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SANDBAG DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH

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Sand bag distribution locations will be opened throughout the territory beginning on Monday, September 4, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following locations:

St. Croix:

Department of Public Works, Anna’s Hope
Department of Public Works, Frederiksted
Grove Fire Station
Cotton Valley Fire Station
St. Thomas:

Department of Public Works
Bordeaux Fire Station
Tutu Fire Station
St. John:

Department of Public Works

Courtesy of the VITEMA VI-Alert

SENATE PRESIDENT JACKSON URGES VIRGIN ISLANDERS TO BE PREPARED

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St. Croix—Senate President Myron D. Jackson said in light of the recent reports on Hurricane Irma, residents of the territory need to take precautionary measures for expected landfall early next week.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) there are certain measures that need to be adhered to:

  • Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows
  • Secure loose items on property
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings
  • Listen to local area radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates
  • Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply
  • Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking
  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or for washing
  • Fill your gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances
  • Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box
  • Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flash drive

Senate President Jackson said taking the necessary steps is one way of preparing for any uncertainty that we may experience as a people. He concluded by saying, be safe and may God guide us through this.

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TWO-YEAR MORATORIUM AND LOCAL VENDOR MEASURE HELD IN COMMITTEE

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St. Croix–The Committee on Government Affairs, Veterans, Energy and Environmental Protection, chaired by Senator Sammuel Sanes, met on Friday in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room on St. Croix to receive testimony on several measures.

Bill No. 32-0062, proposed by Sen. Myron Jackson, sought to amend Title 12, Virgin Islands Code, by establishing the Community and Heritage Tree Law of the Virgin Islands. “The purpose of Bill No. 32-0062 is to protect our heritage trees, native trees and cultural landscape,” said Jackson. ‘Heritage tree’ means any tree, public or private, which is determined pursuant to this chapter to be of intrinsic value to the public because of its species, size, age, location, ecological importance, historical and cultural significance, aesthetic value, economic benefit, special character, or community benefit.

“It will become vital that homeowners and businesses replant native trees, to prevent losing an integral part of our natural heritage as the Virgin Islands continues to develop as an urban and commercial center,” stated Mario A. Francis, Chairman of the U.S. Virgin Islands Urban & Community Forestry Council, Inc. The measure was held in Committee for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0133, proposed by Sen. Sammuel Sanes, sought to amend Title 27, VI Code by mandating the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs to impose a 2-year moratorium on the issuance of new licenses and establishes a limit on the number of gas station licenses issued on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Devin Carrington Esq., Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, stated that the measure would be more effective by addressing the proximity of gas stations to residential areas. The bill was held in Committee for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0131, also proposed by Sen. Sanes, sought to revise Title 30, chapter 5, section 116 of the VI Code, authorizing the electric utility company to give local suppliers priority in the purchase of supplies, material, equipment and contractual services. The measure was held in Committee for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0037, an Act authorizing the Government of the Virgin Islands through its departments, bureaus, agencies and instrumentalities to implement flextime or staggered time at its discretion. Proposed by Senators Jean Forde and Myron Jackson, the measure provides extended service hours without increasing personnel costs or impairing the services and functions of any departments, bureaus, agencies or instrumentalities of the executive branch. The measure was held in Committee at the call of the Chairman.

Committee members present were: Chairman Sammuel Sanes, Senators Marvin Blyden, Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, Jean Forde, and Tregenza Roach. Non-Committee members were Senators Myron Jackson and Brian Smith.

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OTAG, DSPR AND DOL DEFEND FY 2018 BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS

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St. Croix–The Committee on Finance, chaired by Senator Kurt A. Vialet, met on Wednesday in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room on St. Croix for its Fiscal Year 2018 budget hearing from the Office of the Adjutant General (OTAG), Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation (DSPR), and the Department of Labor (DOL).

