Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement regarding testimony given by the Government Employees’ Retirement System (GERS) representatives during a Virgin Islands Legislature Committee on Government Operations and Consumer Affairs hearing:
“On Thursday, Feb. 20, GERS General Counsel Kathy Smith testified before the Committee on Government Operations and Consumer Affairs that a draft letter for Governor Bryan to consider sending to the U.S. Department of Treasury was shared with my office and that we did not respond for two weeks. On Monday, Jan. 13, I met with GERS leadership and clearly stated, as I have in previous meetings with them, that the request for a loan should come from the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, not the Delegate’s office. At the hearing, Senators Barnes and Vialet both reiterated my position that the letter should come from the Governor. Upon receiving a request for a letter from GERS, we have informed them that the Governors letter and thoughts were his and that our office would support the position of the Governor with Treasury for a loan. Additionally, it was for GERS not the Delegate’s office, to send a draft letter to the Governor for his consideration.
“I have further stated to GERS that my role would be to support the Governors letter along with our work to pursue a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on GERS system funding, as indicated in my bill, H.R. 408, to require such a study, and a GAO report on their findings and actions that may be necessary to ensure that the system can be sustainably maintained and funded by the U.S Virgin Islands for at least the next 20 years.”