Category: Senator Myron D. Jackson

Senate Session Rescheduled to Friday

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St. Croix- Senate President Myron D. Jackson advises the community the Legislative Session scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, 2018 has been rescheduled to Friday, October 26, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Chamber on St. Thomas.

Senator Jackson said the Governor has called the Body into a Special Session at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, 2018 to consider legislation that will provide tuition free post-secondary assistance to residents of the Virgin Islands at the University of the Virgin Islands. “It would be prudent consolidate resources by rescheduling our original date and to conduct the business of the people at the end of the Special Session,” indicated Senate President Jackson.

At 2 p.m., the Legislature intends to consider the St. Croix Government Retirees, Inc. Petition Initiative on reapportionment of the Legislature.

The Senate President apologizes for any inconvenience that this may have caused and reminds residents to follow all of the proceedings on Viya Cable Channel 26, on the internet:  https://livestream.com/legittv, https://www.facebook.com/USVILegislature/ and on radio at WSVE 91.9 FM.

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32nd Legislature to Observe Hurricane Irma Anniversary

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ST. THOMAS – In commemoration of the anniversary of one of the most unprecedented hurricane seasons in the history of the Virgin Islands, Senate President Myron D. Jackson invites the community and first responders to join the members of the 32nd Legislature and staff in a time of remembrance to acknowledge and give thanks for our continued resilience and recovery.

A “Hurricane Irma Anniversary Observance” will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall at the Capitol Building on St. Thomas. A “Hurricane Maria Anniversary Observance” is planned on St. Croix. The public is invited to participate.

The Virgin Islands continues to recover from the damage of both Category 5 storms. Hurricane Irma hit St. Thomas on September 6, 2018, and Hurricane Maria struck St. Croix on September 20, 2018. The activities follow the passing of Resolution No. 1845, to observe July 22, 2018, as a day of remembrance of the devastation and human suffering caused by these natural disasters and as supplication for protection during this hurricane season.

“The devastation and loss of life have been traumatic. We give God thanks for protection and blessings in seeing us through these difficult times,” President Jackson said. “If we all work together for the better good we will accomplish much. Let us be “United in Pride and Hope.”

For more information, call 340-693-3519.

 

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NOMINATIONS, COASTAL ZONE PERMITS/REQUESTS AND BILLS MOVES FORWARD

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ST. THOMAS- Members of the 32nd Legislature, chaired by Senate President Myron Jackson, convened in Legislative Session at the Capitol Building on Friday, to vote on items on the agenda to include nominations, a resolution, coastal zone permits/requests, and bills. All items approved will be forwarded to the governor for further consideration.

Senators voted and approved the nominations of Henry Schjang and Ronald Phillips to be members of the V.I. Racing Commission on the St. Croix District and Sheldon Turnbull to be a member of the V.I. Racing Commission on the St. Thomas District.

Sen. Janelle Sarauw and Sen. Nereida Rivera O’Reilly stated that Turnbull was not familiar with the rules, regulations, and codes of the V.I. Racing Commission. Despite Turnbull’s lack of preparedness, Sen. Jackson said, “I want to give him an opportunity to prove himself as a member of the Commission.”

Regarding the nomination of Dr. Laura Palminteri to become a member of the V.I. Racing Commission on the St. Thomas District; senators voted to send it back to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further vetting.

“This a conflict of interest because how can she serve on the Commission although she is the only equine veterinarian in the Territory,” said Sen. Jean Forde.

Similarly, Sen. Kurt Vialet said, “Dr. Palminteri must decide because if she serves on the Commission, she will not be permitted to continue working as an equine veterinarian.”

Separately, policymakers voted and approved Bill No. 32-0237– An Act amending Title 3 V.I. Code, Chapter 25, Subchapter V, Section 555b to provide for minimum wage for employees of the Government of the Virgin Islands and its semi-autonomous agencies and independent instrumentalities. Senators shared their remarks on the bill.

Sen. Myron Jackson said, “It is time to provide government employees with a decent wage. They have made many sacrifices and deserve this raise.”

Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen noted that the purpose of this measure is to put an end to the “fiasco.” This bill ensures that the Executive Order is made into law even after the election is over. “If the governor wanted to increase the living wages for government employees and meant it to stick then legislation would have been in place. The law states that the Executive Branch cannot spend the public’s money without the authorization of the Legislature,” she said.

