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Journal of the Senate

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Friday, March 2, 2007

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

A moment of silence was observed in lieu of devotions.

Message from the House No. 27

     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 passed bills of the following titles:

     H. 334.  An act relating to restitution.

     H. 357.  An act relating to registration of lobbyists.

     H. 360.  An act relating to employment protection and training period for Vermont National Guard members.

     H. 368.  An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations.

H. 405.  An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

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

The House has considered a bill originating in the Senate of the following title:

S. 83.  An act relating to delinquent tax penalties.

And has passed the same in concurrence.

The House has adopted a joint resolution of the following title:

J.R.H. 17.  Joint resolution relating to legislative approval for purchase of equipment for Amtrak Vermont services.

In the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

Bills Introduced

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

S. 168.

By Senator Illuzzi,

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

To the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 169.

By Senators Campbell and Illuzzi,

An act relating to civil violations for animal cruelty.

To the Committee on Judiciary.

Bills Referred

House bills of the following titles were severally read the first time and referred:

H. 334.

An act relating to restitution.

To the Committee on Judiciary.

H. 357.

An act relating to registration of lobbyists.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 360.

An act relating to employment protection and training period for Vermont National Guard members.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 368.

An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 405.

An act relating to capital construction and state bonding.

To the Committee on Institutions.


Joint Resolution Referred

J.R.H. 17.

Joint resolution originating in the House of the following title was read the first time and is as follows:

Joint resolution relating to legislative approval for purchase of equipment for Amtrak Vermont services.

Whereas, Vermont faces significantly escalating costs of continuing the existing state-sponsored Amtrak services, and

Whereas, the administration’s proposal to purchase new equipment to be used in a demonstration project for a reconfigured Vermonter service will lower the long-term costs of continuing the Amtrak services as well as afford the state flexibility in responding to changing travel demand, and

Whereas, in Sec. 20 of No. 175 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), the general assembly directed the Vermont agency of transportation not to purchase, contract for construction, or otherwise contract for the use of any railroad locomotion or rolling stock equipment intended for use in connection with Amtrak services without the approval of the general assembly, and

Whereas, Amtrak is prepared to enter into a three-year demonstration project to deliver rail passenger service on the “Vermonter” route between New Haven, CT and St. Albans, VT, utilizing diesel multiple unit (DMU) equipment, and

Whereas, Amtrak completed an exhaustive competitive procurement process in 2003 that resulted in the selection of Colorado Rail Car and Vermont intends to utilize the results of that procurement process, and

Whereas, $17.5 million in financing for this demonstration project is available to the state of Vermont through the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and

Whereas, Amtrak is prepared to provide a grant of $2 million to assist the state of Vermont with certain costs related to the demonstration project, including transition costs, maintenance facilities, marketing, engineering oversight, and service improvements for Vermont stations, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly approves the state of Vermont’s purchase, through the agency of transportation, of five Colorado Rail Car units, consisting of three motorized units and two passenger cars to be used for one trip per day in each direction in the state for the demonstration project, subject to the following conditions:

(1)  The DMU equipment selected by Amtrak through a competitive procurement process in 2003 must be utilized;

(2)  The purchase contract entered into with Colorado Rail Car shall include an option to purchase future equipment and the option shall include pricing protections;

(3)  The DMU equipment must meet or exceed FRA current structural safety requirements; 

(4)  The DMU equipment must comply with accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);

(5)  Financing for the demonstration project must be available under the FRA’s RRIF program;

(6)  The vendor of the DMU equipment must agree, should the state of Vermont determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful, to act as the state’s agent to sell the DMU equipment at a minimum of 90 percent of the purchase price and, should the DMU equipment not sell within one year, to purchase the DMU equipment back at 90 percent of the purchase price; and

