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Acting Governor Potter Signs Anti-Doping Bill For Horse Racing … Vetoes GERS Bill

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Acting Governor Osbert Potter has advised Senate President Myron D. Jackson of the action he has taken on several legislative bills, including measures that should allow a $30 million private investment in the Virgin Islands’ horse racing industry to move forward.

Potter approved Bill No. 32-0093, which establishes anti-doping statutes to be enforced by the Virgin Islands Horse Racing Commission in the horse racing industry and allocates funds received from the racino tax. By taking this seriously, the less likely it is for errors or false results.

“As we continue to build our horse racing industry, this measure further ensures the integrity of the industry in the territory,” Potter wrote.

Potter also signed into law Bill No. 32-0155 and Bill No. 32-0165, which improve the safety of marine areas in Estate Cruz Bay on St. John and Estate Coakley Bay, East End “B” Quarter on St. Croix, respectively.

He vetoed Bill No. 32-0054, which would have granted the Supervisor of Elections the authority to set places, days, and times for early voting. He wrote that early voting allows electors to exercise their fundamental right to cast a vote in elections and this fundamental right should not be compromised. The Acting Governor pointed out that the bill removes statutory mandates already in existence and leaves the early voting structure to the discretion of the Supervisor of Elections and the board.

In explaining his veto of Bill No. 32-0102, Acting Governor Potter said it requires more analysis on the impact it will have if enacted into law by repealing the provisions that allow persons who are receiving a retirement annuity from the Government Employees Retirement System (“GERS”) to return to work for the Government of the Virgin Islands without making contributions to the GERS. Although, he agreed that issues plaguing the GERS should be addressed, he cautioned the Legislature against far-reaching measures that lack proper impact assessment on the territory’s service provision and retiree protection.

Read Potter’s entire message here.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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