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Journal of the Senate

________________

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

A moment of silence was observed in lieu of devotions.

Consideration Postponed

Senate bills entitled:

S. 201.

An act relating to state employee whistleblower protection.

S. 275.

An act relating to motor vehicles passing bicyclists on highways.

Were taken up.

Thereupon, without objection consideration of the bills was postponed until the next legislative day.

Bill Ordered to Lie

S. 211.

Senate bill entitled:

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

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending the reading of the report of the Committee on Education, on motion of Senator Collins, the bill was ordered to lie.

Bill Passed

S. 117.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to statewide school year calendar.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Mullin moved to amend the bill by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 3a to read as follows:

Sec. 3a.  TECHNICAL CENTER SERVICE REGIONS; SUPERVISORY UNIONS; STUDY AND PROPOSAL

(a)  There is created a committee to design a proposal by which the number and boundaries of the supervisory unions in the state shall be adjusted to align with the current number and boundaries of technical center service regions.  The proposal shall detail a process ensuring that realignment is fully implemented by July 1, 2012. 

(b)  The committee shall consist of the following members:

(1)  The commissioner of education or designee who shall act as chair and shall convene the first meeting on or before August 1, 2008.

(2)  The executive director of the Vermont superintendents association or designee.

(3)  The executive director of the Vermont school boards association or designee.

(4)  The executive director of the Vermont principals’ association or designee.

(5)  The president of the Vermont National Education Association or designee.

(6)  The chair of the senate committee on education or designee.

(7)  The chair of the house committee on education or designee.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2009, the committee shall submit a written report to the house and senate committees on education regarding the proposal required by this section, including its analysis, recommendations, and a timeline ensuring full implementation of the proposal on or before July 1, 2012. 

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be amended as recommended by Senator Mullin?, Senator Mullin requested and was granted leave to withdraw the proposal of amendment.

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

Consideration Postponed

S. 152.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to prevention of lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Sears moved to amend the bill in Sec. 2, 9 V.S.A. §2470h by striking out subdivision (2) [plumbing fixtures and related supplies] in its entirety and renumbering the remaining subdivisions to be numerically correct.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be amended as recommended by Senator Sears?, on motion of Senator Shumlin, action on the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Bill Passed

Senate bill of the following title:

S. 270.

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

Was read the third time and passed on a roll call, Yeas 22, Nays 6.

Senator Condos 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, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Mazza, McCormack, Nitka, Racine, Sears, Shumlin, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Coppenrath, Doyle, Maynard, Mullin, Scott, Snelling.

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

Bills Passed

Senate bills of the following titles were severally read the third time and passed:

S. 354.

An act relating to public agency deferred compensation plans.

S. 373.

An act relating to full funding of decommissioning costs of a nuclear plant.


Bills Amended; Third Readings Ordered

S. 233.

Senator Ayer, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to temporary officiants for marriages and civil unions.

Reported recommending that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 5144a(a), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and renumbering subdivision (3) as subdivision (2)

Second:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(a), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and renumbering subdivision (3) as subdivision (2)

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Senator Ayer, for the Committee on Finance, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. §5144a(3) by striking out the figure “$25.00” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $150.00

Second:  In the last section of the bill by striking out the following: “Sec. 2” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Sec. 4

Third:  In Sec. 4, 18 V.S.A. § 5164a(3), by striking out the figure “25.00” and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $150.00

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 recommendations of amendment of the Committee on Government Operations were agreed to.

Thereupon, the recommendations of amendment of the Committee on Finance were agreed to on a division of the Senate, Yeas 21, Nays 5.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

S. 324.

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

An act relating to beer tastings.