According to Brigadier General, Deborah Howell OTAG is requesting an annual appropriation of $1,102,317 in territorial funds slightly lower than last year’s request. She said the requested FY2018 fund was sufficient to support their priorities. She said the V.I. Government payroll supports 34 territorial employees; 26 are 100-percent federally funded including 17 Base Security Guards, 3 are 75-percent federally funded and 5 are 100-percent territorially funded. She pointed out that the federal full-time support force of 288 personnel exists to ensure that they are always ready.

In summarizing the budget request, Sylma Sablon, Director of Administration and Business Management said the appropriation of $60,800 for the miscellaneous budget of OTAG for FY 2018 is earmarked for the National Guard’s Pension Fund. She added that a stipend of $100 monthly is paid to every qualified retired National Guard member who has reached the age of 55 and who is eligible.

In regards to the $5,400,051 projected federal funds that support the master cooperative agreement for FY2018, Sablon said $937,270 is for payroll of the Army National Guard which employ 23 full-time security Guards; $3,337,565 support the facilities and maintenance program; $193,000 is projected to cover the telecommunications program; $426,902 support environmental program; $102,616 for the Air National Guard operating and maintenance program; $122,100 for the distance learning program; $198,678 support the electrical security system; and $81,920 for the anti-terrorism program.

With the $1,102,317 from the General Fund; the $60,000 miscellaneous fund; and the $5,400,051 federal projected allocation of $5,400,051, the total Funding projected for OTAG amounted to $6, 502,368.

Colonel Deborah Lobbenmeier, United States Property and Fiscal Officer for the V.I. National Guard said their federal revenue projected for the V.I. National Guard for FY2018 is approximately $48.4 million. This she added is a $2.3 million increased over FY2017.

According Lebbenmeier, of the $48.4 million, it includes $27.3 million for full-time employees’ payroll; $4.6 million for part-time soldiers; $5.0 million for services and supplies; $6.6 million for installation support and $4.7 million for operations and training. She pointed out, in addition to their budget, they estimate an additional two to three million dollars to enter the territory from indirect support to the National Guard.

Lebbenmeier told the Committee that the federal monies received demonstrate the critical importance of the local government providing its share of matching funds to execute federal dollars and federal funding at the recommended level. She added that they have estimated that during FY2018, 75-percent or approximately $36.3 million will remain in the Virgin Islands economy.

Pedro Cruz, Commissioner of DSPR said their proposed FY2018 budget is $6,602,054 and it consists of $3,513,720 for Personnel Services; $1,805,733 for Fringe Benefits; $227,319 for Supplies; $307,548 for other services; and $747,734 for Utilities. The Commissioner added that they receive a quarterly allotment from the Casino Revenue Fund where in FY2016 they received $145,235 and for the past two quarters of FY2017, they have received $68,224.

In respect to the Territorial Parks Fund, he said last FY they collected $271,797 and for FY2017 to date, they have collected $133,590. These collections, he noted, derived from parks’ fees, rentals, and charges for the use or operation of facilities, concessions, open spaces, and recreation facilities.

As for the Athletics Fund, he said in FY2016 they have collected $51,388 and for FY2017, to date, they have collected $21,512. These fees are derived from the collection of sports and recreation programs.

In reference to DSPR Revenue, they have 91 vendor spaces territory wide—43 in the District of St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island and 48 in the District of St. Croix. Through these spaces and facilities, they have collected $133,590.

According to the Commissioner, The Paul E. Joseph Stadium/Terrence Martin Softball Park/Festival Village is in progress. He said after the surcharge earthwork and testing required for the geotechnical report is completed, there will be a period of inactivity for 90 days. This is necessary in order to allow the ground to settle and be firm for the construction of the stadium. He added that during the process of the surcharge earthwork, 30 local individuals have been hired. This number will dramatically increase during construction phase.

Other testifiers for DSPR were: Calvert White, Assistant Commissioner, District of St. Thomas/St. John; Craig Williams, Assistant Commissioner, District of St. Croix; and Elroy Hill, Deputy Director, St. John.

