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Journal of the House

________________

FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Representative Johanna Donovan of Burlington, Vt.

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 879

Rep. Ancel of Calais, for the committee on Education, introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to the repeal of unnecessary, duplicative, and burdensome reports; the improved timelines and efficiency of special education audits; and the simplification of union school district formation;

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

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 880

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

An act relating to Vermont Pension Investment Committee;

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

Committee Bill Introduced

H. 881

Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier, for the committee on Commerce, introduced a bill, entitled

An act relating to the role of electric and gas utilities in facilitating the development of communications facilities throughout the state;

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

Senate Bills Referred

Senate bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the first time and referred as follows:

S. 246

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to electronic access to criminal and family court records;

To the committee on Judiciary.

S. 247

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to scrap metal processors;

To the committee on Commerce.

S. 336

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to juvenile judicial proceedings;

To the committee on Judiciary.

Bill Referred to Committee on Ways and Means

H. 878

     House bill, entitled

     An act relating to elevator safety;

     Appearing on the Calendar, affecting the revenue of the state, under the rule, was referred to the committee on Ways and Means.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 55

Reps. Obuchowski of Rockingham, Dostis of Waterbury and Kitzmiller of Montpelier offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution requesting the public service department to adopt a revised state energy plan with new implementation recommendations in accordance with 30  V.S.A. §202b(c);

Whereas, in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c), the department of public service “no less frequently than every five years” is directed to update the state energy plan’s implementation recommendations that were initially adopted in 1994, and

Whereas, this statutory subsection further directs that “these recommendations shall be updated prior to the expiration of five years if the general assembly passes a joint resolution making a request to that effect,” and

Whereas, a state energy plan was last released in 1998, and in 2005, at the time the department released its most recent state electric energy plan, it stated that a revised state energy plan with new implementation recommendations was a work in progress, and

Whereas, on March 5, 2008, the price for a barrel of oil hit a new record when its midday trading price on the New York Mercantile Exchange reached slightly above $104.00 per barrel, and

Whereas, the previous high in inflation‑adjusted dollars was $103.95 in April 1980, and by 1998, the price for a barrel of oil on the world market had dropped slightly below $20.00 per barrel, and

Whereas, the 1998 state energy plan, citing 1993 dollars when the inflation‑adjusted price of oil was approximately $20.00 per barrel, projected an increase to $25.00 by 2015, a mark that has long since been surpassed, and

Whereas, this now‑dated pricing projection is only one example of the urgent necessity for the department of public service to update the 1998 energy plan’s implementation recommendations, and

Whereas, Vermonters are placed at great risk, from the perspective of economic development, as well as short- and long-term planning, if the data in the state energy plan does not reflect current market realities and trends, and

Whereas, the General Assembly’s adoption of a joint resolution in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c) will provide new impetus for the department of public service to issue a revised state energy plan with new implementation recommendations in the foreseeable future, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly, in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c), requests that the department of public service issue a revised state comprehensive energy plan with new implementation recommendations and that the plan be submitted to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy by December 1, 2008, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Commissioner David O’Brien at the department of public service.

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

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 56

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, March 14, 2008, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, March 18, 2008.

Was taken up read and adopted in concurrence.

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

H. 736

House bill, entitled

An act relating to children of incarcerated parents;

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

Third Reading; Bills Passed

House bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed:

H. 338   

     An act relating to a state purchasing code of conduct.

H. 636

     An act relating to embezzlement by a public official.

H. 641

     An act relating to nursing mothers in the workplace.

H. 875

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

 

Bill Messaged to Senate Forthwith

H. 875

House bill, entitled

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

     On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartford, the rules were suspended and the bill was ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Bill Read Third Time and Passed in Concurrence With Proposals of Amendment

S. 108

Senate bill, entitled

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

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill Rep. Pearson of Burlington moved that the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

By striking Sec. 8 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 8 as follows:

Sec. 8.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to the 2008 general election and subsequent general elections.

Which was agreed to.

Pending third reading of the bill Rep. Wright of Burlington moved to propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

by adding a Sec. 1a as follows: Sec. 1a.  2 V.S.A. chapter 27 is added to read:

CHAPTER 27.  CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE PROCESS

§ 1001.  INITIATIVES AUTHORIZED

The citizens of this state may propose legislation for enactment by the general assembly, provided that prior to presentation to the general assembly, the legislation is first approved by the voters at a statewide election in accordance with the process set forth in this chapter.

§ 1002.  APPLICATION FOR INITIATIVE PROPOSITION

Twenty-five registered voters may apply to the secretary of state to prepare an initiative petition.  The application shall be filed between January 1 and June 1 of even-numbered years.  The application shall contain the text of the proposition, a proposed concise description of the proposition, the names and addresses of the applicants, and the name and address of their designated agent.

