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House Calendar
Thursday, January 23, 2014
17th DAY OF THE ADJOURNED SESSION
House Convenes at 1:00 P.M.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page No.
ACTION CALENDAR
Committee Bill for Second Reading
H. 655
Fiscal year 2014 budget adjustments ................................................. 144
Rep. Heath for Appropriations
Rep. Hubert Amendment ............................................................................... 144
Rep. Higley Amendment ............................................................................... 144
Favorable with Amendment
H. 350
The posting of medical unprofessional conduct decisions and to
investigators of alleged unprofessional conduct ............................................ 145
Rep. Till for Health Care
H. 596
The conversion of assets of a nonprofit hospital ............................... 152
Rep. Dickinson for Commerce and Economic Development
Committee of Conference Report
S. 41
An act relating to water and sewer service ........................................... 153
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 577
Ski tramways ..................................................................................... 154
Rep. Kitzmiller for Commerce and Economic Development
Favorable
H. 583
The charge of the Vermont Child Poverty Council ........................... 155
Rep. Krowinski for Human Services
- 144 -
ORDERS OF THE DAY
ACTION CALENDAR
Committee Bill for Second Reading
H. 655
An act relating to fiscal year 2014 budget adjustments.
(Rep.
Heath
of
Westford
will
speak
for
the
Committee
on
Appropriations.)
Amendment to be offered by Rep. Hubert of Milton to H. 655
By striking out Sec. 1 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 1
to read as follows:
Sec. 1.
2013 Acts and Resolves No. 50, Sec. B.100 is amended to read:
Sec. B.100 Secretary of administration - secretary’s office
Personal services
844,340
1,032,007
Operating expenses
129,219
129,219
Total
973,559
1,161,226
Source of funds
General fund
746,543
934,210
Interdepartmental transfers
227,016
227,016
Total
973,559
1,161,226
Amendment to be offered by Rep. Higley of Lowell to H. 655
First:
By striking out Sec. 37 in its entirety
Second:
By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 86.1 to read as
follows
Sec.
86.1
AGENCY
OF
EDUCATION;
BARRE
OFFICE
SPACE
FURNISHINGS
(a)
The Agency Education shall use its existing furniture for at least one
year after the move to new office space in Barre to conserve funds.
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Favorable with Amendment
H. 350
An act relating to the posting of medical unprofessional conduct decisions
and to investigators of alleged unprofessional conduct
Rep. Till of Jericho,
for the Committee on
Health Care,
recommends the
bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu
thereof the following:
* * * Medical Unprofessional Conduct Decisions * * *
Sec. 1.
26 V.S.A. § 1318 is amended to read:
§ 1318.
ACCESSIBILITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF DISCIPLINARY
MATTERS
(a)
It is the purpose of this section both to protect the reputation of
licensees from public disclosure of unwarranted complaints against them and
to fulfill the public’s right to know of any action taken against a licensee when
that action is based on a determination of unprofessional conduct.
(b)
All meetings and hearings of the board Board shall be open to the
public, except in accord with 1 V.S.A. § 313.
(c)(1)
The commissioner of health Commissioner of Health shall prepare
and maintain a register of all complaints, which shall be a public record, and
which shall show:
(1)(A)
with respect to all complaints, the following information:
(A)(i)
the date and the nature of the complaint, but not including the
identity of the licensee; and
(B)(ii)
a summary of the completed investigation; and
(2)(B)
only with respect to complaints resulting in filing of disciplinary
charges or stipulations or the taking of disciplinary action and except as
provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection (c), the following additional
information,
except
for
medical
and
other
protected
health
information
contained therein pertaining to any identifiable person that is otherwise
confidential by state State or federal law:
(A)(i)
the
name
and
business
addresses
of
the
licensee
and
complainant;
(B)(ii)
formal
charges,
provided
they
have
been
served
or
a
reasonable effort to serve them has been made;
(C)(iii)
the findings, conclusions, and order of the board Board;
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(D)(iv)
the transcript of the hearing, if one has been made, and
exhibits admitted at the hearing;
(E)(v)
stipulations presented to the board Board at a public meeting;
(F)(vi)
final disposition of the matter by the appellate officer or the
courts; and
(vii)
a summary of the final disposition of the matter indicating
any charges that were dismissed and any charges resulting in a finding of
unprofessional conduct.
(2)
The Commissioner shall remove from the register any of the
information described in subdivision (1)(B) of this subsection if the final
disposition of the matter dismisses all charges filed against a licensee in the
same action.
