The Legislature passed 17 bills and eight nominees for governing board positions during a Session Friday, as well as overriding four bills that had been vetoed by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.
Bill 33-0335 aims to restructure the Cannabis Advisory Board. This legislation, along with the other bills that were overridden – 33-0217, 33-0054, and 33-0102 – await the signature of Bryan before becoming law.
In a session dominated by the Senate’s decision to scuttle a bill outlawing corporal punishment in schools, the lawmakers also passed the following measures and passed them on for the governor’s approval are eight governing board nominees:
– Virgin Islands Public Broadcasting System Board of Directors nominee Alvin Burke Jr.
– Virgin Islands Port Authority Governing Board nominee Lionel Jacobs
– Virgin Islands Commission on Aquaculture and Mariculture nominee William Tobias
– Virgin Islands Board of Public Accountancy nominee Denise Jeremiah
– Virgin Islands Board of Public Accountancy nominee Yolanda Samuel-Deterville
– University of the Virgin Islands Research Park and Technology Board of Directors nominee Ian Tomlinson
– University of the Virgin Islands Research Park and Technology Board of Directors nominee Jeffery Webster
– University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees nominee Reginald Vigilant
Of the 17 measure approved during Friday’s session:
– Bill 33-0103 would establish a new procedure for obtaining a birth certificate, require a psychological and learning evaluation for children, establish paid time-off from work so parents can visit their children’s schools, allow certain healthcare facilities to hire discharge planners, and establish a set of standards for healthcare and postpartum care for incarcerated individuals.
– Bill 33-0111 would require the designation of disposal sites for waste tires and creating a Waste Tire Management and Disposal Fund.
– Bill 33-0115 would transfer and establish the Virgin Islands Labor Management Committee under the Public Employees’ Relations Board in hopes to reduce costs.
– Bill 33-0210 calls for a minimum set of qualifications for members of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Governing Board.
– Bill 33-0211 is much like Bill 33-0210 and establishes qualifications for those who serve on the Virgin Islands Public Services Commission.
– Bill 33-0223 requires the Labor commissioner to approve any proposed Youth Transitional Employment Program. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Steven Payne and Oakland Benta, would require the labor commissioner to approve or reject a program within three months from the initial receipt of the application.
– Bill 33-0246 would establish a program for the education, detection and referrals of women suffering from depression and/or anxiety either before, during, or after giving birth.
– Bill 33-0254 aims to appropriate funds to the Water and Power Authority for the expansion of the Bovoni Waterline project.
– If signed into law, Bill 33-0267 would expand vocational education programs in public high schools.
– Bill 33-0269 is a measure meant to enhance Property and Procurement policies.
– Bill 33-0272 establishes a “Ratepayers’ Bill of Rights” which pertains to utilities.
– Bill 33-0299 would create a new Enterprise Zone on the South Shore of St. Croix.
– Bill 33-0322 would rezone Christiansted, St. Croix, to allow car detailing and drive-through carwash businesses.
– Bill 33-0325 would increase fines for price gouging when a state of emergency is declared.
– Bill 33-0334 would approve a Planned Area Development on a portion of Lovango Cay.
– Bill 33-0342 aims to shore up and clarify the Virgin Islands Government Hospitals and Health Facilities Corporation’s duties and responsibilities.
– Bill 33-0358 would allow for the transfer of land in Frederiksted, St. Croix, for a police station.
All senators were present for the legislative session.