Senators to be sworn in during ceremony today

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ST. THOMAS - The members of the 30th Legislature will be sworn in today and will take their first votes as a body.

The swearing-in ceremony, open to the public, is scheduled for 10 a.m. today on the David Monsanto Bandstand in Emancipation Garden.

An ecumenical service at Frederick Lutheran Evangelical Church, just north of Emancipation Garden, will take place before the swearing-in ceremony but is not open to the public and will be by invitation only.

V.I. Code requires lawmakers to be sworn-in the second Monday in January.

The 15-member body includes seven freshman senators: Judi Buckley, Diane Capehart, Kenneth Gittens, Clifford Graham, Myron Jackson, Clarence Payne and Tregenza Roach.

The rookies will join returning senators Craig Barshinger, Donald Cole, Alicia Hansen, Shawn-Michael Malone, Terrence Nelson, Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly, Sammuel Sanes and Janette Millin Young.

A 10-member Democratic majority has been formed, with Cole as majority leader, and Malone will serve as Senate president.

After the oath of office is administered, senators and the public will move across the street to the Legislature building for the new Senate to convene their first session.

The session is scheduled to start at noon in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall.

At the session, the senators will adopt a bill to organize the Senate. The bill will lay out all the committees and duties of the senators for the coming term. The senators also will adopt the rules and regulations for the 30th Legislature.

Each senator will have a chance to speak as well, traditionally using the time to publicly thank their families and supporters and talk about plans for the coming term in office.

Following the session, a public reception will take place on the grounds of the Legislature.

On St. Croix, the events surrounding the swearing-in of the 30th Legislature are slated for Wednesday.

Those events will start at 10 a.m., with an ecumenical service in the Fredensberg Moravian Church in Frederiksted.

The ecumenical service will be followed by an 11:15 a.m. meet-and-greet with senators at the St. Croix Legislative Complex.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email

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