The Commissioner shall ensure that the period for appealing an
order has expired prior to removing any such information from the register,
and shall remove that information within five business days of the expiration
of the appeal period.
(d)
The commissioner Commissioner shall
not
make
public
any
information regarding disciplinary complaints, proceedings, or records, except
the information required to be released under this section.
The Commissioner
shall, upon request, provide information that was maintained on the register
under subdivision (c)(1) of this section but which was later removed from the
register under the provisions of subdivision (c)(2) of this section.
(e)
A licensee or applicant shall have the right to inspect and copy all
information in the possession of the department of health Department of Health
pertaining to the licensee or applicant, except investigatory files which have
not resulted in charges of unprofessional conduct and attorney work product.
(f)
For the purposes of As used in this section, “disciplinary action” means
action that suspends, revokes, limits, or conditions licensure or certification in
any way, and includes reprimands and administrative penalties.
(g)
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the disclosure of information by
the commissioner Commissioner regarding disciplinary complaints to Vermont
or other state or federal law enforcement or regulatory agencies in the
execution of its duties authorized by statute or regulation, including the
department of disabilities, aging, and independent living Department of
Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living or the department of financial
regulation Department
of
Financial
Regulation in
the
course
of
its
investigations about an identified licensee, provided the agency or department
agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the information
as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
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(h)
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the board Board, at its discretion,
from sharing investigative and adjudicatory files of an identified licensee with
another state, territorial, or international medical board at any time during the
investigational or adjudicative process.
(i)
Neither the commissioner Commissioner nor any person who received
documents, material, or information while acting under the authority of the
commissioner Commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any
private civil action concerning any confidential documents, material, or
information.
Sec.
2.
26
V.S.A.
§ 1368
is
amended
to
read:
§ 1368.
DATA REPOSITORY; LICENSEE PROFILES
(a)
A data repository is created within the department of health Department
of Health which will be responsible for the compilation of all data required
under this section and any other law or rule which requires the reporting of
such information.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary,
licensees shall promptly report and the department Department shall collect the
following
information
to
create
individual
profiles
on
all
health
care
professionals licensed, certified, or registered by the department Department,
pursuant to the provisions of this title, in a format created by the Department
that shall be available for dissemination to the public:
(1)
A description of any criminal convictions for felonies and serious
misdemeanors, as determined by the commissioner of health Commissioner of
Health, within the most recent 10 years.
For the purposes of this subdivision, a
person shall be deemed to be convicted of a crime if he or she pleaded guilty or
was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2)
A description of any charges to which a health care professional
pleads nolo contendere or where sufficient facts of guilt were found and the
matter was continued without a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3)(A)
A
description
of
any
formal
charges
served,
findings,
conclusions, and orders of the licensing authority, and final disposition of
matters by the courts within the most recent 10 years, and a summary of the
final disposition of such matters indicating any charges that were dismissed
and any charges resulting in a finding of unprofessional conduct.
(B)
The Department shall remove from the data repository any
charges, findings, conclusions, and order if the final disposition of the matter
dismissed all charges filed against the licensee in the same action.
The
Department shall ensure that the period for appealing an order has expired
prior to removing any such information from the data repository, and shall
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remove that information within five business days of the expiration of the
appeal period.
(4)(A)
A description of any formal charges served by licensing
authorities, findings, conclusions, and orders of such licensing authorities, and
final disposition of matters by the courts in other states within the most recent
10 years.
(B)
Upon request of the licensee, the Department shall remove from
the data repository any charges, findings, conclusions, and order if the final
disposition of the matter dismissed all charges filed against the licensee in the
same action.
The Department shall confirm the dismissal and shall ensure that
the period for appealing an order has expired prior to removing any such
information from the data repository, and shall remove that information within
five business days of the expiration of the appeal period.
(5)
A description of revocation or involuntary restriction of hospital
privileges for reasons related to competence or character that has been issued
by the hospital’s governing body or any other official of the hospital after
procedural
due
process
has
been
afforded, or the
resignation
from,
or
nonrenewal of, medical staff membership or the restriction of privileges at a
hospital taken in lieu of, or in settlement of, a pending disciplinary case related
to competence or character in that hospital.
Only cases which have occurred
within the most recent 10 years shall be disclosed by the board Board to the
public.
(6)(A)
All medical malpractice court judgments and all medical
malpractice arbitration awards in which a payment is awarded to a complaining
party during the last 10 years, and all settlements of medical malpractice
claims in which a payment is made to a complaining party within the last 10
years.
