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Journal of the House

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THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008

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

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by Vermont story teller, John Schraven of Fairfax, VT.

Remarks Journalized 4/30/08

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.”

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.  66

Joint resolution urging Congress to adopt H.R. 5473, “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act of 2008”

Offered by:  Representatives Smith of Morristown, Bissonnette of Winooski, Botzow of Pownal, Consejo of Sheldon, Davis of Washington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Kupersmith of S. Burlington and Shand of Weathersfield

Whereas, Vermont is a rural state with minimal public transportation, and farmers are dependent on gasoline for essential motorized operations, and

Whereas, the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced on April 28, 2008 that the nationwide average retail price of regular unleaded gasoline stood at 365.3 cents per gallon, and the comparable New England figure was nearly as high at 364.9 cents per gallon, and this upward spiral represents a per-gallon rise of 30 cents nationally and 40 cents regionally just since the end of March, and

Whereas, the average cost of diesel fuel, combining all subcategories of diesel, has risen approximately 18 cents in just the last four weeks, and

Whereas, the economic impact of the skyrocketing gas prices on the Vermont economy is spreading as families are restricting nonessential but revenue-generating activities and purchases, and

Whereas, after the 1973 oil embargo, Congress established a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as a supply source in times of an energy emergency, and

Whereas, the SPR is over 96 percent full with 700.9 million barrels, and, in contrast to practices in prior decades, the Bush administration has continued to purchase oil for the SPR regardless of market conditions, and

Whereas, a 2003 report of the minority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations concluded that making oil deposits into the SPR drove up crude oil prices through a tightening of the supply and a reduction in the domestic stock, and independent economists have estimated that filling the SPR has resulted in a rise in the price of oil of at least $2.25 per barrel or as much as $0.25 per gallon of gasoline, and

Whereas, in 2000, the Clinton administration’s release of 30 million barrels from the SPR, in anticipation of a threatened home heating fuel crisis, caused the price to drop from $37 to $31 per barrel, and similarly when the U.S. Department of Energy released 11 million gallons from the SPR following Hurricane Katrina, crude prices dropped approximately $5.00 per barrel, and

Whereas, on February 8, 2008, Congressman Peter Welch along with Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois wrote to President Bush requesting that a planned deposit of 12.3 million barrels of oil into the SPR be delayed for six months in order to reduce the price of oil temporarily, and

Whereas, when the Bush administration rejected this request, Congressman Peter Welch introduced H.R. 5473, “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act of 2008,” which would suspend the delivery of crude oil to the SPR for the balance of 2008, or alternatively until after a 120-day period that would begin if the U.S. secretary of energy notifies Congress that the weighted average price of petroleum in the United States for the most recent 90-day period is $50 or less per barrel and that would conclude 30 days after the secretary’s congressional notification, and

Whereas, although this legislative measure proposes a short-term step to stem skyrocketing energy costs, its adoption could save consumers as much as 24 cents per gallon, and

Whereas, H.R. 5473 now has 63 cosponsors, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined the bill’s cosponsors in calling on President Bush to suspend oil shipments to the SPR, and

Whereas, all three major party presidential candidates have expressed at least conceptual support for suspending further oil deposits into the SPR, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the general assembly urges Congress to adopt H.R. 5473, “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act of 2008” as quickly as possible, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to U.S. Representative John Dingell, chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and to the Vermont congressional delegation.

Rep. Jewett of Ripton in Chair.

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

S. 210

Senate bill, entitled

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

Was taken up, read the third time and passed in concurrence.

Third Reading; Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H. 49

Joint resolution, entitled

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

Was taken up, read the third time and adopted on the part of the House.

Joint Resolution Adopted

J.R.H. 65

Joint resolution, entitled

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

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

Rules Suspended; Favorable Report; Third Reading Ordered

J.R.S. 63

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

Joint resolution requesting the sustainable agriculture council to establish a locally grown collaborative to coordinate future policy pertaining to local food growth initiatives in Vermont;

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

Rep. Bray of New Haven, for the committee on Agriculture, to which the resolution had been referred reported in favor of its passage. 

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

Rules Suspended; Action on Bill Postponed

H. 402

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

An act relating to recapture of health insurance;

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

Pending the question, Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment? on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland, action on the bill was postponed until the end of the orders of the day.

Rules Suspended; Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred in

H. 669

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

An act relating to the Vermont historic downtown;

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

     The Senate proposed to the House to amend the bill as follows:

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

* * * Historic Downtown  Designation Duration * * *

Sec. 1.  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 the following permanent members, or their designees:

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

(2)  The secretary of transportation;.

(3)  The secretary of natural resources;.

(4)  The secretary of human services;.

(5)  The commissioner of public safety;.

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

(7)  The state historic preservation officer.

(8)  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. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2793(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The state board shall review a community’s designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the state board determines that the downtown development district no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action; .

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or .

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits established in section 2794 of this chapter without affecting any of the district’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the district’s designation, with such removal not without affecting any of the district’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 2793a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The state board shall review a village center designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If, at the any time of the review, the state board determines that the village center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (a) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action; .

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or .

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the village center’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the village center’s designation, with such removal not without affecting any of the village center’s previously awarded benefits.

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

(d)  The state board shall review a new town center designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the state board determines the new town center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action;.

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or.

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the new town center’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the new town center’s designation , with such removal not without affecting any of the town center’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 1-5 of this act shall take effect upon passage.

* * * Brownfield Reclamation * * *

Sec. 6.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this act is to create a property cleanup program within the agency of natural resources, that provides program participants with some protection from certain liabilities pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6615 in exchange for having the secretary of natural resources review and oversee work plans for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring a contaminated property.  The goals of the cleanup program are to:

(1)  Reduce and eliminate threats to human health and the environment presented by hazardous material contamination.

(2)  Establish risk‑based restrictions on future use of property when setting cleanup goals for a contaminated property.

(3)  Reuse historically productive properties that will revitalize communities and help address issues raised by economic shifts while maintaining and enhancing existing public infrastructure.

(4)  Utilize public investment and technical assistance to promote successful redevelopment projects.

(5)  Reduce state legal liability risks associated with a brownfields site for parties who assume responsibility for property remediation.

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. chapter 159, subchapter 3 is added to read:

Subchapter 3.  Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitations

§ 6641.  BROWNFIELD PROPERTY CLEANUP PROGRAM; CREATION; POWERS

(a)  There is created the brownfield property cleanup program to enable certain interested parties to request the assistance of the secretary to review and oversee work plans for investigating, abating, removing, remediating, and monitoring a property in exchange for protection from certain liabilities under section 6615 of this title.  The program shall be administered by the secretary who shall:

(1)  Specify an appropriate amount or type of insurance; require the posting of a bond or other form of financial assurance; or establish other qualifications for persons carrying out activities related to the cleanup program.

(2)  Contract with private engineers, hydrologists, and site professionals to provide the investigation and review required by this subchapter.  The contract may be financed from the oversight costs established in subdivision 6644(5) of this title, or may bill an applicant who is not liable under subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title for the services.

(3)  Release an applicant from state liability, provided the applicant is in compliance with this subchapter.

(b)  After approval of a site investigation work plan or a corrective action plan, the secretary shall notify the person of any future requirements under this subchapter, including a tentative schedule of processing times.

§ 6642.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Applicant” means a person who has applied for relief from state liability through participation in the program.

(2)  “Brownfield site” means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the release or threatened release of a hazardous material.  “Brownfield site” does not include any of the following:

(A)  A facility that is the subject of a planned or ongoing removal action under CERCLA.

(B)  A facility that is listed as a CERCLA site or is proposed for listing.

(C)  A facility that is the subject of any state or federal administrative or court order under any of the following authorities:

(i)  42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (CLERCLA) or 10 V.S.A. §6615 (state hazardous materials remediation).

(ii)  42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq. (solid waste disposal act) or 10 V.S.A chapter 159 (solid waste or hazardous waste).

(iii)  33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. (federal Water Pollution Control act) or 10 V.S.A. chapter 47 (water pollution control).

(iv)  15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (toxic substances control act).

(v)   42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq. (safe drinking water act) or 10 V.S.A. § chapter 56 (public water supply).

