At VIFreepBreaking NewsGovernment House NewsIrregularitiesSt. Croix NewsSt. John NewsSt. Thomas NewsTerritorial AffairsVirgin Islands Legislature

MAPP: Legislature Altered Bills I Sent Down To Them And Voted On Those Bastardizations Of My Bills!

ALTERED STATES: Gov. Mapp: “I admire them trying to be tricky … but if you want to be truly tricky, the idea is not to get caught … trust me! Nobody talks about my $20K per month Estate Nazareth apartment any more.”

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Problems with legislation considered during last week’s Special Session were largely due to errors made at the Senate.

In a letter sent Monday to Senate President Myron D. Jackson, Gov. Kenneth Mapp responded to concerns raised on the Senate floor, and later reported in the media, that the bills sent to the Legislature could not be acted on as a result of errors and contradictions.

Mapp expressed concern that the proposed bills prepared by Government House for the May 10, 2017 Special Session of the 32nd Legislature were not the same bills that were considered by the body.

Government House Chief Legal Counsel Emile Henderson compared the bills that Mapp transmitted to the Legislature against the bills that were introduced on the Senate floor on May 10.

“To my chagrin, the proposed bills prepared by Government House and submitted to the 32nd Legislature of the Virgin Islands were not the bills before the Legislature,” Mapp said. “What is even more troubling is that the bills the Legislature numbered, authored as ‘Request of the Governor’ and subsequently voted to send to committees were not the proposals I sent to you and each member of the Legislature.”

The review by the Chief Legal Counsel and his staff found that the bills introduced at the Special Session contained errors, technical and substantive, and some contained considerable contradictions to what was sent to the Legislature for consideration. Further review found that these errors and omissions occurred in the Office of the Legislature’s Legal Counsel.

“The bills I submitted in my special call and the bills that were introduced and debated on the Senate floor were significantly different bills,” the Governor wrote. “The question now is: Are the bills which have been sent to the legislative committees legally there? These bills or proposals are not my bills. The bills voted on by the Senate on May 10, 2017, are substantively different than the proposals I transmitted to the Legislature.”

Mapp encouraged sophomore Sen. Jackson to launch a review at the Senate, compare the drafts submitted by Government House to him and each Member of the Senate, to what was considered on the Senate floor and ultimately acted upon.

“Mr. President, this is a serious matter and this should not happen again. These errors substantially changed the content of or excluded language contained in my original proposals.  The bills prepared by the Legislature’s Legal Counsel’s office now require extensive corrections before they can even be considered by the committees to which they were sent.  Am I required to call another special session and submit my original submission of proposed bills for proper action by the Senate?” he asked.

The governor acknowledged his staff had made mistakes of their own, to include an incorrect bill summary, however, none of these controverted the intent of the legislation. He said Government House will review its protocols.

“I regret this error and I assure you that there was no ‘trickery’ involved in this oversight. The testimony of my financial team made clear the intent of the appropriation request and acknowledged the error,” he wrote.

Mapp asked for recommendations from the Senate President on how to deal with the issue of the 32nd Legislature voting to transmit the Special Session bills to committees that were not the original legislation as submitted by the Governor.

Previous post

VIPD: St. Thomas' Alldix Callwood Shot To Death While Working On His Truck In Smith Bay Today

Next post

VIPD: St. Thomas Records Its Fourth Shooting Victim in Four Days ... The Last Two In Smith Bay

The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

1 Comment

  1. Just Me
    July 6, 2017 at 9:50 AM — Reply

    “Nobody talks about my $20K per month Estate Nazareth apartment any more.”” Oh, yes we do Governor! It is, and always will be abuse of power and misuse of public funds. How you cannot be embarrassed about it just shows how arrogant and corrupt you are.

    Where did you ever get the idea that the Legislature was supposed to do what you want? There is a reason there are 3 bodies of government. It’s called “checks and balances”. It is the Legislature’s responsibility to make laws, not yours. Maybe no one explained that to you. The Senate isn’t required to just submit to your wishes. Just the opposite. It is the Legislature which writes and votes on Legislation. What you send are requests are proposals. What they do with them is up to the discretion of the Senate. That is their job. You do have veto power, but you aren’t supposed to be a dictator, at least not legally. And, a good and independent Legislature should use their power to override a veto when appropriate.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *