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Journal of the House

________________

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 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 Reverend Trey Cates of Faith Community Church, Barre, VT

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.S. 66

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, April 25, 2008, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, April 29, 2008.

Was taken up read and adopted in concurrence.

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Howrigan of Fairfield, the following remarks by Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker:

We have just heard the resolution honoring the National Life Group on their 160th anniversary. I would like to relate a short anecdote that illustrates what kind of corporate citizen National Life is in the City of Montpelier.

In March of 1992, our downtown was devastated by a flood. Power was off, the city was cold and under Marshall Law. The very next day after the waters receded, representatives of National Life came to every business throughout downtown and gave each of us a check for $1,000.00, saying only, "Here, we bet you can use this."

 

In the weeks that followed, no restaurants were open, so the cafeteria at National Life made thousands of sandwiches. Every day their workers would spread out through downtown, finding all the trades people . . plumbers, electricians, carpenters, shopkeepers . . . . who were working to bring our city back. Asking nothing in return, they went from store to store asking, "Is anyone hungry? Does anyone want a sandwich?" They fed the city.

Madame Speaker, that sort of generosity is not forgotten. This is the kind of people we have here in Montpelier at National Life.”

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 357

Rep. Pellett of Chester, for the committee on Judiciary, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to domestic violence;

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

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  The general assembly finds that domestic violence directly affects the lives of Vermont’s citizens each year.  Domestic violence is a pervasive community problem which requires a comprehensive approach by the state, the public, and community providers to prevent, respond to, and remedy its devastating effects.  Domestic violence is consistently the leading cause of homicides in Vermont each year.  According to the 2008 Vermont Fatality Review Commission Report data covering 1994–2007, 50 percent of all Vermont homicides during the past 13 years were related to domestic violence.  In 2007, 64 percent of all Vermont homicides were domestic-violence-related. Reported occurrences of domestic violence continue to rise, and many incidents continue to go unreported.  The 16-member programs of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence responded to 15,259 hotline crisis calls and served 8,337 victims of domestic violence in 2006.  An increasing number of families in Vermont are homeless due to domestic violence.  The member programs of the Vermont Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence sustained a 27-percent increase in bed-nights in 2007. 

(b)  The general assembly recognizes the importance of specific intervention programs for domestic violence offenders in breaking the generational cycle of domestic violence.  The general assembly recommends that persons convicted of domestic assault be referred to appropriate intervention programs provided by the department of corrections or certified by the Vermont council on domestic violence.  In instances where certified programs are not available, alternative programs should be provided with a focus placed on victim safety and offender accountability.

Sec. 2.  12 V.S.A. § 5131 is amended to read:

§ 5131.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(5)  “Sexually assaulted the plaintiff” means that the defendant engaged in conduct that meets elements of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2602, sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3252, or aggravated sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3253, use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2822, or consenting to a sexual performance as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2823 and that the plaintiff was the victim of the offense.

* * *

Sec. 3.  12 V.S.A. § 5134 is amended to read:

§ 5134.  EMERGENCY RELIEF

(a)  In accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, a person other than a family or household member as defined in 15 V.S.A. § 1001(2) may file a complaint for a temporary order against stalking or sexual assault. Such complaint shall be filed during regular court hours.  The plaintiff shall submit an affidavit in support of the order.  The court may issue a temporary order under this chapter ex parte, without notice to the defendant, upon motion and findings by the court that the defendant has stalked or sexually assaulted the plaintiff.  An order may be granted requiring the defendant to refrain from stalking or sexually assaulting the plaintiff and to refrain from interfering with the plaintiff’s personal liberty  The court may order the defendant to stay away from the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s children, or both, and may make any other such order it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s children, or both.

* * *

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 1030 is amended to read:

§ 1030.   VIOLATION OF ABUSE PREVENTION ORDER OR AN ORDER

               AGAINST STALKING OR SEXUAL ASSAULT

(a)  A person who commits an act prohibited by a court or who fails to perform an act ordered by a court in violation of an abuse prevention order issued under chapter 21 of Title 15 or chapter 69 of Title 33, or an order against stalking or sexual assault issued under chapter 178 of Title 12, after the person has been served notice of the contents of the order as provided in those chapters; or a foreign abuse prevention order or an order against stalking or sexual assault issued by a court in any other state, federally recognized Indian tribe, territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia; shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b)  A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section or is convicted of an offense under this section and has previously been convicted of domestic assault under section 1042 of this title, first degree aggravated domestic assault under section 1043 of this title, or second degree aggravated domestic assault under section 1044 of this title shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

* * *

Sec. 5.  13 V.S.A. § 1042 is amended to read:

§ 1042.  DOMESTIC ASSAULT

Any person who attempts to cause or willfully or recklessly causes bodily injury to a family or household member, or willfully causes a family or household member to fear imminent serious bodily injury shall be imprisoned not more than one year 18 months or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

Sec. 6.  13 V.S.A. § 1044 is amended to read:

§ 1044.  SECOND DEGREE AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC ASSAULT

(a)  A person commits the crime of second degree aggravated domestic assault if the person:

(1)  commits the crime of domestic assault and causes bodily injury to another person and such conduct violates:

(A)  specific conditions of a criminal court order in effect at the time of the offense imposed to protect that other person;

(B)  a final abuse prevention order issued under section 1103 of Title 15;

(C)  an order against stalking or sexual assault issued under chapter 178 of Title 12; or

(D)  an order against abuse of a vulnerable adult issued under chapter 69 of Title 33.

(2)  commits a second or subsequent offense of domestic assault, which causes bodily injury the crime of domestic assault; and

(A)  has a prior conviction within the last ten years for violating an abuse prevention order issued under section 1030 of this title; or

(B)  has a prior conviction for domestic assault under section 1042 of this title.

(b)  A person who commits the crime of second degree aggravated domestic assault shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(c)  Conduct constituting the offense of second degree aggravated domestic assault under this section shall be considered a violent act for the purpose of determining bail.

Sec. 7.  13 V.S.A. § 1031 is added to read:

§ 1031.  INTERFERENCE WITH ACCESS TO EMERGENCY SERVICES

A person who, during or after the commission of a crime, willfully prevents or attempts to prevent a person from seeking or receiving emergency medical assistance, emergency assistance from a third party, or emergency assistance from law enforcement shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $5,000.00 or both.

Sec. 8.  13 V.S.A. § 2602 is amended to read:

§ 2602.  LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT WITH CHILD

(a)(1)  No person shall willfully and lewdly commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 16 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of such person or of such child.

(2)  This section shall not apply if the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the conduct is consensual.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be:

(1)  For a first offense, imprisoned not less than two years and not more than 15 years, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(2)  For a second offense, imprisoned not less than five years and a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

(3)  For a third or subsequent offense, imprisoned not less than ten years and a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined not more than $25,000.00, or both.

* * *

(e)  Any prior conviction for sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault shall be considered a prior offense for purposes of sentencing enhancement.  This section shall not apply to a person who was convicted of sexual assault committed when the person was younger than 19 years of age and which involved consensual sex with a child at least 15 years of age.

Sec. 9.  15 V.S.A. § 668a is amended to read:

§ 668a.  ENFORCEMENT OF VISITATION

(a)  When a noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay child support or alimony and who is awarded visitation rights fails to pay child support or alimony, the custodial parent shall not refuse to honor the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights.

(b)  When a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights, the noncustodial parent shall not fail to pay any ordered child support or alimony.

(c)  If a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights, the court shall enforce such rights unless it finds good cause for the failure or that a modification of the visitation rights is in the best interests of the child.  Unless restoration of the visitation is not in the best interests of the child, enforcement of the visitation rights shall include the restoration of the amount of visitation improperly denied.  When a party files a motion for enforcement of parent-child contact under this subsection, the court shall conduct a hearing within 30 days of service of the motion.

(d)  A person who violates this section may be punished by contempt of court or other remedies as the court deems appropriate, including awarding attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.

(e)(1)  If a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights without good cause, the court may modify the parent-child contact order if found to be in the best interests of the child.  Good cause shall include a pattern or incidence of domestic or sexual violence, a history of failure to honor the visitation schedule agreed to in the parent child contact order, or reasonable fear for the child or the custodial parent’s safety.

Good cause shall include:

(A)  a pattern or incidence of domestic or sexual violence;

(B)  a reasonable fear for the child’s or the custodial parent’s safety; or

(C)  a history of failure to honor the visitation schedule agreed to in the parent-child contact order.

(2)  A custodial parent, upon a showing of good cause as defined in subdivision (1)(A) or (B) of this subsection, may receive an ex parte order suspending a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights until a court hearing is held. A hearing shall be held within 10 days from the issuance of the order. 

(f)  All parent-child contact orders issued by the family court in connection with a divorce or parentage proceeding shall bear the following statement:  “A PERSON WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH ALL TERMS OF THE CURRENT ORDER GOVERNING PARENT-CHILD CONTACT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CONTEMPT OF COURT CHARGES. THE COURT MAY IMPOSE ADDITIONAL REMEDIES, INCLUDING A MODIFICATION OF THE CURRENT PARENT-CHILD CONTACT ORDER IF FOUND TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.” 

Sec. 10.  15 V.S.A. § 1103 is amended to read:

§ 1103.  REQUESTS FOR RELIEF

(a)  Any family or household member may seek relief from abuse by another family or household member on behalf of him or herself or his or her children by filing a complaint under this chapter.  The plaintiff shall submit an affidavit in support of the order.

(b)  Except as provided in section 1104 of this title, the court shall grant relief only after notice to the defendant and a hearing.  The plaintiff shall have the burden of proving abuse by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c)  If the court finds that the defendant has abused the plaintiff and that there is a danger of further abuse, the court shall make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff, the children, or both, which may include the following: (1)  The court shall make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff, the children, or both, if the court finds that the defendant has abused the plaintiff, and:

(A)  there is a danger of further abuse; or

(B)  the defendant is currently incarcerated and has been convicted of one of the following:  murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, domestic assault, aggravated domestic assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, stalking, aggravated stalking, lewd or lascivious conduct with child, use of a child in a sexual performance, or consenting to a sexual performance.

(2)  In determining whether there is a danger of further abuse, the court may consider the defendant’s past conduct within the prior ten years as relevant evidence, including instances of prior abuse as defined in section 1101 of Title 15, or threatening behavior as defined in section 5131 of Title 12.

(3)  The court order may include the following:

(1)(A)  an order that the defendant refrain from abusing the plaintiff, his or her children or both and from interfering with their personal liberty, including restrictions on the defendant’s ability to contact the plaintiff or the children in person, by phone or by mail and restrictions prohibiting the defendant from coming within a fixed distance of the plaintiff, the children, the plaintiff’s residence, or other designated locations where the plaintiff or children are likely to spend time;

(2)(B)  an order that the defendant immediately vacate the household and that the plaintiff be awarded sole possession of a residence;

(3)(C)  a temporary award of parental rights and responsibilities in accordance with the criteria in section 665 of this title;

(4)(D)  an order for parent-child contact under such conditions as are necessary to protect the child or the plaintiff, or both, from abuse.  An order for parent-child contact may if necessary include conditions under which the plaintiff may deny parent-child contact pending further order of the court;

(5)(E)  if the court finds that the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff, an order that the defendant pay the plaintiff’s living expenses for a fixed period of time not to exceed three months;

(6)(F)  if the court finds that the defendant has a duty to support the child or children, a temporary order of child support pursuant to chapter 5 of this title, for a period not to exceed three months.  A support order granted under this section may be extended if the relief from abuse proceeding is consolidated with an action for legal separation, divorce, or parentage;

(7)(G)  an order concerning the possession, care and control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held as a pet by either party or a minor child residing in the household.

* * *

Sec. 11.  15 V.S.A. § 1105 is amended to read:

§ 1105.  SERVICE

(a)  A complaint or ex parte temporary order or final order issued under this chapter shall be served in accordance with the rules of civil procedure and may be served by any law enforcement officer.  Abuse orders shall be served at the earliest possible time and shall take precedence over other summonses and orders.  Orders shall be served in a manner calculated to insure the safety of the plaintiff.  Methods of service which include advance notification to the defendant shall not be used.  The person making service shall file a return of service with the court stating the date, time and place at which the order was delivered personally to the defendant.  A defendant who attends a hearing held under section 1103 or 1104 of this title at which a temporary or final order under this chapter is issued, and who receives notice from the court on the record that the order has been issued, shall be deemed to have been served.

* * *

Sec. 12.  15 V.S.A. § 665a is added to read:

§ 665a.  CONDITIONS OF PARENT-CHILD CONTACT IN CASES

               INVOLVING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(a)  If within the prior ten years, one of the parents has been convicted of domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault against the other parent, or has been found to have committed abuse against a family or household member, as defined in section 1101 of this title, the court shall award parent-child contact to that parent under such conditions as it finds necessary and appropriate to ensure the safety and protection of the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic violence.

(b)  In a parent-child contact order issued under subsection (a) of this section, a court may:

(1)  order an exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting;

(2)  order parent-child contact supervised by another person or agency;

(3)  order the perpetrator of domestic violence to participate in, to the satisfaction of the court, a program of intervention for perpetrators, where available, or other designated counseling as a condition of the visitation;

(4)  if alcohol or drugs were involved in the domestic abuse, order the perpetrator of domestic violence to abstain from being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances without a prescription during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding parent-child contact;

(5)  order the perpetrator of domestic violence to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised parent-child contact, provided that the perpetrator can afford to pay the fee;

(6)  prohibit overnight parent-child contact;

(7)  impose any other condition that is deemed necessary or appropriate to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of domestic violence, or another family or household member.

(c)  Whether or not parent-child contact is allowed, the court may order the address of the child and the victim to be kept confidential.

(d)  If a court allows a family or household member to supervise

parent-child contact, the court shall establish conditions to be followed during

parent-child contact.

Sec. 13.  15 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 4 is added to read:

Subchapter 4.  Vermont Council on Domestic Violence

§ 1171.  CREATION OF VERMONT COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC
              VIOLENCE

There is created the Vermont council on domestic violence.  The council shall provide leadership for Vermont’s statewide effort to eradicate domestic violence.

§ 1172.  PURPOSE; POWERS; DUTIES

(a)  The council shall:

(1)  facilitate opportunities for dialogue, advocacy, education, and support among state agencies, advocacy groups, and the public;

(2)  collect, review, and analyze data and information relating to domestic violence;

(3)  provide assistance in developing effective responses to domestic violence, including model policies and procedures, prevention and education initiatives, and domestic-violence-related programs for the criminal justice and human services sectors; specifically, the council shall work with the department of state’s attorneys and the department of corrections to develop recommendations for practice in evidence-based prosecution, risk assessment with domestic violence offenders, the use of deferred sentences in domestic violence cases, standardized probation conditions for domestic violence offenders, appropriate programming options for domestic violence offenders, and strategies for addressing victims of domestic violence who commit crimes as a result of the coercion of a batterer;

(4)  recommend changes in state programs, laws, administrative regulations, policies, and budgets related to domestic violence;

(5)  establish and maintain standards for intervention programs for perpetrators of domestic violence, and develop a process for certifying that programs are complying with the standards;

(6)  review and comment upon legislation relating to domestic violence introduced in the general assembly at the request of any member of the general assembly or on its own initiative; and

(7)  study the issue of employment discrimination against victims of domestic violence and suggest model workplace protections and policies.

(b)  The council shall collaborate with the Vermont fatality review commission to develop strategies for implementing the commission’s recommendations.

(c)  The council shall make a biennial report to the general assembly, the governor, the supreme court, and the people of Vermont explaining all relevant data about domestic violence collected by the council, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of Vermont’s current domestic violence intervention response strategies.

§ 1173.  COMPOSITION AND MEETINGS

(a)  The council shall consist of the following members to be appointed as follows:

(1)  To be appointed by the governor:

(A)  one member of the public who shall be a survivor of domestic violence;

(B)  a representative from the same-sex domestic violence service provider community;

(C)  a representative from the deaf and disability service provider community;

(D)  a representative from the department of state’s attorneys;

(E)  a prosecutor from one of the STOP Domestic Violence units;

(F)  a member of the Vermont clergy;

(G)  one member of the public representing the interests of children exposed to domestic violence.

(2)  To be appointed by the chief justice of the Vermont supreme court:

(A)  five members of the judiciary, one of whom may be a magistrate, one of whom may be an assistant judge, and one of whom may be a court manager;

(B)  one guardian ad litem;

(C)  a representative of Vermont Legal Aid;

(D)  a representative of the Vermont bar experienced in family law.

(3)  The following members:

(A)  the secretary of human services or designee;

(B)  the director of the Vermont criminal information center or designee;

(C)  the defender general or designee;

(D)  the attorney general or designee;

(E)  the executive director of the Vermont center for crime victims services or designee;

(F)  the director of the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence or designee;

(G)  the executive director of the criminal justice training council or designee;

(H)  the executive director of the Vermont commission on women or designee;

(I)  a representative from each county domestic violence task force;

(J)  a representative from Vermont’s supervised visitation coalition;

(K)  a representative from the Vermont police chiefs’ association;

(L)  a representative from the Vermont sheriffs’ association;

(M)  a representative from the Vermont coalition of batterer intervention services;

(N)  the commissioner of the department for children and families or designee;

(O)  the commissioner of the department of public safety or designee;

(P)  the commissioner of the department of corrections or designee; and

(Q)  the commissioner of the department of education or designee.

(b)  The council may establish any committees necessary to carry out its duties.

(c)  The council shall meet at least quarterly to conduct its business.

Sec. 14.  20 V.S.A. § 2365 is added to read:

§ 2365.  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRAINING

(a)  In order to remain certified, law enforcement officers shall receive by 2010 at least eight hours of domestic violence training in a program approved by the Vermont criminal justice training council and the Vermont network against sexual and domestic violence.

(b)  Law enforcement officers shall receive domestic violence retraining every two years in a program approved by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(c)  The Vermont police academy shall employ a domestic violence trainer.

Sec. 15.  33 V.S.A. § 4917 is amended to read:

§ 4917.  MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS; EMPANELING

(a)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services, or his or her designee may empanel a multi-disciplinary team or a special investigative multi-task force team or both wherever in the state there may be a probable case of child abuse or neglect which warrants the coordinated use of several professional services.

(b)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services, or his or her designee, in conjunction with professionals and community agencies, shall appoint members to the multi-disciplinary or special investigative multi-task force teams which may include persons who are trained and engaged in work relating to child abuse or neglect such as medicine, mental health, social work, nursing, day care, education, law, or law enforcement.  Additional persons may be appointed when the services of those persons are appropriate to any particular case.

(c)  The empaneling of a multi-disciplinary or special investigative

multi-task force team shall be authorized in writing and shall specifically list the members of the team.  This list may be amended from time to time as needed as determined by the commissioner or his or her designee.

Sec. 16.  STUDY OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST VICTIMS

                OF DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE

(a)  A committee is established to study the issue of housing discrimination against victims of domestic and sexual violence.

(b)  The committee shall consist of:

(1)  one member appointed by the agency of human services;

(2)  one member appointed by the Vermont public housing agency;

(3)  one member appointed by the Vermont apartment owners’ association;

(4)  one member appointed by Vermont legal aid;

(5)  one member appointed by the Champlain valley office of economic opportunity;

(6)  one member appointed by the Vermont department of housing and community affairs;

(7)  one member appointed by the Vermont human rights commission; and

(8)  one member appointed by the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.

(c)  The committee shall convene its first meeting not later than

September 1, 2008.  The executive director of the Vermont human rights commission is designated to convene the initial meeting.  The Vermont human rights commission shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee may utilize the expertise of nonmembers in its work.  The committee shall report its findings to the senate committees on judiciary and on economic development, housing and general affairs and the house committees on judiciary and on general, housing and military affairs no later than December 15, 2008.  The report shall include an analysis of policies adopted by other states and recommendations to the general assembly about how to respond to the problem of housing discrimination.

Sec. 17.  STUDY OF THE HARASSMENT AND BULLYING OF
              STUDENTS IN VERMONT SCHOOLS

(a)  A committee is established to study the issue of harassment and bullying in Vermont schools.  The committee shall examine:

(1)  the need for further training of educators and school staff to recognize and appropriately respond to the harassment and bullying of students;

(2)  the need for legislative enactments to address cyber-bullying;

(3)  state laws and regulations regarding harassment and bullying;

(4)  school policies and procedures regarding harassment and bullying; and

(5)  any other issues regarding harassment and bullying that the committee deems relevant.

(b)  The committee shall also study the issue of cyber-bullying of Vermont students and recommend measures to address this growing and destructive phenomenon.

(c)  The committee shall consist of:

(1)  one member appointed by the Vermont department of education;

(2)  one member appointed by the Vermont school boards association;

(3)  one member appointed by the Vermont superintendents association;

(4)  one member appointed by the Vermont principals association;

(5)  one member appointed by the Vermont national education association;

(6)  one member appointed by the Vermont human rights commission;

(7)  one member appointed by the Vermont commission on women;

(8)  one member appointed by outright Vermont;

(9)  one member appointed by the Vermont ecumenical council;

(10)  one member appointed by the ALANA community organization;

(11)  one member appointed by the Vermont office of attorney general;

(12)  one law enforcement officer knowledgeable in the investigation of computer crime to be appointed by the Vermont department of public safety;

(13)  two members with expertise and experience in school issues, one to be appointed by the speaker of the house and one to be appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate;

(14)  two youths, one to be appointed by the speaker of the house and one to be appointed by the pro tempore of the senate; and

(15)  one member appointed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont.

(d)  The committee shall convene its first meeting no later than

September 1, 2008.  The executive director of the Vermont human rights commission is designated to convene the initial meeting.  The Vermont human rights commission shall provide administrative support to the committee.  The committee may utilize the expertise of non-members in its work. 

(e)  The committee shall report its findings to the senate committees on judiciary and on education, and to the house committees on judiciary and on education no later than December 15, 2008.  The report shall include a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of harassment and bullying in Vermont schools.

Sec. 18.  13 V.S.A. § 7282 is amended to read:

§ 7282.  ASSESSMENT

(a)  In addition to any penalty or fine imposed by the court or judicial bureau for a criminal offense or any civil penalty imposed for a traffic violation, including any violation of a fish and wildlife statute or regulation, violation of a motor vehicle statute, or violation of any local ordinance relating to the operation of a motor vehicle, except violations relating to seat belts and child restraints and ordinances relating to parking violations, the clerk of the court or judicial bureau shall levy an additional fee of:

* * *

(8)(A)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2006, but before July 1, 2008, $26.00, of which $18.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

(B)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2008, $39.00, of which $18.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

* * *

Sec. 19.  32 V.S.A. § 1431 is amended to read:

§ 1431.  FEES IN SUPREME, SUPERIOR, DISTRICT, FAMILY, AND

  ENVIRONMENTAL COURTS

* * *

(b)(1)  Prior to the entry of any cause in the superior court or environmental court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $225.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section.

