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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsMapp Issues Executive Order Cutting Spending

Mapp Issues Executive Order Cutting Spending

Gov. Kenneth Mapp issued an executive order Tuesday slashing spending to try to preserve essential services as the government struggles to deal with a tightening budget crisis.

The territory has a $98 million current year budget shortfall, with years of budget cuts in most major departments. The Legislature continues to consider revenue measures proposed by Mapp as part of a five-year budget reduction. The measures are largely opposed by the business community.

The territory has been unable to borrow to fill the gap and available cash for essential services from schools to police is running short.

In a statement, Mapp said his five-year plan is designed to eventually eradicate the territory’s ongoing structural deficit. Mapp’s order cites the need for “immediate and comprehensive action to reduce current spending” while ensuring, to the extent possible, that essential services to protect public health, safety and welfare are preserved, according to Government House.

The new executive order freezes all nonessential hiring in all executive branch departments and agencies with some exceptions, including:

    • federally funded positions;
    • emergency and public safety positions;
    • teaching positions within the departments of Education and Human Services;
    • jobs mandated by federal court consent decrees.

The executive order also suspends immediately all wage negotiations related to the U.S. Third Circuit’s decision that temporary 8 percent government pay cuts in 2011 were unlawful.

Until further notice, the order suspends nonessential travel paid for out of the government’s General Fund, and directs heads of departments and agencies to limit 24-hour use of nonemergency government vehicles to employees whose functions are essential and require use of government vehicles after work hours on a regular basis.

Mapp’s order requests the other government branches and independent instrumentalities not under the direct authority of the governor, such as hospitals, the University of the Virgin Islands, the V.I. Waste Management Authority, and all others which receive government funds, put in place similar cost containing measures.

The order takes effect immediately and will continue until Mapp issues a new order reversing them, according to Government House.

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  1. Governor Mapp needs to cut his own spending of taxpayer money, first and foremost.
    Here’s how we can and should reduce expenditures and overall debt:

    Reduce the amount of senators to 7.
    Reduce their overly inflated salaries back to what it what they used to be ($55- 65K) prior to the raises they and Turnbull gave themselves in bill 6901.
    Reduce the Legislative budget – $12 MILLION is outrageous to govern 100,000 plus people.
    We had a non binding referendum where the majority of voters wished to reduce the number of Senators.
    They ignored it then and continue to do so.
    Who’s serving whom?

    Reduce the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s salaries back to previous amounts also raised by #6901.
    Get Mapp’s behind out of the Ritz, have he and Potter repay their living expenses to date and pay anything further out of their salaries, return or sell the new limo and the 2 new SUVs, that themselves alone without the limo, cost the taxpayers $250K, reduce luxury travel and 5 Star hotel stays for Mapp and his cronies, demand transparency for his and the Lt. Governor’s and their office’s excessive luxury spending to date.

    Rescind all the increases in salaries for Mapp’s administrators and dept. heads that he gave when he hired them without a day on the job after bemoaning the sad state of our financial crisis.

    Get rid of the nepotism in this administration and all of Mapp’s relatives that are on our payroll since he took office.
    (Governor’s brother…Assistant Commissioner of Police, Governor’s brother #2, Executive Director of the Port Authority,…Governor’s 1st cousin, Assistant Superintendent of Education…Governor’s sister-law, Member, Port Authority Board of Directors…Lt. Governor’s brother, Personnel Director…Governor’s lawyer’s mother, Executive Chef, etc, etc, etc. For starters!) Does he really need a chef, chauffeur and round the clock security?

    The perks, healthcare and retirement benefits for all Senators, Governor, Lt. Governor and government officials all need to be seriously looked at as they cost taxpayers Millions, annually.

    Budget cuts should begin “At The Top,” not depend on increased, fees, taxes and rates imposed on an already overburdened public nor low paid government workers who get no services nor adequate infrastructure in return, just because our leaders are incompetent, inept, wasteful, corrupt, self serving, unfit and unwilling to do the right thing.

    Real change is necessary, not continued lip service.