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Author: William-Jose Velez

US Virgin Islands Governor Bryan calls Legislature into special session to consider amendment that would loosen marijuana laws

United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced Tuesday that he is calling the 33rd Legislature into Special Session to consider an amendment to the Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act that has the potential to significantly address the looming financial crisis of the Government Employees’ Retirement System. In the US 11 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam have legalized recreational marijuana, with the US Virgin Islands effectively decriminalizing its use previously. The act signed into law by Governor Bryan earlier this year establishes guidelines for regulated use and the licensing of...

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Disaster recovery, Medicaid funding among Governor Bryan’s priorities during Washington visit

The expansion of Medicaid and funding for the ongoing recovery effort was the focus of United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan (D)’s meetings on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as the Governor and key members of his senior staff met with US Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D) and officials from the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS). During their meeting, Tuesday morning Governor Bryan and Delegate Plaskett discussed proposed legislation to avert the Medicaid fiscal cliff and the potential expansion of Plaskett’s special visa waiver legislation. According to Delegate Plaskett, the...

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Resident Commissioner González-Colón introduces legislation for statehood vote in Puerto Rico

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP, R) of Puerto Rico, alongside Representatives José Serrano (D) of New York, Darren Soto (D) of Florida, Don Young (R) of Alaska, Stephanie Murphy (D) of Florida, Rob Bishop (R) of Utah and 40 other members of Congress, introduced bipartisan legislation to begin Puerto Rico’s admission process as a state of the Union. By requiring a statehood yes-or-no vote on the islands, this legislation follows the same precedent established for the admission process of Alaska and Hawaii.  The Puerto Rico legislature, however, would not have to wait for congressional action on the bill.  The...

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Governor Bryan introduces legislation to create the USVI’s Emergency Medical Services System

United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. (D) submitted two major pieces of proposed legislation to dramatically overhaul emergency medical services in the territory by merging two critical response apparatuses to increase available resources and manpower, and by creating a system that is more efficient and responsive to the emergency needs of residents and visitors to the Virgin Islands. The first proposed legislation, the Virgin Islands Emergency Medical Services System Act, creates the first-ever Emergency Medical Services System and gives the US Virgin Islands Department of Health regulatory authority over all out-of-hospital emergency medical services providers in the...

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