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Title 32: Taxation and Finance

Chapter 007: THE PUBLIC MONIES

  • Subchapter 001: Accounting
  • § 401. Accounts

    (a) The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall keep fair and accurate accounts of moneys received and disbursed so as to show the proceeds of the several branches of revenue and the expenses of each department of the government.

    (b) The Treasurer shall keep an accurate account in books of account of all monies received by the State from whatever source and of all moneys withdrawn from the Treasury of the State upon warrants issued by the Commissioner of Finance and Management.

    (c) In recording revenues of the General Fund as set forth in section 435 of this title, and revenues of the Transportation Fund as set forth in 19 V.S.A. § 11, the Commissioner of Finance and Management shall as of June 30 each year maintain accounting records in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that ensure consistency with each preceding fiscal year. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 1979, No. 74, § 328, eff. May 8, 1979; 1981, No. 87, § 4; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 59, 60, eff. June 13, 1988; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 65.)

  • § 402. Receipts

    The Treasurer and Commissioner of Finance and Management shall give a receipt to persons for money paid, stating for what purpose it is paid, and shall immediately enter the payment upon their books under its appropriate head. (Amended 1967, No. 154, § 1.)

  • § 403. Repealed. 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 35(g).

  • § 404. Returned payments; penalty

    (a) Agencies and departments of State government may assess a penalty of $20.00 against the issuer for each payment for amounts due in the form of a check, draft, electronic payment, or other acceptable forms of payment that have been dishonored for lack of funds or credit to pay the same.

    (b) Such penalty collected shall be credited to a special fund established and managed pursuant to chapter 7, subchapter 5 of this title, or to another budgeted fund other than the General Fund, and shall be available to the agency or department to offset the costs of collecting the amount owed. (Added 1983, No. 59, § 12, eff. April 22, 1983; amended 1989, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 31, 1990; 1991, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1993, No. 27, § 5; 1997, No. 59, § 21, eff. June 30, 1997; 2013, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2017, No. 74, § 133.)


  • Subchapter 002: Management
  • § 431. Depositories of State funds

    (a) The Treasurer and the Governor shall select the banks in which the funds of the State Treasury shall be deposited. Each agency or department of the State shall be required to obtain the approval of the Treasurer to establish and maintain a bank account of a selected bank as well as develop procedures, approved by the Treasurer, to reconcile a bank account.

    (b) The Treasurer is hereby authorized to enter into a pledgee agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank for the purposes of collateralization of account balances through the use of a joint-custody account. The Treasurer is authorized to execute the Federal Reserve Bank's standard form pledgee agreement, including the limitations of liability, limitations of duties and indemnification contained in the pledgee agreement. (Amended 1977, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 73, § 272; 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 261a; 2003, No. 66, § 38b; 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 25.)

  • § 432. Management of invested State money

    In the management of funds and securities belonging to the State or held in the Treasury, with approval of the Governor, he or she may change the form of investment thereof by exchange of securities or by sale and reinvestment of the same, as may be required for the safety and permanent security of such funds, may collect accruing interest and reinvest the same and may collect, enforce payment of, and reinvest all maturing securities and obligations and, for such purposes, may make legal transfers of the title of the same. (Amended 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 26.)

  • § 433. Investments of State money

    (a) Investments of State funds shall be made in:

    (1) obligations of the United States, its agencies, and instrumentalities, which have a liquid market with readily determinable market value;

    (2) certificates of deposit and other evidences of deposit at banks, community development credit unions as defined in 8 V.S.A. § 30101, and savings and loan associations approved by the Treasurer;

    (3) bankers' acceptances issued by domestic banks where the guaranteeing bank is rated in the highest tier assigned to the investments by at least two nationally recognized rating agencies;

    (4) commercial paper rated in the highest tier by at least two nationally recognized rating agencies;

    (5) investment-grade obligations of state or local governments, instrumentalities, and public authorities;

    (6) repurchase agreements whose underlying purchased securities consist of any of the investments specified in subdivisions (1) through (5) of this subsection;

    (7) investment agreements or guaranteed investment contracts rated or guaranteed by a financial institution whose senior long-term debt obligations are rated, at the time such agreement or contract is entered into, in the highest tier assigned to such investments by a nationally recognized rating agency, and where the Treasurer has the option to terminate each agreement in the event such rating is downgraded below the highest rating tier; and

    (8) money market mutual funds that either are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and whose portfolios consist only of dollar-denominated securities or are managed in a manner consistent with Rule 2a-7 of the Investment Company Act of 1940.

    (b) Investments of State funds shall be made with judgment and care, under circumstances then prevailing, which persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs, not for speculation, but for investment, considering the probable safety of their capital as well as the probable income to be derived.

    (c) Investments of State funds shall be made in accordance with written guidelines adopted by the Treasurer. Such guidelines shall address the liquidity, diversification, safety of principal, yield, maturity and quality and capability of investment management, with primary emphasis on safety and liquidity. (Amended 1991, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 28, 1992; 2005, No. 46, § 1; 2009, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 13, 2010.)

  • § 434. Investment of certain funds

    (a)(1) A "Trust Investment Account" is hereby created to maximize the earnings of individual funds by associating them together for common investment.

    (2) The Trust Investment Account may include:

    (A) the whole or any part of individual trust funds resulting from court settlements, private bequests, grants, or other awards accepted in accordance with section 5 of this title, provided the terms thereof do not require a separate investment.

    (B) the whole or any part of the funds created by express enactment of the General Assembly to finance particular or restricted programs that provide that only investment earnings of the fund shall be used for program purposes, including, the Vermont Higher Education Endowment Trust Fund established pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 2885.

    (C) any other funds which the State Treasurer identifies, in consultation with the Secretary of Administration, as appropriate for inclusion in the account.

    (3) The State Treasurer may invest and reinvest the funds in the account, and hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer, and dispose of the investments in accordance with the standard of care established by the prudent investor rule under 9 V.S.A. chapter 147. The Treasurer shall apply the same investment objectives and policies adopted by the Vermont State Employees' Retirement System, where appropriate, to the investment of funds in the Trust Investment Account.

    (4) At reasonable intervals, but at least annually in June of each fiscal year, the Treasurer shall credit each individual fund in the Trust Investment Account with a pro rata share of the net income of the Account. The value of the individual funds transferred to or withdrawn from the Trust Investment Account shall be on the basis of the fair market value of the total funds of the Account at the time of the transfer or withdrawal. The Treasurer may withdraw monies from the Account as permitted or required by the terms of the individual funds or as required by acts of the General Assembly.

    (5) Annually, the Treasurer shall prepare a report to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance on the financial activity of the Trust Investment Account. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the required report to be made under this subdivision.

    (b) The State Treasurer may invest and reinvest the monies deposited into the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund established by section 435a of this title, and may hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer and dispose of the investments in accordance with the standard of care established by the prudent investor rule under 9 V.S.A. chapter 147. (Added 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 60, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; amended 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294e; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 32, eff. May 14, 2012; 2015, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 435. General Fund

    (a) There is established the General Fund which shall be the basic operating fund of the State. The General Fund shall be used to finance all expenditures for which no special revenues have otherwise been provided by law.

    (b) The General Fund shall be composed of revenues from the following sources:

    (1) Alcoholic beverage tax levied pursuant to 7 V.S.A. chapter 15;

    (2) [Repealed.]

    (3) Electrical energy tax levied pursuant to chapter 213 of this title;

    (4) Corporate income and franchise taxes levied pursuant to chapter 151 of this title;

    (5) Individual income taxes levied pursuant to chapter 151 of this title;

    (6) All corporation taxes levied pursuant to chapter 211 of this title;

    (7) 69 percent of the meals and rooms taxes levied pursuant to chapter 225 of this title;

    (8) [Repealed.]

    (9) Revenues from the Racing Special Fund consistent with 31 V.S.A. § 630;

    (10) 33 percent of the revenue from the property transfer taxes levied pursuant to chapter 231 of this title and the revenue from the gains taxes levied each year pursuant to chapter 236 of this title;

    (11) [Repealed.]

    (12) All other revenues accruing to the State not otherwise required by law to be deposited in any other designated fund or used for any other designated purpose. (Added 1973, No. 262 (Adj. Sess.), § 52; amended 1975, No. 254 (Adj. Sess.), § 163; 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978; 1997, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. April 29, 1998; 1999, No. 49, § 78; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 55, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 272b; 2003, No. 68, § 37, eff. July 1, 2004; 2005, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 43; 2011, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 56a, eff. July 1, 2013; 2017, No. 74, § 134; 2017, No. 85, § H.4, eff. July 1, 2018; 2018, No. 11 (Sp. Sess.), § H.9; 2019, No. 76, § 4a, eff. Oct. 1, 2019.)

  • § 435a. Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund

    (a) A Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund shall be established in the State Treasury, separate from the General Fund and any other fund, for the support of tobacco use prevention, cessation, and control, and for other health care purposes.

    (b) Into the Fund shall be deposited all monies received by the State in connection with the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement between members of the tobacco industry and the State approved by the Vermont Superior Court on December 14, 1998 and finalized in Vermont on January 13, 1999, and any interest that accrues on the balance of such monies.

    (c) Of the balance in the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund, $19,200,000.00 is hereby reserved for the sole purpose of long-term sustainable tobacco education, prevention, cessation, and control programs and the Trust Fund proposal developed in accordance with 1999 Acts and Resolves No. 62 , Sec. 274(a)(4)(A)(iii). (Added 1999, No. 62, § 275a.)

  • § 436. Interfund borrowing

    Notwithstanding any provisions of law, the State Treasurer, with the approval of the Governor, may borrow from any funds heretofore or hereafter created by the Legislature such available amounts as he or she may determine to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of defraying the expenses of government, including the payment of notes issued for such purposes. Such borrowing may be only made twice a year; first, during the period commencing 15 business days prior to the end of the State's fiscal year and ending 15 business days after the end of the State's fiscal year, and second, during the period commencing on December 10, or the preceding Friday if December 10 shall fall on a Saturday or Sunday, and ending on January 10 of the succeeding year. No later than the last day of the period during which the funds were borrowed, the State Treasurer shall transfer to any such fund from which such initial borrowing has been made an amount equal to such borrowed amount, together with interest thereon at such rate as the State Treasurer in his or her sole discretion shall determine. (Added 1997, No. 61, § 254; amended 2005, No. 71, § 34a.)


