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Journal of the Senate

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Marty Bascom of East Randolph.

Message from the House No. 45

     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 passed bills of the following titles:

     H. 685.  An act relating to enforcement of environmental laws.

     H. 711.  An act relating to agricultural, forestry and horticultural education.

     H. 862.  An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the Village of Waterbury.

     H. 887.  An act relating to health care reform.

     H. 890.  An act relating to compensation for certain state employees.

     H. 891.  An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government.

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

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

S. 280.  An act relating to prosthetic parity.

And has passed the same in concurrence with proposal of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.


Bill Referred

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

H. 862.

An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the Village of Waterbury.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

Bill Referred to Committee on Finance

H. 669.

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

An act relating to the Vermont historic downtown.

Joint Resolutions Adopted on the Part of the Senate

Joint Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read and adopted on the part of the Senate, and is as follows:

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

     J.R.S. 60.  Joint resolution requesting the Attorney General of Vermont to initiate legal action on behalf of the state and its citizens to seek reimbursement for the costs of illegal price-fixing, price-gouging, and conspiracy to restrain trade in retail gasoline and diesel fuel.

Whereas, all major international oil companies doing business in the state have reported record profits in the last several years; and many of them, such as ExxonMobil, are among the most profitable companies in the world and  certainly the most profitable, publicly-traded companies in the United States, and

Whereas, the retail prices of gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel constitute an economic emergency of the first order for the state and the people, demanding a decisive and immediate response from state and federal officials, and

Whereas, higher gasoline and fuel prices have extracted enormous costs on the state and its economy and have caused deep financial hardship for all Vermonters, and

Whereas, Vermont is a rural state with minimal public transportation, requiring thousands of individuals to drive their cars to work daily; Vermont’s economy is heavily reliant on automotive tourism and other recreation‑related activities; Vermont’s farmers are dependent on gasoline and diesel fuel to operate tractors, combines, trucks and other equipment necessary to sustain their livelihood; and home heating fuel costs are causing many Vermont  families to reduce other essentials, including food and health care, and

Whereas, the combination of record high prices and corporate profitability in combination with apparent market concentration at all levels of the industry must be investigated to determine if oil companies are engaging in illegal price-gouging, price-fixing, or other anti-competitive activities, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly strongly recommends that the Attorney General of the State of Vermont take aggressive and immediate steps to initiate an investigation of probable illegal and anti-competitive activities by oil companies in violation of the laws of this State and the United States, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Attorney General of the State of Vermont initiate appropriate legal action on behalf of the state and its citizens, seeking reimbursement to the state and the people of the costs of illegal price-fixing, price-gouging, and conspiracy to restrain trade in retail gasoline and diesel fuel, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Attorney General of the State of Vermont seek the participation of the attorneys general of other states to join with Vermont in this investigation and legal action to recover the costs on behalf of their states and citizens, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State is directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Attorney General of Vermont and to the Vermont Congressional delegation.

Joint Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read and adopted on the part of the Senate, and is as follows:

   By Senator Shumlin,

     J.R.S. 61.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, April 4, 2008, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, April 8, 2008.

Consideration Postponed

Senate bills entitled:

S. 350.

An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

S. 371.

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

Were taken up.

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

Joint Resolution Adopted in Concurrence

J.R.H. 52.

Joint House resolution entitled:

Joint resolution urging congress to enact legislation establishing an office of the National Nurse.

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

Senate Resolution Adopted

S.R. 25.

Senate resolution entitled:

Senate resolution in support of the creation of a veterans’ transitional housing facility in central Vermont.

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

Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

H. 403.

House bill of the following title was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment:

An act relating to postretirement cost of living adjustments for state employees.


Rules Suspended; Committee Relieved of Further Consideration; Bill Committed

S. 341.

Pending entry on the calendar for notice on motion of Senator Campbell, the rules were suspended, and S. 341 was taken up for immediate consideration, for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Judiciary from further consideration of the bill. Thereupon, on motion of Senator Campbell, the rules were suspended and the Committee on Judiciary was relieved of Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the registration of pet merchants,

and the bill was committed to the Committee on Finance with the report of the Committee on Judiciary, intact.

Adjournment

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

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us