(2)  Prior to the entry of any divorce or annulment proceeding in the family court there shall be paid to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the state a fee of $225.00 $275.00 in lieu of all other fees not otherwise set forth in this section; however, if the divorce or annulment complaint is filed with a stipulation for a final order acceptable to the court, the fee shall be $75.00.

* * *

Sec. 20.  32 V.S.A. § 1712 is amended to read:

§ 1712.  TOWN CLERKS

Town clerks shall receive the following fees in the matter of vital registration:

(1)  For issuing and recording a marriage or civil union license, $23.00 $35.00 to be paid by the applicant, $8.00 $10.00 of which sum shall be retained by the town clerk as a fee and $15.00 $25.00 of which sum shall be paid by the town clerk to the state treasurer in a return filed quarterly upon forms furnished by the state treasurer and specifying all fees received by him or her during the quarter.  Such quarterly period shall be as of the first day of January, April, July, and October.

* * *

Sec. 21.  8 V.S.A. § 4080f is amended to read:

§ 4080f.  CATAMOUNT HEALTH

(a)  As used in this section:

* * *

(9)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur, and had no private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for any of the following reasons:

(A)  the The individual’s private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage ended because of:

(i)  loss of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer-sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;

(ii)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(iii) divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(iv)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(v)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or .

(B)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies; or

(C)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

Sec. 22.  33 V.S.A. § 1973 is amended to read:

§ 1973.  VERMONT HEALTH ACCESS PLAN

(a)  The agency of human services or its designee shall establish the Vermont health access plan (VHAP) pursuant to a waiver of federal Medicaid law.  The plan shall remain in effect as long as a federal 1115 demonstration waiver is granted or renewed.

(b)  The purpose of the Vermont health access plan is to provide health care coverage for uninsured or underinsured low income Vermonters.  The agency of human services or its designee shall establish rules regarding eligibility and administration of the plan.

(c)  An individual who has been enrolled in an approved

employer-sponsored insurance plan with premium assistance under section 1974 of this title shall not be subject to a 12-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Vermont health access plan as provided for in subdivision 1974(d)(1).

(d)  An individual who has been enrolled in Catamount Health, with or without premium assistance, shall not be subject to a 12-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Vermont health access plan.

(e)  For purposes of this section, “uninsured” means:

(1)  an An individual with household income, after allowable deductions, at or below 75 percent of the federal poverty guideline for households of the same size; .

(2)  an An individual who had no private insurance or

employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application; or .

(3)  an An individual who lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for any of the following reasons:

(A)  the The individual’s coverage ended because of:

(i)  loss of employment;

(ii)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(iii)  divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(iv)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(v)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or .

(B)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(C)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

Sec. 23.  33 V.S.A. § 1974 is amended to read:

§ 1974.  EMPLOYER-SPONSORED INSURANCE; PREMIUM

               ASSISTANCE

* * *

(c)  Uninsured individuals; premium assistance.

(1)  For the purposes of this subsection:

* * *

(B)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur and had no private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for the following reasons:

(i)  the individual’s coverage ended because of:

(I)  of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer-sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;

(II)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(III)  divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(IV)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(V)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or .

(ii)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(iii)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A.

§ 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the required information.

* * *

Sec. 24.  33 V.S.A. § 1982 is amended to read:

§ 1982.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Catamount Health” means the health benefit plan offered under section 4080f of Title 8.

(2)  “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur and had no private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for the following reasons:

(A)  the individual’s private insurance or employer-sponsored coverage ended because of:

(i)  loss of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer-sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;

(ii)  death of the principal insurance policyholder;

(iii)  divorce or dissolution of a civil union;

(iv)  no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or

(v)  no longer receiving COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or  .

(B)  college- College- or university-sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.

(C)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisor, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in 18 V.S.A.

§ 9432(8).  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent by the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

* * *

Sec. 25.  APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  The amount of $1,147,000.00 from the general fund shall be available in FY 2009 for the center for crime victim services for the Vermont network against domestic and sexual violence.  This amount shall be used to fund domestic violence prevention programs and services in order to break the generational cycle of domestic violence and to support the victims of domestic and sexual violence.

(b)  Of the appropriation in subsection (a) of this section, the amount of $76,805.00 from the general fund shall be available for the Vermont police academy to employ a domestic violence training and curriculum development coordinator.

Sec. 26.  PILOT PROGRAM

The general assembly recognizes the significant impact of domestic violence on victims and their children.  The department for children and families, division of economic services, may expand emergency and general assistance pilot programs and may develop at least one pilot program specifically addressing the needs of victims of domestic violence.

Rep. Howard of Rutland City, for the committee on Ways and Means, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Judiciary with the following amendment thereto:

     First: In Sec. 18, in 13 V.S.A. § 7282(a)(8), by striking subdivision (B) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (B) to read:

(B)  For any offense or violation committed after June 30, 2008, $35.00, of which $27.75 shall be deposited in the victims’ compensation special fund and $2.25 shall be deposited into the criminal justice training council special fund established in section 2363 of Title 20.

     Second:  By striking Sec. 19

     Third:  By striking Sec. 20

     Fourth:  In Sec. 25, in subsection (a), by striking “$1,147,000.00 from the general fund”, and inserting in lieu thereof “$690,000.00 from the victims’ compensation fund created by 13 V.S.A. § 5359”; and in subsection (b) by striking “from the general fund” and inserting in lieu thereof “from the victims’ compensation fund

     Fifth:  By adding Secs. 28 and 29 to read:

Sec. 28.  32 V.S.A. § 605(f) is added to read:

     (f) Each fee report submitted in accordance with subsections (b)(1), (2) or (3) of this section shall also include a report of every surcharge, assessment, add-on, fee, tax, or other type of charge imposed or administered by any state agency, the receipts of which are not deposited into the general fund, the transportation fund or the education fund, regardless of whether the charge falls within the definition of “fee” in section 602 of this subchapter.  A report under this subsection (f) shall include for each charge all of the information described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

Sec. 29.  32 V.S.A. § 602(2)(B) is amended to read:

(B) The following charges are exempt from the provisions of this subchapter , except as provided in subsection 605(f) of this subchapter:

* * *

Rep. Heath of Westford, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means and when further amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 21, 8 V.S.A. § 4080f, in subdivision (a)(9), by striking the period in subdivision (B) following “or otherwise terminated studies” and inserting in lieu thereof “; or” and by striking subdivision (C) in its entirety and inserting a new subdivision (C) as follows:

(C)(i)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency of human services with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisory, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in section 9402 of Title 18.  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent of the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

(ii)  Subdivision (i) of this subdivision (C) shall take effect upon issuance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of approval of an amendment to the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver allowing for a domestic violence exception to the Catamount Health waiting period.

Second:  In Sec. 22, 33 V.S.A. § 1973, in subdivision (e)(3), by striking the period in subdivision (B) following “or otherwise terminated studies” and inserting in lieu thereof “; or” and by striking subdivision (C) in its entirety and inserting a new subdivision (C) as follows:

(C)(i)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency of human services with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisory, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in section 9402 of Title 18.  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent of the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

(ii)  Subdivision (i) of this subdivision (C) shall take effect upon issuance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of approval of an amendment to the waiver set forth in subsection (a) of this section allowing for a domestic violence exception to the VHAP waiting period.

Third:  In Sec. 23, 33 V.S.A. § 1974, in subdivision (c)(1)(B), by striking the period in subdivision (B)(ii) following “or otherwise terminated studies” and inserting in lieu thereof “; or” and by striking subdivision (B)(iii) in its entirety and inserting a new subdivision (B)(iii)as follows:

(iii)(I)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency of human services with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisory, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in section 9402 of Title 18.  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent of the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

(II)  Subdivision (I) of this subdivision (B)(iii) shall take effect upon issuance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of approval of an amendment to the waiver set forth in subsection (f) of this section allowing for a domestic violence exception to the premium assistance program waiting period.

Fourth:  In Sec. 24, 33 V.S.A. § 1982, by striking the period in subdivision (2)(B) following “or otherwise terminated studies” and inserting in lieu thereof “; or” and by striking subdivision (2)(C) in its entirety and inserting a new subdivision (C) as follows:

(C)(i)  The individual lost health insurance as a result of domestic violence.  The individual shall provide the agency of human services with satisfactory documentation of the domestic violence.  The documentation may include a sworn statement from the individual attesting to the abuse, law enforcement or court records, or other documentation from an attorney or legal advisory, member of the clergy, or health care provider, as defined in section 9402 of Title 18.  Information relating to the domestic violence, including the individual’s statement and corroborating evidence, provided to the agency shall not be disclosed by the agency unless the individual has signed a consent to disclose form.  In the event the agency is legally required to release this information without consent of the individual, the agency shall notify the individual at the time the notice or request for release of information is received by the agency and prior to releasing the requested information.

(ii)  Subdivision (i) of this subdivision (C) shall take effect upon issuance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of approval of an amendment to the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver allowing for a domestic violence exception to the Catamount Health premium assistance waiting period.

* * *

Fifth:  By adding a Sec. 27 as follows:

Sec. 27.  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXCEPTION TO HEALTH CARE

               WAITING PERIOD

The secretary of human services shall request approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for an amendment to the Global Commitment for Health Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver to implement the domestic violence exception to the health care waiting periods set forth in Secs. 21, 22, 23, and 24 of this act.

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

Action on Bills Postponed

Rep. Klein of East Montpelier moved to postpone action on the following bills until the end of the orders of the day.

S. 364

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 227

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to angel investors.

S. 270

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 168

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

S. 281

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to end-of-life care and pain management.

 

S. 284

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration.

S. 304

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to a groundwater withdrawal program.

S. 311

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use value appraisal program.

S. 345

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

S. 250

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to decreasing the amounts of cocaine and heroin required to be possessed to trigger drug trafficking penalties.

S. 350

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

H. 859

House bill, entitled

An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and reduce corrections costs.

H. 203

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to increasing the amount of an estate to which a surviving spouse is entitled when the deceased spouse dies without a will.

H. 436

     House bill, entitled

     An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to local election and municipal government laws.

Pending the question, Shall the House postpone action on the bills until after the orders of the day? 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 postpone action on the bills until after the orders of the day?  was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 95.  Nays, 48.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

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

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

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

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

Miller of Shaftsbury

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

Orr of Charlotte

Partridge of Windham

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

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

Ainsworth of Royalton

Allard of St. Albans Town

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

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

Hube of Londonderry

Johnson of Canaan

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

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

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

O'Donnell of Vernon

Otterman of Topsham

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


Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Frank of Underhill

Howrigan of Fairfield

Lippert of Hinesburg

Westman of Cambridge


 

Governor’s Veto Sustained

S. 278

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to financing campaigns

Was taken up pursuant to Chapter 2 Sec. 11 of the Vermont Constitution, the Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the bill pass, the failure of the Governor to approve notwithstanding? was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 99.  Nays 51.  (A 2/3 majority of 100 needed.)

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

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

Godin of Milton

Grad of Moretown

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

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

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

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

Orr of Charlotte

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

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

Stevens of Shoreham

Sweaney of Windsor

Symington of Jericho

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

Ainsworth of Royalton

Allard of St. Albans Town

Baker of West Rutland

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

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

Hube of Londonderry

Johnson of Canaan

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

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

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

O'Donnell of Vernon

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

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:


None.

     Rep. Barnard of Richmond explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I ran for the Vermont House of Representatives in 2004.  I beat an incumbent under the old campaign finance rules, which were more restrictive than the limits that are proposed in S. 278.

     This is not incumbent protection!”

     Rep. Wright of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I vote to sustain the Governor’s veto. The bill promises to take “Big” money out of the Vermont political races is an illusion.  S. 278 accomplishes little or nothing, yet risks another court case which might run into the millions to defend.  Risking Vermont taxpayers money again is not worth the illusion that this bill attempts to provide.”

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 350

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

An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity;

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

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

* * * State Agencies * * *

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 838(c) is amended to read:

(c) The economic impact statement shall analyze the anticipated costs and benefits to be expected from adoption of the rule. Specifically, each economic impact statement shall, for each requirement in the rule:

(1) list categories of people, enterprises and government entities potentially affected and estimate for each the costs and benefits anticipated;

(2) compare the economic impact of the rule with the economic impact of other alternatives to the rule, including no rule on the subject or a rule having separate requirements for small business;

(3) include a flexibility statement. The flexibility statement shall compare the burden imposed on small businesses by compliance with the rule to the burden which would be imposed by alternatives considered under section 832a of this title.

(4)  include a greenhouse gas impact statement.  The greenhouse gas impact statement shall explain how the rule has been crafted to reduce the extent to which greenhouse gases are emitted.  The secretary of administration, in conjunction with the secretaries of agriculture, food and markets, natural resources, and transportation, and the commissioner of public service shall provide a  checklist which shall be used in the adoption of rules to assure the full consideration of greenhouse gas impacts, direct and indirect.

* * *

Sec. 1a.  3 V.S.A. § 2291(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The secretary of administration with the cooperation of the commissioners of public service and of buildings and general services shall develop and oversee the implementation of a state agency energy plan for state government.  The plan shall be adopted by June 30, 2005, modified as necessary, and readopted by the secretary on or before January 15 of each fifth year subsequent to 2005.  The plan shall accomplish the following objectives and requirements:

(1)  To conserve resources, save energy, and reduce pollution.  The plan shall devise strategies to identify to the greatest extent feasible, all opportunities for conservation of resources through environmentally and economically sound infrastructure development, purchasing, and fleet management, and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency available to the state which are cost effective on a life cycle cost basis.

(2)  To consider state policies and operations that affect energy use.

(3)  To devise a strategy to implement or acquire all prudent opportunities and investments in as prompt and efficient a manner as possible.

(4)  To include appropriate provisions for monitoring resource and energy use and evaluating the impact of measures undertaken.

(5)  To identify education, management, and other relevant policy changes that are a part of the implementation strategy.

(6)  To devise a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The plan shall include steps to encourage more efficient trip planning, to reduce the average fuel consumption of the state fleet, and to encourage alternatives to solo-commuting state employees for commuting and job-related travel.

(7)  To provide, where feasible, for the installation of renewable energy systems including solar energy systems, which shall include equipment or building design features, or both, designed to attain the optimal mix of minimizing solar gain in the summer and maximizing solar gain during the winter, as part of the new construction or major renovation of any state building.  The cost of implementation and installation will be identified as part of the budget process presented to the general assembly.

* * * Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets * * *

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 1(c) and (d) are added to read:

(c)  The secretary shall provide data and funding recommendations to the Vermont climate change oversight committee with regard to:

(1)  Funding and implementing state conservation programs in order to increase carbon sequestration.

(2)  Providing cost-share assistance for farmers to purchase manure injection equipment to retrofit existing manure spreaders or purchase new equipment.

(3)  Providing cost-share assistance for farms to develop and implement nutrient management plans for smaller dairy farms and continuing to provide annual assistance so that existing plans on medium-sized farms continue to be implemented.

(4)  Providing cost-share assistance under the farm agronomic practices program so that farms implement cover crops and other soil erosion and land cover practices.

(5)  Other ways to create incentives for carbon sequestration on farm and forest land, Vermont’s “green bank.”

(d)  The secretary shall continue the agency’s methane capture program and shall collaborate with the Vermont climate change oversight committee  with regard to the availability of additional funds for these purposes.  The goal of the methane digester portion of the program shall be to digest and use 15 percent of the state’s dairy cattle manure by 2012, and 50 percent by 2028.  The goal of a second aspect of this emissions reduction program shall be to increase the percentage of poultry and nondairy livestock manure composted to 25 percent by 2012, and 50 percent by 2028. 

* * * Air Quality * * *

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 552 is amended to read:

§ 552.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(11)  “Greenhouse gas” means any chemical or physical substance that is emitted into the air and that the secretary may reasonably anticipate to cause or contribute to climate change, including, but not limited to, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.

Sec. 3a.  10 V.S.A. § 578 is amended to read:

§ 578.  GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION GOALS

(a)  General goal of greenhouse gas reduction. It is the goal of the state to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from within the geographical boundaries of the state and those emissions outside the boundaries of the state that are caused by the use of energy in Vermont in order to make an appropriate contribution to achieving the regional goals of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the 1990 baseline by:

(1)  25 percent by January 1, 2012;

(2)  50 percent by January 1, 2028;

(3) if practicable using reasonable efforts, 75 percent by January 1, 2050.

(b)  Climate change action plan Vermont climate collaborative.  The secretary will coordinate with the governor's commission on climate change established by executive order and will consult with any interested members of Vermont's participate in the Vermont climate collaborative, a collaboration between state government and Vermont’s higher education, business, agricultural, labor, and environmental communities, in developing a climate change action plan state programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that are permanent, quantifiable, and verifiable.  The secretary shall notify each member of the general assembly of the development of this plan and of the general public that the collaborative is developing greenhouse gas reduction programs and shall provide meaningful opportunity for public comment on program developmentThis plan Programs shall be developed in a manner that implements state energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a.  Not later than September 1, 2007 January 15, 2009 and January 15, 2010, the secretary shall present this plan report on program development to the committees of the general assembly having jurisdiction over matters relating to the environment, agriculture, energy, transportation, commerce, and public health.

(c)  Implementation of climate change action plan state programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In order to facilitate the state's compliance with the goals established in this section, all state agencies shall consider, whenever practicable, any increase or decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in their decision-making procedures with respect to the purchase and use of equipment and goods; the siting, construction, and maintenance of buildings; the assignment of personnel; and the planning, design and operation of programs, services and infrastructure.

(d)  Advocacy for cap and trade program for greenhouse gases.  In order to increase the likelihood of the state meeting the goals established under this section, the public service board, the secretary of natural resources, and the commissioner of public service shall advocate before appropriate regional or national entities and working groups in favor of the establishment of a regional or national cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.  This may take the form of an expansion of the existing regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), or it may entail the creation of an entirely new and separate regional or national cap and trade initiative that includes a 100 percent consumer allocation system.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 580 is added to read:

§ 580.  GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES; REGISTRY

(a)  Inventory and forecasting.  The secretary shall work, in conjunction with other states or a regional consortium, to establish a periodic and consistent inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.  The secretary shall publish a Vermont greenhouse gas emission inventory and forecast by no later than June 1, 2010, and updates shall be published annually until 2028, until a regional or national inventory and registry program is established in which Vermont participates, or until the federal National Emissions Inventory includes mandatory greenhouse gas reporting. 

(b)  Inventory updates.  To develop the inventory under this section, the secretary, in coordination with the secretaries of administration, transportation, agriculture, food and markets, and commerce and community development, and the commissioner of the department of public service, shall aggregate all existing statewide data on greenhouse gas emissions currently reported to state or federal entities, existing statewide data on greenhouse gas sinks, and otherwise publicly available data.  Greenhouse gas emissions data that is more than 36 months old shall be updated either by statistical methods or seeking updated information from the reporting agency or department.  The information shall be standardized to reflect the emissions in tons per CO2 equivalent, shall be set out in the inventory by sources or sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, automobile emissions, heating, and electricity production, shall be compatible with the inventory included with the governor’s commission on climate change final report and shall include, but not be limited to, the following sources:

(1)  information collected for reporting in the national emissions inventory, which includes air toxics, criteria pollutants, mobile sources, point sources, and area sources;

(2)  in-state electricity production using RGGI and state permit information;

(3)  vehicle miles travelled and vehicle registration data; and

(4) agricultural activities, including livestock and crop practices.

(c)  Forecast.  The secretary shall use best efforts to forecast statewide emissions for a five- and ten-year period based on the inventory data and other publicly available information.

(d)  Registry.  The secretary shall work, in conjunction with other states or a regional consortium, to establish a regional or national greenhouse gas registry.

(1)  Any registry in which Vermont participates shall be designed to apply to the entire state and to as large a geographic area beyond state boundaries as is possible.

(2)  It shall accommodate as broad an array of sectors, sources, facilities and approaches as is possible, and shall allow sources to start as far back in time as is permitted by good data, affirmed by third-party verification.

(e)  Rules.  The secretary may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section and shall review existing and proposed international, federal, and state greenhouse gas emission reporting programs and make reasonable efforts to promote consistency among the programs established pursuant to this section and other programs, and to streamline reporting requirements on greenhouse gas emission sources.  Nothing in this section shall limit a state agency from adopting any rule within its authority.

* * * Pollution Abatement Facilities * * *

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 1278(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Findings.  The general assembly finds that the state shall protect Vermont’s lakes, rivers, and streams from pollution by implementing programs to prevent sewage spills to Vermont waters and by requiring emergency planning to limit the damage from spills which do occur.  In addition, the general assembly finds it to be cost-effective and generally beneficial to the environment to continue state efforts to ensure energy efficiency in the operation of treatment facilities.

* * * Solid Waste Planning * * *

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 6604(a) is amended to read:

(a)  No later than April 30, 1988 the secretary shall publish and adopt, after notice and public hearing pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, a solid waste management plan which sets forth a comprehensive state-wide strategy for the management of waste, including whey.  No later than July 1, 1991, the secretary shall publish and adopt, after notice and public hearing pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, a hazardous waste management plan, which sets forth a comprehensive statewide strategy for the management of hazardous waste.

(1)(A)  The plans shall be based upon the following priorities, in descending order:

(A)(i)  the greatest feasible reduction in the amount of waste generated;

(B)(ii)  reuse and recycling of waste to reduce to the greatest extent feasible the volume remaining for processing and disposal;

(C)(iii)  waste processing to reduce the volume or toxicity of the waste stream necessary for disposal;

(D)(iv)  land disposal of the residuals.

(B)  Processing and disposal alternatives shall be preferred which do not foreclose the future ability of the state to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. In determining feasibility, the secretary shall evaluate alternatives in terms of their expected life-cycle costs.

