LAWMAKERS ADVANCE TWO NOMINATIONS & THIRTY-TWO BUDGET BILLS

Published: Sep 28, 2020

  1. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary chaired by Sen. Janelle K. Sarauw, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building on Monday, and voted favorably for two nominees and several measures as it pertains to the FY 2021 Executive Budget. The nominations were sent to the Legislature by the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands Albert Bryan; set forth from Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and Title 3, Section 65a of the Virgin Islands Code. All approved items will be forwarded to the Full Body for further consideration.

The nominees are Alphonso Andrews, Esq. to serve as a Judge for the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands for the District of St. Croix; and Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte, Esq. to serve as a Judge for the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands for the District of St. Thomas-St. John. To become a Judge, the nominees must meet all requirements and qualifications per the statutory as set forth in Title 4, Section 72(b) of the Virgin Islands Code. The term of the appointment is for six years.

Regarding the Judiciary System and serving as a Judge for the Superior Court Andrews indicated that he would continue to uphold, follow, and execute the law while serving on the bench. “In my view, these laws and policies promote a harmonious working environment and boost employee morale and productivity.  They also serve to avoid litigation and monetary damages,” Andrews said. Furthermore, he mentioned that there is not a need for the Judicial System to reform because it is moving a good direction. Sen. Myron Jackson stated that due to Andrews’ academic and work experience the nominee is highly qualified to continue serving as a Judge.  Echoing that sentiment, Sen. Kenneth Gittens mentioned that the nominee has extensive experience and knowledge of both the local and federal laws.  In response to Sen. Jackson’s inquiry regarding gun violence in the Territory, Andrews noted that he does not have a plan to curtail criminal activities. However, from the bench, he can judge each case fairly that is assigned to the court.

Tejo-Sprotte vowed to strive to provide a high level of “zealousness as a member of the judiciary in rendering sound, reasoned decisions while remaining independent, fair, and impartial.” In a line of questing by Sen. Sarauw, Tejo-Sprotte noted that her most proudful moment is when she was able to give families of victims closure, work with them on resolving matters, and allowing the families the opportunity to address the court on how their lives were affected. Furthermore, Tejo-Sprotte indicated that her parents are her remodels. In response to Sen. Javan James, Sr.’s inquiry regarding reforming the Judicial System, Tejo-Sprotte mentioned that reform is moving at a good pace. Implementing online filing and processing is a great step forward for the Judicial System of the Virgin Islands because it can generate income for the economy by allowing individuals to pay traffic citations online and stay current with their court cases. In response to further inquiry by Sen. Steven Payne, Sr. Tejo-Sprotte noted that regarding conflict of interest while on the bench all cases must be handled in compliance with the statutory. She will recuse herself from the case and/or confer with colleagues as well.

Separately, lawmakers voted and approved the following measures under closed rule:

  • Bill No. 33-0377- 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, 2020 through September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0378- 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, 2020 to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0379- 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, 2020 to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0380- 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, 2020 to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0381- 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, 2020, to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0382- 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, 2020, to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0383- An Act providing an appropriation from the Caribbean Basin Initiative Fund for the Fiscal Year October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0384- 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, 2020, to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0385- An Act providing an appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Board of Elections and the Office of the Supervisor the fiscal year October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021(Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0386- An Act providing for the lump sum appropriation from the Health Revolving Fund for fiscal year October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021(Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0387- 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, 2020, to September 30, 2021(Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0388- An Act to provide for the 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, 2020 through September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0389- 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, 2020, through September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0390- An Act providing an appropriation for the sum of $14,500,000 from the Virgin Islands Insurance Guaranty Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0391- 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 $20,000,000 amount which is set to increase to $50,000,000 on September 30, 2020 to $30,000,000 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0392- An Act providing an appropriation for the sum of $1,100,000 from the Interest Earned on Debt Services Reserves as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0393- An Act providing an appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund for the fiscal year October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0394- An Act providing an appropriation for the operation of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0395- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION IN THE SUM OF $78,960 FROM THE V.I. LOTTERY AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0396- 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, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0397- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION TO THE PUBLIC SERVICES COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2020 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 FOR OPERATING EXPENSES. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0398- 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, 2020 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0400- 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, 2020 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0401- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS TAXICAB COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0402- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION FROM THE TOURISM ADVERTISING REVOLVING FUND TO THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, 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. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0403- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION FROM THE TOURISM ADVERTISING REVOLVING FUND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND DEPARTMENT OF SPORTS, PARKS AND RECREATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2020 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0404- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE SUM OF $10,000,000 FROM THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENRAL FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0405- AN ACT PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0406- 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, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0407- AN ACT TO MAKE FY20 FUNDS AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED BY AMENDING ACT NO. 8219, THEREBY PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE RENOVATION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S GUIRTY HOUSE AND ACT NO. 8245 THEREBY PROVIDING FUNDS FOR DPNR’S OFFICE RELOCATION; DOE’S VI HISTORY BOOKS, LEGISLATIVE CIVIC EDUCATION INITIATIVE, STEM SUMMER PROJECT, CLAUDE O. MARKOE STEELPAN TROLLEY, LEGVI’S GASOLINE EXCISE TAX CONSULTANT/LOBBYIST; AND DSPR FUNDS FOR THE SPORTS COMMISSION AND TRACK AND FIELD FEDERATION EQUIPMENT (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0408- 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, 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2021. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0409- AN ACT AMENDING ACT NO. 8171, SECTION 1(B) BY CHANGING GERS DIRECT CONTRIBUTION TO OUTSTANDING EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS ONLY. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • BILL NO. 33-0413- AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION OF $250,000 FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS FOR ACQUIRING CANNABIS RELATED SOFTWARE. (Sponsored by Senator Novelle Francis, Senator Kurt Vialet)
  • Bill No. 33-0370- An Act appropriating $800,000 to the Virgin Islands Bureau of Motor Vehicles to renovate a building located at # 100 Crown Bay, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (Sponsored by Senator Janelle K. Sarauw, Senator Kurt A. Vialet, Senator Marvin Blyden)

 

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