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Journal of the House

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Reverend Barbara Purinton of Richmond Congregational Church, Richmond, VT and Chaplin Charles Purinton of the Vermont Army National Guard.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

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

J.R.H.  65

Joint resolution relating to the “disciplines,” or rules, being developed as part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

Offered by:  Representatives Keenan of St. Albans City, Deen of Westminster, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Marek of Newfane and Morley of Barton

Whereas, the current round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), called the “Doha Round,” appears to be gaining momentum, and

Whereas, included in the Doha Round is a Working Party on Domestic Regulation (WPDR) that is negotiating “disciplines,” or rules, to be part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services that other countries could use to challenge state laws or administrative regulations in some circumstances, and

Whereas, on January 23, 2008, the chairman released a fourth draft of these proposed rules which would apply to sectors in which the United States has made commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, and

Whereas, the chair of the WPDR has asked nations to finish consulting with domestic regulators before the next meeting in mid-May of this year, and

Whereas, GATS covers over 90 service sectors in the United States, and the domestic regulation rules could affect state and local regulation of energy, clean air and climate, utility infrastructure, health insurance, health facilities, higher education, coastal zone management, commercial zoning, and distribution of goods, and

Whereas, the most recent draft of the domestic regulation rules does not recognize and protect non-discriminatory state policy objectives, but only federal or “national” policy objectives, in contrast to the provisions of an earlier draft, and

Whereas, many service sectors are areas traditionally regulated by states, and the federal government plays little or no regulatory role, and

Whereas, recognizing only federal policy objectives could be problematic in situations in which there is no federal policy but there are important state policies and could result in very important state policy objectives being discounted or ignored, and

Whereas, this provision on “national” policy objectives has obvious and serious consequences for federalism and the right of state governments to set policy objectives in sectors where regulation is traditionally reserved to the states, and

Whereas, the chairman’s draft also requires that regulations be based on “objective criteria,” which could challenge criteria that provide for a balancing of interests or consideration of the public interest, such as when the public service board considers whether to grant certain certificates of public good, and

Whereas, the chairman’s draft also requires that regulations be “relevant to the supply of services to which they apply,” which threatens laws that have criteria related to other issues, such as the environmental or quality-of-life considerations including, for example, the impact of a shopping center on a nearby residential neighborhood, and

Whereas, the chairman’s draft requires that regulations be “pre-established,” a vague requirement that fails to specify before what event or time

pre-establishment must take place and that may rule out permit conditions that are developed, for example, as part of a municipal or state permitting process, as required by Vermont law in order to assure that undue impacts to valuable resources do not take place and to enable land use permits to be issued, and

Whereas, the chairman’s draft also prohibits laws from being a “disguised restriction on trade,” a term which was not construed as being limited to concealed or unannounced measures by the WTO’s Appellate Body in a decision that determined that the condition existed in a case involving completely transparent measures, and

Whereas, the chairman’s draft also would require that licensing and qualification procedures be “as simple as possible,” a vague requirement that is left to a dispute panel to further define and that may limit the ability of states to set the appropriate level of complexity necessary to achieve regulatory objectives, and

Whereas, in the past, the United States negotiators commendably have resisted “necessity” tests and other attempts to expand the scope of these potentially intrusive disciplines, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the U.S. negotiators be commended for their past opposition to provisions such as those specified in this resolution, and be it further

Resolved:  that U.S. negotiators be urged to continue to resist language in the current draft specified in this resolution that might undermine principles of U.S. federalism and constitutional guarantees of state and local authority, and be it further

Resolved:  that the secretary of state be directed to provide copies of this resolution to Vermont’s congressional delegation, the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the United States Trade Representative, the office of the President of the United States, and Governor of Vermont James Douglas.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred in;

Committee of Conference Requested and Appointed

H. 863

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

An act relating to creation and preservation of affordable housing and smart growth development;

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

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The general assembly gratefully thanks and acknowledges Gregory Brown, the executive director of the Chittenden County regional planning commission, for:

(1)  his time, commitment, and tenacity in helping to make the Vermont Neighborhood program a reality. 

(2)  his earlier, equally outstanding efforts that greatly contributed to the creation of the Vermont downtown program. 

(3)  his strong and committed leadership as the executive director of the Chittenden County regional planning commission between March 2003 and July 1, 2008, when he is scheduled to retire.

Sec. 1a.  FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

     (a)  Act 250 was enacted as a land use law in 1970 by a General Assembly concerned about large scale, unregulated development in Vermont.  At that time, few towns had planning and zoning, and for the ones that did, there was limited staffing to enforce those rudimentary municipal laws.  Revisions were made to Act 250 in 1973, including the addition of 11 new subcriteria to criterion nine, relating to matters such as agricultural soils, energy conservation, earth resources and development affecting public investments, but the focus of the law remained to review large scale developments as those developments were defined.  As a result, a large number of developments around the state have been designed to avoid Act 250 jurisdiction, resulting in no or limited review of the cumulative impact of incremental development of nine or fewer lots in scattered locations.

(b)  Some argued in the 1970s that Act 250 regulatory review should be based a comprehensive land use plan that would delineate all the lands of the state by use classifications, but provided for refinements based on more detailed studies at the regional and local levels. Others disagreed, arguing that the regulatory review process under Act 250 was sufficient.  In the end, no such measure was ever approved.  The requirement that there be an Act 250 state land use plan was deleted from the law in 1984. 

     (c)  Since that time, the General Assembly incrementally has enacted legislation to plan land uses and encourage municipalities to approve compact residential neighborhoods in and around traditional villages and downtowns and in planned growth centers in accordance with smart growth principles. This planning act furthers that goal.

     (d)  Among the strategies to expedite the development of housing in these locations is to exempt certain residential development from Act 250, where it is demonstrated that such proposed land state use review is redundant with municipal land use review, and, through the careful targeting of eligible locations to impacted areas served by infrastructure, the potential for unplanned impact to natural resources and environmental quality is negligible.

     (e)  Targeting limited state incentives to smart growth locations must be balanced with careful planned development in the surrounding countryside.  To this end, strategies for improving certain Act 250 criteria to better manage scattered residential development and to curb strip development along the state’s highways should be studied and recommendations brought back before the General Assembly for review and consideration.

     (f)  Through the use of higher Act 250 thresholds, coupled with strengthening criteria related to scattered development, rural growth areas, transportation and settlement patterns, Vermont can better achieve the state’s planning and development goal of maintaining Vermont’s historic settlement pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside.

     (g)  As of May 1, 2008, there are 23 designated downtowns and 76 village centers, but not all of the designated downtown or village centers have zoning bylaws or subdivision regulations, reducing the number of Vermont Neighborhood eligible village centers to 24 and designated downtowns to 22.  There is one designated growth center.  Therefore, the regulatory relief and municipal revenue incentive provided by this act will initially apply to those 46 communities.

     (h)  The regulatory relief and the municipal revenue incentive for these 46 municipalities may encourage other municipalities to undertake the task of seeking designation as a downtown, village center or town growth center, enacting zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations, and then proceeding to obtain designation as a Vermont Neighborhood.

* * * Vermont Neighborhoods Program * * *

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2791(15) is added to read:

(15)  “Vermont neighborhood” means an area of land that is in a municipality with an approved plan, a confirmed planning process, zoning bylaws, and subdivision regulations, and is in compliance with all the following:

(A)  is located in one of the following:

(i)  a designated downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center; or

(ii)  an area of land that is within the municipality and outside but contiguous to a designated downtown, village center, or new town center and is not more than 100 percent of the total acreage of the designated downtown, 50 percent of the village center, or 75 percent of the new town center.

