Month: September 2021

34th Legislature Establishes Committee on Ethical Conduct to review Senator Marvin Blyden’s actions

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St. Thomas, USVI – Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory today announced as a result of the situation surrounding Senate Majority Leader, Marvin Blyden, a meeting was held with Senate Vice President, Novelle E. Francis, Jr. and Senate Secretary, Genevieve Whitaker. It has been determined that the matter warrants the establishment of a Committee on Ethical Conduct pursuant to the rules of the 34th Legislature. Further, the leadership has filed a formal complaint to the Committee on Ethical Conduct. The Committee on Ethical Conduct will be responsible for investigating the allegations and making a final determination on this matter. The committee will convene by the end of this week.

It is important to note that the leadership of the 34th Legislature instituted COVID-19 protocols to protect senators, employees and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. “This matter is extremely serious in nature, and we have to ensure the public that we take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. We cannot hold Senators to different standards, if anything, Senators must be held to a higher standard, as we represent the people of the territory,” concluded Frett-Gregory.

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THE FISCAL YEAR 2022 BUDGET BILLS FORWARDED, THE HEALTH, MEDICAL, DENTAL, AND LIFE INSURANCES RATIFIED, AND THE FY 2021 SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET ADVANCES TO THE GOVERNOR

ST. THOMAS – Members of the 34th Legislature, led by Senate President Donna A. Frett-Gregory, met Friday in Legislative Session and voted favorably for measures including the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Bills and ratified the renewal agreement for the health, dental, and life insurance and the FY 2021 supplemental budget.

Senator Frett-Gregory, in her opening statement said, “today is an indicator of the amount of work that legislators have done and achieved regarding the FY 2022 budget bills.” The Senate President further indicated that where there are challenges, there are always opportunities. The proposed supplemental budget provides an opportunity to fill areas in which there are challenges, said Senator Frett-Gregory.

Lawmakers voted favorably on the following measures:
• Bill No. 34-0134 – An Act ratifying the Third Renewal Agreement for Group Medical Health Insurance and the Third Renewal of Agreement for Group Dental Insurance between the Government of the Virgin Islands and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company; the Second Renewal of Agreement for Vision Insurance and the First Renewal of Agreement for Group Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance between the Government of the Virgin Islands Standard Insurance Company
• Bill No. 34-0106 – An Act amending Act No. 8365, as amended by Act No. 8411; and Act No. 8451; amending Act No. 8451, section 2(a); amending Act No. 8347, section 1, relating to the fiscal year 2021 operating budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands, to appropriate $24,423,321 to several departments and agencies to pay outstanding obligations; and providing for other related purposes (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0109 – An Act providing an appropriation from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands for the operation of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0110 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the U. S. Virgin Islands Judiciary and Court System during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0111 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0112 – An Act providing an appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Board of Elections and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0113 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund to the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority and the Department of Public Works for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0114 – An Act providing an appropriation for the salaries and expenses of The University of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022 and for other purposes (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0115 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Education from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0116 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Business and Commercial Properties Revolving Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Property and Procurement for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0117 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Career and Technical Education from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0118 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Caribbean Basin Initiative Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0119 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Government Insurance Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Labor and the Department of Finance for personnel, operating expenses, and other purposes during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0120 – An Act providing for the lump sum appropriation from the Health Revolving Fund to the Department of Health for fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0121 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Hospitals and Health Facilities Corporation from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0122 – An Act providing for a lump sum appropriation from the Indirect Cost Fund for salaries, operating expenses, and for other purposes of the Office of Management and Budget, the Division of Personnel, the Department of Property and Procurement, and the Department of Finance for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0123 – An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Office of the Inspector General from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0124 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No 34-0125 – An Act providing an appropriation in the sum of $900,000 from the Virgin Islands Lottery as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0126 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Public Employees Relations Board and the Labor Management Committee for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0127 – An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Waste Management Authority from the Sewer Wastewater Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0128 – An Act providing an appropriation to the Virgin Islands Taxicab Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0129 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund to the Office of the Governor, Department of Education, Virgin Islands Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation and the Department of Tourism during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0130 – An Act providing an appropriation of $1,000,000 to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and a $10,000,000 appropriation as a contribution to the General Fund from the Transportation Trust Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0131 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0132 – An Act providing an appropriation to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs from the Public Services Commission Revolving Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, for operating expenses (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0133 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• Bill No. 34-0136 – An Act providing an appropriation for the sum of $16,300,000 from the Virgin Islands Insurance Guaranty Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
• An Act amending Virgin Islands Code, title 22, chapter 10, section 237(a)(3) (A) and title 33, chapter 111, section 3061 relating to the balance in the Insurance Guaranty Fund and to amend the currently required $30,000,000 amount which is set to increase to $50,000,000 on September 30, 2022, to $40,000,000 (Closed Rule)

