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HomeNewsArchivesBRYAN URGES VETO OF TWO OMNIBUS BILL ITEMS

BRYAN URGES VETO OF TWO OMNIBUS BILL ITEMS

Oct. 8, 2001 — Sen. Adelbert Bryan is urging Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to veto two sections of the recently approved Omnibus Act of 2002 because of the precedents he says they will set.
In a letter last week, Bryan said that the Senate’s decision to sell a historic building on St. Croix to a local American Legion Post and the body’s granting of more than half a million dollars to the City of Refuge Church blur the accounting of public funds and the separation of church and state.
In the first instance, the Senate at the end of September approved the sale of the derelict Old Convent building in Frederiksted to American Legion Post No. 133 for $1. Senators — not counting Bryan — also appropriated $100,000 to renovate the building.
Further, Bryan said, the sale of the building — a historic site — was done without "any consideration for reversionary rights if the property is not used in the future for the purposes for which it was conveyed."
Instead of selling the building to the American Legion, Bryan said, the government could renovated it for use in counseling, continuing education and assisting teen-age mothers in learning parenting skills. He also said the government could lease the building to the American Legion, and then the organization could seek grant funding from other public and private entities for the renovations.
Bryan called on Turnbull to veto a $600,000 grant to City of Refuge for a teen intervention center and a program for the elderly and homeless.
"If we are now setting a precedent in giving out grants in over one-half million dollars to a church organization," Bryant wrote, this "would mean every other church would have the legal right to petition the Legislature for funding and demand that they be given equal treatment."
The St. Croix senator noted that while the V.I. government is trying to pull out of a "downward spiral, especially since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon," it also is seeking forgiveness of debts owed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
If the government can afford to give away hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, "then we should have a better means to establish priorities as a public policy," Bryan said.

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Oct. 8, 2001 -- Sen. Adelbert Bryan is urging Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to veto two sections of the recently approved Omnibus Act of 2002 because of the precedents he says they will set.
In a letter last week, Bryan said that the Senate’s decision to sell a historic building on St. Croix to a local American Legion Post and the body’s granting of more than half a million dollars to the City of Refuge Church blur the accounting of public funds and the separation of church and state.
In the first instance, the Senate at the end of September approved the sale of the derelict Old Convent building in Frederiksted to American Legion Post No. 133 for $1. Senators -- not counting Bryan -- also appropriated $100,000 to renovate the building.
Further, Bryan said, the sale of the building -- a historic site -- was done without "any consideration for reversionary rights if the property is not used in the future for the purposes for which it was conveyed."
Instead of selling the building to the American Legion, Bryan said, the government could renovated it for use in counseling, continuing education and assisting teen-age mothers in learning parenting skills. He also said the government could lease the building to the American Legion, and then the organization could seek grant funding from other public and private entities for the renovations.
Bryan called on Turnbull to veto a $600,000 grant to City of Refuge for a teen intervention center and a program for the elderly and homeless.
"If we are now setting a precedent in giving out grants in over one-half million dollars to a church organization," Bryant wrote, this "would mean every other church would have the legal right to petition the Legislature for funding and demand that they be given equal treatment."
The St. Croix senator noted that while the V.I. government is trying to pull out of a "downward spiral, especially since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon," it also is seeking forgiveness of debts owed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
If the government can afford to give away hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, "then we should have a better means to establish priorities as a public policy," Bryan said.