(2)  The plans shall be revised at least once every five years and shall include:

(A)  methods to reduce and remove material from the waste stream, including commercially generated and other organic wastes, used clothing, and construction and demolition debris, and to separate, collect, and recycle, treat or dispose of specific waste materials that create environmental, health, safety, or management problems, including, but not limited to, tires, batteries, obsolete electronic equipment, and unregulated hazardous wastes.  These portions of the plans shall include strategies to assure recycling in the state, and to prevent the incineration or other disposal of marketable recyclables.  They shall consider both the current solid waste stream and its projected changes, and shall be based on:

(i)  an analysis of the volume and nature of wastes generated in the state, the sources of those wastes, and the current fate or disposition of those wastes;

(ii)  an assessment of the feasibility and cost of recycling each type of waste, including an assessment of the feasibility of providing the option of single source recycling;

(iii)  a survey of existing and potential markets for each type of waste that can be recycled;

(B)  a proposal for the development of facilities and programs necessary at the state, regional or local level to achieve the priorities identified in subdivision (a)(1) of this section.  Consideration shall be given to the need for additional regional or local composting facilities, the need to expand the collection of commercially generated organic wastes, and the cost effectiveness of developing single stream waste management infrastructure adequate to serve the entire population, which may include material recovery centers.  These portions of the plan shall be based, in part, on an assessment of the status, capacity, and life expectancy of existing treatment and disposal facilities, and they shall include siting criteria for waste management facilities, and shall establish requirements for full public involvement.

* * * Transportation * * *

Sec. 7.  19 V.S.A. § 10b is amended to read:

§ 10b.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; GENERAL

(a)  The agency shall be the responsible agency of the state for the development of transportation policy.  It shall develop a mission statement to reflect state transportation policy encompassing, coordinating, and integrating all modes of transportation, the need for transportation projects that will improve the state’s economic infrastructure, as well as the use of resources in efficient, coordinated, integrated, cost effective, and environmentally sound ways.  The agency shall coordinate planning and education efforts with those of the Vermont climate change oversight committee and those of local and regional planning entities:

(1)  to assure that the transportation system as a whole is integrated, that access to the transportation system as a whole is integrated, and that statewide local, and regional conservation and efficiency opportunities and practices are integrated; and

(2)  to support employer or local or regional government-led conservation, efficiency, rideshare, and bicycle programs and other innovative transportation advances, especially employer-based incentives.

(b)  In developing the state’s annual transportation program, the agency shall, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional, and state agency plans:

(1)  Develop or incorporate designs that provide integrated, safe, and efficient transportation and promote economic opportunities for Vermonters and the best use of the state’s environmental and historic resources. 

(2)  Manage available funding to:

(A)  give priority to preserving the functionality of the existing transportation infrastructure, including bicycle and pedestrian trails regardless of whether they are located along a highway shoulder; and

(B)  adhere to credible project delivery schedules.

* * *

Sec. 8.  19 V.S.A. § 10e is amended to read:

§ 10e.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; RAILROADS

(a)  The general assembly recognizes that rail service, both passenger and freight, is an integral part of the state’s transportation network and that it must be fully integrated into the state’s transportation network as a whole.  Accordingly, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Vermont:

(1)  to To provide opportunities for rail passenger services by cooperating with the federal government, other states, and providers of those services, with priority to be given to the services likely to complement the state’s other transportation resources and Vermont’s economic development efforts and to meet the needs of the traveling public;.  Goals to increase passenger rail use will be in accordance with the agency’s rail plan.

(2)  to To preserve and modernize for continued freight railroad service those railroad lines, both within the state of Vermont and extending into adjoining states, which directly affect the economy of the state or provide connections to other railroad lines which directly affect the economy of the state;.  Goals to increase freight rail use will be in accordance with the agency’s rail plan.

 (3)  in In those cases where continuation of freight railroad service is not economically feasible under present conditions, to preserve established railroad rights-of-way for future reactivation of railroad service, trail corridors, and other public purposes not inconsistent with future reactivation of railroad service; and.

(4)  to To seek federal aid for rail projects that implement this section’s policy goals.

(5)  To maintain and improve intercity bus and rail and freight and commuter rail services, and the necessary intermodal connections, and to increase the efficiency of equipment and the extent to which equipment selection and operation can limit or avoid the emission of greenhouse gases.

(6)  To plan for increased ridership with city‑to‑city and commuter rail service, and for increased coordination of rail service with bus service,

car-pooling, and ride-sharing opportunities.

* * *

Sec. 9.  19 V.S.A. § 10f is amended to read:

§ 10f.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

(a)  It shall be the state’s policy to make maximum use of available federal funds for the support of public transportation.  State operating support funds shall be included in agency operating budgets to the extent that funds are available. It shall be the state’s policy to support the maintenance of existing public transportation services, to assure the rapid replacement of any unplanned decrease in service, and to support the creation of new service that is accessible and affordable to those who use these services.

(b)  The agency of transportation shall develop and periodically update a plan for investment in public transportation services and infrastructure as part of an integrated transportation system consistent with the goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 5083, and regional transportation development plan proposals and regional plans as required by 24 V.S.A. § 5089.

(1)  The plan shall include components that shall coordinate rideshare, public transit, park and ride, interstate, and bicycle and pedestrian planning and investment at the state, regional, and local levels, and create or expand regional connections within the state, in order to maximize interregional ridesharing and access to public transit.

(2)  The agency shall develop and make available to the traveling public an integrated, statewide online service that coordinates transportation options and provides web-based access to information that will allow the traveling public integrated, convenient, affordable, and dependable access to alternative transportation modes sufficient to allow efficient, cost-effective, and timely travel throughout the state.

Sec. 10.  19 V.S.A. § 2310 is amended to read:

§ 2310.  PAVEMENT OF HIGHWAY SHOULDERS

(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10c of this title, it is the policy of the state to provide paved shoulders on major state highways with the intent to develop an integrated bicycle route system and make the shoulders safer for pedestrian traffic.  This shall not apply to the interstate highway and certain other limited access highways.

(b)  Any construction, or reconstruction, including upgrading and resurfacing projects on these highways, shall include paved shoulders unless the agency deems certain sections to be cost prohibitive maintain or improve existing access and road surface conditions for bicycles and pedestrians along the shoulders of these highways, unless the area is adequately served by bicycle and pedestrian paths that are not located along the shoulders of these highways, or unless the agency deems it to be cost-prohibitive.

* * * Zoning Regulations * * *

Sec. 11.  24 V.S.A. § 4414 is amended to read:

§ 4414.  ZONING; PERMISSIBLE TYPES OF REGULATIONS

Any of the following types of regulations may be adopted by a municipality in its bylaws in conformance with the plan and for the purposes established in section 4302 of this title.

* * *

(14)  Green development incentives.  A municipality may encourage the use of low‑embodied energy in construction materials, planned neighborhood developments that allow for reduced use of fuel for transportation, and increased use of renewable technology by providing for regulatory incentives, including increased densities and expedited review.

* * * Combined Heat and Power * * *

Sec. 12.  30 V.S.A. § 202(i) is added to read:

(i)  It shall be a goal of the electrical energy plan to assure, by 2028, that at least 60 MW of power are generated within the state by combined heat and power (CHP) facilities powered by renewable fuels or by nonqualifying SPEED resources, as defined in section 8002 of this title.  In order to meet this goal, the plan shall include incentives for development and strategies to identify locations in the state that would be suitable for CHP.  The plan shall include strategies to assure the consideration of CHP potential during any process related to the expansion of natural gas services in the state.

* * * Least-Cost Planning * * *

Sec. 13.  30 V.S.A. § 218c(a) is amended to read:

(a)(1)  A “least cost integrated plan” for a regulated electric or gas utility is a plan for meeting the public’s need for energy services, after safety concerns are addressed, at the lowest present value life cycle cost, including environmental and economic costs, through a strategy combining investments and expenditures on energy supply, transmission and distribution capacity, transmission and distribution efficiency, and comprehensive energy efficiency programs.  Economic costs shall be determined with due regard to:

(A)  the greenhouse gas inventory developed under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 580;

(B)  the state’s progress in meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals; and

(C)  the value of the financial risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions from various power sources.

* * *

Sec. 13a. INVESTIGATION OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

The commissioner of public service shall hold workshops concerning distributed generation and what barriers exist to the development throughout the state of distributed generation.  The commissioner shall present recommendations on these matters by no later than January 15, 2009, to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy, commerce, and finance.

Sec. 14.  VERMONT CLIMATE CHANGE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

(a)  The Vermont climate change oversight committee is established, to consist of nine members who shall not be members of the general assembly at the time of appointment.  Members shall include the state treasurer or a designee together with one member appointed by the speaker of the house, one member appointed by the committee on committees, and two members appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a board member of the Vermont climate collaborative.  In addition, there shall be a chair and a vice chair appointed by joint action of the speaker of the house, the committee on committees, and the governor, and two additional public members appointed in this manner.  Members shall be appointed who have skills and knowledge that will support the needs of the committee, which may include persons with knowledge of business, “green” business and technology, economics, public health, public utilities, agriculture, ecological science, carbon trading, municipal planning,  transportation and land use planning and development, forestry and ecology, waste management, and education. 

(b)  The powers of the committee are vested in its members, and a quorum shall consist of five members.  No action of the committee shall be considered valid unless the action is supported by a majority vote of its members.  The committee shall be entitled to staff assistance from the natural resources board and from the agency of natural resources, which shall coordinate any requested assistance from state agencies and departments.  The committee shall invite public input, form task forces, work with stakeholder groups and state entities, work with local, state-based, and national interest groups, and take other appropriate steps to gather information and develop its recommendations.

(c)  The primary mission of the committee shall be to consider the recommendations of the governor’s commission on climate change and its plenary group and the recommendations of the Vermont council on rural development:

(1)  to identify barriers to be overcome in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the state;

(2)  to identify areas that merit priority consideration in this regard because of their ease of implementation and their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

(3)  to develop recommendations for ways to overcome those barriers;

(4)  to identify resource needs and funding options; and

(5)  to facilitate state and private entities in addressing these issues.

(d)  In this process, the committee shall work with the Vermont climate collaborative and other interested persons and groups.

(e)  The committee shall present a report to the general assembly by no later than January 30, 2009. 

* * *  Weatherization Program * * *

Sec. 15.  33 V.S.A. § 2502(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In addition, the director shall supplement, or supplant, any federal program with a state home weatherization assistance program providing:

* * *

(3)  funding for the installation of solar domestic hot water systems and other renewable energy systems on eligible homes, where cost effective and consistent with other program needs.

* * * Methane Digesters * * *

Sec. 16.  REGIONAL DAIRY METHANE DIGESTERS

The secretary of natural resources shall review and make appropriate regulatory revisions or recommend appropriate statutory amendments to its regulatory programs that may be preventing the use of wastes, such as food processing wastes, whey, and brewers’ waste, in farm-based methane digester systems.

Sec. 17.  STATUS REPORT ON VEHICLE EMISSIONS LABELING

By no later than January 30, 2009, the secretary of natural resources shall provide to the house and senate committees on transportation a status report with regard to the implementation of the vehicle emissions labeling program for new motor vehicles, established under 10 V.S.A. § 579.

Sec. 18.  REPORT ON INCENTIVES FOR EFFICIENT  

               TRANSPORTATION

By December 15, 2008, the agency of transportation, in collaboration with the University of Vermont transportation research center and the agency of natural resources, shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and on transportation, to the house committee on ways and means, and to the senate committee on finance with:

(1) An analysis of the role of motor vehicles in creating and contributing to air contaminants in Vermont, and a determination of what portion of overall statewide energy consumption is due to the use of motor vehicles.

(2) Recommendations regarding policy options that would encourage and reward efficient transportation, reduce the amount of greenhouse gases generated by the transportation sector, and support alternative modes of transportation.

(3) Recommendations for public education regarding clean and efficient transportation.

(4)  Other recommendations regarding the efficient use of transportation services.

Rep. Branagan of Georgia, for the committee on Ways and Means, reports same without recommendation.

Rep. Keenan of St. Albans, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

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

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Bill Read Third Time and

Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

S. 345

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance;

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

In Sec. 6, in the first sentence, after “health care administration” by adding “, a participant designated by the Vermont Trial Lawyers’ Association, a participant designated by the Vermont Bar Association from defense attorneys representing employers,  

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 250

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

An act relating to decreasing the amounts of cocaine and heroin required to be possessed to trigger drug trafficking penalties;

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

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

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. § 4231(c)(1) is amended to read:

(c)(1)  Trafficking.  A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing cocaine in an amount consisting of 300 225 grams or more of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing cocaine with the intent to sell or dispense the cocaine shall be imprisoned not more than 30 years or fined not more than $1,000,000.00, or both.  There shall be a permissive inference that a person who possesses cocaine in an amount consisting of 300 225 grams or more of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing cocaine intends to sell or dispense the cocaine.  The amount of possessed cocaine under this subdivision to sustain a charge of conspiracy under 13 V.S.A. § 1404 shall be no less than 800 600 grams in the aggregate.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 4233(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Trafficking.  A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing heroin in an amount consisting of seven five grams or more of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing heroin with the intent to sell or dispense the heroin shall be imprisoned not more than 30 years or fined not more than $1,000,000.00, or both.  There shall be a permissive inference that a person who possesses heroin in an amount of seven five grams or more of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing heroin intends to sell or dispense the heroin.  The amount of possessed heroin under this subsection to sustain a charge of conspiracy under 13 V.S.A. § 1404 shall be no less than 20 15 grams in the aggregate.

Sec. 3.  18 V.S.A. § 4252 is added to read:

§ 4252.  PENALTIES FOR DISPENSING OR SELLING REGULATED

DRUGS IN A DWELLING

(a)  No person shall knowingly permit a dwelling, building, or structure owned by or under the control of the person to be used for the purpose of illegally dispensing or selling a regulated drug.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00 or both.

(c)  For purposes of this section, a landlord may assert as an affirmative defense that he or she has commenced eviction proceedings against a tenant dispensing or selling a regulated drug.

Sec. 4.  SENTENCING COMMISSION DRUG POLICY STUDY

(a)(1)  The Vermont sentencing commission shall review current state practices regarding:

(A)  sentencing for drug offenses;

(B)  prevention and treatment of drug abuse; and

(C)  investigation, prosecution, and punishment for drug offenses. 

(2)  The commission shall determine whether Vermont laws are consistent with best practices, considering the costs and benefits to different approaches with best practices.  This review shall be given priority as the commission outlines its work for 2008 and 2009. 

(b)  The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the senate and house committees on judiciary no later than March 30, 2009.  

(c)  In conducting the review, the committee shall have the assistance and cooperation of all state and local agencies and departments, including the department of public safety.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up and read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment agreed to.

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time? Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

First:  by adding a new Sec. 5 to read:

Sec. 5.  18 V.S.A. § 4230(a)(1) is amended to read:

(1) A  person knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in an amount consisting of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances, of an aggregate weight of more than one-quarter ounce containing any marijuana shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this subdivision shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both. Upon an adjudication of guilt for a first offense under this subdivision, the court may defer sentencing as provided in section 7041 of Title 13 except that the court may in its discretion defer sentence without the filing of a presentence investigation report and except that sentence may be imposed at any time within two years from and after the date of entry of deferment. The court may prior to sentencing, order that the defendant submit to a drug assessment screening which may be considered at sentencing in the same manner as a presentence report.

Second: by adding a new Sec. 6 to read:

Sec.  6. 18 V.S.A. § 4230a is added to read:

§ 4230a. MINORS POSSESSING MARIJUANA; CIVIL VIOLATION

 A person under 18 years of age knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in an amount consisting of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances, of an aggregate weight of less than one-quarter ounce containing any marijuana, commits a civil violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty of $300.00, and the person’s operator’s license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of 90 days.

Third: by adding a new Sec. 7 to read:

Sec. 7. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

(a) A judicial bureau is created within the judicial branch under the supervision of the supreme court.

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

* * *

(14)  Violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4230a, relating to possession of marijuana by a person under 18 years of age.

* * *

Pending the question, Shall the House proposal of amendment be amended as recommended by Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington? Rep. Donaghy of Poultney 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 proposal of amendment be amended as recommended by Rep. Zuckerman of Burlington?  was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 18.  Nays, 111.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Condon of Colchester

Davis of Washington

Edwards of Brattleboro

Haas of Rochester

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hutchinson of Randolph

Klein of East Montpelier

Lorber of Burlington

Ojibway of Hartford

Otterman of Topsham

Pearson of Burlington

Peltz of Woodbury

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

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

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clark of Vergennes

Clarkson of Woodstock

Clerkin of Hartford

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Courcelle of Rutland City

Crawford of Burke

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Flory of Pittsford

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Grad of Moretown

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Helm of Castleton

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Hube of Londonderry

Hunt of Essex

Jerman of Essex

Jewett of Ripton

Johnson of South Hero

Johnson of Canaan

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lewis of Derby

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Masland of Thetford

McAllister of Highgate

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McNeil of Rutland Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Mook of Bennington

Moran of Wardsboro

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Orr of Charlotte

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pellett of Chester

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

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

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Brennan of Colchester

Corcoran of Bennington

Errecart of Shelburne

Godin of Milton

Keenan of St. Albans City

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lippert of Hinesburg

Malcolm of Pawlet

Martin of Wolcott

McFaun of Barre Town

Monti of Barre City

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Westman of Cambridge


 

     Rep. Nease of Johnson explained his vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I strongly support the decriminalizing of small quantities of marijuana.  The underlying bill provides a way for this legislature to look closely at our marijuana laws and to reform our laws in a responsible way.  I voted no because an amendment like this would make important policy changes on the fly.”

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

Committee of Conference Appointed

H. 748

     Pursuant to the request of the Senate for a Committee of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on House bill, entitled

     An act relating to permitting students to possess and self-administer life-saving medicine;

     The Speaker appointed as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the House:

   Rep. Clark of Vergennes

   Rep. Gilbert of Fairfax

               Rep. Barnard of Richmond

Recess

At twelve o’clock and thirty-five minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker declared a recess until the fall of the gavel.

At one o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon, the Speaker called the House to order.

Rep. Jewett of Ripton in Chair.

Message from the Senate No. 64

     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 considered bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 659.  An act relating to approval of the adoption of the charter of the town of Enosburg.

H. 892.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the village of Enosburg Falls.

H. 893.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the city of Rutland.

And has passed the same in concurrence.

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

H. 599.  An act relating to boating while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated.

H. 685.  An act relating to enforcement of environmental laws.

H. 700.  An act relating to sale of bottles of wine at festivals.

H. 887.  An act relating to health care reform.

     And has passed the same in concurrence with proposals of amendment in the adoption 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. 226.  An act relating to requiring the installation of photoelectric only smoke detectors. 

And has concurred therein with an amendment in the passage of which the concurrence of the House is requested.

The Senate has considered House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

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

And has refused to concur therein and asks for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses;

The President pro tempore announced the appointment as members of such Committee on the part of the Senate:

          Senator Giard

          Senator Maynard

          Senator Kittell

Pursuant to the request of the House for Committees of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the following House bills the President pro tempore announced the appointment as members of such Committees on the part of the Senate:

H. 11.  An act relating to the commissioner of health.

          Senator White

          Senator Flanagan

          Senator Racine

H. 290.  An act relating to underground utility damage prevention system.

          Senator Miller

          Senator Scott

          Senator Illuzzi

H. 432.  An act relating to establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

          Senator Miller

          Senator Carris

          Senator Racine

H. 515.  An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-added thermostats.

          Senator McCormack

          Senator Hartwell

          Senator Snelling

H. 617.  An act relating to guardianships.

          Senator Nitka

          Senator Cummings

          Senator Sears

H. 711.  An act relating to agricultural, forestry and horticultural education.

          Senator Starr

          Senator Campbell

          Senator Illuzzi

H. 806.  An act relating to public water systems.

          Senator Hartwell

          Senator Snelling

          Senator McCormack

Proposal of Amendment Agreed to; Third Reading Ordered

S. 364

Rep. Klein of East Montpelier, for the committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to a comprehensive vertical audit and reliability assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant;

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

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

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT AND PURPOSE

(a)  No. 160 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) reconfirmed the obligation and authority of the general assembly to examine the reliability of the nuclear power station of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) in order to determine if it should be authorized to operate in this state beyond the expiration of its current operating license on March 21, 2012.

(b)  The general assembly finds that Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee has had one of the highest percentage power increases of any plant in the country and now is applying for a 20-year life extension beyond its 40-year design.  It is therefore the intent of the general assembly to determine on behalf of the people of the state of Vermont the reliability issues associated with operating ENVY for an additional 20 years after its scheduled closure in 2012.

(c) The general assembly finds that Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee provides approximately one-third of the power used by the citizens of Vermont.  It has been a reliable generation source for Vermont.  However, in 2007 it experienced two operational difficulties that required that it reduce power or go to zero power production.  When the station reduces power output or does not produce power, Vermont utilities have to purchase market power, often at a greater price to our citizens. It is in the State’s economic interests to ensure that the station is a reliable source of power.

(d)  It is the purpose of this act to provide for a thorough, independent, and public assessment of the reliability of the systems, structures, and components of the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee facility.  The comprehensive reliability assessment required by this act shall:

(1)  Achieve the goals and objectives set out in Sec. 2 of this act;

          (2)  Assess the reliability of specific systems identified in Sec. 3 of this        act;

(3)  Address the specific audit inquiries with respect to those systems, as set out in Sec. 4 of this act; and

(4)  Employ audit methodologies as set out in Sec. 5 of this act.

Sec. 2.  GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Giving due consideration to the following areas consistent with Vermont’s legitimate state interests, the goals and objectives of an independent comprehensive reliability assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear facility are to:

(1)  Assess the conformance of the facility to its design and licensing bases, for operating at up to 120 percent of its originally intended power production level, including appropriate reviews at the plant's site and its corporate offices;

(2)  Identify all relevant deviations, exemptions, or waivers, or any combination of these from any regulatory requirements applicable to Vermont Yankee and from any regulatory requirements applicable to new nuclear reactors, and verify whether adequate operating margins are retained despite the cumulative effect of any deviations, exemptions, or waivers for the present licensed power level for the proposed period of license extension;

(3)  Assess the facility's operational performance, and the facility’s reliability for continued power production, giving risk perspectives where appropriate;

(4)  Evaluate the effectiveness of licensee self-assessments, corrective actions, and improvement plans; and

(5)  Determine the cause or causes of any significant operational shortcomings identified and draw conclusions on overall performance.

Sec. 3.  SPECIFIC SYSTEMS TO BE ASSESSED

(a) The comprehensive reliability assessment shall include an in-depth inspection of at least the seven whole plant systems listed in this subsection. 

(1)  An electrical system:  the back-up or stand-by electrical system, including the diesel generators, batteries, the Vernon dam tie, and all associated electrical connections and controls.

(2)  An emergency system:  the emergency core cooling system, including both high- and low-pressure injection systems.