  • Subchapter 003: Disbursements
  • § 461. Disbursements on Commissioner's warrants

    The Treasurer shall not disburse monies from the State Treasury except upon warrants, issued by the Commissioner of Finance and Management unless otherwise provided. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988.)

  • § 462. Appropriation required

    (a) Except in the case of funds held by the State in trust, rebates payable to the United States Treasury Department in accordance with the provisions of section 476 of this title, or unless otherwise specified by statute no moneys shall be paid out of the Treasury of the State except upon specific appropriation. The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall not issue his or her warrant except as authorized under the provisions of this section. Such warrant shall be the certificate of the Commissioner of Finance and Management that the account covered by the same is approved for payment by the State Treasurer.

    (b) All expenditures from enterprise and internal service funds, except those directly resulting from a client-driven demand for products or services, shall be made pursuant to an appropriation. Based on the needs of the programs, the Commissioner of Finance and Management may change authorized spending limits during the course of the year, and may anticipate receipts for enterprise and internal service funds. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1985, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 18, 1986; 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 1997, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 63, eff. Feb. 20, 1998; 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 262.)

  • § 463. Itemized bills with vouchers required

    The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall require all bills presented to him or her for allowance to be fully itemized and accompanied, as far as possible, with vouchers. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 1995, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. June 6, 1996; 2003, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2007, No. 7, § 4.)

  • § 464. Itemized statements and receipts required

    When required by the Commissioner of Finance and Management and before payment therefor is made by the State, all claimants for compensation for services rendered or expense incurred for the State shall furnish the Commissioner of Finance and Management itemized statements in such form as the Commissioner of Finance and Management may from time to time prescribe and shall be verified by written declarations or, if specifically authorized by the Commissioner of Finance and Management, by electronic signature as defined at 9 V.S.A. § 271(9) that they are made under the pains and penalties of perjury, and a person who willfully makes a false statement shall be guilty of perjury and be punished accordingly. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 1993, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 105, eff. April 15, 1994; 1995, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. June 6, 1996; 2003, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2007, No. 7, § 5; 2009, No. 4, § 100, eff. April 29, 2009.)

  • § 465. Only lawful claims allowed; warrants

    The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall allow only a valid and legal claim except as otherwise specifically directed. He or she shall issue his or her warrant conformably hereto, and no other officer shall issue a warrant on the State Treasurer. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988.)

  • § 466. Requisitions

    (a) Upon requisition of an officer having authority to expend money for the payment of expenses chargeable to the State, with the approval of the Governor, the Commissioner of Finance and Management is authorized to issue his or her warrant on the Treasurer for funds necessary for such expenses. Such advances shall not be made until such officer files with the State Treasurer a good and sufficient bond, approved by the Governor and Commissioner of Finance and Management, to indemnify the State against all loss or shortage of sums so advanced. The expense of such bond shall be paid by the State.

    (b) The State Treasurer may advance funds for travel when the travel has been approved by the Governor or the Governor's delegated representatives. The amounts to be advanced and the requirements for settlement will be determined by rules and regulations established by the State Treasurer.

    (c) The State Treasurer may enter into contracts with banks and other financial institutions in order to establish a credit card reimbursement program for State officials and employees, and may guarantee payment of charges incurred under this program. No person shall charge personal items to a credit card account guaranteed by the State of Vermont under such a program. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1979, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 138, eff. May 9, 1980; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 99; 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 2009, No. 33, § 62.)

  • § 467. Accounts with Superior Court clerks

    The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall issue a warrant in favor of each Superior Court clerk when the clerk requires money for election or court expenses, and the State Treasurer shall charge the same to the clerk. The clerk shall be credited for monies properly disbursed by him or her, and the balance shall be paid by the clerk into the Treasury. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 189.)

  • § 468. Repealed. 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 35(h).

  • § 469. Requisition for court expenses

    With the approval of the Court Administrator, the Supreme Court, the Judicial Bureau, and the Superior Court may requisition money from the State to pay fees and expenses related to grand and petit jurors, fees and expenses of witnesses approved by the judge, expenses of guardians ad litem, expenses of elections, and other expenses of court operations. The cash advances shall be administered under the provisions of section 466 of this title. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 2005, No. 93 (Adj. Sess.), § 83, eff. March 3, 2006; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 190.)

  • § 470. Repealed. 2005, No. 93 (Adj. Sess.), § 85, eff. March 3, 2006.

  • § 471. Repealed. 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 35(h).

  • §§ 472, 473. Repealed. 2005, No. 93 (Adj. Sess.), § 85, eff. March 3, 2006.

  • § 474. Repealed. 1991, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.

  • § 475. Disasters on State properties

    The Commissioner of Finance and Management is hereby directed to issue his or her warrants, on certificate of the Attorney General that he or she has authorized the services or expenditures, in the following cases:

    (1) To fire departments, or municipalities maintaining the same, for services rendered by them in fighting fires, except forest fires which are provided for in 10 V.S.A. §§ 1485, 1486, and 1487, or dealing with disasters on State-owned or -operated properties;

    (2) For services rendered and expenses incurred in operations directed at the recovery of bodies or persons lost or perished by reason of disasters or drowning. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(b); 1963, No. 97; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988.)

  • § 476. Rebate of income earned from investment or reinvestment of bond proceeds to the United States Treasury Department

    Subject only to the approval of the Governor, the Commissioner of Finance and Management shall issue his or her warrant for payment to the United States Treasury Department or any other agency of the United States of all or any portion of the income received by the State from the investment or reinvestment of the proceeds of any bonds issued by the State in such amount and to the extent necessary to assure that interest on bonds issued by the State is not included in gross income of the recipients thereof for federal income tax purposes. (Added 1985, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. April 18, 1986; amended 1987, No. 36, § 7; 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988.)


  • Subchapter 004: Receipts
  • § 501. Repealed. 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 261b.

  • § 502. Monies to be paid over without deduction

    (a) The gross amount of money received in their official capacities by every administrative department, board, officer, or employee, from whatever source, shall be paid forthwith to the State Treasurer, or deposited according to the direction of the State Treasurer in such bank to the credit of the State Treasurer as the Treasurer shall designate, without any deduction on account of salaries, fees, costs, charges, expenses, claim, or demand of any description whatsoever, unless otherwise provided. Such moneys shall be credited to such funds as are now or may hereafter be designated for the deposit thereof. Money so paid and all moneys belonging to or for the use of the State shall not be expended or applied by any department, board, officer, or employee, except in accordance with the provisions of section 462 of this title.

    (b) [Deleted.]

    (c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, bank charges directly related to the investment, management, and custodial services for State funds may be applied against any related investment earnings resulting from the investment, management, and custodial services provided by the financial institution. Such charges shall include only those direct fees charged by financial institutions and as expressly approved by the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall obtain and retain detailed monthly statements from each respective financial institution of all charges assessed and such reports shall be available for audit by the Auditor of Accounts. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(b); 1983, No. 81, § 2; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 266; 1997, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 65, eff. Feb. 20, 1998; 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 60a.)

  • § 503. Payment of monies into Treasury

    Quarterly and oftener if the Commissioner of Finance and Management so directs, Superior Court clerks and other collectors and receivers of public money, except justices, shall pay all such money collected or held by them into the State Treasury. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 8(c), 21(a); 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 191.)

  • § 504. Fines paid Superior Court clerk

    Damages and costs received in actions to which the State is a party, and fines and the amount of bonds and recognizances to the State taken in any county, shall be paid to the Superior Court clerk. His or her receipt shall be the only valid discharge thereof and he or she shall pay the same into the State Treasury. (Amended 1969, No. 131, § 29, eff. April 23, 1969; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 192.)

  • § 505. Repealed. 2009, No. 33, § 83(m)(3).

  • § 506. Failure of Superior Court clerk to pay over

    If a Superior Court clerk neglects to make a return or pay into the State Treasury any money as provided in this chapter, the Commissioner of Finance and Management shall forthwith notify the State's Attorney, who shall immediately prosecute the clerk and the sureties on his or her official bond. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess. ), § 5(b); 1987 (Adj. Sess.), § 59, eff. June 13, 1988; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 193.)

  • § 507. Repealed. 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294a.

  • § 508. Receipts given by State officers

    State officers, except Superior Court clerks and superior judges, and every person in the employ of the State under salary or per diem established by statute, receiving money belonging to or for the use of the State, shall give the person paying such money a receipt therefor in such form as shall be prescribed by the State Treasurer. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. July 1, 1965, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 1967, No. 154, § 2; 1971, No. 47; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 194.)

  • § 509. Overpayment; refund

    An officer of the State, a board, or commission receiving money in payment of an obligation due the State, the board, or commission, when an overpayment is made, shall forthwith refund to that person the amount of such overpayment when demand is made; however, there shall be no obligation to refund sums in the amount of one dollar or less. A person who has made such overpayment to the State, board, or commission may recover the amount of the money in a civil action on this statute. A warrant for payment shall issue accordingly. (Added 1959, No. 251, eff. June 10, 1959; amended 1981, No. 248 (Adj. Sess.), § 313, eff. May 6, 1982.)

  • § 509a. Judiciary overpayment; refund

    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 509 of this title, when a person who owes money to the Judiciary makes an overpayment, the Judiciary shall forthwith refund to that person the amount of such overpayment; however, there shall be no obligation to refund sums in the amount of $10.00 or less. If a person is owed a refund of more than $10.00 and cannot be located by the Judiciary, the refund shall be submitted to the abandoned property procedure. For refunds of $10.00 or less which are not demanded by the person within a year after the payment, the refund shall revert to the State and be deposited into the revenue fund where the original payment was deposited. (Added 2007, No. 51, § 7.)

  • § 510. Appropriation; federal funds; Public Service Department receipts

    All monies received from the United States government are appropriated to the purposes specified in the Acts of Congress under which those payments are made to the State of Vermont. The Commissioner of Finance and Management may anticipate receipts from the United States government, and from the gross revenue tax fund and from the sales of power by the Public Service Department and issue warrants based thereon. Anticipated receipts shall be credited to the proper account when received. (Added 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 257.)

