St. Thomas

St. John

St.Croix

SENATORS VOTED AND APPROVED SEVERAL NOMINATIONS, RESOLUTIONS, LEASE AGREEMENTS, AND BILLS, LAWMAKERS ALSO VOTED TO “EXPEL” SENATOR STEVEN PAYNE, SR.

Published: Jul 21, 2022

ST. THOMAS – Members of the 34th Legislature, led by Senate President Donna A. Frett-Gregory, convened in Legislative Session on Wednesday to consider a very lengthy agenda. The agenda consisted of several nominations, resolutions, and bills.

With a vote of 14 yeas and 1 nay, the Body moved to “expel” Senator Steven D. Payne, Sr. from the 34th Legislature. Policymakers voted and approved Bill No. 34-0287- which is a Resolution to impose sanctions against Senator Payne, Sr., for violations of the Code of Ethical Conduct of the Thirty-fourth Legislature of the Virgin Islands and for violations of the Legislature’s zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment, as amended.  

Furthermore, amendment, No. 34-588 was introduced and included a Rule 811(a) violation for failing to observe proper decorum, to conduct himself complimentary to the Senate and with dignity and respect for the high office which the Senator holds; and Rule 801 by failing to conduct himself at all times in a manner that reflects respectfully on the Legislature, among others. The amendment was offered by Alma Francis Heyliger, Janelle K. Sarauw, Genevieve R. Whitaker, Samuel Carrión, Novelle E. Francis, Jr. Donna Frett-Gregory, and Javan E. James Sr. 

Senators who voted in the affirmative of Bill No. 34-0287 are Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Genevieve R. Whitaker, Kurt A. Vialet, Franklin D. Johnson, Samuel Carrión, Carla J. Joseph, Javan E. James, Sr., Marvin A. Blyden, Milton E. Potter, Alma Francis Heyliger, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Janelle K. Sarauw, Kenneth L. Gittens. However, Senator Steven D. Payne, Sr. voted against it. 

Separately, lawmakers voted and approved various nominations and resolutions that were before them. Senator Donna Frett-Gregory shared sentiments on all nominees, stating of Diane E. Brooks, that we are in the middle of deep-dive discussions on developing agriculture in the Virgin Islands and conservation is a significant step forward. Richard T. Evangelista has made significant strides on the board and that Dr. Bradley Keys will be an insightful addition to his board. “Great things are ahead for the Virgin Islands,” she concluded. Collectively, senators agreed that the nominees have a wealth of professional experience and are academically qualified to make a positive impact on the perspective boards. The nominations were sent to the Legislature by Governor Albert Bryan; set forth from Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954 and Title 3, Section 65a of the Virgin Islands Code. 

 In Block I, senators voted in the affirmative for the following nominations and resolutions:  

  • Diane E. Brooks to serve on the Virgin Islands Conservation District. 
  • Richard T. Evangelista, Esq. to serve on the Virgin Islands Cannabis Advisory Board. 
  • Bradley Keys to serve on the Virgin Islands Chiropractic Board. 
  • Bill No. 34-0201- A Resolution honoring and commending Kemit-Amon Lewis for his outstanding service and contributions to the Marine Science industry in the Virgin Islands 
  • Bill No. 34-0202- A Resolution honoring and commending Eugene “Genix” Thomas posthumously for his outstanding contributions to the Virgin Islands community as a baseball, softball, and life coach.
  • Bill No. 34-0203- A Resolution honoring and commending Alvin Delano Burke, Sr. posthumously for his service and contributions to the sport of basketball, horse racing and to the people of the Virgin Islands.
  • Bill No. 34-0220- A Resolution honoring and commending the Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors, the University of the Virgin Islands, and the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture for 50 years of diligence in coordinating, promoting, and hosting the Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair, known as “Agrifest.”