(7)  The contract for construction and purchase of the DMU equipment must be approved by the state treasurer and include financial guarantees to assure successful manufacture and delivery of the DMU equipment, as well as performance of the vendor’s undertakings to sell or buy back the DMU equipment, should the state determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful, and be it further

Resolved:  That the trains authorized by this joint resolution shall stop in Connecticut only in Hartford and New Haven, unless other stops have an annual volume of 20,000 or more passengers, or unless Connecticut contributes toward the costs of additional stops, and be it further

Resolved:  That if an agreement is reached with any other states to contribute to additional Connecticut stops, the agency of transportation is directed to report to the house and senate committees on transportation if the general assembly is in session, or, if not in session, to the joint transportation oversight committee, and be it further

Resolved:  That the agency of transportation is directed to enter into discussions with the other northeastern states, principally Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, regarding cost sharing for Amtrak service, scheduling, and route selections, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of transportation is directed to develop a plan for successful marketing and management of the new Amtrak passenger service by January 15, 2008, and is further directed to assemble a group to coordinate all modes of public and private transportation relating to passenger train travel in the state, including discussions regarding scheduling and route selections.  This group shall consult with the Vermont rail council and its sub group.  The group shall consist of a member from each of the following:  the rail division of the agency of transportation, the Vermont public transit association, the Vermont truck and bus association, the Vermont rail council, the Vermont department of tourism and marketing, the Vermont ski area association, and the Vermont league of cities and towns, and be it further

Resolved:  That the agency of transportation is directed to review the final contracts with Amtrak and Colorado Rail Car prior to their execution, with the house and senate committees on transportation, and be it further

Resolved:  That the agency of transportation is directed to present the management and marketing plan to the house and senate committees on transportation, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Neale Lunderville, secretary of the agency of transportation.       

Thereupon, in the discretion of the President, under Rule 51, the joint resolution was treated as a bill and referred to the Committee on Transportation.

Consideration Postponed

Senate bills entitled:

S. 116.

An act relating to miscellaneous election law amendments.

S. 128.

An act relating to eliminating certain sunsets on forensic examinations at designated hospitals.

Were taken up.

Thereupon, without objection consideration of the bills was postponed until the next legislative day.

Message from the House No. 28

     A message was received from the House of Representatives by William M. MaGill, its First Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

     I am directed to inform the Senate the House has adopted concurrent resolutions of the following titles:

     H.C.R. 48.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Ernie Farrar on his 40th anniversary of broadcasting on WVMT radio.

     H.C.R. 49.  House concurrent resolution honoring Carole Lechthaler on her retirement as the outstanding area director of the central region of the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire.

     H.C.R. 50.  House concurrent resolution honoring Pat Richardson for her dedicated public service in the town of Hartland.

     H.C.R. 51.  House concurrent resolution honoring former Representative and retiring Sergeant-at-Arms Kermit Spaulding of Stowe for his outstanding public service on behalf of all Vermonters.

     H.C.R. 52.  House concurrent resolution honoring the Wallingford Locker and its owners, Paul and Justin Courcelle.

     H.C.R. 53.  House concurrent resolution honoring the community spirit of the Rutland city fire department.

     H.C.R. 54.  House concurrent resolution honoring J. Douglas Webb for his life of community service in the town of Fairfax and in Franklin County.

     H.C.R. 55.  House concurrent resolution in memory of Lance Cpl. Kurt Edward Dechen of Springfield.

     H.C.R. 56.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Jeremy Russo of Rupert on his designation as a national Outstanding Young Farmer semifinalist.

     H.C.R. 57.  House concurrent resolution in memory of John D. Flory Jr.

     H.C.R. 58.  House concurrent resolution honoring Alice Sturgeon for her community service in Georgia.

     H.C.R. 59.  House concurrent resolution honoring Arlo Sterner for his outstanding public service in Lamoille County and in the towns of Morrisville and Wolcott.

     H.C.R. 60.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce on its 50th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 61.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Norwich University ice hockey coach Michael McShane on his 500th collegiate victory.

