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Journal of the Senate

________________

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Diane Benjamin of Chelsea.

Bills Referred to Committee on Appropriations

House bills of the following titles, appearing on the Calendar for notice and carrying appropriations or requiring the expenditure of funds, under the rule were severally referred to the Committee on Appropriations:

H. 535.

An act relating to the creation of a state law enforcement study committee.

H. 879.

An act relating to the repeal of unnecessary, duplicative, and burdensome reports, the improved timeliness and efficiency of special education audits; and the simplification of union school district formation.

Bills Referred to Committee on Finance

House bills of the following titles, appearing on the Calendar for notice, and affecting the revenue of the state, under the rule were severally referred to the Committee on Finance:

H. 436.

An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to local election and municipal government laws.

H. 558.

An act relating to wastewater facility franchise tax exemption for mining waste.

Bills Referred

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


H. 619.

An act relating to the regulation of sexual assault nurse examiners.

To the Committee on Rules.

H. 689.

An act relating to utility prescriptive rights.

To the Committee on Rules.

H. 736.

An act relating to children of incarcerated parents.

To the Committee on Rules.

H. 878.

An act relating to elevator safety.

To the Committee on Rules.

H. 894.

An act relating to approval of amendments tot he charter of the town of Windsor.

To the Committee on Government Operations.

Joint Resolution 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 Senator Shumlin,

     J.R.S. 65.  Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, April 18, 2008, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

Consideration Postponed

S. 278.

Senate bill entitled:

     An act relating to financing campaigns.

Was taken up.

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

Proposal of Amendment; Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

H. 884.

House bill entitled:

An act relating to ensuring quality of prekindergarten education programs offered by or through school districts.

Was taken up.

     Thereupon, pending third reading of the bill, Senator Collins, on behalf of the Committee on Education, moved that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by adding two new sections to be numbered Sec. 4 and Sec. 5 to read as follows:

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 4001(1)(C) is amended to read:

(C)  The full-time equivalent enrollment for each prekindergarten child as follows:  If a child is enrolled in 10 or more hours of prekindergarten education per week or receives 10 or more hours of essential early education services per week, the child shall be counted as one full-time equivalent pupil. If a child is enrolled in six or more but fewer than 10 hours of prekindergarten education per week or if a child receives fewer than 10 hours of essential early education services per week, the child shall be counted as a percentage of one full-time equivalent pupil, calculated as one multiplied by the number of hours per week divided by ten.  A child enrolled in prekindergarten education for fewer than six hours per week shall not be included in the district’s average daily membership.  Although there is no limit on the total number of children who may be enrolled in prekindergarten education or who receive essential early education services, the total number of prekindergarten children that a district may include within its average daily membership shall be limited as follows:

(i)  All children receiving essential early education services may be included.

(ii)  Of the children enrolled in prekindergarten education offered by or through a school district who are not receiving essential early education services, the greater of the following may be included:

(I)  ten children; or

(II)  the number resulting from:

(aa)  one plus the average annual percentage increase or decrease in the district’s first grade enrollment average daily membership as counted in the census period of the previous five years; multiplied by

(bb)  the most immediately previous year’s first grade census count average daily membership; or

(III)  the total number of four-year-olds in the district  the total number of children residing in the district who are enrolled in the prekindergarten program or programs and who are eligible to enter kindergarten in the district in the following academic year

Sec. 5.  16 V.S.A. § 4001(15) is amended to read:

(15)  “Prekindergarten child” means a three- or four-year-old child who is enrolled in a prekindergarten program offered by or through a public school district pursuant to rules adopted under section 829 of this title or who is receiving essential early education services offered pursuant to section 2956 of this title.  Prekindergarten child also means a five-year-old child who otherwise meets the terms of this definition if that child is not yet eligible for or enrolled in kindergarten.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, the bill was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment.

Rules Suspended; Immediate Consideration; Proposal of Amendment to the Constitution Amended; Proposal of Amendment to the Constitution Adopted

Proposal 5

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the proposed amendment to the Constitution (Proposal 5) was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator White, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred the proposed amendment, reported that the committee had considered Proposal 5 which is printed in full below:

     Thereupon, Proposal 5, having appeared on the Calendar for four legislative days pursuant to Rule 77, was read the second time in full pursuant to Rule 77.


PROPOSAL 5

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to allow the voter’s oath or affirmation to be self-administered.

Sec. 2.  Section 42 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 42.  [Voter's qualifications and oath]

Every person of the full age of eighteen years who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the following oath or affirmation, shall be entitled to all the privileges of a voter of this state:

You solemnly swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.

The oath or affirmation may be administered by a person authorized to administer the oath or affirmation or may be self-administered.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.

and reported that the committee recommended that the proposal be amended by striking out Proposal 5 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

PROPOSAL 5

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide that a person who will attain the age of 18 by the date of the general election shall have the right to vote in the primary election.

