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Journal of the Senate

________________

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

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

Message from the House No. 66

     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 considered Senate proposals of amendment to House bills of the following titles:

     H. 558.  An act relating to waste facility franchise tax exemption for mining waste.

     H. 619.  An act relating to the regulation of sexual assault nurse examiners.

And has severally concurred therein.

Pursuant to the request of the Senate for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on Senate bill of the following title:

S. 350.  An act relating to energy independence and economic prosperity.

The Speaker has appointed as members of such committee on the part of the House

                                         Rep. Cheney of Norwich

                                         Rep. Lavoie of Swanton

                                         Rep. Mitchell of Barnard

The Speaker announced a change in the appointees of the Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on House bill of the following title:

H. 617.  An act relating to guardianships.

                                         Rep. Flory of Pittsford

                                         Rep. Gervais of Enosburg

                                         Rep. Pellett of Chester

Proposals of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered; Bill Ordered to Lie

H. 879.

Senator Doyle, for the Committee on Education, to which was referred House bill entitled:

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.

     Reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking out subdivisions (5) (superintendent’s annual report on hearing and vision tests), (6) (superintendent’s annual report on educational support services), and (8) (commissioner’s report on status of school choice)

Second:  In Sec. 1, by adding 12 new subdivisions to be subdivisions (10) through (21) to read as follows:

(10)  3 V.S.A. § 3026(d) (annual report from the secretary of human services, commissioner of education, and president of the university of Vermont to the legislature and governor regarding partnerships for children, families, and individuals).

(11)  16 V.S.A. § 1049a(d) (commissioner’s annual report to the legislature regarding the high school completion program).

(12)  16 V.S.A. § 2177(d) (the Vermont state colleges’ biennial report to the legislature regarding its activities).

(13)  16 V.S.A. § 2281(c) (the university of Vermont president’s biennial report to the legislature regarding the activities of the university and the state agricultural college).

(14)  16 V.S.A. § 2322 (the state agricultural college dean’s biennial submission of the estimated budget for the college’s research station and a statement of federal and other available funding).

(15)  16 V.S.A. § 2536 (the university of Vermont and state agricultural college trustees’ annual report to the legislature and the governor concerning the work of its units, including receipts, disbursements, resources, and liabilities).

(16)  16 V.S.A. § 2856(g) (adjutant general’s annual report to the legislature regarding educational loan programs for national guard members).

(17)  Sec. 90 of No. 60 of the Acts of 1997 as amended by Sec. 33 of No. 49 of the Acts 1999 (repeal of legislative oversight committee on restructuring education and assumption of the committee’s duties by standing legislative committees).

(18)  Sec. 2(b)(7) of No. 125 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (annual report of the commissioners of health, of buildings and general services, and of education to the house and senate committees on education regarding indoor air and hazardous exposure in Vermont schools and regarding the number of school districts that have adopted related programs).

(19)  Sec. 97(c) of No. 152 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (annual report of the secretary of human services and the commissioner of education to the legislature regarding the state team for children, families, and individuals and regional and community partnerships).

(20)  Sec. 71(f) of No. 68 of the Acts of the 2002 Adj. Sess. (2003) as amended by Sec. 1 of No. 4 of the Acts of 2005 of No. 4 of the Acts of 2005 (annual report of the council on education governance to the legislature regarding its progress and any recommendations for legislation necessary to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act).

(21)  Sec. 168a(c) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 (commissioner issues a request for proposals, chooses grant recipients, determines the amounts to be awarded to each recipient, and monitors the progress of each grant recipient for fiscal year 2006; annual report by the council on education governance to the legislature regarding its progress and recommendations for legislative change).

Third:  By adding 11 new sections to be Secs. 3a through 3k to read as follows:

Sec. 3a.  16 V.S.A. § 2177(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The books and accounts of the corporation shall be audited annually as of June 30 under the supervision of the auditor of accounts who shall publish the audit report in detail

Sec. 3b.  16 V.S.A. § 2281(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The books and accounts of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College shall be audited annually as of June 30, under the supervision of the auditor of accounts. The report of such audit shall be published in detail by the auditor of accounts. 


Sec. 3c.  16 V.S.A. § 2835 is amended to read:

§ 2835.  CONTROLS, AND AUDITS, AND REPORTS

Control of funds appropriated and all procedures incident to the carrying out of the purposes of this chapter shall be vested in the board.  The books of account of the corporation shall be audited annually under the direction of the auditor of accounts and a report filed with the secretary of administration not later than November 1 each year.  Biennially the board shall report to the legislature on its activities during the preceding biennium. 

Sec. 3d.  16 V.S.A. § 2879f is amended to read:

§ 2879f.  ANNUAL REPORTS REVIEW

The corporation shall review, on an annual basis, the financial status of the program and the participation rate in the program.  The corporation shall also review the continued viability of the program and the administration of the program by the corporation. The corporation shall report by January 15th the findings to the speaker of the house, the president pro tem of the senate, and to the house and senate committees on education. 

Sec. 3e.  24 V.S.A. § 5261 is amended to read:

§ 5261.  ANNUAL REPORT; AUDIT

On or before March 31 of each year, the authority shall report on its activities for the preceding calendar year to the governor and to the general assembly.  Each report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering its operations during the year.  The authority shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once in each year by certified public accountants and the cost thereof shall be considered an expense of the authority and a copy thereof shall be filed with the state treasurer. 

Sec. 3f.  Sec. 7 of No. 43 of the Acts of 2005 is amended to read:

Sec. 7.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,700,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the University of Vermont to assist with construction, renovation, and major facility maintenance to the university campus that advances the mission of the university to prepare the students to lead productive lives and to interpret and share knowledge for the benefit of Vermont and for society as a whole.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 7                                                        $1,700,000)

Sec. 3g.  Sec. 8 of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read:

Sec. 8.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the University of Vermont to assist with construction of the plant sciences building and with major facility maintenance to the university campus.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 8                                                        $1,800,000)

Sec. 3h.  Sec. 9 of No. 147 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read:

Sec. 9.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the Vermont state colleges for major facility maintenance.  The state colleges shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                                        $1,800,000)

Sec. 3i.  Sec. 4(c) of No. 192 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read: 

(c)  On or before January 15, 2007, and on or before January 15 for five years thereafter, the task force shall report on its activities during the preceding year to the house and senate committees on education and judiciary.  The task force shall cease to exist after it files the report due on January 15, 2012.

Sec. 3j.  Sec. 9 of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 9.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,600,000 is appropriated to the University of Vermont for construction, renovation, or maintenance projects.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                               $ 1,600,000)


Sec. 3k.  Sec. 10 of No. 52 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 10.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,600,000 is appropriated to the Vermont State Colleges for major facility maintenance.  The state colleges shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 10                                             $ 1,600,000)

Fourth:  By striking out Secs. 5 through 20 in their entirety

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

Senator Kitchel, for the Committee on Appropriations, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, the proposal of amendment was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time?, Senator Collins moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by adding a new section to be Sec. 5 to read as follows:

Sec. 5.  Secs. 13 and 14 of No. 182 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) are amended to read:

Sec. 13.  Sec. 2 of No. 64 of the Acts of 2003, as amended by Sec. 2 4 of No. 114 of the Acts of 2004 the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is amended to read:

Sec. 2.  COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS; MEASURING ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS TOWARD ACHIEVING STATE STANDARDS; CONSEQUENCES

16 V.S.A. § 165 authorizes the commissioner of education to determine how well schools and students are meeting state standards every two years and to impose certain consequences if schools are failing to meet standards after specific time periods.  Notwithstanding the provisions of that section, in order to comply with the provisions of Public Law 107-110, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, during school years 2003–2004 through 2006–2008 20082009, the commissioner is authorized to determine whether schools and school districts are meeting state standards annually and the state board of education is authorized to impose on schools and school districts consequences allowed in state law and required by the Act within the time frame required in the Act.  However, consistent with Title IX, Part E, Subpart 2, Sec. 9527 of the No Child Left Behind Act, neither the state nor any subdivision thereof shall be required to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under the Act in order to comply with the provisions of the Act.  The state or any subdivision thereof may expend other funds for activities they were already conducting consistent with the Act, or for activities authorized in a state or local fiscal year 2004 budget.  It is the intent of the general assembly to continue to study the provisions of the federal law and to seek guidance from the federal government in order to determine permanent changes to Title 16 that will be necessary to comply with federal law and to avoid having federal law cause state and local governments to absorb the cost of unfunded mandates.

