Delays Submission of Fiscal Year 2014 Budget
Posted by Jean P.
Greaux, Jr. on May 31, 2013 at 9:35 AM AST
Governor de Jongh told Virgin Islands lawmakers last night that the territory’s unresolved budget shortfalls have convinced him it is prudent to delay the submission of next year’s Executive Budget. By law, the Governor is required to submit the government’s spending plan by May 30.
In a letter to Senate President Shawn-Michael
Malone, the Governor apologized for the delay, and wrote the Fiscal Year 2014 budget will be submitted to the 30th Legislature on June 14.
“We continue to have a Fiscal Year 2013 budget shortfall and as we enter the fourth quarter, the slowest revenue generation cycle of the year, some cashflow issues. Based on these factors, the additional time allows us to further explore our options to ensure that the process is equitable and comprehensive,”
Over the past few months, the Governor has discussed many times the unresolved fiscal challenges with Virgin Islands senators. He said Thursday night he is “deeply concerned about the terrible impacts that will be felt by our government workers and those they serve if the Senate does not address the 20 million dollar deficit that we face between now and the end of September, the end of the current fiscal year. Despite a number of conversations and meetings I have had with the Senators, they have not addressed this current fiscal year deficit which, of course, also compounds the problem of next year's budget and raising the revenues to meet fiscal year 2014 obligations."
In his letter to Senate President Malone on Thursday,
the governor wrote, “I assure you that I will continue to work collaboratively with you and the members of the 30th Legislature to bring about solutions for the people of the Virgin Islands as we move forward in this very challenging economic environment.”