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Journal of the House

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TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Representative William Aswad of Burlington, VT.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Sam Hensel-Hunter of Cavendish led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Message from the Senate No. 41

     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. 117.  An act relating to school calendars.

S. 270.  An act relating to the agreement among the states to elect the president national popular vote

S. 354.  An act relating to public agency deferred compensation plans.

S. 373.  An act relating to full funding of decommissioning costs of a nuclear plant.

     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. 57.  Joint resolution requesting the Agency of Administration to post all state contracts and granted in full text on the internet.

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

The Senate has considered a joint resolution originating in the House of the following title:

J.R.H. 54.  Joint resolution urging Congress to eliminate the Enron Loophole regulatory exemption for energy and metal commodities traded on electronic commodities markets.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

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

     S.C.R. 37.  Senate concurrent resolution recognizing the outstanding role of Vermont Transit and its employees in the state’s transportation history.

     S.C.R. 38.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Burlington Seahorses’ 2008 Division I championship and undefeated boys’ basketball team.

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

     H.C.R. 236.  House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding work of child care providers in Vermont.

     H.C.R. 237.  House concurrent resolution honoring the half-century active Bennington firefighters.

     H.C.R. 238.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Missisquoi Valley Union High School thunderbirds 2008 Division II girls’ ice hockey championship team.

     H.C.R. 239.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Enosburg Falls High School Hornets Division III girls’ basketball championship team.

     H.C.R. 240.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets Division I cheerleading team.

     H.C.R. 241.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets’ Division I championship boys’ ice hockey team.

     H.C.R. 242.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Ice Storm on winning the 2007 Empire Football League championship and being named the 2007 American Football Association Triple-A national champions.

     H.C.R. 243.  House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding winter road clearance performance of the agency of transportation highway crews.

     H.C.R. 244.  House concurrent resolution in memory of John D. Picard.

     H.C.R. 245.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II cheerleading champions.

     H.C.R. 246.  House concurrent resolution in memory of Charlie Bristow.

     H.C.R. 247.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Milton High School Yellowjackets Division II girls’ basketball championship team.

Senate Bills Referred

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

S. 117

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to a statewide school year calendar;

To the committee on Education.

S. 270

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the agreement among the states to elect the president national popular vote;

To the committee on Government Operations.

S. 354

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to public agency deferred compensation plans;

To the committee on Government Operations.

S. 373

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to full funding of decommissioning costs of a nuclear plant;

To the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

The Speaker placed before the House the following resolutions which was read and in the Speaker’s discretion, placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow under Rule 52.

J.R.S. 57

     By Senators Condos, Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Carris, Collins, Cummings, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kittell, MacDonald, McCormack, Nitka, Racine, Shumlin and White,

     Joint resolution requesting the Agency of Administration to post all state contracts and grants in full text on the internet.

Whereas, in July 2007, two of the least likely political allies in the United States, conservative Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, and the consumer advocate Ralph Nader drafted a letter to the nations’ governors urging far greater transparency in state government financial operations, and

Whereas, the letter’s authors cited a 2005 executive order that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels issued, expanding the scope of that state government’s financial transactions that is posted on the Internet, and

Whereas, the fiscal data now posted on an Indiana state government web site include for each year:  the total number of state contracts, their monetary value, and the number and percentage of Indiana businesses and out-of-state businesses awarded state contracts, and

Whereas, pursuant to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (the act), a new searchable website was established, enabling the public to identify all federal grants and contracts, and

Whereas, although the act does not provide for the posting of the full text of grants and contracts, it represents an important first step toward greater public disclosure, and

Whereas, during his tenure as director of the Office of Federal Management and Budget, Mitch Daniels advocated the posting of the full text of contracts with appropriate redaction of national security-related details, and

Whereas, Vermonters have a right to know how Vermont’s government spends their dollars, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges the Agency of Administration, in an effort to achieve the greatest possible transparency in the state’s fiscal transactions, to post the full text of its contracts and grants, in all fields of endeavor, in a searchable format on the Internet, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Governor, to the Secretary of the Agency of Administration, and to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

Third Reading; Bills Passed

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

 

H. 170

House bill, entitled

An act relating to retirees of the University of Vermont;

H. 615

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to juvenile judicial proceedings.

