Feb. 5, 2003 – Sen. Ronald Russell convened his Education and Youth Committee for its first meeting, Wednesday on St. Croix, to chart its course for the next two years and to talk about the idea of joint committee sessions when appropriate.
"Education and youth can be approached and should be addressed in a nonpolitical, positive manner," Russell said. He told his committee members to remain impartial in the discharge of their duties, saying that education is too important for senators to "be guided by public opinion or political fiat," a release from his office stated.
Invited to the meeting were the heads of the Legislature's other committees, to explore the possibility of formulating a "cross jurisdiction of joint committees."
The idea, Russell said, is to combine the jurisdictions of committees when relevant. For example, if a student were arrested for crime in a school, it would be an Education and Youth Committee concern, but also, because of the juvenile delinquency issue, it could involve the new Public Safety, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Justice Committee.
"The youth component of this committee is more complex and requires collaboration and interaction of more than one standing committee," Russell said. "The youth component crosses practically all committees."
As to who would chair joint hearings, Russell said he would like to see Senate President David Jones make that designation.
Senators present at the Wednesday meeting were committee members Norman Jn Baptiste, Roosevelt David, Shawn-Michael Malone, Luther Renee, Raymond "Usie" Richards and Russell. Committee member Louis Hill was absent. Sen. Emmett Hansen II, a non-committee member, also was present. With the exception of Richards, all of these senators, along with Sens. Lorraine Berry, Douglas Canton and Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg chair committees.
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