FY2017 HEALTH INSURANCE PROPOSAL DISCUSSED DURING COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE; RATES WILL NOT RISE FOR ACTIVE EMPLOYEES IN 2017

ST.THOMAS—The Committee of the Whole, chaired by Sen. Neville A. James, convened to receive testimony from officials regarding the Government Employees Renewal of Group Health, Life and Dental Insurance Wednesday, at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall.

“We have, as per the norm, a health insurance package before us. Today is September 21st. I want to say on the record that originally I was against holding this hearing because we have, on a consistent basis, asked the players that be to not submit the health insurance package in the waning days of the existing contract. Unfortunately, it continues to happen on a consistent basis,” he said.

 

COMMITTEE DISCUSSES BILL TO MARKET CRUZ BAY AS HISTORICAL DESTINATION

ST. JOHN—The Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation, Youth and Recreation, chaired by Sen. Myron D. Jackson, held a meeting Monday evening at the Cleone Henrietta Creque Legislative Conference Room on  St. John, to encourage entities of the executive branch to market Cruz Bay as a cultural heritage destination.

Bill No. 31-0449, sponsored by the Committee Chair, is an act commemorating the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the town of Cruz Bay and encouraging government entities to work with local artisans to develop cultural products.

The measure was “prompted out of many years of the desire to create a historic district in the town of Cruz bay and the discussions that have been had under the office of historic preservation,” said Sen. Jackson. “The language was encouraged through the nomination process of an application for the national register nomination for the town of Cruz Bay.”

 

BILL TO EQUALIZE WAPA INTEREST RATE TO BE THE SAME AS THE BANKS MOVES FORWARD

ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Sen. Kenneth Gittens, held a meeting at the Capitol Building on Friday, to vote on several bills including Bill No. 31-0256 as it relates to the interest rate paid by V.I. Water and Power Authority (WAPA) on customer deposits at a rate equal to the average prevailing interest rate paid by the banks.

“What is happening is that the interest rate is stationary for WAPA paid by deposits made by customers,” said Sen. Clifford Graham, one of the Sponsors of Bill. He continued, “We are putting hardship on WAPA because they are paying more on the interest rates for customer deposits. It should be tied to the banks.”  Similarly, Sen. Janette Millin Young said, “This is a win-win for everyone involved. I have listened to all of the testimonies on this measure and not only do WAPA win but so does the rate payers. This bill keeps more money in the pockets of both WAPA and the rate payers.”