Bill Amended, Read Third Time and Passed

H. 635

House bill, entitled

An act relating to reports of child abuse or neglect;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Pugh of South Burlington moved to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 1, in 33 V.S.A. § 4915, by adding a new subsection (g) to read:

(g)  The department’s average caseloads shall not exceed 10 investigations or assessments per worker at any time.

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 812

House bill, entitled

An act relating to ensuring educational continuity for pregnant and parenting students;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, on motion of Rep. Mook of Bennington, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 661

House bill, entitled

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

Was taken up and pending the reading of the report of the committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, on motion of Rep. Moran of Wardsboro, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 574

Rep. Cheney of Norwich, for the committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to requiring beverage container manufacturers to pay an additional one-half cent per container to retailers who do not commingle containers;

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

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1522a is added to read:

§ 1522a.  Rules

The secretary may adopt rules, in accordance with chapter 25 of Title 3, necessary for the administration of this chapter.  These rules may include the following:

(1)  provisions to ensure that beverage containers not labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title are not redeemed;

(2)  provisions to ensure that beverage containers are commingled;

(3)  administrative penalties for the failure by a redemption center or retailer to remove beverage containers that are not labeled prior to pickup by a distributor or manufacturer.  Penalties may include nonpayment of the deposit and handling fee established under section 1522 of this title for a reasonable period of time and for the number of beverage containers that were not labeled;

(4)  any other provision that may be necessary for the implementation of this chapter.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1522(b) and (c) are amended to read:

(b)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center who redeems beverage containers shall be reimbursed by the manufacturer or distributor of such beverage containers in an amount which is at least three and one-half cents per container for containers of beverage brands that are part of a commingling program and four cents per container for containers of beverage brands that are not part of a commingling program.

(c)  The secretary may adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this chapter.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1523 is amended to read:

§ 1523.  Acceptance of beverage containers

(a)  Except as provided in section 1522 of this title:

(1)  A retailer shall not refuse to accept from any person any empty beverage containers, labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title, of the kind, size, and brand sold by the retailer, or refuse to pay to that person the refund value of a beverage container as established by section 1522 of this title, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(2)  A manufacturer or distributor may not refuse to accept pick up from a retailer that sells its product or a person operating a certified redemption center any empty beverage containers, labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title, of the kind, size, and brand sold by the manufacturer or distributor, or refuse to pay the retailer or a person operating a redemption center the refund value of a beverage container as established by section 1522 of this title.

(b)  A retailer, with the prior approval of the secretary, may refuse to redeem beverage containers if a redemption center or centers are established which serve the public need.

(c)  A retailer or a person operating a redemption center may refuse to redeem beverage containers that are not clean, or are broken, or were not purchased in Vermont and shall not redeem beverage containers that are not labeled in accordance with section 1524 of this title.

(d)  A retailer or group of retailers may petition the secretary for the establishment of a redemption center.

(e)  The secretary shall notify the public regarding the petition. The secretary, after determination of need and service to be provided by the proposed redemption center, shall issue a certification authorizing the distributors or retailers affected and servicing the community or area involved to establish a redemption center or alternate method of redemption, or shall deny the petition if found adverse to the public need.

(f)  The secretary shall not certify a new redemption center from July 1, 2006 through July 1, 2007 unless the area is currently underserved.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. §§ 1528 and 1529 are added to read:

§ 1528.  Beverage registration

No distributor or manufacturer shall sell a beverage container in the state of Vermont without the manufacturer registering the beverage container with the agency of natural resources prior to sale, unless distributed by the department of liquor control.  This registration shall take place on a form provided by the secretary and include the following:

(1)  The name and principal business address of the manufacturer;

(2)  The name of the beverage and the container size;

(3)  Whether the beverage is a part of an approved commingling agreement; and

(4)  The name of the person picking up the empty beverage container, if that person is different from the manufacturer.

