April 7, 2006 – A bill petitioning the U.S. Congress to empower the V.I. Legislature – with the approval of V.I. voters – to establish municipal governments on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix was signed into law by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull on Friday.
In a transmittal letter to Sen. Lorraine L. Berry, Turnbull said he approved the bill "with reservation" because he felt it was "more appropriate for the matter to be dealt with at the upcoming Constitutional Convention." (See "Rules Committee Sends Three Government Reform Bills to the Full Senate").
Turnbull also approved a bill prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, which was passed by senators during a full session earlier last month.
According to Sen. Craig W. Barshinger, the bill's sponsor, the bill provides a clear definition of, and prohibition of, sexual harassment.
During the last month's session, Barshinger said, "The term 'sexual harassment' is nowhere in the V.I. Code, so, if you're a victim of sexual harassment, then you don't have a firm foundation to base a case on – but this bill changes that, and hopefully, since people will have a clear picture of what's appropriate and what's not appropriate, the number of sexual harassment cases will die down."
In his letter Friday, Turnbull said the bill – which also makes appropriations to the Labor Department and the Virgin Islands Civil Rights Commission for staff and resources needed to implement the law – would need some "fine-tuning" once it's implemented to ensure the goal of "prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace is achieved."
Turnbull also approved a bill authorizing the ratification of a contract for off-island services rendered by the Pine Residential Treatment Center for Children, located in Virginia, on behalf of the local Education Department.
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