A day into the start of the new fiscal year, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has signed the FY 2024 executive budget into law, which totals approximately $1.02 billion.
Passed by the Legislature in late September, the budget includes General Fund appropriations of $729.75 million for various government departments, along with a $6.3 million miscellaneous budget and $71.5 million for the government’s semi-autonomous and autonomous agencies.
According to members of the Senate’s Committee on Budget and Appropriations, the final document was about 3 percent less than what was initially proposed by the government, bolstered by $69 million in federal American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding that helped to cover an approximately $30 million shortfall in anticipated revenues that the financial team spoke to early last month.
Also factored into the $1.02 billion are special and federal fund appropriations.
In his transmittal letter to Senate President Novelle Francis Monday detailing his approvals, Bryan said he also cleaned up sections of the final budget document through line-item vetoes, including an $8,000 appropriation to the Police Athletic League that was duplicated, a typographical error in the allocation for the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency — changing $363,892 to $636,892 — and revising the total for VIPD to $74,542,585.
Click here for a full listing of FY 2024 budget bills.
Along with signing into law the government’s proposed health insurance package for employees, Bryan said he approved a bill allocating $25 million for retroactive wages, along with $6.5 million for road repairs. He did, however, line-item veto two amended sections, saying that Planning and Natural Resources officials needed to weigh in, and noted that language speaking to a particular road project, Contentment Road, included no appropriation.