News Column

Committee on Finance Continues FY 2015 Budget Assessment

June 25, 2014

ST.THOMAS, Virgin Islands, June 25 -- The U.S. Virgin Islands legislature issued the following news release:

The Committee on Finance chaired by Sen. Clifford F. Graham met at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall Wednesday to continue to address the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Representatives from the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Virgin Islands Fire Service provided testimony relative to financial plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

In 2015, the VIPD is projecting a budget of $57,586,063 81.82 percent of which is allocated to salaries and fringe benefits, officials say.

Rodney Querrard, Commissioner of the VIPD outlined some of the mandatory expenditures including overtime which is projected to be $7,000,000. Querrard explained that funding overtime will prove a challenge. "The recommended FY 2015 Budget does not include a line item for overtime cost. The department will have to use vacancy savings for overtime, while at the same time using it to fill desperately needed positions," he said.

The Committee Chairman noted that funding for the Consent Decree, $3,000,000, is almost one million dollars higher. Officials said that changes to the budget occur as needs arise to fund equipment, advertising, training etc.

OMB Director Debra Gottlieb also provided budget projections for the FY2015 totaling $3,953,507 and shared some of the major initiatives which will include bringing performance management to the foreground.

At press time, the Committee was receiving testimony from the VI Fire Service.

All committee members were present. Non committee members Senators Kenneth L. Gittens and Tregenza A. Roach were also present.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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