  • § 511. Excess receipts

    If any receipts including federal receipts exceed the appropriated amounts, the receipts may be allocated and expended on the approval of the Commissioner of Finance and Management. If, however, the expenditure of those receipts will establish or increase the scope of the program, which establishment or increase will at any time commit the State to the expenditure of State funds, they may only be expended upon the approval of the General Assembly. Excess federal receipts, whenever possible, shall be utilized to reduce the expenditure of State funds. The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall report to the Joint Fiscal Committee quarterly with a cumulative list and explanation of the allocation and expenditure of such excess receipts. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this section. (Added 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 261; amended 2009, No. 67 (Adj. Sess.), § 83, eff. Feb. 25, 2010; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 60.)

  • §§ 521-525. Repealed. 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 61, eff. June 13, 1988.

  • §§ 526-528. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.

  • § 541. Collection of fines and costs

    All fines, costs, including costs taxed as state's attorneys' and court fees, bail, and unclaimed fees collected by judges shall be paid into the proper treasury. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. July 1, 1965, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 195.)

  • § 542. Payment to Treasurer

    The judge or clerk of each Criminal Division of the Superior Court shall quarterly, on or before the first day of February, May, August, and November, pay into the State Treasury all money in his or her hands belonging to the State. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. July 1, 1965, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 543. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238(b)(13).

  • § 544. Judge may pay witnesses

    The judge or clerk of each Criminal Division of the Superior Court shall pay from any fines and costs in his or her hands belonging to the State all juror and witness fees payable by the State and shall take the receipts of persons receiving the same. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. July 1, 1965, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 561. Repealed. 2009, No. 33, § 83(m)(5).

  • § 581. Unclaimed costs to revert to State

    Fees allowed in a bill of costs to a judge which are not demanded by the party to whom such fees are due within six months after such bill is allowed shall revert to the use of the State, and the judge, after the expiration of six months, shall be relieved from all liability to parties to whom the fees were due. (Amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 196.)

  • § 582. Sale of meals; revolving fund

    Superintendents of institutions in the Departments of Corrections and of Mental Health and the Vermont Veterans' Home may sell meals prepared under their food service programs to employees, officials, visitors, and other necessary persons participating in institutional programs. Rates for meals and food issue sold shall be reasonably related to costs. Proceeds from these sales may be deposited to a separate special fund for each institution and may be used for food supplies. (Added 1979, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 151, eff. May 9, 1980; amended 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 23.)

  • § 583. Credit card payments

    (a) A statewide officer or Secretary of a State agency, Commissioner of a State department, or the Court Administrator may accept payment of taxes, registration fees, license fees, penalties, fines, interest, charges, surcharges, or any other fees or amounts due the State by means of credit cards, debit cards, charge cards, prepaid cards, stored value cards, and direct bank account withdrawals or transfers.

    (b) The State Treasurer shall negotiate and contract with banks and bank credit card companies or others to provide as a method of payment to State agencies or departments the use of credit card or debit card accounts or direct bank account withdrawals or transfers, and may agree to pay such bank or other company a fee or percentage of the amount collected and remitted to the State. The Court Administrator may so contract for the Judiciary with the approval of the State Treasurer. Notwithstanding section 502 of this title, an agency, a department, or the Judiciary may charge against such collections the percentage or fee imposed.

    (c) The State Treasurer shall assist each statewide officer, secretary, commissioner, and Court Administrator who elects to accept payments, as authorized by this section, with establishing procedures for accepting those payments.

    (d) A statewide officer or secretary of a State agency, a commissioner of a State department, or the Court Administrator who has authority to accept payment of fees, penalties, fines, charges, surcharges, or any other amounts due the State by a credit card, debit card, charge card, prepaid card, or stored value card shall not charge or collect any additional amounts for using such card to make the payment unless the agency develops a policy regarding additional charges. Each policy and recommended charge, except that which is adopted and recommended by the Court Administrator, shall be approved by the Secretary of Administration prior to applying the charge. Any such charge shall approximate the cost of providing the service.

    (e) [Repealed.]  (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66c; amended 2003, No. 61, §§ 1, 5; 2007, No. 51, § 8; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. May 14, 2012.)

  • § 584. Vermont Clean Water Affinity Card Program

    (a) The State Treasurer is hereby authorized to sponsor and participate in an Affinity Card Program for the benefit of water quality improvement in this State upon his or her determination that such a Program is feasible and may be procured at rates and terms in the best interests of the cardholders.

    (b) In selecting an affinity card issuer, the Treasurer shall consider the issuer's record of investments in the State and shall take into consideration program features that will enhance the promotion of the State-sponsored affinity card, including consumer-friendly terms, favorable interest rates, annual fees, and other fees for using the card.

    (c) The net proceeds of the State fees or royalties generated by the Vermont Clean Water Affinity Card Program shall be transmitted to the State and shall be deposited into the Clean Water Fund under 10 V.S.A. § 1388 to provide financial incentives to encourage farmers in Vermont to implement agricultural practices that improve soil health, enhance crop resilience, or reduce agricultural runoff to waters.

    (d) The State shall not assume any liability for lost or stolen credit cards nor any other legal debt owed to the financial institutions.

    (e) The State Treasurer is authorized to adopt such rules as may be necessary to implement the Vermont Clean Water Affinity Card Program. (Added 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § H.18, eff. June 2, 2009; amended 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. May 14, 2012; 2019, No. 83, § 4.)


  • Subchapter 005: Special Funds
  • § 585. Definitions

    (a) As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Finance and Management.

    (2) A "special fund" is a fund created to account for specific revenues earmarked to finance particular or restricted programs and activities, or created by expressed enactment of the General Assembly or created by the Commissioner of Finance and Management to account for and manage such proceeds as those of court settlements or private bequests, transfers between State and local governments, monies of State institution inmate or patient operations, monies resulting from the disposal of State property, grants and other awards accepted by the General Assembly or in accordance with section 5 of this title, transfers of a general services nature between State agencies, or financial transactions by State government on behalf of nonstate entities.

    (b) The Commissioner shall fully utilize the fund and account structure in the State finance system to manage efficiently dedicated revenues, with the intended result of reducing and limiting the number of separate special funds, while maintaining accountability and segregation of revenues dedicated by statute for specific purposes. (Added 1991, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 28, 1992; amended 1997, No. 59, § 79, eff. June 30, 1997; 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 283.)

  • § 586. Application

    The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to funds established to account for proceeds from the sale of bonds, to the General Fund, the Transportation Fund, the Fish and Wildlife Fund, the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund, or to any federal revenue funds, trust funds, enterprise funds, internal service funds, or agency funds, or to public service enterprise funds established to implement provisions of 30 V.S.A. §§ 211 and 212a through 212f; the budget stabilization reserves created by sections 308 and 308a of this title; the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Fund created by 10 V.S.A. § 7013; the Lands and Facilities Trust Fund created by 3 V.S.A. § 2807; the Education Fund created by 16 V.S.A. § 4025; or the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund created by 10 V.S.A. § 312. (Added 1991, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 28, 1992; amended 1993, No. 25, § 76, eff. May 18, 1993; 1997, No. 59, § 80, eff. June 30, 1997; 1997, No. 60, § 20, eff. July 1, 1998; 1997, No. 64, § 19, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 1999, No. 62, § 275b; 2001, No. 61, § 54, eff. June 16, 2001; 2001, No. 63, § 230a; 2013, No. 1, § 86.)

  • § 587. Special funds; creation and termination

    (a) Creation of special funds. The creation of all special funds shall be in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

    (b) Termination of special funds. All special funds shall be terminated at a time specified as a condition of the fund's creation, when the revenue source of the fund ceases to exist, or when the purpose of the fund has been fulfilled as determined by the General Assembly. (Added 1991, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 28, 1992; amended 1997, No. 59, § 81, eff. June 30, 1997.)

  • § 588. Special funds; organization and management

    All special funds shall be organized and managed in accordance with the provisions of this section.

    (1) Purpose and identification. Each special fund shall be established for a specific purpose, identified by a unique name, and managed on the State Central Accounting System under the control of the Commissioner with the actual monies held under the authority and responsibility of the State Treasurer.

    (2) Receipts. Each special fund shall consist of receipts specified upon its creation and of transfers from other funds as authorized by the General Assembly or by the Secretary of Administration or the Emergency Board pursuant to section 706 of this title.

    (3) Interest. All interest earned by a special fund shall be credited to the General Fund, and not to the special fund concerned, except for the interest earned on proceeds of court settlements or private bequests, grants and other awards accepted in accordance with section 5 of this title which specify that interest shall be retained with the principal amount, and except where otherwise expressly provided by law.

    (4) Appropriations and expenditures.

    (A) All monies to be expended from a special fund shall be appropriated annually by the General Assembly, or allocated pursuant to the authority granted by the General Assembly to the Commissioner of Finance and Management with regard to excess receipts, except when the State responsibility relative to the special fund is solely for the transference of monies between nonstate entities as determined by the Commissioner. No appropriation authorization shall carry forward beyond the fiscal year for which it was granted, except for properly encumbered payments and refunds of prior year expenditures.

    (B) Individual amounts expended from a special fund shall be upon the warrant of and in accordance with practices approved by the Commissioner, and shall be in compliance with the purpose of the fund and of any provisions of law or other conditions of the fund's creation.

    (C) Special fund expenditures shall not exceed available revenues, except that the Commissioner may anticipate receipts to each special fund and issue warrants based thereon, and in so doing may establish limits on expenditures in anticipation of receipts for any special fund.

    (5) Balances.

    (A) All cash balances in a special fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain in the fund unspent until authorized for expenditure in accordance with subdivision (4)(A) of this section or transferred to another fund by the General Assembly or by the Secretary of Administration or the Emergency Board pursuant to section 706 of this title.

    (B) Any negative cash balance in a special fund at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried forward and applied against that fund's receipts for the next fiscal year.

    (6) Accounting and reporting.

    (A) Each special fund shall be accounted for under the direction of the Commissioner, and the balance at the end of the prior fiscal year shall be reported to the Joint Fiscal Committee on or before December 1 of each year.

    (B) In addition, the Commissioner shall annually report a list of any special funds created during the fiscal year. The list shall furnish for each fund: its name; authorization; and revenue source or sources. The report for the prior fiscal year shall be submitted to the General Assembly through the Joint Fiscal Committee on or before December 1 of each year. (Added 1991, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 28, 1992; amended 1997, No. 59, § 82, eff. June 30, 1997; 2005, No. 71, § 270; 2007, No. 65, § 392, eff. June 4, 2007; 2009, No. 67 (Adj. Sess.), § 84, eff. Feb. 25, 2010.)

