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Journal of the Senate

________________

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

A moment of silence was observed in lieu of devotions.

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. 348.

By the Committee on Education,

An act relating to education or workforce training for children between the ages of 16 and 18 years.

Bills Introduced

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

S. 349.

By Senator Campbell,

An act relating to uninsured motorist policy coverage for state employees.

To the Committee on Finance.

S. 350.

By Senators Shumlin, Lyons, Ayer, Campbell, Carris, Condos, Cummings, Hartwell, McCormack and MacDonald,

An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

To the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

Rules Suspended; Committee Relieved of Further Consideration; Bill Committed

S. 198.

On motion of Senator Collins, the rules were suspended, and S. 198 was taken up for immediate consideration, for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Education from further consideration of the bill. Thereupon, on motion of Senator Collins, the Committee on Education was relieved of Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to excellence in Vermont institutions of higher education,

and the bill was committed to the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

J.R.S. 43.

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

   By Senator Shumlin,

     J.R.S. 43.  Joint resolution relating to Town Meeting adjournment.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

     That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, February 29, 2008, or Saturday, March 1, 2008, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, March 11, 2008.

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

Bill Amended; Bill Passed; Bill Messaged

S. 318.

Senate bill entitled:

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

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Cummings, on behalf of the Committee on Finance, moved to amend the bill 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 equity ownership by any means permitted under subchapters 1 and 2 of chapter 53 of Title 24 or municipal charter.  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 or municipal charter, may pledge its credit or the net revenues of its municipal plant by issuing negotiable orders, warrants, notes, or bonds for the acquisition of equity ownership in Vermont Transco LLC or Vermont Electric Power Company or both pursuant to subsection 604(e) of this title.  In addition, an acquisition of equity ownership may be effected through any instrument permitted under section 1789 of Title 24.  Acquisition costs may include all costs, whether incurred prior to or after the issue of bonds or notes relating to the acquisition of equity ownership under this chapter.  Acquisition of equity ownership is an improvement as defined in subdivision 1751(3) of Title 24.

(b)  The obligations shall be issued in accordance with chapter 53 of Title 24 or municipal charter.  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.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed.

Thereupon, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and the bill was ordered messaged to the House forthwith.

Message from the House No. 4

     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 a joint resolution of the following title:

J.R.H. 43.  Joint resolution designating October 18, 2008, as Vermont Pumpkin Carving Day.

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

Adjournment

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



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us