9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

Majority Caucus Says Its Confident In Its Leadership Following Special Session

News / Politics / Virgin Islands / May 12, 2017

ST. CROIX — The 32nd Legislature’s Majority Caucus doubled down on its platform on Thursday regarding legislation sent down by Governor Kenneth Mapp, which were considered during Wednesday’s special session.

After testimony was heard in Committee of the Whole and the body was raised back into session, all bills were sent to their appropriate committees for further vetting by a majority vote.

Senate Majority Leader Neville James, above, said the governor’s bills were ill-prepared, and included many technical errors. Furthermore, the urgency placed on passing the legislation undermined the due process required to consider any measures brought before the Senate, according to the release.

“It is unprecedented for the governor of the Virgin Islands to send down seven measures to the Legislature with no time to vet any of the relevant documents, without ample time to conduct discussion with stakeholders and citizens who the measures would affect, and with significant pressure from cabinet members and government funded commercials being circulated online,” Mr. James stated. “This institution is capable and prepared to consider meaningful legislation without the executive branch’s influence and/or interference.”

Mr. James’s rebuff of the governor and confidence in the Majority Caucus’s ability comes even as the Democrats have yet to introduce emergency measures aimed at addressing the issues Mr. Mapp identified through the various bills. Among the emergencies are the drainage and sewage issues plaguing the Juan F. Luis Hospital, which is requesting some $3 million to implement a complete change of the pipes causing the problems.

According to the release, despite disputes carried out on the floor, Mr. James said that the Majority Caucus would not be deterred by the consistent disruptive behavior initiated by the Minority Caucus, and notwithstanding said rancor, the actions of the body showed a willingness to embrace bipartisanship.

It was not clear which incident Mr. James was referring to, or whether he was alluding to the Minority Caucus’s alleged tilt on being disruptive. It was Mr. James who interrupted Senator Positive Nelson, leader of the minority, during his time on Wednesday, leading to a verbal back and forth that included talk of taking the argument to the back for an apparent bout. “I’m a 5th-degree black belt, I’ll mash you in. You ain’t serious,” said Mr. Nelson following Mr. James’s challenge.

Nonetheless, Mr. James said the Senate’s unified decision on Wednesday sent a clear message to the governor.

“It was a decision of the body, not just the Majority or Minority Caucus—an agreement between all sitting senators—to send a message to the administration that the Senate will not rush the people’s business,” he said. “Taxpayer money is on the line and when bills are being sent down that confusingly instruct us to defund the G.E.R.S. to satisfy appropriations, we are left with no choice but to convene a committee to investigate the consequences that such a measure would render. While the minority was adamant in their consistent desire to engage in futile exercises of rancor, I’m happy that bipartisanship prevailed.”

According to the release, Mr. James could not understate that the best interest of the people of the territory is to allow each branch of government to perform its responsibilities separately and equally, and as the first branch of government, the Senate’s duty is to give legislation before them proper and thorough consideration.

“Our commitment to better all walks of life here in the territory has not wavered in any way, shape or form,” Mr. James said. “The people want us to be productive on their behalf, and that is what we intend to do.”

Tags: , ,

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected]

Previous Post

Watch: Scenes From UVI's 2017 St. Croix Commencement Ceremony

Next Post

Watch: Women In Their 70s Graduate From UVI

You might also like

Leave a Reply

More Story

Watch: Scenes From UVI's 2017 St. Croix Commencement Ceremony

It was a special day on St. Croix on Thursday as more than 100 students graduated from the University of the Virgin Islands...

May 12, 2017