Senators attending the meeting: Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Genevieve R. Whitaker, Kurt A. Vialet, Franklin D. Johnson, Samuel Carrión, Steven D. Payne, Sr., Dwayne M. DeGraff, Carla J. Joseph, Javan E. James, Milton E. Potter, Alma Francis Heyliger, and Janelle K. Sarauw. However, Senators Marvin A. Blyden and Kenneth L. Gittens were excused.

34th Legislature Remembers Former Senator Edgar Iles

St. Thomas, USVI – The members of 34th Legislature of the Virgin Islands joins the Virgin Islands community in mourning the passing of former Senator Edgar Iles. Former Senator Iles served in the Virgin Islands Legislature from 1981 to 1985. A Korean War Veteran, Mr. Iles dedicated 40 years to the Government of the Virgin Islands. Mr. Iles was very active in the St. Croix community, especially his beloved town, Frederiksted. He was an active Rotarian and was a member of Rotary West for over 50 years. In 2020, he was honored by receiving the Lifetime Achievement from the club.
“Former Senator Iles epitomizes the rotary motto of service above self,” said Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory. “He was also a fine example of a leader who always maintained a calm demeanor while getting the work done.” Mr. Iles served in volunteer leadership positions, working to make the organizations better and stronger, long after giving so much of himself through government service.
Former Senator Iles will long be remembered for his service to the Virgin Islands community, especially throughout the St. Croix district. The members of the 34th Legislature offer sincere condolences to his wife, Delores, children, and extended family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Legislative Session scheduled for Friday, September 17, 2021 will begin at 12:00 p.m.

Legislative Session is scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM on Friday in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall,
St. Thomas. Below is an outline of the day’s agenda:

Call to Order: Honorable Donna A. Frett-Gregory
Senate President
Invocation: Apostle Oral Hazell
Pastor, Global Life Church
Anthem: National Anthem and Virgin Islands March
Roll Call: Honorable Genevieve Whitaker
Legislative Secretary
Messages and/or Correspondence
Reports: Chairpersons of Standing Committees
Special Orders and Overrides:
CONSIDERATION OF FLOOR AGENDA:
Block I
Bill No. 34-0134 – An Act ratifying the Third Renewal Agreement for Group Medical Health
Insurance and the Third Renewal of Agreement for Group Dental Insurance between the
Government of the Virgin Islands and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company; the Second
Renewal of Agreement for Vision Insurance and the First Renewal of Agreement for Group
Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance between the Government of the
Virgin Islands Standard Insurance Company
Bill No. 34-0106 – An Act amending Act No. 8365, as amended by Act No. 8411; and Act No.
8451; amending Act No. 8451, section 2(a); amending Act No. 8347, section 1, relating to the
fiscal year 2021 operating budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands, to appropriate
$24,423,321 to several departments and agencies to pay outstanding obligations; and providing
for other related purposes (Closed Rule)

Bill No. 34-0109 – An Act providing an appropriation from the General Fund of the
Government of the Virgin Islands for the operation of the Government of the Virgin Islands
during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0110 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the U. S. Virgin
Islands Judiciary and Court System during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30,
2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0111 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Legislature of
the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0112 – An Act providing an appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Board
of Elections and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections during the fiscal year October 1,
2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0113 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Anti-Litter and Beautification
Fund to the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority and the Department of Public Works
for operating expenses during the fiscal Year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed
Rule)
Bill No. 34-0114 – An Act providing an appropriation for the salaries and expenses of The
University of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022 and for other
purposes (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0115 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin
Islands Board of Education from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to
September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Block II
Bill No. 34-0116 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Business and Commercial
Properties Revolving Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of
Property and Procurement for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to
September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0117 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin
Islands Board of Career and Technical Education from the General Fund of the Government of
the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0118 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Caribbean Basin Initiative Fund
as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September
30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0119 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Government Insurance Fund of
the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Labor and the Department of
Finance for personnel, operating expenses and other purposes during the fiscal year October 1,
2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)

