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House Calendar
Thursday, February 06, 2014
31st DAY OF THE ADJOURNED SESSION
House Convenes at 1:00 P.M.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page No.
ACTION CALENDAR
Third Reading
H. 578
Administering State funds for loans to individuals for replacement of
failed wastewater systems and potable water supplies .................................. 443
H. 612
Gas Pipeline Safety Program penalties ............................................. 443
Favorable with Amendment
J.R.H. 14
Requesting the United States Congress to pass the Homeowners
Flood Insurance Affordability Act ................................................................ 443
Rep. Marcotte for Commerce and Economic Development
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 88
Parental rights and responsibilities involving a child conceived as a
result of a sexual assault ................................................................................ 444
Rep. Fay for Judiciary
H. 347
Veterinary dentistry ........................................................................... 446
Rep. Bartholomew for Agriculture and Forest Products
H. 581
Guardianship of minors ..................................................................... 446
Rep. Wizowaty for Judiciary
Favorable
H. 576
Applications for the Lifeline program ............................................... 457
Rep. Mrowicki for Human Services
Consent Calendar
H.C.R. 214
In memory of Franklin County civic leader Lawrence Joseph
Handy ............................................................................................................ 457
H.C.R. 215
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of
1964 and the 30th anniversary of the Vermont Wilderness Act of 1984 ...... 457
H.C.R. 216
In memory of former Windsor Fire Chief Bruce W. Stearns .... 457
H.C.R. 217
Designating the week of February 3–7 as Vermont School
Counseling Week ........................................................................................... 458
H.C.R. 218
Honoring nonprofit organizations and Common Good Vermont
....................................................................................................................... 458
H.C.R. 219
In memory of Juanita Cook of Pownal ...................................... 458
H.C.R. 220
Honoring Champlain College President Dr. David F. Finney for
his higher education leadership ..................................................................... 458
S.C.R. 32
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Montpelier Bridge
on its 20th anniversary ................................................................................... 458
S.C.R. 33
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating radio station WDEV in
Waterbury, as the first electronic media winner of the Matthew Lyon Award
....................................................................................................................... 458
S.C.R. 34
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Sarducci’s restaurant
and bar on its 20th anniversary ...................................................................... 458
S.C.R. 35
Senate concurrent resolution in memory of former Eagleton Institute
Director Alan Rosenthal ................................................................................ 458
S.C.R. 36
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Bear Pond Books in
Montpelier on its 40th anniversary ................................................................ 458
S.C.R. 37
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2012 Montpelier
High School Solons Division II championship girls’ soccer team ................ 458
S.C.R. 38
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Hunger Mountain
Coop on the 20th anniversary of its Annual Food and Wellness Expo ......... 458
S.C.R. 39
Senate concurrent resolution in memory of former Senator Frank
Smallwood ..................................................................................................... 459
S.C.R. 40
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2013 Montpelier
High School Division II championship girls’ tennis team ............................ 459
S.C.R. 41
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Reverend Jay Sprout
on being named the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Citizen
of the Year ..................................................................................................... 459
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ORDERS OF THE DAY
ACTION CALENDAR
Third Reading
H. 578
An act relating to administering State funds for loans to individuals for
replacement of failed wastewater systems and potable water supplies
H. 612
An act relating to Gas Pipeline Safety Program penalties
Favorable with Amendment
J.R.H. 14
Joint resolution requesting the United States Congress to pass the
Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
Rep. Marcotte of Coventry,
for the Committee on
Commerce and
Economic Development,
recommends that the resolution be amended as
follows:
First:
By amending the final Whereas clause to read:
Whereas, Representative Waters, ranking member of the House Committee
on Financial Services, said she is committed to fixing the “unintended
consequences” of the 2012 law and passing legislation to delay most rate
