Bill to Expand Virgin Islands Maritime Industry Advances in Senate
August 13, 2021
St. Thomas, USVI – Senator Donna Frett-Gregory introduced legislation for the expansion of the maritime industry in the Virgin Islands. Bill No. 34-0078 earned the unanimous support of the members of the Committee on Finance and has been advanced to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary. The legislation if enacted, will allow for the Virgin Islands Port Authority to further develop and expand the maritime industry, specifically the marine cargo terminal potentially establishing the Virgin Islands as a major transshipment port for the Caribbean.
Senator Frett-Gregory during her introduction of the measure stated that from her first term in the 33rd Legislature, that the necessary work was being performed to have the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School (“Cancryn”) property utilized in a manner that would benefit the Department of Education while expanding our economy. “The bill requires that 50% of the income generated by the V.I. Port Authority from activities conducted on the Cancryn property be deposited into the Education Maintenance Fund,” stated Frett-Gregory. “This is a permanent revenue stream for school construction and maintenance, which is very much needed.”
“The economic impact of this legislation will benefit the territory greatly and the proposed bill complements Act 8376, the South Shore Free Trade Zone, sponsored by Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr. in the 33rd Legislature,” said Frett-Gregory. “In an era where consumers are purchasing goods from their phones, this bill lays the foundation for the Virgin Islands to be poised to become the major transshipment hub connecting the Windward and Leeward Islands.” The Department of Education, the Department of Property and Procurement, and the Virgin Islands Port Authority testified on the matter and all expressd support of the legislation. “To garner the support of my colleagues on this legislation that impacts the economy and the construction and maintenance of our schools is gratifying,” concluded Frett-Gregory. Bill No. 34-0078 will next be heard in the Committee on Rules and Judiciary.
Office of Senate President Donna A. Frett-Gregory