Sec. 14.  Subsections (b), (c), and (e) of Sec. 3 of No. 64 of the Acts of 2003, as amended by Sec. 2 5 of No. 114 of the Acts of 2004 the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) are amended to read:

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of 16 V.S.A. §§ 1075(e), 1093, and 1128(b) which stipulate that a child of parents who become homeless shall be educated in the school district in which the child is found and that a school district may choose not to accept nonresident pupils, in order to comply with the provisions of Public Law 107-110, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the provisions of this section shall apply to children who are homeless during school years 2003–2004 through 2006-2008 20082009.  It is the intent of the general assembly to continue to study the provisions of the federal law and to seek guidance from the federal government in order to determine permanent changes to Title 16 that will be necessary to comply with federal law.

(c)  If a child becomes homeless during school year 2005–2006, 2006–2007, or 2007–2008, or 2008–2009, the child shall either be educated:  in the school of origin for the duration of the homelessness or for the remainder of the academic year if the child becomes permanently housed outside the district of origin; or in the school district in which the child is actually living.  The determination as to which school the child shall attend shall be made by the school board of the school district in which the child is living according to the best interests of the child. 

(e)  Notwithstanding the provisions of 16 V.S.A. § 4001(1)(A) which stipulate that a pupil must be a legal resident of the district attending a school owned and operated by the district in order to be counted in the average daily membership of the district, during the 2003–2004 through 2006–2008 20082009 school years, a child who is homeless during the census period shall be counted in the school district or districts in which the child is enrolled.  However, if at any time a homeless child enrolls, pursuant to this section, in a school district other than the district in which the child was counted, the district in which the child is enrolled shall become responsible for the education of the child, including payment of education services and, if appropriate, development and implementation of an individualized education plan.

     Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time?, Senator Collins moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by adding a new section to be Sec. 6. to read as follows:

Sec. 6.  TECHNICAL EDUCATION;  workforce education and training; REPORT

(a)  The Commissioner of Education shall :

(1)  Outline and review the current method or methods by which tuition is paid for students enrolled in secondary schools (“secondary students”) to attend regional technical center programs.

(2)  Consider and propose potential solutions to any barriers preventing, discouraging, or failing to encourage secondary students to attend regional technical center programs, including scheduling issues, availability of classes outside the traditional school day and academic year, funding, and financial disincentives.

(3)  Consider and propose potential financial and other incentives to encourage regional technical centers to offer technical education programs at times other than the traditional school day and academic year and to otherwise make technical education programs more available to secondary students and to adults with and without high school diplomas.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner shall submit a written report to the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs, the house committee on commerce, and the senate and house committees on education detailing the results of the work performed pursuant to this section and all potential methods of addressing the identified issues.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time?, Senator Collins moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by adding a new section to be Sec. 7. to read as follows:

Sec. 7.  DESIGNATION OF A PUBLIC OR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AS THE PUBLIC SCHOOL OF A DISTRICT

The general assembly recognizes that, notwithstanding the limitations of 16 V.S.A. § 827, it may at times be necessary or advisable to authorize Vermont school districts to designate a public or approved independent elementary or secondary school as the public school of the designating school district.  On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner shall examine the issue and provide the senate and house committees on education with detailed information that will enable the general assembly to determine whether expanded authorization should be available to all school districts that do not maintain a school, whether authorization exceeding § 827 should never be granted, or whether expanded authorization should be limited to specific situations.  The detailed information shall include data regarding school districts that provide for the education of their students by paying tuition, the number of students in these districts, the schools the students are able to attend under current law, and the schools they might reasonably attend if districts could designate a public or approved independnet elementary school, a public secondary school, or both as the public school or schools of the district.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill be read the third time?, Senator Collins moved to amend the Senate proposal of amendment by adding a new section to be Sec. 8. to read as follows:

Sec. 8.  16 V.S.A. § 835 is amended to read:

§ 835.  LEMINGTON, BLOOMFIELD, BRUNSWICK, MAIDSTONE, GRANBY, AND GUILDHALL; TUITIONING OF ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

The school boards of the towns of Lemington, Bloomfield, Brunswick, Granby, Guildhall, and Maidstone school districts may provide for the elementary education of the pupils residing in their districts by paying tuition to public elementary schools in the state of New Hampshire.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 823 of this title, school boards districts affected by this section shall pay the full tuition charged by a public elementary school in New Hampshire.

Which was agreed to.

Thereupon, third reading of the bill was ordered.

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

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, Senator Collins moved that the bill be ordered to lie.

Which was agreed to.

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended; Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

H. 402.

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

An act relating to recapture of health insurance benefits for group F members of the Vermont state retirement system.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

     Senator Coppenrath, for the Committee on Government Operations, to which the bill was referred, 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.  3 V.S.A. § 459(d) is amended to read:

(d) Early retirement allowance.

* * *

(4) Notwithstanding subdivisions (d)(1) and (2) of this subsection, an elected county sheriff, an employee of the department of fish and wildlife assigned to law enforcement duties, an employee of the military department assigned to airport firefighting duties or a group C member shall upon early retirement receive an early retirement allowance which shall be equal to his or her normal retirement allowance computed under subsection (b) of this section.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 500 is amended to read:

§ 500. DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT PLAN

* * *

(f)  An employee who has elected to participate in the defined contribution plan and, after having accrued a minimum of five years of service, becomes disabled as determined by the social security administration or by a state purchased disability insurance policy while currently employed by the state, shall be entitled to continue the same health and dental benefits that are available to members of the Vermont state retirement system who qualify for disability retirement benefits.

(g)  Upon retirement, employees who elect to participate in the defined contribution retirement plan shall be entitled to the same life, dental, and health insurance benefits available to members of the Vermont state retirement system.

(g)(h) The state treasurer shall certify to the governor or governor-elect a statement of the percentage of the payroll of all participating employees sufficient to fund all operating expenses of the defined contribution retirement plan and all contributions of the state which will become due and payable during the next biennium. Contributions by the state shall be charged to the departmental appropriation from which the employees' salaries are paid and shall be included in each departmental budgetary request.

(h)(i) The plan shall be administered by the state treasurer who shall adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this chapter.

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

Senator Kitchel, for the Committee on Appropriations, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations.

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

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

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

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered; Rules Suspended Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

H. 669.

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

An act relating to the Vermont historic downtown.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

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


* * * Historic Downtown  Designation Duration * * *

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 2792(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A “Vermont downtown development board,” also referred to as the “state board,” is created to administer the provisions of this chapter.  The state board members shall be the following permanent members, or their designees:

(1)  The secretary of commerce and community development;.

(2)  The secretary of transportation;.

(3)  The secretary of natural resources;.

(4)  The secretary of human services;.

(5)  The commissioner of public safety;.

(6)  The commissioner of housing and community affairs; and.

(7)  The state historic preservation officer.

(8)  Three public members representative of local government, one of whom shall be designated by the Vermont league of cities and towns, and two shall be appointed by the governor.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2793(c) is amended to read:

(c)  The state board shall review a community’s designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the state board determines that the downtown development district no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action; .

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or .

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits established in section 2794 of this chapter without affecting any of the district’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the district’s designation, with such removal not without affecting any of the district’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 2793a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The state board shall review a village center designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If, at the any time of the review, the state board determines that the village center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (a) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action; .

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or .

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the village center’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the village center’s designation, with such removal not without affecting any of the village center’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 2793b(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The state board shall review a new town center designation every three five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.  If at any time the state board determines the new town center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

(1)  require Require corrective action;.

(2)  provide Provide technical assistance through the Vermont downtown program; or.

(3)  remove Limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the new town center’s previously awarded benefits.

(4)  Remove the new town center’s designation , with such removal not without affecting any of the town center’s previously awarded benefits.

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 1-5 of this act shall take effect upon passage.

* * * Brownfield Reclamation * * *

Sec. 6.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this act is to create a property cleanup program within the agency of natural resources, that provides program participants with some protection from certain liabilities pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6615 in exchange for having the secretary of natural resources review and oversee work plans for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring a contaminated property.  The goals of the cleanup program are to:

(1)  Reduce and eliminate threats to human health and the environment presented by hazardous material contamination.

(2)  Establish risk‑based restrictions on future use of property when setting cleanup goals for a contaminated property.

(3)  Reuse historically productive properties that will revitalize communities and help address issues raised by economic shifts while maintaining and enhancing existing public infrastructure.

(4)  Utilize public investment and technical assistance to promote successful redevelopment projects.

(5)  Reduce state legal liability risks associated with a brownfields site for parties who assume responsibility for property remediation.

