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TURNBULL: WE MUST PROVE RESPONSIBILITY

If the federal government is to help the Virgin Islands, the territory must first prove its willingness to help itself, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said from Washington, D.C.
Turnbull told the V.I. Independent, “If we do things we are expected to do, like streamlining the government, having a more efficient and effective government, cut unnecessary spending and come up with the five-year plan that we’re finalizing now for economic recovery, the Congress and the
federal government will feel us worthy of some sort of help.”
The governor is in Washington attending meetings with the nation’s governors. Tuesday he made the rounds of the capital with Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen to make the case for assisting the Virgin Islands, including returning a greater percentage of excise taxes on rum made here.
Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was "very, very knowledgeable about our situation and he offered helpful suggestions and ideas," Turnbull told the Independent.
He also met with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to further plans for the joint federal-territorial team that is being formed to analyze the territory’s fiscal situation and develop a plan to lead the Virgin Islands out of its problems.
Dr. Orville Kean, president of the University of the Virgin Islands, will chair the territory’s group. The team is slated to meet in Washington in two weeks.
Turnbull and other governors had dinner Sunday night with President Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, and the governor said he invited the president to return to the Virgin Islands for a vacation. The governors also had dinner with Vice President and Mrs. Gore.
Turnbull left Friday for the National Governors Association conference and is expected to spend the week in Washington.

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