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Journal of the Senate

________________

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Terry Dorsett of Barre.

Pledge of Allegiance

Pages Rosetta Lane and Gia Giambrone then led the members of the Senate in the pledge of allegiance.

Bills Referred to Committee on Appropriations

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

H. 313.

An act relating to the administration and enforcement of fines within the judicial bureau.

H. 433.

An act relating to the next generation initiative of workforce development through workforce development programs and internships.

Bills Referred to Committee on Finance

House 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:

H. 368.

An act relating to the regulation of professions and occupations.

H. 527.

An act relating to the state’s transportation program.


Message from the Governor

Appointment Referred

     A message was received from the Governor, by Kiersten Bourgeois, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, submitting the following appointment, which was referred to committee as indicated:

     Gordon Winters of Swanton - Member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees, - from April 2, 2007, to February 28, 2013.

     To the Committee on Education.

Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

H. 400.

House bill of the following title was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment:

An act relating to recapture of health insurance benefits by group C members of the Vermont state retirement system.

Third Reading Ordered

H. 528.

Senator Doyle, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred House bill entitled:

An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the city of Montpelier.

Reported that the bill ought to pass in concurrence.

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

Proposals of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered

H. 137.

Senator White, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred House bill entitled:

An act relating to the restoration of a department of mental health and a commissioner of mental health.

Reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:


First:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 13a to read as follows:

Sec. 13a.  18 V.S.A. § 7401 is amended to read:

§ 7401.  Powers and duties

Except insofar as this part of this title specifically confers certain powers, duties, and functions upon others, the commissioner shall be charged with its administration.  The commissioner may:

* * *

(17)  ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the commissioners commissioner of education and social and rehabilitation services the commissioner for children and families in accordance with the provisions of chapter 43 of Title 33;

(18)  ensure the development of community‑based prevention and early intervention services for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services throughout all parts of the public and private health care delivery system;

(19)  ensure the development of chronic care services, addressing mental health and substance abuse, for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services with other chronic care initiatives, including the Blueprint for Health, and the care coordination and case management programs of the office of Vermont health access;

(20)  ensure the coordination of mental health, physical health, and substance abuse services provided by the public and private health care delivery systems;

(21)  ensure the coordination of public mental health and substance abuse services with mental health and substance abuse services offered through the private health care delivery system, including services offered by primary care physicians.

Second:  In Sec. 23, [REPORT] in the first sentence, after the date “January 15, 2008,” by inserting the following: and on January 15 of every even-numbered year thereafter, and after the last sentence, by adding a new sentence to read as follows:  The report shall address prevention, early intervention, and chronic care health services for children and adults, coordination of mental health, substance abuse, and physical health services, and coordination with all parts of the health care delivery system, public and private, including the office of Vermont health access, the office of alcohol and drug abuse, and primary care physicians.

And that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with such proposals of amendment.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, the proposals of amendment were collectively agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered on a roll call, Yeas 25, Nays 3.

Senator Maynard 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, Carris, Collins, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Mullin, Nitka, Racine, Scott, Shumlin, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Maynard, Sears, Snelling.

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

House Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested

H. 360.

House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

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

Was taken up.

     The House proposes to the Senate to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by striking out Sec. l in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 1 to read as follows:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 491(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any duly qualified member of the “reserve components of the armed forces,” of the ready reserve, or an organized unit of the national guard who leaves a position other than a temporary position in the employ of any employer, for state active duty or to receive military training with the armed forces of the United States and who notifies the employer of the date of departure and date of return for purposes of military training 30 days prior to the date of departure or as soon as practical after being called into state service by the governor shall be granted absence with leave with or without pay.  If the employee provides evidence of the satisfactory completion of the training immediately upon return and is still qualified to perform the duties for such position shall upon request be entitled to 15 days of leave of absence in any calendar year for the purpose of engaging in military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority.  A leave of absence shall be with or without pay as determined by the employer.  Upon completion of the military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority, the employee shall be reinstated in that position with the same status, pay, and seniority, including seniority that accrued during the period of absence.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment?, on motion of Senator White, the Senate refused to concur in the House proposal of amendment and requested a Committee of Conference.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.H. 23.