Catherine Hendry, Commissioner of DOL said their recommended funding for FY2018 is $5,057,357—$3,912,935 from the General Fund and $1,144,422 from the Government Insurance Fund. The total non-appropriated local funding is $798,156 and non-appropriated federal funding is $6,353,294 for a total budget of $12,208,807. According to her, this budget does not include the $1,500,000 under the miscellaneous section which is specifically to pay the interest payment on the Unemployment Trust Fund loan.

According to Commissioner Hendry, DOL Unemployment Division processed 1,516 new claims, paid $7,132,303 in benefits to eligible claims, collected $2,615,246 in contributions owed by employers, and collected $528,124 in surcharge. She added that in regards to the Worker’s Compensation Administration, they have handled 4,089 active cases; processed payments that resulted in $1,268,106 million being disbursed to injured workers; and paid $2,171,007 to medical services providers.

Other testifiers for DOL were: Wean Williams Farrell, Assistant Commissioner; Atty. Nesta Christian-Hendrickson, Legal Counsel; Chivonne Romnry-Lee, Director of Business and Administration; and Gary Halyard, Director of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Committee members at Wednesday’s budget hearing were: Chairman Kurt A. Vialet, Marvin Blyden, Neville James, Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Brian Smith, Tregenza Roach, and Dwayne DeGraff. Non-Committee members were Senators Alicia “Chucky” Hansen and Novelle Francis, Jr.

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NOISE POLLUTION ACT FORWARDED TO COMMITTEE ON RULES AND JUDICIARY

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ST. CROIX—The Committee on Government Affairs, Veterans, Energy and Environmental Protection, chaired by Senator Sammuel Sanes, met Wednesday in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room to receive testimonies and consider a measure regarding noise pollution.

Bill No. 32-0011, proposed by Sen. Novelle E. Francis, Jr., amends Title 19 Virgin Islands Code, part VI, chapter 62. The measure clarified the definition of noise disturbance and permissible sound levels for commercial, non-commercial vehicles and motorcycles, and addressed sound levels for music emanating from cars and business establishments.

The measure eliminates the requirement for special permits for weekend activities and as amended, mandates that “After 11:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m., all owners of nightclubs, taverns or bars must not make, cause or permit to be made or caused continuous or non-continuous noise or sound from live entertainment that exceeds an interior rating of 90 decibels (90 dBA) over a three minute time period on an approved sound meter when measured within the establishment at a distance of 100 ft. from the source”.

Penalties for failure to comply with the Noise Pollution Act are as follows:

• Any person who refuses to submit to a sound level test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer is guilty of a civil offense punishable by a fine of $250.

• Any person convicted of violating section 2042 of this chapter is guilty of a civil offense punishable by a fine of $500.

• Any person is subject to a fine of $1,000 for that violation and each subsequent violation.

The owner of any business at which a sound or sounds emanate that constitute a noise disturbance or exceed the noise limit is subject to a fine of $250 for the first violation, a $500 fine for the second, a $1,000 fine for the third and each violation thereafter. Upon a third violation, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, in addition to imposing a fine of $1,000, shall call the person before the DLCA to show cause why the person’s business license should not be suspended or revoked.

The measure authorizes the DLCA and the Department of Health as entities in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Police Department to determine whether violations have taken place and enforce the Noise Pollution Control Act. Mark A. Corneiro, Deputy Chief of Police provided testimony in support of the measure and encouraged input by the Attorney General’s Office to address any issues that may put the VIPD at a disadvantage.

Howard A. Forbes, Sr., Acting Director of the Division of Environmental Enforcement of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources informed the members of the body that the Division has no jurisdiction on noise pollution, nor the equipment and specialized training required to handle noise complaints, but will provide the VIPD any assistance with the source of the complaint.

Dr. Wincess Gentius, Clinical Doctor of Audiology, represented the Dept. of Health in her testimony. “The context of sound is subjective,” she stated. “Although the specifics of Bill No. 32-0011 are timely, the Department of Health is unable to support these enforcement efforts. It is imperative that the framework of this legislation include enforcement tools equipment and staffing in order to for this bill to have a real impact in the lives of our residents”.

The Committee voted in favor of the Bill as amended and sent it to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.

