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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 2: Legislature

Chapter 001: GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  • § 1. Place of holding sessions

    The sessions of the General Assembly shall be held in the State House in Montpelier; except that, in case that Montpelier, in the opinion of the Governor, shall ever become an unsafe place because of an enemy attack or threatened attack upon the United States or Canada, such sessions, while such unsafe condition shall continue, shall be held elsewhere in a building or buildings to be designated from time to time by him or her. (Amended 1959, No. 14, eff. March 4, 1959.)

  • § 2. Use of hall and Senate chamber

    The Representatives' hall and the Senate chamber shall not be used for purposes other than legislation or business connected therewith, except as the two houses may by joint rule or resolution provide.

  • § 3. Senate certificates; oaths; Secretary; canvassing committee

    The members-elect of the Senate shall deliver their certificates of election to the President of the Senate before 10 o'clock in the forenoon of the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, following their election; at which time, the Senate shall be called to order by its President and the names of the Senators who have presented their certificates shall be called. When a quorum appears, the members shall take and subscribe the oath of allegiance and the oath prescribed for Representatives to the General Assembly and shall then elect a Secretary, who shall appoint an Assistant Secretary, for whose acts he or she shall be responsible. The Senate shall then appoint a committee, consisting of one Senator from each district, to join such committee as the House of Representatives appoints, to canvass the votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, and Attorney General.

  • § 4. Senate vacancy

    If a vacancy occurs in the Senate, the Governor shall appoint some person from the district wherein the vacancy occurs to fill the unexpired term, and shall transmit to the person so appointed a certificate of his or her appointment, and cause a certified copy thereof to be sent to the President of the Senate.

  • § 5. Repealed. 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 120.

  • § 6. House roll; election of Speaker

    The Secretary of State shall make a roll, by districts, of members whose credentials have been received in the form of a certificate from the canvassing committee or a superseding court order, and at 10 o'clock in the forenoon of the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, as presiding officer, shall call the House to order and call the names of the members on the roll. When a quorum of the House appears, he or she shall direct the House to a choice of Speaker by ballot. When a Speaker is elected, he or she shall take the chair and the duties of the Secretary of State in the organization of the House shall cease. (Amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 116.)

  • § 7. House Clerk; canvassing committee

    The House shall then elect a Clerk and on the nomination of the Speaker shall appoint a committee, consisting of three members from each district, to join such committee as the Senate appoints, to canvass the votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, and Attorney General.

  • § 8. Assistant Clerks of House

    The Clerk shall appoint two assistants for whose acts he or she shall be responsible.

  • § 9. House vacancy

    If a vacancy occurs in the Office of Representative to the General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint some person from the district wherein the vacancy occurs to fill the unexpired term, and shall transmit to the person so appointed a certificate of his or her appointment, and cause certified copies thereof to be sent to the Secretary of State and to the clerk of the district wherein the vacancy occurs. (Amended 1961, No. 33, eff. March 22, 1961; 1963, No. 59, eff. April 26, 1963.)

  • § 10. Election of State and judicial officers

    (a) At 10 o'clock and 30 minutes, forenoon, on the seventh Thursday after their biennial meeting and organization, the Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in joint assembly and proceed therein to elect the State officers, except judicial officers, whose election by the Constitution and laws devolves in the first instance upon them in joint assembly, including the Sergeant at Arms, the Adjutant and Inspector General, and legislative trustees of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. In case election of all such officers shall not be made on that day, they shall meet in joint assembly at 10 o'clock and 30 minutes, forenoon, on each succeeding day, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, and proceed in such election, until all such officers are elected.

    (b) At 10 o'clock and 30 minutes, forenoon, on the 11th Thursday after their biennial meeting and organization, and on the 11th Thursday of the second year of the biennial session, when necessary, the Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in joint assembly and proceed therein to elect the judicial officers whose election by the Constitution and laws devolves in the first instance upon them in joint assembly, including Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of all subordinate courts, except assistant judges and judges of probate. In case election of all such officers shall not be made on that day, they shall meet in joint assembly at 10 o'clock and 30 minutes, forenoon, on each succeeding day, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, and proceed in such election, until all such officers are elected.

