Thumbnails Outlines
House Calendar
Monday, April 28, 2014
112th DAY OF THE ADJOURNED SESSION
House Convenes at 1:00 PM.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page No.
ACTION CALENDAR
Third Reading
H. 892
Approval of the adoption and the codification of the charter of the
Central Vermont Public Safety Authority ................................................... 2265
H. 893
Approval of the adoption and the codification of the charter of the
North Branch Fire District No. 1 ................................................................. 2265
H. 894
Approval of amendments to the charter of the City of Montpelier and to
merging the Montpelier Fire District No. 1 into the City of Montpelier ..... 2265
S. 234
An act relating to Medicaid coverage for home telemonitoring services
..................................................................................................................... 2265
Favorable with Amendment
S. 241
An act relating to binding arbitration for State employees .............. 2265
Rep. Weed for General, Housing and Military Affairs
S. 291
An act relating to the establishment of transition units at State
correctional facilities ................................................................................... 2266
Rep. Hooper for Corrections and Institutions
Rep. O’Brien for Appropriations ................................................................. 2267
S. 293
An act relating to reporting on population-level outcomes and indicators
and on program-level performance measures .............................................. 2267
Rep. Evans for Government Operations
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 483
Adopting revisions to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code 2272
Rep. Carr for Commerce and Economic Development ............................... 2272
H. 874
Consent for admission to hospice care and for DNR/COLST orders
..................................................................................................................... 2272
H. 875
The elimination of a defendant’s right to a trial by jury in traffic
appeals and fines for driving with license suspended.................................. 2275
H. 890
Approval of amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington
regarding the redistricting of City election areas ........................................ 2280
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 883
Expanded prekindergarten–grade 12 school districts ...................... 2280
Rep. Wilson for Ways and Means
Rep. Donovan for Education ....................................................................... 2290
Rep. Heath for Appropriations .................................................................... 2302
Rep. Cross et al Amendment ....................................................................... 2304
J.R.H. 23
Relating to the cleanup of Lake Champlain ............................... 2306
Rep. Quimby for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources
S. 208
An act relating to solid waste management ...................................... 2308
Rep. Ellis for Natural Resources and Energy
Rep. Masland for Ways and Means ............................................................. 2314
S. 220
An act relating to furthering economic development ....................... 2315
Rep. Botzow for Commerce and Economic Development
Rep. Keenan for Appropriations .................................................................. 2378
S. 239
An act relating to the regulation of toxic substances ....................... 2380
Rep. Deen for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources
Rep. Sharpe for Ways and Means ............................................................... 2398
Rep. Fagan for Appropriations .................................................................... 2399
S. 252
An act relating to financing for Green Mountain Care .................... 2399
Rep. Fisher for Health Care
Rep. Ancel for Ways and Means ................................................................. 2420
S. 295
An act relating to pretrial services, risk assessments, and criminal
justice programs ........................................................................................... 2424
Rep. Haas for Human Services
Rep. Lippert for Judiciary ............................................................................ 2436
Rep. O’Brien for Appropriations ................................................................. 2448
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 260
Electronic insurance notices and credit for reinsurance .................. 2448
H. 758
Notice of potential layoffs ............................................................... 2449
H. 863
A Public Records Act exemption for the identity of whistleblowers
..................................................................................................................... 2455
Ordered to Lie
S. 91
An act relating to privatization of public schools .............................. 2456
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ORDERS OF THE DAY
ACTION CALENDAR
Third Reading
H. 892
An act relating to approval of the adoption and the codification of the charter
of the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority
H. 893
An act relating to approval of the adoption and the codification of the charter
of the North Branch Fire District No. 1
H. 894
An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the City of
Montpelier and to merging the Montpelier Fire District No. 1 into the City of
Montpelier
S. 234
An act relating to Medicaid coverage for home telemonitoring services
Favorable with Amendment
S. 241
An act relating to binding arbitration for State employees
Rep. Weed of Enosburg,
for the Committee on
General, Housing and
Military Affairs,
recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the
bill be amended as follows:
First:
In Sec. 1, by striking out subsection (b) in its entirety and inserting a
new subsection (b) to read:
(b)
Membership.
The Grievance Arbitration Study Committee shall be
composed of the following members:
(1)
the Commissioner of Human Resources or designee;
(2)
the Executive Director of the Vermont Bar Association or designee;
(3)
one member appointed by the Vermont Troopers Association;
(4)
one
member
appointed
by
the
Vermont
State
Employees’
Association; and
(5)
the Attorney General or designee.
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Second:
In Sec. 1, by striking out subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting
a new subsection (c) to read:
(c)
Powers and duties.
The Committee shall:
(1)
study the issue of grievance arbitration for State employees;
(2)
assess the relative merits of various grievance protocols, including
arbitration and use of the Vermont Labor Relations Board, addressing the
ability of these protocols to provide resolution of grievances in a manner that is
economical, timely, just, and provides for appropriate privacy protections for
the parties; and
(3)
study the impact on the State if the State does not request criminal
history record information on its initial employee application form.
As used in
this subdivision, “criminal history record” shall have the same meaning as
(Committee vote: 7-1-0 )
(For text see Senate Journal March 27, 2014 )
S. 291
An act relating to the establishment of transition units at State correctional
facilities
Rep. Hooper of Montpelier,
for the Committee on
Corrections and
Institutions,
recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be
amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof
the following:
Sec.
1.
TRANSITIONAL
FACILITIES;
DEPARTMENT
OF
CORRECTIONS; STUDY
(a)
Findings.
The General Assembly finds that the Department of
Corrections has experienced a rise in costs of $17,624,076.00 since FY 2012.
The General Assembly further finds that there are offenders in the State of
Vermont who are eligible for release from State correctional facilities but who
are not released due to a lack of suitable housing.
The General Assembly
further finds that recidivism is reduced and public safety is enhanced when
offenders receive supervision as they transition to their home community.
Therefore, it is the intent of the General Assembly that the Department of
Corrections shall explore the creation of secure transitional facilities so that
offenders may return to their home communities.
It is also the intent of the
General Assembly that the housing in these facilities include programs for
employment, training, transportation, and other appropriate services.
It is also
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the intent of the General Assembly that the Department of Corrections work
with communities to gain support for these programs and services.
(b)
Recommendations.
The Commissioner of Corrections shall examine
and make recommendations for the establishment of transitional facilities
under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.
The recommendations
shall include an evaluation of costs associated with establishing transitional
facilities, a detailed budget for funding transitional facilities, an estimate of
State capital funding needs, potential site locations, a summary of the
programming
and
services
that
are
currently
available
to
transitioning
offenders, proposals for programming and services for transitioning offenders
that may be needed, and eligibility guidelines for offenders to reside in
transitional facilities, including the number of offenders who would be eligible
for residence in a transitional facility.
(c)
Report.
On or before January 15, 2015, the Commissioner of
Corrections shall submit the recommendations described in subsection (b) of
this section to the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions and the
Senate Committee on Institutions.
(d)
Definitions.
As used in this section, “transitional facility” means
housing intended to be occupied by offenders granted furloughs to work in the
community.
Sec. 2.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
(Committee vote: 9-1-1 )
(For text see Senate Journal February 5, 2014 )
Rep. O'Brien of Richmond,
for the Committee on
Appropriations,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the
Committee on
Corrections and Institutions.
(Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
S. 293
An act relating to reporting on population-level outcomes and indicators
and on program-level performance measures
Rep. Evans of Essex,
for the Committee on
Government Operations,
recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended as
follows:
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First:
In Sec. 2, 3 V.S.A. chapter 45, subchapter 5, by striking out in its
entirety § 2313 (performance contracts and grants) and inserting in lieu thereof
a new § 2313 to read:
§ 2313.
PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS AND GRANTS
(a)
The Chief Performance Officer shall assist agencies as necessary in
developing performance measures for contracts and grants.
(b)
Annually, on or before July 30 and as part of any other report
requirement to the General Assembly set forth in this subchapter, the Chief
Performance Officer shall report to the General Assembly on the progress by
rate or percent of how many State contracts and grants have performance
accountability
requirements and the rate or
percent of
contractors’ and
grantees’ compliance with those requirements.
Second:
By striking out in its entirety Sec. 3 (initial population-level
indicators) and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 3 to read:
Sec. 3.
INITIAL POPULATION-LEVEL INDICATORS
Until
any
population-level
indicators
are
requested
pursuant
to
the
provisions of Sec. 2 of this act, 3 V.S.A. § 2311(c) (requesting population-level
indicators), each population-level quality of life outcome set forth in Sec. 2 of
this act,
3
V.S.A.
§ 2311(b)
(Vermont
population-level
quality
of
life
outcomes), and listed in this section shall have the following population-level
indicators:
(1)
Vermont has a prosperous economy.
(A)
percent or rate per 1,000 jobs of nonpublic sector employment;
(B)
median household income;
(C)
percent
of
Vermont
covered
by
state-of-the-art
telecommunications infrastructure;
(D)
median house price;
(E)
rate of resident unemployment per 1,000 residents;
(F)
percent of structurally-deficient bridges, as defined by the
Vermont Agency of Transportation; and
(G)
percent of food sales that come from Vermont farms.
(2)
Vermonters are healthy.
(A)
percent of adults 20 years of age or older who are obese;
(B)
percent of adults smoking cigarettes;
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(C)
number of adults who are homeless;
(D)
percent of individuals and families living at different poverty
levels;
(E)
percent of adults at or below 200 percent of federal poverty
level; and
(F)
percent of adults with health insurance.
(3)
Vermont’s environment is clean and sustainable.
(A)
cumulative number of waters subject to TMDLs or alternative
pollution control plans;
(B)
percent of water, sewer, and stormwater systems that meet
federal and State standards;
(C)
carbon dioxide per capita; and
(D)
electricity by fuel or power type.
(4)
Vermont’s communities are safe and supportive.
(A)
rate of petitions granted for relief from domestic abuse per 1,000
residents;
(B)
rate of violent crime per 1,000 crimes;
(C)
rate of sexual assault committed against residents per 1,000
residents;
(D)
percent of residents living in affordable housing;
(E)
percent or rate
per 1,000 people convicted of crimes of
recidivism;
(F)
incarceration rate per 100,000 residents; and
(G)
percent or rate per 1,000 residents of residents entering the
corrections system.
(5)
Vermont’s families are safe, nurturing, stable, and supported.
(A)
number and rate per 1,000 children of substantiated reports of
child abuse and neglect;
(B)
number of children who are homeless;
(C)
number of families that are homeless; and
(D)
number and rate per 1,000 children and youth of children and
youth in out-of-home care.
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(6)
Vermont’s children and young people achieve their potential,
including:
(A)
Pregnant women and young people thrive.
(i)
percent of women who receive first trimester prenatal care;
(ii)
percent of live births that are preterm (less than 37 weeks);
(iii)
rate of infant mortality per 1,000 live births;
(iv)
percent of children at or below 200 percent of federal
poverty level; and
(v)
percent of children with health insurance.
(B)
Children are ready for school.
(i)
percent of kindergarteners fully immunized with all five
vaccines required for school;
(ii)
percent of first-graders screened for vision and hearing
problems;
(iii)
percent of children ready for school in all five domains of
healthy development; and
(iv)
percent of children receiving State subsidy enrolled in high
quality early childhood programs that receive at least four out of five stars
under State standards.
(C)
Children succeed in school.
(i)
rate of school attendance per 1,000 children;
(ii)
percent of children below the basic level of fourth grade
reading achievement under State standards; and
(iii)
rate of high school graduation per 1,000 high school students.
(D)
Youths choose healthy behaviors.
(i)
rate of pregnancy per 1,000 females 15–17 years of age;
(ii)
rate of pregnancy per 1,000 females 18–19 years of age;
(iii)
percent of adolescents smoking cigarettes;
(iv)
percent of adolescents who used marijuana in the past
30 days;
(v)
percent of adolescents who reported ever using a prescription
drug without a prescription;
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(vi)
percent of adolescents who drank alcohol in the past
30 days; and
(vii)
number and rate per 1,000 minors of minors who are under
the supervision of the Department of Corrections.
(E)
Youths successfully transition to adulthood.
(i)
percent of high school seniors with plans for education,
vocational training, or employment;
(ii)
percent of graduating high school seniors who continue their
education within six months of graduation;
(iii)
percent of all deaths for youths 10–19 years of age;
(iv)
rate of suicide per 100,000 Vermonters;
(v)
percent of adolescents with a suicide attempt that requires
medical attention;
(vi)
percent of high school graduates entering postsecondary
education, work, or training;
(vii)
percent of completion of postsecondary education; and
(viii)
rate of high school graduates entering a training program per
1,000 high school graduates.
(7)
Vermont’s elders and people with disabilities and people with
mental conditions live with dignity and independence in settings they prefer.
(A)
rate of confirmed reports of abuse and neglect of vulnerable
adults per 1,000 vulnerable adults; and
(B)
percent of elders living in institutions versus home care.
(8)
Vermont has open, effective, and inclusive government at the State
and local levels.
(A)
percent of youth who spoke to their parents about school;
(B)
percent of youth who report they help decide what goes on in
their school;
(C)
percent of eligible population voting in general elections;
(D)
percent of students volunteering in their community in the
past week;
(E)
percent of youth who feel valued by their community; and
- 2272 -
(F)
percent of youth that report their teachers care about them and
give them encouragement.
(Committee vote: 10-1-0 )
(For text see Senate Journal March 20, 21, 2014 )
Senate Proposal of Amendment
H. 483
An act relating to adopting revisions to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial
Code
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:
First:
In Sec. 1, in § 9-801, by striking out the following: “2013” and
inserting in lieu thereof the following: 2014.
Second:
In Sec. 2, by striking out the following: “2013” and inserting in
lieu thereof the following: 2014.
(For text see House Journal April 30, 2014 )
Rep. Rep. Carr of Brandon,
for the Committee on
Commerce and
Economic Development,
moves that the House concur in the Senate Proposal
of Amendment.
(Committee Vote: 10-0-1)
H. 874
An act relating to consent for admission to hospice care and for DNR/COLST
orders
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:
First:
By striking out Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting a new Sec. 2 to read
as follows:
Sec. 2.
18 V.S.A. § 9708(f) is amended to read:
(f)
The Department of Health shall adopt by rule no later than on or before
July 1, 2014 2016, criteria for individuals who are not the patient, agent, or
guardian, but who are giving informed consent for a DNR/COLST order.
The
rules shall include the following:
(1)
other
individuals
permitted
to
give
informed
consent
for
a
DNR/COLST order who shall be a family member of the patient or a person
with a known close relationship to the patient; and
- 2273 -
(2)
parameters for how decisions should be made, which shall include at
a minimum the protection of a patient’s own wishes in the same manner as in
section 9711 of this title; and
(3)
access to a hospital’s internal ethics protocols for use when there is a
disagreement over the appropriate person to give informed consent.
Second:
By adding three new sections to be numbered Secs. 3, 4 and 5 to
read as follows:
Sec. 3.
14 V.S.A. § 3075(g) is amended to read:
(g)(1)
The guardian shall obtain prior written approval by the probate
division Probate Division of the superior court Superior Court following notice
and hearing:
(A)
if the person under guardianship objects to the guardian’s
decision, on constitutional grounds or otherwise;
(B)
if the court Court orders prior approval for a specific surgery,
procedure, or treatment, either in its initial order pursuant to subdivision
3069(c)(2) of this title or anytime after appointment of a guardian;
(C)
except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, and
unless
the
guardian
is
acting
pursuant
to
an
advance
directive,
before
withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment other than antibiotics; or
(D)
unless the guardian is acting pursuant to an advance directive,
before
consenting
to
a
do-not-resuscitate
order or
clinician
order
for
life-sustaining treatment, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9701(6), unless a clinician
as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9701(5) certifies that the person under guardianship
is likely to experience cardiopulmonary arrest before court Court approval can
be obtained.
In such circumstances, the guardian shall immediately notify the
court Court of the need for a decision, shall obtain the clinician’s certification
prior to consenting to the do-not-resuscitate order or clinician order for life-
sustaining treatment, and shall file the clinician’s certification with the court
Court after consent has been given.
(2)
The requirements of subdivision (1)(C) of this subsection shall not
apply if obtaining a court Court order would be impracticable due to the need
for a decision before court Court approval can be obtained.
In such
circumstances, the guardian shall immediately notify the court Court by
telephone of the need for a decision, and shall notify the court Court of any
decision made.
Sec. 4.
18 V.S.A. § 9701 is amended to read:
§ 9701.
DEFINITIONS
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As used in this chapter:
* * *
(11)
“Guardian” means a person appointed by the Probate Division of
the Superior Court who has the authority to make medical decisions pursuant
* * *
Sec. 5.
18 V.S.A. § 9708 is amended to read:
§
9708.
AUTHORITY
AND
OBLIGATIONS
OF
HEALTH
CARE
PROVIDERS, HEALTH CARE FACILITIES, AND RESIDENTIAL CARE
FACILITIES
REGARDING DO-NOT-RESUSCITATE
ORDERS
AND
CLINICIAN
ORDERS
FOR LIFE
SUSTAINING LIFE-SUSTAINING
TREATMENT
(a)
As used in this section, “DNR/COLST” shall mean a do-not-resuscitate
order (“DNR”) and a clinician order for life sustaining life-sustaining treatment
(“COLST”) as defined in section 9701 of this title.
(b)
A DNR order and a COLST shall be issued on the Department of
Health’s
“Vermont
DNR/COLST
form”
as
designated
by
rule
by
the
Department of Health.
(c)
Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, health care facilities and
residential care facilities may document DNR/COLST orders in the patient’s
medical record in a facility-specific manner when the patient is in their care.
(d)
A DNR order must:
(1)
be signed by the patient’s clinician;
(2)
certify that the clinician has consulted, or made an effort to consult,
with the patient, and the patient’s agent or guardian, if there is an appointed
agent or guardian;
(3)
include either:
(A)
the name of the patient,; agent,; guardian, in accordance with
14 V.S.A. § 3075(g); or other individual giving informed consent for the DNR
and the individual’s relationship to the patient; or
(B)
certification that the patient’s clinician and one other named
clinician have determined that resuscitation would not prevent the imminent
death of the patient, should the patient experience cardiopulmonary arrest; and
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(4)
if the patient is in a health care facility or a residential care facility,
certify that the requirements of the facility’s DNR protocol required by section
9709 of this title have been met.
(e)
A COLST must:
(1)
be signed by the patient’s clinician; and
(2)
include the name of the patient,; agent,; guardian, in accordance with
14 V.S.A. § 3075(g); or other individual giving informed consent for the
COLST and the individual’s relationship to the patient.
* * *
And by renumbering the remaining section of the bill to be numerically
correct.
(No House Amendments )
H. 875
An act relating to the elimination of a defendant’s right to a trial by jury in
traffic appeals and fines for driving with license suspended
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.
4 V.S.A. § 1109 is amended to read:
§ 1109.
REMEDIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY
(a)
As used in this section:
(1)
“Amount due” means all financial assessments contained in a
judicial
bureau Judicial
Bureau judgment,
including
penalties,
fines,
surcharges, court costs, and any other assessment authorized by law.
(2)
“Designated
collection
agency”
means
a
collection
agency
designated by the court administrator Court Administrator.
(3)
“Designated credit bureau” means a credit bureau designated by the
court administrator or the court administrator’s designee.
[Repealed.]
(b)
A judicial bureau Judicial Bureau judgment shall provide notice that a
$30.00 fee shall be assessed for failure to pay within 30 days.
If the defendant
fails to pay the amount due within 30 days, the fee shall be added to the
judgment amount and deposited in the court technology special fund Court
Technology Special Fund established pursuant to section 27 of this title.
(c)
Civil contempt proceedings.
If an amount due remains unpaid for
75 days after the judicial bureau Judicial Bureau provides the defendant with a
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notice of judgment, the judicial bureau Judicial Bureau may initiate civil
contempt proceedings pursuant to this subsection.
(1)
Notice of hearing.
The judicial bureau Judicial Bureau shall provide
notice by first class mail sent to the defendant’s last known address that a
contempt hearing will be held pursuant to this subsection, and that failure to
appear at the contempt hearing may result in the sanctions listed in subdivision
(2) of this subsection.
(2)
Failure to appear.
If the defendant fails to appear at the contempt
hearing, the hearing officer may direct the clerk of the judicial bureau Judicial
Bureau to do one or more of the following:
(A)
cause the matter to be reported to one or more designated credit
bureaus collection agencies; or
(B)
refer the matter to criminal division of the superior court the
Criminal Division of the Superior Court for contempt proceedings; or
(C)
provide electronic notice thereof to the Commissioner of Motor
Vehicles who shall suspend the person’s operator’s license or privilege to
operate.
However, the person shall become eligible for reinstatement if the
amount due is paid or otherwise satisfied.
(3)
Hearing.
The hearing shall be conducted in a summary manner.
The
hearing officer shall examine the defendant and any other witnesses and may
require the defendant to produce documents relevant to the defendant’s ability
to pay the amount due.
The state State or municipality shall not be a party
except with the permission of the hearing officer.
The defendant may be
represented by counsel at the defendant’s own expense.
(4)
Contempt.
(A)
The hearing officer may conclude that the defendant is in
contempt if the hearing officer states in written findings a factual basis for
concluding that:
(i)
the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that he or
she owed an amount due on a judicial bureau Judicial Bureau judgment;
(ii)
the defendant had the ability to pay all or any portion of the
amount due; and
(iii)
the defendant failed to pay all or any portion of the
amount due.
(B)
In the contempt order, the hearing officer may do one or more of
the following:
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(i)
Set a date by which the defendant shall pay the amount due.
(ii)
Assess an additional penalty not to exceed ten percent of the
amount due.
(iii)
Direct the clerk of the judicial bureau to cause the matter to be
reported to one or more designated credit bureaus.
The court administrator or
the court administrator’s designee is authorized to contract with one or more
credit bureaus for the purpose of reporting information about unpaid judicial
bureau judgments
Order that the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles suspend
the person’s operator’s license or privilege to operate. However, the person
shall become eligible for reinstatement if the amount due is paid or otherwise
satisfied.
(iv)
Recommend that the criminal division of the superior court
Criminal Division of the Superior Court incarcerate the defendant until the
amount due is paid.
