Senators approve candidates, bills | New
Senators voted in Tuesday’s legislative session to approve nine candidates and 12 bills related to a wide variety of issues facing the territory.
All but one of the candidates considered on Tuesday were approved unanimously, including new finance commissioner Bosede Bruce.
Senator Franklin Johnson, a former corrections officer, said he opposed the appointment of lawyer Cherrisse Woods to serve on Parole Board VI because she said she would not recuse herself not to hear a request for parole from an inmate she had prosecuted.
“No one should have two chances to keep someone in jail,” Johnson said, adding that Woods is a “very bright and talented young Virgin Islander, but at the moment not for this advice.”
Despite urging Senate Speaker Donna Frett-Gregory to reconsider, Johnson voted against the nomination.
Senators unanimously approved the following appointments: Akil Petersen, VI Historic Preservation Commission; Elizabeth Raven Dumas, VI Board of Nurse Licensure; Brittany Dawson, VI Board of Nurse Licensure; Dr Chase Greep, VI Board of Dental Examiners; Dr. Celia Nurse, VI Board of Licensure; Deepak Bansal, VI Public Accountancy Board; and Stephen Samuel, VI Council of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors.
Senators also approved the following bills during Tuesday’s sitting:
• Bill 34-0004, relating to the payment of fuel taxes to modify the deadline for remitting the tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue
• Bill n ° 34-0030, which fills a gap in Code VI which conferred on the Superior Court jurisdiction in matters of child marriage.
• Bill 34-0031, which obliges a person found guilty of neglecting a child to follow advice in addition to imprisonment or a fine.
• Bill n ° 34-0032, which obliges a person convicted of child abuse to consult
• Bill No. 34-0034, enacting the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, to ensure the management of electronic legal information in a manner that ensures reliability and continued access to important government legal documents.
• Bill n ° 34-0037, relating to the inheritance of the deceased and the payment of certain debts without administration to increase the overall amount that a surviving spouse can receive from debtors on the death of the creditor and to increase the amount of the debt that ” a debtor must pay the survivors of a deceased creditor at least thirty days after the death of the creditor of not more than $ 5,000 to not more than $ 10,000
• Bill 34-0058 establishing the VI Catalyst Fund to provide loans to eligible entities in order to promote economic resilience and support the maintenance or creation of jobs, in order to enable the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park Corporation to administer the program and fund, and to provide criteria for granting loans; and make a $ 5 million loan to the Catalyst Fund and a $ 1 million loan to the Economic Development Authority’s enterprise zone program
• Bill 34-0060, enacting the Home Buyers’ Program Act for the first time; make a $ 4 million loan from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund to the Homestead and Home Loan Fund; and make a credit of $ 2 million from the internal revenue matching fund at the Ministry of Public Works to build the Leonardo “Nardo” Trotman promenade
• Bill No. 34-0066, to enable the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to collect unpaid property taxes and unpaid public sewer charges on the sale of real estate from delinquent taxpayers
• Bill No. 34-0071, enacting the Virgin Islands Timeshare Law
• Bill n ° 34-0076, giving preference to the elderly and the terminally ill in civil actions
• Bill 34-0077, revising the budget to add more than $ 17 million in order to restore the 8% reduction in salaries for employees of the VI government. The bill was amended before it was passed to include employees of semi-autonomous agencies who were affected by the illegal pay cut, including Luis and Schneider Hospitals, VI Waste Management Authority, UVI and WTJX.
Senate Speaker Donna Frett-Gregory also noted that Tuesday marked the 189th birthday of Virgin Islander Edward Wilmot Blyden, who founded the Pan-Africanist movement.