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Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Amended Shoreline Access Bill Answers Some Questions – But Not All

At a Senate hearing last week, a bill mandating owners of shoreline properties to provide public access to the shore was forwarded to the Rules and Judiciary Committee despite several looming questions, some of which have now been answered by amendments. 

Senate Panel OKs Shoreline Access Bill Despite Constitutional Questions

A Senate committee on Friday approved by a 5-2 vote Bill No. 33-0108 which, if signed into law, would require owners of shoreline property to provide suitable public access.

Port Authority Opposes Free Parking Bill for STJ’s Gravel Lot

Legislation that would mandate the Enighed Pond Gravel Lot offer free parking was held in the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Consumer Affairs, Energy, Environment and Planning Friday after being contested by Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe.

Senate Extends State of Emergency By 60 Days

The V.I. Senate voted during Tuesday's legislative session to renew and extend the U.S. Virgin Islands state of emergency order by another 60 days due to the ongoing health crisis.

Legislature Votes to Sever Its Salary from Lowest-Paid Commissioner’s

In a unanimous vote, Virgin Islands senators on Tuesday severed their salaries from that of the lowest-paid executive branch commissioner, currently the Sports, Parks and Recreation commissioner.

Lawmakers Push Plan to Develop Territory’s Agriculture

The V.I. Legislature took its first step Monday to creating a profitable and sustainable community-based agricultural program for U.S. Virgin Island farmers.

Stricken Bill Could Mean Automatic Raises for Senators

Senators were faced with the choice on Wednesday to untie their salaries from the lowest-paid executive branch commissioner, who is due for a raise in 2021. An amendment to untie the salaries was added to an unrelated measure on the importation of non-indigenous creatures, but senators voted to strike the bill from the agenda.
Sen Vialet introduces his school calendar bill at a committee hearing Monday. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

No Rate Increases for Government Employees’ Insurance, Senators Say

While the final status of government employees' health and dental insurance agreements was unknown by the end of Tuesday's Senate hearing, Sen. Kurt Vialet said at a Wednesday extension new rates are arranged and, “we don’t have to increase costs for any employee of the Government of the Virgin Islands.”
Committee of the Whole Chairman Sen. Novelle Francis Jr. asks for an open and honest conversation with WAPA during Friday’s hearing. (“Photos by Chaunte Herbert, Legislature of the Virgin Islands.)

Insurance Agreements Not Ratified, Dozens of Bills Forwarded to Governor

The renewal of health insurance agreements for government employees was not ratified during Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole hearing, because Senate President Novelle Francis Jr. said they would like to have further discussion, even though the lawmakers are unable to negotiate rates.

Rules Committee Advances Superior Court Nominees, 32 Budget Bills

The Rules and Judiciary Committee had a full day on Monday, advancing 32 budget bills and two nominees to six-year terms as judges of the Superior Court.





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