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


Sec. 1.  7 V.S.A. § 67 is amended to read: 

§ 67.  WINE AND MALT BEVERAGE TASTINGS; PERMIT; PENALTIES

(a)  Provided an applicant submits to the department of liquor control a written application in a form required by the department accompanied by the permit fee as required by subdivision 231(15) of this title at least 15 days prior to the date of the wine or malt beverage tasting event and the applicant is determined to be in good standing, the department of liquor control may grant a permit to conduct a wine or malt beverage tasting event to:

(1)  A second class licensee.  The permit authorizes the employees of the permit holder to dispense vinous or malt beverages to retail customers of legal age on the licensee's premises.  Vinous or malt beverages for the tasting shall be from the inventory of the licensee or purchased from a wholesale dealer. Pursuant to this permit, a second class licensee may conduct no more than one wine tasting two tastings per month.

(2)  A licensed manufacturer or rectifier of vinous or malt beverages. The permit authorizes the permit holder to dispense vinous beverages produced by the manufacturer or rectifier to retail customers of legal age for consumption on the premises of a second class licensee or at a farmers' market. Pursuant to this permit, a manufacturer or rectifier may conduct no more than one tasting a day on the premises of a second class licensee.  No more than four wine tasting permits per month for a tasting event held on the premises of second class licensees shall be permitted.

* * *

(b)  A wine or beer tasting event held pursuant to this section, not to include wine tasting events conducted on the premises of a manufacturer or rectifier or on the premises of a fourth class licensee pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section or  promotional tastings pursuant to subsection (d) of this section:

(1)  May continue for no more than six hours in duration, with no more than six vinous beverages to be offered at a single event, and no more than two ounces of any single vinous beverage and no more than a total of eight ounces of various vinous or malt beverages to be dispensed to a customer.  No more than four eight customers may be served at one time.

(2)  Shall be conducted totally within an area that is clearly cordoned off by barriers that extend no further than 10 feet from the point of service, and a sign that clearly states that no one under the age of 21 may participate in the wine tasting shall be placed in a visible location at the entrance to the wine tasting area.

(c)  The holder of a permit issued under this section shall keep an accurate accounting of the vinous or malt beverages consumed at a tasting event and shall be responsible for complying with all applicable laws under this title.

(d)  Promotional wine or beer tasting.

(1)  At the request of a holder of a first class or second class license, a holder of a manufacturer's, rectifier's, or wholesale dealer's license may distribute without charge to the first or second class licensee's management and staff, provided they are of legal drinking age, two ounces per person of vinous or malt beverages for the purpose of promoting the beverage.  No permit is required under this subdivision, but written notice of the event shall be provided to the department of liquor control at least five days prior to the date of the tasting.

(2)  A holder of a wholesale dealer's license may dispense vinous or malt beverages for promotional purposes at the wholesale dealer's premises without charge to invited employees of first, second, and third class licensees, provided the invited employees are of legal drinking age, and the wholesale dealer obtains a permit pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

* * *

(f)  The holder of a permit issued under this section that provides alcoholic beverages to an underage individual or permits an individual under the age of 18 to serve alcoholic beverages at a wine or malt beverage tasting event under this section shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

And that when so amended the bill ought to pass.

Senator Condos, for the Committee on Finance, 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, and the recommendation of amendment was agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered.

S. 261.

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

An act relating to phthalates in products for young children.

Reported recommending that the bill be amended as follows:

First:  In subsections (b) and (c) of Sec.1, by striking out the following: “January 1, 2009” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: July 1, 2009

Second:  By striking out subsection (g) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (g) to read as follows:

(g)  A violation of this section shall be deemed a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, chapter 63 of Title 9.  The attorney general may investigate and prosecute violations of this section pursuant to the provisions of the Consumer Fraud 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.

S. 271.

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

An act relating to child support for children with disabilities.

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

Sec. 1.  15 V.S.A. § 658(g) is added to read:

(g)  The court may order child support to continue up to the age of 22 for an individual with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities if the court finds that cessation of support would result in the individual losing:

(1)  housing and related services, thereby placing the individual at risk of being institutionalized, other than under the supervision of the department of corrections; or

(2)  health or community services.

Sec. 2.  SUNSET

This act shall be repealed effective July 1, 2012.

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. 301.

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

An act relating to assaults on law enforcement officers and to hate-motivated crimes against law enforcement officers and firefighters.

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

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 1028 is amended to read:

§ 1028.  ASSAULT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, FIREFIGHTER, EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL, OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL MEMBER; ASSAULT WITH BODILY FLUIDS

(a)  A person convicted of a simple or aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency room personnel, or member of emergency services personnel as defined in subdivision 2651(6) of Title 24 while the officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel member is performing a lawful duty, in addition to any other penalties imposed under sections 1023 and 1024 of this title, shall:

(1)(A)  For the first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year;

(B)  For a first offense of aggravated assault, be imprisoned not more than three years;

(2)  For the second offense and subsequent offenses, be imprisoned not more than ten years.

(b)(1)  No person shall intentionally cause blood, vomitus, excrement, mucus, saliva, semen, or urine to come in contact with a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or member of emergency services personnel as defined in subdivision 2651(6) of Title 24 while the officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel member is performing a lawful duty. 

(2)  A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

The Committee further recommends that after passage of the bill the title be amended to read as follows:

AN ACT RELATING TO ENHANCING THE PENALTIES FOR ASSAULTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND TO THE CRIME OF ASSAULT WITH BODILY FLUIDS.

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. 304.

Senator Snelling, for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to a groundwater withdrawal permit program.

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

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1390 is amended to read:

§ 1390.  POLICY

It is the policy of the state of Vermont that it shall protect its groundwater resources to maintain high quality drinking water and shall manage its groundwater resources to minimize the risks of groundwater quality deterioration by limiting human activities that present unreasonable risks to the use classifications of groundwater in the vicinities of such activities while balancing the state's groundwater policy with the need to maintain and promote a healthy and prosperous agricultural community The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(1)  surface and subsurface water are inherently interrelated in both quality and quantity;

(2)  groundwater hydrology is a science that allows groundwater quality and quantity to be mapped and forecast;

(3)  groundwater is a mobile resource that is necessarily shared among all users;

(4)  all persons have a right to the beneficial use and enjoyment of groundwater free from unreasonable interference by other persons;

(5)  in recognition that the groundwater of Vermont is a precious, finite, and invaluable resource upon which there is an ever-increasing demand for present, new, and competing uses; and in further recognition that an adequate supply of groundwater for domestic, farming, and industrial uses is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Vermont, the withdrawal of groundwater of the state should be regulated in a manner that benefits the people of the state; is compatible with long-range water resource planning, proper management, and use of the water resources of Vermont; and is consistent with Vermont’s policy of managing groundwater as a public resource for the benefit of all Vermonters;

(6)  it is the policy of the state that the state shall protect its groundwater resources to maintain high-quality drinking water;

(7)  it is the policy of the state that the groundwater resources of the state shall be managed to minimize the risks of groundwater quality deterioration by limiting human activities that present unreasonable risks to the use classifications of groundwater in the vicinities of such activities while balancing the state’s groundwater policy with the need to maintain and promote a healthy and prosperous agricultural community;

(8)  it is the policy of the state that the common-law doctrine of absolute ownership of groundwater is hereby abolished; and

(9)  it is the policy of the state that the groundwater resources of the state are held in trust for the public.  The state shall manage its groundwater resources in accordance with the policy of this section and sections 1392 and 1418 of this title for the benefit of citizens who hold and share rights in such waters. 

Sec.  2.  10 V.S.A. chapter 48, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Groundwater Withdrawal Program

§ 1416.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Farming” means farming as the term is defined in subdivision 6001(22) of this title.

(2)  “Groundwater” means water below the land surface, including springs.

(3)  “Person” means any individual, partnership, company, corporation, cooperative, association, unincorporated association, joint venture, trust, the state of Vermont or any department, agency, subdivision, or municipality, the United States government or any department, agency, or subdivision, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(4)  “Spring” means a groundwater source where groundwater flows naturally to the surface of the earth, including any such groundwater intercepted via catchments or similar devices. 

(5)  “Surface water” means waters within the meaning of subdivision 1251(13) of this title.

(6)  “Water resources” means groundwater, surface water, and wetlands.