Sec. 2.  Section 42 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 42.  [Voter’s qualifications and oath]

Every person of the full age of eighteen years who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the following oath or affirmation, shall be entitled to all the privileges of a voter of this state:

You solemnly swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.

Every person who will attain the full age of eighteen years by the date of the general election who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the oath or affirmation set forth in this section, shall be entitled to vote in the primary election.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.

And requests that the House of Representatives concur therein.

Thereupon, the pending question, Shall the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution designated as Proposal 5 be amended as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations?, was decided in the affirmative on a roll call pursuant to Rule 80, Yeas 25, Nays 2 (the necessary majority vote having been attained).

The yeas and nays being required by Senate Rule 80, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Carris, Collins, Condos, Coppenrath, Doyle, Flanagan, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Nitka, Racine, Sears, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr, White.

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

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Cummings, Giard, MacDonald.

Thereupon, the pending question, Shall the Senate adopt the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution designed as Proposal 5, as amended, and request the concurrence of the House?, was decided in the affirmative on a roll call pursuant to Rule 80, Yeas 25 , Nays 3 (the necessary majority vote having been attained).

The yeas and nays being required by the Vermont Constitution and Senate Rule 80, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Carris, Collins, Condos, Coppenrath, Doyle, Flanagan, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Nitka, Racine, Sears, Shumlin, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: MacDonald, Mullin, Scott.

Those Senators absent and not voting were: Cummings, Giard.

Rules Suspended; Immediate Consideration; Proposed Amendment to the Constitution; Proposed Amendment to the Constitution Recommitted

PROPOSAL 1

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the proposed amendment to the Constitution (Proposal 1) was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator White, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred the proposed amendment, reported that the committee had considered Proposal 1 which is printed in full below:

     Thereupon, Proposal 1, having appeared on the Calendar for five legislative days pursuant to Rule 77, was read the second time in full pursuant to Rule 77.

PROPOSAL 1

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide for an organizational session of the Vermont General Assembly on the first Wednesday in December following each general election for the exclusive purposes of organization, swearing in of members, and selection of officers.

Sec. 2.  Section 7 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 7.  [ORGANIZATIONAL AND BIENNIAL SESSIONS]

On the first Wednesday in December following each general election, the General Assembly shall meet for an organizational session for the exclusive purposes of organization, swearing in of members, and selection of officers.

The General Assembly shall meet biennially, for the commencement of a biennial session, on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, beginning in A.D. 1915.

Sec. 3.  Section 17 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 17.  [OATH OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The Representatives having met on the day appointed by law for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, and chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oath prescribed in the foregoing section oaths:

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help you God.  (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.  The words "office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress" shall be construed to mean any office created directly or indirectly by Congress, and for which emolument is provided from the Treasury of the United States, other than that of a member of the commissioned or enlisted personnel in the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States while not on extended active duty.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.  So help you God. (Or in the case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof.  So help you God. (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

Sec. 4.  Section 46 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 46.  [TERMS OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The term of office of Senators and Representatives shall be two years, commencing on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January in December following their election.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

Chapter II § 16 of the Vermont Constitution (oath for members of the House of Representatives) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITION

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.  The term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2010 shall terminate on the first Tuesday of December 2002, and the term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2012 shall convene on the first Wednesday in December 2012.

and reported that the committee recommended that the proposal be amended by striking out Proposal 1 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

PROPOSAL 1

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to provide for an organizational session of the Vermont General Assembly on the first Wednesday in December following each general election for the exclusive purposes of organization, swearing in of members, and selection of officers.

Sec. 2.  Section 7 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 7.  [ORGANIZATIONAL AND BIENNIAL SESSIONS]

On the first Wednesday in December following each general election, the General Assembly shall meet for one day for an organizational session for the exclusive purposes of organizing, swearing in members, and selecting officers. The General Assembly shall meet biennially, for the commencement of a biennial session, on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, beginning in A.D. 1915.

Sec. 3.  Section 17 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 17.  [OATH OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The Representatives having met on the day appointed by law for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, and chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oath prescribed in the foregoing section oaths:

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help you God.  (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.  The words "office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress" shall be construed to mean any office created directly or indirectly by Congress, and for which emolument is provided from the Treasury of the United States, other than that of a member of the commissioned or enlisted personnel in the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States while not on extended active duty.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.  So help you God. (Or in the case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof.  So help you God. (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

Sec. 4.  Section 46 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is amended to read:

§ 46.  [TERMS OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES]

The term of office of Senators and Representatives shall be two years, commencing on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January in December following their election.

