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Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. submitted legislation Thursday aiming to largely reorganize how mental and behavioral health, including alcohol and substance addiction, are treated in V.I. law. The bill, which he mentioned in Monday’s State of the Territory address, does not come with a lot of new money for treatment and care.
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s second State of the Territory address was met with mixed reviews from senators, who described it as “enthusiastic” and “upbeat,” but lacking details on education and crime fighting initiatives, among other things.
Valrica Miranda Maria Bryson was honored Thursday by the Senate Committee on Rules and Judiciary, when senators approved a resolution hailing her contributions to the school system in the territory. The committee also sent to the full Senate two lease agreements.
Several testifiers shed light on the ongoing Department of Planning and Natural Resources permitting issues at Thursday’s Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee hearing, pointing out that projects like the floating bar Lime Out don’t require Major Land Permits vetted by the Coastal Zone Management Commission.
Senate votes to bailout WAPA with funds from GERS.
After a second emergency meeting on Monday, the governor and senators agreed in principle to make an emergency appropriation later this week to pay immediate past-due accounts to Vitol to restore propane supplies and keep the electricity flowing at the V.I. Water and Power Authority.
Senators convened Wednesday and approved 46 nominees for various governmental boards, committees and commissions, which ultimately could help with the territory’s history of meetings that can't do business because they lack a quorum.
Vitol, the V.I. Water and Power Authority's propane supplier and creditor for WAPA's conversion from oil to propane electricity generation, cut off the propane it supplies the utility at noon Saturday. This means WAPA must use more expensive fuel oil instead and cannot use its newest, most efficient generators.
With less than 24 hours notice, Friday afternoon Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. called the Legislature into an emergency meeting Saturday, Dec. 21, to discuss "matters related to the V.I. Water and Power Authority."
All 15 senators agreed with the intent of an agricultural bill, which designates a percentage of the government’s budget to support farming projects, but both the language of the bill and an amendment offered were cause for concern for a handful of senators.