Members of 33rd Legislature Meet with Governor Bryan

Sen. Novelle Francis chairs a Rules Committee hearing in May. (Barry Leerdam photo for the V.I. Legislature)
Senate President Sen. Novelle E. Francis Jr. (Barry Leerdam photo for the V.I. Legislature)

Members of the 33rd Legislature met with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., Lt. Gov. Tregenza A. Roach and members of his advisory team on Tuesday, Aug. 13, according to a press release issued Tuesday by Senate President Novelle E. Francis Jr.

The meeting, which was held at the request of the governor, provided a useful opportunity to discuss critical areas of concern and exchange views on a range of issues. Agenda items included disaster recovery, TEFRA/Rebasing of Medicaid and Medicare, healthcare, summer maintenance at the Department of Education, federal funding for workforce development and crime.

Sen. Francis said Gov. Bryan spoke about ongoing efforts to support recovery stabilization and economic development. Bryan spoke about overall government operations, indicating that this is the first time in many years that the Government of the Virgin Islands has had a credit with the Water and Power Authority. WAPA’s current solvency can be attributed to the Legislature’s initiative to pay over $22 million of monies recovered through Medicaid reconciliation to the authority, through Act 8187.

During the open and far reaching dialogue, senators also sought detailed information on the readiness of the public schools for the 2019-2020 school year and on crime. “The governor reassured the members that execution of the summer maintenance plan will ensure that our schools are ready for the start of the school year,” Francis said. “Governor Bryan also said that the members will have an opportunity to meet the commissioner of police and hear of his plans to involve our federal partners in crime reduction strategies.”

Francis said the meeting showed that both branches have areas of common ground. “The Legislature remains committed to our shared objectives to develop our economy and support strategies that enable the entire community to participate in our ongoing recovery,” the senate president said.