Includes added funding for cleanup of towns, additional police officers and funding to the Department of Justice’s White Collar Crime Task Force
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced Monday that the Bryan/Roach Administration submitted a supplemental budget to the Virgin Islands Legislature as an addendum to the governor’s FY 2020 Executive Budget.
Among the items included in the budget supplemental is funding for the Department of Justice’s White Collar Crime Task Force, funding to pay prior year outstanding obligations of the Virgin Islands Government, and funding to support a clean-up of the towns within the territory.
The recent supplemental includes:
$3 million to fund prior year outstanding obligations of the Virgin Islands Government;
$1.8 million to the Virgin Islands Police Department for two recruit classes of 30 new Police Officers;
$1.7 million to fund the Department of Justice’s White Collar Crime Task Force;
$600,000 to the Department of Public Works for street maintenance and cleaning crews to conduct routine cleanup of towns;
$100,000 to the Office of Veterans Affairs to fund an increase to the veteran burial benefit from $3,500 to $5,000;
Gov. Bryan’s FY 2020 budget proposes $1.2 billion in expenditures, which includes $69.1 million for debt service payments, $216.3 million of federal funds and $941.9 million of local funds.
The governor’s FY 2020 budget assumes no debt financing or new taxes and includes full funding for the pay increases negotiated by the previous administration, which added $41 million to the Personnel Services section of the budget. It also includes 1 percent set aside for expected salary increases.
The budget also includes a $75 million set-aside to pay income tax refunds owed to Virgin Islands residents, an increase in the minimum requirement of the Insurance Guarantee Fund from $10 million to $20 million and a $5 million appropriation to the Budget Stabilization Fund.
The FY 2020 Executive Budget contains notable increases to the Virgin Islands Fire Service for the transfer of Emergency Medical Service personnel from the Department of Health to the Virgin Islands Fire Service. It also sets aside $7.1 million in funding for mental health services in the Department of Health for individuals with mental illness who are in or are at risk of entering the justice system.
The budget calls for equal distribution of general fund resources to both the Schneider Regional Medical Center and the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital at $22 million, as well as an increase to the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation.