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Journal of the Senate

________________

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

A moment of silence was observed in lieu of devotions.

Committee Bills Introduced

Senate committee bills of the following titles were severally introduced, read the first time, and, under the rule, placed on the Calendar for notice tomorrow:

S. 369.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs,

An act relating to recognition of tribes and bands of native Americans by the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.

S. 372.

By the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs,

An act relating to evictions, unpaid rent, and abandoned property in rental property.

Bills Referred to Committee on Appropriations

Senate Committee bills of the following title, appearing on the Calendar for notice and carrying appropriations or requiring the expenditure of funds, under the rule was referred to the Committee on Appropriations:

S. 370.

An act relating to funding for a food processing center and the UVM Board of Trustees.

S. 371.

An act relating to the creation of an agency of education and the elimination of the state board of education.


Rules Suspended; Committee Relieved of Further Consideration; Bill Committed

H. 563.

On motion of Senator Cummings, the rules were suspended, and H. 563 was taken up for immediate consideration, for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs from further consideration of the bill.  Thereupon, on motion of Senator Cummings, the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs was relieved of House bill entitled:

An act relating to the uniform commercial code,

and the bill was committed to the Committee on Finance.

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

H. 875.

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

An act relating to the sale of real property or transmissions facilities by certain regulated generators of electricity.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Cummings for the Committee on Finance, to which the bill was referred, 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.

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

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.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 114.

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

An act relating to enhancing mental health 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. § 4089b(b) is amended to read:

(b) A health insurance plan shall provide coverage for treatment of a mental health condition and shall:

(1) not establish any rate, term, or condition that places a greater financial burden on an insured for access to treatment for a mental health condition than for access to treatment for a physical health condition;

* * *

Sec. 2.  8 V.S.A. § 4089b(c) is amended to read:

(c)(1)(A) A health insurance plan that does not otherwise provide for management of care under the plan, or that does not provide for the same degree of management of care for all health conditions, may provide coverage for treatment of mental health conditions through a managed care organization provided that the managed care organization is in compliance with the rules adopted by the commissioner that assure that the system for delivery of treatment for mental health conditions does not diminish or negate the purpose of this section.

(B)  The rules adopted by the commissioner shall assure that:

(i)  timely and appropriate access to care is available; that

(ii)  the quantity, location and specialty distribution of health care providers is adequate; and that

(iii)  administrative or clinical protocols do not serve to reduce access to medically necessary treatment for any insured;

(iv)  utilization review and other administrative and clinical protocols do not deter timely and appropriate emergency hospital admissions;

(v)  in the case of a managed care organization which contracts with a health insurer to administer the insurer’s mental health benefits, the portion of a health insurer’s premium rate attributable to the coverage of mental health benefits is reviewed under sections 4062, 4513, 4584, or 5104 of this title to determine whether it is excessive, inadequate, unfairly discriminatory, unjust, unfair, inequitable, misleading or contrary to the laws of this state; and

(vi)  the health insurance plan is consistent with the Blueprint for Health with respect to mental health conditions, as determined by the commissioner under section 9414(b)(2) of Title 18.

(C)  Prior to the adoption of rules pursuant to this subdivision, the commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of mental health concerning:

(i)  developing incentives and other measures addressing the availability of providers of care and treatment for mental health conditions, especially in medically underserved areas;

(ii)  incorporating best practices and evidence-based guidelines into the utilization review of mental health conditions; and

(iii)  establishing benefit design, infrastructure support, and payment methodology standards for evaluating the health insurance plan’s consistency with the Blueprint for Health with respect to the care and treatment of mental health conditions.

(2)  A managed care organization providing or administering coverage for treatment of mental health conditions on behalf of a health insurance plan shall comply with this section, sections 4089a and 4724 of this title, and section 9414 of Title 18, with rules adopted pursuant to those provisions of law, and with all other obligations, under Title 18 and under this title, of the health insurance plan and the health insurer on behalf of which the review agent is providing or administering coverage.  A violation of any provision of this section shall constitute an unfair act or practice in the business of insurance in violation of section 4723 of this title.

(3)  A health insurer that contracts with a managed care organization to provide or administer coverage for treatment of mental health conditions is fully responsible for the acts and omissions of the managed care organization, including any violations of this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section.

(4)  In addition to any other remedy or sanction provided for by law, if the commissioner, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, finds that a health insurance plan or managed care organization has violated this section or any rule adopted pursuant to this section, the commissioner may:

(A)  Assess a penalty on the health insurer or managed care organization under section 4726 of this title;

(B)  Order the health insurer or managed care organization to cease and desist in further violations;

(C)  Order the health insurer or managed care organization to remediate the violation, including issuing an order to the health insurer to terminate its contract with the managed care organization; and

(D) Revoke or suspend the license of a health insurer or managed care organization, or permit continued licensure subject to such conditions as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(5)  As used in this subsection, the term “managed care organization” includes any of the following entities that provide or administer the coverage of mental health benefits on behalf of a health insurance plan:

(A)  a review agent as defined in section 4089a of this title;

(B)  a health insurer or an affiliate of a health insurer as defined in section 9402 of Title 18;

(C)  a managed care organization or an affiliate of a managed care organization as defined in section 9402 of Title 18; and

(D)  a person or entity that should be licensed as a managed care organization.

Sec. 3.  8 V.S.A. § 4089b(g) is amended to read:

(g)  The commissioner shall establish a task force to develop performance quality measures, and address oversight issues for managed behavioral health care organizations, and review the results of any quality improvement projects not otherwise confidential or privileged, undertaken by managed care organizations for mental health and substance abuse care and treatment under section 9414(i) of Title 18. The task force shall report to the senate committees on health and welfare of the senate and the house of representatives committees on health care and on human services on or before January 15 of each year with a report on the activities and recommendations of the task force. The task force shall include the following:

(1) the commissioner of developmental and mental health services or a designee;

(2) the director of the office of Vermont health access or a designee;

(3) the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration or a designee;

(4) fourteen additional members appointed by the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, including:

(A) four representatives of the health insurance and behavioral managed care organization industry;

(B) two consumers, after consultation with the health care ombudsman;

(C) one psychologist, after consultation with the Vermont psychological association;

(D) one psychiatrist, after consultation with the Vermont psychiatric association;

(E) one social worker, after consultation with the National Association of Social Workers, Vermont Chapter;

(F) one mental health counselor, after consultation with the Vermont mental health counselors association;

(G) one drug and alcohol counselor, after consultation with the Vermont association of drug and alcohol counselors;

(H) one representative from a consumer or citizen's organization;

(I) one representative from the business community; and

(J) one representative of community mental health centers.

Sec. 4.  18 V.S.A. § 9414(g) is amended to read:

(g)(1)  If In addition to any other remedy or sanction provided by law, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, if the commissioner determines that a managed care organization has violated or failed to comply with any of the provisions of this section or any rule adopted pursuant to this section, the commissioner may:

(A)  sanction the violation or failure to comply as provided in Title 8, including sanctions provided by or incorporated in sections 5108 and 5109 of Title 8 and section 4726 of Title 8, and may use any information obtained during the course of any legal or regulatory action against a managed care organization;

(B)  order the managed care organization to cease and desist in further violations; and

(C)  order the managed care organization to remediate the violation, including issuing an order to the managed care organization to terminate its contract with any person or entity which administers claims or the coverage of benefits on behalf of the managed care organization.

(2)  A managed care organization that contracts with a person or entity to administer claims or provide coverage of health benefits is fully responsible for the acts and omissions of such person or entity.  Such person or entity shall comply with all obligations, under this title and Title 8, of the health insurance plan and the health insurer on behalf of which the such person or entity is providing or administering coverage.

