VI POLICE NOMINEE AND 43 MEASURES APPROVED IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION

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ST. THOMAS—The Members of the 33rd Legislature convened in Legislative Session at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall on Thursday. Led by Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr., the Body met to vote on the nomination of Trevor Velinor to the Virgin Islands Police Department, the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Bills and other time-sensitive matters.

The consideration of Nominee Trevor A. Velinor as Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Police Department received favorable support while the Members of the Body emphasized their concerns to improve public safety, employee morale, training within the department and community relations throughout the Territory. Senators Athneil “Bobby” Thomas, Javan James and Dwayne DeGraff all rose in support of the Governor’s nominee.  

Senator-At-Large Steven D. Payne, Sr. opposed the nomination stating, “I don’t believe he is the right person for this job and voting in the affirmative for Mr. Velinor would mean that I agree that no police officer, past or present, is qualified to lead this Police Department as Commissioner,” he concluded.

Commissioner Designee Velinor thanked the members for their vote of confidence and pledged to employ an intelligence-based approach as it relates to law enforcement. “I am honored to have an opportunity to return home and serve the people of the Virgin Islands,” said Velinor.

Under Closed Rule, the Body approved the following measures and sent them to the Governor for further action:

·       Bill No. 33-0157– An Act appropriating money 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 an appropriation for operating expenses of the Judicial Branch 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 and Department of the Public Works for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020.

·       Bill No. 33-0161- An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Education from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during fiscal year October 1, 2019, through September 30, 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, through September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0165- An Act providing an 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 fiscal year October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0166- An Act appropriating money 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- An Act appropriating 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- An Act 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0170- An Act 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 an 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 fiscal year October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0172- An Act 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- An Act 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- An Act 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- An Act appropriating 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0177- An Act 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0178- An Act 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- An Act 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 Authority and the Department of Tourism during the fiscal year October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0180- An Act 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0181- An Act 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- An Act to appropriate the sum of $10,000,000 from Transportation Trust Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0183- An Act to provide for the operating expenses of the Public Employees Relations Board and the Labor Management Committee for the fiscal year, October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0184- An Act 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- An Act 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- An Act providing 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.

“I commend the Members of the Finance Committee, Post Audit Division and all individuals that assisted with the Finance review for the work accomplished and I continue to advocate for performance-based budgeting,” said Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

In the third block, the following Resolution, Lease Agreements, and Bills were approved and sent to the Governor:

·       Bill No. 33-0084- 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 Fabien’s Trucking, LLC for the leasing of Parcel No. 149C Submarine Base, No. 6 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

·       Bill No. 33-0088- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and Dadlie’s Trucking Service, Inc. for the leasing of Parcel No. 32A and Parcel No. 33 Submarine Base, No. 6 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

·       Bill No. 33-0146- An Act to amend Title 9, Chapter 22 (“The Uniform Money Services Act”) of the Virgin Islands Code, by changing the license renewal period from biennial to annual for an authorized delegate of money transmission, check cashing or currency exchange business.

·       Bill No. 33-0147- An Act amending Title 22, Chapter 10 of the Virgin Islands Code by deleting from Section 232 the words “life” and “disability” and by adding a new Section 248, all to satisfy the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and to provide more effective protection to the policyholders in the Territory

·       Bill No. 33-0148- An Act amending chapter 60, section 1521 title 22 Virgin Islands Code to reflect a change to the definition of a Third-Party Administrator Trust Fund Account as it appears in Act 7695.

·       Bill No. 33-0149- An Act amending Title 22 Virgin Islands Code to add a new chapter 20b entitled “Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Act,” requiring the Territory’s domiciled insurers and alien insurers not doing business in any other U.S. jurisdiction to submit to the Commissioner of Insurance a corporate governance disclosure report in accordance with the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and that all such reports and related documents shall be kept confidential by law and privileged. 