If incarceration is recommended pursuant to this
subdivision (4), the judicial bureau Judicial Bureau shall notify the criminal
division of the superior court Criminal Division of the Superior Court that
contempt proceedings should be commenced against the defendant.
The
criminal division of the superior court Criminal Division of the Superior Court
proceedings shall be de novo.
If the defendant cannot afford counsel for the
contempt proceedings in criminal division of the superior court the Criminal
Division of the Superior Court, the defender general Defender General shall
assign counsel at the defender general’s Defender General’s expense.
(d)
Collections.
(1)
If an amount due remains unpaid after the issuance of a notice of
judgment, the court administrator Court Administrator may authorize the clerk
of the judicial bureau Judicial Bureau to refer the matter to a designated
collection agency.
(2)
The court
administrator Court
Administrator or
the court
administrator’s Court Administrator’s designee is authorized to contract with
one or more collection agencies for the purpose of collecting unpaid judicial
bureau Judicial Bureau judgments pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 7171.
(e)
For purposes of civil contempt proceedings, venue shall be statewide.
(f)
Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the court administrator Court
Administrator is authorized to contract with a third party to collect fines,
penalties, and fees by credit card, debit card, charge card, prepaid card, stored
value card, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers, as authorized by
32 V.S.A. § 583, and to add on and collect, or charge against collections, a
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processing charge in an amount approved by the court administrator Court
Administrator.
Sec. 2.
23 V.S.A. § 674 is amended to read:
§
674.
OPERATING
AFTER
SUSPENSION
OR
REVOCATION
OF
LICENSE; PENALTY; REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION PLATES;
TOWING
(a)(1)
Except as provided in section 676 of this title, a person whose license
or privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked for a
violation of this section or subsections subsection 1091(b), 1094(b), or 1128(b)
or (c) of this title and who operates or attempts to operate a motor vehicle upon
a public highway before the suspension period imposed for the violation has
expired shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than
$5,000.00, or both.
(2)
A person who violates section 676 of this title for the sixth or
subsequent time shall, if the five prior offenses occurred after July 1, 2003, be
imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.
(3)
Violations of section 676 of this title that occurred prior to the date a
person successfully completes the driving with license suspended diversion
program or prior to the date that a person pays the amount due to the Judicial
Bureau in accordance with subsection 2307(b) of this chapter shall not be
counted as prior offenses under subdivision (2) of this subsection.
(b)
Except as authorized in section 1213 of this title, a person whose
license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked
for a violation of section 1201 of this title or has been suspended under section
1205 of this title and who operates or attempts to operate a motor vehicle upon
a public highway before reinstatement of the license shall be imprisoned not
more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.
The sentence
shall be subject to the following mandatory minimum terms:
* * *
Sec. 3.
23 V.S.A. § 2307 is amended to read:
§ 2307.
REMEDIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
As used in this section,
(a)
“Amount due” Definition.
As used in this section, “amount due” means
all financial assessments contained in a Judicial Bureau judgment, including
penalties, fines, surcharges, court costs, and any other assessment authorized
by law.
- 2279 -
(b)
Notice of risk of suspension.
A judgment for a traffic violation shall
contain a notice that failure to pay or otherwise satisfy the amount due within
30 days of the notice will result in suspension of the person’s operator’s
license or privilege to operate, and the denial, if the person is the sole
registrant,
of
the
person’s
application
for
renewal
of
a
motor
vehicle
registration, until the amount due is paid or otherwise satisfied.
If the
defendant fails to pay the amount due within 30 days of the notice, or by a later
date as determined by a judicial officer, and the case is not pending on appeal,
the Judicial Bureau shall provide electronic notice thereof to the Commissioner
of Motor Vehicles who, after.
After 20 days from the date of receiving the
electronic notice, the Commissioner shall:
(1)
suspend Suspend the person’s operator’s license or privilege to
operate for a period of 120 days.
However, the person shall become eligible
for reinstatement prior to expiration of the 120 days if the amount due is paid
or otherwise satisfied.
(2)
and deny, if the person is the sole registrant, Deny the person’s
application for renewal of a motor vehicle registration, if the person is the sole
registrant, until the amount due is paid or otherwise satisfied.
(c)
During proceedings conducted pursuant to 4 V.S.A. § 1109, the hearing
officer may apply the following mitigation remedies when the judgment is
based upon a traffic violation.
The hearing officer also may apply the
remedies with or without a hearing when acting on a motion to approve a
proposed DLS Diversion Program contract and related payment plan pursuant
to 2012 Acts and Resolves No. 147, Sec. 2.
Notwithstanding any other law, no
entry fee shall be required and venue shall be statewide for motions to approve.
(1)
The hearing officer may waive the reinstatement fee required by
section 675 of this title or reduce the amount due on the basis of:
(A)
the defendant’s driving history, ability to pay, or service to the
community;
(B)
the collateral consequences of the violation; or
(C)
the interests of justice.
(2)
The hearing officer may specify a date by which the defendant shall
pay the amount due and may notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to
reinstate the defendant’s operator’s license or privilege subject to payment of
the amount due by the specified date.
If the defendant fails to pay the amount
due by the specified date, the Judicial Bureau may notify the Commissioner to
suspend the defendant’s operator’s license or privilege.
A license may be
- 2280 -
reinstated under this subdivision only if the defendant’s license is suspended
solely for failure to pay a judgment of the Judicial Bureau.
(3)
The judicial officer shall have sole discretion to determine mitigation
remedies pursuant to this subdivision, and the judicial officer’s determination
shall not be subject to review or appeal in any court, tribunal, or administrative
office.
Sec. 4.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
And that after passage the title of the bill be amended to read: "An act
relating to fines for driving with license suspended ".
(No House Amendments )
H. 890
An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the City of
Burlington regarding the redistricting of City election areas
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 2, 24 App.
V.S.A. chapter 3, in § 2 (election boundaries), in subsection (a) (City districts
described), in subdivision (2) (Central District), in the geographic description
of the district, after “Central Vermont Railway bridge downstream of the
Lower Winooski Falls and Salmon Hole; thence southerly along the East
District”, by striking out in its entirety “eastern boundary” and inserting in lieu
thereof western boundary to its intersection with the centerline of Main Street;
continuing southerly along the centerline of South Winooski Avenue.
(No House Amendments )
NOTICE CALENDAR
Favorable with Amendment
H. 883
An act relating to expanded prekindergarten–grade 12 school districts
Rep. Wilson of Manchester,
for the Committee on
Ways and Means,
recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and
inserting in lieu thereof the following:
* * * Prekindergarten–Grade 12 School Districts * * *
Sec. 1.
16 V.S.A. chapter 135 is added to read:
- 2281 -
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
choice.
- 2282 -
§ 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:
- 2283 -
(1)
the equalized homestead property tax rate for each town within a
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.
- 2284 -
(d)
The Design Team shall have the authority to delegate to one or more of
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;
- 2285 -
(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.
- 2286 -
* * * 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).
- 2287 -
* * * Supervisory Unions; Special Education; Transportation * * *
Sec. 3.
16 V.S.A. § 261a is amended to read:
§ 261a.
DUTIES OF SUPERVISORY UNION BOARD
(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.
- 2288 -
(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,
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
- 2289 -
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
union pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 261a(a)(6) or (8)(E) as amended on June 3,
2010.
- 2290 -
* * * 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)
Rep.
Donovan
of
Burlington,
for
the
Committee
on
Education,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the
Committee on
Ways and Means
and when further amended as follows:
First:
By striking out Sec. 1 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a
new Sec. 1 to read:
Sec. 1.
16 V.S.A. chapter 135 is added to read:
CHAPTER
135.
PREKINDERGARTEN–GRADE
12
EDUCATION
DISTRICTS; REALIGNMENT PROCESS
§ 4051.
PURPOSE
This chapter is enacted to encourage and support:
(1)
increased
equity
in
the
quality
and
variety
of
educational
opportunities available to students throughout the State in order to enable all
Vermont
students
to
acquire
21st
Century
skills
and
to
decrease
the
achievement gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds;
(2)
operational efficiencies, more equitable deployment of resources,
and sharing of best practices; and
(3)
stronger relationships between schools and the community by
fostering
stable
school
leadership
and
opportunities
for
community
engagement.
§ 4052.
REALIGNMENT
- 2291 -
As of July 1, 2020, pursuant to the processes and criteria set forth in
this chapter, school districts in the State, except interstate school districts,
and supervisory
unions
shall
be
realigned
into
an
estimated
45–55
prekindergarten–grade 12
education
districts
that
are
responsible
for
the
education of all resident students in prekindergarten–grade 12 and that shall
assume the responsibilities currently assigned to supervisory unions.
§ 4053.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
(1)
“Design Team” means the independent nine-member entity created
by this chapter to conduct statewide public engagement meetings and develop
a preliminary and final proposed Statewide Realignment Plan.
(2)
“Education District” means a new district that shall be created from
the realignment of existing school districts pursuant to this chapter that shall be
responsible for the education of all resident students in prekindergarten–grade
12
through
educational
opportunities
that
meet
the
educational
quality
standards adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 165 of
this title.
(3) “Statewide Realignment Plan” or “the Plan” means the plan
developed and adopted pursuant to this chapter by which existing school
districts that have not voluntarily realigned into Education Districts shall be
realigned.
§ 4054.
DESIGN TEAM; CREATION
(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.
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.
- 2292 -
(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
its members any responsibility or power granted to it in this chapter, provided,
however, that no fewer than five of the Design Team members shall be present
at the required public engagement meetings.
(e)
The Design Team shall have the administrative, technical, and legal
assistance of the Agency of Education and the Department of Taxes and may
request data and other appropriate assistance from other public bodies, such as
the Joint Fiscal Office, and private entities.
(f)
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
(g)
The Design Team shall cease to exist on July 1, 2018.
§ 4055.
VOLUNTARY REALIGNMENT
(a)
Under the regional education district (RED) process set forth in 2010
Acts and Resolves No. 153, Secs. 2–4, as amended by 2012 Acts and Resolves
No. 156, Secs. 1 and 13–17, and further amended by 2013 Acts and Resolves
No. 56, Sec. 3, existing school districts may realign into districts that meet
specific criteria.
(b)
Realignment into a RED follows the process set forth in 16 V.S.A.
chapter 11 governing the formation of union school districts, under which
existing school districts appoint a study committee and prepare a plan of
realignment (the Report).
Through creation of the Report, the districts
exploring realignment:
(1)
decide issues specified in section 706b of this title, including
ownership of buildings, representation on the RED board, and whether votes
on the budget and other issues will be by Australian ballot;
(2)
decide issues of particular interest to the local communities, such as
the conditions under which the RED would be permitted to close an existing
school building; and
(3)
provide for the election of an initial RED board prior to the first day
of the RED’s existence in order to transition to the new structure by
negotiating and entering into contracts, preparing an initial proposed budget,
hiring a superintendent, adopting policies, and otherwise planning for the
RED’s implementation.
- 2293 -
(c)
In addition, the Report shall address how the proposed district shall
meet the requirements
of
an
Education
District
that
are
itemized
in
subdivision 4056(b)(10) of this chapter.
(d)
If the Report is approved by both the State Board and the electorate of
the districts, it shall become the RED’s articles of agreement.
(e)
If the electorate of two or more districts approves a Report pursuant to
the RED process on or before July 1, 2017, then the Statewide Realignment
Plan shall not realign the RED and the RED shall be an Education District
under the Plan; provided, however, pursuant to criteria identified by the Design
Team,
realignment
is
permissible
if
necessary
to
accommodate
another
existing district that:
(1)
would become geographically isolated or would otherwise be an
inappropriate
member of any other potential Education District; and
(2)
is an appropriate member of the RED.
§ 4056.
STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT PLAN; ELEMENTS
(a)
Guidelines.
The Statewide Realignment Plan shall be informed by the
public meetings and other public engagement processes required by sections
4058 and 4059 of this chapter and 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 RED
process;
(6)
potential obstacles caused by geography; and
(7)
to the extent possible, the effect that national Forest Service funds
paid pursuant to section 557 of this title and other unique revenue sources have
on public education and education property tax rates.
(b)
Requirements.
Subject to the provisions of sections 4055 and 4057 of
this chapter, an Education District shall:
(1)
be
responsible
for
the
education
of
all
resident
prekindergarten–grade 12 students through educational opportunities that meet
the educational quality standards adopted by the State Board of Education
pursuant to section 165 of this title;
- 2294 -
(2)
have an average daily membership at least 1,000 students;
(3)
be governed by no more than one elected board;
(4)
adopt one districtwide budget;
(5)
have a common, districtwide education property tax rate;
(6)
negotiate districtwide collective bargaining agreements and employ
all licensed and nonlicensed personnel as employees of the new district;
(7)
be the local education agency as that term is defined in 20 U.S.C.
§ 7801(26);
(8)
account for and report financial information in accordance with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and in a manner that promotes
transparency and public accountability and supports a statewide integrated data
collection system;
(9)
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; and
(10)
be designed to:
(A)
maximize the effective, flexible, and efficient use of fiscal,
human, and facility resources to support student achievement and success;
(B)
foster stable leadership by developing and supporting both school
and district leaders;
(C)
hire, train, support, and retain excellent administrators, teachers,
and staff;
(D)
promote
budgetary
stability
leading
to
less
volatility
for
taxpayers;
(E)
account for and report financial information in accordance with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and in a manner that promotes
transparency and public accountability and supports a statewide integrated data
collection system; and
(F)
promote a shared commitment to a strong, flexible, and coherent
system.
(c)
Initial articles of agreement and other transitional issues.
Among other
things, the Statewide Plan:
(1)
shall include one or more models of initial articles of agreement
addressing issues required by section 706b of this title that will govern the
actions of the Education Districts that were not created during the voluntary
- 2295 -
realignment process until such time as each Education District adopts its own
amended articles, including the method of apportioning the representation on
the Education District’s board, whether votes on the budget and other issues
will be by Australian ballot, and the conditions under which the Education
District would be authorized to close a school building;
(2)
shall establish transition procedures and guidance necessary for the
creation of each Education District, including provisions for:
(A)
the election of an initial education board prior to the first day of
the Education District’s existence in order to transition to the new structure by
negotiating and entering into contracts, preparing an initial proposed budget,
hiring a superintendent, adopting policies, and otherwise planning for the
District’s implementation;
(B)
assumption of debt;
(C)
ownership and management of property;
(D)
the transition of employees to the new employer, including
membership in collective bargaining units; and
(E)
creation, at the Education District’s option, of school-based
community councils designed to build partnerships among families, staff, and
the community and strong community involvement; and
(3)
shall ensure that no school employee subject to employment
transition under the Plan will experience a detrimental change in status within
the Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement System.
(d)
Tax rates.
During each of the first three years after realignment into an
Education District created by the Plan:
(1)
the equalized homestead property tax rate for each town within an
Education 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.
§ 4057.
STATEWIDE
REALIGNMENT
PLAN;
PROTECTION
FOR
TUITIONING
DISTRICTS
AND
OPERATING
DISTRICTS;
FLEXIBILITY; STATEMENT OF INTENT
(a)
Tuitioning districts.
The Statewide Realignment Plan shall preserve the
ability of a district that, as of the effective date of this act, provides for the
education of all resident students in one or more grades by paying tuition on
the students’ behalf, to continue to provide education by paying tuition on
behalf of all students in the grade or grades and shall not require the district to
- 2296 -
limit the options available to students when it ceases to exist as a discrete
entity and becomes realigned into an Education District.
(b)
Operating districts.
The Plan shall preserve the ability of a district that,
as of the effective date of this act, provides for the education of all resident
students in one or more grades by operating a school offering the grade or
grades, to continue to provide education by operating a school for all students
in the grade or grades and shall not require the district to pay tuition for
students when it ceases to exist as a discrete entity and becomes realigned into
an Education District.
(c)
Flexibility.
(1)
If the requirements in subsections (a) and (b) of this section preclude
creation of an Education District that has an average daily membership of at
least 1,000 students, then the Plan may create an alternative governance
structure
providing
common
services
to
two
prekindergarten–grade
12
districts:
one existing or newly realigned district that operates one or more
public schools offering elementary and secondary education and one existing
or newly realigned district that pays tuition for some or all grades.
(2)
If other factors preclude creation of an Education District that has an
average daily membership of at least 1,000 students, then the Plan may create
an Education District that does not meet that criterion provided that the District
otherwise meets the criteria of an Education District and furthers the purposes
of this chapter.
(d)
Statement of intent.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to
restrict or repeal, or to authorize the restriction or repeal of, the ability of a
school district that, as of the effective date of this act, provides for the
education of all resident students in one or more grades:
(1)
by paying tuition on the students’ behalf, to continue to provide
education by paying tuition on behalf of all students in the grade or grades; or
(2)
by operating a school offering the grade or grades, to continue to
provide education by operating a school for all students in the grade or grades.
§ 4058.
PRELIMINARY STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT PLAN
(a)
On or before April 1, 2017, the Design Team shall:
(1)
within the boundaries of each supervisory union, consult with
members of school boards, parents, students, school administrators, teachers
and other school staff, public and private entities that regularly collaborate
with schools, and other local education and community leaders;
- 2297 -
(2)
conduct no fewer than ten facilitated public engagement meetings
throughout the State, which:
(A)
include an overview by the facilitator of the objectives and
fundamental features of a 21st Century learning model;
(B)
solicit public comments that identify individual and community
visions, values, and goals relating to Vermont’s education system; and
(C)
provide Vermonters the opportunity to comment on and inform
development of the prekindergarten–grade 12 realignment process;
(3)
conduct independent research and seek data, advice, and assistance
from any individual and any public or private entity to inform development of
the Plan;
(4)
develop the preliminary Plan that reflects public comments and
pertinent educational research and related models, which shall include:
(A)
a description of the State’s vision for the characteristics and
delivery of prekindergarten–grade 12 education in Vermont;
(B)
a schedule and process by which transition to the new districts
shall be fully implemented on or before July 1, 2020;
(C)
a process, distinct from the additional public engagement
meetings required in subsection 4059(a) of this chapter, by which a district can
request a change in its proposed placement within an Education District or
otherwise voice unique concerns prior to adoption of the final Plan;
(5)
make the preliminary Plan available to the public; and
(6)
submit the preliminary Plan to the State Board and the General
Assembly for review.
(b)
Within 28 days of receipt, the Joint Fiscal Office shall review the
preliminary Plan and prepare a fiscal note to assist the General Assembly and
the public to conduct informed deliberations on the preliminary Plan.
The
fiscal note shall contain an estimate of the effect of the Plan upon the
expenditures or revenues of the State and school districts for fiscal year 2021
and for the next five succeeding years
§ 4059.
FINAL STATEWIDE REALIGNMENT PLAN
(a)
Between April 1, 2017 and November 1, 2017, the Design Team shall:
(1)
conduct no fewer than ten public engagement meetings throughout
the State and consult with local educational and community leaders to obtain
opinions and comments on the preliminary Statewide Realignment Plan;
- 2298 -
(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;
(3)
conduct the process by which a district can request a change in its
proposed placement;
(4)
consult with the State Board of Education; and
(5)
develop a final Statewide Realignment Plan, which shall include a
description of the State’s vision for education and 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 November 1, 2017, the Design Team shall submit the final
Plan to the State Board, which shall post it on its website.
(c)
On or before January 1, 2018:
(1)
the State Board shall submit the final Plan with the Board’s
recommendations to the General Assembly: and
(2)
the Joint Fiscal Office shall review the final Plan and prepare a fiscal
note to assist the General Assembly and the public to conduct informed
deliberations on the final Plan.
The fiscal note shall contain an estimate of the
effect of the Plan upon the expenditures or revenues of the State and school
districts for fiscal year 2021 and for the next five succeeding years.
(d)
The final Statewide Realignment Plan presented to the General
Assembly shall take effect on July 1, 2018 when the General Assembly enacts
it, or an amended plan, into law.
§ 4060.
ACCOUNTABILITY
On or before July 1, 2016:
(1)
the Agency of Education shall have fully implemented statewide,
integrated systems to maintain financial reporting and accounting data and
longitudinal student data that are designed to measure and to compare on a
district-to-district basis:
(A)
the quality and variety of educational opportunities available to
students throughout the State;
(B)
student outcomes; and
(C)
financial costs; and
(2)
each
supervisory
union
and
school
district
shall
have
the
technological ability to provide all requested data to both data systems and
- 2299 -
access all data to which they are entitled under State and federal privacy laws,
and shall follow protocols to be developed by the Agency by which they
transition the data systems, if necessary, to the Education Districts.
§ 4061.
TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
(a)
As used in this section, “realigning districts” means the school districts
and the supervisory union, supervisory unions, or portions of supervisory
unions that compose an Education District created under the RED process
pursuant to section 4055 of this chapter or under the Statewide Realignment
Plan.
(b)
Prior to the first day of the Education District’s existence, upon the
election of the initial transitional board, the board shall:
(1)
appoint a negotiations council for the purpose of negotiating with
future employees’ representatives; and
(2)
recognize the representatives of the employees of the realigning
districts as the recognized representatives of the employees of the Education
District.
(c)
Negotiations shall commence within 90 days after formation of the
initial transitional board and shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of
16 V.S.A. chapter 57 for teachers and administrators and pursuant to 21 V.S.A.
chapter 22 for other employees.
(d)
An employee of a realigning district who was not a probationary
employee shall not be considered a probationary employee of the Education
District.
(e)
If a new agreement is not ratified by both parties prior to July 1, 2020,
or the first day of the Education District’s existence if earlier than July 1, 2020:
(1)
the parties shall comply with the existing agreements in place in
each of the realigning districts until a new agreement is reached;
(2)
the parties shall adhere to the provisions of an agreement among the
employees, as represented by their respective recognized representatives,
regarding how provisions under the existing contracts regarding issues of
seniority, reduction in force, layoff, and recall will be reconciled during the
period prior to ratification of a new agreement; and
(3)
a new employee beginning employment after July 1, 2020, or the
first day of the Education District’s existence if earlier than July 1, 2020, shall
be covered by the agreement in effect that applies to the largest bargaining unit
among the realigning districts in that Education District.
- 2300 -
(f)
On the first day of its existence, the Education District shall assume the
obligations of existing individual employment contracts between the realigning
districts and their employees.
§ 4062.
INNOVATION
During and after the creation of Education Districts under this chapter,
districts are encouraged to explore innovative ways to expand learning
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, students
not demonstrating adequate academic growth, 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.
