FY 2020 BUDGET BILLS MOVE FORWARD

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St. Thomas- Members of the Committee on Finance chaired by Sen. Kurt Vialet, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building on Thursday and voted favorably for the FY 2020 Budget Bills. All measures approved will be forwarded to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.

Some of the items included in the FY 2020 budget are $10 million to begin to pay retirees for the retroactive payment and the monies to pay off the claim regarding the outstanding case of Harvey vs. the Government of the Virgin Islands. This was achieved without receiving judgment on the Excise Tax Case, according to Sen. Vialet.

 Additionally, Sen. Vialet mentioned that the budget also addresses the conservative projections from the Senate; such as the increased projections for the Internal Revenue turnover and the concession from the Lime Tree Bay to be received because of the January 1st, 2020 opening of the refinery. However, he noted that the FY 2020 budget does not include the Government of the Virgin Islands going to the market and lending money.

 Policymakers shared their remarks as it relates to the FY 2020 budget process. “Many of my colleagues went through the budget step by step to ensure that every agency in the government needs and concerns were addressed,” said Sen. Oakland Benta. “It was important to bring light to the government on a whole. We vetted each of the agencies’ request and dug into how the agencies were handling their fiduciary responsibilities.”

Sen. Donna Frett-Gregory stated that despite the budget process being long and arduous determining the FY 2020 budget was achieved. “I want to thank the Chair for allowing us to drill down by asking relevant questions throughout the entire Budget Season. Ultimately, we were able to come up with a responsible budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands.”

Lawmakers voted and approved the following:

  • BILL NO. 33-0157 AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0158 AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATING EXPENSES AND CAPITAL PROJECTS FOR THE LEGISLATURE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0159 AN ACT PROVIDING APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL AND THE OFFICE OF THE TERRITORIAL PUBLIC DEFENDER.
  • BILL NO. 33-0160 TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FROM THE ANTI-LITTER AND BEAUTIFICATION FUND TO THE WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0161 AN ACT PROVIDING APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS BOARD OF EDUCATION FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0162 TO PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES REVOLVING FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0163 TO PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0164 TO PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATION FROM THE CARIBBEAN BASIN INITIATIVE FUND FOR FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0165 AN ACT PROVIDING APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION BOARD FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0166 AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONIES FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.  BILL NO. 33-0167 TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FROM THE GOVERNMENT INSURANCE FUND FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0168 TO PROVIDE FOR THE LUMP SUM APPROPRIATION FROM THE HEALTH REVOLVING FUND FOR FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0169 AN ACT PROVIDING APPROPRIATIONS FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE HOSPITAL AND HEALTH FACILITIES CORPORATION FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30,2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0170 TO PROVIDE FOR THE LUMP SUM APPROPRIATION FROM THE INDIRECT COST FUND FOR SALARIES, OPERATING EXPENSES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, THE DIVISION OF PERSONNEL, THE DEPARTMENT OF PROPERTY AND PROCUREMENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0171 AN ACT PROVIDING APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0172 TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $5,000,000 FROM THE V.I. INSURANCE GUARANTY FUND AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0173 TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $1,100,000 FROM THE INTEREST EARNED ON DEBT SERVICES RESERVES AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENERAL FUND. BILL NO. 33-0174 TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE PUBLIC SERVICES COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 FOR OPERATING EXPENSES.
  • BILL NO. 33-0175 TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $2,000,000 FROM THE INTERNAL REVENUE MATCHING FUND AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ST. CROIX CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0176 AN ACT TO PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND THE WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY FROM THE ST. JOHN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0177 TO PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY FROM THE SEWAGE SYSTEM FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0178 TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS TAXICAB COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 FOR OPERATING EXPENSES.
  • BILL NO. 33-0179 TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPROPRIATION FROM THE TOURISM ADVERTISING REVOLVING FUND TO THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WASTE MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0180 TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPROPRIATION FROM THE TOURISM ADVERTISING REVOLVING FUND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND DEPARTMENT OF SPORTS, PARKS AND RECREATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0181 TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $4,000,000 FROM THE TOURISM ADVERTISING REVOLVING FUND AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0182 TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $10,000,000 FROM THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0183 TO PROVIDE FOR THE OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RELATIONS BOARD AND THE LABOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE FOR FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0184 TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
  • BILL NO. 33-0185 TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0186 TO PROVIDE APPROPRIATIONS FROM THE INTERNAL REVENUE MATCHING FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2019 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
  • BILL NO. 33-0187 AN ACT AMENDING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CODE, TITLE 22, CHAPTER 10, SECTION 237(A)(3) (A) AND TITLE 33, CHAPTER 111, SECTION 3061 RELATING TO THE BALANCE IN THE INSURANCE GUARANTY FUND TO AMEND THE CURRENTLY REQUIRED $10,000,000 AMOUNT, WHICH IS SET TO INCREASE TO $50,000,000 ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2020, TO $20,000,000.   

Senators present at the meeting were: Kurt Vialet, Dwayne DeGraff, Donna Frett-Gregory, Marvin Blyden, Janelle Sarauw, Allison DeGazon, and Oakland Benta.