Senators decorate pay stub bill with amendments


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ST. THOMAS - Senators tacked a number of unrelated amendments onto a bill at Monday's session.

The bill, if signed by Gov. John deJongh Jr., would give government retirees the option of receiving either a paper check stub for their annuity payment or a digital pay stub.

Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone allowed each senator to offer a maximum of two unrelated amendments to the bill, and they attached nine amendments to the bill Monday.

The unrelated amendments include:

- A measure to abolish the Casino Control Commission Fund under the V.I. Finance Department and replace it with a checking account within the commission. The measure also requires an audit of the account to be reported annually to the Legislature.

- An appropriation of $217,500 from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund in the current fiscal year to the USVI Little League District.

- An amendment to increase the generating capacity for commercial facilities under the net metering program from 100 kilowatts to 500 kilowatts.

- A measure to change the government health insurance statute to allow the Division of Personnel to make direct payments of the government's insurance premiums.

- A measure to waive recreational fishing licenses in the territory and prohibit Department of Planning and Natural Resources from imposing a moratorium on commercial fishing licenses.

- An appropriation of $329,780 to the V.I. Bureau of Motor Vehicles to complete the Real ID project, which is mandated by the federal government.

- A measure to fix a mistake in the amount earmarked for utilities in the Office of the Governor's Fiscal Year 2014 budget, cutting it down from $7,289,973 to $545,953.

- An amendment to take the surcharge on rental vehicles - which currently goes to Public Works for capital projects - and earmark it for specific St. Croix road projects including: Ramirez Road in Estate Profit; Estate Barren Spot Road; Richmond Penitentiary Road; Estate Strawberry Road; Queen Street in Frederiksted; Queen Mary Highway from Hannah's Rest stop light to Fisher Street; and any other roads throughout the territory in need of repair.

- An amendment to make early voting legal for the November 2014 General Election.

- An amendment to the zoning change recently approved for the V.I. Housing Authority land behind Schneider Hospital on which the agency plans to build a senior living facility. Only a small piece of the 5-acre property was to be given a new zoning to allow the facility, but the entire parcel ended up with the new zoning. The amendment fixes the mistake.

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

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