Dispositions of paid claims shall be reported in a minimum of three
graduated categories, indicating the level of significance of the award or
settlement, if valid comparison data are available for the profession or
specialty.
Information concerning paid medical malpractice claims shall be put
in context by comparing an individual health care professional’s medical
malpractice judgment awards and settlements to the experience of other health
care professionals within the same specialty within the New England region or
nationally.
The commissioner Commissioner may, in consultation with the
Vermont medical society Medical Society, report comparisons of individual
health care professionals covered under this section to all similar health care
professionals within the New England region or nationally.
(B)
Comparisons
of
malpractice
payment
data
shall
be
accompanied by:
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(i)
an explanation of the fact that professionals treating certain
patients and performing certain procedures are more likely to be the subject of
litigation than others;
(ii)
a statement that the report reflects data for the last 10 years,
and the recipient should take into account the number of years the professional
has been in practice when considering the data;
(iii)
an explanation that an incident giving rise to a malpractice
claim may have occurred years before any payment was made, due to the time
lawsuits take to move through the legal system;
(iv)
an explanation of the possible effect of treating high-risk
patients on a professional’s malpractice history; and
(v)
an explanation that malpractice cases may be settled for
reasons other than liability.
(C)(i)
Information concerning all settlements shall be accompanied
by the following statement: “Settlement of a claim may occur for a variety of
reasons which do not necessarily reflect negatively on the professional
competence or conduct of the health care professional.
A payment in
settlement of a medical malpractice action or claim should not be construed as
creating a presumption that medical malpractice has occurred.” Nothing herein
shall be construed to limit or prevent the licensing authority from providing
further explanatory information regarding the significance of categories in
which settlements are reported.
(ii)
Pending malpractice claims and actual amounts paid by or on
behalf of a professional in connection with a malpractice judgment, award, or
settlement shall not be disclosed by the commissioner of health Commissioner
of Health or by the licensing authority to the public.
Nothing herein shall be
construed to prevent the licensing authority from investigating and disciplining
a health care professional on the basis of medical malpractice claims that are
pending.
(7)
The names of medical professional schools and dates of graduation.
(8)
Graduate medical education.
(9)
Specialty board certification.
(10)
The number of years in practice.
(11)
The names of the hospitals where the health care professional has
privileges.
(12)
Appointments to medical school or professional school faculties,
and
indication
as
to
whether
the
health
care
professional
has
had
a
- 150 -
responsibility for teaching graduate medical education within the last 10 years.
(13)
Information regarding publications in peer-reviewed medical
literature within the last 10 years.
(14)
Information regarding professional or community service activities
and awards.
(15)
The location of the health care professional’s primary practice
setting.
(16)
The identification of any translating services that may be available
at the health care professional’s primary practice location.
(17)
An indication of whether the health care professional participates in
the Medicaid program, and is currently accepting new patients.
(b)
The department Department shall provide individual health care
professionals with a copy of their profiles prior to the initial release to the
public and each time a physician’s profile is modified or amended. A health
care professional shall be provided a reasonable time to correct factual
inaccuracies that appear in such profile, and may elect to have his or her profile
omit the information required under subdivisions (a)(12) through (14) of this
section.
In collecting information for such profiles and in disseminating the
same, the department Department shall inform health care professionals that
they may choose not to provide such information required under subdivisions
(a)(12) through (14).
(c)
The profile shall include the following conspicuous statement:
“This
profile contains information which may be used as a starting point in
evaluating the professional.
This profile should not, however, be your sole
basis for selecting a professional.”
* * * Certification of Board of Medical Practice Investigators * * *
Sec. 3.
26 V.S.A. § 1351 is amended to read:
§ 1351.
BOARD OF MEDICAL PRACTICE
* * *
(f)(1)
Classified state State employees who are employed as investigators
by the department of health Department of Health who have successfully met
currently meet the standards of training for a full-time law enforcement officer
under 20 V.S.A. chapter 151 shall have the same powers as sheriffs in criminal
matters and the enforcement of the law and in serving criminal process, and
shall have all the immunities and matters of defense now available or hereafter
made available to sheriffs in a suit brought against them in consequence for
acts done in the course of their employment.
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(2)
Board
of
Medical
Practice
investigators
employed
by
the
Department of Health who do not currently meet the standards of training for a
full-time law enforcement officer under 20 V.S.A. chapter 151 shall annually
obtain a minimum of 25 hours of training regarding the methods of conducting
investigations of alleged unprofessional conduct, as approved by the Board.
