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Pawnbroker Video Camera Bill Moves Forward

During a busy budget-oriented session Wednesday on St. Croix, the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee approved a bill to make pawnbrokers who buy gold install video cameras, along with several other potential new laws.
When the bill was debated in its originating committee, police testified the growing gold trade has helped fuel an increasing number of violent robberies. In support of the bill, Sen. Patrick Sprauve said there is a cash-for-gold business in his area and “a lot of random crime," which he felt might plausibly be partly related.
“A video camera recording people there, I could see having an impact,” Sprauve said.
Senate President Louis Hill offered an amendment adding definitions and banning such businesses in hotel rooms, on roadsides and in other transient locations. Voting yea were Sprauve, Sens. Neville James, Carlton "Ital" Dowe, Sammuel Sanes, Celestino White and Michael Thurland. Sen. Usie Richards was absent at the time of that vote, but was present throughout much of the day.
Along with numerous budget bills, discussed elsewhere in the Source today, the committee also approved bills to:
— expand an existing Human Services Department prescription drug assistance program to the aged, to include medical supplies and equipment used in the care of chronic diseases;
— require guns brought into the territory only be shipped to a licensed V.I. gun dealer who would only release the weapon once the recipient shows they have the appropriate permits;
— increase the appropriation to pay the Education Department’s third-party fiduciary from $3.3 million to $3.9 million and appropriating $6.5 million from the Union Arbitration Award Fund to pay salary increases for police and corrections officers;
— clarify the legal meaning of parental responsibility when it comes to holding parents and legal guardians partially accountable for the actions of the minors under their charge; and
— set up a separate commercial motor vehicle inspection system, with a schedule of fines and penalties for violations, ranging from driving too many hours in a day to having an unopened alcoholic beverage in the car.
The bills now go to the full Senate for a final vote.

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