  • § 589. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 83(1), eff. June 30, 1997.

  • § 590. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 83(2), eff. June 30, 1997.


  • Subchapter 006: Executive and Judicial Branch Fees
  • § 601. Statement of purpose

    It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish a uniform policy on the creation and review of Executive and Judicial Branch fees, and to require that any such fee be created solely by the General Assembly. (Added 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)

  • § 602. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Agency" or "State agency" means any Executive Branch agency, department, or entity created by Title 3 and any board, commission, council, or similar entity attached to an Executive Branch agency, department, or entity.

    (2) "Fee":

    (A) Means a monetary charge by an agency or the Judiciary for a service or product provided to, or the regulation of, specified classes of individuals or entities.

    (B) The following charges are exempt from the provisions of this subchapter:

    (i) A charge established under the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission as provided by 30 V.S.A. §§ 20, 21, and 218.

    (ii) A charge established by the Board of Liquor and Lottery as provided by Title 7.

    (iii) A duly adopted charge concerning only inmates of a correctional or detention facility, students enrolled in an educational institution, or patients admitted to a hospital or rehabilitation facility.

    (iv) Monies paid into an enterprise or internal service fund.

    (v) A transfer between agencies of State government or between State government and a political subdivision, as compensation for a service, to support a regulatory activity, or to account for surplus property.

    (vi) Monies from interest and premium payments, rent or lease payments, proceeds of fair market or negotiated sales, or sales of commercially available items.

    (vii) Except for the purposes of section 605 of this title, motor vehicle and other highway user fees authorized by the General Assembly for the support of the Transportation Fund.

    (viii) A charge established by the Department of Financial Regulation as authorized by law.

    (ix) Any other charge exempt by law. (Added 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 1997, No. 59, § 1, eff. June 30, 1997; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 43; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 22; 2007, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 30; 2013, No. 72, § 31; 2015, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 34; 2019, No. 73, § 41.)

  • § 603. Fee creation, amount, and adjustment of amount

    On or after the effective date of this subchapter:

    (1) Any new fee shall be established solely by act of the General Assembly, which shall designate the service or product provided, or regulatory function performed, for which the fee is to be charged.

    (2) The rate or amount of, or adjustment to, any fee shall be set by act of the General Assembly, except that the rate or amount, whether established by statute or rule, shall be adjusted by action of the Joint Fiscal Committee, if projected revenues, as demonstrated by the agency head proposing the adjustment, are reasonably related to the cost of providing the associated service or product or performing the regulatory function. "Cost" shall be narrowly construed, but may include reasonable and directly related costs of administration, maintenance, and other expenses due to providing the service or product or performing the regulatory function. If submitted to the Joint Fiscal Committee, a requested fee adjustment shall be considered approved unless within 30 days of its receipt a member of the Joint Fiscal Committee requests that it be placed on the agenda of the Joint Fiscal Committee or, when the General Assembly is in session, requests that it be submitted for legislative approval. The provisions of this subdivision shall not be construed to supersede the actual cost charges for copies of public records as established pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 316.

    (3) Fees for the following, unless otherwise specified by law, may be set by the department providing the service or product, and shall be reasonably and directly related to their costs, as provided in subdivision (2) of this section:

    (A) transcripts;

    (B) reproductions not covered by 1 V.S.A. § 316(d);

    (C) conferences;

    (D) forms for commercial use;

    (E) publications of the department;

    (F) costs of distribution of department materials;

    (G) advertising for department services or products;

    (H) training;

    (I) charges to attend one-time department events; and

    (J) sales of department products.

    (4) Fees collected under subdivision (3) of this section shall be credited to special funds established and managed pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of this title, and shall be available to the charging departments to offset the costs of providing these services or products. However, for purposes of fees established under this subdivision for copies of public records, the fees shall be calculated as provided in 1 V.S.A. § 316. These fees shall be reported in accordance with section 605 of this title. (Added 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 1997, No. 59, § 2, eff. June 30, 1997; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 25.)

  •  [Section 604 repealed effective July 1, 2022.]

    § 604. Electric vehicle supply equipment fees

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, any agency or department that owns or controls electric vehicle supply equipment, as defined in 30 V.S.A. § 201, may establish, set, and adjust fees for the use of that electric vehicle supply equipment. The agency or department may establish fees for electric vehicle charging at less than its costs, to cover its costs, or equal to the retail rate charged for the use of electric vehicle supply equipment available to the public. Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the same fund or account within a fund from which the electric operating expense for the electric vehicle supply equipment originated. (Added 2019, No. 59, § 37; repealed on July 1, 2022 by 2019, No. 59, § 38.)

  • § 605. Consolidated Executive Branch annual fee report and request

    (a) The Governor shall, no later than the third Tuesday of every annual legislative session, submit a consolidated Executive Branch fee report and request to the General Assembly, which shall accompany the Governor's annual budget report and request submitted to the General Assembly as required by section 306 of this title, except that the first fee report shall be submitted by October 1, 1996 to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations. The first fee request shall be submitted during the 1997 session as provided herein. The content of each annual report and request for fees concerning State agency public records maintained pursuant to 1 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 3 shall be prepared by the Secretary of State, who shall base all recommended fee amounts on "actual cost." The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this section.

    (b) Fee reports shall be made as follows:

    (1) A report covering all fees in existence on the prior July 1 within the areas of government identified by the Department of Finance and Management accounting system as "general government," "labor," "general education," "commerce and community development," and "transportation" shall be submitted by the third Tuesday of the legislative session beginning in 2011 and every three years thereafter.

    (2) A report covering all fees in existence on the prior July 1 within the "human services" and "natural resources" areas of government shall be submitted by the third Tuesday of the legislative session of 2012 and every three years thereafter.

    (3) A report covering all fees in existence on the prior July 1 within the "protection to persons and property" area of government shall be submitted by the third Tuesday of the legislative session of 2013 and every three years thereafter.

    (c) A fee report shall contain for each fee in existence on the preceding July 1:

    (1) its statutory authorization and termination date if any;

    (2) its current rate or amount and the date this was last set or adjusted by the General Assembly or by the Joint Fiscal Committee;

    (3) the fund into which its revenues are deposited;

    (4) the revenues derived from it in each of the two previous fiscal years; and

    (5) whether the Governor recommends the fee be altered, reauthorized, or terminated.

    (d) A fee request shall contain any proposal to:

    (1) Create a new fee, or change, reauthorize, or terminate an existing fee, which shall include a description of the services or product provided, or the regulatory function performed.

    (2) Set a new or adjust an existing fee rate or amount. Each new or adjusted fee rate shall be accompanied by information justifying the rate, which may include:

    (A) the relationship between the revenue to be raised by the fee or change in the fee and the cost or change in the cost of the service, product, or regulatory function supported by the fee, with costs construed pursuant to subdivision 603(2) of this title;

    (B) the inflationary pressures that have arisen since the fee was last set;

    (C) the effect on budgetary adequacy if the fee is not increased;

    (D) the existence of comparable fees in other jurisdictions;

    (E) policies that might affect the acceptance or the viability of the fee amount; and

    (F) other considerations.

    (3) Designate, or redesignate, the fund into which revenue from a fee is to be deposited.

    (e) As used in the review and reports, a "fee" shall mean any source of State revenue classified by the Department of Finance and Management Accounting System as "fees," "business licenses," "nonbusiness licenses," and "fines and penalties." In addition, the Department of Finance and Management shall identify any of the other State revenue sources which function in fact as a "fee," and reclassify them as fees.

    (f) [Repealed.]  (Added 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 1997, No. 59, §§ 3a, 4, eff. June 30, 1997; 2005, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 23b; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 22; 2007, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 29; 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 34; 2013, No. 72, § 36; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 61; 2013, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)

  • § 605a. Consolidated Judicial Branch fee report and request

    (a) The Justices of the Supreme Court or the Court Administrator if one is appointed pursuant to 4 V.S.A. § 21, in consultation with the Justices of the Supreme Court, shall submit a consolidated Judicial Branch fee report and request no later than the third Tuesday of the legislative session of 2011 and every three years thereafter. The report shall be submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this subsection.

    (b) A fee report shall contain for each fee in existence on the preceding July 1:

    (1) its statutory authorization and termination date if any;

    (2) its current rate or amount and the date this was last set or adjusted by the General Assembly or by the Joint Fiscal Committee;

    (3) the fund into which its revenues are deposited; and

    (4) the revenues derived from it in each of the two previous fiscal years.

    (c) A fee request shall contain any proposal to:

    (1) Create a new fee, or change, reauthorize, or terminate an existing fee, which shall include a description of the services provided or the function performed.

    (2) Set a new or adjust an existing fee rate or amount. Each new or adjusted fee rate shall be accompanied by information justifying the rate, which may include:

    (A) the relationship between the revenue to be raised by the fee or change in the fee and the cost or change in the cost of the service, product, or regulatory function supported by the fee, with costs construed pursuant to subdivision 603(2) of this title;

    (B) the inflationary pressures that have arisen since the fee was last set;

    (C) the effect on budgetary adequacy if the fee is not increased;

    (D) the existence of comparable fees in other jurisdictions;

    (E) policies that might affect the acceptance or the viability of the fee amount; and

    (F) other considerations.

    (3) Designate, or redesignate, the fund into which revenue from a fee is to be deposited.

    (d) For the purpose of the review and report, a "fee" shall mean any source of State revenue classified by the Department of Finance and Management accounting system as "fees."  (Added 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 22; amended 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 62.)

  • § 606. Legislative fee review process; fee bill

    When the consolidated fee reports and requests are submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to sections 605, 605a, and 611 of this title, they shall immediately be forwarded to the House Committee on Ways and Means, which shall consult with other standing legislative committees having jurisdiction of the subject area of a fee contained in the reports and requests. As soon as possible, the Committee on Ways and Means shall prepare and introduce a "consolidated fee bill" proposing:

    (1) The creation, change, reauthorization, or termination of any fee.

    (2) The amount of a newly created fee, or change in amount of an existing or reauthorized fee.

