The V.I. Legislature passed all the fiscal year 2012 budget bills Wednesday largely unchanged from when they were approved in committee, sending roughly $719.9 million in General Fund appropriations on to Gov. John deJongh Jr. for his signature.
The single largest component of that total is a $602.7 million appropriation to fund all the executive branch agencies, from V.I. Fire Service and V.I. Police Department to the departments of Education and Public Works. That total also includes $81.2 million for a plethora of smaller community programs and projects within the miscellaneous section of the budget.
The remainder of the General Fund budget for 2012 was comprised of a series of separate appropriations for semi-autonomous government agencies, including:
— $31.6 million to the University of the Virgin Islands;
— $26.8 million to the V.I. Waste Management Authority;
— $21.1 million to Superior Court;
— $19.8 million to the Legislature;
— $5.8 million to the Supreme Court;
— $4.2 million to WTJX Public Television;
— $3.5 million to the Office of the Public Defender;
— $1.3 million to the territory’s two elections boards and the Election System;
— $1.1 million to the Board of Education;
— $1.1 million to the Public Employee Relations Board and Labor Management Council;
— $644,000 to the Taxicab Commission; and
— $254,000 to the Judicial Council.
The budget approved by the Legislature is somewhat less than the $732.5 million proposed by Gov. John deJongh Jr., but also does not include some cost-saving measures in the governor’s budget such as a proposal to eliminate nine paid holidays for government employees.
Separately from the General Fund budget, the Legislature approved a $131 million appropriation from the Special Internal Revenue Matching Fund to the Finance Department to pay principal and interest on government bonds. Those funds come from federal alcohol excise taxes remitted to the territory.
Other special appropriations approved by the Legislature Wednesday included:
–$14 million from the Transportation Trust Fund to the General Fund;
— $12 million from the Caribbean Basin Initiative Fund to the General Fund;
— $4.2 million from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund with $1 million going to Public Works and $3.2 million to the V.I. Waste Management Authority;
— $1 million from the Transportation Trust Fund to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles;
— $1.9 million from the Business and Commercial Properties Revolving Fund to the Department of Property and Procurement, Business and Commercial Properties Division;
— $2.3 million from the Government Insurance Fund to the Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health and Worker’s Compensation, and $684,000 from the same fund to the Department of Finance;
— $3.9 million from the Health Revolving Fund to the Health Department;
— $5.3 million from the Indirect Cost Fund to the Office of Management and Budget, the Division of Personnel and departments of Finance and Property and Procurement;
— $4 million from interest on debt service reserves to the General Fund;
— $1 million from the Interest Revenue Fund to the General Fund;
— $897,000 from the Union Arbitration Award and Government Employee Increment Fund to the Public Employees Relations Board and $165,000 from the same fund to the Labor Management Committee;
— $1.7 million from the Public Services Commission Revolving Fund to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs for PSC expenses;
— $3 million from the Sewer Waste Water Fund to the Waste Management Authority;
— $3 million from the St. John Capital Improvement Fund to Public Works and the WMA;
— $2.3 million from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund to be divided between the Office of the Governor, Police Department, Public Works, WMA and Tourism Department; and
— $2 million from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund to the St. Croix Capital Improvement Fund.