Just days before leaving office, in a transmittal letter to Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone dated January 1, 2015, Governor de Jongh has revealed action taken on a myriad of legislation, including zoning permits, bills to honor outstanding people of the territory, a measure that makes it a crime to possess a false driver’s license or identification card, and more.
The Governor also vetoed two measures: Bill No. 30-0417, which sought to repeal and reenact with amendments to Title 29, Virgin Islands Code, chapter 12, subchapter III relating to sustainable tourism through arts-based revenue stream productions, a measure dubbed “The STARS Bill”. De Jongh says the bill, as written, “seems to sacrifice or local music and audio production industry in an attempt to appeal to the worldwide film industry.”
The other Bill, No. 30-0541, was vetoed “on the basis that the measure, as passed, is wholly inconsistent with the original petition and recommendation by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
Before closing, de Jongh once again reiterated his stance against the passage of the Bill sponsored by Terrence “Positive” Nelson that decriminalizes marijuana, contending that, “though I support the decriminalization of marijuana, to put all tree branches of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands — the single largest employer in the territory, at a disadvantage to properly manage employee conduct as compared to such rights by private employers is simply unfair.”
De Jongh added: “It is my hope that these matters noted here and in my transmittal letter of October 13, 2014 will be reconciled so that the full potential of this measure on the Territory’s criminal justice system will be achieved.”
To view the transmittal letter detailing action taken on the 29 measures, go here.