§ 4063.
GUIDELINES
AND
FLEXIBLE,
ALTERNATIVE
MODELS;
ACCOUNTABILITY
(a)
Guidelines; models.
The Agency of Education, in consultation with the
Design Team, shall revise and add to the existing template developed in
connection with the RED process to provide meaningful guidance and flexible,
alternative models to districts pursuing voluntary realignment under this
chapter and districts created under the Statewide Realignment Plan on issues
including voting and representation on Education District boards; tax rates; the
funding and payment structure for career technical education (CTE) centers by
new districts created under this chapter that do not operate a center and the
governance structure of CTE districts; municipal ownership of school-related
property; procedures for voting on a districtwide budget; and unique matters
relating to existing incorporated school districts.
The Agency and Design
Team shall update these materials as necessary until full implementation of the
Education Districts.
(b)
Performance indicators; accountability.
(1)
The Agency, in consultation with the State Board of Education,
shall develop
criteria
by
which
to
measure
requirements
itemized
in
subdivision 4056(b)(10) of this chapter in order to:
(A)
provide guidance:
(i)
to school districts pursuing voluntary realignment pursuant to
section 4055 of this chapter;
- 2301 -
(ii)
to the State Board when reviewing reports under the voluntary
realignment phase and the preliminary and final Statewide Realignment
Plans; and
(iii)
in the development of the Statewide Realignment Plan; and
(B)
measure performance and ensure accountability after districts
transition to an Education District.
(2)
On or before January 1, 2015, the Agency shall complete the work
required under subdivision (1) of this subsection and present a detailed
explanation of the performance indicators to the House Committees on
Education and on Ways and Means and the Senate Committees on Education
and on Finance for review and potential adoption of legislation that would
provide guidance during the realignment process and clarification of State
policy.
Second:
In Sec. 2, by striking out subdivision (6) in its entirety and
inserting in lieu thereof a new subdivision (6) to read:
(6)
2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 9 (reimbursement of up to
$20,000.00 in fees relating to merger of school districts).
Third:
After Sec. 2 and before the reader assistance heading, by inserting
two new sections to be Secs. 2a and 2b to read:
Sec. 2a.
2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, Sec. 2(a), as amended by 2012 Acts
and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 1, is further amended to read:
(a)
Program created.
There is created a school district merger incentive
program under which the incentives outlined in Sec. 4 of this act shall be
available to each new unified union school district created pursuant to Sec. 3 of
this act and to each new district created under Sec. 3 of this act by the merger
of districts that provide education by paying tuition; and to the Vermont
members of any new interstate school district if the Vermont members jointly
satisfy the size criterion of Sec. 3(a)(1) of this act and the new, merged district
meets all other requirements of Sec. 3 of this act.
Incentives shall be available,
however, only if the effective date of merger is electorate approves the merger
on or before July 1, 2017.
Sec. 2b.
2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, Sec. 4, as amended by 2012 Acts
and Resolves No. 156, Sec. 13, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4.
VOLUNTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT MERGER; INCENTIVES
* * *
(h)
This section is repealed on July 1, 2017 2024.
- 2302 -
Fourth:
By striking out Sec. 7 and the related reader assistance heading in
their entirety and inserting a new section to be Sec. 7 and a related reader
assistance headings to read:
* * * Ownership of School Buildings * * *
Sec. 7. OWNERSHIP OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS; TRANSFER OF TITLE
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in each of the
following situations, title to real property owned by a school district shall
transfer to the municipality that is not a school district in which the property is
located unless the electorate of the municipality votes not to accept ownership:
(1)
if existing school districts choose to discontinue use of the property
as a school building as part of realignment into an Education District;
(2)
if an Education District chooses to discontinue use of the property as
a school building at any time after realignment occurs; or
(3)
if, at the time of realignment, the property is owned by a school
district that does not operate a school.
and that after passage the title of the bill be amended to read:
“An act relating
to prekindergarten–grade 12 education districts”.
( Committee Vote: 9-1-1)
Rep.
Heath
of
Westford,
for
the
Committee
on
Appropriations,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the
Committee on
Ways and Means
and
Education
when further amended as
follows:
First:
In Sec. 1, 16 V.S.A. § 4056 (statewide realignment plan; elements),
in subsection (b), by striking out subdivision (2) in its entirety and inserting in
lieu thereof a new subdivision (2) to read:
(2)
have an average daily membership of at least 1,000 students or result
from the realignment of at least four existing districts, or both, as may be
adjusted by the flexibility authority in subsection 4057(c) of this title;
Second:
After Sec. 7, by inserting five new sections to be Secs. 8 through
12 and a related reader assistance heading to read:
* * * Special Fund; Appropriations; Positions * * *
Sec. 8.
PREKINDERGARTEN–GRADE 12 DISTRICT SPECIAL FUND
(a)
There is created a special fund pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7,
subchapter 5, comprising sums deposited into this account and interest
- 2303 -
accruing to the Fund.
Any remaining balance at the end of the fiscal year shall
be carried forward in the Fund.
(b)
Monies in the Fund shall be available to the Agency of Education to be
used to support the purposes of this act as follows:
(1)
to support the work of the Agency to provide technical assistance to
districts during the voluntary realignment process;
(2)
to support the work of the State Board of Education during the
voluntary realignment process and to review and prepare recommendations
regarding the Statewide Realignment Plan;
(3)
to support the work of the Design Team created in Sec. 1, 16 V.S.A.
§ 4054, of this act to monitor the voluntary realignment process, to conduct
public hearings and other public engagement activities, and to develop the
preliminary and final Plans;
(4)
to contract for technical assistance from recognized experts on
behalf of the Design Team, including for the services of a skilled facilitator
with deep experience in public policy at the community and State levels for the
ten or more public hearings preceding development of the preliminary
Plan; and
(5)
to reimburse up to $20,000.00 in fees incurred by groups of districts
during the voluntary realignment process pursuant to 2012 Acts and Resolves
No. 156, Sec. 9.
(c)
The fund shall be known as the Prekindergarten–Grade 12 District
Special Fund.
(d)
This section and the Fund it creates are repealed on July 1, 2024.
Sec. 9.
POSITIONS; AGENCY OF EDUCATION
The General Assembly authorizes the establishment of four new limited
service positions in the Agency of Education in fiscal year 2015 as follows:
(1)
one clerical position to provide assistance primarily to the Design
Team created in Sec. 1 of this act; and
(2)
three analyst positions to provide technical assistance to school
districts during the voluntary realignment process and after adoption of the
Statewide Realignment Plan, to the State Board, and to the Design Team.
Sec. 10.
TRANSFERS
(a)
The sum of $2,069,175.00 is transferred in fiscal year 2014 from the
Supplemental Property Tax Relief Fund created by 32 V.S.A. § 6075 to the
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Prekindergarten–Grade 12 District Special Fund for use in fiscal years 2015
and 2016.
(b)
The sum of $329,000.00 in unexpended monies appropriated to support
the purposes of 2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153 and 2012 Acts and Resolves
No. 156 is transferred in fiscal year 2014 and may be carried forward to fiscal
year 2015 for the purpose of funding the positions and activities authorized
under Secs. 8 and 9 of this act.
Sec.
11.
PREKINDERGARTEN–GRADE
12
DISTRICT
APPROPRIATIONS
The following sums are appropriated from the Prekindergarten–Grade 12
District Special Fund to the Agency of Education in fiscal year 2015:
(1)
the sum of $362,650.00 for personal services;
(2)
the sum of $53,575.00 for operational expenses; and
(3)
the sum of $351,000.00 for grant funding for districts.
Sec. 12.
EDUCATION ANALYST; UNIFORM CHART OF ACCOUNTS;
BUSINESS
MANAGER
HANDBOOK
AND
TRAINING;
SOFTWARE SPECIFICATIONS
Secs. 8–11 of this act are intended to be in addition to, and to work in
concert with, those sections of 2014 Acts and Resolves No. ____ (H.889)
(education tax) regarding an education analyst who shall create tools and
indicators for State and local education decision makers and a contract for
development and completion of a uniform chart of accounts; an updated,
comprehensive accounting manual, with related business rules, for school
district business managers; related training programs; and specifications for
school financial software.
and by renumbering the remaining section to be numerically correct.
( Committee Vote: 10-1-0)
Amendment to be offered by Reps. Cross of Winooski, Johnson of
Canaan,
Manwaring
of
Wilmington,
Martin
of
Wolcott,
Toleno
of
Brattleboro, and Young of Glover to H. 883
Sec. 1.
REGIONAL EDUCATION DISTRICTS; SIMULATION; REPORT
(a)
The State Board of Education, in consultation with the Agency of
Education, the Vermont School Boards Association, and school districts, shall
identify at least three groups of school districts (Test Sites) in different regions
of the State for a simulated analysis of regional education district (RED)
formation pursuant to 2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, as amended by 2012
- 2305 -
Acts and Resolves No. 156.
Both the school districts consulted and those
analyzed shall be diversely representative of geography, size, socioeconomics,
and other factors.
(b)
The simulation shall comprehensively analyze the educational and
financial benefits and detriments of consolidation in each of the three Test
Sites, including a review of curriculum, course offerings, special programs,
budgets,
class
sizes
and
student-to-adult
ratios,
collective
bargaining
agreements, district educational policies, relationships between schools and the
community, and other important factors identified during the process.
When
analyzing financial costs, the simulation shall assume that employees within a
RED bargaining unit shall receive compensation pursuant to the highest-paying
fiscal
year 2015
compensation
schedule
of
the
original
districts.
The
simulation shall develop a possible administrative structure and budget for the
RED, as well as an estimate of a unified education property tax rate for each of
the Test Sites using data from fiscal year 2015 district budgets.
The simulation
shall also explore alternative governance structures for the REDs and shall
consider constitutionally sound alternatives, such as weighted and nonweighted
voting board members.
(c)
When it has finished its analysis, but before it has issued a final report,
the State Board shall meet with the communities analyzed under this section to
present and discuss the results of its work.
(d)
The State Board shall provide an interim report regarding the work
required by this section to the House and Senate Committees on Education, the
House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance
on or before January 15, 2015.
(e)
The State Board shall provide a final report of its analysis to the
committees identified in subsection (d) of this section on or before November
15, 2015.
The final report shall provide the comprehensive data needed to
inform future legislation related to the consolidation of existing school districts
into larger prekindergarten–grade 12 REDs.
Sec. 2
POSITION; AGENCY OF EDUCATION
The General Assembly authorizes the establishment of one new limited
service position in the Agency of Education in fiscal year 2015 to coordinate
the activities and prepare the report required in Sec. 1 of this act on behalf of
the State Board of Education.
Sec. 3.
APPROPRIATION
- 2306 -
The sum of $85,250.00 is appropriated from the Supplemental Property Tax
Relief Fund created by 32 V.S.A. § 6075 to the Agency of Education in fiscal
year 2015 to hire the limited services employee authorized in Sec. 2 of this act.
Sec. 4.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
and that after passage the title of the bill be amended to read:
“An act relating
to requiring a simulation of regional education district formation”.
J.R.H. 23
Joint resolution relating to the cleanup of Lake Champlain.
Rep. Quimby of Concord,
for the Committee on
Fish, Wildlife & Water
Resources,
recommends that the resolution be amended by by striking all after
the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Whereas, the quality of life in Vermont is tied to clean water that attracts
businesses and tourists to Vermont; provides opportunities for swimming,
boating, fishing, and viewing wildlife; is a source of potable drinking water;
and is an important driver of the State economy, and
Whereas,
discharge
of
nutrient
pollutants
from
land
into
the
Lake
Champlain,
Connecticut
River,
and
Lake
Memphremagog
basins
causes
negative impacts on water quality, including algal blooms of cyanobacteria or
blue-green algae, that harms animals and people, impairs recreational uses,
diminishes aesthetic enjoyment, adversely affects the taste of drinking water,
and harms the biological community, and
Whereas, the cost of addressing the negative effects of nutrient pollution in
Vermont waters will continue to mount unless action is taken now to reduce
the impact of land uses in order to curb the loading of nutrients into our waters,
including Lake Champlain, and
Whereas, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a pollution budget
approved under the Clean Water Act that caps the total amount of a pollutant
that may enter an impaired body of water, and
Whereas, the Clean Water Act is concerned with controlling both “point
sources” of pollution that include discharges from “discernible, confined and
discrete conveyances” such as pipes, ditches, and tunnels, as well as “nonpoint
sources”
of
pollution
that
include
discharges
from
overland
runoff,
precipitation,
atmospheric
deposition,
drainage,
seepage,
or
hydrologic
modification, and
Whereas, in January 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) revoked its approval of the Vermont portion of the Lake Champlain
- 2307 -
TMDL, primarily because the plan did not provide sufficient reasonable
assurances that the necessary reductions would be achieved from nonpoint
sources of phosphorous, and
Whereas, the EPA is developing a new TMDL to require Vermont to reduce
the total loading of phosphorous into Lake Champlain from Vermont sources
from 533 metric tons per year to 343 metric tons per year, a reduction of 39
percent, and
Whereas, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
prepared a draft EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Plan for the
new Lake Champlain TMDL that was presented to EPA that includes, among
other measures, reduction of nonpoint phosphorous pollution from urban and
suburban
stormwater,
agricultural
stormwater,
stormwater
from
roads,
sediment and phosphorous discharges caused by stream bank erosion, and
sediment and phosphorous discharges from forestry practices, and
Whereas, the broad policy commitments in the EPA Lake Champlain
Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Plan are intended to provide EPA with reasonable
assurance that the State can achieve reduced phosphorous loading largely
through those nonpoint sources of phosphorous, and
Whereas, the EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Plan will
serve as a model to improve water quality in water basins throughout
Vermont, and
Whereas,
implementation
of
the
new
TMDL
will
require
significant
resources
over
the
next
two
decades,
placing
demands
on
Vermont
municipalities, businesses, and farmers, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly requests that the EPA accept as “reasonable
assurance” Vermont’s proposed EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL
Phase 1 Plan, when funded appropriately, and be it further
Resolved:
That the General Assembly requests the U.S. Congress provide
federal funds for a significant portion of the costs of implementing a
comprehensive approach to cleaning up all of Vermont waters, including the
new Lake Champlain TMDL, and be it further
Resolved:
That the General Assembly requests the Administration propose
additional new dedicated revenue sources to pay for an appropriate portion of
the costs of cleaning up all the waters of Vermont and to implement the new
Lake Champlain TMDL in a manner that minimizes financial impacts on
Vermont farmers, businesses, and communities and allocates those costs fairly,
and be it further
- 2308 -
Resolved:
That, despite the Administration’s unwillingness to collaborate
with the General Assembly this year, the General Assembly will work with the
Administration during the next biennium to enact legislation to ensure that
Vermont has the legal authority and resources necessary to implement the
cleanup of Vermont waters and the new TMDL, and be it further
Resolved:
That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this
resolution to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the
Vermont Congressional Delegation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,
New York Speaker of the House Sheldon Silver, New Hampshire Governor
Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, Quebec
Premier Philippe Couillard, and the National Assembly of Quebec
(Committee Vote: 8-0-1 )
(For Text of Resolution see House Journal April 23, 2014 Page 1234)
S. 208
An act relating to solid waste management
Rep. Ellis of Waterbury,
for the Committee on
Natural Resources and
Energy,
recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be
amended as follows:
* * * Architectural Waste Recycling* * *
Sec. 1.
FINDINGS
The General Assembly finds that, for the purposes of Secs. 1–3 of this act:
(1)
Certain waste from commercial development projects can create
significant issues for the capacity and operation of landfills in the State.
(2)
There are opportunities for materials recovery of certain waste from
commercial development projects in a manner consistent with Vermont’s solid
waste management priorities of reuse and recycling.
(3)
Substantial opportunity exists in Vermont for the recovery and
recycling of certain materials in the waste from commercial development
projects, including wood, drywall, asphalt shingles, and metal.
(4)
To reduce the amount of waste from commercial development
projects in landfills and improve materials recovery, the construction industry
should attempt to recover certain waste from commercial development projects
from the overall waste stream.
Sec. 2.
10 V.S.A. § 6605m is added to read:
§ 6605m.
ARCHITECTURAL WASTE RECYCLING
- 2309 -
(a)
Definitions.
In addition to the definitions in section 6602 of this
chapter, as used in this section:
(1)
“Architectural waste” means discarded drywall, metal, asphalt
shingles,
clean
wood,
and
treated
or
painted
wood
derived
from
the
construction or demolition of buildings or structures.
(2)
“Commercial project” means construction, renovation, or demolition
of a commercial building or of a residential building with two or more
residential units.
(b)
Materials recovery requirement.
Beginning on or after January 1, 2015,
if a person produces 40 cubic yards or more of architectural waste at a
commercial project located within 20 miles of a solid waste facility that
recycles architectural waste, the person shall:
(1)
arrange for the transfer of architectural waste from the project to a
certified
solid
waste
facility,
which
shall
be
required
to
recycle
the
architectural waste or arrange for its reuse unless the facility demonstrates to
the Secretary a lack of a market for recycling or reuse and a plan for reentering
the market when it is reestablished; or
(2)
arrange for a method of disposition of the architectural waste that the
Secretary of Natural Resources deems appropriate as an end use, including
transfer of the architectural waste to an out-of-state facility that recycles
architectural waste and similar materials.
(c)
Transition; application.
The requirements of this section shall not apply
to a commercial project subject to a contract entered into on or before
January 1, 2015 for the disposal or recycling of architectural waste from the
project.
(d)
Guidance on separation of hazardous materials.
The Secretary of
Natural Resources shall publish informational material regarding the need for a
solid waste facility that recycles architectural waste to manage properly and
provide for the disposition of hazardous waste and hazardous material in
architectural waste delivered to a facility.
Sec. 3.
ANR REPORT ON ARCHITECTURAL WASTE RECYCLING
On or before January 1, 2017, the Secretary of Natural Resources, after
consultation with interested persons, shall submit to the Senate and House
Committees
on
Natural
Resources
and
Energy
a
report
regarding
implementation of the requirements for architectural waste recycling in the
State under 10 V.S.A. § 6605m.
The report shall include:
(1)
a summary of the implementation of the requirements of 10 V.S.A.
§ 6605m for the recycling of architectural waste;
- 2310 -
(2)
an estimate of the amount of architectural waste recycled or reused
since January 1, 2015;
(3)
whether viable markets exist for the cost-effective recycling or reuse
of additional components of the waste stream from commercial projects;
(4)
a recommendation as to whether architectural waste should be
banned from landfill disposal; and
(5)
any other recommended statutory changes to the requirements of this
section.
* * * Solid Waste Management Facility Certification * * *
Sec. 4.
10 V.S.A. § 6605 is amended to read:
§ 6605.
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY CERTIFICATION
* * *
(j)
A facility certified under this section that offers the collection of
municipal solid waste shall:
* * *
(l)
A facility certified under this section that offers the collection of
municipal solid waste shall not charge a separate fee for the collection of
mandated recyclables.
A facility certified under this section may incorporate
the cost of the collection of mandated recyclables into the cost of the collection
of municipal solid waste and may adjust the charge for the collection of
municipal solid waste.
A facility certified under this section may charge a
separate fee for the collection of leaf and yard residuals or food residuals.
If a
facility collects mandated recyclables from a commercial hauler, the facility
may charge a fee for the collection of those mandated recyclables.
Sec. 5.
10 V.S.A. § 6605c(a) is amended to read:
(a)
Notwithstanding sections 6605, 6605f, and 6611 of this title, no person
may construct, substantially alter, or operate any categorical solid waste
facility without first obtaining a certificate from the Secretary.
Certificates
shall be valid for a period not to exceed five 10 years.
* * * Solid Waste Transporters; Mandated Recyclables * * *
Sec. 6.
10 V.S.A. § 6607a is amended to read:
§ 6607a.
WASTE TRANSPORTATION
(a)
A commercial hauler desiring to transport waste within the State shall
apply to the Secretary for a permit to do so, by submitting an application on a
form prepared for this purpose by the Secretary and by submitting the
- 2311 -
disclosure statement described in section 6605f of this title.
These permits
shall have a duration of five years and shall be renewed annually.
The
application shall indicate the nature of the waste to be hauled.
The Secretary
may
specify
conditions
that
the
Secretary
deems
necessary
to
assure
compliance with state State law.
(b)
As used in this section:
(1)
“Commercial hauler” means:
(A)
any person that transports regulated quantities of hazardous
waste; and
(B)
any person that transports solid waste for compensation in a
vehicle having a rated capacity of more than one ton.
(2)
The commercial hauler required to obtain a permit under this section
is the legal or commercial entity that is transporting the waste, rather than the
individual employees and subcontractors of the legal or commercial entity.
In
the case of a sole proprietorship, the sole proprietor is the commercial entity.
* * *
(g)(1)
Except as set forth in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, a
transporter certified under this section that offers the collection of municipal
solid waste shall:
(A)
Beginning July 1, 2015, offer to collect mandated recyclables
separated from other solid waste and deliver mandated recyclables to a facility
maintained and operated for the management and recycling of mandated
recyclables.
(B)
Beginning July 1, 2016, offer to collect leaf and yard residuals
separate from other solid waste and deliver leaf and yard residuals to a location
that manages leaf and yard residuals in a manner consistent with the priority
uses established under subdivisions 6605k(a)(3)–(5) of this title.
(C)
Beginning July 1, 2017, offer collection of food residuals
separate from other solid waste and deliver to a location that manages food
residuals in a manner consistent with the priority uses established under
subdivisions 6605k(a)(2)–(5) of this title.
(2)
In a municipality that has adopted a solid waste management
ordinance addressing the collection of mandated recyclables, leaf and yard
residuals, or food residuals, a transporter in that municipality is not required to
comply with the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection and
subsection (h) of this section for the material addressed by the ordinance if the
ordinance:
- 2312 -
(A)
is applicable to all residents of the municipality;
(B)
prohibits a resident from opting out of municipally-provided
municipally provided solid waste services; and
(C)
does not apply a variable rate for the collection for the material
addressed by the ordinance.