Joint House resolution entitled:

Joint resolution relating to the implementation of the National Veterinary Medical Services Act.

Having been placed on the Calendar for action, was taken up and adopted in concurrence.

Message from the House No. 55

     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 a bill of the following title:

H. 523.  An act relating to moving families out of poverty.

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

The House has considered Senate proposal of amendment to House bill of the following title:

H. 157.  An act relating to home-fermented beverage competitions.

And has concurred therein.

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

J.R.S. 29.  Joint resolution supporting the application of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for observer status at the World Health Organization.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

Recess

On motion of Senator Shumlin the Senate recessed until 1:00 P.M.

Called to Order

At 1:15 P.M. the Senate was called to order by the President.

Message from the House No. 56

     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 Governor has informed the House of Representatives that on the seventeenth day of April, 2007, he approved and signed bills originating in the House 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.

Proposal of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered

H. 526.

Senator Collins, for the Committee on Education, to which was referred House bill entitled:

An act relating to education quality and cost control.

     Reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

* * * Findings * * *

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  Vermonters expect excellence from their schools and are justifiably proud of the state’s system of public education.

(b)  Vermont has demonstrated a commitment to equity in public school financing.  Nevertheless, the state cannot sustain public school spending at its present rate of growth. 

(c)  The general assembly acknowledges the commitment of school boards to managing costs under difficult circumstances.

(d)  The effect that a school funding system has on taxes should be more transparent.

(e)  It is important both to understand what Vermonters expect of their schools (including the expectations that are beyond the provision of traditional academic subjects) and to quantify the cost drivers that are causing increases in school budgets.  It is equally crucial to identify ways for schools to deliver these services more effectively. 

* * * Excess Spending Threshold; Weighted Membership * * *

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) is amended to read:

(12)  “Excess spending” means:

(A)  the per‑equalized pupil amount of:

(i)  the district’s education spending, plus any amount required to be added from a capital construction reserve fund under 24 V.S.A. § 2804(b); minus

(ii)  the portion of education spending which is approved school capital construction spending or deposited into a reserve fund under 24 V.S.A. § 2804 to pay future approved school capital construction costs, including that portion of tuition paid to an independent school designated as the public high school of the school district pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 827 for capital construction costs by the independent school which has received approval from the state board of education, using the processes for preliminary approval of public school construction costs pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(2);

(B)  in excess of 125 121 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(h) is amended to read:

(h)  Annually, by October 1, the commissioner shall send to school boards for inclusion in town reports and publish on the department website the following information:

(1)  the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year, and 125 121 percent of that average spending; and

* * *

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The commissioner shall determine the weighted long‑term membership for each school district using the long‑term membership from subsection (b) of this section and the following weights for each class:

Grade Level Weight

Elementary 1.0

Secondary 1.25 1.13

* * *

Sec. 5.  Sec. 6.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(h) is added to read:

(h)  The commissioner shall evaluate the accuracy of the weights established in subsection (c) of this section and, at the beginning of each biennium, shall propose to the house and senate committees on education whether the weights should stay the same or be adjusted.

Sec. 6.  SCHOOL DISTRICTS; ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING HIGH SPENDING

On or before January 15, 2008, the commissioner of education shall explore, analyze, and report to the general assembly regarding the reasons school districts exceed the excess spending threshold defined in 32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) and shall develop recommendations, including criteria, for exempting school districts from the consequences of exceeding the threshold in certain circumstances, including when:

(1)  The district has high costs for special education services, the department has recommended ways to lower the costs, the district has followed the recommendations, and the district still exceeds the threshold; or

(2)  The district has high costs for special education services, the department has been unable to identify ways to lower the costs, and the district still exceeds the threshold; or

(3)  The district pays tuition for all or most of its students to attend one or more schools outside of the district and the commissioner determines that it is not possible for the district to make alternative arrangements that would enable it to stay beneath the high spending threshold.

