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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Malone's Remarks on Governor's Vetoes

FYI: Malone's Remarks on Governor's Vetoes

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May 14, 2007 – Today, Senate Vice-President Senator Shawn-Michael Malone commented on Governor John deJongh’s recent vetoes on bills passed by the 27th Legislature during the last Legislative Session.
“After reviewing the Governor’s veto message on some of the items, it is apparent there is a lack of understanding from the Administration that did not warrant their objections. For instance, as it relates to the three bills affecting WAPA, based on the debate, testimony and discussion, my colleagues and I addressed the concerns raised by the Public Services Commission and WAPA through clarifying amendments,” Malone said.
“One of the three bills in particular was a measure intended to relieve WAPA of some of its financial hardships that would have consequently given consumers some relief on their high electric bills. The Financial Reform Act proposal was introduced to disallow WAPA from paying feasibility and interconnection costs that should have been assessed to those seeking to do business with WAPA. This can costs the utility millions of dollars, especially if the matter goes to court. Undoubtedly, this is unfair to WAPA and its consumers,” Malone explained. He further said, “The bill also sought to reduce the assessment fees WAPA pays to the PSC for dockets. Currently, WAPA assessment fees are based on its gross revenue, which now includes the cost paid for gasoline, which is the LEAC on the electric bills. Since WAPA makes no revenues from the LEAC, it should not be included in the assessment, ultimately saving the Authority more money to invest in its infrastructure.”
“It seems the Administration is not aware of WAPA’s grave financial condition. At some point, as government leaders, we must decide whether or not we want to help our own electric utility because it belongs to the people of the Virgin Islands. Hopefully, my colleagues will support my move to override the Governor’s veto to relieve WAPA of its immediate financial hardships,” Malone concluded.

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