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House Calendar
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
99th DAY OF THE ADJOURNED SESSION
House Convenes at 10:00 A.M.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page No.
ACTION CALENDAR
Action Postponed Until April 15, 2014
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 631
Lottery commissions ....................................................................... 1965
Rep. Van Wyck Amendment ....................................................................... 1965
NEW BUSINESS
Third Reading
S. 100
An act relating to forest integrity ..................................................... 1966
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 586
Improving the quality of State waters ............................................. 1966
Rep. Deen for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources
Rep. Partridge for Agriculture and Forest Products .................................... 1988
Rep. Ram for Ways and Means ................................................................... 2002
Rep. Toll for Appropriations ....................................................................... 2004
Rep. Helm Amendment ............................................................................... 2005
H. 883
Expanded prekindergarten–grade 12 school districts ...................... 2009
Rep. Peltz for Education
Rep. Wilson for Ways and Means ............................................................... 2009
S. 247
An act relating to the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries 2017
Rep. Burditt for Human Services
S. 252
An act relating to financing for Green Mountain Care .................... 2024
Rep. Fisher for Health Care
Favorable
S. 91
An act relating to privatization of public schools .............................. 2043
Rep. Peltz for Education
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 589
Hunting, fishing, and trapping ......................................................... 2043
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ORDERS OF THE DAY
ACTION CALENDAR
Action Postponed Until April 15, 2014
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 631
An act relating to lottery commissions
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking all after the
enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
LOTTERY COMMISSION BONUS
(a)
Under the State Lottery Commission Lottery Rules and Regulations, the
Lottery Commission shall pay a one percent bonus payment to licensed lottery
agents who sell any draw game ticket that wins at least $10,000.00.
The one
percent bonus payment shall not exceed $30,000.00, and payment shall be
made to lottery agents once the draw game results become official, regardless
of whether the ticket is claimed or unclaimed.
(b)
On or before July 1, 2015, the Executive Director of the Lottery
Commission shall amend the State Lottery Commission Lottery Rules and
Regulations to be consistent with the requirements of subsection (a) of this
section.
Sec. 2.
REPEAL
Sec. 1(a) of this act shall be repealed 45 days after such time as the Lottery
Commission has issued a rule updating the State Lottery Commission Lottery
Rules and Regulations.
Sec. 3.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
(For text see House Journal 2/28/2014 )
Amendment to be offered by Rep. Van Wyck of Ferrisburgh to H. 631
Rep. Van Wyck of Ferrisburgh moves that the House concur in the Senate
Proposal of amendment with further amendment there to by striking out all
after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
31 V.S.A. § 658 is amended to read:
§ 658.
STATE LOTTERY FUND
* * *
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(b)
Expenditures for administrative and overhead expenses of the operation
of the lottery, except agent and bank commissions, shall be paid from lottery
receipts
from
an
appropriation
authorized
for
that
purpose.
Agent
commissions shall be set by the lottery commission Lottery Commission and
may not exceed 6.25 percent of gross receipts and bank commissions may not
exceed 1 percent of gross receipts.
Once the draw game results become
official, the payment of any commission on any draw game ticket that wins at
least $10,000.00 shall be made through the normal course of processing
payments to lottery agents, regardless of whether the winning ticket is claimed.
* * *
Sec. 2.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
NEW BUSINESS
Third Reading
S. 100
An act relating to forest integrity
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 586
An act relating to improving the quality of State waters
Rep. Deen of Westminster,
for the Committee on
Fish, Wildlife & Water
Resources,
recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting
clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
* * * Agricultural Water Quality;
Small Farm Certification and Inspection * * *
Sec. 1.
6 V.S.A. § 4858a is added to read:
§ 4858a.
SMALL FARM CERTIFICATION
(a)
Rulemaking; small farm certification.
On or before January 1, 2016,
the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall adopt by rule a
requirement that all small farms in the State submit to the Secretary a
certification of compliance with the accepted agricultural practices.
The rules
required by this subsection shall be adopted as part of the accepted agricultural
practices under section 4810 of this title.
(b)
Content of rules.
The rules for small farm certification shall:
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(1)
Define
what
constitutes
a
small
farm
for
the
purposes
of
certification.
(2)
Require a small farm to be certified in order to operate in the State.
(3)
Require the owner or operator of a small farm to certify to the
Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets at least every five years that the
owner or operator complies with the accepted agricultural practices adopted
under section 4810 of this title.
The certification shall identify the farm subject
to the certification and the person or persons who own or operate the farm.
The owner or operator of the farm shall certify compliance with the accepted
agricultural practices, including that:
(A)
The farm does not directly discharge wastes into the surface
waters from a discrete conveyance such as a pipe, ditch, or conduit without a
permit under 10 V.S.A. § 1258.
(B)
Manure stacking sites, fertilizer storage, and other nutrient source
storage on the farm are not located within 100 feet of private wells.
(C)
Manure is not stacked or stored on lands subject to annual
overflow from adjacent waters.
(D)
Manure is not field stacked on unimproved sites within 100 feet
of a surface water.
(E)
Barnyards, waste management systems, animal holding areas,
and production areas shall be constructed, managed, and maintained to prevent
runoff
of
waste
to
surface
water,
to
groundwater,
or
across
property
boundaries.
(F)
Nutrient application on the farm is based on soil testing by field
and is consistent with university recommendations, standard agricultural
practices, or a Secretary-approved nutrient management plan for the farm.
(G)
Manure on the farm is not applied within 25 feet of an adjoining
surface water, is not applied within 10 feet of a ditch, or is applied in such a
manner as to enter surface water.
(H)
Fertigation and chemigation equipment is operated only with an
adequate anti-siphon device between the system and the water source.
(I)
Cropland on the farm is cultivated in a manner that results in an
average soil loss of less than or equal to the soil loss tolerance for the prevalent
soil, known as 1T, as calculated through application of the Revised Universal
Soil Loss Equation, or through the application of similarly accepted models.
(J)
A vegetative buffer zone of perennial vegetation is maintained
between annual croplands and the top of the bank of adjoining surface waters
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in a manner that complies with requirements of the accepted agricultural
practices.
(K)
Manure,
fertilizer,
pesticide
storage
structures,
and
farm
structures are not located within a floodway area as presented on National
Flood Insurance Maps on file with town clerks or within a Fluvial Erosion
Hazard Zone as designated by municipal bylaw or ordinance.
(4)
Require the Secretary to visit small farms in the State for purposes of
assessing
compliance
with
the
accepted
agricultural
practices
and
for
consistency with a certification issued under this section.
The Secretary may
prioritize visits to small farms in the State based on identified water quality
issues posed by a farm.
(c)(1)
Identification; ranking of water quality needs.
During a visit to a
small farm required under subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary shall
identify areas where the farm could benefit from capital, structural, or technical
assistance in order to improve or come into compliance with the accepted
agricultural practices.
(2)
Annually, the Secretary shall establish a priority ranking system for
small farms according to the degree of assistance required for compliance with
the accepted agricultural practices if the identified capital, structural, or
technical needs on the farm are not addressed.
(3)
Notwithstanding the requirements of section 4823 of this title, farms
identified under subdivision (2) of this subsection in the greatest level of need
in order to come into compliance with the accepted agricultural practices shall
be given first priority for State financial assistance under subchapter 3 of this
chapter, provided that the Secretary may give first priority for financial
assistance to any farm other than one identified under subdivision (2) of this
subsection when the Secretary determines that a farm needs assistance to
address a water quality issue that requires immediate abatement.
Sec. 2.
6 V.S.A. § 4860 is amended to read:
§ 4860.
REVOCATION; ENFORCEMENT
(a)
The secretary Secretary may revoke coverage under a general permit or,
an individual permit, or a small farm certification issued under this subchapter
after following the same process prescribed by section 2705 of this title
regarding the revocation of a handler’s license.
The secretary Secretary may
also seek enforcement remedies under sections 1, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 17 of this
title as well as assess an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title
from any person who fails to comply with any permit provision as required by
this subchapter or who violates the terms or conditions of coverage under any
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general permit or, any individual permit, or any small farm certification issued
under this subchapter.
However, notwithstanding provisions of section 15 of
this title to the contrary, the maximum administrative penalty assessed for a
violation of this subchapter shall not exceed $5,000.00 for each violation, and
the maximum amount of any penalty assessed for separate and distinct
violations of this chapter shall not exceed $50,000.00.
(b)
Any person who violates any provision of this subchapter or who fails
to comply with any order or the terms of any permit or certification issued in
accordance with this subchapter shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 for
each violation.
Each violation may be a separate offense and, in the case of a
continuing violation, each day’s continuance may be deemed a separate
offense.
(c)
Any person who knowingly makes any false statement, representation,
or certification in any application, record, report, plan, certification, or other
document filed or required to be maintained by this subchapter or by any
permit, rule, regulation, or order issued under this subchapter, or who falsifies,
tampers with, or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or
method required to be maintained by this subchapter or by any permit, rule,
regulation, or order issued under this subchapter shall upon conviction be
punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for each violation.
Each
violation may be a separate offense and, in the case of a continuing violation,
each day’s continuance may be deemed a separate offense.
Sec. 3.
6 V.S.A. § 4810 is amended to read:
§ 4810.
AUTHORITY; COOPERATION; COORDINATION
(a)
Agricultural land use practices.
In accordance with 10 V.S.A.
§ 1259(i), the secretary Secretary shall adopt by rule, pursuant to 3 V.S.A.
chapter 25 of Title 3, and shall implement and enforce agricultural land use
practices in order to reduce the amount of agricultural pollutants entering the
waters of the state State.
These agricultural land use practices shall be created
in two categories, pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(1)
“Accepted Agricultural Practices” (AAPs) shall be standards to be
followed in conducting agricultural activities in this state State.
These
standards shall address activities which have a potential for causing pollutants
to enter the groundwater and waters of the state State, including dairy and
other livestock operations plus all forms of crop and nursery operations and
on-farm or agricultural fairground, registered pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 3902,
livestock and poultry slaughter and processing activities.
The AAPs shall
include, as well as promote and encourage, practices for farmers in preventing
pollutants from entering the groundwater and waters of the state State when
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engaged in, but not limited to, animal waste management and disposal, soil
amendment
applications,
plant
fertilization,
and
pest
and
weed
control.
Persons engaged in farming, as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6001, who follow these
practices shall be presumed to be in compliance with water quality standards.
AAPs shall be practical and cost effective to implement.
The AAPs for
groundwater shall include a process under which the agency Agency shall
receive, investigate, and respond to a complaint that a farm has contaminated
the drinking water or groundwater of a property owner.
(2)
“Best Management Practices” (BMPs) may be required by the
secretary Secretary on a case by case case-by-case basis.
Before requiring
BMPs,
the secretary Secretary shall
determine
that
sufficient
financial
assistance
is
available
to assist
farmers
in
achieving
compliance
with
applicable BMPs.
BMPs shall be practical and cost effective to implement.
(b)
Cooperation and coordination.
The secretary of agriculture, food and
markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall coordinate with the
secretary of natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources in implementing
and enforcing programs, plans, and practices developed for reducing and
eliminating agricultural non-point source pollutants and discharges
from
concentrated animal feeding operations.
The secretary of agriculture, food and
markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the secretary of
natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources shall develop a memorandum
of understanding for the non-point program describing program administration,
grant negotiation, grant sharing, and how they will coordinate watershed
planning activities to comply with Public Law 92-500.
The secretary of
agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and
the secretary of the agency of natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources
shall also develop a memorandum of understanding according to the public
notice
and
comment
process
of
10
V.S.A.
§
1259(i)
regarding
the
implementation of the federal concentrated animal feeding operation program
and the relationship between the requirements of the federal program and the
state State agricultural water quality requirements for large, medium, and small
farms under chapter 215 of this title.
The memorandum of understanding shall
describe program administration, permit issuance, an appellate process, and
enforcement
authority
and
implementation.
The
memorandum
of
understanding shall be consistent with the federal National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System permit regulations for discharges from
concentrated
animal feeding operations.
The allocation of duties under this chapter between
the secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food
and Markets and the secretary of natural resources Secretary of Natural
Resources shall
be
consistent
with
the secretary’s Secretary’s duties,
established under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1258(b), to comply with Public
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Law
92-500.
The secretary
of
natural
resources Secretary
of
Natural
Resources shall be the state State lead person in applying for federal funds
under Public Law 92-500, but shall consult with the secretary of agriculture,
food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets during the
process.
The agricultural non-point source program may compete with other
programs for competitive watershed projects funded from federal funds.
The
secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall be represented in reviewing these projects for funding.
Actions
by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture,
Food and Markets under this chapter concerning agricultural non-point source
pollution shall be consistent with the water quality standards and water
pollution control requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapter 47 of Title 10 and the
federal Clean Water Act as amended.
In addition, the secretary of agriculture,
food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall coordinate
with the secretary of natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources in
implementing and enforcing programs, plans, and practices developed for the
proper management of composting facilities when those facilities are located
on a farm.
(c)
On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall amend by rule the accepted agricultural practices required under
this section to include requirements for the certification of small farms under
section 4858a of this title.
The rules adopted under this section shall be at least
as stringent as the requirements of section 4858a of this title.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality; Corrective Actions * * *
Sec. 4.
6 V.S.A. § 4812 is amended to read:
§ 4812.
CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
(a)
When the secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of
Agriculture, Food and Markets determines that a person engaged in farming is
managing a farm using practices which are inconsistent with the practices
defined by requirements of this chapter or rules adopted under this subchapter,
the secretary Secretary may issue a written warning which shall be served in
person or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
The warning shall include
a brief description of the alleged violation, identification of this statute and
applicable rules, a recommendation for corrective actions that may be taken by
the person, along with a summary of federal and state assistance programs
which may be utilized by the person to remedy the violation and a request for
an abatement schedule from the person according to which the practice shall be
altered.
The person shall have 30 days to respond to the written warning and
shall provide an abatement schedule for curing the violation and a description
of the corrective action to be taken to cure the violation.
If the person fails to
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respond to the written warning within this period or to take corrective action to
change the practices in order to protect water quality, the secretary Secretary
may act pursuant to subsection (b) of this section in order to protect water
quality.
(b)
After an opportunity for a hearing, the secretary The Secretary may:
(1)
issue cease and desist orders and administrative penalties in
accordance with the requirements of sections 15, 16, and 17 of this title; and
(2)
institute appropriate proceedings on behalf of the agency Agency to
enforce this subchapter.
(c)
Whenever the secretary Secretary believes that any person engaged in
farming is in violation of this subchapter or rules adopted thereunder, an action
may be brought in the name of the agency Agency in a court of competent
jurisdiction to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction the continuation
or repetition of the violation.
The court may issue temporary or permanent
injunctions, and other relief as may be necessary and appropriate to curtail any
violations.
(d)
The secretary may assess administrative penalties in accordance with
sections 15, 16, and 17 of this title against any farmer who violates a cease and
desist order or other order issued under subsection (b) of this section.
[Repealed.]
(e)
Any person subject to an enforcement order or an administrative
penalty who is aggrieved by the final decision of the secretary Secretary may
appeal to the superior court Superior Court within 30 days of the decision.
The
administrative judge may specially assign an environmental Environmental
judge to superior court Superior Court for the purpose of hearing an appeal.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality; Livestock Exclusion * * *
Sec. 5.
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 8 is added to read:
Subchapter 8.
Livestock Exclusion
§ 4971.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter:
(1)
“Livestock” means cattle, sheep, goats, equines, fallow deer, red
deer,
American
bison,
swine,
water
buffalo,
poultry,
pheasant,
Chukar
partridge, Coturnix quail, camelids, ratites, and, as necessary, other animals
designated by the Secretary by rule.
(2)
“Waters” shall have the same meaning as in 10 V.S.A. § 1251(13).
§ 4972.
PURPOSE
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The purpose of this subchapter is to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture,
Food and Markets to require exclusion of livestock from a water of the State
where continued access to the water by livestock poses a high risk of violating
the accepted agricultural practices.
§ 4973.
LIVESTOCK EXCLUSION; PERMIT CONDITION
As a condition of a small farm certification, an animal waste permit, or a
large farm permit issued under this chapter, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food
and Markets may require exclusion of livestock from a water of the State
where continued access to the water by livestock poses a high risk of violating
the accepted agricultural practices.
* * * Seasonal Exemption for Manure Application * * *
Sec. 6.
6 V.S.A. § 4816 is added to read:
§ 4816.
SEASONAL APPLICATION OF MANURE
(a)
A person shall not apply manure to land in the State:
(1)
between December 15 and April 1 of any calendar year, unless
authorized under subsection (b) of this section; or
(2)
between December 1 and December 15 and between April 1 and
April 30 of any calendar year when prohibited under subsection (c) of this
section.
(b)
Seasonal exemption.
(1)
The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Market may authorize an
exemption to the prohibition on the application of manure to land in the State
between December 15 and April 1 of any calendar year.
An exemption issued
under this section may authorize land application of manure on a weekly,
monthly, or seasonal basis or in authorized regions, areas, or fields in the State
provided that the requirements of subdivision (2) of this subsection are
complied with.
(2)
Any exemption issued under this subsection shall:
(A)
prohibit application of manure:
(i)
in areas with established channels of concentrated stormwater
runoff to surface water, including ditches and ravines;
(ii)
in nonharvested permanent vegetative buffers;
(iii)
in a nonfarmed wetland, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A.
§ 902(5);
(iv)
within 50 feet of a potable water supply, as that term is
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defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1972(6);
(v)
to fields exceeding tolerable soil loss; and
(vi)
to saturated soils;
(B)
establish requirements for the application of manure when frozen
or
snow-covered
soils
prevent
effective
incorporation
at
the
time
of
application;
(C)
require manure to be applied according to a nutrient management
plan; and
(D)
establish the maximum tons of manure that may be applied per
acre during any one application.
(c)
Restriction on application.
The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets may by procedure prohibit the application of manure to land in the
State between December 1 and December 15 and April 1 and April 30 of any
calendar year when the Secretary determines that due to weather conditions,
soil conditions, or other limitations, application of manure to land would pose
a significant potential of discharge or runoff to State waters.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality; Training * * *
Sec. 7.
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 9 is added to read:
Subchapter 9.
Agricultural Water Quality Certification Training
§ 4981.
AGRICULTURAL
WATER
QUALITY
CERTIFICATION
TRAINING; RULEMAKING
(a)
On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall adopt by rule requirements for training classes or programs for
owners or operators of small farms, medium farms, or large farms certified or
permitted under this chapter regarding:
(1)
the prevention of discharges, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A.
§ 1251(3); and
(2)
the mitigation and management of stormwater runoff, as that term is
defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1264, from farms.
(b)
Any training required by rules under this section shall:
(1)
address the existing statutory and regulatory requirements for
operation of a large, medium, or small farm in the State; and
(2)
address the management practices and technical and financial
resources available to assist in compliance with statutory or regulatory
agricultural requirements.