(3)
A transporter is not required to comply with the requirements of
subdivision (1)(A), (B), or (C) of this subsection in a specified area within a
municipality if:
(A)
the Secretary has approved a solid waste implementation plan for
the municipality;
(B)
for purposes of waiver of the requirements of subdivision (1)(A)
of this subsection (g), the Secretary determines that under the approved plan:
(i)
the municipality is achieving the per capita disposal rate in the
State Solid Waste Plan; and
(ii)
the municipality demonstrates that its progress toward meeting
the diversion goal in the State Solid Waste Plan is substantially equivalent to
that of municipalities complying with the requirements of subdivision (1)(A)
of this subsection (g);
(C)
the
approved
plan
delineates
an
area
where
solid
waste
management services required by subdivision (1)(A), (B), or (C) of this
subsection (g) are not required; and
(C)(D)
in the delineated area, alternatives to the services, including
on site on-site management, required under subdivision (1)(A), (B), or (C) of
this subsection (g) are offered, the alternative services have capacity to serve
the needs of all residents in the delineated area, and the alternative services are
convenient to residents of the delineated area.
(h)
A transporter certified under this section that offers the collection of
municipal solid waste may not charge a separate line item fee on a bill to a
residential customer for the collection of mandated recyclables, provided that a
transporter may charge a fee for all service calls, stops, or collections at a
residential property and a transporter may charge a tiered or variable fee based
on the size of the collection container provided to a residential customer or the
amount of waste collected from a residential customer.
A transporter certified
under this section may incorporate the cost of the collection of mandated
recyclables into the cost of the collection of solid waste and may adjust the
charge for the collection of solid waste.
A transporter certified under this
section that offers the collection of solid waste may charge a separate fee for
- 2313 -
the collection of leaf and yard residuals or food residuals from a residential
customer.
* * * Solid Waste Infrastructure Advisory Committee * * *
Sec. 7.
SOLID WASTE INFRASTRUCTURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
(a)
The Secretary of Natural Resources shall convene a Solid Waste
Infrastructure
Advisory
Committee
to
review
the
current
solid
waste
management infrastructure in the State, evaluate the sufficiency of existing
solid waste management infrastructure to meet the requirements of subsection
6605(j) of this title, and recommend development or construction of new solid
waste management infrastructure in the State.
(b)
The Solid Waste Infrastructure Advisory Committee shall be composed
of the Secretary of Natural Resources or his or her designee and the following
members, to be appointed by the Secretary of Natural Resources:
(1)
three representatives of the solid waste management districts or other
solid waste management entities in the State;
(2)
one representative of a solid waste collector that owns or operates a
material recovery facility;
(3)
two representatives of solid waste commercial haulers, provided that
one of the commercial haulers shall serve rural or underpopulated areas of the
State;
(4)
one representative of recyclers of food residuals or leaf and yard
residuals; and
(5)
one Vermont institution or business subject to the requirements
under subsection 6605(j) of this title for the management of food residuals.
(c)
The Solid Waste Infrastructure Advisory Committee shall:
(1)
review the existing systems analysis of the State waste stream to
determine whether the existing solid waste management facilities operating in
the State provide sufficient services to comply with the requirements of
subsection 6605(j) of this title, and meet any demand for services;
(2)
summarize the locations or service sectors where the State lacks
sufficient infrastructure or resources to comply with the requirements of and
demand
generated
by
subsection
6605(j)
of
this
title,
including
the
infrastructure necessary in each location;
(3)
estimate the cost of constructing the necessary infrastructure
identified under subdivision (2) of this subsection; and
- 2314 -
(4)
review options for generating the revenue sufficient to fund the costs
of constructing necessary infrastructure.
(d)
Report.
On or before January 15, 2015, the Solid Waste Infrastructure
Advisory Committee shall submit to the Senate and House Committees on
Natural Resources and Energy a report that includes the information and data
developed under subsection (c) of this section.
* * * Effective Date * * *
Sec. 8.
EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.
(Committee vote: 11-0-0 )
(For text see Senate Journal March 26, 2014 )
Rep. Masland of Thetford,
for the Committee on
Ways and Means,
recommends the bill ought to pass when amended as recommended by the
Committee on
Natural Resources and Energy
and when further amended as
follows:
First:
By adding Sec. 7a to read as follows:
* * * Vermont Green Up Checkoff * * *
Sec. 7a.
32 V.S.A. § 5862f is added to read:
§ 5862f.
VERMONT GREEN UP CHECKOFF
(a)
Returns filed by individuals shall include, on a form prescribed by the
Commissioner of Taxes, an opportunity for the taxpayer to designate funds to
Vermont Green Up, Inc.
(b)
Amounts so designated shall be deducted from refunds due to, or
overpayments made by, the designating taxpayers.
All amounts so designated
and deducted shall be deposited in an account by the Commissioner of Taxes
for payment to Vermont Green Up, Inc.
If at any time after the payment of
amounts so designated to the account it is determined that the taxpayer was not
entitled to all or any part of the amount so designated, the Commissioner may
assess, and the account shall then pay to the Commissioner, the amount
received, together with interest at the rate prescribed by section 3108 of this
title, from the date the payment was made until the date of repayment.
(c)
The Commissioner of Taxes shall explain to taxpayers the purposes of
the account and how to contribute to it.
The Commissioner shall make
available to taxpayers the annual income and expense report of Vermont Green
Up, Inc. and shall provide notice in the instructions for the State individual
income tax return that the report is available at the Department of Taxes.
- 2315 -
(d)
If amounts paid with respect to a return are insufficient to cover both
the amount owed on the return under this chapter and the amount designated
by the taxpayer as a contribution to Vermont Green Up, Inc., the payment shall
first be applied to the amount owed on the return under this chapter and the
balance, if any, shall be deposited in the account.
(e)
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Commissioner
to collect any amount designated as a contribution to Vermont Green Up, Inc.
Second:
By striking out Sec. 8 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a
new Sec. 8 to read as follows:
* * *Effective Dates* * *
Sec. 8.
EFFECTIVE DATES
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014, except that Sec. 7a (Vermont
Green Up Checkoff) shall take effect on January 1, 2015 and apply to returns
filed after that date.
( Committee Vote: 11-0-0)
S. 220
An act relating to furthering economic development
Rep. Botzow of Pownal,
for the Committee on
Commerce and Economic
Development,
recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill
be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu
thereof the following:
* * * One-Stop Business Support Services * * *
Sec. 1.
ONE-STOP SHOP WEB PORTAL
(a)
Purpose.
The State of Vermont seeks to simplify and expedite the
process for business creation and growth by providing:
(1)
a clear guide to resources and technical assistance for all phases of
business development;
(2)
a directory of financial assistance, including grants, funding capital,
tax credits, and incentives;
(3)
a
directory
of
workforce
development
assistance,
including
recruiting, job postings, and training;
(4)
a link to centralized business services available from the Secretary of
State, the Department of Labor, the Department of Taxes, and others; and
(5)
agency contacts and links for available services and resources.
- 2316 -
(b)
Administration.
On or before June 30, 2015, the Secretary of State,
Department of Taxes, Department of Labor, the Vermont Attorney General,
the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Agency of
Administration shall coordinate with other relevant agencies and departments
within State government and outside partners, including regional development
corporations, regional planning commissions, and small business development
centers, to provide comprehensive business services, regional coaching teams,
print materials, other outreach, and a “One-Stop Shop” website, consistent with
the following timeline:
(1)
Phase 1.
Complete necessary partner outreach and collaboration and
an inventory of existing websites, determine the appropriate content to be
included on the One-Stop website, and update current websites to include links
to State agencies and departments with regulatory oversight and authority over
Vermont businesses.
(2) Phase 2.
Edit and organize the content to be included on the
One-Stop website.
(3)
Phase 3.
Complete the design and mapping of the One-Stop website.
(4)
Phase 4.
Complete a communications and outreach plan with a final
funding
proposal
for
the
project.
- 2317 -
* * * Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund * * *
Sec. 1a. 32 V.S.A. § 136 is added to read:
§ 136.
VERMONT ENTERPRISE INVESTMENT FUND
(a)
There is created a Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund, the sums of
which may be used by the Governor, with the approval of the Emergency
Board, for the purpose of making economic and financial resources available
to businesses facing circumstances that necessitate State government support
and response more rapidly than would otherwise be available from, or that
would be in addition to, other economic incentives.
(b)(1)
The Fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of Finance and
Management as a special fund under the provisions of chapter 7, subchapter 5
of this title.
(2)
The Fund shall contain any amounts transferred or appropriated to it
by the General Assembly.
(3)
Interest earned on the Fund and any balance remaining at the end of
the fiscal year shall remain in the Fund.
(4)
The Commissioner shall maintain records that indicate the amount of
money in the Fund at any given time.
(c)
The Governor is authorized to use amounts available in the Fund to
offer economic and financial resources to an eligible business pursuant to this
section, subject to approval by the Emergency Board as provided in subsection
(e) of this section.
(d)
To be eligible for an investment through the Fund, the Governor shall
determine that a business:
(1)
adequately demonstrates:
(A)
a substantial statewide or regional economic or employment
impact; or
(B)
approval or eligibility for other economic development incentives
and programs offered by the State of Vermont; and
(2)
is experiencing one or more of the following circumstances:
(A)
a merger or acquisition may cause the closing of all or a portion
of a Vermont business, or closure or relocation outside Vermont will cause the
loss of employment in Vermont;
- 2318 -
(B)
a prospective purchaser is considering the acquisition of an
existing business in Vermont;
(C)
an existing employer in Vermont, which is a division or
subsidiary of a multistate or multinational company, may be closed or have its
employment significantly reduced; or
(D)
is considering Vermont for relocation or expansion.
(e)(1)
Any economic and financial resources offered by the Governor under
this section must be approved by the Emergency Board before an eligible
business may receive assistance from the Fund.
(2)
Subject to approval by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and
the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, the Board shall
invite the Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing
and General Affairs and the Chair of the House Committee on Commerce and
Economic Development to participate in Board deliberations under this section
in an advisory capacity.
(3)
The Governor, or his or her designee, shall present to the Emergency
Board for its approval:
(A)
information on the company;
(B)
the circumstances supporting the offer of economic and financial
resources;
(C)
a summary of the economic activity proposed or that would be
foregone:
(D)
other state incentives and programs offered or involved;
(E)
the economic and financial resources offered by the Governor
requiring use of monies from the Fund;
(F)
employment, investment, and economic impact of Fund support
on the employer, including a fiscal cost-benefit analysis; and
(G)
terms and conditions of the economic and financial resources
offered, including:
(i)
the total dollar amount and form of the economic and financial
resources offered;
(ii)
employment creation, employment retention, and capital
investment performance requirements; and
(iii)
disallowance and recapture provisions.
- 2319 -
(f)(1)
Proprietary business information and materials or other confidential
financial information submitted by a business to the State, or submitted by the
Governor to the Emergency Board, for the purpose of negotiating or approving
economic and financial resources under this section shall not be subject to
public disclosure under the State's public records law in 1 V.S.A. chapter 5, but
shall be available to the Joint Fiscal Office or its agent upon authorization of
the Chair of the Joint Fiscal Committee, and shall also be available to the
auditor of accounts in connection with the performance of duties under section
163 of this title; provided, however, that the Joint Fiscal Office or its agent,
and the Auditor of Accounts, shall not disclose, directly or indirectly, to any
person any proprietary business or other confidential information or any
information which would identify a business except in accordance with a
judicial order or as otherwise specifically provided by law.
(2)
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the
publication of statistical information, rulings, determinations, reports, opinions,
policies, or other information so long as the data are disclosed in a form that
cannot identify or be associated with a particular business.
(g)
On or before January 15 of each year following a year in which
economic and financial resources were made available pursuant to this section,
the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall submit to the
House Committees on Commerce and Economic Development and on Ways
and Means, and to the Senate Committees on Finance and on Economic
Development, Housing and General Affairs, a report on the resources made
available pursuant to this section, including:
(1)
the name of the recipient;
(2)
the amount and type of
the resources;
(3)
the aggregate number of jobs created or retained as a result of the
resources;
(4)
a statement of costs and benefits to the State; and
(5)
whether any offer of resources was disallowed or recaptured.
Sec. 1b.
CONTINGENT FISCAL YEAR 2014 APPROPRIATION
Prior to any transfer pursuant to Sec. B 1104 of Act 50 of 2013, the first
$5,000,000.00 of FY 2014 funds that would otherwise be transferred to the
General Fund Balance Reserve as specified by 32 V.S.A. § 308c shall be
appropriated as follows:
(1)
$500,000.00 to the Vermont Economic Development Authority for
loan loss reserves within the Vermont Entrepreneurial Lending Program for the
purposes specified in 10 V.S.A. § 280bb.
- 2320 -
(2)
$4,500,000.00 to the Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund for the
purposes specified in 32 V.S.A. § 136.
* * * Vermont Economic Development Authority * * *
Sec. 2.
10 V.S.A. chapter 12 is amended to read:
VERMONT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY
* * *
Subchapter 12.
Technology Loan Vermont Entrepreneurial Lending
Program
§ 280aa.
FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(a)(1)
Technology-based companies Vermont-based businesses in seed,
start-up, and growth-stages are a vital source of innovation, employment, and
economic growth in Vermont.
The continued development and success of this
increasingly important sector of Vermont’s economy these businesses is
dependent upon the availability of flexible, risk-based capital.
(2)
Because
the
primary
assets
of technology-based
companies
sometimes Vermont-based businesses in seed, start-up, and growth-stages
often consist almost entirely of intellectual property or insufficient tangible
assets to support conventional lending, such these companies frequently do
may not have access to conventional means of raising capital, such as asset-
based bank financing.
(b)
To support the growth of technology-based companies Vermont-based
businesses in seed, start-up, and growth-stages and the resultant creation of
high-wage higher wage employment in Vermont, a technology loan program is
established under this subchapter the General Assembly hereby creates in this
subchapter the Vermont Entrepreneurial Lending Program to support the
growth and development of seed, start-up, and growth-stage businesses.
§ 280bb.
TECHNOLOGY LOAN VERMONT ENTREPRENEURIAL
LENDING PROGRAM
(a)
There is created a technology (TECH) loan program the Vermont
Entrepreneurial Lending Program to be administered by the Vermont economic
development authority Economic Development Authority.
The program
Program shall seek to meet the working capital and capital-asset financing
needs of technology-based companies start-up, early stage, and growth-stage
businesses in Vermont.
The Program shall specifically seek to fulfill capital
requirement needs that are unmet in Vermont, including:
- 2321 -
(1)
loans up to $100,000.00 to manufacturing businesses and software
developers with innovative products that typically reflect long-term, organic
growth;
(2)
loans from up to $1,000,000.00 in growth-stage companies who do
not meet the underwriting criteria of other public and private entrepreneurial
financing sources; and
(3)
loans to businesses that are unable to access adequate capital
resources
because
the
primary
assets
of
these
businesses
are
typically
intellectual property or similar nontangible assets.
(b)
The economic development authority Authority shall establish such
adopt regulations, policies, and procedures for the program Program as are
necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.
The authority’s lending
criteria shall include consideration of in-state competition and whether a
company has made reasonable efforts to secure capital in the private sector
increase the amount of investment funds available to Vermont businesses
whose capital requirements are not being met by conventional lending sources.
(c)
When considering entrepreneurial lending through the Program, the
Authority shall give additional consideration and weight to an application of a
business whose business model and practices will have a demonstrable effect
in achieving other public policy goals of the State, including:
(1)
The business will create jobs in strategic sectors such as the
knowledge-based economy, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, wood
products manufacturing, and value-added agricultural processing.
(2)
The business is located in a designated downtown, village center,
growth
center,
industrial
park,
or
other
significant
geographic
location
recognized by the State.
(3)
The business adopts energy and thermal efficiency practices in its
operations or otherwise operates in a way that reflects a commitment to green
energy principles.
(4)
The business will create jobs that pay a livable wage and significant
benefits to Vermont employees
(d)
The Authority shall include provisions in the terms of an loan made
under the Program to ensure that a loan recipient shall maintain operations
within the State for a minimum of five years from the date on which the
recipient receives the loan funds from the Authority or shall otherwise be
required to repay the outstanding funds in full.
* * *
- 2322 -
Sec. 3.
VERMONT ENTREPRENEURIAL LENDING PROGRAM; LOAN
LOSS RESERVE FUNDS; CAPITALIZATION; PRIVATE
CAPITAL; APPROPRIATION
(a)
The Vermont Economic Development Authority shall capitalize loan
loss reserves for the Vermont Entrepreneurial Lending Program created in
10 V.S.A. § 280bb with the following funding from the following sources:
(1)
up to $1,000,000.00 from Authority funds or eligible federal funds
currently administered by the Authority; and
(2)
Fiscal Year 2014 funds appropriated to the Program pursuant to Sec.
1b. of this Act.
(b)
The Authority shall use the funds in subsection (a) of this section solely
for the purpose of establishing and maintaining loan loss reserves to guarantee
loans made pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 280bb.
Sec. 4.
10 V.S.A. chapter 16A is amended to read:
VERMONT AGRICULTURAL CREDIT PROGRAM
§ 374a.
CREATION OF THE VERMONT AGRICULTURAL CREDIT
PROGRAM
* * *
(b)
No borrower shall be approved for a loan from the corporation that
would result in the aggregate principal balances outstanding of all loans to that
borrower exceeding the then-current maximum Farm Service Agency loan
guarantee limits, or $2,000,000.00, whichever is greater.
§ 374b.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
(1)
“Agricultural facility” means land and rights in land, buildings,
structures, machinery, and equipment which is used for, or will be used for
producing, processing, preparing, packaging, storing, distributing, marketing,
or transporting agricultural products which have been primarily produced in
this state State, and working capital reasonably required to operate an
agricultural facility.
(2)
“Agricultural
land”
means
real
estate
capable
of
supporting
commercial farming or forestry, or both.
(3)
“Agricultural products” mean crops, livestock, forest products, and
other farm or forest commodities produced as a result of farming or forestry
activities.
- 2323 -
(4)
“Farm ownership loan” means a loan to acquire or enlarge a farm or
agricultural facility, to make capital improvements including construction,
purchase, and improvement of farm and agricultural facility buildings that can
be made fixtures to the real estate, to promote soil and water conservation and
protection, and to refinance indebtedness incurred for farm ownership or
operating loan purposes, or both.
(5)
“Authority” means the Vermont economic development authority
Economic Development Authority.
(6)
“Cash flow” means, on an annual basis, all income, receipts, and
revenues of the applicant or borrower from all sources and all expenses of the
applicant or borrower, including all debt service and other expenses.
(7)
“Farmer” means an individual directly engaged in the management
or operation of an agricultural facility or farm operation for whom the
agricultural facility or farm operation constitutes two or more of the following:
(A)
is or is expected to become a significant source of the farmer’s
income;
(B)
the majority of the farmer’s assets; and
(C)
an occupation in which the farmer is actively engaged in, either
on a seasonal or year-round basis.
(8)
“Farm operation” shall mean the cultivation of land or other uses of
land for the production of food, fiber, horticultural, silvicultural, orchard,
maple syrup, Christmas trees, forest products, or forest crops; the raising,
boarding, and training of equines, and the raising of livestock; or any
combination of the foregoing activities.
Farm operation also includes the
storage, preparation, retail sale, and transportation of agricultural or forest
commodities accessory to the cultivation or use of such land.
* * *
* * * Connecting Capital Providers and Entrepreneurs * * *
Sec. 5.
NETWORKING INITIATIVES; APPROPRIATION
(a)
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development shall support
networking events offered by one or more regional economic development
providers designed to connect capital providers with one another or with
Vermont entrepreneurs, or both, and shall take steps to facilitate outreach and
matchmaking opportunities between investors and entrepreneurs.
(b)
The Agency shall submit to the House Committee on Commerce and
Economic
Development
and
to
the
Senate
Committee
on
Economic
Development, Housing and General Affairs:
- 2324 -
(1)
a status report on or before January 15, 2015 concerning the
structure of networking initiatives, the relevant provisions of governing
performance contracts, and the benchmarks and measures of performance; and
(2)
a report on or before December 15, 2015 concerning the outcomes of
and further recommendations for the program.
* * * Downtown Tax Credits * * *
Sec. 6.
32 V.S.A. chapter 151, subchapter 11J is amended to read:
Subchapter 11J.
Vermont Downtown and
Village Center Tax Credit Program
§ 5930aa.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter:
* * *
(3)
“Qualified code or technology improvement project” means a
project:
(A)(i)
To to install or improve platform lifts suitable for transporting
personal
mobility
devices,
elevators,
sprinkler
systems,
and
capital
improvements in a qualified building, and the installations or improvements
are
required
to
bring
the
building
into
compliance
with
the
statutory
requirements and rules regarding fire prevention, life safety, and electrical,
plumbing, and accessibility codes as determined by the department of public
safety. Department of Public Safety; or
(ii)
to install or improve data or network wiring, or heating,
ventilating,
or
cooling
systems
reasonably
related
to
data
or
network
installations
or
improvements,
in
a
qualified
building,
provided
that
a
professional engineer licensed under 26 V.S.A. chapter 20 certifies as to the
fact and cost of the installation or improvement;
(B)
To to abate lead paint conditions or other substances hazardous to
human health or safety in a qualified building.; or
(C)
To to redevelop a contaminated property in a designated
downtown or village center under a plan approved by the Secretary of Natural
Resources pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6615a.
(4)
“Qualified expenditures” means construction-related expenses of the
taxpayer directly related to the project for which the tax credit is sought but
excluding any expenses related to a private residence.
- 2325 -
(5)
“Qualified façade improvement project” means the rehabilitation of
the façade of a qualified building that contributes to the integrity of the
designated downtown or designated village center.
Façade improvements to
qualified buildings listed, or eligible for listing, in the State or National
Register of Historic Places must be consistent with Secretary of the Interior
Standards, as determined by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
(6)
“Qualified
historic
rehabilitation
project”
means
an
historic
rehabilitation
project
that
has
received
federal
certification
for
the
rehabilitation project.
(7)
“Qualified
project”
means
a
qualified
code
or
technology
improvement,
qualified
façade
improvement,
qualified
technology
infrastructure project, or qualified historic rehabilitation project as defined by
this subchapter.
(8)
“State Board” means the Vermont Downtown Development Board
established pursuant to 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A.
§ 5930bb.
ELIGIBILITY AND ADMINISTRATION
(a)
Qualified applicants may apply to the State Board to obtain the tax
credits provided by this subchapter for qualified code improvement, façade
improvement, or historic rehabilitation projects a qualified project at any time
before one year after completion of the qualified project.
(b)
To qualify for any of the tax credits under this subchapter, expenditures
for the qualified project must exceed $5,000.00.
(c)
Application shall be made in accordance with the guidelines set by the
State Board.
(d)
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, qualified
applicants may apply to the State Board at any time prior to June 30, 2013 to
obtain a tax credit not otherwise available under subsections 5930cc(a)-(c) of
this title of 10 percent of qualified expenditures resulting from damage caused
by a federally declared disaster in Vermont in 2011.
The credit shall only be
claimed against the taxpayer’s State individual income tax under section 5822
of this title.
To the extent that any allocated tax credit exceeds the taxpayer’s
tax liability for the first tax year in which the qualified project is completed,
the taxpayer shall receive a refund equal to the unused portion of the tax credit.
If within two years after the date of the credit allocation no claim for a tax
credit or refund has been filed, the tax credit allocation shall be rescinded and
recaptured pursuant to subdivision 5930ee(6) of this title.
The total amount of
tax credits available under this subsection shall not be more than $500,000.00
- 2326 -
and shall not be subject to the limitations contained in subdivision 5930ee(2)
of this subchapter.
§ 5930cc.
DOWNTOWN AND VILLAGE CENTER PROGRAM TAX
CREDITS
(a)
Historic rehabilitation tax credit.
The qualified applicant of a qualified
historic rehabilitation project shall be entitled, upon the approval of the State
Board, to claim against the taxpayer’s state State individual income tax,
corporate income tax, or bank franchise or insurance premiums tax liability a
credit of 10 percent of qualified rehabilitation expenditures as defined in the
Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 47(c), properly chargeable to the federally
certified rehabilitation.
(b)
Façade improvement tax credit.
The qualified applicant of a qualified
façade improvement project shall be entitled, upon the approval of the State
Board, to claim against the taxpayer’s State individual income tax, state State
corporate income tax, or bank franchise or insurance premiums tax liability a
credit of 25 percent of qualified expenditures up to a maximum tax credit of
$25,000.00.
(c)
Code improvement tax credit.
The qualified applicant of a qualified
code or technology improvement project shall be entitled, upon the approval of
the State Board, to claim against the taxpayer’s State individual income tax,
State corporate income tax, or bank franchise or insurance premiums tax
liability a credit of 50 percent of qualified expenditures up to a maximum tax
credit of $12,000.00 for installation or improvement of a platform lift, a
maximum tax credit of $50,000.00 for installation or improvement of an
elevator, a maximum tax credit of $50,000.00 for installation or improvement
of a sprinkler system, a maximum tax credit of $30,000.00 for the combined
costs of installation or improvement of data or network wiring or a heating,
ventilating, or cooling system, and a maximum tax credit of $25,000.00 for the
combined costs of all other qualified code improvements.
* * *
* * * Electricity Rates for Businesses * * *
Sec. 7.
30 V.S.A. § 218e is added to read:
§ 218e.
IMPLEMENTING
STATE
ENERGY
POLICY;
MANUFACTURING
To give effect to the policies of section 202a of this title to provide reliable
and affordable energy and assure the State’s economic vitality, it is critical to
retain and recruit manufacturing and other businesses and to consider the
impact on manufacturing and other businesses when issuing orders, adopting
- 2327 -
rules, and making other decisions affecting the cost and reliability of electricity
and other fuels.
Implementation of the State’s energy policy should:
(1)
encourage
recruitment
and
retention
of
employers
providing
high-quality jobs and related economic investment and support the State’s
economic welfare; and
(2)
appropriately balance the objectives of this section with the other
policy goals and criteria established in this title.
Sec. 7a.
INVESTIGATION; ELECTRICITY COSTS; MANUFACTURING
(a)
The Commissioner of Public Service and the Secretary of Commerce
and Community Development, in consultation with the Public Service Board, a
private
organization
that
represents
the
interests
of
manufacturers,
a
cooperative electric company, an efficiency
utility, a shareholder-owned
utility, the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA), a municipal
utility that is not a member of VPPSA,
and the Vermont Electric Power
Company (VELCO), shall conduct an investigation of how best to advance the
public good through consideration of the competitiveness of Vermont’s
industrial or manufacturing businesses with regard to electricity costs.
(b)
In
conducting
the
investigation
required
by
this
section,
the
Commissioner and Secretary shall consider:
(1)
how best to incorporate into rate design proceedings the impact of
electricity costs on business competitiveness and the identification of the costs
of service incurred by businesses;
(2)
with regard to the energy efficiency programs established under
section 209 of this title, potential changes to their delivery, funding, financing,
and participation requirements;
(3)
the history and outcome of any evaluations of the Energy Savings
Account or Customer Credit programs, as well as best practices for customer
self-directed energy efficiency programs;
(4)
the history and outcome of any evaluations of retail choice programs
or policies, as related to business competitiveness, that have been undertaken
in Vermont and in other jurisdictions;
(5)
any other programs or policies the Commissioner and the Secretary
deem relevant;
(6)
whether and to what extent any programs or policies considered by
the Commissioner and the Secretary under this section would impose cost
shifts onto other customers, result in stranded costs (costs that cannot be
recovered by a regulated utility due to a change in regulatory structure or
- 2328 -
policy), or conflict with renewable energy requirements in Vermont and, if so,
whether such programs or policies would nonetheless promote the public good;
(7)
whether and to what extent costs have shifted to residential and
business ratepayers following the loss of large utility users, and potential
scenarios for additional cost shifts of this type; and
(8)
the potential benefits and potential cost shift to residential and
business ratepayers if a large utility user undertakes efficiency measures and
thereby reduces its share of fixed utility costs.
(c)
In
conducting
the
investigation
required
by
this
section,
the
Commissioner and Secretary shall provide the following persons and entities
an opportunity for written and oral comments:
(1)
consumer and business advocacy groups;
(2)
regional
development
corporations
and
regional
planning
commissions; and
(3)
any other person or entity as determined by the Commissioner and
Secretary.
(d)
On or before December 15, 2014, the Commissioner and Secretary shall
provide
a
status
report
to
the
General
Assembly
of
its
findings
and
recommendations regarding regulatory or statutory changes that would reduce
energy costs for Vermont businesses and promote the public good.
On or
before December 15, 2015, the Commissioner and Secretary shall provide a
final report to the General Assembly of such findings and recommendations.
* * * Domestic Export Program * * *
Sec. 8.
DOMESTIC MARKET ACCESS PROGRAM FOR VERMONT
AGRICULTURE AND FOREST PRODUCTS
(a)
The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, in collaboration with
the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Chief
Marketing Officer, shall create a Domestic Export Program Pilot Project within
the “Made in Vermont” designation program, the purpose of which shall be to:
(1)
connect Vermont producers with brokers, buyers, and distributors in
other U.S. state and regional markets,
(2)
provide technical and marketing assistance to Vermont producers to
convert these connections into increased sales and sustainable commercial
relationships; and
- 2329 -
(3)
provide one-time matching grants of up to $2,000.00 per business to
attend trade shows and similar events to expand producers’ market presence in
other U.S. states.
(b)
There is appropriated in Fiscal Year 2015 from the General Fund to the
Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets the amount of $75,000.00 to
implement the provisions of this section.
(c)
The Secretary shall collect data on the activities and outcomes of the
pilot project authorized under this section and shall report his or her findings
and recommendations for further action on or before January 15, 2015, to the
House
Committees
on
Agriculture
and
on
Commerce
and
Economic
Development and to the Senate Committees on Agriculture and on Economic
Development, Housing and General Affairs.
* * * Criminal Penalties for Computer Crimes * * *
Sec. 9.
13 V.S.A. chapter 87 is amended to read:
COMPUTER CRIMES
* * *
§ 4104.
ALTERATION, DAMAGE, OR INTERFERENCE
(a)
A person shall not intentionally and without lawful authority, alter,
damage, or interfere with the operation of any computer, computer system,
computer network, computer software, computer program, or data contained in
such computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network.
(b)
Penalties.
A person convicted of violating this section shall be:
(1)
if the damage or loss does not exceed $500.00 for a first offense,
imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $500.00 $5,000.00,
or both;
(2)
if the damage or loss does not exceed $500.00 for a second or
subsequent offense, imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than
$1,000.00 $10,000.00, or both; or
(3)
if the damage or loss exceeds $500.00, imprisoned not more than
10 years or fined not more than $10,000.00 $25,000.00, or both.
§ 4105.
THEFT OR DESTRUCTION
(a)(1)
A person shall not intentionally and without claim of right deprive
the owner of possession, take, transfer, copy, conceal, or retain possession of,
or intentionally and without lawful authority, destroy any computer system,
computer network, computer software, computer program, or data contained in
such computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network.
- 2330 -
(2)
Copying a commercially available computer program or computer
software is not a crime under this section, provided that the computer program
and computer software has a retail value of $500.00 or less and is not copied
for resale.
(b)
Penalties.
A person convicted of violating this section shall be:
(1)
if the damage or loss does not exceed $500.00 for a first offense,
imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $500.00 $5,000.00,
or both;
(2)
if the damage or loss does not exceed $500.00 for a second or
subsequent offense, imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than
$1,000.00 $10,000.00, or both; or
(3)
if the damage or loss exceeds $500.00, imprisoned not more than
10 years or fined not more than $10,000.00 $25,000.00, or both.
§ 4106.
CIVIL LIABILITY
A person damaged as a result of a violation of this chapter may bring a civil
action against the violator for damages, costs and fees including reasonable
attorney’s fees, and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.
* * *
* * * Statute of Limitations to Commence Action
for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets * * *
Sec. 10.
12 V.S.A. § 523 is amended to read:
§ 523.
TRADE SECRETS
An action for misappropriation of trade secrets under 9 V.S.A. chapter 143
of Title 9 shall be commenced within three years after the cause of action
accrues, and not after.
The cause of action shall be deemed to accrue as of the
date the misappropriation was discovered or reasonably should have been
discovered.
* * * Protection of Trade Secrets * * *
Sec. 11.
9 V.S.A. chapter 143 is amended to read:
TRADE SECRETS
§ 4601.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
- 2331 -
(1)
“Improper means” includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach
or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage through
electronic or other means.
(2) “Misappropriation” means:
(A)
acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or
has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means; or
(B)
disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or
implied consent by a person who:
(i)
used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade
secret; or
(ii)
at the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know
that his or her knowledge of the trade secret was:
(I)
derived from or through a person who had utilized improper
means to acquire it;
(II)
acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to
maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
(III)
derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the
person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
(iii)
before a material change of his or her position, knew or had
reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been
acquired by accident or mistake.
(3)
“Trade secret” means information, including a formula, pattern,
compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:
(A)
derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from
not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper
means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or
use; and
(B)
is
the
subject
of
efforts
that
are
reasonable
under
the
circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
§ 4602.
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
(a)
Actual
A court may enjoin actual or threatened misappropriation may
be enjoined of a trade secret.
Upon application to the court, an injunction shall
be terminated when the trade secret has ceased to exist, but the injunction may
be continued for an additional reasonable period of time in order to eliminate
commercial
advantage
that
otherwise
would
be
derived
from
the
misappropriation.
- 2332 -
(b)
In exceptional circumstances, an injunction may condition future use
upon payment of a reasonable royalty for no longer than the period of time for
which use could have been prohibited.
Exceptional circumstances include, but
are not limited to, a material and prejudicial change of position prior to
acquiring knowledge or reason to know of misappropriation that renders a
prohibitive injunction inequitable.
(c)
In appropriate circumstances, affirmative acts to protect a trade secret
may be compelled by court order.
§ 4603.
DAMAGES
(a)(1)
Except to the extent that a material and prejudicial change of position
prior to acquiring knowledge or reason to know of misappropriation renders a
monetary recovery inequitable, a complainant is entitled to recover damages
for misappropriation.
(2)
Damages
can
include
both
the
actual
loss
caused
by
misappropriation and the unjust enrichment caused by misappropriation that is
not taken into account in computing actual loss.
(3)
In lieu of damages measured by any other methods, the damages
caused by misappropriation may be measured by imposition of liability for a
reasonable royalty for a misappropriator’s unauthorized disclosure or use of a
trade secret.
(4) A court shall award a substantially prevailing party his or her costs
and fees, including reasonable attorney’s fees, in an action brought pursuant to
this chapter.
(b)
If malicious misappropriation exists, the court may award punitive
damages.
§ 4605.
PRESERVATION OF SECRECY
In an action under this chapter, a court shall preserve the secrecy of an
alleged
trade
secret
by
reasonable
means,
which
may
include
granting
protective orders in connection with discovery proceedings, holding in-camera
hearings, sealing the records of the action, and ordering any person involved in
the litigation not to disclose an alleged trade secret without prior court
approval.
§ 4607.
EFFECT ON OTHER LAW
(a)
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this chapter
displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary, and any other law of this state
providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret.
(b)
This chapter does not affect:
- 2333 -
(1)
contractual remedies, whether or not based upon misappropriation of
a trade secret;
(2)
other civil remedies that are not based upon misappropriation of a
trade secret; or
(3)
criminal remedies, whether or not based upon misappropriation of a
trade secret.
* * *
* * * Intellectual Property; Businesses and Government Contracting * * *
Sec. 12.
3 V.S.A. § 346 is added to read:
§
346.
STATE
CONTRACTING;
INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY,
SOFTWARE DESIGN, AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(a)
The Secretary of Administration shall include in Administrative
Bulletin 3.5 a policy direction applicable to State procurement contracts that
include services for the development of software applications, computer
coding, or other intellectual property, which would allow the State of Vermont
to grant permission to the contractor to use or own the intellectual property
created under the contract for the contractor’s commercial purposes.
(b)
The Secretary may recommend contract provisions that authorize the
State to negotiate with a contractor to secure license terms and license fees,
royalty rights, or other payment mechanism for the contractor’s commercial
use of intellectual property developed under a State contract.
(c)
If the Secretary authorizes a contractor to own intellectual property
developed under a State contract, the Secretary may recommend language to
ensure the State retains a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, and fully paid
right to continue to use the intellectual property.
* * * Department of Financial Regulation * * *
Sec. 13.
SMALL BUSINESS ACCESS TO CAPITAL
(a)
Crowdfunding Study.
The Department of Financial Regulation shall
study the opportunities and limitations for crowdfunding to increase access to
capital for Vermont’s small businesses.
On or before January 15, 2015, the
Department shall report its findings and recommendations to the House
Committee
on
Commerce
and
Economic
Development
and
the
Senate
Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.
(b)
Small business issuer education and outreach.
On or before January 15,
2015, the Department of Financial Regulation shall conduct at least two
educational
events
to
inform
the
legal,
small
business,
and
investor
- 2334 -
communities and other interested parties, of opportunities for small businesses
to access capital in Vermont, including, the Vermont Small Business Offering
Exemption regulation and other securities registration exemptions.
(c)
Vermont Small Business Offering Exemption.
The Commissioner of
Financial Regulation shall exercise his or her rulemaking authority under
9 V.S.A. chapter 150 to review and revise the Vermont Small Business
Offering Exemption and any other state securities exemptions, specifically
including those designed to complement exemptions from federal registration
requirements available under Regulation D, in order to recognize and reflect
the evolution of capital markets and to ensure that Vermont remains current
and competitive in its securities regulations, particularly with respect to access
to capital for small businesses.
Sec. 14.
STUDY; DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL REGULATION;
LICENSED LENDER REQUIREMENTS; COMMERCIAL
LENDERS
On or before January 15, 2015, the Department of Financial Regulation
shall solicit public comment on, evaluate, and report to the House Committee
on Commerce and Economic Development and to the Senate Committees on
Finance and on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs any
statutory and regulatory changes to the State’s licensed lender requirements
that are necessary to open private capital markets and remove unnecessary
barriers to business investment in Vermont.
* * * Licensed Lender Requirements; Exemption for De Minimis
Lending Activity * * *
Sec. 15.
8 V.S.A. § 2201 is amended to read:
2201.
LICENSES REQUIRED
(a)
No person shall without first obtaining a license under this chapter from
the commissioner Commissioner:
(1)
engage in the business of making loans of money, credit, goods, or
things in action and charge, contract for, or receive on any such loan interest, a
finance charge, discount, or consideration therefore therefor;
(2)
act as a mortgage broker;
(3)
engage in the business of a mortgage loan originator; or
(4)
act as a sales finance company.
- 2335 -
(b)
Each licensed mortgage loan originator must register with and maintain
a valid unique identifier with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and
Registry and must be either:
(1)
an employee actively employed at a licensed location of, and
supervised and sponsored by, only one licensed lender or licensed mortgage
broker operating in this state State;
(2)
an individual sole proprietor who is also a licensed lender or licensed
mortgage broker; or
(3)
an employee engaged in loan modifications employed at a licensed
location of, and supervised and sponsored by, only one third-party loan
servicer licensed to operate in this state State pursuant to chapter 85 of this
title.
For purposes of As used in this subsection, “loan modification” means an
adjustment or compromise of an existing residential mortgage loan.
The term
“loan modification” does not include a refinancing transaction.
(c)
A person licensed pursuant to subdivision (a)(1) of this section may
engage in mortgage brokerage and sales finance if such person informs the
commissioner Commissioner in advance that he or she intends to engage in
sales
finance
and
mortgage
brokerage.
Such
person
shall
inform
the
commissioner Commissioner of his or her intention on the original license
application under section 2202 of this title, any renewal application under
section 2209 of this title, or pursuant to section 2208 of this title, and shall pay
the applicable fees required by subsection 2202(b) of this title for a mortgage
broker license or sales finance company license.
(d)
No lender license, mortgage broker license, or sales finance company
license shall be required of:
(1)
a state State agency,
political
subdivision,
or
other
public
instrumentality of the state State;
(2)
a federal agency or other public instrumentality of the United States;
(3)
a gas or electric utility subject to the jurisdiction of the public service
board Public Service Board engaging in energy conservation or safety loans;
(4)
a depository institution or a financial institution as defined in
(5)
a pawnbroker;
(6)
an insurance company;
(7)
a seller of goods or services that finances the sale of such goods or
services, other than a residential mortgage loan;
- 2336 -
(8)
any individual who offers or negotiates the terms of a residential
mortgage loan secured by a dwelling that served as the individual’s residence,
including a vacation home, or inherited property that served as the deceased’s
dwelling, provided that the individual does not act as a mortgage loan
originator or provide financing for such sales so frequently and under such
circumstances that it constitutes a habitual activity and acting in a commercial
context;
(9)
lenders that conduct their lending activities, other than residential
mortgage loan activities, through revolving loan funds, that are nonprofit
organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c) of the Internal
Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c), and that register with the commissioner of
economic
development Commissioner
of
Economic
Development under
(10)
persons who lend, other than residential mortgage loans, an
aggregate of less than $75,000.00 in any one year at rates of interest of no
more than 12 percent per annum;
(11)
a seller who, pursuant to 9 V.S.A. § 2355(f)(1)(D), includes the
amount paid or to be paid by the seller to discharge a security interest, lien
interest, or lease interest on the traded-in motor vehicle in a motor vehicle
retail installment sales contract, provided that the contract is purchased,
assigned, or otherwise acquired by a sales finance company licensed pursuant
to this title to purchase motor vehicle retail installment sales contracts or a
depository institution;
(12)(A)
a person making an unsecured commercial loan, which loan is
expressly subordinate to the prior payment of all senior indebtedness of the
commercial borrower regardless of whether such senior indebtedness exists at
the time of the loan or arises thereafter.
The loan may or may not include the
right to convert all or a portion of the amount due on the loan to an equity
interest in the commercial borrower;
(B)
for purposes of as used in this subdivision (12), “senior
indebtedness” means:
(i)
all indebtedness of the commercial borrower for money
borrowed from depository institutions, trust companies, insurance companies,
and licensed lenders, and any guarantee thereof; and
(ii)
any other indebtedness of the commercial borrower that the
lender and the commercial borrower agree shall constitute senior indebtedness;
(13)
nonprofit organizations established under testamentary instruments,
exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
- 2337 -
26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), and which make loans for postsecondary educational
costs to students and their parents, provided that the organizations provide
annual accountings to the Probate Division of the Superior Court;
(14) any individual who offers or negotiates terms of a residential
mortgage loan with or on behalf of an immediate family member of the
individual;
(15)
a housing finance agency;
(16)
a person who makes no more than three mortgage loans in any
consecutive three-year period beginning on or after July 1, 2011.
(e)
No mortgage loan originator license shall be required of:
(1)
Registered mortgage loan originators, when employed by and acting
for an entity described in subdivision 2200(22) of this chapter.
(2) Any individual who offers or negotiates terms of a residential
mortgage loan with or on behalf of an immediate family member of the
individual.
(3)
Any individual who offers or negotiates terms of a residential
mortgage loan secured by a dwelling that served as the individual’s residence,
including a vacation home, or inherited property that served as the deceased’s
dwelling, provided that the individual does not act as a mortgage loan
originator or provide financing for such sales so frequently and under such
circumstances that it constitutes a habitual activity and acting in a commercial
context.
(4)
An individual who is an employee of a federal, state State, or local
government agency, or an employee of a housing finance agency, who acts as a
mortgage loan originator only pursuant to his or her official duties as an
employee of the federal, state State, or local government agency or housing
finance agency.
(5)
A licensed attorney who negotiates the terms of a residential
mortgage loan on behalf of a client as an ancillary matter to the attorney’s
representation of the client, unless the attorney is compensated by a lender, a
mortgage broker, or other mortgage loan originator or by any agent of such
lender, mortgage broker, or other mortgage loan originator.
To the extent an
attorney licensed in this State undertakes activities that are covered by the
definition of a mortgage loan originator, such activities do not constitute
engaging in the business of a mortgage loan originator, provided that:
(A)
such activities are considered by the State governing body
responsible for regulating the practice of law to be part of the authorized
practice of law within this State;
- 2338 -
(B)
such
activities
are
carried
out
within
an
attorney-client
relationship; and
(C)
the attorney carries them out in compliance with all applicable
laws, rules, ethics, and standards.
(6)
A person who makes no more than three mortgage loans in any
consecutive three-year period beginning on or after July 1, 2011
(f)
If a person who offers or negotiates the terms of a mortgage loan is
exempt from licensure pursuant to subdivision (d)(16) or (e)(6) of this section,
there is a rebuttable presumption that he or she is not engaged in the business
of making loans or being a mortgage loan originator.
