Nov. 7, 2001 – Senators took action Wednesday in response to the executive order Gov. Charles W. Turnbull made public Monday giving his top administrators — commissioners, assistant and deputy commissioners and division heads — salary increases of up to 50 percent.
Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd and Sen. Adelbert Bryan each wrote Turnbull detailing their objections to aspects of the executive order. Liburd told the governor the full Senate will meet next Tuesday on St. Thomas to review the order, "specifically to find out where the monies to fund these orders will come from."
Liburd noted, "During this year's budget hearings when your administration was before this body defending the 2002 Executive Budget, and, in particular, the $44 million to put the unionized government workers on step, no mention was ever made about funding for these [executive order] proposed increases."
Liburd asked that the Legislature be provided a breakdown of all costs associated with the order, and that the Finance commissioner, Personnel director, a representative from the governor and the lieutenant governor's offices and the director of the Office of Management and Budget be present on Nov. 13 to testify.
Bryan then made a motion that the administration officials be subpoenaed to appear before the Senate along with the requested material. The motion was approved on a 9-6 vote along majority/non-majority lines. Voting in favor were Sens. Bryan, Donald "Ducks" Cole, Carlton Dowe, Alicia "Chucky" Hansen, Emmett Hansen II, Liburd, Norman Jn. Baptiste, Norma Pickard-Samuel and Celestino A. White Sr. Opposing the motion were Sens. Lorraine Berry, Douglas Canton Jr., Roosevelt David, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, David Jones and Vargrave Richards.
In his letter, Bryan told Turnbull that his executive order did not follow procedures outlined in the Revised Organic Act of 1954. Bryan said a section of that act provides that any executive order issued by the governor "shall be reviewed by the Legislature within 15 days after issuance … It shall be referred to the appropriate legislative committee to determine whether such executive order conflicts with any applicable law and for recommendations for appropriate legislation."
Byran also expressed "utter disgust" with the way in which Turnbull's order was communicated. "Simply put, you found it more important to inform the Daily News of your actions before you follow the law … And notify the Legislature of your actions," he wrote. Bryan, Liburd and several other senators expressed astonishment in Tuesday's Senate session at having first heard of Turnbull's order in the print media.
Bryan warned the governor that he "will do all within my power to assure that no action is taken on these executive orders until the Legislature is satisfied that the intent of any appropriations made by this body was intended to increase the salaries of non-unionized and/or exempt employees … I am sure you are aware government funds for these raises must be appropriated by the Legislature."
He continued, "I suspect that your next move is to increase the salaries of the governor and lieutenant governor on the pretext that your subordinates will be receiving a salary higher than yours."
Speculation was rife on the radio and in the Senate chamber that the governor was going to increase the salaries for the two top officials. On Wednesday morning, WVWI Radio news director Jean Greaux stated without revealing his source that it was anticipated that the governor would increase his own salary to $100,000 from $80,000 and that of the lieutenant governor to $100,000 from the present $75,000. By law, such an increase would require legislative approval. Some government sources have said the Legislature might not give it.

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