    (3) The designation, or redesignation, of the fund into which revenue from a fee is to be deposited. (Added 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 22; 2017, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)


  • Subchapter 006A: Town Fee Report and Request
  • § 611. Consolidated town fee report and request

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Cost" shall be narrowly construed, and may include reasonable and directly related costs of administration, maintenance, and other expenses due to providing the service or product or performing the regulatory function.

    (2) "Fee" means a monetary charge collected by or on behalf of a town for a service or product provided to, or the regulation of, specified classes of individuals or entities.

    (3) "Town" means a town, city, unorganized town or gore, and the unified towns and gores in Essex County.

    (b) On or before the third Tuesday of the legislative session of 2019 and every three years thereafter, the Vermont Municipal Clerks' and Treasurers' Association and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns shall jointly submit a consolidated town fee report and request. The report shall be submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this subsection.

    (c) For each fee in existence on the preceding July 1, the report shall specify:

    (1) its statutory authorization and termination date, if any;

    (2) its current rate or amount and the date it was last set or adjusted by the General Assembly;

    (3) the fund into which its revenues are deposited; and

    (4) for each town, in each of the two previous fiscal years, the revenues derived from each fee.

    (d) The report shall contain:

    (1) an account of the amounts retained and spent from each town's Restoration and Preservation Reserve Fund in the three prior fiscal years; and

    (2) a summary of each town's plan to digitize records using funds appropriated from the town's Restoration and Preservation Reserve Fund.

    (e) A fee request shall contain any proposal to:

    (1) Create a new fee, or change, reauthorize, or terminate an existing fee, which shall include a description of the services provided or the function performed.

    (2) Set a new or adjust an existing fee rate or amount. Each new or adjusted fee rate shall be accompanied by information justifying the rate, which may include:

    (A) the relationship between the revenue to be raised by the fee or change in the fee and the cost or change in the cost of the service, product, or regulatory function supported by the fee;

    (B) the inflationary pressures that have arisen since the fee was last set;

    (C) the effect on budgetary adequacy if the fee is not increased;

    (D) the existence of comparable fees in other jurisdictions;

    (E) policies that might affect the acceptance or the viability of the fee amount; and

    (F) other considerations.

    (3) Designate, or redesignate, the fund into which revenue from a fee is to be deposited. (Added 2017, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 2019, No. 38, § 1.)


  • Subchapter 007: Forfeiture of Public Employee Retirement Benefits
  • § 621. Statement of purpose

    It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish a procedure by which the pension benefits of a public employee convicted of certain crimes may be forfeited. Honorable public service is a condition precedent for a public employee to receive retirement benefits, and any public employee who is convicted of any of the designated crimes relating to his or her public office shall be considered to have served dishonorably, and his or her retirement benefits may be subject to forfeiture. (Added 2013, No. 2, § 1.)

  • § 622. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Contribution" shall have the same meaning as "accumulated contribution" set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(1), 16 V.S.A. § 1931(1), and 24 V.S.A. § 5051(1), and shall include the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensation of a member of any defined contribution plan under 3 V.S.A. § 500 or 24 V.S.A. § 5070, and any earnings or losses on those contributions, and the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensation of a member of any other retirement plan of a municipality authorized under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 401, and any earnings or losses on those contributions.

    (2) "Crime related to public office" means any of the following criminal offenses if the offense is a felony and is committed in connection with employment as a member:

    (A) any offense under 13 V.S.A. chapter 21;

    (B) false personation as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2001;

    (C) false pretenses or tokens as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2002;

    (D) grand larceny as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2501;

    (E) person holding property in official capacity or belonging to the State or a municipality as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2537;

    (F) false claim as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3016;

    (G) a felony under the laws of the United States or any other state, including a territory, commonwealth, the District of Columbia, or military, federal, or tribal court, an element of which involves:

    (i) a larceny;

    (ii) an embezzlement;

    (iii) the fraudulent conversion of money, property, or other valuable things for personal or other use; or

    (iv) an intent to defraud; or

    (H) an attempt to commit, or aiding in the commission of, any offense listed in this subdivision (2).

    (3) "Member" shall have the same meaning as in 3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(11), 16 V.S.A. § 1931(10), and 24 V.S.A. § 5051(13), and shall include anyone participating in a defined contribution plan under 3 V.S.A. § 500 or 24 V.S.A. § 5070, and any other retirement plan of a municipality authorized under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 401.

    (4) "Retirement benefits" shall have the same meaning as "pensions" as defined in 3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(14), 16 V.S.A. § 1931(12), and 24 V.S.A. § 5051(16), and shall also mean benefits derived from employer contributions to defined contribution plans under 3 V.S.A. § 500 or 24 V.S.A. § 5070, and benefits derived from employer contributions to any other retirement plan of a municipality authorized under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 401. (Added 2013, No. 2, § 1.)

  • § 623. Forfeiture of public employee retirement benefits

    (a) Honorable public service is a condition precedent to receiving retirement benefits. Each time a member is hired, reassigned, promoted, demoted, enters into a new collective bargaining contract, or otherwise changes his or her employment relationship or status, he or she shall be deemed to consent and agree to be subject to the provisions of this subchapter, including to this condition precedent.

    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any member who is convicted of any crime related to public office shall be considered to have served dishonorably, and his or her retirement benefits may be subject to forfeiture.

    (c) If a member is convicted of a crime related to public office, the Attorney General or State's Attorney shall file an action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court to forfeit the member's retirement benefits in whole or in part.

    (d) A copy of the complaint shall be served on the member and any known spouse, dependent, or designated beneficiary of the member.

    (e) Hearings under this subchapter shall be conducted by the Court without a jury, and the Attorney General or State's Attorney shall have the burden of proof.

    (f) The Court shall grant the petition if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

    (1) the person is a member as defined in this subchapter; and

    (2) the person was convicted of a crime related to public office.

    (g) If the Court grants the petition, it shall then determine the degree, if any, to which the member's retirement benefits shall be forfeited. In making the determination, the Court shall consider and make findings on the following factors:

    (1) the severity of the crime related to public office for which the member has been convicted;

    (2) the amount of monetary loss suffered by the State, a county, a municipality, or by any other person as a result of the crime related to public office;

    (3) the degree of public trust reposed in the member; and

    (4) any other factors as, in the judgment of the Court, justice may require.

    (h) If the Court determines that a member's retirement benefits should be forfeited to any degree, the maximum value of the benefits ordered forfeited shall not be greater than 10 times the amount of monetary loss suffered by the State, a county, a municipality, or by any other person as a result of the crime related to public office.

    (i) If the Court determines that a member's retirement benefits should be forfeited to any degree, it may order that some or all of the retirement benefits be paid to any innocent spouse, dependent, or beneficiary as justice may require. In determining whether to make an award under this section, the Court may consider:

    (1) the degree of knowledge, if any, possessed by the member's spouse, dependent, or designated beneficiary in connection with the offense;

    (2) the financial needs and resources of the member's spouse, dependent, or designated beneficiary; and

    (3) any other factors as, in the judgment of the Court, justice may require.

    (j) If the Court determines that a member's retirement benefits should not be forfeited to any degree, it shall order that retirement benefits be made to the member. (Added 2013, No. 2, § 1.)

  • § 624. Venue, procedure, and appeals

    (a) Proceedings to forfeit retirement benefits under this subchapter shall be heard in the Civil Division of the Superior Court. Venue may be in the Washington unit, the unit where the conviction for the crime related to public office occurred, or in any unit where the member or any known spouse, dependent, or designated beneficiary resides.

    (b) The Supreme Court, pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 1, may enact rules and develop procedures consistent with this subchapter to govern proceedings to forfeit retirement payments.

    (c) An order under this subchapter may be appealed as a matter of right to the Supreme Court by the Attorney General or State's Attorney that filed the petition, the member, or the member's spouse, dependent, or designated beneficiary. (Added 2013, No. 2, § 1.)

  • § 625. Return of contributions; exemptions; qualified domestic relations orders

    (a) Any member whose retirement benefits are forfeited to any degree pursuant to section 623 of this title shall be entitled to a return of his or her contribution in the same manner as provided by the relevant retirement system.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, returns of contributions shall not be made or ordered unless and until the Civil Division of the Superior Court determines that the member whose retirement benefits have been forfeited to any degree pursuant to section 623 of this title has satisfied in full any judgments or orders rendered by any court of competent jurisdiction for the payment of restitution for losses incurred as a result of the crime related to public office. If the Court determines that the member whose retirement benefits have been forfeited to any degree under section 623 has failed to satisfy any outstanding judgment or order of restitution rendered by any court of competent jurisdiction that relates to the crime related to public office of which the member was convicted, it may order that any funds otherwise due such member as a return of contribution, or any portion thereof, be paid in satisfaction of the judgment or order.

    (c) A provision of section 623 of this title or this section shall not be construed to prohibit or limit any payment made pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order issued prior to any such conviction and applicable to:

    (1) any member who is convicted of any crime related to public office; or

    (2) any State, county, or municipal agency responsible for the administration of such payment on behalf of such member.

    (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 623 of this title, retirement benefits shall not be forfeited to any degree if the Internal Revenue Service determines that such forfeiture will negatively affect or invalidate the status of a retirement plan under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 401, or any subsequent corresponding Internal Revenue Code of the United States, as may be amended. (Added 2013, No. 2, § 1.)

  • § 626. Application; collective bargaining agreements

    (a) This subchapter shall not apply to retirement benefits that accrued prior to the effective date of this subchapter or to crimes committed before the effective date of this subchapter.

    (b) No collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement entered into on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall contain any provision that limits the application of the provisions of this subchapter. (Added 2013, No. 2, § 1.)


  • Subchapter 008: Vermont False Claims Act
  • § 630. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Claim" means any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property, and whether or not the State has title to the money or property, that:

    (A) is presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the State; or

    (B) is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient, if the money or property is to be spent or used on the State's behalf or to advance a State program or interest, and if the State:

    (i) provides or has provided any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded, or

    (ii) will reimburse directly or indirectly such contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded. A claim shall not include a request or demand for money or property that the State has paid to an individual as compensation for State employment or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or property.

    (2) "Knowing" and "knowingly":

    (A) means that a person, with respect to information:

    (i) has actual knowledge of the information;

    (ii) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or

    (iii) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information; and

    (B) requires no proof of specific intent to defraud.

    (3) "Material" means having a natural tendency to influence, or be capable of influencing, the payment or receipt of money or property.