Sen. Tregenza also stated that “This bill prevents the governor from issuing an Executive Order to revoke the salary increases.”

Lawmakers voted and approved the following:

  • Bill No. 32-0173 – A Resolution honoring and commending The Family Resource Center for its services to victims and families in the U.S. Virgin Islands throughout the years
  • Bill No. 32-0249 – An Act Ratifying Governor’s approval of Minor Coastal Zone Permit No. CZJ29-16-W issued to Low Key Watersports, Inc Bill No. 32-0250 – An Act Ratifying Governor’s approval of Minor Coastal Zone Permit No. CZJ14-16(W) to the Brent Squire Revocable Trust c/o Brent Squires, Trustee
  • Bill No. 32-0251 – An Act ratifying the Governor’s approval of Major Coastal Zone Permit No. CZJ-214(W) issued by the St. John Committee of the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Commission to the Joseph John Marcus Trust
  • Bill No. 32-0254 – An Act ratifying the Governor’s approval of Minor Coastal Zone Permit No. CZJ-24-16W issued to Pillsbury Sound Land Company, Inc
  • Bill No. 32-0242 – An Act to amend Official Zoning District Map STZ-7 to allow for the rezoning of Parcel No. 48 Estate Thomas, No. 6A New Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-1 (Business-Central Business District)
  • Bill No. 32-0253 – An Act granting a use variance to Parcel No. 105 Remainder Estate Bolongo Bay, No. 3 Frenchman Bay Quarter, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to convert the variance granted for a bowling alley to a use variance for office and incidental storage use
  • Bill No. 32-0185 – An Act amending Title 23 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 10 Section 1005 relating to the Governor of the Virgin Islands and emergencies and major disasters
  • Bill No. 32-0232 – An Act amending Title 22 of the Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 21, Section 514 and adding Chapter 22 relating to life and health reinsurance agreements
  • Bill No. 32-0233 – An Act amending Title 22 of the Virgin Islands Code adding Chapter 26 to provide for Annual Audit and Financial Reporting to meet the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and to update the Insurance Laws of the Territory placing them on par with other United States jurisdictions to give greater and more effective protection to the policyholders of the territory; and repealing Title 22 of the Virgin Islands Code, Section 222a
  • Bill No. 32-0234 – An Act amending Chapter 43 of Title 22 of the Virgin Islands Code by adding a subchapter II enacting the Property and Casualty Actuarial Opinion Act to meet the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in its model laws to update the Insurance Laws of the territory
  • Bill No. 32-0244 – An Act amending Title 27 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 1, Subchapter VII, Section 161 relating to the practice of optometry
  • Bill No. 32-0247 – Quitclaim Deed from the Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement on behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands to Cyril LaPlace as Trustee of the Cyril A. La Place Trust for the following properties: Parcel No. 11-B Estate Dorothea, No. 6 Little Northside Quarter St. Thomas, Virgin Islands consisting of approximately 230 square feet more or less as illustrated on OLG NO. D9-9141-T016 dated March 14, 2016.
  • Bill No. 32-0119-An Act amending title 33 V.I. Code, chapter 81, section 2301 (e) relating to the limit of exemptions and credits to real property owners to exempt veterans, senior citizens and person with disabilities from exemption and credit limit
  • Bill No. 32-0258-An Act providing for the extension of the limitations period to file a claim under title 22 V.I. Code, chapter 33, section 820, subsection (a) paragraph (3) Hurricanes Irma and Maria and amending title 22 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 33, section 820, subsection (a) paragraph (3) to provide for a two-year limitation period for loss occurring as a result of an emergency or major disaster
  • Bill No. 32-0238-An Act amending title 3 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 27, section 715, subsection (b) paragraph (7) to require the Government Retirement System to seek the Legislature’s approval before implementation of any policy that impacts the member’s benefits

Photos: http://www.legvi.org/committeemeetings/Media

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LEGISLATIVE HOME NOW ON THE HORIZON FOR THE BIG ISLAND

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ST. CROIX– Senate President Myron D. Jackson and Vice-President Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly announced early today that a new site for the Legislature on St. Croix has been procured.

“We are excited to have a place to call home, our central and senatorial staff have worked in two separate locations far longer than we anticipated,” said Vice-President O’Reilly.

Shortly after Hurricane Maria’s passage, an active search began for a temporary legislative home to meet the needs of the general public.

