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Journal of the Senate

________________

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Kevin Rooney of Northfield.

Pledge of Allegiance

Page Georgia Parke then led the members of the Senate in the pledge of allegiance.

Bill Introduced

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

S. 341.

By Senator Campbell,

An act relating to the registration of pet merchants.

To the Committee on Judiciary.

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. 342.

By the Committee on Transportation,

An act relating to Lake Champlain commemorative motor vehicle plates.

Bills Introduced

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

S. 343.

By Senator Cummings,

An act relating to the partnership for long-term care program.

To the Committee on Finance.

S. 344.

By Senators Mullin and Lyons,

An act relating to internet and mail order sales of tobacco products.

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

S. 345.

By Senators Racine, Carris, Miller and Mullin,

An act relating to lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

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

S. 346.

By Senators Campbell, Coppenrath, Flanagan and Sears,

An act relating to an evaluation of Vermont’s system of caring for mentally ill offenders.

To the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 347.

By Senator Campbell,

An act relating to criminal history records.

To the Committee on Judiciary.

Bill Referred to Committee on Finance

S. 241.

Senate bill of the following title, appearing on the Calendar for notice, and affecting the revenue of the state, under the rule was referred to the Committee on Finance:

An act relating to the special veteran and gold star registration plates.

Rules Suspended; Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 318.

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the municipalities of Hardwick, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morrisville and Stowe.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Cummings, for the Committee on Finance, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. chapter 14 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 14.  CITY OF BURLINGTON, VILLAGE OF LYNDONVILLE AND TOWN OF ROCKINGHAM MUNICIPAL UTILITY ACQUISITION OF FACILITIES AND OTHER ASSETS

§ 604.  ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY

(a)  Notwithstanding any contrary provision of any general or special law relating to the powers and authorities of electric utilities or any limitation imposed by their charters, the city of Burlington, the village of Lyndonville acting through its board of trustees, and the town of Rockingham all other Vermont municipal electric utilities shall each have the following additional powers:

* * *

(b)  Other electric utilities, whether cooperative, municipal or privately owned, may enter into and perform contracts with the city of Burlington and all other Vermont municipal electric utilities for the purposes of this section.  The provisions of this chapter shall not otherwise affect the jurisdiction of the public service board regarding the activities of the Burlington electric light department and of the village of Lyndonville electric light department, or any municipal utility formed by the town of Rockingham, within the state of Vermont.

* * *

(e)  A municipality owning a municipal plant and conducting itself as a utility under chapter 79 of this title shall have the authority to acquire equity ownership of Vermont Transco LLC or Vermont Electric Power Company or both and to finance the acquisition of membership units by any means permitted under subchapters 1 and 2 of chapter 53 of Title 24 for the purpose of defraying the share of the costs of a 115 kV transmission line and substation project granted a certificate of public good by the public service board in PSB Docket No. 7032.  The terms under which equity ownership is acquired pursuant to this subsection shall not include any provision of guaranty, assessment, indemnification, or joint and several liability applicable to any such municipality.

* * *

§ 610a.  AUTHORIZATION OF INDEBTEDNESS

(a)  A municipality owning and operating a municipal plant and conducting itself as a utility pursuant to chapter 79 of this title, when authorized as provided in subchapters 1 and 2 of chapter 53 of Title 24, may pledge its credit or the net revenues of its municipal plant by issuing negotiable orders, warrants, notes, or bonds for the purchase of equity ownership in Vermont Transco LLC or Vermont Electric Power Company or both to defray the respective shares of each municipality of project costs of electric power transmission facilities authorized pursuant to subsection 604(e) of this chapter.  In addition, the purchase or project participation may be effected through any instrument permitted under section 1789 of Title 24.  Such project costs may include all costs, whether incurred prior to or after the issue of bonds or notes relating to the acquisition of facilities under this chapter, of acquisition, site development, construction, improvement, enlargement, reconstruction, alteration, machinery, equipment, furnishings, demolition or removal of existing buildings or structures, including the cost of acquiring any lands to which such buildings or structures may be moved, financing charges, interest prior to and during the carrying out of any project and for a reasonable period thereafter, planning, engineering, financial advisory and legal services, administrative expenses, prepayments under contracts made pursuant to section 604 of this chapter, the funding of notes issued for project costs, and all other expenses incidental to the determination of the feasibility of any project, or to carrying out the project, or to placing the project in operation.