§ 1529.  Redemption center certification

A person operating a redemption center may obtain a certification from the secretary.  A redemption center certification shall include the following:

(1)  Specification of the name and location of the facility;

(2)  If the certified redemption center redeems more than 250,000 containers per year, a requirement that the certified redemption center shall participate in an approved commingling agreement; and

(3)  Additional conditions, requirements, and restrictions as the secretary may deem necessary to implement the requirements of this chapter.  This may include requirements concerning reporting, recording, and inspections of the operation of the site.

Sec. 5COMMINGLING AND AUDIT PILOT PROGRAM

(a)  The secretary of natural resources may implement, by procedure, requirements for the commingling of beverage containers from differing manufacturers and auditing for compliance with these requirements.  This commingling program may include provisions establishing administrative penalties for the failure by a redemption center or retailer to remove containers that are not labeled prior to their pickup by a distributer or manufacturer.  Penalties may include nonpayment of the deposit and handling fee established under section 1522 of Title 10 for a reasonable period of time and for the number of containers that were not labeled.

(b)  The pilot program established by this section shall expire on July 1, 2010.


Sec. 6.  REPORT ON COMMINGLING PROGRAM

By no later than January 15, 2010, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the committees on natural resources and energy with regard to:

(1)  the implementation of the commingling program established by this act;

(2)  the implementation of the auditing program established by this act; and

(3)  the results of a redemption center survey regarding whether the commingling program has achieved cost efficiencies.

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

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 888

House bill, entitled

An act relating to miscellaneous tax amendments;

Was taken up and pending second reading of the bill on motion of Rep. Otterman of Topsham, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 549

House bill, entitled

An act relating to buffer zones along waterways of the state;

Was taken up and pending the reading of the report of the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, on motion of Rep. Deen of Westminster, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

H. 558

Rep. Winters of Williamstown, for the committee on Ways and Means, to which had been referred House bill, entitled

An act relating to waste facility franchise tax exemption for mining waste;

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(6) is amended to read:

(6)  For solid waste treatment, storage, transfer, or disposal facility certifications issued under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159:

* * *

(E)  original and renewal                  $200.00 plus $0.41

applications for facilities, certified                    per cubic yard of certified

pursuant to 10 V.S.A §§ 6605 and 6605b,     for facilities with an operational

that treat, store, or dispose of waste               capacity less than 25,000 cubic

generated solely from mining, extraction,         yards; for facilities with

or mineral processing                                      operational capacity above 15,000

                                                                      25,000 cubic yards $0.95 per

                                                                      cubic yard of operational capacity

                                                                      prorated and paid on an

                                                                      annual basis over the term

                                                       of the certification.

                                                       Maximum annual

                                                                      payment, $35,000.00

                                                                      $75,000.00.

* * *

Sec. 2.  REPEAL

Sec. 6 of No. 65 of the Acts of 2005 (sunset of tax exemption for solid waste from mining, extraction, or mineral processing) is repealed effective June 1, 2008.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage, except:

(1)  Sec. (1) of this act (solid waste certification fee increase in

3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(6)(E)) shall take effect July 1, 2008.

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

 

Bill Referred to Committee on Appropriations

H. 878

House bill, entitled

An act relating to elevator safety;

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

Message from the Senate No. 42

     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. 233.  An act relating to temporary officiants for marriages and civil unions.

S. 261.  An act relating to phthalates in products for young children.

S. 271.  An act relating to child support for children with disabilities.

S. 294.  An act relating to the optimal siting of a dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods.

S. 301.  An act relating to enhancing the penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer and to the crime of assault with bodily fluids.

S. 322.  An act relating to dairy promotion council.

S. 366.  An act relating to the administration of the voter’s oath or affirmation.

S. 368.  An act relating to the addition of new types of disinfectants to public water systems

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

The Senate has considered House proposal of amendment to Senate bill of the following title:

S. 108.  An act relating to the election of U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator by the instant runoff voting method.

And has concurred therein.

 

Adjournment

At eleven o’clock and fifteen 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