St. Croix, Virgin Islands (U.S.) — Senator Genevieve Whitaker joined her colleagues in passing critical legislation at the most recent Legislative Session, held on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021, a number of measures she sponsored and co-sponsored. Whitaker expressed her satisfaction at the August Body’s decision to approve Bill No. 34-0034, An Act amending title1 Virgin Islands Code by adding chapter 3A enacting the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act. The Legislation passed Session with a unanimous vote by the Body. The measure proposed by Senators Carla Joseph and Whitaker provides for the management of electronic legal information in a manner that guarantees the trustworthiness of and continuing access to important governmental legal material. Senator Whitaker in her statement continued to champion her efforts for an E-Government, “This Bill gives legal recognition to electronic signatures, records and contracts conducted by the Government of the Virgin Islands, something I continue to believe will help streamline our government transactions but also is so central to eliminating gross the use of paper and helping our environment,” stated Senator Whitaker
Whitaker also championed her Sponsorship of Bill No. 34-0077, which restores the 8% reduction in salaries to the employees of the Government of the Virgin Islands, the legislation specifically appropriates $36,279,008 to the Office of Management and Budget and $1,720,992 to the Legislature for repayment of the VIESA debt owed to government employees and requires that the payments be made by December 31, 2021. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled way back in November of 2016 that the 8 percent cut was unconstitutional, I’m elated that this body took action on this critical measure to pay what is due to the employees of the Government that were affected,” stated Senator Whitaker.
The St. Croix Senator also highlighted her support of an Override to the Governor's veto of Bill No. 34-0021. “This bill strengthens the Virgin Islands Public Services Commissions' authority over public utilities operating in our territory including WAPA, who Virgin Islanders across the board agree needs to be reined in. As one of the Senators who supported this measure from the onset, I was a bit shocked when the Governor vetoed it weeks later. I wholeheartedly supported the Override. Let’s allow WAPA’s sole regulator, the ability to have true oversight over them.” stated Senator Whitaker.
Bills that Senator Whitaker shares Prime and Co-Sponsorship and also voted in support of, that were approved include:
Bill No. 34-0060 - An Act amending the Virgin Islands Code title 21, to enact The First-Time Homebuyers Program Act; making an appropriation of $4,000,000 from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund to the Homestead and Home Loan Fund; and making a $2,000,000 appropriation from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund to the Department of Public Works to construct The Leonardo “Nardo” Trotman Drive
Bill No. 34- 0077 - An Act amending Act No.8365, the FiscalYear2021 Executive Budget, and Act No.8348, to restore the 8% reduction in salaries to the employees of the Government of the Virgin Islands and for other relate purposes
Bill No. 34-0034 - An Act amending Title 1 Virgin Islands Code by adding chapter 3A enacting the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, to provide for the management of electronic legal information in a manner that guarantees the trustworthiness of and continuing access to important government legal material
Bill No. 34-0058 An Act amending Title 17 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 34 to establish the Virgin Islands Catalyst Fund to provide loans to eligible entities to promote economic resiliency, and to support the retention or creation of jobs, to provide for the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park Corporation to administer the program and the fund, and to provide criteria for making loans; and making $5,000,000 appropriation the Virgin Islands Catalyst Fund and a $1,000,000 appropriation to the Economic Development Authority Enterprise Zone
Bill No. 34-0071 An Act amending Title 28 of the Virgin Islands Code by adding a chapter 36 to enact The Virgin Islands Timeshare Act
During Legislative Session, Senator Whitaker also voiced support and voted in the affirmative for Bill No’s. 34-0030- removing the Virgin Islands Superior Court’s jurisdiction over child marriage, prohibiting them, from issuing a marriage license to any person under the age of eighteen, 34-0031 - requiring individuals who are convicted persons of child neglect to attend counseling in addition to imprisonment or fines, 34-0032- requiring a person who abuses a child to seek counseling, 34-0037 - to increase the amount of debt a debtor must pay the survivors of a decedent creditor not less than thirty days after the creditor’s death from not more than $5,000 to not more than $10,000, 34-0066- to allow the Lt. Governor to collect unpaid property taxes and unpaid public sewer fees from the sale of delinquent taxpayer’s real property, and 34-0076 - to grant seniors and the terminally ill preference in civil actions.
"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." – Booker T. Washington
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