COMMITTEE APPROVES ZONING BILLS FOR MARRIOTT

 

ST.THOMAS— The Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Planning, chaired by Senate Vice President Janette Millin Young, approved two zoning requests Tuesday, at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall.

“Every permit request that we review in this committee, that we vet, that  we vote on, represents economic development,” said the Committee Chair. “A great majority of these requests allow for businesses to conduct business and therefore attributes to our commerce. And this I believe is important to mention because it is necessary for all of us to embrace the work that contributes to the economic development of our territory because it doesn't happen in a vacuum,” she said. “It behooves all of us to ensure that something is actually built on the foundation that we lay here.”

Committee Receives Update On Consent Decree and Acts On Legislations

St. Croix—the Committee on Housing, Public Works and Waste Management, chaired by Senator Marin A. Blyden met Thursday evening to consider a three item agenda in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room, Frederiksted.

The first item on the committee’s agenda was an update on the Consent Decree and Closure of the Virgin Islands Landfills.  In 2016, the Government of the Virgin Islands and the Waste Management Authority entered into a Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which outlines specific solutions to the environmental violations at the islands’ landfills.

COMMITTEE APPROVES FY 2107 BUDGET BILLS TOTALING OVER $784M

ST. THOMAS— The Committee on Finance, chaired by Sen. Clifford F. Graham, approved more than 30 budget bills with a total appropriation of $784,769,137.00 for FY 2017, Thursday, at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall.

Sen. Graham led the discussion on the budget bills (Bill Nos. 31-0403 through Bill No.31-0431 and Bill Nos. 31-0438 and 31-0439).

“Some number of years ago we looked at implementing an 8% salary reduction to really cut the spending of government, so we could live within our means,” he said. “But that 8% salary reduction also shrunk the private sector because when you take 8% of the government payroll out of circulation, the private sector in fact will feel that, and as a result the private sector did send people home and the net result was fewer tax dollars coming in.”

Committee Vice Chair, Sen. Kurt A. Vialet, also weighed in on the budget.