Senate President Donna A. Frett-Gregory announced today that the 34th Legislature will be considering legislation at the next Legislative Session to track and oversee federal relief funds allocated to the territory. Bill No. 34-0073 offered by Senator Frett-Gregory and 9 of her colleagues requires the Governor of the Virgin Islands to obtain approval for spending the over $600 million dollars in federal relief funds allocated to the territory and to provide the community with a detailed accounting of the funds.
With this bill, the 34th Legislature joins states and territories across the nation in enacting legislation to determine how best to utilize federal relief funds collaboratively. Senators today echoed each other in indicating that the Virgin Islands is no different from those states and territories that have enacted legislation, and exercised their oversight responsibilities to ensure accountability and transparency. The members assert that the Legislature should be involved to make certain that the funds are getting down to the people of the Virgin Islands.
Identifying infrastructure projects, rebuilding and stabilizing our economy, and identifying methods in which to assist Virgin Islanders are just some of the areas that the sponsors identify as immediate needs to address with the federal relief funds. “Just recently, the Legislature’s Committee of the Whole heard from the Governor’s Financial Team and the consensus was one of general concern,” stated Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory. “The enactment of this legislation puts a mechanism and a structure in place for both branches of government to work to meet the needs of our community, and effectuate positive results.” Frett-Gregory thanked her colleagues for immediately seeing the value and importance of legislation of this nature.
The Legislature of the Virgin Islands will convene in Legislative Session on August 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Chambers.