DeGazon Delivers Big for Small Businesses as She Exits the Senate
Sen. Allison DeGazon ends her term with two bills being forwarded from legislative session on Wednesday to the Governor’s desk. Bills No. 33-0293 and 33-0096, if approved by the governor, will work in favor of small businesses to get them paid timely for services rendered to the government, and expedite the approval of licenses from the Hemp Commission.
Bill No. 33-0096 is An Act repealing Title 33, chapter 115, subchapter IV of the Virgin Islands Code and replacing it with a new subchapter IV creating the Virgin Islands Government Payment Processing Act. The Government Payment Processing Act allows for the Department of Property and Procurement to streamline their process and make it easier for small businesses to be paid.
The bill was assigned to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary after input from stakeholders and necessary amendments were made to satisfy all parties involved. Since the bill was heard in the Committee on Finance in November 2019, several vendors reached out to the senator’s office asking for assistance in order to resolve outstanding payment issues or just to have their concerns heard. For many, it was a matter of not being paid at all, while others were concerned about contractual issues.
“Small businesses are the backbone of this economy and in order for our economy to continue thriving we have to make sure that our small businesses are treated fairly. This bill is a step in the right direction to making sure that our businesses are not just paid, but paid on time,” DeGazon said.
Meanwhile Bill No. 33-0293 is An Act amending Title 7 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 13, subchapter 13, subchapter III, section 207 to add the Commissioners of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs and the Department of Health to the Virgin Islands Industrial Hemp Commission.
“With the inclusion of DLCA and DOH, this ensures that the Hemp Commission can meet USDA requirements and make timely decisions since these entities are already part of the licensing process,” DeGazon said this bill was critical as it completes the system of checks and balances within the commission.
DeGazon continues to prove to her constituents that she fulfilled most of her legislative promises made. She noted with great excitement that she looks forward to continuing the work for the territory and her constituents in her future career endeavors.