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* * * Agricultural Water Quality;
Certification of Custom Applicators * * *
Sec. 8.
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 10 is added to read:
Subchapter 10.
Certification of Custom Manure Applicators
§ 4987.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter:
(1)
“Custom manure applicator” means a person who applies manure,
nutrients, or sludge to land and who charges for the service.
(2)
“Manure” means livestock waste that may also contain bedding,
spilled feed, water, or soil.
(3)
“Sludge” means any solid, semisolid, or liquid generated from a
municipal, commercial, or industrial wastewater treatment plant or process,
water supply treatment plant, air pollution control facility, or any other such
waste having similar characteristics and effects.
§ 4988.
CERTIFICATION OF CUSTOM MANURE APPLICATOR
(a)
On or before January 1, 2015, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall adopt by procedure a process by which a custom applicator shall
be certified to operate within the State.
The certification process shall require
a custom applicator to complete 16 hours of training over each five-year period
regarding:
(1)
application methods or techniques to minimize the runoff of
land-applied manure, nutrients, or sludge to waters of the State; and
(2)
identification of weather or soil conditions that increase the risk of
runoff of land-applied manure, nutrients, or sludge to waters of the State.
(b)
Beginning January 1, 2016, a custom applicator shall not apply manure,
nutrients, or sludge unless certified by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets.
* * * Agricultural Stream Alteration * * *
Sec. 9.
6 V.S.A. § 4810a is added to read:
§ 4810a.
AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES; STREAMS
(a)
As used in this section:
(1)
“Berm” means a linear fill of earthen material on or adjacent to the
bank of a watercourse that constrains waters from entering a flood hazard area
or river corridor, as those terms are defined in 10 V.S.A. §§ 752(3) and (11).
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(2)
“Instream material” means:
(A)
all gradations of sediment from silt to boulders;
(B)
ledge rock; or
(C)
large woody debris in the bed of a watercourse or within the
banks of a watercourse.
(3)
“Intermittent stream” means any stream or stream segment of
significant length that is not a perennial stream.
(4)
“Large
woody
debris”
means
any
piece
of
wood
within
a
watercourse with a diameter of 10 or more inches and a length of 10 or more
feet that is detached from the soil where it grew.
(5)
“Perennial stream” means a watercourse or portion, segment, or
reach of a watercourse, generally exceeding 0.5 square miles in watershed size,
in which surface flows are not frequently or consistently interrupted during
normal seasonal low flow periods.
Perennial streams that begin flowing
subsurface during low flow periods, due to natural geologic conditions, remain
defined as perennial.
“Perennial stream” shall not mean standing waters in
wetlands, lakes, and ponds.
(6)
“Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
(7)
“Stream” means a current of water that flows at any time at a rate of
less than 1.5 cubic feet per second and exhibits evidence of sediment transport.
A stream shall include the full length and width, including the bed and banks
of any watercourse, including rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, and branches,
which experience perennial flow.
“Stream” shall not include swales, roadside
ditches, ditches or other constructed channels primarily associated with land
drainage
or
water conveyance
through
or
around
private
infrastructure,
excepting such ditches or conveyances that are connected directly with a
stream or river at either end.
(b)
On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary shall amend the accepted
agricultural practices to include requirements for agricultural activities that
alter or impact streams in the State.
The accepted agricultural practices for
stream activities shall:
(1)
prohibit the discharge or deposit of manure, milk house waste,
compost, or other discarded substances in a stream or a ditch or ravine that are
connected to a stream;
(2)
require authorization from the Secretary, prior to any change,
alteration, or modification of the course, current, or cross section of a perennial
stream in this State either by movement, fill, or excavation of 10 cubic yards or
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more of instream material in any year; and
(3)
require authorization from the Secretary to establish or construct a
berm in a flood hazard area or river corridor, as those terms are defined in
10 V.S.A. § 752(3) and (11).
(c)
The Secretary shall authorize an agricultural activity that alters or
impacts streams in the State if the activity:
(1)
will not adversely affect the public safety by increasing flood or
fluvial erosion hazards;
(2)
will not significantly damage fish life or wildlife;
(3) will not significantly damage the rights of riparian owners; and
(4)
in case of any waters designated as outstanding resource waters, will
not adversely affect the values sought to be protected by designation.
(d)
Prior to issuing an authorization under subdivisions (b)(2) and (3) of
this section, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Natural Resources
regarding appropriate management measures to be used in conducting any
authorized activity.
* * * Stormwater Management * * *
Sec. 10.
10 V.S.A. § 1264 is amended to read:
§ 1264.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
* * *
(b)
The secretary Secretary shall prepare a plan for the management of
collected stormwater runoff found by the secretary Secretary to be deleterious
to receiving waters.
The plan shall recognize that the runoff of stormwater is
different from the discharge of sanitary and industrial wastes because of the
influence
of
natural
events
of
stormwater
runoff,
the
variations
in
characteristics of those runoffs, and the increased stream flows and natural
degradation of the receiving water quality at the time of discharge.
The plan
shall be cost effective and designed to minimize any adverse impact of
stormwater runoff to waters of the state State.
By no later than February 1,
2001,
the secretary Secretary shall
prepare
an
enhanced
stormwater
management program and report on the content of that program to the house
committees on fish, wildlife and water resources and on natural resources and
energy and to the senate committee on natural resources and energy House
Committees on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources and on Natural Resources
and Energy and to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.
In
developing the program, the secretary Secretary shall consult with the board,
affected municipalities, regional entities, other state State and federal agencies,
and members of the public.
The secretary Secretary shall be responsible for
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implementation of the program.
The secretary’s Secretary’s stormwater
management program shall include, at a minimum, provisions that:
* * *
(12)
Encourage municipal governments to utilize existing regulatory and
planning
authority
to
implement
improved
stormwater
management
by
providing technical assistance, training, research and coordination with respect
to stormwater management technology, and by preparing and distributing a
model local stormwater management ordinance or bylaw.
Beginning on
July 1, 2014, the Secretary annually shall provide municipalities with outreach
and education through published materials or training courses regarding the
environmental and municipal benefits of adoption of a local stormwater
management ordinance or bylaw.
The stream alteration training and education
activities required under subsection 1023(d) of this title and any education and
outreach conducted under this subdivision (12) shall inform municipalities of
model stormwater management ordinances or bylaws that are available in the
State.
* * *
* * * Water Quality Data Coordination * * *
Sec. 11.
10 V.S.A. § 1284 is added to read:
§ 1284.
WATER QUALITY DATA COORDINATION
(a)
To facilitate attainment or accomplishment of the purposes of this
chapter, the Secretary shall coordinate and assess all available data and science
regarding the quality of the waters of the State, including:
(1)
light detection and ranging information data (LIDAR) identifying
water quality issues;
(2)
stream gauge data;
(3)
stream mapping, including fluvial erosion hazard maps;
(4)
water quality monitoring or sampling data;
(5)
cumulative stressors on watershed, such as the frequency an activity
is conducted within a watershed or the number of stormwater or other permits
issued in a watershed; and
(6)
any other data available to the Secretary.
(b)
After coordination of the data required under subsection (a) of this
section, the Secretary shall:
(1)
assess where additional data are needed and the best methods for
collection of such data;
(2)
identify and map on a regional basis areas of the State that are
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significant contributors to water quality problems or are in critical need of
water quality remediation or response.
(c)
The Secretary shall post all data compiled under this section on the
website of the Agency of Natural Resources.
* * * Shoreland Contractor Certification * * *
Sec.
12.
VOLUNTARY
SHORELAND
EROSION
CONTROL
CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
(a)
Definitions.
As used in this section:
(1)
“Impervious surface” shall have the same meaning as in section
1264 of this title.
(2)
“Lake” means a body of standing water, including a pond or a
reservoir, which may have natural or artificial water level control.
Private
ponds shall not be considered lakes.
(3)
“Mean water level” means the mean water level of a lake as defined
in the Mean Water Level Rules of the Agency of Natural Resources adopted
(4)
“Shoreland area” means all land located within 250 feet of the mean
water level of a lake that is greater than 10 acres in surface area.
(b)
Voluntary
certification.
The
Agency
of Natural
Resources,
in
consultation with the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, shall
develop an optional shoreland erosion control certification program to begin on
January 1, 2015.
The program shall include training related to the disturbance
of soil, clearance of vegetation, and construction of impervious surfaces of
more than 1,000 square feet in a shoreland area.
The voluntary certification
program shall end on January 1, 2018.
(c)
Report.
On or before January 1, 2017, the Agency of Natural Resources
shall report to the House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources and
Energy and the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources
regarding the voluntary shoreland erosion control certification program created
in subsection (b) of this section.
The report shall include:
(1)
a general summary of the program’s success, including an overview
of shoreland projects constructed by certified persons;
(2)
the number of persons certified under the certification program;
(3)
a recommendation of whether the State should continue the
voluntary certification program, including whether to make the program
mandatory; and
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(4)
any other recommendations for improving the program.
(d)
The requirements of this section shall not apply to the owner or
operator of a farm conducting agricultural activities on the farm that comply
with the rules adopted by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets
under 6 V.S.A. chapter 215, regarding agricultural water quality, including
accepted agricultural practices, best management practices, animal waste
permits, and large farm permits.
The requirements of this section shall apply
to a person, other than an employee of the owner or operator of the farm, who
charges for the service of tillage, harvesting, or other agricultural activity that
disturbs soil, clears vegetation, or constructs impervious surface of more than
500 square feet in a shoreland area.
* * * Forestry Practices * * *
Sec. 13.
DEPARTMENT OF FORESTS, PARKS AND RECREATION;
FORESTRY; PORTABLE SKIDDER PROJECT
In addition to any other funds appropriated to the Department of Forests,
Parks and Recreation in fiscal year 2015 there is appropriated in fiscal year
2015 from the General Fund to the Department:
(1)
$100,000.00 for the purpose of providing technical assistance to
persons engaged in silvicultural practices regarding improved stream crossing
practices; and
(2)
$20,000.00 for the purchase or construction of portable skidder
bridges.
* * * Town Road and Bridge Standards * * *
Sec. 14.
19 V.S.A. § 309b is amended to read:
§ 309b.
LOCAL MATCH; CERTAIN TOWN HIGHWAY PROGRAMS
(a)
Notwithstanding subsection 309a(a) of this title, grants provided to
towns under the town highway structures program shall be matched by local
funds sufficient to cover 20 percent of the project costs, unless the town has
adopted road and bridge standards, has completed a network inventory, and has
submitted an annual certification of compliance for town road and bridge
standards to the secretary, in which event the local match shall be sufficient to
cover 10 five percent of the project costs.
The secretary Secretary may adopt
rules to implement the town highway structures program.
Town highway
structures projects receiving funds pursuant to this subsection shall be the
responsibility of the applicant municipality.
(b)
Notwithstanding subsection 309a(a) of this title, grants provided to
towns under the class 2 town highway roadway program shall be matched by
local funds sufficient to cover 30 percent of the project costs, unless the town
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has adopted road and bridge standards, has completed a network inventory, and
has submitted an annual certification of compliance for town road and bridge
standards to the secretary Secretary, in which event the local match shall be
sufficient to cover 20 15 percent of the project costs.
The secretary Secretary
may adopt rules to implement the class 2 town highway roadway program.
Class 2 town highway roadway projects receiving funds pursuant to this
subsection shall be the responsibility of the applicant municipality, and a
municipality shall not receive a grant in excess of $175,000.00.
* * *
* * * Best Management Practices Income Tax Credit * * *
Sec. 15.
32 V.S.A. § 5930mm is added to read:
§ 5930mm.
AGRICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TAX
CREDIT
(a)
A taxpayer of this State who is engaged in the business of farming or
who is implementing a nutrient management plan approved by the Secretary of
Agriculture, Food and Markets may claim a credit against his or her income
taxes imposed by this chapter in an amount equal to 25 percent of the first
$70,000.00 expended by the taxpayer for an agricultural best management
practice approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets under
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, provided that that the credit shall not exceed the liability
of the taxpayer under this chapter for the year in which the credit is claimed.
(b)
Best management practices eligible for the credit under this section
shall include approved activities to:
(1)
manage the waste from livestock, as that term is defined in 6 V.S.A.
(2)
control soil erosion;
(3)
nutrient and sediment filtration and detention;
(4)
nutrient management planning; and
(5)
pest and pesticide handling.
(c)
After completion of the best management practice, the Secretary shall
certify the practice as approved and completed, and eligible for credit.
The
taxpayer shall forward the certification of completion to the Department of
Taxes on forms provided by the Department.
The credit shall be allowed only
for expenditures made by the taxpayer from his or her own funds.
(d)
The credit under this section shall be available only for the tax year in
which the funds were expended, as certified by the Secretary of Agriculture,
Food and Markets.
Any taxpayer claiming a credit under this section shall not
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claim a credit under any similar State law for costs related to the same eligible
practices.
(e)
The amount of any credit claimed under this section attributable to
agricultural best management practices by a pass-through entity such as a
partnership, limited liability company, or electing small business corporation
(S Corporation) shall be allocated to the individual partners, members, or
shareholders in proportion to their ownership or interest in such entity.
(f)
As used in this section, “engaged in the business of farming” means a
taxpayer earns at least one-half of his or her annual gross income from the
business of farming, as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code,
26 C.F.R. § 1.175-3
* * * Water Quality Restoration; Financing Report * * *
Sec. 16.
AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT ON WATER
QUALITY FINANCING
On or before January 15, 2015, the Secretary of Natural Resources, after
consultation with the Joint Fiscal Office, shall submit to the Senate Committee
on Natural Resources and Energy, the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and
Water Resources, and the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations a
report that provides recommendations for establishing a financing mechanism
that assesses property owners in the State based on the property’s impact on
water quality.
The report shall include:
(1)
at least two alternative financing mechanisms;
(2)
a summary of how each recommended financing mechanism would
be implemented, including administration and enforcement; and
(3)
an estimated amount of revenue that each recommended financing
proposal would generate.
* * * Rooms and Meals Tax; Ecosystem Restoration Program * * *
Sec. 17.
32 V.S.A. § 9241 is amended to read:
§ 9241.
IMPOSITION OF TAX
(a)
An operator shall collect a tax of nine and one-quarter percent of the
rent of each occupancy.
(b)
An operator shall collect a tax on the sale of each taxable meal at the
rate of nine and one-quarter percent of each full dollar of the total charge and
on each sale for less than one dollar and on each part of a dollar in excess of a
full dollar in accordance with the following a formula developed and published
by the Department of Taxes:
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$0.01-0.11
$0.01
0.12-0.22
0.02
0.23-0.33
0.03
0.34-0.44
0.04
0.45-0.55
0.05
0.56-0.66
0.06
0.67-0.77
0.07
0.78-0.88
0.08
0.89-1.00
0.09
(c)
An operator shall collect a tax on each sale of alcoholic beverages at the
rate of 10 and one-quarter percent of each full dollar of the total charge and on
each sale for less than one dollar and on each part of a dollar in excess of a full
dollar in accordance with the following a formula developed and published by
the Department of Taxes:
$ .01-.14
$.01
.15-.24
.02
.25-.34
.03
.35-.44
.04
.45-.54
.05
.55-.64
.06
.65-.74
.07
.75-.84
.08
.85-.94
.09
.95-1.00
.10
Sec. 18.
32 V.S.A. § 9242(c) is amended to read:
(c)
A tax of nine and one-quarter percent of the gross receipts from meals
and occupancies, nine and one-quarter percent of the gross receipts from
meals, and 10 and one-quarter percent of the gross receipts from alcoholic
beverages, exclusive of taxes collected pursuant to section 9241 of this title,
received from occupancy rentals, taxable meals and alcoholic beverages by an
operator, is hereby levied and imposed and shall be paid to the State by the
operator as herein provided.
Every person required to file a return under this
chapter shall, at the time of filing the return, pay the Commissioner the taxes
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imposed by this chapter as well as all other monies collected by him or her
under this chapter; provided, however, that every person who collects the taxes
on taxable meals and alcoholic beverages according to the tax bracket
schedules of section 9241 of this title shall be allowed to retain any amount
lawfully collected by the person in excess of the tax imposed by this chapter as
compensation for the keeping of prescribed records and the proper account and
remitting of taxes.
Sec. 19.
32 V.S.A. § 435 is amended to read:
§ 435.
GENERAL FUND
(a)
There is established a General Fund which shall be the basic operating
fund of the State.
The General Fund shall be used to finance all expenditures
for which no special revenues have otherwise been provided by law.
(b)
The General Fund shall be composed of revenues from the following
sources:
(1)
Alcoholic beverage tax levied pursuant to 7 V.S.A. chapter 15;
(2)
[Repealed.]
(3)
Electrical energy tax levied pursuant to chapter 213 of this title;
(4)
Corporate income and franchise taxes levied pursuant to chapter 151
of this title;
(5)
Individual income taxes levied pursuant to chapter 151 of this title;
(6)
All corporation taxes levied pursuant to chapter 211 of this title;
(7)
Meals 98 percent of the meals and rooms taxes levied pursuant to
chapter 225 of this title;
(8)
[Repealed.]
(9)
Revenues from the Racing Fund consistent with 31 V.S.A. § 611
609;
(10)
33 percent of the revenue from the property transfer taxes levied
pursuant to chapter 231 of this title and the revenue from the gains taxes levied
each year pursuant to chapter 236 of this title;
(11)
65 percent of the revenue from sales and use taxes levied pursuant
to chapter 233 of this title;
(12)
All other revenues accruing to the State not otherwise required by
law to be deposited in any other designated fund or used for any other
designated purpose.
* * * Rental Car Tax * * *
- 1985 -
Sec. 20.
32 V.S.A. § 8903(d) is amended to read:
(d)
There is hereby imposed a use tax on the rental charge of each
transaction, in which the renter takes possession of the vehicle in this State,
during the life of a pleasure car purchased for use in short-term rentals, which
tax is to be collected by the rental company from the renter and remitted to the
Commissioner.
The amount of the tax shall be nine 10 percent of the rental
charge. Rental charge means the total rental charge for the use of the pleasure
car, but does not include a separately stated charge for insurance, or recovery
of refueling cost, or other separately stated charges which are not for the use of
the pleasure car.
In the event of resale of the vehicle in this State for use other
than short-term rental, such transaction shall be subject to the tax imposed by
subsection (a) of this section.
Sec. 21.
32 V.S.A. § 8912 is amended to read:
§ 8912.
ALLOCATION OF FUNDS
The taxes collected under this chapter shall be paid into and accounted for
in the Transportation Fund, except that 10 percent of the tax collected under
subsection 8903(d) of this title on rental cars shall be paid into the Ecosystem
Restoration Program Fund under 10 V.S.A § 1285.
* * * Ecosystem Restoration Program Fund * * *
Sec. 22.
