Senate OKs 9 bills, including funding to publish delinquent taxpayers' names

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ST. THOMAS - The 30th Legislature adopted nine bills during a Senate session Thursday.

One of the measures is a wide-ranging piece of legislation that does several things including clarifying the purpose the Tourism Revolving Fund can be used for and allowing the V.I. Internal Revenue Bureau to publish the names and businesses of delinquent taxpayers.

The bill also would reprogram about $4.5 million that was budgeted, but not needed, to restore the 8 percent salary cuts in the 2014 fiscal year.

The reprogramming will fund existing projects, contracts or critical budgeted items in the current fiscal year.

Sen. Donald Cole offered an amendment that clarifies language relating to the use of voting machines in the territory's elections.

Other legislation approved by the Senate Thursday included:

- A bill to require an assessment of the cadastral and land records housed in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

- A bill instituting an "Emergency Call Box" system.

- A measure updating some language in the V.I. Code relating to children with physical or intellectual disabilities to be less derogatory.

- A bill to increase the amount the V.I. Water and Power Authority gets for its street lighting program from 4 percent to 6 percent of all property taxes collected. The move is expected to bring in an additional $2.1 million a year to WAPA, although utility officials say it is not enough.

- A bill requiring that health insurance providers cover the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

- A bill allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines and basic wellness tests.

- A measure prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors.

- A bill pertaining to public accountancy that will bring Virgin Islands law into compliance with the provisions recommended by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy in conjunction with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virgin Islands Board of Public Accountancy.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email

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