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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Concurrent House Resolution

H.C.R. 332

House concurrent resolution honoring William Paul Russell’s extraordinary legislative staff service and declaring May 1, 2008 as “Bill Russell Day” in the general assembly

Offered by:  All members of the House

Offered by:  All members of the Senate

Whereas, in 1913, the legislature enacted Act 14 providing for the governor to appoint, and the senate to confirm “two men of legal training and practice, who have had legislative experience” to serve as the revisers of bills presented to either branch of the legislature, and

Whereas, this institutional organizational arrangement has since evolved into the legislative council as it exists today and as provided for in Title 2 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, and

Whereas, in 1972, the general assembly exercised wise judgment when it hired William Russell, a graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University Law School, to serve as director and chief counsel of the legislative council, and

Whereas, Bill Russell’s special gift was his appreciation and understanding of the legislature’s role in our system of government and his strong command of its intricate rules and procedures, and

Whereas, over the years, Bill Russell has been a steady guide navigating over numerous rocky legislative shoals, calling on his knowledge of legislative prerogatives and processes and using this knowledge calmly and impartially, and

Whereas, in his role as chief counsel, Bill Russell has experienced his moments in the spotlight, perhaps most memorably when he served as the senate’s prosecuting attorney during the impeachment of the Washington County sheriff and later as chief investigator of the department of agriculture’s meat inspection practices in Vermont, and

Whereas, Bill Russell’s state legislative staff colleagues nationwide have long recognized his diplomatically inclined leadership skills and vast technical knowledge, and they elected him as staff chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and

Whereas, in his role as office supervisor, Bill Russell has always kept his office door open to his employees when they needed to discuss work-related issues and problems, and

Whereas, when this legislature adjourns sine die, Bill Russell will conclude 36 years of service to the general assembly during which his abiding love and deep respect for the legislature and all its processes have been paramount, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the general assembly honors William Russell on the conclusion of his extraordinary 36-year legislative staff service and declares May 1, 2008, as “Bill Russell Day” in the general assembly, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to William Russell. 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont