Governor's proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Governor proposes $1.1 billion budget
Published: June 30, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - Gov. John deJongh Jr. submitted his $1.1 billion Fiscal Year 2013 budget to the V.I. Legislature on Friday.
Of the total budget, $695.8 million will come from the General Fund - $35.5 million less than the governor's budget proposal for FY 2012 and $30 million less than the Senate's final budget appropriation for FY 2012.
The remaining budget amount comes from federal funds and special funds.
"The economic environment that we confront is not solely of our making, but we, like all others in this global economy, must adjust to the prevailing winds. In early 2012 it was the sudden announcement of the closure of the HOVENSA oil refinery that had the most dramatic impact on the social, economic and financial fabric of our community," deJongh said in his transmittal letter to Senate President Ronald Russell.
The governor said the shutdown of the oil refinery may represent a $580 million reduction in direct gross economic output - approximately 13 percent of the total gross territorial product. It is also expected to result in a loss of more than $92 million in tax receipts, he said.
DeJongh said the proposed budget contains a shortfall, and the government will have to borrow $60 million - the rest of the $120 million previously authorized by the Legislature - to balance the budget.
"It is my sincere belief that in subsequent years this gap will be reduced with the implementation of our growth strategies and continued focus on the collection of past due taxes," deJongh said.
He said the need to borrow the remaining money is only because of HOVENSA's pull out.
"To avoid borrowing the full $120 million we would have to dismiss more employees, and this is a policy I do not endorse," he said.
Office of Management and Budget Director Debra Gottlieb said the FY 2013 budget continues efforts to align government operational costs with available resources.
She said the $695.8 million General Fund budget is allocated in the following budgetary categories:
- Personnel services - $249.3 million.
- Fringe benefits - $120.7 million.
- Supplies - $10.6 million.
- Other services and charges - $142.9 million.
- Utilities - $27.7 million.
- All expenses - $143.2 million.
- Capital outlays - $1.1 million.
The "all expenses" budget category includes proposed appropriations for the other branches of government - the Legislature and the Judiciary - of $45.5 million.
The governor can suggest a budget amount only for the other branches of government; it is up to the Legislature to make the appropriations.
The "all expenses" category also includes $28.1 million for the University of the Virgin Islands, $3.8 million for WTJX Public Television and $23.8 million for the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority.
The miscellaneous section of the FY 2012 budget is $103.4 million.
DeJongh said projected net revenues remain $100 million below what they were before the economic crisis began.
To balance the lost revenue, the budget leaves staffing positions that are not absolutely critical vacant; eliminates programs and services that cannot be justified in the current economic environment; streamlines government processes; and shifts costs, according to Government House.
It also includes enabling legislation to make major changes to government operations.
The governor submitted bills to move the Medical Assistance Program from the Health Department to the Human Services Department and transfer the Bureau of Economic Research to the Economic Development Authority.
The budget includes legislation increasing the government employee's portion of health insurance premiums from a 65 percent employer contribution and 35 employee contribution to a 60/40 split.
Legislation is also included to shift funding of the Office of Collective Bargaining from the General Fund to the Union Arbitration Fund.
To reduce government expenditures, deJongh submitted legislation to make the career incentive program into a one-time bonus instead of a recurring payment, and to eliminate the night shift payroll differential, which gives higher pay rates for those who work at night.
The governor's FY 2013 budget proposal also includes:
- A $3 million appropriation for the Virgin Islands Police Department to implement the corrective action plan required by an excessive force consent decree.
- More than $7 million to end the 8 percent salary cuts end in July of 2013.
- About $1.6 million to the Personnel Division to fund the increased cost of health insurance premiums for retirees.
- $2 million for the indoor sports complex at Mars Hill.
- An $885,544 appropriation to pay for staff and operational costs associated with the opening of the Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Library.
- A $1.4 million appropriation for the Justice Department to hire additional attorneys and other support staff to accommodate the department's increasing case load.
- A $350,000 appropriation to fund the General Election.
- Approximately $700,000 to keep the territory's senior centers open.
- Funding the 20 percent local match requirement to obtain $5 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish a revolving loan fund to assist small business.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.Department FY 2012 FY 2013
Adjutant General $1,576,046 $1,450,881
Agriculture Department $2,859,123 $2,541,354
Board of Education $2,198,056 $2,914,468
Corrections Bureau $25,296,231 $25,796,230
DLCA $3,339,039 $3,097,932
DPNR $7,526,524 $7,575,555
Education Department $178,318,027 $162,499,405
Finance Department $5,747,672 $5,257,398
Governor's Office $9,023,784 $9,000,891
Health Department $30,832,533 $21,684,309
Housing, Parks and Recreation $6,697,307 $5,952,955
Human Services $50,776,668 $57,285,345
Information Technology Bureau $2,693,941 $2,394,531
Inspector General's Office $1,488,817 $1,323,348
Internal Revenue Bureau $9,943,714 $10,019,307
Justice Department $13,155,133 $13,114,362
Labor Department $5,038,247 $4,478,287
Lt. Governor's Office $7,098,581 $6,386,170
Luis Hospital $20,535,467 $19,253,114
Management and Budget $2,364,485 $2,101,690
Motor Vehicles Bureau $1,944,553 $1,728,432
Personnel $3,447,074 $2,494,667
Police Department $53,899,104 $51,754,882
Property and Procurement $4,627,116 $4,112,849
Public Works $23,059,333 $20,556,047
Schneider Hospital $22,527,776 $21,323,994
Tourism $3,112,283 $2,766,377
Veterans Affairs $383,445 $340,828
V.I. Fire Service $17,622,068 $16,163,516
VITEMA $4,886,220 $4,379,449
Miscellaneous $82,257,398 $103,418,220