ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Acting Governor Osbert E. Potter has advised Senate President Myron D. Jackson of the action he has taken on several legislative bills, including measures that should allow a $30 million private investment in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ horse racing industry to move forward.

The Acting Governor approved Bill No. 32-0093, which establishes anti-doping statutes to be enforced by the Virgin Islands Horse Racing Commission in the horse racing industry and allocates funds received from the racino tax.

“As we continue to build our horseracing industry, this measure further ensures the integrity of the industry in the Territory,” Acting Governor Potter wrote.

Acting Governor Potter also signed into law Bill No. 32-0155 and Bill No. 32-0165, which improve the safety of marine areas in Estate Cruz Bay on St. John and Estate Coakley Bay, East End “B” Quarter on St. Croix, respectively.

He vetoed Bill No. 32-0054, which would have granted the Supervisor of Elections the authority to set places, days, and times for early voting. He wrote that early voting allows electors to exercise their fundamental right to cast a vote in elections and this fundamental right should not be compromised. The Acting Governor pointed out that the bill removes statutory mandates already in existence and leaves the early voting structure to the discretion of the Supervisor of Elections and the board.

In explaining his veto of Bill No. 32-0102, Acting Governor Potter said it requires more analysis on the impact it will have if enacted into law by repealing the provisions that allow persons who are receiving a retirement annuity from the Government Employees Retirement System (“GERS”) to return to work for the Government of the Virgin Islands without making contributions to the GERS. Although, he agreed that issues plaguing the GERS should be addressed, he cautioned the Legislature against far-reaching measures that lack proper impact assessment on the Territory’s service provision and retiree protection. 

Read the Acting Governor’s entire message here.