Sec. 7.  10 V.S.A. chapter 159, subchapter 3 is added to read:

Subchapter 3.  Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitations

§ 6641.  BROWNFIELD PROPERTY CLEANUP PROGRAM; CREATION; POWERS

(a)  There is created the brownfield property cleanup program to enable certain interested parties to request the assistance of the secretary to review and oversee work plans for investigating, abating, removing, remediating, and monitoring a property in exchange for protection from certain liabilities under section 6615 of this title.  The program shall be administered by the secretary who shall:

(1)  Specify an appropriate amount or type of insurance; require the posting of a bond or other form of financial assurance; or establish other qualifications for persons carrying out activities related to the cleanup program.

(2)  Contract with private engineers, hydrologists, and site professionals to provide the investigation and review required by this subchapter.  The contract may be financed from the oversight costs established in subdivision 6644(5) of this title, or may bill an applicant who is not liable under subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title for the services.

(3)  Release an applicant from state liability, provided the applicant is in compliance with this subchapter.

(b)  After approval of a site investigation work plan or a corrective action plan, the secretary shall notify the person of any future requirements under this subchapter, including a tentative schedule of processing times.


§ 6642.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Applicant” means a person who has applied for relief from state liability through participation in the program.

(2)  “Brownfield site” means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the release or threatened release of a hazardous material.  “Brownfield site” does not include any of the following:

(A)  A facility that is the subject of a planned or ongoing removal action under CERCLA.

(B)  A facility that is listed as a CERCLA site or is proposed for listing.

(C)  A facility that is the subject of any state or federal administrative or court order under any of the following authorities:

(i)  42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (CLERCLA) or 10 V.S.A. §6615 (state hazardous materials remediation).

(ii)  42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq. (solid waste disposal act) or 10 V.S.A chapter 159 (solid waste or hazardous waste).

(iii)  33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. (federal Water Pollution Control act) or 10 V.S.A. chapter 47 (water pollution control).

(iv)  15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (toxic substances control act).

(v)   42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq. (safe drinking water act) or 10 V.S.A. chapter 56 (public water supply).

(D)  A facility that is subject to either of the following:

(i)  Corrective action under 42 U.S.C. § 6924(u) or 6928(h).

(ii)  Corrective action permit or order issued or modified to require the implementation of corrective measures.

(E)  A land disposal unit in regard to which both of the following apply:

(i)  A closure notification under subtitle C of  42 U.S.C. § 6921 et seq. has been submitted.

(ii)  Closure requirements have been specified in a closure plan or permit.

(F)  A facility that is subject to the jurisdiction, custody, or control of any instrumentality of the United States, except for land held in trust by the United States for an Indian tribe.

(G)  A portion of a facility to which both the following apply:

(i)  A release of polychlorinated biphenyls has occurred.

(ii)  Is subject to remediation under 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (toxic substances control act).

(H)  A portion of a facility for which assistance for response activity has been obtained under subtitle I of 42 U.S.C. § 6991 et seq. (solid waste disposal act) from the leaking underground storage tank trust fund established under 26 V.S.A. § 9508.

(3)  “CERCLA” means the Comprehensive Response Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq.

(4)  “Innocent current owner” means a person that owns real property where a release or threatened release of a hazardous material exists but the person did none of the following:

(A)  Held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender’s holding indicia of ownership in the property to assure the repayment of a financial obligation at the time of any disposal of hazardous materials on the property.

(B)  Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(C)  Operated or controlled the operation at the property of a facility for the storage treatment or disposal of hazardous materials at the time of the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(D)  Disposed of or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(E)  Generated the hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

(5)  “Program”  means the brownfield property cleanup program

(6)  “Remediation standards” means standards developed by the secretary for the remediation of contaminated properties.  The secretary shall determine appropriate remediation standards on a site‑specific basis and shall consider all the following:

(A)  Future land use and the appropriate use of institutional controls.

(B)  Environmental media, including soil, groundwater, surface water, and air.

(C)   Requirements for source removal, treatment, or containment.

(D)  Appropriate use of monitored natural attenuation.

(E)  Any other issue related to the protection of public health and the environment.

§ 6643.  APPLICATION PROCESS

A person shall apply to the secretary for participation in the program on a form determined by the secretary accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $500.00.  The application shall include:

(1)  A preliminary environmental assessment of the property, a legal description of the property, a description of the physical characteristics of the property, the nature and extent of releases and threatened releases at the property, and the risks to human health and the environment presented by the releases or threatened release, and any other information requested by the secretary.

(2)  A description of the proposed redevelopment and use of the property.

(3)  A certification that the applicant has given timely notification to the public that provides a reasonable opportunity for public comment to the secretary regarding the information and material provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section.

(4)  A notarized certification, on a form provided by the secretary, in which the applicant attests to all the following:

(A)  Each person who would benefit from liability protection pursuant to section 6653 of this title has disclosed to the secretary all information currently known to the person or in the person’s possession or control that relates to releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(B)  No person, including a principal, owner, director, affiliate, or subsidiary, who would benefit from liability protection pursuant to section 6653 of this title:

(i)  Currently holds or ever held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, except for either of the following:

(I)  A secured lender’s holding indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure repayment of a financial obligation.

(II)  An innocent current owner.

(ii)  Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

(iii)  Currently operates or controls or ever operated or controlled the operation at the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials from which there was a release.

(iv)  Disposed of, or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(v)  Generated hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

§ 6644.  GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

Any person participating in the program shall do all the following:

(1)  Not provide any information required under this subchapter by fraud, intentional misrepresentation, failure to disclose material information, or providing false certification.

(2)  Not engage in any activity that is inconsistent or interferes with monitoring, investigation, abatement, removal, or remediation activities or the conditions or restrictions in a certificate of completion.

(3)  Provide access to and cooperate with the secretary and any person liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title acting subject to the approval of the secretary for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities at the property.   The grant of access and all other provisions that the secretary determines necessary may be memorialized in the form of an interest in real property that runs with the land and is binding against successors and assigns.

(4)  Comply with all rules and procedures required by the secretary and obtain all necessary permits, certifications, and other required authorizations prior to beginning any site investigation or corrective action plan activities.

(5)  If an innocent current owner, pay the secretary an oversight fee of $5,000.00.  Upon depletion of this $5,000.00 fee, the applicant shall pay any additional costs of the secretary’s review and oversight of the site investigation or corrective action plan, or both.  Upon completion of the secretary’s review and oversight, any funds remaining shall be returned to the applicant, as determined by the commissioner.

(6)  Provide the secretary with all documents and information relating to the performance of the investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities.

(7)   Defend, indemnify, save, and hold harmless the state from all claims and causes of action related to, or arising from, acts or omissions of the applicant in performing the site investigation and corrective action plan except in the case of either of the following:

(A)  Reimbursement of fees or costs improperly required by and paid to the secretary by the eligible person or successor.

(B)  A cause of action related to the state’s liability pursuant to subsection 6615(a) of this title.

§ 6645.  ELIGIBILITY

Not more than 30 days after the secretary receives a complete application, the secretary shall determine eligibility and provide written notice to the applicant of the secretary’s determination.  A person is eligible for participation in the program if the secretary determines all the following:

(1)  There is a release or threatened release of hazardous material at the property that the person proposes for remediation and redevelopment.

(2)  The applicant is not liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title for any release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the property or the person is an innocent current owner of the property.  The commissioner may accept an affidavit of innocence or may request further information and investigate to determine compliance with this subsection.  Any determination of innocence or liability under this subdivision is solely for the purpose of the initial eligibility determination for this program and shall have no collateral effect in other proceedings.

(3)  The property is a brownfield site or the secretary determines, on a site‑by‑site basis, both the following:

(A)  The property is not a brownfield site because it is excluded pursuant to subdivisions 6642(1)(A), (C)(ii) – (v), (D), (E), (G), or (H) of this title.

(B)  Participation in the program will promote the program objectives identified in subsection 6641(a) of this title.

§ 6646.  FORBEARANCE

The state may not bring an action against an applicant based on liability pursuant to subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title, provided that the applicant has been determined to be eligible for the program and is working in good faith toward meeting the obligations required by this subchapter.


§ 6647.  SITE INVESTIGATION

(a)  The applicant shall submit a site investigation work plan to the secretary.  The work plan shall identify the person or persons who will conduct the site investigation.  The work plan shall provide a site investigation that satisfies all the following objectives:

(1)  Defines the nature, source, degree, and extent of the contamination.

(2)  Defines all possible pathways for contaminant migration.

(3)  Presents data that quantify the amounts of contaminants migrating along each pathway.

(4)  Defines all relevant sensitive receptors.

(5)  Determines the risk of contamination to human health and the environment.

(6)  Identifies appropriate abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities, taking into consideration the proposed redevelopment for the property supported by sufficient information.

(7)  Provides a preliminary recommendation supported by sufficient information.