The Legislature of the Virgin Islands currently operates out of two offices in Christiansted; 1108 King Street and #36-C Strand Street. “Immediately following the hurricanes, we began to explore our options for relocation. We attempted to reach out to the Office of the Governor for assistance. Upon being turned down, our efforts led us to the two properties we have been operating out of since January.”

“When I took office at the beginning of this term, I made a statement regarding the welfare of the employees of this Institution. It did not sit well with the local media and members of our community. I made a commitment to improving the standard of health, and quality of life for our employees on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.”

“I am reminded of the many locations of the Legislature we leased on Contentment Road and most recently at the Lagoon Street Complex. “It pained us greatly to have to move out of Frederiksted after Hurricane Maria,” he added.

Senate President Jackson noted the ongoing discussions pertaining to the impact of mold, and severe flooding conditions, and sewage issues in Frederiksted. The Members of the 32nd Legislature agreed that it was time to deal with it rather than deferring it to the next Body.

“We are looking forward to new beginnings at our new location, where people can come to the institution and be proud of not just the Senate, but what the building signifies for the community of St. Croix,” O’Reilly concluded.

This has been a long, frustrating road, said Jackson. “We are pleased to announce today that we have secured a safe, habitable working environment for our Staff and look forward to our continued productivity as the First Branch of Government,” concluded Senate President Jackson.

 

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LAWMAKERS VET PETITIONERS ON REZONING REQUESTS

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St. Thomas – The Committee of the Whole led by Senate President Myron Jackson, held a meeting at the Capitol Building on Tuesday, to receive testimony on zoning hearings as it pertains to the JRS Holding, LLC and the V.I. Christian Ministries. Policymakers did not vote on the zoning requests at the meeting today.

Sen. Myron Jackson said, “One of the issues that plague the Territory is the lack of infrastructure and development. There aren’t street lights in place, pedestrian sidewalks to access the medical facilities, public transportation or proper sewage.” He asked, “How can we correct the infrastructure needs of the land use plan?” Matthew Laplace, the Territorial Planner for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), stated at this time, development is limited. Government agencies must collaborate to build the infrastructure.

The petition seeks to amend the Official Zoning Map No. STZ-7 from R-2 (Residential-Low Density One and Two Family) to B-1 (Business-Central- Business District) for Parcel No. 48 Estate Thomas, No. 6A New Quarter, St. Thomas. The applicant’s proposed use is to create a mixed-use development consisting of medical offices, retail, a wellness center, and residential units for primarily short-term patients seeking medical treatment.

The Ensemble Complex is a three-story commercial complex housing medical practices, a wellness center, physical rehabilitation facilities, pharmacies, office spaces, and retail. The application seeks to change the current zoning category from residential to a central business district. With a recommendation from Dawn Henry, Commissioner of DPNR, to have the entrance and road access expanded to accommodate commercial use.

In a written testimony submitted to the Senate, Petitioner Jerry Smith, MD stated that this facility seeks to provide a high-traffic commercial trade center that offers a cohesive environment where medical, professional, and retail entities can thrive, grow and more conveniently serve the consumers of a variety of services.

Although lawmakers expressed support for the rezoning request, they addressed their concerns. “My concern is that if the drainage is unproperly built, it can cause flooding to residents in the area,” said Sen. Janelle Sarauw. In response, Laplace stated that the applicant is required to meet DPNR standards for building the drainage. The applicant must submit engineering plans to DPNR before the start of the project.

“Will the road project be completed before building the establishment?” Sen. Jean Forde questioned. Attorney Joseph Caines, Attorney of the Law Office of Joseph Caines representing

Dr. Smith stated that the construction of the road may or shall be done either before or during the development of the first phase of The Ensemble Complex.

Sen. Novelle Francis inquired of who is fiscally responsible for expanding the roads from one lane to two lanes. Laplace said, “The cost for the road expansion is the responsibility of the petitioner.” Sen. Francis further asked, “Is all of the funding in place?” In response, Attorney Caines stated that not all the funding is in place for development, because it is a multi-million-dollar project. However, my client is confident that he will obtain financing to widen the road on an easement.”

Sen. Brian Smith shared his remarks on the zoning application. “Comparatively to neighboring islands, the Virgin Islands needs more business development. Sometimes we hold back development, and this occurred for over twenty years. It is time to move forward by supporting business ventures.”

