Download this document in MS Word format


AutoFill Template

Journal of the House

________________

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

In honor of the Arts devotional exercises were conducted by “Poetry Out Loud” Champion, Caleb Hastings from Middlebury Union High School and Linda Radtke, Mezzo-Soprano member of “Counterpoint” from Middlesex, VT.

Message from Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Ms. Dennise Casey, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Madam Speaker:

I am directed by the Governor to inform the House that on the fourteenth  day of April, 2008, he approved and signed a bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 876    An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the                                              town of Middlebury.

Joint Resolution Referred to Committee

J.R.H. 60

Reps. Obuchowski of Rockingham and Pugh of South Burlington offered a joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution requesting immediate congressional action to halt skyrocketing gasoline prices;

Whereas, Vermont is a rural state with minimal public transportation, and thousands of individuals must drive their cars to work daily, many for extended distances, and

Whereas, the state of Vermont’s economy is heavily reliant on automotive tourism and other recreation‑related activities, including snowmobiling, which according to a 2002 Johnson College study, generates an annual revenue of $500,000,000.00 in the state, and

Whereas, farmers are dependent on gasoline to operate tractors, combines, trucks, and other absolutely essential equipment, without which they could not perform their daily chores and sustain their livelihood, and

Whereas, the federal Energy Information Administration announced on March 31, 2008 that the nationwide average retail price of regular unleaded gasoline stood at 333.9 cents per gallon, and the comparable New England figure was nearly as higher at 332.0 cents per gallon, and

Whereas, since the end of February, the national average has risen nearly 14 cents per gallon and the New England average has increased just above 12 cents per gallon, and

Whereas, the national and New England comparable prices for the last week of March 2007 were significantly lower than in 2008, and

Whereas, this upward spiral represents an approximately 25 percent rise in the last 12 moths and is on top of the large national increase that occurred between March 2006 and March 2007, and

Whereas, higher retail gasoline prices cause an increasingly harsh financial hardship for a large percentage of Vermonters, and

Whereas, while public transit use in Vermont is now on the rise, which is a positive environmental development, it is often not a primary transportation option, because it remains unavailable in most of the state, and

Whereas, the impact on the Vermont economy is spreading as families are starting to restrict, if not eliminate, making major new purchases or engaging in optional activities such as dining in restaurants or attending entertainment events, in order that the money saved can be applied to the cost of gasoline, and

Whereas, the reduction in many families’ nonessential consumer expenditures means that there are fewer daily business transactions in Vermont, and this development could trigger economic difficulties in the months ahead, and

Whereas, the now skyrocketing price of gasoline at the pump constitutes an economic emergency of the first order, demanding a decisive and immediate response of the same magnitude Americans would expect if OPEC were to impose another embargo on all oil shipments to the United States as it did in the 1970s, and

Whereas, while the nation’s motorists are paying exorbitant prices for gasoline at the pump, compensation for oil company executives continues to rise, and ExxonMobil is now among the most profitable publicly traded companies in the United States, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly strongly urges the executive and legislative branches of the federal government to take immediate steps, both on the economic domestic front and on the international diplomatic stage, that are deemed most effective, including the convening of an international emergency energy price summit as Senator Sanders has suggested, the selling of the crude oil set to be placed or already stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and imposing temporary price controls on retail gasoline sales as ways to halt this skyrocketing rise in gasoline prices that negatively impacts the entire nation but is particularly devastating to rural states such as Vermont that are so heavily dependent on private automobiles for basic transportation and commerce needs, and be it further

Resolved:  That the general assembly urges the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to examine immediately the viability of these proposed measures to halt the skyrocketing price of gasoline in the United States, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, to U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman, to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to U.S. Representatives John Boehner, John Dingell, and Joe Barton, to U.S. Senators Trent Lott, Harry Reid, Jeff Bingaman, and Pete Domenici, and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