Bill No. 34-0120 – An Act providing for the lump sum appropriation from the Health Revolving
Fund to the Department of Health for fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
(Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0121 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin
Islands Hospitals and Health Facilities Corporation from the General Fund of the Government
of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed
Rule)
Bill No. 34-0122 – An Act providing for a lump sum appropriation from the Indirect Cost Fund
for salaries, operating expenses and for other purposes of the Office of Management and
Budget, the Division of Personnel, the Department of Property and Procurement and the
Department of Finance for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed
Rule)
Bill No. 34-0123 – An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Virgin
Islands Office of the Inspector General from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin
Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0124 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching
Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No 34-0125 – An Act providing an appropriation in the sum of $900,000 from the Virgin
Islands Lottery as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to
September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Block III
Bill No. 34-0126 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Public
Employees Relations Board and the Labor Management Committee for the fiscal year October
1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0127 – An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Waste
Management Authority from the Sewer Wastewater Fund of the Government of the Virgin
Islands for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0128 – An Act providing an appropriation to the Virgin Islands Taxicab
Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0129 – An Act providing an appropriation from the Tourism Advertising Revolving
Fund to the Office of the Governor, Department of Education, Virgin Islands Police
Department, the Department of Public Works, the Virgin Islands Waste Management
Authority, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation and
the Department of Tourism during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
(Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0130 – An Act providing an appropriation of $1,000,000 to the Bureau of Motor
Vehicles and a $10,000,000 appropriation as contribution to the General Fund from the
Transportation Trust Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed
Rule)

Bill No. 34-0131 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin
Islands Waste Management Authority from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin
Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0132 – An Act providing an appropriation to the Department of Licensing and
Consumer Affairs from the Public Services Commission Revolving Fund for the fiscal year
October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, for operating expenses (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0133 – An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin
Islands Board of Nurse Licensure from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021
to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0136 – An Act providing an appropriation for the sum of $16,300,000 from the
Virgin Islands Insurance Guaranty Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal
year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (Closed Rule)
Bill No. 34-0137 – An Act amending Virgin Islands Code, title 22, chapter 10, section 237(a)(3)
(A) and title 33, chapter 111, section 3061 relating to the balance in the Insurance Guaranty
Fund to amend the currently required $30,000,000 amount which is set to increase to
$50,000,000 on September 30, 2022, to $40,000,000 (Closed Rule

THE FISCAL YEAR 2022 BUDGET BILLS FORWARDED TO FULL BODY

ST. THOMAS – Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Senator Milton E. Potter convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building and voted in the affirmative for all the measures regarding the Fiscal Year 2022 Executive Budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States. All approved items will be forwarded to the Full Body for further consideration.

“The bills were previously vetted and voted on in the Committee on Finance. Presently in this committee hearing, we will further consider and vote on these measures which will then be forwarded to the Full Body,” Sen. Potter said.  “The goal is to pass a balanced FY 2022 budget that commences on October 1, 2021, and concludes on September 30, 2022.”

Lawmakers voted favorably for the following bills under the closed rule:

