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Journal of the Senate

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Senate was called to order by the President pro tempore.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Mary Mansfield of Middlesex.

Bills Introduced

Senate bills of the following titles were severally introduced, read the first time and referred:

S. 42.

By Senators Kitchel, Cummings and Doyle,

An act relating to use value enrollment of municipal watershed land.

To the Committee on Finance.

S. 43.

By Senators Sears and Hartwell,

An act relating to an appropriation for the selection and provision of a national Christmas tree.

To the Committee on Appropriations.

S. 44.

By Senators Miller, Condos, Doyle, Illuzzi, MacDonald, McCormack and Snelling,

An act relating to establishing a Vermont common assets trust.

To the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

Proposed Amendments to the Constitution Introduced

The Proposed Amendment to the Constitution of the State of Vermont designated as Proposal 1 was introduced, read the first time and referred:

PROPOSAL 1

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide for an organizational session of the Vermont General Assembly on the first Wednesday in December following each general election for the exclusive purposes of organization, swearing in of members, and selection of officers.

Sec. 2.  Section 7 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 7.  [ORGANIZATIONAL AND BIENNIAL SESSIONS]

On the first Wednesday in December following each general election, the General Assembly shall meet for an organizational session for the exclusive purposes of organization, swearing in of members, and selection of officers.

The General Assembly shall meet biennially, for the commencement of a biennial session, on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, beginning in A.D. 1915.

Sec. 3.  Section 17 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 17.  [OATH OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The Representatives having met on the day appointed by law for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, and chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oath prescribed in the foregoing section oaths:

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help you God.  (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.  The words "office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress" shall be construed to mean any office created directly or indirectly by Congress, and for which emolument is provided from the Treasury of the United States, other than that of a member of the commissioned or enlisted personnel in the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States while not on extended active duty.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.  So help you God. (Or in the case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof.  So help you God. (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

Sec. 4.  Section 46 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 46.  [TERMS OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The term of office of Senators and Representatives shall be two years, commencing on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January in December following their election.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

Chapter II § 16 of the Vermont Constitution (oath for members of the House of Representatives) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITION

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.  The term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2010 shall terminate on the first Tuesday of December 2002, and the term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2012 shall convene on the first Wednesday in December 2012.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

The Proposed Amendment to the Constitution of the State of Vermont designated as Proposal 2 was introduced, read the first time and referred:

PROPOSAL 2

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide that the term of office for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, and Attorney General be four years, beginning with the term commencing after the general election in November 2012.

Sec. 2.  Section 43 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 43.  [BIENNIAL ELECTIONS]

The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, Senators, Town Representatives, Assistant Judges of the County Court, Sheriffs, High Bailiffs, State's Attorneys, Judges of Probate and Justices of the Peace, and Attorney General shall be elected biennially every four years on the first Tuesday next after the first Monday of November, beginning in A.D. 1914 2012.  State Senators, State Representatives, Assistant Judges of the County Court, Sheriffs, High Bailiffs, State’s Attorneys, Judges of Probate, and Justices of the Peace shall be elected biennially on the first Tuesday next after the first Monday of November, beginning in A.D. 2010.

Sec. 3.  Section 47 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 47.  [ELECTION OF GOVERNOR, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, AND TREASURER]

The voters of each town shall, on the day of election for choosing Representatives to attend the General Assembly, bring in, cast their votes for Governor, with the name fairly written, to the Constable, who shall seal them up, and write on them, Votes for Governor, and deliver them to the Representatives chosen to attend the General Assembly; and at.  At the opening of the General Assembly, there shall be a committee appointed out of the Senate and House of Representatives, who, after being duly sworn to the faithful discharge of their trust, shall proceed to receive, sort, and count the votes for Governor, and declare the person who has the major part of the votes, to be Governor for the two years ensuing term.  The Lieutenant-Governor and the Treasurer shall be chosen in the manner above directed.

The votes for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and Treasurer, of the State, shall be sorted and counted, and the result declared, by a committee appointed by the Senate and House of Representatives.

If, at any time, there shall be no election, of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Treasurer, of the State, the Senate and House of Representatives shall by a joint ballot, elect to fill the office, not filled as aforesaid, one of the three candidates for such office (if there be so many) for whom the greatest number of votes shall have been returned.

Sec. 4.  Section 49 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 49.  [TERM OF GOVERNOR, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR AND, TREASURER, SECRETARY OF STATE, AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS, AND ATTORNEY GENERAL]

The term of office of the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, and Attorney General of the State, respectively, shall commence when they shall be chosen and qualified, and shall continue for the term of two four years, or until their successors shall be chosen and qualified, or to the adjournment of the session of the Legislature at which, by the Constitution and laws, their successors are required to be chosen, and not after such adjournment.