(B)  contains substantially all the following characteristics:

(i)  its contiguous land, if any, complements the existing downtown district, village center, or new town center by integrating new housing units with existing residential neighborhoods, commercial and civic services and facilities, and transportation networks, and is consistent with smart growth principles;

(ii)  it is served by either a municipal sewer infrastructure or a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the agency of natural resources;

(iii)  it incorporates minimum residential densities of no fewer than four units of single-family, detached dwelling units per acre, and higher densities for duplexes and multi-family housing; and

(iv)  it incorporates neighborhood design standards that promote compact, pedestrian-oriented development patterns and networks of sidewalks or paths for both pedestrians and bicycles that connect with adjacent development areas.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 2793d is added to read:

§ 2793d.  DESIGNATION OF VERMONT NEIGHBORHOODS

(a)  A municipality that has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, has adopted zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations in accordance with section 4442 of this title, and has a designated downtown district, a designated village center, a designated new town center, or a designated growth center served by municipal sewer infrastructure or a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the agency of natural resources, is authorized to apply for designation of a Vermont neighborhood.  A municipal decision to apply for designation shall be made by the municipal legislative body after at least one duly warned public hearing.  Designation is possible in two different situations:

(1)  Per se approval.  If a municipality submits an application in compliance with this subsection for a designated Vermont neighborhood that would have boundaries that are entirely within the boundaries of a designated downtown district, designated village center, designated new town center, or designated growth center, the downtown board shall issue the designation.

(2)  Designation by downtown board in towns without growth centers.  If an application is submitted in compliance with this subsection by a municipality that does not have a designated growth center and proposes to create a Vermont neighborhood that has boundaries that include land that is not within its designated downtown, village center, or new town center, the expanded downtown board shall consider the application.  This application may be for approval of one or more Vermont neighborhoods that are outside but contiguous to a designated downtown district, village center, or new town center.  The application for designation shall include a map of the boundaries of the proposed Vermont neighborhood, including the property outside but contiguous to a designated downtown district, village center, or new town center and verification that the municipality has notified the regional planning commission and the regional development corporation of its application for this designation. 

(b)  Designation Process.  Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the expanded downtown board, after opportunity for public comment, shall designate a Vermont neighborhood if the board determines the applicant has met the requirements of subsections (a) and (c) of this section.  When designating a Vermont neighborhood, the board may change the boundaries that were contained in the application by reducing the size of the area proposed to be included in the designated neighborhood, but may not include in the designation land that was not included in the application for designation.  A Vermont neighborhood decision made by the expanded board is not subject to appeal.  Any Vermont neighborhood designation shall terminate when the underlying downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center designation terminates.

(c)  Designation Standards.  The board shall determine that the applicant has demonstrated all of the following:

(1)  the municipality has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, and has adopted zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations in accordance with section 4442 of this title;

(2)  the cumulative total of all Vermont neighborhood land located within the municipality but outside a designated downtown district, designated village center, or designated new town center is not more than 100 percent of the total acreage of the designated downtown district, 50 percent of the village center, or 75 percent of the new town center;

(3)  the contiguous land of the Vermont neighborhood complements the existing designated downtown district, village center, or new town center by integrating new housing units with existing residential neighborhoods, commercial and civic services and facilities, and transportation networks, and the contiguous land, in combination with the designated downtown development district, village center, or new town center, is consistent with smart growth principles established under subdivision 2791(13) of this title;

(4)  the Vermont neighborhood shall be served by one of the following:

(A)  a municipal sewer infrastructure; or

(B)  a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the agency of natural resources; and

(5)  the municipal zoning bylaw requires the following for all land located within the Vermont neighborhood:

(A)  minimum residential densities shall require all the following:

(i)  no fewer than four units of single-family, detached dwelling units per acre, exclusive of accessory apartments; and

(ii)  higher density for duplexes and multi-family housing; and

(B)  neighborhood design standards that promote compact, pedestrian-oriented development patterns that include the following:

(i)  pedestrian scale and orientation of development.  Networks of sidewalks or paths, or both, are provided and available to the public to connect the Vermont neighborhood with adjacent development areas, existing and planned adjacent sidewalks, paths, and public streets and the designated downtown, village center, or new town center; and

(ii)  interconnected and pedestrian-friendly street networks.  Street networks are designed to safely accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles through the provisions of sidewalks on at least one side of the street, on-street parking, and traffic-calming features.

(6)  Residents hold a right to utilize household energy conserving devices.

(d)  Vermont Neighborhood Incentives for Municipalities and Developers.  Incentives for Vermont neighborhoods include the following:

(1)  the agency of natural resources shall charge no more than a $50.00 fee for wastewater applications under 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(4) where the applicant has received an allocation for sewer capacity from an approved municipal system; and 

(2)  Act 250 fees under 10 V.S.A. § 6083a for residential developments in Vermont neighborhoods shall be 50 percent of the fee otherwise applicable.  Fifty percent of the reduced fees shall be paid upon application, and 50 percent shall be paid within 30 days of the issuance or denial of the permit.

(3)  No land gains tax under chapter 236 of Title 32 shall be levied on the a transfer of undeveloped land in a Vermont neighborhood which is the first transfer of that parcel following the original designation of the Vermont neighborhood.

(4)  A municipality in which a designated Vermont neighborhood is located may retain and reallocate 75 percent of the state education tax portion of the property tax on the increased grand list value of affordable housing constructed in the Vermont neighborhood for a period of three years after the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for each housing unit.  For the purposes of this section, “affordable housing” means either or both of the following:

               (A) An owner occupied home in a Vermont neighborhood that is a homestead as defined in 32 V.S.A. §5401(7) and the price of which does not exceed the maximum affordable price as determined by the Vermont housing finance agency.

(B) Housing that is rented by the occupants whose gross annual household income does not exceed 60 percent of the county median income, or 60 percent of the standard metropolitan statistical area income if the municipality is located in such an area, as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for use with the Housing Credit Program under Section 42(g) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the total annual cost of the housing, as defined at Section 42(g)(2)(B) is not more than 30 percent of the gross annual household income as defined at Section 42(g)(2)(C), and with a duration of affordability of no less than 15 years.

 (e)  Length of Designation.  Initial designation of a Vermont neighborhood shall be for a period of five years, after which, the expanded state board shall review a Vermont neighborhood concurrently with the next periodic review conducted of the underlying designated downtown, village center, new town center or growth center, even if the underlying designated entity was originally designated by the downtown board and not by the expanded state board.  However, the expanded board, on its motion, may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the expanded state board determines that the designated Vermont neighborhood no longer meets the standards for designation established in this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)   require corrective action within a reasonable time frame;

(2)  remove the Vermont neighborhood designation, with that removal not retroactively affecting any of the benefits already received by the municipality or land owner in the designated Vermont neighborhood; and

(3)  prospectively limiting benefits authorized in this chapter, with the limitation not retroactively affecting any of the benefits already received by the municipality or land owner in the designated Vermont neighborhood.

* * * New Town Center Acreage * * *

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. §2793b(b)(2)(A) is amended to read:

(A) A map of the designated new town center. The total area of land encompassed within a designated new town center shall not exceed 125 acres.  In a municipality with a population greater than 15,000, the total area of land encompassed within a designated new town center may include land in excess of 125 acres provided that the additional area is needed to facilitate the redevelopment of predominately developed land in accordance with the smart growth principles defined under subdivision 2791(13) of this title and shall not exceed 175 acres.

* * * Codifying Agency of Natural Resources Incentives * * *

Sec. 5.  3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(4)(D) is amended to read:

(D)  Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subdivision,:

* * *

(ii)  when a potable water supply is subject to the fee provisions of this subdivision and subdivision (j)(7)(A) of this section, only the fee required by subdivision (j)(7)(A) shall be assessed; and

(iii)  when a project is subject to the fee provision for the subdivision of land and the fee provision for potable water supplies and wastewater systems of this subdivision, only the higher of the two fees shall be assessed; and

(iv)  when a project is located in a Vermont neighborhood, as designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A, the fee shall be no more than $50.00 in situations in which the application has received an allocation for sewer capacity from an approved municipal system.

