St. Croix-The Committee on Finance, Chaired by Senator Kurt A. Vialet, received testimony on the FY 2022 Executive Budget from the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Casino Control Commission (CCC) in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room, St. Croix.
Bosede Bruce, Commissioner Nominee, Department of Finance, said the FY 2022 budget recommendation shows General Fund-$20,968,213; Government Insurance Fund-$1,054,896; and Indirect Cost Fund-$108,500. She added that Non-appropriated Funds include: Data processing-$80,793 with a Grand Total of $22,212,402.
According to Bruce, the Fiscal Year 2022 total budget is $3,669,286 to fund 42 positions on St. Thomas and 11 on St. Croix, and ten (10) vacancies. She added that Personnel and fringe costs are allocated against several funds:
(1) General Fund-$3,136,001 and Fringe-$1,496,982
(2) Government Insurance Fund-$483,330 and Fringe-$233,566
(3) Data Processing Revolving Fund-$49,955 and Fringe-$30,837
The supplies total $208,500 includes office, operating, and repair, and maintenance supplies.
(1) General Fund-$191,500
(2) Government insurance funds $17,000
Other Services and Charges total $15,343,230-expenditures include Professional Services, security guard services, training initiatives, travel communication, repair, and maintenance services. Miscellaneous projects managed by the department for central services are included in the following amounts:
(1) General Fund-$530,500
(2) Miscellaneous Funds-$14,463,230
(3) Government Insurance Fund-$241,000
(4) Indirect Cost Fund-$108,500
According to the Commissioner, Utilities in prior years were lumped under the single payor fund. She added that the current budget philosophy is to spread the cost across agency budgets, and there is $380,000.
She pointed out that anticipated expenditures for Capital Outlays are $850,000. They continue their paperless services by upgrading their aging technological resources and building infrastructure in both districts. Their intention, she added, is to create Emergency Operation Centers in both locations, and they need matching funds for FEMA projects.
After several rounds of questions, pertaining to the overall finances, the committee then moved on with its day’s agenda and heard from the Casino Control Commission as they presented their FY 2022 proposed Budget.
Marvin Pickering, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Casino Control Commission (CCC), said the General Fund for the CCC Personnel is $833,700, representing 13 employees, including one (1) vacancy.
According to Pickering, CCC Revolving Fund is a particular checking account that serves as a depository of monies collected from all licenses, registrations, permits and other fees, fines, and penalties.
He added that from October 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021, the Commission collected $221,950, of which $177,560 was allocated to the Commission, and $44,390 was assigned to the Department of Justice, Division of Gaming Enforcement Operating Account for operating expenses.
Regarding the Casino Revenue Fund, in Fiscal Year 2020, the ten percent disbursed to the Commission from the Department of Finance was $156,376.92, compared to $195,908.51 for the Fiscal year 2019, a decrease of 20-percent. The first two quarters of FY 2021 yielded $109,641.18 compared to $101,469.26 for the same period of FY 2020, a slight increase of eight percent.
Pickering also noted that the Commission does not have a full complement of commissioners since former Commissioner Stacy Bourne resigned from the Commission.
At Thursday’s budget hearing were Senators: Chairman Kurt A. Vialet, Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Marvin A. Blyden, Javan E. James, Carla J. Joseph, and Samuel Carrión.