Separately, policymakers also considered the following: Report on Petition to Amend Official Zoning Map No. STZ-7-Application No. ZAT-18-1 a petition of VI Christian Ministries (authorized agent, Attorney Jennifer Jones) requesting use variances to the R-1 (Residential-Low Density zoned Parcel No. 105 Remainder Estate Bolongo Bay, No.3 Frenchman’s Bay Quarter, St. Thomas. The purpose of the request is to allow for office and storage use. The proposed method is to convert the former bowling alley to offices and storage.

Based on the report of Dawn Henry, Commissioner of DPNR, the public opposed the rezoning request because of the effects of traffic, pollution, sound and a possible increase in flooding. Sen. Tregenza Roach asked, “Considering that there aren’t any structural changes to the property, how accurate are these concerns?”  Well, some concerns did not have anything to do with the property or the project stated Attorney Jennifer Jones, Authorized Agent of the Property. “People like to create a problem in their mind that doesn’t exist,” said Sen. Smith.

Photos: http://www.legvi.org/committeemeetings/Media

 

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“I AM QUEEN MARY” PUBLIC ART PROJECT

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ST. THOMAS- The Office of Senator Myron Jackson, hosted the “I am Queen Mary: A Monument of a Rebel Queen Challenges Denmark’s Colonial Past.” The Public Art Project by Danish Artist Janette Ehlers and U.S. Virgin Islands Artist La Vaughn Belle held at the Capitol Building on Monday; is a significant part of Denmark’s colonial impact in the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean.

“It is important us to understand the creativity of our artists and how it shapes history. This project represents 500 years of the history of the United States Virgin Islands. Today, there are images in public spaces including the Legislature. Each image is symbolic of the struggles, dignity, and strength of our people,” said Sen. Jackson.

The two artists collaborated to memorialize Queen Mary by creating a sculpture of her sitting in a peacock chair also known as a colonial chair while holding a torch and a whip in her hand. The statue of Queen Mary resembles power and strength. The concept of the sculpture connects to other resistance movements that occurred before Queen Mary and up to the present time.

Similarly, La Vaughn stated that the “I am Queen Mary” is significant because it connects to other movements in the African Diaspora that occurred many years later.

“This project resembles black lives matter which was started by three women. This resemblance is interesting to know because Queen Mary is a symbol. She has become a myth since there is not a lot of historical information on her. On St. Croix, she is a famous heroine. In Denmark, it appeared that the people had colonel amnesia. However, the people of color in Denmark began to see their relationship to this sculpture,” said La Vaughn.

Ehlers also shared her remarks.

“98% of public sculptures in Denmark are representing white males. It was challenging to have a space for black people where they positively see themselves. This statue represents injustice and the fight for freedom,” said Ehlers.

The proposed legislation supporting art in public spaces is An Act amending V.I Code title 3, chapter 5 adding subchapter III to enact The Virgin Islands Public Art Program requiring one percent of total capital improvement project costs expended for works of art placed in public buildings. Sen. Myron Jackson proposed this measure.

“What will the statue do for our future?” asked an event-goer. “This is our contribution to highlighting black culture and history. We encourage you to develop a curriculum, and we offer our support,” said Ehlers.

Photos: http://www.legvi.org/committeemeetings/Media                                           ###   

BILL AS IT RELATES TO APPRENTICESHIP STANDARDS MOVES FORWARD DURING DAY TWO OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION

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ST. THOMAS- Members of the 32nd Legislature, chaired by Senate President Myron Jackson, convened in day two of Legislative Session at the Capitol Building on Friday, to vote and approve the remaining measures on the agenda including Bill 32-0179-An Act amending Title 24, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 10, Sections 221, 228 and 230 as it relates to the apprenticeship standards.

During debate time, senators discussed Amendment No. 32-729 to Bill No. 32. 0179. The amendment states that for the sum of $125,000 is appropriated in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2018, from the General Fund to the Election System to fund the 2018 primary elections. “Why are we using taxpayer’s monies for what is a Democratic Party primary election?” asked Sen. Positive Nelson. “The Democratic Party is established enough to fund their convention. The Board of Elections should do their job with integrity.”

However, Sen. Neville James said, “I would prefer that the monies are used to grow the Independent Party. That will create a competition that is healthy. What we want is an independent entity that the Board of elections can conduct the primaries. This is how the Democratic Party funds their primaries nationwide.” Ultimately, senators voted in favor of this amendment.

