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Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. discusses his administration's priorities toward reducing property and homelessness during a meeting with members of the Virgin Islands Interagency Council on Homelessness Tuesday in Government House on St. Croix. (Government House photo)

Bryan Proposes USVI Mental Health Law Overhaul; Funding Unclear

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.
Senators and members of the Cabinet congratulate Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr. after his second State of the Territory Address Monday night. (Source photo by James Gardner)

Senators: State of Territory ‘Upbeat,’ but Lacks Details

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.
In October, Valrica Miranda Maria Bryson listens while she's praised at the meeting of the Senate Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation, and Aging. (File photo by the USVI Legislature)

Senate Rules Panel OKs Honor for Beloved Music Instructor

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.

Floating Businesses Expose Regulatory Loopholes, CZM Officials Say

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.

Senators Criticize WAPA Then Bail It Out

Senate votes to bailout WAPA with funds from GERS.

Short-Term Bailout Coming To Keep WAPA Running

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.
Sen. Novelle Francis Jr. listens during Wednesday’s hearing of the Committee of the Whole. (Photo by Jonelle-Alexis Jackson)

Senators OK Almost 50 Nominations for Regulatory Bodies

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 propane shipment arrives on St. Croix in 2015, from V.I. Source archives

WAPA Default Cuts Off Propane: Electricity Crisis Prompts Emergency Meetings

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.

Bryan Calls Emergency Legislative Meeting Over WAPA

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."
A local favorite, Carambolas, are ripe and ready for use at the Sejah Farm VI market. (Source photo by Linda Morland)

Lawmakers OK Agricultural Bill After Debate Over Funding

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.

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