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Sunday, January 24, 2021
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Open forum: Commission on Aging Bill and Beach Access for the Disabled Bill Become Law

AARP in The Virgin Islands

AARP in The Virgin Islands had a triumphant welcoming of the New Year with the successful signing of two major pieces of legislation this month.

AARP in The Virgin Islands has been advocating and working with the 33rd Legislature of the Virgin Islands for passage of Bills for the Commission on Aging and for Beach Access for the Disabled.

On December 11, 2020, the two Bills were approved by the Full Body of the Legislature, and both were signed into law by Governor Albert Bryan on January 4, 2021.

AARP thanks all of the members of the 33rd Legislature of the Virgin Islands; especially the Primary Sponsors, and Committee Chairs. AARP also thanks The Honorable Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. for working to ensure the passage of these Bills and their enactment. We also thank AARP Members, Government Agencies Representatives, and all of the people in The Virgin Islands who in some way supported these Bills.

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The Commission on Aging Bill, Bill No. 33-0367, is an act amending the Virgin Islands Code to change the composition of the Commission on Aging.  The passage of this Act allows for the re-establishment of the Commission and the establishment of partners, which will develop and provide programs and services for older adults and the aging population in The Virgin Islands. These programs and services will also allow Virgin Islanders to be able to age in place.  AARP will have a permanent seat in the Commission and will continue ensuring that our older adults will benefit from the re-establishment of the same.

Bill No. 33-0220 is an Act providing ramps or walkways on the beaches for the disabled. The Beach Access for the Disabled Act will allow our seniors, older adults, and the disabled to have free access to the sea at two beaches in each island district. Walkways will be installed and ramps leading into the sea will be built. Seniors and the disabled will be able to get to the beach and into the waters easily and safely. This will encourage more trips to the beach by older adults and the disabled.

The passage of these Acts means that The Virgin Islands is on its way to becoming a Livable Community.  These Acts fulfill the goal of making the Virgin Islands an Age-Friendly Territory, a commitment made by Governor Albert Bryan when he enrolled the Territory in the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities, in May of 2019.

“This is a historic day for The Virgin Islands and AARP as these Bills have been signed into law,” said Troy de Chabert-Schuster, State Director of AARP in The Virgin Islands. “The enactment of these Bills is a result of AARP’s continued work in the Virgin Islands to make our communities more livable for people of all ages.”

AARP in The Virgin Islands will continue to work with community stakeholder organizations and government agencies as programs are developed, improvements are made, and projects are executed under these Acts.

To learn more about what AARP is doing to make the Virgin Islands a more livable Community, visit www.aarp.org/vi or www.Facebook.com/aarpvi or www.aarp.org/livable.

AARP in The Virgin Islands

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