  • Bill 34-0110: An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Judicial Branch of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0111: An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands during fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0112: An Act providing an appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Board of Elections and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0113: An Act providing an appropriation from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund to the Waste Management Authority and the Department of Public Works for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0114: An Act providing an appropriation for the salaries and expenses of the University of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0115: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Education from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0116: An Act providing an appropriation from the Business and Commercial Properties Revolving Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Property and Procurement for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0117: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Career and Technical Education Board from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0118: An Act providing an appropriation from the Caribbean Basin Initiative Fund for the year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0119: An Act providing an appropriation from the government Insurance Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Labor and the Department of Finance for operating expenses during fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0120: An Act providing an appropriation from the Health Revolving Fund for fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0121: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Hospital and Health Facilities Corporation from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 221 to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0122: An Act providing for the lump sum appropriation from the Indirect Cost Fund for salaries, operating expenses, and other purposes of the Office of Management and Budget, the Division of Personnel, the Department of Property and Procurement, and the Department of Finance for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0123: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Office of the Inspector General from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0124: An Act providing an appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0125: An act providing an appropriation in the sum of $900,000 from the Virgin Islands Lottery as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0126: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Public Employees Relations Board and the Labor Management Committee for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0127: An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Waste Management Authority from the Sewer System Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0128: An Act providing an appropriation to the Virgin Islands Taxicab Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0129: An act providing an appropriation from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund to the Office of Management and Budget, the Virgin Islands Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, and the Department of Tourism during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0130: An Act providing an appropriation for the sum of $11,000,000 from the Transportation Trust Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0131: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0132: An Act providing an appropriation to the Public Services Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, for operating expenses, as amended (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0133: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0136: An Act providing an appropriation for the sum of $16,300,000 from the Virgin Islands Insurance Guaranty Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0137: An Act amending Virgin Islands Code, Title 22, Chapter 10, Section 237(A)(3)(A) and Title 33, Chapter 111, Section 3061 relating to the balance in the Insurance Guaranty Fund to amend the currently required $30,000,000 amount which is set to increase to $50,000,000 on September 30, 2022, to $40,000,000 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0132: An Act providing an appropriation to the Public Services Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, for operating expenses (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0106: FY21 SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET- An Act amending Act No. 8365, as amended by Act No. 8411; and Act No. 8451; amending Act No. 8451, Section 2(A); amending Act No. 8347, Section 1, relating to the fiscal year 2021 operating budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands, to appropriate $24,423,321 to several departments and agencies to pay outstanding obligations; and providing for other related purposes, as amended (Sponsored by: Senator Donna A. Frett-Gregory by request of the Governor)
  • Bill 34-0109: An act providing an appropriation from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands for the operation of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, as amended (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)

However, the following measure was removed from the agenda:

  • Bill 34-0135: An Act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 (Sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Kurt Vialet by request of the Governor)

Senators attending the meeting: Milton E. Potter, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Genevieve R. Whitaker, Kurt A. Vialet, Franklin D. Johnson, Samuel Carrión, Steven D. Payne, Sr., Kenneth L. Gittens, Carla J. Joseph.

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THE FISCAL YEAR 2022 ENABLING BUDGET LEGISLATION ADVANCES TO COMMITTEE ON RULES AND JUDICIARY

ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Kurt A. Vialet, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building and voted on the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Enabling Budget Legislation for the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States.

“The Committee on Finance thoroughly reviewed the entire budget to ensure the numbers are accurate. The Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Albert Bryan, Jr. initially sent down a budget totaling $945 million,” Sen. Vialet said. “However, lawmakers were able to reduce the FY 2022 budget to $919,900,508. As a result, this now gives us some flexibility. There are discussions slated to be held in a meeting on September 20th regarding monies earmarked for the 8% but may be utilized for the Government Employees Retirement System (GERS). We won’t be able to immediately solve the problem of GERS in one scoop, but we will be able to at least start the process.”