(D)  A facility that is subject to either of the following:

(i)  Corrective action under 42 U.S.C. § 6924(u) or 6928(h).

(ii)  Corrective action permit or order issued or modified to require the implementation of corrective measures.

(E)  A land disposal unit in regard to which both of the following apply:

(i)  A closure notification under subtitle C of  42 U.S.C. § 6921 et seq. has been submitted.

(ii)  Closure requirements have been specified in a closure plan or permit.

(F)  A facility that is subject to the jurisdiction, custody, or control of any instrumentality of the United States, except for land held in trust by the United States for an Indian tribe.

(G)  A portion of a facility to which both the following apply:

(i)  A release of polychlorinated biphenyls has occurred.

(ii)  Is subject to remediation under 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (toxic substances control act).

(H)  A portion of a facility for which assistance for response activity has been obtained under subtitle I of 42 U.S.C. § 6991 et seq. (solid waste disposal act) from the leaking underground storage tank trust fund established under 26 V.S.A. § 9508.

(3)  “CERCLA” means the Comprehensive Response Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq.

(4)  “Innocent current owner” means a person that owns real property where a release or threatened release of a hazardous material exists but the person did none of the following:

(A)  Held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender’s holding indicia of ownership in the property to assure the repayment of a financial obligation at the time of any disposal of hazardous materials on the property.

(B)  Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(C)  Operated or controlled the operation at the property of a facility for the storage treatment or disposal of hazardous materials at the time of the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(D)  Disposed of or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(E)  Generated the hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

(5)  “Program”  means the brownfield property cleanup program

(6)  “Remediation standards” means standards developed by the secretary for the remediation of contaminated properties.  The secretary shall determine appropriate remediation standards on a site‑specific basis and shall consider all the following:

(A)  Future land use and the appropriate use of institutional controls.

(B)  Environmental media, including soil, groundwater, surface water, and air.

(C)   Requirements for source removal, treatment, or containment.

(D)  Appropriate use of monitored natural attenuation.

(E)  Any other issue related to the protection of public health and the environment.

§ 6643.  APPLICATION PROCESS

A person shall apply to the secretary for participation in the program on a form determined by the secretary accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $500.00.  The application shall include:

(1)  A preliminary environmental assessment of the property, a legal description of the property, a description of the physical characteristics of the property, the nature and extent of releases and threatened releases at the property, and the risks to human health and the environment presented by the releases or threatened release, and any other information requested by the secretary.

(2)  A description of the proposed redevelopment and use of the property.

(3)  A certification that the applicant has given timely notification to the public that provides a reasonable opportunity for public comment to the secretary regarding the information and material provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section.

(4)  A notarized certification, on a form provided by the secretary, in which the applicant attests to all the following:

(A)  Each person who would benefit from liability protection pursuant to section 6653 of this title has disclosed to the secretary all information currently known to the person or in the person’s possession or control that relates to releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(B)  No person, including a principal, owner, director, affiliate, or subsidiary, who would benefit from liability protection pursuant to section 6653 of this title:

(i)  Currently holds or ever held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, except for either of the following:

(I)  A secured lender’s holding indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure repayment of a financial obligation.

(II)  An innocent current owner.

(ii)  Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(iii)  Currently operates or controls or ever operated or controlled the operation at the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials from which there was a release.

(iv)  Disposed of, or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(v)  Generated hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

§ 6644.  GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

Any person participating in the program shall do all the following:

(1)  Not provide any information required under this subchapter by fraud, intentional misrepresentation, failure to disclose material information, or providing false certification.

(2)  Not engage in any activity that is inconsistent or interferes with monitoring, investigation, abatement, removal, or remediation activities or the conditions or restrictions in a certificate of completion.

(3)  Provide access to and cooperate with the secretary and any person liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title acting subject to the approval of the secretary for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities at the property.   The grant of access and all other provisions that the secretary determines necessary may be memorialized in the form of an interest in real property that runs with the land and is binding against successors and assigns.

(4)  Comply with all rules and procedures required by the secretary and obtain all necessary permits, certifications, and other required authorizations prior to beginning any site investigation or corrective action plan activities.

(5)  If an innocent current owner, pay the secretary an oversight fee of $5,000.00.  Upon depletion of this $5,000.00 fee, the applicant shall pay any additional costs of the secretary’s review and oversight of the site investigation or corrective action plan, or both.  Upon completion of the secretary’s review and oversight, any funds remaining shall be returned to the applicant, as determined by the commissioner.

(6)  Provide the secretary with all documents and information relating to the performance of the investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities.

(7)   Defend, indemnify, save, and hold harmless the state from all claims and causes of action related to, or arising from, acts or omissions of the applicant in performing the site investigation and corrective action plan except in the case of either of the following:

(A)  Reimbursement of fees or costs improperly required by and paid to the secretary by the eligible person or successor.

(B)  A cause of action related to the state’s liability pursuant to subsection 6615(a) of this title.

§ 6645.  ELIGIBILITY

Not more than 30 days after the secretary receives a complete application, the secretary shall determine eligibility and provide written notice to the applicant of the secretary’s determination.  A person is eligible for participation in the program if the secretary determines all the following:

(1)  There is a release or threatened release of hazardous material at the property that the person proposes for remediation and redevelopment.

(2)  The applicant is not liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title for any release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the property or the person is an innocent current owner of the property.  The commissioner may accept an affidavit of innocence or may request further information and investigate to determine compliance with this subsection.  Any determination of innocence or liability under this subdivision is solely for the purpose of the initial eligibility determination for this program and shall have no collateral effect in other proceedings.

(3)  The property is a brownfield site or the secretary determines, on a site‑by‑site basis, both the following:

(A)  The property is not a brownfield site because it is excluded pursuant to subdivisions 6642(1)(A), (C)(ii) – (v), (D), (E), (G), or (H) of this title.

(B)  Participation in the program will promote the program objectives identified in subsection 6641(a) of this title.

§ 6646.  FORBEARANCE

The state may not bring an action against an applicant based on liability pursuant to subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title, provided that the applicant has been determined to be eligible for the program and is working in good faith toward meeting the obligations required by this subchapter.

§ 6647.  SITE INVESTIGATION

(a)  The applicant shall submit a site investigation work plan to the secretary.  The work plan shall identify the person or persons who will conduct the site investigation.  The work plan shall provide a site investigation that satisfies all the following objectives:

(1)  Defines the nature, source, degree, and extent of the contamination.

(2)  Defines all possible pathways for contaminant migration.

(3)  Presents data that quantify the amounts of contaminants migrating along each pathway.

(4)  Defines all relevant sensitive receptors.

(5)  Determines the risk of contamination to human health and the environment.

(6)  Identifies appropriate abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities, taking into consideration the proposed redevelopment for the property supported by sufficient information.

(7)  Provides a preliminary recommendation supported by sufficient information.

(b)  The secretary shall evaluate the site investigation work plan and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the site investigation work plan.  If the secretary approves the site investigation work plan with conditions or disapproves the work plan, the applicant shall submit a revised site investigation work plan for approval, or the applicant shall withdraw from the program.  The applicant shall submit any additional or corrected information requested by the secretary at any time during the evaluation of the site investigation work plan.

(c)  After approval of the site investigation work plan, the applicant shall implement the site investigation in accordance with the approved work plan.

(d)  After completion of the site investigation, the applicant shall submit a site investigation report that describes the information gathered and provides recommendations that address the items identified in subsection (a) of this section.  The secretary may approve the site investigation report or, prior to approval, may require revisions to the report or further site investigation work under an amended site investigation work plan, or both.

(e)  If the approved site investigation report concludes that no further investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required to protect adequately human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards, then the applicant may request a determination from the secretary that no additional investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required.  The secretary may make that determination if the secretary determines both the following:

(1)  Redevelopment and reuse of the property will not cause, allow, contribute to, worsen, or delay any release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property.

(2)  The releases or threatened releases that are not abated, removed, or remediated do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health, and the environment and applicable remediation standards are met.

(f)  If the approved site investigation report concludes that abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required to protect adequately human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards, the applicant shall submit a corrective action plan in accordance with section 6648 of this title.

