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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesSelective Listening to 'The People'

Selective Listening to 'The People'

Dear Source:
Senator Russell appeared on a local news station to tell us 'the people' are loosing with the governor's bill because 'the people' cannot testify to the re-appropriations contained within the bill before a vote is taken by our legislature. Yes, some special interest groups are not going to receive funds cart blanche as they have in the past garnering votes for the senator who manages to attach an amendment appropriating the funds. The governor in his wisdom seems to think we need to have the money for these events budgeted in the appropriate funding source. Good news for accountability but bad news for those senators who pander to get votes from special interest groups.
Point is, if Russell was so concerned about 'the people' not having a voice in the community on how we spend money, where was the opportunity for 'the people' before our legislature voted on Act 6905? Were 'the people' allowed to testify on what was a selfish last minute act on behalf of the legislature? Were 'the people' heard when we voiced strong opposition BEFORE the vote was taken?
The $6 million the governor's bill represents is miniscule in comparison to the $600 million in debt obligations to our already $1 billion in debt GERS system, $700,000 for payment in illegal contracts with no adverse action taken on the departments who skirted the contract process, pension benefits for themselves and for a past governor who stands to gain over $1 million over time, $15 million bridge loan to a convicted felon who has had over four years to gain financing for a project, and last but certainly not least, a whooping $20,000 raise increase for the senators!
It would appear senator Russell picks and chooses when 'the people' will be heard on selective issues/bills suiting his own political gains.
Jill Lange
St. Croix

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