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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022


President Bill Clinton signed legislation Wednesday that will release $5.4 million to the Virgin Island to fund infrastructure improvements in the territory.
The grant was incorporated in he Interior Department's Fiscal Year 2000 budget in June at the instigation of the chairman of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Frank Murkowski.
The funds are earmarked for work on several federally mandated and court-ordered projects, such as prison expansion, improvements to wastewater treatment facilities and school construction.
At the time the subcommittee approved the appropriation, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull was in Washington meeting with federal officials. Both the governor and Delegate Donna Christian-Christiansen said Murkowski's willingness to help the Virgin Islands out of its fiscal crisis was predicated upon the territory also trying to help itself.
Turnbull said at the time that "We welcome the additional federal assistance and accept the need for mutually agreed-upon accountability and performance standards. We know that the federal government will only begin to help us when we first act to help ourselves."
"We know that we have to accept some pain and sacrifice in the months that lie ahead in order to return to fiscal health and to ensure a brighter future for the next generation of Virgin Islanders."
Turnbull said on Wednesday that he had thanked the president and Murkowski for their continuing assistance.
Clinton is expected to sign legislation in the next few days that will increase the amount of federal rum excise taxes returned to the territory from $10.50 to $13.25 per gallon.

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