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HomeNewsArchivesGOVERNOR 'RUNNING BEHIND' ON BUDGET

GOVERNOR 'RUNNING BEHIND' ON BUDGET

Despite "non-stop meetings all week," Gov. Charles Turnbull and his top financial advisors are "running behind" in revising the executive branch budget for Fiscal Year 2000 and getting it to the Legislature in a timely manner, Government House spokesman James O'Bryan told The Source on Wednesday.
Simultaneously the governor and those same advisors are working out details for a proposed $100 million bond issue to bail the territory out temporarily while the administration begins to initiate a series of cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing measures.
The revised FY 2000 budget was to have been delivered to the Legislature Tuesday, allowing Senators and post-audit officials a week in which to review it before twice-delayed hearings before the Finance Committee begin on Aug. 24.
O'Bryan said the reason for the delay — and for the governor's postponement of a press conference from Wednesday to Friday — is that "he has been meeting with his financial team to go over some of the requirements they have had to fulfill since the trip last week."
O'Bryan did not elaborate on what the requirements were or who had imposed them.
The governor returned to the territory on Sunday after having been away for all but one full day in the first half of August. "Meetings were backed up since he had not been here for some time," O'Bryan said. "In order to crunch the numbers and get some policy direction, he's been doing non-stop meetings all week."
Finance Committee chair Lorraine Berry was told on Tuesday that the revised executive branch budget will be delivered to the Legislature on Monday. O'Bryan said that is still the plan. Turnbull was in New York City last week drumming up support for his proposed $100 million bond issue in meeting with officials of First Union Capital Markets, the territory's financial adviser. PaineWebber has been chosen as the lead underwriter for the proposed move to raise the money for a quick fiscal fix.
With him in New York were his fiscal policy advisor, Rudolph Krigger Sr.; Office of Management and Budget director Ira Mills; and Public Finance Authority director of finance and administration Amadeo Francis.
Turnbull met with President Clinton in St. Louis, Mo., the weekend before last while attending the National Conference of Governors and with federal officials in Washington, D.C., the previous week.

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