(3)  A mechanical system:  the condensate feed water system, including the condenser.

(4)  The primary containment system, including all associated systems, structures, and components, such as dry well shell, torus supports, residual heat removal system, isolation valves, containment spray, and adequate suction.

(5)  A heat removal system:  the cooling towers and alternate cooling system, including both cooling tower cells used for normal cooling and those that are emergency-related towers.

(6)  A cooling system dependent upon Connecticut River water: alternate cooling system and emergency service water.

(7) An underground piping system that carries radionuclides.

(b) Additional systems may be selected for audit by the public oversight panel established in Sec. 6 of this act in consultation with the department of public service.                   (c)  In addition, the audit shall include an investigation and assessment of a generic systems issue:  cable separation — separation of safety systems, including physical and electrical separation.

Sec. 4.  SPECIFIC AUDIT INQUIRIES

The audit of each system shall include physical and documentation examination of the entire system, including each system’s relevant components.  Specific inquiries to be addressed shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)  Initial conditions.  What were the codes and standards with which

the system was designed to comply and what was the design basis?  Is the design of the system in keeping with the expected initial conditions and its design basis?

(2)  Procurement.  If there were procurement changes, was a new set of review calculations completed for those procurement changes and were those procurement changes compared against the original design and all of its calculations?

(3)  Installation - “as-built.”  Do plant records adequately represent the as-built condition of the plant?  Are all changes reflected in all documents from the design basis through as-built and through current operations?

(4)  Operation.  What changes or compensations have been made to accommodate unanticipated operations outcomes?  Have those changes, compensations, and accommodations been duly noted in procedural manuals and logs?  Have root cause analyses been conducted to reflect unanticipated outcomes?  If root cause analyses were not conducted in any particular instance, why not?  If root cause analyses were not conducted in any particular instance, have any unanticipated system operations outcomes been duly corrected or compensated in all safety and reliability operations and procedures?

(5)  Testing.  When systems have undergone periodic tests, what have been the results?  Are resulting corrective actions reflected in all documents from design through as-built through current operations?

(6)  Inspection.  When systems have undergone periodic inspections, have those inspections been successful?  Are the resulting changes reflected in all documents from design through as-built through current operations?

(7)  Maintenance.  Has the management system for aging components been adequately maintained to assure the components meet the design basis?  Is there a track-change system in place to determine what components have been reviewed, repaired, or replaced?  Is there an accurate system in place to record when those reviews and repairs were completed?  Is there a program of operations or a schedule of operations that specifically delineates what aging management systems, as identified in the industry-wide database, are being reviewed and when?  Is adequate time allowed in each outage for aging management review and adequate maintenance?  Are the aging factors discovered actually being repaired in a timely manner?

(8)  Repairs.  Have repairs been performed which assure the system will operate as expected?  Are all repairs completed as soon as possible?  Are repairs sufficiently in-depth to effectively invest in the plant and its operational systems?

(9)  Modifications.  Do all modifications to the system also comply with the system's original design basis?  Have all procedure manuals and operations manuals been updated to reflect the impact of any modifications made to any system?

(10)  Redesign.  Have changes made to the plant since its original construction been reviewed to ensure that safety margins have not been reduced?  Has each component modified for uprate been reviewed to assure that operational margins have not been reduced and to assure that design basis redundancy has not been compromised?   Have any repairs, maintenance, or modifications impacted the original design of the redundant safety systems?  Are all systems still “single failure proof”?

(11)  Seismic analysis.  When was the most recent modern,

computer-generated, finite element seismic analysis performed on each of the seven vertical slice systems examined in the audit?  Does ENVY remain capable of withstanding design basis events beyond the original 40-year design life of the plant to reflect the age-related changes in the plant and weight changes from all modifications during the first 35 years of operation?

(12)  Training.  Has an adequate review and evaluation of operator training and operating procedures been conducted?  Has each change been adequately reflected in the operations procedures?  Have operations personnel been adequately trained in all modifications to all systems?  Are operations personnel frequently updated and trained regarding any troublesome issues other plants have uncovered which may compromise operations and safe shutdown?

(13)  Corrective action programs.  What corrective action programs have been established for each of the systems audited?  Have the corrective actions taken been properly integrated in the corrective action program?  Have corrective actions been taken in a timely manner?  Where recorded items have been deferred, have they been appropriately evaluated for risks and potential consequences of deferral and appropriately tracked while awaiting resolution?

Sec. 5.  DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

     (a) The department of public service, in consultation with the public oversight panel, shall design the work plan and establish a time frame for the comprehensive reliability assessment.  The following methodology shall be employed unless with respect to any specific system, component or procedure the department, in consultation with the oversight panel, determines that employing such methodology would be inefficient or ineffective: 

          (1)  Vertical investigation.  The audit shall commence with an examination of the initial start-up conditions of the Vermont Yankee plant and examine the subsequent history of its modifications, maintenance, repairs, and current operations.  Such vertical inspection shall be made of each whole plant system selected for assessment.

          (2)  Horizontal investigation.  At any point in the vertical inspection at which an emergency-related function, the operability, the design, the performance, or aging issues, or other unanalyzed or nonconforming conditions are encountered, a thorough horizontal or lateral exploration shall be conducted to determine extent-of-condition and root cause with attention to evaluating licensee performance in problem identification and resolution, testing, engineering, in-service inspection, and maintenance.

(b)  In addition to the vertical and horizontal inspections prescribed in this section, the department in consultation with the public oversight panel may include in the design of the audit the investigation or assessment of any other system, component, or procedure utilizing any other methodology that the department and oversight panel deem necessary to provide a complete and comprehensive evaluation of the reliability of the Vermont Yankee nuclear facility.

Sec. 6.  PUBLIC OVERSIGHT PANEL

(a)  The comprehensive reliability assessment required by this act shall be conducted with the maximum amount of transparency and public oversight and involvement.  To that end, a public oversight panel is created to include five members who have demonstrated expertise in nuclear technology or nuclear regulation to be selected as follows:

(1)  The speaker of the house, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the governor shall jointly appoint three members; and

(2)  Two members shall be selected jointly by the three members appointed pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(b)  The public oversight panel shall be appointed as soon as possible after the effective date of this act.  If after twenty-one days from this act’s effective date the speaker, president pro tem and the governor fail to reach consensus on any of the three joint appointments, the Public Service Board shall make that appointment. The panel shall elect a chair and vice chair from among its members, and upon its request, the panel shall have the assistance of the department of public service for administrative support.

(c) The public oversight panel shall have access to all records and documents consulted and generated in developing and conducting the comprehensive reliability assessment and to records and documents generated in any other audit of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear facility pertinent to the comprehensive reliability assessment. Because the public oversight panel will be reviewing and discussing proprietary and security related documents, the public oversight panel shall not be considered a public body pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 310 nor shall it be subject to the access to public records statutes embodied in 1 V.S.A. §§ 315-320. After the public oversight panel publicly reports its findings and evaluation to the general assembly as required in subsection (d) of this section, the panel may be subject to public access requests for material relied upon in making its findings and report with redactions of proprietary or security information as needed.

(d)  No later than January 30, 2009, the public oversight panel shall publicly report its findings and evaluation to the general assembly for the purpose of informing the legislature in making its determination whether the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee plant should be authorized to operate in the state beyond the expiration of its current license on March 21, 2012.

(e)  The evaluation and recommendations of the public oversight panel and the report and findings of the audit shall be made available to the director of public advocacy of the department of public service, and may be used by the director of public advocacy as deemed appropriate by the department to represent the interests of the public in any proceedings before the public service board relating to a certificate of public good for relicensing ENVY for operation beyond March 21, 2012 or for decommissioning, or other related proceedings.

Sec. 7.  AUDIT INSPECTION TEAM

The department of public service in consultation with the public oversight panel shall select an audit inspection team of a sufficient number of qualified consultants, experts, and technicians as necessary to conduct all or any part of the comprehensive reliability assessment required by this act. The consultants, experts and technicians selected shall not at any time during the three years prior to the effective date of this act have worked for or at the Vermont Yankee facility, Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, or any other nuclear power plant owned and operated by Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee or any of its affiliates.

Sec. 8.  Expenses and Costs

 

 

(a)  The members of the public oversight panel are entitled to receive compensation as determined jointly by the speaker of the house, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the secretary of administration.  Members of the public oversight evaluation panel shall also be entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses related to the performance of their duties.  The compensation and costs incurred by the public oversight panel shall be charged to the petitioner for a license extension under the provisions of

30 V.S.A. §§ 20 and 21.

(b)  The compensation and costs incurred by the audit inspection team and other expenses incurred in the conduct of the comprehensive reliability assessment shall be charged to the petitioner for a license extension under the provisions of 30 V.S.A. §§ 20 and 21.

Sec. 9.  EFFECTIVE DATE

(a) This act shall take effect from passage.

(b) Notwithstanding the July 1, 2008 commencement date in 30 V.S.A. §248(e)(2), added by No. 160 of the Acts of  2006, the Public Service Board may at any time after the passage of this act commence proceedings on any petition to operate a nuclear plant beyond the date permitted in its existing certificate of public good.

Rep. Acinapura of Brandon, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up and read the second time and the recommendation of proposal of amendment agreed to.

Pending the question, Shall the bill be read a third time? Rep. Klein of East Montpelier moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

     First: In Sec. 6, in subsection (a), by striking subdivision (1), and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (1) to read:

(1) Three members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house, the president pro tempore of the senate and the governor, with their unanimous consensus on each appointment; and 

     Second: In Sec. 6, in subsection (b), by striking the second sentence.

     Which was agreed to.

Pending the question, Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Natural Resources and Energy, as amended? Rep. Komline of Dorset 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 propose to the Senate to amend the bill as recommended by the committee on Natural Resources and Energy, as amended? was decided in the affirmative.  Yeas, 126.  Nays, 1.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allard of St. Albans Town

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clarkson of Woodstock

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Crawford of Burke

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Errecart of Shelburne

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Flory of Pittsford

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Grad of Moretown

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Helm of Castleton

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Johnson of South Hero

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larrabee of Danville

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lewis of Derby

Lorber of Burlington

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McAllister of Highgate

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

McNeil of Rutland Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Peterson of Williston

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester


Those who voted in the negative are:


Larocque of Barnet


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Clark of Vergennes

Godin of Milton

Heath of Westford

Johnson of Canaan

Keenan of St. Albans City

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Moran of Wardsboro

Perry of Richford

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Symington of Jericho

Zuckerman of Burlington


 

     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, 126.  Nays, 0.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allard of St. Albans Town

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Bissonnette of Winooski

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clark of Vergennes

Clarkson of Woodstock

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Crawford of Burke

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Flory of Pittsford

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gervais of Enosburg

Gilbert of Fairfax

Grad of Moretown

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Helm of Castleton

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Johnson of South Hero

Keogh of Burlington

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larocque of Barnet

Larrabee of Danville

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lewis of Derby

Lorber of Burlington

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McAllister of Highgate

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

McNeil of Rutland Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Miller of Shaftsbury

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Monti of Barre City

Mook of Bennington

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Peaslee of Guildhall

Pellett of Chester

Peltz of Woodbury

Peterson of Williston

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester


Those who voted in the negative are:


None.


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Barnard of Richmond

Errecart of Shelburne

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Godin of Milton

Heath of Westford

Johnson of Canaan

Keenan of St. Albans City

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Moran of Wardsboro

Perry of Richford

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Symington of Jericho

Zuckerman of Burlington


 

     Rep. O’Donnell of Vernon explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     I commend the Natural Resources Committee on a job well done!  You truly put the safety and well being of Vermonters before anything else.

     It is amazing how easy it is to support a bill in this room when everyone’s voice is heard and listened to in the committee room.

     I congratulate you Mister Chair.”

Favorable Report; Third Reading Ordered

S. 227

Rep. Botzow of Pownal, for the committee on Commerce, to which had been referred Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to angel investors;

Reported in favor of its passage.  The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time and third reading ordered.

Favorable Report; Third Reading Ordered

S. 270

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

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

Reported in favor of its passage.  The bill, 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 a third time? Rep. Morrissey of Bennington 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, 77.  Nays, 35.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Audette of S. Burlington

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Browning of Arlington

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Courcelle of Rutland City

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

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

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Johnson of South Hero

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lorber of Burlington

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marek of Newfane

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Mook of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Peltz of Woodbury

Potter of Clarendon

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Wright of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative 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

Clerkin of Hartford

Corcoran of Bennington

Crawford of Burke

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Fallar of Tinmouth

Flory of Pittsford

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Helm of Castleton

Hube of Londonderry

Kilmartin of Newport City

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Larocque of Barnet

Lewis of Derby

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

McNeil of Rutland Town

Morley of Barton

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

O'Donnell of Vernon

Peaslee of Guildhall

Scheuermann of Stowe

Westman of Cambridge

Winters of Williamstown

Zenie of Colchester


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Barnard of Richmond

Clark of Vergennes

Clarkson of Woodstock

Errecart of Shelburne

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Godin of Milton

Johnson of Canaan

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Martin, C. of Springfield

Miller of Shaftsbury

Monti of Barre City

Moran of Wardsboro

Otterman of Topsham

Pellett of Chester

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Pugh of S. Burlington

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Symington of Jericho

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Zuckerman of Burlington


 

     Rep. Flory of Pittsford explained her vote as follows:

“Madam Speaker:

     If what we truly want is to have our President elected by popular vote, we should be trying to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College not this back door way, which further reduces the values of our State and our individual vote.”

Third Reading; Bills Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

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

 

S. 168

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

S. 281

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to end-of-life care and pain management;

S. 284

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration;

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposals of Amendment

S. 304

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to a groundwater withdrawal program;

Was taken up, and pending third reading of the bill Rep. Anderson of Montpelier moved to propose to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 1390(5), by striking the words “the requirements of this subchapter,” where they appear in the second sentence and inserting in lieu thereof “the requirements of subchapter 6 of this chapter,

Second:  In Sec. 2, 10 V.S.A. § 1418(c)(2)(5) by striking the words “subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection” where they appear and inserting in lieu thereof “subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection

Which was agreed to

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposal of Amendment

S. 311

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use of value appraisal program.

Was taken up, read the third time and pending the question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposals of amendment?  Rep. Winters of Williamstown 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, 107.  Nays, 0.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Adams of Hartland

Allard of St. Albans Town

Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

Branagan of Georgia

Bray of New Haven

Brennan of Colchester

Browning of Arlington

Canfield of Fair Haven

Chen of Mendon

Cheney of Norwich

Clerkin of Hartford

Condon of Colchester

Consejo of Sheldon

Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford

Corcoran of Bennington

Courcelle of Rutland City

Crawford of Burke

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Emmons of Springfield

Evans of Essex

Fallar of Tinmouth

Fisher of Lincoln

Flory of Pittsford

Frank of Underhill

French of Randolph

Gilbert of Fairfax

Grad of Moretown

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Haas of Rochester

Head of S. Burlington

Heath of Westford

Hosford of Waitsfield

Howard of Rutland City

Howrigan of Fairfield

Hube of Londonderry

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Johnson of South Hero

Kilmartin of Newport City

Kitzmiller of Montpelier

Klein of East Montpelier

Koch of Barre Town

Komline of Dorset

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larocque of Barnet

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lewis of Derby

Lorber of Burlington

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marcotte of Coventry

Marek of Newfane

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McAllister of Highgate

McCormack of Rutland City

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

McNeil of Rutland Town

Milkey of Brattleboro

Minter of Waterbury

Mitchell of Barnard

Mook of Bennington

Morrissey of Bennington

Mrowicki of Putney

Myers of Essex

Nease of Johnson

Nuovo of Middlebury

Obuchowski of Rockingham

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

Peaslee of Guildhall

Peltz of Woodbury

Potter of Clarendon

Pugh of S. Burlington

Randall of Troy

Rodgers of Glover

Scheuermann of Stowe

Shand of Weathersfield

Sharpe of Bristol

Smith of Morristown

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Winters of Williamstown

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester


 

 

Those who voted in the negative are:


None.


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


Ainsworth of Royalton

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Barnard of Richmond

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Clark of Vergennes

Clarkson of Woodstock

Errecart of Shelburne

Fitzgerald of St. Albans City

Gervais of Enosburg

Godin of Milton

Helm of Castleton

Hunt of Essex

Johnson of Canaan

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Martin, C. of Springfield

Miller of Shaftsbury

Monti of Barre City

Moran of Wardsboro

Morley of Barton

Otterman of Topsham

Pellett of Chester

Perry of Richford

Peterson of Williston

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Symington of Jericho

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Wheeler of Derby

Zuckerman of Burlington


 

Rules Suspended; Senate Proposal of Amendment

 to House Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

S. 226

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Baker of West Rutland,  the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

     An act relating to requiring the installation of photoelectric only smoke detectors;

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

     The Senate concurred in the House proposal of amendment with the following amendment thereto to House bill, entitled

     In Sec. 1, subsection (a) by striking out subdivision (10) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (10) to read as follows:

(10)  Photoelectric-type smoke detectors provide earlier detection and warning than ionization-type smoke detectors in smoldering fires by tens of minutes.  Ionization-type smoke detectors provide earlier detection and warning than photoelectric-type smoke detectors in flaming fires by seconds or tens of seconds.  Therefore, although this act requires photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors for the reasons set forth in these findings, the general assembly does not discourage the use of either battery operated/powered ionization type smoke detectors in addition to the photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors required by this act.  In any event, combination smoke detection is not accepted in place of photoelectric-only-type detection.

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

With a Further Amendment Thereto

H. 859

     The Senate proposed to the House to amend House bill, entitled

     An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce corrections costs;

     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’s incarcerated population is growing at an unsustainable rate.

(2)  Property and drug offenders are the fastest growing segment of the prison population.  Between 2000 and 2006, over half the increase in the felony prison population was due to property and substance abuse offenses.

(3)  Seventy-seven percent of those sentenced for a property or drug felony have a substance abuse disorder.  Two-thirds of them report having received mental health treatment in the past.  Fifty-five percent report being frequently unemployed prior to incarceration.

(4)  Of those incarcerated for a property or drug felony, only 13 percent are receiving treatment.

(b)  The general assembly further finds that:

(1)  Each month approximately 70 inmates meet the criteria for reentering the community under the supervision of the commissioner of corrections on conditional reentry status.  However, almost half are not released because of insufficient housing options.

(2)  Studies show that the length of sentences served by offenders does not affect their recidivism rates.  Therefore, current law authorizes the commissioner of corrections to release certain offenders on reintegration furlough 90 days prior to the minimum sentence date.  However, on average, eligible inmates serve only 53 days in reintegration furlough status.  If all those who are eligible serve the full 90 days of reintegration status, the result could be a savings of up to 90 corrections beds.

(c)  Therefore, in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce the cost to the state of incarcerating offenders, it is the intent of the general assembly to increase substance abuse treatment services, vocational training, and transitional housing available to offenders; and establish processes for reducing incarceration time when appropriate.

(d)  It is further the intent of the general assembly that the provisions of this act are a long-range plan to guide expenditures from additional corrections savings in future years.

(e)  The general assembly recognizes and values the dedication and experience of the classified state employees of the department of corrections, whose skill and expertise will continue to be needed as the department continues to pursue its goals and mission.

(f)  The general assembly intends the following results from the restructuring necessary to achieve the cost savings required for this act:

(1)  The incumbents in the five classified positions that will be eliminated at Northwest State Correctional Facility shall continue to be employed at that facility in classified positions that are vacant, unless the incumbents voluntarily seek employment in other state positions or leave state service.

(2)  The temporary and exempt superintendent positions at the Dale facility shall be eliminated.

(3)  An incumbent in a classified position that will be eliminated at the Dale facility who does not accept any existing vacant classified position and who exercises the contractual right to fill an existing temporary position at any department facility shall receive his or her classified position base salary and the benefits of the bargaining unit to which that temporary position would be assigned if permanent, with the exceptions of scheduling days of work, shift assignment, and post assignment. The rights established by this subdivision shall be available until January 1, 2011, or until an affected employee accepts an existing classified position, whichever occurs first.

(4)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, all existing state employee contract provisions and protections shall remain fully in force for any affected corrections employee covered by the contract.

Sec. 2.  28 V.S.A. § 1(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The department shall formulate its programs and policies recognizing that almost all criminal offenders ultimately return to the community, and that the traditional institutional prisons fail to reform or rehabilitate, operating instead to increase the risk of continued criminal acts following release.  The department shall develop and implement a comprehensive program which will provide necessary closed custodial confinement of frequent, dangerous offenders, but which also will establish as its primary objective the disciplined preparation of offenders for their responsible roles in the open community.  The department shall ensure that the comprehensive program required by this subsection includes a process by which each offender sentenced to any term of imprisonment other than for life without parole, within 30 days after receiving his or her sentence, shall begin to develop and implement a plan preparing for return to the community.  The department shall assess each offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services and shall use the results of this assessment in preparing the reentry plan.  The department may assess an offender sentenced to a minimum term of more than five years later than 30 days after the offender receives the sentence but shall assess the offender at least within a year of the offender’s receiving the sentence.

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 102(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner is charged with the following powers:

* * *

(5)  To order the assignment and transfer of persons committed to the custody of the commissioner to correctional facilities, including out-of-state facilities.

* * *

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 202 is amended to read:

§ 202.  POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMISSIONER REGARDING PROBATION

The commissioner shall be charged with the following powers and responsibilities regarding the administration of probation:

(1)  To maintain general supervision of persons placed on probation, and to prescribe rules and regulations, consistent with any orders of the court, governing the conduct of such persons;

(2)  To supervise the administration of probation services and establish policies and standards and make rules and regulations regarding probation investigation, supervision, case work and case loads, record keeping, and the qualification of probation officers.  The commissioner may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on probation.  Transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment shall be used for such purposes as preventing persons whose licenses have been suspended for DUI from operating motor vehicles on Vermont highways.  

Sec. 5.  28 V.S.A. § 205 is amended to read:

§ 205.  PROBATION

(a)(1)  After passing sentence, a court may suspend all or part of the sentence and place the person so sentenced in the care and custody of the commissioner upon such conditions and for such time as it may prescribe in accordance with law or until further order of court.

(2)  The term of probation for misdemeanors shall be for a specific term not to exceed two years unless the court, in its sole discretion, specifically finds that the interests of justice require a longer or an indefinite period of probation.

(3)(A)  The term of probation for nonviolent felonies shall not exceed the statutory maximum term of imprisonment for the offense unless the court, in its sole discretion, specifically finds that the interests of justice require a longer or an indefinite period of probation.