·       Bill No. 33-0090- An Act amending Title 24, chapter 12, sections 302 and 308 of the Virgin Islands Code to implement a new methodology for assigning individual employer Unemployment Insurance Taxes as administered by the Virgin Islands Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance.

·       Bill No. 33-0052- A Resolution to petition the Governor of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress to join the 33rd Legislature in pursuing the return of a portion of the gasoline excise tax collected by the Federal Government.

During the final block of the Session, Lawmakers approved the following Special-Order Bills:

·       Bill No. 33-0193- An Act ratifying the First Renewal of Group Medical Health Insurance Agreement signed by the Governor on September 6, 2019, between the Government of the Virgin Islands through the Health Insurance Board of Trustees; the Virgin Islands Port Authority; the University of the Virgin Islands; the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation; the Virgin Islands Housing Authority; Non-Profit Organizations defined as eligible by the Government; and Frederiksted Health Care, Inc.; and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. 

·       Bill No. 33-0194- An Act ratifying the First Renewal of Group Dental Health Insurance Agreement signed by the Governor on September 6, 2019, between the Government of the Virgin Islands through the Health Insurance Board of Trustees; the Virgin Islands Port Authority; the University of the Virgin Islands; the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation; the Virgin Islands Housing Authority; Non-Profit Organizations defined as eligible by the Government; and Frederiksted Health Care, Inc.; and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. 

·       Bill No. 33-0195- An Act reprogramming funds from the Fiscal Year October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019 budgets of the Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Health and Department of Human Services to other departments and agencies to pay current and prior year obligations. 

Bill No. 33-0188, sponsored by Senators Frett-Gregory, Vialet, and Sarauw, sought to amend Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 60d of the Virgin Islands Code to increase the Department of Education’s internal procurement threshold authority from $50,000 to $250,000, not inclusive of construction contracts. 

ST. THOMAS—The Members of the 33rd Legislature convened in Legislative Session at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall on Thursday. Led by Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr., the Body met to vote on the nomination of Trevor Velinor to the Virgin Islands Police Department, the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Bills and other time-sensitive matters.

The consideration of Nominee Trevor A. Velinor as Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Police Department received favorable support while the Members of the Body emphasized their concerns to improve public safety, employee morale, training within the department and community relations throughout the Territory. Senators Athneil “Bobby” Thomas, Javan James and Dwayne DeGraff all rose in support of the Governor’s nominee.  

Senator-At-Large Steven D. Payne, Sr. opposed the nomination stating, “I don’t believe he is the right person for this job and voting in the affirmative for Mr. Velinor would mean that I agree that no police officer, past or present, is qualified to lead this Police Department as Commissioner,” he concluded.

Commissioner Designee Velinor thanked the members for their vote of confidence and pledged to employ an intelligence-based approach as it relates to law enforcement. “I am honored to have an opportunity to return home and serve the people of the Virgin Islands,” said Velinor.

Under Closed Rule, the Body approved the following measures and sent them to the Governor for further action:

·       Bill No. 33-0157– An Act appropriating money 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 an appropriation for operating expenses of the Judicial Branch 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 and Department of the Public Works for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020.

·       Bill No. 33-0161- An Act providing an appropriation for operating expenses of the Virgin Islands Board of Education from the General Fund of the Government of the Virgin Islands during fiscal year October 1, 2019, through September 30, 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, through September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0165- An Act providing an 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 fiscal year October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0166- An Act appropriating money 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- An Act appropriating 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- An Act 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0170- An Act 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 an 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 fiscal year October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0172- An Act 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- An Act 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- An Act 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- An Act appropriating 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0177- An Act 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0178- An Act 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- An Act 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 Authority and the Department of Tourism during the fiscal year October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0180- An Act 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, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0181- An Act 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- An Act to appropriate the sum of $10,000,000 from Transportation Trust Fund as a contribution to the General Fund for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0183- An Act to provide for the operating expenses of the Public Employees Relations Board and the Labor Management Committee for the fiscal year, October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. 

·       Bill No. 33-0184- An Act 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- An Act 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- An Act providing 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.

