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ST. CROIX–The Committee on Finance, chaired by Senator Kurt A. Vialet, convened FY 2020 budget hearing Thursday morning in the UVI Great Hall, Albert A. Sheen Campus, St. Croix with the VI Public Broadcasting System (VIPBS) and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Tanya-Marie Singh, Executive Director, VIPBS said in her statement that she requests the support of the Committee on their budget request of $4,030,123.

The Governor has recommended a General Fund lump sum from the Miscellaneous Section for FY 2020 in the amount of $4,030,123. The budget is distributed as follows: Personnel Services-$1,833,546.79; Fringe Benefits-$730,910.64; Supplies-$50,000; Other Services-$1,260,669.57; and Utilities-$155,000.

According to Singh, since FY 2014 to FY 2018, the System has saved $2.4 million by being prudent in their spending, vacancy savings, and in FY 2018 their spending levels were reduced as they operated out of their Attorney’s office at no cost.

She added that they have been notified of $792,461 in insurance award from the VI Government and they are in the process of tapping into $282,337 of that award. Furthermore, the System received $200,000 from a cellphone company out of Puerto Rico as an incentive to repack their frequency.

Singh told the Committee that if FEMA allows them to rebuild their facility to the new FCC standards passed in November 2017, the System will be on equal or better footing with any television and radio station anywhere.

Barbara Jackson-McIntosh, Director, BMV said in order to preform those mandated and necessary functions, BMV FY 2019 General Fund appropriation is $2,277,721 and $1 million in BMV fund, for a total of $3,277,721.

According to the Director, they were projected to receive a total of $2,168,283 in non-appropriated funds from the personalized license plate fund for a grand total for FY 2019 appropriation of $5,446,004.

She added that, in FY 2019 to date they have received a total allotment of $1,960,805 of their appropriated General Fund budget. $750,000 of the appropriated BMV Fund; $2,168,283 of the Projected Personalized Licensed Plate Fund, for a combined total of $4,879,088. Received thus far.

She pointed out that, in FY 2019 to date they have received a total allotment of $1,960,805 of the General Fund Budget; $750,000 of the appropriated BMV Fund; $2,168,283 of the Projected Personalized Licensed Plate Fund for a combined total of $4,879,088 received thus far.

From the allocated General Fund amount, she added, a total of $1,367,540 was expanded; of the BMV Fund allocated they have expended $574,705; and of the amount allotted in the Personalized License Plate Fund $715,467 was expended. Overall, at the end of the 3rd quarter of FY 2019, the BMV has thus far expended an overall total of $2,67,715 with a total unexpended allotment balance of $1, 861,117.

For FY 2020, she pointed out, the recommended budget ceiling for the BMV is $396,541 of which their recommended General Fund appropriation is $2,337,404, and $1 million from the BMV Funds, which is the same amount received in FY 2019. The License Plate Fund recommended budget ceiling for FY 2020 is $1,019,137, which by law mandated that all revenues collected by the BMV must be returned to the BMV.

According to the Director, the revenues must be placed in the Personalized License Plate Fund for the purpose of personnel Services, Capital improvement and operating expenses. She added that they anticipate the amount they will receive will be significantly higher because of the planned modernization of the Bureau’s operations with the goal of improving the service thus increasing the revenues and the amount they will receive.