Legislature overrides deJongh's veto of partially defunding HOVENSA sale


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ST. THOMAS - Senators voted Wednesday to override a number of vetoes made by Gov. John deJongh Jr. last month.

The overrides were all line-item vetoes included in the same bill. The bill, which was signed into law in May, contained a number of unrelated amendments, many of which were struck down by the governor.

One section of the bill that senators overrode Wednesday will change the amount of funding for expenses related to the sale and closure of HOVENSA from $6 million to $1.5 million.

Sen. Clifford Graham said the $6 million figure was originally passed as a precaution in case the Senate did not approve an amendment to the HOVENSA agreement with the V.I. government. However, the Senate did approve the amendment, so the full amount was not needed, Graham said.

Senators also overrode a veto a measure that reprogrammed $500,000 from the shovel-ready track projects at Central and Educational Complex high schools on St. Croix and diverted them to other projects. DeJongh said he vetoed the measure because the projects are only in the conceptual stages.

An appropriation of $300,000 to build the American Legion Enrique Romero Nieves Post 102 on St. Croix was also made law Wednesday by overriding the governor's veto.

Sen. Alicia Hansen said the American Legion was evicted from their building by Property and Procurement who said the building they were in needed repairs.

The last line-item veto overridden by the Senate on Wednesday will appropriate $200,000 to the V.I. Sports, Parks and Recreation Department for the construction of a recreational facility in Estate Calquohoun, St. Croix.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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