ST. THOMAS- Members of the 34th Legislature, led by Senate President Donna A. Frett-Gregory, convened in Legislative Session at the Capitol Building and voted favorably for nominations to the Virgin Islands Board of Psychology Examiners, the Virgin Islands Board of Medical Examiners, the Virgin Islands Historic Preservation Commission, the Virgin Islands Board of General Construction Contractors, the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees, and the Virgin Islands Police Department. Furthermore, lawmakers voted in the affirmative for several bills, resolutions, and zonings map amendments. All approved items will be forwarded to the Governor for further consideration.
Referring to the nominations and resolutions, Senator Frett-Gregory applauded the nominees for their willingness to serve on their appointed Boards. She cautioned Nominee Martinez, of the importance to remember that leaders stand on the back of those who came before them. A lot of policing strategies initiated by Former Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor are budding into fruition. “It is important to remember, but those who came before us, we are nothing,” Senator Frett-Gregory concluded. Overall, policymakers noted that the nominees are academically and professionally qualified to impact the Virgin Islands positively.
Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. sent the nominations to the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, set forth from Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954 and Title 3, Section 65a of the Virgin Islands Code. Ultimately, lawmakers voted affirmatively for the following nominations:
• Dr. Denese Marshall, Psy.D. for the V.I. Board of Psychology Examiners
• Semaj J. Johnson, Esq. for the V.I. Board of Medical Examiners
• William Newbold for the V.I. Historic Preservation Commission
• Laurence J. Richards, P.E., MBA for the V.I. Board of General Construction Contractors
• Oran Roebuck for the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees
• Ray Martinez Commissioner for the V.I. Police Department
Similarly, senators voted in the affirmative for the following Resolutions:
• Bill No. 34-0061- A Resolution honoring and commending Mr. Hillary “Baga” Rezende for his many contributions to steelpan music and his dedicated service to the people of the Virgin Islands.
• 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- A Resolution 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- A Resolution 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. 34-0074- A Resolution honoring and commending Holland L. Redfield II posthumously for his expansive and continued contributions to the island of St. Croix and the entire Virgin Islands community, through his roles in various areas of service in the territory and awarding him the Virgin Islands Medal of Honor for Public Service posthumously.
Senators voted in the affirmative for the following Zoning Map Amendments:
• Bill No. 34-0158- An Act to rezone Plot No. 11-H Estate Montpellier, Queen Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to R-3 (Residential-Medium Density).
• Bill No. 34-0159- An Act to rezone Plot No. 59-A Estate Glynn, Queen Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, from C (Commercial) to B-3 (Business-Scattered).
• Bill No. 34-0160- An Act to rezone Plots Nos. 1-A Estate Little Princess, 1-H Estate Golden Rock, and Rem. Plot No. HA Estate Golden Rock, Company Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to R-3 (Residential-Medium Density).
• Bill No. 34-0161- An Act to rezone Plot No. 48-A Estate La Vallee, Northside Quarter “B”, St. Croix, Virgin Islands from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to R-3 (Residential Medium Density).
• Bill No. 34-0162- An Act to rezone Plot No. 136 Estate St. George, Prince Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-3 (Business-Scattered).
• Bill No. 34-0163- An Act to rezone Parcel No. 10D Estate Mariendahl, No. 4 Red Hook Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-3 (Business-Scattered).
• Bill No. 34-0164- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. STZ-4 for the island of St. Thomas to change the zoning designation of Parcel Nos. 5-F-Rem. and 5-A-1 Estate Agnes Fancy, No. 8- H Great Northside Quarter, St. Thomas from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two-Family).
• Bill No. 34-0165- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. STZ-9 for the island of St. Thomas to change the zoning designation of Parcel No. 32 Remainder Estate Frydendahl, No. 4 East End Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands from B-4 (Business-Residential Areas) to B-3 (Business-Scattered).
Policymakers voted favorably for the following measures:
• Bill No. 34-0040- An Act amending Title 27, chapter 1 of the Virgin Islands Code by adding a new subchapter V(a) establishing the Nurse Licensure Compact to create a multistate nursing license.
• Bill No. 34-0047- An Act requiring the Department of Agriculture and the University of the Virgin Islands to create a plan to develop a community seed banking program to store and preserve seeds for preservation against climate change, natural disasters, and other situations that could lead to the total annihilation of crops, plants, and other fauna and flora
• Bill No. 34-0051- An Act amending Title 19 Virgin Islands Code, 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 67 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. 34-0053- 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. 34-0062- An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 5, section 65a relating to filling vacancies on boards and commissions by adding subsection (g) to require memberships on boards and commissions to be gender-balanced.
• Bill No. 34-0069- An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code, Title 3, chapter 9, section 134a relating to the Department of Public Works, Division of Capital Improvements by adding subsection (c) to define capital improvement project”; and amending Title 31, chapter 1, relating to the functions of the Commissioner of Public Works by adding a new subsection (b) and (c) to direct the Commissioner of Public Works to maintain a master contract for providing governmental entities with architectural and engineering services for construction, expansion, renovation, major maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement projects that cost less than $500,000 over the life of the project and repealing Title 31, chapter 1, section 3.
• 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. 34-0081- An Act amending Title 27 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 17 relating to barbering and cosmetology services to reflect the barbering and cosmetology services that are being currently offered and to rename the chapter and the Board to reflect the changes.
• Bill No. 34-0085- An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code, Title 14, 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.
• Bill No. 34-0097- An Act repealing and reenacting Title 17 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 11, section 130, relating to authority to discipline pupils in schools; and repealing Title 17 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 9, subchapter I, section 87, relating to the punishment of pupils by school officials.
• Bill No. 34-0099- An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 25, sections 530 (g) and chapter 27, section 705(c), changing the mandatory retirement age of police officers, firefighters, and correction officers from 55 to 65.
• Bill No. 34-0089- An Act appropriating $920,000 to the Virgin Islands Port Authority for the construction of an aesthetically pleasing Cruz Bay fish market and to modify the existing concrete boat ramp and bulkhead at the Little Cruz Bay Dock, Cruz Bay Quarter; and appropriating $580,000 to the Department of Public Works for the construction of a boat dock and slipway at Enighed Pond on the island of St. John.
The Body also special order and approved:
• Bill No. 34-0145- An Act approving the conveyance of Parcels 5-E and 5-F all of VICORP Land, Prince Quarter, St. Croix, the Virgin Islands to the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park Corporation and for other related purposes; rezoning Remainder Parcel 5-E from A-1 (Agricultural Zone) to A-29 (Agricultural Zone); rezoning Parcel 5-F from A-1 to B-3 (Business-Scattered); and providing for other related purposes.
• Bill No. 34-0168- An Act amending Title 32 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 21, article VI, section 435, relating to the licensing of approved hotels under the Virgin Islands Casino and Resort Control Act by removing the licensing requirement that a Casino IV establishment has banquet facilities to accommodate a minimum of 400 persons.
Senators attending today’s Senate Session were: Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Genevieve R. Whitaker, Kurt A. Vialet, Franklin D. Johnson, Janette K. Sarauw, Samuel Carrión, Carla J. Joseph, Javan E. James, Sr., Marvin A. Blyden, Alma Francis Heyliger, and Steven D. Payne, Sr.