Budget Director Debra Gottlieb said she has "grave concerns" about the Legislature’s cuts to agencies that produce revenue or are under federal consent decrees. In a statement Monday, Gottlieb also questioned the revenue projections used by the Legislature for the budget bills it passed.
The budget was passed by the full Senate Oct. 1. (See Related Links below)
“My primary concern is the budget reductions that have been meted out to revenue-producing departments and agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office – as well as the Bureau of Corrections and the Virgin Islands Police Department, both of which are operating under federal consent decrees,” Gottlieb said in Monday’s statement.
In the governor’s proposed budget that, according to the OMB analysis, the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s budget for Fiscal Year 2015 was reduced by $1.5 million while the Lieutenant Governor’s Office budget was reduced by $111,000. OMB’s analysis also shows reductions at the Bureau of Corrections by some $777,000, while funding levels to the V.I. Police Department in the Miscellaneous Section of the Budget specifically for the federal Excessive Force Consent Decree were reduced by $1 million.
“These reductions undermine the progress and successes” that these agencies have made to date, Gottlieb said, adding that the analysis of the budget package as approved by the 30th Legislature is ongoing and OMB may have more comment in the days ahead.