Meeting between senators, governor about HOVENSA postponed
Published: August 28, 2013
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Although senators and the governor have talked in recent days about a potential meeting about the HOVENSA situation, that has not yet occurred.
It was not completely clear on Tuesday whether it would.
"I am able to confirm that a meeting had been requested by one of the senators with whom the governor has been in continuing contact with respect to the Senate's efforts to see how best to handle the myriad of issues that have proven troublesome since 11 of the senators voted not to approve the Fourth Amendment to the Concession Agreement between HOVENSA and the government," Government House spokesman Jean Greaux Jr. said in an emailed response to a Daily News inquiry.
Greaux said that he did not know which senator had requested the meeting, but that the request involved a number of senators meeting with the governor about HOVENSA. He was not sure whether the request involved the Senate majority or a "mixed bag" of senators.
"Regrettably, neither the formalization of the meeting through the office of the Senate president, nor an agreement on an agenda for the meeting could be accomplished in the time-frame initially contemplated and so the meeting has been postponed to a later date," Greaux wrote in the email.
Officials had been hoping to meet on Tuesday, but he was unsure at that point when the meeting might occur, Greaux said.
"I don't think it's been decided," he said.
Also, Greaux said it was unclear what exactly the senators wanted to discuss - whether it involved asking the governor to return to negotiations, to resubmit for consideration the same agreement the Senate already has turned down or whether it is something else.
"Clearly it was something to do with HOVENSA. I'm not sure what they were going to ask him to do," Greaux said. "I have no idea. I don't think he knows. The governor does not know what they want to meet about, other than HOVENSA."
Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone did not return calls on Tuesday to The Daily News calls about the matter.
Senate Majority Leader Donald Cole said some discussion has occurred within the majority about the possibility of meeting with the governor.
"We didn't put a platform together yet, as to what we were going to discuss," he said.
Cole said that senators had not yet reached consensus on the matter.
"I'm hoping that something can happen," he said.
Since the Senate voted 11 to 3, with one senator absent, on Aug. 7 to reject the proposed agreement, there have been public statements by senators and the governor about why they made the choices they did and about what they want now and why.
However, aside from a request by the governor for a $5 million appropriation to pursue a lawsuit against HOVENSA, seemingly little public discourse has taken place between members of the executive and legislative branches about how they want to move forward.
Senators plan to discuss the requested $5 million appropriation - which was one of three matters considered during a special legislative session Aug. 20 - during the budget process for Fiscal Year 2014.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.