10 V.S.A. § 1285 is added to read:
§ 1285.
ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION PROGRAM FUND
(a)
Creation of Fund.
There is created a special fund in the State Treasury
to be known as the “Ecosystem Restoration Program Fund” to be administered
and expended by the Secretary to fund administration and implementation of
the Ecosystem Restoration Program.
Within the Fund, there shall be two
accounts: the Capital Account and the Administrative Account.
(b)
Deposits to accounts:
(1)
Within the Capital Account, there shall be deposited:
(A)
appropriations
by
the
General
Assembly
to
the
Vermont
Environmental
Protection
Agency
(EPA)
Pollution
Control
Revolving
Fund; and
(B)
appropriations by the General Assembly to the Agency of Natural
Resources for any other capital construction related to water pollution control.
(2)
Within the Administrative Account, there shall be deposited:
(A)
two percent of the meals and rooms tax levied pursuant to
chapter 225 of this title;
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(B)
10 percent of rental car tax under subsection 8903(d) of this
title; and
(C)
such sums as may be appropriated by the General Assembly.
(c)
Disbursements from the Fund.
(1)
The Secretary may authorize disbursement or expenditures from the
Capital Account according to the requirements of 24 V.S.A. chapter 120 and
the rules adopted thereunder or as authorized by the General Assembly.
(2)
The Secretary may authorize disbursement or expenditures from the
Administrative Account for administration of, education and outreach related
to, monitoring, and implementation of the activities or projects under the
Ecosystem Restoration Program.
(d)
Interest.
Interest earned by the Fund shall be credited and deposited to
the Fund.
All balances in the Fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried
forward and remain a part of the Fund.
(e)
Awards; priority.
Except for grants or loans issues under 24 V.S.A.
chapter 120, grants or loans from the Ecosystem Restoration Program shall be
awarded in each fiscal year according to the following priorities:
(1)
First priority shall be given to projects identified by the Secretary as
significant contributors to water quality problems or in critical need of water
quality remediation or response.
(2)
Next priority shall be given to proposed projects to address or repair
riparian conditions that increase the risk of flooding or pose a threat to life or
property.
(3)
Next priority shall be given to proposed projects or programs to
address areas of high risk of pollution or high loading of sediment to a water
listed as impaired on the list of waters required by 33 U.S.C. § 1313(d).
(4)
Next priority shall be given to other projects implementing a total
maximum daily load plan in a water listed as impaired on the list of waters
required by 33 U.S.C. § 1313(d).
(5)
Next priority shall be given to projects or programs to address areas
of high risk of pollution or high loading of sediment to an unimpaired water.
(f)
Secretary discretion.
The Secretary may award financial assistance
under this section for a project or program that otherwise would not receive
assistance under the priorities established by this section when the Secretary
determines a severe risk to water quality or risk of discharge exists which
requires immediate abatement.
- 1987 -
(g)
Rule.
The Secretary may adopt by rule additional priorities for the
award of loans or grants in order to ensure equity in the distribution of awards
under this section among service sectors or land use categories.
Sec.
23.
REPORT
ON
ACCEPTED
AGRICULTURAL
PRACTICES
UNDER USE VALUE APPRAISAL
On or before January 15, 2015, the Agency of Agriculture, Food and
Markets (AAFM), after consultation with the Department of Forests, Parks and
Recreation and the Division of Property Valuation and Review (PVR) at the
Department of Taxes, shall submit to the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife
and Water Resources, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy,
the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance,
the House Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products, and the Senate
Committee on Agriculture a report regarding compliance with the accepted
agricultural
practices
(AAPs)
issued
under
6 V.S.A.
chapter
215 as
a
requirement of eligibility for participation in the use value appraisal program.
The report shall include:
(1)
A proposed plan for implementing a requirement that an owner of
agricultural land certify compliance with the AAPs in order to participate or
continue participation in the use value appraisal program.
The plan shall
include:
(A)
how the AAFM or PVR would record certifications of AAP
compliance;
(B)
how the AAFM or PVR would enforce compliance with the
AAPs as a condition of participation in the use value appraisal program; and
(C)
an estimate of the number of staff and other resources required by
the AAFM or PVR to implement, administer, and enforce the requirement of
compliance with AAPs as a condition of participation in the use value
appraisal program.
(2)
An estimate of how certification of compliance with the AAPs
would impact the cost of the use value appraisal program to the State of
Vermont, including whether fewer parcels would qualify for enrollment in the
program.
Sec. 24.
EFFECTIVE DATES
(a)
This section and Secs. 1–3 (small farm certification rules), 4 (Agency of
Agriculture, Food and Markets corrective action), 5 (livestock exclusion),
6 (seasonal
exemption for
application
of
manure), 8
(custom
applicator
certification), 9 (agricultural stream alteration), 10 (stormwater model bylaw),
11 (water quality data coordination), 12 (shoreland contractor certification), ,
- 1988 -
13
(financing;
technical
assistance
for
forestry),
15 (agricultural
best
management practices tax credit), and 23 (AAP; use value appraisal report)
shall take effect on passage.
(b)
Sec. 7 (agricultural water quality certification) shall take effect on
January 1, 2015.
(c)
Secs. 14 (town road and bridge standards), 16 (Ecosystem Restoration
fee), 17–19 (meals and rooms tax), 20–21 (rental car tax), and 22 (Ecosystem
Restoration Program Fund) shall take effect on July 1, 2015.
( Committee Vote: 7-1-1)
Rep. Partridge of Windham,
for the Committee on
Agriculture and
Forest Products,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as
recommended by the Committee on
Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources
and
when further amended as follows:
First:
By striking Secs. 1–9 in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the
following:
* * * Findings; Agricultural Water Quality * * *
Sec. 1.
FINDINGS AND PURPOSE; AGRICULTURAL WATER QUALITY
(a)
Findings.
For the purpose of Secs. 1–9b of this act, the General
Assembly finds that:
(1)
Significant State, federal, and private financial resources have been
expended over the past 20 years to address water quality issues in the State of
Vermont, such as the cleanup of Lake Champlain.
(2)
Despite significant funding and efforts to address the State’s water
quality issues, insufficient progress has been made.
(3)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked approval
of the initial total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan for Lake Champlain
despite the State’s reaching one-third of the TMDL’s goal in less than
10 years.
(4)
EPA is in the process of developing a new TMDL for Lake
Champlain, but Vermont may be responsible for the large majority of
implementation costs.
(5)
Much of the responsibility and cost for meeting the new EPA TMDL
may fall on Vermont’s farmers, who likely will be subject to additional
requirements under the accepted agricultural practices (AAPs) and other
agricultural water quality rules.
(6)
Although the AAP rules were adopted in 1995, there is a general
- 1989 -
lack of awareness in the “small farm” community about the AAPs, and the
Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets should educate small farm operators
in the State concerning the requirements of the AAPs.
(7)
The Vermont agricultural community recognizes that it has a role to
play in the future efforts to reduce nutrient loading and improve water quality
in the State, but additional State and federal assistance is necessary to fulfill
this role successfully, including technical and financial assistance to encourage
small farms to adopt and implement nutrient management plans.
(b)
Purpose.
It is the purpose of Secs. 1–9b of this act to:
(1)
improve the quality of the waters of Vermont;
(2)
authorize proactive measures designed to implement and ultimately
meet the impending TMDL for Lake Champlain and improve water quality
across the State;
(3)
identify cost-effective strategies for the agricultural community to
address
water
quality
issues,
including
best
management
practices
and
conservation practices of cover cropping, grassed waterways, manure drag
lines and injection, no-till production, and contour plowing; and
(4)
engage more agricultural operations in meaningful ways as part of
the State’s efforts to improve the quality of the waters of Vermont.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality;
Small Farm Certification and Inspection * * *
Sec. 2.
6 V.S.A. § 4858a is added to read:
§ 4858a.
SMALL FARM CERTIFICATION
(a)
Rulemaking; small farm certification.
On or before January 1, 2016,
the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall adopt by rule a
requirement that all small farms in the State submit to the Secretary a
certification of compliance with the accepted agricultural practices.
The rules
required by this subsection shall be adopted as part of the accepted agricultural
practices under section 4810 of this title.
(b)
Content of rules.
The rules for small farm certification shall:
(1)
Define
what
constitutes
a
small
farm
for
the
purposes
of
certification.
(2)
Require a small farm to be certified under this section in order to
operate in the State.
(3)
Require the owner or operator of a small farm to certify to the
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Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets at least every five years that the
owner or operator complies with the accepted agricultural practices adopted
under section 4810 of this title.
The certification shall identify the farm subject
to the certification and the person or persons who own or operate the farm.
The owner or operator of the farm shall certify compliance with the accepted
agricultural practices, including that:
(A)
The farm does not directly discharge wastes into the surface
waters from a discrete conveyance such as a pipe, ditch, or conduit without a
permit under 10 V.S.A. § 1258.
(B)
Manure stacking sites, fertilizer storage, and other nutrient source
storage on the farm are not located within 100 feet of private wells.
(C)
Manure is not stacked or stored on lands subject to annual
overflow from adjacent waters.
(D)
Manure is not field stacked on unimproved sites within 100 feet
of a surface water.
(E)
Barnyards, waste management systems, animal holding areas,
and production areas shall be constructed, managed, and maintained to prevent
runoff
of
waste
to
surface
water,
to
groundwater,
or
across
property
boundaries.
(F)
Nutrient application on the farm is based on soil testing by field
and is consistent with University recommendations, standard agricultural
practices, or a Secretary-approved nutrient management plan for the farm.
(G)
Manure on the farm is not applied within 25 feet of an adjoining
surface water, is not applied within 10 feet of a ditch, or is applied in such a
manner as to enter surface water.
(H)
Fertigation and chemigation equipment is operated only with an
adequate anti-siphon device between the system and the water source.
(I)
Cropland on the farm is cultivated in a manner that results in an
average soil loss of less than or equal to the soil loss tolerance for the prevalent
soil, known as 1T, as calculated through application of the Revised Universal
Soil Loss Equation, or through the application of similarly accepted models.
(J)
A vegetative buffer zone of perennial vegetation is maintained
between annual croplands and the top of the bank of adjoining surface waters
in a manner that complies with requirements of the accepted agricultural
practices.
(K)
Manure,
fertilizer,
pesticide
storage
structures,
and
farm
structures are not located within a floodway area as presented on National
- 1991 -
Flood Insurance Maps on file with town clerks or within a Fluvial Erosion
Hazard Zone as designated by municipal bylaw or ordinance.
(4)
Authorize the Secretary to visit small farms in the State for the
purposes of assessing compliance with the accepted agricultural practices and
consistency with a certification issued under this section.
The Secretary may
prioritize visits to small farms in the State based on identified water quality
issues posed by a farm.
(5)
Require notice to the Secretary of a change of ownership or a change
of operator of a small farm and the time frame by which a new owner or
operator shall be required to certify compliance with the accepted agricultural
practices under this section.
(c)(1)
Identification; ranking of water quality needs.
During a visit to a
small farm required under subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary shall
identify areas where the farm could benefit from capital, structural, or technical
assistance in order to improve or come into compliance with the accepted
agricultural practices.
(2)
Annually, the Secretary shall establish a priority ranking system for
small farms according to the degree of assistance required for compliance with
the accepted agricultural practices if the identified capital, structural, or
technical needs on the farm are not addressed.
(3)
Notwithstanding the requirements of section 4823 of this title, farms
identified under subdivision (2) of this subsection in the greatest level of need
in order to come into compliance with the accepted agricultural practices shall
be given first priority for State financial assistance under subchapter 3 of this
chapter, provided that the Secretary may give first priority for financial
assistance to any farm other than one identified under subdivision (2) of this
subsection when the Secretary determines that a farm needs assistance to
address a water quality issue that requires immediate abatement.
Sec. 3.
6 V.S.A. § 4860 is amended to read:
§ 4860.
REVOCATION; ENFORCEMENT
(a)
The secretary Secretary may revoke coverage under a general permit or,
an individual permit, or a small farm certification issued under this subchapter
after following the same process prescribed by section 2705 of this title
regarding the revocation of a handler’s license.
The secretary Secretary may
also seek enforcement remedies under sections 1, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 17 of this
title as well as assess an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title
from any person who fails to comply with any permit provision as required by
this subchapter or who violates the terms or conditions of coverage under any
- 1992 -
general permit or, any individual permit, or any small farm certification issued
under this subchapter.
However, notwithstanding provisions of section 15 of
this title to the contrary, the maximum administrative penalty assessed for a
violation of this subchapter shall not exceed $5,000.00 for each violation, and
the maximum amount of any penalty assessed for separate and distinct
violations of this chapter shall not exceed $50,000.00.
(b)
Any person who violates any provision of this subchapter or who fails
to comply with any order or the terms of any permit or certification issued in
accordance with this subchapter shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 for
each violation.
Each violation may be a separate offense and, in the case of a
continuing violation, each day’s continuance may be deemed a separate
offense.
(c)
Any person who knowingly makes any false statement, representation,
or certification in any application, record, report, plan, certification, or other
document filed or required to be maintained by this subchapter or by any
permit, rule, regulation, or order issued under this subchapter, or who falsifies,
tampers with, or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or
method required to be maintained by this subchapter or by any permit, rule,
regulation, or order issued under this subchapter shall upon conviction be
punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for each violation.
Each
violation may be a separate offense and, in the case of a continuing violation,
each day’s continuance may be deemed a separate offense.
Sec. 4.
6 V.S.A. § 4810 is amended to read:
§ 4810.
AUTHORITY; COOPERATION; COORDINATION
(a)
Agricultural land use practices.
In accordance with 10 V.S.A.
§ 1259(i), the secretary Secretary shall adopt by rule, pursuant to 3 V.S.A.
chapter 25 of Title 3, and shall implement and enforce agricultural land use
practices in order to reduce the amount of agricultural pollutants entering the
waters of the state State.
These agricultural land use practices shall be created
in two categories, pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(1)
“Accepted Agricultural Practices” (AAPs) shall be standards to be
followed in conducting agricultural activities in this state State.
These
standards shall address activities which have a potential for causing pollutants
to enter the groundwater and waters of the state State, including dairy and
other livestock operations plus all forms of crop and nursery operations and
on-farm or agricultural fairground, registered pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 3902,
livestock and poultry slaughter and processing activities.
The AAPs shall
include, as well as promote and encourage, practices for farmers in preventing
pollutants from entering the groundwater and waters of the state State when
- 1993 -
engaged in, but not limited to, animal waste management and disposal, soil
amendment
applications,
plant
fertilization,
and
pest
and
weed
control.
Persons engaged in farming, as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6001, who follow these
practices shall be presumed to be in compliance with water quality standards.
AAPs shall be practical and cost effective to implement.
The AAPs for
groundwater shall include a process under which the agency Agency shall
receive, investigate, and respond to a complaint that a farm has contaminated
the drinking water or groundwater of a property owner.
(2)
“Best Management Practices” (BMPs) may be required by the
secretary Secretary on a case by case case-by-case basis.
Before requiring
BMPs,
the secretary Secretary shall
determine
that
sufficient
financial
assistance
is
available
to
assist
farmers
in
achieving
compliance
with
applicable BMPs.
BMPs shall be practical and cost effective to implement.
(b)
Cooperation and coordination.
The secretary of agriculture, food and
markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall coordinate with the
secretary of natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources in implementing
and enforcing programs, plans, and practices developed for reducing and
eliminating agricultural non-point source pollutants and discharges
from
concentrated animal feeding operations.
The secretary of agriculture, food and
markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the secretary of
natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources shall develop a memorandum
of understanding for the non-point program describing program administration,
grant negotiation, grant sharing, and how they will coordinate watershed
planning activities to comply with Public Law 92-500.
The secretary of
agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets and
the secretary of the agency of natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources
shall also develop a memorandum of understanding according to the public
notice
and
comment
process
of
10
V.S.A.
§
1259(i)
regarding
the
implementation of the federal concentrated animal feeding operation program
and the relationship between the requirements of the federal program and the
state State agricultural water quality requirements for large, medium, and small
farms under chapter 215 of this title.
The memorandum of understanding shall
describe program administration, permit issuance, an appellate process, and
enforcement
authority
and
implementation.
The
memorandum
of
understanding shall be consistent with the federal National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System permit regulations for discharges from
concentrated
animal feeding operations.
The allocation of duties under this chapter between
the secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food
and Markets and the secretary of natural resources Secretary of Natural
Resources shall
be
consistent
with
the secretary’s Secretary’s duties,
established under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1258(b), to comply with Public
- 1994 -
Law
92-500.
The secretary
of
natural
resources Secretary
of
Natural
Resources shall be the state State lead person in applying for federal funds
under Public Law 92-500, but shall consult with the secretary of agriculture,
food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets during the
process.
The agricultural non-point source program may compete with other
programs for competitive watershed projects funded from federal funds.
The
secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall be represented in reviewing these projects for funding.
Actions
by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of Agriculture,
Food and Markets under this chapter concerning agricultural non-point source
pollution shall be consistent with the water quality standards and water
pollution control requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapter 47 of Title 10 and the
federal Clean Water Act as amended.
In addition, the secretary of agriculture,
food and markets Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall coordinate
with the secretary of natural resources Secretary of Natural Resources in
implementing and enforcing programs, plans, and practices developed for the
proper management of composting facilities when those facilities are located
on a farm.
(c)
On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall amend by rule the accepted agricultural practices required under
this section to include requirements for the certification of small farms under
section 4858a of this title.
The rules adopted under this section shall be at least
as stringent as the requirements of section 4858a of this title.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality; Corrective Actions * * *
Sec. 5.
6 V.S.A. § 4812 is amended to read:
§ 4812.
CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
(a)
When the secretary of agriculture, food and markets Secretary of
Agriculture, Food and Markets determines that a person engaged in farming is
managing a farm using practices which are inconsistent with the practices
defined by requirements of this chapter or rules adopted under this subchapter,
the secretary Secretary may issue a written warning which shall be served in
person or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
The warning shall include
a brief description of the alleged violation, identification of this statute and
applicable rules, a recommendation for corrective actions that may be taken by
the person, along with a summary of federal and state assistance programs
which may be utilized by the person to remedy the violation and a request for
an abatement schedule from the person according to which the practice shall be
altered.
The person shall have 30 days to respond to the written warning and
shall provide an abatement schedule for curing the violation and a description
of the corrective action to be taken to cure the violation.
If the person fails to
- 1995 -
respond to the written warning within this period or to take corrective action to
change the practices in order to protect water quality, the secretary Secretary
may act pursuant to subsection (b) of this section in order to protect water
quality.
(b)
After an opportunity for a hearing, the secretary The Secretary may:
(1)
issue cease and desist orders and administrative penalties in
accordance with the requirements of sections 15, 16, and 17 of this title; and
(2)
institute appropriate proceedings on behalf of the agency Agency to
enforce this subchapter.
