Dec. 23, 2003 – Wishing one and all "joy, love, peace and prosperity for the new year," Gov. Charles W. Turnbull announced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that he has vetoed the Legislature's fiscal year 2004 budget in its entirety.
Speaking at Government House on St. Thomas in a ballroom filled with most of his cabinet members and other government and agency heads, the governor called the budget "unacceptable." He said: "My advisers, both in the Virgin Islands and in the U.S., have told me this budget cannot be sustained without causing further financial distress."
Turnbull said the FY 2003 budget would remain in place for the time being, as provided for in the Revised Organic Act.
The governor also said a six-month rollback in exempt employees' salaries that took effect on July 1 would not end on Dec. 31 but would remain in effect "indefinitely." In June, in the face of demands from senators and others that he roll back hefty pay increases granted in 2002 to hundreds of unclassified employees, he announced the six-month reductions of 2 and 10 percent, depending on salary levels, for exempt employees making more than $40,000 a year.
A more extensive account of the governor's actions and reactions thereto will be published in the Source later on Tuesday.
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