Home News Local news SENATE LEADERS EYE OVERRIDE OF BUDGET VETOES

SENATE LEADERS EYE OVERRIDE OF BUDGET VETOES

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Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's veto of 11sections of the fiscal year 2000 budget has sparked interest in the Senate majority coalition in overriding his action to make the budget package passed by the 23rd Legislature the law of the land.
The first opportunity to attempt an override will be at the next session, scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday. Overriding a veto by the governor requires a two-thirds majority vote of the legislature, or 10 votes.
Senate President Vargrave Richards and Finance Committee chair Lorraine L. Berry expressed concerns over the weekend about sections of the budget package the governor rejected. He approved the spending plan on Friday but used his line-item veto appropriation power to reject sections with which he was not in agreement.
Richards said the Senate increased Turnbull's budget out of concern over the government's ability to provide "basic services" to the community. He expressed particular concern with the governor's vetoes of a provision for expedited hiring and greater flexibility in procuring materials and supplies for the Education Department.
He also took exception to Turnbull's veto of a section providing for the timely release of funds to the University of the Virgin Islands. "UVI is one agency we must fund adequately and timely," the Senate president said.
Berry said she was concerned that Turnbull vetoed sections of a bill having to do with the appointment of an independent inspector general. The Senate had envisioned greater government accountability, she said, if the inspector general held a "tenured position" for seven years with an option to serve a second term.
She also decried the governor's veto of a section that would have allowed the Senate post auditor access to the government Financial Management System, saying the move would have "allowed greater technical expertise in the preparation of the budget package."
In her weekend political radio broadcast, Berry pledged to assist the governor to reduce spending and "grow the economy to reduce the deficit."

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