Lawmakers voted in the affirmative for the following measures:
• Bill No. 34-0109- an act providing an appropriation from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands for the operation of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0110- an act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Judicial Branch of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0111- an act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0112- an act providing an appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Board of Elections and the Office of the Supervisor of Elections during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0113- an act providing an appropriation from the anti-litter and beautification fund to the waste management authority and the department of public works for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0114- an act providing an appropriation for the salaries and expenses of the University of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and for other purposes
• Bill No. 34-0115- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Education from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0116- an act providing an appropriation from the Business and Commercial Properties Revolving Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Property and Procurement for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0117- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Career and Technical Education Board from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0118- an act providing an appropriation from the Caribbean Basin Initiative fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0119- an act providing an appropriation from the Government Insurance Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Department of Labor and the Department of Finance for operating expenses during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0120- an act providing for the lump sum appropriation from the Health Revolving Fund for fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0121- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Hospital and Health Facilities Corporation from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0122- an act providing a for the lump sum appropriation from the Indirect Cost Fund for salaries, operating expenses, and other purposes of the Office of Management and Budget, the Division of Personnel, the Department of Property and Procurement, and the Department of Finance for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0123- an act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Virgin Islands office of the Inspector General from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0124- an act providing an appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0125- an act providing an appropriation for $900,000 from the Virgin Islands Lottery as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0126- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Public Employees Relations Board and the labor management committee for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0127- an act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Waste Management Authority from the sewer system fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 general fund
• Bill No. 34-0128- an act providing an appropriation to the Virgin Islands Taxicab Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0129- an act providing an appropriation from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund to the Office of Management and Budget, the Virgin Islands Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Virgin Islands Waste Management Agency, and the Department of Tourism during the fiscal year October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021
• Bill No. 34-0130- an act providing an appropriation for the sum of $10,000,000 from the Transportation Trust Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0131- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0132- an act providing an appropriation to the Public Services Commission for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 for operating expenses
• Bill No. 34-0133- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Virgin Islands board of nurse licensure from the General Fund during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0135- an act providing an appropriation for the operating expenses of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0136- an act providing an appropriation for the sum of $16,300,000 from the Virgin Islands Insurance Guaranty fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
• Bill No. 34-0137- an act amending Virgin Islands code, title 22, chapter 10, section 237(a)(3) (a) and title 33, chapter 111, section 3061 relating to the balance in the Insurance Guaranty Fund to amend the currently required $30,000,000 amount which is set to increase to $50,000,000 on September 30, 2022 to $40,000,000
• Bill No. 34-0106- FY 21 supplemental budget an act amending act No. 8365, as amended by act No. 8411; and act No. 8451; amending act No. 8451, section 2(a); amending act No. 8347, section 1, relating to the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands, to appropriate $24,423,321 to several departments and agencies to pay outstanding obligations; and providing for other related purposes

However, the following measures were removed from the agenda:
• Bill No. 34-0134- (Donna A. Frett-Gregory by request)- an act ratifying the third renewal agreement for group medical health insurance and the third renewal of agreement for group dental insurance between the Government of the Virgin Islands, and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company; the second renewal of agreement for vision insurance and the first renewal of agreement for group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance between the Government of the Virgin Islands standard insurance company
• Bill No. 34-0138- an act providing an appropriation for the sum of $2,000,000 from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund as a contribution to the St. Croix Capital Improvement Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022

All other outlined Bills were approved and forwarded to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration

Senators attending the meeting: Chairman Kurt A. Vialet, Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Janelle K. Sarauw, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Carla J. Joseph, Javan E. James Sr., Alma Francis-Heyliger, Novelle E. Francis Jr., and Marvin A. Blyden.
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34th Legislature Mourns the Loss of Former Senator Holland Redfield

St. Thomas, USVI – The members of the 34th Legislature of the Virgin Islands joins in mourning the loss
of former Senator Holland Redfield. Mr. Redfield served six terms in the Legislature, with five being
served consecutively.
A licensed commercial pilot, Holland Redfield moved to St. Croix in 1969. His foray into Virgin Islands
politics came through Governor Cyril E. King, where he worked as a campaign aide, before being
appointed to the Public Services Commission by Governor King. Mr. Redfield ran multiple times before
being elected in 1984 as a Republican to the V.I. Legislature.
After serving the people of the Virgin Islands as an elected representative, Mr. Redfield turned to radio
broadcasting and was host of “Straight Talk with Holland Redfield”. “The Virgin Islands community will
long remember former Senator Holland Redfield for his contribution to the people of the Virgin Islands
and for his voice, especially during hurricane events,” stated Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory. It is
for his service to the Virgin Islands community, that in May 2018, the University of the Virgin Islands
conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters unto Holland Redfield.
The members of the 34th Legislature offers condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Holland
Redfield. During his time in office and countless times on the radio, Redfield would say “The difference
between a statesman and a politician is that a politician works for the next election and a statesman works
for the next generation.” Holland Redfield worked for generations of Virgin Islanders to come. He will
be greatly missed. May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Congratulations to Khalisha Clarke on her graduation from the Virgin Islands Police Academy

,

The Honorable Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory and the entire legislative family congratulates Khalisha Clarke on her graduation from the Virgin Islands Police Academy.

Khalisha, as you gear up to Protect and Serve, we wish you safety and success during your career with us at the Virgin Islands Legislature as an Enforcement Officer!

Congratulations on this awesome achievement!