In Block II, lawmakers voted and approved the following leases, zonings, and coastal zone management permits: 

  • Bill No. 34-0192- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement, and the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (1) Parcel No. 73C Estate Concordia, West End Quarter, St. Croix, (2) a portion of Parcel No. 10-B VICORP Lands, King Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands and (3) a portion of Parcel No. 1 Estate Cotton Valley, East End Quarter, St. Croix, to construct and operate a solid waste convenience center on each parcel. 
  • Bill No. 34-0193- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and E & C Development, LLC 8168 Crown Bay Marina. 
  • Bill No. 34-0195- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Inc., for Parcel No. 300-G Cruz Bay Town, Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John, Virgin Islands to build a building, wherein Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Inc., will provide welfare and charitable services, to include, among other services, a soup kitchen and dormitory facilities.
  • Bill No. 34-0196- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and Virgin Islands Telephone Corporation, d/b/a Viya. 
  • Bill No. 34-0199- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and Island Roads Corporation. 
  • Bill No. 34-0200- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority. 
  • Bill No. 34-0247- An Act ratifying the Governor’s approval of Major Coastal Zone Management Permit CZX-14-17W issued to Silver Bay Corporation. Bill No. 34-0256 An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. SCZ-6 for the island of St. Croix to change the zoning designation of Parcel No. 10-A-1-Rem. Estate Montpellier, Queens Quarter, St. Croix from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family).
  • Bill No. 34-0257- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. SJZ-3 for the island of St. John to change the zoning designation of Parcel No. 6R-2C Estate Carolina, No. 1 Coral Bay Quarter, St. John from C (Commercial) to B-2 (Business- Secondary/Neighborhood).
  • Bill No. 34-0258- An Act ratifying the Governor’s approval of Minor Coastal Zone Management Permit No. CZX-15-21 (L&W) issued to The Nature Conservancy. 
  • Bill No. 34-0259- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. STZ-9 for the island of St. Thomas to change the zoning designation of Parcel No. 56A Estate Smith Bay Nos 1, 2 & 3 East End Quarter, St. Thomas Virgin Islands from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-2 (Business-Secondary/Neighborhood). 
  • Bill No. 34-0261- An Act to amend Official Zoning Map No. SCZ-6 to allow for the rezoning of Parcel No. 10-M VICORP Land, Estate Fredensborg, King Quarter, St. Croix from A-1 (Agricultural Zone) to P (Public).
  • Bill No. 34-0262 An act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement and Vitelcom Cellular, Inc. d/b/a Viya Wireless VI E-Cell for the leasing of the Northwest portion of Parcel 3B Estate Susannaberg, No. 17A, Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Bill No. 34-0263- An Act to amend Official Zoning Map No. STZ-9 to allow for the rezoning of Parcel No. 64-31 Estate Smith Bay, No. 1, 2, & 3 East End Quarter, St. Thomas from R-3 (Residential Medium Density) to P (Public). 
  • Bill No. 34-0274- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement, and A-9 Trucking Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a N2N Water Supply for Parcel No. 1-20-1, Estate Bovoni, Nos. 1 and 2, Frenchman’s Bay Quarter, on the island of St. Thomas for the purpose of operating a water delivery, trucking, heavy equipment business, a repair garage, and for other related purposes.
  • Bill No. 34-0281- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. ZAC-22-5 for the island of St. Croix to change the zoning designation of Parcel No. 73C Estate Concordia, West End Quarter, St. Croix from R-3 (Residential-Medium Density) to P (Public).
  • Bill No. 34-0282- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. STZ-10 for the island of St. Thomas to change the zoning designation of Parcel C Estate Nazareth, No. 1 Red Hook Quarter from R-2 (Residential Low Density-One and Two Family) to P (Public). 
  • Bill No. 34-0284- An Act to amend Official Zoning Map No. SCZ-8 to allow for the rezoning of Parcel No. 1 Estate Cotton Valley, East End Quarter “B”, St. Croix from R-2 (Residential- Low Density-One and Two Family) to P (Public). 
  • Bill No. 34-0285- An Act to amend Official Zoning Map No. SJZ-1 to allow for the rezoning of Parcel No. 6 Remainder Estate Susannaberg, No. 17A Cruz Bay Quarter St. John from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to P (Public).