* * * School Construction * * *

Sec. 7.  16  V.S.A. § 3448(a)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  Approval of preliminary application.

(A)  When reviewing a preliminary application for approval, the commissioner shall consider:

(i)  regional educational opportunities and needs, including school building capacities across school district boundaries, and available infrastructure in neighboring communities;

(ii)  economic efficiencies;

(iii)  the suitability of an existing school building to continue to meet educational needs; and

(iv)  statewide educational initiatives and the strategic plan of the state board of education.

(B)  The commissioner may approve a preliminary application if:

(A)(i)  The project or part of the project fulfills a need occasioned by:

(i)(I)  conditions which threaten the health or safety of students or employees;

(ii)(II)  facilities which are inadequate to provide programs required by state or federal law or regulation;

(iii)(III)  excessive energy use resulting from the design of a building or reliance on fossil fuels or electric space heat; or

(iv)(IV)  deterioration of an existing building;

(B)(ii)  The need addressed by the project cannot reasonably be met by another means; and

(C)(iii)  The proposed type, kind, quality, size, and estimated cost of the project are suitable for the proposed curriculum and meet all legal standards.

* * * Superintendents * * *

Sec. 8.  SUPERINTENDENTS; VACANCIES; COMMISSIONER’S ROLE

On or before July 15, 2007, the commissioner of education and the state board of education shall submit a report to the senate and house committees on education concerning their respective responsibilities under 16 V.S.A. § 241(a), 16 V.S.A. § 261, and state board rules 3220 through 3241, all of which are set forth below.  In particular, the report shall address:

(1)  The protocol followed when the commissioner is notified of a vacancy or impending vacancy in a superintendent’s position.

(2)  The inquiries made by the commissioner or board concerning the process by which the supervisory union advertises for and selects a new superintendent and the qualifications of was selected.

(3)  The independent inquiries made by the commissioner or board concerning the qualifications of the superintendents considered or selected by the supervisory union board.

(4)  The nature and frequency of the “advice” provided pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 241(a).

* * * Qualifications of Business Managers * * *

Sec. 9.  FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND SUPERVISORY UNIONS

(a)  The commissioner of education, in consultation with the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, and the Vermont association for school business officials shall:

(1)  Examine the systems of financial management currently used by Vermont school districts and supervisory unions.

(2)  Examine the range of training and expertise currently held by persons responsible for the financial management of Vermont school districts and supervisory unions.

(3)  Examine and assess the training or credentials required of financial managers employed by public schools or school districts in other states.

(4)  Develop proposals to ensure that all school districts consistently use uniform, high‑quality financial management practices.

(b)  On or before November 15, 2007, the commissioner shall submit a report to the senate committee on education outlining the results of the examinations required in subdivisions (a)(1)–(3) of this section and recommending proposals to ensure uniform, high quality financial management practices as required in subdivision (a)(4) of this section.  The report shall include both an analysis of the budgetary impact, if any, of the commissioner’s proposals and drafts of any proposed legislation. 

* * * Mandates * * *

Sec. 10.  MANDATES; REPORT

The legislative council and the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont superintendents association, the Vermont principals’ association, the Vermont – national education association, the Vermont council for special education administrators, superintendents, principals, school board members, and school personnel shall examine the requirements placed on local school districts resulting from state legislation, board rules, and interagency cost shifts implemented since January 1, 1997.  The examination will identify and quantify associated process requirements, staffing effects, and financial implications.  Legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall prepare a report for submission to the senate and house committees on education on or before December 1, 2007.