(7)  “Well” means any hole drilled, driven, bored, excavated, or created by similar method into the earth to locate, monitor, extract, or recharge groundwater where the water table or potentiometric surface is artificially lowered through pumping.

(8)  “Withdraw” or “withdrawal” means the intentional removal by any method or instrument of groundwater from a well, spring, or combination of wells or springs.

§ 1417.  EXISTING GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL; REPORTING

(a)  Any person that withdraws more than 20,000 gallons per day, averaged over any 30 consecutive-day period, at a single tract of land or place of business shall file a groundwater report with the secretary of natural resources on or before April 1 for the preceding calendar year.  The report shall be made on a form prescribed by the secretary and shall include:

(1)  the location, capacity, frequency, and rate of the withdrawal;

(2)  a description of the use of the water withdrawn; and

(3)  where feasible, the distance of each withdrawal from the nearest surface water source and wetland.

(b)  The agency of natural resources may require a withdrawal that is not reported as required under subsection (a) of this section to obtain a permit under section 1418 of this title.

(c)  The following are exempt from the reporting requirements of this section:

(1)  a groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purposes;

(2)  a withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data.  The agency of natural resources shall record such withdrawals with the information from withdrawals reported under this section;

(3)  domestic, residential use;

(4)  groundwater withdrawal for farming;

(5)  public water systems, as that term is defined in section 1671 of this title; and

(6)  geothermal heat pumps used for residential heating.


(d)  The secretary of natural resources may adopt rules to implement this section, including methods for calculating or estimating the amount of groundwater withdrawn from a well or spring.

§ 1418.  GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL PERMIT

(a)  On and after July 1, 2010, no person, for commercial or industrial purposes, shall make a new or increased groundwater withdrawal of more than 57,600 gallons a day from any and all wells or springs on a single tract of land or at a place of business without first receiving from the secretary of natural resources a groundwater withdrawal permit.  The following shall constitute a “new or increased withdrawal”:

(1)  The expansion of any existing withdrawal through:

(A)  additional withdrawal from one or more new wells or springs; or

(B)  an increase in the rate of withdrawal from a well or spring above the maximum rate set forth in any existing permit issued by the secretary of natural resources under this section; or

(2)  For previously unpermitted withdrawals, an increase in the rate of withdrawal where the total withdrawal from all wells or springs on a single tract of land or at place of business exceeds 57,600 gallons per day.

(b)  The following are exempt from the permitting requirements of this section:

(1)  a groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purpose;

(2)  domestic, residential use;

(3)  groundwater withdrawal for farming;

(4)  public water systems, as that term is defined in section 1671 of this title; and

(5)  geothermal heat pumps used for residential heating.

(c)(1)  On or before the date of filing with the secretary of natural resources an application for a permit under this section, an applicant for a withdrawal under this section shall notify:

(A)  the clerk, legislative body, and any conservation commission in the municipality in which the proposed withdrawal is located;

(B)  municipalities that adjoin the municipality in which the proposed withdrawal is located;


(C)  the regional planning commission in the region where the proposed withdrawal is located;

(D)  all landowners adjoining the proposed withdrawal site, including all residents of a mobile home park adjoining the proposed withdrawal site; and

(E)  any public water systems permitted by the agency of natural resources in the municipality where the proposed withdrawal is located.

(2)  The applicant shall publish notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the withdrawal is proposed and shall post a copy of the notice in the municipal clerk’s office in the municipality in which the withdrawal is located.

(d)  The secretary may issue a permit under this section based on a review of the following:

(1)  the purpose for the withdrawal;

(2)  the location and source of the withdrawal;

(3)  the amount of the proposed withdrawal, including estimates of the projected mean and peak daily, monthly, and annual withdrawal;

(4)  the place of the proposed return flow of withdrawn water;

(5)  the estimated amount of water that will not be returned to the watershed where the proposed withdrawal is located;

(6)  the location, demand on, and yield of existing sources of groundwater and surface water utilized by the applicant;

(7)  a description of alternative means considered for satisfying the applicant’s stated use for water;

