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Journal of the Senate

________________

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Wendy Manley of Montpelier.

Bills Referred

House bills of the following titles were severally read the first time and referred:

H. 545.

An act relating to the Agency of Human Services.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 876.

An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the town of Middlebury.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

H. 889.

An act relating to the state’s transportation program.

To the Committee on Transportation.

Joint Resolution Referred

J.R.H. 55.

Joint resolution originating in the House of the following title was read the first time and is as follows:

Joint resolution requesting the public service department to adopt a revised state energy plan with new implementation recommendations in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c)

Whereas, in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c), the department of public service “no less frequently than every five years” is directed to update the state energy plan’s implementation recommendations that were initially adopted in 1994, and

Whereas, this statutory subsection further directs that “these recommendations shall be updated prior to the expiration of five years if the general assembly passes a joint resolution making a request to that effect,” and

Whereas, a state energy plan was last released in 1998, and in 2005, at the time the department released its most recent state electric energy plan, it stated that a revised state energy plan with new implementation recommendations was a work in progress, and

Whereas, on March 5, 2008, the price for a barrel of oil hit a new record when its midday trading price on the New York Mercantile Exchange reached slightly above $104.00 per barrel, and

Whereas, the previous high in inflation‑adjusted dollars was $103.95 in April 1980, and by 1998, the price for a barrel of oil on the world market had dropped slightly below $20.00 per barrel, and

Whereas, the 1998 state energy plan, citing 1993 dollars when the inflation‑adjusted price of oil was approximately $20.00 per barrel, projected an increase to $25.00 by 2015, a mark that has long since been surpassed, and

Whereas, this now‑dated pricing projection is only one example of the urgent necessity for the department of public service to update the 1998 energy plan’s implementation recommendations, and

Whereas, Vermonters are placed at great risk, from the perspective of economic development, as well as short- and long-term planning, if the data in the state energy plan does not reflect current market realities and trends, and

Whereas, the General Assembly’s adoption of a joint resolution in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c) will provide new impetus for the department of public service to issue a revised state energy plan with new implementation recommendations in the foreseeable future, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly, in accordance with 30 V.S.A. § 202b(c), requests that the department of public service issue a revised state comprehensive energy plan with new implementation recommendations and that the plan be submitted to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy by December 1, 2008, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Commissioner David O’Brien at the department of public service.

Thereupon, in the discretion of the President, under Rule 51, the joint resolution was treated as a bill and referred to the Committee on Finance.


Senate Resolution Placed on Calendar

S.R. 26.

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

   By Senators White and Shumlin,

     S.R. 26.  Senate resolution relating to expressing strong opposition to, and urging effective and immediate congressional action to stop, the government of the People's Republic of China's human rights violations in the geographic area known as Tibet.

Whereas, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948, and reaffirmed by all United Nations member states, provides in part:

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non‑self‑governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”

Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”

Article 17.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”


Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.”

Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein,” and

Whereas, the International Convention On Human Rights indicates in its preamble that disregard and contempt for human rights deserves condemnation by the international community when it results in barbarous acts which outrage the conscience of mankind, and prevent or delay the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from want and fear, and

Whereas, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1993/77, entitled “Forced Evictions” states, “the practice of forced evictions constitutes a gross violation of human rights,” and

Whereas, the Chinese government has forced both Tibetan natives and Han Chinese to relocate in direct violation of both Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1993/77 and

Whereas, the barbarous acts of the government of the People’s Republic of China, within the area known as Tibet, have jolted and continue to jolt the conscience of mankind, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate of the State of Vermont expresses its strong opposition to the government of the People’s Republic of China’s fundamental human rights violations in the geographic area known as Tibet, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges Congress to take effective and immediate action to stop these fundamental human rights violations, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, to the International Campaign for Tibet, and to the Vermont Congressional delegation.

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

Rules Suspended; Committee Relieved of Further Consideration; Bills Committed

H. 11.

On motion of Senator Mazza, the rules were suspended, and H. 11 was taken up for immediate consideration for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Rules from further consideration of the bill. Thereupon, on motion of Senator Mazza, the Committee on Rules was relieved of House bill entitled:

An act relating to the commissioner of health,

and the bill was committed to the Committee on Health and Welfare.

H. 711.

On motion of Senator Mazza, the rules were suspended, and H. 711 was taken up for immediate consideration for the purpose of relieving the Committee on Rules from further consideration of the bill. Thereupon, on motion of Senator Mazza, the Committee on Rules was relieved of House bill entitled:

An act relating to agricultural, forestry, and horticultural education,

and the bill was committed to the Committee on Education.

Rules Suspended; Bill Committed

H. 876.

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

An act relating to approval of amendment to the charter of the town of Middlebury.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Thereupon, pending the reading of the report of the Committee on Government Operations, Senator Ayer moved that Senate Rule 49 be suspended in order to commit the bill to the Committee on Finance with the report of the Committee on Government Operations intact,

Which was agreed to.

Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment; Rules Suspended Bill Messaged

H. 616.

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

An act relating to farm-fresh milk.

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

Appointments Confirmed

The following Gubernatorial appointments were confirmed separately by the Senate, upon full reports given by the Committees to which they were referred:

     Kevin Dorn of Essex Junction - Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development – March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     Bruce Hyde of Granville - Commissioner of the Department of Tourism and Marketing – March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     John Hall of St. Johnsbury - Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs – March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     Michael W. Quinn of Essex Junction - Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development – March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board – August 1, 2006, to February 28, 2007.

     Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Commissioner of the Department of Labor – August 1, 2006, to February 28, 2007.

     Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board – March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     Patricia Moulton Powden of South Londonderry - Commissioner of the Department of Labor – March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     Gerald J. Myers of Winooski - Commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services – July 16, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     David Herlihy of Waitsfield - Commissioner, Department of Human Resources – December 10, 2007, to February 28, 2009.

     Thomas R. Tremblay of Essex Junction - Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety – January 7, 2008, to February 28, 2013.

Adjournment

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

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
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Montpelier, Vermont


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