Committee members at Wednesday’s meeting were: Chairman Senator Sammuel Sanes, Marvin Blyden, Jean Forde, Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, and Janette Millin-Young. Non-Committee members present were Senators Brian Smith and Novelle Francis, Jr.

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IMMEDIATE CLOSURE OF THE LAGOON STREET COMPLEX ON ST. CROIX

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For Immediate Release:

June 13, 2017

 

ST. CROIXThe Legislature of the Virgin Islands announces the immediate closure of the Lagoon Street Complex on St. Croix for the remainder of the day. The closure is a result of a break in the Lagoon Street Pump Station’s force main.

 

The public is asked to direct all legislative inquiries to our Legislative offices on St. Thomas at (340) 774-0880.

Bingley G. Richardson, Sr.’s Funeral Info

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Former Senate President – the late Bingley G. Richardson, Sr. – to lie in state at the Capitol Building

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of former Senate President Bingley G. Richardson, Sr., who died on Friday May 27, 2017. Senator Richardson served in the 17th 18th and 20th Legislatures.

The viewing and funeral service arrangements for Senator Richardson are as follows:

  • Memorial tributes and reflections will take place on Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall; St Thomas.
  • Senate President Richardson will Lie in State for public viewing on Friday, June 9, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
  • The funeral service will be on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Christchurch Methodist Church Market Square.
  • Interment will be at Western Cemetery No. 3.

Anyone wishing to send condolences and tributes to the family should do so no later than Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 12:00 Noon. Letters of condolences and tributes can be e-mailed to senbgrichardsonsr@aol.com.

Please join Senate President Myron D. Jackson and the 32nd Legislature in expressing condolences to the family and friends of the late Senator Bingley G. Richardson, Sr. Let us remember to keep the family in our prayers.

WASTE MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE BILLS VOTED OUT OF FINANCE COMMITTEE

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ST. CROIX–The Committee on Finance, chaired by Senator Kurt A. Vialet, met Thursday in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room, St. Croix. The committee took testimonies on two pieces of proposed legislations, Bill No.32-0066 and Bill No.32-0042.

Bill No.32-0066 proposed by Senator Marvin A. Blyden is an act making an appropriation of $500,000 from the Anti-Liter and Beautification Fund to the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (WMA) for the purchase of surveillance cameras to be installed at selected bin sites.

Senator Blyden said the appropriation was necessary due to individuals that are going to bin sites and are illegally dumping garbage in all sorts of manner without regards to littering. He added that it’s time we start to issue citations to violators and the best way we can do this is by installing surveillance cameras at the sites.

Testifying in support of Bill No.32-0066 was Vincent Ebbesen, Solid Waste Director, WMA, who said unmanned bin sites are open to the public for use throughout the day and night. He added that surveillance cameras will help the Authority monitor the unmanned bin sites for illegal dumping, unsanitary practices and other activities that pose a health risk.

According to Ebbesen, the cameras will help WMA assess fines for littering and illegal dumping activities. In addition, the cameras will allow WMA to monitor the bin sites for cleanliness by scheduling additional pickup services.

Clarina Modeste Elliott, Executive Assistant Commissioner of Finance, appearing on behalf of Commissioner Valdamier Collens said based on their review of the condition of the proposed funding source and the relevance of its use, they support the legislation as proposed. She pointed out that with the collection of these fines or fees generated would afford the opportunity for the replenishment and sustainability of the Anti-Liter and Beautification Fund.

Bill No. 32-0042, proposed by Senator Neville James, is an act repealing the Virgin Islands Code where necessary and adding a chapter entitled, “The Virgin Islands Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act.”

This repeal, according to Senator James, is to meet the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and update the insurance laws of the Territory placing them on par with other United States jurisdictions, and providing greater and more effective protection to the policyholders of the Virgin Islands.

Gwendolyn Hall Brady, Director of the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation said in her testimony that the territory is required to adopt Bill No.32-0042 as part of the requirements to obtain accreditation by the NAIC.

