§ 1711. Defintions
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Board" means the Vermont veterans' home board of trustees as set forth in section 1713 of this chapter.
(2) "Gift" means the trust created by the quitclaim deed of the Trenor W. Park Home for Destitute Children and Women dated January 15, 1887, as modified by the May 27, 1964 decree of the Bennington County chancery court.
(3) "Home" means the Vermont veterans' home as set forth in section 1712 of this chapter.
(4) "Trustees" means the individual members of the board. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1712. Vermont veterans' home
The Vermont veterans' home is a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the state. The exercise by the home of the powers conferred by this chapter constitute the performance of essential governmental functions of the state. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1713. Vermont veterans' home board of trustees
(a) The Vermont veterans' home is governed by the Vermont veterans' home board of trustees.
(b) The board shall consist of 20 members, 15 of whom shall be veterans who have been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States armed services, to be appointed by the governor for staggered terms of three years. Each trustee shall serve until a successor has been appointed. In the event a trustee vacates the board, is unable to serve, or is removed for cause, the governor shall appoint another trustee to serve the unexpired term of the departing trustee.
(c) The board shall annually elect a president, a vice president, and a secretary from among its members. Eleven members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings; provided, however, if there is a vacancy on the board, the number of trustees constituting a quorum shall be one more than one-half the number of appointed trustees.
(d) Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010, trustees who are not state employees shall be entitled to per diem and reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in connection with performing their duties under this chapter. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1714. Powers and duties of the board of trustees
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the board shall have all powers necessary and convenient for governing the home, providing services to veterans, and otherwise performing its duties under this chapter, including the authority to:
(1) Adopt policies, procedures, and bylaws regarding the operation of the board and the operation and management of the home.
(2) Receive, hold, accept, manage, and convey any interest in real or personal property acquired by the home by gift, grant, purchase, devise, or otherwise for the purpose of managing the home and providing services to veterans and such members of their families as the board deems proper, under such conditions and regulations as the board may from time to time prescribe. Included within the powers granted by this subdivision, and notwithstanding any other contrary provision of law, is the authority to apply and administer the real or personal property to further the purposes of the home in accordance with the terms specified by gift, grant, or devise; provided that in the absence of specified terms, the board shall have the authority to apply and administer the property in the manner and for the purposes the board deems appropriate. Also included within the powers granted in this subdivision is the authority to hold title to the real property originally conveyed to the Trustee
s of the Soldiers Home in Vermont by the Trenor W. Park Home for Destitute Children and Women by quitclaim deed dated January 15, 1887, which shall be administered in the manner provided by the gift.
(3) By written procedure, establish, revise, and collect charges for residential room and board. Charges collected under this subdivision shall be credited to special funds and shall be available to the home to offset the cost of providing services.
(4) Recommend for appointment by the governor a licensed nursing home administrator to serve as the commandant of the home. The commandant shall be appointed for an indefinite term and shall be subject to removal, after consultation with the governor, upon a majority vote of the board. The commandant shall be exempt from the state's classified service.
(5) Contract for professional services necessary and appropriate for accounting and managing gifts, grants, or devises acquired by the home in a manner consistent with 3 V.S.A. chapter 14.
(6) Contract for managerial and administrative services, provided the contract is reviewed and either renewed or renegotiated each year by the board in a manner consistent with 3 V.S.A. chapter 14.
(7) Contract with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for services related to the purpose of the home.
(8) Contract for the services of a medical director.
(9) Contract for chaplain services.
(10) Establish committees of the board as necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the home.
(11) Adopt rules in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1715. President of the board
The president of the board shall:
(1) Preside over all meetings of the board and ensure adherence to bylaws adopted by the board.
(2) Act as agent of the home in the execution of all legal documents pertaining to the home, as authorized by the board.
(3) Report to the governor at least once annually on all matters concerning the board and the home.
