Published: Jul 13, 2023

ST. THOMAS—Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Senator Diane T. Capehart, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building. Lawmakers voted and approved several measures, including the governor’s nomination. All approved items on the agenda will be forwarded to the full body for further consideration.

Committee members voted favorably for the nomination of Lisa M. Alejandro to serve as a Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Property & Procurement (DPP). The nomination was sent to the Legislature by Governor Albert Bryan and set forth in Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954 and Title 3, Section 65a, of the Virgin Islands Code. Senator Capehart mentioned that the nominee has a wealth of knowledge and experience to serve as commissioner.

Alejandro indicated that she is aware of the opportunities and challenges that the Government’s fleet, properties, assets, and other purchases present. One of her goals is to use tracking data to maintain and extend the life of the GVI’s fleet. The other is to move DPP away from obsolete bureaucracies and toward an upgraded property management and procurement system. Additional objectives include completing the e-procurement integration, assessing current property and procurement legislation, and finishing the Government’s fixed assets, as well as updating the transportation process and procedural manuals. In response to Senator Capehart’s inquiry regarding the procedures once an employee is in an accident while driving a government vehicle, Alejandro stated the process is the same compared to a vehicular accident in a private car.

Separately, lawmakers voted in the affirmative for the following measures:

  • Bill No. 35-0036 – An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 16, section 274, subsection (f), paragraph (11) to clarify the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director of the Taxicab Commission. Sponsored by Senators Angel L. Bolques, Jr. and Marvin A. Blyden; Co-sponsored by Senator Kenneth L. Gittens.
  • Bill No. 35-0075 – An Act to designate the third Monday in February as Virgin Islands Governors Day. Sponsored by Senators Angel L. Bolques, Jr. and Marvin A. Blyden.
  • Bill No. 35-0078 – An Act requiring the Commissioner of the Department of Tourism to conduct a survey to assist in the establishment of an official dish and dessert of the Virgin Islands. Sponsored by Senators Angel L. Bolques, Jr. and Marvin A. Blyden.
  • Bill No. 35-0013 – An Act amending Title 20 Virgin Islands Code, part II, chapter 35, relating to the issuance of limited local-purpose identification cards and operators’ licenses. Sponsored by Senators Samuel Carrión, Angel L. Bolques, Jr., and Kenneth L. Gittens; Co-sponsors: Marvin A. Blyden and Ray Fonseca.
  • Bill No. 35-0029 – An Act honoring and commending Donna Marie Christian Christiansen, M.D., for her tireless contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands in the medical field and representation in the United States Congress. Sponsored by Senators Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Angel L. Bolques, Jr. and Carla J. Joseph.
  • Bill No. 35-0033An Act honoring and commending Mr. Benburin “Benny” Stephens posthumously for his heroism in saving the lives of a mother and her children and to rename the Bovoni Road (Route No. 30), specifically from the entrance of the Abattoir to the entrance of the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School, “The Benburin “Benny” Stephens Drive.” Sponsored by Senators Ray Fonseca, Marvin A. Blyden, Angel L. Bolques, Jr.
  • Bill No. 35-0035 – An Act amending Title 20 Virgin Islands Code, part II, chapter 39 section 436 (b), expanding the definition of “disabled veteran” for the purposes of eligibility for a handicapped window decal. Sponsored by Senators Franklin D. Johnson and Alma Francis Heyliger.
  • Bill No. 35-0041 – An Act awarding the Virgin Islands Medal of Honor posthumously to former Senator Edgar Milton Iles for his commendable public service and contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands. Sponsored by Senators Kenneth L. Gittens and Carla J. Joseph.
  • Bill No. 35-0100 – A Resolution honoring and commending Music in Motion School of Higher Dance Education and its founder, Charlita Schuster, on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the Music in Motion Dance Academy. Sponsored by Senator Samuel Carrion.
  • Bill No. 35-0101 – A Resolution honoring and commending Dr. Olaf “Bronco” Hendricks for his tireless years of remarkable and invaluable contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands in the field of psychiatry, his advocacy for social justice for individuals with behavioral health and substance use issues, and for his music. Sponsored by Senators Franklin Johnson and Carla J. Joseph.

The following senators attended the meeting: Diane T. Capehart, Franklin D. Johnson, Carla J. Joseph, Angel Bolques, Jr., Ray Fonseca, Milton E. Potter, and Kenneth L. Gittens.                                                                                               ###

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