(b)  The secretary shall evaluate the site investigation work plan and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the site investigation work plan.  If the secretary approves the site investigation work plan with conditions or disapproves the work plan, the applicant shall submit a revised site investigation work plan for approval, or the applicant shall withdraw from the program.  The applicant shall submit any additional or corrected information requested by the secretary at any time during the evaluation of the site investigation work plan.

(c)  After approval of the site investigation work plan, the applicant shall implement the site investigation in accordance with the approved work plan.

(d)  After completion of the site investigation, the applicant shall submit a site investigation report that describes the information gathered and provides recommendations that address the items identified in subsection (a) of this section.  The secretary may approve the site investigation report or, prior to approval, may require revisions to the report or further site investigation work under an amended site investigation work plan, or both.

(e)  If the approved site investigation report concludes that no further investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required to protect adequately human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards, then the applicant may request a determination from the secretary that no additional investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required.  The secretary may make that determination if the secretary determines both the following:

(1)  Redevelopment and reuse of the property will not cause, allow, contribute to, worsen, or delay any release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property.

(2)  The releases or threatened releases that are not abated, removed, or remediated do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health, and the environment and applicable remediation standards are met.

(f)  If the approved site investigation report concludes that abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required to protect adequately human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards, the applicant shall submit a corrective action plan in accordance with section 6648 of this title.

§ 6648.  CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  A corrective action plan shall clearly describe the basis and details of a proposed cleanup strategy that includes ensuring technical feasibility, an effective engineering design, reasonable costs, protection of human health and the environment, and compliance with the remediation standards.  The corrective action plan shall include all the following:

(1)  A description of all releases or threatened releases existing at the property.

(2)  A proposed plan for abatement, removal, and remediation of any release or threatened release, including any condition that has led or could lead to a release or threatened release.

(3)  A plan for continued monitoring of the property during and after the investigation, abatement, removal, and remediation activities are completed.

(4)  A description of applicable remediation standards.

(5)  Plans for all the following:

(A)  Quality assurance.

(B)  Sampling and analysis.

(C)  Health and safety considerations.

(D)  Data management and record keeping.

(6)  A proposed schedule for implementation of each task set forth in the proposed corrective action plan.

(b)  The secretary shall evaluate the corrective action plan and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the corrective action plan.  The applicant shall submit any additional or corrected information requested by the secretary at any time during the evaluation of the corrective action plan.

(c)  The secretary may approve a corrective action plan for all or a portion of the releases or threatened releases at the property, provided the secretary determines that the corrective action plan will fulfill both the following:

(1)  Activities in the approved corrective action plan and the redevelopment and use of the property will not cause, contribute to, or worsen any release or threatened release of hazardous materials.

(2)  The corrective action plan provides for all investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring activities required to protect human health and the environment and to meet all applicable remediation standards.

(d)  If the secretary approves a corrective action plan that addresses only a portion of the releases or threatened releases at the property, the secretary must find that the releases or threatened releases that are not abated, removed, or remediated pursuant to the corrective action plan do not and will not pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment and are in compliance with remediation standards.

(e)  Prior to approval of the corrective action plan, the secretary shall provide notice to the public by publishing notice in a local newspaper of general circulation where the property is located and providing written notice to the clerk for the municipality in which the property is located.  The clerk shall post the notice in a location conspicuous to the public.  The secretary shall review any public comment submitted prior to approval of the corrective action plan.  The notice shall include all the following:

(1)  A description of any proposed abatement, investigation, remediation, removal, and monitoring activities.

(2)  A statement that the secretary is considering approving a corrective action plan that provides for those activities.

(3)  A request for public comment on the proposed activities to be submitted within 15 days after publication.

(4)  The name, telephone number, and address of an agency official who is able to answer questions and accept comments on the matter.

(f)  After approval of a corrective action plan and any amendments to the plan, the secretary shall notify the claimant of all the following information:

(1)  A summary of the nature of the contamination identified on the property and the major components of the corrective action plan.

(2)  A detailed description of any restrictions on the future use of the property.

(3)  The location where all information relating to an approved corrective action plan and site investigation may be reviewed.

(g)  The person receiving the approval shall file the notice of approval of the corrective action in the land records of the municipality in which the property is located within 15 days of receipt of the approval.

§ 6649.  AMENDMENTS TO A CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  Except for the corrective action plan adjustment limitations provided  under subsection (b) of this section, at the applicant’s request or in the secretary’s discretion, the secretary may amend the plan if the secretary determines that the amendment is necessary to protect public health and the environment.

(b)  An approved corrective action plan of an applicant who became a participant in the program prior to acquiring any ownership interest in the property and who is not otherwise liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title may be amended only at the secretary’s discretion, provided the amendments to the corrective action plan do not increase the costs of completion by more than 30 percent of the estimated costs of the original corrective action plan.

(c)  Notwithstanding issuance of a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6653 of this title, if at any time the secretary finds that a completed corrective action plan fails to protect adequately human health and the environment or fails to meet all applicable remediation and federal cleanup standards, the secretary may do any of the following;

(1)  Exercise authority pursuant to section 6615 of this title against any liable person except the person or the successor of the person that completed the corrective action plan.

(2)  Perform all investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities necessary to ensure the property meets all the applicable remediation standards.

§ 6650.  PROGRAM WITHDRAWAL

(a)  An applicant may withdraw from the program at any time, provided the applicant does all the following:

(1)  Files with the secretary a notice of intent to withdraw from the program.

(2)  Ensures that the site is stabilized.  Site stabilization includes any action necessary to ensure that work conducted at the property will not cause greater risk to human health and the environment than existed before the remediation work was begun and to ensure that the property will not pose an imminent hazard to human health or the environment.

(3)  Continues to comply with the general obligations of section 6644 of this title.

(b)  An applicant may withdraw from the program after the approval of a corrective action plan and the secretary has granted personal liability protection as authorized in subsection 6653(b) of this title provided the applicant does all the following:

(1)  Meets all the requirements of withdrawal pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(2)  Records a deed restriction on the property approved by the secretary.  The deed restriction shall include:

(A)  Any limitations on the uses of the property based on risk-based exposure criteria used in developing the corrective action plan.

(B)  Prohibitions against physical changes to the property.

(C)  A requirement that protective barriers to control remaining sources of contamination be installed and maintained.

(D)  Restrictions on groundwater use and requirements that alternative water supplies be provided.

(3)  Does not engage in an activity at the property that is inconsistent or interferes with the approved corrective action plan.

(4)  Does not violate any use restriction imposed on the property by the secretary.

(5)  Promptly reports and addresses contamination caused or exacerbated by a negligent or reckless action during corrective action.

§ 6651.  IMPLEMENTATION OF CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

(a)  The applicant shall perform all investigation, abatement, remediation, removal, and monitoring activities in accordance with the approved corrective action plan, any amendments to the plan, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. 

(b)  If prior to the issuance of the certificate of completion, the applicant through the performance of an approved site investigation or corrective action plan worsens an existing release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property, or causes a new release or threatened release, the applicant shall immediately notify the secretary, prepare and submit to the secretary an amendment to the corrective action plan for investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, and monitoring of the release or threatened release, and carry out the amended corrective action plan as approved by the secretary.

§ 6652.  CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

(a)  After completion of all activities required by the corrective action plan, the applicant shall file a completion report with the secretary.  The completion report shall include all the following:

(1)  Description of the activities performed under the corrective action plan and any amendments to the plan.

(2)  Description of any problems encountered

(3)  Certification by the applicant that the activities were performed in accordance with the corrective action plan.

(b)  Upon receipt of the completion report, the secretary shall determine whether additional work is required in order to complete the plan.  The applicant shall perform any additional activities necessary to complete the corrective action plan as required by the secretary and shall submit a new completion report.  When the secretary determines that the applicant has successfully completed the corrective action plan and paid all fees and costs due under this subchapter, the secretary shall issue a certificate of completion, which certifies that the work is completed.  The certificate of completion shall include a description of any land use restrictions and other conditions required by the corrective action plan.

(c)  If, on request of the applicant, the secretary determines that no further investigation, abatement, removal, remediation, or monitoring activities are required, the secretary shall issue a certificate of completion that includes a description of any required land use restrictions.

(d)  The secretary may determine that a corrective action plan and any amendments of an applicant who participated in the program prior to acquiring an ownership interest in the property and is not otherwise liable pursuant to section 6615 of this title have been substantially completed and that all fees and costs due under this subchapter have been paid and issue a certificate of completion.  The certificate of completion shall certify that the work is completed and may include conditions for operation and monitoring in addition to the requirements pursuant to section 6653 of this title.

(e)  A certificate of completion issued pursuant to this section shall contain a statement that the protection from liability pursuant to subsection 6653(a) of this title is in effect.  The person receiving the certificate of completion shall file it in the land records for the municipality in which the property is located.

§ 6653.  RELEASE FROM LIABILITY;  PERSONAL RELEASE FROM LIABILITY

(a)  An applicant who has obtained a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6652 of this title and successor owners of the property included in the certificate of completion who are not otherwise liable under section 6615 for the release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the property shall not be liable under subdivision 6615(a)(1) of this title for any of the following:

(1)  A release or threatened release that existed at the property at the time of the approval of the corrective action plan and complies with one or both of the following:

(A)  Was discovered after the approval of the corrective action plan by means that were not recognized standard methods at the time of approval of the corrective action plan.

(B)  The material was not regulated as hazardous material until after approval of the corrective action plan.

(2)  Cleanup after approval of the corrective action plan was done pursuant to more stringent cleanup standards effective after approval of the corrective action plan.

(b)  A person who meets the requirements of subsection 6650(b) of this title shall not be liable under subdivision 6615 (a)(1) of this title for the release of a hazardous material that is addressed in a corrective action plan approved by the secretary.  A release from liability under this subsection is personal and does not run with the property or apply to successors in interest to the property.

(c)  A release from liability under this section or forbearance from action provided by section 6646 of this title does not extend to any of the following:

(1)  A release or threatened release of a hazardous material that was not present at the time the applicant submitted an application pursuant to this subchapter where the release or threatened release:

(A)  has not been addressed under an amended corrective action plan approved by the secretary; or

(B)  was caused by intentional or reckless conduct by the applicant or agents of the applicant.

(2)  Failure to comply with the general obligations established in section 6644 of this title.

(3)  A release that occurs subsequent to the issuance of a certificate of completion.

(d)  There shall be no protection from liability under this section or forbearance under section 6646 of this title for a successor if that successor or any of its principals, owners, directors, affiliates, or subsidiaries:

(1)  Ever held an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender who holds indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure repayment of a financial obligation, except in the case of an innocent owner.

(2)   Directly or indirectly caused or contributed to any release or threatened release of hazardous materials at the property.

(3)  Currently operates or controls or ever operated or controlled the operation on the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials from which there was a release or threatened release of hazardous materials.

(4)  Disposed of or arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

(5)  Generated hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

§ 6654.  BROWNFIELD REVITALIZATION FUND; CREATION; ASSISTANCE

(a)  There is created a brownfield revitalization fund that shall be a special fund created pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 to be administered by the secretary of commerce and community development to aid applicants in the redevelopment of brownfield cleanup program by assessing and remediating sites.  Moneys received by the secretary of natural resources for application and participation in the program shall be deposited in the redevelopment of contaminated properties account of the environmental contingency fund established in section 1283 of this title.

(b)  The fund shall comprise of all the following;

(1)  State or federal funds appropriated by the general assembly.

(2)  Gifts, grants, or other contributions.

(c)  A person may apply to the secretary of commerce and community development for financial assistance in the form of a grant or loan from the brownfield revitalization fund for the purpose of completing characterization, assessment, or remediation of a site only after receipt of a work plan approved by the secretary submitted pursuant to the brownfield property cleanup program unless the application is for a project that has been determined to be ineligible for the program and is otherwise appropriate for funding pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(d)  In order to determine an award of financial assistance, the secretary of commerce and community development in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall consider all the following:

(1)  The extent to which the proposed project will facilitate the identification and reduction of threats to human health and the environment associated with exposure to hazardous materials, pollutants, or contaminants.

(2)  The extent to which the proposed project will facilitate the use or reuse of existing infrastructure.

(3)  The potential for the proposed project to stimulate economic development.

(4)  The extent to which the proposed project will respond to local or regional housing needs.

(5)  The level of participation by a local community relating to remediation and future use of the brownfield site.

(6)  The extent to which a grant or loan will meet the needs of a community that due to a small population or the low income of the community is unable to draw on other funding sources for environmental remediation and subsequent redevelopment of the area in which a brownfield site is located.

(7)  The extent to which a grant or loan will facilitate the creation or preservation of or an addition to a park, greenway, underdeveloped property, recreational property, or other property used for nonprofit purposes.

(8)  The extent to which the grant or loan will create a more balanced geographic distribution of awards from the brownfield revitalization fund.

(e)  A grant may be awarded by the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, provided:

(1)  A grant may not exceed $50,000.00 for characterization and assessment of a site.

(2)  A grant may not exceed $200,000.00 for remediation of a site.

(3)  A grant may be used by an applicant to purchase environmental insurance relating to the performance of the characterization, assessment, or remediation of a brownfield site in accordance with a corrective action plan approved by the secretary of natural resources.

(4)  Financial assistance may be provided to applicants by developing a risk sharing pool, an indemnity pool, or other insurance mechanism designed to help applicants.

(5)  All reports generated by financial assistance from the brownfield revitalization fund, including site assessments, site investigations, feasibility studies, corrective action plans, and completion reports shall be provided as hard copies to the secretaries of commerce and community development and of natural resources.

(f)  The Vermont economic development authority, VEDA, is authorized to make loans on behalf of the state pursuant to this section.  Annually, the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources in consultation with the VEDA manager shall determine an amount from the brownfield revitalization program that will be available to VEDA for loans.  Proceeds from repayment of loans shall be deposited in the brownfield revitalization fund and shall be available for future grants and loans under this section.  Loans under this subsection shall be issued and administered by VEDA, provided:

(1)  Loan may be awarded only to applicants who have been determined eligible by the secretary of commerce and community development with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, and the secretary of commerce and community development has certified that the applicant and the project are eligible for financing or assistance under this section and the project has priority for an award of financial assistance.

(2)  A loan to an applicant may not exceed $250,000.00 and may be used for characterization, assessment, or remediation subject to all the following conditions:

(A)  Repayment of a loan shall commence no later than one year following completion of the project for which the loan was used.

(B)  The rate of interest on loans shall be set by VEDA in consultation with the secretary of commerce and community development.  The interest rate shall be sufficiently attractive to advance the purposes of this subchapter and may be less than the prevailing borrowing rates available to similarly situated applicants from private lenders, but not less than zero percent.

(C)  Loans shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in a loan agreement executed by VEDA and the applicant.  The loan agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the loan and repayment and any other terms and conditions determined to be necessary by VEDA and the secretaries of natural resources or of commerce and community development.

(D)  Disbursement of loan proceeds shall be based on certification by the loan recipient that costs for which reimbursement is requested have been incurred or paid by the recipient for activities under the approved plan.  The loan recipient shall provide supporting evidence of payment on request of VEDA.  Interim financing charges or short-term interest costs may constitute an allowable cost of a project for which a loan may be used.

(E)  In the event of default, any amounts owed on the loan shall be considered a debt for the purposes of 32 V.S.A. § 5932(4).  VEDA may recover this debt pursuant to the set-off debt collection remedy established pursuant to 32 V.S.A. §§ 5833 and 5934.

(F)  The applicant has certified that all state and federal permits and licenses necessary to undertake the project for which financing is being sought have been or will be obtained prior to disbursement of loan funds by VEDA.

(G)  The secretary of commerce and community development has certified to VEDA that the applicant and the project are eligible for financing or assistance under this section, and the project has priority for financial assistance.

(3)  The secretary of commerce and community development in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall maintain a prioritized list of projects that are eligible for financial assistance under this section at least annually.  In order to prioritize, the secretary of commerce and community development shall consider at a minimum, the criteria set forth in subsection (d) of this section and the following:

(A)  The severity of any health or environmental hazard to be remediated.

(B)  The population to be served.

(C)  The readiness of the project to proceed to the next planning or construction step.

(4)  Neither the state nor VEDA shall be responsible for owning or operating a project or for completing a corrective action plan if a grant or loan recipient defaults on a loan obligation, abandons the project site, or fails to complete a corrective action plan to the satisfaction of the secretary.

(5)  The secretary of commerce and community development or the secretary of natural resources and VEDA may enter into agreements on behalf of the state with federal agencies in order to obtain grants and awards to further the purposes of the brownfield revitalization fund, provided that any grant or award has been approved in compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 5.

(6)  Annually on or before January 15, the secretary of commerce and community development and VEDA in consultation with the secretary of natural resources shall submit a report to members of the joint fiscal committee, the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs and on natural resources and the house committees on commerce and on natural resources and energy.  The report shall include information for the previous fiscal year, including the balance in the fund, grant and loan awards made, funds anticipated to be available in the next fiscal year, information relating to brownfield remediation activities, including the number, location, and status of brownfield sites and any other related information.