(B)  As used in this subdivision, "nonviolent felonies" means an offense which is not:

(i)  a listed crime as defined in subdivision 5301(7) of Title 13; or

(ii)  an offense involving sexual exploitation of children in violation of chapter 6 of Title 13.

(4)  Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the court from terminating the period of probation and discharging a person pursuant to section 251 of this title.

(5)  The probation officer of a person on probation for a specific term shall review the person's case file during probation and, not less than 45 days prior to the expiration of the probation term, may file a petition with the court requesting the court to extend the period of probation for a specific term not to exceed one year in order to provide the person the opportunity to complete programming consistent with special conditions of probation.  A hearing on the petition for an extension of probation under this subsection shall comply with the procedures set forth in Rule 32.1 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  The victim of a listed crime as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7) for which the offender has been placed on probation shall have the right to request, and receive from the department of corrections information regarding the offender's general compliance with the specific conditions of probation. Nothing in this section shall require the department of corrections to disclose any confidential information revealed by the offender in connection with participation in a treatment program.

(c)(1)  Unless the court in its discretion finds that the interests of justice require additional standard and special conditions of probation, when the court orders a specific term of probation for a qualifying offense, the only conditions of probation shall be that the probationer:

(A)  register with the department of corrections’ probation and parole office in his or her district;

(B)  notify the probation officer of his or her current address each month; and

(C)  not have probable cause found for a criminal offense during the term of probation.

(2)  As used in this subsection, “qualifying offense” means:

(A)  Unlawful mischief under 13 V.S.A. § 3701.

(B)  Retail theft under 13 V.S.A. §§ 2575 and 2577.

(C)  Operating after suspension or revocation of license under 23 V.S.A. § 674(a).

(D)  Bad checks under 13 V.S.A. § 2022.

(E)  Theft of services under 13 V.S.A. § 2582.

(F)  Disorderly conduct under 13 V.S.A. § 1026, unless the original charge was a listed offense as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7).

(G)  Theft of rented property under 13 V.S.A. § 2591.

(H)  Operation without consent of owner under 23 V.S.A. § 1094(a).

(I)  Petit larceny under 13 V.S.A. § 2502.

(J)  Negligent operation of a motor vehicle under 23 V.S.A.

§ 1091(a).

(K)  False reports to law enforcement under 13 V.S.A. § 1754.

(L)  Setting fires under 13 V.S.A. § 508.

(M)  A first offense of a minor’s misrepresenting age, procuring, possessing, or consuming liquors under 7 V.S.A. § 657.

(N)  Simple assault by mutual consent under 13 V.S.A. § 1023(b).

(O)  Unlawful trespass under 13 V.S.A. § 3705(a).

(P)  A first offense of possession under 18 V.S.A. § 4230(a)(1).

Sec. 6.  28 V.S.A. § 252(b) is amended and (d) is added to read:

(b)  When imposing a sentence of probation, the court may, as a condition of probation, require that the offender:

* * *

(16)  Satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to his or her rehabilitation.  The court shall not impose a condition prohibiting the offender from engaging in any legal behavior unless the condition is reasonably related to the offender’s rehabilitation.

(d)  The commissioner shall review the record of each probationer serving a specified term during the month prior to the midpoint of that probationer’s specified term and may file a motion requesting the sentencing court to dismiss the probationer from probation or deduct a portion of the specified term from the period of probation if the offender has successfully completed a program or has attained a goal or goals specified by the conditions of probation.  The commissioner may include in the motion a request that the court deduct a portion of the specified term for each condition completed or goal attained. Any motion under this section shall be made at the sole discretion of the commissioner pursuant to a rule adopted by the commissioner under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

Sec. 7.  28 V.S.A. § 256 is added to read:

§ 256.  CASELOAD CAPACITY; HIGH RISK OFFENDERS

(a)  Probation officers designated to work exclusively with offenders 21 years of age and younger shall have caseloads of no more than 25 youths.

(b)  The department shall review the severity of offenses and assess the risk to reoffend of all offenders older than 21 years of age under its jurisdiction in the community and assign one of the following levels of supervision to each offender: 

(1)  Risk management supervision, which shall mean supervision at a level of intensity that includes case planning and measures to reduce risk of reoffense.

(2)  Response supervision, which shall mean monitoring of the offender’s compliance with conditions of probation or parole, including staff responding to violation behavior.

(3)  Administrative supervision, which shall mean monitoring of the offender’s address and compliance with the law. 

(c)  An offender may be reassigned to a lower supervision level after a reassessment of the offender’s risk.

(d)  The department shall establish the following probation officer caseload ranges for offender profiles:

(1)  All listed offenders requiring risk management shall be supervised at no more than 45 offenders per probation officer.

(2)  All nonlisted offenders requiring risk management shall be supervised at no more than 60 offenders per probation officer.

(3)  All offenders requiring response supervision shall be supervised at no more than 150 offenders per probation officer.

(4)  All offenders requiring administrative supervision may be supervised on caseloads consistent with the capacity of automated status reporting systems as established by the department.

(5)  When there is a mixed profile caseload in which a single probation officer supervises offenders with different supervision levels and at least

one-third of the offenders require a more intensive supervision demand than the other offenders, the caseload shall be supervised at the lowest level of offender-to-staff ratio. 

(e)  If the caseloads established in subsection (d) of this section are exceeded for longer than 120 days, the commissioner shall be authorized to designate community correctional officers to partially augment staffing caseloads.  If such designation does not remedy the excess caseloads:

(1)  The commissioner shall report to the joint corrections oversight committee the causes for the excess and proposals for addressing them.

(2)  The department shall have the authority, if the commissioner believes that the excess will not be eliminated within 60 days, to hire persons from the states position vacancy pool as limited service employees for an initial period of up to one year.  The initial period may be extended for up to two more years if the department deems it necessary.

(f)  Each time a position is established under subdivision (e)(2) of this section, the commissioner shall report it at the next meeting of the joint corrections oversight committee.  The costs for each position shall be presented in the department’s budget adjustment proposal and, if the positions are necessary for an ongoing period, in the department’s annual budget request.

Sec. 8.  28 V.S.A. § 403(1) is amended to read:

(1)  To supervise and control persons placed on parole, subject to the rules and orders of the parole board as to the conditions of parole.  The commissioner may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on parole.  Transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment shall be used for such purposes as preventing persons whose licenses have been suspended for DUI from operating motor vehicles on Vermont highways;

Sec. 9.  28 V.S.A. § 723(c) is added to read:

(c)  Prior to release under this section, the department shall screen and, if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 10.  28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  To prepare for reentry into the community.

* * *

(E)  An offender incarcerated for driving while under the influence of alcohol under 13 V.S.A. § 1210(d) or (e) may be furloughed to the community up to 180 days prior to completion of the minimum sentence at the commissioner’s discretion and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (C) of this subdivision (8), provided that an offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 270 days shall not be eligible for furlough under this subdivision until the offender has served at least 90 days of his or her minimum term of incarceration and provided that the commissioner uses electronic equipment to monitor continually the offender’s location and blood alcohol level.

(F)  Prior to release under this subdivision (8), the department shall screen, and if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 11.  28 V.S.A. § 808(b) is amended to read:

(b)  An inmate granted a furlough pursuant to this section may be accompanied by an employee of the department, in the discretion of the commissioner, during the period of the inmate's furlough.  The department may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on furlough.

Sec. 12.  33 V.S.A. § 708 is amended to read:

§ 708.  TREATMENT AND SERVICES

* * *

(d)  A person judged by a law enforcement officer to be incapacitated, and who has not been charged with a crime, may be lodged in protective custody in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections for up to 24 hours or until judged by the person in charge of the facility to be no longer incapacitated, if and only if:

(1)  The person refuses to be transported to an appropriate facility for treatment, or if once there, refuses treatment or leaves the facility before he or she is considered by the responsible staff of that facility to be no longer incapacitated; or

(2)  No approved substance abuse treatment program with detoxification capabilities and no staff physician or other medical professional at the nearest licensed general hospital can be found who will accept the person for treatment.

(e)  No person shall be lodged in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections under subsection (d) of this section without first being evaluated by a substance abuse crisis team, a designated substance abuse counselor, a clinical staff person of an approved substance abuse treatment program with detoxification capabilities or a professional medical staff person at a licensed general hospital emergency room and found to be indeed incapacitated.

(f)  No lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections shall refuse to admit an incapacitated person in protective custody whose admission is requested by a law enforcement officer, in compliance with the conditions of this section.

(g)  Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, a person under 18 years of age who is judged by a law enforcement officer to be incapacitated and who has not been charged with a crime shall not be held at a lockup or community correctional center. If needed treatment is not readily available the person shall be released to his or her parent or guardian.  If the person has no parent or guardian in the area, arrangements shall be made to house him or her according to the provisions of chapter 55 of this title.  The official in charge of an adult jail or lockup shall notify the director of the office of drug and alcohol abuse of any person under the age of 18 brought to an adult jail or lockup pursuant to this chapter.

(h)  If an incapacitated person in protective custody is lodged in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections, his or her family or next of kin shall be notified as promptly as possible.  If the person is an adult and requests that there be no notification, his or her request shall be respected.

(i)  A taking into protective custody under this section is not an arrest.

(j)  Law enforcement officers or persons responsible for supervision in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections or members of a substance abuse crisis team or designated substance abuse counselors who act under the authority of this section are acting in the course of their official duty and are not criminally or civilly liable therefor, unless for gross negligence or willful or wanton injury.

Sec. 13.  33 V.S.A. § 708a is added to read:

§ 708a.  INCARCERATION FOR INEBRIATION PROHIBITED

No person who has not been charged with a crime shall be incarcerated in a facility operated by the department of corrections on account of the person’s inebriation.

Sec. 14.  TRANSITION UNITS

(a)  The general assembly intends in this act to provide the opportunity for a successful transition to offenders who are eligible for release into the community.

(b)  The department of corrections shall establish a transition unit within the Northwest State Correctional Facility which enables inmates to work in the community while residing in the facility.  The unit shall be modeled on the transition unit at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

(c)  The department shall make every effort to incorporate a transition unit into any facility where renovations are necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

(d)  The department shall report to the corrections oversight committee on or before September 30, 2008, on the implementation of this section, including a plan for establishing transition units at all state correctional facilities.   

Sec. 15.  BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEARS 2009 AND 2010

(a)  Findings.  Department of corrections expenditures on correctional services including out-of-state beds grew from $93,255,650.00 in fiscal year 2004 to $120,533,309.00 in fiscal year 2008.  The amount of funding proposed for fiscal year 2009 is $123,589,833.00.  This rate of increase has been and remains unsustainable.

(b)  Action.  In order to reduce the unsustainable increases in the expenditures of the department of corrections, the following action shall be taken by the executive branch:

(1)  In fiscal year 2009, the Dale Correctional Facility in Waterbury shall be closed.

(2)  In fiscal year 2009, the mission of the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor shall change to be a therapeutic community in a work camp model, consistent with any further directive set forth in the 2008 Capital Construction Act, S.365.

(3)  In fiscal year 2009, sections of the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton shall be closed and the facility otherwise configured to house and program women, with consideration given to housing male detainees, consistent with any further directive set forth in the 2008 Capital Construction Act, S.365.

(c)  Goal; fiscal year 2009.  It is the goal of the general assembly to achieve in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009 approximately $600,000.00 in savings in the department of corrections budget, which will be reinvested in substance abuse screening, assessment, treatment, and reentry support, the goal of which is to reduce recidivism for the target group indentified in Sec. 1(a) of this act.

(d)  Goal; fiscal year 2010.  It is the goal of the general assembly to achieve in fiscal year 2010 approximately $3,044,949 in savings in the department of corrections budget, some of which will be reinvested in a variety of effective programs to further reduce recidivism for the target group indentified in Sec. 1(a) of this act. 

Sec. 16b.  ANTICIPATED BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 2009 

(a)  In the last quarter of fiscal year 2009, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall reinvest $600,000.00 as follows:

(1)  the amount of $150,000.00 shall be used to fund substance abuse programs and vocational training in a state work camp facility;

(2)  the amount of $450,000.00 shall be transferred to the secretary of human services and used to fund the following activities:

(A)  $200,000.00 shall be used to expand the capacity of community alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment providers to provide services, including services to public inebriates; and

(B)  $250,000.00 shall be used to expand the availability of public inebriate beds outside the department of corrections.

(b)  The joint fiscal office shall track and report to the joint fiscal committee in January and July of 2009 savings in the corrections budget resulting from the provisions of this act.

Sec. 17.  ANTICIPATED BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR 2010

In fiscal  year 2010, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall reinvest a portion of the savings identified by either the commissioner of corrections or the corrections oversight committee as follows:

(1)  $150,000.00 to increase the capacity of the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP), which provides services on an intensive out-patient basis;

(2)  $150,000.00 to expand the ISAP program to include a community based residential substance abuse treatment component for those who have been furloughed to the community pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(3)  $150,000.00 to enter into contracts with several community-based substance abuse treatment providers in different geographic regions of the state and to provide the substance abuse treatment services to persons on conditional reentry status pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28;

(4)  $650,000.00 to provide vocational training and residential substance abuse programs in one or more state-owned and -operated work camps;

(5)(A)  $1,200,000.00 to provide grants to community providers to increase by 60 the number of beds available for at least 120 offenders who will be staying in the transitional housing for three to six months before reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry, pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28, provided that the new transitional housing shall include a range from lightly supervised with no treatment programs to heavily supervised with wrap-around treatment programs, and that $200,000.00 of this amount shall be used to provide life skills programming. 

(B)  To the extent that the purposes identified in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (5) can be accomplished without using all of the funds appropriated in that subdivision, the department may use up to $200,000.00 of the appropriation to expand housing readiness, search, and retention services, housing assistance funding which may be granted to housing authorities and other community agencies in response to requests for proposals or memorandums of understanding entered into in accordance with department policy and directives; and

(6)  $211,000.00 to purchase electronic monitoring equipment, including automated voice recognition telephone equipment, global position monitoring system bracelets, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment; the commissioner shall use the equipment to augment supervision of offenders on probation, parole, or furlough and to enhance the capacity of field staff to monitor and control offenders who would otherwise be incarcerated;  

(7)  $110,000.00 for recovery centers; and

(8)(A)  $200,000.00 shall be transferred to the secretary of human services to expand the capacity of community alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment providers to provide services, including services to public inebriates.

(B)   $200,000.00 shall be transferred to the secretary of human services to fund the establishment of a pilot program at a location approved by the court administrator to:

(i)  conduct a voluntary and confidential screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the time of arraignment of individuals charged with felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(ii)  conduct a mandatory screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs following adjudication and prior to sentencing of individuals found guilty of felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(iii)  provide the results of any screening and assessment conducted under this section to the judge following adjudication and prior to sentencing so that the judge can use the information to determine the level of treatment to be provided while the individual is in the custody of the commissioner of corrections; and

(iv)  enable the commissioner to gather data regarding the prevalence of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Sec. 18.  STATEWIDE DRUG COURT STUDY

The court administrator, the defender general, the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, the deputy commissioner of the department of health in charge of the alcohol and drug abuse, and the commissioner of mental health shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary by December 15, 2008, on the advisability and feasibility of expanding the drug court program to every county in the state.  The report shall address:

(1)  the financial costs of expanding the drug court program statewide;

(2)  the workforce impact which a statewide expansion of the program would have and whether new staff would be required;

(3)  whether current state facilities have the capacity to support statewide expansion and whether and where any new facilities would be required; and

(4)  any other matter deemed relevant to the issue of statewide drug court expansion.    

Sec. 19.  PUBLIC INEBRIATES TASK FORCE

(a)  A public inebriates task force is established.  The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1)  Two members employed by the office of alcohol and drug abuse appointed by the commissioner of the department of health.

(2)  Two substance abuse treatment providers appointed by the substance abuse treatment providers association.

(3)  One member appointed by the department of public safety.

(4)  One member appointed by the Vermont police association.

(5)  One member appointed by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

(6)  Two members appointed by the Vermont medical society who shall be hospital emergency room personnel.

(7)  Two members appointed by the Vermont recovery network.

(8)  Two employees of the department of corrections appointed by the commissioner of the department of corrections.

(b)  The task force shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary, institutions, and appropriations no later than January 1, 2009 with a plan to ensure that public inebriates are given appropriate care rather than incarcerated.  The plan shall ensure the regional availability of supportive voluntary and secured accommodations for public inebriates by January 1, 2010, and shall include a timetable for providing reimbursement of expenses to programs that house and maintain public inebriates.

Sec. 20.  ACCOUNTABILITY; REPORTS

(a)  On or before January 15, 2010, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on:

(1)  the prevalence of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders among those committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections;

(2)  the success of and problems encountered in:

(A)  expanding the ISAP program pursuant to Sec. 6(c)(1) of this act:

(B)  implementing the pilot program authorized and funded in Sec. 6(c)(3) of this act, as well as recommendations for continuing the program or expanding the program or both; and

(C)  developing reentry plans which identify services needed upon release and in working with community providers to ensure that each offender receives those services immediately upon release;

(3)  the progress made since passage of this act in establishing a comprehensive system of community substance abuse treatment services which is coordinated with corrections services;

(4)  a proposal to increase the furlough days for nonlisted offenders from the existing average of 53 to a target of 75. 

(b)  The department of corrections shall upon passage of this act manage  existing furlough procedures to create the same amount of financial savings that the department would have realized had this act made it mandatory to furlough offenders 90 days prior to completion of the offenders’ minimum sentence.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2011, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on the successes of and problems encountered in working to meet the following goals with the funds provided and through the programs established in this act:

(1)  increase by at least 30 the number of offenders with sentences of one or more years placed in the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(2)  move at least 10 offenders who are in the intensive phase of receiving ISAP services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7) and who are unsuccessful and would otherwise be reincarcerated to a community-based residential substance abuse treatment program which may be a component of ISAP;

(3)  incarcerate no more than 20 percent of offenders who are receiving substance abuse treatment services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); 

(4)  reduce by 10 percent the number of reincarcerations of those on conditional reentry with a high need for substance abuse treatment;

(5)  increase the number of inmates released on furlough, pursuant to 28  V.S.A. § 808, by 25 individuals per month; and

(6)  increase the average number of days released on reintegration furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) prior to the minimum sentence to as close to 90 days as possible. 

(d)  Until the corrections oversight committee informs the commissioner that it no longer requires the information, the commissioner of corrections shall include in monthly reports to the committee:

(1)  the number of inmates eligible for furlough under 28 V.S.A. § 808 and considered appropriate for release by the commissioner but who have not been released because the commissioner is unable to find appropriate housing, employment, treatment, or other services;

(2)  which treatment or other services would have been necessary and in which geographic region the services would have been needed, to enable release; and

(3)  the number of days of incarceration that could have been avoided if the community resources had been available and these offenders had been released.

(4)  a detailed description of the progress made on increasing the use of electronic monitoring as authorized by 28 V.S.A. §202, 28 V.S.A. §403(1) and 28 V.S.A. §808(b). 

(e)  On or before January 15, 2011, the court administrator's office, in consultation with the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs in the Vermont department of health, the department of corrections, the defender general, and the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on the costs, cost savings, and effectiveness of the pilot project established pursuant to Sec. 17(a)(8)(B) of this act and shall make a recommendation as to the continuation of the pilot project and its expansion to other counties.

(f)  The joint fiscal office and office of finance and management shall jointly document the impact of the policies and provisions of this act on corrections costs and shall report their findings to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2010, and in January of each year for five years thereafter.

(g) The Vermont center for justice research shall study and evaluate the effectiveness of the system of administrative probation established by subsection 2059(c) of Title 28, including whether the people who receive such probation commit further offenses, and the nature of those offenses.  The center shall report its evaluation of administrative probation to the senate and house committees on judiciary on or before December 15, 2011.

Sec.21.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008, except for Secs. 12, 13, and 14, which shall take effect on July 1, 2010.

     Pending the question, Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Emmons of Springfield moved to concur in the Senate proposal of amendment with a further amendment thereto, as follows:

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Vermont’s incarcerated population is growing at an unsustainable rate.

(2)  Property and drug offenders are the fastest growing segment of the prison population.  Between 2000 and 2006, over one-half the increase in the felony prison population was due to property and substance abuse offenses.

(3)  Seventy-seven percent of those sentenced for a property or drug felony have a substance abuse disorder.  Two-thirds of them report having received mental health treatment in the past.  Fifty-five percent report being frequently unemployed prior to incarceration.

(4)  Of those incarcerated for a property or drug felony, only 13 percent are receiving treatment.

(b)  The general assembly further finds that:

(1)  Each month, approximately 70 inmates meet the criteria for reentering the community under the supervision of the commissioner of corrections on conditional reentry status.  However, almost one-half are not released because of insufficient housing options.

(2)  Studies show that the length of sentences served by offenders does not affect their recidivism rates.  Therefore, current law authorizes the commissioner of corrections to release certain offenders on reintegration furlough 90 days prior to the minimum sentence date.  However, on average, eligible inmates serve only 53 days on reintegration furlough status.  If all those who are eligible serve the full 90 days of reintegration status, the result could be a savings of up to 90 corrections beds.

(c)  The general assembly intends:

(1)  to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce the cost to the state of incarcerating offenders by increasing substance abuse treatment services, vocational training, and transitional housing available to offenders, and by establishing processes for reducing incarceration time when appropriate; and

(2)  that the provisions of this act are a long-range plan to guide expenditures from additional corrections savings in future years.

Sec. 2.  28 V.S.A. § 102(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner is charged with the following powers:

* * *

(5)  To order the assignment and transfer of persons committed to the custody of the commissioner to correctional facilities, including out-of-state facilities.

* * *

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 202 is amended to read:

 

§ 202.  POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMISSIONER

            REGARDING PROBATION

The commissioner shall be charged with the following powers and responsibilities regarding the administration of probation:

(1)  To maintain general supervision of persons placed on probation, and to prescribe rules and regulations, consistent with any orders of the court, governing the conduct of such persons;

(2)  To supervise the administration of probation services and establish policies and standards and make rules and regulations regarding probation investigation, supervision, case work and case loads, record keeping, and the qualification of probation officers;

(3)  To use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on probation.  Transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment shall be used for such purposes as preventing persons whose licenses have been suspended for DUI from operating motor vehicles on Vermont highways.   