(4) File annual audited financial statements with the commissioner of finance and management. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1716. Commandant
The commandant shall be the chief administrative officer of the home and shall exercise general supervision over the business and affairs of the home. In addition to other duties, the commandant shall:
(1) Attend meetings of the board and act as its treasurer.
(2) Make reports concerning the home to the board at such times and in such detail as the board directs, together with recommendations the commandant deems appropriate for the welfare and care of the residents of the home.
(3) Report annually to the general assembly regarding the home's budget.
(4) Subject to approval of the board, appoint a deputy or an executive assistant, and a secretary, both of whom shall be appointed for an indefinite term and shall be subject to removal upon a majority vote of the board. These positions shall be exempt from the state's classified service.
(5) Subject to approval of the board, appoint a director of nursing services, a personnel manager, a finance manager, a facilities manager, and all other staff necessary for the efficient management of the home, all of whom shall be classified state employees subject to the provisions of Vermont statutes.
(6) Supervise and direct all employees of the home and prescribe their duties not otherwise established by the board or by state or federal law.
(7) Ensure that all laws, rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to the home are observed.
(8) Prepare policies related to operation of the home, subject to approval by the board.
(9) Collect all sums due and payable to the home and transfer the same to the state treasurer when received.
(10) Perform such other duties as may be directed by the board to carry out the purposes of this chapter. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1717. Management of funds
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 1714(2) of this chapter, all funds of the home not already managed in accordance with subchapter 1 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except residents' funds as described in subsection (e) of this section, shall be transferred to the state treasurer to be credited to appropriate accounts established in compliance with subsection (b) of this section and 32 V.S.A. § 401(a).
(b) There are created one or more special and permanent funds to be held in trust and administered pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32. To these funds shall be credited those donations and endowments transferred to the state treasurer in subsection (a) of this section and any future donations and endowments to the home with and without specific restrictions on their use. Interest and earnings both prospectively and retrospectively earned on the funds created by this subsection shall be credited to the respective fund. The funds deposited pursuant to this subsection shall not be considered funds of the state and shall be used solely for the purposes of this chapter, subject to the terms and conditions of the gift and to the terms and conditions of the donation or endowment.
(c) Monies from the funds established by this section may be expended by the home upon submission of vouchers, submitted at the direction and with the approval of the board, to the commissioner of finance and management in compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 463, and issuance of warrants pursuant to 32 V.S.A. §§ 461 and 465. The commissioner shall approve expeditiously any request for a release of funds if the request is in conformance with all applicable state law.
(d) On no less than a quarterly basis, the treasurer shall provide a statement of account activity and fund balances to the board.
(e) Notwithstanding subchapter 1 of chapter 7 of Title 32, the home is authorized to retain those funds when acting in a trustee capacity for individual residents of the home. Establishment and maintenance of accounts for this purpose shall be pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 431 and any other relevant provisions of law.
(f) Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 5(a)(3), the $1,000.00 limit for reporting pursuant to that subdivision shall be $10,000.00 as applied to the home. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1718. [Reserved.]
§ 1719. Legal actions
(a) Except for purposes of collecting charges due under subdivision 1714(a)(3) of this title, the board shall have no independent authority to sue, be sued, complain, or defend in its own name or on behalf of the home. The attorney general shall represent the board and the home in all civil actions as provided by law. Outside legal counsel may be obtained with the concurrence of the attorney general.
(b) Each trustee shall be considered a "state employee" for purposes of 3 V.S.A. chapter 29 and an "employee of the state" for purposes of 12 V.S.A. chapter 189.
(c) The home shall be entitled to the sovereign immunity of the state, except as waived by the state in 12 V.S.A. chapter 189 or in any other provision of law. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)
§ 1720. Department of buildings and general services
Unless otherwise directed by the general assembly, the commissioner of buildings and general services, after consultation with and concurrence of the board, shall:
(1) Supervise the engineering, construction, improvement, repair, alteration, demolition, and replacement of and addition to buildings, structures, and facilities of the home.
(2) Solicit bids and award contracts for the performance of engineering services for specific projects at the home. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. June 8, 2004.)