§ 6655.  STATE PLAN FOR BROWNFIELD RECLAMATION

The agency of natural resources and the agency of commerce and community development shall jointly develop a state plan for brownfield reclamation that includes both of the following:

(1)  An inventory and assessment of potential sites prioritized by the ease of reducing the threat to public health, the availability of development opportunities, and the highest expected return on public investment.

(2)  Methods and strategies for coordinating remediation with eventual usage of the sites, reclamation of high priority projects, financing projects with various public and private funding, and assuring consistent investment by the state for a minimum of ten years in order to return as many properties as possible to recreation, parks, green space, housing, and commercial uses.

§6656.  BROWNFIELD ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a)  There is established a brownfield reuse and environmental liability limitation advisory committee to review the operation of the program established under this subchapter and to recommend program and legislative changes to improve the program and increase brownfield cleanup.  The advisory committee shall submit an annual report of its work and recommendations to the general assembly on or before January 15.  The committee shall be composed of the following 10 members:

(1)  The secretary or designee who shall be chair.

(2)  The secretary of commerce and community affairs or designee who shall be vice chair.

(3)  The attorney general or designee.

(4)  A member of the Vermont association of planning and development agencies, appointed by the association.

(5)  Six members to be appointed by the chair:

(A)  A developer of large projects with experience in brownfield redevelopment.

(B)  A developer of small projects with experience in brownfield redevelopment.

(C)  An attorney with experience representing brownfield redevelopers.

(D)  Two commercial real estate brokers with experience in the sale of brownfield properties.

(E)  A representative of a regional development corporation.

(b)  The advisory committee shall focus its deliberations on the following issues: 

(1)  Fair distribution of historic liability.

(2)  Funding mechanisms.

(3)  Exemptions for regional development corporations.

(4)  Other recommendations of the advisory committee.

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 6615(d)(3) and (i) are amended to read:

(3)  A municipality shall not be liable under this section provided that the municipality can show all the following:

* * *

(C)  The municipality has entered into an agreement with the secretary regarding sale of the property acquired or has undertaken abatement, investigation, remediation, or removal activities as required by section 6615a of this title subchapter 3 of this chapter.

(i)  In an action brought by the secretary under this section, a responsible person may implead, or in a separate action a responsible person may sue, another responsible person or persons and may obtain contribution or indemnification.  A responsible person who has resolved its liability to the state under this section through a judicially approved settlement and a secured lender or fiduciary with whom the secretary has entered into an agreement under subsection (h) of this section shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnification regarding matters addressed in the judicially approved settlement or in the agreement.  Likewise, an eligible a person or successor who has obtained a certificate of completion pursuant to section 6615a of this title subchapter 3 of this chapter shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnification regarding releases or threatened releases described in the approved corrective action plan, as amended.  Such a settlement or agreement or certificate of completion does not discharge any other potentially responsible person unless its terms so provide, but it reduces the potential liability of other potentially responsible persons by the relief agreed upon.  A secured lender or fiduciary with whom the secretary has entered into an agreement under subsection (h) of this section may not seek contribution or indemnification on the basis of such agreement from any other potentially responsible person.  In any action for contribution or indemnification, the rights of any person who has resolved its liability to the state shall be subordinate to the rights of the state.

Sec. 9.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 6615a (redevelopment of contaminated properties) is repealed.

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

     A BILL RELATING TO THE DURATION OF HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DESIGNATIONS AND BROWNFIELD RECLAMATION.

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

Senator Cummings, for the Committee on Finance, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment as recommended by the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

Senator Bartlett, for the Committee on Appropriations, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the bill ought to pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations with the following amendment thereto:

     By adding a new section, to be numbered Sec. 10 to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  REPEAL

10 V.S.A. § 6656 is repealed January 1, 2011.

Thereupon, the bill was read the second time by title only pursuant to Rule 43, and the recommendation of proposal of amendment of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs was amended as recommended by the Committee on Appropriations.

Thereupon, the proposal of amendment recommended by the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, as amended, was agreed to, and third reading of the bill was ordered.

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

Senator Campbell Assumes the Chair

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

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment Concurred In

S. 112

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

An act relating to victims’ compensation.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by adding a new Sec. 5 to read as follows:

Sec. 5.  13  V.S.A. § 5353 is amended to read:

§ 5353. APPLICATION FOR COMPENSATION

(a) A victim or a dependent of a victim shall, upon application, be eligible for compensation if:

(1) a law enforcement official has filed a report concluding that a crime was committed which resulted in the injury or death of the victim; and

(2) the crime was committed in this state; or

(3) the victim is a Vermont resident, the state in which the crime occurred does not have an eligible crime victim's compensation program and the applicant would have been eligible for compensation under this chapter if the crime had been committed in this state; or

(4)  the victim is a Vermont resident who is injured or killed by an act of terrorism outside of the United Sates, to the extent that compensation is not otherwise available under federal law.

* * *

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

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested; Committee of Conference Appointed

S. 246.

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to electronic access to criminal and family court records.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  12 V.S.A. § 5 is amended to read:

§ 5.  DISSEMINATION OF ELECTRONIC CASE RECORDS

(a)  The court shall not permit public access via the internet to criminal case records or family court case records.  The court may permit criminal justice agencies, as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2056a, Internet access to criminal case records for criminal justice purposes, as defined in section 2056a.

(b)  This section shall not be construed to prohibit the court from providing electronic access to:

(1)  court schedules of the district or family court, or opinions of the district court; or

(2)  state agencies in accordance with data dissemination contracts entered into under Rule 6 of the Vermont Rules of Electronic Access to Court Records.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 2056b is amended to read:

§ 2056b.  DISSEMINATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS TO PERSONS CONDUCTING RESEARCH

(a)  The Vermont criminal information center may provide Vermont criminal history records as defined in section 2056a of this title to bona fide persons conducting research related to the administration of criminal justice, subject to conditions approved by the commissioner of public safety to assure the confidentiality of the information and the privacy of individuals to whom the information relates.  Bulk criminal history data may only be provided in a format that excludes the subject’s name and any unique numbers that may reference the identity of the subject, except that the state identification number may be provided.  Researchers must sign a user agreement which specifies data security requirements and restrictions on use of identifying information.

(b)  No person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal history record information to any person who would not be eligible to receive the information pursuant to this subchapter other than the subject and properly designated employees of an organization who have a documented need to know the contents of the record.

(c)  A person who violates the provisions of this section with respect to unauthorized disclosure of confidential criminal history record information obtained from the center under the authority of this section shall be fined not more than $5,000.00.  Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation.

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 2056c is amended to read:

§ 2056c.  DISSEMINATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY CONVICTION RECORDS TO EMPLOYERS THE PUBLIC

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Applicant” means an individual seeking or being sought for employment, a volunteer position with an employer, or admission to a course of instruction offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(2)  “Criminal conviction record” means the record of convictions in Vermont.

(3)  “Employer” means any individual, organization, or governmental body, including partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air, or express company or an authorized agent.  Authorized agent shall include a person who is licensed under chapter 59 of Title 26 to provide private investigative services.

(4)  “The center” means the Vermont criminal information center.

(b)(1)  An employer may obtain from the center a criminal conviction record for any applicant who has given written authorization on a release form provided by the center, provided that the employer has filed a user’s agreement with the center.  The user’s agreement shall require the employer to comply with all statutes, rules, and policies regulating the release of criminal conviction records and the protection of individual privacy.  The user’s agreement shall be signed and kept current by the employer.

(2)  An individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state and which is a qualified entity that provides care or services to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c may obtain from the center an out-of-state criminal conviction record for any applicant who has given written authorization on a release form provided by the center, provided that the employer has filed a user’s agreement with the center and complies with all other provisions of this section.

(c)(1)  The employer may obtain a criminal conviction record only:

(A)  after the applicant has been given an offer of employment conditioned on the record check;

(B)  after a volunteer has been offered a position conditioned on the record check.

(2)  The Vermont criminal justice training council may obtain a criminal conviction record only after an applicant has been accepted into a course of instruction offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council conditioned on the record check.

(3)  An organization that receives a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall provide a free copy of such record to the record subject within ten days of receipt of the record.

(4)  An organization entitled to receive a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall not require an applicant to obtain or submit personally a copy of his or her criminal conviction record for purposes of employment or acceptance into a course offered by the Vermont criminal justice training council.

(d)(1)  Employers shall be provided with informational material by the center prior to authorization to request criminal conviction records.  The materials shall address the following topics:

(A)  Requirements of the user agreement.

(B)  How to obtain criminal conviction records from the center.

(C)  How to interpret criminal conviction records.

(D)  How to obtain source documents summarized in the criminal conviction records.

(E)  Misuse of criminal conviction records.

(2)  Employers shall certify on the user agreement that they have read and understood the materials prior to receiving authorization to request records from the center.

