H. 548

An act relating to equal education opportunity omnibus act Rep. Johnson amendment regarding repeal of Act 60.

Yeas, 57. Nays, 82. Absent, 10. House Journal 3/29/99.

Those who voted in the affirmative are:Those who voted in the negative are:Those absent with leave of the House and not voting are:
Anderson of Woodstock
Angell of Randolph
Baker of West Rutland
Barney of Highgate
Bourdeau of Hyde Park
Bouricius of Burlington
Buckland of Newport Town
Clark of St. Johnsbury
Cleland of Northfield
Corren of Burlington
Crawford of Burke
DePoy of Rutland City
Flory of Pittsford
Freed of Dorset
Gray of Barre Town
Hathaway of Barton
Helm of Castleton
Hingtgen of Burlington
Holmes of Bethel
Houston of Ferrisburg
Hudson of Lyndon
Johnson of Canaan
Kinsey of Craftsbury
Koch of Barre Town
LaBarge of Grand Isle
Larocque of Barnet
Larrabee of Danville
Livingston of Manchester
Marron of Stowe
Maslack of Poultney
Mazur of South Burlington
McGrath of Ferrisburg
Morrissey of Bennington
Mullin of Rutland Town
Neiman of Georgia
Nitka of Ludlow
O'Donnell of Vernon
Palmer of Pownal
Peaslee of Guildhall
Pike of Mendon
Pratt of Castleton
Pugh of South Burlington
Quaid of Williston
Randall of Bradford
Richardson of Weathersfield
Robb of Swanton
Rusten of Halifax
Schiavone of Shelburne
Sheltra of Derby
Sherman of St. Johnsbury
Smith of New Haven
Suchmann of Chester
Towne of Berlin
Willett of St. Albans City
Winters of Williamstown
Young of Orwell
Zuckerman of Burlington
Alfano of Calais
Allard of St. Albans Town
Aswad of Burlington
Atkins of Winooski
Barbieri of Wallingford
Blanchard of Essex
Bristol of Brattleboro
Brooks of Montpelier
Brown of Walden
Colvin of Bennington
Costello of Brattleboro
Cross of Winooski
Dakin of Colchester
Darrow of Newfane
Darrow of Dummerston
Deen of Westminster
Deuel of West Rutland
Dominick of Starksboro
Doyle of Richmond
Dunne of Hartland
Emmons of Springfield
Follett of Springfield
Fox of Essex
Fyfe of Newport City
Gervais of Enosburg
Ginevan of Middlebury
Gretkowski of Burlington
Heath of Westford
Hoag of Woodford
Howrigan of Fairfield
Hummel of Underhill
Jordan of Middlesex
Keenan of St. Albans City
Kehler of Pomfret
Kitzmiller of Montpelier
Krasnow of Charlotte
Krawczyk of Bennington
Kreitzer of Rutland City
Lafayette of Burlington
Lehman of Hartford
Lippert of Hinesburg
Mackinnon of Sharon
Mallary of Brookfield
Masland of Thetford
Mazzariello of Rutland City
McNamara of Burlington
Metzger of Milton
Miller of Shaftsbury
Milne of Washington
Molloy of Arlington
Moore of Rutland City
Nuovo of Middlebury
Osman of Plainfield
Paquin of Fairfax
Parizo of Essex
Partridge of Windham
Pembroke of Bennington
Perry of Richford
Poirier of Barre City
Postman of Brownington
Rivero of Milton
Schaefer of Colchester
Seibert of Norwich
Severance of Colchester
Smith of Sudbury
Starr of Troy
Steele of Waterbury
Stevens of Newbury
Sullivan of Burlington
Sweaney of Windsor
Sweetser of Essex
Symington of Jericho
Tracy of Burlington
Valsangiacomo of Barre City
Vincent of Waterbury
Vinton of Colchester
Waite of Pawlet
Weiss of Northfield
Westman of Cambridge
Wheeler of Burlington
Wisell of Bristol
Woodward of Johnson
Carmolli of Rutland City
Edwards of Swanton
Flaherty of South Burlington
Hube of Londonderry
Hyde of Fayston
Kainen of Hartford
Little of Shelburne
Milkey of Brattleboro
Voyer of Morristown
Wood of Brandon
Rep. Bouricius of Burlington explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker: Act 60 and Act 71 are not the bulwark defending educational equity. That is the Brigham decision. I have no fear of repealing Act 60, since it represents the worse we can have, while still complying with the Supreme Court's ruling. I voted for these repeals because they eliminate the state's policy supporting school choice, a completely defective economic development package that constitutes a corporate welfare give-away, tax cuts for the rich, and a regressive, property based education funding system. We are bound by court order to provide educational opportunity equity. We could do no worse than Acts 60 and 71, but we might do much better."

Rep. Corren of Burlington, explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker: The present amendment repeals an Act and its sequellae that has been the worst possible implementation of educational funding: only marginally constitutional from the point of view of school children, while perpetuating the hugely unfair property tax funding of education which has no result other than to require low and middle-income Vermonters to pay a greater share so that the wealthiest can pay less than their share. Further, by being based on town-by-town property taxes, it has pitted town against town in what may have been Vermont's most self-destructive act. So flawed was Act 60, that its best feature was to repeal the foundation formula. But its follow-on, Act 71 was yet worse. In addition to the privileges and loopholes for the wealthy, Act 71 added uncontrolled and unaccountable corporate welfare for the well-connected, yet more new taxes and even an unconsidered radical "school choice" that threatens all public community schools. With this latest round of transfers from most Vermonters to the privileged few through yet another income tax cut, the structure should collapse. Let us not fear; the Brigham decision and our constitutional imperative to provide a reasonably equal educational opportunity will stand. Only our last-rate execution of that duty would fall, and we can only do better."

Rep. Kinsey of Craftsbury explained his vote as follows:

"Mr. Speaker: This issue reminds me of my Uncle Willie. A lot of years ago Uncle Willie was out in the garden hoeing his beans. Along comes his neighbor Gene with his horse and buggy who said "Willie, are you going to Kilgallens funeral?" Uncle Willie replied "There's no need - he ain't a-going to mine."