(3)  A violation of any provision of this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section shall constitute an unfair act or practice in the business of insurance in a violation of section 4723 of Title 8.

Sec. 5.  18 V.S.A. § 9414(i) is added to read:

(3)  Upon review of the managed care organization’s clinical data, or after consideration of claims or other data, the commissioner may:

(A)  identify quality issues in need of improvement; and

(B)  direct the managed care organization to propose quality improvement initiatives to remediate those issues.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE; LEGISLATIVE INTENT; APPLICABILITY

(a)  This act shall take effect upon passage, except that Secs. 2 and 4 of this act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

(b)  The provisions of 8 V.S.A. § 4089b(c)(2) and (3), and 18 V.S.A. § 9414(g)(2) and (3) are intended to clarify existing law.  The remedies provided for in 8 V.S.A. § 4089b(c)(4), and 18 V.S.A. § 9414(g)(1) shall apply to legal or regulatory violations that occur before and after passage of this act.

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 on a roll call, Yeas 28, 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, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Mullin, Nitka, Racine, Scott, Sears, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: None.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Coppenrath, Miller.

Consideration Postponed

Senate bills entitled:

S. 201.

An act relating to state employee whistleblower protection.

S. 211.

An act relating to soliciting of architect proposals by a school district.

S. 270.

An act relating to the agreement among the states to elect the president by national popular vote.

S. 354.

An act relating to public agency deferred compensation plans.

Were taken up.

Thereupon, without objection consideration of the bills was postponed until tomorrow.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 244.

Senator Carris, for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to self-storage facilities.

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

Sec. 1.  SHORT TITLE

This act shall be known as the "Vermont Self-Storage Facility Act."

Sec. 2.  9 V.S.A. chapter 98 is added to read:

CHAPTER 98.  STORAGE UNITS

§ 3950.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1)  "Last known address" means that address provided by the occupant in the rental agreement or the address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address.

(2)  "Occupant" means a person, successor, assignee, agent, or representative entitled to the use of storage space in a self-storage facility under a rental agreement to the exclusion of others.


(3)  "Owner" means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-storage facility, an agent, or any other person authorized by the owner to manage the facility or to receive rent from an occupant under a rental agreement.

(4)  "Personal property" means movable property not affixed to land, and includes goods, merchandise, and household items.

(5)  "Rental agreement" means any written agreement that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or any other provision concerning the use and occupancy of a self-storage facility.

(6)  "Self-storage facility" means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to occupants who are to have access to such space for the purpose of storing and removing personal property.  A self-storage facility is not a "warehouse" as used in Article 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) as codified in Title 9A.  If an owner issues any warehouse receipt, bill of lading, or other document of title for the personal property stored, the owner and the occupant are subject to the U.C.C., and this act does not apply.

§ 3951.  RESIDENTIAL PURPOSES

(a)  No occupant shall use storage space at a self-storage facility for residential purposes.

(b)  No owner shall knowingly permit a storage space at a self-storage facility to be used for residential purposes.

§ 3952.  DISCLOSURES

A rental agreement shall contain the following:

(1)  The name and address of the owner and occupant.

(2)  The actual monthly occupancy charge, rent, or lease amount for the storage space provided, expressed in dollars.

(3)  An itemization of other charges imposed or which may be imposed in connection with the occupancy, a description of the charges, whether the charges are mandatory or optional, and the amount of each charge expressed in dollars.

(4)  A statement of whether property stored in the leased space is or is not insured by the owner against loss or damage and of the requirement that the occupant must provide his or her own insurance for any property stored, written in conspicuous language and in bold print.

(5)  A statement advising the occupant of the existence of the lien created by this chapter, and that the property stored in the leased space may be sold to satisfy the lien.