Lawmakers also debated Amendment No. 32-718 to Bill No. 32- 0179 for the Legislature of the Virgin Islands shall return any money taken from the salaries of employees of the Legislature pursuant to section 4 of Act 7261. “I am asking for mercy on behalf of the employees. The monies did not assist with the economic use of the Virgin Islands instead it went somewhere else. They are hurting and they need their money too. I circulated an opinion from the Legal Counsel and it states, “Failure to remit the 8% of its employee’s salaries to the General Fund,” debated Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen.

In opposition, Sen. Jean Forde stated that we are all in favor of paying employees adequate salary. “I believe there is a proper way to do things. We haven’t done research to promise you monies for the increase 30 days after the law is enacted. Let us make sure we have the monies to do it.” Ultimately, lawmakers voted it down and the amendment failed.

Separately, senators shared their remarks on the bill. Sen. Tregenza Roach expressed his support for Bill No. 32-0179 as it relates to the apprenticeship standards. “In the absence of career and technical training, it is good for young people to receive on hands training in technical professions.”

Similarly, Sen. Marvin Blyden stated that Bill No. 32-0179 Mandates the V.I. Department of Labor (VIDOL) to assist individuals to get jobs, it also requires VIDOL to conduct an annual analysis of the job market and to share it with the Board of Education and other entities. The bill requires VIDOL to follow job market trends which are used to tailor and groom young people for these professional areas.

Policymakers also expressed their sentiments on additional bills on the agenda.

Referring to Bill No. 32-0226- A Resolution encouraging the people of the Virgin Islands to observe July 22nd as a remembrance of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and as a supplication for protection during the 2018 Hurricane Season; Sen. Positive Nelson said, “I am wondering why July 22nd was selected as a day of observance. I don’t know the importance of that date. People should be grateful and appreciative of life after experiencing two hurricanes. Do you need a law to tell you that?”

Sponsor of the Bill, Sen. Jackson expounded on the measure. “In reviewing the law as it relates to observing a hurricane, eventually it was removed as a paid holiday in the government. The selected date of June 22nd was the original day now recognized in the third week in June. With the removal of the paid holiday, the revised the law states that the following Sunday from the original date is the new date of observance.”

Separately, Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen stated that she does not support Bill No. 32-0212 to allow for the pronouncement of death by registered nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. “There is another aspect about this bill that not covered; and its liability. If a nurse or physician wrongfully or untimely pronounced someone’s death that creates a liability for the special homes or hospice. A doctor should only pronounce time of death. That liability should not be on nurses.”

However, Sen. Francis stated that the bill was vetted and expressed his support. “Initially, I had my reservations with this bill. It is critical, and we should be mindful that when we have a death situation, people wait hours for morgue to arrive to the facility and make a proper announcement. Nurses and physicians should be authorized to do this for people who are in hospice care facilities and are facing terminal illness.”

Similarly, Sen. Jackson said, “Bill No. 32-0212 provides a means that when relative decided to send a family member to a facility for terminal illness, it allows for a peaceful transition for the patient. Physicians of that facility should have the ability to pronounce their death. Some states implemented this measure already.”

Lawmakers voted and approved the following:

 

  • Bill No. 30-0179- An Act amending Title 24, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 10, Sections 221, 228 and 230 relating to the apprenticeship standards as amended

 

  • Bill No. 32-0177-An Act amending Title 27, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter I, Subchapter IV, Section 97(a) relating to renewal of nursing licenses

 

  • Bill No. 32-0197- An Act amending Title 19 Virgin Islands Code by adding a new chapter 68 entitled “Animal Shelters providing a minimum standard of care for sheltered animals

 

  • Bill No. 32-0212- An Act amending Title 19 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 37, Subchapter III, adding Section 870 to allow for the pronouncement of death by registered nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners

 

  • Bill No. 0226- A Resolution encouraging the people of Virgin Islands to observe July 22, 2018 as a remembrance of the devastation and human suffering caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria and as supplication for protection during the 2018 hurricane season

 

  • Bill No. 32-0185- An Act amending title 23 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 10 section 1005 relating to the Governor of the Virgin Islands and emergencies and major disasters

 

  • Bill No. 32-0227-A Act amending Title 27 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 4A, subsection 202, subsection (b) changing the amount of years, from two to four years, that five of the seven board members of the Virgin Islands Board of Licensed Counselors and Examiners are to be appointed

 

  • Bill No. 32-0228- An Act amending Title 19, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 16, section 245a relating to the Government Hospitals and Health Facilities Corporation’s competitive bidding process to require advertisement for bids to be published through electronic media or in the newspapers of general circulation, and to make technical amendments

 

  • Bill No. 32-0229- An Act amending Title 23, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 10 Subchapter 1, section 1004 requiring the Government of the Virgin Islands to enter into contracts before June 1st of each year in preparedness for hurricane season or any emergency or major disaster

 

All bills approved will be forwarded to the Governor for further consideration.