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

Chapter II § 16 of the Vermont Constitution (oath for members of the House of Representatives) is repealed.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITION

This proposal of amendment shall take effect from the date of its approval by a majority vote of the voters of the state.  The term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2010 shall terminate on the first Tuesday of December 2012, and the term of office of senators and representatives elected in the general election in November 2012 shall convene on the first Wednesday in December 2012.

And requests that the House of Representatives concur therein.

Senator Shumlin Assumes the Chair

Thereupon, the pending question, Shall the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution designated as Proposal 1 be amended as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations?, was decided in the negative on a roll call pursuant to Rule 80, Yeas 11 , Nays 16 (the necessary majority vote not having been attained).

The yeas and nays being required by Senate Rule 80, they were taken and are as follows:

Roll Call

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ayer, Bartlett, Campbell, Carris, Coppenrath, Cummings, Doyle, Flanagan, Mullin, Scott, White.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Collins, Condos, Hartwell, Illuzzi, Kitchel, Kittell, Lyons, MacDonald, Maynard, Mazza, McCormack, Miller, Nitka, Racine, Snelling, Starr.

Those Senators absent or not voting were: Giard, Sears, Shumlin (presiding).

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate adopt the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution designed as Proposal 1, and request the concurrence of the House?, on motion of Senator White, the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution was recommitted to the Committee on Government Operations.

Proposal of Amendment; Consideration Postponed

H. 94.

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

An act relating to retail sales and taxing of specialty beers.

     Reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  7 V.S.A. § 2(11), (14) and (20) are amended to read:

(11)  “Hotels”: a first class hotel as determined by the liquor control board Specialty beer” means a malt beverage that contains more than eight percent alcohol and not more than 16 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  

(14)  “Malt beverages”:  all fermented beverages of any name or description manufactured for sale from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefor therefore, known as beer, porter, ale, and stout, containing not less than one percent nor more than eight 16 percent of alcohol by volume at 60 degrees fahrenheit Fahrenheit.  However, if such a beverage has an alcohol content of more than six percent and not more than eight percent and has a terminal specific gravity of less than 1.009, it shall be deemed to be a spirit and not a malt beverage.  The holder of the certificate of approval or the manufacturer shall certify to the liquor control board the terminal specific gravity of the beverage when the alcohol content is more than six percent and not more than eight percent.           

(20)  “Spirits”:  beverages for sale containing more than one percent of alcohol obtained by distillation, by chemical synthesis, or through concentration by freezing; and vinous beverages containing more than 16 percent of alcohol; and all vermouths of any alcohol content; malt beverages containing more than eight 16 percent of alcohol or more than six percent of alcohol if the terminal specific gravity thereof is less than 1.009; in each case measured by volume at 60 degrees fahrenheit Fahrenheit.

Sec. 2.  7 V.S.A. § 421(a) is amended to read:

§ 421.  TAX ON MALT AND VINOUS BEVERAGES

(a)  Every bottler and wholesaler shall pay to the commissioner of taxes the sum of 26 and one-half cents per gallon for every gallon or its equivalent of malt beverage containing not more than six percent of alcohol by volume at 60 degrees fahrenheit sold by them to retailers in the state and the sum of 55 cents per gallon for each gallon of malt beverage containing more than six percent and not more than eight percent of alcohol by volume at 60 degrees fahrenheit and each gallon of vinous beverages sold by them to retailers in the state and shall also pay to the liquor control board all fees for bottler’s and wholesaler’s licenses.

Sec. 3.  STUDY OF FLAVORED MALT BEVERAGES; DEPARTMENT OF LIQUOR CONTROL

(a)  The department of liquor control shall study and identify best practices for the marketing, sale, and taxation of flavored malt beverages, commonly called “alcopops,” malt based beverages containing other ingredients such as flavored distilled spirits, and “alcohol energy drinks,”  which are malt beverages continuing other ingredients such as caffeine.  The department shall consider the following:

(1)  Whether these beverages should be considered spirits, malt beverages, or a completely separate category of alcoholic beverages.

(2)  Whether these beverages and other flavored malt beverages should be distributed by wholesalers or the department.

(3)  The impact and future implications of these beverages in regard to controlling underage drinking and other public health and safety concerns.

(4)  Whether these beverages should be taxed at the lower malt beverage rate, the higher spirits rate, or a different tax rate.

(5)  Legislative and regulatory activities undertaken by other states in regard to these beverages.

(b)  The department shall complete the study and issue a written report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations on or before January 1, 2009.  The report shall be provided to the house committees on general, housing and military affairs, and on ways and means and the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs and on finance.

And that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with such proposal of amendment.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, and pending the question, Shall the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as recommended by the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs?, on motion of Senator Sears, further consideration of the bill was postponed to the next legislative day.

Rules Suspended; Bill and Constitutional Proposal Messaged

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

H. 884; Prop. 5.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Mazza, the Senate adjourned until twelve o’clock noon tomorrow.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us