Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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Senators Say Health Department Didn’t Follow Procurement Process for $1 Million...

Members of the Senate Finance Committee expressed shock when Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion said the department entered a $1 million contract for pandemic-related contact tracing services without requesting bids through Property and Procurement.

Human Services Offering Pandemic Childcare Subsidy for Working Parents

The V.I. Department of Human Services is offering working parents and guardians relief during the COVID-19 pandemic via a Federal Block Grant program that provides a child care subsidy for children up to 12 years old.
Committee of the Whole Chairman Sen. Novelle Francis Jr. asks for an open and honest conversation with WAPA during Friday’s hearing. (“Photos by Chaunte Herbert, Legislature of the Virgin Islands.)

Legislature Grilling of WAPA Devolves into “Melee”

Tension ran high Friday as Senators, meeting as the Committee of the Whole, grilled officials of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority devolved into chaos and decorum was relegated to the background.

DPNR: Fishermen Receiving Long Promised Hurricane Relief Aid

Nearly three years after the 2017 hurricanes, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Division of Fish and Wildlife has launched a highly anticipated disaster relief program that offers financial assistance to fishers who suffered losses due to the hurricanes.
Taxis line up for business on St. John. (Photo from the V.I. Taxi Association website)

Taxicab Commission Wants Limousine and Tour Broker Licenses Under Its Purview

The Virgin Islands Taxicab Commission is vying for control over limousine and tour broker operator licenses and says seeking legislation for that aim is a goal for fiscal year 2021.
Barbara Jackson-McIntosh (File photo)

BMV Working to Address Backlogged Car Registrations

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is implementing several changes to automate processes and help address insurance and car registration concerns during the global pandemic, Director Barbara Jackson-McIntosh told senators Thursday.
Commissioner of the Department of Labor Gary Molloy testifies before an October hearing. (File photo)

V.I. Unemployment Applications During Pandemic Higher Than After 2017 Hurricanes

Labor Commissioner Gary Molloy told senators that the flood of applications coming in for unemployment benefits is far greater than what was experienced in 2017 after two Category 5 hurricanes ravaged the territory.

Pandemic Causes Dip in Lottery Sales

Virgin Islands Lottery Executive Director Raymond Williams said the lottery’s traditional game has dropped significantly in sales due to the worldwide pandemic.
Magens Bay Authority Chairwoman Katina Coulianos testifies before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday. (Photos by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

Magens Bay Authority Resists Senators’ Push for New Concessions

Members of the V.I. Senate's Finance Committee pressed officials from the Magens Bay Authority Board of Directors to create new food and drink concessions that reflect Caribbean culture in both Magens Bay Park and Smith Bay Park.

Budget Hearing: Inspector General Says Office Needs More Staff

Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt told the Senate Finance Committee Friday that the proposed budget for his department will not let him hire enough personnel to meet all their demands.