(c)
Whenever the secretary Secretary believes that any person engaged in
farming is in violation of this subchapter or rules adopted thereunder, an action
may be brought in the name of the agency Agency in a court of competent
jurisdiction to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction the continuation
or repetition of the violation.
The court may issue temporary or permanent
injunctions, and other relief as may be necessary and appropriate to curtail any
violations.
(d)
The secretary may assess administrative penalties in accordance with
sections 15, 16, and 17 of this title against any farmer who violates a cease and
desist order or other order issued under subsection (b) of this section.
[Repealed.]
(e)
Any person subject to an enforcement order or an administrative
penalty who is aggrieved by the final decision of the secretary Secretary may
appeal to the superior court Superior Court within 30 days of the decision.
The
administrative judge may specially assign an environmental Environmental
judge to superior court Superior Court for the purpose of hearing an appeal.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality; Livestock Exclusion * * *
Sec. 6.
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 8 is added to read:
Subchapter 8.
Livestock Exclusion
§ 4971.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter:
(1)
“Livestock” means cattle, sheep, goats, equines, fallow deer, red
deer,
American
bison,
swine,
water
buffalo,
poultry,
pheasant,
Chukar
partridge, Coturnix quail, camelids, ratites, and, as necessary, other animals
designated by the Secretary by rule.
(2)
“Waters” shall have the same meaning as in 10 V.S.A. § 1251(13).
§ 4972.
PURPOSE
- 1996 -
The purpose of this subchapter is to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture,
Food and Markets to require exclusion of livestock from a water of the State
where continued access to the water by livestock poses a high risk of violating
the accepted agricultural practices.
§ 4973.
LIVESTOCK EXCLUSION; PERMIT CONDITION
As a condition of a small farm certification, an animal waste permit, or a
large farm permit issued under this chapter, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food
and Markets may require exclusion of livestock from a water of the State
where continued access to the water by livestock poses a high risk of violating
the accepted agricultural practices.
* * * Seasonal Exemption for Manure Application * * *
Sec. 7.
6 V.S.A. § 4816 is added to read:
§ 4816.
SEASONAL APPLICATION OF MANURE
(a)
Unless authorized under subsection (b) of this section, a person shall
not apply manure to land in the State:
(1)
between December 15 and April 1 of any calendar year; or
(2)
between December 1 and December 15 and between April 1 and
April 30 of any calendar year when prohibited under subsection (c) of this
section.
(b)
Seasonal exemption.
(1)
The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Market may authorize an
exemption to the prohibition on the application of manure to land in the State
between December 15 and April 1 of any calendar year or during any period
established under subsection (c) of this section when manure is prohibited from
application.
An exemption issued under this section may authorize land
application of manure on a weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis or in authorized
regions, areas, or fields in the State, provided that the requirements of
subdivision (2) of this subsection are complied with.
(2)
Any exemption issued under this subsection shall:
(A)
prohibit application of manure:
(i)
in areas with established channels of concentrated stormwater
runoff to surface waters, including ditches and ravines;
(ii)
in nonharvested permanent vegetative buffers;
(iii)
in a nonfarmed wetland, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A.
§ 902(5);
- 1997 -
(iv)
within 50 feet of a potable water supply, as that term is
defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1972(6);
(v)
to fields exceeding tolerable soil loss; and
(vi)
to saturated soils;
(B)
establish requirements for the application of manure when frozen
or
snow-covered
soils
prevent
effective
incorporation
at
the
time
of
application;
(C)
require manure to be applied according to a nutrient management
plan; and
(D)
establish the maximum tons of manure that may be applied per
acre during any one application.
(c)
Restriction on application.
The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets may by procedure prohibit the application of manure to land in the
State between December 1 and December 15 and April 1 and April 30 of any
calendar year when the Secretary determines that due to weather conditions,
soil conditions, or other limitations, application of manure to land would pose
a significant potential of discharge or runoff to State waters.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality; Training * * *
Sec. 8.
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 9 is added to read:
Subchapter 9.
Agricultural Water Quality Certification Training
§ 4981.
AGRICULTURAL
WATER
QUALITY
CERTIFICATION
TRAINING; RULEMAKING
(a)
On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall adopt by procedure requirements for training classes or programs
for owners or operators of small farms, medium farms, or large farms certified
or permitted under this chapter regarding:
(1)
the prevention of discharges, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A.
§ 1251(3); and
(2)
the mitigation and management from farms of stormwater runoff, as
that term is defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1264.
(b)
Any training required by procedure under this section shall:
(1)
address the existing statutory and regulatory requirements for
operation of a large, medium, or small farm in the State; and
(2)
address the management practices and technical and financial
resources available to assist in compliance with statutory or regulatory
- 1998 -
agricultural requirements.
* * * Agricultural Water Quality;
Certification of Custom Applicators * * *
Sec. 9.
6 V.S.A. chapter 215, subchapter 10 is added to read:
Subchapter 10.
Certification of Custom Applicators of Manure,
Nutrients, or Sludge
§ 4987.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter:
(1)
“Custom applicator” means a person who applies manure, nutrients,
or sludge to land and who charges or collects other consideration for the
service.
(2)
“Manure” means livestock waste that may also contain bedding,
spilled feed, water, or soil.
(3)
“Seasonal employee” means a person who:
(A)
works for a custom applicator for 20 weeks or fewer in a
calendar year; and
(B)
works in a job scheduled to last 20 weeks or fewer.
(4)
“Sludge” means any solid, semisolid, or liquid generated from a
municipal, commercial, or industrial wastewater treatment plant or process,
water supply treatment plant, air pollution control facility, or any other such
waste having similar characteristics and effects.
§ 4988.
CERTIFICATION OF CUSTOM APPLICATOR
(a)
On or before January 1, 2015, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets shall adopt by rule a process by which a custom applicator shall be
certified to operate within the State.
The certification process shall require a
custom applicator to complete eight hours of training over each five-year
period regarding:
(1)
application methods or techniques to minimize the runoff of
land-applied manure, nutrients, or sludge to waters of the State; and
(2)
identification of weather or soil conditions that increase the risk of
runoff of land-applied manure, nutrients, or sludge to waters of the State.
(b)
Beginning January 1, 2016, a custom applicator shall not apply manure,
nutrients, or sludge unless certified by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and
Markets.
- 1999 -
(c)
A custom applicator certified under this section may train seasonal
employees in methods or techniques to minimize runoff to surface waters and
to identify weather or soil conditions that increase the risk of runoff.
A custom
applicator that trains a seasonal employee under this subsection shall be liable
for damages done and liabilities incurred by a seasonal employee who
improperly applies manure, nutrients, or sludge.
(d)
The requirements of this section shall not apply to an owner or operator
of a farm applying manure, nutrients, or sludge to a field that he or she owns or
controls.
* * * Agricultural Stream Alteration * * *
Sec. 9a.
6 V.S.A. § 4810a is added to read:
§ 4810a.
AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES; STREAMS
(a)
As used in this section:
(1)
“Instream material” means:
(A)
all gradations of sediment from silt to boulders;
(B)
ledge rock; or
(C)
large woody debris in the bed of a perennial stream or within the
banks of a perennial stream.
(2)
“Intermittent stream” means any stream or stream segment of
significant length that is not a perennial stream.
(3)
“Large woody debris” means any piece of wood within a perennial
stream with a diameter of 10 or more inches and a length of 10 or more feet
that is detached from the soil where it grew.
(4)
“Perennial stream” means a stream or portion, segment, or reach of a
stream, generally exceeding 0.5 square miles in watershed size, in which
surface flows are not frequently or consistently interrupted during normal
seasonal low flow periods.
Perennial streams that begin flowing subsurface
during low flow periods, due to natural geologic conditions, remain defined as
perennial.
“Perennial stream” shall not mean standing waters in wetlands,
lakes, and ponds.
(5)
“Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
(6)
“Stream” means a current of water that flows at any time at a rate of
less than 1.5 cubic feet per second and exhibits evidence of sediment transport.
A stream shall include the full length and width, including the bed and banks
of any watercourse, including rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, and branches,
which experience perennial flow.
“Stream” shall not include swales, roadside
- 2000 -
ditches, or ditches or other constructed channels primarily associated with land
drainage or water conveyance through or around private infrastructure.
(b)
On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary shall amend the accepted
agricultural practices to include requirements for agricultural activities that
alter or impact streams in the State.
The accepted agricultural practices for
stream activities shall:
(1)
prohibit the discharge or deposit of manure, milk house waste,
compost, or other waste in a stream; and
(2)
require authorization from the Secretary, prior to any change,
alteration, or modification of the course, current, or cross section of a perennial
stream in this State either by movement, fill, or excavation of 10 cubic yards or
more of instream material in any year.
(c)
The Secretary shall authorize an agricultural activity that alters or
impacts streams in the State if the activity:
(1)
will not adversely affect the public safety by increasing flood or
fluvial erosion hazards;
(2)
will not significantly damage fish life or wildlife;
(3)
will not significantly damage the rights of riparian owners; and
(4)
in case of any waters designated as outstanding resource waters, will
not adversely affect the values sought to be protected by designation.
(d)
Prior to issuing an authorization under subdivision (b)(2) of this section,
the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Natural Resources regarding
appropriate management measures to be used in conducting any authorized
activity.
Sec. 9b.
32 V.S.A. § 5811(21) is amended to read:
(21)
“Taxable income” means federal taxable income determined
without regard to 26 U.S.C. § 168(k) and:
(A)
Increased by the following items of income (to the extent such
income is excluded from federal adjusted gross income):
* * *
(B)
Decreased by the following items of income (to the extent such
income is included in federal adjusted gross income):
(i)
income from United States government obligations;
(ii)
with respect to adjusted net capital gain income as defined in
- 2001 -
(I)
if the taxpayer is aged 70 years of age or older as of the last
day of the tax year, or for adjusted net capital gain income from the sale of a
farm or from the sale of standing timber, each as defined in subdivision (27) of
this section, 40 percent of adjusted net capital gain income but the total amount
of decrease under this subdivision (ii)(I) shall not exceed 40 percent of federal
taxable income; provided, however, that a taxpayer aged 70 years of age or
older as of the last day of the tax year may elect to subtract his or her adjusted
net capital gains pursuant to subdivision (21)(B)(ii)(II) of this section.
(II)
for taxpayers aged 70 years of age or older as of the last
day of the tax year who so elect and for all other capital gain income, the first
$2,500.00 of adjusted net capital gain income; and
(iii)
recapture of State and local income tax deductions not taken
against Vermont income tax; and
(iv)
financial assistance received from the State under 6 V.S.A.
chapter 215 for the purpose of encouraging farmers in the State to invest in
infrastructure or practices to improve water quality.
Second:
By striking Sec. 15 (best management practices tax credit) in its
entirety and inserting in lieu thereof “Sec. 15.
[Deleted]”
Third:
By striking Sec. 23 (report on use value appraisal program; AAPs)
in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof “Sec. 23.
[Deleted]”
Fourth:
By striking Sec. 24 in its entirety and inserting in lieu therof the
following:
Sec. 24.
EFFECTIVE DATES
(a)
This section and Secs. 1 (agricultural findings), 2–4 (small farm
certification rules), 5 (Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets corrective
action), 6 (livestock exclusion), 7 (seasonal exemption for application of
manure), 9 (custom applicator certification), 9a (agricultural stream alteration),
10 (stormwater model bylaw), 11 (water quality data coordination), 12
(shoreland contractor certification), 13 (financing; technical assistance for
forestry), 15 (agricultural best management practices tax credit), and 23 (AAP;
use value appraisal report) shall take effect on passage.
(b)
Secs. 8 (agricultural water quality certification) and 9b (income tax
exemption; water quality assistance) shall take effect on January 1, 2015.
(c)
Secs. 14 (town road and bridge standards), 16 (Ecosystem Restoration
fee), 17–19 (meals and rooms tax), 20–21 (rental car tax), and 22 (Ecosystem
Restoration Program Fund) shall take effect on July 1, 2015.
( Committee Vote: 10-0-0)
- 2002 -
Rep. Ram of Burlington,
for the Committee on
Ways and Means,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the
Committee on
Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources and Agriculture and
Forest Products
and when further amended as follows:
First:
In Sec. 2, 6 V.S.A. § 4858a, in subsection (a), by striking “On or
before January 1, 2016, the” and inserting in lieu thereof The.
Second:
In Sec. 4, 6 V.S.A. § 4810, in subsection (c), by striking “On or
before January 1, 2016, the” and inserting in lieu thereof The.
Third:
In Sec. 8, in 6 V.S.A. § 4981, in subsection (a), by striking “On or
before January 1, 2016, the” and inserting in lieu thereof The.
Fourth:
In Sec. 9, in 6 V.S.A. § 4988, in subsection (a), by striking “On or
before January 1, 2015, the” and inserting in lieu thereof The.
Fifth:
In Sec. 9, in 6 V.S.A. § 4988, in subsection (b), by striking
“Beginning January 1, 2016, a” and inserting in lieu thereof A.
Sixth:
In Sec. 9a, 6 V.S.A. § 4810a, in subsection (b), by striking “On or
before January 1, 2016, the” and inserting in lieu thereof The.
Seventh:
By striking out Sec. 9b (agricultural water quality tax credit) in its
entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 9b.
[Deleted.]
Eighth:
In Sec. 10, 10 V.S.A. § 1264, in subdivision (b)(12), in the second
sentence, by striking “Beginning on July 1, 2014, the” and inserting in lieu
thereof The.
Ninth:
In Sec. 12, in subdivision (a)(1), by striking “section 1264 of this
title” and inserting in lieu thereof 10 V.S.A. § 1264.
Tenth:
In Sec. 12, by striking out subsections (b) and (c) in their entirety
and inserting new subsections (b) and (c) to read:
(b)
Voluntary
certification.
The
Agency
of Natural
Resources,
in
consultation with the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, shall
develop an optional shoreland erosion control certification program.
The
program shall include training related to the disturbance of soil, clearance of
vegetation, and construction of impervious surfaces of more than 1,000 square
feet in a shoreland area.
The voluntary certification program shall end after
three years of operation.
(c)
Report.
After two years of operation of the certification program, the
Agency of Natural Resources shall report to the House and Senate Committees
on Natural Resources and Energy and the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife
and Water Resources
regarding the voluntary shoreland erosion control
certification program created in subsection (b) of this section.
The report shall
- 2003 -
include:
(1)
a general summary of the program’s success, including an overview
of shoreland projects constructed by certified persons;
(2)
the number of persons certified under the certification program;
(3)
a recommendation of whether the State should continue the
voluntary certification program, including whether to make the program
mandatory; and
(4)
any other recommendations for improving the program.
Eleventh:
By striking out Sec. 13 (portable skidder project appropriation)
in its entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 13.
[Deleted.]
Twelfth:
By striking out Sec. 14 (town highway match) in its entirety and
by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 14.
[Deleted.]
Thirteenth:
By striking out Sec. 16 and inserting in lieu thereof a new
Sec. 16 to read:
Sec. 16.
AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT ON WATER
QUALITY FINANCING
On or before January 15, 2015, the Secretary of Natural Resources, after
consultation with the Joint Fiscal Office, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food
and Markets, and the Secretary of Transportation, shall submit to the Senate
and
House
Committees
on
Natural
Resources
and
Energy,
the
House
Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, the House Committee on
Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the Senate and House
Committees on Appropriations a report that provides recommendations for
establishing financing mechanisms for the requirements of this act and other
State actions to improve the quality of State waters.
The report shall include:
(1)
a summary of the anticipated costs for each agency to implement the
requirements of this act;
(2)
a summary and analysis of existing State tax expenditures that affect
State water quality;
(3)
a recommendation for a financing mechanism that assesses property
owners in the State based on the property’s impact on water quality;
(4)
at least two alternative financing mechanisms in addition to the
recommendation under subdivision (3) of this section, which may include a
recommendation for an excise tax;
(5)
a summary of how each recommended financing mechanism would
be implemented, including administration and enforcement; and
- 2004 -
(6)
an estimated amount of revenue that each recommended financing
proposal would generate.
Fourteenth:
By striking out Sec. 17 (meals and rooms tax) in its entirety
and by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 17.
[Deleted.]
Fifteenth:
By striking out Sec. 18 (meals and rooms tax) in its entirety and
by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 18.
[Deleted.]
Sixteenth:
By striking out Sec. 19 (meals and rooms tax) in its entirety and
by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 19.
[Deleted.]
Seventeenth:
By striking out Sec. 20 (rental car tax) in its entirety and by
inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 20.
[Deleted.]
Eighteenth:
By striking out Sec. 21 (rental car tax) in its entirety and by
inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 21.
[Deleted.]
Nineteenth:
By striking out Sec. 22 (ecosystem restoration program fund)
in its entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof Sec. 22.
[Deleted.]
Twentieth:
By striking out Sec. 24 in its entirety and inserting in lieu
thereof a new Sec. 24 to read:
Sec. 24.
EFFECTIVE DATES
(a)
This section and Sec. 13 (water quality restoration financing report)
shall take effect on passage.
(b)
Secs. 1 (agricultural findings), 2–4 (small farm certification rules), 5
(Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets corrective action), 6 (livestock
exclusion), 7 (seasonal exemption for application of manure), 8 (agricultural
water quality certification), 9 (custom applicator certification), 9a (agricultural
stream alteration), 10 (stormwater model bylaw), 11 (water quality data
coordination), and 12 (shoreland contractor certification) shall take effect one
year after the General Assembly appropriates or otherwise generates funding
sufficient to fund the requirements of this act.
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
Rep. Toll of Danville,
for the Committee on
Appropriations,
recommends
the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the Committee on
Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources, Agriculture and Forest Products and
Ways and Means.
(Committee Vote: 9-2-0)
- 2005 -
Amendment
to
be
offered
by Rep.
Helm
of
Fair
Haven to
the
recommendation of amendment of the Committee on Fish, Wildlife &
Water Resources to H. 586
First:
By adding a Sec. 23a to read as follows:
Sec. 23a.
10 V.S.A. chapter 84 is added to read:
CHAPTER 84.
SHORELAND STANDARDS FOR STATE LANDS
§ 2681.
PURPOSE
The purpose of this chapter is to require the Agency of Natural Resources to
upgrade Agency-owned fishing access areas, beaches, roadways, and other
property in lake shoreland areas to meet the shoreland standards required for
private development in lake shoreland areas.
§ 2682.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
(1)
“Cleared area” means an area where vegetation is permanently
removed.
(2)
“Expansion” means an increase or addition to existing impervious
surface or an increase to existing cleared area.
(3)
“Impervious surface” means those manmade surfaces, including
paved and unpaved roads, parking areas, roofs, driveways, and walkways, from
which precipitation runs off rather than infiltrates.