“I commend the Members of the Finance Committee, Post Audit Division and all individuals that assisted with the Finance review for the work accomplished and I continue to advocate for performance-based budgeting,” said Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

In the third block, the following Resolution, Lease Agreements and Bills were approved and sent to the Governor:

·       Bill No. 33-0084- 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 Fabien’s Trucking, LLC for the leasing of Parcel No. 149C Submarine Base, No. 6 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

·       Bill No. 33-0088- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and Dadlie’s Trucking Service, Inc. for the leasing of Parcel No. 32A and Parcel No. 33 Submarine Base, No. 6 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

·       Bill No. 33-0146- An Act to amend Title 9, Chapter 22 (“The Uniform Money Services Act”) of the Virgin Islands Code, by changing the license renewal period from biennial to annual for an authorized delegate of money transmission, check cashing or currency exchange business.

·       Bill No. 33-0147- An Act amending Title 22, Chapter 10 of the Virgin Islands Code by deleting from Section 232 the words “life” and “disability” and by adding a new Section 248, all to satisfy the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and to provide more effective protection to the policyholders in the Territory

·       Bill No. 33-0148- An Act amending chapter 60, section 1521 title 22 Virgin Islands Code to reflect a change to the definition of a Third-Party Administrator Trust Fund Account as it appears in Act 7695.

·       Bill No. 33-0149- An Act amending Title 22 Virgin Islands Code to add a new chapter 20b entitled “Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Act,” requiring the Territory’s domiciled insurers and alien insurers not doing business in any other U.S. jurisdiction to submit to the Commissioner of Insurance a corporate governance disclosure report in accordance with the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and that all such reports and related documents shall be kept confidential by law and privileged. 

·       Bill No. 33-0090- An Act amending Title 24, chapter 12, sections 302 and 308 of the Virgin Islands Code to implement a new methodology for assigning individual employer Unemployment Insurance Taxes as administered by the Virgin Islands Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance.

·       Bill No. 33-0052- A Resolution to petition the Governor of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress to join the 33rd Legislature in pursuing the return of a portion of the gasoline excise tax collected by the Federal Government.

During the final block of the Session, Lawmakers approved the following Special-Order Bills:

·       Bill No. 33-0193- An Act ratifying the First Renewal of Group Medical Health Insurance Agreement signed by the Governor on September 6, 2019, between the Government of the Virgin Islands through the Health Insurance Board of Trustees; the Virgin Islands Port Authority; the University of the Virgin Islands; the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation; the Virgin Islands Housing Authority; Non-Profit Organizations defined as eligible by the Government; and Frederiksted Health Care, Inc.; and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. 

·       Bill No. 33-0194- An Act ratifying the First Renewal of Group Dental Health Insurance Agreement signed by the Governor on September 6, 2019, between the Government of the Virgin Islands through the Health Insurance Board of Trustees; the Virgin Islands Port Authority; the University of the Virgin Islands; the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation; the Virgin Islands Housing Authority; Non-Profit Organizations defined as eligible by the Government; and Frederiksted Health Care, Inc.; and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. 

·       Bill No. 33-0195- An Act reprogramming funds from the Fiscal Year October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019 budgets of the Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Health and Department of Human Services to other departments and agencies to pay current and prior year obligations. 

Bill No. 33-0188, sponsored by Senators Frett-Gregory, Vialet, and Sarauw, sought to amend Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 60d of the Virgin Islands Code to increase the Department of Education’s internal procurement threshold authority from $50,000 to $250,000, not inclusive of construction contracts. 

Members present during Legislative Session: Senate President Novelle Francis, Jr., Vice-President Myron Jackson, Majority Leader Marvin Blyden, Senator-At-Large Steven Payne Sr., Senators Janelle Sarauw, Kurt Vialet, Oakland Benta Sr., Javan James Sr., Dwayne DeGraff, Donna Frett-Gregory and Athneil “Bobby” Thomas.

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