Legislature designates official shell and 'fruit of choice' for V.I.
Published: September 30, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The 30th Legislature took action on a variety of bills - and overrode one gubernatorial veto - on Friday before taking up Fiscal Year 2014 budget-related matters.
The block of bills senators debated first thing on Friday had been held over from Thursday, when a wide variety of other legislation was approved.
The override involved a measure that significantly expands the scope of practice for chiropractors in the territory.
The Senate originally passed the bill in June, over objections from the V.I. Board of Medical Examiners that the bill was written too broadly and did not adequately protect the public. Although the bill's sponsor, Sen. Sammuel Sanes, said he would offer amendments to address those concerns when the bill was in Rules Committee, he never did.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. in July vetoed the measure, writing that he supports the trend of expanding chiropractic treatment services, but considers the bill "fundamentally unacceptable and flawed as presented."
Senators on Friday overrode the veto without discussion, with Sanes making the motion. Senators Craig Barshinger, Judi Buckley, Diane Capehart, Kenneth Gittens, Myron Jackson, Shawn-Michael Malone, Terrence Nelson, Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly, Tregenza Roach, and Sanes voted in favor of the override, providing the necessary 10 votes. Senators Clifford Graham, Alicia Hansen, Clarence Payne and Janette Millin-Young abstained from voting on the override. Sen. Donald Cole was absent.
The legislation that was not budget-related that the Senate passed on Friday included:
- A measure, sponsored by Nelson and O'Reilly, that authorizes the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation to develop a comprehensive master plan for a public park and recreational area on publicly owned lands at Altona Lagoon on St. Croix. The bill was amended Friday to appropriate $50,000 from the St. Croix Capital Improvement Fund to pay for creating the plan.
- Legislation, sponsored by Cole, that makes the Queen Conch shell the official sea shell of the Virgin Islands.
- A bill, sponsored by Sanes, that authorizes the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to establish a Used Cooking Oil Collection Certification Program to train and certify people to collect used oil from businesses and homes for recycling.
- Legislation, sponsored by Gittens, that establishes special penalties for assaulting any employee of the Department of Education lawfully discharging duties. Under the bill, penalties for any such assault include fines of $2,000 to $10,000 and imprisonment up to 10 years. The provisions apply to any assault that does not meet the circumstances of first or second degree assault.
- A bill that enhances penalties for assaulting, with a weapon, peace officers discharging their duties. Under the bill, the penalties are $2,000 to $10,000 fines and imprisonment up to 10 years. The provisions apply to any assault that does not meet the circumstances of first or second degree assault.
- Legislation, sponsored by Malone, that provides exemption from the Stamp Tax for deeds incident to consolidation of limited liability corporations and trustees who are original grantors and the transfer is between designated familial parties.
- A measure that names the Julie Mango the "Fruit of Choice" of the Virgin Islands. The legislation directs the University of the Virgin Islands to host annual workshops on mango production and marketing. It also requires the Department of Agriculture to set aside acreage for mango production and to implement a "Julie Mango in Every Yard" program, along with a purchasing program that buys from participants a percentage of their Julie mango tree harvest.