(b)  The obligations shall be issued in accordance with chapter 53 of Title 24.  The amount of obligations issued for such purpose shall not be considered in computing any debt limit applicable to the municipality.

(c)  Any contract entered into and any debt obligation issued under this section for any purpose pursuant to this chapter shall have been issued for an essential government purpose and shall not be deemed to be a pledge of private credit for public benefit nor a delegation of municipal authority, responsibility, or discretion.

Sec. 2.  CONFIRMATION OF ACQUISITION

A municipality that has acquired any equity ownership in Vermont Transco LLC or Vermont Electric Power Company or both prior to the effective date of this act shall be deemed to have had the authority granted by this chapter to do so.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

     This act shall take effect upon passage.

After passage, the title of the bill is to be amended to read:

     AN ACT RELATING TO THE AUTHORITY OF VERMONT MUNICIPALITIES TO ACQUIRE FACILITIES AND OTHER ASSETS.

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.

Message from the House No. 3

     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 adopted concurrent resolutions of the following titles:

H.C.R. 164.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Gladys Walker on her 100th birthday.

     H.C.R. 165.  Concurrent resolution honoring Janet Leonard for her 30 years of dedicated service to the Vermont General Assembly.

     H.C.R. 166.  Concurrent resolution recognizing the academic achievements of the Addison Central Supervisory Union’s Essential Early Education and Early Education Initiative Programs.

     H.C.R. 167.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Becky Auger on being named the 2008 Vermont-NEA Education Support Professional of the Year.

     H.C.R. 168.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Burtland Farm in Georgia as a recipient of a 2006 Lake Champlain Farm Award.

     H.C.R. 169.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Bellows Free Academy Bullets 2007 Division III championship boys’ cross-country team.

     H.C.R. 171.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the Jelly Bean Tree crafts cooperative on its 30th anniversary.

     H.C.R. 172.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Vermont Business Magazine 5x5x5 Award winners Chamberlain Machine, Inc. and Chroma Technology Corporation of Bellows Falls.

     H.C.R. 173.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Mary Lou Smith on her designation as the 2007 Vermont Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

     H.C.R. 174.  Concurrent resolution congratulating the town of Brookline on the completion of its municipal office building addition.

     H.C.R. 175.  Concurrent resolution honoring Douglas MacPhee, the voice of Bellows Falls Union High School football.

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

     S.C.R. 25.  Concurrent resolution congratulating Bernie Gonyaw on his retirement as the press foreman at the Newport Express.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

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. 164

House concurrent resolution congratulating Gladys Walker on her 100th birthday

Offered by:  Representative Hube

Offered by:  Senators Campbell, McCormack and Nitka

H.C.R. 165

House concurrent resolution honoring Janet Leonard for her 30 years of dedicated service to the Vermont General Assembly

Offered by:  Representatives Kitzmiller and Anderson

Offered by:  Senators Cummings, Doyle and Scott

H.C.R. 166

House concurrent resolution recognizing the academic achievements of the Addison Central Supervisory Union’s Essential Early Education and Early Education Initiative Programs

Offered by:  Representative Jewett

Offered by:  Senators Ayer and Giard


H.C.R. 167

House concurrent resolution congratulating Becky Auger on being named the 2008 Vermont-NEA Education Support Professional of the Year

Offered by:  Representatives Grad and Donahue

H.C.R. 168

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Burtland Farm in Georgia as a recipient of a 2006 Lake Champlain Farm Award

Offered by:  Representatives Branagan and Gilbert

H.C.R. 169

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Bellows Free Academy Bullets 2007 Division III championship boys’ cross-country team

Offered by:  Representatives Branagan and Gilbert

H.C.R. 171

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Jelly Bean Tree crafts cooperative on its 30th anniversary

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski and Partridge

H.C.R. 172

House concurrent resolution congratulating Vermont Business Magazine 5x5x5 Award winners Chamberlain Machine, Inc. and Chroma Technology Corporation of Bellows Falls

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski and Partridge

H.C.R. 173

House concurrent resolution congratulating Mary Lou Smith on her designation as the 2007 Vermont Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski and others

H.C.R. 174

House concurrent resolution congratulating the town of Brookline on the completion of its municipal office building addition

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski and Partridge


H.C.R. 175

House concurrent resolution honoring Douglas MacPhee, the voice of Bellows Falls Union High School football

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski and others

     [The full text of the House concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Friday, January 11, 2008, 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 until one o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday, January 16, 2008.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us