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[July 18, 2014]
FY 2015 Budget: Supreme Court, Superior Court, Board of Nurse Licensure
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ST.THOMAS, Virgin Islands, July 17 -- The U.S. Virgin Islands legislature issued the following news release: Sen. Clifford F. Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Finance continued receiving testimony on department budgets for the upcoming fiscal year with the Supreme Court, Superior Court and the V.I. Board of Nurse Licensure Thursday at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall.
Michael C. Dunston, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands provided testimony on the department's budget. "Considering the Territory's fiscal condition the Superior Court requests $31,276,570 to maintain adequate operations in Fiscal year 2015," said Dunston.
Of those funds, $17,806,567 will used for personnel services, $2,440,000 for operating expenses, and $3,561,726 for services other than personnel(which includes leases, storage facilities, utilities etc.), $690,000 for equipment costs and $6,778,277 for employer contributions.
Rhys Hodge, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands testified that the department would be requesting a budget appropriation of $7,909,535 for the upcoming fiscal year. Of that amount, $4,141,530 will account for personnel services, $1,456,282 for employee contributions, $1,148,723 for services other than personnel, $230,000 for equipment, $910,000 for all other operating expenses and $23,000 to fund the commission on Judicial conduct.
The theme for Thursday's budget hearing was consolidation. Majority leader, Donald G. Cole inquired about how the courts could trim their budget by implementing energy saving practices and reducing costs across the board. "Every entity that has come before the body has said that 'we want more money,'" he said.
Sen. Cole suggested an appropriation hierarchy favoring entities that bring in revenue to the territory.
Dunston, concurred, saying the Superior Court had already made strides by cutting down on consumption and turning off devices when they were not in use.
Hodge too, agreed that the Courts could benefit from trimming the budget and mentioned that a fixed budget, some five percent of the general fund, would be enough for both courts, once general fund appropriations were reasonable.
Later, Carla King, Executive Management Officer of the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure testified on behalf of the organization.
"Our Funding request for FY 2015 is $281,458.22 from the General Fund for projected salaries and fringe benefits of 3 full time employees, one part time Clerk, and professional services," , she said. "In addition, approval to utilize $259,275.86 is requested for the Board's operating expenses from the Nurse Licensure Revolving Fund.
At press time, senators continued to question King on the organization's budget request.
All committee members were present. Non-committee members Diane Capehart and Kenneth L. Gittens were also present.
CC AutoTriage9as-140718-30FurigayJane-4801300 30FurigayJane (c) 2014 Targeted News Service
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