Senators present are Myron Jackson, Positive Nelson, Tregenza Roach, Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, Janette Millin Young, Janelle Sarauw, Nereida Rivera O’Reilly, Brian Smith, Marvin Blyden, Novelle Francis, Jean Forde, Neville James, Kurt Vialet and Sammuel Sanes.

Photo: http://www.legvi.org/committeemeetings/Media                                                                        ###

OVERIDES, A RESOLUTION, COASTAL ZONE PERMITS AND BILLS MOVES FORWARD

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ST.THOMAS- Members of the 32nd Legislature, chaired by Senate President Myron Jackson, convened in Legislative Session at the Capitol Building on Thursday, to vote on items on the agenda to include overrides, a resolution, coastal zone permits/requests, and bills. All measures approved will be forwarded to the governor for further consideration.

Lawmakers voted favorably for the override of three bills vetoed by Governor Kenneth Mapp. As a result, enacted into law is the following: Bill No. 32-0002 to authorize the V.I. Government to purchase the Estate Catherineberg from WICO and for other purposes; Bill No. 32-0175 to grant the Economic Development Commission more autonomy; and Bill No. 32-0024 to provide for the position of Curator and to establish the Preservation of Historic Government Collections Act and other purposes.

Senators also voted and approved Bill No. 32-0170- A Resolution honoring and commending Lorna Lenise Freeman for her outstanding charitable performances to the community and her many contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands and for being a true ambassadress of the Virgin Islands.

“It is no question that those who have known Lorna has acknowledged that she was born with a gift. She is a human instrument. The early years of her church engagement was instrumental in who she is as a woman and songstress,” said Sen. Jackson “It is unfortunate that many times in our community, we tend to overlook what is required to become a professional and to live that gift. Lorna has lived like that over the years and as a result, never dropped her standards. We honor you as one of our national treasures.”

Sen. Nereida River O’Reilly “I am increasingly impressed with her voice each time she sings. It is an honor to support this resolution because Lorna is truly a national treasure.”

Separately, policymakers shared their remarks for the zoning requests. Sen. Dwayne DeGraff said, “I rise in support of these bills. There are issues in which DPNR did not support some of the zoning requests for various reasons. However, recommendations were m, and now it is being followed through.”

Sen. Janette Millin Young stated that people are always inquiring about the Senate passing measures to improve the economy. When in fact supporting zoning requests like these in which residents want to be entrepreneurs is one way of achieving that task.

Sen. Jackson said, “The zonings before us speaks to economic development. Local Virgin Islanders who desire to go out and start a business. The issue of zoning which includes the land and water use plan, we can’t continue to kick down the road. These islands are beautiful, but we still must ensure that we maintain their beauty.

Senators voted and approved the following:

  • Bill No. 32-0200-An Act granting the variance for Plot No. 17 of Parcel No. 2 Estate Concordia. West End Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to allow for a retail clothing store and a bakery

 

  • Bill No. 32-0217-An Act Rezoning Plot No. 56 of Parcel No. 67 of Estate Mount Welcome. Estate End Quarter ‘A’ St. Croix from R-2 (Residential-Low Density -One and Two Family) to R-3 (Residential-Medium Density)

 

  • Bill No. 32-0219- An Act to amend Official Zoning Map SCZ-6 to allow for the rezoning of Plot No. 10-Dl Estate Constitution Hill, Queen’s Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands for R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to R-2 (Residential-Low-Density-One and Two Family)

 

  • Bill No. 32-0222- An Act granting a zoning use variance for Plot No. 2 AF Estate Upper Love, Prince Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to allow a guest house to be used as a bed and breakfast business

 

  • Bill No. 32-0223- An Act amending Official Zoning Map SCZ-12 by rezoning Plot No. 1-C Estate Clifton Hill, King Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, from C(Commercial, to B-2 (Business- Secondary/Neighborhood)