     H.C.R. 62.  House concurrent resolution honoring Mary Lou Raymo for her superb public service in the town of Dover.

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

     S.C.R. 11.  Senate concurrent resolution honoring Marcia McGlynn for her public service on behalf of the town of Woodbury.

Senate Concurrent Resolution

     The following joint concurrent resolution, 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, is hereby adopted on the part of the Senate:

By Senators Doyle, Cummings and Scott,

By Representative Peltz and others,

S.C.R. 11.

     Senate concurrent resolution honoring Marcia McGlynn for her public service on behalf of the town of Woodbury.

     [The full text of the Senate concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, March 1, 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.  48.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Ernie Farrar on his 40th anniversary of broadcasting on WVMT radio.

Offered by:  Representative Keenan and others

Offered by:  Senator Mazza, Collins and Kittell


H.C.R.  49

House concurrent resolution honoring Carole Lechthaler on her retirement as the outstanding area director of the central region of the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Offered by:  Representative Hube and others

Offered by:  Senators Campbell, McCormack and Nitka

H.C.R.  50.

House concurrent resolution honoring Pat Richardson for her dedicated public service in the town of Hartland.

Offered by:  Representative Adams of Hartland

H.C.R.  51.

House concurrent resolution honoring former Representative and retiring Sergeant-at-Arms Kermit Spaulding of Stowe for his outstanding public service on behalf of all Vermonters.

Offered by:  Representative Brooks and others

H.C.R.  52.

House concurrent resolution honoring the Wallingford Locker and its owners, Paul and Justin Courcelle.

Offered by:  Representative Fallar and others

Offered by:  Senators Carris, Maynard and Nitka

H.C.R.  53.

House concurrent resolution honoring the community spirit of the Rutland city fire department.

Offered by:  Representative Howard and others

H.C.R.  54.

House concurrent resolution honoring J. Douglas Webb for his life of community service in the town of Fairfax and in Franklin County.

Offered by:  Representative Gilbert and others

Offered by:  Senators Collins and Kittell

H.C.R.  55.

House concurrent resolution in memory of Lance Cpl. Kurt Edward Dechen of Springfield.

Offered by:  Representative Emmons and others

Offered by:  Senators Campbell, McCormack, Nitka, Ayer, Bartlett, Carris, Collins, Condos, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, Miller, Mullin, Racine, Scott, Sears, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr and White

H.C.R.  56.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Jeremy Russo of Rupert on his designation as a national Outstanding Young Farmer semifinalist.

Offered by:  Representative Malcolm of Pawlet

H.C.R.  57.

House concurrent resolution in memory of John D. Flory Jr.

Offered by:  Representative Sunderland of Rutland Town

Offered by:  Senators Carris, Maynard and Mullin

H.C.R.  58.

House concurrent resolution honoring Alice Sturgeon for her community service in Georgia.

Offered by:  Representative Branagan and others

Offered by:  Senators Collins and Kittell

H.C.R.  59.

House concurrent resolution honoring Arlo Sterner for his outstanding public service in Lamoille County and in the towns of Morrisville and Wolcott.

Offered by:  Representative Martin of Wolcott

Offered by:  Senators Bartlett and Illuzzi

H.C.R.  60.

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce on its 50th anniversary.

Offered by:  Representative Obuchowski and others

H.C.R.  61.

House concurrent resolution congratulating Norwich University ice hockey coach Michael McShane on his 500th collegiate victory.

Offered by:  Representative Brooks and others

Offered by:  Senators Cummings, Doyle and Scott

H.C.R.  62.

House concurrent resolution honoring Mary Lou Raymo for her superb public service in the town of Dover.

Offered by:  Representative Hube and others

     [The full text of the House concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, March 1, 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 Shumlin, the Senate adjourned, to reconvene on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at ten o’clock in the forenoon pursuant to J.R.S. 4.

 



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The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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