§ 6648.  CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  A corrective action plan shall clearly describe the basis and details of a proposed cleanup strategy that includes ensuring technical feasibility, an effective engineering design, reasonable costs, protection of human health and the environment, and compliance with the remediation standards.  The corrective action plan shall include all the following:

(1)  A description of all releases or threatened releases existing at the property.

(2)  A proposed plan for abatement, removal, and remediation of any release or threatened release, including any condition that has led or could lead to a release or threatened release.

(3)  A plan for continued monitoring of the property during and after the investigation, abatement, removal, and remediation activities are completed.

(4)  A description of applicable remediation standards.

(5)  Plans for all the following:

(A)  Quality assurance.

(B)  Sampling and analysis.

(C)  Health and safety considerations.

(D)  Data management and record keeping.

(6)  A proposed schedule for implementation of each task set forth in the proposed corrective action plan.

(b)  The secretary shall evaluate the corrective action plan and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the corrective action plan.  The applicant shall submit any additional or corrected information requested by the secretary at any time during the evaluation of the corrective action plan.

(c)  The secretary may approve a corrective action plan for all or a portion of the releases or threatened releases at the property, provided the secretary determines that the corrective action plan will fulfill both the following:

(1)  Activities in the approved corrective action plan and the redevelopment and use of the property will not cause, contribute to, or worsen any release or threatened release of hazardous materials.

(2)  The corrective action plan provides for all investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities required to protect human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards.

(d)  If the secretary approves a corrective action plan that addresses only a portion of the releases or threatened releases at the property, the secretary must find that the releases or threatened releases that are not abated, removed, or remediated pursuant to the corrective action plan do not and will not pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment and are in compliance with remediation standards.

(e)  Prior to approval of the corrective action plan, the secretary shall provide notice to the public by publishing notice in a local newspaper of general circulation where the property is located and providing written notice to the clerk for the municipality in which the property is located.  The clerk shall post the notice in a location conspicuous to the public.  The secretary shall review any public comment submitted prior to approval of the corrective action plan.  The notice shall include all the following:

(1)  A description of any proposed abatement, investigation, remediation, removal, and monitoring activities.

(2)  A statement that the secretary is considering approving a corrective action plan that provides for those activities.

(3)  A request for public comment on the proposed activities to be submitted within 15 days after publication.

(4)  The name, telephone number, and address of an agency official who is able to answer questions and accept comments on the matter.

(f)  After approval of a corrective action plan and any amendments to the plan, the secretary shall notify the claimant of all the following information:

(1)  A summary of the nature of the contamination identified on the property and the major components of the corrective action plan.

(2)  A detailed description of any restrictions on the future use of the property.

(3)  The location where all information relating to an approved corrective action plan and site investigation may be reviewed.

(g)  The person receiving the approval shall file the notice of approval of the corrective action in the land records of the municipality in which the property is located within 15 days of receipt of the approval.

§ 6649.  AMENDMENTS TO A CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  Except for the corrective action plan adjustment limitations provided  under subsection (b) of this section, at the applicant’s request or in the secretary’s discretion, the secretary may amend the plan if the secretary determines that the amendment is necessary to protect public health and the environment.

(b)  An approved corrective action plan of an applicant who became a participant in the program prior to acquiring any ownership interest in the property and who is not otherwise liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title may be amended only at the secretary’s discretion, provided the amendments to the corrective action plan do not increase the costs of completion by more than 30 percent of the estimated costs of the original corrective action plan.

(c)  Notwithstanding issuance of a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6653 of this title, if at any time the secretary finds that a completed corrective action plan fails to protect adequately human health and the environment or fails to meet all applicable remediation and federal cleanup standards, the secretary may do any of the following;

(1)  Exercise authority pursuant to section 6615 of this title against any liable person except the person or the successor of the person that completed the corrective action plan.

(2)  Perform all investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities necessary to ensure the property meets all the applicable remediation standards.

§ 6650.  PROGRAM WITHDRAWAL

(a)  An applicant may withdraw from the program at any time, provided the applicant does all the following:

(1)  Files with the secretary a notice of intent to withdraw from the program.

(2)  Ensures that the site is stabilized.  Site stabilization includes any action necessary to ensure that work conducted at the property will not cause greater risk to human health and the environment than existed before the remediation work was begun and to ensure that the property will not pose an imminent hazard to human health or the environment.

(3)  Continues to comply with the general obligations of section 6644 of this title.

(b)  An applicant may withdraw from the program after the approval of a corrective action plan and the secretary has granted personal liability protection as authorized in subsection 6653(b) of this title provided the applicant does all the following:

(1)  Meets all the requirements of withdrawal pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(2)  Records a deed restriction on the property approved by the secretary.  The deed restriction shall include:

(A)  Any limitations on the uses of the property based on risk-based exposure criteria used in developing the corrective action plan.

(B)  Prohibitions against physical changes to the property.

(C)  A requirement that protective barriers to control remaining sources of contamination be installed and maintained.

(D)  Restrictions on groundwater use and requirements that alternative water supplies be provided.

(3)  Does not engage in an activity at the property that is inconsistent or interferes with the approved corrective action plan.

(4)  Does not violate any use restriction imposed on the property by the secretary.

(5)  Promptly reports and addresses contamination caused or exacerbated by a negligent or reckless action during corrective action.

§ 6651.  IMPLEMENTATION OF CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  The applicant shall perform all investigation, abatement, remediation, removal, and monitoring activities in accordance with the approved corrective action plan, any amendments to the plan, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. 

(b)  If prior to the issuance of the certificate of completion, the applicant through the performance of an approved site investigation or corrective action plan worsens an existing release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property, or causes a new release or threatened release, the applicant shall immediately notify the secretary, prepare and submit to the secretary an amendment to the corrective action plan for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring of the release or threatened release, and carry out the amended corrective action plan as approved by the secretary.

§ 6652.  CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

(a)  After completion of all activities required by the corrective action plan, the applicant shall file a completion report with the secretary.  The completion report shall include all the following:

(1)  Description of the activities performed under the corrective action plan and any amendments to the plan.

(2)  Description of any problems encountered

(3)  Certification by the applicant that the activities were performed in accordance with the corrective action plan.

(b)  Upon receipt of the completion report, the secretary shall determine whether additional work is required in order to complete the plan.  The applicant shall perform any additional activities necessary to complete the corrective action plan as required by the secretary and shall submit a new completion report.  When the secretary determines that the applicant has successfully completed the corrective action plan and paid all fees and costs due under this subchapter, the secretary shall issue a certificate of completion, which certifies that the work is completed.  The certificate of completion shall include a description of any land use restrictions and other conditions required by the corrective action plan.

(c)  If, on request of the applicant, the secretary determines that no further investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required, the secretary shall issue a certificate of completion that includes a description of any required land use restrictions.

(d)  The secretary may determine that a corrective action plan and any amendments of an applicant who participated in the program prior to acquiring an ownership interest in the property and is not otherwise liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title have been substantially completed and that all fees and costs due under this subchapter have been paid and issue a certificate of completion.  The certificate of completion shall certify that the work is completed and may include conditions for operation and monitoring in addition to the requirements pursuant to section 6653 of this title.

(e)  A certificate of completion issued pursuant to this section shall contain a statement that the protection from liability pursuant to subsection 6653(a) of this title is in effect.  The person receiving the certificate of completion shall file it in the land records for the municipality in which the property is located.

§ 6653.  RELEASE FROM LIABILITY;  PERSONAL RELEASE FROM LIABILITY

(a)  An applicant who has obtained a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6652 of this title and successor owners of the property included in the certificate of completion who are not otherwise liable under section 6615 for the release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the property shall not be liable under subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title for any of the following:

(1)  A release or threatened release that existed at the property at the time of the approval of the corrective action plan and complies with one or both of the following:

(A)  Was discovered after the approval of the corrective action plan by means that were not recognized standard methods at the time of approval of the corrective action plan.

(B)  The material was not regulated as hazardous material until after approval of the corrective action plan.