changes for three years “to give FEMA the opportunity to ensure its maps are
accurate and allow Congress to make certain rates are affordable,”
now
therefore be it and
Second:
By adding four new Whereas clauses immediately preceding the
first Resolve clause to read:
Whereas, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 5122, the President has declared
several major Vermont natural disasters as sufficiently severe to qualify for
federal financial support for recovery efforts, and
Whereas, many Vermonters have direct experience with the specific nature
of flood damage caused by such natural disasters, in particular Tropical Storm
Irene, and
Whereas, that experience underscores the inequity that would result if the
same insurance rate were applied to improved properties in a floodplain if one
had a finished basement below the base flood elevation level and another had
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an unfinished basement with all electrical components placed above the base
flood elevation level, and
Whereas, many Vermonters have unfinished basements as described in the
preceding clause and principles of fairness suggest that they should be offered
a discounted flood insurance rate, now therefore be it
Third:
By striking the first Resolve clause and inserting in lieu thereof the
following:
That the General Assembly supports and urges the United States Congress
to pass the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 currently
pending before Congress as H.R. 3370 and S. 1610, which will delay the
implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program changes until two
years
after
the
Federal
Emergency
Management
Agency
completes
the
affordability study on the impact of the rate increases, and be it further
Resolved:
That the affordability study should include an assessment of the
specific disaster recovery issues which have occurred as a result of recent
major floods in Vermont and reflect the inequity which would result if the
same insurance rate were applied to what are in fact very dissimilar properties,
and be it further
(Committee Vote: 11-0-0 )
(For Text of Resolution see House Journal 1/15/2014)
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 88
An act relating to parental rights and responsibilities involving a child
conceived as a result of a sexual assault
Rep. Fay of St. Johnsbury,
for the Committee on
Judiciary,
recommends
the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in
lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
15 V.S.A. § 665b is added to read:
§ 665b.
PETITION
FOR
SOLE
PARENTAL
RIGHTS
AND
RESPONSIBILITIES IN CASES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT OR
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
(a)
Notwithstanding section 665a of this title, upon petition of a parent, the
Court may award that parent permanent sole parental rights and responsibilities
if the Court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the child was
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conceived as a result of a sexual assault or sexual exploitation in which the
moving parent was the victim and the nonmoving parent was the perpetrator.
(b)
The State has a compelling interest in not forcing a victim of sexual
assault or sexual exploitation to continue an ongoing relationship with the
perpetrator of the abuse. Such continued interaction can have traumatic
psychological effects on the victim, making recovery more difficult, and
negatively affect the victim’s ability to parent and to provide for the best
interests of the child.
Additionally, the State recognizes that a perpetrator may
use the threat of pursuing parental rights and responsibilities to coerce a victim
into not reporting or assisting in the prosecution of the perpetrator for the
sexual assault or sexual exploitation, or to harass, intimidate, or manipulate
the victim.
(c)
A conviction for an offense in 13 V.S.A. chapter 72 or a similar offense
in another jurisdiction shall be sufficient evidence of a sexual assault or sexual
exploitation for purposes of this section; however, a conviction is not required
and the Court may consider other evidence of a sexual assault or sexual
exploitation in making its determination.
(d)
An order issued in accordance with this section shall be permanent and
shall not be subject to modification.
(e)
A court shall not issue a parent-child contact order in a case in which a
rights and responsibilities order has been issued in accordance with this
section.
An existing parent-child contact order shall be terminated upon the
issuance of a rights and responsibilities order issued in accordance with this
section.
(f)
Issuance of an order in accordance with this section shall not affect the
right of the custodial parent to seek child support from the noncustodial parent.
The State shall not seek child support from the noncustodial parent when a
custodial parent receives public assistance benefits unless requested by the
custodial parent.
(g)
If a party to a petition for an order under this section subsequently files
a complaint for divorce or annulment, or if a party to a divorce or annulment
proceeding subsequently files for an order under this section, the Court where
the later complaint or petition is filed shall immediately consolidate the divorce
or annulment action with the action for permanent sole parental rights and
responsibilities.
Sec. 2.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
( Committee Vote: 10-0-1)
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H. 347
An act relating to veterinary dentistry
Rep. Bartholomew of Hartland,
for the Committee on
Agriculture and
Forest Products,
recommends the bill be amended as follows:
First:
In Sec. 2, 26 V.S.A. § 2403(10), after “any employee” and before “of
a licensed veterinarian” by striking “or agent”
Second: In Sec. 3 (Effective Date), by striking “2013” where it appears and
inserting in lieu thereof “2014”
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
H. 581
An act relating to guardianship of minors
Rep.
Wizowaty
of
Burlington,
for
the
Committee
on
Judiciary,
recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and
inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
14 V.S.A. chapter 111, subchapter 2, article 1 is amended to read:
Article 1.
Guardians of Minors
§ 2621.
POLICY; PURPOSES
This article shall be construed in accordance with the following purposes
and policies:
(1)
It is presumed that the interests of minor children are best promoted
in the child’s own home.
However, when parents are temporarily unable to
care for their children, guardianship provides a process through which parents
can arrange for family members or other parties to care for the children.
(2)
Family members can make better decisions about minor children
when they understand the consequences of those decisions and are informed
about the law and the available supports.
(3)
Decisions about raising a child made by a person other than the
child’s parent should be based on the informed consent of the parties unless
there has been a finding of parental unsuitability.
(4)
When the informed consent of the parents cannot be obtained,
parents have a fundamental liberty interest in raising their children unless a
proposed guardian can show parental unsuitability by clear and convincing
evidence.
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(5)
Research demonstrates that timely reunification between parents and
their children is more likely when children have safe and substantial contact
with their parents.
(6)
It is in the interests of all parties, including the children, that parents
and proposed guardians have a shared understanding about the length of time
that they expect the guardianship to last, the circumstances under which the
parents will resume care for their children, and the nature of the supports and
services that are available to assist them.
§ 2622.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this article:
(1) “Child” means an individual who is under 18 years of age and who
is the subject of a petition for guardianship filed pursuant to section 2623 of
this title.
(2) “Child in need of guardianship” means:
(A)
A child who the parties consent is in need of adult care because
of any one of the following:
(i) The child’s custodial parent has a serious or terminal illness.
(ii) A parent’s physical or mental health prevents the parent from
providing proper care and supervision for the child.
(iii)
The child’s home is no longer habitable as the result of a
natural disaster.
(iv)
A parent of the child is incarcerated.
(v)
A parent of the child is on active military duty.
(vi)
The parties have articulated and agreed to another reason that
guardianship is in the best interests of the child.
(B)
A child who is:
(i) abandoned or abused by the child’s parent;
(ii)
without proper parental care, subsistence, education, medical,
or other care necessary for the child’s well-being; or
(iii) without or beyond the control of the child’s parent.
(3)
“Custodial parent” means a parent who, at the time of the
commencement
of
the
guardianship
proceeding,
has
the
right
and
responsibility to provide the routine daily care and control of the child.
The
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rights of the custodial parent may be held solely or shared and may be subject
to the court-ordered right of the other parent to have contact with the child.
(4) “Interested person” means:
(A)
a person who is not a party and with whom the child has resided
within the 60-day period preceding the filing of the petition; or
(B)
the Commissioner for Children and Families or designee if the
Department has an open case involving the child.
(5) “Nonconsensual guardianship” means a guardianship with respect to
which:
(A)
a parent is opposed to establishing the guardianship; or
(B)
a parent seeks to terminate a guardianship that the parent
previously agreed to establish.
(6) “Noncustodial parent” means a parent who is not a custodial parent
at the time of the commencement of the guardianship proceeding.
(7)
“Parent” means a child’s biological or adoptive parent, including
custodial
parents;
noncustodial
parents;
parents
with
legal
or
physical
responsibilities, or both; and parents whose rights have never been adjudicated.
(8) “Parent-child contact” means the right of a parent to have visitation
with the child by court order.
(9)
“Party” includes the child, the custodial parent, the noncustodial
parent, and the proposed guardian.
§ 2623.
PETITION FOR GUARDIANSHIP OF MINOR; VENUE; SERVICE
(a)
A parent or a person interested in the welfare of a minor may file a
petition with the Probate Division of the Superior Court for the appointment of
a guardian for a child.
The petition shall state:
(1)
the names and addresses of the parents, the child, and the proposed
guardian;
(2) the proposed guardian’s relationship to the child;
(3) the names of all members of the proposed guardian’s household and
each person’s relationship to the proposed guardian and the child;
(4)
that the child is alleged to be a child in need of guardianship;
(5)
specific reasons with supporting facts why guardianship is sought;
(6)
whether the parties agree that the child is in need of guardianship
and that the proposed guardian should be appointed as guardian;
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(7) the child’s current school and grade level;
(8) if the proposed guardian intends to change the child’s current school,
the name and location of the proposed new school and the estimated date when
the child would enroll;
(9)
the places where the child has lived during the last five years, and
the names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived
during that period;
(10)
any prior or current court proceedings, child support matters, or
parent-child contact orders involving the child; and
(11)
any previous involvement with the child by the Department for
Children and Families.
(b)
A petition for guardianship of a child under this section shall be filed:
(1)
if the parties consent, in the Probate Division of the county where
the child resides or the proposed guardian resides;
(2)
if the parties do not consent and the child is not subject to an existing
guardianship, in the Probate Division of the county where the child has had his
or her primary residence for the previous six months;
(3)
if the parties do not consent and the child is subject to an existing
guardianship, in the Probate Division of the county where the guardian resides.
(c)(1)
A petition for guardianship of a child under this section shall be
served on all parties and interested persons as provided by Rule 4 of the
Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure.
(2)(A)
The Probate Division may waive the notice requirements of
subdivision (1) of this subsection (c) with respect to a parent if the Court finds
that:
(i)
the identity of the parent is unknown; or
(ii)
the
location
of
the
parent
is
unknown
and
cannot
be
determined with reasonable effort.
(B)
After a guardianship for a child is created, the Probate Division
shall reopen the proceeding at the request of a parent of the child who did not
receive notice of the proceeding as required by this subsection.
§ 2624.
JURISDICTION; TRANSFER TO FAMILY DIVISION
(a)
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the Probate
Division shall have exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings under this article
involving guardianship of minors.
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(b)(1)(A)
A custodial minor guardianship proceeding brought in the
Probate Division under this article shall be transferred to the Family Division if
there is an open proceeding in the Family Division involving custody of the
same child who is the subject of the guardianship proceeding in the Probate
Division.
(B)
A minor guardianship proceeding brought in the Probate Division
under this article may be transferred to the Family Division on motion of a
party or on the court’s own motion if any of the parties to the probate
proceeding was a party to a closed divorce proceeding in the Family Division
involving custody of the same child who is the subject of the guardianship
proceeding in the Probate Division.
(2)(A)
When a minor guardianship proceeding is transferred from the
Probate Division to the Family Division pursuant to subdivision (1) of this
subsection (b), the Probate judge and a Superior judge assigned to the Family
Division shall confer regarding jurisdiction over the proceeding.
Except as
provided in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (2), all communications
between the Probate judge and the Superior judge under this subsection shall
be on the record.
Whenever possible, a party shall be provided notice of the
communication and an opportunity to be present when it occurs.
A party who
is unable to be present for the communication shall be provided access to the
record.
(B)
It shall not be necessary to inform the parties about or make a
record of a communication between the Probate judge and the Superior judge
under this subsection (b) if the communication involves scheduling, calendars,
court records, or other similar administrative matters.
