I recently attended a town hall meeting hosted by our Delegate to Congress Stacy Plaskett. I would like to thank her for hosting such an informative and engaging town hall meeting with the public and hope that other governmental agencies and officials do the same in the future as well. Her town hall meeting was truly refreshing and so needed right now given the fiscal crisis that we are in. In it she gave her constituents an overview of her actions in the house and what items of interest we should be aware of now or in the future by the Trump administration or by other members of congress. She spoke about what committees and or caucuses she either chairs, co-chairs and current legislation that could impact the territory and what plans she will try to address them with.
One very important item discussed that night and in the recent weeks was a potential $100 million in rum cover over money that the US Treasury might have failed to allocate to the territory because of a miscalculation uncovered by her office with that formula. When asked about the status of that potential rum cover- over due to the government of the Virgin Islands she suggested then and previously that action by the governor and legislature should be taken quickly seeking clarification on if the territory is owed that money and to fight for it if so. As of this date, I have heard very little on what the government of the VI has been doing to secure those funds, if in fact it does exist.
I believe she has done just about all that she can to present the issue to the public and government officials and I hope that we take heed of her call regardless if unfortunately, she was not a part of, nor invited to the secret meetings regarding possible new taxes to the public. Therefore, I ask that government house provide an update to the public on what actions they have taken or will be taking to ensure that everything possible is being done to receive that funding source and for the legislature to require that monthly reports be given to the body by the administration earmarked for spending in this fiscal year or next.
Jason Budsan, St. Thomas