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Monday, January 25, 2021
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V.I. Courts Launch Electronic Filing System

Amid a myriad of pandemic-related challenges, Chief Justice Rhys Hodge announced at Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing that, on Aug. 31, the V.I. judicial branch launched a long-awaited electronic filing system for the Superior Court and Supreme Court.

Housing Finance Authority: $19 Million Spent of Nearly $2 Billion Recovery Grant

Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority Executive Director Daryl Griffith told senators on Wednesday that "recovery is a marathon," as he relayed “the incredible amount of bureaucracy” that goes into managing and spending nearly $2 billion in disaster grant funding.

Senate Passes Heavily Amended GERS Bail Out Bill

The governor’s proposed bill that aims to bail out the Government Employees' Retirement System was passed by the Legislature at a Friday special session, the culmination of Thursday’s Finance Committee hearing that moved into special session before being recessed.

Split Finance Committee OKs Pension Bail Out Bill With Hesitations

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday narrowly advanced Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.'s bill that aims to bail out the Government Employees' Retirement System by securitizing the territory’s Matching Fund debt.
Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte defends his department's budget before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday. (Photo from USVI Legislature)

Despite Imminent Restrictions, Tourism Says USVI Has Been ‘Top of the Pack’ During Pandemic

Despite imminent restrictions that will shut down much of the V.I. economy, Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte told senators Thursday the territory has been “top of the pack” in terms of destinations tourists can reasonably travel to during the global pandemic.

90 Percent of Board of Education Student Loans are Delinquent, Senators Learn

Members of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday expressed sharp disapproval of the V.I. Board of Education's student loan collection efforts after learning that 90 percent of such loans are delinquent.

Senators Alarmed by Shortage of Teachers, Laptops for Online Learning

Members of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday expressed concern about 119 vacant positions within the Department of Education, a shortage of teaching aids and supplies, and a shortage of laptops for online learning.

Bryan Defends Contract to Daughter’s Firm, Decries ‘Attacking the Children’

Health officials and Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. say a $1 million no-bid contract awarded to Avera Inc., whose management includes Bryan’s daughter, Aliyah Bryan, and campaign intern, Michael Pemberton, was proper.

Senators Say Health Department Didn’t Follow Procurement Process for $1 Million Contract

Members of the Senate Finance Committee expressed shock when Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion said the department entered a $1 million contract for pandemic-related contact tracing services without requesting bids through Property and Procurement.

Human Services Offering Pandemic Childcare Subsidy for Working Parents

The V.I. Department of Human Services is offering working parents and guardians relief during the COVID-19 pandemic via a Federal Block Grant program that provides a child care subsidy for children up to 12 years old.

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