    (4) "Obligation" means an established duty, whether or not fixed, arising from an express or implied contractual, grantor-grantee, or licensor-licensee relationship, from a fee-based or similar relationship, from statute or regulation, or from the retention of any overpayment after the deadline for reporting and returning the overpayment under subdivision 631(a)(10) of this chapter.

    (5) "Original source" means an individual who:

    (A) prior to a public disclosure under subsection 636(c) of this chapter, has voluntarily disclosed to the State the information on which allegations or transactions in a claim are based; or

    (B) has knowledge that is independent of and materially adds to the publicly-disclosed allegations or transactions, and who has voluntarily provided the information to the State before filing a false claims action.

    (6) "Overpayment" means any State or federal funds that a person receives or retains to which the person, after applicable reconciliation, is not entitled.

    (7) "Relator" or "qui tam plaintiff" means an individual who brings an action under subsection 632(b) of this chapter.

    (8) "State" means the State of Vermont, a county, a municipality or other subdivision thereof and commission, board, department, or agency thereof or any other governmental entity authorized or created by State law, including public corporations and authorities. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 631. Prohibition; penalties

    (a) No person shall:

    (1) knowingly present, or cause to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;

    (2) knowingly make, use, or cause to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;

    (3) knowingly present, or cause to be presented, a claim that includes items or services resulting from a violation of 13 V.S.A. chapter 21 or section 1128B of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1320a-7b;

    (4) knowingly present, or cause to be presented, a claim that includes items or services for which the State could not receive payment from the federal government due to the operation of 42 U.S.C. § 1396b(s) because the claim includes designated health services (as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn(h)(6)) furnished to an individual on the basis of a referral that would result in the denial of payment under 42 U.S.C. chapter 7, subchapter XVIII (the "Medicare program"), due to a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn;

    (5) having possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the State, knowingly deliver, or cause to be delivered to the State or its agent, less than all of that property or money for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;

    (6) being authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the State or its agent and, intending to defraud the State, make or deliver the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;

    (7) knowingly buy, or receive as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the State, who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property;

    (8) enter into a written agreement or contract with an official of the State or its agent knowing the information contained therein is false;

    (9) knowingly make, use or cause to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the State;

    (10) knowingly conceal or knowingly and improperly avoid or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the State;

    (11) as a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to the State, or as a beneficiary of an overpayment from the State, and who subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim or the receipt of overpayment, fail to disclose the false claim or receipt of overpayment to the State by the later of:

    (A) a date which is 120 days after the date on which the false claim or receipt of overpayment was identified; or

    (B) the date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable; or

    (12) conspire to commit a violation of this subsection.

    (b) Any person who violates a provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be liable to the State for:

    (1) a civil penalty of not less than $5,500.00 and not more than $11,000.00 for each act constituting a violation of subsection (a) of this section, as adjusted by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. § 2461);

    (2) three times the amount of damages that the State sustains because of the act of that person; and

    (3) the costs of the investigation and prosecution of such violation.

    (c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, the Court may enter judgment for not less than two times the amount of damages that the State sustains because of the act of that person, and assessing no civil penalties, if the Court finds that:

    (1) the person committing the violation of subsection (a) of this section furnished officials of the State responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to that person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the person first obtained the information;

    (2) the person fully cooperated with any investigation by the State of such violation; and

    (3) at the time the person furnished the State with the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action or administrative action had commenced under this subchapter with respect to such violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into the violation.

    (d) This chapter shall not apply to claims, records, or statements made or presented to establish, limit, reduce, or evade liability for the payment of tax to the State or other governmental authority. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 632. Civil actions for false claims

    (a) The Attorney General shall investigate violations of subsection 631(a) of this chapter. If the Attorney General finds that a person has violated or is violating subsection 631(a), the Attorney General may bring a civil action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court under this section against the person. The action may be brought in Washington County or in any county where an act prohibited by section 631 occurred.

    (b)(1) A relator may bring a civil action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court in Washington County or in any county where an act prohibited by section 631 of this chapter occurred for a violation of this chapter on behalf of the relator and the State. The action shall be brought in the name of the State. The relator must file the complaint in camera. The complaint must remain under seal for at least 60 days after being served on the Attorney General and must not be served on the defendant until the court so orders.

    (2) Once filed, the action may be dismissed only if the Attorney General gives written reasons for consenting to the dismissal and the court approves the dismissal. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, it shall not be a cause for dismissal or a basis for a defense that the relator could have brought another action based on the same or similar facts under any other law.

    (3) A relator filing an action under this chapter must serve a copy of the complaint and written disclosure of substantially all material evidence and information the relator possesses on the Attorney General in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. The Attorney General may elect to intervene and proceed with the action within 60 days after the later of the date the Attorney General is served with:

    (A) the complaint; and

    (B) the material evidence and information.

    (4) The Attorney General may, for good cause shown, move the court for extensions of the time during which the complaint remains under seal under subdivision (b)(1) of this section. Any such motions may be supported by affidavits or other submissions in camera.

    (5) Before the expiration of the 60-day period or any extensions obtained under subdivision (4) of this subsection, the State shall:

    (A) proceed with the action, in which case the action shall be conducted by the Attorney General; or

    (B) notify the court that it declines to take over the action, in which case the relator shall have the right to conduct the action.

    (6) When a relator brings an action under this subsection, no person other than the Attorney General may intervene or bring a related action based on the facts underlying the pending action. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 633. Rights of the parties to qui tam actions

    (a) If the State proceeds with the action, the Attorney General shall have the primary responsibility for prosecuting the action, and shall not be bound by any act of the relator. The relator shall have the right to continue as a party to the action, subject to the limitations in subsection (b) of this section.

    (b)(1) The Attorney General may move to dismiss the action if the relator has been notified by the Attorney General of the filing of the motion and the court has provided the relator with an opportunity for a hearing on the motion.

    (2) Notwithstanding any objection of a relator, the Attorney General may settle the action with the defendant if after a hearing the court determines that the proposed settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable under all the circumstances.

    (3) Upon a showing by the Attorney General that unrestricted participation during the course of the litigation by the relator would interfere with or unduly delay the prosecution of the case or would be repetitious, irrelevant, or for purposes of harassment, the court may, in its discretion, impose limitations on the relator's participation, such as:

    (A) limiting the number of witnesses the relator may call;

    (B) limiting the length of the testimony of such witnesses;

    (C) limiting the relator's cross-examination of witnesses; or

    (D) otherwise limiting the participation by the relator in the litigation.

    (4) Upon a showing by the defendant that unrestricted participation during the course of the litigation by the relator would be for purposes of harassment or would cause the defendant undue burden or unnecessary expense, the court may limit the participation by the relator in the litigation.

    (c) If the Attorney General elects not to proceed with the action, the relator who initiated the action shall have the right to conduct the action. If the Attorney General so requests, it shall be served with copies of all pleadings filed in the action in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure and shall be supplied with copies of all deposition transcripts at the State's expense. When a relator proceeds with the action, the court, without limiting the status and rights of the relator, may nevertheless permit the Attorney General to intervene at a later date upon a showing of good cause.

    (d) Whether or not the Attorney General proceeds with the action, upon a showing by the Attorney General that discovery by the relator would interfere with the State's investigation or prosecution of a criminal or civil matter arising out of the same or similar facts, the court may stay such discovery for a period of not more than 60 days. The court may extend the 60-day period upon a further showing that the Attorney General has pursued the criminal or civil investigation or proceedings with reasonable diligence and may stay any proposed discovery in the civil action that will interfere with the ongoing criminal or civil investigation or proceedings. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 634. Alternate remedies available to determine civil penalty

    Notwithstanding sections 632 and 633 of this chapter, the Attorney General may elect to pursue its claim through any alternate remedy available to the State under any other law or regulation, including any administrative proceeding to determine a civil monetary penalty. If any such alternate remedy is pursued in another proceeding, a relator shall have the same rights in such proceeding as said relator would have had if the action had continued under this section. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 635. Payments to relators; limitations

    (a) If the Attorney General proceeds with an action brought by a relator under subsection 632(b) of this chapter, the relator shall, subject to subsection (b) of this section, receive at least 15 percent but not more than 25 percent of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim, depending upon the extent to which the relator substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action.

    (b) Where the action is one which the court finds to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information, other than information provided by the relator, relating to allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing; in a legislative, administrative, or State Auditor hearing, audit, investigation, or report; or from the news media, the court may award such sums as it considers appropriate, but in no case more than 10 percent of the proceeds, taking into account the significance of the information and the role of the relator in advancing the case to litigation.

    (c) Any payment to a relator under the subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be made only from the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claims. Any such relator shall also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the appropriate court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorney's fees and costs. All such expenses, fees, and costs shall be awarded against the defendant, and paid directly by the defendant to the relator.

    (d) If the Attorney General does not proceed with an action under this chapter, the relator bringing the action or settling the claim shall receive an amount which the court decides is reasonable for collecting the civil penalty and damages on behalf of the State. The amount shall be not less than 25 percent and not more than 30 percent of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim, and shall be paid out of such proceeds. In such circumstances, the relator shall also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, including reasonable attorney's fees and costs. All such expenses, fees, and costs shall be awarded against the defendant and paid directly by the defendant to the relator.

    (e) Whether or not the Attorney General proceeds with the action, if the court finds that the action was brought by a relator who planned and initiated the violation of section 631 of this chapter upon which the action was brought, then the court may, to the extent the court considers appropriate, reduce or eliminate the share of the proceeds of the action which the relator would otherwise receive pursuant to this section, taking into account the role of the relator in advancing the case to litigation and any relevant circumstances pertaining to the violation. If the relator bringing the action is convicted of criminal conduct arising from his or her role in the violation of section 631 of this chapter, that relator shall be dismissed from the civil action and shall not receive any share of the proceeds of the action. Such dismissal shall not prejudice the right of the State to continue the action. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 636. Certain actions barred

    (a) An individual may not bring an action under subsection 632(b) of this chapter against a member of the State Legislative Branch, the Attorney General, a member of the Judiciary, or a senior Executive Branch official if the action is based on evidence or information known to the State when the action was brought.

    (b) An individual may not bring an action under subsection 632(b) of this chapter that is based upon allegations or transactions that are the subject of a civil suit or an administrative civil money penalty proceeding in which the State is already a party.