§ 1003.  REVIEW OF PETITION

(a)  Within 14 days after the initiative proposition is filed, the secretary of state shall:

(1)  review the petition and, after consultation with the legislative council, make any nonsubstantive changes the secretary deems appropriate to ensure clarity and consistency of form and expression with the Vermont Statutes Annotated;

(2)  revise, if necessary, the concise description to assure that it is accurate, fair, and impartial; and

(3)  return the documents to the designated agent.

(b)  Upon request, the secretary of state or the secretary’s designee shall meet with the designated agent within 10 days after return of the documents to attempt to resolve any disagreements about form, style, or wording.  Within 10 days after return, the agent shall give or withhold his or her assent to the wording of the petition and the description.  If the agent withholds his or her assent, a petition shall not be prepared.

§ 1004.  INITIATIVE BALLOT

(a)  With the assent of the agent, the secretary of state shall assign the petition a number.

(b)  Within 10 days after assent, the secretary shall prepare the form of the petition which shall be used for the initiative proposition.  The petition shall contain on each page a caption describing the subject of the initiative proposition, the number assigned to the petition, the description of the initiative proposition, the statement of the proposition, and space for the signatures and addresses of registered voters.  Reproduction of the petition shall not be the responsibility of the secretary of state.

(c)  The statement of the petition shall be in the following form:

"We, the undersigned, being registered voters in the State of Vermont, request that the following question be placed on the ballot of the general election to be held November     :

Shall Proposition       , relating to [subject], be brought before the      session of the general assembly for a recorded vote?’”

§ 1005.  VALIDITY OF PETITION

(a)  The petition shall be filed with the secretary of state on or before September 1 of the year in which the application was filed under section 2002 of this title.

(b)  The petition shall contain the signatures of 30,000 individuals registered to vote in the state and shall contain at least 1,000 signatures from each county in the state.

(c)  The secretary of state shall, within 10 days after the filing of the petition, determine whether sufficient legal names have been submitted to satisfy the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.  The secretary of state may use a random sampling method in making the determination.

(d)  If the secretary of state finds that the number of legal names is insufficient, he or she shall promptly notify the agent, who may request a name-by-name validation until a sufficient number of legal names has been found to validate the petition, or until it is mathematically impossible for the requirement to be met.  The secretary of state shall assess the agent $0.25 for each name validated under this subsection and whether the number of names is found to be sufficient, and may require the posting of adequate surety before undertaking the name-by-name validation.

§ 1006.  INITIATIVE BALLOT

(a)  In each year in which an application for a petition is accepted under section 1002 of this section, the secretary of state shall prepare at most two initiative ballots.  The first two petitions determined to be valid under section 1005 of this section shall be the petitions for which an initiative ballot is prepared.

(b)  The article for a statewide public question on an initiative proposition shall be prepared by the secretary of state.  The article shall identify the proposition by its assigned number and contain the concise summary approved under section 1003 of this title and a question worded to describe the chief purpose of the proposition so that an affirmative response to the question corresponds to an affirmative vote on the proposition.

(c)  A copy of the complete text of the initiative proposition shall be filed in the town clerk’s office prior to the date of the general election.  Copies of the proposition shall be available to members of the public upon request, free of charge, and shall be conspicuously posted at the polling place.

(d)  If the initiative proposition is approved by a majority of the votes cast on that question, the secretary of state shall immediately forward the certificate of the canvassing committee, together with the full text of the proposition, to the clerk of the house of representatives.

§ 1007.  ACTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

(a)  Upon organization of the general assembly in the January following the general election at which an initiative proposition is approved by the voters, the speaker of the house shall promptly cause the proposition to be introduced without alteration as a bill.

(b)  Within 20 legislative days after the beginning of the session, the committee to which the bill was referred, if any, shall report the bill to the house, without amendment or with proposed committee amendments.  The house shall proceed promptly to consider the bill, and the vote on final passage shall be by roll call.

(c)  If the vote in the house is in the affirmative, the bill shall forthwith be messaged to the senate.  Within 20 legislative days after the beginning of the session, the committee to which the bill was referred, if any, shall report the bill to the senate, without amendment or with proposed committee amendments.  The senate shall proceed promptly to consider the bill, and the vote on final passage shall be by roll call.

(d)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, the rules of the house of representatives and the senate, including those related to presentment of bills to the governor, shall apply to enactment of an initiative proposition.

Thereupon, Rep. Marek of Newfane raised a Point of Order that the proposal of amendment was not germane to the bill, which Point of Order the Speaker ruled well taken.

Rep. Adams of Harland moved to suspend the rules to permit consideration of a non-germane question.

Pending the question, Shall the House suspend the rules to permit consideration of a non-germane question? 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 House suspend the rules to permit consideration of a non-germane question?  was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 41.  Nays, 94.  A ¾ vote of 102 required.