* * * Codifying Higher Act 250 Thresholds * * *

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(3)(B) and (C) are amended to read:  

(3)(A)  “Development” means:

* * *

(B)(i)  Smart Growth Jurisdictional Thresholds.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (3)(A) of this section, if a project consists exclusively of any combination of mixed income housing or mixed use and is located entirely within a growth center designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793c or within a downtown development district designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793, “development” means:

(i)(I)  Construction of mixed income housing with 100 200 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 100 200 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 20,000 15,000 or more.

(ii)(II)  Construction of mixed income housing with 50 100 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 50 100 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 10,000 or more but less than 20,000 15,000.

(iii)(III)  Construction of mixed income housing with 30 50 or more housing units or a mixed use project with  30 50 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 5,000 6,000 or more and less than 10,000.

(iv)(IV)  Construction of mixed income housing with 25 30 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 25 30 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of 3,000 or more but less than 5,000 6,000.

(v)(V)  Construction of mixed income housing with 25 or more housing units or a mixed use project with 25 or more housing units, in a municipality with a population of less than 3,000.

(VI)  Historic Buildings.  Construction of 10 or more units of mixed income housing or a mixed use project with 10 or more housing units where the construction involves the demolition of one or more buildings that are listed on or eligible to be listed on the state or national register of historic places.  However, demolition shall not be considered to create jurisdiction under this subdivision if the division for historic preservation has determined the proposed demolition will have: no adverse effect; no adverse effect provided that specified conditions are met; or, will have an adverse effect, but that adverse effect will be adequately mitigated.  Any imposed conditions shall be enforceable through a grant condition, deed covenant, or other legally binding document.

(ii)  Notwithstanding the jurisdictional provisions of subdivision (3)(A) of this section, the higher jurisdictional thresholds set forth in subdivision 3(B)(i) of this section shall apply if a project consists exclusively of mixed income housing located entirely within a Vermont neighborhood designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793d(a)(2).  In a designated downtown and in a designated growth center, the higher jurisdictional thresholds in subdivision 3(B)(i) shall apply to a project that consists exclusively of any combination of mixed income housing or mixed use and is located entirely within a growth center designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793c or within a downtown development district designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793.

(C)  For the purposes of determining jurisdiction under subdivisions (3)(A) and (3)(B) of this section:

(i)  Housing units constructed by a person partially or completely outside a designated downtown development district or designated growth center shall not be counted to determine jurisdiction over housing units constructed by a person entirely within a designated downtown development district or designated growth center.

(ii)  Five Year, Five Mile Jurisdiction Threshold.  Within any continuous period of five years, housing units constructed by a person located entirely within a designated downtown district or, designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood shall be counted together with housing units constructed by a that person located partially or completely outside a designated downtown development district or, designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood to determine jurisdiction over the housing units constructed by a person partially or completely outside the designated downtown development district or, designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood and within a five-mile radius.

(iii)  Each Project Stands Alone.  All housing units constructed by a person within a designated downtown development district or, designated growth center within any continuous period of five years, commencing on or after the effective date of this subdivision, or designated Vermont neighborhood shall be counted together, but only if the housing units are part of a discrete project located on a single tract or multiple contiguous tracts of land.

* * *

(v)  Per Project Increased Thresholds for Land Subdivision in Vermont Neighborhood; Per Project Threshold for Permanently Affordable Housing.  Notwithstanding subdivision (C)(iii) of this subdivision (3), any affordable housing units, as defined by this section, (3)(A)(iv) and subdivision (19) of this section, jurisdiction shall be determined exclusively by counting housing units, and when counting housing units to determine jurisdiction, only housing units in a discrete project on a single tract or multiple contiguous tracts of land shall be counted, regardless of whether located within an area designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A, provided that the housing units are affordable housing units, as defined by this section, that are subject to housing subsidy covenants as defined in 27 V.S.A. § 610 that preserve their affordability for a period of 99 years or longer, and that are constructed by a person within a designated downtown development district, designated village center, or designated growth center, shall count toward the total number of housing units used to determine jurisdiction only if they were constructed within the previous 12-month period, commencing on or after the effective date of this subdivision.

* * *  Rules on Mixed Income Housing * * *

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(27) is amended to read:

(27)  “Mixed income housing” means a housing project in which at least 15 percent of the total housing units are affordable housing units:

(A)  (Owner occupied Housing)  owner-occupied housing, the purchase price of which does not at the time of first sale exceed the new construction, targeted area purchase price limits established and published annually by the Vermont housing finance agency; or

(B)  (Affordable Rental Housing)  housing that is rented by the occupants whose gross annual household income does not exceed 60 percent of the county median income, or 60 percent of the standard metropolitan statistical area income if the municipality is located in such an area, as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for use with the Housing Credit Program under Section 42(g) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the total annual cost of the housing, as defined at Section 42(g)(2)(B) is not more than 30 percent of the gross annual household income as defined at Section 42(g)(2)(C), and with a duration of affordability of no less than 15 years.

* * * Act 250 Fees In Vermont Neighborhood * * *

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 6083a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  Vermont Neighborhood Fees.  Fees for residential development in a Vermont neighborhood designated according to 24 V.S.A. §2793d shall be no more than 50 percent of the fee otherwise charged under this section, with 50 percent due with the application, and 50 percent due within 30 days after the permit is issued or denied.

* * * Vermont Neighborhood Chapter 117 Conditional Use Appeals * * *

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 4471(e) is added to read:

(e)  Vermont Neighborhood.  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a determination by an appropriate municipal panel shall not be subject to appeal if the determination is that a proposed residential development within a designated downtown development district, designated growth center, or designated Vermont neighborhood seeking conditional use approval will not result in an undue adverse effect on the character of the area affected, as provided in subdivision 4414(3)(A)(ii) of this title.

* * * Report * * *

Sec. 10.  REPORT ON POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM

By no later than January 15, 2009, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy with regard to the agency’s implementation of and compliance with the municipal pollution control priority system rules, and as to the impact of these rules on development.

* * * VHFA Sunset Repeal * * *

Sec. 11.  10 V.S.A. § 625(1) is amended to read:

(1)  The residential housing is primarily for occupancy by persons and families of low and moderate income, or qualifies for financing with proceeds of federally tax-exempt obligations, or at least 20 percent of the units are for occupancy by persons and families of low and moderate income;

* * * Land Gains Tax * * *

Sec. 12.  32 V.S.A. § 10002(p) is added to read:

(p)  Also excluded from the definition of “land” is a transfer of undeveloped land in a Vermont neighborhood which is the first transfer of that parcel following the original designation of  the Vermont neighborhood.

* * * Housing Tax Credit * * *

Sec. 13.  32 V.S.A. § 5930u is amended to read:

§ 5930u.  TAX CREDIT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Affordable housing project” or “project” means a rental housing project identified in 26 U.S.C. § 42(g) or owner-occupied housing identified in 26 U.S.C. § 143(e) and (f) and eligible under the Vermont housing finance agency allocation plan criteria.

* * *

(9)  “Allocation plan” means the plan recommended by the committee and approved by the Vermont housing finance agency, which sets forth the eligibility requirements and process for selection of eligible housing projects to receive affordable housing tax credits under this section.  The allocation plan shall include requirements for creation and retention of affordable housing for low income persons, and requirements to ensure that eligible housing is maintained as affordable by subsidy covenant, as defined in 27 V.S.A. § 610 on a perpetual basis, and meets all other requirements of the Vermont housing finance agency related to affordable housing.