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 205(c) is added to read:

(c)(1)  Unless the court in its discretion finds that the interests of justice require additional standard and special conditions of probation, when the court orders a specific term of probation for a qualifying offense, the offender shall be placed on administrative probation which means that the only conditions of probation shall be that the probationer:

(A)  register with the department of correction’s probation and parole office in his or her district;

(B)  notify the probation officer of his or her current address each month;

(C)  within 72 hours, notify the department of corrections if probable cause is found for a criminal offense during the term of probation; and

(D)  not be convicted of a criminal offense during the term of probation.

(2)  As used in this subsection, “qualifying offense” means:

(A)  Unlawful mischief under 13 V.S.A. § 3701.

(B)  Retail theft under 13 V.S.A. §§ 2575 and 2577.

(C)  Operating after suspension or revocation of license under 23 V.S.A. § 674(a).

(D)  Bad checks under 13 V.S.A. § 2022.

(E)  Theft of services under 13 V.S.A. § 2582.

(F)  Disorderly conduct under 13 V.S.A. § 1026, unless the original charge was a listed offense as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7).

(G)  Theft of rented property under 13 V.S.A. § 2591.

(H)  Operation without consent of owner under 23 V.S.A. § 1094(a).

(I)  Petit larceny under 13 V.S.A. § 2502.

(J)  Negligent operation of a motor vehicle under 23 V.S.A.

§ 1091(a).

(K)  False reports to law enforcement under 13 V.S.A. § 1754.

(L)  Setting fires under 13 V.S.A. § 508.

(M)  A first offense of a minor’s misrepresenting age, procuring, possessing, or consuming liquors under 7 V.S.A. § 657.

(N)  Simple assault by mutual consent under 13 V.S.A. § 1023(b) unless the original charge was a listed offense as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7).

(O)  Unlawful trespass under 13 V.S.A. § 3705(a).

(P)  A first offense of possession under 18 V.S.A. § 4230(a)(1).

(3)  Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a court from requiring participation in the restorative justice program established in chapter 12 of this title.

Sec. 5.  28 V.S.A. § 252(b) is amended and (d) is added to read:

(b)  When imposing a sentence of probation, the court may, as a condition of probation, require that the offender:

* * *

(16)  Satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to his or her rehabilitation.  The court shall not impose a condition prohibiting the offender from engaging in any legal behavior unless the condition is reasonably related to the offender’s rehabilitation or necessary to reduce risk to public safety.

(d)  The commissioner shall review the record of each probationer serving a specified term during the month prior to the midpoint of that probationer’s specified term and may file a motion requesting the sentencing court to dismiss the probationer from probation or deduct a portion of the specified term from the period of probation if the offender has successfully completed a program or has attained a goal or goals specified by the conditions of probation.  The commissioner may include in the motion a request that the court deduct a portion of the specified term for each condition completed or goal attained. Any motion under this section shall be made pursuant to a rule adopted by the commissioner under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 which shall provide that the decision to make or refrain from making a motion shall be made at the sole discretion of the commissioner and shall not be subject to appeal.

Sec. 6.  28 V.S.A. § 105 is added to read:

§ 105.  OFFENDERS IN THE COMMUNITY; CASELOAD CAPACITY

(a)  The department shall define and document, in writing, its management practices and processes to ensure that there are sufficient trained correctional field staff to support the success of offenders supervised in the community and to assure that department functions are not transferred to local law enforcement agencies.

(b)  The department shall reassess annually the appropriateness of its written documentation as defined in this section.  This reassessment shall take into account changes in best practice, legislation, and technological advances.

(c)  In order to ensure that caseload capacities allow for adequate supervision of offenders and for the support of successful reintegration of incarcerated offenders, the department shall implement procedures which address the following:

(1)  Ongoing review of local caseload capacities in order to support adequate supervision of these offenders.

(2)  Assurances that caseloads are of such a number and kind as to allow for adequate supervision of these offenders.

(3)  Case management practices that support the efficient termination, discharge, or transfer to a more appropriate level of supervision of probation cases.

(d)  The department shall review offender characteristics and distinguish those offenders who require less supervision to ensure public safety from those who require more intensive and intrusive intervention.  This review of offender characteristics shall include the offender’s risk to reoffend using DOC assessment instruments that reflect best practice at the time caseload decisions are being considered.  Assessment technology shall also take into account caseload composition and psychosocial risk factors that may influence the risk to reoffend.

(e)  The department shall review caseloads and task assignment processes when assigning offenders to correctional staff.  In general, field sites will maintain larger caseloads of those offenders who require less supervision to ensure public safety, and smaller caseloads of those who require more intensive and intrusive supervision.

(f)  When assigning caseloads to correctional staff, the department shall consider related noncasework activities, such as co-facilitation of treatment and education groups, conducting investigations and related report writing, and supporting the activities of community reparative or reentry boards.

(g)  The department shall review the severity of offenses and assess the risk to reoffend of all offenders older than 21 years of age under its jurisdiction in the community and assign one of the following levels of supervision to each offender:

(1)  Risk management supervision, which shall mean supervision at a level of intensity that includes case planning and measures to reduce the risk of reoffense.

(2)  Response supervision, which shall mean monitoring of the offender’s compliance with conditions of probation or parole, including staff responding to violation behavior.

(3)  Administrative supervision, which shall mean monitoring of the offender’s address and compliance with the law.

(h)  An offender may be reassigned to a lower or higher supervision level after a reassessment of the offender’s risk.

(i)  All offenders requiring administrative supervision may be supervised on caseloads consistent with the capacity of automated status reporting systems as established by the department.

(j)  In order to ensure that public safety is not compromised and that offenders in the community who are under the custody of the commission have supervision adequate to minimize the chances for recidivism, the commissioner shall develop standards which shall include a range of maximum and minimum caseload sizes for correctional officers. 

Sec. 7.  CASELOAD SIZE STANDARDS; REPORT

On or before September 1, 2008, the commissioner of corrections shall report on the standards developed pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 105(j) to the corrections oversight committee.

Sec. 8.  28 V.S.A. § 403(1) is amended to read:

(1)  To supervise and control persons placed on parole, subject to the rules and orders of the parole board as to the conditions of parole.  The commissioner may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on parole.  Transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment shall be used for such purposes as preventing persons whose licenses have been suspended for DUI from operating motor vehicles on Vermont highways;

Sec. 9.  28 V.S.A. § 723(c) is added to read:

(c)  Prior to release under this section, the department shall screen and, if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 10.  28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8)(E) is added to read:

(8) To prepare for reentry into the community.

* * *

(E)  Prior to release under this subdivision (8), the department shall screen and, if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 11.  28 V.S.A. § 808(b) is amended to read:

(b)  An inmate granted a furlough pursuant to this section may be accompanied by an employee of the department, in the discretion of the commissioner, during the period of the inmate’s furlough.  The department may use electronic monitoring equipment such as global position monitoring, automated voice recognition telephone equipment, and transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment to enable more effective or efficient supervision of individuals placed on furlough.

Sec. 12.  33 V.S.A. § 708 is amended to read:

§ 708.  TREATMENT AND SERVICES

* * *

(d)  A person judged by a law enforcement officer to be incapacitated, and who has not been charged with a crime, may be lodged in protective custody in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility not operated by the department of corrections for up to 24 hours or until judged by the person in charge of the facility to be no longer incapacitated, if and only if:

(1)  The person refuses to be transported to an appropriate facility for treatment, or if once there, refuses treatment or leaves the facility before he or she is considered by the responsible staff of that facility to be no longer incapacitated; or

(2)  No approved substance abuse treatment program with detoxification capabilities and no staff physician or other medical professional at the nearest licensed general hospital can be found who will accept the person for treatment.

(e)  No person shall be lodged in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility under subsection (d) of this section without first being evaluated by a substance abuse crisis team, a designated substance abuse counselor, a clinical staff person of an approved substance abuse treatment program with detoxification capabilities or a professional medical staff person at a licensed general hospital emergency room and found to be indeed incapacitated.

(f)  No lockup or community correctional center secure facility shall refuse to admit an incapacitated person in protective custody whose admission is requested by a law enforcement officer, in compliance with the conditions of this section.

(g)  Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, a person under 18 years of age who is judged by a law enforcement officer to be incapacitated and who has not been charged with a crime shall not be held at a lockup or community correctional center.  If needed treatment is not readily available the person shall be released to his or her parent or guardian.  If the person has no parent or guardian in the area, arrangements shall be made to house him or her according to the provisions of chapter 55 of this title.  The official in charge of an adult jail or lockup shall notify the director of the office of drug and alcohol abuse of any person under the age of 18 brought to an adult jail or lockup pursuant to this chapter.

(h)  If an incapacitated person in protective custody is lodged in a lockup or community correctional center secure facility, his or her family or next of kin shall be notified as promptly as possible.  If the person is an adult and requests that there be no notification, his or her request shall be respected.

(i)  A taking into protective custody under this section is not an arrest.

(j)  Law enforcement officers or , persons responsible for supervision in a lockup or community correctional center or secure facility, members of a substance abuse crisis team or , and designated substance abuse counselors who act under the authority of this section are acting in the course of their official duty and are not criminally or civilly liable therefor, unless for gross negligence or willful or wanton injury.

Sec. 13.  33 V.S.A. § 708a is added to read:

§ 708a.  INCARCERATION FOR INEBRIATION PROHIBITED

A person who has not been charged with a crime shall not be incarcerated in a facility operated by the department of corrections on account of the person’s inebriation.

Sec. 14.  TRANSITION UNITS

(a)  The general assembly intends in this act to provide to offenders who are eligible for release into the community the opportunity for a successful transition.

(b)  The department shall report to the corrections oversight committee on or before September 30, 2008, on:

(1)  the feasibility and costs of establishing within the Northwest State Correctional Facility a transition unit which is modeled on the transition unit at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility which enables inmates to work in the community while residing in the facility; and

(2)  the feasibility and costs of incorporating a transition unit into any facility where renovations are necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

Sec. 15.  CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES REORGANIZATION;                                                     PLAN

(a)  Findings.  Department of corrections expenditures on correctional services including out-of-state beds grew from $93,255,650.00 in fiscal year 2004 to $120,533,309.00 in fiscal year 2008.  The amount of funding proposed for fiscal year 2009 is $123,589,833.00.  This rate of increase has been and remains unsustainable.

(b)  Action.  In order to reduce the unsustainable increases in the expenditures of the department of corrections, the commissioner of corrections and commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the corrections oversight committee, shall develop and evaluate options for reorganization of correctional facilities which will result in savings.  It is the intent of the general assembly to reinvest savings in services which will reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce the cost to the state of incarcerating offenders.  On or before January 15, 2009, the two commissioners shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary,  on appropriations, the senate committee on institutions, and the house committee on corrections and institutions on options considered, the preferred option, and cost estimates for the preferred plan.  Among other options, the commissioners shall consider:

(1)  Close the Dale Correctional Facility in Waterbury, change the mission of the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor to be a therapeutic community with substance abuse treatment and vocational training services in a work camp model, and close sections of the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans and renovate the facility to house and provide services to women.

(2)  Renovate the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans to be a job training center for male inmates which may include a work camp and other more secure job training programs.

(3)  Close the Dale Correctional Facility in Waterbury and expand the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor to be the facility for all female inmates in the state.

(c)  An incumbent in a classified position that will be eliminated due to the closing of a correctional facility due to action taken under this section, who does not accept an existing vacant classified position, and who exercises the contractual right to fill an existing temporary position at a department facility shall receive his or her classified position base salary and the benefits of the bargaining unit to which that temporary position would be assigned if permanent, with the exceptions of scheduling days of work, shift assignment, and post assignment. The rights established by this subsection shall be available until January 1, 2012, or until the affected employee accepts an existing classified position, whichever occurs first.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, all existing state employee contract provisions and protections shall remain fully in force for any affected corrections employee covered by the contract.

Sec. 16.  BUDGETARY SAVINGS; ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEAR                                        2009 AND FISCAL YEAR 2010

(a)  It is the intent of the general assembly to achieve savings in the department of corrections budget which will be reinvested in substance abuse screening, assessment, and treatment and reentry support to result in reduced recidivism.

(b)  In fiscal year 2009, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall spend $600,000 as follows:

(1)  The amount of $100,000.00 shall be to increase the capacity of the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) to provide services to those offenders with drug abuse disorders who are on preapproved furlough status under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7).

(2)  The amount of $212,000.00 shall be for entering into contracts with several community‑based substance abuse treatment providers in different geographic regions of the state to provide the substance abuse treatment services to persons on conditional reentry status pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of 28 V.S.A. or furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808.

(3)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to fund the establishment of a screening and assessment pilot program at a location approved by the court administrator to:

(A)  conduct a voluntary and confidential screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the time of arraignment of individuals charged with felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(B)  conduct a mandatory screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs following adjudication and prior to sentencing of individuals found guilty of felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(C)  provide the results of any screening and assessment conducted under this section to the judge following adjudication and prior to sentencing so that the judge can use the information to determine the level of treatment to be provided while the individual is in the custody of the commissioner of corrections; and

(D)  enable the commissioner to gather data regarding the prevalence of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.   

(4)  The amount of $88,000.00 shall be to assess offenders for substance abuse treatment needs prior to release.

(c)  Based on a recommendation from the commissioner of corrections and the corrections oversight committee, the joint fiscal committee may authorize further spending of funds from the fiscal year 2009 corrections appropriation for all or part of the amounts of this subsection, in the order listed in this subsection.  In fiscal year 2010, from within the amounts appropriated to the department of corrections from the general fund, the department shall reinvest a portion of the savings identified by the commissioner of corrections and the corrections oversight committee as follows:

(1)  The amount of $150,000.00 shall be to provide grants to community providers of transitional housing to increase the number of beds available by 10 beds for three to six months of housing for at least 20 offenders reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or on conditional reentry pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28;

(2)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to develop the capacities of community substance abuse treatment providers to work effectively with offenders and to function efficiently as a collaborative system;

(3)  The amount of $1,200,000.00 shall be to provide grants to community providers to increase by 60 the number of beds available for at least 120 offenders who will be staying in the transitional housing for three to six months before reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry, pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28.  The new transitional housing shall include a range from lightly supervised with no treatment programs to heavily supervised with wrap-around treatment programs.  Of the amount appropriated in this subdivision $200,000.00 shall be used to:

(A)  provide life skills programming;

(B)  expand housing readiness, search, and retention services; and

(C)  expand housing assistance funding which may be granted to housing authorities and other community agencies in response to requests for proposals or memorandums of understanding entered into in accordance with department policy and directives;

(4)  The amount of $365,000.00 shall be to expand the ISAP program to include a residential component for those who have been furloughed to the community pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); and

(5)  The amount necessary to continue funding the screening and assessment pilot program established in subdivision (a)(3) of this section for one more year.

(d)  The joint fiscal office shall track and report to the joint fiscal committee in January and July of 2009 savings in the corrections budget resulting from the provisions of this act.

Sec. 17.  STATEWIDE DRUG COURT STUDY

The court administrator, the defender general, the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, the deputy commissioner of the department of health in charge of the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs, and the commissioner of mental health shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary by December 15, 2008, on the advisability and feasibility of expanding the drug court program to every county in the state.  The report shall address:

(1)  the financial costs of expanding the drug court program statewide;

(2)  the workforce impact which a statewide expansion of the program would have and whether new staff would be required;

(3)  whether current state facilities have the capacity to support statewide expansion and whether and where any new facilities would be required; and

(4)  any other matter deemed relevant to the issue of statewide drug court expansion.    

Sec. 18.  PUBLIC INEBRIATES TASK FORCE

(a)  A public inebriates task force is established.  The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1)  Two members employed by the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs appointed by the commissioner of the department of health.

(2)  Two substance abuse treatment providers appointed by the substance abuse treatment providers association.

(3)  One member appointed by the department of public safety.

(4)  One member appointed by the Vermont police association.

(5)  One member appointed by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

(6)  Two members appointed by the Vermont medical society who shall be hospital emergency department personnel.

(7)  Two members appointed by the Vermont recovery network.

(8)  Two employees of the department of corrections appointed by the commissioner of the department of corrections.

(9)  A representative of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

(b)  The task force shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary, institutions, and appropriations no later than January 1, 2010 with a plan to ensure that public inebriates are given appropriate care rather than incarcerated.  The plan shall ensure the regional availability of supportive voluntary and secure accommodations for public inebriates by January 1, 2011, and shall include a timetable for providing reimbursement of expenses to programs that house and maintain public inebriates.

Sec. 19.  ACCOUNTABILITY; REPORTS

(a)  On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner of corrections and the court administrator shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary, and the house committee corrections and institutions on implementing the screening and assessment pilot program authorized and funded in Sec. 16(b)(3) of this act, as well as recommendations for continuing the program or expanding the program or both.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2010, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on corrections and institutions, and the house committee on judiciary on:

(1)  the prevalence of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders among those committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections;

(2)  the success of and problems encountered in:

(A)  expanding the ISAP program pursuant to Sec. 16(b)(1) of this act;

(B)  developing reentry plans which identify services needed by offenders upon release, and in working with community providers to ensure that each offender receives those services immediately upon release;

(C)  implementing the screening and assessment pilot program authorized and funded in Sec. 16(b)(3) of this act, as well as recommendations for continuing the program or expanding the program or both.  The commissioner shall make this report jointly with the court administrator;

(3)  the progress made since passage of this act in establishing a comprehensive system of community substance abuse treatment services which is coordinated with corrections services;

(4)  a proposal to increase the furlough days for nonlisted offenders from the existing average of 53 to a target of 75. 

(c)  On or before January 15, 2011, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on corrections and institutions, and the house committee on judiciary on the successes of and problems encountered in working to meet the following goals with the funds provided and through the programs established in this act:

(1)  increase by at least 30 the number of offenders with sentences of one or more years placed in the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(2)  move at least 10 offenders who are in the intensive phase of receiving ISAP services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7) and who are unsuccessful and would otherwise be reincarcerated to a community-based residential substance abuse treatment program which may be a component of ISAP;

(3)  incarcerate no more than 20 percent of offenders who are receiving substance abuse treatment services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); 

(4)  reduce by 10 percent the number of reincarcerations of those on conditional reentry with a high need for substance abuse treatment;

(5)  increase by 25 the average per month number of inmates released on furlough, pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808; and

(6)  increase the average number of days inmates are released on reintegration furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) prior to the minimum sentence to as close to 90 days as possible. 

(d)  Until the corrections oversight committee informs the commissioner that it no longer requires the information, the commissioner of corrections shall include in monthly reports to the committee:

(1)  the number of inmates eligible for furlough under 28 V.S.A. § 808 and considered appropriate for release by the commissioner but who have not been released because the commissioner is unable to find appropriate housing, employment, treatment, or other services;

(2)  which treatment or other services would have been necessary and in which geographic region the services would have been needed to enable release;

(3)  the number of days of incarceration that could have been avoided if the community resources had been available and these offenders had been released; and

(4)  a detailed description of the progress made on increasing the use of electronic monitoring as authorized by 28 V.S.A. §§ 202, 403(1) and 808(b). 

(e)  On or before January 15, 2011, the court administrator’s office, in consultation with the office of alcohol and drug abuse programs in the Vermont department of health, the department of corrections, the defender general, and the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on the costs, cost savings, and effectiveness of the screening and assessment pilot project established pursuant to Sec. 16(b)(3) of this act and shall make a recommendation as to the continuation of the screening and assessment pilot project and its expansion to other counties.

(f)  The joint fiscal office and the office of finance and management shall jointly document the impact of the policies and provisions of this act on corrections costs and shall report their findings to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2010, and in January of each year for five years thereafter.

(g)  The Vermont center for justice research shall study and evaluate the effectiveness of the system of administrative probation established by subsection 205(c) of Title 28, including whether the people who receive such probation commit further offenses and the nature of those offenses.  The center shall report its evaluation of administrative probation to the senate and house committees on judiciary on or before December 15, 2011.

Sec. 20.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Secs. 12 and 13 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2011.

(b)  All remaining sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2008.

     Which was agreed to.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 203

The Senate proposed to the House to amend House bill, entitled

An act relating to increasing the amount of an estate to which a surviving spouse is entitled when the deceased spouse dies without a will;

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

Sec. 1.  REPEAL

Chapters 41, 43 and 45 of Title 14 are repealed.

Sec. 2.  14 V.S.A. chapter 42 is added to Part 2 to read:

Chapter 42.  Descent and Survivors’ Rights

Subchapter 1.  General Provisions

§ 301.  Intestate Estate

(a)  Any part of a decedent’s estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent’s heirs, except as modified by the decedent’s will.

(b)  A decedent’s will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or a class to inherit property.  If such an individual or member of such a class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent’s intestate estate which would have passed to that individual or member of such a class passes subject to any such limitation or exclusion set forth in the will.

(c)  Nothing in this section shall preclude the surviving spouse of the decedent from making the election and receiving the benefits provided by section 319 of this title.

§ 302.  Dower and Curtesy Abolished

The estates of dower and curtesy are abolished.

§ 303.  Afterborn Heirs

For purposes of this chapter and chapter 1 of this title relating to wills, an individual in gestation at a particular time is treated as living at that time if the individual lives 120 hours or more after birth.

Subchapter 2.  Survivors’ Rights and Allowances

§ 311.  Share of Surviving Spouse

After payment of the debts, funeral charges, and expenses of administration, the intestate share of the decedent’s surviving spouse is as follows.

(1)  The entire intestate estate if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent or if all of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse.

(2)  In the event there shall survive the decedent one or more descendants of the decedent, who are not descendants of the surviving spouse and are not excluded by decedent’s will from inheriting from the decedent, the surviving spouse shall receive one-half of the intestate estate.

§ 312.  Surviving Spouse to Receive Household Goods

Upon motion, the surviving spouse of a decedent may receive out of the decedent’s estate all furnishings and furniture in the decedent’s household when the decedent leaves no descendants who object.  If any objection is made by any of the descendants, the court shall decide what, if any, of such personally shall pass under this section.  Goods and effects so assigned shall be in addition to the distributive share of the estate to which the surviving spouse is entitled under other provisions of law.  In making a determination pursuant to this section, the court may consider the length of the decedent’s marriage, the sentimental and monetary value of the property, and the source of the decedent’s interest in the property.

§ 313.  Surviving spouse; vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle

Whenever the estate of a decedent who dies intestate consists principally of a vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, and title to the vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle shall automatically pass to the surviving spouse.

§ 314.  Share of Heirs other than Surviving Spouse

(a)  The balance of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent’s surviving spouse under section 311 of this title passes to the decedent’s descendants by right of representation. 

