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Journal of the Senate

________________

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Joint Assembly

At ten o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon, the hour having arrived for the meeting of the two Houses in Joint Assembly pursuant to:

J.R.S. 20.  Joint resolution providing for and relating to an extension of the date for the convening of a Joint Assembly to vote on the retention of Superior Judges and District Judges.

The Senate repaired to the hall of the House.

Having returned therefrom, at twelve o’clock and twenty minutes, the President resumed the Chair.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until four o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon.

Afternoon

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Message from the House No. 34

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

     H. 516.  An act relating to the creation of one fund within each of the three Vermont retirement systems and to compliance with federal requirements.

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


Bills Referred

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

H. 515.

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

To the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

H. 516.

An act relating to the creation of one fund within each of the three Vermont retirement systems and to compliance with federal requirements.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

Joint Resolution Adopted on the Part of the Senate

Joint Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read and adopted on the part of the Senate, and is as follows:

   By Senator Shumlin,

     J.R.S. 26.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, March 23, 2007, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, March 27, 2007.

Senate Resolution Placed on Calendar

S.R. 13.

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

   By Senators Hartwell and Sears,

     S.R. 13.  Senate resolution requesting Congress to enact legislation to assure federal funding for veterans' health care.

Whereas, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides medical care for veterans, including men and women, who have risked their lives to protect the security of our nation, and

Whereas, Congress appropriates funding for VA health care each year as part of the discretionary federal budget, and

Whereas, each year’s federal budget for veterans’ health care has been very seriously under-funded, and

Whereas, this serious and now chronic shortfall affects the access to and the quality of medical care services that the VA provides for our veterans, and

Whereas, the priority of serving veterans must be absolute and irrevocable, and must serve as the foundation for the VA and of our nation’s public policy, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate of the State of Vermont urgently requests that Congress enact legislation to assure Federal funding for veterans’ health care and be it further

Resolved:  That Governor Douglas also request that Congress enact legislation to assure Federal funding for veterans’ health care, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Governor, the President, the Vice President, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, James Nicholson; Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi; House Minority Leader, John Boehner; Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid; Senate Minority Leader, Trent Lott; to the members of the Vermont Congressional delegation; and to Vermont veterans organizations.

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

Consideration Postponed

Senate bills entitled:

S. 70.

An act relating to empowering municipalities to regulate the application of pesticides within their borders.

S. 143.

An act relating to authorizing the use of racing fuel containing the additive MTBE or other gasoline ethers.

Were taken up.

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

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

On motion of Senator Sears, the rules were suspended, and S. 184 was taken up for immediate consideration, for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Judiciary from further consideration of the bill.  Thereupon, on motion of Senator Sears, the Committee on Judiciary was relieved of Senate bill entitled:

S. 184.

An act relating to uniform environmental covenants act.

     and the bill was placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow.

Bills Amended; Third Readings Ordered

S. 148.

Senator Lyons, for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the requirements for an application to be a designated new town center.

      Reported recommending that the bill be amended by adding a new Sec. 2 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 6093(a)(3)(B) is amended to read:

(B)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection and subdivision 6086(a)(9)(B)(iii) of this title pertaining to a development or subdivision on primary agricultural soils outside a designated growth center, the district commission may, in appropriate circumstances, approve off‑site mitigation or some combination of onsite and off‑site mitigation if that action is deemed consistent with the agricultural elements of local and regional plans and the goals of section 4302 of Title 24 and the project incorporates innovative land use design resulting in compact development patterns on the project tract.  For projects located outside a designated growth center, all factors used to calculate suitable mitigation acreage or fees, or some combination of these measures, shall be as specified in this subsection, subject to a ratio of no less than 2:1, but no more than 3:1.

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.

S. 173.

Senator Nitka, for the Committee on Education, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the awarding of high school diplomas to veterans of the Vietnam war.

     Reported recommending that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 563(25) is amended to read:

§ 563.  POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

* * *

(25)  Shall, if it is a school board of a school district which maintains a secondary school, upon request, award a high school diploma to any Vermont resident who served in the military in World War II or, the Korean War, or during the Vietnam era from February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975, was honorably separated from active federal military service, and does not hold a high school diploma.  The state board shall develop and make available an application form for veterans who wish to request a high school diploma.

The Committee further recommends that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows:

AN ACT RELATING TO THE AWARDING OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO VETERANS OF THE VIETNAM ERA.

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.

Bills Passed

Senate bills of the following titles were severally read the third time and passed:

S. 39.

An act relating to health insurance plan reimbursement for covered services provided by naturopathic physicians.

S. 45.

An act relating to the right to attend town meeting.

S. 46.

An act relating to wrongful discharge for voting or attending town meeting.


S. 82.

An act relating to the use of Vermont addresses and representations of Vermont origin.

S. 97.

An act relating to correctional facilities.

S. 120.

An act relating to wine tastings at farmers’ markets.

S. 137.

An act relating to reducing the amount of phosphorus allowed in household cleansing products used in dishwashers.

S. 169.

An act relating to civil violations for animal cruelty.

Third Reading Ordered

S. 192.

Senate committee bill entitled:

An act relating to HIV name-based reporting.

Having appeared on the Calendar for notice for one day, was taken up.

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

Bill Committed

S. 193.

Senate committee bill entitled:

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

Having appeared on the Calendar for notice for one day, was taken up.

Thereupon, pending second reading of the bill, on motion of Senator Mazza, the bill was committed to the Committee on Transportation.

Bill Ordered to Lie

S. 194.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to firefights and cancer caused by employment.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending second reading, on motion of Senator Illuzzi, the bill was ordered to lie.

Third Reading Ordered

S. 196.

Senate committee bill entitled:

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

Having appeared on the Calendar for notice for one day, was taken up.

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

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Campbell, the Senate adjourned until eleven o’clock and forty-five minutes in the morning.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us