(b)(1)  Affordable housing credit allocation.  Prior to the placement of an affordable housing project in service, the owner, or a person having the right to acquire ownership of a building, may apply to the committee for an allocation of affordable housing tax credits under this section.  The committee shall advise the allocating agency on an affordable housing tax credit application based upon published priorities and criteria.  An eligible applicant may apply to the allocating agency for an allocation of affordable housing tax credits under this section related to an affordable housing project authorized by the allocating agency under the allocation plan.  In the case of a specific affordable rental housing project, the eligible applicant must also be the owner or a person having the right to acquire ownership of the building and must apply prior to placement of the affordable housing project in service.  In the case of owner-occupied housing units, the applicant must apply prior to purchase of the unit and must ensure that the allocated funds will be used to ensure that the housing qualifies as affordable for all future owners of the housing.  The allocating agency shall issue a letter of approval if it finds that the applicant meets the priorities, criteria, and other provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.  The burden of proof shall be on the applicant.

(2)  Upon receipt of a completed application, an allocation of affordable housing tax credits with respect to a project under this section shall be granted to an applicant, provided the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the committee all of the following:

(A)  The owner of the project has received from the allocating agency a binding commitment for, a reservation or allocation of, an out-of-cap determination letter for, Section 42 credits, or meets the requirements of the allocation plan for development of units to be owner-occupied;

(B)  The project has received community support.

* * *

(g)  In any fiscal year, the allocating agency may award up to $400,000.00 in total first-year credit allocations to all applicants under this subchapter for rental housing projects; and may award up to $100,000.00 per year for owner‑occupied unit applicants.  In any fiscal year, total first-year allocations plus succeeding-year deemed allocations shall not exceed $2,000,000.00 $2,500.000.00.

* * * Property Transfer Tax * * *

Sec. 14.  32 V.S.A. § 9602(1) is amended to read:

A tax is hereby imposed upon the transfer by deed of title to property located in this state.  The amount of the tax equals one and one quarter one-quarter percent of the value of the property transferred, or $1.00, whichever is greater, except as follows:

(1)  with respect to the transfer of property to be used for the principal residence of the transferee:  the tax shall be imposed at the rate of five-tenths of one percent of the first $100,000.00 in value of the property transferred and at the rate of one and one quarter one-quarter percent of the value of the property transferred in excess of $100,000.00; except that no tax shall be imposed on the first $110,000.00 in value of the property transferred if the purchaser obtains a purchase money mortgage funded in part with a homeland grant through the Vermont housing and conservation trust fund or which the Vermont housing and finance agency or U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has committed to make or purchase and tax at the rate of one and one-quarter percent shall be imposed on the value of that property in excess of $110,000.00.

Sec. 15. 24 V.S.A. § 2792(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A "Vermont downtown development board," also referred to as the "state board," is created to administer the provisions of this chapter. The state board members shall be composed of the following permanent members, or their designees:

(1)  The the secretary of commerce and community development;

(2)  The the secretary of transportation;

(3)  The the secretary of natural resources;

(4)  The secretary of human services;

(5)  The the commissioner of public safety;

(6)  The commissioner of housing and community affairs; and

(5)  a person appointed by the governor from a list of three names submitted by the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and Smart Growth Vermont;

(6)  a person appointed by the governor from a list of three names submitted by the Association of Chamber Executives; and

(7)  Three three public members representative of local government, one of whom shall be designated by the Vermont league of cities and towns, and two shall be appointed by the governor.

Sec. 16.  SMART GROWTH; STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A smart growth study committee is created to:

(1)  Study Act 250 (10 V.S.A. § 6086) criterion 5, relating to traffic, criterion 9(H), relating to scattered development, criterion 9(L), relating to rural development, and other criteria identified by the committee, to determine the effectiveness of those criteria to promote compact settlement patterns, prevent sprawl, and protect important natural resources, and to make recommendations to improve the effectiveness of those criteria in preserving the economic vitality of Vermont’s existing settlements and preventing sprawl development.

(2)  Evaluate the development potential of existing designated downtowns, new town centers, and village centers and evaluate the community and natural resource impacts of developing surrounding lands.

(3)  Make recommendations for incentives designed to encourage municipalities to preserve Vermont’s working landscape and to develop Vermont neighborhoods and new housing.

(4) Develop recommendations for how best to conduct periodic assessments of the effectiveness of the designation programs established under chapter 76A of Title 24.

(b)  The committee shall be composed of the following 13 members:

(1)  Two members of the house, one from the committee on general, housing and military affairs and one from the committee on natural resources and energy.

(2)  Two members of the senate, one from the committee on economic development, housing and general affairs and one from the committee on natural resources and energy.    

(3)  A representative from each of the following organizations: 

(A)  Vermont homebuilders and remodelers association.

(B)  Lake Champlain regional chamber of commerce.

(C)  Vermont planners association.

(D)  Vermont association of planning and development agencies.

(E)  Smart growth Vermont.

(F)  Vermont natural resources council.

(G)  Vermont natural resources board.

(H)  Vermont association of realtors.

(I)  Vermont league of cities and towns.

(J)  the land use law center at Vermont Law School

(c)  The four legislative members shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement of necessary expenses as provided to members of standing committees under 2 V.S.A. § 406 for attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session.

(d)   The chair shall be elected from any of the four legislative members by the members of the study committee from among the four legislative members.  The committee shall meet as needed, and the legislative council shall provide administrative support. 

(e)  The committee shall issue a brief report on its findings and recommendations and draft legislation to the house committees on general, housing and military affairs and on natural resources and energy and the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs and on natural resources and energy on or before January 15, 2009. 

* * * State Surplus Land Inventory * * *

Sec. 17.  STATE SURPLUS LAND IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO OR WITHIN A DOWNTOWN, VILLAGE CENTER, OR NEW TOWN CENTER; INVENTORY AND PROGRAM PROPOSALS 

(a)  The secretary of commerce and community affairs, in consultation with Vermont Housing Finance Agency, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and any other interested parties, shall:

(1)  compile an inventory of state lands deemed to be surplus to state needs and located in close proximity to or within a designated downtown, a designated village center, a designated new town center or a designated growth center that would be appropriate for developing housing that meets the community housing needs;

(2)  develop program recommendations for the use of suitable state surplus land that will ensure that housing development on this land includes a substantial amount of affordable housing, including permanently affordable housing; and

(3)  recommend processes and mechanisms for transfer of the land to assure its use for housing development whether by outright sale, long-term lease, or some other appropriate mechanism.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2009, the secretary of commerce and community development shall issue a report that includes an inventory of state surplus land and recommendations developed pursuant to the goals of subsection (a) of this section.  The report shall be provided to the house committees on corrections and institutions and on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committees on institutions and on economic development, housing and general.

* * * VHFA Economic Stimuli * * *

Sec. 18.  3 V.S.A. § 523(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The committee may formulate policies and procedures deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out its functions.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the committee shall consider, consistent with chapter 147 of Title 9, subsection 472a(b) of this title, 16 V.S.A. § 1943a(b), and 24 V.S.A. § 5063a(b), investing up to $17,500,000.00 with the Vermont housing finance agency to assist in its homeownership financing programs for persons and families of low and moderate income as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 601(11).

Sec. 19.  INVESTMENT OF STATE MONEYS

The treasurer is hereby authorized to establish a short-term credit facility for the Vermont housing finance agency in an amount of up to $30,000,000.00 to be used as interim financing for its homeownership mortgage loan program as authorized under chapter 25 of Title 10.

Sec. 20.  VERMONT NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT; AGENCY OF COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

On or before January 15, 2013, the secretary of commerce and community affairs shall issue a report on the status of the Vermont neighborhood program to the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs, on natural resources and energy, and on finance, and the house committees on general, housing and military affairs, on natural resources and energy, and on ways and means.  The report shall include all the following:

(1)  The number of Vermont neighborhood applications and designations.