    (c) Unless opposed by the Attorney General, the court shall dismiss an action or claim under subsection 632(b) of this chapter if substantially the same allegations or transactions as alleged in the action or claim were publicly disclosed:

    (1) in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing in which the State or its agent is a party;

    (2) in a State legislative, administrative, or State Auditor's report, hearing, audit, or investigation; or

    (3) from the news media, unless the action is brought by the Attorney General or the person bringing the action is an original source of the information. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 637. Awards of costs and attorney's fees against relators; liability

    (a) If the Attorney General does not proceed with the action and the person bringing the action conducts the action, the court may award to the defendant reasonable attorney's fees and expenses if the defendant prevails in the action and the court finds that the claim of the person bringing the action was clearly frivolous, clearly vexatious, or brought primarily for purposes of harassment.

    (b) No liability shall be incurred by the State for any expenses, attorney's fees, or other costs incurred by any person bringing or defending an action under this chapter. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 638. Relief from retaliatory actions

    (a) Any employee, contractor, or agent shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make that employee, contractor, or agent whole, if that employee, contractor, or agent is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment because of lawful acts done by the employee, contractor, agent, or a person associated with the employee, contractor, or agent in furtherance of an action under section 632 of this chapter, or other efforts to stop one or more violations of this chapter.

    (b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, relief under subsection (a) of this section shall include reinstatement with the same seniority status that employee, contractor, or agent would have had but for the discrimination, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including litigation costs and reasonable attorney's fees. An employee, contractor, or agent may bring an action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court or any other appropriate court for the relief provided in this section.

    (c) No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee, contractor, or agent from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency or from acting to further efforts to stop one or more violations of this chapter. No employer shall require as a condition of employment, during the term of employment or at the termination of employment that any employee, contractor, or agent agree to, accept, or sign an agreement that limits or denies the rights of such employee, contractor, or agent to bring an action or provide information to a government or law enforcement agency pursuant to this chapter. Any such agreement shall be void.

    (d) A civil action under this section may not be brought more than three years after the date when the retaliation occurred and became known to the employee, contractor, or agent. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 639. Limitation of actions; final judgments in criminal proceedings

    (a) A civil action under section 632 of this chapter for a violation of subsection 631(a) of this chapter may not be brought after the last to occur of:

    (1) more than six years after the date on which the violation was committed; or

    (2) more than three years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the official within the Attorney General's office with responsibility to act in the circumstances, but in no event more than 10 years after the date on which the violation is committed.

    (b) A civil action under this act may be brought for activity prior to enactment, if the limitations period set in subsection (a) of this section has not lapsed.

    (c) If the State elects to intervene and proceed with an action brought under subsection 632(b) of this chapter, the State may file its own complaint or amend the complaint of a person who has brought an action pursuant to subsection 632(b). For statute of limitations purposes, any such pleading shall relate back to the filing date of the complaint of the person who originally brought the action, to the extent that the claim of the State arises out of the conduct, transactions or occurrences set forth, or attempted to be set forth, in the prior complaint of that person.

    (d) Notwithstanding any other general or special law, rule of procedure or rule of evidence to the contrary, a final judgment rendered in favor of the State in any criminal proceeding charging false statements or fraud, whether upon a verdict after trial or upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, shall estop the defendant from denying the essential elements of the offense in any action which involves the same transaction as in the criminal proceeding and which is brought under section 632 of this chapter. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015; amended 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 185.)

  • § 640. Preponderance of the evidence standard

    In any action brought under section 632 of this title, the party bringing the action shall be required to prove all essential elements of the cause of action, including damages, by a preponderance of the evidence. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 641. Remedies under other laws; legislative construction

    (a) The provisions of this chapter are not exclusive, and the remedies provided for in this chapter shall be in addition to any other remedies provided for in any other law or available under common law.

    (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that in construing this chapter, the courts of this State will be guided by the construction of similar terms contained in the Federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, as from time to time amended by the U.S. Congress and the courts of the United States. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)

  • § 642. Civil investigative demands

    (a) In general.

    (1) Issuance and service. Whenever the Attorney General or a designee has reason to believe that any person may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material or information relevant to a false claims law investigation, the Attorney General or a designee may, before commencing a civil proceeding under subsection 632(a) or making an election under subsection 632(b) of this title, issue in writing and cause to be served upon such person a civil investigative demand requiring such person:

    (A) to produce such documentary material for inspection and copying;

    (B) to answer in writing written interrogatories with respect to such documentary material or information;

    (C) to give oral testimony concerning such documentary material or information; or

    (D) to furnish any combination of such material, answers, or testimony.

    (2) Service authority. The Attorney General may delegate the authority to issue civil investigative demands under this subsection. Whenever a civil investigative demand is an express demand for any product of discovery, the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, or an Assistant Attorney General shall cause to be served, in any manner authorized by this section, a copy of such demand upon the person from whom the discovery was obtained and shall notify the person to whom such demand is issued of the date on which such copy was served. Any information obtained by the Attorney General or a designee of the Attorney General under this section may be shared with any qui tam relator if the Attorney General or designee determines it is necessary as part of any false claims act investigation.

    (3) Contents and deadlines.

    (A) Each civil investigative demand issued under subdivision (1) of this subsection (a) shall state the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation of a false claims law which is under investigation, and the applicable provision of law alleged to be violated.

    (B) If such demand is for the production of documentary material, the demand shall:

    (i) describe each class of documentary material to be produced with such definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified;

    (ii) prescribe a return date for each such class which will provide a reasonable period of time within which the material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying; and

    (iii) identify the false claims law investigator to whom such material shall be made available.

    (C) If such demand is for answers to written interrogatories, the demand shall:

    (i) set forth with specificity the written interrogatories to be answered;

    (ii) prescribe dates at which time answers to written interrogatories shall be submitted; and

    (iii) identify the false claims law investigator to whom such answers shall be submitted.

    (D) If such demand is for the giving of oral testimony, the demand shall:

    (i) prescribe a date, time, and place at which oral testimony shall be commenced;

    (ii) identify a false claims law investigator who shall conduct the examination;

    (iii) specify that such attendance and testimony are necessary to the conduct of the investigation;

    (iv) notify the person receiving the demand of the right to be accompanied by an attorney and any other representative; and

    (v) describe the general purpose for which the demand is being issued and the general nature of the testimony, including the primary areas of inquiry, which will be taken pursuant to the demand.

    (E) Any civil investigative demand issued under this section which is an express demand for any product of discovery shall not be returned or returnable until 20 days after a copy of such demand has been served upon the person from whom the discovery was obtained.

    (F) The date prescribed for the commencement of oral testimony pursuant to a civil investigative demand issued under this section shall be a date which is not less than seven business days after the date on which demand is received, unless the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General designated by the Attorney General determines that exceptional circumstances are present which warrant the commencement of such testimony within a lesser period of time.

    (G) The Attorney General shall not authorize the issuance under this section of more than one civil investigative demand for oral testimony by the same person unless the person requests otherwise or unless the Attorney General, after investigation, notifies that person in writing that an additional demand for oral testimony is necessary.

    (b) Protected material or information.

    (1) In general. A civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section may not require the production of any documentary material, the submission of any answers to written interrogatories, or the giving of any oral testimony if such material, answers, or testimony would be protected from disclosure under:

    (A) the standards applicable to subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum issued by a court of the State of Vermont to aid in a grand jury investigation or conduct an inquest; or

    (B) the standards applicable to discovery requests under the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, to the extent that the application of such standards to any such demand is appropriate and consistent with the provisions and purposes of this section.

    (2) Effect on other orders, rules, and laws. Any such demand which is an express demand for any product of discovery supersedes any inconsistent order, rule, or provision of law (other than this section) preventing or restraining disclosure of such product of discovery to any person. Disclosure of any product of discovery pursuant to any such express demand does not constitute a waiver of any right or privilege which the person making such disclosure may be entitled to invoke to resist discovery of trial preparation materials.

    (c) Service; jurisdiction.

    (1) By whom served. Any civil investigative demand issued under this section may be served by a false claims law investigator, by a law enforcement officer, or by any other individual authorized by law to serve legal process in the jurisdiction in which the demand is served.

    (2) Service outside Vermont. Any demand issued under this section or any petition filed under subsection (i) of this section may be served upon any person or entity who is not found in Vermont, consistent with 12 V.S.A. chapter 25 and in any such manner as provided in the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure for personal service outside the State. To the extent that the courts of Vermont can assert jurisdiction over any person consistent with due process, the Civil Division of the Superior Court of Washington County shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action respecting compliance with this section by any such person that such court would have if such person were personally within the jurisdiction of such court.

    (d) Service upon legal entities and natural persons.

    (1) Legal entities. Service of any civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section or of any petition filed under subsection (i) may be made upon a partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity by:

    (A) delivering an executed copy of such demand or petition to any partner, executive officer, managing agent, or general agent of the partnership, corporation, association, or entity, or to any agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process on behalf of such partnership, corporation, association, or entity;

    (B) delivering an executed copy of such demand or petition to the principal office or place of business of the partnership, corporation, association, or entity;

    (C) depositing an executed copy of such demand or petition in the U.S. mail by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to such partnership, corporation, association, or entity at its principal office or place of business; or

    (D) by any other method provided by 12 V.S.A. chapter 25 or the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

    (2) Natural persons. Service of any such demand or petition may be made upon any natural person by:

    (A) delivering an executed copy of such demand or petition to the person;

    (B) depositing an executed copy of such demand or petition in the U.S. mail by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the person at the person's residence or principal office or place of business; or

    (C) by any other method provided by 12 V.S.A. chapter 25 or the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

    (e) Proof of service. A verified return by the individual serving any civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section or any petition filed under subsection (i) setting forth the manner of such service shall be proof of such service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, such return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of delivery of such demand.

    (f) Documentary material.

    (1) Sworn certificates. The production of documentary material in response to a civil investigative demand served under this section shall be made under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by:

    (A) in the case of a natural person, the person to whom the demand is directed; or

    (B) in the case of a person other than a natural person, a person having knowledge of the facts and circumstances relating to such production and authorized to act on behalf of such person.

    (2) Contents of certificate. The certificate shall state that all of the documentary material required by the demand and in the possession, custody, or control of the person to whom the demand is directed has been produced and made available to the false claims law investigator identified in the demand. To the extent that any information is not furnished, the information shall be identified and reasons set forth with particularity regarding the reasons why the information was not furnished.

