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Sunday, May 22, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesBERRY WANTS MEETING WITH INTERIOR

BERRY WANTS MEETING WITH INTERIOR

Finance Committee chair Lorraine Berry has asked Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to attend a Finance Committee meeting at the Legislature on Tuesday.
The meeting was called to discuss the memorandum of understanding between the Interior Department and the V.I. government that Gov. Charles W. Turnbull signed Tuesday.
Berry told Babbitt, "I feel certain you understand the need for the people's representatives to personally confer with Interior Department representatives regarding a proposal that is widely considered by Virgin Islanders to be as far-reaching as the Organic Act itself," according to a release from the senator's office
Berry also wants Delegate Donna Christian-Christiansen to attend and she wants Turnbull to send a "top-level" representative from Government House.
In a letter to Turnbull, Berry said many questions must be answered before the fiscal year 2000 budget consideration can proceed.
One section of the agreement calls for a 5 percent reduction in payroll expenses from fiscal year 1999 baseline costs.
Berry questioned if this meant a cut for all three branches of government and the quasi-autonomous agencies or only the executive branch.
"Senators have many questions on these and similar points and answers are needed before work on the FY 2000 budget can continue," she said.
The memorandum, which has sparked widespread concern and controversy in the community, calls for, in part:
–– Receipt of a copy of the governor's five-year financial recovery plan within 90 days of the agreement being signed.
–– A 50 percent cut in overtime expenditures from fiscal year 1999.
–– A hiring freeze with limited and "highly scrutinized" exceptions.
–– A 5 percent reduction in payroll expenses from fiscal year 1999 baseline costs.
–– An additional 10 percent cut of overall expenditures.
–– A 50-50 cost-sharing of retirement and health-insurance premiums.
–– Elimination of five holidays.
It also requires that the Virgin Islands collective bargaining law, Act 4440, be brought into line with federal public labor relations law by June 30, 2000.
Berry could not be reached Friday night to find out if the governor, delegate and secretary had replied to her invitation.

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Finance Committee chair Lorraine Berry has asked Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to attend a Finance Committee meeting at the Legislature on Tuesday.
The meeting was called to discuss the memorandum of understanding between the Interior Department and the V.I. government that Gov. Charles W. Turnbull signed Tuesday.
Berry told Babbitt, "I feel certain you understand the need for the people's representatives to personally confer with Interior Department representatives regarding a proposal that is widely considered by Virgin Islanders to be as far-reaching as the Organic Act itself," according to a release from the senator's office
Berry also wants Delegate Donna Christian-Christiansen to attend and she wants Turnbull to send a "top-level" representative from Government House.
In a letter to Turnbull, Berry said many questions must be answered before the fiscal year 2000 budget consideration can proceed.
One section of the agreement calls for a 5 percent reduction in payroll expenses from fiscal year 1999 baseline costs.
Berry questioned if this meant a cut for all three branches of government and the quasi-autonomous agencies or only the executive branch.
"Senators have many questions on these and similar points and answers are needed before work on the FY 2000 budget can continue," she said.
The memorandum, which has sparked widespread concern and controversy in the community, calls for, in part:
–– Receipt of a copy of the governor's five-year financial recovery plan within 90 days of the agreement being signed.
–– A 50 percent cut in overtime expenditures from fiscal year 1999.
–– A hiring freeze with limited and "highly scrutinized" exceptions.
–– A 5 percent reduction in payroll expenses from fiscal year 1999 baseline costs.
–– An additional 10 percent cut of overall expenditures.
–– A 50-50 cost-sharing of retirement and health-insurance premiums.
–– Elimination of five holidays.
It also requires that the Virgin Islands collective bargaining law, Act 4440, be brought into line with federal public labor relations law by June 30, 2000.
Berry could not be reached Friday night to find out if the governor, delegate and secretary had replied to her invitation.