(4)
“Lake” means a body of standing water, including a pond or a
reservoir, which may have natural or artificial water level control.
Private
ponds shall not be considered lakes.
(5)
“Mean water level” means the mean water level of a lake as defined
in the Mean Water Level Rules of the Agency of Natural Resources adopted
(6)
“Private pond” means a body of standing water that is a natural
water body of not more than 20 acres located on property owned by one person
or an artificial water body of any size located on property owned by one
person.
A “private pond” shall include a reservoir specifically constructed for
one of the following purposes:
snowmaking storage, golf course irrigation,
stormwater management, or fire suppression.
(7)
“Protected shoreland area” means the land area located within
250 feet, horizontal distance, of the mean water level of a lake.
(8)
“State lands” means land or real property owned or controlled by the
- 2006 -
Agency of Natural Resources, including State parks, State forests, and State
wildlife management areas.
(9)
“Stormwater runoff” means precipitation and snowmelt that does not
infiltrate into the soil, including material dissolved or suspended in it, but does
not include discharges from undisturbed natural terrain or wastes from
combined sewer overflows.
(10)
“Vegetation” means all live trees, shrubs, and other plants.
Vegetation does not mean grass.
§ 2683.
CONSERVATION OF SHORELANDS ON STATE LANDS
(a)
On or before July 1, 2016, the Agency of Natural Resources shall
implement the following management standards within protected shoreland
areas on State lands:
(1)
All cleared area and impervious surface shall be at least 100 feet
from the mean water level, except:
(A)
when compliance would be inconsistent and or in conflict with
applicable federal requirements for the management of a parcel of land held by
the Agency;
(B)
boat ramps for fish and wildlife access areas are allowed within
100 feet of the mean water level of a lake, provided that the ramp shall be
designed to prevent or reduce runoff of stormwater to a surface water; and
(C)
water dependent, public recreational uses of no more than
100 square feet of impervious surface or cleared area may be maintained or
established within 100 feet of the mean water level of a lake, provided that
impervious surface or cleared area authorized under this subdivision shall not
exceed 20 percent of the State lands within the protected shoreland area.
(2)
A buffer strip of vegetation that meets the requirements of section
2684 of this title shall be established and preserved within an area of 100 feet
from the mean water level of a lake, except that:
(A)
a single footpath not to exceed six feet in width is allowed within
the vegetated buffer to allow access to the mean water level of a lake; and
(B)
impervious surface or cleared area authorized under subdivisions
(a)(1)(A) and (B) is allowed in the vegetated buffer.
(3)
Impervious surface or cleared area allowed in the protected
shoreland area may only be expanded away from the mean water level of a
lake.
(4)
Any proposed cleared area or impervious surface within a protected
- 2007 -
shoreland area shall be sited on a slope of less than 20 percent, or the
impervious surface or cleared area within the protected shoreland area shall be
sited on a stable slope with minimal erosion and minimal negative impacts to
water quality, except when compliance would be inconsistent or in conflict
with applicable federal requirements for the management of a parcel of land
held by the Agency.
(b)
The Secretary of Natural Resources shall retrofit all State lands that do
not comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section unless the
Citizens Advisory Committee on the Shorelands of State Lands grants a
variance under section 2685 of this title from the requirements of this section.
§ 2684.
VEGETATION
MANAGEMENT
OF
LAKE
SHORELAND
BUFFERS
(a)
Within the vegetated buffer strip required under section 2683 of this
title, selective cutting of trees is allowed, provided that a well-distributed stand
of trees and other natural vegetation is maintained.
(b)
A “well-distributed stand of trees adjacent to a lake” shall be defined as
maintaining a minimum rating score of 16 in each 25-foot by 25-foot
rectangular area in the buffer strip as determined by the following rating
system.
(1)
Diameter of tree at 4-1/2 feet above
Points
ground level (inches)
2–< 4 in.
1
4–< 8 in.
2
8–< 12 in.
4
12 in. or greater
8
(2)
The following shall govern in applying this point system:
(A)
25-foot by 25-foot rectangular plots shall be established within a
vegetated buffer where a property owner or lessee proposes clearing within the
buffer.
(B)
Each successive plot must be adjacent to but not overlap a
previous plot.
(C)
Any plot not containing the required points must have no
vegetation removed except as otherwise allowed by rules adopted under this
section.
(D)
Any plot containing the required points may have vegetation
- 2008 -
removed down to the minimum points required or as otherwise allowed by
rules adopted under this chapter.
(E)
Where conditions permit, no more than 50 percent of the points
on any 25-foot by 25-foot rectangular area may consist of trees greater than
12 inches in diameter.
(F)
No more than 40 percent of the total volume of trees four inches
or more in diameter, measured at four and one-half feet above ground level,
may be removed in any 10-year period.
(G)
Existing vegetation under three feet in height and other ground
cover, including leaf litter and the forest duff layer, shall not be cut, covered,
or removed, except to provide for a footpath or other permitted uses.
(H)
Pruning of tree branches on the bottom one-third of the tree is
allowed.
(c)
As used in this section, “other natural vegetation” means retaining
existing vegetation under three feet in height and other ground cover and
retaining at least five saplings less than two inches in diameter at four and
one-half feet above ground level for each 25-foot by 25-foot rectangle area.
If
five saplings do not exist, no woody stems less than two inches in diameter can
be removed until five saplings have been planted or rooted in the plot.
§ 2685.
CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE SHORELANDS
OF STATE LANDS
(a)
There is established a Citizens Advisory Committee on the Shorelands
of State Lands in order to oversee the Agency of Natural Resources’
compliance with the requirements of section 2683 of this title.
(b)
The Citizens Advisory Committee on the Shorelands of State Lands
shall consist of 11 members:
one senator appointed by the Committee on
Committees, one Representative appointed by the Speaker of the House, and
nine Vermont citizens, including one recommended by the Commissioner of
Forests, Parks and Recreation, who come from a variety of geographic
locations in Vermont appointed by the Governor.
The Citizens Advisory
Committee on the Shorelands of State Lands shall elect a chair by a majority
vote of its members. Legislative committee members shall serve two-year
terms that coincide with their term of office or until the biennial appointment
of successors.
Other advisory committee members shall be appointed for
three-year terms, except that initial appointments shall be for staggered terms.
(c)
The Citizens Advisory Committee on the Shorelands of State Lands
Committee:
(1)
shall review the actions and progress made by the Agency of Natural
- 2009 -
Resources in complying with the requirements of section 2683 of this title;
(2)
may grant to the Secretary of Natural Resources a variance from the
requirements of section 2683 of this title when the requirements of subsection
(d) of this section are met; and
(3)
shall report to the House and Senate Committees on Natural
Resources and Energy and the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water
Resources regarding the compliance by the Agency of Natural Resources with
the requirements of section 2682 of this title.
(d)(1)
The Citizens Advisory Committee on the Shorelands of State Lands
may grant a variance under this section if the Committee finds that:
(A)
the impervious surface or cleared area on State lands do not
negatively impact the water quality of a lake; and
(B)
the
Agency
of
Natural
Resources’
compliance
with
the
requirements of section 2683 of this title would involve the significant
expenditure of State funds without equal or greater benefits to water quality.
(2)
No variance shall be granted pursuant to this section except after
public notice and an opportunity for a public meeting and until the Citizens
Advisory Committee on the Shorelands of State Lands has considered the
relative interests of the Agency of Natural Resources and the general public.
§ 2685.
ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES
(a)
Any citizen of the State may commence a civil action against the
Agency of Natural Resources for alleged violations of section 2683 of this title.
(b)
A violation of section 2683 of this title by the Agency of Natural
Resources shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $2,000.00 and not
more than $10,000.00 per violation.
Second:
In Sec. 24, in subsection (a), by striking out “and” where it appears
before “23” and after “(AAP; use value appraisal report)”and before the period
by inserting , 23a (shoreland standards for State lands).
H. 883
An act relating to expanded prekindergarten–grade 12 school districts.
(Rep. Peltz of Woodbury
will speak for the Committee on
Education.)
Rep. Wilson of Manchester,
for the Committee on
Ways and Means,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the
Committee on
Education
and when further amended as follows:
* * * Prekindergarten–Grade 12 School Districts * * *
- 2010 -
Sec. 1.
16 V.S.A. chapter 135 is added to read:
CHAPTER
135.
PREKINDERGARTEN–GRADE
12
SCHOOL
DISTRICTS;
REALIGNMENT PROCESS
§ 4051.
PURPOSE
This act will encourage and support:
(1)
equity in the quality and variety of educational opportunities
available to students throughout the State;
(2)
operational efficiencies and cost savings by facilitating the sharing
of best practices and resources; and
(3)
better connections between schools and the community through
stronger school leadership.
§ 4052.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this act:
(1)
“Design Team” means the independent nine-member entity created
by this act to conduct statewide public hearings and develop a preliminary and
final Statewide Realignment Plan.
(2)
“Statewide Realignment Plan” or “the Plan” means the plan
developed and adopted pursuant to this act by which existing school districts
shall be realigned into 45–55 supervisory districts that are responsible for the
education of all resident students in prekindergarten through grade 12.
§ 4053.
GUIDELINES
(a)
The Statewide Realignment Plan required by this act shall be designed
to recognize:
(1)
each community’s unique character;
(2)
the tradition of community participation in the adoption of school
budgets;
(3)
historic relationships among communities;
(4)
existing connections between school districts;
(5)
ongoing discussions between school districts engaged in the regional
education district process set forth in 2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, as
amended by 2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156; and
(6)
potential obstacles caused by geography.
(b)
The Statewide Realignment Plan shall preserve current opportunities
for school choice and shall endeavor to enhance opportunities for public school
- 2011 -
choice.
§ 4054.
STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT PLAN
(a)
The Statewide Realignment Plan shall realign existing school districts
into at least 45 and no more than 55 supervisory districts that are responsible
for the education of all resident students in prekindergarten through grade 12
through educational opportunities that meet the educational quality standards
adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 165.
(b)
Under the Statewide Realignment Plan, each new district shall:
(1)
endeavor to have an average daily membership of between 1,000 and
4,000 students;
(2)
be governed by no more than one elected school board;
(3)
adopt one district budget;
(4)
have a common, districtwide education property tax rate;
(5)
negotiate districtwide collective bargaining agreements and employ
all licensed and nonlicensed personnel as employees of the new district;
(6)
be the local education agency as that term is defined in 20 U.S.C.
§ 7801(26); and
(7)
operate one or more career technical education (CTE) centers or
enter into an agreement for resident students to attend one or more CTE centers
not operated by the district, or both.
(c)(1)
To the extent feasible, the Statewide Realignment Plan shall not
realign a new district created under the regional education district (RED)
process set forth in 2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, as amended by 2012 Acts
and Resolves No. 156.
(2)
Under the RED process, existing school districts may realign into
districts that meet specific criteria.
Realignment follows the provisions of
16 V.S.A. chapter 11 governing the formation of unified union school districts
under which districts appoint a study committee and prepare a plan of
realignment that must be approved by both the State Board and the electorate
of the districts.
A plan of realignment may address issues of particular interest
to the local communities, such as representation on the new district’s school
board, the manner in which school budgets are voted, and the conditions under
which the new district would be permitted to close an existing school building.
If approved, the plan becomes the new district’s articles of agreement.
(d)
During each of the first three years of realignment under the Plan:
(1)
the equalized homestead property tax rate for each town within a
- 2012 -
new supervisory district shall not increase or decrease by more than five
percent in a single year; and
(2)
the household income percentage shall not increase or decrease by
more than five percent in a single year.
(e)
During and after the creation of supervisory districts under this act,
districts are encouraged to explore innovative ways to expand opportunities for
students and to seek waivers of State Board rules or other legal requirements
that inhibit implementation.
Innovations may address any area of education
policy, including instructional practices and principles; the use of technology
and data systems to improve instruction and expand learning opportunities;
services provided to discrete populations of students, including gifted and
talented students, students with limited English proficiency, and students at
risk of academic failure or expulsion; early education and school readiness;
and preparation and counseling of students for postsecondary education,
training, and employment.
§ 4055.
DESIGN TEAM
(a)
There is created a Design Team to be composed of nine members who
are geographically representative, have a broad range of knowledge of and
experience in the Vermont education system and in Vermont communities, and
represent diverse points of view, opinions, and interests
.
(b)
The nine members shall be appointed as follows:
(1)
On or before June 1, 2014, the Speaker of the House, the Committee
on Committees, and the Governor shall each choose three members.
One of
the members selected by the Speaker and one of the members selected by the
Committee on Committees shall have experience serving on a school board in
Vermont.
One of the members selected by the Governor shall be the Chair of
the State Board of Education or the Chair’s designee.
No member of the
Design Team shall be a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate
during the period of appointment.
(2)
In order to ensure the diversity of knowledge, experience, and
opinions required by this section, the Speaker, the Committee on Committees,
and the Governor, or their designees, shall work collectively to identify
potential candidates for appointment.
(3)
The Speaker, the Committee on Committees, and the Governor shall
jointly appoint one of the nine members to serve as Chair of the Design Team.
(c)
The Design Team shall conduct its meetings pursuant to 1 V.S.A.
chapter 5, subchapter 2.
(d)
The Design Team shall have the authority to delegate to one or more of
- 2013 -
its members any responsibility or power granted to it in this act, including the
responsibility to conduct public hearings.
(e)
The Design Team shall have the administrative, technical, and legal
assistance of the Agency of Education.
(f)(1)
For attendance at meetings during adjournment of the General
Assembly, any legislative members of the Design Team shall be entitled to per
diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses pursuant to 2 V.S.A.
(2)
Members of the Design Team who are not employees of the State
and who are not otherwise compensated or reimbursed for their participation
shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses
pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010.
(g)
The Design Team shall cease to exist on July 1, 2017.
§ 4056.
PRELIMINARY STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT PLAN
On or before April 1, 2016, the Design Team shall:
(1)
consult with local education leaders, including members of school
boards in every supervisory union;
(2)
conduct no fewer than ten public hearings throughout the State to
inform development of the Statewide Realignment Plan;
(3)
conduct independent research and seek data, advice, and assistance
from any individual and any public or private entity to inform development of
the Statewide Realignment Plan;
(4)
develop a preliminary Statewide Realignment Plan, which shall
include a schedule and process by which transition to the new districts shall be
fully implemented on or before July 1, 2020;
(5)
make the preliminary Statewide Realignment Plan available to the
public; and
(6)
submit the preliminary Statewide Realignment Plan to the General
Assembly for review.
§ 4057.
FINAL STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT PLAN
(a)
Between April 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017, the Design Team shall:
(1)
conduct no fewer than ten public hearings throughout the State and
consult with local educational leaders concerning the preliminary Statewide
Realignment Plan;
- 2014 -
(2)
conduct any additional independent research and seek any additional
data, advice, and assistance the Design Team determines to be necessary to
inform development of the final Statewide Realignment Plan; and
(3)
develop a final Statewide Realignment Plan, which shall include a
detailed process and time line by which transition to the new districts will be
fully implemented on or before July 1, 2020.
(b)
On or before January 1, 2017, the Design Team shall make the final
Statewide Realignment Plan available to the public and submit it to the
General Assembly
§ 4058.
STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS
The final Statewide Realignment Plan presented to the General Assembly
pursuant to § 4057 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2017 unless
disapproved by explicit legislative action before that date.
* * * Joint Action and Regional Education Districts; Incentives * * *
Sec. 2.
REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES AND INCENTIVE GRANTS
Nothing in this act shall be construed to restrict or repeal the following:
(1)
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 2 (reimbursement of up to
$5,000.00 for fees relating to initial exploration of joint activity by school
districts or supervisory unions).
(2)
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 4 (reimbursement of up to
$10,000.00 for fees relating to joint activity other than a merger by school
districts or supervisory unions).
(3)
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 5 (reimbursement of up to
$20,000.00 in fees relating to analysis of supervisory unions’ potential
merger).
(4)
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 6 ($150,000.00 facilitation
grant for successful merger of supervisory unions).
(5)
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 11 (facilitation grant for
successful merger of school districts other than a RED).
(6)
2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, Sec. 4, as amended by 2012 Acts
and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 13 (financial and other incentives for successful
formation of a RED).
* * * Supervisory Unions; Special Education; Transportation * * *
Sec. 3.
16 V.S.A. § 261a is amended to read:
§ 261a.
DUTIES OF SUPERVISORY UNION BOARD
- 2015 -
(a)
Duties.
The board of each supervisory union shall:
* * *
(6)
provide, or if agreed upon by unanimous vote of the supervisory
union board, coordinate the provision of special education services on behalf
of its member districts and, except as provided in section 144b of this title,
compensatory and remedial services, and provide or coordinate the provision
of other educational services as directed by the State Board or local boards;
provided, however, if a supervisory union determines that services would be
provided more efficiently and effectively in whole or in part at the district
level, then it may ask the Secretary to grant it a waiver from this provision;
(7)
employ a person or persons qualified to provide financial and student
data management services for the supervisory union and the member districts;
(8)
provide the following services for the benefit of member districts in
a manner that promotes the efficient use of financial and human resources,
which shall be provided pursuant to joint agreements under section 267 of this
title whenever feasible; provided, however, if a supervisory union determines
that services would be provided more efficiently and effectively in another
manner, then it may ask the Secretary to grant it a waiver from this
subdivision:
* * *
(E)
provide
transportation
or
arrange
for
the
provision
of
transportation, or both in any districts in which it is offered within the
supervisory union; [Repealed.]
* * *
(11)
on or before June 30 of each year, adopt a budget for the ensuing
school year; and
(12)
adopt supervisory union-wide truancy policies consistent with the
model protocols developed by the commissioner. ; and
(13)-(17) [Repealed.]
(13)
at the option of the supervisory union board,
provide transportation or arrange for the provision of transportation, or both, in
any districts in which it is offered within the supervisory union.
(14)–(17)
[Repealed.]
Sec. 4.
2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, Sec. 23(b), as amended by 2011 Acts
and Resolves No. 30, Sec. 1; 2011 Acts and Resolves No. 58, Sec. 34; and
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 20, is further amended to read:
(b)
Secs. 9 through 12 of this act shall take effect on passage and shall be
fully implemented on July 1, 2013, subject to the provisions of existing
contracts; provided, however, that the special education provisions of Sec. 9,
- 2016 -
16 V.S.A. § 261a(a)(6), and the transportation provisions of Sec. 9, 16 V.S.A.
§ 261a(a)(8)(E), shall be fully implemented on July 1, 2014.
Sec. 5.
2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, Sec. 18, as amended by 2011 Acts
and Resolves No. 30, Sec. 2; 2011 Acts and Resolves No. 58, Sec. 18; 2013
Acts and Resolves No. 56, Sec. 23; and 2014 Acts and Resolves No. 92,
Sec. 303, is further amended to read:
Sec. 18.