(C)
After the Superior judge and Probate judge confer under
subdivision (2)(A) of this subsection (b), the Superior judge may:
(i)
consolidate the minor guardianship case with the pending
matter in the Family Division and determine whether a guardianship should be
established under this article; or
(ii)
transfer the guardianship petition back to the Probate Division
for further proceedings after the pending matter in the Family Division has
been adjudicated.
(D)
If a guardianship is established by the Family Division pursuant
to subdivision (2)(C)(i) of this subsection, the guardianship case shall be
transferred back to the Probate Division for ongoing monitoring pursuant to
section 2631 of this title.
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§ 2625.
HEARING; COUNSEL; GUARDIAN AD LITEM
(a)
The Probate Division shall schedule a hearing upon the filing of the
petition and shall provide notice of the hearing to all parties and interested
persons who were provided notice under subdivision 2623(c)(1) of this title.
(b)
The child shall attend the hearing if he or she is 14 years of age or older
unless the child’s presence is excused by the Court for good cause. The child
may attend the hearing if he or she is less than 14 years of age.
(c)
The Court shall appoint counsel for the child if the child will be called
as a witness.
In all other cases, the Court may appoint counsel for the child.
(d)(1)
The child may be called as a witness only if the Court finds after
hearing that:
(A)
the child’s testimony is necessary to assist the Court in
determining the issue before it;
(B)
the probative value of the child’s testimony outweighs the
potential detriment to the child; and
(C)
the evidence sought is not reasonably available by any other
means.
(2)
The examination of a child called as a witness may be conducted by
the Court in chambers in the presence of such other persons as the Court may
specify and shall be recorded.
(e)
The Court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child on motion of a
party or on the Court’s own motion.
(f)(1)
The Court may grant an emergency guardianship petition filed
ex parte by the proposed guardian if the Court finds that:
(A)
both parents are deceased or medically incapacitated; and
(B)
the best interests of the child require that a guardian be appointed
without delay and before a hearing is held.
(2)
If the Court grants an emergency guardianship petition pursuant to
subdivision (1) of this subsection (e), it shall schedule a hearing on the petition
as soon as practicable and in no event more than 72 hours after the petition is
filed.
§ 2626.
CONSENSUAL GUARDIANSHIP
(a)
If the petition requests a consensual guardianship, the petition shall
include a consent signed by the custodial parent or parents verifying that the
parent or parents understand the nature of the guardianship, knowingly waive
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their parental rights, and voluntarily consent to the guardianship.
The consent
required by this subsection shall be on a form approved by the Court
Administrator.
(b)
On or before the date of the hearing, the parties shall file an agreement
between the proposed guardian and the parents.
The agreement shall address:
(1) the guardian’s responsibilities;
(2)
the expected duration of the guardianship; and
(3)
parent-child contact and parental involvement in decision making.
(b)
Vermont Rule of Probate Procedure 43 (relaxed rules of evidence in
probate proceedings) shall apply to hearings under this section.
(c)
The Court shall grant the petition if it finds after the hearing by clear
and convincing evidence that:
(1)
the child is a child in need of guardianship as defined in subdivision
2622(2)(A) of this title;
(2) the child’s parents had notice of the proceeding and knowingly and
voluntarily waived their rights;
(3)
the agreement is voluntary;
(4)
the proposed guardian is suitable; and
(5)
the guardianship is in the best interests of the child.
(d)
If the Court grants the petition, it shall approve the agreement at the
hearing and issue an order establishing a guardianship under section 2628 of
this title. The order shall be consistent with the terms of the parties’ agreement
unless the Court finds that the agreement was not reached voluntarily or is not
in the best interests of the child.
§ 2627.
NONCONSENSUAL GUARDIANSHIP
(a)
If the petition requests a nonconsensual guardianship, the burden shall
be on the proposed guardian to establish by clear and convincing evidence that
the child is a child in need of guardianship as defined in subdivision
2622(2)(B) of this title.
(b)
The Vermont Rules of Evidence shall apply to a hearing under this
section.
