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Cruz Bay
Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Oct. 10, 2001 – With hours to spare, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull signed most of the $551 million Fiscal Year 2002 budget bills into law Wednesday, but by 10 p.m. there was no news from Government House on what he would do with the two notable exceptions — the massive $479.7 million executive branch appropriation and the 2002 Omnibus Bill.
The executive branch budget includes all government department and agency allocations, which were line-itemed this year by the Senate Finance Committee. The governor had until midnight Wednesday to sign or veto all the bills, or let them become law without his signature.
The Senate completed its $551 million Fiscal Year 2002 budget session Sept. 25, in the process overriding Turnbull's earlier line-item vetoes of close to $2.8 million in the FY 2001 supplemental appropriations bill passed in July.
The 2002 Omnibus Bill includes:
– $4 million for television advertising to promote the territory.
– $1 million to hire 50 police officers and $80,000 to hire a police psychologist.
– $1 million to purchase 75 police vehicles, to be divided equally between the territory's two districts.
The bill also includes a provision to keep senators' pay commensurate with commissioners' salaries, should the department heads get raises, and a number of territorywide capital improvement projects.
In his cover letter to Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd, Turnbull made no mention of the missing bills, nor did he veto any of the measures. The governor could line-item veto the executive budget and the Omnibus Bill because they contain appropriations.
Turnbull told Liburd that the bills he had signed "represent a significant part of the spending plan for 2002. He also wrote, "I must emphasize, however, that with the recent events on the mainland, we must be ever mindful of the trickle-down effect on this territory. Therefore, I am reminding the Legislature that should the revenue picture change, we will have to tighten our belts and spend less … We must keep an ever-watchful eye on events looming on the horizon."
Both the executive and legislative branches have come under criticism from the private sector — and from some of the senators, themselves — for not scaling back the FY 2002 budget after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The leaders of both hotel associations and both chambers of commerce have said the private sector will need help to survive the economic downturn that has resulted from the loss of tourism business in the last month.
The governor approved the following:
– Bill No. 24-0112 – $1.7 million for operating expenses of the Business and Commercial Properties Revolving Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0113 – $24.6 million for University of the Virgin Islands salaries and expenses, and for other purposes.
– Bill No. 24-0114 – $2.6 million from the Government Insurance Fund for Finance Department operating expenses.
– Bill No. 24-0115 – $2.7 million from the Health Revolving Fund to the General Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0116 – $5 million from the Insurance Guaranty Fund to the General Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0117 – $3.2 million from the Indirect Cost Fund for Office of Management and Budget, Personnel Division, Property and Procurement Department and Finance Department salaries and operating expenses, and for other purposes.
– Bill No. 24-0118 – $3.5 million from the Interest Revenue Fund to the General Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0119 – $70.2 million from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund, with $25.2 million to go into the General Fund and $44.7 million to pay debt service on outstanding government bonds.
– Bill No. 24-0120 – $3.1 million from the Caribbean Basin Initiative Fund to the General Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0121 – $6.4 million from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund to the Public Works Department, and for other purposes.
– Bill No. 24-0122 – $306,881 for V.I. Taxicab Commission operating expenses.
– Bill No. 24-0123 – $169,174 from the Transportation Revolving Fund for Property and Procurement Department salaries, fringe benefits, supplies and other services and charges.
– Bill No. 24-0124 – $750,000 from the Sewage System Fund for Public Works Department operating expenses.
– Bill No. 24-0125 – $514,322 for Public Services Commission operating expenses.
– Bill No. 24-0126 – $1.9 million from the interest earned on bond proceeds to the General Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0127 – $1.5 million from the St. John Capital Improvement Fund for Public Works Department operating expenses.
– Bill No. 24-0128 – $479.7 million for executive branch operations.
– Bill No. 24-0129 – $1.3 million from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund to the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department for V.I. Carnival, St. John Festival and Crucian Christmas Festival celebrations.
– Bill No. 24-0130 – $400,000 for Public Employees Relations Board operating expenses and $103,473 for the Labor Management Committee.
– Bill No. 24-0133 – establishing the Disaster Recovery Contingency Revolving Fund; it is to be funded by $1.4 million from the miscellaneous section of the executive branch operations budget.
– Bill No. 24-0135 – amending the V.I. Code to increase to $25,000 from the current $5,000 the amount of prior fiscal-year obligations that can be paid by departments and agencies from current-year appropriations.
– Bill No. 24-0136 – authorizing the Office of Management and Budget director to allocate $44 million from the miscellaneous section of the FY 2002 budget to cover salary increases for executive branch workers and $12 million to cover executive branch salary and health insurance premium increases.
– Bill No. 24-0138 – $12.8 million from the Transportation Trust Fund to the General Fund.
– Bill No. 24-0143 – To rename the Coral Bay fire station in honor of Hugh Otis Liburd.
– Bill No. 24-0147 – $24.6 million from the General Fund to the Territorial Court of the V.I. and the Judicial Council to cover salaries, personnel services and supplies, and for other purposes.
– Bill No. 24-0148 – $15.3 million to the V.I. Legislature for salaries, equipment and operating expenses.
– Bill No. 24-0149 – $3.2 from the Treasury of the V.I. to the Territorial Public Defender's Office for salaries, supplies, utilities, training, personnel services and other uses.
– Bill No. 24-0156 – To name a section of the Scenic Road on St. Croix the Praxedes Nieves Ridge Road.
– Bill No. 24-0157 – To provide unsecured micro-credit loans to local entrepreneurs from the Government Development Bank at no greater than 5 percent interest.
– Bill No. 24- 0096 – To amend the V. I. code pertaining to the Safe Water Drinking Act.
– Resolution 1616 – To extend condolences to the people of New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and all those who lost friends and relatives to the four tragic plane crashes.
Passed without the governor's signature was Bill No. 24-0086 amended to give WAPA linemen and plant operators eligibility for hazardous duty early retirement. This measure was earlier vetoed by the governor and then the veto was overridden by the Legislature on Sept. 24.

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