DeJongh: Senators will have to answer for RT Park veto override
Published: June 19, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - Just hours after the Senate voted to override his veto regarding the RT Park bill, Gov. John deJongh Jr. issued an angry response to their action.
The 11 senators who voted in favor of the override were Sens. Craig Barshinger, Judi Buckley, Diane Capehart, Kenneth Gittens, Clifford Graham, Myron Jackson, Shawn-Michael Malone, Terrence Nelson, Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly, Clarence Payne III and Sammuel Sanes.
"I received the news of the Legislature's action with respect to the so-called Malone Amendment radically altering the authority and structure of the RT Park with disappointment, but without surprise. Now I wait, as do the vast majority of the residents and voters and taxpayers of the Virgin Islands, to hear the rationalizations and explanations for this action. I await the defense to be offered by the 11 members of the 30th Legislature who have now voted for a second time to keep established, profitable businesses off our tax rolls through this special interest legislation.
"Now the 11 senators who have confirmed their earlier action will have to face the people who will be justified in wanting to know why they should not be provided tax breaks as well. Now they will have to explain why expanding benefits to cable companies and RT Park consultants can be justified given our budget deficit. Now they will have to explain how they can give away this kind of money when we have a $30 million-plus budget deficit this fiscal year and when our workers are facing potential furloughs and our people are facing a reduction in government programs and services.
"I do not see how we will ever solve our budget dilemma when a majority of the present Legislature believes that what they did - and how they did it - is proper and correct. The voices of Virgin Islands taxpayers will surely be heard in the coming months. I stand with them in waiting for the answer to the question: Why would any senator vote this way?"