(8)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal is planned in a fashion that provides for efficient use of the water, and will avoid or minimize the waste of water;

(9)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal, in combination with other existing withdrawals, will meet the standards set by the secretary of natural resources in rule for establishing a safe yield;

(10)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal is consistent with the town or regional plan in which the proposed withdrawal is located, and with any duly adopted state policy to manage groundwater as a shared resource for the benefit of all citizens of the state, including any policies and programs of the state of Vermont regarding long-range planning, management, allocation, and use of groundwater and surface water in effect at the time the application for the withdrawal is filed;

(11)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on existing uses of water dependent on the same water source;

(12)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on a public water system permitted by the agency of natural resources;

(13)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on wetlands under the Vermont wetland rules or on other water resources hydrologically interconnected with the well or spring from which the proposed withdrawal would be made;

(14)  the applicant’s demonstration that the proposed withdrawal will not violate the Vermont water quality standards.

(e)  As a condition of a permit issued under this section, groundwater withdrawals from a well or spring for drinking water supplies or farming shall be given priority over other uses during times of shortage.

(f)  A permit issued under this section to a facility that bottles groundwater shall include as a condition of the permit the drinking water quality requirements of chapter 56 of this title.

(g)  The secretary may require any person withdrawing groundwater in the state to obtain a permit under this section if the secretary determines that the withdrawal violates the Vermont water quality standards or has an undue adverse effect on an existing use of groundwater, a public water system permitted by the agency of natural resources, wetlands, or water resources hydrologically interconnected with the well or spring from which the withdrawal occurs.  The secretary shall make a determination under this section based on review of the information set forth under subsection (d) of this section that is readily available to the secretary.

(h)  A permit issued under this section shall be valid for the period of time specified in the permit but not for more than ten years.  A withdrawal permit issued under this section may be transferred upon a change of ownership of the facility or project for which the permit was issued, provided that the new owner applies for an administrative amendment to the permit certifying its agreement to comply with all terms and conditions of the transferred permit and assume all other associated obligations.

(i)  The following groundwater withdrawals shall be deemed to comply with the public trust requirements of the state for groundwater management and shall be entitled to a presumption that the withdrawal complies with the public trust requirements of the state:

(1)  A groundwater withdrawal permitted under this section; and

(2)  A groundwater withdrawal for farming conducted in compliance with the requirements of chapter 215 of Title 6.

(j)  At least 30 days before filing an application for a permit under this section, the applicant shall hold an informational hearing in the municipality in which the withdrawal is proposed in order to describe the proposed project and to hear comments regarding the proposed project.  Public notice shall be given by posting in the municipal offices of the town in which the withdrawal is proposed and by publishing in a local newspaper at least 10 days before the meeting.    

(k)  On or before July 1, 2010, the secretary shall adopt rules to implement this section.  When rules are adopted by the secretary under this section, section 1415 of this title shall be repealed.  The rules adopted under this section shall include:

(1)  requirements for the mitigation of an undue adverse effect on drinking water supplies, farming, public water systems, or any other affected use when the secretary determines such an undue adverse effect is likely to occur due to a proposed withdrawal;

(2)  requirements for the renewal of permits issued under this section. 

§ 1419.  ATTORNEYS FEES

A court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the substantially prevailing party in any proceeding to enforce the public trust requirements of the state regarding groundwater or in any proceeding regarding an alleged violation of the public trust requirements of the state regarding groundwater, except that the state shall not be required to pay attorney’s fees in any proceeding against it.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1410 is amended to read:

§ 1410.  GROUNDWATER; RIGHT OF ACTION

(a)  Findings and policy. The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(1)  surface and subsurface water are inherently interrelated in both quality and quantity;

(2)  groundwater hydrology is a science that allows groundwater quality and quantity to be mapped and forecast;

(3)  groundwater is a mobile resource that is necessarily shared among all users;

(4)  all persons have a right to the beneficial use and enjoyment of groundwater free from unreasonable interference by other persons; and

(5)  it is the policy of the state that the common-law doctrine of absolute ownership of groundwater is hereby abolished.