 

  • Bill No. 32-0055 – An Act providing for the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works to replace public parking signs that refer to “Handicap Parking”, making an appropriation from the Transportation Trust Fund for replacement of parking signs and for other related purposes

 

  • Bill No, 32-0064 – An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 24, Section 431 providing for the establishment of a registry for persons 60 years and older with disabilities living alone

 

  • Bill No. 32-0129 – An Act amending Title 14 of the Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 3A relating to human trafficking to enact the Virgin Islands Uniform Prevention of and Remedies of Human Trafficking Act and amend Title 5, Chapter 303, Section 3541 relating to the statute of limitations for prosecuting the crime of Human Trafficking

 

  • Bill No. 32-0146 – An Act honoring and commending Irvin “Brownie” Brown, Sr., for his significant contributions to the culture and music of the Virgin Islands by renaming the portion of General Gade, which runs from the intersection of Veterans Drive up to the intersection of Silke Gade “The Irvin “Brownie” Brown, Sr. Road

 

  • Bill No. 32-0148 – An Act amending Title 1, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 11 by adding section 200i establishing the Month of May as Virgin Islands Stroke Awareness Month

 

  • Bill No. 32-0179 – An Act amending Title 24, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 10, Sections 221, 228 and 230, relating to the apprenticeship standards

Senators present are Myron Jackson, Positive Nelson, Tregenza Roach, Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, Janette Millin Young, Janelle Sarauw, Dwayne DeGraff, Nereida Rivera O’Reilly, Brian Smith, Marvin Blyden, Novelle Francis, Jean Forde, Neville James, Kurt Vialet and Sammuel Sanes

Photo: http://www.legvi.org/committeemeetings/Media                                                                        ###

LIMETREE BAY TERMINALS, LLC ARGUES FOR MAJOR CZM PERMIT

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ST. CROIX--The Committee of the Whole, chaired by Senate President Myron D. Jackson, met on Wednesday in the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center of the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center where testimony was given on a Major Coastal Zone Management Permit.

Senators heard from several Limetree Bay Terminals L.L.C. management Executives regarding Major CZM Permit CZX-29-17 for a Single Point Mooring (SPM) to be constructed on the south of St. Croix. The project’s activities will be specifically located seaward of Limetree Bay Terminals, LLC Terminal Plot No. 9 Reclaimed Land, Christiansted.

In his testimony, Jason Gleason, Maine Terminal Pilot and Captain for Limetree Bay Terminals, said as Lead Superintendent in the Marine Department and Project Lead on the SPM Project, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) are some of the largest vessels in the world often over 1100ft long and 200ft, wide and may have a draft of over 700ft.

He added that historically to call on St. Croix, a VLCC would need to be roughly half loaded, and so, this project will enable their customers to transport crude to and from the facility in full loaded VLCC, offering a much more efficient operation.

According to Gleason, the Limetree Bay SPM will transfer crude oil to and from the facility and with the upgraded crude pumps completed last year, they can load out at approximately 45,000 barrels per hour. He pointed out that, the SPM project has been designed to Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF); United States Coast Guard (USCG) and American Bureau #56 King Street, Hamilton House, Christiansted, St. Croix 00820 340-773-2424, Fax: 340-712-2397, E-mail: publicaffairs@legvi.org of Shipping (ABS) standard. Furthermore, the entire system is designed to withstand the extreme conditions often found in in the Caribbean region.

Senators, who expressed their concerns as they relate to the project’s impact on the ecosystem, was given assurance by Gleason that after an extensive environmental assessment and re-routing of the project to minimize environmental impact, it was determined that a few corals were still in the pathway of the project.

According to him, these corals will be transplanted well clear of the project by their environmental contractor, Bio Impact. They will also be constructing a man-made reef to provide additional habitat where some of the coral will be transplanted on both the south and north shores of St. Croix in areas already approved by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR).

Gleason added that during construction, Bio Impact will be monitoring for turbidity, the effect on wildlife, and any other issues. Moreover, Bioimpact will stop the work immediately if any issues arise, and that they will work with DPNR and the federal government to remedy prior to resumption of construction.

In respect to local employment, Gleason told Senators that many of the materials to construct have been procured and delivered to St. Croix, and with the ratification by the legislature, they will commence construction as soon as possible. The construction phase, he added, will result in employment for laborers, concrete workers, welders, inspectors and painters on St. Croix.

