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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Minority Senators Express Disbelief at Senate President's Remarks

FYI: Minority Senators Express Disbelief at Senate President's Remarks

The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named below, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
May 28, 2008 – Minority Caucus Senators Ronald E. Russell, Louis Patrick Hill, Juan-Figueroa Serville, and Basil Ottley expressed disbelief at Senate President Usie Richard's remarks on "Behind the Headlines" over the weekend declaring a lack of good judgment by Governor deJongh as the reason 2006 property tax bills had not gone out at the 2005 rate.
Said Minority Leader Ronald Russell, "As a Minority Caucus, we specifically pursued distributing 2006 property tax bills at the 2005 rate to ensure a certain amount of revenue for the 2008 budget. When the Governor line item vetoed that amendment in Bill 27-0165, the Minority Senators immediately moved to override his veto. It was the Majority Senators who unanimously voted against the override, with Senator Nelson not voting. The override failed 6-8 with one not voting and that is the reason why our budget is $60 million behind in revenues and why property tax bills have not gone out as of today."
"We would have accomplished exactly what the Majority Senators are now calling a "failed decision" by Governor deJongh. The fault lies with the Majority Senators and their votes against the override," stated Senator Louis Hill, the sponsor of the override and the amendment.
Senator Neville James challenged the Senate President's statement that "This is a serious concern that we all need to look at" as a day late and a dollar short. "Our people are suffering with another and larger tax bill looming over their heads and the claim by the Majority that the Governor is to blame is ludicrous."
In closing, the Minority Senators welcomed the Senate President's change of attitude and policy, and hope that he would also embrace Minority proposals such as subsidizing WAPA bills, the Youth Challenge Program, a Government Complex in St. Croix, and revisiting the recently passed Tax Increment Financing legislation to make it more reasonable and palatable to Virgin Islanders.

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The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named below, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
May 28, 2008 - Minority Caucus Senators Ronald E. Russell, Louis Patrick Hill, Juan-Figueroa Serville, and Basil Ottley expressed disbelief at Senate President Usie Richard's remarks on "Behind the Headlines" over the weekend declaring a lack of good judgment by Governor deJongh as the reason 2006 property tax bills had not gone out at the 2005 rate.
Said Minority Leader Ronald Russell, "As a Minority Caucus, we specifically pursued distributing 2006 property tax bills at the 2005 rate to ensure a certain amount of revenue for the 2008 budget. When the Governor line item vetoed that amendment in Bill 27-0165, the Minority Senators immediately moved to override his veto. It was the Majority Senators who unanimously voted against the override, with Senator Nelson not voting. The override failed 6-8 with one not voting and that is the reason why our budget is $60 million behind in revenues and why property tax bills have not gone out as of today."
"We would have accomplished exactly what the Majority Senators are now calling a "failed decision" by Governor deJongh. The fault lies with the Majority Senators and their votes against the override," stated Senator Louis Hill, the sponsor of the override and the amendment.
Senator Neville James challenged the Senate President's statement that "This is a serious concern that we all need to look at" as a day late and a dollar short. "Our people are suffering with another and larger tax bill looming over their heads and the claim by the Majority that the Governor is to blame is ludicrous."
In closing, the Minority Senators welcomed the Senate President's change of attitude and policy, and hope that he would also embrace Minority proposals such as subsidizing WAPA bills, the Youth Challenge Program, a Government Complex in St. Croix, and revisiting the recently passed Tax Increment Financing legislation to make it more reasonable and palatable to Virgin Islanders.