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Journal of the Senate

________________

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Amelia Pitton of Montpelier.

Pledge of Allegiance

Pages Kelsey Christensen and James T. Claremont II then led the members of the Senate in the pledge of allegiance.

Message from the Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Kiersten Bourgeois, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed by the Governor to inform the Senate that on the sixteenth day of March, 2007, he approved and signed a bill originating in the Senate of the following title:

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

Message from the House No. 33

     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. 81.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the city of Burlington.

     H. 169.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the Town of Williston.

     H. 510.  An act relating to Vermont Life Magazine.

In the passage 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. 190.

By Senators Carris, Condos, Illuzzi, Miller and Racine,

An act relating to establishing a brownfields advisory committee.

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

S. 191.

By Senators Condos, Carris, Illuzzi, Miller and Racine,

An act relating to financing, reappraisal, and infrastructure in tax increment financing districts.

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

Committee Bills Introduced

Senate committee bills of the following titles were severally introduced, read the first time, and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow:

S. 192.

By the Committee on Health and Welfare,

An act relating to HIV name-based reporting.

S. 193.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs,

An act relating to ensuring health and safety on public construction projects.

Bills Introduced

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

S. 194.

By Senators Illuzzi, Carris, Condos, Miller and Racine,

An act relating to firefighters and cancer caused by employment.

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

S. 195.

By Senator Condos,

An act relating to local option authority and town highway funding.

To the Committee on Finance.

Committee Bill Introduced

Senate committee bill of the following title was introduced, read the first time, and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow:

S. 196.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs,

An act relating to failure to insure for workers’ compensation coverage by employers and contractors.

Bill Introduced

Senate bill of the following title was introduced, read the first time and referred:

S. 197.

By Senators Condos, Starr, Carris, Flanagan, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, McCormack and Racine,

An act relating to Senate confirmations of gubernatorial appointments.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

Bills Referred

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

H. 81.

     An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the city of Burlington.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 169.

     An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the Town of Williston.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 510.

     An act relating to Vermont Life magazine.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

Bills Referred to Committee on Appropriations

Senate bills of the following titles, appearing on the Calendar for notice and carrying appropriations or requiring the expenditure of funds, under the rule were referred to the Committee on Appropriations:

S. 67.

An act relating to closure of the Bennington office state office building.

S. 92.

An act relating to groundwater mapping.

S. 122.

An act relating to scholarships for postsecondary education and training and grants for workforce development and technical centers.

S. 126.

An act relating to the creation of a statewide direct care provider registry.

S. 136.

An act relating to a solid waste management facilities working group.

S. 177.

An act relating to child poverty in Vermont.

Bills Referred to Committee on Finance

Senate bills of the following titles, appearing on the Calendar for notice, and affecting the revenue of the state, under the rule were severally referred to the Committee on Finance:

S. 15.

An act relating to civil violations for animal cruelty.

S. 102.

An act relating to decreasing the percentage to determine a school district’s excess spending.


S. 115.

An act relating to increasing transparency of prescription drug pricing and information.

S. 164.

An act relating to campaign finance and the Vermont campaign finance option.

S. 189.

An act relating to affordable electric rates for retired and lower income Vermonters.

Rules Suspended; Committee Relieved of Further Consideration; Bills Placed on Calendar

On motion of Senator Illuzzi, the rules were suspended, and S. 190, S. 191 and S. 194 were taken up for immediate consideration, for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs from further consideration of the bills. Thereupon, on motion of Senator Illuzzi, the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs was relieved of Senate bills entitled:

S. 190.

An act relating to establishing a brownfields advisory committee.

S. 191.

An act relating to financing, reappraisal, and infrastructure in tax increment financing districts.

S. 194.

An act relating to firefighters and cancer caused by employment.

and the bills were placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

Third Reading Ordered

S. 27.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to increasing the minimum tip wage.

Having been called up, was taken up.

Senator Miller, for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill ought to pass.

     Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time?, Senator Miller, on behalf of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs moved that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 384(a) is amended to read:

(a)  An employer shall not employ an employee at a rate less than $7.00 an hour and, beginning January 1, 2006, at a rate less than $7.25, and, beginning January 1, 2007, and on each subsequent January 1, the minimum wage rate shall be increased by five percent or the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index, CPI‑U, U.S. city average, not seasonally adjusted, or successor index, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor or successor agency for the 12 months preceding the previous September 1, whichever is smaller.  The minimum wage shall be rounded off to the nearest $0.01.  An employer in the hotel, motel, tourist place, and restaurant industry shall not employ a service or tipped employee at a basic wage rate less than $3.65 an hour, and beginning January 1, 2009, and on each January 1 thereafter, this basic tip wage rate shall be increased at the same percentage rate as the minimum wage rate.  For the purposes of this subsection, “a service or tipped employee” means an employee of a hotel, motel, tourist place, or restaurant who customarily and regularly receives more than $30.00 $120.00 per month in tips for direct and personal customer service.  If the minimum wage rate established by the United States government is greater than the rate established for Vermont for any year, the minimum wage rate for that year shall be the rate established by the United States government.