(b)  Definitions.  As used in this section:

(1)  “Groundwater” means water below the land surface.

(2)  “Surface water” means any water on the land surface.

(3)  “Person” means any individual, partnership, company, corporation, association, unincorporated association, joint venture, trust, municipality, the state of Vermont, or any agency, department or subdivision of the state, federal agency, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(c)(b)  Any person may maintain under this section an action for equitable relief or an action in tort to recover damages, or both, for the unreasonable harm caused by another person withdrawing, diverting or altering the character or quality of groundwater.

(d)(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c)(b) of this section, a person who alters groundwater quality or character as a result of agricultural or silvicultural activities, or other activities regulated by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets, shall be liable only if that alteration was either negligent, reckless or intentional.

(e)(d)  Factors to be considered in determining the unreasonableness of any harm referred to in subsection (c), above, (b) of this section, shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(1)  the purpose of the respective uses or activities affected;

(2)  the economic, social and environmental value of the respective uses, including protection of public health;

(3)  the nature and extent of the harm caused, if any;

(4)  the practicality of avoiding the harm, if any;

(5)  the practicality of adjusting the quantity or quality of water used or affected and the method of use by each party;

(6)  the maintenance or improvement of groundwater and surface water quality;

(7)  the protection of existing values of land, investments, enterprises and productive uses;

(8)  the burden and fairness of requiring a person who causes harm to bear the loss; and

(9)  the burden and fairness of requiring a person to bear the loss, who causes harm in the conduct of reasonable agricultural activities, utilizing good agricultural practices conducted in conformity with federal, state and local laws and regulations.

(f)(e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or supplant any other statutory or common-law remedies.

(f)  For the purposes of this section, a person who obtains and complies with a withdrawal permit issued pursuant to the requirements of section 1418 of this title shall be presumed to be engaged in a reasonable use of groundwater and not to cause unreasonable harm under subsection (b) of this section. 

Sec. 4.  6 V.S.A. § 4851 is amended to read:

§ 4851.  PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR LARGE FARM OPERATIONS

* * *

(g)  A farm that is permitted under this section and that withdraws more than 50,000 gallons of groundwater per day averaged over any 30 consecutive- day period, shall annually report estimated water use to the secretary of agriculture, food and markets.  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall share information reported under this subsection with the agency of natural resources.

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 1671(5) is amended to read:

(5)(A)  “Public water system” means any system, or combination of systems owned or controlled by a person, which provides drinking water through pipes or other constructed conveyances to the public and which:

(A)(i)(A)  has at least 15 service connections; or

(A)(ii)(B)  serves an average of at least 25 individuals for at least 60 days a year.

Public water system shall also mean any part of a piped system which does not provide drinking water, if use of such a part could affect the quality or quantity of the drinking water supplied by the system. Public water system shall also mean a system which bottles drinking water for public distribution and sale.


Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 1675(g) is amended to read:

(g)(1)  Effective July 1, 2006, a public water system applying for a permit under this section for the bottling of more than 50,000 gallons of drinking water a day from a single source for public distribution and sale shall, in addition to complying with the requirements of this chapter and any rules adopted thereunder, submit to the Vermont state geologist and the department of environmental conservation a geologic cross section and groundwater contour map of an area, the size of which shall be in conformance with appendix A, part 3, subsection 3.3.5.2 of the Vermont water supply rule, surrounding the proposed source.

(2)  The requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall apply to a public water system permitted under this section when the system proposes to expand the bottling of drinking water from a single source such that the total gallons of water bottled from the single source would exceed 50,000 gallons a day.

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(3) is amended to read:

(3)(A)  "Development" means:

(i)  The construction of improvements on a tract or tracts of land, owned or controlled by a person, involving more than 10 acres of land within a radius of five miles of any point on any involved land, for commercial or industrial purposes in a municipality that has adopted permanent zoning and subdivision bylaws.

* * *

(ix)  Any withdrawal of more than 500,000 gallons of groundwater per day that requires a permit under 10 V.S.A. § 1418.

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.

