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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, February 23, 2024


V.I. Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen has said she will resubmit Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg’s plan to cut the number of V.I. senators from 15 to nine.
The bill, which made it as far as the House Ways and Means Committee last year, died before the full House of Representatives considered it.
This time around, according to Wednesday's Independent, the legislation will be revised slightly to set a cap of 15 senators but allow the V.I. Legislature or the electorate to determine the actual number of senators.
Christensen said she would introduce the measure because it was endorsed by the V.I. Legislature but said she'd prefer to deal with the issue in a more comprehensive way, with a package of changes to the Organic Act or a fifth attempt at writing a V.I. constitution.
Donastorg has estimated that reducing the number of V.I. senators from 15 to nine would improve efficiency and save $6 million a year.
He hopes to have the new limits in place before the 2000 election.
The U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Guam have their own constitutions but the Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not. The Virgin Islands has tried four times — all unsuccessfully — to write its own constitution and win voter approval of the document.

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