Which was disagreed to on a roll call, Yeas 8, Nays 18.

Senator Racine having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Campbell, Carris, Illuzzi, Maynard, Mazza, Miller, Mullin, Snelling.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Collins, Coppenrath, Cummings, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, McCormack, Racine, Scott, Sears, Shumlin, Starr, White.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Condos, Doyle, MacDonald, Nitka.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.


Consideration Postponed

S. 118.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to fiscal review of high spending districts and special education.

Was taken up.

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

Bill Passed

Senate bill of the following title was read the third time and passed:

S. 34.

An act relating to humane treatment of animals in schools and the right to an instructional alternative to dissection.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 37.

Senator Giard, for the Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to mosquito control.

     Reported recommending that the bill be amended by adding Secs. 2 and 3 to read:

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 4831 is amended to read:

§ 4831.  CREATION OF COMMITTEE

The legislative branch of any two or more municipalities may by agreement create a joint municipal survey committee to plan for the strengthening of local governments and to promote plans for more efficient and economical operation of local government services within or by the participating municipalities.  For purposes of establishing a mosquito control district under chapter 85 of Title 6, a municipality may create a municipal survey committee under this section with all the powers and duties that a joint municipal survey committee possesses under this chapter.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, the recommendation of amendment was agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 123.

Senator Sears, for the Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to increased sex offender registry requirements for noncompliant high-risk sex offenders.

     Reported recommending 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. § 5407 is amended to read:

§ 5407.  SEX OFFENDER’S DUTY TO REPORT

(a)  A Except as provided in section 5411d of this title, a sex offender shall report to the department as follows:

(1)  if convicted of a registry offense in another state, within 10 days after either establishing residence in this state or crossing into this state for purposes of employment, carrying on a vocation, or being a student, the sex offender shall provide the information listed in subsection 5403(a) of this title;

(2)  annually within 10 days after the registrant’s birthday, or if a person is determined to be a sexually violent predator, that person shall report to the department every 90 days;

(3)  within three days after any change of address, or if a person is designated as a high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411b of this title, that person shall report to the department within 36 hours;

(4)  within three days after the registrant enrolls in or separates from any postsecondary educational institution; and

(5)  within three days after any change in place of employment; and

(6)  within three days of any name change.

* * *

(f)  A person required to register as a sex offender under this subchapter shall continue to comply with this section for the life of that person, except during periods of incarceration, if that person:

(1)  has at least one prior conviction for an offense described in subdivision 5401(10) of this subchapter or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction of the United States;

(2)  has been convicted of a sexual assault as defined in section 3252 of this title or aggravated sexual assault as defined in section 3253 of this title; however, if a person convicted under section 3252 is not more than six years older than the victim of the assault and if the victim is 14 years or older, then the offender shall not be required to register for life if the age of the victim was the basis for the conviction; or

(3)  has been determined to be a sexually violent predator pursuant to section 5405 of this subchapter title; or

(4)  has been designated as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411d of this title.

* * *

(h)  A registrant who has no permanent address shall report to the department to notify it as to his or her temporary residence.  Temporary residence, for purposes of this section, need not include an actual dwelling or numbered street address, but shall identify a specific location.  A registrant shall not be required to check in daily if he or she makes acceptable other arrangements with the department to keep his or her information current.  The department may enter into an agreement with a local law enforcement agency to perform this function, but shall maintain responsibility for compliance with this subsection.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 5411 is amended to read:

§ 5411.  NOTIFICATION TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND LOCAL COMMUNITY

* * *

(e)  After 10 years have elapsed from the completion of the sentence, a person required to register as a sex offender for life pursuant to section 5407 of this title who is not designated as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411d of this title may petition the district court for a termination of community notification, including the internet.  The state shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim of the proceeding, and consider victim testimony regarding the petition.  If the registrant was convicted of a crime which requires lifetime registration, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person is a high‑risk sex offender.  Should the registrant present evidence that he or she is not a high‑risk offender, the state shall have the burden of proof to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the person remains a high risk to reoffend.  The court shall consider whether the offender has successfully completed sex offender treatment.  The court may require the offender to submit to a psychosexual evaluation.  If the court finds that there is a high risk of reoffense, notification shall continue.  The Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to these proceedings.  A lifetime registrant may petition the court to be removed from community notification requirements once every 60 months.  The presumption under this section that a lifetime registrant is a high‑risk offender shall not automatically subject the offender to increased public access to his or her status as a sex offender and related information under subdivision (c)(1) of this section or section 5411a of this title.

Sec. 3.  13 V.S.A. § 5411a is amended to read:

§ 5411a.  ELECTRONIC POSTING OF THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

(a)  Notwithstanding sections 2056a–2056e of Title 20, the department shall electronically post information on the internet in accordance with subsection (b) of this section regarding the following sex offenders, upon their release from confinement:

* * *

(5)(A)  Sex offenders who have not complied with sex offender treatment recommended by the department of corrections or who are ineligible for sex offender treatment.  The department of corrections shall establish rules for the administration of this subdivision and shall specify what circumstances constitute noncompliance with treatment and criteria for ineligibility to participate in treatment.  Offenders subject to this provision shall have the right to appeal the department of corrections’ determination in superior court in accordance with Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.  This subdivision shall apply prospectively and shall not apply to those sex offenders who did not comply with treatment or were ineligible for treatment prior to March 1, 2005. 

(B)  The department of corrections shall notify the department if a sex offender who is compliant with sex offender treatment completes his or her sentence but has not completed sex offender treatment.  As long as the offender complies with treatment, the offender shall not be considered noncompliant under this subdivision and shall not be placed on the internet registry in accordance with this subdivision alone.  However, the offender shall submit to the department proof of continuing treatment compliance every three months.  Proof of compliance shall be a form provided by the department that the offender’s treatment provider shall sign, attesting to the offender’s continuing compliance with recommended treatment.  Failure to submit such proof as required under this subdivision shall result in the offender’s placement on the internet registry in accordance with subdivision (A) of this subdivision (5).

* * *

Sec. 4.  13 V.S.A. § 5411d is added to read:

§ 5411d.  DESIGNATION OF NONCOMPLIANT HIGH‑RISK SEX  OFFENDER

(a)  Prior to releasing a person from total confinement, the department of corrections shall designate the person as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender if the person:

(1)  Is incarcerated on or after the effective date of this act for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as defined in section 2602 of this title, sexual assault as defined in section 3252 of this title, aggravated sexual assault as defined in section 3253 of this title, or any attempt to commit a crime listed herein, or a comparable offense in another jurisdiction of the United States.

(2)  Is not subject to indeterminate life sentences under section 3271 of this title.

(3)  Is designated as a high‑risk sex offender pursuant to section 5411b of this title.

(4)  Is noncompliant with sex offender treatment as defined by department of corrections’ directives.

(b)  Noncompliant high‑risk sex offenders shall report to the department as follows:

(1)  In person, within 15 days from the date of release from department of corrections’ supervision, and within every 30 days thereafter.

(2)   Prior to any change of address.  However, if the change of address is unanticipated, the offender shall report within one day of the change of address.

(3)  Prior to enrollment in or separation from any postsecondary educational institution.  However, if the change in school status is unanticipated, the offender shall report within one day of the change.

(4)  Within one day of any change in a place of employment.

(c)  In addition to the registry information required in section 5403 of this title, a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender shall provide the department with the make, model, color, registration, and license plate number of any vehicle the person operates prior to operation.  An offender found in operation of a vehicle not on the list provided to the department shall be considered to be in violation of this subsection.

(d)  The department shall arrange for the noncompliant high‑risk sex offender to have his or her digital photograph updated annually for purposes of the electronic registry as provided in section 5411a of this title.  An offender who is requested by the department to report to the department or a local law enforcement agency for the purpose of being photographed for the internet registry shall comply with the request within 30 days.

(e)  The department shall conduct periodic unannounced registry compliance checks on noncompliant high‑risk sex offenders to verify the accuracy of registry information.  The department may enter into an agreement with a local law enforcement agency to perform duties under this subsection and under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, but shall maintain responsibility for compliance with this subsection.

(f)(1)  A noncompliant high‑risk sex offender may petition the district court to be relieved from the heightened registry requirements in this section once every five years from the date of designation.  The offender shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she:

(A)  no longer qualifies as a high‑risk offender as defined in section 5401 of this title and rules adopted by the department of corrections in accordance with section 5411b of this title; and

(B)  has complied with and completed sex offender treatment as provided by department of corrections’ directives.

(2)  The Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to these proceedings.

(3)  If the court finds that the offender is not high‑risk and has successfully completed treatment, the court shall order that the offender is no longer considered a noncompliant high‑risk offender and is subsequently relieved from the heightened registry requirements of this section; however, the offender shall still continue to comply with sex offender registry and other requirements as provided elsewhere in this subchapter.

(g)(1)  A noncompliant high‑risk sex offender who violates any of the registry requirements under this section shall be imprisoned for a maximum term of life.  A sentence may be suspended in whole or in part, or the person may be eligible for parole or release on conditional reentry or furlough, provided the person is subject to electronic monitoring using an active global positioning system.  Electronic monitoring shall be an addition to intensive supervision by the department of corrections.

(2)  In a criminal proceeding for violating any of the registry requirements under this section, a defendant shall be prohibited from challenging his or her status as a noncompliant high‑risk sex offender.

Sec. 5.  4 V.S.A. § 437 is amended to read:

§ 437.  Civil jurisdiction of district court

The district court shall have jurisdiction of the following actions:

* * *

(9)  Sex offender notification proceedings pursuant to 13 V.S.A.§ 5411(c) subsections 5411(e)  and 5411d(f) of Title 13.

* * *

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, the recommendation of amendment was agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered on a roll call, Yeas 28, Nays 0.

Senator Sears having demanded the yeas and nays, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Carris, Collins, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Mullin, Nitka, Racine, Scott, Sears, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: None.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Condos, MacDonald.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until one o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us