(b)  If there is no taker under subsection (a) of this section, the intestate estate passes in the following order: 

(1)  to the decedent’s parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent;

(2)  to the decedent’s siblings or the descendants of any deceased siblings by right of representation;

(3)  one-half of the intestate estate to the decedent’s paternal grandparents equally if they both survive or to the surviving paternal grandparent and one-half of the intestate estate to the decedent’s maternal grandparents equally if they both survive or to the surviving maternal grandparent and if decedent is survived by a grandparent, or grandparents on only one side, to that grandparent or those grandparents;

(4)  in equal shares to the next of kin in equal degree.

(c)  If property passes under this section by right of representation, the property shall be divided into as many equal shares as there are children or siblings of the decedent, as the case may be, who either survive the decedent or who predecease the decedent leaving surviving descendants.

§ 315.  Parent and Child Relationship

For the purpose of intestate succession, an individual is the child of his or her parents, regardless of their marital status, but a parent shall not inherit from a child unless the parent has openly acknowledged the child and not refused to support the child.  The parent and child relationship may be established in parentage proceedings under subchapter 3A of chapter 5 of Title 15.

§ 316.  Support of Surviving Spouse and Family During Settlement

The probate court may make reasonable allowance for the expenses of maintenance of the surviving spouse and minor children or either, constituting the family of a decedent, out of the personal estate or the income of real or personal estate from date of death until settlement of the estate, but for no longer a period than until their shares in the estate are assigned to them or, in case of an insolvent estate, for not more than eight months after administration is granted.  This allowance may take priority, in the discretion of the court, over debts of the estate.

§ 317.  Allowance to Children before Payment of Debts

When a person dies leaving children under 18 years of age, an allowance may be made for the necessary maintenance of such children until they become 18 years of age.  Such allowance shall be made before any distribution of the estate among creditors, heirs, or beneficiaries by will.

§ 318.  Allowance to Children After Payment of Debts

Before any partition or division of an estate among the heirs or beneficiaries by will, an allowance may be made for the necessary expenses of the support of the children of the decedent under 18 years of age until they arrive at that age.  The probate court may order the executor or administrator to retain sufficient estate assets for that purpose, except where some provision is made by will for their support.

§319.  Waiver of Will by Surviving Spouse

(a)  A surviving spouse may waive the provisions of the decedent’s will and in lieu thereof elect to take one-half of the balance of the estate, after the payment of claims and expenses.

(b)  The surviving spouse must be living at the time this election is made.  If the surviving spouse is mentally disabled and cannot make the election personally, a guardian or attorney in fact under a valid durable power of attorney may do so.

(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the rights of election of the surviving spouse in subsection 319(a) of this chapter may be waived in whole or in part before marriage by a written contract or waiver signed by the surviving spouse that is witnessed and acknowledged.  Such an agreement is not enforceable if the surviving spouse proves any of the following:

(1)  the surviving spouse did not execute the written contract or waiver voluntarily;

(2)  the written contract or waiver was unconscionable when it was made;

(3)  one spouse did not have separate legal representation at the time the written contract or waiver was executed;

(4)  the surviving spouse (i) was not provided with a full and fair financial disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the decedent; (ii) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the decedent beyond the disclosures provided; and (iii) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the decedent.

(d)  The provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall have no affect with respect to the provisions of 12 V.S.A. § 181(3).

(e)  This section shall apply to any agreements entered into on or after the effective date of this act.

§ 320.  Effect of Divorce Order

A final divorce order from any state shall have the effect of nullifying a gift by will or inheritance by operation of law to an individual who was the decedent’s spouse at the time the will was executed if the decedent was no longer married to that individual at the time of death, unless his or her will specifically states to the contrary.

§ 321.  Conveyances to Defeat Spouse’s Interest

Except as provided in subsection 319(c) of this title, a voluntary transfer of any property by an individual during marriage, made without adequate consideration and for the primary purpose of defeating a surviving spouse in a claim to a share of the decedent’s property so transferred, shall be void and inoperative to bar the claim.  The decedent shall be deemed at the time of his or her death to be the owner and seised of an interest in such property sufficient for the purpose of assigning and setting out the surviving spouse’s share.

§ 322.  Unlawful Killing Affecting InheritancE

Notwithstanding sections 311 through 314 of this title or provisions otherwise made, in any case where an individual is entitled to inherit or receive property under the last will of a decedent, or otherwise, such individual’s share in the decedent’s estate shall be forfeited and shall pass to the remaining heirs or beneficiaries of the decedent if such person intentionally and unlawfully kills the decedent.  In any proceedings to contest the right of an individual to inherit or receive property under a will, the record of such person’s conviction of intentionally and unlawfully killing the decedent shall be admissible evidence that such person did intentionally kill the decedent.

Subchapter 3.  Descent, Omitted Issue and Lapsed Legacies

§ 331.  Degrees; How Computed:  Kindred of Half-Blood

Kindred of the half-blood shall inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.

§ 332.  Share of After-Born Child

When a child of a testator is born after the making of a will and provision is not therein made for that child, he or she shall have the same share in the estate of the testator as if the testator had died intestate unless it is apparent from the will that it was the intention of the testator that provision should not be made for the child.

§ 333.  Share of Child or Descendant of Child Omitted from Will

When a testator omits to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children, or for the descendants of a deceased child, and it appears that the omission was made by mistake or accident, the child or descendants, as the case may be, shall have and be assigned the same share of the estate of the testator as if the testator had died intestate.

§ 334.  After-born AND OMITTED Child; From What Part of Estate Share Taken

When a share of a testator's estate is assigned to a child born after the making of a will, or to a child or the descendant of a child omitted in the will, the share shall be taken first from the estate not disposed of by the will, if there is any.  If that is not sufficient, so much as is necessary shall be taken from the devisees or legatees in proportion to the value of the estate they respectively receive under the will.  If the obvious intention of the testator, as to some specific devise, legacy, or other provision in the will, would thereby be defeated, the specific devise, legacy, or provision may be exempted from such apportionment and a different apportionment adopted in the discretion of the court.

§ 335.  Beneficiary Dying before Testator: Descendants to Take

When a testamentary gift is made to a child or other kindred of the testator, and the designated beneficiary dies before the testator, leaving one or more descendants who survive the testator, such descendants shall take the gift that the designated beneficiary would have taken if he or she had survived the testator, unless a different disposition is required by the will.

§ 336.  Individual Absent and Unheard of; Share of Estate

If an individual entitled to a distributive share of the estate of a decedent is absent and unheard of for six years, two of which are after the death of the decedent, the probate court in which the decedent’s estate is pending may order the share of the absent individual distributed in accordance with the terms of the decedent’s will or the laws of intestacy as if such absent individual had not survived the decedent.  If the absent individual proves to be alive, he or she shall be entitled to the share of the estate notwithstanding prior distribution, and may recover in an action on this statute any portion thereof which any other individual received under order.  Before an order is made for the payment of distribution of any money or estate as authorized in this section, notice shall be given as provided by the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure.

§ 337.  Requirement that Individual Survive Decedent for 120 hours

Except as provided in the decedent’s will, an individual who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property, intestate succession, and taking under decedent’s will, and the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries shall be determined accordingly.  If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual who would otherwise be an heir or beneficiary survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period.  This section is not to be applied if its application would result in escheat.

§ 338.  DISTRIBUTION; ORDER IN WHICH ASSETS APPROPRIATED; ABATEMENT

(a)(1)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, shares of distributes given under a will abate, without any preference or priority as between real and personal property, in the following order:

(A)  property not disposed of by the will;

(B)  residuary devises and bequests;

(C)  general devises and bequests;

(D)  specific devises and bequests.

(2)  For purpose of abatement, a general devise or bequest charged on any specific property or fund is a specific devise or bequest to the extent of the value of the property on which it is charged, and upon the failure or insufficiency of the property on which it is charged, a general devise or bequest to the extent of the failure or insufficiency.  Abatement within each classification is in proportion to the amounts of property each of the beneficiaries would have received if full distribution of the property had been made in accordance with the terms of the will.

(b)  If the will expresses an order of abatement or if the testamentary plan or the express or implied purpose of a devise or bequest would be defeated by the order of abatement listed in subsection (a) of this section, the shares of the distributees shall abate as may be necessary to give effect to the intention of the testator.

(c)  If the subject of a preferred devise or bequest is sold or used incident to administration, abatement shall be achieved by appropriate adjustments in, or contribution from, other interests in the remaining assets.

§ 339.  REFERRAL TO STATE’S ATTORNEY

A probate judge who finds there is good cause to believe that an individual has misapplied fiduciary property in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 2540 shall make a report to the state’s attorney.

Sec. 3.  13 V.S.A. § 2540 is added to read:

§ 2540.  MISAPPLICATION OF FIDUCIARY PROPERTY

(a)  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “fiduciary” includes:

(A)  a trustee, a guardian, an administrator, an executor, a conservator, and a receiver;

(B)  an attorney in fact or an agent appointed under a durable power of attorney as provided by section 3508 of Title 14; and

(C)  any other person acting in a fiduciary capacity, but not a commercial bailee.

(2)  “Misapply” means deal with property contrary to:

(A)  an agreement under which the fiduciary holds the property; or

(B)  a law prescribing the custody or disposition of the property.

(b)  A person commits an offense if he or she intentionally or recklessly misapplies property he or she holds as a fiduciary in a manner that involves substantial risk of loss to the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property is held.

(c)  A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00 or both if the value of the property misapplied does not exceed $900.00 in value.

(d)  A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $5,000.00 or both if the value of the property misapplied exceeds $900.00 in value.

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 2578 is amended to read:

§ 2578.  RESTITUTION

(a)  A sentencing court may order reasonable restitution where:

(1)  merchandise stolen is not recovered or is recovered in damaged condition.  Damages shall be calculated based on retail value; or

(2)  fiduciary property has been misapplied pursuant to section 2540 of this title.  Damages shall be based on the value of the property misapplied.

(b)  Restitution may be ordered in addition to any other penalties imposed.

(c)  Restitution shall be supervised by the department of corrections.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 2023 is amended to read:

§ 2023.  TRANSFER OF INTEREST IN VEHICLE

(a)  If an owner transfers his or her interest in a vehicle, other than by the creation of a security interest, he or she shall, at the time of delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided therefor on the certificate or as the commissioner prescribes, and of the odometer reading or hubometer reading or clock meter reading of the vehicle at the time of delivery in the space provided therefor on the certificate, and cause the certificate and assignment to be mailed or delivered to the transferee or to the commissioner.  Where title to a vehicle is in the name of more than one person, the nature of the ownership must be indicated by one of the following on the certificate of title:

(1)  TEN ENT (tenants by the entirety);

(2)  JTEN (joint tenants);

(3)  TEN COM (tenants in common); or

(4)  PTNRS (partners); or

(5)  TOD (transfer on death).

(b)  Upon request of the owner or transferee, a lien holder in possession of the certificate of title shall, unless the transfer was a breach of his or her security agreement, either deliver the certificate to the transferee for delivery to the commissioner or, upon receipt from the transferee of the owner's assignment, the transferee's application for a new certificate and the required fee, mail or deliver them to the commissioner.  The delivery of the certificate does not affect the rights of the lien holder under his security agreement.

(c)  If a security interest is reserved or created at the time of the transfer, the certificate of title shall be retained by or delivered to the person who becomes the lien holder, and the parties shall comply with the provisions of section 2043 of this title.

(d)  Except as provided in section 2024 of this title and as between the parties, a transfer by an owner is not effective until the provisions of this section and section 2026 of this title have been complied with; however, an owner who has delivered possession of the vehicle to the transferee and has complied with the provisions of this section and section 2026 of this title requiring action by him or her is not liable as owner for any damages thereafter resulting from operation of the vehicle.

(e)  Notwithstanding other provisions of the law, whenever the estate of an individual who dies intestate consists principally of an automobile, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the motor vehicle and title to the same shall automatically and by virtue hereof pass to said surviving spouse.  Registration of the vehicle in the name of the surviving spouse shall be effected by payment of a transfer fee of $7.00.  This transaction is exempt from the provisions of the purchase and use tax on motor vehicles.

(1)  Notwithstanding other provisions of the law, and except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, whenever the estate of an individual consists in whole or in part of a motor vehicle, and the person's will or other testamentary document does not specifically address disposition of motor vehicles, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the motor vehicle and title to the motor vehicle shall automatically pass to the surviving spouse. Registration and title of the motor vehicle in the name of the surviving spouse shall be effected by payment of a transfer fee of $7.00.  This transaction is exempt from the provisions of the purchase and use tax on motor vehicles.

(2)  This subsection shall apply to no more than two motor vehicles, and shall not apply if the motor vehicle is titled in the name of one or more persons other than the decedent and the surviving spouse.

(f)  Where the title identifies a person who will become the owner upon the death of the principal owner (transfer on death), the principal owner shall have all rights of ownership and rights of transfer until his or her death.  The designated transferee shall have no rights of ownership until such time as the principal owner has died as established by a valid death certificate.  At that time, the transferee shall become the owner of the vehicle subject to any existing security interests.

Sec. 5a.  27  V.S.A. §101 and §102 are amended to read:

§ 101. Definition; exemption from attachment and execution

The homestead of a natural person consisting of a dwelling house, outbuildings and the land used in connection therewith, not exceeding $75,000.00 $175,000.00 in value, and owned and used or kept by such person as a homestead together with the rents, issues, profits and products thereof, shall be exempt from attachment and execution except as hereinafter provided.

§ 102. Designating homestead in case of levy

When an execution is levied upon real estate of the person of which a homestead is a part or upon that part of a homestead in excess of the limitation of $75,000.00 $175,000.00 in value, that person may designate and choose the part thereof, not exceeding the limited value, to which the exemption created in section 101 of this title shall apply. Upon designation and choice or refusal to designate or choose, the officer levying the execution, if the parties fail to agree upon appraisers, shall appoint three disinterested freeholders of the vicinity who shall be sworn by him or her and who shall fix the location and boundaries of the homestead to the amount of $75,000.00 $175,000.00 in value. The officer shall then proceed with the sale of the residue of the real estate on the execution as in other cases, and the doings in respect to the homestead shall be stated in the return upon the execution.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 2 of this act shall only apply to the estates of persons dying after January 1, 2009.

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

AN ACT RELATING TO DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY UPON DEATH, MISAPPLICATION OF FIDUCIARY PROPERTY, TRANSFER OF INTEREST IN VEHICLE UPON DEATH, AND HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION.

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Grad of Moretown moved that the House refuse to concur and ask for a Committee of Conference, which was agreed to, and the Speaker appointed as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the House:

Rep. Flory of Pittsford

Rep. Jewett of Ripton

Rep. Grad of Moretown

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 436

     The Senate proposed to the House to amend House bill, entitled

     An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to local election and municipal government laws;

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 2473a(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The receipt and expenditure of moneys from the revolving fund shall be under the supervision of the business manager and at the direction of the publisher, subject to the provisions of this section.  Vermont Life magazine shall maintain accurate and complete records of all receipts and expenditures by and from the fund, and shall make an annual report on the condition of the fund to the secretary of the agency, who shall in turn provide the report to the secretary of administration.  The fund shall be audited annually by the auditor of accounts.

Sec. 2.  7 V.S.A. § 805 is amended to read:

§ 805.  -AUDIT OF OPERATIONS

On or before February 28 of each year, each state college and university licensed under this chapter shall submit a financial report on its operations under this chapter to audit by the state auditor of accounts. Such audit shall examine the financial condition and operation of such licensees for the preceding calendar year and shall be submitted to the liquor control board by April 1 of each year.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 2177(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The books and accounts financial statements of the corporation shall be audited annually as of June 30 under the supervision of the auditor of accounts who shall publish the audit report in detail by an independent public accounting firm registered in Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The auditor of accounts or his or her designee shall be the state’s nonvoting representative to an audit committee established by the board

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 2281 is amended to read:

§ 2281.  ANNUAL AUDIT; REPORTS; CONTROL OF FUNDS

(a)  The books and accounts of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall be audited annually as of June 30, under the supervision of the auditor of accounts.  The report of such audit shall be published in detail by the auditor of accounts by an independent accounting firm registered in the state of Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The auditor of accounts or his or her designee shall be the state’s nonvoting representative to an audit committee established by the board

* * *

(f)  Control of funds appropriated and of the work carried on under the terms of section 2321 of this title shall be vested in the board of trustees of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall provide an accounting service which shall account for the expenditure of funds by divisions and shall make an annual financial report to the governor of the state.  All funds appropriated to the agricultural college shall be kept in a separate account and shall be audited annually by the auditor of accounts an independent accounting firm registered in the state of Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Sec. 5.  16 V.S.A. § 2835 is amended to read:

§ 2835.  CONTROLS, AUDITS, AND REPORTS

Control of funds appropriated and all procedures incident to the carrying out of the purposes of this chapter shall be vested in the board.  The books of account of the corporation shall be audited annually under the direction of the auditor of accounts by an independent public accounting firm registered in the state of Vermont in accordance with government auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and a the resulting audit report filed with the secretary of administration not later than November 1 each year.  The auditor of accounts or his or her designee shall be the state’s nonvoting representative to an audit committee established by the board.  Biennially, the board shall report to the legislature on its activities during the preceding biennium.

Sec. 6.  17 V.S.A. § 2353(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The name of any person shall be printed upon the primary ballot as a candidate for nomination by any major political party for any office indicated, if petitions containing the requisite number of signatures made by legal voters, in substantially the following form, are filed with the proper official, together with the person's written consent to having his or her name printed on the ballot:

STATE OF VERMONT

County of  .......................... )

ss.

City (town) of  .................... )

 

I join in a petition to place on the primary ballot of the .............................................................. party the name of  ........................................................., whose residence is in the (city), (town) of  ............................................... in the county of ............................................., for the office of  ………………............................. to be voted for on Tuesday, the  .................................. day of September, 20  ..................; and I certify that I am at the present time a registered voter and am qualified to vote for a candidate for this office.

Sec. 7.  17 V.S.A. § 2402 is amended to read:

§ 2402.  REQUISITES OF STATEMENT

(a)  A statement of nomination shall contain:

* * *

(4)  In the case of nomination for president or vice president of the United States, the name and state of residence of each candidate for such office, together with the name, town of residence, and correct mailing address of each nominee for the office of elector.  The statement of nomination shall include certification by the town clerk of each town where the signers appear to be voters that the persons whose names appear as signers of the statement are registered voters in the town and of the total number of valid signers from the town.  Only the number of signers certified by each town clerk shall count toward the required number of signatures.  The statement shall also be accompanied by a consent form from each nominee for elector.  The consent form shall be similar to the consent form prescribed in section 2361 of this title.

(b)  To constitute a valid nomination, a statement shall contain signatures of voters qualified to vote in an election for the office in question, equal in number to at least:

(1)  For presidential and vice presidential offices, 1,000;

(2)  For state and congressional offices, 250 500;

* * *

(c)  A statement shall state that each signer is qualified to vote in an election for the office in question and that the voter's residence is as set forth next to the voter's name.  Every statement of nomination shall include the certificate of the town clerk where the signers appear to be voters, certifying whether the persons whose names appear as signers of the statement are registered voters in the town.  Only those names certified by the town clerk to be those of registered voters of the town shall count toward the required number of signatures.

(d)  A statement of nomination and a completed and signed consent form shall be filed not later than the time for filing the statements prescribed in section 2386 of this title sooner than the first Monday in June and not later than the third day after the primary election.  No public official receiving nominations shall accept a petition unless a completed and signed consent form is filed at the same time.

(e)  The secretary of state shall prescribe and furnish forms for a statement of nomination.

Sec. 8.  17 V.S.A. § 2456 is amended to read:

§ 2456.  DISQUALIFICATIONS

Notwithstanding the preceding sections of this subchapter, no person shall serve as an election official in any election in which his or her name appears on a ballot of the Australian ballot system as a candidate for any office unless he or she is the only candidate for that office, or unless the office for which he or she is a candidate is that of moderator, justice of the peace, town clerk,

clerk-treasurer, treasurer, ward clerk, or inspector of elections.  When an Australian ballot is not used, a person shall not serve as an election official during the election to fill any office for which he or she is a nominee.  For the purpose of this section, "clerk-treasurer" means a person who is a candidate for the offices of town clerk and town treasurer at the same time.

Sec. 9.  17 V.S.A. § 2494 is amended to read:

§ 2494.  CONSTRUCTION WITH OTHER LAWS

Except as this subchapter affects the method of registering votes and ascertaining the result, the laws of this state pertaining to elections shall be applicable.  The laws pertaining to early or absentee voters shall in no way be affected by this subchapter, and votes cast by early or absentee voters shall be counted with votes registered on voting machines.  In towns using voting machines, the board of civil authority may vote to open polling places at 5:00 a.m., provided that at least three elections officials are present, two of whom are from different parties, solely for the purpose of checking voters who voted by early voter absentee ballot off the checklist and depositing the ballots into the ballot box or voting machine.  If all early voter absentee ballots have not been deposited into the voting machines before the closing of the polls at 7:00 p.m., the elections officials shall continue to deposit ballots using the same procedure as provided in subsection 2561(b) of this title, treating each ballot as a voter waiting to cast his or her ballot at the close of the polls.

Sec. 10.  17 V.S.A. § 2561(a) is amended to read:

(a)  At all elections using the Australian ballot system, the polls shall may open no earlier than 5:00 a.m. and shall open no later than 10:00 a.m. as set by the board of civil authority in each town unless the board of civil authority has elected to open the polls earlier than 6:00 a.m. as provided in section 2494 of this title.  The polls in all polling places shall close at 7:00 p.m.

Sec. 11.  17 V.S.A. § 2640(c) is amended to read:

(c)  In a town which starts its annual meeting on any day before the first Tuesday in March and which uses the Australian ballot system, Notwithstanding section 2508 of this title, public discussion of ballot issues and all other issues appearing in the warning, other than election of candidates, shall be permitted on that day at the annual meeting, regardless of the location of the polling place.

Sec. 12.  17 V.S.A. § 2664 is amended to read:

§ 2664.  BUDGET

A town shall vote such sums of money as it deems necessary for the interest of its inhabitants and for the prosecution and defense of the common rights.  It shall express in its vote the specific amounts, or the rate on a dollar of the grand list, to be appropriated for laying out and repairing highways and for other necessary town expenses.  If a town votes specific amounts in lieu of a rate on a dollar of the grand list, the selectmen selectboard shall, after the grand list book has been computed and lodged in the office of the town clerk, set the tax rate necessary to raise the specific amounts voted.  The selectboard may apply for grants and may accept and expend grants or gifts above those which are approved in the town budget.  The selectboard shall include, in its annual report, a description of all grants or gifts accepted during the year and associated expenditures.