(g)
Independent contractor loan processors or underwriters.
A loan
processor or underwriter who is an independent contractor may not engage in
the activities of a loan processor or underwriter unless such independent
contractor loan processor or underwriter obtains and maintains a mortgage loan
originator license.
Each independent contractor loan processor or underwriter
licensed as a mortgage loan originator must have and maintain a valid unique
identifier issued by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.
(g)(h)
This chapter shall not apply to commercial loans of $1,000,000.00 or
more.
* * * Vermont State Treasurer; Credit Facilities; 10% for Vermont * * *
Sec. 16.
2013 Acts and Resolves No. 87, Sec. 8 is amended to read:
Sec. 8.
INVESTMENT OF STATE MONIES
The Treasurer is hereby authorized to establish a short-term credit facility
for the benefit of the Vermont Economic Development Authority in an amount
of up to $10,000,000.00.
Sec. 17.
VERMONT STATE TREASURER; CREDIT FACILITY FOR
LOCAL INVESTMENTS
(a)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the
Vermont State Treasurer shall have the authority to establish a credit facility of
up to 10 percent of the State’s average cash balance on terms acceptable to the
Treasurer consistent with the provisions of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act,
14A V.S.A. chapter 9.
(b)
The amount authorized in subsection (a) of this section shall include all
credit facilities authorized by the General Assembly and established by the
Treasurer prior to or subsequent to the effective date of this section, and the
renewal or replacement of those credit facilities.
- 2339 -
Sec. 18.
TREASURER’S LOCAL INVESTMENT ADVISORY
COMMITTEE; REPORT
(a)
Creation of committee.
The Treasurer’s Local Investment Advisory
Committee is established to:
(1)
advise the Treasurer on funding priorities for credit facilities
authorized by current law; and
(2)
address other mechanisms to increase local investment.
(b)
Membership.
(1)
The Committee shall be composed of the following members:
(A)
the State Treasurer or designee, who shall serve as Chair of the
Committee;
(B)
the Commissioner of Financial Regulation or designee;
(C)
the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development or
designee;
(D)
a senior officer of a Vermont bank, who shall be appointed by the
Governor;
(E)
a member of the public, who shall be appointed by the Speaker of
the House;
(F)
a member of the public, who shall be appointed by the President
Pro Tempore of the Senate;
(G)
the executive director of a Vermont nonprofit organization that,
as part of its mission, directly lends or services loans or other similar
obligations, who shall be appointed by the Governor; and
(H)
the manager of the Vermont Economic Development Authority
or designee.
(I)
the executive director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency or
designee;
(J)
the President of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation or
designee; and
(K)
the executive director of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank or
designee.
(2)
The State Treasurer shall be the Chair of the Advisory Committee
and shall appoint a vice chair and secretary.
The appointed members of the
- 2340 -
Advisory Committee shall be appointed for terms of six years and shall serve
until their successors are appointed and qualified.
(c)
Powers and duties.
The Advisory Committee shall:
(1)
meet regularly to review and make recommendations to the State
Treasurer on funding priorities and using other mechanisms to increase local
investment in the State of Vermont;
(2)
invite regularly State organizations and citizens groups to Advisory
Committee meetings to present information on needs for local investment,
capital gaps, and proposals for financing; and
(3)
consult with constituents and review feedback on changes and needs
in the local and State investment and financing environments.
(d)
Meetings.
(1)
Meetings of the Advisory Committee shall occur at the call of the
Treasurer.
(2)
A majority of the members of the Advisory Committee who are
physically present at the same location or available electronically shall
constitute a quorum, and a member may participate and vote electronically.
(3)
To be effective action of the Advisory Committee shall be taken by
majority vote of the members at a meeting in which a quorum is present.
(e)
Report.
On or before January 15, 2015, and annually thereafter, the
Advisory Committee shall submit a report to the Senate Committees on
Finance and on Government Operations and the House Committees on Ways
and Means and on Government Operations.
The report shall include the
following:
(1)
the amount of the subsidies associated with lending through each
credit facility authorized by the General Assembly and established by the
Treasurer;
(2)
a description of the Advisory Committee’s activities; and
(3)
any information gathered by the Advisory Committee on the State’s
unmet capital needs, and other opportunities for State support for local
investment and the community.
Sec. 18a.
SUNSET
Secs. 17-18 of this Act shall be repealed on July 1, 2015.
Sec. 19.
9 V.S.A. § 2481w is amended to read:
§ 2481W.
UNLICENSED LOAN TRANSACTIONS
- 2341 -
(a)
In this subchapter:
(1)
“Financial account” means a checking, savings, share, stored value,
prepaid, payroll card, or other depository account.
(2)
“Lender” means a person engaged in the business of making loans of
money, credit, goods, or things in action and charging, contracting for, or
receiving
on
any
such
loan
interest,
a
finance
charge,
a
discount,
or
consideration.
(3)
“Process” or “processing” includes printing a check, draft, or other
form of negotiable instrument drawn on or debited against a consumer’s
financial account, formatting or transferring data for use in connection with the
debiting of a consumer’s financial account by means of such an instrument or
an electronic funds transfer, or arranging for such services to be provided to a
lender.
(4)
“Processor” means a person who engages in processing, as defined
in subdivision (3) of this subsection.
In this section “processor” does not
include an interbank clearinghouse.
(5)
“Interbank clearinghouse” means a person that operates an exchange
of automated clearinghouse items, checks, or check images solely between
insured depository institutions.
(b)
It is an unfair and deceptive act and practice in commerce for a lender
directly or through an agent to solicit or make a loan to a consumer by any
means unless the lender is in compliance with all provisions of 8 V.S.A.
or
is
otherwise
exempt
from
the
requirements of
8 V.S.A.
(c)
It is an unfair and deceptive act and practice in commerce for a
processor, other than a federally insured depository institution, to process a
check, draft, other form of negotiable instrument, or an electronic funds
transfer from a consumer’s financial account in connection with a loan
solicited or made by any means to a consumer unless the lender is in
compliance with all provisions of 8 V.S.A. chapter 73 or is otherwise exempt
from the requirements of 8 V.S.A. chapter 73.
(d)
It is an unfair and deceptive act and practice in commerce for any
person, including the lender’s financial institution as defined in 8 V.S.A.
§ 10202(5), but not including the consumer’s financial institution as defined in
8 V.S.A. § 10202(5) or an interbank clearinghouse as defined in subsection (a)
of this section, to provide substantial assistance to a lender or processor when
the person or the person’s authorized agent receives notice from a regulatory,
law enforcement, or similar governmental authority, or knows from its normal
- 2342 -
monitoring and compliance systems, or consciously avoids knowing that the
lender or processor is in violation of subsection (b) or (c) of this section, or is
engaging in an unfair or deceptive act or practice in commerce.
Sec. 20.
30 V.S.A. § 248a is amended to read:
§ 248a.
CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC GOOD FOR COMMUNICATIONS
FACILITIES
* * *
(b)
Definitions.
For the purposes of As used in this section:
* * *
(4)
“Telecommunications facility” means a communications facility that
transmits and receives signals to and from a local, State, national, or
international
network
used
primarily
for
two-way
communications
for
commercial,
industrial,
municipal,
county,
or
State
purposes
and
any
associated support structure that is proposed for construction or installation
which
is
primarily
for
communications
purposes,
and
any
ancillary
improvements that are proposed for construction or installation and are
primarily intended to serve the communications facilities or support structure.
An
applicant
may
seek
approval
of
construction
or
installation
of
a
telecommunications facility whether or not the telecommunications facility is
attached to an existing structure.
(5)
“Wireless service” means any commercial mobile radio service,
wireless service, common carrier wireless exchange service, cellular service,
personal communications service (PCS), specialized mobile radio service,
paging service, wireless data service, or public or private radio dispatch
service.
* * *
(c)
Findings.
Before the Public Service Board issues a certificate of public
good under this section, it shall find that:
(1)
The proposed facility will not have an undue adverse effect on
aesthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, and the
public health and safety, and the public’s use and enjoyment of the I-89 and
I-91 scenic corridors or of any highway that has been designated as a scenic
road pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 2501 or a scenic byway pursuant to 23 U.S.C.
§ 162, with due consideration having been given to the relevant criteria
specified in 10 V.S.A. §§ 1424a(d) and 6086(a)(1) through (8) and (9)(K).
However, with respect to telecommunications facilities of limited size and
scope, the Board shall waive all criteria of this subdivision other than
10 V.S.A. § 6086(a)(1)(D)(floodways) and (a)(8)(aesthetics, scenic beauty,
- 2343 -
historic
sites,
rare
and
irreplaceable
natural
areas;
endangered
species;
necessary wildlife habitat).
Such waiver shall be on condition that:
(A)
The the Board may determine, pursuant to the procedures
described in subdivision (j)(2)(A) of this section, that a petition raises a
significant issue with respect to any criterion of this subdivision; and
(B)
A a telecommunications facility of limited size and scope shall
comply, at a minimum, with the requirements of the Low Risk Site Handbook
for Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control issued by the Department of
Environmental Conservation, regardless of any provisions in that handbook
that limit its applicability.
(2)
Unless there is good cause to find otherwise, substantial deference
has been given to the land conservation measures in the plans of the affected
municipalities and the recommendations of the municipal legislative bodies
and the municipal and regional planning commissions regarding the municipal
and regional plans, respectively.
Nothing in this section or other provision of
law shall prevent a municipal body from basing its recommendations on an
ordinance adopted under 24 V.S.A. § 2291(19) or bylaw adopted under
24 V.S.A. chapter 117 by the municipality in which the facility is located.
A
rebuttable presumption respecting compliance with the applicable plan shall be
created by a letter from an affected municipal legislative body or municipal
planning commission concerning compliance with the municipal plan and by a
letter from a regional planning commission concerning compliance with the
regional plan.
(3)
If the proposed facility relates to the provision of wireless service, the
proposed facility reasonably cannot be collocated on or at an
existing
telecommunications facility, or such collocation would cause an undue adverse
effect on aesthetics.
* * *
(e)
Notice.
No less than 45 days prior to filing an application for a
certificate of public good under this section, the applicant shall serve written
notice of an application to be filed with the Board pursuant to this section to
the legislative bodies and municipal and regional planning commissions in the
communities in which the applicant proposes to construct or install facilities;
the Secretary of Natural Resources; the Secretary of Transportation; the
Division for Historic Preservation; the Commissioner of Public Service and its
Director for Public Advocacy; the Natural Resources Board if the application
concerns a telecommunications facility for which a permit previously has been
issued under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151; and the landowners of record of property
- 2344 -
adjoining the project sites.
In addition, at least one copy of each application
shall be filed with each of these municipal and regional planning commissions.
(1)
Upon motion or otherwise, the Public Service Board shall direct that
further public or personal notice be provided if the Board finds that such
further notice will not unduly delay consideration of the merits and that
additional notice is necessary for fair consideration of the application.
(2)
On the request of the municipal legislative body or the planning
commission, the applicant shall attend a public meeting with the municipal
legislative body or planning commission, or both, within the 45-day notice
period before filing an application for a certificate of public good.
The
Department of Public Service shall attend the public meeting on the request of
the municipality.
The Department shall consider the comments made and
information obtained at the meeting in making recommendations to the Board
on the application and in determining whether to retain additional personnel
under subsection (o) of this section.
* * *
(i)
Sunset of Board authority.
Effective on July 1, 2014 2017, no new
applications
for
certificates
of
public
good
under
this
section
may
be
considered by the Board.
* * *
(m) Municipal bodies; participation. The legislative body and the planning
commission for the municipality in which a telecommunications facility is
located shall have the right to appear and participate on any application under
this section seeking a certificate of public good for the facility.
(n)
Municipal recommendations.
The Board shall consider the comments
and
recommendations
submitted
by
the
municipal
legislative
body
and
planning commission.
The Board’s decision to issue or deny a certificate of
public good shall include a detailed written response to each recommendation
of the municipal legislative body and planning commission.
(o)
Retention; experts.
The Department of Public Service may retain
experts and other personnel as identified in section 20 of this title to provide
information essential to a full consideration of an application for a certificate
of public good under this section.
The Department may allocate the expenses
incurred in retaining these personnel to the applicant in accordance with
section 21 of this title.
The Department may commence retention of these
personnel once the applicant has filed the 45-day notice under subsection (e) of
this section.
A municipal legislative body or planning commission may
request that the Department retain these personnel.
Granting such a request
- 2345 -
shall not oblige the Department or the personnel it retains to agree with the
position of the municipality.
(p)
Review process; guide.
The Department of Public Service, in
consultation with the Board, shall create, maintain, and make available to the
public a guide to the process of reviewing telecommunications facilities under
this section for use by local governments and regional planning commissions
and members of the public who seek to participate in the process. On or before
September 1, 2014, the Department shall complete the creation of this guide
and make it publically available.
Sec. 20a.
PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD; ORDER REVISION
The Public Service Board (the Board) shall define the terms “good cause”
and “substantial deference” for the purpose of 30 V.S.A. § 248a(c)(2) in
accordance with the following process:
(1)
Within 30 days of the effective date of this section, the Board shall
provide
direct
notice
to
each
municipal
legislative
body
and
planning
commission, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the Department of
Public Service, and such other persons as the Board considers appropriate, that
it will be amending its procedures order issued under 30 V.S.A. § 248a(1) to
include definitions of these terms.
The notice shall provide an opportunity for
submission of comments and recommendations and include the date and time
of the workshop to be held.
(2)
Within 60 days of giving notice under subdivision (1) of this section,
the Board shall amend its procedures order to include definitions of these
terms.
Sec. 20b.
REPORT; TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY REVIEW
PROCESS
On or before October 1, 2015, the Department of Public Service shall
submit to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development
and
the
Senate
Committee
on
Finance
a
report
assessing
the
telecommunications facility review process under 30 V.S.A § 248a.
The report
shall include the number of applications for the construction or installation of
telecommunications facilities filed with the Board, the number of applications
for which a certificate of public good was granted, the number of applications
for which notice was filed but were then withdrawn, and the number of times
the Department used its authority under 30 V.S.A. § 248(o) to allocate
expenses incurred in retaining expert personnel to the applicant, during the
year ending August 31, 2015.
Sec. 20c.
10 V.S.A. § 1264(j) is amended to read:
- 2346 -
(j)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if an application to
discharge stormwater runoff pertains to a telecommunications facility as
defined in 30 V.S.A. § 248a and is filed before July 1, 2014 2017 and the
discharge will be to a water that is not principally impaired by stormwater
runoff:
(1)
The Secretary shall issue a decision on the application within
40 days of the date the Secretary determines the application to be complete, if
the application seeks authorization under a general permit.
(2)
The Secretary shall issue a decision on the application within
60 days of the date the Secretary determines the application to be complete, if
the application seeks or requires authorization under an individual permit.
Sec. 20d.
10 V.S.A. § 8506 is amended to read:
§ 8506.
RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANT; TELECOMMUNICATIONS
FACILITY; APPEALS
(a)
Within 30 days of the date of the act or decision, any person aggrieved
by an act or decision of the secretary Secretary, under the provisions of law
listed in section 8503 of this title, or any party by right may appeal to the
public service board Public Service Board if the act or decision concerns a
renewable energy plant for which a certificate of public good is required under
30 V.S.A. § 248 or a telecommunications facility for which the applicant has
applied or has served notice under 30 V.S.A. § 248a(e) that it will apply for
approval under 30 V.S.A. § 248a.
This section shall not apply to a facility that
is subject to section 1004 (dams before the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission) or 1006 (certification of hydroelectric projects) or chapter 43
(dams) of this title.
This section shall not apply to an appeal of an act or
decision of the secretary regarding a telecommunications facility made on or
after July 1, 2014 2017.
* * *
Sec. 20e.
REPEAL
2011 Acts and Resolves No. 53, Sec. 14d (repeal of limitations on
municipal
bylaws;
municipal
ordinances;
wireless
telecommunications
facilities) is repealed.
Sec. 20f.
3 V.S.A. § 2809 is amended to read:
§ 2809.
REIMBURSEMENT OF AGENCY COSTS
(a)(1)
The Secretary may require an applicant for a permit, license,
certification, or order issued under a program that the Secretary enforces under
10 V.S.A. § 8003(a) to pay for the cost of research, scientific, programmatic,
- 2347 -
or engineering expertise provided by the Agency of Natural Resources,
provided that the following apply:
(A)
the The Secretary does not have such expertise or services and
such expertise is required for the processing of the application for the permit,
license, certification, or order; or.
(B)
the The Secretary does have such expertise but has made a
determination that it is beyond the agency’s Agency’s internal capacity to
effectively utilize that expertise to process the application for the permit,
license, certification, or order.
In addition, the Secretary shall determine that
such expertise is required for the processing of the application for the permit,
license, certification, or order.
(2)
The Secretary may require an applicant under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151
to pay for the time of Agency of Natural Resources personnel providing
research, scientific, or engineering services or for the cost of expert witnesses
when agency Agency personnel or expert witnesses are required for the
processing of the permit application.
(3)
In addition to the authority set forth under 10 V.S.A. chapters 59 and
159 and § section 1283, the Secretary may require a person who caused the
agency Agency to incur expenditures or a person in violation of a permit,
license, certification, or order issued by the Secretary to pay for the time of
agency Agency personnel
or
the
cost
of
other
research,
scientific,
or
engineering services incurred by the agency Agency in response to a threat to
public health or the environment presented by an emergency or exigent
circumstance.
* * *
(g)
Concerning an application for a permit to discharge stormwater runoff
from a telecommunications facility as defined in 30 V.S.A. § 248a that is filed
before July 1, 2014 2017:
(1)
Under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the agency Agency shall not
require an applicant to pay more than $10,000.00 with respect to a facility.
(2)
The provisions of subsection (c) (mandatory meeting) of this section
shall not apply.
Sec. 21.
JFO ACCD DEMOGRAPHIC STUDY
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development, with consultation
and review by the legislative economist and the Joint Fiscal Office, shall
conduct an economic impact analysis, including study of demographic and
infrastructure
impacts
associated
with
recently
announced
development
projects in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and shall submit its findings to
- 2348 -
the House Committee on Commerce and Community Development, the Senate
Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, and the
Joint Fiscal Committee on or before December 1, 2014.
* * * Tourism Funding; Study * * *
Sec. 22.
TOURISM FUNDING; PILOT PROJECT STUDY
On or before January 15, 2015, the Secretary of Commerce and Community
Development shall submit to the House Committee on Commerce and
Economic
Development
and
the
Senate
Committee
on
Economic
Development, Housing and General Affairs a report that analyzes the results of
the performance-based funding pilot project for the Department of Tourism
and Marketing and recommends appropriate legislative or administrative
changes to the funding mechanism for tourism and marketing programs.
* * * Land Use; Housing; Industrial Development * * *
Sec. 23.
10 V.S.A. chapter 12 is amended to read:
CHAPTER 12:
VERMONT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
* * *
§ 212.
DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
* * *
(6)
“Eligible facility” or “eligible project” means any industrial,
commercial, or agricultural enterprise or endeavor approved by the authority
that meets the criteria established in the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Strategy
adopted by the Governor under section 280b of this title, including land and
rights in land, air, or water, buildings, structures, machinery, and equipment of
such eligible facilities or eligible projects, except that an eligible facility or
project shall not include the portion of an enterprise or endeavor relating to the
sale of goods at retail where such goods are manufactured primarily out of
state, and except further that an eligible facility or project shall not include the
portion of an enterprise or endeavor relating to housing. Such enterprises or
endeavors may include:
* * *
(M)
Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED)
resources, as defined in 30 V.S.A. § 8002; or
(N)
any combination of the foregoing activities, uses, or purposes.
An eligible facility may include structures, appurtenances incidental to the
- 2349 -
foregoing such as utility lines, storage accommodations, offices, dependent
care facilities, or transportation facilities; or
(O)
industrial park planning, development, or improvement.
* * *
§ 261.
ADDITIONAL POWERS
In addition to powers enumerated elsewhere in this chapter, the authority
may:
* * *
(6)
provide loans and assistance under this subchapter for the planning,
development, or improvement of an industrial park or an eligible project within
an industrial park.
Sec. 24.
10 V.S.A. § 6001(35) is added to read:
(35)
“Industrial park” means an area of land permitted under this chapter
that is planned, designed, and zoned as a location for one or more industrial
buildings, that includes adequate access roads, utilities, water, sewer, and other
services necessary for the uses of the industrial buildings, and includes no
retail use except that which is incidental to an industrial use, and no office use
except that which is incidental or secondary to an industrial use.
Sec. 25.
REVIEW OF MASTER PLAN POLICY
On or before January 1, 2015, the Natural Resources Board shall review its
master plan policy and commence the policy’s adoption as a rule.
The
proposed rule shall include provisions for efficient master plan permitting and
master plan permit amendments for industrial parks.
The Board shall consult
with
affected
parties
when
developing
the
proposed
rule.
- 2350 -
* * * Primary Agricultural Soils; Industrial Parks * * *
Sec. 26.
10 V.S.A. § 6093(a)(4) is amended to read:
(4)
Industrial parks.
(A)
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, a
conversion of primary agricultural soils located in an industrial park as defined
in subdivision 212(7) of this title and permitted under this chapter and in
existence as of January 1, 2006, shall be allowed to pay a mitigation fee
computed according to the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection,
except that it shall be entitled to a ratio of 1:1, protected acres to acres of
affected primary agricultural soil.
If an industrial park is developed to the
fullest extent before any expansion, this ratio shall apply to any contiguous
expansion of such an industrial park that totals no more than 25 percent of the
area of the park or no more than 10 acres, whichever is larger; provided any
expansion based on percentage does not exceed 50 acres.
Any expansion
larger than that described in this subdivision shall be subject to the mitigation
provisions of this subsection at ratios that depend upon the location of the
expansion.
(B)
In any application to a district commission for expansion of
District Commission to amend a permit for an existing industrial park, compact
development patterns shall be encouraged that assure the most efficient and
full use of land and the realization of maximum economic development
potential through appropriate densities shall be allowed consistent with all
applicable
criteria
of
subsection
6086(a)
of
this
title.
Industrial
park
expansions and industrial park infill shall not be subject to requirements
established in subdivision 6086(a)(9)(B)(iii) of this title, nor to requirements
established in subdivision 6086(a)(9)(C)(iii).