(3)
Any Board of Medical Practice investigator employed by the
Department of Health shall obtain as soon as practicable and thereafter
maintain certification by a nationally or regionally recognized entity regarding
the investigation of licensing cases, as approved by the Board.
* * * Applicability and Effective Dates * * *
Sec. 4.
APPLICABILITY OF SECS. 1 AND 2; SUMMARIES OF
FINAL DISPOSITIONS
(a)
The provisions of Sec. 1 of this act, 26 V.S.A. § 1318(c)(1)(B)(vii),
which require the Commissioner of Health to provide a summary of the final
disposition of unprofessional conduct matters, shall only apply to final
dispositions entered on and after the effective date of Sec. 1.
(b)
The provisions of Sec. 2 of this act, 26 V.S.A. § 1368(a)(3)(A), which
require the Department of Health to provide a summary of the final disposition
of unprofessional conduct matters, shall only apply to final dispositions entered
on and after the effective date of Sec. 2.
Sec. 5.
REPORT BY BOARD OF MEDICAL PRACTICE;
INVESTIGATION METHODS
By January 15, 2015, the Board of Medical Practice shall report to the
House Committee on Health Care and the Senate Committee on Health and
Welfare on its work to review and modify, as appropriate, its policies and
procedures for investigating unprofessional conduct cases, after accepting from
interested stakeholders any suggestions regarding this issue.
The report shall
address any changes the Board has made in its policies and procedures
regarding those investigations.
Sec. 6.
EFFECTIVE DATES
This act shall take effect on passage, except:
(1)
Sec. 1 (amending 26 V.S.A. § 1318) shall take effect on July 1,
2014;
(2)
Sec. 2 (amending 26 V.S.A. § 1368) shall take effect on July 1,
2015; and
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(3)
Sec. 3 (amending 26 V.S.A. § 1351) shall take effect on July 1,
2014.
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
H. 596
An act relating to the conversion of assets of a nonprofit hospital
Rep. Dickinson of St. Albans Town,
for the Committee on
Commerce
and Economic Development,
recommends the bill be amended as follows:
In Sec. 1, 18 V.S.A. § 9420(e) (action by the Attorney General), by striking out
subdivision (1)(B) in its entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof a new
subdivision (1)(B) to read as follows:
(B)
The Court may order appropriate relief in such circumstances,
including avoidance of the conversion or transfer of the converted assets or
proceeds or the amount of any private inurement to a person or party for use
consistent with the purposes for which the assets were held prior to the
conversion, a penalty of up to $1 million, and the award of costs of
investigation
and
prosecution
under
this
subsection
(e),
including the
reasonable value of legal services.
(2)
In determining whether to grant relief under this subsection, and the
nature of such relief, the Court shall consider:
(A)
whether the violation was willful;
(B)
whether any person has derived, or may derive, an economic
benefit from the conversion;
(C)
whether the purposes for which the assets had been held by the
nonprofit hospital have been frustrated by the violation;
(D)
whether the interests of the public or the community served by
the nonprofit hospital would be jeopardized by voiding the conversion; and
(E)
how any monetary penalty imposed would affect the community
served by the nonprofit hospital.
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
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Committee of Conference Report
S. 41
An act relating to water and sewer service
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. 41
An act relating to water and sewer service
Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and
recommend that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause
and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
24
V.S.A. § 5143 is amended to read:
§ 5143.
DISCONNECTION OF SERVICE
* * *
(c)
The tenant of a rental dwelling noticed for disconnection due to the
delinquency of the ratepayer shall have the right to request and pay for
continued service from the utility or reconnection of water and sewer service
for the rental dwelling, which the utility shall provide.
If any water and sewer
charges or fees are included in the tenant’s rent, the tenant may deduct the cost
of any water and sewer service charges or fees paid to the municipality from
his or her rent pursuant to 9 V.S.A. § 4459.
Under such circumstances, the
utility shall not require the tenant to pay any arrearage greater than one billing
cycle.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
Rep. Ronald E. Hubert
Rep. Linda J. Martin
Rep. Anne H. Mook
Committee on the part of the House
Sen. Anthony Pollina
Sen. Eldred French
Sen. Joseph C. Benning
Committee on the part of the Senate
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NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 577
An act relating to ski tramways
Rep. Kitzmiller of Montpelier,
for the Committee on
Commerce and
Economic Development,
recommends the bill be amended by striking all after
the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
31 V.S.A. § 707 is amended to read:
§ 707.
