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Monday, January 25, 2021
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Senators Express Confusion About Changes to GERS Bail Out Bill, But Pass it in a Close Vote

Confusion swept through the Legislature on Thursday during a special session at which senators were called to vote on changes to a debt refinancing bill that aims to rescue a fiscally crumbling pension system. By an 8-6 margin, the newly amended legislation narrowly passed.

Governor Hopes For Extension of Pandemic Unemployment Benefit

The U.S. Virgin Islands will take advantage of an extra $300 a week in supplemental unemployment benefits to help ease the financial strain brought on by the ongoing public health crisis, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said during a Monday news conference.

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.

Bryan Urges Senate to Approve Securitization Bill

With the V.I. Senate set to convene on Tuesday, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. on Monday urged lawmakers to put politics aside and support a bill for securitizing the territory’s matching fund debt, which would bring about $200 million into the territory over the next three years.

Senate Hears New and Old Proposals for GERS

Sen. Janelle Sarauw asked why the Government Employees' Retirement System of the Virgin Islands kept a consultant firm on contract for seven years when all she heard from the consultant was the system needed “a significant infusion of cash.”

Bryan Creates GERS Funding Task Force, Echoing 2011 DeJongh Move

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed an executive order Monday establishing an Advisory GERS Funding Task Force to create a funding plan for the Government Employees' Retirement System.
Committee of the Whole President Novelle Francis Jr. opens the day-long session focused on the proposed revision of the Cannabis Use Act. (Screenshot)

After 8-Hours of Debate, Senate Still Undecided on Cannabis Bill

Senators spent Friday scrutinizing a 60-page piece of legislation proposed by Gov. Albert Bryan that would revise the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act, but after eight hours debate the lawmakers were divided as to whether the measure was ready.
The GERS building on St. Croix.

Trustee Wants to Prove GERS Investments Aren’t Bad

Trustee Nellon Bowry defended GERS's record on return on investments, arguing that when politicians and residents say the problem is poor investments they ignore the obvious – GERS pays out much more in annuities then it collects in contributions.
St. Thomas GERS building (Source photo by Don Buchanan)

GERS Board Recommended Benefit Cut Effective Jan. 1

The board of the Government Employees Retirement system has recommended a 42 percent reduction in practically all benefit payments. The reduction would take effect on Jan. 1.

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