* * * Affordable Housing * * *
Sec. 27.
10 V.S.A. § 6001 is amended to read:
§ 6001.
DEFINITIONS
In this chapter:
* * *
(3)(A)
“Development” means each of the following:
* * *
(iv)
The construction of housing projects such as cooperatives,
condominiums, or dwellings, or construction or maintenance of mobile homes
- 2351 -
or trailer mobile home parks, with 10 or more units, constructed or maintained
on a tract or tracts of land, owned or controlled by a person, within a radius of
five miles of any point on any involved land, and within any continuous period
of five years.
However:
(I)
A priority housing project shall constitute a development
under this subdivision (iv) only if the number of housing units in the project is:
(aa)
275 or more, in a municipality with a population of
15,000 or more;
(bb)
150 or more, in a municipality with a population of
10,000 or more but less than 15,000;
(cc)
75 or more, in a municipality with a population of 6,000
or more but less than 10,000.
(dd)
50 or more, in a municipality with a population of
3,000 or more but less than 6,000;
(ee)
25 or more, in a municipality with a population of less
than 3,000; and
(ff)
notwithstanding subdivisions (aa) through (ee) of this
subdivision (iv)(I), 10 or more if the construction involves the demolition of
one or more buildings that are listed on or eligible to be listed on the State or
National Register of Historic Places.
However, demolition shall not be
considered to create jurisdiction under this subdivision if the Division for
Historic Preservation has determined the proposed demolition will have no
adverse effect; no adverse effect provided that specified conditions are met; or
will have an adverse effect but that adverse effect will be adequately mitigated.
Any imposed conditions shall be enforceable through a grant condition, deed
covenant, or other legally binding document.
(II)
The determination of jurisdiction over a priority housing
project shall count only the housing units included in that discrete project.
(III)
Housing units in a priority housing project shall not count
toward determining jurisdiction over any other project.
* * *
(B)(i)
Smart Growth Jurisdictional Thresholds.
Notwithstanding the
provisions
of
subdivision
(3)(A)
of
this
section,
if
a
project
consists
exclusively of mixed income housing or mixed use, or any combination
thereof, and is located entirely within a growth center designated pursuant to
24
V.S.A.
2793c
or, entirely
within
a
downtown
development district
designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793, “development” means:
- 2352 -
(I)
Construction of mixed income housing with 200
or more
housing units or a mixed use project with 200 or more housing units, in a
municipality with a population of 15,000 or more.
(II)
Construction of mixed income housing with 100
or more
housing units or a mixed use project with 100
or more housing units, in a
municipality with a population of 10,000 or more but less than 15,000.
(III)
Construction of mixed income housing with 50
or more
housing units or a mixed use project with 50 or more housing units, in a
municipality with a population of 6,000 or more and less than 10,000.
(IV)
Construction of mixed income housing with 30 or more
housing units or a mixed use project with 30
or more housing units, in a
municipality with a population of 3,000 or more but less than 6,000.
(V)
Construction of mixed income housing with 25 or more
housing units or a mixed use project with 25 or more housing units, in a
municipality with a population of less than 3,000.
(VI)
Historic Buildings.
Construction of 10 or more units of
mixed income housing or a mixed use project with 10 or more housing units
where if the construction involves the demolition of one or more buildings that
are listed on or eligible to be listed on the State or National Register of Historic
Places.
However, demolition shall not be considered to create jurisdiction
under this subdivision if the Division for Historic Preservation has determined
the proposed demolition will have:
no adverse effect; no adverse effect
provided that specified conditions are met; or, will have an adverse effect, but
that adverse effect will be adequately mitigated.
Any imposed conditions shall
be enforceable through a grant condition, deed covenant, or other legally
binding document.
(ii)
Mixed
Income
Housing
Jurisdictional
Thresholds.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (3)(A) of this section, if a
project consists exclusively of mixed income housing and is located entirely
within a Vermont neighborhood designated pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793d or a
neighborhood
development
area
as
defined
in
24
V.S.A.
§
2791(16),
“development” means:
(I)
Construction of mixed income housing with 200
or more
housing units, in a municipality with a population of 15,000 or more.
(II)
Construction of mixed income housing with 100
or more
housing units, in a municipality with a population of 10,000 or more but less
than 15,000.
- 2353 -
(III)
Construction of mixed income housing with 50
or more
housing units, in a municipality with a population of 6,000 or more and less
than 10,000.
(IV)
Construction of mixed income housing with 30 or more
housing units, in a municipality with a population of 3,000 or more but less
than 6,000.
(V)
Construction of mixed income housing with 25 or more
housing units, in a municipality with a population of less than 3,000.
(VI)
Historic Buildings.
Construction of 10 or more units of
mixed income housing where the construction involves the demolition of one
or more buildings that are listed on or eligible to be listed on the State or
National Register of Historic Places.
However, demolition shall not be
considered to create jurisdiction under this subdivision if the Division for
Historic Preservation has determined the proposed demolition will have:
no
adverse effect; no adverse effect provided that specified conditions are met; or
will have an adverse effect, but that adverse effect will be adequately
mitigated.
Any imposed conditions shall be enforceable through a grant
condition, deed covenant, or other legally binding document.
[Repealed.]
(C)
For the purposes of determining jurisdiction under subdivisions
subdivision (3)(A) and (3)(B) of this section, the following shall apply:
(i)
Incentive
for
Growth
Inside
Designated
Areas.
Notwithstanding
subdivision
(3)(A)(iv)
of
this
section,
housing
units
constructed by a person partially or completely outside a designated downtown
development
district,
designated
growth
center,
designated
Vermont
neighborhood, or designated neighborhood development area shall not be
counted to determine jurisdiction over housing units constructed by that person
entirely
within
a
designated
downtown
development
district,
designated
growth center, designated Vermont neighborhood, or designated neighborhood
development area.
[Repealed.]
(ii)
Five-Year, Five-Mile Radius Jurisdiction Analysis.
Within
any continuous period of five years, housing units constructed by a person
entirely within a designated downtown district, designated growth center,
designated Vermont neighborhood, or designated neighborhood development
area shall be counted together with housing units constructed by that person
partially or completely outside a designated downtown development district,
designated growth center, designated Vermont neighborhood, or designated
neighborhood development area to determine jurisdiction over the housing
units constructed by a person partially or completely outside the designated
downtown development district, designated growth center, designated Vermont
- 2354 -
neighborhood, or designated neighborhood development area and within a
five-mile radius in accordance with subdivision (3)(A)(iv) of this section.
[Repealed.]
(iii)
Discrete Housing Projects in Designated Areas and Exclusive
Counting for Housing Units.
Notwithstanding subdivisions (3)(A)(iv) and (19)
of this section, jurisdiction shall be determined exclusively by counting
housing
units
constructed
by
a
person
within
a
designated
downtown
development
district,
designated
growth
center,
designated
Vermont
neighborhood, or designated neighborhood development area, provided that
the housing units are part of a discrete project located on a single tract or
multiple contiguous tracts of land.
[Repealed.]
* * *
(27)
“Mixed income housing” means a housing project in which the
following apply:
(A)
Owner-occupied housing.
At the option of the applicant,
owner-occupied housing may be characterized by either of the following:
(i)
at least 15 percent of the housing units have a purchase price
which at the time of first sale does not exceed 85 percent of the new
construction, targeted area purchase price limits established and published
annually by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency; or
(ii)
at least 20 percent of the housing units have a purchase price
which at the time of first sale does not exceed 90 percent of the new
construction, targeted area purchase price limits established and published
annually by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency;
(B)
Affordable Rental Housing.
At least 20 percent of the housing
units that is are rented by the occupants whose gross annual household income
does not exceed 60 percent of the county median income, or 60
percent of the
standard metropolitan statistical area income if the municipality is located in
such an area, as defined by the United States Department of Housing and
Urban Development for use with the Housing Credit Program under Section
42(g) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the total annual cost of the housing, as
defined at Section 42(g)(2)(B), is not more than 30 percent of the gross annual
household income as defined at Section 42(g)(2)(C), and with constitute
affordable housing and have a duration of affordability of no less than 30
20 years.
(28)
“Mixed use” means construction of both mixed income housing
and construction of space for any combination of retail, office, services,
artisan, and recreational and community facilities, provided at least 40 percent
- 2355 -
of the gross floor area of the buildings involved is mixed income housing.
“Mixed use” does not include industrial use.
(29)
“Affordable housing” means either of the following:
(A)
Housing that is owned by its occupants whose gross annual
household income does not exceed 80 percent of the county median income, or
80
percent
of
the
standard
metropolitan
statistical
area
income
if
the
municipality is located in such an area, as defined by the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the total annual cost of
the housing, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and condominium
association fees, is not more than 30 percent of the gross annual household
income.
(B)
Housing that is rented by the occupants whose gross annual
household income does not exceed 80 percent of the county median income, or
80
percent
of
the
standard
metropolitan
statistical
area
income
if
the
municipality is located in such an area, as defined by the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the total annual cost of
the housing, including rent, utilities, and condominium association fees, is not
more than 30 percent of the gross annual household income.
* * *
(36)
“Priority housing project” means a discrete project located on a
single tract or multiple contiguous tracts of land that consists exclusively of:
(A)
mixed income housing or mixed use, or any combination thereof,
and is located entirely within a designated downtown development district,
designated growth center, or designated village center that is also a designated
neighborhood development area under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A; or
(B)
mixed income housing and is located entirely within a designated
Vermont neighborhood or designated neighborhood development area under
* * *
* * * Workforce Education and Training * * *
Sec. 28.
10 V.S.A. chapter 22A is amended to read:
WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
§ 540.
WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING LEADER
The Commissioner of Labor shall be the leader of workforce education and
training in the State, and shall have the authority and responsibility for the
- 2356 -
coordination of workforce education and training within State government,
including the following duties:
(1)
Perform
the
following
duties
in
consultation
with
the
State
Workforce Investment Board:
(A)
Advise the Governor on the establishment of an integrated
system of workforce education and training for Vermont.
(B)
Create and maintain an inventory of all existing workforce
education and training programs and activities in the State.
(C)
Use data to ensure that State workforce education and training
activities are aligned with the needs of the available workforce, the current and
future job opportunities in the State, and the specific credentials needed to
achieve employment in those jobs.
(D)
Develop a State plan, as required by federal law, to ensure that
workforce education and training programs and activities in the State serve
Vermont citizens and businesses to the maximum extent possible.
(E)
Ensure coordination and non-duplication of workforce education
and training activities.
(F)
Identify best practices and gaps in the delivery of workforce
education and training programs.
(G)
Design and implement criteria and performance measures for
workforce education and training activities.
(H)
Establish goals for the integrated workforce education and
training system.
(2)
Require from each business, training provider, or program that
receives State funding to conduct workforce education and training a report
that evaluates the results of the training.
Each recipient shall submit its report
on a schedule determined by the Commissioner and shall include at least the
following information:
(A)
name of the person who receives funding;
(B)
amount of funding;
(C)
activities and training provided;
(D)
number of trainees and their general description;
(E)
employment status of trainees
(F)
future needs for resources.
- 2357 -
(3)
Review reports submitted by each recipient of workforce education
and training funding.
(4)
Issue an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly on
or
before
December
1
that
includes
a
systematic
evaluation
of
the
accomplishments
of
the
State
workforce
investment
system
and
the
performance of participating agencies and institutions.
(5)
Coordinate public and private workforce programs to assure that
information is easily accessible to students, employees, and employers, and
that all information and necessary counseling is available through one contact.
(6)
Facilitate effective communication between the business community
and public and private educational institutions.
§ 541.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL; STATE WORKFORCE
INVESTMENT BOARD; MEMBERS, TERMS
(a)
The Workforce education and training Council is created as the
successor to and the continuation of the Governor’s Human Resources
Investment Council and shall be the State Workforce Investment Board under
Public Law 105-220, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and any
reauthorization of that act.
The Council shall consist of the members required
under the federal act and the following: the President of the University of
Vermont or designee; the Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges or
designee; the President of the Vermont Student Assistance corporation or
designee; the President of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges or
designee; a representative of the Abenaki Self Help Organization; at least two
representatives of labor appointed by the Governor in addition to the two
required under the federal act, who shall be chosen from a list of names
submitted by Vermont AFL-CIO, Vermont NEA, and the Vermont State
Employees Association; one representative of the low income community
appointed by the Governor; two members of the Senate appointed by the
Senate Committee on Committees; and two members of the house appointed
by the speaker. In addition, the Governor shall appoint enough other members
who are representatives of business or employers so that one-half plus one of
the members of the council are representatives of business or employers.
At
least one-third of those appointed by the Governor as representatives of
business or employers shall be chosen from a list of names submitted by the
regional technical centers.
As used in this section, “representative of business”
means a business owner, a chief executive operating officer, or other business
executive, and “employer” means an individual with policy-making or hiring
authority, including a public school superintendent or school board member
and representatives from the nonprofit, social services, and health sectors of
the economy.
If there is a dispute as to who is to represent an interest as
- 2358 -
required under the federal law, the Governor shall decide who shall be the
member of the Council.
(b)
Appointed members, except legislative appointees, shall be appointed
for three-year terms and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
(c)
A vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as
the initial appointment.
(d)
The Governor shall appoint one of the business or employer members
to chair the council for a term of two years.
A member shall not serve more
than three consecutive terms as chair.
(e)
Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as
provided
in
2
V.S.A.
§
406,
and
other
members
shall
be
entitled
to
compensation and expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.
(f)
The Department of Labor shall provide the Council with administrative
support.
(g)
The Workforce education and training Council shall be subject to 1
V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapters 2 and 3, relating to public meetings and access
to public records.
(h)
[Repealed.]
(i)
The Workforce education and training Council shall:
(1)
Advise the Governor on the establishment of an integrated network
of workforce education and training for Vermont.
(2)
Coordinate planning and services for an integrated network of
workforce education and training and oversee its implementation at State and
regional levels.
(3)
Establish goals for and coordinate the State’s workforce education
and training policies.
(4)
Speak for the workforce needs of employers.
(5)
Negotiate memoranda of understanding between the Council and
agencies
and
institutions
involved
in
Vermont’s
integrated
network
of
workforce education and training in order to ensure that each is working to
achieve annual objectives developed by the Council.
(6)
Carry out the duties assigned to the State Workforce Investment
Board, as required for a single-service delivery state, under P.L. 105-220, the
Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and any amendments that may be made to
it.
[Repealed.]
- 2359 -
§ 541a.
STATE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD
(a)
Board established; duties.
Pursuant to the requirements of 29 U.S.C.
§ 2821, the Governor shall establish a State Workforce Investment Board to
assist the Governor in the execution of his or her duties under the Workforce
Investment Act of 1998 and to assist the Commissioner of Labor as specified
in section 540 of this title.
(b)
Additional
duties;
planning;
process.
In
order
to
inform
its
decision-making and to provide effective assistance under subsection (a) of
this section, the Board shall:
(1)
Conduct an ongoing public engagement process throughout the State
at which Vermonters have the opportunity to provide feedback and information
concerning their workforce education and training needs.
(2)
Maintain familiarity with the federal Comprehensive Economic
Development Strategy (CEDS) and other economic development planning
processes, and coordinate workforce and education activities in the State,
including the development and implementation of the state plan required under
the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, with economic development planning
processes occurring in the State, as appropriate.
(c)
Membership.
The Board shall consist of the Governor and the
following members who are appointed by the Governor and serve at his or her
pleasure, unless otherwise indicated:
(1)
two Members of the Vermont House of Representatives appointed
by the Speaker of the House;
(2)
two Members of the Vermont Senate appointed by the Senate
Committee on Committees;
(3) the President of the University of Vermont or his or her designee;
(4)
the Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges or his or her designee;
(5)
the President of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation or his
or her designee;
(6)
a representative of an independent Vermont college or university;
(7)
the Secretary of Education or his or her designee;
(8)
a director of a regional technical center;
(9)
a principal of a Vermont high school;
(10)
two
representatives
of
labor
organizations
who
have
been
nominated by State labor federations;
- 2360 -
(11)
two representatives of individuals and organizations who have
experience with respect to youth activities, as defined in 29 U.S.C. § 2801(52);
(12)
two representatives of individuals and organizations who have
experience in the delivery of workforce investment activities, as defined in
(13)
the lead State agency officials with responsibility for the programs
and activities carried out by one-stop partners, as described in 29 U.S.C.
§ 2841(b), or if no official has that responsibility, a representative in the State
with expertise relating to these programs and activities;
(14)
the Commissioner of Economic Development;
(15)
the Commissioner of Labor;
(16)
the Secretary of Human Services or his or her designee;
(17)
two individuals who have experience in, and can speak for, the
training needs of underemployed and unemployed Vermonters; and
(18)
a number of appointees sufficient to constitute a majority of the
Board who:
(A)
are owners, chief executives, or operating officers of businesses,
and other business executives or employers with optimum policymaking or
hiring authority;
(B)
represent businesses with employment opportunities that reflect
the employment opportunities of the State; and
(C)
are appointed from among individuals nominated by State
business organizations and business trade associations.
(d)
Operation of Board.
(1)
Member representation.
(A)
Members of the State Board who represent organizations,
agencies, or other entities shall be individuals with optimum policymaking
authority within the organizations, agencies, or entities.
(B)
The members of the Board shall represent diverse regions of the
State, including urban, rural, and suburban areas.
(2)
Chair.
The Governor shall select a chair for the Board from among
the business representatives appointed pursuant to subdivision (c)(18) of this
section.
(3)
Meetings.
The Board shall meet at least three times annually and
shall hold additional meetings upon call of the Chair.
- 2361 -
(4)
Work groups; task forces.
The Chair, in consultation with the
Commissioner of Labor, may:
(A)
assign one or more members to work groups to carry out the
work of the Board; and
(B)
appoint one or more members of the Board, or non-members of
the Board, or both, to one or more task forces for a discrete purpose and
duration.
(5)
Quorum; meetings; voting.
(A)
A majority of the sitting members of the Board shall constitute a
quorum, and to be valid any action taken by the Board shall be authorized by a
majority of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting at
which a quorum is present.
(B)
The Board may permit one or more members to participate in a
regular or special meeting by, or conduct the meeting through the use of, any
means of communication, including an electronic, telecommunications, and
video- or audio-conferencing conference telephone call, by which all members
participating may simultaneously or sequentially communicate with each other
during the meeting.
A member participating in a meeting by this means is
deemed to be present in person at the meeting.
(C)
The Board shall deliver electronically the minutes for each of its
meetings to each member of the Board and to the Chairs of the House
Committees on Education and on Commerce and Economic Development, and
to the Senate Committees on Education and on Economic Development,
Housing and General Affairs.
(6)
Reimbursement.
(A)
Legislative
members
of
the
Board
shall
be
entitled
to
compensation and expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406.
(B)
Unless otherwise compensated by his or her employer for
performance of his or her duties on the Board, a nonlegislative member of the
Board shall be eligible for per diem compensation of $50.00 per day for
attendance at a meeting of the Board, and for reimbursement of his or her
necessary expenses, which shall be paid by the Department of Labor solely
from funds available for that purpose under the Workforce Investment Act
of 1998.
(7)
Conflict of interest.
A member of the Board shall not:
(A)
vote on a matter under consideration by the Board:
- 2362 -
(i)
regarding the provision of services by the member, or by an
entity that the member represents; or
(ii)
that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or
the immediate family of the member; or
(B)
engage in any activity that the Governor determines constitutes a
conflict of interest as specified in the State Plan required under 29 U.S.C.
§ 2822.
(8)
Sunshine provision.
The Board shall make available to the public,
on a regular basis through open meetings, information regarding the activities
of
the
Board,
including
information
regarding
the
State
Plan
adopted
pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 2822 and prior to submission of the State Plan to the
U.S. Secretary of Labor, information regarding membership, and, on request,
minutes of formal meetings of the Board.
§ 541b.
WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING; DUTIES OF
OTHER STATE AGENCIES, DEPARTMENTS, AND PRIVATE
PARTNERS
(a)
To ensure the Workforce Investment Board and the Commissioner of
Labor are able to fully perform their duties under this chapter, each agency and
department within State government, and each person who receives funding
from the State, shall comply within a reasonable period of time with a request
for data and information made by
the
Board or the Commissioner in
furtherance of their duties under this chapter.
(b)
The
Agency
of
Commerce
and
Community
Development
shall
coordinate its work in adopting a statewide economic development plan with
the activities of the Board and the Commissioner of Labor, including the
development and implementation of the state plan for workforce education and
training required under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
§ 542.
REGIONAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION AND
TRAINING
(a)
The Commissioner of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of
Commerce
and
Community
Development,
and
in
consultation
with
the
Workforce education and training Council Investment Board, is authorized to
issue performance grants to one or more persons to perform workforce
education and training activities in a region.
(b)
Each grant shall specify the scope of the workforce education and
training activities to be performed and the geographic region to be served, and
shall include outcomes and measures to evaluate the grantee’s performance.
- 2363 -
(c)
The Commissioner of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and
Community Development shall jointly develop a grant process and eligibility
criteria, as well as an outreach process for notifying potential participants of
the grant program.
The Commissioner of Labor shall have final authority to
approve each grant.
§ 543.
WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND; GRANT
PROGRAMS
(a)
Creation.
There is created a Workforce Education and Training Fund in
the department of labor Department of Labor to be managed in accordance
with 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5.
(b)
Purposes.
The Fund shall be used exclusively for the following two
purposes:
(1)
training to improve the skills of for Vermont workers, including
those who are unemployed, underemployed, or in transition from one job or
career to another; and
(2)
internships
to
provide
students
with
work-based
learning
opportunities with Vermont employers; and
(3)
apprenticeship-related instruction.
(c)
Administrative Support.
Administrative support for the grant award
process shall be provided by the Departments Department of Labor and of
Economic
Development.
Technical,
administrative,
financial,
and
other
support
shall
be
provided
whenever
appropriate and
reasonable
by
the
Workforce Development Council Investment Board and all other public
entities involved in Economic Development, workforce development and
training, and education economic development and workforce education and
training.
(d)
Eligible Activities.
Awards from the Fund shall be made to employers
and entities that offer programs that require collaboration between employees
and businesses, including private, public, and nonprofit entities, institutions of
higher education, high schools, technical centers, and workforce education and
training programs.
