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SENATORS URGE LIBURD TO DISCLOSE ALLOTMENTS

Sens. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and Emmett Hansen II have called on Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd to disclose Senate financial information to the press and the public.
In question are the disputed allotments of the 24th Legislature's minority and majority bloc senators, as well as the amount of money the majority senators spent on last month's trip to Washington, D.C. That amount was "more than $40,000," according to a letter Donastorg and Hansen wrote to Liburd.
Minority senators have been allotted $100,000 each to cover all expenses, including staff, travel, research and supplies. Minority committee chairmen Douglas Canton (Health and Hospitals) and Vargrave Richards (Youth and Human Services) have been given $15,000 each to run those committees. Canton said last week that the 23rd Legislature gave each committee a minimum allotment of $84,000.
Donastorg and Hansen told Liburd that his refusal to release "what is clearly and obviously public information is not only unethical, but a blatant violation of the V.I. Code, Title 3, section 881."
The media and the public "are rapidly growing frustrated with your stonewalling tactics, and it could be only a matter of days before legal action is taken to force the release of these documents," the senators told Liburd.
Further, they said, "Every senator should be put on notice that lawsuits may be filed against this entire body, as a result of your refusal to release public records."
Both Donastorg and Hansen have released their staff allotments. Donastorg has three employees — a public affairs specialist, a researcher and a complaint officer/receptionist — at a total of $85,000 annually. Hansen has a chief of staff, an administrative assistant and a public affairs officer and researcher at an annual total of $75,000.
The Senate Public Affairs Office said all requests for financial information must come from the Senate president's office. One week ago, the Source wrote to Liburd requesting the staff allotments for the 24th Legislature, including the base amount for senators in the majority bloc vs. minority senators, and any additional amounts given to committee chairpersons and the senator-at-large. No response to the letter has been received.
Calls to Liburd's office were not returned as of late Wednesday. His office said he had been in meetings all day.

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Sens. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and Emmett Hansen II have called on Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd to disclose Senate financial information to the press and the public.
In question are the disputed allotments of the 24th Legislature's minority and majority bloc senators, as well as the amount of money the majority senators spent on last month's trip to Washington, D.C. That amount was "more than $40,000," according to a letter Donastorg and Hansen wrote to Liburd.
Minority senators have been allotted $100,000 each to cover all expenses, including staff, travel, research and supplies. Minority committee chairmen Douglas Canton (Health and Hospitals) and Vargrave Richards (Youth and Human Services) have been given $15,000 each to run those committees. Canton said last week that the 23rd Legislature gave each committee a minimum allotment of $84,000.
Donastorg and Hansen told Liburd that his refusal to release "what is clearly and obviously public information is not only unethical, but a blatant violation of the V.I. Code, Title 3, section 881."
The media and the public "are rapidly growing frustrated with your stonewalling tactics, and it could be only a matter of days before legal action is taken to force the release of these documents," the senators told Liburd.
Further, they said, "Every senator should be put on notice that lawsuits may be filed against this entire body, as a result of your refusal to release public records."
Both Donastorg and Hansen have released their staff allotments. Donastorg has three employees — a public affairs specialist, a researcher and a complaint officer/receptionist — at a total of $85,000 annually. Hansen has a chief of staff, an administrative assistant and a public affairs officer and researcher at an annual total of $75,000.
The Senate Public Affairs Office said all requests for financial information must come from the Senate president's office. One week ago, the Source wrote to Liburd requesting the staff allotments for the 24th Legislature, including the base amount for senators in the majority bloc vs. minority senators, and any additional amounts given to committee chairpersons and the senator-at-large. No response to the letter has been received.
Calls to Liburd's office were not returned as of late Wednesday. His office said he had been in meetings all day.