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Committee of the Whole to Meet Next Week

Feb. 1, 2005 – The Senate Committee of the Whole, chaired by Sen. Lorraine Berry, will take testimony from various financial officers and economic advisors of the executive branch next week to discuss the fiscal challenges facing the territory.
The two-day meeting will take place Feb. 8 and 9 at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall on St. Thomas and will focus on the status of the 2005 executive budget and how it will be impacted by the current fiscal challenges.
"It will give us all of the necessary information we need for all 15 senators to be able to use it to make decisions in terms of finances in the coming months," Berry said Monday.
On Feb. 8, the committee will take testimony in the morning from: Ira Mills, director of the Office of Management and budget; Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull; Louis Willis, director of the Internal Revenue Bureau; Nathan Simmonds, director of the Office of Economic Recovery; Larry Soule of the Bank of America Securities LLC; William O'Connor, attorney with Buchanan & Ingersoll; Kenneth Mapp, director of the Public Finance Authority; and Roy Martin, tax assessor.
In the afternoon, the committee will hear from: Anthony Cruz, KPMG Independent Financial Auditors; attorney David Nissman, former U.S. Attorney and representative of Bridge Capital LLC; Frank Schulterbrandt, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority; and Peter Heibert of Winston and Strawn.
On Feb. 9, the committee will take testimony from: Anne Marie Hector, chairwoman of the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce; Cassan Pancham, chairman of the St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce; Beverly Nicholson, president of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association; Fred Laue, president of the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association; and Sam Baptiste, chairman of Team St. Croix.
In the afternoon, the committee will hear from: Edward Thomas, chief executive officer of the West Indian Company Ltd.; Darlan Brin, chief executive officer of the V.I. Port Authority; Kent Bernier from the governor's office; and Keith Richards, director of the Office of Capital Projects.
Senators will question these individuals on the current status of the 2005 executive budget, all government accounts, capital projects and property tax collections, among other things.

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