COMMITTEE ADVANCES NOMINATIONS, BILLS, AND RESOLUTIONS

Published: Dec 8, 2023

The 35th Legislature of the Virgin Islands’ Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Diane T. Capehart, met in the Frits E. Lawaetz Conference Room. Lawmakers considered nominations, legislative measures, and resolutions. Approved items on Thursday’s agenda will be forwarded to the full body at the next scheduled Legislative Session.

The following nominations were approved:

• Harriett Natalie Hodge to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
• Louis E. Petersen, Jr. to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.
• Kevin McCurdy to serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Finance.
• Bert Petersen Jr., M.D. to serve on the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees.
• Donna M. Christensen., M.D. to serve on the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees.

The following bills were approved:

• Bill No. 35-0045, An Act amending Title 5, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 407 relating to eligibility for parole release by adding Section 4607 to establish Medical Parole Release, Geriatric Parole Release, and Non-Medical Geriatric Parole Release, and for other related purposes. Senators Franklin D. Johnson and Javan E. James sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0084, An Act amending Title 11, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 21, Section 1213 to allow businesses operating under a trade name to have the option of renewing the trade name every 2-, 6-, or 10-years intervals. Sponsored by: Senator Alma Francis Heyliger sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0086, An Act amending Title 3, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 1, Section 10h to require background checks for all IT personnel and employees of the Bureau of Information Technology, agencies that have data centers, and any employee who handles confidential information. Senator Dwayne M. DeGraff sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0099, An Act amending Title 28, Chapter 23, of the Virgin Islands Code relating to the foreclosure of Liens Upon Real Property. Senator Marise C. James sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0119, An Act amending Title 19, Virgin Islands Code by adding a Chapter 7A directing the Department of Health to develop and approve Mobile Integrated Healthcare Programs. The measure was sponsored by Senator Marise C. James and co-sponsored by Senator Ray Fonseca.

• Bill No. 35-0127, An Act amending Title 14, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 89 relating to the invasion of privacy of accident and crime victims by first responders. The measure was sponsored by Senators Marvin A. Blyden, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Alma Francis Heyliger, Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Javan E. James, Sr, and Co-Sponsored by Senator Marise C. James.

• Bill No. 35-0131, An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 15 to establish a “Real Time Crime Center” Centralized Crime Data System, within the Virgin Islands Police Department. Senator Diane T. Capehart sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0173, An Act amending Title 5, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 201, by adding a subchapter V enacting the Safe Haven Newborn Protection Act to provide a mechanism for a newborn infant to be relinquished to a safe environment, for the parents of the newborn infant to remain anonymous if they choose and avoid civil or criminal liability for the act of relinquishing the newborn infant. Senator Angel L. Bolques, Jr sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0175, An Act amending Title 23, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 11, relating to emergency communications during an emergency and major disasters by adding a subchapter II establishing an Auxiliary Communications Unit within the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency and providing an auxiliary communications resource to any department agency and autonomous or semiautonomous instrumentality of the Government of the Virgin Islands. Senator Kenneth L. Gittens sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0194, An Act amending Title 17, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 10, Section 111(a) requiring the Commissioner of Education to hire a School Nurse Supervisor per district and School Health Technicians for every public school in the Territory. Senator Kenneth L. Gittens sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0013, An Act amending Title 20, Virgin Islands Code, Part II, Chapter 35, relating to the issuance of operators’ licenses and identification cards to allow applicants to obtain limited local-purpose identification cards and operators’ licenses without providing certain federally required documentation. Senator Samuel Carrion sponsored the measure.

The following resolutions were approved:

• Bill No. 35-0102, An Act honoring and commending Ralph A. deChabert, M.D. for outstanding contributions in the medical field to the people of the Virgin Islands and his many civic contributions to the community, especially to the island of St. Croix and to name the Labor and Delivery/Post Partum Unit “Maternity Services” at the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center North in his honor. Senator Marise C. James sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0109, An Act honoring and commending the late Corporal Kendall Emanuel George posthumously for his service as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps in the Vietnam War and for making the ultimate sacrifice to preserve democracy and to keep America and his Virgin Islands homeland safe; naming Route 107 from Coral Bay to Lameshur Bay, St. John “Kendall Emanual George Drive” South and appropriating $10,000 to the Department of Public Works for signage at Kendall Emanuel George Drive; and for other related purposes. Senator Dwayne M. DeGraff sponsored the measure.

• Bill No. 35-0123 – An Act to commission and direct the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts to construct and erect a bronze bust of Dr. Alfred O. Heath to be placed next to those of Edith L. Williams, J. Antonio Jarvis, and Rothschild Francis in Education Park on the island of St. Thomas, and for other purposes. The measure was sponsored by Senators Ray Fonseca, Kenneth L. Gittens, Angel L. Bolques, Jr., Franklin D. Johnson, Alma Francis-Heyliger, and Carla Joseph; and co-sponsored by Senators Novelle E. Francis, Jr., and Milton E. Potter

• Bill No. 35-0125, An Act honoring and commending the late Police Lieutenant Melbourne Clarke posthumously for his dedication, service, and contributions to the Virgin Islands community in law enforcement by adding the name, “Police Lieutenant Melbourne Clarke Drive”, at Route 669 on the island of St. Croix. Senator Kenneth L. Gittens sponsored the measure.

Senators present at today’s Committee meeting included Diane T. Capehart, Milton E. Potter, Angel L. Bolques, Jr., Samuel Carrion, Dwayne M. Degraff, Alma Francis Heyliger, Donna A. Frett-Gregory Kenneth L. Gittens, Franklin D. Johnson, and Carla J. Joseph,

The Division of Public Affairs is committed to providing the community with accurate information on proceedings and other events at the Legislature of the Virgin Islands.

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