(2)  Cleanup after approval of the corrective action plan was done pursuant to more stringent cleanup standards effective after approval of the corrective action plan.

(b)  A person who meets the requirements of subsection 6650(b) of this title shall not be liable under subdivision 6615 (a)(1) of this title for the release of a hazardous material that is addressed in a corrective action plan approved by the secretary.  A release from liability under this subsection is personal and does not run with the property or apply to successors in interest to the property.

(c)  A release from liability under this section or forbearance from action provided by section 6646 of this title does not extend to any of the following:

(1)  A release or threatened release of a hazardous material that was not present at the time the applicant submitted an application pursuant to this subchapter where the release or threatened release:

(A)  has not been addressed under an amended corrective action plan approved by the secretary; or

(B)  was caused by intentional or reckless conduct by the applicant or agents of the applicant.

(2)  Failure to comply with the general obligations established in section 6644 of this title.

(3)  A release that occurs subsequent to the issuance of a certificate of completion.

(d)  There shall be no protection from liability under this section or forbearance under section 6646 of this title for a successor if that successor or any of its principals, owners, directors, affiliates, or subsidiaries:

(1)  Ever held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender who holds indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure repayment of a financial obligation, except in the case of an innocent owner.

(2)   Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property.

(3)  Currently operates or controls or ever operated or controlled the operation on the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials from which there was a release or threatened release of hazardous materials.

(4)  Disposed of or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(5)  Generated hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

§ 6654.  BROWNFIELD REVITALIZATION FUND; CREATION; ASSISTANCE

(a)  There is created a brownfield revitalization fund that shall be a special fund created pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 to be administered by the secretary of commerce and community development to aid applicants in the redevelopment of brownfield cleanup program by assessing and remediating sites.  Moneys received by the secretary of natural resources for application and participation in the program shall be deposited in the redevelopment of contaminated properties account of the environmental contingency fund established in section 1283 of this title.

(b)  The fund shall comprise of all the following;

(1)  State or federal funds appropriated by the general assembly.

(2)  Gifts, grants, or other contributions.

(c)  A person may apply to the secretary of commerce and community development for financial assistance in the form of a grant or loan from the brownfield revitalization fund for the purpose of completing characterization, assessment, or remediation of a site only after receipt of a work plan approved by the secretary submitted pursuant to the brownfield property cleanup program unless the application is for a project that has been determined to be ineligible for the program and is otherwise appropriate for funding pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(d)  In order to determine an award of financial assistance, the secretary of commerce and community development in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall consider all the following:

(1)  The extent to which the proposed project will facilitate the identification and reduction of threats to human health and the environment associated with exposure to hazardous materials, pollutants, or contaminants.

(2)  The extent to which the proposed project will facilitate the use or reuse of existing infrastructure.

(3)  The potential for the proposed project to stimulate economic development.

(4)  The extent to which the proposed project will respond to local or regional housing needs.

(5)  The level of participation by a local community relating to remediation and future use of the brownfield site.

(6)  The extent to which a grant or loan will meet the needs of a community that due to a small population or the low income of the community is unable to draw on other funding sources for environmental remediation and subsequent redevelopment of the area in which a brownfield site is located.

(7)  The extent to which a grant or loan will facilitate the creation or preservation of or an addition to a park, greenway, underdeveloped property, recreational property, or other property used for nonprofit purposes.

(8)  The extent to which the grant or loan will create a more balanced geographic distribution of awards from the brownfield revitalization fund.

(e)  A grant may be awarded by the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, provided:

(1)  A grant may not exceed $50,000.00 for characterization and assessment of a site.

(2)  A grant may not exceed $200,000.00 for remediation of a site.

(3)  A grant may be used by an applicant to purchase environmental insurance relating to the performance of the characterization, assessment, or remediation of a brownfield site in accordance with a corrective action plan approved by the secretary of natural resources.

(4)  Financial assistance may be provided to applicants by developing a risk sharing pool, an indemnity pool, or other insurance mechanism designed to help applicants.

(5)  All reports generated by financial assistance from the brownfield revitalization fund, including site assessments, site investigations, feasibility studies, corrective action plans, and completion reports shall be provided as hard copies to the secretaries of commerce and community development and of natural resources.

(f)  The Vermont economic development authority, VEDA, is authorized to make loans on behalf of the state pursuant to this section.  Annually, the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources in consultation with the VEDA manager shall determine an amount from the brownfield revitalization program that will be available to VEDA for loans.  Proceeds from repayment of loans shall be deposited in the brownfield revitalization fund and shall be available for future grants and loans under this section.  Loans under this subsection shall be issued and administered by VEDA, provided:

(1)  Loan may be awarded only to applicants who have been determined eligible by the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, and the secretary of commerce and community development has certified that the applicant and the project are eligible for financing or assistance under this section and the project has priority for an award of financial assistance.

(2)  A loan to an applicant may not exceed $250,000.00 and may be used for characterization, assessment, or remediation subject to all the following conditions:

(A)  Repayment of a loan shall commence no later than one year following completion of the project for which the loan was used.

(B)  The rate of interest on loans shall be set by VEDA in consultation with the secretary of commerce and community development.  The interest rate shall be sufficiently attractive to advance the purposes of this subchapter and may be less than the prevailing borrowing rates available to similarly situated applicants from private lenders, but not less than zero percent.

(C)  Loans shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in a loan agreement executed by VEDA and the applicant.  The loan agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the loan and repayment and any other terms and conditions determined to be necessary by VEDA and the secretaries of natural resources or of commerce and community development.

(D)  Disbursement of loan proceeds shall be based on certification by the loan recipient that costs for which reimbursement is requested have been incurred or paid by the recipient for activities under the approved plan.  The loan recipient shall provide supporting evidence of payment on request of VEDA.  Interim financing charges or short-term interest costs may constitute an allowable cost of a project for which a loan may be used.

(E)  In the event of default, any amounts owed on the loan shall be considered a debt for the purposes of 32 V.S.A. § 5932(4).  VEDA may recover this debt pursuant to the set-off debt collection remedy established pursuant to 32 V.S.A. §§ 5833 and 5934.

(F)  The applicant has certified that all state and federal permits and licenses necessary to undertake the project for which financing is being sought have been or will be obtained prior to disbursement of loan funds by VEDA.

(G)  The secretary of commerce and community development has certified to VEDA that the applicant and the project are eligible for financing or assistance under this section, and the project has priority for financial assistance.

(3)  The secretary of commerce and community development in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall maintain a prioritized list of projects that are eligible for financial assistance under this section at least annually.  In order to prioritize, the secretary of commerce and community development shall consider at a minimum, the criteria set forth in subsection (d) of this section and the following:

(A)  The severity of any health or environmental hazard to be remediated.

(B)  The population to be served.

(C)  The readiness of the project to proceed to the next planning or construction step.

(4)  Neither the state nor VEDA shall be responsible for owning or operating a project or for completing a corrective action plan if a grant or loan recipient defaults on a loan obligation, abandons the project site, or fails to complete a corrective action plan to the satisfaction of the secretary.

(5)  The secretary of commerce and community development or the secretary of natural resources and VEDA may enter into agreements on behalf of the state with federal agencies in order to obtain grants and awards to further the purposes of the brownfield revitalization fund, provided that any grant or award has been approved in compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 5.

(6)  Annually on or before January 15, the secretary of commerce and community development and VEDA in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall submit a report to members of the joint fiscal committee, the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs and on natural resources and the house committees on commerce and on natural resources and energy.  The report shall include information for the previous fiscal year, including the balance in the fund, grant and loan awards made, funds anticipated to be available in the next fiscal year, information relating to brownfield remediation activities, including the number, location, and status of brownfield sites and any other related information.

§ 6655.  STATE PLAN FOR BROWNFIELD RECLAMATION

The agency of natural resources and the agency of commerce and community development shall jointly develop a state plan for brownfield reclamation that includes both of the following:

(1)  An inventory and assessment of potential sites prioritized by the ease of reducing the threat to public health, the availability of development opportunities, and the highest expected return on public investment.

(2)  Methods and strategies for coordinating remediation with eventual usage of the sites, reclamation of high priority projects, financing projects with various public and private funding, and assuring consistent investment by the state for a minimum of ten years in order to return as many properties as possible to recreation, parks, green space, housing, and commercial uses.