§ 3953.  LIEN

The owner of a self-storage facility has a lien upon all personal property located in a storage space at a self-storage facility for rent, labor, or other charges, present or future, in relation to the personal property, and for expenses relevant to its preservation or expenses reasonably incurred in its sale or other disposition pursuant to this chapter.  The lien provided for in this section is superior to any other lien or security interest.  The lien attaches as of the date the personal property is brought to or placed in a storage space at a self-storage facility in accordance with the provisions of a valid rental agreement.

§ 3954.  ENFORCEMENT OF LIEN

In the event of a default under the terms of a rental agreement, the lien created under this chapter may be enforced in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(1)  First notice of default.  No sooner than five days after a default, the occupant shall be notified of the default by regular mail sent to his or her last known address.

(2)  Second notice of default.  No sooner than 14 days after a default, the occupant shall be notified of the default by regular mail sent to his or her last known address.  The second notice shall contain the following:

(A)  An itemized statement of the owner's claim showing the sum due at the time of the notice and the date when the sum became due.

(B)  A brief and general description of the personal property subject to the lien.  There shall be no requirement to describe the specific contents of a storage space in a self-storage facility beyond stating that it is the contents of a specific storage space in a specific self-storage facility rented by a specific occupant.

(C)  A notice of denial of access to the personal property, if such denial is permitted under the terms of the rental agreement.

(D)  A demand for payment within a specified time not less than ten days after the delivery of the notice; any notice mailed pursuant to this section shall be presumed delivered when it is deposited with the United States Postal Service, properly addressed with proper postage prepaid.

(E)  A conspicuous statement that unless the claim is paid in full within the time stated in the notice, the personal property will be advertised for sale or other disposition and will be sold according to law.

(3)  Advertisement.  After the expiration of the time given in the second notice under subdivision (2) of this section, an advertisement of the sale or other disposition shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation where the self-storage facility is located.  The advertisement shall contain the following:

(A)  A brief and general description of the personal property as provided in subdivision (2)(B) of this section.

(B)  The address of the self-storage facility and the number, if any, of the space where the personal property is located and the name of the occupant.

(C)  The time, place, and manner of the sale or other disposition.  If there is no newspaper of general circulation where the self-storage facility is located, the advertisement shall be posted at least 15 days before the date of the sale or other disposition at the town hall where the self-storage facility is located in such fashion as the auction sales of real property are posted.

(4)  Notice to other lienholders.  After the expiration of the time given in the second notice under subdivision (2) of this section, the owner shall determine whether the occupant owns any personal property subject to an active lien registered with the Vermont secretary of state.  If any such lien exists, the lienholder shall be notified by regular mail not less than 14 days prior to the sale or other disposition of the property.  Such notice shall include the following:

(A)  A statement describing the property to be sold or otherwise disposed of.  There shall be no requirement to describe the specific contents of a storage space in a self-storage facility beyond stating that it is the contents of a specific storage space in a specific self-storage facility rented by a specific occupant.

(B)  A statement of the lienholder's rights under this chapter.

(C)  A statement of the time, place, and manner of the sale or other disposition of the property.

(5)  Sale.  Upon fulfillment of the notification and advertisement requirements of this section, sale or other disposition of the personal property shall be permitted, provided the following conditions are met:

(A)  The sale or other disposition of the personal property shall take place not sooner than 15 days after the first publication under subdivision (3) of this section.

(B)  Any sale or other disposition of the personal property under this chapter shall conform to the terms of all notifications required under this section.  If the sale will not or does not take place as provided for in the notifications, then subsequent notifications shall be made in the same manner as the original notifications had been made.

(C)  Any sale or other disposition of the personal property shall be held at the self-storage facility, or at the nearest suitable place.