    (3) Production of materials. Any person upon whom any civil investigative demand for the production of documentary material has been served under this section shall make such material available for inspection and copying to the false claims law investigator identified in such demand at the principal place of business of such person, or at such other place as the false claims law investigator and the person thereafter may agree and prescribe in writing, or as the court may direct under subdivision (i)(1) of this section. Such material shall be made so available on the return date specified in such demand, or on such later date as the false claims law investigator may prescribe in writing. Such person may, upon written agreement between the person and the false claims law investigator, substitute copies for originals of all or any part of such material.

    (g) Interrogatories.

    (1) Each interrogatory in a civil investigative demand served under this section shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath and shall be submitted under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by:

    (A) in the case of a natural person, the person to whom the demand is directed; or

    (B) in the case of a person other than a natural person, the person or persons responsible for answering each interrogatory.

    (2) If any interrogatory is objected to, the reasons for the objection shall be stated in the certificate instead of an answer. The certificate shall state that all information required by the demand and in the possession, custody, control, or knowledge of the person to whom the demand is directed has been submitted. To the extent that any information is not furnished, the information shall be identified and reasons set forth with particularity regarding the reasons why the information was not furnished.

    (h) Oral examinations.

    (1) Procedures. The examination of any person pursuant to a civil investigative demand for oral testimony served under this section shall be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations by the laws of Vermont or of the place where the examination is held. The officer before whom the testimony is to be taken shall put the witness on oath or affirmation and shall, personally or by someone acting under the direction of the officer and in the officer's presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically and shall be transcribed. When the testimony is fully transcribed, the officer before whom the testimony is taken shall promptly transmit a copy of the transcript of the testimony to the Attorney General or a designee. This subsection shall not preclude the taking of testimony by any means authorized by, and in a manner consistent with, the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

    (2) Persons present. The false claims law investigator conducting the examination shall exclude from the place where the examination is held all persons except the person giving the testimony, the attorney for and any other representative of the person giving the testimony, the attorney for the government, any person who may be agreed upon by the attorney for the government and the person giving the testimony, the officer before whom the testimony is to be taken, and any stenographer taking such testimony.

    (3) Where testimony taken. The oral testimony of any person taken pursuant to a civil investigative demand served under this section shall be taken not more than 50 miles from where such person resides, is found, or transacts business, or in such other place as may be agreed upon by the false claims law investigator conducting the examination and such person.

    (4) Transcript of testimony. When the testimony is fully transcribed, the false claims law investigator or the officer before whom the testimony is taken shall afford the witness, who may be accompanied by counsel, a reasonable opportunity to examine and read the transcript, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered and identified upon the transcript by the officer or the false claims law investigator, with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making such changes. The transcript shall then be signed by the witness, unless the witness in writing waives the signing, is ill, cannot be found, or refuses to sign. If the transcript is not signed by the witness within 30 days after being afforded a reasonable opportunity to examine it, the officer or the false claims law investigator shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver, illness, absence of the witness, or the refusal to sign, together with the reasons, if any, given therefor.

    (5) Certification and delivery to Attorney General. The officer before whom the testimony is taken shall certify on the transcript that the witness was sworn by the officer and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given by the witness, and the officer or false claims law investigator shall promptly deliver the transcript or send the transcript by registered or certified mail to the Attorney General or a designee.

    (6) Furnishing or inspection of transcript by witness. Upon payment of reasonable charges therefor, the false claims law investigator shall furnish a copy of the transcript to the witness only, except that the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, or an Assistant Attorney General may, for good cause, limit such witness to inspection of the official transcript of the witness' testimony.

    (7) Conduct of oral testimony.

    (A) Any person compelled to appear for oral testimony under a civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section may be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel. Counsel may advise such person, in confidence, with respect to any question asked of such person. Such person or counsel may object on the record to any question, in whole or in part, and shall briefly state for the record the reason for the objection. An objection may be made, received, and entered upon the record when it is claimed that such person is entitled to refuse to answer the question on the grounds of any constitutional or other legal right or privilege, including the privilege against self-incrimination. Such person may not otherwise object to or refuse to answer any question, and may not directly or through counsel otherwise interrupt the oral examination. If such person refuses to answer any question, a petition may be filed in the Civil Division of Washington County Superior Court under subdivision (i)(1) of this section for an order compelling such person to answer such question.

    (B) If such person refuses to answer any question on the grounds of the privilege against self-incrimination, the testimony of such person may be compelled in accordance with the provisions of 12 V.S.A. § 1664.

    (8) Witness fees and allowances. Any person appearing for oral testimony under a civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section shall be entitled to the same fees and allowances which are paid to witnesses in the courts of the State of Vermont.

    (i) Judicial proceedings.

    (1) Petition for enforcement. Whenever any person fails to comply with any civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section, or whenever satisfactory copying or reproduction of any material requested in such demand cannot be done and such person refuses to surrender such material, the Attorney General may file, in the Civil Division of Washington County Superior Court or the Civil Division in any county in which such person resides, is found, or transacts business, and serve upon such person a petition for an order of such court for the enforcement of the civil investigative demand.

    (2) Petition to modify or set aside demand.

    (A) Any person who has received a civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section may file, in the Civil Division of Washington County Superior Court or the Civil Division in any county in which such person resides, is found, or transacts business, and serve upon the Attorney General's Office a petition for an order of the court to modify or set aside such demand. In the case of a petition addressed to an express demand for any product of discovery, a petition to modify or set aside such demand may be brought only in the Civil Division in which the proceeding in which such discovery was obtained is or was last pending. Any petition under this subdivision (2) must be filed:

    (i) within 20 days after the date of service of the civil investigative demand or at any time before the return date specified in the demand, whichever date is earlier; or

    (ii) within such longer period as may be prescribed in writing by any false claims law investigator identified in the demand.

    (B) The petition shall specify each ground upon which the petitioner relies in seeking relief under subdivision (A) of this subdivision (2), and may be based upon any failure of the demand to comply with the provisions of this section or upon any constitutional or other legal right or privilege of such person. During the pendency of the petition in the court, the court may stay, as it deems proper, the running of the time allowed for compliance with the demand, in whole or in part, except that the person filing the petition shall comply with any portions of the demand not sought to be modified or set aside.

    (3) Petition to modify or set aside demand for product of discovery.

    (A) In the case of any civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section which is an express demand for any product of discovery, the person from whom such discovery was obtained may file, in the Civil Division in which the proceeding in which such discovery was obtained is or was last pending, and serve upon any false claims law investigator identified in the demand and upon the recipient of the demand, a petition for an order of such court to modify or set aside those portions of the demand requiring production of any such product of discovery. Any petition under this subdivision (3) must be filed:

    (i) within 20 days after the date of service of the civil investigative demand or at any time before the return date specified in the demand, whichever date is earlier; or

    (ii) within such longer period as may be prescribed in writing by any false claims law investigator identified in the demand.

    (B) The petition shall specify each ground upon which the petitioner relies in seeking relief under subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3), and may be based upon any failure of the portions of the demand from which relief is sought to comply with the provisions of this section or upon any constitutional or other legal right or privilege of the petitioner. During the pendency of the petition, the court may stay, as it deems proper, compliance with the demand and the running of the time allowed for compliance with the demand.

    (4) Jurisdiction. Whenever any petition is filed under this subsection, such court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter so presented, and to enter such order or orders as may be required to carry out the provisions of this section. Any final order so entered may be appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court. Any disobedience of any final order entered under this section by any court shall be punished as a contempt of the court.

    (5) Applicability of Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to any petition under this subsection, to the extent that such rules are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section.

    (j) Use and disclosure of material, answers, or transcripts. The Office of the Attorney General may use the material, answers to interrogatories, or transcripts for any lawful purpose in conducting its investigation under the false claims law, including sharing the materials with the relator as provided in subdivision (a)(1) of this section. Further, whenever any attorney from the Office of the Attorney General has been designated to appear before any court, grand jury, or agency in any case or proceeding, such attorney may obtain, possess, and use any documentary material, answers to interrogatories, or transcripts of oral testimony received under this section for official use in connection with any such case or proceeding as such attorney determines to be required. Any documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony provided under any civil investigative demand issued under subsection (a) of this section shall not be used or disclosed in any other manner than set forth in this subsection without a Court order. No order authorizing such further use or disclosure shall issue without notice to the Attorney General and the person from whom such discovery was obtained, and, if requested by either of those parties, an opportunity to present arguments or evidence, or both, on the issue of disclosure.

    (k) Definitions. As used in this section:

    (1) "False claims law investigation" means any inquiry conducted by any false claims law investigator for the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is or has been engaged in any violation of a false claims law.

    (2) "False claims law investigator" means any attorney or investigator employed by the Attorney General's Office who is charged with the duty of enforcing or carrying into effect any false claims law, or any officer or employee of Vermont acting under the direction and supervision of such attorney or investigator in connection with a false claims law investigation.

    (3) "Documentary material" includes the original or any copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, chart, or other document, or data compilations stored in or accessible through computer or other information retrieval systems, together with instructions and all other materials necessary to use or interpret such data compilations, and any product of discovery.

    (4) "Product of discovery" includes:

    (A) the original or duplicate of any deposition, interrogatory, document, thing, result of the inspection of land or other property, examination, or admission, which is obtained by any method of discovery in any judicial or administrative proceeding of an adversarial nature;

    (B) any digest, analysis, selection, compilation, or derivation of any item listed in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (4); and

    (C) any index or other manner of access to any item listed in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (4); and

    (5) "Official use" means any use that is consistent with the law, and the regulations and policies of the Office of the Attorney General, including use in connection with internal office memoranda and reports; communications between the office and a federal, State, or local government agency, or a contractor of a federal, State, or local government agency, undertaken in furtherance of an office investigation or prosecution of a case; interviews of any qui tam relator or other witness; oral examinations; depositions; preparation for and response to civil discovery requests; introduction into the record of a case or proceeding; applications, motions, memoranda, and briefs submitted to a court or other tribunal; and communications with government investigators, auditors, consultants, experts, the counsel of other parties, arbitrators, and mediators, concerning an investigation, case, or proceeding. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015; amended 2017, No. 11, § 57; 2019, No. 14, § 74, eff. April 30, 2019.)