Gov. John deJongh Jr. and Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis met Sunday with members of the 30th Legislature at Government House, a meeting both groups said helped create a good working relationship.
According to a release from Government House, the meeting focused on such issues as the territory’s energy crisis, revenue collections, public safety, the effect of the closure of the Hovensa refinery, the cost of transportation between the islands, road repairs, the reinstatement of the eight percent salary reduction for government employees, community revitalization, agriculture, education reform and shovel-ready capital projects in both districts.
DeJongh said he was encouraged by the meeting with lawmakers.
“We had a candid discussion on a number of issues that are of importance to the members of the Senate and my administration. I see today’s meeting as a significant first step in developing a meaningful working relationship with the Senate.”
Senate President Shawn Michael Malone expressed similar sentiments.
“The meeting was quite productive. It was a frank discussion between the two branches of government on issues that are of paramount importance. Like the governor, I too am optimistic that today’s meeting is a step in a right direction to enhance the working relationship between the administration and the 30th Legislature. And we look forward to more discussion following Monday’s State of the Territory Address.”
Senators in attendance included Shawn Michael-Malone, Sammuel Sanes, Janette Millin Young, Donald Cole, Diane Capehart, Clifford Graham, Craig Barshinger, Judi Fricks Buckley, Kenneth Gittens, Tregenza Roach, Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, Clarence Payne, and Myron Jackson. Sens. Nereida Rivera O’Reilly and Terrence Nelson were not in attendance.