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HomeNewsArchivesBan on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors Moves Forward with Other Legislation

Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors Moves Forward with Other Legislation

It will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes, nicotine vaporizers and other alternative tobacco products to minors, just as selling cigarettes is, if a bill sent on for a final vote with a slew of other proposed legislation is enacted into law.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Sammuel Sanes, along with cosponsors Sens. Diane Capehart and Kenneth Gittens, prohibits selling electronic nicotine vaporizers as well as chewing tobacco, snuff and other consumable tobacco products to minors. [Bill 30-0268] The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee voted Friday to send it on for a final vote before the full Legislature.

The Rules Committee voted to send on a slew of bills Friday, including one from Sen. Nereida "Nellie" Rivera-O’Reilly to increase the portion of property taxes set aside for streetlights from 4 percent to 6 percent. [Bill 30-0196]

O’Reilly said Friday that the old formula of 4 percent of property tax was not bringing in enough to pay the cash-strapped utility what the streetlights cost to run, forcing it to defer maintenance which costs more in the long run. While not enough to cover all streetlight costs, it is a step in the right direction, O’Reilly said.

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She said Tax Assessor Ira Mills had opposed the bill in committee because it would take money out of the General Fund at a time of budget crisis. But the streetlight bill must be paid regardless, she said, and having them go dark creates a hazard, so the need to pay the bill is a higher priority than the budget deficit as a whole, she added.

Another bill [Bill 30-0295] sponsored by Sens. Clarence Payne and Janette Millin Young would place a provision in the Farmers Market Technology Improvement Program so farmers could accept electronic benefits transfer cards from SNAP recipients to pay for vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and dairy products.

A measure sponsored by Sen. Kenneth Gittens [Bill 30-0163] would task the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency with setting up a system of call boxes located in relatively high traffic areas where they might be needed. It would be funded by $50,000 from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund, which is comprised of roughly $15 to $20 million per year in hotel occupancy taxes.

Another bill sponsored by O’Reilly requires health insurance providers to cover treatment for autism spectrum disorders [Bill 30-0202]

The committee also sent on bills:
– from Sen. Myron Jackson requiring an assessment of cadastral and land records housed in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor [Bill No. 30-0023];
– from Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone to rename the Government Development Bank as the Economic Development Bank and merge the Government Development Bank and the Small Business Development Agency [Bill 30-0302];
– from Malone and Young putting uniform language into the local law governing certifying public accountants [Bill No. 30-0279];
– from Sanes changing the terminology for individuals with disabilities in the law, so as not to say "physically disabled" children or individuals, but instead children or individuals "with disabilities." [Bill 30-0189] "It deals with putting individuals first, not their disabilities," Sanes said.
– a bill with multiple sponsors creating a framework for pharmacists to deliver vaccinations [Bill 30-0204].

All bills were approved without dissent. Present were Jackson, Gittens, Sanes and Capehart. Malone, Young and Sen. Donald Cole were absent.

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It will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes, nicotine vaporizers and other alternative tobacco products to minors, just as selling cigarettes is, if a bill sent on for a final vote with a slew of other proposed legislation is enacted into law.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Sammuel Sanes, along with cosponsors Sens. Diane Capehart and Kenneth Gittens, prohibits selling electronic nicotine vaporizers as well as chewing tobacco, snuff and other consumable tobacco products to minors. [Bill 30-0268] The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee voted Friday to send it on for a final vote before the full Legislature.

The Rules Committee voted to send on a slew of bills Friday, including one from Sen. Nereida "Nellie" Rivera-O'Reilly to increase the portion of property taxes set aside for streetlights from 4 percent to 6 percent. [Bill 30-0196]

O'Reilly said Friday that the old formula of 4 percent of property tax was not bringing in enough to pay the cash-strapped utility what the streetlights cost to run, forcing it to defer maintenance which costs more in the long run. While not enough to cover all streetlight costs, it is a step in the right direction, O'Reilly said.

She said Tax Assessor Ira Mills had opposed the bill in committee because it would take money out of the General Fund at a time of budget crisis. But the streetlight bill must be paid regardless, she said, and having them go dark creates a hazard, so the need to pay the bill is a higher priority than the budget deficit as a whole, she added.

Another bill [Bill 30-0295] sponsored by Sens. Clarence Payne and Janette Millin Young would place a provision in the Farmers Market Technology Improvement Program so farmers could accept electronic benefits transfer cards from SNAP recipients to pay for vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and dairy products.

A measure sponsored by Sen. Kenneth Gittens [Bill 30-0163] would task the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency with setting up a system of call boxes located in relatively high traffic areas where they might be needed. It would be funded by $50,000 from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund, which is comprised of roughly $15 to $20 million per year in hotel occupancy taxes.

Another bill sponsored by O'Reilly requires health insurance providers to cover treatment for autism spectrum disorders [Bill 30-0202]

The committee also sent on bills:
- from Sen. Myron Jackson requiring an assessment of cadastral and land records housed in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor [Bill No. 30-0023];
- from Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone to rename the Government Development Bank as the Economic Development Bank and merge the Government Development Bank and the Small Business Development Agency [Bill 30-0302];
- from Malone and Young putting uniform language into the local law governing certifying public accountants [Bill No. 30-0279];
- from Sanes changing the terminology for individuals with disabilities in the law, so as not to say "physically disabled" children or individuals, but instead children or individuals "with disabilities." [Bill 30-0189] "It deals with putting individuals first, not their disabilities," Sanes said.
- a bill with multiple sponsors creating a framework for pharmacists to deliver vaccinations [Bill 30-0204].

All bills were approved without dissent. Present were Jackson, Gittens, Sanes and Capehart. Malone, Young and Sen. Donald Cole were absent.