Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr. has served the people of the Virgin Islands with distinction for over thirty years. He was honored to serve as the Vice-President of the 34th Legislature and adds that title to the many that he has accumulated during his career as a public servant. Senator Francis looks forward to continued service to the Virgin Islands as the President of the 35th Legislature.
During his legislative tenure, Senator Francis has built a strong record on the three EÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and a Q-energy, education, economic development and quality of life issues. Senator FrancisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ legislative initiatives are informed by his background in law enforcement, his experiences as a public school graduate and parent, his studies at John Jay College, and his many years as a small business owner. His roots on St. Croix and Antigua have also contributed to his Caribbean and global perspective and ardent belief that the Virgin Islands is second to none. His service to the people of this territory is also built on the strongest foundation of family. Novelle is married to Avril Johnson Francis and is a proud father, brother, uncle and nephew to those in his extensive family circle.
As a senator, Novelle has amassed a wealth of legislative victories-all that reflect sincere care and concern for the territory and people. In the 31st and 32nd Legislatures, Senator Francis championed legislation that gives local workers hiring preference on publicly funded projects (Act 7861) and expands the public school curriculum to require civic courses for all public high school students (Act 7934). In the 33rd Legislature, after four years of meetings with stakeholders, setbacks and multiple drafts, Novelle was successful in passing Act 8376, which establishes a South Shore Enterprise Zone on the island of St. Croix. The accomplishment of this legislation symbolizes his work ethic and tenacity and is a legacy of his commitment to the future development on the Ã¢â‚¬Å“big island.Ã¢â‚¬Â
During his term in the 34th Legislature, Senator Francis moved legislation that addresses school truancy in the Virgin Islands (Act 8530) and supports law enforcement through the implementation of the automated license plate reader system and the development of a pilot red light camera program (Act 8552). Additionally, Senator Francis moved legislation that further supports economic development in St. Croix by establishing the Tech Village at the University of the Virgin IslandsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Research and Technology Park. His work to support economic diversity and resiliency is further evident in the passage of Act 8464, which established the Catalyst Loan Revolving Fund and appropriated $5 million for the Fund and $1 million to market the South Shore Enterprise Zone. A long-standing advocate for accessible healthcare for all sectors of our community, Senator Francis is proudest of his collaboration with the Executive Branch and stakeholders to move the first comprehensive Virgin Islands Behavioral Healthcare Act forward.
In the term ahead, Novelle looks forward to continuing his work on juvenile justice reform, narrowing the school-to-prison pipeline, addressing the blighted and abandoned properties across the territory, and advancing the territoryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s healthcare and education infrastructure.