(e)  The release form shall contain the applicant’s name, signature, date of birth, place of birth, and the signature as attested to by a notary public.  The release form shall state that the applicant has the right to appeal the findings to the center, pursuant to rules adopted by the commissioner of public safety.

(f)(1)  Except as otherwise authorized by this chapter, no person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal conviction record information or disclose the contents of a criminal conviction record without the record subject’s permission to any person other than the applicant and properly designated employees of the employer who have a documented need to know the contents of the record.

(2)  An employer who receives criminal conviction records pursuant to this section shall maintain a confidential log of all record requests as specified by the center.  The employer shall confidentially retain records relating to requests for criminal conviction records for a period of three years.  At the end of the retention period, if logs and records are to be destroyed, they shall be shredded.

(g)  A person who violates subsection (f) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00.  Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation.  The office of the attorney general shall have authority to enforce this section.

(h)  The center shall provide notice of the penalty for unauthorized disclosure on a form accompanying any report of a criminal conviction record to an employer.  The notice shall include, in boldface print, the following statements:  THE REQUESTOR AGREES TO USE CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORD INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE VERMONT CRIMINAL INFORMATION CENTER FOR THE PURPOSES INTENDED BY LAW.  THE REQUESTOR AGREES NOT TO DISCLOSE THE CONTENTS OF ANY CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORD WITHOUT THE APPLICANT’S PERMISSION TO ANY PERSON OTHER THAN THE APPLICANT AND PROPERLY DESIGNATED EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE A DOCUMENTED NEED TO KNOW THE CONTENTS OF THE RECORD. A VIOLATION MAY RESULT IN A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO $5,000.00. EACH UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE SHALL CONSTITUTE A SEPARATE CIVIL VIOLATION.

(i)  Nothing in this section shall create a statutory duty for an employer to perform a criminal conviction record check on every job applicant hired by the employer.  An employer’s failure to obtain a criminal conviction record on an employee who subsequently commits a criminal offense shall not be the sole factor in determining civil or criminal liability unless otherwise authorized by law.

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “The center” means the Vermont criminal information center.

(2)(A)  “Criminal conviction record” means the record of convictions in a Vermont district court.

(B)  Release of conviction records by the center pursuant to this section or pursuant to any other provision of state law which permits release of Vermont criminal records shall include only the charge for which the subject of the record was convicted, and shall not include docket numbers.

(b)  A person may obtain from the center a criminal conviction record for any purpose provided that the requestor has completed a user’s agreement with the center.  The user’s agreement shall prohibit the alteration of criminal records and shall require the requestor to comply with all statutes, rules, and policies regulating the release of criminal conviction records and the protection of individual privacy.  

(c)  Criminal conviction records shall be disseminated to the public by the center under the following conditions:

(1)  Public access to criminal conviction records shall be provided by a secure Internet site or other alternatives approved by the center. 

(2)  A requestor who wishes to receive criminal conviction records from the center shall accept the terms of a user agreement with the center.  The user agreement shall specify the conditions under which record information is being released and specify guidelines for the proper interpretation and use of the information.

(3)  Prior to receiving criminal conviction records using the center’s Internet site a requestor shall establish a secure, online account with the center.  Issuance of the account is conditioned upon the requestor’s willingness to accept the terms of a user agreement with the center which specifies the conditions under which record information is being released and specifies guidelines for the proper interpretation and use of the information.

(4)  All queries shall be by name and date of birth of the subject.

(5)  Only “no record” responses and record responses which constitute an exact match to the query criteria shall be returned automatically online.  In the event that query criteria suggest a possible match, center staff will determine whether the query criteria match a record in the repository and shall return the result to the requestor.

(6)  An electronic log shall be kept of all transactions that shall indicate the name of the requestor, the date of the request, the purpose of the request, and the result of the request.  This log shall not be available to any person, other than center staff on a need-to-know basis, except pursuant to a court order.  

(7)  The center’s Internet site shall provide an electronic mechanism for users to notify the center of possible record errors.

(8)  The center’s Internet site shall provide links to center training information regarding best practices for the use of record checks as part of a complete background check process.

(9)  The center shall charge a fee of $20.00 for each criminal record check query pursuant to this section.

(10)  No person entitled to receive a criminal conviction record pursuant to this section shall require an applicant to obtain, submit personally, or pay for a copy of his or her criminal conviction record.

Sec. 4.  20 V.S.A. § 2063 is amended to read:

§ 2063.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD FEES; CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FUND

(a)  Except as otherwise provided for in this section, the cost of each check for a criminal history record as defined in section 2056a of this title or a criminal conviction record as defined in section 2056c of this title based on name and date of birth shall be $10.00 $20.00.  Out-of-state criminal history record checks shall include any additional fees charged by the state from which the record is requested.

(b)  Requests made by criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes or other purposes authorized by state or federal law shall be exempt from all record check fees.  The following types of requests shall be exempt from the Vermont criminal record check fee:

(1)  Requests made by any individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state and which is a qualified entity that provides care or services to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c.

(2)  Requests made by researchers approved by the Vermont criminal information center to conduct research related to the administration of criminal justice.  A fee, however, may be charged by the center which shall reflect the cost of generating the requested information.

(3)  Requests made by individuals to review their own record at the Vermont criminal information center; however, copies of the individual's record are not exempt from the record check fee.

(4)  Requests made by the Vermont state housing authority and other public housing authorities pursuant to 24 V.S.A § 4010(c).

(c)(1)  The criminal history record check fund is established and shall be managed by the commissioner of public safety in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  All The first $179,000.00 of fees paid each year under this section shall be placed in the fund and used for personnel and equipment related to the processing, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history records.  The commissioner of finance and management may draw warrants for disbursements from this fund in anticipation of receipts.

(2)  After the first $179,000.00 of fees paid each year under this section is placed in the criminal history record check fund, all additional fees paid during that year under this section shall go to the general fund.

(d)  The department of public safety shall have the authority, with the approval of the secretary of administration, to establish limited service positions as are necessary to provide criminal record checks in a timely manner, provided that there are sufficient funds in the criminal history record check fund to pay for the costs of these positions.

Sec. 5.  REPORT

On or before January 15, 2010, the joint fiscal office, in consultation with the judiciary and the Vermont crime information center, shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on the fiscal impacts of the records request fees established by this act.

Sec. 6.  REPEAL

20 V.S.A. § 2056g (dissemination of criminal history records to licensed private investigators) is repealed.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment?, on motion of Senator Sears, the Senate refused to concur in the House proposal of amendment and requested a Committee of Conference.

Thereupon, pursuant to the request of the Senate, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Campbell

                                         Senator Mullin

                                         Senator Nitka

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested

S. 297

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to clarifying the definition of “Stiff Hitch” in the motor vehicle statutes.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4(77) is amended to read:

§ 4.  DEFINITIONS

Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(77)  “Stiff hitch” shall mean a tow bar used by a self-propelled motor vehicle to tow another validly registered self-propelled motor vehicle while all the wheels of the towed vehicle remain in contact with the ground.  The towed vehicle shall not be required to be registered.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment?, on motion of Senator Mazza, the Senate refused to concur in the House proposal of amendment and requested a Committee of Conference.


Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested; Committee of Conference Appointed

H. 599.

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House proposal of amendment to Senate proposal of amendment to Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to boating while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House concurs in the Senate proposal of amendment with the following amendment thereto:

By striking out Sec. 8 and Sec. 9 and inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 8, Sec. 9 and Sec. 10 to read as follows:

Sec. 8.  20 V.S.A. § 2358 is amended to read:

§ 2358.  MINIMUM TRAINING STANDARDS

(a)  Unless waived by the council under standards adopted by rule, and notwithstanding any statute or charter to the contrary, no person shall exercise law enforcement authority:

(1)  as a part-time law enforcement officer without completing a basic training course within a time prescribed by rule of the council; or

(2)  as a full-time law enforcement officer without either:

(A)  completing a basic training course in the time and manner prescribed by the council; or

(B)  having received, before July 1, 1968, permanent full-time appointment as a law enforcement officer, and completing a basic training course before July 1, 1982.

(3)  as a full or part-time law enforcement officer without completing annual in-service training requirements as prescribed by the council.

(b)  All programs required by this section shall be approved by the council. Completion of a program shall be established by a certificate to that effect signed by the executive director of the council.

(c)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Law enforcement officer” means a member of the department of public safety who exercises law enforcement powers, a member of the state police, a municipal police officer, a constable who exercises law enforcement powers, a motor vehicle inspector, an employee of the department of liquor control who exercises law enforcement powers, an investigator employed by the secretary of state, board of medical practice investigators employed by the department of health, attorney general or a state’s attorney, a fish and game warden, a sheriff, or deputy sheriff who exercises law enforcement powers, or a railroad police officer commissioned pursuant to 30 V.S.A. chapter 45, subchapter 8.