    (c) At 10 o'clock and 30 minutes, forenoon, on the seventh Thursday of the second year of the biennial session, the Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in joint assembly and proceed therein to elect the legislative trustees of the Vermont State Colleges Corporation, whose election by the Constitution and laws devolves in the first instance upon them in joint assembly. In case election of all such legislative trustees shall not be made on that day, they shall meet in joint assembly at 10 o'clock and 30 minutes, forenoon, on each succeeding day, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, and proceed in such election, until all such legislative trustees are elected. (Amended 1985, No. 98, § 8.)

  • § 11. Vacancies in office

    The General Assembly shall fill all vacancies in office existing or occurring while it is in session, where the incumbents are by law elected by the General Assembly, and such officers so elected shall hold their respective offices during the unexpired term.

  • § 12. Legislative elections; uniform ballots

    (a) Whenever there is a known contested election for Speaker of the House of Representatives, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and in elections by the joint assembly of the Legislature, the Secretary of State shall prepare a ballot for each office, listing the names of the known candidates for the office in the alphabetical order of their surnames and leaving thereon sufficient blank spaces to take care of any nominations from the floor.

    (b) A candidate for office shall, not later than one week preceding the election, notify the Secretary of State in writing of his or her candidacy, naming the particular office. If he or she fails so to notify the Secretary of State, his or her name shall not be printed on the ballot. No ballot may be used other than the official ballot provided by the Secretary of State. (Added 1959, No. 115; amended 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 13. Daily journals

    (a) At the close of each legislative day, the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives shall prepare a daily copy of the journal of their respective bodies for such day.

    (b) Such journals shall contain all motions, votes, orders, and proceedings, but shall not contain any remark of a member or words spoken for or against a pending question. (Amended 1995, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 66, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 62, § 54, eff. June 26, 1997; 1999, No. 29, § 65, eff. May 19, 1999.)

  • § 14. Stenographic assistance for journals

    Such Secretary and Clerk shall procure stenographic and other clerical assistance as they respectively deem necessary to ensure the proper, efficient, and expeditious performance of the work required by section 13 of this title. Compensation for stenographic and other clerical assistance shall be determined by the Rules Committee of the House or Senate, as the case may be, and the Commissioner of Finance and Management shall issue his or her warrant in payment therefor. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(b); amended 1977, No. 109, § 25, eff. July 3, 1977; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b).)

  • § 15. Daily calendar

    At the close of each legislative day such Secretary and Clerk shall prepare a calendar of the measures in their files for consideration by their respective bodies on the following legislative day. A sufficient number of copies of each calendar shall be printed. They shall place one copy of such calendar on the desk of each member of their respective bodies before the opening of the morning session of the following legislative day.

  • § 16. Printing and distribution of daily calendar, journal, and bills

    Copies of the daily calendar and journal shall be immediately furnished to the printer designated by the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services. The printing of the calendar and journal shall be under the supervision of the Secretary and Clerk, and the required number of printed copies shall be delivered to the offices of the Legislative Council before the opening of the morning session of the following legislative day. A sufficient number of copies of all the bills shall also be delivered to the offices of the Legislative Council. Staff of the Legislative Council shall distribute the daily calendar and journal and the bills as follows:

    (1) Calendars. One copy of the daily House calendar shall be placed on the desk of each member of the House and one copy of the daily Senate calendar shall be placed on the desk of each member of the Senate. An additional number of copies of both the daily House and Senate calendars shall be made available to House and Senate members in their respective chambers upon the request of a member. Calendars shall also be published on the State legislative webpage. The number of copies required shall be determined by staff of the Legislative Council based on their demand.

    (2) Journals and bills. The daily House and Senate journals and bills shall be published on the State legislative webpage. Copies of bills shall be made upon request to House and Senate members.

    (3) [Repealed.]  (Amended 1961, No. 30, eff. March 17, 1961; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996; 1999, No. 29, § 66, eff. May 19, 1999; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 7a, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 2001, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 93, eff. June 27, 2002; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § G26, eff. June 1, 2010.)

  • § 17. Repealed. 2005, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.

  • § 18. Repealed. 2013, No. 34, § 31.

  • § 19. Compensation to chaplains

    Chaplains serving the Legislature, other than members of the Legislature, shall receive $5.00 a day to defray expenses for each day served and such sums shall be paid by the Commissioner of Finance and Management from the legislative appropriation. (Added 1973, R-59 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b).)

