Governor Bryan Approves Bills Sent Up By the 33rd Legislature
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. on Wednesday signed ten bills that were passed by the 33rd Legislature on May 14 and 15, including an extension to the deadline for establishing rules and regulations governing medical marijuana and a bill prohibiting veterans who receive taxi medallions from selling them to non-veterans.
Bryan also acknowledged receipt of Resolution No. 1852, which reorganizes and re-establishes the Majority Caucus of the 33rd Legislature, as well as elects new Senate officers and reappoints Senate Committee assignments.
Although he signed Bill No. 33-0006 regarding the sale of taxi medallions, in his Transmittal Letter to Senate President Novelle Francis, Jr., Bryan cautioned the lawmakers that more amendments are needed to avoid infringing on veterans’ benefits.
“I support the intent of this measure to protect and provide benefits to our veterans pursuant to the veterans’ auction of medallions, but as written the measure also limits veterans who obtain medallions at the regular auction, an effect I doubt was intended by this Legislature,” he wrote.
Bryan also thanked the Senate for passing Bill No. 33-0067, which is legislation to extend the deadline for the Cannabis Advisory Council to establish rules and regulations for medical marijuana.
“I thank the 33rd Legislature for the expeditious actions taken to extend these deadlines to allow the Virgin Islands sufficient time to carefully develop a comprehensive program properly from the outset,” he wrote.
The governor signed into law Bill No. 33-0070, which authorizes the Government of the Virgin Islands to secure a revolving credit facility to pay outstanding obligations pending the receipt and disbursement of federal funds for hurricane recovery and restoration.
Bryan signed Bill No. 33-0032, which requires the Office of Management and Budget, the Finance Department and the Bureau of Information Technology to establish websites providing the public with financial information about the agencies. However, he pointed out that the Executive Branch already has established such a website at www.transparency.vi.gov.
The chief executive said he has reservations about Bill No. 33-0014, but he signed the legislation, which increases the appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund to the Government Employees Retirement System from $7 million to $10 million and allocates 60 percent of it as “direct contributions” and 40 percent as outstanding employer contributions.
All four lease agreements passed by the Senate—Bills 33-0047; 33-0048; 33-0049; and 33-0066—were signed by the Governor. Additionally, he signed Bill No. 33-0073, which amends the Official Zoning Map for St. John for Parcel No. 285 Estate Contant and Enighed.
Bryan also acknowledged receipt of Resolution No. 1850 to petition the U.S. Congress to provide subsidies to the U.S. Virgin Islands for earned income credits and child tax credits, and of Resolution No. 1851, which honors and commends 2019 State Teacher of the Year Kerra Samuel.