(2)  The number of housing units, including a description, size, selling price, and location of each, permitted and constructed in each Vermont neighborhood.

(3)  The number and description of rental housing properties permitted or constructed in each Vermont neighborhood and the rental charges for each unit.

(4)  Any other information useful to determining the success of the Vermont neighborhood program to stimulate housing development and encourage smart growth.

Sec. 21.  Regional Planning Commission Report on Infill Opportunities

     By no later than January 15, 2009, each regional planning commission is requested to inventory and map locations within its region that are served by municipal wastewater and water supply services and that are otherwise suitable for infill development and redevelopment, giving due regard to the location of important natural resources and primary agricultural soils.  The inventory and map shall be provided, by January 30, 2009, to the committees of the general assembly with jurisdiction over housing, natural resources, and agriculture.

Sec. 22.  EFFECTIVE DATES; SUNSET; LIMITATIONS

This act shall take effect on passage except as follows:

(1) No “Vermont Neighborhood” designations under Chapter 76A of Title 24 may be made after June 30, 2013.  This limitation shall be noted in the published annotations to Section 2793d of Title 24.

 (2)  Sec. 11 (VHFA Sunset Repeal) of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2008, at which time the prospective repeal provisions of Sec. 7a of No. 189 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) shall have no force or effect.

(3)  Sec. 13 (VHFA Home Ownership Tax Credit) of this act, amending 32 V.S.A. § 5930u, shall take effect July 1, 2008.

(4) Sec. 14 (Low Income Home Ownership Program) of this act, amending 32 V.S.A. § 9602, shall apply to transfers on or after July 1, 2008.

(5)  Sec. 19 (Short Term Loan form State Treasury to VHFA) of this act shall sunset July 1, 2009.

And after passage, the title of the bill is to be amended to read:

     AN ACT RELATING TO MUNICIPAL PLANNING, CREATING VERMONT NEIGHBORHOODS AND ENCOURAGING SMART GROWTH DEVELOPMENT.

Pending the question, Will the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? Rep. Head of South Burlington 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. Head of South Burlington

Rep. Klein of East Montpelier

Rep. Peterson of Williston

 

Bills Messaged to Senate Forthwith

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

S. 152

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to prevention of lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products;

S. 284

Senate bill, entitled

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

H. 888

House bill, entitled

An act relating to miscellaneous tax amendments;

H. 863

House bill, entitled

An act relating to creation and preservation of affordable housing and smart growth development.

Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier in Chair.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposal of Amendment

S. 261

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to phthalates in products for young children;

Was taken up, and pending third reading of the bill, Rep. McAllister of Highgate moved to amend the House 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. § 1511 is added to read:

§ 1511.  PHTHALATES

(a)  As used in this section, “phthalate” means any one of a group of chemicals used as plasticizers to provide flexibility and durability to plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

(b)  Beginning July 1, 2009, no person or entity shall manufacture, sell, or distribute in commerce any product that contains di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), or di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP), in concentrations exceeding 0.1 percent.

(c)  Manufacturers shall use the least toxic alternative when replacing phthalates in accordance with this section.

(d)  Manufacturers shall not replace phthalates, pursuant to this section, with carcinogens rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as A, B, or C carcinogens or substances listed on the EPA’s “List of Chemicals Evaluated for Carcinogenic Potential” as known or likely carcinogens, known to be human carcinogens, likely to be human carcinogens, or suggestive of being carcinogens.

(e)  Manufacturers shall not replace phthalates, pursuant to this section, with reproductive toxicants that the EPA has identified as causing birth defects, reproductive harm, or developmental harm.

(f)  A violation of this section shall be deemed a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  The attorney general has the same authority to make rules, conduct civil investigations, enter into assurances of discontinuance, and bring civil actions, and private parties have the same rights and remedies, as provided under subchapter 1 of chapter 63 of Title 9.

(g)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to regulate firearms; ammunition or components thereof; pellets from air rifles; shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, casting, or reloading ammunition; or hunting or fishing equipment or components thereof.

Pending the question, Shall the House proposal of amendment be amended as recommended by Rep. McAllister of Highgate? Rep. McAllister of Highgate 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. McAllister of Highgate?  was decided in the negative.  Yeas, 37.  Nays, 101.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:


Acinapura of Brandon

Ainsworth of Royalton

Allard of St. Albans Town

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Canfield of Fair Haven

Condon of Colchester

Corcoran of Bennington

Crawford of Burke

Devereux of Mount Holly

Donaghy of Poultney

Donahue of Northfield

Flory of Pittsford

Grenier of St. Johnsbury

Howrigan of Fairfield

Komline of Dorset

Krawczyk of Bennington

Larocque of Barnet

Lawrence of Lyndon

Lewis of Derby

Lorber of Burlington

Marcotte of Coventry

McAllister of Highgate

McCormack of Rutland City

McNeil of Rutland Town

Morrissey of Bennington

Myers of Essex

Peaslee of Guildhall

Perry of Richford

Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Turner of Milton

Valliere of Barre City

Westman of Cambridge

Weston of Burlington

Wheeler of Derby

Winters of Williamstown

Zuckerman of Burlington


Those who voted in the negative are:


Ancel of Calais

Anderson of Montpelier

Andrews of Rutland City

Aswad of Burlington

Atkins of Winooski

Audette of S. Burlington

Baker of West Rutland

Barnard of Richmond

Bissonnette of Winooski

Botzow of Pownal

Bray of New Haven

Browning of Arlington

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

Davis of Washington

Deen of Westminster

Donovan of Burlington

Dostis of Waterbury

Emmons of Springfield

Errecart of Shelburne

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

Hunt of Essex

Hutchinson of Randolph

Jerman of Essex

Johnson of South Hero

Johnson of Canaan

Keenan of St. Albans City

Keogh of Burlington

Klein of East Montpelier

Koch of Barre Town

Kupersmith of S. Burlington

Larson of Burlington

Lenes of Shelburne

Leriche of Hardwick

Lippert of Hinesburg

Livingston of Manchester

Maier of Middlebury

Malcolm of Pawlet

Manwaring of Wilmington

Marek of Newfane

Martin, C. of Springfield

Martin of Wolcott

Masland of Thetford

McCullough of Williston

McDonald of Berlin

McFaun of Barre Town

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

O'Donnell of Vernon

Ojibway of Hartford

Orr of Charlotte

Otterman of Topsham

Oxholm of Vergennes

Partridge of Windham

Pearson of Burlington

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

Spengler of Colchester

Stevens of Shoreham

Sweaney of Windsor

Trombley of Grand Isle

Wright of Burlington

Zenie of Colchester


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


Adams of Hartland

Bostic of St. Johnsbury

Edwards of Brattleboro

Helm of Castleton

Hube of Londonderry

Jewett of Ripton

Kilmartin of Newport City

Larrabee of Danville

LaVoie of Swanton

Morley of Barton

Symington of Jericho


 

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

 Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H. 64

Joint resolution, entitled

     Joint resolution recognizing all Vermont firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel for the professional level of service they provide to their communities;

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

     Speaker Symington in Chair.

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment Agreed to;

Third Reading Ordered

S. 358

On motion of Rep. Komline of Dorset, the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to enhanced driver licenses;

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

Rep. Potter of Clarendon, for the Committee on Transportation, to which the bill had been referred, reported in favor of its passage when amended as follows:

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

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4(78)and (79) are added to read:

(78)  “Enhanced license” shall mean an operator’s license, commercial driver license, junior operator’s license, or nondriver identification card that denotes identity and citizenship, and includes facilitative technology identified by the Department of Homeland Security.

(79)  “Personal radio frequency identification number chip” shall mean the number assigned to the transmitting chip in an enhanced license.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 102(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The commissioner may authorize background investigations for potential employees that may include criminal, traffic, and financial records checks; provided, however, that the potential employee is notified and has the right to withdraw his or her name from application.  Additionally, employees who are authorized to manufacture or produce operators’ licenses and identification cards, including enhanced licenses, may be subject to appropriate security clearance if required by federal law, including background investigations that may include criminal and traffic, records checks, and providing proof of United States citizenship.  The commissioner may, in connection with a formal disciplinary investigation, authorize an appropriate a criminal or traffic record background investigation of a current employee; provided, however, that the background review is necessary and relevant to the issue under disciplinary investigation.  Information acquired through a background the investigation that may be shall be provided to the commissioner or designated division director, and must be maintained in a secure manner.  If the information acquired is used as a basis for any disciplinary action, it must be given to the employee during any pre‑termination hearing or contractual grievance hearing to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to or dispute the information.  If no disciplinary action is taken against the employee, the information acquired through the background check shall be destroyed.
Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 7 is added to read: 
§ 7.  ENHANCED DRIVER LICENSE; MAINTENANCE OF DATABASE 
        INFORMATION; FEE
(a)  The face of an enhanced license shall contain the individual’s name, date of birth, gender, a unique identification number, full facial photograph or imaged likeness, address, signature, issuance and expiration dates, and citizenship.  The back of the enhanced license shall have a machine-readable zone.  A Gen 2 vicinity Radio Frequency Identification chip shall be embedded in the enhanced license in compliance with the security standards of the Department of Homeland Security.  Any additional personal identity information not currently required by the Department of Homeland Security shall need the approval of either the general assembly or the legislative committee on administration rules prior to the implementation of the requirements.

(b)  In addition to any other requirement of law or rule, before an enhanced license may be issued to a person, the person shall present for inspection and copying satisfactory documentary evidence to determine identity and United States citizenship.  An application shall be accompanied by:  a photo identity document, documentation showing the person’s date and place of birth, proof of the person’s Social Security number, and documentation showing the person’s principal residence address.  To be issued, an enhanced license must meet the same requirements as those for the issuance of a United States passport.  Before an application may be processed, the documents and information shall be verified as determined by the commissioner.  Any additional personal identity information not currently required by the Department of Homeland Security shall need the approval of either the general assembly or the legislative committee on administration rules prior to the implementation of the requirements.

(c)  No person shall compile or maintain a database of electronically readable information derived from an operator’s license, junior operator’s license, enhanced license, learner permit, or nondriver identification card.  This prohibition shall not apply to a person who accesses, uses, compiles, or maintains a database of the information for law enforcement or governmental 
purposes.

(d)  The fee for an enhanced license shall be $25.00 in addition to the fees otherwise established by this title.

(e)  The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15 for the purpose of reporting the associated costs, the number of enhanced licenses issued, implementation problems, recommended revisions, and other relevant information.

Sec.4.  23 V.S.A. § 8 is added to read:

§ 8.  PERSONAL RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION CHIP

        NUMBER PROTECTION

Personal radio frequency identification chip numbers shall be given protections as codified in 18 U.S.C. §2721 et. seq, (Drivers Privacy Protection Act), as of January 1, 2008, not including any subsequent amendments.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 601(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A resident who intends to operate motor vehicles shall procure a proper license.  A resident who has moved into the state from another jurisdiction with a valid license to operate motor vehicles under section 411 of this title shall procure a license within 60 days of moving into the state.  Operators’ licenses shall not be issued to nonresidents.  All operator licenses issued under this chapter shall expire every four years at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  All junior operator licenses shall expire at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  A person born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1. 

Sec. 6.  REPEAL

The following in Title 23 are repealed:

(1)  § 7(e) ( commissioner reporting on costs of enhanced license) is repealed on June 30, 2011;

(2)  § 618 (anatomical gifts);

(3)  § 4111(a)(10) (commercial driver license form regarding anatomical gifts).

Sec. 7.  18 V.S.A. § 5238(3) is amended to read:

(3)  “Document of gift” means an organ donor card, a statement attached to or imprinted on the reverse side of a Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license, a will, or other writing used to make an anatomical gift.

Sec. 8.  18 V.S.A. § 5239 is amended to read:

§ 5239.  MAKING, AMENDING, REVOKING, AND REFUSING TO

               MAKE ANATOMICAL GIFTS BY AN INDIVIDUAL

(a)  An individual who is at least 18 years of age may:

(1)  Make an anatomical gift for any of the purposes stated in

section 5242 of this title.

(2)  Limit an anatomical gift to one or more of those purposes.

(3)  Refuse to make an anatomical gift.

(b)  An anatomical gift may be made only by a document of gift signed by the donor.  If the donor cannot sign, the document of gift must be signed by another individual and by two witnesses, all of whom have signed at the direction and in the presence of the donor and of each other, and state that it has been so signed.

(c)  If a document of gift is attached to or imprinted on a donor’s motor vehicle operator’s license, the document of gift must comply with subsection (b) of this section. Revocation, suspension, expiration or cancellation of the license does not invalidate the anatomical gift.

(d)  An anatomical gift by will takes effect upon death of the testator, whether or not the will is probated.  If, after death, the will is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the validity of the anatomical gift is unaffected.

(e)(d)  A donor may amend or revoke an anatomical gift, not made by will, only by one of the following methods:

(1)  A signed statement.

(2)  An oral statement made in the presence of two individuals.

(3)  Any form of communication during a terminal illness or injury addressed to a physician.

(4)  The delivery of a signed statement to a specified donee to whom a document of gift had been delivered.

(f)(e)  The donor of an anatomical gift made by will may amend or revoke the gift in the manner provided for amendment or revocation of wills or as provided in subsection (e)(d) of this section.

(g)(f)  An anatomical gift that is not revoked by the donor before death is irrevocable and does not require the consent or concurrence of any person after the donor’s death.

(h)(g)  An individual may refuse to make an anatomical gift of the individual’s body or part by any one either of the following:

(1)  A writing signed in the same manner as a document of gift.

(2)  A statement attached to or imprinted on the donor’s Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license.

(3)  Any other writing used to identify the individual as refusing to make an anatomical gift.  During a terminal illness or injury, the refusal may be an oral statement or other form of communication. 

Sec. 9.  AUTHORITY FOR LIMITED SERVICE POSITIONS FOR THE

             DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Three limited service positions are created within the department of motor vehicles.  These shall be used for the administration of the enhanced license program and shall be for a period of three years. 

Sec. 10.  AUTHORIZATION

(a)  The general assembly hereby authorizes a special program consisting of $3,000,000.00 of transportation funds and, to the extent the transportation funds can be used to match available federal funds, such associated federal funds, within the agency of transportation to improve the condition of selected state, class 1, and town highways whose deteriorating condition has been exacerbated by the severe winter weather of 2007-08.

(b)  Of the total authorized amount of transportation funds, $1,000,000.00 shall be reserved for state highways and class 1 town highways and $2,000,000.00 shall be reserved for class 2 town highways.  Funds reserved for class 2 town highways shall be administered through the town highway class 2 roadway program.

(c)  The agency through its maintenance districts shall identify state highways and class 1 town highways, and in cooperation with town officials, class 2 town highways, to which simple, cost-effective repairs designed to last more than one year can be made to repair road damages.

Sec. 11.  SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION; TRANSFER OF
             APPROPRIATIONS

(a)  To implement the program authorized by this act:

(1)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the secretary of transportation may transfer balances of fiscal year 2008 appropriations not to exceed $388,162.00 within or between the department of motor vehicles and divisions or sections of the agency of transportation; and

(2)  Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 10g(h), the secretary of transportation is authorized to add additional class 1 town highway paving projects to the extent that funds are available from savings in approved capital projects in the transportation program.

(b)  The authority granted in subsection (a) of this section is limited to accomplishing the objectives of the program authorized by this act and shall expire upon the completion of the program.

Sec. 12.  FISCAL YEAR 2008 APPROPRIATION ADJUSTMENTS

(a)  Fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriations shall be reduced by the following amounts of transportation funds:

(1)  town highway emergency fund                 $690,000.00

(2)  policy and planning                           $300,000.00

(3)  town highway bridges                              $330,969.00

(4)  department of motor vehicles                   $100,000.00

(5)  rail                                                                   $1,096,451.00

(b)  Fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriations shall be reduced by the following amount in federal funds:

town highway bridges                                       $1,323,878.00

(c)  Fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriations shall be increased by the following amounts of transportation funds:

(1)  program development                                 $27,838.00

(2)  town highway class 2 roadway program $2,000,000.00

Sec. 13.  RUTLAND-MIDDLEBURY RAIL TRACK IMPROVEMENTS

Notwithstanding the authority granted in this act and in 19 V.S.A. § 10g(h), the funds authorized in the fiscal year 2009 transportation program for the Rutland-Middlebury track improvements project MP87-96 is exclusively reserved for the project.

Sec. 14.  REVERSIONS

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in fiscal year 2008, the following amount shall revert to the transportation fund from the account indicated:

8100001900  Transportation - town highway Vermont local roads  $ 37,838.00

Sec. 15.  FUND TRANSFERS

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law:

(1)  in fiscal year 2008, $1,000,000.00 shall be transferred from the central garage fund to the transportation fund.

(2)  in fiscal year 2009, $500,000.00 shall be transferred from the transportation fund to the central garage fund.

Sec. 16.  FISCAL YEAR 2009 APPROPRIATION ADJUSTMENTS AND
               FUND TRANSFERS

(a)  The transportation – program development operating expenses appropriation shall be reduced by $500,000.00 in transportation fund.

(b)  In addition to the transfer pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 13(c) but notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in fiscal year 2009, $500,000.00 shall be transferred to the central garage fund from the transportation fund.

Sec. 17.  BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES

(a)  Fiscal year 2008 authorized spending on the Swanton  STP ST MHTB(1) project is reduced from $1,500,000.00 to $0.00.  The fiscal year 2008 transportation appropriation to program development is reduced by $283,800.00 in transportation funds and $1,216,200.00 in federal funds.

(b)  Fiscal year 2009 authorized spending on the Swanton  STP ST MHTB(1) project is reduced from $600,000.00 to $0.00.  The fiscal year 2009 transportation appropriation to program development is reduced by $120,000.00 in transportation funds and $480,000.00 in federal funds.

(c)  The Swanton STP ST MHTB(1) project is removed from the state transportation program.

Sec. 18.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

The following capital appropriations, totaling $1,412,742.00, are reallocated to the transportation fund:

(1)  $528,190.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 1(14) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (Bennington courthouse and state office building).

(2)  $280,514.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 1(7) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (planning and design for addition to the state house).

(3)  $434,540.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 11(a) of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 (water pollution control).

(4)  $19,787.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 15(b)(2) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (Bennington sewer line).

(5)  $100,000.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 8(A)(3) of No. 149 of the Acts of 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (state-owned dams).

(6)  $ 49,711.00 of the amount appropriated in Sec. 5(e) of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) (Orange County courthouse).

Sec. 19.  19 V.S.A. § 10c(k) is added to read:

(k)  To the extent that federal regulations permit, signage for all state and town bridge projects spanning more than 20 feet in length shall be erected on both sides of the project for the duration of the project as follows:

(1)  The agency of transportation shall design the signs, and the contractor shall purchase and install the signs as part of the contract bid price.

(2)  The signs shall indicate the cost of the project.

(3)  Signs for state bridge projects shall include the following:  “This is an agency of transportation project paid for with your tax dollars.”

(4)  Signs for town bridge projects shall include the following:  “This is a project sponsored by (name of municipality) and the agency of transportation, and paid for with your tax dollars.”

Sec. 20.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage except for Sec. 3 which shall not take effect until the commissioner of motor vehicles determines that the systems necessary to operate the program are available.

Rep. Otterman of Topsham, for the committee on Ways and Means, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Transportation.

 

Rep. Johnson of South Hero, for the committee on Appropriations, recommended the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the committee on Transportation.

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. Howrigan of Fairfield moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

     By adding Secs. 20 through 23 to read as follows:

Sec. 20.  23 V.S.A. § 108 is amended to read:

§ 108.  APPLICATION FORMS

(a)  The commissioner shall prepare and furnish all forms for applications, accident reports, conviction reports, a pamphlet containing the full text of the motor vehicle laws of the state, and all other forms needed in the proper conduct of his or her office.  He or she shall furnish an adequate supply of such registration forms, license applications, and motor vehicle laws each year to each town clerk, and to such other persons as may so who make a request.

(b)  The commissioner shall state on applications for a nondriver identification card, learner permit, junior operator license, operator license, and commercial driver license, including applications for renewals and replacements of each, the following statement:  “By submitting or signing this application, I am consenting to registration with the Selective Service System, if so required by federal law.”

Sec. 21.  23 V.S.A. § 115(l) is added to read:

(l)  Section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) requires male United States citizens and immigrants who are at least 18 years of age but less than 26 years of age to register with the Selective Service System.  The signature on the application for a nondriver identification card, renewal of a card, or replacement of a card which has been lost, destroyed, or mutilated shall serve as registration with the Selective Service System for those persons required to comply with the federal law.  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall forward the necessary personal information in an electronic format to the Selective Service.

Sec. 22.  23 V.S.A. § 603(e) is added to read:

(e)  Section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) requires male United States citizens and immigrants who are at least 18 years of age but less than 26 years of age to register with the Selective Service System.  The signature on the application for an operator license, junior operator license, or learner permit, renewal of a permit or license, or replacement of a permit or license which has been lost, destroyed, or mutilated shall serve as registration with the Selective Service System for those persons required to comply with the federal law.  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall forward the necessary personal information in an electronic format to the Selective Service.

Sec. 23.  23 V.S.A. § 4110(e) is added to read:

(e)  Section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) requires male United States citizens and immigrants who are at least 18 years of age but less than 26 years of age to register with the Selective Service System.  The signature on the application for a commercial driver license, renewal of a license, or replacement of a license which has been lost, destroyed, or mutilated shall serve as registration with the Selective Service System for those persons required to comply with the federal law.  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall forward the necessary personal information in an electronic format to the Selective Service.

and by renumbering the remaining Sec. to be Sec. 24

Thereupon, Rep. Howrigan of Fairfield asked and was granted leave of the House to withdraw his amendment, which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the report of the committees on Transportation, Ways and Means and Appropriations agreed to and third reading ordered.

Member Replaced on Committee of Conference

H. 635

The Speaker announced that he has appointed Rep. Marek of Newfane to replace Rep. Fisher of Lincoln on the Committee of Conference on House bill, entitled

     An act relating to reports of child abuse or neglect;

 

 

Message from the Senate No. 69

     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. 402.  An act relating to recapture of health insurance benefits by Group F member of the Vermont State Retirement System.

H. 669.  An act relating to the Vermont Historic Downtown.

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 proposals of amendment to Senate bills of the following titles

S. 112.  An act relating to victims compensation.

S. 340.  An act relating to mammography patient cost containment.

And has concurred therein.

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

H. 783.  An act relating to home improvement fraud.

And has concurred therein.

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

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

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 Campbell

          Senator Mullin

          Senator Nitka

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

S. 284.  An act relating to the department of banking, insurance, securities, and heath care administration.

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

          Senator Cummings

          Senator Maynard

          Senator McCormack

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

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

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 Illuzzi

          Senator Campbell

          Senator Sears

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. 863.  An act relating to creation and preservation of affordable housing and smart growth development.