 

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clark of Vergennes

Clerkin of Hartford

Crawford of Burke

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Errecart of Shelburne

Flory of Pittsford

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Helm of Castleton

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Kilmartin of Newport City

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

McNeil of Rutland Town

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Oxholm of Vergennes

Peaslee of Guildhall

Scheuermann of Stowe

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Ancel of Calais

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Browning of Arlington

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clarkson of Woodstock

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Lorber of Burlington

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McFaun of Barre Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Otterman of Topsham

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Spengler of Colchester

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Weston of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester

Zuckerman of Burlington


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Anderson of Montpelier

Audette of S. Burlington

Godin of Milton

Johnson of Canaan

Koch of Barre Town

Larrabee of Danville

McDonald of Berlin

Miller of Shaftsbury

O'Donnell of Vernon

Orr of Charlotte

Partridge of Windham

Stevens of Shoreham

Westman of Cambridge


Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and pending the question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposals of amendment? 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 pass in concurrence with proposals of amendment?  was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 77.  Nays, 60.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

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

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

Monti of Barre City

Moran of Wardsboro

Mrowicki of Putney

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

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

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

Clark of Vergennes

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

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

Morley of Barton

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

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Anderson of Montpelier

Godin of Milton

Grad of Moretown

Johnson of Canaan

Kilmartin of Newport City

Larrabee of Danville

Miller of Shaftsbury

O'Donnell of Vernon

Partridge of Windham

Stevens of Shoreham

Westman of Cambridge


 

     Rep. Fisher of Lincoln explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     The Burlington experience with IRV has demonstrated that Vermonters can easily understand what it means to say my first choice is for candidate “A” and my second choice is for candidate “B”.

     There is nothing hypothetical about such a vote.”

     Rep. Mrowicki of Putney explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

      I support IRV because I believe it will encourage voter participation and democracy works best when more people participate.

     I also note that the testimony we heard on the floor states this bill will not cost towns more money or work.”

     Rep. Wright of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I vote no on S. 108 despite the fact that it has worked well mechanically in local elections in Burlington.  If instant runoff voting had been in place for all elections throughout our country’s history, Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson might well have been replaced by President Douglas and President Fairbanks, and Bernie Sanders’ career may never have happened. 

     A major change in our voting procedures like IRV should have been voted on by the entire electorate, as it was in Burlington.”

 

Message from the Senate No. 37

     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. 89.  An act relating to permitting payment of rent into court pursuant to a commercial lease.

S. 210.  An act relating to the appointment of a town school district treasurer pending election at a special or annual meeting.

S. 357.  An act relating to domestic violence.

S. 364.  An act relating to a comprehensive vertical audit and reliability assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear facility

S. 365.  An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

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

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

     H.C.R. 227.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Poultney High School Blue Devils Division III 2008 cheerleading champions.

     H.C.R. 228.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Howard Herrington on being named the 2007 Wal-Mart Vermont Teacher of the Year.

     H.C.R. 229.  House concurrent resolution in memory of former Representative Peter Martin of St. Albans Town.

     H.C.R. 230.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on their 25th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 231.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Girl Scout Council of Vermont’s 2007 Gold and Silver Award winners.

     H.C.R. 232.  House concurrent resolution honoring the Girl Scout Council of Vermont during Girl Scout Week.

     H.C.R. 233.  House concurrent resolution honoring the Federal TRIO Programs in Vermont.

     H.C.R. 234.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 BFA-St. Albans Comets girls’ Division I championship hockey team.

     H.C.R. 235.  House concurrent resolution in memory of former speaker of the house and lieutenant governor John Burgess of Brattleboro.

Adjournment

At eleven o’clock  and twenty-five minutes in the forenoon, on motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the House adjourned until Monday, March 17, 2008, at ten o’clock in the forenoon.

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. 227

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Poultney High School Blue Devils Division III 2008 cheerleading champions

H.C.R. 228

House concurrent resolution congratulating Howard Herrington on being named the 2007 Wal-Mart Vermont Teacher of the Year

H.C.R. 229

 House concurrent resolution in memory of former Representative Peter Martin of St. Albans Town

H.C.R. 230

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on their 25th anniversary

H.C.R. 231

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Girl Scout Council of Vermont’s 2007 Gold and Silver Award winners

H.C.R. 232

House concurrent resolution honoring the Girl Scout Council of Vermont during Girl Scout Week

H.C.R. 233

House concurrent resolution honoring the Federal TRIO Programs in Vermont

H.C.R. 234

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 BFA-St. Albans Comets girls’ Division I championship hockey team

H.C.R. 235

House concurrent resolution in memory of former speaker of the house and lieutenant governor John Burgess of Brattleboro

     [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


www.leg.state.vt.us