Funding shall be for training programs and student
internship programs that offer education, training, apprenticeship, mentoring,
or work-based learning activities, or any combination; that employ innovative
intensive student-oriented competency-based or collaborative approaches to
workforce education and training; and that link workforce education and
economic
development
strategies.
Training
programs
or
projects
that
demonstrate actual increased income and economic opportunity for employees
and employers may be funded for more than one year.
Student internships and
- 2364 -
training programs that involve the same employer may be funded multiple
times, provided that new students participate.
(e)
Award Criteria and Process.
The Workforce education and training
Council, in consultation with the Commissioners of Labor and of Economic
Development and the Secretary of Education, shall develop criteria consistent
with subsection (d) of this section for making awards under this section.
The
Commissioners of Labor and of Economic Development and the Secretary of
Education, shall develop a process for making awards. [Repealed].
(f)
Awards.
Based on guidelines set by the council, the The Commissioner
of labor, and the Secretary of Education Labor, in consultation with the
Workforce Investment Board, shall jointly develop award criteria and may
make awards to the following:
(1)
Training Programs.
(A)
Public, private, and nonprofit entities for existing or new
innovative training programs.
Awards may be made to programs that retrain
incumbent workers that enhance the skills of Vermont workers and:
(i)
train workers for trades or occupations that are expected to lead
to jobs paying at least 200 percent of the current minimum wage or at least
150 percent if benefits are included; this requirement may be waived when
warranted based on regional or occupational wages or economic reality;
(ii)
do not duplicate, supplant, or replace other available programs
funded with public money;
(iii)
articulate clear goals and demonstrate readily accountable,
reportable, and measurable results; and
(iv)
demonstrate an integrated connection between training and
specific new or continuing employment opportunities.
(B)
Awards under this subdivision shall be made to programs or
projects that do all the following:
(A)(i)
offer innovative programs of intensive, student-centric,
competency-based
education,
training,
apprenticeship,
mentoring,
or
any
combination of these;
(B)(ii)
address the needs of workers who are unemployed,
underemployed, or are at risk of becoming unemployed due to changing
workplace demands by increasing productivity and developing new skills for
incumbent workers; or
(iii)
in the discretion of the Commissioner, otherwise serve the
purposes of this chapter.
- 2365 -
(C)
train workers for trades or occupations that are expected to lead
to jobs paying at least 200 percent of the current minimum wage or at least 150
percent if benefits are included; this requirement may be waived when
warranted based on regional or occupational wages or economic reality;
(D)
do not duplicate, supplant, or replace other available programs
funded with public money;
(E)
articulate clear goals and demonstrate readily accountable,
reportable, and measurable results;
(F)
demonstrate an integrated connection between training and
specific employment opportunities, including an effort and consideration by
participating employers to hire those who successfully complete a training
program; and
(2)
Vermont Career Internship Program. Funding for eligible internship
programs
and
activities
under
the
Vermont
Career
Internship
Program
established in section 544 of this title.
(3)
Apprenticeship Program.
The Vermont Apprenticeship Program
established under 21 V.S.A. chapter 13.
Awards under this subdivision may be
used to fund the cost of apprenticeship-related instruction provided by the
Department of Labor.
(g)
[Repealed.]
§ 544.
VERMONT CAREER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
(a)(1)
The Department of Labor, in consultation with the Agency of
Education,
shall
develop
and
implement
a
statewide
Vermont
Career
Internship Program for Vermonters who are in high school or in college and
for those who are recent graduates of 24 months or less.
(2)
The Department of Labor shall coordinate and provide funding to
public and private entities for internship programs that match Vermont
employers with students from public and private secondary schools, regional
technical centers, the Community High School of Vermont, colleges, and
recent graduates of 24 months or less.
(3)
Funding awarded through the Vermont Career Internship Program
may be used to administer an internship program and to provide participants
with a stipend during the internship, based on need.
Funds may be made only
to programs or projects that do all the following:
(A)
do not replace or supplant existing positions;
(B)
create real workplace expectations and consequences;
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(C)
provide a process that measures progress toward mastery of
skills, attitude, behavior, and sense of responsibility required for success in that
workplace;
(D)
are
designed
to
motivate
and
educate
secondary
and
postsecondary students and recent graduates through work-based learning
opportunities
with
Vermont
employers
that
are
likely
to
lead
to
real
employment;
(E)
include mechanisms that promote employer involvement with
secondary and postsecondary students and curriculum and the delivery of
education at the participating schools; and
(F)
offer participants a continuum of learning, experience, and
relationships with employers that
will make
it financially possible
and
attractive for graduates to continue to work and live in Vermont.
(4)
For the purposes of As used in this section, “internship” means a
learning experience working with an employer where the intern may, but does
not necessarily, receive academic credit, financial remuneration, a stipend, or
any combination of these.
(b)
The Department of Labor, in collaboration with the Agencies of
Agriculture, Food and Markets and of Education, state-funded State-funded
postsecondary educational institutions, the Workforce Development Council
Investment Board, and other state State agencies and departments that have
workforce education and training and training monies, shall:
(1)
identify new and existing funding sources that may be allocated to
the Vermont Career Internship Program;
(2)
collect
data
and
establish
program
goals
and
quantifiable
performance measures for internship programs funded through the Vermont
Career Internship Program;
(3)
develop or enhance a website that will connect students and
graduates with internship opportunities with Vermont employers;
(4)
engage appropriate agencies and departments of the State in the
Internship Program to expand internship opportunities with State government
and with entities awarded State contracts; and
(5)
work with other public and private entities to develop and enhance
internship programs, opportunities, and activities throughout the State.Sec. 29.
10 V.S.A. chapter 22 is amended to read:
EMPLOYMENT THE VERMONT
TRAINING PROGRAM
- 2367 -
§ 531.
EMPLOYMENT THE VERMONT TRAINING PROGRAM
(a)(1)
The Secretary of Commerce and Community Development may, in
consultation with the Workforce Investment Board, shall have the authority to
design and implement a Vermont Training Program, the purpose of which shall
be
to issue
performance-based
grants to
any
employer,
consortium
of
employers, or providers of training, either individuals or organizations, as
necessary,
to
conduct
training
under
the
following
circumstances:
to
employers and to education and training providers to increase employment
opportunities in Vermont consistent with this chapter.
(2)
The Secretary shall structure the Vermont Training Program to serve
as a flexible, nimble, and strategic resource for Vermont businesses and
workers across all sectors of the economy.
(1)
when issuing grants to an employer or consortium of employers, the
employer promises as a condition of the grant to
where eligible facility is
defined as in subdivision 212(6) of this title relating to the Vermont Economic
Development Authority, or the employer or consortium of employers promises
to open an eligible facility within the State which will employ persons,
provided that for the purposes of this section, eligible facility may be broadly
interpreted to include employers in sectors other than manufacturing; and
(2)
training is required for potential employees, new employees, or long-
standing employees in the methods, either singularly or in combination relating
to
pre-employment
training,
on-the-job
training,
upgrade
training,
and
crossover training, or specialized instruction, either in-plant or through a
training provider.
(b)
Eligibility for grant.
The Secretary of Commerce and Community
Development may award a grant to an employer if:
(1)
the employer’s new or expanded initiative will enhance employment
opportunities for Vermont residents; the training is for pre-employment, new
employees, or incumbent employees in the methods, either singularly or in
combination, relating to pre-employment training, on-the-job training, upgrade
training, and crossover training, or specialized instruction, either on-site or
through a training provider;
(2)
the employer provides its employees with at least three of the
following:
(A)
health care benefits with 50 percent or more of the premium paid
by the employer;
(B)
dental assistance;
(C)
paid vacation and;
- 2368 -
(D)
paid holidays;
(D)(E)
child care;
(E)(F)
other extraordinary employee benefits;
(F)(G)
retirement benefits; and
(H)
other paid time off, including paid sick days;
(3)
the training is directly related to the employment responsibilities of
the trainee; and
(4)
unless modified by the Secretary if warranted based on regional or
occupational wages or economic reality, the training is expected to lead to a
position for which the employee is compensated at least twice the State
minimum wage, reduced by the value of any benefit package up to a limit of
30 percent of the employee’s gross wage; provided that for each grant in which
the Secretary modifies the compensation provisions of this subdivision, he or
she shall identify in the records for that grant the basis and nature of the
modification.
(c)
The employer promises as a condition of the grant to:
(1)
employ new persons at a wage which, at the completion of the
training program, is two times the prevailing state or federal minimum wage,
whichever is greater, reduced by the value of any existing health benefit
package up to a limit of 30 percent of the gross program wage, or for existing
employees, to increase the wage to two times the prevailing state and federal
minimum wage, whichever is greater, reduced by the value of any existing
health benefit package up to a limit of 20 percent of the gross program wage,
upon completion of training; provided, however, that in areas defined by the
Secretary of Commerce and Community Development in which the Secretary
finds that the rate of unemployment is 50 percent greater than the average for
the State, the wage rate under this subsection may be set by the Secretary at a
rate no less than one and one-half times the federal or state minimum wage,
whichever is greater;
(2)
employ persons who have completed the training provided for them
and
nominated
as
qualified
for
a
reasonable
period
at
the
wages
and
occupations described in the contract, unless the employer reasonably finds the
nominee is not qualified;
(3)
provide its employees with at least three of the following:
(A)
health care benefits with 50 percent or more of the premium paid
by the employer;
(B)
dental assistance;
- 2369 -
(C)
paid vacation and holidays;
(D)
child care;
(E)
other extraordinary employee benefits; and
(F)
retirement benefits.
(4)
submit a customer satisfaction report to the Secretary of Commerce
and Community Development, on a form prepared by the Secretary for that
purpose, no more than 30 days from the last day of the training program.
In the case of a grant to a training provider, the Secretary shall require as a
condition of the grant that the provider shall disclose to the Secretary the name
of the employer and the number of employees trained prior to final payment
for the training.
(d)
In order to avoid duplication of programs or services and to provide the
greatest return on investment from training provided under this section, the
Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall:
(1)
first consult with the Commissioner of Labor regarding whether the
grantee has accessed, or is eligible to access, other workforce education and
training resources offered by public or private workforce education and
training partners;
(2)
disburse grant funds only for training hours that have been
successfully completed by employees; provided that a grant for on-the-job
training shall either provide not more than 50 percent of wages for each
employee in training, or not more than 50 percent of trainer expense, but not
both, and further provided that training shall be performed in accordance with
a training plan that defines the subject of the training, the number of training
hours, and how the effectiveness of the training will be evaluated; and
(3)
use funds under this section only to supplement training efforts of
employers and not to replace or supplant training efforts of employers.
(e)
The Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall
administer all training programs under this section, may select and use
providers of training as appropriate, and shall adopt rules and may accept
services, money, or property donated for the purposes of this section.
The
Secretary may promote awareness of, and may give priority to, training that
enhances critical skills, productivity, innovation, quality, or competitiveness,
such
as
training
in
Innovation
Engineering,
“Lean”
systems,
and ISO
certification for expansion into new markets.
[Repealed.]
(f)
Upon completion of the training program for any individual, the
secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall review the records
- 2370 -
and shall award to the trainee, if appropriate, a certificate of completion for the
training.
(g)
None of the criteria in subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall apply to a
designated job development zone under chapter 29, subchapter 2 of this title.
[Repealed.]
(h)
The
Secretary
may
designate
the
Commissioner
of
Economic
Development to carry out his or her powers and duties under this chapter.
[Repealed.]
(i)
Program Outcomes.
(1)
On or before September 1, 2011, the Agency of Commerce and
Community Development, in coordination with the department of labor, and in
consultation with the Workforce education and training Council and the
legislative Joint Fiscal Office, shall develop, to the extent appropriate, a
common set of benchmarks and performance measures for the training
program established in this section and the Workforce Education and Training
Fund established in section 543 of this title, and shall collect employee-specific
data on training outcomes regarding the performance measures; provided,
however, that the Secretary shall redact personal identifying information from
such data.
(2)
On or before January 15, 2013, the Joint Fiscal Office shall prepare a
performance report using the benchmarks and performance measures created
pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.
The Joint Fiscal Office shall
submit its report to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing
and General Affairs and the House Committee on Commerce and Economic
Development.
(3)
The Secretary shall use information gathered pursuant to this
subsection and customer satisfaction reports submitted pursuant to subdivision
(c)(4) of this section to evaluate the program and make necessary changes that
fall within the Secretary’s authority or, if beyond the scope of the Secretary’s
authority, to recommend necessary changes to the appropriate committees of
the General Assembly.
[Repealed.]
(j)
Consistent with the training program’s goal of providing specialized
training
and
increased
employment
opportunities
for
Vermonters,
and
notwithstanding provisions of this section to the contrary, the Secretary shall
canvas apprenticeship sponsors to determine demand for various levels of
training and classes and shall transfer up to $250,000.00 annually to the
regional technical
centers to
fund or provide supplemental
funding for
apprenticeship training programs leading up to certification or licensing as
journeyman or master electricians or plumbers.
The Secretary shall seek to
- 2371 -
provide these funds equitably throughout Vermont; however, the Secretary
shall give priority to regions not currently served by apprenticeship programs
offered through the Vermont Department of Labor pursuant to 21 V.S.A.
[Repealed].
(k)
Annually on or before January 15, the Secretary shall submit a report to
the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development and the
Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs
summarizing.
In addition to the reporting requirements under section 540 of
this title, the report shall identify:
(1)
all active and completed contracts and grants,;
(2)
the types of training activities provided, from among the following,
the category the training addressed:
(A)
pre-employment training or other training for a new employee to
begin a newly created position with the employer;
(B)
pre-employment training or other training for a new employee to
begin in an existing position with the employer;
(C)
training for an incumbent employee who, upon completion of
training, assumes a newly created position with the employer;
(D)
training for an incumbent employee who upon completion of
training assumes a different position with the employer;
(E)
training for an incumbent employee to upgrade skills;
(3)
for the training identified in subdivision whether the training is
onsite or classroom-based;
(4)
the number of employees served, and ;
(5)
the average wage by employer, and addressing ;
(6)
any waivers granted;
(7)
the identity of the employer, or, if unknown at the time of the report,
the category of employer;
(8)
the identity of each training provider; and
(9)
whether training results in a wage increase for a trainee, and the
amount of increase.
- 2372 -
Sec. 30.
REPEAL
2007 Acts and Resolves No. 46, Sec. 6(a), as amended by 2009 Acts and
Resolves No. 54, Sec. 8 (workforce education and training leader) and 2013
Acts and Resolves No. 81, Sec. 2, is repealed.
Sec. 31.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; AGENCY OF COMMERCE AND
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT; STATUTORY PROPOSALS
On or before November 1, 2014:
(1)
The Commissioner of Labor shall submit to the House Committee on
Commerce
and
Economic
Development
and
the
Senate
Committee
on
Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs a proposal to amend the
language of 10 V.S.A. § 543 to reflect best practices and improve clarity in the
administration of, and for applicants to, the grant program from the Workforce
Education and Training Fund under that section.
(2)
The Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall
submit to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development
and the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General
Affairs a proposal to amend the language of 10 V.S.A. § 531 to reflect best
practices and improve clarity in the administration of, and for applicants to, the
Vermont Training Program under that section.
Sec. 32.
INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PERSONS
On or before January 15, 2015, the Commissioner of Labor shall submit to
the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development and the
Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs a
report that details the internship opportunities available to Vermonters between
15 and 18 years of age and recommends one or more means to expand these
opportunities through the Vermont Career Internship Program, 10 V.S.A.
§ 544, or through other appropriate mechanisms.
* * * Vermont Strong Scholars Program * * *
Sec. 33.
16 V.S.A. chapter 90 is redesignated to read:
CHAPTER
90.
FUNDING
OF
POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS
EDUCATION
Sec. 34.
16 V.S.A. § 2888 is added to read:
§ 2888.
VERMONT STRONG SCHOLARS AND INTERNSHIP
INITIATIVE
(a)
Creation.
- 2373 -
(1)
There is created a postsecondary loan forgiveness and internship
initiative designed to forgive a portion of Vermont Student Assistance
Corporation loans of students employed in economic sectors identified as
important to Vermont’s economy and to build internship opportunities for
students to gain work experience with Vermont employers.
(2)
The initiative shall be known as the Vermont Strong Scholars and
Internship Initiative and is designed to:
(A) encourage students to:
(i)
consider jobs in economic sectors that are critical to the
Vermont economy;
(ii)
enroll and remain enrolled in a Vermont postsecondary
institution; and
(iii)
live in Vermont upon graduation;
(B)
reduce student loan debt for postsecondary education in targeted
fields;
(C)
provide experiential learning through internship opportunities
with Vermont employers; and
(D)
support a pipeline of qualified talent for employment with
Vermont’s employers.
(b)
Vermont Strong Loan Forgiveness Program.
(1)
Economic sectors; projections.
(A)
Annually, on or before November 15, the Secretary of Commerce
and Community Development and the Commissioner of Labor, in consultation
with the Vermont State Colleges, the University of Vermont, the Vermont
Student Assistance Corporation, and the Secretary of Education, shall identify
economic sectors, projecting at least four years into the future, that are or will
be critical to the Vermont economy.
(B)
Based upon the identified economic sectors and the number of
students anticipated to qualify for loan forgiveness under this section, the
Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall annually provide
the General Assembly with the estimated cost of the Vermont Student
Assistance Corporation’s loan forgiveness awards under the loan forgiveness
program during the then-current fiscal year and each of the four following
fiscal years.
(2)
Eligibility.
A graduate of a public or private Vermont postsecondary
institution shall be eligible for forgiveness of a portion of his or her Vermont
- 2374 -
Student Assistance Corporation postsecondary education loans under this
section if he or she:
(A)
was a Vermont resident, as defined in 16 V.S.A. § 2822(7), at the
time he or she was graduated;
(B)
completed an associate’s degree within three
years, or
a
bachelor’s degree within six years;
(C)
becomes employed in Vermont within 12 months of graduation
in an economic sector identified by the Secretary and Commissioner under
subdivision (1) of this subsection;
(D)
remains employed in Vermont throughout the period of loan
forgiveness
in
an
economic
sector
identified
by
the
Secretary
and
Commissioner under subdivision (1) of this subsection; and
(E)
remains a Vermont resident throughout the period of loan
forgiveness.
(3)
Loan forgiveness.
An eligible individual shall have a portion of his
or her Vermont Student Assistance Corporation loan forgiven as follows:
(A)
for an individual awarded an associate’s degree, in an amount
equal to the comprehensive in-state tuition rate for 15 credits at the Vermont
State Colleges during the individual’s final semester of enrollment, to be
prorated over the three years following graduation; and
(B)
for an individual awarded a bachelor’s degree, in an amount
equal to the comprehensive in-state tuition rate for 30 credits at the Vermont
State Colleges during the individual’s final year of enrollment, to be prorated
over the five years following graduation.
(C)
Loan forgiveness may be awarded on a prorated basis to an
otherwise eligible Vermont resident who transfers to and is graduated from a
Vermont postsecondary institution.
(4)
Management.
(A)
The Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall
develop all organizational details of the loan forgiveness program consistent
with the purposes and requirements of this section.
(B)
The Secretary shall enter into a memorandum of understanding
with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation for management of the loan
forgiveness program.
(C)
The Secretary may adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25
necessary to implement the Program.
- 2375 -
(c) Vermont Strong Internship Program.
(1)
Internship program management.
(A)
The Commissioner of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and
Community
Development
shall
jointly
develop
and
implement
the
organizational details of the internship program consistent with the purposes
and requirements of this section and may adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A.
chapter 25 necessary to implement the internship program.
(B)
The Commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary, shall issue
a request for proposals for a person to serve as an Internship Program
Intermediary, who shall perform the duties and responsibilities pursuant to the
terms of a performance contract negotiated by the Commissioner and the
Intermediary.
(C)
The Department of Labor, the Agency of Commerce and
Community Development, the regional development corporations, and the
Intermediary, shall have responsibility for building connections within the
business community to ensure broad private sector participation in the
internship program.
(D)
The Program Intermediary shall:
(i)
identify and foster postsecondary internships that are rigorous,
productive, well-managed, and mentored;
(ii)
cultivate relationships with employers, employer-focused
organizations, and state and regional government bodies;
(iii)
build relationships with Vermont postsecondary institutions
and facilitate recruitment of students to apply for available internships;
(iv)
create and maintain a registry of participating employers and
associated internship opportunities;
(v)
coordinate and provide support to the participating student, the
employer, and the student’s postsecondary institution;
(vi)
develop and oversee a participation contract between each
student and employer, including terms governing the expectations for the
internship, a work plan, mentoring and supervision of the student, reporting by
the employer and student, and compensation terms; and
(vii)
carry out any additional activities and duties as directed by
the Commissioner.
(2)
Qualifying internships.
- 2376 -
(A)
Criteria.
To qualify for participation in the internship program an
internship shall at minimum:
(i)
be with a Vermont employer as approved by the Intermediary
in consultation with the Commissioner and Secretary;
(ii)
pay compensation to an intern of at least the prevailing
minimum wage; and
(iii)
meet the quality standards and expectations as established by
the Intermediary.
(B)
Employment of interns.
Interns shall be employed by the
sponsoring employer except, with the approval of the Commissioner on a
case-by-case basis, interns may be employed by the Intermediary and assigned
to work with a participating Vermont employer, in which case the sponsoring
employer shall contribute funds as determined by the Commissioner.
(3)
Student eligibility.
To participate in the internship program an
individual shall be:
(A)
a Vermont resident enrolled in a post-secondary institution in or
outside Vermont;
(B)
a student who graduated from a postsecondary institution within
24 months of entering the program who was classified as a Vermont resident
during that schooling or who is a student who attended a post-secondary
institution in Vermont; or
(C)
a student enrolled in a Vermont post-secondary institution.
(d)
Funding.
(1)
Loan forgiveness program.
(A)
There is created a special fund to be known as the Vermont
Strong Scholars Fund pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, which
shall be used and administered solely for the purposes of loan forgiveness
pursuant to this section.
(B)
The Fund shall consist of sums to be identified by the Secretary
from any source accepted for the benefit of the Fund and interest earned from
the investment of Fund balances.
(C)
Any interest earned and any remaining balance at the end of the
fiscal year shall be carried forward in the Fund.
(D)
The availability and payment of loan forgiveness awards under
this section are subject to funding available for the awards.