 

SEED BANKING PROGRAM BILL APPROVED BY COMMITTEE

St. Croix–The Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture, chaired by Senator Kenneth L. Gittens, met Wednesday at the Fritz E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room, St. Croix to hear from members of the fishing and farming industry regarding the overall administrations and operation of the industries.
The committee also considered Bill No.34-0047- sponsored by Senator Samuel Carrión – An Act requiring the Agriculture Department and the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) to create a plan to develop a seed banking program to store and preserve seeds for preservation against climate change, natural disasters, and other situations that could lead to the destruction of crops, plants, and other fauna and flora.
Dr. Usman Adamu, Director of UVI School of Agriculture, said the Bill Summary denotes a seed bank similar to what is in existence in large, well-maintained by the USDA and worldwide. He added that the Bill should instead establish a Community Seed Bank with local government oversight in conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) for support. He pointed out that the community seed bank should focus on the crops which are grown in the Virgin Islands.
Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Diana Collingwood said the department supported the bill and commended Senator Carrión and his staff for proposing this Bill that addresses a critical community food security need relative to preserving crop diversity through collecting and storing many of our local seeds.
She added that community partnerships with the government through the Department of Agriculture and UVI along with other stakeholders would be an integral component of the proposed making the seed bank project work. Collingwood noted that collaborative partnerships would offer support on the appropriate venues, sources of funding, organizational systems for tracking seeds, and people involved helping publicize the project and provide linkages to networks of contacts and clientele.
All members present at the hearing – Senators Gittens, Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Javan E. James Sr., Dwayne M. DeGraff, and Novelle E. Francis Jr., – voted in support of Bill 34-0047 and forwarded it to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.
Senators heard testimonies from Gene Brin, a local commercial fisherman and Dale Browne, local farmer who pointed out some of the concerns they have experienced that have made making a living difficult for them. Both described ways that process could be streamlined, how more assistance could be offered and expressed interest in being more intricately involved in the decision making for the industries.
Department of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Jean-Pierre Oriol, provided an update on his department’s efforts regarding hurricane and COVID-19 relief funds, reporting that beginning with their Fisheries Disaster Hurricane Relief Program, as of September 2, 2021, a total of $5,210,500 has been paid out since the program’s start in June 2020. He added that currently, 12 applications which were received in August requesting a total of just under 230,000 are being processed at DPNR.
According to Commissioner Oriol, DPNR had allocated approximately $9.7 million towards direct assistance to fishers. They have not received that level of funding in requests, so DPNR will be implementing a second payment of $5,000 to all fishers who previously applied to the program. Concerning the CARES ACT, Oriol mentioned that the federal Office of Management and Budget announced in September 2020 that it was making $939,000 available in stimulus funds to the Virgin Islands for fisheries-related losses.
Gary Halyard, Acting Director of the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Division said the Department of Labor has implemented a number of federal assistance programs to help through the difficult financial time for fishers and farmers. According to Halyard, all State and territories have been given until June 2022 to continue processing eligible claims filed before the program’s sunset which was on September 4, 2021
Senators at Wednesday meeting also included non-committee members Genevieve R. Whitaker and Samuel Carrión.

NOMINATIONS AND BILLS FORWARDED

ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary chaired by Sen. Milton E. Potter, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building and voted favorably for the nominations of Dr. Denese Marshal, Psy. D., MSCP, MS to serve on the Virgin Islands Board of Psychology, Semaj Johnson, Esq. for the Virgin Islands Board of Medical Examiners, William Newbold to serve on the Virgin Islands Historic Preservation Commission, and Laurence Richards, P.E. MSc, MBA for the Virgin Islands Board of General Construction Contractors. The nominations were sent to the Legislature by Governor Albert Bryan; set forth from Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and Title 3, Section 65a of the Virgin Islands Code. Separately, policymakers voted on several measures. All items approved will be forwarded to the Full Body for further consideration.

