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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeNewsElections 2020Bryan Applauds Federal Support, Advocates for Continued Assistance at IGIA Meeting

Bryan Applauds Federal Support, Advocates for Continued Assistance at IGIA Meeting

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. addresses the 2024 annual meeting of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA). (Submitted photo)

Gov. Albert Bryan expressed gratitude to the Biden Administration for its recent commitment of $1.1 billion in federal matching funds through the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This significant investment marks a monumental step forward for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ recovery efforts.

During his address at the 2024 annual meeting of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) at the Department of the Interior, the governor highlighted the importance of reducing the local cost share on pending and future hurricane recovery and infrastructure projects.

He emphasized that this adjustment allows the Government of the Virgin Islands to access crucial funds allocated for disaster recovery, enhancing infrastructure reliability and resilience against climate-driven catastrophes.

Bryan also underscored the necessity of Congressional support for key initiatives, such as the rum cover-over legislation, which is vital for the territory’s financial stability. Additionally, he urged the State and Treasury departments to take a strong stance against the small territories’ inclusion on the European Union Blacklist, emphasizing the need for consistent treatment across all territories.

While congratulating Guam on achieving an upgrade in bonding for the territory, Bryan advocated for Congress to authorize proposed legislation allowing Treasury to back bonds for all territories. He highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by the U.S. Virgin Islands in reopening its oil refinery on St. Croix and called for fair treatment from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate economic recovery.

In his concluding remarks, he stressed the importance of equal treatment for Americans residing in the territories and urged unity among the small territories to achieve consistency in rights and applications. He expressed gratitude for the partnership with the federal government and the pivotal role played by the  Interagency Group on Insular Areas in advancing the territories’ prosperity.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit https://transparency.vi.gov

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