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Once ratified and adopted by the people of this state in accordance with the provisions of chapter 32 of Title 17, the provisions of this amendment shall become a part of the Vermont Constitution as of the first Tuesday next after the first Monday of November 2012.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

Senate Resolution Referred

S.R. 6.

Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read the first time and is as follows:

     By Senator Mullin,

     S.R. 6.  Senate resolution urging local school districts and supervisory unions to allocate 65 percent or more of their budgets to direct classroom expenditures.

Whereas, Vermont’s public education system is the cornerstone of our future economic development, and Vermont should endeavor to provide the best education for the next generation of our state’s citizens, and

Whereas, the cost of public education in Vermont now exceeds $1.2 billion, and per-pupil spending exceeds $12,000.00 for the current fiscal year, and

Whereas, although there are basic administrative costs associated with public education, these costs have grown faster than the rate of inflation and have contributed significantly to the rapid increases in education costs, and

Whereas, a recently established organization, First Class Education for Vermont (FCEVT), has proposed a 65-percent solution, meaning that a minimum of a local school district’s or supervisory union’s budget would be allocated to direct classroom instruction, including teacher salaries and

benefits, classroom aide salaries and benefits, instructional materials, including textbooks and classroom equipment including computers, and funding for art, music, and athletic equipment, and

Whereas, the 65-percent figure is premised on the Vermont Department of Education’s direct instruction column of Table 5 of the summary of statistical reports of secondary schools, and

Whereas, according to the department, the current statewide average for the allocation of local school districts’ and supervisory unions’ budgets to direct classroom instruction has shown a steady decline from 65 percent to approximately 61 percent in recent years, and

Whereas, critics of the 65-percent solution have raised a false alarm that specified expenditures that are not categorized as direct classroom costs would suffer under this proposal when, in reality, over $400 million statewide would be allocated for these important services, and

Whereas, despite reports to the contrary, the 65-percent solution has strong bipartisan support and strong support from parents on a national basis, and

Whereas, even in school districts already close to the 65-percent direct classroom expenditure level, this proposal can help school board members by providing a valuable benchmark they can use to scrutinize proposals for additional staff, and

Whereas, the 65-percent solution is not a state mandate but a sensible policy proposal that school board members and voters should examine before voting on school budgets for the 2007–2008 school year, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges local school districts and supervisory unions to allocate at least 65 percent of their budgets to direct classroom expenditures for the 2007–2008 school year, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the State Board of Education, the Vermont School Boards Association, the Vermont Principals’ Association, the Vermont Superintendents’ Association, the Vermont NEA, the chairs of all Vermont school boards, and First Class Education for Vermont.

Thereupon, the President, in his discretion, treated the resolution as a bill and referred it to the Committee on Education.

Senate Resolution Placed on Calendar

S.R. 7.

Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read the first time and is as follows:

   By Senators Doyle, Campbell, Carris, Maynard, McCormack, Mullin and Nitka,

     S.R. 7.  Senate resolution in support of the Crown Point Road Association's application to the National Park Service to list two segments of the Crown Point Road on the National register of Historic Places.

Whereas, in the summer of 1759, during the French and Indian War, British General Jeffrey Amherst ordered the construction of a new 77-mile-long military road (the Crown Point Road), following an existing Indian trail, to bring supplies from Fort Number 4 (Charlestown, New Hampshire) on the Connecticut River to Crown Point on Lake Champlain’s western shore for use in a campaign against French-controlled Montreal, and

Whereas, two large construction parties worked intensively until winter’s harshness forced them to suspend their work until the spring of 1760, and

Whereas, although the road might be considered a primitive path by today’s standards, it became a major military support thoroughfare for the balance of the French and Indian War and later during the American Revolutionary War, and

Whereas, during the early decades of Vermont statehood, the Crown Point Road was a major commercial connector between the eastern and western sides of the state, and its presence served as the impetus for the development of towns along its right-of-way, and

Whereas, by the middle of the 19th century, the Crown Point Road was abandoned in many sections as more modern highways and railways assumed this pioneer thoroughfare’s commercial role, and

Whereas, during the years 1909–1914, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a series of granite markers along the road, and a number of towns along the route initiated supplementary marker projects, and

Whereas, in 1958, the Crown Point Road Association (CPRA) was established and started a marker restoration program, and since then it has published an annotated and illustrated guide to the markers, and

Whereas, in 1996, Congress directed the National Park Service to conduct a comprehensive Revolutionary War and War of 1812 historic preservation site review that identified the Crown Point Road as a location worthy of further study, and