TRANSITION
(a)
Each A supervisory
union
shall
provide
for
any
transition
of
employment of special education and transportation employees by member
districts to employment by the supervisory union, pursuant to Sec. 9 of this act,
16 V.S.A. § 261a(a)(6) and (8)(E), by:
* * *
(b)
For purposes of this section and Sec. 9 of this act As used in this
section,
“special
education
employee”
shall
include
a
special
education
teacher,
a
special
education
administrator,
and
a
special
education
paraeducator, which means a teacher, administrator, or paraeducator whose job
assignment consists of providing special education services directly related to
students’ individualized education programs or to the administration of those
services.
Provided, however, that “special education employee” shall include a
“special education paraeducator” only if the supervisory union board elects to
employ some or all special education paraeducators because it determines that
doing so will lead to more effective and efficient delivery of special education
services to students.
If the supervisory union board does not elect to employ
all special education paraeducators, it must use objective, nondiscriminatory
criteria and identify specific duties to be performed when determining which
categories of special education paraeducators to employ.
(c)
Education-related parties to negotiations under either Title 16 or 21
shall incorporate in their current or next negotiations matters addressing the
terms and conditions of special education employees.
(d)
If a supervisory union has not entered into a collective bargaining
agreement
with
the
representative
of
its
prospective
special
education
employees by August 15, 2015, it shall provide the Secretary of Education
with a report identifying the reasons for not meeting the deadline and an
estimated date by which it expects to ratify the agreement.
[Repealed.]
Sec. 6.
24 V.S.A. § 5053a(a) is amended to read:
(a)
For purposes of As used in this section, the term “transferred employee”
means an employee under this chapter who transitioned from employment
solely by a school district to employment, wholly or in part, by a supervisory
- 2017 -
union pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 261a(a)(6) or (8)(E) as amended on June 3,
2010.
* * * North Bennington School District * * *
Sec. 7. NORTH BENNINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, on the day on
which the North Bennington School District ceases to exist as a discrete entity
and becomes realigned into a supervisory district pursuant to the provisions of
this act, title to the building that is currently owned by the North Bennington
School District and occupied by the Village School of North Bennington shall
transfer to the Village of North Bennington.
* * * Effective Date * * *
Sec. 8.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
( Committee Vote: 9-2-0)
S. 247
An act relating to the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries
Rep. Burditt of West Rutland,
for the Committee on
Human Services,
recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and
inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1.
18 V.S.A. § 4472 is amended to read:
§ 4472.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter:
(1)
“Bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” means a
treating or consulting relationship of not less than six months’ duration, in the
course of which a health care professional has completed a full assessment of
the
registered
patient’s
medical
history
and
current
medical
condition,
including a personal physical examination.
The six-month requirement shall
not apply if a patient has been diagnosed with:
(A)
a terminal illness,
(B)
cancer with distant metastases, or
(C) acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
* * *
(4) “Debilitating medical condition,” provided that, in the context of the
specific disease or condition described in subdivision (A) or (B) of this
- 2018 -
subdivision (4), reasonable medical efforts have been made over a reasonable
amount of time without success to relieve the symptoms, means:
(A)
cancer,
multiple
sclerosis,
positive
status
for
human
immunodeficiency
virus,
acquired
immune
deficiency
syndrome,
or
the
treatment of these conditions, if the disease or the treatment results in severe,
persistent, and intractable symptoms; or
(B) a disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic,
debilitating, and produces severe, persistent, and one or more of the following
intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe pain; severe
nausea; or seizures.
(5)
“Dispensary” means a nonprofit entity registered under section
4474e
of
this
title
which
acquires,
possesses,
cultivates,
manufactures,
transfers, transports, supplies, sells, or dispenses marijuana, marijuana-infused
products, and marijuana-related supplies and educational materials for or to a
registered patient who has designated it as his or her center and to his or her
registered caregiver for the registered patient’s use for symptom relief.
A
dispensary may provide marijuana for symptom relief to registered patients at
only one facility or location but may have a second location associated with
the dispensary where the marijuana is cultivated or processed.
Both locations
are considered to be part of the same dispensary.
(6)(A)
“Health care professional” means an individual licensed to
practice medicine under 26 V.S.A. chapter 23 or 33, an individual licensed as a
naturopathic physician under 26 V.S.A. chapter 81 who has a special license
endorsement authorizing the individual to prescribe, dispense, and administer
prescription medicines, an individual certified as a physician assistant under
26 V.S.A. chapter 31, or an individual licensed as an advanced practice
registered nurse under 26 V.S.A. chapter 28.
(B)
Except for naturopaths, this definition includes individuals who
are professionally licensed under substantially equivalent provisions in New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York.
* * *
(14)
“Transport”
means
the
movement
of
marijuana
and
marijuana-infused
products
from
registered
growing
locations
to
their
associated
dispensaries,
between
dispensaries,
to
registered
patients
and
registered caregivers in accordance with delivery protocols, or as otherwise
allowed under this subchapter.
(15)
“Usable marijuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of
marijuana, and any mixture or preparation thereof, and does not include the
seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.
- 2019 -
(15)(16)
“Use for symptom relief” means the acquisition, possession,
cultivation, use, transfer, or transportation of marijuana, or paraphernalia
relating to the administration of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects
of a registered patient’s debilitating medical condition which is in compliance
with all the limitations and restrictions of this subchapter.
For the purposes of
this
definition,
“transfer”
is
limited
to
the
transfer
of
marijuana
and
paraphernalia between a registered caregiver and a registered patient.
Sec. 2.
18 V.S.A. § 4474 is amended to read:
§ 4474.
REGISTERED CAREGIVERS; QUALIFICATION STANDARDS
AND PROCEDURES
(a)
A person may submit a signed application to the department of public
safety Department of Public Safety to become a registered patient’s registered
caregiver.
The department Department shall approve or deny the application
in writing within 30 days.
In accordance with rules adopted pursuant to
section 4474d of this title, the Department shall consider an individual’s
criminal history record when making a determination as to whether to approve
the application.
An applicant shall not be denied solely on the basis of a
criminal conviction that is not listed in subsection 4474g(e) of this title or
The department Department shall approve a registered
caregiver’s application and issue the person an authorization card, including
the caregiver’s name, photograph, and a unique identifier, after verifying:
(1)
the person will serve as the registered caregiver for one registered
patient only; and
(2)
the person has never been convicted of a drug-related crime.
(b)
Prior to acting on an application, the department Department shall
obtain from the Vermont criminal information center Crime Information
Center a Vermont criminal record, an out-of-state criminal record, and a
criminal record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the applicant.
For
purposes of this subdivision, “criminal record” means a record of whether the
person has ever been convicted of a drug-related crime.
Each applicant shall
consent to release of criminal records to the department Department on forms
substantially similar to the release forms developed by the center Center
pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 2056c.
The department Department shall comply with
all laws regulating the release of criminal history records and the protection of
individual
privacy.
The
Vermont criminal
information
center Crime
Information Center shall send to the requester any record received pursuant to
this section or inform the department of public safety Department that no
record exists.
If the department Department disapproves an application, the
department Department shall promptly provide a copy of any record of
- 2020 -
convictions and pending criminal charges to the applicant and shall inform the
applicant of the right to appeal the accuracy and completeness of the record
pursuant to rules adopted by the Vermont criminal information center Crime
Information Center.
No person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of
criminal record information to any person who would not be eligible to receive
the information pursuant to this subchapter.
(c)(1)
A Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, a
registered caregiver may serve only one registered patient at a time, and a
registered patient may have only one registered caregiver at a time.
(2)
A registered patient who is under 18 years of age may have two
registered caregivers.
Sec. 3.
18 V.S.A. § 4473(b) is amended to read:
(b)
The department of public safety Department of Public Safety shall
review
applications to become a
registered
patient using the
following
procedures:
(1)
A patient with a debilitating medical condition shall submit, under
oath, a signed application for registration to the department Department.
A
patient’s initial application to the registry shall be notarized, but subsequent
renewals shall not require notarization.
If the patient is under the age of 18
years of age, the application must be signed by both the patient and a parent or
guardian.
The application shall require identification and contact information
for the patient and the patient’s registered caregiver applying for authorization
under section 4474 of this title, if any, and the patient’s designated dispensary
under section 4474e of this title, if any.
The applicant shall attach to the
application
a
medical
verification
form
developed
by
the department
Department pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection.
* * *
Sec. 4.
18 V.S.A. § 4474d(e)–(g) are added to read:
(e)
The Department shall adopt rules for the issuance of a caregiver registry
identification card that shall include standards for approval or denial of an
application based on an individual’s criminal history record.
The rules shall
address whether an applicant who has been convicted of an offense listed in
subsection 4474g(e) of this title or 13 V.S.A. chapter 28 has been rehabilitated
and should be otherwise eligible for a caregiver registry identification card.
(f)
The Department shall adopt rules establishing protocols for the safe
delivery of marijuana to patients and caregivers.
(g)
The Department shall adopt rules for granting a waiver of the
dispensary possession limits in section 4474e of this title upon application of a
- 2021 -
dispensary for the purpose of developing and providing a product for symptom
relief to a registered patient who is under 18 years of age who suffers from
seizures.
Sec. 5.
18 V.S.A. § 4474e is amended to read:
§ 4474e.
DISPENSARIES; CONDITIONS OF OPERATION
(a)
A dispensary registered under this section may:
(1)
Acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, transfer, transport, supply,
sell,
and
dispense
marijuana,
marijuana-infused
products,
and
marijuana-related supplies and educational materials for or to a registered
patient who has designated it as his or her dispensary and to his or her
registered caregiver for the registered patient’s use for symptom relief.
For
purposes of this section, “transport” shall mean the movement of marijuana or
marijuana-infused
products
from
registered
growing
locations
to
their
associated dispensaries, between dispensaries, or as otherwise allowed under
this subchapter.
(A)
Marijuana-infused products shall include tinctures, oils, solvents,
and edible or potable goods.
Only the portion of any marijuana-infused
product that is attributable to marijuana shall count toward the possession
limits of the dispensary and the patient.
The department of public safety
Department of Public Safety shall establish by rule the appropriate method to
establish the weight of marijuana that is attributable to marijuana-infused
products.
(B)
Marijuana-related supplies shall include pipes, vaporizers, and
other items classified as drug paraphernalia under chapter 89 of this title.
(2)
Acquire marijuana seeds or parts of the marijuana plant capable of
regeneration from or dispense them to registered patients or their caregivers or
acquire them from another registered Vermont dispensary, provided that
records are kept concerning the amount and the recipient.
(3)(A)
Cultivate and possess at any one time up to 28 mature marijuana
plants, 98 immature marijuana plants, and 28 ounces of usable marijuana.
However, if a dispensary is designated by more than 14 registered patients, the
dispensary may cultivate and possess at any one time two mature marijuana
plants, seven immature plants, and two four ounces of usable marijuana for
every registered patient for which the dispensary serves as the designated
dispensary.
(B)
Notwithstanding
subdivision
(A) of
this
subdivision, if
a
dispensary is designated by a registered patient under 18 years of age who
qualifies for the registry because of seizures, the dispensary may apply to the
- 2022 -
Department for a waiver of the limits in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3)
if additional capacity is necessary to develop and provide an adequate supply
of a product for symptom relief for the patient.
The Department shall have
discretion whether to grant a waiver and limit the possession amounts in excess
of subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3) in accordance with rules adopted
pursuant to section 4474d of this title.
* * *
(d)(1)
A dispensary shall implement appropriate security measures to deter
and prevent the unauthorized entrance into areas containing marijuana and the
theft of marijuana and shall ensure that each location has an operational
security alarm system.
All cultivation of marijuana shall take place in an
enclosed, locked facility which is either indoors or otherwise not visible to the
public and which can only be accessed by principal officers and employees of
the dispensary who have valid registry identification cards.
The department of
public safety Department of Public Safety shall perform an annual on-site
assessment of each dispensary and may perform on-site assessments of a
dispensary without limitation for the purpose of determining compliance with
this subchapter and any rules adopted pursuant to this subchapter and may
enter a dispensary at any time for such purpose.
During an inspection, the
department Department may review the dispensary’s confidential records,
including its dispensing records, which shall track transactions according to
registered
patients’
registry
identification
numbers
to
protect
their confidentiality.
(2)(A)
A registered patient or registered caregiver may obtain marijuana
from the dispensary facility by appointment only.
(B)
A dispensary may deliver marijuana to a registered patient or
registered caregiver.
The marijuana shall be transported in a locked container.
(3)
The operating documents of a dispensary shall include procedures
for
the
oversight
of
the
dispensary
and
procedures
to
ensure
accurate
record-keeping.
(4)
A dispensary shall submit the results of an annual a financial audit to
the department of public safety Department of Public Safety no later than
60 days after the end of the dispensary’s first fiscal year, and every other year
thereafter.
The annual audit shall be conducted by an independent certified
public accountant, and the costs of any such audit shall be borne by the
dispensary.
The department Department may also periodically require, within
its discretion, the audit of a dispensary’s financial records by the department
Department.
(5)
A
dispensary
shall
destroy
or
dispose
of
marijuana,
- 2023 -
marijuana-infused products, clones, seeds, parts of marijuana that are not
usable for symptom relief or are beyond the possession limits provided by this
subchapter, and marijuana-related supplies only in a manner approved by rules
adopted by the department of public safety Department of Public Safety.
* * *
(n)
Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent a dispensary from acquiring,
possessing, cultivating, manufacturing, transferring, transporting, supplying,
selling, and dispensing hemp and hemp-infused products for symptom relief.
“Hemp” shall have the same meaning as provided in 6 V.S.A. § 562.
A
dispensary shall not be required to comply with the provisions of 6 V.S.A.
Sec. 6.
18 V.S.A. § 4474f is amended to read:
§
4474f.
DISPENSARY
APPLICATION,
APPROVAL,
AND
REGISTRATION
* * *
(b)
Within 30 days of the adoption of rules, the department Department
shall begin accepting applications for the operation of dispensaries.
Within
365 days of the effective date of this section, the department Department shall
grant registration certificates to four dispensaries, provided at least four
applicants apply and meet the requirements of this section.
No more than four
dispensaries shall hold valid registration certificates at one time.
The total
statewide number of registered patients who have designated a dispensary shall
not exceed 1,000 at any one time.
Any time a dispensary registration
certificate is revoked, is relinquished, or expires, the department Department
shall accept applications for a new dispensary.
If at any time after one year
after the effective date of this section fewer than four dispensaries hold valid
registration
certificates
in
Vermont,
the department
of
public
safety
Department of Public Safety shall accept applications for a new dispensary.
* * *
(g)
After a dispensary is approved but before it begins operations, it shall
submit the following to the department of public safety Department:
* * *
(4)
A registration fee of $20,000.00 for the first year of operation, and
an annual fee of $30,000.00 in subsequent years.
Sec. 7.
18 V.S.A. § 4474m is added to read:
§
4474m.
DEPARTMENT
OF
PUBLIC
SAFETY;
PROVISION
OF
EDUCATIONAL AND SAFETY INFORMATION
The Department of Public Safety shall provide educational and safety
- 2024 -
information developed by Vermont Department of Health to each registered
patient upon registration pursuant to section 4473 of this title, and to each
registered caregiver upon registration pursuant to section 4474 of this title.
Sec. 8.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REPORT; POST-TRAUMATIC
STRESS DISORDER
The Department of Health shall review and report on the existing research
on the treatment of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, as defined
by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders, as well as the existing research on the use of marijuana
for relief of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
The Department
shall report its findings to the General Assembly on or before January 15,
2015.
Sec. 9.
EFFECTIVE DATES
This section and Sec. 4 shall take effect on passage and the remaining
sections shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
and that after passage the title of the bill be amended to read: “An act relating
to the regulation of marijuana for symptom relief and dispensaries”
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
S. 252
An act relating to financing for Green Mountain Care
Rep. Fisher of Lincoln,
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:
* * * Intent and Principles * * *
Sec. 1.
LEGISLATIVE INTENT; FINDINGS; PURPOSE
(a)(1)
It is the intent of the General Assembly to continue moving forward
toward implementation of Green Mountain Care, a publicly financed program
of universal and unified health care.
(2)
It is the intent of the General Assembly not to change in any way the
benefits provided to Vermont residents by Medicare, the Federal Employees
Health Benefit Program, TRICARE, a retiree health program, or any other
health benefit program beyond the regulatory authority of the State of
Vermont.
(b)
The General Assembly finds that:
(1)
It has been three years since the passage of 2011 Acts and Resolves
- 2025 -
No. 48
(Act 48),
which
established
the
Green
Mountain
Care
Board,
authorized payment reform initiatives, and created the framework for the
Vermont Health Benefit Exchange and Green Mountain Care.
(2)
The Green Mountain Care Board currently regulates health insurance
rates, hospital budgets, and certificates of need.
In 2013, the Green Mountain
Care Board’s hospital budget review limited hospital growth to 2.7 percent, the
lowest annual growth rate in Vermont for at least the last 15 years.
The Green
Mountain Care Board issued four certificates of need and one conceptual
development phase certificate of need.
It also issued 31 health insurance rate
decisions and reduced by approximately five percent the rates proposed by
insurers in the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange.
(3)
In 2013, Vermont was awarded a three-year State Innovation Model
(SIM) grant of $45 million to improve health and health care and to lower
costs for Vermont residents.
The grant funds the creation of a sustainable
model of multi-payer payment and delivery reform, encouraging providers to
change the way they do business in order to deliver the right care at the right
time in the right setting.
The State has created a 300-person public-private
stakeholder group to work collaboratively on creating appropriate payment and
delivery system models.
Through this structure, care management models are
being coordinated across State agencies and health care providers, including
the Blueprint for Health, the Vermont Chronic Care Initiative, and accountable
care organizations.
(4)
From the SIM grant funds, the State recently awarded $2.6 million in
grants to health care providers for innovative pilot programs improving care
delivery or for creating the capacity and infrastructure for care delivery
reforms.
(5)
Three accountable care organizations (ACOs) have formed in
Vermont:
one led by hospitals, one led by federally qualified health centers,
and one led by independent physicians.
The Green Mountain Care Board has
approved payment and quality measures for ACOs, which create substantial
uniformity across payers and will provide consistent measurements for health
care providers.
(6)
The Vermont Health Benefit Exchange has completed its first open
enrollment period.
Vermont has more people enrolled through its Exchange
per capita than are enrolled in any other state-based Exchange, but many
Vermonters experienced difficulties during the enrollment period and not all
aspects of Vermont’s Exchange are fully functional.
(7)
According to the 2013 Blueprint for Health Annual Report, Vermont
residents receiving care from a patient-centered medical home and community
- 2026 -
health team had favorable outcomes over comparison groups in reducing
expenditures and reducing inpatient hospitalizations. As of December 31,
2013, 121 primary care practices were participating in the Blueprint for Health,
serving approximately 514,385 Vermonters.