(c)
The Court shall grant the petition if it finds after the hearing by clear
and convincing evidence that the proposed guardian is suitable and that the
child is a child in need of guardianship as defined in subdivision 2622(2)(B) of
this title.
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(d)
If the Court grants the petition, it shall issue an order establishing a
guardianship under section 2628 of this title.
§ 2628.
GUARDIANSHIP ORDER
(a)
If the Court grants a petition for guardianship of a child under
subsection 2626(c) or 2627(d) of this title, the Court shall enter an order
establishing a guardianship and naming the proposed guardian as the child’s
guardian.
(b)
A guardianship order issued under this section shall include provisions
addressing the following matters:
(1)
the powers and duties of the guardian consistent with section 2629 of
this title;
(2)
the expected duration of the guardianship;
(3)
a family plan that:
(A) in a consensual case is consistent with the parties’ agreement; or
(B)
in a nonconsensual case includes, at a minimum, provisions that
address parent-child contact consistent with section 2630 of this title; and
(4)
the process for reviewing the order consistent with section 2631 of
this title.
§ 2629.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF GUARDIAN
(a)
The Court shall specify the powers and duties of the guardian in the
guardianship order.
(b)
The duties of a financial guardian shall include the duty to:
(1)
receive funds paid for the support of the child, including child
support and government benefits;
(2) apply any of the child’s available money to meet the child’s current
needs, provided that money received as an inheritance or as the result of a
lawsuit shall not be expended without prior Court approval;
(3) conserve for the child’s future needs any money the child has that is
not required to meet the child’s current needs; and
(4)
file an annual status report to the Probate Division accounting for the
funds received and spent on behalf of the child.
(c)
The duties of a custodial guardian shall include the duty to:
(1)
take custody of the child and establish his or her place of residence,
provided that a guardian shall not change the residence of the child to a
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location outside the State of Vermont without prior authorization by the Court
following notice to the parties and an opportunity for hearing;
(2) make decisions related to the child’s education;
(3)
make decisions related to the child’s physical and mental health,
including consent to medical treatment and medication;
(4)
make decisions concerning the child’s contact with other persons,
including the child’s parents, provided that the guardian shall comply with all
provisions of the guardianship order regarding parent-child contact; and
(5)
file an annual status report to the Probate Division, with a copy to
each parent at his or her last known address, including the following
information:
(A)
the current address of the child and each parent;
(B)
the child’s health care and health needs, including any medical
and mental health services the child received;
(C) the child’s educational needs and progress, including the name of
the child’s school, day care, or other early education program, the child’s grade
level, and the child’s educational achievements;
(D)
contact between the child and his or her parents, including the
frequency and duration of the contact and whether it was supervised;
(E)
how the parents have been involved in decision making for the
child;
(F)
how the guardian has carried out his or her responsibilities and
duties, including efforts made to include the child’s parents in the child’s life;
(G)
the child’s strengths, challenges, and any other areas of
concern; and
(H)
recommendations with supporting reasons as to whether the
guardianship order should be continued, modified, or terminated.
§ 2630.
PARENT-CHILD CONTACT
(a)
The guardian should:
(1)
permit the child to have contact of reasonable duration and
frequency with the child’s parents and siblings; and
(2)
abide by and ensure the child is available for contact with a
noncustodial parent pursuant to an existing parent-child contact order issued by
the Family Division.
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(b)
If the proposed guardian and the parents are unable to agree on a
schedule for parent-child contact, either party may file a motion requesting the
Probate Division to establish a parent-child contact schedule.
§ 2631.
REPORTS; REVIEW HEARING
(a)
The guardian shall file an annual status report to the Probate Division
pursuant to subdivisions 2629(b)(4) and 2629(c)(5) of this title, and shall
provide copies of the report to each parent at his or her last known address.
The Court may order that a status report be filed more frequently than once
per year.
(b)
The Probate Division may set a hearing to review a report required by
subsection (a) of this section or to determine progress with the family plan
required by subdivision 2628(b)(3) of this title.
