Senators react to budget crisis

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ST. THOMAS - Gov. John deJongh Jr.'s plan to extend a hiring freeze and implement 5 percent budget cuts in the central government has received a tepid response from the 30th Legislature.

Some senators floated their own ideas to address the territory's projected $50 million budget deficit in Fiscal Year 2013. They included proposals to renegotiate the territory's agreement with rum producer Diageo and to overhaul the structure of the V.I. government.

But the overriding message from the Legislature was that while no one wants to see any more layoffs or a continuation of the 8 percent salary cuts implemented in Fiscal Year 2012, the plan deJongh announced Monday will not be much easier to swallow.

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