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Author: William-Jose Velez

FEMA has high praise for the US Virgin Islands government’s hurricane prep efforts

A number of high-ranking officials from Region II of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had high praise for the Bryan/Roach Administration’s hurricane readiness efforts during briefings last week at the monthly Emergency Management Council meeting conducted by VI Territorial Emergency Management Agency Director Nominee Daryl Jaschen. Seven FEMA officials – including Region II Acting Caribbean Director Tito Hernandez and Region II Response Director Jason Wind, who arrived after Hurricane Irma and went through Hurricane Maria while spending several months in the territory – gave briefings and assessments and discussed lessons learned on topics ranging from cybersecurity to the...

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US Virgin Islands officials testify before Congress on Medicaid ‘Fiscal Cliff’

United States Virgin Islands Administration officials from the USVI Department of Human Services testified before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Medicaid ‘Fiscal Cliff’ in Washington DC Thursday, where they continued the administration’s push for congressional action to prevent the US Virgin Islands and other insular territories from falling off the Medicaid fiscal cliff. Currently, the US Virgin Islands receives temporary Medicaid funds from the Affordable Care Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), both of which provide critical health care support to more than 28,000 residents enrolled in Medicaid in the US Virgin Islands,...

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US House unanimously approves González-Colón amendment to enhance U.S. Military readiness and help communities in need

The United States House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP, R) of Puerto Rico to increase funding for the US Department of Defense’s (DOD) Innovative Readiness Training program by an additional $4.356 million, bringing its total recommended funding level for FY 2020 to $30 million.  This program has had a significant impact in Puerto Rico, supporting DOD missions that provide health care and construction services to communities in need across the Island. The Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program is a DOD military training opportunity, exclusive to the United States and its territories,...

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Jenniffer González-Colón organizes STEM Task Force to promote science in Puerto Rico

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP, R) of Puerto Rico discussed her work as a member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the United States House of Representatives, talking about bills that she is working on, integrating the proposals presented at a roundtable in Puerto Rico. The round table was held at the EcoExploratorio: Museum of Sciences of Puerto Rico facilities with meteorologist Ada Monzón, president of the Board of Directors of the Museum, as host. “Puerto Rico must begin to diversify its economy and in the field of science and technology we have a unique potential, especially in...

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8 US Senators unveil legislation to put territories on par with states for Medicaid

United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont, along with seven other cosponsors in the Senate, introduced legislation Tuesday to address the immediate humanitarian needs in the territories, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “It is unconscionable that in the wealthiest nation in the world we have allowed our fellow citizens to suffer for so long. The full resources of the United States must be brought to bear on this crisis, for as long as is necessary,” said Sanders. “We must go forward to ensure a strong health care system in all the territories and address inequities in federal law that...

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