(2)  “Full-time law enforcement officer” means a law enforcement officer with duties of a predictable and continuing nature which require more than 32 hours per week and more than 25 weeks per year.

(3)  “Part-time law enforcement officer” means a law enforcement officer who is not employed full time.

(d)  The council may determine whether a particular position is full time or part time.  Any requirements in this section shall be optional for any elected official.

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 1936a is amended to read:

§ 1936a.  CONSTABLES; POWERS AND QUALIFICATIONS

(a)  A town may vote at a special or annual town meeting:

(1)  to prohibit constables from exercising any law enforcement authority; or

(2)  to prohibit constables from exercising any law enforcement authority without having successfully completed a course of training under chapter 151 of Title 20.

* * *

Sec. 10.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Secs. 8 and 9 of this act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the Senate concur in the House proposal of amendment to the Senate proposal of amendment?, on motion of Senator Sears, the Senate refused to concur in the House proposal of amendment and requested a Committee of Conference.

Thereupon, pursuant to the request of the Senate, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Illuzzi

                                         Senator Campbell

                                         Senator Sears

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment to Senate Proposal of Amendment Concurred In

H.783.

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

An act relating to home improvement fraud.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House concurs in the Senate proposal of amendment with the following amendments thereto:

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking out subsection (d) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d) A person convicted of home improvement fraud shall register with the department of labor. The court shall notify the department of labor of a conviction under this section. A person who is sentenced pursuant to subdivisions (e)(2), (3), or (4) of this section shall not engage in home improvement activities for compensation unless he or she has filed a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit with the department of labor in an amount of not less than $50,000.00. The department shall release the letter of credit at such time when:

(1) any claims against the person relating to home improvement fraud have been paid;

(2) there are no pending actions or claims against the person for home improvement fraud; and

(3) the person has not been engaged in home improvement activities for at least six years and has signed an affidavit attesting to such.  Whenever a person is convicted of home improvement fraud or of fraudulent acts related to home improvement:

(1)  the person shall notify the office of attorney general;

(2)  the court shall notify the office of the attorney general; and

(3)  the office of attorney general shall place the person’s name on the home improvement fraud registry.

Second:  In Sec. 1, by striking out subsection (i) in its entirety.

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

Recess

On motion of Senator Mazza the Senate recessed until 11:30 A.M.

Called to Order

At 12:00 P.M. noon the Senate was called to order by the President.

Message from the House No. 67

     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 considered a bill originating in the Senate of the following title:

S. 152.  An act relating to prevention of lead poisoning by exposure to lead in consumer products.

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

The House has considered Senate proposals of amendment to House bills of the following titles and has refused to concur therein and asks for Committees of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses, to which the Speaker has appointed as members of such Committee on the part of the House:

H. 863.  An act relating to creation and preservation of affordable housing and smart growth development.

                                         Rep. Head of South Burlington

                                         Rep. Klein of East Montpelier

                                         Rep. Peterson of Williston

H. 888.  An act relating to miscellaneous tax amendments.

                                         Rep. Smith of Morristown

                                         Rep. Otterman of Topsham

                                         Rep. Peterson of Williston

     The House has considered Senate proposals of amendment to House proposals of amendment to Senate bill of the following title:

     S. 284.  An act relating to the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and Health Care Administration.

And has refused to concur therein and asks for a Committee of Conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses;

And the Speaker has appointed as members of such Committee on the part of the House

                                         Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier

                                         Rep. Pugh of South Burlington

                                         Rep. Livingston of Manchester

Committees of Conference Appointed

S. 284.

An act relating to the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and Health Care Administration.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the House, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Cummings

                                         Senator Maynard

                                         Senator McCormack

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

H. 863.

An act relating to creation and preservation of affordable housing and smart growth development.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the House, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Illuzzi

                                         Senator Cummings

                                         Senator Lyons

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

H. 888.

An act relating to miscellaneous tax amendments.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the House, the President announced the appointment of


                                         Senator Cummings

                                         Senator Condos

                                         Senator Carris

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

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

S. 246, S. 284, H. 402, H. 599, H. 669, H. 783.

Rules Suspended; Action Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and the action on the following bills was ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

H. 863, H. 888.

Rules Suspended; House Proposal of Amendment Concurred In

S. 340.

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

An act relating to mammography patient cost containment.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  8 V.S.A. § 4100a is amended to read:

§ 4100a.  MAMMOGRAMS; COVERAGE REQUIRED

(a)  Insurers shall provide coverage for screening by low-dose mammography for the presence of occult breast cancer, as provided by this subchapter.  Benefits provided shall be at least as favorable as coverage for other radiological examinations and subject to the same dollar limits, deductibles, and coinsurance factors within the provisions of the policy cover the full cost of the mammography service, subject to a co-payment no greater than the co-payment applicable to care or services provided by a primary care physician under the insured’s policy, provided that no co-payment shall exceed $25.00.  Mammography services shall not be subject to deductible or coinsurance requirements.

(b)  For females 50 40 years or older, coverage shall be provided for an annual screening. For females less than 50 40 years of age, coverage for screening shall be provided upon recommendation of a health care provider.

* * *

Sec. 2.  APPLICABILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on October 1, 2008 and shall apply to all health benefit plans on and after October 1, 2008 on such date as a health insurer offers, issues, or renews the health benefit plan, but in no event later than October 1, 2009.

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

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Accepted and Adopted on the Part of the Senate

H. 515.

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

An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-added thermostats.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator McCormack, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House bill entitled:

H. 515.  An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-added thermostats.

Respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that House accede to the Senate proposal of amendment, and that the bill be further amended in Sec. 4, 10 V.S.A. § 7116(e) by striking out the following: “Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 50 percent of the out-of-service mercury‑containing thermostats in the state, the agency shall, in consultation with interested persons, require modifications to manufacturers’ collection plans in an attempt to improve collection rates in accordance with these goals.” in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 65 percent of the out-of-service mercury‑containing thermostats in the state, the agency shall, in consultation with interested persons, require modifications to manufacturers’ collection plans in an attempt to improve collection rates in accordance with these goals.

                                                                        RICHARD J. McCORMACK

                                                                        ROBERT M. HARTWELL

                                                                        DIANE B. SNELLING

                                                                 Committee on the part of the Senate

                                                                        JIM McCULLOUGH

                                                                        DEXTER RANDALL

                                                                        CYNTHIA MARTIN

                                                                 Committee on the part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference?, was decided in the affirmative.

Rules Suspended; Bill Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and the following bill was ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

H. 515.

Rules Suspended; Action Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and the action on the following bill was ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S. 340.

Recess

On motion of Senator Shumlin the Senate recessed until 3:00 P.M.

Called to Order

At 3:15 P.M. the Senate was called to order by the President.

Rules Suspended; Report of Committee of Conference Accepted and Adopted on the Part of the Senate

S. 241.

Appearing on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee of Conference on Senate bill entitled:

An act relating to the special veteran and gold star registration plates.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Kitchel, for the Committee of Conference, submitted the following report:

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Committee of Conference to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate bill entitled:

S. 241.  An act relating to the special veteran and gold star registration plates.

Respectfully reports that it has met and considered the same and recommends that the Senate accede to the House proposal of amendment.

                                                                        M. JANE KITCHEL

                                                                        RICHARD T. MAZZA

                                                                        PHILIP B. SCOTT

                                                                 Committee on the part of the Senate

                                                                        JIM MASLAND

                                                                        HEIDI E. SCHEUERMANN

                                                                        JAMES FITZGERALD

                                                                 Committee on the part of the House

Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate accept and adopt the report of the Committee of Conference?, was decided in the affirmative.

Committees of Conference Appointed

S. 297.

An act relating to clarifying the definition of “Stiff Hitch” in the motor vehicle statutes.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the House, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Scott

                                         Senator Collins

                                         Senator Kitchel

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

H. 885.

An act relating to developing consistent measurement standards for economic growth.

Was taken up.  Pursuant to the request of the House, the President announced the appointment of

                                         Senator Miller

                                         Senator Illuzzi

                                         Senator Condos

as members of the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate to consider the disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

Rules Suspended; Bill Committed

H. 879.

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and House bill entitled:

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.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Thereupon, pending the question, Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the bill was committed to the Committee on Education.

Rules Suspended; Bill Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and the following bill was ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S. 297.

Rules Suspended; Action Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended, and the action on the following bills was ordered messaged to the House forthwith:

S. 241, H. 885.

Adjournment

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

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us