          Senator Illuzzi

          Senator Cummings

          Senator Lyons

H. 888.  An act relating to miscellaneous tax amendments.

          Senator Cummings

          Senator Condos

          Senator Carris

The Senate has considered the report of the Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill of the following title:

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

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

Recess

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

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

Message from the Senate No. 70

     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 House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

S. 297.  An act relating to clarifying the definition of “stiff hitch” in the motor vehicle statutes.

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 Scott

          Senator Collins

          Senator Kitchel

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

H. 885.  An act relating to developing consistent measurement standards for economic growth.

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

          Senator Miller

          Senator Illuzzi

          Senator Condos

The Senate has considered the report of the Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate bill of the following title:

S. 241.  An act relating to the special veteran and gold star registration plates.

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 545

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

     An act relating to agency of human services;

By striking out Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 3087a is added to read:

§ 3087a.  Field Services Division

The division of field services is created within the agency of human services.  The division shall be headed by a director who shall be exempt from the classified service and who shall be appointed by the secretary of human services.

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Joint Resolution Amended; Third Reading Ordered

J.R.H. 49

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and Joint resolution, entitled

Joint resolution urging Congress to adopt an emergency bank and homeowner protection act;

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

Rep. Kupersmith of South Burlington, for the committee on Commerce, to which had been referred the resolution moved to amend the resolution by striking the resolution in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

     Whereas, the continuing financial crisis involving home mortgages and lending, credit, and investment practices in the United States threaten to undermine the Vermont economy and the aspirations of Vermonters for a better life, and

Whereas, an increasing number of Vermonters are faced with foreclosure and loss of their homes over the coming months, despite the mitigating effects of Vermont’s commitment to land use planning and Vermont’s judicious banking climate, and

Whereas, Vermont’s first quarter foreclosure rate rose 37 percent compared to last year from 308 to 423, and while it is still among the lowest in the nation is a cause for concern, and

Whereas, hedge funds which encourage speculation in financial markets worldwide contributed to this crisis, and those markets are now facing great and destabilizing volatility and  are calling for government bailout of their securities and derivatives, and

Whereas, the nominal value of these mortgage-based derivatives alone could exceed the total gross domestic product of many nations, and

Whereas, this financial crisis challenges the integrity of the financial system in the U.S., and the run on deposits at Countrywide Financial Corporation in California on August 16, 2007 and the collapse of Bear-Stearns are recent examples, and

Whereas, similar failures at other financial institutions could undermine the economic stability of our state and communities, and

Whereas, in the 1930s, the federal government intervened to protect banks and homeowners, believing that the nation required special safeguards for home ownership to promote social and economic stability, now therefore be it.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the general assembly urges Congress to enact emergency homeowners and bank protection legislation that protects families and state and federally chartered financial institutions from negative consequences of foreclosure actions, and be it further

Resolved: That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President and to the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

Thereupon, the Joint resolution was read the second time, report of the committee on Commerce agreed to and third reading ordered.

Rules Suspended; Favorable Report; Third Reading Ordered

S. 210

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

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

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

Rep. Manwaring of Wilmington, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which the bill had been referred, reported in favor of its passage in concurrence.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time and third reading ordered.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

H. 748

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to permitting students to possess and self-administer emergency medication;

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

The Speaker placed before the House the following Committee of Conference report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that the House accede to the Senate’s proposal of amendment, that the Senate accede to the House’s further proposals of amendment, and that the bill be further amended as follows:

First:  In the House’s third proposal of amendment, in Sec. 1, § 1387(c), by striking the words “doing so” and inserting the words “distribution or notification

Second:  In the House’s third proposal of amendment, in Sec. 1, § 1387(c), after the final sentence, by adding a new sentence to read:  “The written plan shall become part of the student’s health records maintained by the school.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF              COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF THE SENATE       THE HOUSE

Sen. Alice Nitka                                             Rep. Gregory Clark

Sen. Harold Girard                                         Rep. Gary Gilbert

Sen. William Doyle                                         Rep. Denise Barnard

Which was considered and adopted on the part of the House.

 

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

H. 806

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and House bill, entitled

An act relating to public water systems;

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

The Speaker placed before the House the following Committee of Conference report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that the House accede to the Senate proposal of amendment.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF               COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF THE SENATE                                    THE HOUSE

Sen. Robert Hartwell                                      Rep. Dexter Randall

Sen. Richard McCormick                               Rep. Robert Lewis

Sen. Diane Snelling                                         Rep. Jim McCullough

Which was considered and adopted on the part of the House.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 114

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to enhancing mental health parity;

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

The Speaker placed before the House the following Committee of Conference report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that the Senate accede to the substantive proposal of amendment offered by the House and that the House recede from its proposal of amendment to the title of the bill and that the title of the bill be amended to read:

AN ACT RELATING TO ENHANCING REGULATION FOR PROGRESS TOWARD MENTAL HEALTH PARITY

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF               COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

THE HOUSE                                                THE SENATE

Rep. Michael Fisher                                       Sen. Douglas Racine

Rep. Patsy French                               Sen. Jeanette White

Rep. Mary Morrissey                                     Sen. Kevin Mullin

 

Which was considered and adopted on the part of the House.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 342

On motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to Lake Champlain;

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

The Speaker placed before the House the following Committee of Conference report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that the Senate accede to the House proposal of amendment.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF              COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

THE HOUSE                                                THE SENATE

Rep. Patrick Brennan                                     Sen. Donald Collins

Rep. David Potter                                          Sen. Richard Mazza

Rep. Albert Audette                                       Sen. Philip Scott             

 

Which was considered and adopted on the part of the House.

 

 

Committee of Conference Appointed

S. 246

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

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

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

   Rep. Grad of Moretown

   Rep. Keenan of St. Albans City

               Rep. Condon of Colchester

Committee of Conference Appointed

S. 297

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

     An act relating to clarifying the definition of “stiff hitch” in the motor vehicle statutes;

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

   Rep. Brennan of Colchester

   Rep. Monti of Barre City

               Rep. Peaslee of Guildhall

Committee of Conference Appointed

H. 599

     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 boating while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated.;

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

   Rep. Lippert of Hinesburg

   Rep. Gervais of Enosburg

               Rep. Allard of St. Albans Town

 

 

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. 114

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to enhancing mental health parity;

S. 342

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to Lake Champlain;

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Donaghy of Poultney, the following remarks by Rep. Kilmartin of Newport City were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker,

     Before making my introduction, I have a confession to make.

     I have been preoccupied with the economic well-being of my fellow Vermonters, my family, and myself.

     Yesterday and today, two events have jarred me to refocus my attention to more important issues.

     I watched my friend and colleague, the Representative from Richmond, minister to the family of Adam Muller, who gave his life for our liberty and the freedom and liberty of others. Today we recognize and celebrate his sacrifice and that of his family.

    This morning I attended the Wednesday prayer group, in the "upper room" off the balcony, and met a Nigerian, who not knowing any of our Vermonters who have laid down their lives, expressed to those of us gathered, and later to Governor Douglas, his words of gratitude to America and its citizens for feeding, clothing, and providing more housing to the world's poor, voiceless, forgotten and persecuted than any other country in all of recorded history, and for fighting for the freedom of the oppressed and persecuted. He said without the United States fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, he and others in Nigeria, would either be forced to be a Muslim or would be dead. He wanted us to know that the blood we have shed in Iraq and Afghanistan has enabled greater freedom and liberty in Nigeria and other places and forced back Islamic extremism.

     I take pleasure in introducing Dr. Sylvester Alanwoko of Aba, Nigeria, who is visiting America during this season and expresses his thanks for what America has done.”

Adjournment

At four o’clock in the afternoon, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, the House adjourned until tomorrow at nine o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon.

 

 

 



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