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

House Resolution Adopted

H.R. 34

Reps. Larson of Burlington, Adams of Hartland, Lorber of Burlington, Symington of Jericho, Acinapura of Brandon, Ancel of Calais, Andrews of Rutland City, Barnard of Richmond, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Branagan of Georgia, Bray of New Haven, Brennan of Colchester, Canfield of Fair Haven, Chen of Mendon, Clark of Vergennes, Clarkson of Woodstock, Condon of Colchester, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Davis of Washington, Donahue of Northfield, Donovan of Burlington, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Flory of Pittsford, Godin of Milton, Grad of Moretown, Head of S. Burlington, Heath of Westford, Helm of Castleton, Howard of Rutland City, Howrigan of Fairfield, Jewett of Ripton, Johnson of South Hero, Keenan of St. Albans City, Klein of East Montpelier, Komline of Dorset, Kupersmith of S. Burlington, Lawrence of Lyndon, Leriche of Hardwick, Lippert of Hinesburg, Livingston of Manchester, Maier of Middlebury, Malcolm of Pawlet, Marcotte of Coventry, Marek of Newfane, Masland of Thetford, McCullough of Williston, McFaun of Barre Town, McNeil of Rutland Town, Milkey of Brattleboro, Minter of Waterbury, Mitchell of Barnard, Mook of Bennington, Moran of Wardsboro, Morley of Barton, Nease of Johnson, Ojibway of Hartford, Otterman of Topsham, Oxholm of Vergennes, Pearson of Burlington, Pellett of Chester, Peltz of Woodbury, Peterson of Williston, Potter of Clarendon, Pugh of S. Burlington, Rodgers of Glover, Scheuermann of Stowe, Sharpe of Bristol, Smith of Morristown, Stevens of Shoreham, Westman of Cambridge, Winters of Williamstown, Wright of Burlington, Zenie of Colchester and Zuckerman of Burlington  offered a House resolution, entitled

House resolution designating April 30 as Walk@Lunch Day;

Whereas, getting simply 30 minutes of moderate physical activity such as a brisk walk at least five times a week can result in significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or hypertension or type 2 diabetes and improving the health of muscles, bones, and joints, and

Whereas, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the annual cost to treat illness and chronic disease that inactive lifestyles cause is nearly $1,000 for every family in America, and

Whereas, physical activity is vital to the well-being of all Americans, and National Walk@Lunch Day is an opportunity for Americans to carve time out of their busy work schedules to exercise and become healthier, and

Whereas, National Walk@Lunch Day is a work place program that encourages employees to walk during their lunch break, making exercise a convenient and easy choice during the day, and

Whereas, a number of states will participate in National Walk@Lunch Day to improve the health of their residents step-by-step, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body designates April 30 as National Walk@Lunch Day and encourages all Vermonters to recognize the importance of walking in a healthy lifestyle, and be it further

Resolved:  That the clerk of the house be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the American Heart Association in Williston and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont in Berlin.

Which was read and adopted.

 

 

House Resolution Referred to Committee

H.R. 35

Reps. Klein of East Montpelier, Anderson of Montpelier and Kitzmiller of Montpelier offered a joint resolution, entitled

House resolution supporting high school athletes desiring to play as team members;

Whereas, interscholastic sports provide the opportunity for youngsters to remain physically fit and engage in constructive and personally exhilarating athletic activities, and

Whereas, certain sports, such as football and soccer, can only be played on a team, while others such as cross-country running, can technically, although not ideally, include independent athletes who are not team members, and

Whereas, two Montpelier High School students, Chris Keller and Liam McSweeney, have run cross-country as independents because their school lacks a cross-country program, and

Whereas, preferring the support and camaraderie of team membership, they sought permission from the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) to apply to U-32, under the association’s member-to-member program, to run on the U-32 team, and

Whereas, the member-to-member program does not currently encompass cross‑country running, and the students’ request was to expand the program’s coverage to include any sport that is scored on a team basis, and

Whereas, the Montpelier school board adopted a resolution, with principal Peter Evans’ endorsement, that supported the students’ request, and

Whereas, under the rules of the VPA’s member-to-member program, the final decision still would have been left to U-32, and

Whereas, in petitioning the school board to adopt the resolution, which Liam McSweeney and Chris Keller personally drafted, the two ninth grade students provided strong justifications for their request, and

Whereas, they cited the support and motivation that both teammates and coaches provide to cross-country runners, the necessity of team membership to participate in relay events, and that in cross-country, there is a competition opportunity for everyone unlike in sports such as football and soccer, and

Whereas, Liam McSweeney and Chris Keller addressed the potential for schools recruiting athletes with a proposal that the member-to-member program option for an athlete be limited to the nearest school offering a team in the desired sport, and

Whereas, as a further protection against schools’ proactively recruiting extremely talented and skilled teams, the two Montpelier students cited the VPA’s existing 20 percent cap in the member-to-member program on players not enrolled in a team’s own school, and

Whereas, despite these students’ sound arguments and widespread support, the VPA’s Activities Standards Committee rejected their request on a 4–1 vote, and

Whereas, just as distance learning has brought a wide scope of academic courses to schools throughout the state, high school students, provided they otherwise meet the standard eligibility requirements, should not be denied the opportunity of participating in a specific sport on a team basis simply because their home school does not field a team in that sport, and

Whereas, Liam McSweeney and Chris Keller are representative of other student athletes across Vermont who encounter similar situations, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body urges the Vermont Principals’ Association to reassess and revise its rules for interschool athletic participation to maximize the opportunities for all eligible and otherwise qualified Vermont high school students to participate in any interscholastic sport on a team basis regardless of which school the student attends, and be it further

Resolved:  That the clerk of the house be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Liam McSweeney and Chris Keller, to Montpelier High School principal Peter Evans, and to the Vermont Principals’ Association.

Which was read and referred to the committee on Education.

Rules Suspended; Bill Committed

S. 336

On motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford, the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to juvenile judicial proceedings;

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

Pending the reading of the report of the committee on Judiciary, on motion of Rep. Flory of Pittsford, the bill was committed to the committee on Human Services.

House Resolution Adopted

H.R. 33

     House resolution, entitled  

     House resolution expressing strong opposition to and urging effective and immediate congressional action to stop human rights violations by the Government of the People’s Republic of China’s human rights violations in the geographic area known as Tibet;

Was taken up and adopted on the part of the House.

Third Reading; Bills Passed

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

H. 619

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to the regulation of sexual assault nurse examiners;

H. 689

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to utility prescriptive rights;

H. 878

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to elevator safety;

H. 894

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the town of Windsor;

Third Reading; Bills Passed in Concurrence

Senate bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence.

S. 2

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to bail and eligibility for public defender services for defendants charged with retail theft;

S. 213

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the designation of a portion of state highways in the town of Manchester as Class 1 highways;

S. 229

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to access to public records;

S. 366

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the administration of the voter’s oath or affirmation;

Third Reading; Bills Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

Bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposals of amendment.

S. 232

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to mobile polling stations;

S. 240

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to repealing the sunset of the law enforcement exemption to the social security breach notice act;

S. 291

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the farm agronomic practices program at the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment Agreed to;

 Bill Read Third Time and Passed in Concurrence

with Proposal of Amendment

S. 290

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to agricultural water quality;

Was taken up and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Spengler of Colchester moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 6 V.S.A. § 4828(c)(1), by striking “by a custom applicator that is located in” and inserting in lieu thereof “that are serviced by custom applicators and that are located in

Second:  In Sec. 1, 6 V.S.A. 4828(d), by inserting after the words “the house and senate committees on agriculture” the words “and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources

Third:  By adding a Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  SUNSET

(a)  6 V.S.A. § 4822(a)-(c) (capital equipment assistance program) shall be repealed July 1, 2011.

(b)  6 V.S.A. § 4822(d) (agency of agriculture, food and markets report on capital equipment assistance program) shall be repealed July 1, 2013.

Which was agreed to.  Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposals of amendment.

Bills Messaged to Senate Forthwith

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the following bills were ordered messaged to the Senate forthwith:

H. 619

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to the regulation of sexual assault nurse examiners;

H. 689

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to utility prescriptive rights;

H. 878

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to elevator safety;

H. 894

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the town of Windsor;

S. 232

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to mobile polling stations;

S. 240

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to repealing the sunset of the law enforcement exemption to the social security breach notice act;

S. 290

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to agricultural water quality;

S. 291

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the farm agronomic practices program at the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

S. 366

Senate bill, entitled

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

Message from the Senate No. 55

     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 bill of the following title:

S. 369.  An act relating to recognition of tribes and bands of Native Americans by the Vermont commission on Native American affairs.

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

The Senate has considered bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 635.  An act relating to reports of child abuse or neglect.

H. 709.  An act relating to campgrounds.

And has passed the same in concurrence with proposals of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the House is requested.

 

Adjournment

At two o’clock and twenty minutes in the afternoon, 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