§6656.  BROWNFIELD ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a)  There is established a brownfield reuse and environmental liability limitation advisory committee to review the operation of the program established under this subchapter and to recommend program and legislative changes to improve the program and increase brownfield cleanup.  The advisory committee shall submit an annual report of its work and recommendations to the general assembly on or before January 15.  The committee shall be composed of the following 10 members:

(1)  The secretary or designee who shall be chair.

(2)  The secretary of commerce and community affairs or designee who shall be vice chair.

(3)  The attorney general or designee.

(4)  A member of the Vermont association of planning and development agencies, appointed by the association.

(5)  Six members to be appointed by the chair:

(A)  A developer of large projects with experience in brownfield redevelopment.

(B)  A developer of small projects with experience in brownfield redevelopment.

(C)  An attorney with experience representing brownfield redevelopers.

(D)  Two commercial real estate brokers with experience in the sale of brownfield properties.

(E)  A representative of a regional development corporation.

(b)  The advisory committee shall focus its deliberations on the following issues: 

(1)  Fair distribution of historic liability.

(2)  Funding mechanisms.

(3)  Exemptions for regional development corporations.

(4)  Other recommendations of the advisory committee.

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 6615(d)(3) and (i) are amended to read:

(3)  A municipality shall not be liable under this section provided that the municipality can show all the following:

* * *

(C)  The municipality has entered into an agreement with the secretary regarding sale of the property acquired or has undertaken abatement, investigation, remediation, or removal activities as required by section 6615a of this title subchapter 3 of this chapter.

(i)  In an action brought by the secretary under this section, a responsible person may implead, or in a separate action a responsible person may sue, another responsible person or persons and may obtain contribution or indemnification.  A responsible person who has resolved its liability to the state under this section through a judicially approved settlement and a secured lender or fiduciary with whom the secretary has entered into an agreement under subsection (h) of this section shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnification regarding matters addressed in the judicially approved settlement or in the agreement.  Likewise, an eligible a person or successor who has obtained a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6615a of this title subchapter 3 of this chapter shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnification regarding releases or threatened releases described in the approved corrective action plan, as amended.  Such a settlement or agreement or certificate of completion does not discharge any other potentially responsible person unless its terms so provide, but it reduces the potential liability of other potentially responsible persons by the relief agreed upon.  A secured lender or fiduciary with whom the secretary has entered into an agreement under subsection (h) of this section may not seek contribution or indemnification on the basis of such agreement from any other potentially responsible person.  In any action for contribution or indemnification, the rights of any person who has resolved its liability to the state shall be subordinate to the rights of the state.

Sec. 9.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 6615a (redevelopment of contaminated properties) is repealed.

Sec. 10, to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 6656 is repealed January 1, 2011.

The Senate further proposes that after adoption the title of the bill be amended to read as follows:

     A ACT RELATING TO THE DURATION OF HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DESIGNATIONS AND BROWNFIELD RECLAMATION.

     Which proposal of amendment was considered and concurred in.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

H. 515

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

An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-added thermostats;

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 House accede to the Senate proposal of amendment, and that the bill be further amended in Sec. 4, 10 V.S.A. § 7116(e) by striking out the following: “Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 50 percent of the out-of-service mercury‑containing thermostats in the state, the agency shall, in consultation with interested persons, require modifications to manufacturers’ collection plans in an attempt to improve collection rates in accordance with these goals.” in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 65 percent of the out-of-service mercury‑containing thermostats in the state, the agency shall, in consultation with interested persons, require modifications to manufacturers’ collection plans in an attempt to improve collection rates in accordance with these goals.

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

Sen. Richard McCormack                              Rep. Jim McCullough

Sen. Robert Hartwell                                      Rep. Dexter Randall

Sen. Diane Snelling                                         Rep. Cynthia Martin

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 290

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

An act relating to agricultural water quality;

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

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

The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposal of amendment and that the bill be further amended by adding a Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 4827(g) is added to read:

(g)  Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the secretary may, as general funds are appropriated for this purpose, provide a one-time incentive payment under this section to encourage farmers to inject manure on grass or crop land over one growing season.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF               COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

THE SENATE                                    THE HOUSE

Sen. Sara Kittell                                             Rep. Richard Lawrence

Sen. Harold Girard                                         Rep. Kristy Spengler

Sen. Hull Maynard                                         Rep. Cynthia Browning

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 171

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

An act relating to discharge of a mortgage by an attorney;

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 recede from its proposals of amendment, and that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  27 V.S.A. § 141 is amended to read:

§ 141.  EXECUTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF CONVEYANCE

* * *

(d)  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, a spouse or civil union partner may convey his or her respective homestead interest to the other spouse or civil union partner prior to the time the homestead right vests, thereby divesting the grantor of any homestead interest in the property.  A conveyance of homestead property between spouses or civil union partners shall be deemed to include a conveyance of any homestead interest.  This section shall apply retroactively, except that it shall not affect a suit begun or pending as of July 1, 2008.

Sec. 2.  27 V.S.A. § 348 is amended to read:

§ 348.  INSTRUMENTS CONCERNING REAL PROPERTY LACKING
            STATEMENT OF CONSIDERATION, OR WITNESSES OR
            ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, VALIDATED

(a)  When an instrument of writing shall have been on record in the office of the clerk in the proper town for a period of 15 years, and there is a defect in the instrument because it omitted to state any consideration therefor or was not sealed, witnessed, acknowledged, validly acknowledged, or because a license to sell was not validly issued or is defective, the instrument shall, from and after the expiration of 15 years from the filing thereof for record, be valid.  Nothing herein shall be construed to affect any rights acquired by grantees, assignees or encumbrancers under the instruments described in the preceding sentence, nor shall this section apply to conveyances or other instruments of writing, the validity of which is brought in question in any suit now pending in any courts of the state.

(b)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, any deed, mortgage, lease, power of attorney, release, discharge, assignment, or other instrument made for the purpose of conveying, leasing, mortgaging, or affecting any interest in real property which contains any one or more of the following errors is valid unless, within three years after the instrument is recorded, an action challenging its validity is commenced, and a copy of the complaint is recorded in the land records of the town where the instrument is recorded:

(1)  The instrument contains a defective acknowledgment.

(2)  In the case of a conveyance by a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership, or by any other entity authorized to hold and convey title to real property within this state, the instrument designated such entity as the grantor but was signed or acknowledged by an individual in the individual capacity of such person, or fails to disclose the authority of the individual who executes and acknowledges the instrument.

(3)  The instrument contains an incorrect statement of the date of execution, or contains an execution date, or other date that is later than the date of the recording.  In case of such conflict, the date of recording prevails.

(4)  The instrument does not contain a statement of consideration.

(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any deed, mortgage, lease, power of attorney, release, discharge, assignment, or other instrument made for the purpose of conveying, leasing, mortgaging, or affecting any interest in real property which is executed pursuant to a recorded power of attorney and contains one or more of the following errors or omissions is valid as if it had been executed without the error or omission:

(1)  The instrument was executed by an attorney-in-fact but was signed or acknowledged by the attorney-in-fact without reference to his or her capacity.

(2)  The instrument was executed by an attorney-in-fact but does not reference the power of attorney.

(3)  The power of attorney was effective at the time the instrument was executed but is recorded after the instrument is recorded.

(d)  A release, discharge, or assignment of mortgage interest executed by a commercial lender with respect to a one-to-four-family residential real property, including a residential unit in a condominium or in a common interest community as defined in Title 27A, which recites authority to act on behalf of the record holder of the mortgage under a power of attorney but where the power of attorney is not of record, shall have the same effect as if executed by the record holder of the mortgage unless, within three years after the instrument is recorded, an action challenging the release, discharge, or assignment is commenced and a copy of the complaint is recorded in the land records of the town where the release, discharge, or assignment is recorded. This subsection shall not apply to releases, discharges, or assignments obtained by fraud or forgery.

