Feb. 12, 2006 — Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has submitted a supplemental budget request to the Senate totaling $57.2 million. The bill provides money for up to 12 government agencies and departments, including more than $18 million for salary increases. The biggest funding initiatives in the supplemental request are reserved for priorities in Education and Human Services. Most significantly, Turnbull appropriated $3 million to cover shortfalls in the Government Insurance Fund to ensure that beneficiaries of the Workmen's Compensation Program can be adequately covered.
In a release to the Senate late Friday, Turnbull identified more than a dozen spending priorities, including:
— $100,000 to the Division of Personnel, on a prorated basis, for personnel and fringe benefits for additional personnel involved in the management of the government's multimillion dollar Health Insurance Program.
— $500,000 to the Fire Service for equipment and outstanding night differential compensation. Some of the monies will be used for the purchase of needed equipment at the Dorothea fire station on St. Thomas.
— $750,000 to fund a newly created financial division in the lieutenant governor's office. The division was created in Act 6678.
— $5.9 million to cover outstanding obligations in the Justice Department, including $150,000 for the Prison Litigation Fund.
— $3.5 million to the Finance Department, of which $3 million is earmarked for the Government Insurance Fund and $500,000 is appropriated to the Claims Fund.
— $6.2 million for the Health Department to fund prior obligations, including more than $245,000 for back rent at the East End Medical Clinic.
— $10.8 million is allotted for the Education and Human Services departments to cover all program funding shortfalls associated with the cessation of federal money until the third-party fiduciary agreement is in place and federal funds, now withheld, are released. The funding represents only partial funding for the current fiscal year. The Senior Citizen Pharmaceutical Program is funded from the allotment. Additionally, a replacement fleet of buses for the Meals on Wheels program is provided for as is additional monies for the Disabled Persons Fund.
Of the monies allotted to Human Services, $1.2 million will cover engineering and construction services for Phase II of the Knud Hansen projects and Anna's Retreat Senior Center on St. Thomas, the Aldersville Senior Citizens Center and Anna's Hope Complex on St. Croix.
— $750,000 is set aside for the Police Department to cover gasoline costs associated with the expansion of the department's vehicle fleet.
— $4 million for road repairs are provided to the Public Works Department.
— $1.5 million is provided for the Labor Department to address various Occupational Health and Safety Administration violations.
— $500,000 to the Economic Development Authority for operational costs and the expanded marketing of the Economic Development Commission Program.
— $18.1 million for salary increases in various departments and agencies.
In the 2006 Supplemental Budget package, Turnbull identified the government's General Fund as the source for all of the appropriations. The monies being sought by the administration, with the exception of the funding for the Personnel Division, are to remain in place until expended, meaning there is no restriction on when the monies must be spent.
"I urge the [Senate's] diligent and favorable consideration of these urgently needed resources to ensure the smooth delivery of services to the community," Turnbull concluded.
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