* * * Special Education Costs; Study * * *

Sec. 11.  SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES PROVISIONS; STUDY

As a continuation of the fine work contained in the Report on the Provision of Special Education Services issued in January 2001, the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the secretary of human services, the commissioner of education, the commissioner of employment and training, the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals’ association, the Vermont – national education association, the Vermont council for special education administrators, the Vermont coalition for disability rights, the Vermont parent information center, and other members of the education community, shall study how the agency of human services, the department of education, and the department of employment and training should provide for special education services for eligible persons under 22 years of age in school or out of school.  They shall also:

(1)  assess the extent to which school districts have absorbed service costs for special needs children that were historically paid by other service providers, including the extent to which:

(A)  children formerly admitted to institutional care are now being provided services through special education;

(B)  costs now found in school budgets historically were part of the budgets of nonschool agencies;

(C)  costs now found in school budgets would be attributable to nonschool agencies; and

(D)  Medicaid funds are being used to provide services;

(2)  examine the interagency agreement regarding coordination of special education services entered into pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(12) to determine if services are currently provided and paid for in the most appropriate and cost-effective ways;

(3)  prepare an estimate of the number of children with individualized education plans (IEP) who lose health care coverage through Dr. Dynasaur because of nonpayment of a premium and the financial impact on schools because of the disenrollment in Dr. Dynasaur; and

(4)  report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly on or before November 1, 2007.

* * * High Special Education Costs; Departmental Review * * *

Sec. 12.  16 V.S.A. § 2974 is amended to read: 

§ 2974.  SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM; FISCAL REVIEW PANEL OF HIGH SPENDING DISTRICTS

(a)  Annually, the commissioner shall report on:

(1)  special education expenditures by school districts;

(2)  the rate of growth or decrease in special education costs, including the identity of high and low spending districts;

(3)  outcomes for special education students;

(4)  the availability of special education staff;

(5)  the consistency of special education program implementation statewide; and

(6)  the status of the education support systems in school districts; and

(7)  a statewide summary of the special education student count, including:

(A)  the percentage of the total average daily membership represented by special education students statewide and by school district;

(B)  the percentage of special education students by disability category; and

(C)  the percentage of special education students by in‑district placement, day placement, and residential placement.

(b)  The commissioner shall review high spending districts to determine Annually, but no later than October 1, based on the previous year’s expenditures, the commissioner shall notify high spending districts that they have been designated as such.  Each designated district shall respond within 60 days with an explanation of its spending to address whether:

(1)  costs could be decreased while still providing needed special education services;

(2)  the district made reasonable efforts to provide, purchase, or contract for goods or services that are the most reasonably priced yet appropriate for its students;

(3)  the district reported special education expenditures appropriately; and

(4)  all expenditures identified as special education expenditures were properly attributed to eligible students and the services for which the expenditures were made were included in the students’ individualized education plans;

(5)  the district’s special education staff‑to‑child count ratios were higher than the state average, including a breakdown of ratios by staffing categories;

(6)  the number of students in more restrictive environments such as day programs and residential placements was above the state average of special education students in those placements and, if so, information about the categories of disabilities for the students in such placements;

(7)  the district was in compliance with section 2901 of this title; and

(8)  if the district’s proportion of its average daily membership who are enrolled in special education exceeds 20 percent of the statewide average, any unusual community characteristics contributed to this condition.

(c)  The commissioner shall review low spending districts to determine the reasons for their spending patterns and whether those districts used cost‑effective strategies appropriate to replicate in other districts.

(d)  For the purposes of this section, a “high spending district” is a school district that, in the previous school year, spent at least 20 percent more than the statewide average of special education eligible costs per average daily membership.  Also for the purposes of this section, a “low spending district” is a school district that, in the previous school year, spent no more than 80 percent of the statewide average of special education eligible costs per average daily membership.