(8)
The Agency of Human Services has adopted the modified adjusted
gross income standard under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,
further streamlining the Medicaid application process.
(9)
Vermonters currently spend over $2.5 billion per year on private
funding of health care through health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket
expenses.
Act 48 charts a course toward replacing that spending with a
publicly financed system.
(10)
There is no legislatively determined time line in Act 48 for the
implementation of Green Mountain Care.
A set of triggers focusing on
decisions about financing, covered services, benefit design, and the impacts of
Green Mountain Care must be satisfied, and a federal waiver received, before
launching Green Mountain Care.
In addition, the Green Mountain Care Board
must be satisfied that reimbursement rates for providers will be sufficient to
recruit and retain a strong health care workforce to meet the needs of all
Vermonters.
(11)
Act 48 required the Secretary of Administration to provide a
financing plan for Green Mountain Care by January 15, 2013.
The financing
plan delivered on January 24, 2013 did not “recommend the amounts and
necessary mechanisms to finance Green Mountain Care and any systems
improvements
needed
to
achieve
a
public-private
universal
health
care
system,” or recommend solutions to cross-border issues, as required by Sec. 9
of Act 48.
The longer it takes the Secretary to produce a complete financing
plan, the longer it will be until Green Mountain Care can be implemented.
(c)
In order to implement the next steps envisioned by Act 48 successfully,
it is appropriate to update the assumptions and cost estimates that formed the
basis for that act, evaluate the success of existing health care reform efforts,
and obtain information relating to key outstanding policy decisions.
It is the
intent of the General Assembly to obtain a greater understanding of the impact
of health care reform efforts currently under way and to take steps toward
implementation of the universal and unified health system envisioned by
Act 48.
(d)
Before making final decisions about the financing for Green Mountain
Care, the General Assembly must have accurate data on how Vermonters
currently pay for health care and how the new system will impact individual
decisions about accessing care.
- 2027 -
(e)
The General Assembly also must consider the benefits and risks of a
new health care system on Vermont’s businesses when there are new public
financing mechanisms in place, when businesses no longer carry the burden of
providing health coverage, when employees no longer fear losing coverage
when they change jobs, and when business start-ups no longer have to consider
health coverage.
(f)
The General Assembly must ensure that Green Mountain Care does not
go forward if doing so is not cost-effective for the residents of Vermont and for
the State.
(g)
The General Assembly must be satisfied that an appropriate plan of
action is in place in order to accomplish the financial and health care
operational
transitions
needed
for
successful
implementation
of
Green
Mountain Care.
Sec. 2.
PRINCIPLES FOR HEALTH CARE FINANCING
The
General
Assembly
adopts
the
following
principles
to
guide
the
financing of health care in Vermont:
(1)
All Vermont residents have the right to high-quality health care.
(2)
All Vermont residents shall contribute to the financing for Green
Mountain Care.
(3)
Vermont residents shall finance Green Mountain Care through taxes
that are levied equitably, taking into account an individual’s ability to pay and
the value of the health benefits provided so that access to health care will not
be limited by cost barriers.
The financing system shall maximize opportunities
to pay for health care using pre-tax funds.
(4)
As provided in 33 V.S.A. § 1827, Green Mountain Care shall be the
payer of last resort for Vermont residents who continue to receive health care
through plans provided by an employer, by a federal health benefit plan, by
Medicare, by a foreign government, or as a retirement benefit.
(5)
Vermont’s system for financing health care shall raise revenue
sufficient to provide medically necessary health care services to all Vermont
residents, including:
(A)
ambulatory patient services;
(B)
emergency services;
(C)
hospitalization;
(D)
maternity and newborn care;
(E)
mental health and substance use disorder services, including
- 2028 -
behavioral health treatment;
(F)
prescription drugs;
(G)
rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices;
(H)
laboratory services;
(I)
preventive
and
wellness
services
and
chronic
care
management; and
(J)
pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
(6)
The financing system for Green Mountain Care shall include an
indexing mechanism that adjusts the level of individuals’ and businesses’
financial contributions to meet the health care needs of Vermont residents and
that ensures the sufficiency of funding in accordance with the principle
expressed in 18 V.S.A. § 9371(11).
* * * Vermont Health Benefit Exchange * * *
Sec. 3.
33 V.S.A. § 1803 is amended to read:
§ 1803.
VERMONT HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGE
* * *
(b)(1)(A)
The Vermont Health Benefit Exchange shall provide qualified
individuals and qualified employers with qualified health benefit plans,
including the multistate plans required by the Affordable Care Act, with
effective dates beginning on or before January 1, 2014.
The Vermont Health
Benefit
Exchange
may
contract
with
qualified
entities
or
enter
into
intergovernmental agreements to facilitate the functions provided by the
Vermont Health Benefit Exchange.
* * *
(4)
To the extent permitted by the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange shall permit qualified
employers to purchase qualified health benefit plans through the Exchange
website, through navigators, by telephone, or directly from a health insurer
under contract with the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange.
* * *
Sec. 4.
33 V.S.A. § 1811(b) is amended to read:
(b)(1)
No person may provide a health benefit plan to an individual or
small employer unless the plan is offered through the Vermont Health Benefit
Exchange and complies with the provisions of this subchapter.
(2)
To the extent permitted by the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, a small employer or an employee of a small employer may
- 2029 -
purchase
a
health
benefit
plan
through
the
Exchange
website,
through
navigators, by telephone, or directly from a health insurer under contract with
the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange.
(3)
No person may provide a health benefit plan to an individual or
small employer unless the plan complies with the provisions of this subchapter.
Sec. 5.
PURCHASE OF SMALL GROUP PLANS DIRECTLY FROM
CARRIERS
To the extent permitted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services and notwithstanding any provision of State law to the contrary, the
Department of Vermont Health Access shall permit employers purchasing
qualified health benefit plans on the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange to
purchase the plans through the Exchange website, through navigators, by
telephone, or directly from a health insurer under contract with the Vermont
Health Benefit Exchange.
Sec. 6.
OPTIONAL EXCHANGE COVERAGE FOR EMPLOYERS WITH
UP TO 100 EMPLOYEES
(a)(1)
If permitted under federal law and notwithstanding any provision of
Vermont law to the contrary, prior to January 1, 2016, health insurers may
offer health insurance plans through or outside the Vermont Health Benefit
Exchange to employers that employed an average of at least 51 but not more
than 100 employees on working days during the preceding calendar year.
Calculation of the number of employees shall not include a part-time employee
who works fewer than 30 hours per week or a seasonal worker as defined in 26
U.S.C. § 4980H(c)(2)(B).
(2)
Health insurers may make Exchange plans available to an employer
described in subdivision (1) of this subsection if the employer:
(A)
has its principal place of business in this State and elects to
provide coverage for its eligible employees through the Vermont Health
Benefit Exchange, regardless of where an employee resides; or
(B)
elects to provide coverage through the Vermont Health Benefit
Exchange for all of its eligible employees who are principally employed in this
State.
(3)
Beginning on January 1, 2016, health insurers may only offer health
insurance plans to the employers described in this subsection through the
Vermont Health Benefit Exchange in accordance with 33 V.S.A. chapter 18,
subchapter 1.
(b)(1)
As soon as permitted under federal law and notwithstanding any
provision of Vermont law to the contrary, prior to January 1, 2016, employers
- 2030 -
may purchase health insurance plans through or outside the Vermont Health
Benefit Exchange if they employed an average of at least 51 but not more than
100 employees on working days during the calendar year.
Calculation of the
number of employees shall not include a part-time employee who works fewer
than 30 hours per week or a seasonal worker as defined in 26 U.S.C.
§ 4980H(c)(2)(B).
(2)
An employer of the size described in subdivision (1) of this
subsection may purchase coverage for its employees through the Vermont
Health Benefit Exchange if the employer:
(A)
has its principal place of business in this State and elects to
provide coverage for its eligible employees through the Vermont Health
Benefit Exchange, regardless of where an employee resides; or
(B)
elects to provide coverage through the Vermont Health Benefit
Exchange for all of its eligible employees who are principally employed in this
State.
* * * Green Mountain Care * * *
Sec. 7.
UPDATES ON TRANSITION TO GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE
(a)
The Secretary of Administration or designee shall provide updates at
least quarterly to the House Committees on Health Care and on Ways and
Means and the Senate Committees on Health and Welfare and on Finance
regarding the Agency’s progress to date on:
(1)
determining the elements of Green Mountain Care, such as claims
administration and provider relations, for which the Agency plans to solicit
bids for administration pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 1827(a), and preparing a
description of the job or jobs to be performed, the bid qualifications, and the
criteria by which bids will be evaluated; and
(2)
developing a proposal to transition to and fully implement Green
Mountain Care as required by Sec. 26 of this act.
(b)
The Green Mountain Care Board shall provide updates at least quarterly
to the House Committees on Health Care and on Ways and Means and the
Senate Committees on Health and Welfare and on Finance regarding the
Board’s progress to date on:
(1)
defining the Green Mountain Care benefit package;
(2)
deciding whether to include dental, vision, hearing, and long-term
care benefits in Green Mountain Care;
(3)
determining whether and to what extent to impose cost-sharing
requirements in Green Mountain Care; and
- 2031 -
(4)
making the determinations required for Green Mountain Care
implementation pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 1822(a)(5).
Sec. 8.
33 V.S.A. § 1825 is amended to read:
§ 1825.
HEALTH BENEFITS
(a)(1)
The benefits for Green Mountain Care shall include primary care,
preventive care, chronic care, acute episodic care, and hospital services and
shall include at least the same covered services as those included in the benefit
package in effect for the lowest cost Catamount Health plan offered on
January 1, 2011 are available in the benchmark plan for the Vermont Health
Benefit Exchange.
(2)
It is the intent of the General Assembly that Green Mountain Care
provide a level of coverage that includes benefits that are actuarially equivalent
to at least 87 percent of the full actuarial value of the covered health services.
(3)
The Green Mountain Care Board shall consider whether to impose
cost-sharing requirements; if so, whether how to make the cost-sharing
requirements
income-sensitized;
and
the
impact
of
any
cost-sharing
requirements on an individual’s ability to access care.
The Board shall
consider waiving any cost-sharing requirement for evidence-based primary and
preventive care; for palliative care; and for chronic care for individuals
participating in chronic care management and, where circumstances warrant,
for individuals with chronic conditions who are not participating in a chronic
care management program.
(4)(A)
The Green Mountain Care Board established in 18 V.S.A.
chapter 220 shall consider whether to include dental, vision, and hearing
benefits in the Green Mountain Care benefit package.
(B)
The Green Mountain Care Board shall consider whether to
include long-term care benefits in the Green Mountain Care benefit package.
(5)
Green Mountain Care shall not limit coverage of preexisting
conditions.
(6)
The Green Mountain Care board Board shall approve the benefit
package and present it to the General Assembly as part of its recommendations
for the Green Mountain Care budget.
(b)(1)(A)
For individuals eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, the benefit
package shall include the benefits required by federal law, as well as any
additional benefits provided as part of the Green Mountain Care benefit
package.
(B)
Upon implementation of Green Mountain Care, the benefit
- 2032 -
package for individuals eligible for Medicaid or CHIP shall also include any
optional Medicaid benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1396d or services covered
under the State plan for CHIP as provided in 42 U.S.C. § 1397cc for which
these individuals are eligible on January 1, 2014.
Beginning with the second
year of Green Mountain Care and going forward, the Green Mountain Care
Board may, consistent with federal law, modify these optional benefits, as long
as at all times the benefit package for these individuals contains at least the
benefits described in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (b)(1).
(2)
For children eligible for benefits paid for with Medicaid funds, the
benefit package shall include early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and
treatment services as defined under federal law.
(3)
For individuals eligible for Medicare, the benefit package shall
include the benefits provided to these individuals under federal law, as well as
any additional benefits provided as part of the Green Mountain Care benefit
package.
Sec. 9.
33 V.S.A. § 1827 is amended to read:
§ 1827.
ADMINISTRATION; ENROLLMENT
(a)(1)
The Agency shall, under an open bidding process, solicit bids from
and award contracts to public or private entities for administration of certain
elements of Green Mountain Care, such as claims administration and provider
relations.
(2)
The Agency shall ensure that entities awarded contracts pursuant to
this subsection do not have a financial incentive to restrict individuals’ access
to health services.
The Agency may establish performance measures that
provide incentives for contractors to provide timely, accurate, transparent, and
courteous services to individuals enrolled in Green Mountain Care and to
health care professionals.
(3)
When considering contract bids pursuant to this subsection, the
Agency shall consider the interests of the State relating to the economy, the
location of the entity, and the need to maintain and create jobs in Vermont.
The agency Agency may utilize an econometric model to evaluate the net costs
of each contract bid.
* * *
(e)
[Repealed.]
(f)
Green Mountain Care shall be the secondary payer of last resort with
respect to any health service that may be covered in whole or in part by any
other health benefit plan, including Medicare, private health insurance, retiree
health benefits, or federal health benefit plans offered by the Veterans’
- 2033 -
Administration, by the military, or to federal employees.
* * *
Sec. 10.
CONCEPTUAL WAIVER APPLICATION
On or before November 15, 2014, the Secretary of Administration or
designee shall submit to the federal Center for Consumer Information and
Insurance Oversight a conceptual waiver application expressing the intent of
the State of Vermont to pursue a Waiver for State Innovation pursuant to Sec.
1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148,
as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,
Pub. L. No. 111-152, and the State’s interest in commencing the application
process.
* * * Employer Assessment * * *
Sec. 11.
21 V.S.A. § 2003(b) is amended to read:
(b)
For any quarter in fiscal years 2007 and 2008 calendar year 2014, the
amount of the Health Care Fund contribution shall be $ 91.25 $119.12 for each
full-time equivalent employee in excess of eight four.
For each fiscal calendar
year after fiscal year 2008, the number of excluded full-time equivalent
employees shall be adjusted in accordance with subsection (a) of this section,
and calendar year 2014, the amount of the Health Care Fund contribution shall
be adjusted by a percentage equal to any percentage change in premiums for
the second lowest cost silver-level plan in the Vermont Health Benefit
Exchange.
* * * Green Mountain Care Board * * *
Sec. 12.
18 V.S.A. § 9375(b) is amended to read:
(b)
The Board shall have the following duties:
* * *
(4)
Review the Health Resource Allocation Plan created in chapter 221
of this title, including conducting regular assessments of the range and depth of
health needs among the State’s population and developing a plan for allocating
resources over a reasonable period of time to meet those needs.
* * *
Sec. 13.
18 V.S.A. § 9375(d) is amended to read:
(d)
Annually on or before January 15, the Board shall submit a report of its
activities for the preceding calendar year to the House Committee on Health
Care and, the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, and the Joint Fiscal
Committee.
* * *
Sec. 14.
2000 Acts and Resolves No. 152, Sec. 117b, as amended by 2013
- 2034 -
Acts and Resolves No. 79, Sec, 42, is further amended to read:
Sec. 117b.
MEDICAID COST SHIFT REPORTING
* * *
(b)
Notwithstanding
2
V.S.A.
§ 20(d),
annually
on
or
before
December January 15, the chair Chair of the Green Mountain Care Board, the
Commissioner of Vermont Health Access, and each acute care hospital shall
file with the Joint Fiscal Committee, the House Committee on Health Care,
and the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, in the manner required by
the Joint Fiscal Committee, such information as is necessary to carry out the
purposes of this section.
Such information shall pertain to the provider
delivery system to the extent it is available.
The Green Mountain Care Board
may satisfy its obligations under this section by including the information
required by this section in the annual report required by 18 V.S.A. § 9375(d).
* * *
Sec. 15.
2013 Acts and Resolves No. 79, Sec. 5b is amended to read:
Sec. 5b.
STANDARDIZED HEALTH INSURANCE CLAIMS AND EDITS
(a)(1)
As part of moving away from fee-for-service and toward other models
of payment for health care services in Vermont, the Green Mountain Care Board,
in consultation with the Department of Vermont Health Access, health care
providers, health insurers, and other interested stakeholders, shall develop a
complete set of standardized edits and payment rules based on Medicare or on
another set of standardized edits and payment rules appropriate for use in
Vermont.
The Board and the Department shall adopt by rule the standards and
payment rules that health care providers, health insurers, Medicaid, and other
payers shall use beginning on January 1, 2015 and that Medicaid shall use
beginning on January 1, 2017.
* * *
* * * Pharmacy Benefit Managers * * *
Sec. 16.
18 V.S.A. § 9472 is amended to read:
§ 9472.
PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS; REQUIRED PRACTICES
WITH RESPECT TO HEALTH INSURERS
* * *
(d)
At least annually, a pharmacy benefit manager that provides pharmacy
benefit management for a health plan shall disclose to the health insurer, the
Department of Financial Regulation, and the Green Mountain Care Board the
aggregate amount the pharmacy benefit manager retained on all claims charged
to the health insurer for prescriptions filled during the preceding calendar year
in excess of the amount the pharmacy benefit manager reimbursed pharmacies.
- 2035 -
(e)
Compliance with the requirements of this section is required for
pharmacy benefit managers entering into contracts with a health insurer in this
state State for pharmacy benefit management in this state State.
Sec. 17.
18 V.S.A. § 9473 is redesignated to read:
§ 9473 9474.
ENFORCEMENT
Sec. 18.
18 V.S.A. § 9473 is added to read:
§ 9473.
PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS; REQUIRED PRACTICES
WITH RESPECT TO PHARMACIES
(a)
Within 14 calendar days following receipt of a pharmacy claim, a
pharmacy benefit manager or other entity paying pharmacy claims shall do one
of the following:
(1)
Pay or reimburse the claim.
(2)
Notify the pharmacy in writing that the claim is contested or denied.
The notice shall include specific reasons supporting the contest or denial and a
description of any additional information required for the pharmacy benefit
manager or other payer to determine liability for the claim.
(b)
A pharmacy benefit manager or other entity paying pharmacy claims
shall:
(1)
make
available,
in
a
format
that
is
readily
accessible
and
understandable by a pharmacist, a list of the drugs subject to maximum
allowable cost, the actual maximum allowable cost for each drug, and the
source used to determine the maximum allowable cost; and
(2)
update the maximum allowable cost list at least once every seven
calendar days.
(c)
A pharmacy benefit manager or other entity paying pharmacy claims
shall not:
(1)
impose a higher co-payment for a prescription drug than the
co-payment applicable to the type of drug purchased under the insured’s health
plan;
(2)
impose a higher co-payment for a prescription drug than the
maximum allowable cost for the drug; or
(3)
require a pharmacy to pass through any portion of the insured’s
co-payment to the pharmacy benefit manager or other payer.
Sec. 19.
9 V.S.A. § 2466a is amended to read:
§ 2466a.
CONSUMER PROTECTIONS; PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
- 2036 -
(a)
A violation of 18 V.S.A. § 4631 shall be considered a prohibited
practice under section 2453 of this title.
