A piece of legislation seeking to change the Legislature’s fiscal year calender from the current October 1 to September 30 period to that of January 1 to December 31, has been vetoed by Gov. Kenneth Mapp, who contends that the measure would “wreak havoc on the Virgin Islands Government fiscal planning, implementation and reporting, by creating two budget processes for the two branches of government.”
Bill No. 31-0063, Mapp says, “would require that the government adopt separate and parallel fiscal management systems for the Legislative branch and the Executive and Judicial branches of government.”
In explaining the bill’s necessity, senators argued the legislation would prevent current senators from voting on budgets that would affect legislatures coming after Dec. 31, but the governor disagreed. He said the legislation has “serious unintended consequences and adverse impacts on the territory as a whole” that should be considered by the legislature.
Mapp added that the measure would “essentially carve out the Legislature from the central government as a separate reporting entity, impacting the territory on several levels.”
He continued: “At the front end of the fiscal year, it would require the adoption of a separate annual budgeting process, with its own calendar and deadlines, further straining limited central government staff and resources.”
On the back end of the fiscal year, the new bill would require “separate financial statements on a calendar year basis, with the additional costs and manpower that this new process would entail. Additionally, the legislation would render the Legislature a distinct ’employer,’ which would require a separate federal employer identification number (EIN), with its own financial, accounting and reporting systems, thereby further complicating human resource and payroll-related processes,” Gov. Mapp said.