(e)  For the purpose of advising the commissioner and providing technical assistance to school districts, the state board shall appoint a fiscal review panel of seven people who have expertise in the areas of data collection and finance, and in the fields of special education, business or health and human services. The panel, at the request of a district school board, shall work with the department of education to review spending patterns and provision of special education services in the district and provide advice to the school board and staff concerning cost control mechanisms and cost‑effective practices. In addition, the panel shall make recommendations on what types of data to collect for purposes of the annual report required under subsection (a) of this section, and how the data should be analyzed.  If, after a review of a high spending district’s explanation, the commissioner finds that the explanation is not satisfactory, the commissioner shall conduct a performance review to include one or more of the following:

(1)  a review of the district’s special education student count patterns over time;

(2)  a review of the district’s compliance with section 2901 of this title and any unusual community characteristics that exist;

(3)  an on‑site review to examine a sample of special education student records and related financial and business records;

(4)  a review of the district’s compliance with federal and state requirements to provide a free appropriate public education to eligible students; and

(5)  a review of other factors.

(f)  Within 60 days of completing the performance review, the commissioner shall notify the district in writing of his or her findings and whether the results of the performance review are satisfactory or not satisfactory.  If the results of the performance review are not satisfactory to the commissioner, the commissioner and the school district jointly shall develop a remediation plan.  The district shall have two years to make progress on the remediation plan.  At the conclusion of the two years or earlier, the district shall report its progress on the remediation plan. 

(g)  Within 30 days of receipt of the district’s report of progress, the commissioner shall notify the district that its progress is either satisfactory or not satisfactory. 

(1)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the conclusion of the remediation plan, the commissioner shall notify the district that in the ensuing year the district will be subject to a withholding of up to 10 percent of its special education expenditures reimbursement under section 2963 of this chapter.

(2)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the end of the year in which a portion of the special education expenditures reimbursement was withheld under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the district that in the ensuing year the district will be subject to a withholding of up to 20 percent of its special education expenditures reimbursement.

(3)  If the district has failed to make satisfactory progress by the end of the year in which a portion of the special education expenditures reimbursement was withheld under subdivision (2) of this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the district that the state board of education will impose a plan of remediation. 

(4)  If the district makes satisfactory progress under any subdivision of this subsection, the commissioner shall release to the district any special education expenditures reimbursement withheld for the prior fiscal year only.

(h)  Within 10 days after receiving the commissioner’s notice under subdivisions (g)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the district may challenge the commissioner’s decision by filing a written objection to the state board of education outlining the reasons the district believes it made satisfactory progress on the remediation plan.  The commissioner may file a written response within 10 days after the district’s objection is filed.  The board may give the district and the commissioner an opportunity to be heard.  The board’s decision shall be final.  The state shall withhold no portion of the district’s reimbursement before the state board issues its decision under this subsection.

* * *

* * * Governance * * *

Sec. 13.  EDUCATION GOVERNANCE; COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION; COUNCIL ON EDUCATION GOVERNANCE

(a)  In May 2006, the commissioner of education released a white paper outlining a plan for changing education governance in Vermont and initiating a year of facilitated public discussions throughout the state.  The final discussion session is scheduled for May 2007. 

(b)  On or before December 1, 2007, the commissioner shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on education that describes insights obtained from the recently concluded public engagement process.  The report shall consider other governance models and shall also outline any proposals the commissioner wishes to make for restructuring governance in Vermont.  Any proposed changes should foster increased cooperation and collaboration among public schools and provide support for the new demands and expectations placed on schools by an increasingly technological and global society. 

(c)  The commissioner shall request the following organizations to submit, jointly or independently, recommendations regarding the future governance of school districts:  the Vermont superintendents’ association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals’ association, and the Vermont national education association.  The commissioner shall include the recommendations in the report to the house and senate committees on education required in subsection (b) of this section.


