Just Over 5,000 Residents Have Received Premium Pay Checks So Far Totaling $9.2 Million; Bryan Provides Highlights of 2023 Budget
Governor Albert Bryan on Monday said that just over 5,000 Virgin Islanders in both the public and private sectors have received Premium Pay stimulus checks. He also detailed some of the highlights of the Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget, which Mr. Bryan signed into law on Friday, September 30, in accordance with V.I. Code.
The Premium Pay checks continue to go out, the governor said, as the Office of Management and Budget, the Dept. of Department of Finance and other relevant government arms work on distribution. A total of $40 million has been set aside for Premium Pay stimulus in the USVI from the over $500 million the territory received from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.
Relative to the fiscal year 2023 budget, the governor said, “The total General Fund appropriation for the new fiscal year exceeds $927 million dollars. We closed out Fiscal Year 2022 strong with a budget surplus. This allowed us to pledge $40 million towards payment of retroactive wages owed to government employees and retirees going back to 1990. As of September 30, we’ve paid out more than $22 million of those funds already to 5,365 employees with the other $17 million going out in the coming days.”
Government employees and retirees who think they are eligible for retroactive wages can check their status at the Division of Personnel website at www.dopusvi.org/retro/
“Our budget this year includes another $25 million for payment of retroactive wages towards our Administration’s plan to pay at least $25 million a year until the full balance of retroactive wages owed is paid. Our budget also increases funding in the Insurance Guarantee Fund back to $50 million. We also continue to build cash reserves by adding another $5 million to the Budget Stabilization Rainy Day fund,” the governor said.
He also said this is also the first budget in decades to set aside funding from the Transportation Trust Fund for local road repairs instead of being transferred over to support General Fund appropriations, and this budget also reflects full funding for the new Virgin Islands Fire and Emergency Medical Services in the execution of the recent merger.
“There is no question that the fiscal condition of our government is the strongest it has been in years,” he said.
Tropical weather outlook
During his weekly update, VITEMA Director Daryl Jaschen said the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking two tropical disturbances.
Disturbance 1 is an elongated area of low pressure located a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands that continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are forecast to be favorable for some gradual development, and a tropical depression is likely to form around the middle part of this week. Further development will become less likely by the end of the week due to increasing upper-level winds. The system is forecast to move westward, then turn northwestward or northward by the end of the week over the eastern tropical Atlantic.
Disturbance 2 is east of the Windward Islands, and showers and thunderstorms associated with the tropical wave several hundred miles east of the southern Windward Islands have become slightly better organized since yesterday. Some further development of the wave is possible, and a tropical depression could form within the next few days while it moves generally westward at 15 to 20 mph, reaching the Windward Islands and the eastern Caribbean Sea by midweek. Interests in the Windward Islands should monitor the progress of the system.
Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion said the territory still has no confirmed cases of Monkeypox.
To learn more about being eligible for a free monkeypox vaccination, call 340-774-9000 ext. 4663.
For more information about monkeypox, use the “Communicable Disease” tab on the Department of Health website at doh.vi.gov.
COVID-19 cases as of September 12
- Currently tracking 40 active cases (25 STX; 15 STT; 0 STJ)
- There are 0 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
- There are 5 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available by scheduling an appointment:
St. Croix – 340-244-0016
St. Thomas – 340-777-8804 ext. 2600
St. John – 340-776-6400
The schedule is as follows:
St. Croix – Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Charles Harwood Memorial parking lot
St. Thomas – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday – 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Schneider Regional Medical Center loading dock
St. John – Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m.
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