Senator Shumlin Assumes the Chair

Thereupon, the question, Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy?, was decided in the affirmative on a roll call, Yeas 25, Nays 2.

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: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Collins, Condos, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Mullin, Nitka, Racine, Scott, Sears, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Carris, Coppenrath.

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

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered on a roll call, Yeas 24, Nays 3.

Senator Mullin 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, Collins, Condos, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Nitka, Racine, Scott, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Carris, Coppenrath, Mullin.

Those Senators absent or not voting were: Illuzzi, Miller, Sears (presiding).

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 322.

Senator Giard, for the Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to dairy promotion council.

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Vermont’s conventional dairy farmers have lost purchasing power in recent decades because the farm gate price paid for their milk has not kept pace with inflation.  In 1980, the average price paid was $13.06 per hundredweight, which, when adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $30.95 in 2006 dollars.  The average price for milk in 2006 was $12.88.

(2)  The farmer’s share of the retail dollar continues to slide. In the United States, the farmer’s share of the retail food dollar fell from a high of 40 percent in 1973 to below 20 percent in 2000.

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 2978(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Included among the powers of the council in connection with the enforcement of this chapter are the powers to require reports from any person subject to this chapter; to adopt, rescind, modify, and amend all proper and necessary rules, regulations and orders to administer this chapter, which rules, regulations and orders shall be promulgated by publication in the manner prescribed therefor by the council and shall have the force and effect of law when not inconsistent with existing laws; to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, take depositions, and certify to official acts; to require any dealer to keep such true and accurate records and to make such reports covering purchases, sales, and receipts of dairy products and related matters as the council deems reasonably necessary for effective administration, which records shall be open to inspection by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets at any reasonable time and as often as may be necessary, but information thus obtained shall not be published or be open to public inspection in any manner revealing any individual dealer's identity, except as required in proceedings to enforce compliance; to keep accurate books, records, and accounts of all of its dealings, and to make annually a full report of its doings to the house and senate committees on agriculture and the governor, which shall show the amount of money received and the expenditures thereof.  The report shall use generally accepted accounting practices and a comprehensive cost–benefit analysis to determine the return per hundredweight to the individual farmer on their investment in promotion.  The exact return per dollar of investment shall be reported. The report shall also include an analysis of using a competitive bid process for promotion activities supported by the council. The report shall be submitted on or before January 1.  The Vermont agency of agriculture, food and markets shall perform the administrative work of the council as directed by the council.  The council shall reimburse the agency of agriculture, food and markets for the cost of services performed by the agency.

Sec. 3.  LIVESTOCK STUDY

The legislative council shall consult with local producers, the Vermont congressional delegation, the agency of agriculture, and the department of education and develop proposals for a Vermont locally produced meat in schools program. The goals shall be to use existing resources to procure locally produced food products processed in Vermont and inspected by the Vermont agency of agriculture, to bolster the safety of the food in schools while supporting the Vermont agricultural industry.

Sec. 4.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE SLAUGHTER ON PREMISES STUDY

In recent years there has been increasing interest in the slaughter of animals on the farm for use by other households for economic, ethnic, and humane reasons. The concept has been supported by adherents of community supported agriculture as well. Because of the interrelationship of state and federal statutes and rules pertaining to the practice, what leeway exists for state action is not clear. The agency of agriculture shall consult with federal authorities and report on what options are available. The agency shall also look at what other solutions might be proposed such as cooperative custom slaughterhouses. The report shall also look at the cost of building approved facilities in Vermont and compare that with other states in order to try to provide more options for Vermont producers.

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.

Third Reading Ordered

S. 366.

Senate committee bill entitled:

An act relating to the administration of the voter’s oath or affirmation.

Having appeared on the Calendar for notice for one day, was taken up.

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

Joint Resolution Adopted on the Part of the Senate

J.R.S. 57.

Joint Senate resolution entitled:

Joint resolution requesting the Agency of Administration to post all state contracts and grants in full text on the internet.

Having been placed on the Calendar for action, was taken up and adopted on the part of the Senate.


Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.H. 54.

