RULES COMMITTEE APPROVES BOARD NOMINEES AND BILLS

Published: Mar 23, 2022

ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Senator Milton E. Potter, convened a meeting at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall. Lawmakers considered nominations to the VI Board of Optometrical Examiners, The Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission, and the VI Real Estate Commission.

The body voted favorably on the following nominees: 

Dr. Carl Maschauer, O.D., to the VI Board of Optometrical Examiners, and the Honorable Carolyn Hermon-Percell, to the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission. The committee also voted favorably for nominations of Sharon Amey, Laurent Alfred, Yvonne Toussaint, Esq., and Barbara Harris to the Virgin Islands Real Estate Commission. All the nominations will be considered by the full body during tomorrow’s Legislative Session. 

Lawmakers also considered and approved the following bills:  

Bill No. 34-0101,  An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code title 3, chapters 1 and 15, title 23, chapter 7 and title 33, section 3032 to add a unit within the existing Virgin Islands Fire Service for emergency medical services, and to establish the Virgin Islands Fire and Emergency Medical Services to provide fire prevention services, fire suppression services, emergency medical services, and for the protection of life and property; to require the Fire Service and the Emergency Medical Services to develop and merger plan; and to provide for the transfer of employees from the Fire Service and the Emergency Medical Services to the Virgin Islands Fire and Emergency Medical Services; to provide for other related purposes. The measure was sponsored by Senators Donna A. Frett-Gregory and Novelle E. Francis, Jr., by Request of the Governor. The measure was co-sponsored by Senator Marvin A. Blyden. Senator Milton E. Potter stated that this bill was probably the most vetted bill in the history of the Virgin Islands Legislature. Senator Genevieve R. Whitaker initially voiced some concerns about the bill, stating that it should be held, ultimately not voting for the measure.  

Bill No. 34-0166, An Act amending title 22 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 27 by changing the name of the chapter to “The Virgin Islands Unauthorized and Surplus Lines Insurer Act” and by establishing the diligent search requirements that an authorized surplus lines broker must fulfill before placing coverage for certain lines of insurance with a surplus lines insurer in the Territory; and for other purposes. The measure was sponsored by Senator Donna A Frett Gregory by request of the Governor. 

Bill No. 34-0191, An Act amending title 22 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 55 relating to captive insurance companies to clarify the purpose of the chapter, and to prohibit the organization, within the Virgin Islands, of a special category of multi-state insurers that may not be required to comply with the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and adopted by the Territory as a NAIC-accredited jurisdiction. The measure was sponsored by Senator Donna A. Frett Gregory at the request of the Governor. 

Bill No. 34-0204, An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code title 22, chapter 58, relating to self-insurance and title 29, chapter 10, section 543, relating to the powers of the Port Authority, to authorize the Virgin Islands Port Authority to establish a self-insurance program to cover and manage certain risks. The measure was sponsored by Senator Kurt A. Vialet. Senator Kenneth L. Gittens voiced concern over what would happen if there was a major incident at the port. It was later clarified by Senator Milton E. Potter that this measure would not apply to such incidents.  

All four bills approved in today’s meeting will be considered by the full body during tomorrow’s Legislative Session. Senators attending today’s meeting included Milton E. Potter, Kenneth L. Gittens, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Carla J. Joseph, Franklin D. Johnson, Steven D. Payne, Sr., and Genevieve R. Whitaker.  

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