DeGazon forges ahead with bills on economy, education, electors during covid-19 and agriculture
Bills from Sen. Allison L. DeGazon focused on sustainable blue economy, scholarships for adult education students, an agriculture conference, and the disenfranchisement of electors were voted on favorably during Thursday’s legislative session.
“My team and I successfully passed 4 bills in today’s session,” DeGazon said. “Thank you to my colleagues in the 33rd legislature for their collaboration and unanimous support.
The first bill for DeGazon that passed was Bill No. 33-0102. The bill includes graduates of the Adult Education Program to receive scholarships, increasing the scholarship amounts and allowing those students to use the funds outside of the University of the Virgin Islands.
The next bill, 33-0137 is an Act authorizing the Division of Economic Research of the Office of Management and Budget, Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, and the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority to create a plan to assist the Virgin Islands in developing a sustainable blue economy within the Territory.
“This bill will develop a plan to expand our economy into the blue economy to produce jobs and opportunities based on the ocean and the environment,” DeGazon said.
Meanwhile, Bill No. 33-0296 is an Act providing for any qualified elector to vote by absentee ballot in the 2020 elections to ensure that electors are not disenfranchised by the Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic.
Lastly, Bill No. 33-0249 was sponsored by Sen. Javan E. James Sr. and Sen. DeGazon. The bill mandates for the Department of Agriculture along with the Department of Tourism to host an Agricultural conference known as the V.I. Agricultural Caribbean Conference, alternately and annually on the islands of St. Croix and St. Thomas.
Senator DeGazon, speaking in defense of the bill, stressed the importance of agriculture.
“What if those ports closed? Agriculture should be and is and will always be a very important variable in our economy,” DeGazon said. “This conference seeks to bring people to the table throughout the Caribbean and nationally to discuss all things agriculture, agritourism etc.”
DeGazon was also a co-sponsor for Bill No. 33-0132 which would strengthen the Board of the Government Employees Retirement System (GERS) by requiring greater expertise among Board members.
The bills were sent to the Governor’s desk for final review and consideration.
Sen. DeGazon remains enthusiastic about fulfilling the agenda she promised her constituents and she looks forward to the continued collaboration with her colleagues and the executive branch.