(b) As provided in 18 V.S.A. § 9473 9474, a violation of 18 V.S.A. § 9472
or 9473 shall be considered a prohibited practice under section 2453 of this
title.
* * *
* * * Adverse Childhood Experiences * * *
Sec. 20.
FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(a)
It is the belief of the General Assembly that controlling health care
costs
requires
consideration
of
population
health,
particularly
Adverse
Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
(b)
The ACE Questionnaire contains ten categories of questions for adults
pertaining to abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction during childhood.
It is
used to measure an adult’s exposure to traumatic stressors in childhood.
Based
on a respondent’s answers to the Questionnaire, an ACE Score is calculated,
which is the total number of ACE categories reported as experienced by a
respondent.
(c)
In a 1998 article entitled “Relationship of Childhood Abuse and
Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults”
published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, evidence was cited
of a “strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or
household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of
the leading causes of death in adults.”
(d)
The greater the number of ACEs experienced by a respondent, the
greater the risk for the following health conditions and behaviors:
alcoholism
and alcohol abuse, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, obesity,
illicit drug use, ischemic heart disease, liver disease, intimate partner violence,
multiple sexual partners, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, suicide
attempts, and unintended pregnancies.
(e)
ACEs are implicated in the ten leading causes of death in the United
States and with an ACE score of six or higher, an individual has a 20-year
reduction in life expectancy.
(f)
An individual with an ACE score of two is twice as likely to experience
rheumatic
disease.
An
individual
with
an
ACE
score
of
four
has
a
three-to-four-times higher risk of depression; is five times more likely to
become an alcoholic; is eight times more likely to experience sexual assault;
and is up to ten times more likely to attempt suicide.
An individual with an
ACE score of six or higher is 2.6 times more likely to experience chronic
- 2037 -
obstructive pulmonary disease; is three times more likely to experience lung
cancer; and is 46 times more likely to abuse intravenous drugs.
An individual
with an ACE score of seven or higher is 31 times more likely to attempt
suicide.
(g)
Physical, psychological, and emotional trauma during childhood may
result in damage to multiple brain structures and functions.
(h)
ACEs are common in Vermont.
In 2011, the Vermont Department of
Health reported that 58 percent of Vermont adults experienced at least one
adverse event during their childhood, and that 14 percent of Vermont adults
have
experienced
four
or
more
adverse
events
during
their
childhood.
Seventeen percent of Vermont women have four or more ACEs.
(i)
The impact of ACEs is felt across all socioeconomic boundaries.
(j)
The earlier in life an intervention occurs for an individual with ACEs,
the more likely that intervention is to be successful.
(k)
ACEs can be prevented where a multigenerational approach is
employed to interrupt the cycle of ACEs within a family, including both
prevention and treatment throughout an individual’s lifespan.
(l)
It is the belief of the General Assembly that people who have
experienced adverse childhood experiences can be resilient and can succeed in
leading happy, healthy lives.
Sec. 21.
VERMONT FAMILY BASED APPROACH PILOT
(a)
The Agency of Human Services, through the Integrated Family Services
initiative, within available Agency resources and in partnership with the
Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of
Vermont, shall implement the Vermont Family Based Approach in one pilot
region.
Through the Vermont Family Based Approach, wellness services,
prevention, intervention, and, where indicated, treatment services shall be
provided to families throughout the pilot region in partnership with other
human service and health care programs.
The pilot shall be fully implemented
by January 1, 2015 to the extent resources are available to support the
implementation.
(b)(1)
In the pilot region, the Agency of Human Services, community
partner organizations, schools, and the Vermont Center for Children, Youth,
and Families shall identify individuals interested in being trained as Family
Wellness Coaches and Family Focused Coaches.
(2)
Each Family Wellness Coach and Family Focused Coach shall:
(A)
complete the training program provided by the Vermont Family
- 2038 -
Based Approach;
(B)
conduct outreach activities for the pilot region; and
(C)
serve as a resource for family physicians within the pilot region.
Sec. 22.
REPORT; BLUEPRINT FOR HEALTH
On or before December 15, 2014, the Director of the Blueprint for Health
shall submit a report to the House Committee on Health Care and to the Senate
Committee on Health and Welfare containing recommendations as to how
screening for adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed care may be
incorporated into Blueprint for Health medical practices and community health
teams, including any proposed evaluation measures and approaches, funding
constraints, and opportunities.
Sec.
23.
RECOMMENDATION;
UNIVERSITY
OF
VERMONT’S
COLLEGE
OF
MEDICINE
AND
SCHOOL
OF
NURSING
CURRICULUM
The General Assembly recommends to the University of Vermont’s College
of Medicine and School of Nursing that they consider adding or expanding
information to their curricula about the Adverse Childhood Experience Study
and the impact of adverse childhood experiences on lifelong health.
Sec. 24.
TRAUMA-INFORMED EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
(a)
On or before January 1, 2015, the Vermont Board of Medical Practice,
in collaboration with the Vermont Medical Society Education and Research
Foundation, shall develop educational materials pertaining to the Adverse
Childhood
Experience Study,
including
available
resources
and
evidence-based
interventions
for
physicians,
physician
assistants,
and
advanced practice registered nurses.
(b)
On or before July 1, 2016, the Vermont Board of Medical Practice and
the Office of Professional Regulation shall disseminate the materials prepared
pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to all physicians licensed pursuant to
26 V.S.A. chapters 23 and 33, naturopathic physicians licensed pursuant to
26 V.S.A. chapter 81, physician assistants licensed pursuant to 26 V.S.A.
chapter 31, and advanced practice registered nurses licensed pursuant to
26 V.S.A. chapter 28, subchapter 3.
Sec. 25.
REPORT; DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; GREEN MOUNTAIN
CARE BOARD
(a)
On or before November 1, 2014, the Department of Health, in
consultation with the Department of Mental Health, shall submit a written
report to the Green Mountain Care Board containing:
- 2039 -
(1)
recommendations
for
incorporating
education,
treatment,
and prevention of adverse childhood
experiences into Vermont’s medical
practices and the Department of Health’s programs;
(2)
recommendations on the availability of appropriate screening tools
and
evidence-based interventions
for
individuals
throughout
their
lives,
including expectant parents; and
(3)
recommendations on additional security protections that may be used
for information related to a patient’s adverse childhood experiences.
(b)
The Green Mountain Care Board shall review the report submitted
pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and attach comments to the report
regarding the report’s implications on population health and health care costs.
On or before January 1, 2015, the Board shall submit the report with its
comments to the Senate Committees on Education and on Health and Welfare
and to the House Committees on Education, on Health Care, and on Human
Services.
* * * Reports * * *
Sec. 26.
GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE FINANCING AND COVERAGE;
REPORT
(a)
Notwithstanding the January 15, 2013 date specified in 2011 Acts and
Resolves No. 48, Sec. 9, on or before February 3, 2015, the Secretary of
Administration shall submit to the House Committees on Health Care and on
Ways and Means and the Senate Committees on Health and Welfare and on
Finance a proposal to transition to and fully implement Green Mountain Care.
The report shall include the following elements, as well as any other topics the
Secretary deems appropriate:
(1)
a detailed analysis of how much individuals and businesses currently
spend on health care, including the average percentage of income spent on
health care premiums for plans in the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange by
Vermont residents purchasing Exchange plans as individuals and by Vermont
residents whose employers provide health coverage as an employment benefit,
as well as data necessary to compare the proposal to the various ways health
care is currently paid for, including as a percentage of employers’ payroll;
(2)
recommendations for the amounts and necessary mechanisms to
finance Green Mountain Care, including:
(A)
proposing the amounts to be contributed by individuals and
businesses;
(B)
recommending financing options for wraparound coverage for
individuals with other primary coverage, including evaluating the potential for
- 2040 -
using financing tiers based on the level of benefits provided by Green
Mountain Care; and
(C)
addressing cross-border financing issues;
(3)
wraparound benefits for individuals for whom Green Mountain Care
will be the payer of last resort pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 1827(f), including
individuals covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program,
TRICARE, Medicare, retiree health benefits, or an employer health plan;
(4)
a thorough economic analysis of the impact of changing from a
health care system financed through premiums to the system recommended in
the financing proposal, taking into account the effect on wages and job growth
and the impact on various wage levels;
(5)
recommendations for addressing cross-border health care delivery
issues;
(6)
establishing provider reimbursement rates in Green Mountain Care;
(7)
developing estimates of administrative savings to health care
providers and payers from Green Mountain Care; and
(8)
information regarding Vermont’s efforts to obtain a Waiver for State
Innovation pursuant to Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, as amended by the Health Care and Education
Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152, including submission of a
conceptual waiver application as required by Sec. 10 of this act.
(b)
If the Secretary of Administration does not submit the Green Mountain
Care financing and coverage proposal required by this section to the General
Assembly by February 3, 2015, no portion of the unencumbered funds
remaining as of that date in the fiscal year 2015 appropriation to the Agency of
Administration for the planning and the implementation of Green Mountain
Care shall be expended until the Secretary submits to the General Assembly a
plan recommending the specific amounts and necessary mechanisms to finance
Green Mountain Care.
Sec. 27.
CHRONIC CARE MANAGEMENT; BLUEPRINT; REPORT
On or before October 1, 2014, the Secretary of Administration or designee
shall provide to the House Committees on Health Care and on Human Services
and the Senate Committees on Health and Welfare and on Finance a proposal
for modifications of the payment structure to health care providers and
community health teams for their participation in the Blueprint for Health; a
recommendation on whether to expand the Blueprint to include additional
services or chronic conditions such as obesity, mental conditions, and oral
health; and recommendations on ways to strengthen and sustain advanced
- 2041 -
practice primary care.
Sec. 28.
HEALTH INSURER SURPLUS; LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS;
REPORT
The Department of Financial Regulation, in consultation with the Office of
the Attorney General, shall identify the legal and financial considerations
involved in the event that a private health insurer offering major medical
insurance plans, whether for-profit or nonprofit, ceases doing business in this
State, including appropriate disposition of the insurer’s surplus funds.
On or
before July 15, 2014, the Department shall report its findings to the House
Committees on Health Care, on Commerce, and on Ways and Means and the
Senate Committees on Health and Welfare and on Finance.
Sec. 29.
TRANSITION PLAN FOR UNION EMPLOYEES
The Commissioners of Labor and of Human Resources, in consultation with
the
Vermont
League
of
Cities
and
Towns,
Vermont
School
Boards
Association, a coalition of labor organizations active in Vermont, and other
interested stakeholders, shall develop a plan for transitioning
all union
employees with collectively bargained health benefits from their existing
health insurance plans to Green Mountain Care, with the goal that all union
employees shall be enrolled in Green Mountain Care upon implementation,
which is currently targeted for 2017.
The Commissioners shall address the role
of collective bargaining on the transition process and shall propose methods to
mitigate the impact of the transition on employees’ health care coverage and
on their total compensation.
Sec.
30.
FINANCIAL
IMPACT
OF
HEALTH
CARE
REFORM
INITIATIVES
(a)
The Secretary of Administration or designee shall consult with the Joint
Fiscal Office in collecting data and developing methodologies, assumptions,
analytic models, and other factors related to the following:
(1)
the distribution of current health care spending by individuals,
businesses,
and
municipalities,
including
comparing
the
distribution
of
spending by individuals by income class with the distribution of other taxes;
(2)
the
costs
of
and
savings
from
current
health
care
reform
initiatives; and
(3)
updated cost estimates for Green Mountain Care, the universal and
unified health care system established in 33 V.S.A. chapter 18, subchapter 2.
(b)
The Secretary or designee and the Joint Fiscal Committee shall explore
ways to collaborate on the estimates required pursuant to subsection (a) of this
section and may contract jointly, to the extent feasible, in order to use the same
- 2042 -
analytic models, data, or other resources.
(c)
On or before December 1, 2014, the Secretary of Administration shall
present his or her analysis to the General Assembly.
On or before January 15,
2015, the Joint Fiscal Office shall evaluate the analysis and indicate areas of
agreement and disagreement with the data, assumptions, and results.
Sec. 31.
[Deleted.]
Sec. 32.
INCREASING MEDICAID RATES; REPORT
On or before January 15, 2015, the Secretary of Administration or designee,
in consultation with the Green Mountain Care Board, shall report to the House
Committees
on
Health
Care
and
on
Ways
and
Mean
and
the
Senate
Committees on Health and Welfare and on Finance regarding the impact of
increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates to providers to match Medicare rates.
The issues to be addressed in the report shall include:
(1)
the amount of State funds needed to effect the increase;
(2)
the level of a payroll tax that would be necessary to generate the
revenue needed for the increase;
(3)
the
projected
impact
of
the
increase
on
health
insurance
premiums; and
(4)
to the extent that premium reductions would likely result in a
decrease in the aggregate amount of federal premium tax credits for which
Vermont residents would be eligible, whether there are specific timing
considerations for the increase as it relates to Vermont’s application for a
Waiver for State Innovation pursuant to Section 1332 of the Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act.
Sec.
33.
HEALTH
CARE
EXPENSES
IN
OTHER
FORMS
OF
INSURANCE
The Secretary of Administration or designee, in consultation with the
Departments of Labor and of Financial Regulation, shall collect the most
recent available data regarding health care expenses paid for by workers’
compensation, automobile, property and casualty, and other forms of non-
medical insurance, including the amount of money spent on health care-related
goods and services and the percentage of the premium for each type of policy
that is attributable to health care expenses.
The Secretary of Administration or
designee shall consolidate the data and provide it to the General Assembly on
or before December 1, 2014.
* * * Health Care Workforce Symposium * * *
Sec. 34.
HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE SYMPOSIUM
- 2043 -
On or before November 15, 2014, the Secretary of Administration or
designee, in collaboration with the Vermont Medical Society, the Vermont
Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, and the Vermont Assembly of
Home Health and Hospice Agencies, shall organize and conduct a symposium
to address the impacts of moving toward universal health care coverage on
Vermont’s health care workforce and on its projected workforce needs.
* * * Repeal * * *
Sec. 35.
REPEAL
3 V.S.A. § 635a (legislators and session-only legislative employees eligible
to purchase State Employees Health Benefit Plan at full cost) is repealed.
* * * Effective Dates * * *
Sec. 36.
EFFECTIVE DATES
This act shall take effect on passage, except that:
(1)
Notwithstanding 1 V.S.A. § 214, Sec. 35 (repeal of legislator
eligibility to purchase State Employees Health Benefit Plan) shall take effect
on passage and shall apply retroactively to January 1, 2014, except that
members and session-only employees of the General Assembly who were
enrolled in the State Employees Health Benefit Plan on January 1, 2014 may
continue to receive coverage under the plan through the remainder of the 2014
plan year; and
(2)
Sec. 18 (18 V.S.A. § 9473; pharmacy benefit managers) shall take
effect on July 1, 2014 and shall apply to contracts entered into or renewed on
or after that date.
( Committee Vote: 7-2-2)
Favorable
S. 91
An act relating to privatization of public schools
Rep. Peltz of Woodbury,
for the Committee on
Education
, recommends
that the bill ought to pass in concurrence.
(Committee Vote: 6-4-1)
(For text see Senate Journal 3/13/2013 and 3/14/2013 )
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 589
An act relating to hunting, fishing, and trapping
- 2044 -
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:
First:
In Sec. 5, 10 V.S.A. § 4084(a) by striking out subdivision (1) in its
entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (1) to read as follows:
(1)
establish open seasons; however, rules regarding taking of deer
adopted under this subdivision shall, unless there is a scientific reason not to
do so, make provision for:
a regular rifle hunting season pursuant to section
4741 of this title and for of no fewer than 16 consecutive days; an archery
season; and a muzzle loader season unless there is a scientific reason not to
do so;
Second:
In Sec. 8, 10 V.S.A. § 4705, by striking out subsection (c) in its
entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following to read:
(c)
A person while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public
highway, except a public highway designated Class 4 on a town highway map,
shall not take or attempt to take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, a
muzzle loader, a bow and arrow, or a crossbow. A person while on or within
the traveled portion of public highway designated Class 4 on a town highway
map shall not take or attempt to take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, a
muzzle loader, a bow and arrow, or a crossbow.
A person shall not shoot a
firearm, muzzle loader, a bow and arrow, or a crossbow over or across the
traveled portion of a public highway, except for a person shooting over or
across the traveled portion of a public highway from a sport shooting range, as
that term is defined in section 5227 of this title, provided that:
(1)
the sport shooting range was established before January 1, 2014; and
(2)
the operators of the sport shooting range post signage warning users
of the public highway of the potential danger from the sport shooting range.
And in subsection (f), after “means roads” and before “shown on” by
inserting , including Class 4 roads,
Third:
By striking out Sec. 15 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a
new section to be Sec. 15 to read as follows:
* * * Training Hunting Dogs; Raccoon Season * * *
Sec. 15.
10 V.S.A. § 5001 is amended to read:
§ 5001.
HUNTING DOGS; FIELD TRAINING
(a)
While accompanying the dog, a person may train a hunting dog to hunt
and pursue:
(1)
Bear bear during the period from June 1 to September 15 and then
only from sunrise to sunset;
- 2045 -
(2)
Rabbits rabbits and game birds during the period from June 1 to the
last Saturday in September and then only from sunrise to sunset;
(3)
Raccoon raccoon during the period from June 1 to the last Saturday
in September at any time of the day or night through any time of day or night
on the day before the opening day of raccoon hunting season; and
(4)
Bobcat bobcat and fox during the period June 1 to March 15, except
during regular deer season as prescribed in section 4741 of this title.
* * *
Fourth:
By inserting a new section to be Sec. 15a to read as follows:
Sec. 15a.
1 V.S.A. § 509 is amended to read:
§ 509.
STATE FOSSIL FOSSILS
(a)
The state marine fossil shall be the white whale fossilized skeleton at
the University of Vermont’s Perkins Geology Museum.
(b)
The state terrestrial fossil shall be the Mount Holly mammoth tooth and
tusk at the Mount Holly Community Historical Museum.
Fifth:
By striking out Sec. 3a (JFO report on hunting licenses for disabled
veterans) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 3a.
[Deleted.]
Sixth:
By striking out Sec. 10 (conservation registration plates) in its
entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 10.
[Deleted.]
Seventh:
By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 16 to read as
follows:
Sec. 16.
EFFECTIVE DATES
(a)
This section and Secs. 1–2 (landowner exception; captive hunt;
definitions), 3 (license for disabled veteran), 8 (shooting from or across
highway), and 15 (training hunting dogs; raccoon season shall take effect on
passage.
(b)
Secs. 4 (migrating game bird harvest numbers), 11–13 (cultural and
ceremonial use of bird feathers), 14 (State Fly-Fishing Fly), and 15a (State
Fossils) shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
(c)
Secs. 5–7 (deer season rules) shall take effect on January 1, 2015.
(For text see House Journal February 26, 2014 )