  • § 20. Limitation on distribution and duration of agency reports

    (a) Unless otherwise provided by law, whenever it is required by statute, rule, or otherwise that an agency submit an annual, biennial, or other periodic report to the General Assembly, that requirement shall be met by submission by January 15 of copies of the report for activities in the preceding fiscal year to the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the Senate, the Office of Legislative Counsel, and such individual members of the General Assembly or committees that specifically request a copy of the report. To the extent practicable, reports shall also be placed on the agency's Internet website. No general distribution or mailing of such reports shall be made to members of the General Assembly.

    (b) For the purposes of this section, "agency" means each State agency, board, commission, or department or any division thereof.

    (c) The Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House shall each publish a list of reports that have been submitted to them in the calendars of their respective houses within five days of their receipt or within the first five legislative days of the biennial and adjourned sessions of the General Assembly, whichever is later.

    (d) It is the intent of the General Assembly that, except for reports required by interstate compacts and except as otherwise provided by law, whenever an agency is required by law to submit an annual, biennial, or other periodic report to the General Assembly, that requirement shall no longer be required after five years or after five years from the last date that the statutory or session law section containing the report was amended, whichever date is later. In each biennial session, the Office of Legislative Counsel shall prepare for the General Assembly's review a list of the reports subject to this subsection. A report requirement shall only expire pursuant to legislative enactment. (Added 1975, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 23, 1976; amended 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294; 2009, No. 33, § 1; 2015, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2017, No. 74, § 1a.)

  • § 21. Employees; subpoena prohibited

    (a) No employee or former employee of the General Assembly may be compelled to give testimony or to appear and produce documentary evidence in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding if:

    (1) the testimony or documentary evidence sought relates to a legislative duty or act performed by the employee; and

    (2) neither a member of the General Assembly nor the employee is a party in the proceeding.

    (b) Any order or subpoena purporting to compel testimony or the production of evidence that is prohibited under subsection (a) of this section shall be unenforceable.

    (c) Official documents, as defined in subdivision 403(b)(2) of this title, shall be admissible under V.R.C.P. 44. (Added 1981, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2019, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.)

  • § 22. Complaint filed in the Superior Court to compel testimony or production of evidence

    (a) If a person does not comply with a legislative subpoena, a Superior Court may compel the attendance of the person, the giving of testimony, and the production of papers or other evidence, as required by the subpoena.

    (b) A person may refuse to comply with a legislative subpoena on the grounds of a valid privilege.

    (c) The General Assembly, by a majority vote of those present in either house, or any committee of the General Assembly having subpoena authority by a majority vote of its membership, may initiate proceedings under this section by filing a complaint with the court asking that the witness be so compelled.

    (d) The failure of any witness to comply with an order of the court issued under this section shall constitute contempt of court. (Added 1993, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 23. Standing committees; authority to meet; out-of-state business

    (a) During adjournment of the General Assembly, any standing committee or subcommittee of a standing committee may with the appropriate approval of the Speaker or the President Pro Tempore meet at the call of its chair to conduct legislative business within the State. For attendance at such a meeting or for attendance at a meeting of a special committee or joint committee, a committee member shall be entitled to per diem compensation and expense reimbursement as follows:

    (1) daily compensation at the rate then in effect for members of the General Assembly during a special session;

    (2) actual mileage traveled at the rate paid State employees;

    (3) receipted lodging costs and actual meal costs;

    (4) other actual expenses, as reasonable and necessary.

    (b) For attending to official duties out of the State, a member shall be entitled to the same per diem compensation as provided for attendance at sessions of the General Assembly. Reimbursement of necessary and actual expenses for official duties out of the State shall be made from the legislative appropriation to any member of the General Assembly or its staff. Such reimbursement and per diem compensation shall be in lieu of any other expenses payable by the State to that person during the period he or she is out of the State and shall be contingent upon:

    (1) prior approval of the out-of-state duties by the Speaker of the House in the case of a House member or employee or by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate in the case of a Senator or Senate employee; and

    (2) certification of the expense voucher to the Commissioner of Finance and Management by either the Speaker of the House or President Pro Tempore of the Senate in the appropriate case or designee.

    (c) All per diem and expense claims for attendance at authorized committee meetings shall be submitted with the approval of the committee chair. (Added 1971, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 31, 1972; amended 1973, No. 62, § 1, eff. April 24, 1973; 1983, No. 88, § 9, eff. July 3, 1983; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1995, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. June 6, 1996; 2003, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2007, No. 7, § 7; 2019, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 11(b) (redesignated from 2 V.S.A. § 406).)