(D)  Any sale or disposition of the personal property shall be performed in a commercially reasonable manner, meaning the owner sells the goods in the usual manner in any recognized market therefor, at the price current in such market at the time of the sale; or otherwise sold in conformity with commercially reasonable practices among dealers in the type of goods sold; however, the sale of more goods than apparently necessary to ensure satisfaction of the obligation is not commercially reasonable unless necessary due to the nature of the goods being sold or the manner in which they are customarily sold.  The fact that a better price could have been obtained by sale at a different time or by a different method from that selected by the owner is not of itself sufficient to establish that the sale was not made in a commercially reasonable manner.

(E)  Any sale or disposition of a motor vehicle shall be performed pursuant to the motor vehicle title act.

(6)  Right of satisfaction.  Before any sale or disposition of personal property pursuant to this chapter, the occupant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien in full and the reasonable expenses incurred under this section, and thereby redeem the personal property.  Upon receipt of such payment, the owner shall return the personal property, and thereafter the owner shall have no liability to any person with respect to such personal property.

(7)  Proceeds in excess of lien amount.  In the event of sale under this section, the owner may satisfy the owner’s lien from the proceeds of the sale or other disposition, but shall hold the balance, if any, for delivery on demand to the occupant.  If the occupant does not claim the balance of the proceeds within two years of the date of sale, it shall become property of the state of Vermont and shall be paid over to the treasurer of the state of Vermont without interest.

(8)  Rights of other lienholders.  The holder of any active lien on personal property stored in the storage unit and registered with the Vermont secretary of state may take possession of its liened property at any time prior to sale or other disposition by paying the owner's claim.

(9)  Rights of purchasers.  A purchaser in good faith of the personal property sold to satisfy a lien, as provided elsewhere in this chapter, takes the property free of any rights of persons against whom the lien was valid, despite noncompliance by the owner with the requirements of this chapter.

§ 3955.  SUPPLEMENTAL NATURE OF ACT

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed in any manner to impair or affect the right of parties to create liens by special contract or agreement, nor shall it in any manner affect or impair other liens arising at common law or in equity, or by any statute in this state.

§ 3956.  SAVINGS CLAUSE

All self-storage rental agreements entered into before the effective date of this chapter, and not extended or renewed before that date, and the rights, duties, and interests flowing from them shall remain valid and may be enforced or terminated in accordance with their terms or as permitted by any other statute or law of this state.

§ 3957.  SEVERABILITY

If any provision of this act or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect January 1, 2009.

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, and the recommendation of amendment was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be read a third time?, Senator Illuzzi, moved to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, 9 V.S.A. § 3953, after the word “a” in the second instance, by inserting the word possessory

Second:  In Sec. 2, 9 V.S.A. § 3954(4), in the second sentence, after the word “by” by striking out the word  “regular” and inserting in lieu thereof the word certified

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.


Bill Passed

Senate bill of the following title was read the third time and passed:

S. 360.

An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce corrections costs.

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.H. 45.

Joint House resolution of the following title was read the third time and adopted in concurrence:

Joint resolution urging Congress to repeal the planned competitive loan auction pilot program for the federal family education loan program’s plus loans to parent.

Bills Amended; Third Readings Ordered

S. 26.

Senator Carris, for the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to electronic payment of wages.

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

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. §§ 342 and 343 are amended to read:

§ 342.  WEEKLY PAYMENT OF WAGES

(a)  Any person having employees in his service doing and transacting business within the state shall pay:

(1)  Pay to those employees each week, in lawful money or checks, each of his employees, the wages earned by such each employee to a day not more than six days prior to the date of such payment.

(b)(2)  After giving written notice to his the employees, any person having employees in his service doing and transacting business within the state may, notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, pay bi-weekly or semi-monthly in lawful money or checks, each of his employees, employee the wages earned by the employee to a day not more than six days prior to the date of the payment.  If a collective bargaining agreement so provides, the payment may be made to a day not more than 13 days prior to the date of payment.

(c)(1)(b)  An employee who voluntarily:

(1)  Voluntarily leaves his employment shall be paid on the last regular pay day, or if there is no regular pay day, on the following Friday.

