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Journal of the Senate

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President pro tempore.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend David Hall of Montpelier.

Rules Suspended; Action Reconsidered; Leave Granted to Offer Proposal of Amendment After Third Reading; Proposal of Amendment; Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment; Bill Messaged

H. 737.

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

An act relating to fiscal year 2008 budget adjustments..

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Assuring the Chair, that she voted with the majority whereby the Senate passed the bill in concurrence with proposal of amendment, Senator Bartlett moved that the rules be suspended and that the Senate reconsider its action, after the next succeeding legislative day.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, Senator Bartell requested and was granted leave to offer a proposal of amendment after third reading.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, Senator Bartlett, moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment in Sec. 2., in Sec. 5(e) of No. 65 of the Acts of 2007, by striking out the words “seek approval from” and inserting in lieu thereof the words consult with

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the pending question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, was decided in the affirmative.

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

Rules Suspended; Third Reading Ordered, Rules Suspended; Bill Passed in Concurrence; Bill Messaged

H. 874.

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

An act relating to decomposed municipal budgets.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator White, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending 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.

Thereupon, on motion of Senator White, the rules were suspended and the bill was placed on all remaining stages of its passage in concurrence forthwith.

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

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

Bill Referred

House bill of the following title was read the first time and referred:

H. 664.

An act relating to unemployment insurance.

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

Bill Referred to Committee on Finance

S. 350.

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 energy independence and economic prosperity.


Rules Suspended; Proposals of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended; Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence; Joint Resolution Messaged

J.R.H. 51.

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator McCormack, the rules were suspended and House resolution entitled:

Joint resolution supporting the Hanover High School Kids for a Cooler Planet reusable shopping bag campaign.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator McCormack, for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which the resolution was referred, reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the resolution as follows:

First:  In the fourth whereas clause, after the number “12” by inserting the word million

Second:  In the seventh whereas clause, by striking out the word “nondisposable” and inserting in lieu thereof the word disposable

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

Thereupon, on motion of Senator McCormack, the rules were suspended and the resolution was placed on all remaining stages of its adoption in concurrence with proposals of amendment forthwith.

Thereupon, the resolution was read the third time and adopted in concurrence with proposals of amendment.

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

Bill Amended; Bill Passed

S. 226.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to requiring the installation of smoke detectors.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Condos moved to amend the bill in Sec. 5(d) after the words “prohibit the” by inserting the word additional

Which was agreed to.

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

Bill Passed

Senate bill of the following title:

S. 250.

An act relating to decreasing the amounts of cocaine and heroin required to be possessed to trigger drug trafficking penalties.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed on a roll call, Yeas 27, 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, Condos, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Mullin, Nitka, Racine, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: None.

Those Senators absent or not voting were: Illuzzi, Maynard, Shumlin (presiding).

Consideration Postponed

S. 357.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to domestic violence.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, on motion of Senator Campbell, action on the bill was postponed until Tuesday, March 11, 2008.

Third Reading Ordered

S. 245.

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

An act relating to crime victims.

Reported that the bill ought to pass.

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

Bills Amended; Third Readings Ordered

S. 280.

Senator Racine, for the Committee on Health and Welfare, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to prosthetic parity.

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

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4088f is added to read:

§ 4088f.  PROSTHETIC PARITY

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Health insurance plan” means any health insurance policy or health benefit plan offered by a health insurer, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9402, as well as Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, and any other public health care assistance program offered or administered by the state or by any subdivision or instrumentality of the state.  The term shall not include policies or plans providing coverage for specific disease or other limited benefit coverage.

(2)  “Prosthetic device” means an artificial limb device to replace, in whole or in part, an arm or a leg.

(b)  A health insurance plan shall provide coverage for prosthetic devices in all health plans as is provided by the federal Medicare program.  Coverage may be limited to the prosthetic device that is the most appropriate model that is medically necessary to meet the patient’s medical needs.  Any dispute between the insured and the carrier concerning coverage and the application of this section shall be subject to independent external review under section 4089f of this title.

(c)  A health insurance plan may require prior authorization for prosthetic devices in the same manner and to the same extent as prior authorization is required for any other covered benefit.

(d)  A health insurance plan shall provide coverage under this section for the medically necessary repair or replacement of a prosthetic device.

(e)  A health insurance plan shall not impose any annual or lifetime dollar maximum on coverage for prosthetics that is less than the annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies generally to all terms and services covered under the plan.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on October 1, 2008 and shall apply to all health benefit plans on and after October 1, 2008 on such date as a health insurer offers, issues, or renews the health benefit plan, but in no event later than October 1, 2009.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Senator Mazza Assumes the Chair

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. 281.

Senator Kittell, for the Committee on Health and Welfare, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to end-of-life care and pain management.

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

Sec. 1.  REPORT ON PALLIATIVE CARE, END-OF-LIFE CARE, AND PAIN MANAGEMENT

(a)  The department of health shall convene a group of stakeholders to discuss how to improve palliative care, end-of-life care, and management of chronic pain.  Participants shall include the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living; ExCEL; the Hospice and Palliative Care Council of Vermont; Patient Choices at End of Life – Vermont; the Vermont Health Care Association; the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems; the Vermont Medical Society; the Vermont Center for Independent Living; the American Cancer Society; and other interested stakeholders.  The group shall examine available data from existing sources and evaluate their utility for driving improvements in palliative care, end-of-life care, and pain management services across settings in this state.

(b)  The group shall:

(1)  consider the value and feasibility of conducting ongoing studies or updating reports, or both;

(2)  develop recommendations for improving ongoing coordination of activities directed toward improving palliative care, end-of-life care, and pain management services throughout the state; and

(3)  develop recommendations for improving methods of informing consumers about options in this state for end-of-life care, palliative care, and management of chronic pain.

(c)  No later than January 15, 2009, the department of health shall report on the stakeholders’ group’s findings and recommendations to the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committees on health care and on human services.

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.

Consideration Postponed

S. 336.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to juvenile judicial proceedings.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending the reading of the report of the Committee on Judiciary, on motion of Senator Sears, action on the bill was postponed until Tuesday, March 11, 2008.

House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred In

H. 580.

House proposal of amendment to Senate proposal of amendment to House bill entitled:

An act relating to terms of members of the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board.

Was taken up.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 1a to read as follows:


Sec. 1a.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS; APPLICATION

This act shall apply to current members of the Vermont tobacco evaluation and review board so that the term of a member who was appointed prior to the effective date of this act shall be deemed to have begun on July 1 of the year in which the appointment was made.

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment to the Senate proposal of amendment?, was decided in the affirmative.

Message from the House No. 28

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

S. 209.  An act relating to the Vermont efficiency and affordability act.

And has concurred therein.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Campbell, 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