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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, April 15, 2024


The Wall Street Journal carried a report Wednesday that the V.I. government was carrying a $1.2 billion debt, calling it a huge sum for a population of 114,000.
The story focused on Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's recent retraction of his proposed 6 percent pay cut for government workers.
It said, "Despite his promises to cut the budget, the latest move raises Mr. Turnbull's 2000 budget to $486.43 million compared with former Gov. Roy Schneider's 1999 budget plan of $475.65 million."
Turnbull had proposed cutting government employees' hours from 40 to 35 per week, with a corresponding 6 percent cut in salary, to save an estimated $20 million. Union leaders strongly opposed his proposal. In backing off from the 6 percent across-the-board cut, Turnbull said he would come up with an alternative cost savings down the road.
This week's Wall Street Journal story may be a precursor of a more intense national media spotlight on the territory's fiscal problems.
A reporter from the Wall Street Journal was in the territory last week looking into various financial issues. He attended the legislative hearing on the Public Services Commission's refusal to investigate V.I. Telephone Corp. rates, and spent time on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

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