Director Brady said the NAIC is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. Territories, which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to Director Brady, accreditation is the designation given by NAIC to a state or territory that has demonstrated that it has met and continues to meet all required legal, financial and organizational standards. A significant aspect of the Bill pointed out Director Brady, is that it gives to the Commissioner of Insurance the authority to examine, not only the insurance companies within the holding company system, but all of the insurer’s affiliates that are also a part of the holding company system whether or not they engage in the business of insurance.

Director Brady drew the Committee’s attention to the fact that, the Territory’s adoption of Bill No.32-0042 is vital in the context that because Guardian Insurance Company, one of the leading insurance companies in the Territory, is part of an insurance holding company system and is at present the Territory’s only domestic, multi-state insurer, meaning that Guardian is domiciled in the U.S. jurisdiction and is also licensed to conduct business in other U.S. jurisdictions.

Other testifiers at Thursday’s meeting; for WMA was Rasheed Hodge, Network Administrator and for Banking and Insurance were: Atty. Glendina Mathew, Assistant Director and Legal Counsel; Atty. Monica Williams Carbon, Division Legal Counsel; and Cheryl Charleswell, Chief Financial Service Examiner.

The Committee voted in favor of both Bills and sent them to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.

Committee members in attendance were: Chairman Senator Kurt A. Vialet, Marvin A. Blyden, Neville A. James, Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Brian A. Smith, and Dwayne M. DeGraff. Non-Committee member was Senator Novelle E. Francis Jr.

 

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COMMITTEE ON RULES & JUDICIARY FORWARDS SIX BILLS TO FULL BODY FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION

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ST. THOMASThe Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Sen. Novelle Francis Jr., convened at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall to consider several measures and receive testimony on Monday.

Bill No. 32-0010, which seeks to amend the rate and computation of franchise taxes, was proposed by Sen. Francis. Bill No. 32-0030, proposed by Sen. Janette Millin-Young, seeks to amend Title 33 V.I. Code, Section 2404 limiting increases in the assessed value of real property for purposes of property tax. Both measures were held in Committee after receiving formal requests to postpone from Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter.

The formal request to postpone Bill No. 32-0010 until the week of June 26-30 will allow all parties involved time to clarify the proposal to better address concerns of the public and private sectors. Bill No. 32-0030’s formal request to postpone indicated that the proposal failed to address the real needs of the taxpayers.

A Real Property Task Force was convened to devise solutions to lessen the impact of increasing property assessments. Copies of the Task Force Report were distributed last week to each Senator and uses data-driven evidence, real world examples and a proposal for legislation that can address the taxpayer’s concerns. The publication is available at a cost via the Lt. Governor’s Office.

Bill No. 32-0002, proposed by Sen. Millin-Young, seeks authorization to purchase Estate Catherineberg from the West Indian Company, Limited (WICO) by offsetting payments owed in lieu of taxes, as mandated by Act No. 5826, as amended. Clifford Graham, President and CEO of WICO, gave testimony in support of the measure, while sharing commendations and plans to convert the estate into a museum. The measure passed favorably to the Full Body for further consideration.

Bill No. 0052, a Resolution to honor and commend Allen Hayes, Sr. for his contributions to the community as a police officer and a healer, proposed by Sen. Marvin Blyden was forwarded to the Full Body for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0084, proposed by Sen. Nereida Rivera O’Reilly, seeks to amend Title 19, V.I. Code, Chapter 31, Section 723 relating to extending the time a person may be detained involuntarily for mental health treatment. The measure was held in committee until the call of the Chairman. Bill No. 32-0085, proposed by Sen. O’Reilly, an Act that seeks to amend Title 19, V.I. Code, Chapter 31, Section 722 relating to mental health emergency commitments by extending the time a person may be detained for treatment. The measure was held in committee until the call of the Chairman.

Bill No. 32-0038, proposed by Sen. Jean Forde, an Act that seeks to amend Title 3, Chapter 11, Section 26b; Title 20, Section 436; Title 30, Section 15A; and Title 17, Section 475 providing for the acceptance of a Real ID as a valid form of identification for various senior citizens. The measure passed favorably to the Full Body for further consideration.