Sec. 3.  27 V.S.A. § 464a is amended to read:

§ 464a.  DISCHARGE BY LICENSED ATTORNEY

(a)  A recorded mortgage on a dwelling of two units or less occupied by the owner as the owner’s principal residence or on farmland may be discharged by an attorney‑at‑law licensed to practice in this state if:

(1)  the mortgagee, after receipt of payment of the mortgage in accordance with the payoff statement furnished to the mortgagor by the mortgagee, or the mortgagee’s agent, fails to make that discharge of the mortgage execute and record a discharge of the mortgage in accordance with section 461, 462, or 463 of this title;

(2)  the discharge is executed by, or is in the name of, a purported mortgagee that is not holder of record of the mortgage; or

(3)  the discharge of record was not executed in accordance with section 461, 462, or 463 of this title.

(b)  The attorney An attorney‑at‑law who discharges a mortgage under this section shall execute and record with the discharge an affidavit in the record of deeds affirming that:

(1)  the affiant is an attorney‑at‑law in good standing and licensed to practice in Vermont;

(2)  the affidavit is made at the request of the mortgagor or the mortgagor’s executor, administrator, successor, assignee, or transferee or the transferee’s mortgagee;

(3)  the purported mortgagee has provided a payoff statement with respect to the loan secured by the mortgage;

(4)  the purported mortgagee has received payment of the mortgage in accordance with the payoff statement that has been proved by a bank check, certified check, or attorney client funds account check negotiated by the purported mortgagee or by evidence of receipt of payment by the purported mortgagee; and

(5)  more than 30 days have elapsed since the payment was received by the purported mortgagee; and

(6)  the mortgagee has received written notification by certified mail 15 days in advance, sent to the mortgagee’s last known address, that the affiant intends to execute and record an affidavit in accordance with this section, enclosing a copy of the proposed affidavit; the mortgagee has not delivered a discharge or acknowledgment of satisfaction in response to the notification; and the mortgagee has failed to dispute payoff of the mortgage.

(b)(c)  The affidavit must include:  the names and addresses of the mortgagor and, the original mortgagee, and the purported mortgagee; the date of the mortgage,; and the book and page number and similar information with respect to the most recent recorded assignment of the mortgage.

(c)(d)  The affiant shall attach to the affidavit the following, certifying that each copy is a true copy of the original document:

(1)  photocopies of the documentary evidence that payment has been received by the purported mortgagee, including the purported mortgagee’s endorsement of a the payoff check, provided that the payor’s account number may be redacted from the copy of the payoff check; and

(2)  a photocopy of the payoff statement received from the purported mortgagee.

(d)(e)  An affidavit recorded under this section has the same effect as discharge under sections 431 section 461, 462, or 463 of this title.

(f)  An attorney‑at‑law who executes and records a discharge of mortgage in accordance with this section shall not be liable to the holder of the mortgage on account of such discharge except in the event of negligence or fraud by the discharging attorney.

Sec. 4.  27 V.S.A. § 470 is added to read:

§ 470.     VALIDATION OF MORTGAGE DISCHARGE ON ONE- TO                                          FOUR-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

(a)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, a mortgage discharge executed on behalf of a banking or lending institution with respect to a mortgage encumbering a one- to four-family residential real property, including a residential unit in a condominium or in a common interest community as defined in Title 27A, that is not valid because it is not executed by or is not issued by or in the name of the record holder of the mortgage, shall be valid as if it had been issued or executed by the record holder of the mortgage if:

(1)  No person has within three years after the discharge is recorded brought an action challenging the validity of the discharge and recorded a copy of the complaint in the land records of the town where the discharge is recorded; and

(2)  An affidavit is recorded that is dated more than three years after the recording date of the mortgage discharge and contains the following:

(A)  A statement that the affiant has been the record owner of the real property described in the mortgage for at least two years prior to the date of the affidavit.

(B)  The recording information for the mortgage, any assignments, and the release.

(C)  A statement that, since the date of the recording of the release, the affiant has received no demand for payment of all or any portion of the debt secured by the mortgage and has received no notice or communication that would indicate that all or any portion of the mortgage debt remains due or owing.

(D)  A statement that, to the best of the affiant’s knowledge and belief, the mortgage has been paid in full.

(b)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to any release obtained by fraud or forgery.

and that, upon passage, the title shall read: “AN ACT RELATING TO discharge of a mortgage by an attorney, ability to convey homestead interest, and VALIDATION OF MORTGAGE DISCHARGES”

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

Sen. John Campbell                                       Rep. Margaret Flory

Sen. Robert Hartwell                                      Rep. Richard Marek

Sen. Vincent Illuzzi                                         Rep. Thomas Koch

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 297

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

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

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 recede from its proposal of amendment and that the bill be further amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4(77) is amended to read:

§ 4.  DEFINITIONS

Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(77)  “Stiff hitch” shall mean a tow bar used by a self-propelled motor vehicle to tow another validly registered self-propelled motor vehicle while all the wheels of the towed vehicle remain in contact with the ground.  The towed vehicle shall not be required to be registered.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 4(78) is added to read:

(78)  An “all-surface vehicle” or “ASV” means any non-highway recreational vehicle, except a snowmobile, when used for cross-country travel on trails or on any one of the following or combination of the following:  land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, and natural terrain.  An all-surface vehicle shall be designed for use both on land and in water, with or without tracks, shall be capable of flotation and shall be equipped with a skid-steering system, a sealed body, a fully contained cooling system, and six or eight tires designed to be inflated with an operating pressure not exceeding 10 pounds per square inch as recommended by the manufacturer.  An all-surface vehicle shall have a net weight of 1,500 pounds or less, shall have a width of 75 inches or less, shall be equipped with an engine of not more than 50 horsepower, and shall have a maximum speed of not more than 25 miles per hour.  An ASV when operated in water shall be considered to be a motor boat and shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 2 of chapter 29 of this title.  An ASV operated anywhere except in water shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 31 of this title. 

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 364b is added to read:

§ 364b.  ALL-SURFACE VEHICLES; REGISTRATION

(a)  The annual fee for registration of an all-surface vehicle (ASV) shall be the sum of the fees established by sections 3305 and 3504 of this title, plus $25.00.

(b)  Evidence of the registration shall be a sticker, as determined by the commissioner, affixed to the plate issued pursuant to chapter 31 of this title.

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 3501(5) is amended to read:

§ 3501.  DEFINITIONS

(5)  “All-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” means any nonhighway recreational vehicle, except snowmobiles, having no less than three low pressure tires (10 pounds per square inch, or less), not wider than 60 inches, and having a dry weight of less than 1,700 pounds, when used for cross-country travel on trails or on any one of the following or a combination thereof: land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, and natural terrain.  An ATV on a public highway shall be considered a motor vehicle, as defined in section 4 of this title, only for the purposes of those offenses listed in subdivisions 2502(a)(1)(H), (N), (R), (U), (Y), (FF), (GG), (II), and (ZZ); (2)(A) and (B); (3)(A), (B), (C), and (D); (4)(A), and (B) and (5) of this title and as provided in section 1201 of this title.  An ATV shall not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF               COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

THE SENATE                                    THE HOUSE

Sen. Phil Scott                                               Rep. Patrick Brennan

Sen. Jane Kitchel                                           Rep. Harry Monti

Sen. Donald Collins                                        Rep. Janice Peaslee

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 283

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

An act relating to managed care organizations and the blueprint for health;

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 SENATE                                    THE HOUSE

Sen. Douglas Racine                                      Rep. Harry Chen

Sen. Virginia Lyons                                        Rep. Virginia Milkey

Sen. Kevin Mullin                                           Rep. Pat O’Donnell

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 350

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

An act relating energy independence and economic prosperity;

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 concur with the House proposals of amendment and that the bill be further amended:

First: in Sec. 3a, amending 10 V.S.A. § 578, by striking subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(b)  Climate change action plan Vermont climate collaborative.  The secretary will coordinate with the governor's commission on climate change established by executive order and will consult with any interested members of Vermont's participate in the Vermont climate collaborative, a collaboration between state government and Vermont’s higher education, business, agricultural, labor, and environmental communities in developing a climate change action plan.  Wherever possible, members of the collaborative shall be included among the membership of the program development working groups established by the climate change oversight committee created under this act.  State entities shall cooperate with the climate change oversight committee in pursuing the priorities identified by the committee.  The secretary shall notify each member of the general assembly of the development of this plan and of the general public that the collaborative is developing greenhouse gas reduction programs and shall provide meaningful opportunity for public comment on program developmentThis plan Programs shall be developed in a manner that implements state energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a.  Not later than September 1, 2007, the secretary shall present this plan to the committees of the general assembly having jurisdiction over matters relating to the environment, agriculture, energy, transportation, commerce, and public health.