Other testifiers for Limetree Bay Terminals were: Joyce Wakefield, Environmental Specialist; Amy Dempsey, President of Bio Impact; and Jeff Gorman, Engineer, Lloyds Engineers. Senators at Wednesday’s Committee of Whole Hearing were: Senate President, Myron D. Jackson, Vice-President, Rivera-O’Reilly, Jean A. Forde, Neville A. James, Marvin A. Blyden, Dwayne DeGraff, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, Positive T.A. Nelson, Tregenza A. Roach, Sammuel Sanes, Janelle K. Sarauw, Brian A. Smith, and Kurt A. Vialet.

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REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP MEASURE AND RESOLUTIONS PASS FAVORABLY TO RULES COMMITTEE

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ST. THOMAS On Thursday, the Committee on Workforce Development, Consumer Affairs & Culture convened at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall. Chaired by Sen. Janelle K. Sarauw, the Committee received testimony and consider several measures related to Registered Apprenticeship and resolutions honoring Irvin “Brownie” Browne and Lorna L. Freeman.

Bill No. 32-0179, An Act amending title 24 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 10, (title 24, chapter 10, sections 230, 228, and 221) which would allow for the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) to comply with the federal code, CFR 29.13 (a)(1) and fulfill the final requirement for VIDOL to be recognized as a State Apprenticeship Agency. Proposed by Sen. Janelle Sarauw, the Bill involves the input of numerous agencies to provide the skills in demand according to labor market information and trends.

Catherine L. Hendry, Esq., Commissioner of the Dept. of Labor stated, “It needs to be a collaborative effort by High schools, Technical schools, UVI and employers in both public and private sectors. We need a workforce pipeline.” “The Dept. of Education, when called to testify asked, what does this bill have to do with them? It’s sad that the players involved have no idea what affects them,” added Chairwoman Sarauw. Post-hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Retail/Hospitality & Leisure industries are predicted to be impacted until the first quarter of 2019.

“Our people are being left behind. I understand that this is a collaborative effort, but I need assurances. When I speak to residents about using the resources at the Dept. of Labor, they are frustrated. They watch planes fly in full of workers, watching boats arrive on the South shore of St. Croix claiming we don’t have the skill set to complete these jobs. Our people are being left behind,” said Sen. Brian Smith. Construction is currently the main industry demand sector, while the demand for trained workers in the Healthcare, Information Technology, Business Administration, Trade and Transportation industries remain consistent. The measure for Registered Apprenticeship was favorably approved and forwarded to the Committee on Rules & Judiciary for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0146, a Resolution honoring and commending Irvin “Brownie” Brown, Sr. for his significant contributions to the culture and music of the Virgin Islands. “Anyone who has ever met Brownie will tell you, he lives under a love umbrella that he is always happy to share. You may cross paths even for a moment, but you will remember that full smile, his warmth, and his intent to make your moment better, your life greater,” stated colleague Anita Davis. In commemoration of his many contributions to the islands, the portion of General Gade, which runs from the intersection of Veterans Drive up to the intersection of Silke Gade is renamed “The Irvin “Brownie” Brown, Sr. Road”. Sponsored by Sen. Dwayne DeGraff, the measure was favorably approved and forwarded to the Committee on Rules & Judiciary for further consideration.

Bill No. 32-0170, A Resolution honoring and commending Lorna Lenise Freeman for her outstanding charitable performances to the community and her many contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands and for being a true ambassadress of the Virgin Islands. The President of the Legislature or the President’s designee shall prepare and present a perma plaque copy of this resolution and the official Key to the Territory at an appropriate ceremony.

Jo Sandra Jones-James, Music Educator testified, “The Songstress firmly believes that Music is the universal language of the world, and as such, there is much responsibility to share and give back as much as possible. To this end, Lorna prides herself on the outreach work and musical collaborations she has had with her USVI community over the years.” Sponsored by Senators Janelle Sarauw and Dwayne DeGraff, the measure was favorably approved and forwarded to the Committee on Rules & Judiciary for further consideration.

The following Committee members present: Chairwoman Janelle K. Sarauw, Senators Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Janette Millin-Young, Brian A. Smith, Positive T.A. Nelson and Marvin A. Blyden. Non-Committee members present: Senate President Myron Jackson, Jean A. Forde and Dwayne M. DeGraff.

 

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