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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 30, 2024


April 12, 2004 – The Senate is making up for lost time this week, springing into action with six committee meetings in four days, after having held only one meeting in the last two weeks. The sessions will focus on various timely and sensitive issues.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's amendments to the recently passed Waste Management Authority legislation — scheduled to be heard Wednesday at 10 a.m. before the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee — are likely to get the most attention.
Among the amendments is Turnbull's proposal to reestablish the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission, which was put under the aegis of the WMA in the legislation. In light of the recent controversy regarding allocation of the commission's funds, this proposal is not likely to be viewed favorably by Sen. Louis Hill, sponsor of the legislation and chair of the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee.
While the waste management bill should generate much heated discussion, recent developments in the V.I. Lottery should make Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg's Tuesday Finance Committee meeting a close second.
Set for 10 a.m., it's to hear testimony from the V.I. Lottery Office executive director, Paul Flemming; Attorney General Iver Stridiron and Robert Washington, chief executive officer of Caribbean Lottery Services.
It was announced a week ago that Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Co., the parent company of St. Croix-based Caribbean Lottery Services, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by GTech Holdings Corp., a Rhode Island company described as "the world's largest lottery systems operator." GTech also recently acquired a company that manufactures video lottery terminals.
According to GTech, the LILHC purchase price is about $40 million, and the deal is expected to close by mid-May. (See "Caribbean Lottery parent company to be sold".)
Stridiron said last week that Caribbean Lottery Services payments to the V.I. Lottery are being held up because of a flaw in the government's contract with CLS. He said last Wednesday that the contract does not stipulate that CLS must pay the V.I. Lottery regardless of whether it has collected from its dealers.
Testimony regarding amounts owed the V.I. Lottery by CLS are on the agenda, along with an update on the CLS contract.
Another issue sure to spark much public discussion and raise the hackles of a segment of the community is Sen. Usie Richard's Commercial Motor Vehicle Act of 2004, scheduled before the Public Safety, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Justice Committee at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The bill would create inspection and safety standards for large vehicles and includes a meticulous set of fines. The legislation is likely to generate strong opposition from the taxi industry.
On Thursday at 10 a.m., Sen. Roosevelt David's Rules Committee will hear three nominations for board seats. Deandre J. Atwell and Anthon Winston Adams are being considered for the Waste Management Authority board, while Vancito E. Gumbs Sr. is being considered for the Hospitals and Health Facility Corporation Board.
And then on Thursday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., the Government Operations Committee is to hold a hearing on "operations" of the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department. Apparently some particular operations are in mind, as the only persons invited to testify other than Commissioner Andrew Rutnik are the president of the V.I. Vendors Association and 13 presidents or owners of taxi and tour businesses.
The Senate meets in Committee of the Whole at 6 p.m. Friday for the week's only St. Croix meeting, in which the senators are scheduled to review four rezoning requests, one of which is being sought to develop a major resort including a 36-hole golf course, marina, shops, condominiums, residences, a heritage park and a botanical garden.

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