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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Budget Office Defends Its Budget

The budget makers got to defend their own budget Thursday with the Office of Management and Budget defending its $3.9 million overall Fiscal Year 2013 budget request in Senate budget hearings.

That sum is roughly $200,000 less than last year’s total budget, and includes $2.1 million from the General Fund – roughly $210,000 or 11.1 percent less than last year’s appropriation. The General Fund money will pay $1.3 million in salaries and wages for 21 filled and four vacant positions, and another $468,000 in benefits. Another $40,000 is allocated to supplies, $30,000 for utilities and $261,000 in "other services and charges."

For FY 2013, OMB also anticipates $1.8 million from the Indirect Cost Fund, which is funded by federal reimbursement for services rendered by local agencies. The money covers $712,000 for personnel wages and salaries for 10 filled and three vacant positions, along with another $239,000 in fringe benefits. It will also pay for $90,000 in capital outlays, $216,000 in supplies, $50,000 for utilities and $529,000 in "other services and charges."

The "other services and charges" category generally covers everything from travel expenses to professional services contracts.

Also testifying Wednesday was Cynthia Stapleton, chairwoman of the V.I. Board of Nursing Licensure, who addressed the board’s budget. The Board of Nursing Licensure is responsible for promoting policies and standards for nursing education, practice and discipline in the territory and oversees the licensing of nurses in the territory.

The board maintains 14,370 licensing files, with 11,943 RNs, 298 APRNs, 1,072 LPNs and 1,355 CNAs, Stapleton said. Among its activities over the year, it renewed or issued new licenses to 716 RN licenses, 81 APRNs and held five CNA exams, she said.

With only four employees, the board hopes to hire a territorial executive director, an administrative assistant, a data entry specialist and a part time clerk-typist in the next year. It is requesting $222,000 from the General Fund, which will pay wages, salaries and benefits for its employees. It is also requesting 255,000 for from the Nurse Licensure Revolving Fund for operating expenses, for a combined total budget request of $477,000. The Nurse Licensure Revolving Fund consists of the licensing fees collected by the board.

No votes were taken at the information gathering budget hearing.

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