Second: in Sec. 3a, amending 10 V.S.A. § 578, in subsection (d), before the period at the end of the first complete sentence, by inserting the following: “, including those caused by transportation, heating, cooling, and ventilation

Third: in Sec. 4, amending 10 V.S.A. § 580, by adding a new subsection to read:

(f) Participation by government subdivisions.  The state and its municipalities may participate in the inventory for purposes of registering reductions associated with their programs, direct activities, or efforts, including the registration of emission  reductions associated with the stationary and mobile sources they own, lease, or operate.

Fourth: by adding a new Sec. 13b to read:

Sec. 13b.   30 V.S.A. § 255(f) is added to read:

(f) The state’s negotiators to RGGI shall advocate for and negotiate to adjust the rules of the program, as needed, so that greenhouse gas reductions resulting from state investments and other public investments and investments required by state law will not be prohibited from being eligible for off-sets under the program.

Fifth:  in Sec. 14, establishing a Vermont climate change oversight committee, by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

(c)  The primary mission of the committee shall be to consider the recommendations of the governor’s commission on climate change and its plenary group and the recommendations of the Vermont council on rural development and to delegate and oversee program development by appropriate working groups that shall make recommendations with regard to how climate change issues should best be addressed in statute and as part of the climate change action plan.  Membership of the working groups shall include members of the Vermont climate collaborative, wherever possible.  The working groups shall develop recommendations that shall be designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that are permanent, quantifiable, and verifiable, and shall bring those recommendations back to the climate change oversight committee.  The committee shall assure that these recommendations:

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

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

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

(4)  identify resource needs and funding options; and

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

And by striking subsection (e) and adding the following:

(e)  The committee shall present a preliminary report to the committees of the general assembly having jurisdiction over matters relating to the environment, agriculture, energy, transportation, commerce, and public health by January 30, 2009, and shall deliver a final report by January 30, 2010.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF    COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

 THE SENATE                                              THE HOUSE

Sen. Virginia Lyons                                        Rep. Margaret Cheney

Sen. Mark McDonald                                    Rep. Kathy Lavoie

Sen. Robert Hartwell                                      Rep. Mark B. Mitchell

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 364

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

An act relating to comprehensive vertical audit and reliability assessment of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant;

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’s proposal of amendment, and that the bill be further amended, in Sec. 6, in subsection (a), in the second sentence, before the word “five”, by inserting the words “three to”; and by striking subsections (1) and (2) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(1) The speaker of the house, the president pro tem of the senate, and the governor, shall each appoint one member; and

(2) The three members appointed pursuant to subsection (1) may select one or two additional members.

COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF               COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

THE SENATE                                    THE HOUSE

Sen. Ann Cummings                                       Rep. Tony Klein

Sen. Mark McDonald                                    Rep. Robert Dostis

Sen. William Carris                                        Rep. Sarah Edwards

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

Bills and Joint Resolution Messaged to Senate Forthwith

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

S. 171

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to discharge of a mortgage by an attorney;

S. 283

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to managed care organizations and the blueprint for health;

S. 290

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to agricultural water quality;

S. 297

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 350

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating energy independence and economic prosperity;

S. 364

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to comprehensive vertical audit and reliability assessment of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant;

J.R.H. 49

Joint resolution, entitled

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

Message from the Senate No. 71

     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 of the following title:

S. 152.  An act relating to prevention of lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products.

And has concurred therein.

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. 353.  An act relating to employee free choice for bargaining representative.

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

          Senator Illuzzi

          Senator Condos

          Senator Shumlin

The Senate has considered the reports of the Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate bills of the following titles:

S. 114.  An act relating to enhancing mental health parity.

S. 342.  An act relating to Lake Champlain commemorative motor vehicle plates.

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

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

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

Message from Governor

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

Madam Speaker:

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

H. 664.   An act relating to unemployment insurance.

Message from Governor

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

Madam Speaker:

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

H. 338    An act relating to state purchasing of apparel, footwear of                                                     textiles.

Message from Governor

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

Madam Speaker:

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

H. 775    An act relating to low-profit limited liability companies.

Recess

At eleven o’clock and ten minutes in the forenoon, the Speaker declared a recess until the fall of the gavel.

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

Speaker Symington back in Chair.

Message from the Senate No. 72

     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 of the following title:

S. 244.  An act relating to self-storage facilities.

And has concurred therein.

The Senate has considered the reports of the Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate bills of the following titles:

S. 283.  An act relating to the managed care organizations and the blueprint for health.

S. 350.  An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

The Senate has considered the reports of the Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bills of the following titles:

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

H. 636.  An act relating to embezzlement by a public official.

H. 709.  An act relating to campgrounds.

H. 865.  An act relating to Vermont Milk Commission.

H. 870.  An act relating to the regulations and professions and occupations.

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

 

 

Member Replaced on Committee of Conference

H. 617

The Speaker announced that she has appointed Rep. Jewett of Ripton to replace Rep. Pellett of Chester on the Committee of Conference on House bill, entitled

An act relating to guardianships.

Member Replaced on Committee of Conference

H. 11

The Speaker announced that she has appointed Rep. Pugh of South Burlington to replace Rep. Donahue of Northfield on the Committee of Conference on House bill, entitled

An act relating to the commissioner of health.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 301

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland,  the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

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

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 recede from its proposals of amendment, and that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 1028 is amended to read:

§ 1028.  ASSAULT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER,                                  EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL, OR EMERGENCY

               MEDICAL PERSONNEL MEMBER; ASSAULT WITH BODILY

               FLUIDS

(a)  A person convicted of a simple or aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency room personnel, or member of emergency services personnel as defined in subdivision 2651(6) of Title 24 while the officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel member is performing a lawful duty, in addition to any other penalties imposed under sections 1023 and 1024 of this title, shall:

(1)  For the first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year;

(2)  For the second offense and subsequent offenses, be imprisoned not more than ten years.

(b)(1)  No person shall intentionally cause blood, vomitus, excrement, mucus, saliva, semen, or urine to come in contact with a law enforcement officer while the officer is performing a lawful duty. 

(2)  A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

and that, upon passage, the title shall read: “AN ACT RELATING TO ASSAULT OF EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL AND TO ASSAULTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WITH BODILY FLUIDS”

CONNITTEE ON THE PART OF               COMMITTEE ON THE PART OF

THE SENATE                                    THE HOUSE

SEN. KEVIN MULLIN                                REP. AVIS GERVAIS

SEN. JOHN CAMPBELL                            REP. ANDREW DONAGHY

SEN. ALICE NITKA                                    REP. KATHY PELLETT

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Adopted

S. 311

Pending entrance of the bill on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Rep. Adams of Hartland,  the rules were suspended and Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use value appraisal program;

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 the bill respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends hat the Senate accede to the House proposal of amendment with further amendment to read as follows:

First:  In Sec. 11, ELECTRONIC COORDINATION PROJECT AND REPORT, in the third sentence,  after “parts of the project” by adding “to implement electronic coordination by July, 1, 2010, and by striking the last sentence and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

The report shall document consistent, useful, and verifiable information on what the project will consist of and the costs involved.  The report shall determine what additional funds are needed to accomplish the appropriate levels of program coordination by July 1, 2010.  The report shall analyze different funding options, including a one-time or time-limited administrative fee based on a per-parcel, per-acre, or other basis and make a recommendation on how to fund the proposed budget for coordination.  The report shall also analyze the historical use of the free opt-out when the program is changed by the legislature.

