Home News Local news SENATE AGREES TO POSTPONE FISCAL TESTIMONY

SENATE AGREES TO POSTPONE FISCAL TESTIMONY

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Jan 18, 2003 – The 25th Legislature's first Committee of the Whole meeting, which was set for Tuesday to examine the territory's finances, has been postponed a week, to Jan. 28, at the governor's request.
At its opening session last Monday, the Senate voted to invite Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's top financial officials to testify on the status of the government coffers. The information is being sought in the context of a statement by Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull in December that the territory was experiencing a "fiscal crisis." She has subsequently said that her remark was taken out of context in news reports.
Gov. Turnbull wrote Senate President David Jones this week asking that the meeting be postponed because the Finance commissioner would not be able to attend on Tuesday due to a conflicting commitment. She is scheduled to testify in District Court on St. Thomas in an ongoing case challenging the V.I. government's assessment of commercial properties for tax purposes.
With Commissioner Turnbull's conflict, the governor asked that his entire team be excused from appearing on Tuesday, and Jones acquiesced.
The Senate is now scheduled to convene as the Committee of the Whole at 9 a.m. on Jan. 28 in the Earle B. Ottley Senate Chambers on St. Thomas. In the coming week, no legislative meetings are scheduled, but many senators are expected to be in their offices — in some cases, their relocated offices — setting up shop and settling in.
On Friday, hallways in the Legislature Building on St. Thomas were filled with desks, partitions, ladders, dust and teams of workers as, in time-honored tradition, the lawmakers made their moves into new or different offices.
Jones has relocated from the tiny cubicle on the outside of the building that he had occupied for the last two years to the spacious suite just vacated by the 24th Legislature president, Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd. And Sen. Lorraine Berry, the body's new vice president, has moved back to her former offices from which she was displaced by freshman Sen. Norma Pickard-Samuel two years ago. Pickard-Samuel lost her bid for re-election to a second term.

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