* * * Small Schools Grants * * *

Sec. 14.  16 V.S.A. § 4015(e) is amended to read:

(e)  In the event that a school or schools which have received a grant under this section merge in any year following receipt of a grant, and the consolidated school is not eligible for a grant under this section or the small school grant for the consolidated school is less than the total amount of grant aid the schools would have received if they had not combined, the consolidated school shall continue to receive a grant for three years following consolidation.  The amount of the annual grant shall be:

(1)  In the first year following consolidation, an amount equal to the amount received by the school or schools in the last year of eligibility.

(2)  In the second year following consolidation, an amount equal to two‑thirds of the amount received in the previous year.

(3)  In the third year following consolidation, an amount equal to one-third of the amount received in the first year following consolidation.

* * * Education Property Tax Implications; Study * * *

Sec. 15.  EDUCATION PROPERTY TAX IMPLICATIONS; STUDY

The commissioner of taxes shall study the impact that the education property tax on homestead and nonresidential property has on various groups of taxpayers.  The commissioner shall design the study and select the groups of taxpayers in consultation with and upon the advice of the department of education and the joint fiscal office.  The commissioner shall submit a written report detailing the results of the study to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2008.

* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 16.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Secs. 2 through 4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010 and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

(b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year. 

(c)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

And that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with such proposal of amendment.

     Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, and pending the question, Shall the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as recommended by the Committee on Education?, Senators Shumlin and Illuzzi moved to amend the proposal of amendment of the Committee on Education by striking out Secs. 2, 3 and 16 in their entirety and inserting four new sections to be numbered Secs. 16, 17, 18, and 19 to read as follows:

Sec. 16. 16 V.S.A. §562a is added to read:

§ 562a School budget; Douglas supermajority

     Authorization by the electorate pursuant to section 562(8) of this title or a municipal charter shall require approval by sixty percent or more of those voting if the proposed amount of money exceeds 104 percent of the prior year authorization, and the proposed education spending per equalized pupil exceeds 104 percent of the education spending per equalized pupil of the prior year.

Sec. 17. 16 V.S.A. §562a is amended to read:

§ 562a School budget; Douglas supermajority

     Authorization by the electorate pursuant to section 562(8) of this title or a municipal charter shall require approval by sixty percent or more of those voting if the proposed amount of money exceeds 104 103.5 percent of the prior year authorization, and the proposed education spending per equalized pupil exceeds 104 103.5 percent of the education spending per equalized pupil of the prior year.

Sec. 18.  REPEAL

     Section 562a of Title 16 (supermajority vote requirement) is repealed January 1, 2013, effective for budgets for fiscal years 2014 and after.            

Sec. 19. EFFECTIVE DATES 

(a)  Sec.  4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2010, and shall apply to budgets beginning in the 2010–2011 school year.

     (b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2008, and the commissioner’s annual review shall begin with expenditures made during the 2008-2009 academic year.   

     (c)  Sec. 16 (school budget limit of 104%; supermajority vote) shall take effect upon passage but shall affect budgets for fiscal year 2009 only.

     (d)  Sec. 17 (school budget limit of 103.5%; supermajority vote) shall take effect January 1, 2009, and shall affect budgets for fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

(e)  All other sections of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

Which was agreed to on a roll call, Yeas 15, Nays 15.

There being a tie, the Secretary took the casting vote of the President, who voted “Yea”.

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

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Bartlett, Carris, Collins, Coppenrath, Doyle, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Maynard, Mazza, Mullin, Scott, Sears, Shumlin.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Ayer, Campbell, Condos, Cummings, Flanagan, Giard, Lyons, MacDonald, McCormack, Miller, Nitka, Racine, Snelling, Starr, White.

Thereupon, the recurring question, Shall the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as recommended by the Committee on Education, as amended?, was decided in the affirmative on a roll call, Yeas 18, Nays 12.

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

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Bartlett, Carris, Collins, Coppenrath, Doyle, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Maynard, Mazza, Mullin, Nitka, Scott, Sears, Shumlin, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Ayer, Campbell, Condos, Cummings, Flanagan, Lyons, MacDonald, McCormack, Miller, Racine, Snelling, Starr.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until twelve o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us