Sec. 13.  17 V.S.A. § 2680 is amended to read:

§ 2680.  AUSTRALIAN BALLOT SYSTEM; GENERAL

* * *

(c)  Budgets.  A vote whether to use the Australian ballot system to establish the budget shall be in substantially the following form:

"Shall (name of municipality) adopt its budget article or articles by Australian ballot?"

If a budget voted on by Australian ballot is rejected, the legislative body shall prepare a revised budget.  The legislative body shall establish a date for the vote on the revised budget, and shall take appropriate steps to warn a public informational meeting on the budget and the vote.  The date of the public informational meeting shall be at least five days following the public notice. The date of the vote shall be at least seven days following the public notice. The vote on the revised budget shall be by Australian ballot and shall take place in the same locations that the first vote was taken.  The budget shall be established if a majority of all votes cast are in favor.  If the revised budget is rejected, the legislative body shall repeat the procedure in this subsection until a budget is adopted.  Once a municipality votes to establish its budget by the Australian ballot system, the vote on the budget shall be taken by Australian ballot until the municipality votes to discontinue use of the system.

* * *

(g)  Whenever a municipality has voted to adopt the Australian ballot system of voting on any public question or budget, except the budget revote as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the legislative body shall hold a public informational hearing on the question by posting warnings at least 10 days in advance of the hearing in at least two public places within the municipality and in the town clerk's office.  The hearing shall be held within the 10 days preceding the meeting at which the Australian ballot system is to be used.  The hearing under this subsection may be held in conjunction with the meeting held under subsection 2640(c), in which case the moderator shall preside.

Sec. 14.  19 V.S.A. § 13 is amended to read:

§ 13.  Central garage fund

* * *

(f)  Annually the auditor of accounts shall conduct an examination of the central garage revolving fund and report his or her findings in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 163(5).

(g)  [Repealed.]

(h)  For purposes of this section, “equipment” means registered motor vehicles and highway maintenance equipment assigned to the central garage.

(i)(g)  Each year at the September meeting of the joint transportation oversight committee called pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 12b(d), the agency shall present to the joint transportation oversight committee a report detailing:

* * *

Sec. 15.  20 V.S.A. § 3546 is amended to read:

§ 3546.  INVESTIGATION OF VICIOUS DOMESTIC PETS OR WOLF-HYBRIDS; ORDER

* * *

(d)  The procedures provided in this section shall only apply if the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is not a rabies suspect.  If a member of the legislative body or a municipal official designated by the legislative body determines that the animal is a rabies suspect, the provisions of subchapter 5 of this chapter and the rules of the department of health shall apply.

(e)  The procedures provided in this section shall not apply if the voters of a municipality, at a special or annual meeting duly warned for the purpose, have authorized the legislative body of the municipality to regulate domestic pets or wolf-hybrids by ordinances that are inconsistent with this section, in which case those ordinances shall apply.

Sec. 16.  20 V.S.A. § 3549 is amended to read:

§ 3549.  DOMESTIC PETS OR WOLF-HYBRIDS, REGULATION BY TOWNS

The legislative body of a city or town by ordinance may regulate the keeping, leashing, muzzling, restraint, impoundment, and destruction of domestic pets or wolf-hybrids and their running at large.

Sec. 17.  22 V.S.A. § 281 is amended to read:

§ 281.  MEMBERS AND TRUSTEES EX OFFICIO

The secretary of state, auditor of accounts and the state librarian, by virtue of their offices, shall be members of the Vermont Historical Society and of the board of trustees thereof.

Sec. 18.  24 V.S.A. § 871 is amended to read:

§ 871.  ORGANIZATION OF SELECTMEN SELECTBOARD; APPOINTMENTS

Forthwith after their election and qualification, the selectmen selectboard shall organize and elect a chairman chair and, if so voted, a clerk from among their number, and file a certificate of such election for record in the office of the town clerk.  Such selectmen shall The selectboard shall thereupon appoint from among the legally qualified voters a tree warden and may thereupon appoint from among the legally qualified voters the following officers who shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified, and shall certify such appointments to the town clerk who shall record the same:

(1)  Three fence viewers;

(2)  A poundkeeper, for each pound; voting residence in the town need not be a qualification for this office provided appointee gives his or her consent to the appointment;

(3)  One or more inspectors of lumber, shingles and wood; and

(4)  One or more weighers of coal; and

(5)  A tree warden.

* * *

Sec. 19.  24 V.S.A. § 2291(10) is amended to read:

§ 2291.  ENUMERATION OF POWERS

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

* * *

(10)  To regulate the keeping of dogs, and to provide for their leashing, muzzling or, restraint, impoundment, and destruction.

* * *

Sec. 20.  24 V.S.A. § 4442(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Routine adoption.

(1)  A bylaw, bylaw amendment, or bylaw repeal shall be adopted by a majority of the members of the legislative body at a meeting that is held after the final public hearing, and shall be effective 21 days after adoption unless, by action of the legislative body, the bylaw, bylaw amendment, or bylaw repeal is warned for adoption by the municipality by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting of the municipality.

(2)  However, a rural town with a population of fewer than 2,500 persons, by action of the legislative body or by vote of that town at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue, may elect to require that bylaws, bylaw amendments, or bylaw repeals shall be adopted by vote of the town by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue.  That procedure shall then apply until rescinded by the voters at a regular or special meeting of the town.

Sec. 21.  29 V.S.A. § 160(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall supervise the receipt and expenditure of moneys comprising the property management revolving fund, subject to the provisions of this section.  He or she shall maintain accurate and complete records of all such receipts and expenditures, and shall make an annual report on the condition of the fund to the secretary of administration.  All balances remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over to the following year, and the fund shall be audited by the auditor of accounts.

Sec. 22.  29 V.S.A. § 168(b)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  All balances remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over to the following year, and the auditor of accounts shall audit the fund.

Sec. 23.  32 V.S.A. § 163 is amended to read:

§ 163.  DUTIES OF THE AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS

In addition to any other duties prescribed by law, the auditor of accounts shall:

(1)  Examine annually the financial statements of the funds of state government and at his or her discretion audit financial and other records Annually perform or contract for the audit of the basic financial statements of the state of Vermont and, at his or her discretion, conduct governmental audits as defined by governmental auditing standards issued by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), of every department, institution, and agency of the state including trustees or custodians of retirement and other trust funds held by the state or any officer or officers of the state, and also including every county officer who receives or disburses funds of the state or for the benefit of the state or any county.  He or she shall upon request of a town establish a uniform system of accounting and reporting.

(2)  In his or her discretion, conduct a continuing post audit of all disbursements made through the office of the commissioner of finance and management or the office of the state treasurer, including disbursements to a municipality, school supervisory union, school district, or county.

* * *

(4)  Upon request, assist the commissioner of finance and management in the preparation of the state budget.

(5)  From time to time, as examinations audits are completed, report his or her audit findings first to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate, then to the governor, the secretary of administration, the commissioner of finance and management, and the head of the department, institution, or agency covered by the report.  The audit reports shall be public records and four 10 copies of each report shall be furnished to and kept in the state library for public use.

(6)(5)  Make special audits of any department, institution, and agency as the governor may from time to time require.

(7)(6)  Make a biennial report Report on or before February 15 of each year to the general assembly house and senate committees on appropriations in which he or she shall summarize his or her significant findings, and make such comments and recommendations as he or she finds necessary.

(8)(7)  Subject to the provisions of chapter 13 of Title 3, employ and set the compensation of such assistants, clerical or otherwise, as he or she deems necessary for the proper and efficient administration of his or her office.  However, he or she shall not expend or authorize expenditure of funds for his or her office in excess of the amount appropriated for his or her office in any fiscal year.

(9)  Approve and coordinate all requests by state departments, agencies, commissions and state-created authorities for accounting or auditing services by an independent accounting firm for any of the departments’, agencies’, commissions’ or state-created authorities’ funds, financial accounts, and records, or for any accounting or auditing services for which payment is to be made from any funds controlled or administered by any state department, agency, commission or state-created authority, prior to the negotiation of any contractual obligations with the independent firms.  All audit reports and reports of findings and recommendations issued by an independent accounting firm under this section shall be addressed to the auditor of accounts for distribution in accordance with subdivision 5 of this section.

(10)(8)  Require all state departments and agencies to file with the auditor of accounts all audit reports and reports of findings and recommendations received as a result of audits and examinations conducted by or for any federal agency.

(11)(9)  Perform, or contract with independent public accountants licensed in the state of Vermont to perform, financial and compliance audits as required by the Federal Single Audit Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. § 7501 et seq. This subdivision shall not apply to the University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges.

(12)(A)  Biennially audit the economic advancement tax incentives program established under chapter 151, subchapter 11E of this title to determine compliance with that subchapter and all other applicable statutes and regulations.  The auditor’s report shall be made available to the general assembly during the fourth quarter of the second year of each biennium. The auditor shall include in this biennial audit verifications of any of the inspections done by the tax department of awardees of economic advancement tax incentives to determine the relationship between performance and credits claimed.

(B)(10)  Biennially audit the Vermont employment growth incentive program established under 32 V.S.A. § 5930b and other applicable statutes and regulations, and report the audit to the general assembly, the Vermont department of taxes, and the Vermont economic progress council by March 31 after the audit yearThe audit shall include a comparative examination of the economic advancement tax incentive program and the Vermont employment growth incentives program with respect to performance measurements, program expenditure controls, the adequacy and availability of program information, and recommendations for improved accountability and fiscal controls.  The auditor shall develop benchmarks, known as “best management practices” that in the judgment of the auditor need to be met so that the Vermont employment growth incentives program may be administered in the most fiscally sound and well-managed manner.  The auditor’s report shall be submitted during the first quarter of the second year of each biennium to the department of taxes and the economic incentive review board established by 32 V.S.A. § 5930a(a) (except that in the second year of the 2007-2008 biennium the auditor’s report shall be submitted to the Vermont economic progress council).  The department and the board (and in the 2007-2008 biennium, the council) shall review the auditor’s report and in the fourth quarter of each biennium report to the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, the senate committee on finance, the house committee on commerce and the house committee on ways and means in response to the findings and recommendations of the auditor together with any recommendations for improvements or amendments.

Sec. 24.  32 V.S.A. § 167(a) is amended to read:

(a)  For the purpose of examination and audit authorized by law, all the records, accounts, books, papers, reports, and returns in all formats of all departments, institutions, and agencies of the state including the trustees or custodians of trust funds and all municipal, school supervisory union, school district, and county officers who receive or disburse funds for the benefit of the state, shall be made available to the auditor of accounts.  It shall be the duty of each officer of each department, institution, and agency of the state or municipality, school supervisory union, school district, or county to provide the records, accounts, books, papers, reports, returns, and such other explanatory information when required by the auditor of accounts.

Sec. 25.  32 V.S.A. § 431(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The treasurer, the auditor and the governor shall select the banks in which the funds of the state treasury shall be deposited.  Each agency or department of the state shall be required to obtain the approval of the treasurer to establish and maintain a bank account of a selected bank as well as develop procedures, approved by the treasurer, to reconcile a bank account.  The treasurer shall annually furnish the auditor, on a timely basis, a certified statement from each bank, with which he or she has an account, of the amount of such account.

Sec. 26.  32 V.S.A. § 432 is amended to read:

§ 432.  MANAGEMENT OF INVESTED STATE MONEY

In the management of funds and securities belonging to the state or held in the treasury, with approval of the governor and auditor of accounts, he or she may change the form of investment thereof by exchange of securities or by sale and reinvestment of the same, as may be required for the safety and permanent security of such funds, may collect accruing interest and reinvest the same and may collect, enforce payment of, and reinvest all maturing securities and obligations and, for such purposes, may make legal transfers of the title of the same.

Sec. 27.  32 V.S.A. § 901 is amended to read:

§ 901.  BORROWING MONEY

The treasurer shall not make a contract binding the state for money borrowed unless it is countersigned by the secretary of state and the auditor.

Sec. 28.  32 V.S.A. § 1001(d)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  Membership.  Committee membership shall consist of:

(A)  As ex officio members:

(i)  the state treasurer;

(ii)  the auditor of accounts;

(iii)  the secretary of administration; and

(iv)(iii)  the secretary of the Vermont municipal bond bank.

(B)  One individual not an official or employee of state government appointed by the governor for a two-year term.

(C)  The auditor of accounts who shall be a nonvoting ex officio member.

Sec. 29.  32 V.S.A. § 1671(a)(6) is amended to read:

(6)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, for the recording or filing, or both, of any document that is to become a matter of public record in the town clerk's office, or for any certified copy of such document, a fee of $8.00 per page shall be charged; except that for the recording or filing, or both, of a property transfer return, a fee of $8.00 shall be charged;

Sec. 30.  32 V.S.A. § 4774(b) is amended to read:

(b)(1)  The treasurer or collector shall deposit to the general fund any tax overpayment by a taxpayer who has paid by mail or electronic fund transfer, provided that:

(1)(A)  the payment made was equal to the taxes due without regard to the discount under section 4773 of this title; and

(2)(B)  the overpayment amount is $2.00 $10.00 or less.

(2)  If the taxpayer requests refund of such an overpayment within one year of payment, the treasurer or collector shall refund it.

Sec. 31.  32 V.S.A. § 5137 is amended to read:

§ 5137.  RECORDING DELINQUENT PAYMENTS

A collector of taxes for a town or municipality within it shall receipt for every payment made to the collector on account of delinquent taxes.  Such receipt shall be written in triplicate in a bound book or other permanent record purchased at the expense of the municipality and shall indicate the date of the payment, the name of the person making the payment, the name of the person against whom was assessed the tax on which the payment is to be applied, the year in which such tax was assessed and if a partial payment on an annual tax bill, whether applied on poll, personal property or real estate taxes.  Such collector shall detach and deliver the original receipt forthwith to the person making the payment and one copy thereof within 30 days to the town clerk who shall keep such copy on file.  Such collector shall purchase at the expense of the municipality for which the collector is acting a sufficient number of such bound triplicate receipt books having the sets of originals and copies consecutively numbered.  Annually, on or before February 5, the collector shall deliver to the auditors of each municipality for which the collector is acting all such bound volumes in which entries pertaining to such municipality have been made during the year ending January 31 next preceding, and the auditors shall audit the books forthwith and after the completion of audit shall return such books to such collector.

Sec. 32.  REPEAL

(a)  10 V.S.A. § 1960(f) (annual audit of advisory committee books) shall be repealed.

(b)  32 V.S.A. § 163(10) (biennial audit of employment growth incentive program) shall be repealed on December 31, 2012.

Sec. 33.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 6 and 7 shall take effect upon passage.

and that upon passage, the title of the bill shall read:

“AN ACT RELATING TO MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS TO ELECTION AND GOVERNMENT LAWS

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

House Resolution Adopted

H.R. 36

House resolution, entitled

House resolution relating to the Connecticut River Valley Flood Control Commission;

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

Rules Suspended; Bills Placed on all Remaining Stages of Passage in Concurrence with Proposals of Amendment;  Bills Read the Third time and Passed in Concurrence with Proposals of Amendment

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the following bills placed on all remaining stages of passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment. 

S. 357

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to domestic violence;

S. 364

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 250

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to decreasing the amounts of cocaine and heroin required to be possessed to trigger drug trafficking penalties.

Thereupon, the bills were read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposals of amendment .

Rules Suspended; Bill Placed on all Remaining

Stages of Passage in Concurrence; Bill Read the Third Time and Passed in Concurrence

S. 270

Senate bill, entitled

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

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the bill placed on all remaining stages of passage in concurrence with proposal of amendment.  The bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence on a Division vote.  Yeas 60.  Nays, 19.

Rules Suspended; Bill Placed on all Remaining

Stages of Passage in Concurrence; Bill Read the Third Time and Passed in Concurrence

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and the following bill placed on all remaining stages of passage in concurrence.

S. 227

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to angel investors.

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:

S. 357

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to domestic violence;

S. 364

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 227

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to angel investors.

S. 250

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to decreasing the amounts of cocaine and heroin required to be possessed to trigger drug trafficking penalties.

S. 270

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 168

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

S. 281

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to end-of-life care and pain management.

S. 284

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities and health care administration.

S. 304

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to a groundwater withdrawal program.

S. 311

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use value appraisal program.

S. 345

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

H. 859

House bill, entitled

An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and reduce corrections costs.

H. 203

House bill, entitled

     An act relating to increasing the amount of an estate to which a surviving spouse is entitled when the deceased spouse dies without a will.

Message from the Senate No. 65

     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 considered bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 112.  An act relating to protection of health care and public safety personnel from communicable disease.

H. 353.  An act relating to employee free choice for bargaining representative.

H. 691.  An act relating to executive and judicial branch fees.

H. 783.  An act relating to home improvement fraud.

H. 870.  An act relating to the regulations and professions and occupations.

H. 881.  An act relating to the role of electric and gas utilities in facilitating the deployment of communications facilities throughout the state.

H. 890.  An act relating to compensation for certain state employees.

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

The Senate has considered House proposals of amendment to Senate bills of the following titles:

S. 201.  An act relating to state employee whistleblower protection.

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

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

And has concurred therein.

The Senate has considered House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

S. 372.  An act relating to evictions, unpaid rent, and abandoned property in rental property.

And has refused to concur therein.

     The President pro tempore announced a change by the Committee on Committees in the members on the part off the Senate of the Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on House bills of the following titles:

S. 241.  An act relating to the special veteran and gold star registration plates.

          Senator Kitchel

          Senator Mazza

          Senator Scott

S. 342.  An act relating to Lake Champlain commemorative motor vehicle plates.

          Senator Collins

          Senator Mazza

          Senator Scott

The Senate has considered House proposals of amendment to the following Senate bills and has refused to concur therein and asks for Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses to which the President pro tempore announced the appointment as members of such Committees on the part of the Senate:

S. 107.  An act relating to mapping class four town highways and trails and mass discontinuances of unmapped town highways.

          Senator White

          Senator Flanagan

          Senator Doyle

S. 171.  An act relating to discharge of a mortgage by an attorney.

          Senator Campbell

          Senator Hartwell

          Senator Illuzzi

S. 283.  An act relating to the managed care organizations and the blueprint for health.

          Senator Racine

          Senator Mullin

          Senator Lyons

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

          Senator Mullin

          Senator Campbell

          Senator Nitka

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

          Senator Nitka

          Senator Kitchel

          Senator Sears

The Senate has considered House proposal of amendment to Senate proposal of amendment to House bill entitled:

H. 748.  An act relating to permitting students to possess and self-administer emergency medication.

And has refused to concur therein and asks for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

The President pro tempore announced the appointment as members of such Committee on the part of the Senate:

          Senator Nitka

          Senator Giard

          Senator Doyle

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

     S.C.R. 52.  Senate concurrent resolution honoring Robert Stiller for his entrepreneurial achievement and vision.

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

     H.C.R. 280.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Windsor School District Superintendent Brenda Needham on being named the 2007 Vermont Superintendent of the Year and Frederick H. Tuttle Service Award recipient.

     H.C.R. 281.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the State Street School in Windsor on winning the 2007 Fall Fit & Healthy Kids Challenge.

     H.C.R. 282.  House concurrent resolution honoring the Vermont Council on World Affairs for its facilitation of Vermonters’ increased understanding of world affairs and international visitors’ knowledge of Vermont.

     H.C.R. 283.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Robert Hamlin on his extraordinary high school wrestling career.

     H.C.R. 284.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Stowe High School Raiders Division III championship field hockey team.

     H.C.R. 285.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Stowe High School Raiders 2008 championship girls Division II Nordic ski team.

     H.C.R. 286.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Marion Gray Women’s History Month Scholarship Contest winners.

     H.C.R. 287.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Store high School Raiders 2007 Division III championship soccer team.

     H.C.R. 288.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Chandler Kennedy on her victories in state and international country music vocal competitions.

     H.C.R. 289.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the United Counseling Service of Bennington on its 50th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 290.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the National Life Group on the 160th anniversary of its charter and for the company’s forward-thinking energy efficiency and environmental conservation initiatives.

     H.C.R. 291.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the winners in the Vermont MATHCOUNTS competition.

     H.C.R. 292.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Dr. Marshall Land of Shelburne on being named the first R. James McKay Jr. M.D. Green & Gold Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine.

     H.C.R. 293.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Vermont’s 2008 All-Vermont Academic Team members, New Century Scholar, and Senator Stafford and Senator Aiken award winners.

Adjournment

At five o’clock  and thirty minutes in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the House adjourned until Monday, April 28, 2008, one o’clock in the afternoon.

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. 280

House concurrent resolution congratulating Windsor School District Superintendent Brenda Needham on being named the 2007 Vermont Superintendent of the Year and Frederick H. Tuttle Service Award recipient

H.C.R. 281

House concurrent resolution congratulating the State Street School in Windsor on winning the 2007 Fall Fit & Healthy Kids Challenge

 

H.C.R. 282

House concurrent resolution honoring the Vermont Council on World Affairs for its facilitation of Vermonters’ increased understanding of world affairs and international visitors’ knowledge of Vermont

H.C.R. 283

House concurrent resolution congratulating Robert Hamlin on his extraordinary high school wrestling career

H.C.R. 284

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Stowe High School Raiders Division III championship field hockey team

H.C.R. 285

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Stowe High School Raiders 2008 championship girls Division II Nordic ski team

H.C.R. 286

     House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Marion Gray Women’s History Month Scholarship Contest winners

H.C.R. 287

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Stowe High School Raiders 2007 Division III championship soccer team

H.C.R. 288

House concurrent resolution congratulating Chandler Kennedy on her victories in state and international country music vocal competitions

H.C.R. 289

House concurrent resolution congratulating the United Counseling Service of Bennington on its 50th anniversary

H.C.R. 290

House concurrent resolution congratulating the National Life Group on the 160th anniversary of its charter and for the company’s forward-thinking energy efficiency and environmental conservation initiatives 

H.C.R. 291

House concurrent resolution congratulating the winners in the Vermont MATHCOUNTS competition

 

H.C.R. 292

House concurrent resolution congratulating Dr. Marshall Land of Shelburne on being named the first R. James McKay Jr. M.D. Green & Gold Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine

H.C.R. 293

House concurrent resolution congratulating Vermont’s 2008 All-Vermont Academic Team members, New Century Scholar, and Senator Stafford and Senator Aiken award winners

S.C.R. 52. 

Senate concurrent resolution honoring Robert Stiller for his entrepreneurial achievements and vision.

     [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]

 



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The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us