Joint House resolution entitled:

Joint resolution urging Congress to eliminate the Enron Loophole regulatory exemption for energy and metal commodities traded on electronic commodities markets.

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

Third Reading Ordered

S. 368.

Senate committee bill entitled:

An act relating to the addition of new types of disinfectants to public water systems.

Having appeared on the Calendar for notice for one day, was taken up.

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

House Proposal of Amendment Concurred In

S. 108.

House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the election of U. S. Representative and U. S. Senator.

Was taken up.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

     In Sec. 3, 17 V.S.A. § 2473a(b), by striking out the following: “the Vermont municipal clerks and treasurers association” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: local election officials and by striking out Sec. 8 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 8 as follows as follows:

Sec. 8.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to the 2008 general election and subsequent general elections.

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


Consideration Postponed

S. 229.

Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to access to public records.

Was taken up.

Thereupon, without objection consideration of the bill was postponed until the next legislative day.

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

S. 294.

Senator Hartwell, for the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, to which was referred Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the optimal siting of a dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods.

     Reported recommending that the bill be amended in Sec. 1, subsection (a), in the second sentence, after the words “include draft legislation that” by inserting the words retains the process by which the state may site a facility for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and that

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.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

On motion of Senator Mazza, the rules were suspended, and the following bills were ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S. 117, S. 270, S. 354, S. 373.

Senate 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 on the part of the Senate:

By the Senate Committee on Transportation,


S.C.R. 37.

Senate concurrent resolution recognizing the outstanding role of Vermont Transit and its employees in the state's transportation history.

By Senators Condos, Flanagan, Miller, Lyons, Racine and Snelling,

By Representative Aswad and others,

S.C.R. 38.

Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Burlington Seahorses’ 2008 Division I championship and undefeated boys’ basketball team.

     [The full text of the Senate concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, March 20, 2008, and, if adopted in concurrence by the House, 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.]

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. 236

House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding work of child care providers in Vermont  

Offered by:  Representative Pugh and others

Offered by:  Senators Racine, Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Carris, Collins, Condos, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Giard, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Nitka, Scott, Sears, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr and White

H.C.R. 237

House concurrent resolution honoring the half-century active Bennington firefighters

Offered by:  Representative Morrissey and others

Offered by:  Senators Sears and Hartwell


H.C.R. 238

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Missisquoi Valley Union High School Thunderbirds 2008 Division II girls’ ice hockey championship team

Offered by:  Representative LaVoie and others

Offered by:  Senators Collins and Kittell

H.C.R. 239

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Enosburg Falls High School Hornets Division III girls’ basketball championship team

Offered by:  Representative Gervais

H.C.R. 240

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets Division I cheerleading team

Offered by:  Representative Myers and others

H.C.R. 241

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Essex High School Hornets’ Division I championship boys’ ice hockey team

Offered by:  Representative Myers and others

H.C.R. 242

House concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Ice Storm on winning the 2007 Empire Football League championship and being named the 2007 American Football Association Triple-A national champions

Offered by:  Representative Myers and others

H.C.R. 243

House concurrent resolution honoring the outstanding winter road clearance performance of the Agency of Transportation highway crews

Offered by:  Committee on Transportation

H.C.R. 244

House concurrent resolution in memory of John D. Picard

Offered by:  Representative Klein


H.C.R. 245

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Vergennes Union High School Commodores Division II cheerleading champions

Offered by:  Representatives Clark and Oxholm

Offered by:  Senators Ayer and Giard

H.C.R. 246

House concurrent resolution in memory of Charlie Bristow

Offered by:  Representative Ancel

H.C.R. 247

House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2008 Milton High School Yellowjackets Division II girls’ basketball championship team

Offered by:  Representative Turner and others

Offered by:  Senators Condos, Flanagan, Lyons, Miller, Racine and Snelling

     [The full text of the House concurrent resolutions appeared in the Senate calendar addendum for Thursday, March 20, 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 Mazza, the Senate adjourned, to reconvene on Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at ten o’clock in the forenoon pursuant to J.R.S. 58.



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