Marshall mentioned that her years of clinical experience and academic achievements qualify her to become a board member to safeguard the people of the Virgin Islands from the dangers of unqualified and improper practice of psychology. In addition to investigating complaints, Marshall’s goals are to review applications for licensing psychologists, renew licenses, and
enforce regulations. Meanwhile, Johnson indicated that his primary objectives are inclusive of advancing telemedicine, providing solutions that are applicable for handling violations, and reviewing complaints promptly. Moreover, Richards vowed to utilize work experience to protect the public from financial loss, sub-par construction, and to diligently review the qualifications of general construction contractors. Lastly, Newbold stated that he is looking forward to contributing to the ongoing projects of the Historic Preservation Commission. Sen. Potter noted that the nominees are qualified academically and professionally to serve on the perspective boards. More importantly, they are committed to the Virgin Islands. Regarding the resolutions, Potter stated that the honorees are examples of community icons who have risen to the top of their fields. Their outstanding contributions have improved the lives of Virgin Islanders.

Separately, Lawmakers voted and approved the following resolutions and bills:
• Bill No. 34-0061- A Resolution honoring and commending Mr. Hillary “Baga” Rezende for his many contributions to steel pan music and his dedicated service to the people of the Virgin Islands.
• Bill No. 34-0065- An Act honoring and commending Elridge Blake for his outstanding accomplishments in sports and contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands; naming the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in his honor and appropriates $10,000 to cover the cost and upkeep of the signage.
• Bill No. 34-0063- A Resolution honoring and commending St. Clair Alphonso “Whadablee” DeSilvia for his invaluable contribution to the continued development of Calypso music in the Virgin Islands.
• Bill No. 34-0064- An Act honoring and commending Athniel C. “Addie” Ottley for his tireless years of informing and educating the public on current and past community issues and by keeping the radio waves open in times of imminent danger to the community and for naming a roadway in his honor.
• Bill No. 34-0065- An Act honoring and commending Elridge Blake for his outstanding accomplishments in sports and contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands; naming the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in his honor and appropriates $10,000 to cover the cost and upkeep of the signage.
• Bill No. 34-0078- An Act to transfer certain real property from the Government of the Virgin Islands to the Virgin Islands Port Authority; to require the Virgin Islands Port Authority to pay certain sums to the Education Maintenance Fund.
• Bill No. 34-0083- An Act making an appropriation of $100,000 from the St. Thomas Capital Improvement Fund to the Department of Agriculture for the Humane Society of St. Thomas to be used as matching funds for the construction of an animal clinic.
• Bill No. 34-0040- An Act amending Title 27, chapter 1 of the Virgin Islands Code by adding a new subchapter Va. establishing the Nurse Licensure Compact to create a multistate nursing license.
• Bill No. 34-0053- An Act amending Virgin Islands Code, Title 17 chapter 5 by adding section 41i to establish the Emergency Medical Services Program; amending title 33, chapter 111 by adding section 3099a to establish the Emergency Medical Services High School Program Fund; and making a $160,000 appropriation from the Centennial Special Fund to the Department of Education to fund the Emergency Medical Services basic EMS education program.
• Bill No. 34-0051- An Act amending Virgin Islands Code, Title 19 chapter 75, section 4201 relating to fluoridation of water to lower the required minimum amount of fluoride in freshwater distributed for public consumption or consumption in any schools in the Virgin Islands; amending title 17, chapter 10, section 111 relating to the school health program to include a dental program; including dental preventive services and a school-based fluoride rinse program; amending Title 27, chapter 1, subchapter II, section 57 relating to exemption from licensure by the Board of Dental Examiners to exempt dentists licensed in other states and students or residents in schools or colleges of dentistry engaged in dental assessment and preventive treatments under the auspices of the school dental program; amending Title 33, chapter 111 relating to government funds to add section 3100cc to establish the School-Based Dental Prevention and Treatment Fund.
• Bill No. 34-0085- An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code, Title l4, section 192, relating to the importation of snakes and invasive species, to increase the fine for the unauthorized importation of snakes and to make technical amendments; amending Title 12, section §81d, relating to the Fish and Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, to extend the use of the fund to the regulation of the importation and control of non-indigenous evasive species; and amending Title 19 section 2709, relating to the prevention of the introduction of contagious or infectious animals, to provide that the quarantine of animals is at the owner’s expense.

Senators in attendance: Chairman Milton E. Potter, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Genevieve R. Whitaker, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Steven D. Payne, Sr. Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Franklin D. Johnson, Kenneth L. Gittens, Janelle K. Sarauw, and Carla J. Joseph. ###