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Cruz Bay
Monday, April 15, 2024


Molly Morris
June 21, 2001 – In signing the step-increase bill into law, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull line-item vetoed one of the multiple amendments because "it goes beyond what is currently required to get our government employees and retirees adequate insurance protection," he said in a release late Thursday.
"The section is far-reaching and requires additional research by the Health Insurance Board and input from the public, especially government employees," he said.
The item covers contract negotiations and renewals by the governor, the board and proposed insurers. It would have required the board to submit at least three bids to the governor with recommendations at least 180 days prior to the expiration date of an existing contract.
Rina Jacobs McBrowne, the governor's public information officer, confirmed Friday that Turnbull approved all of the other amendments tacked onto the bill.
Those amendments:
– Authorize the governor to reopen negotiation with the local chapters of the American Federation of Teachers to increase entry-level salaries of public school teachers.
– Appropriate $500,000 to the Education Department for teacher training and recruitment.
– Appropriate $9 million to the Internal Revenue Bureau to improve tax collection, train staff and contract for improved processing.
– Appropriate $1.2 million for a parking facility in Cruz Bay, St. John.
– Provide $210,591 from the Homestead and Home Loan Fund as a 10 percent match to $2.1 million that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted to the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department for infrastructure of the Castle Burke development on St. Croix.
– Require government salary increases to become effective by Oct. 18, and retirees' adjusted annuities to be paid by Aug. 31.
– Appropriate $50,000 to the Public Works Department for cleanup in Cruz Bay following the St. John Festival.
For details on the governor's signing of the bill Thursday, see story titled Turnbill signs step increase into law.

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