(2)  An employee who is Is discharged from employment shall be paid within 72 hours of his discharge.

(3)  If an employee is Is absent from his or her regular place of employment on the employer's regular scheduled date of wages or salary payment such employee shall be entitled to such payment upon demand.

(d)(c)  With the written authorization of an employee, an employer may pay wages due the employee by deposit:

(1)  Deposit through electronic funds transfer or other direct deposit systems to a checking, savings, or other deposit account maintained by or for the employee in any financial institution within or without the state.

(2)  Credit to a payroll card account directly or indirectly established by an employer to which electronic fund transfers of the employee's wages, salary, or other employee compensation is made on a recurring basis, other than a checking, savings, or other deposit account described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, provided:

(A)  the employer provides the employee written disclosure in plain language, in at least 10-point type, of all the employee's wage payment options;

(B)  the employer provides the employee written disclosure in plain language, in at least 10-point type, of the terms and conditions of the payroll card account option including a complete list of all known fees that may be deducted from the employee's payroll card account by the employer or the card issuer and whether third parties may assess fees in addition to the fees assessed by the employer or issuer;

(C)  the employee voluntarily consents in writing to receipt of payment by payroll card account after receiving the disclosures described in subdivisions (A) and (B) of this subdivision (2);

(D)  consent to payment of wages by electronic fund transfer to a payroll card account shall not be a condition of hire or a condition of continued employment;

(E)  the employer shall provide the employee at least one free means to withdraw the full amount of the employee's balance on the employee's payroll card during each pay period at a financial institution, credit union, or other location convenient to the place of employment; additionally, the employer shall provide the employee with one free ATM transaction each pay period to access funds from the payroll card account without incurring any fees;

(F)  none of the employer's costs associated with the payroll card account shall be passed on to the employee;

(G)  the employer provides prior written notice in plain language, in at least 10 point type, of any change to any of the terms and conditions of the payroll card account, including any change in the itemized list of fees, and obtains voluntary written consent from the employee to continue receiving wages on the payroll card account subject to the changes.  The employer shall be responsible for any increase in fees charged to the employee before the employer provides written notice of such changes to the employee;

(H)  in no event, shall the employer provide payment to a payroll card that has an expiration date, unless the employer agrees to provide a replacement payroll card at no cost to the employee before the expiration date;

(I)  the employer provides the employee the option to discontinue receipt of wages by a payroll card account at any time, without penalty to the employee;

(J)  the payroll card issued to the employee is a branded type payroll card that can be used at PIN-based and signature-based outlets;

(K)  the payroll card account shall be set up so that the account cannot be overdrawn;

(L)  the payroll card issuer has filed a notice with the commissioner of the department of labor containing the entity's true name, any other names under which the entity conducts business, the entity's address, which address cannot be a post office box, and the entity's telephone number.

§ 343.  FORM OF PAYMENT

Such An employer shall not pay its employees with any form of evidence of indebtedness, including, without limitation, all scrip, vouchers, due bills, or store orders, unless:

(1)  the employer is a cooperative corporation in which the employee is a stockholder.  However, such a cooperative corporation shall, upon request of any such shareholding employee, pay him the shareholding employee as provided in section 342 of this title; or

(2)  payment is made by check as defined in Title 9A or by electronic fund transfer as provided in section 342 of this title.

Sec. 2.  8 V.S.A. § 2707(6) is added to read:

(6)  a payroll card account issued pursuant to and in full compliance with 21 V.S.A. § 342(c).

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

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. 112.

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

An act relating to victims compensation.