Second:  In Sec. 12, OUTREACH EDUCATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM, in subdivision (a)(2)(A) at the end, before the semicolon, by adding “, including whether the definitions should enable the enrollment of the farm buildings of animal and crop operations that do not qualify for the program under the existing definitions”, in subdivision (a)(2)(B), after “use” by inserting “or restrictions on the use”, and at the end, before the semicolon, by adding “, including hunting, fishing, other recreational activities and posting

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

SEN. CLAIRE AYER                                   REP. DAVID DEEN

SEN. HULL MAYNARD                             REP. ALISON CLARKSON

SEN. MARK MACDONALD                      REP. PHILIP WINTERS

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

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. 301

Senate bill, entitled

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

S. 311

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to the use value appraisal program;

Third Reading; Bill Passed in Concurrence

With Proposal of Amendment; Rules Suspended and

Bill Messaged to Senate Forthwith

S. 358

Senate bill, entitled

An act relating to enhanced driver licenses;

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

By striking Secs. 10 – 18 and by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct.

Which was agreed to.

Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Donahue of Northfield moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

First: By amending Sec. 6 to read:

Sec. 6.  REPEAL

The following in Title 23 are is  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).

23 V.S.A. § 7(e) (commissioner reporting on costs of enhanced license) is repealed on June 30, 2011.

Second: By striking sections 7 and 8

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

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A. § 618 is amended to read:

§ 618. ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT; DONOR; FORM

The commissioner shall provide on the reverse side of each operator's license a form which, when executed by the holder of the license, shall serve as a document of an anatomical gift by the holder of the license under chapter 109 of Title 18.

Third: By adding a new Sec. 8. to read:

Sec. 8.  23 V.S.A. § 4111(a)(10) is amended to read:

10) A form, which when executed by the holder of the license, shall serve as  An indicator for a holder who has executed a document that serves as of an anatomical gift by the holder of the license.

     Which was agreed to.

     Pending third reading of the bill, Reps. McCullough of Williston, Ainsworth of South Royalton, Davis of Washington, Donahue of Northfield, Milkey of Brattleboro, Pearson of Burlington, Stevens of Shoreham, and Winters of Williamstown moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

By striking Sec. 1 and Sec. 2 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 7 is added to read: 
§ 7.  ENHANCED DRIVER LICENSE; MAINTENANCE OF DATABASE 
        INFORMATION; FEE
(a)  Any additional personal identity information not currently contained on the operator’s license, commercial driver’s license, junior operator’s license, or nondriver identification card shall need the approval of either the general assembly or the legislative committee on administration rules prior to the implementation of the requirements.
(b)  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.

Sec. 2.  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. 

     Which was disagreed to.

     Pending third reading of the bill, Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier moved to amend the House proposal of amendment as follows:

     In Sec. 3, in 23  V.S.A. §7(c), in the second sentence, after the word “purposes”, by inserting the following: “or for the prevention of fraud or abuse or other criminal conduct”.

     Which was agreed to.

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

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

Action on Bill Postponed

H. 402

House bill, entitled

An act relating to recapture of health insurance;

Was taken up and pending the question, Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment?, on motion of Rep. Sweaney of Windsor, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Morrissey of Bennington, the following remarks by Rep. Lavoie of Swanton were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker:

     It has already been an emotional day. This always happens at this time of year, even while we know that behind the scenes actions are being taken and decisions are being made that we will soon take battle over here on the Floor. To add to the emotion, I rise to thank the member from Waterbury. The story he just told about growing up with hunger, I have heard him tell before. I thank him for sharing it. Over my 8 years here, I have heard the personal stories of many of you, just as you have heard mine. It is the beauty of being a true citizen’s legislature.

     The pain of growing up hungry that the member from Waterbury experienced, I’m sure can never be taken away. However, I wonder if he hadn’t experienced it, would we have him as a leader in this body fighting to end hunger in the State of Vermont. I think not. I am thankful for his presence and his leadership on this issue. I know that by feeding our kids’ bellies, we feed their minds. My family and I have always been committed to our community, but it is because of the member’s story that we have a new commitment toward making sure that the kids in our community have the clothes and the food they need to survive.

     The real life stories and experiences of this body have not only motivated me politically, but more importantly, they have motivated me personally. As I end my career in this House, it is these stories that I will take back to my community to make real life changes. I am grateful to all of you for sharing your stories; it is this that I will miss the most. Thank you.”

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.  68

Joint resolution requesting that all financial institutions, insurance companies, health care facilities, public service board regulated utilities, and public water systems refrain temporarily from increasing any consumer costs

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski of Rockingham and Botzow of Pownal

Whereas, in the last six months, Vermonters have experienced a severe upturn in the price of essential commodities including fuel and food, and

Whereas, health care prices also continue to rise precipitously, and

Whereas, these cost increases are forcing Vermonters to choose between paying for gasoline to drive to work or putting food on the table, and

Whereas, if financial institutions, insurance companies, health care facilities, public service board regulated utilities—including electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, cable television, and private water companies—and the public water systems which are not under public service board jurisdiction would delay for the next 12 months any increase in the cost of their services for the consumer, it would greatly assist Vermonters’ ability to navigate through this difficult economic period, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the general assembly requests that financial institutions, insurance companies, health care facilities, public service board regulated utilities, and public water systems voluntarily delay until May 1, 2009, any increase in the cost of their services for the consumer, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be requested to post this resolution on the website of its corporations division.

Remarks Journalized

On motion of Rep. Peaslee of Guildhall, the following remarks by Rep. Wheeler of Derby were ordered printed in the Journal:

“Madam Speaker:

     While many of us knew for years in advance that some day we'd run for the Vermont House. Others, such as myself, literally stumbled into our seats.  Never in my imagination did I think I'd serve in this body.

     To make a long story short, my journey began when I was writing about how the Northeast Kingdom got its name. I couldn't write about it without talking to Lola Aiken, the widow of the late great governor turned U.S. Senator, George Aiken – the man who coined the name. In my opinion, Lola has one of the greatest political minds in the state.

     Well before long my interviews of her turned into her trying to convince me to run for the House.

     One thing lead to another and the voters elected me to office. I remember my first day under the gold dome. After a long ride from the Kingdom I hunted for a bathroom. Walking in I found this jovial disheveled fellow standing in front of the mirror laughing as he struggled with his shirt and tie – Is this really a legislator I remember thinking? Little did I know that this man would  he become one of my very good  friends in the State House.  The man I am talking about is Representative Jim Fitzgerald.    While Jim, who is known by many of us as “Fitz” is known for his keen, sometime offbeat sense of humor, we have also watched how seriously he takes his job. Last year we, and media watchers, even had the chance to watch him in the news walk over a hot bed of coals.

     One thing many people don't know about Fitz is this isn't the first time he has been a freshman – he has been a freshman two other times. He was elected to his first term in 1969, when I was four years old. He stepped out of the house for a time before being elected yet again. After his second term as a freshman he decided to go on a vacation from the state house and stick to serving in a variety of other positions, including mayor of St. Albans.

     Fitz is fond of telling me that, yes, he is a Democrat, but not any Democrat, he is a Franklin County Democrat, one that doesn't always vote with the larger wing of the party. He prides himself on voting his mind, a trait that I appreciate. However, when he had almost decided to run for another term come fall his decision was quickly vetoed, not by the governor, but by somebody far more powerful – his beloved wife, Ester.

     So next year those of us who decide to run again for office, and who survive the race, come next winter as we tackle the needs of the state we won't have Fitz amongst us. He'll be suffering away in the Florida sun looking to start a new chapter of his life - as an alligator wrestler, the Vermont version of the crocodile hunter.

     Thank you Fitz for being a friend and an outstanding legislator. And thank you to the rest of you for being an important part of my life for the last two years. Just maybe I'll join you again next year.”

Message from the Senate No. 73

     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 the reports of the Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate bills of the following titles:

S. 171.  An act relating to discharge of a mortgage by an attorney.

S. 290.  An act relating to agricultural water quality financing.

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

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

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

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

And has accepted and adopted the same on its part.

Message from the Senate No. 74

     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 bill originating in the House of the following title:

H. 267.  An act relating to industrial hemp.

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

Adjournment

At five o’clock and thirty minutes in the evening, 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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The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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