within 10 days of the creation of the vacancy.

(b)  In the event there are so many vacancies on the selectboard that a quorum cannot be achieved, the remaining selectperson or selectpersons shall be authorized to draw orders for payment of continuing obligations and necessary expenses until the vacancies are filled pursuant to section 963 of this title.

(c)  The legislative body of a town may designate a person to perform the duties of an officer whose duties have been suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537.

Sec. 8.  24 V.S.A. § 962 is amended to read:

§ 962.  SPECIAL MEETING

A town at a special meeting may fill a vacancy in a town office or designate a person to perform the duties of an officer whose duties have been suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537.

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 1171 is amended to read:

§ 1171.  -DUTIES

Such assistant clerk shall be sworn and is authorized to perform the recording and filing duties of the town clerk, to issue licenses and certified copies of records and, in the absence, death or disability of the town clerk, or the suspension of the town clerk’s duties as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, is further authorized to perform all other duties of such clerk.  If the town clerk dies, the authority of the assistant town clerk to perform the duties of the town clerk shall continue until a successor is appointed by the selectmen under section 963 of this title.

Sec. 10.  32 V.S.A. § 167(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In connection with any of his or her duties, the auditor of accounts may administer oaths and may subpoena any person to appear before him or her. Such persons shall testify under oath and be subject to the penalties of perjury, and may be examined concerning any matter relating to the statutory duties of the auditor provided by section 163 of this title.  Nothing in this subsection shall limit a person’s fifth amendment rights against self‑incrimination.

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.

Message from the Senate No. 36

     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. 246.  An act relating to electronic access to criminal and family court records.

S. 247.  An act relating to scrap metal processors.

S. 336.  An act relating to juvenile judicial proceedings.

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

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

J.R.S. 56.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

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

Adjournment

At three o’clock and fifteen 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.

 

 

 



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