     Reported recommending that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 5, 32 V.S.A. § 1407, by striking out subsections (a) and (b) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

The state shall bear the costs of medical and psychological examinations administered to victims of crime committed in this state, in instances where that examination is requested by a law enforcement officer or a prosecuting authority of the state or any of its subdivisions.  The state shall also bear the costs of medical examinations administered to victims in cases of alleged sexual assault where the victim obtains such an examination prior to receiving such a request.  If, as a result of a sexual assault examination, the alleged victim has been referred for mental health counseling, the state shall bear the costs of such examination.  These costs may be paid from the victims' compensation fund from funds appropriated for that purpose.  The fund shall reimburse health care facilities and health care providers located in Vermont as defined in section 9402 of Title 18 at 70 percent of the billed charges for these claims, and the health care provider or facility shall not bill any balance to the crime victim.  A victim, at his or her own expense, may obtain copies of the results of an examination under this section.

Second: By striking out Sec. 3 and Sec. 6 in their entirety.

     And by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Senator Sears, for the Committee on Appropriations, to which the bill was referred, reported that the bill ought to pass when so amended.

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

S. 117.

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

An act relating to a statewide school year calendar.

     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. § 1071 is amended to read:

§ 1071.  SCHOOL YEAR AND SCHOOL DAY CALENDAR

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(b)  Hours of operation; grades one through twelveWithin the minimum set by the state board, the school board shall fix the number of hours that shall constitute a school day, subject to change upon the order of the state board.  A majority of students in each grade must be in attendance, or participating in a school-sponsored learning opportunity, for a minimum of five and one-half hours, including time available for lunch, for a day to constitute one full student attendance day.  If a majority of students in any grade is in attendance, or participating in a school-sponsored learning opportunity, for fewer than five and one-half hours, the day shall be counted as one-half of a student attendance day unless a waiver due to an emergency is requested of and granted by the commissioner; provided, however, if widespread illness results in attendance by less than a majority of students in one or more grades, then the day shall constitute one full student attendance day.  In addition, a day shall count as one full student attendance day if, due to an emergency determined to affect the health or safety of the students, the beginning of the school day is delayed by no more than two hours or the school day ends no more than two hours earlier than scheduled.

(c)  Unanticipated closings.  When a public school is closed for cause beyond the control of the school board it may petition the state board for a waiver of the requirements of this section.  The petition shall be filed with the state board within 10 days of each occurrence and not later than June 15 of the school year involved; and the state board shall act on the petition at its next meeting held five or more business days following receipt of the petition.  Action may include approval of the request, disapproval of the request, or postponement of a decision for a definite period in order to enable the district to schedule makeup days.  If the petition is approved and a waiver granted, the school district shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.  If the state board fails to act at that meeting, the petition shall be deemed to have been approved and the waiver granted.

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(e)  Regional Technical center service region calendar.  Before April 1 of each year, the superintendents of schools and the headmasters of public schools not managed by school boards in an area in a technical center service region, the headmaster of an approved independent school functioning as an approved area technical center, and the director of a regional technical center school district, if either exists in the technical center service region, shall meet, and by majority vote, establish a uniform calendar to be observed by all school districts within that area the region for the following school year.  The calendar shall include student attendance days, periods of vacation, holidays and, teacher in-service education days, and provisions for transportation of students attending a technical center in the region and shall comply with subsection (a) of this section.  Unless permitted by the commissioner, no area served by a regional technical center shall be divided into two or more calendar regions.

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Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 4003(a) is amended to read:

(a)  No school district shall receive any aid under this chapter unless that school district complies with the provisions of law relative to teachers’ salaries, appointment of superintendents, detailed financial reports to the state department of education, uniform technical center service region calendars, and any other requirements of law.

Sec. 3.  REPEAL

Secs. 2 and 3 of No. 31 of the Acts of 2007 (statewide school calendar; committee; effective date) are repealed.

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

AN ACT RELATING TO SCHOOL CALENDARS.

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 was ordered on a roll call, Yeas 24, Nays 3.

Senator White 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, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, Mullin, Racine, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Starr.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: McCormack, Shumlin, White.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Coppenrath, Miller, Nitka.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until ten o’clock and twenty-five minutes in the morning.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us