The Committee on Budget, Appropriations, and Finance, successfully moves FY 2024 Budget
September 19, 2023
St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. – The Committee on Budget, Appropriations, and Finance (“Committee”) voted today to move a $1.07 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget forward. Chaired by Senator Donna A. Frett-Gregory, the Committee concluded its FY2024 budget during a meeting held in St. Thomas. “Despite challenges facing the territory, the FY 2024 budget, which is 3.4% less than the budget proposed by the executive branch, ensures that departments and agencies will be able to provide essential services and provides funding for non-governmental organizations that offer critical programs in our community,” stated Frett-Gregory.
The Committee held 23 days of budget hearings, where over 62 government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities came to defend their FY 2024 budget request. “From the onset of the budget cycle in June, the goal of the Committee was to focus on ensuring essential services that we rely on are adequately funded,” stated Frett-Gregory.
In an effort to add further transparency to the budgetary process, chairs of the 35th Legislature’s standing committees were invited to meet with the post-audit team to review the budgetary needs of those departments under their respective committees’ jurisdictions. “When the Committee got to budget markup, we were prepared to have critical discussions with the executive team on the necessity of having current and accurate information from which to build the FY 2024 budget,” stated Frett-Gregory. “All funds utilized in the 2024 budget have positive fund balances, unlike previous years where departments were budgeted against funds with negative balances.”
“Although we have adopted a balanced budget, the Committee must continue with its legislative oversight efforts to ensure that those departments responsible for revenue generation and collection are meeting expectations. The Legislature adopted legislation that mandates a mid-year review of our revenues, and the Committee will make any necessary adjustments to the FY 2024 budget at that time,” added Frett-Gregory.
Budget decisions were based on actual revenue collections, projected collections, and projected trends in the construction industry that will lead to increased tax collections. "We have made an effort to fund every priority in this budget, including public safety, education, healthcare, employee recruitment and retention, while being responsible financial stewards of the government’s funds. This budget is a direct reflection of many hours of hard work. I want to thank the members of the Committee and the Post Audit staff for helping with the adoption of a
balanced budget," concluded Frett-Gregory.
Contact: Jamila A. Russell