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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 2, 2022


The Senate Government Operations Committee has given the green light to one phase of the Governor's Reorganization and Consolidation Act.
The panel, chaired by Sen. Gregory Bennerson, voted Wednesday to approve the legislation to merge the V.I. Housing Authority, Housing Finance Authority and the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department under one new agency, the V.I. Housing and Community Redevelopment Authority.
Housing, Parks and Recreation would be renamed the Sports, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. The bill provides for the new authority to be governed by a seven-member board, of which two members appointed by the governor would represent the private sector and two others would be members of the governor's cabinet or executive staff. The other three would be public housing community tenants.
The committee increased the number of tenants to serve on the board to three after hearing testimony from public housing residents Evelyn Webster, Gloria Haynes and Wayne Petersen.
The panel also voted to delete sections of the Governor's Reorganization and Consolidation Plan that are part of the Fiscal Year 2000 Omnibus Act, as well as portions of the measure that address economic development issues. Several senators are drafting legislation that deals with consolidation of the territory's economic development agencies.
The measure goes next to the Rules Committee.

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