Whereas, in 2000, the Vermont Agency of Transportation awarded the CPRA an enhancement grant to study the feasibility of listing the Crown Point Road on the National Register of Historic Places, and

Whereas, after an in‑depth analysis of the best method for preserving the entire Crown Point road corridor, the CPRA has submitted an application to the National Park Service to list two segments of the Crown Point Road, located in the former New York grant town of Socialborough, on the National Register of Historic Places, and

Whereas, the Socialborough South Line to Otter Creek Crossing Road segment extends for 1.25 miles in the modern town of Clarendon “between the south line of the former New York grant of the Socialborough [107 feet southeast of the intersection of Creek Road and Horton Road] and an historic Otter Creek crossing [the creek’s western bank],” and

Whereas, this segment is located entirely on agricultural fields, and the National Register designation would not necessitate any alterations to the land, and

Whereas, the Stevens Site South Road segment extends for 0.5 mile in the modern town of Proctor and “begins 900 feet northwest of the Gorham Bridge and follows (in a southerly direction) the edge of the 480–580 foot-high terrace that is generally consistent with modern topographic map contours,” and  

Whereas, the Stevens Site South Road segment now “appears as a well‑worn woods road,” and as with the Socialborough South Line to Otter Creek Crossing Road segment, National Register designation would not necessitate any alterations to the land, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges the National Park Service to act favorably on the Crown Point Road Association’s application to list each of two of the Crown Point Road segments described in this resolution on the National Register of Historic Places, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Elaine Purdy, president of the Crown Point Road Association, to Kathleen Callum and Robert Sloma at Geoarch Inc. in Leicester, to the Vermont Division Of Historic Preservation, to Secretary of Transportation Neale Lunderville, to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., and to the members of the Vermont Congressional delegation.

Thereupon, in the discretion of the President, under Rule 51, the resolution was placed on the Calendar for action the next legislative day.

Message from the House No. 9

     A message was received from the House of Representatives by Ms. Wrask, its Second Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has considered a joint resolution originating in the Senate of the following title:

J.R.S. 9.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

Senate Concurrent Resolutions

     The following joint concurrent resolutions, having been placed on the consent calendar on the preceding legislative day, and no Senator having requested floor consideration as provided by the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, are hereby adopted on the part of the Senate:

   By Senators Kitchel, Coppenrath and MacDonald,

     By Representative Otterman,

S.C.R. 1.

Senate concurrent resolution honoring David "Dave" and Dorothy Stevens of Wells River.

   By Senators Kitchel, Coppenrath and MacDonald,

     By Representative Otterman,

S.C.R. 2.

Senate concurrent resolution honoring Dr. Harry Rowe of Wells River for his six decades of outstanding service as a family physician.

     [The full text of the Senate concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, January 18, 2007, and, if adopted in concurrence by the House, will appear in the volume of the Public Acts and Resolves to be published for this session of the sixty-ninth biennial session of the Vermont General Assembly.

House Concurrent Resolutions

     The following joint concurrent resolutions having been placed on the consent calendar on the preceding legislative day, and no Senator having requested floor consideration as provided by the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, are hereby adopted in concurrence:

H.C.R.  16.

House concurrent resolution honoring Allison Hicks for her self-initiated campaign to prevent and eradicate cervical cancer in Vermont.                

Offered by:  Representative Barnard and others

H.C.R.  17

House concurrent resolution in memory of the American military personnel who have died in the service of their nation in Iraq from December 20, 2005 to December 29, 2006

Offered by:  Representative Obuchowski

H.C.R.  18

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Norwich Women’s Club on its centennial anniversary

Offered by: Representative Cheney and others

Offered by:  Senators Campbell, McCormack, and Nitka

H.C.R.  19

House concurrent resolution honoring Norwich fire chief Howard D. “Jack” Fraser for his half century of outstanding local, state, and national public service

Offered by:  Representative Cheney and others

Offered by:  Senators Campbell, McCormack, and Nitka

H.C.R.  20

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2006 Woodstock Union High School Wasps Division III championship football team

Offered by:  Representative Clarkson

Offered by:  Senators Campbell, McCormack and Nitka

H.C.R.  21

House concurrent resolution in memory of United States Army Colonel (Ret.) and former Vermont state historian John A. Williams of Colchester

Offered by: Representative McCullough and others

Offered by:  Senators Condos, Lyons and Racine

     [The full text of the House concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, January 18, 2007, and will appear in the volume of the Public Acts and Resolves to be published for this session of the sixty-ninth biennial session of the Vermont General Assembly.]

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Mazza, the Senate adjourned, to reconvene on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at ten o’clock in the forenoon pursuant to J.R.S. 9.

 

 



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The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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