Bill No 32-0039, proposed by Sen. Forde, an Act that seeks to amend V.I. Code, Title 8, Chapter 1, Section 9, Subsection (a) to change the amount of Tavern Keeper Liquor Licenses (A) that can be in effect within the historic districts of the Virgin Islands. The bill was favorably passed to the Full Body for further consideration.

Bill No 32-0040, proposed by Sen. Positive Nelson, an Act that seeks to amend Title 1 V.I. Code, Chapter 11 commemorating the week of June 26th to July 3rd as Virgin Islands Freedom Week and amending Title 24, Chapter 1, Section 4 to require employers to pay time and one half for work done on July 3rd. The measure was passed favorably, as amended to the Full Body for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0088, proposed by Sen. Myron Jackson by Request of the Governor, an Act to provide for the reprogramming of funds appropriated from the Community Facilities Trust Account authorized under Act No. 7012 for certain capital projects through the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation. The bill was favorably approved and forwarded to the Full Body for further consideration.

“The bills being vetted represent a broad spectrum of the issues that we grapple with every day as your representatives in this Body. I must commend all of my colleagues for their role in bringing legislation forward to be held in this Committee,” stated Sen. Francis.

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SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES BILL FOR OVERTIME PAY AND V.I. FREEDOM WEEK

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ST. THOMAS Members of the Committee on Workforce Development, Consumer Affairs and Culture, chaired by Sen. Myron D. Jackson, met on Wednesday at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall to consider measures regarding Virgin Islands Freedom Week, Tavern Keeper liquor licenses, and overtime pay.

Bill No. 32-0040, an Act that commemorates June 26th to July 3rd as Virgin Islands Freedom Week, requires public and private employers to pay time and one half for work done on July 3rd. The measure also seeks to implement educational events to acknowlege and respect the significance of July 3rd in Virgin Islands history.

Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina, Director of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center at UVI, had her testimony read into the record in support of the measure stating, “Even amidst adversity, pain, controversy and institutional remnants of colonization, the people, history, cultural heritage and spirit of St. Croix and the entire Virgin Islands ascends with endurance, revolutionary strength, resilience and dignity.” Bill No. 32-0040, sponsored by Sen. Positive T. Nelson, was favorably passed to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary as amended.

Bill No. 32-0012, an Act that seeks to amend the Virgin Islands Code, repeal Section 570b of the Virgin Islands Code and requires the Director of Personnel to establish a Recruitment & Retention Program and incentive packages for police, correction officers, registered nurses and teachers. Milton Potter, Director of the Division of Personnel, insisted that a series of discussions with all stakeholders should take place before approving the bill. Director Potter also suggested that upgrading pertinent salary scales for critical positions if funding is available would provide incentive for incoming candidates while reducing the percentage of tenured employees leaving the workforce.

Consent Decree mandates within the Virgin Islands Police Department and Bureau of Corrections continue to be a challenge as they strive to address their staffing concerns due to a reduction of overtime and competitive salaries offered abroad. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Novelle Francis Jr., and held in Committee until funding sources can be identified and the language in the bill clarified.

Bill No. 32-0039, an Act amending the amount of Tavern Keeper Liquor Licenses that can be in effect within the historic districts of the Virgin Islands. Sponsored by Sen. Jean Forde, the Bill amends the VI Code, allowing the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs to determine the maximum number allowed in a district and conduct public hearings before any licenses are issued. The measure passed favorably to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consdieration.

Bill No. 32-0052, a Resolution honoring Allen Haynes, Sr. for his contributions to the community as a police officer and a healer. Several testimonies were given by clients and family in support of Mr. Haynes and his work throughout the community over the past 45 years. The Resolution, sponsored by Sen. Marvin Blyden, passed favorably to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.

During the final remarks of the meeting, Senate President Myron D. Jackson thanked the testifiers, staff and his colleagues for their continued support. “It is an honor to recognize the talents of the members of our community in our Centennial year.” Sen. Jackson concluded.

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