The Court shall provide notice
of the hearing to all parties and interested persons.
§ 2632.
TERMINATION
(a)
A parent may file a motion to terminate a guardianship at any time.
The
motion shall be filed with the Probate Division that issued the guardianship
order and served on all parties and interested persons.
(b)(1)
If the motion to terminate is made with respect to a consensual
guardianship established under section 2626 of this title, the Court shall grant
the motion and terminate the guardianship unless the guardian files a motion to
continue the guardianship within 30 days after the motion to terminate is
served.
(2)
If the guardian files a motion to continue the guardianship, the
matter shall be set for hearing and treated as a nonconsensual guardianship
proceeding under section 2627 of this title.
The parent shall not be required to
show a change in circumstances, and the Court shall not grant the motion to
continue
the
guardianship
unless
the
guardian
establishes
by
clear
and
convincing evidence that the minor is a child in need of guardianship under
subdivision 2622(2)(B) of this title.
(3)
If the Court grants the motion to continue, it shall issue an order
establishing a guardianship under section 2628 of this title.
(c)(1)
If the motion to terminate the guardianship is made with respect to a
nonconsensual guardianship established under section 2627 or subdivision
2632(b)(3) of this title, the Court shall dismiss the motion unless the parent
establishes that a change in circumstances has occurred since the previous
guardianship order was issued.
(2)
If the Court finds that a change in circumstances has occurred since
the previous guardianship order was issued, the Court shall grant the motion to
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terminate the guardianship unless the guardian establishes by clear and
convincing evidence that the minor is a child in need of guardianship under
subdivision 2622(2)(B) of this title.
§ 2633.
APPEALS
Notwithstanding 12 V.S.A. § 2551 or 2553, the Vermont Supreme Court
shall have appellate jurisdiction over orders of the Probate Division issued
under this article.
§ 2634.
DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES POLICY
The Department for Children and Families shall adopt a policy defining its
role with respect to families who establish a guardianship under this article.
The policy shall be consistent with the following principles:
(1)
When the Family Services Division (FSD) is conducting an
investigation or assessment related to child safety and the child cannot remain
safely at home, it is appropriate to work with the family on an alternative living
arrangement for the child with a relative only if the situation is anticipated to
resolve within 30 days. If the situation is not expected to resolve within that
period, a child in need of supervision (CHINS) petition should be sought.
(2)
When it is necessary for a child to be in the care of an alternative
caretaker for an extended period in order to address identified dangers, it is not
appropriate for the social worker to encourage or recommend that the family
address those dangers by establishing a minor guardianship in the Probate
Division.
However, there are times when the family may independently decide
to file a petition for minor guardianship.
The social worker shall make it clear
that whether to file the petition is the family’s choice.
(3)
In response to a request from the Probate judge, the FSD social
worker shall attend a Court hearing and provide information relevant to the
proceeding.
(4)
FSD has neither the statutory responsibility nor the staff capacity to
provide assessment, case planning, or case monitoring services for minor
guardianship cases.
(5)
If a minor guardianship is established during the time that FSD has
an open case involving the minor, the social worker shall review the case with
his or her supervisor, focusing on any unresolved dangers.
If safety has been
achieved for the minor, the worker should plan for timely closure of the case.
Before the case is closed, the worker should offer information to the guardian
and
the
parents
about
services
and
supports
available
to
them
in
the
community.
Absent a new report concerning the minor, the case shall be
closed within three months.
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* * *
Sec. 2.
REPEAL
14 V.S.A. §§
2645 (appointment of guardian) and 2651 (when minor
refuses to choose) are repealed.
Sec. 3.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on September, 1, 2014.
( Committee Vote: 10-0-1)
Favorable
H. 576
An act relating to applications for the Lifeline program
Rep. Mrowicki of Putney
, for the Committee on
Human Services,
recommends the bill ought to pass.