Lastly, in Block III, policymakers voted favorably for the following bills: 

  • Bill No. 34-0167- An Act amending Act No. 8473, section 1, subsection (q)(3) relating to a $2,175,000 appropriation to the Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation to provide for a grant of that sum to the Twin City Cricket Association for the development of the Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation St. Croix Cricket Field and providing for other related purposes.
  • Bill No. 34-0206- An Act amending Title 23, chapter 5, section 460 of the Virgin Islands Code, repealing reciprocal recognition of firearm licenses for persons that own firearms outside of the Virgin Islands.
  • Bill No. 34-0207- An Act repealing and re-enacting Title 14 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 41, section 843 relating to fraudulent claims upon the Government of the Virgin Islands, its officers, department, boards, commissions, or agencies.
  • Bill No. 34-0212- An Act amending Title 28, chapter 29, section 660 of the Virgin Islands Code to include additional requirements for the notice and publication of lists of abandoned property.
  • Bill No. 34-0225- An Act amending Title 5 Virgin Islands Code, subtitle 2, chapter 201, section 2539 to increase the penalties for failure to report certain crimes.
  • Bill No. 34-0226- An Act amending Act Nos. 8474, 8479, 8486, 8494, 8496, and 8498 to adjust the fiscal year 2022 budget to appropriate funds to the Casino Control Commission for capital outlay, WTJX for capital outlay and satellite uplink respectively, Elections System of the Virgin Islands for General Election, Virgin Islands Cricket Board, Department of Tourism for personnel and fringe benefits, Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure for personnel and fringe benefits, and 8% salary restoration Social Security and Medicare taxes reimbursement to the Economic Development Authority, Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center and the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority.
  • Bill No. 34-0230- An Act amending Title 18 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 5, section 110, relating to registration of electors to require the Supervisor of Elections to compile an active vs. inactive voter’s list within 90 days after each General Election starting with the General Election in 2022.
  • Bill No. 34-0255- An Act repealing and re-enacting Title 22 Virgin Islands Code sections 1443 and 1446 to implement revisions that were made to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Credit for Reinsurance Model Law.
  • Bill No. 34-0266- An act amending title 18, chapter 25, sections 661, 662, 664, and 665, relating to absentee voting, to provide for all persons eligible to vote in elections in the Virgin Islands to be entitled to vote in an election by absentee ballot.
  • Bill No. 34-0267- An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code, Title 3, chapter 18, section 302 relating the duties of the Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation to include the duty to develop neighborhood parks or recreation areas primarily designed to provide facilities for team, recreational or individual sports; amending title 3, chapter 22 section 401 to direct the Department to identify, supervise, administer, manage, regulate and control all sites within the Territorial Parks System; amending title 32, chapter 2 to establish the Division of Territorial Parks and Protected Areas within the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to establish and maintain a Territorial Parks System; amending title 33, chapter 111 to establish in the Treasury of the Virgin Islands The Territorial Parks System Revolving Fund and the Recreational Parks Revolving Fund; repealing Title 3, section 308, title 32, chapter 4; and for other related purposes.
  • Bill No. 34-0268- An Act amending Title 32 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 2A, section 32 relating to the Territorial Park Board of Trustees, to increase the membership of the Board, to authorize the Board to appoint two members, to limit service on the Board to two consecutive terms, and providing for other related purposes.
  • Bill No. 34-0239- An Act authorizing the members of the Board of Medical Examiners to serve temporarily as de facto board members of boards established under Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, section 415 if a board does not have enough members to establish a quorum.
  • Bill No. 34-0273- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement and 41 Subbase, LLC., for the leasing of Parcel No. 41 Subbase, Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
  • Bill No. 34-0176- An Act appropriating $325,000 from the Community Facility Trust Fund to the General Fund for the purpose of supporting the refurbishment of No. 40-B Company Street, Christiansted, and the program objectives of the Collective Collaboration, Inc., and requiring that the Collective Collaboration, Inc., comply with the financial disclosure requirements under 2 V.I.C. § 29.
  • Bill No. 34-0287- A Resolution to impose sanctions against the Honorable Senator Steven D. Payne, Sr., for violations of the Code of Ethical Conduct of the Thirty-fourth Legislature of the Virgin Islands and for violations of the Legislature’s zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment. 

All Senators were present at this Legislative Session.  

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