REGISTRATION AND FEES
(a)
A passenger tramway shall not be operated in this state State unless the
operator thereof has been registered by the department Department.
On or
before the 1st first day of November in each year, every operator of a
passenger tramway shall apply to the department Department on forms
prepared by it for registration hereunder.
The application shall contain such
information
as
the department Department may
require
and
shall
be
accompanied by a registration fee, according to the formula stated in this
section, unless an alternate payment plan is approved by the Commissioner
pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.
The department Department shall
assess total registration fees in the sum of the amount approved in the
appropriations process for the program for that fiscal year, adjusted by any
balance in the passenger tramway special fund Passenger Tramway Special
Fund from the prior fiscal year.
* * *
(f)
Fee-due-state payment plans.
The Commissioner has discretion to
authorize a tramway operator to enter a payment plan to pay some or all of the
fee-due-state after November 1 upon a showing of financial need.
The
authorization and terms of any payment plan shall be in writing and set a date
or dates for payment, provided that the total amount of the fee-due-state shall
be paid no later than January 15.
Failure to pay on November 1 or pursuant to
an authorized plan may subject the operator to the penalties established in
section 712 of this title.
Sec. 2.
31 V.S.A. § 712 is amended to read:
§ 712.
PENALTIES
(a)
Operating without registration passing inspection.
Any operator who
operates a passenger tramway without being registered first passing the annual
inspection by the department Department shall be fined not more than $50.00
$1,000.00 for each day of operation.
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(b)
Operating without paying fee-due-state.
Any operator who operates a
passenger tramway without paying the fee-due-state as provided in section 707
of this title shall be fined not more than $50.00 for each day of operation.
(c)
After suspension.
Any person who operates a passenger tramway after
being ordered to cease operations shall be fined not more than $100.00
$5,000.00 for each day of illegal operation.
Sec. 3.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
Favorable
H. 583
An act relating to the charge of the Vermont Child Poverty Council
Rep. Krowinski of Burlington
, for the Committee on
Human Services,
recommends the bill ought to pass.
( Committee Vote: 9-0-2)
Public Hearings
January 28, 2014 - Room 11 - 6:00-8:00 PM - Current Use - Senate Special
Committee on Current Use
January 30, 2014 - Room 11 – 5:00-7:00 PM - S. 287 Involuntary Treatment
and Medication - Senate Judiciary and Health and Welfare
Monday, February 10, 2014, 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. –
The House and Senate
Committees on Appropriations will hold a joint public hearing on Vermont
Interactive Technologies (V.I.T.) to give Vermonters throughout the state an
opportunity to express their views about the state budget for fiscal year 2015.
All 13 V.I.T. sites will be available for the hearing: Bennington, Brattleboro,
Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Randolph
Center, Rutland, Springfield, St. Albans, White River Junction and Williston.
V.I.T.'s web site has an up-to-date location listing, including driving directions,
addresses and telephone numbers,
http://www.vitlink.org/
.
The budget hearing will be VIEWABLE via the Internet if your computer has
Flash-based streaming capabilities. Some mobile devices may require
additional software.
Go to
www.vitlink.org/streamingmedia/vtcvitopen.php
.
The Governor’s budget proposal can be viewed at the Department of Finance’s
- 156 -
website:
http://finance.vermont.gov/state_budget/rec
. For information about the
format of this event or to submit written testimony, call the House
Appropriations Committee office at 802/828-5767 or email
tutton@leg.state.vt.us
. Requests for interpreters should be made to the office
by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, January 27, 2014.
February 5, 2014 - House Chamber – 5:00-8:00pm - H112 GMO Labeling –
Senate Agriculture and Senate Judiciary
Information Notice
Deadline for Introducing Bills
Pursuant to Rule 40(b) of the Rules and Orders of the Vermont House of
Representatives, during the second year of the biennium, except with the prior
consent of the Committee on Rules, no member may introduce a bill into the
House drafted in standard form after the last day of January.
In order to meet this deadline all sign out sheets must be returned to
Legislative Council by the close of business, Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
Pursuant to Rule 40(c) during the second year of the biennium, except with
the prior consent of the Committee on Rules, no committee, except the
Committees on Appropriations, Ways and Means or Government Operations,
may introduce a bill drafted in standard form after the last day of March
(March 31, 2014).
The Committees on Appropriations and Ways and Means
bill may be drafted in standard form at any time, and Government Operations
bills pertaining to city or town charters, may be drafted in standard form at any
time.