( Committee Vote: 10-0-1)
Consent Calendar
Concurrent Resolutions
The following concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by
the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or
Representative requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the
next legislative day.
Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should
be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office,
respectively.
For text of resolutions, see Addendum to House Calendar and
Senate Calendar.
H.C.R. 214
House concurrent resolution in memory of Franklin County civic leader
Lawrence Joseph Handy
H.C.R. 215
House concurrent resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the
Wilderness Act of 1964 and the 30th anniversary of the Vermont Wilderness
Act of 1984
H.C.R. 216
House concurrent resolution in memory of former Windsor Fire Chief Bruce
W. Stearns
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H.C.R. 217
House concurrent resolution designating the week of February 3–7 as Vermont
School Counseling Week
H.C.R. 218
House concurrent resolution honoring nonprofit organizations and Common
Good Vermont
H.C.R. 219
House concurrent resolution in memory of Juanita Cook of Pownal
H.C.R. 220
House concurrent resolution honoring Champlain College President Dr. David
F. Finney for his higher education leadership
S.C.R. 32
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the
Montpelier Bridge
on its 20th
anniversary
S.C.R. 33
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating radio station WDEV in Waterbury,
as the first electronic media winner of the Matthew Lyon Award
S.C.R. 34
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Sarducci’s restaurant and bar on its
20th anniversary
S.C.R. 35
Senate concurrent resolution in memory of former Eagleton Institute Director
Alan Rosenthal
S.C.R. 36
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Bear Pond Books in Montpelier on
its 40th anniversary
S.C.R. 37
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2012 Montpelier High School
Solons Division II championship girls’ soccer team
S.C.R. 38
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Hunger Mountain Coop on the
20th anniversary of its Annual Food and Wellness Expo
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S.C.R. 39
Senate concurrent resolution in memory of former Senator Frank Smallwood
S.C.R. 40
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the 2013 Montpelier High School
Division II championship girls’ tennis team
S.C.R. 41
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Reverend Jay Sprout on being
named the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Citizen of the
Year
Public Hearings
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
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 6, 2014 - House Chamber – 6:00-8:00pm - H112 GMO Labeling –
Senate Agriculture and Senate Judiciary
February 13, 2014 - House Chamber - 7:00-9:00 pm - H. 586 - Improving the
Quality of State Waters - House Agriculture and Forest Products
February 19, 2014 - Room 11 - 7:00p,- 8:30pm - Judicial retention - Joint
Committee on Judicial Retention
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Public Hearing on the Governor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 State
Budget
For Advocates
House Committee on Appropriations
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or Friday, February
21, 2014,
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. –
The House Committee on Appropriations will
hold a public hearing for advocates in room 11 of the State House on the
Governor’s proposed FY2015 state budget. Please sign up in advance, with
Theresa Utton-Jerman at (802) 828-5767 or
tutton@leg.state.vt.us
or in room
40.
The Governor’s budget proposal can be viewed at the Department of
Finance & Management’s website:
http://finance.vermont.gov/state_budget/rec
.
Individual department budgets that have been made available can be viewed
at the Joint Fiscal Office’s website:
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo/dept_budgets_fy_2015.aspx
.
Information Notice
Deadline for Introducing Bills
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.
Joint Assembly
February 20, 2014 - 10:30 A.M. – Election of two (2) trustees for the
Vermont State Colleges Corporation.
Candidates for the positions of trustee must notify the Secretary of State
in
writing
not later than February 13, 2014 , by 4:30 P.M. pursuant to the
provisions of 2 V.S.A. §12(b).
Otherwise their names will not appear on the
ballots for these positions.
Do not use pink mail to deliver notification to the
Secretary of State.
Hand delivery is the best method to insure notification has
been received.
The following rules shall apply to the conduct of these elections:
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First:
All nominations for these offices will be presented in alphabetical
order prior to voting.
Second:
There will be only one nominating speech of not more than three
(3) minutes and not more than two seconding speeches of not more than one
(1) minute each for each nominee.