Press Releases

CONGRESSWOMAN STACEY PLASKETT STATEMENT REGARDING THE STATE OF THE TERRITORY ADDRESS FROM GOVERNOR BRYAN

Washington, January 28, 2019

For Immediate Release                             Contact: Michael J. McQuerry

January 28, 2019                                      202-215-8524

PRESS STATEMENT

CONGRESSWOMAN STACEY PLASKETT STATEMENT REGARDING THE STATE OF THE TERRITORY ADDRESS FROM GOVERNOR BRYAN

St. Thomas, VI – Today, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett issued the following statement after attending Governor Albert Bryan’s State of the Territory address: 

“This is a historic and defining moment before us. We are in a unique period as our new Governor begins his term as the 9th Governor of the Virgin Islands. We are at a special point in the Virgin Islands journey because the prospect of a brighter path forward is very near. What we do as a unified group of people elected by the citizens of the territory could be considered the moment in time that changed the Virgin Islands.

“During his speech I was encouraged to hear about the Governor's ideas on our recovery from two devastating hurricanes. I have stressed that we must rebuild the Virgin Islands the right way so that when faced with natural disasters in the future we will not have to spend massive amounts to recover.  While the federal funding does not include the full amount or all of the requests of the Virgin Islands, it will help us substantially in the rebuilding efforts.  The federal resources the Virgin Islands will receive will help us create a resilient utility system which will hopefully allow the Government of the Virgin Islands to bury lines, create microgrids and implement renewables in its energy portfolio.

“I was encouraged by the Governor's words regarding transparency and the financial state of the Territory. We must be sober-minded as we execute our rebuilding.  We must do so cognizant of other longstanding financial issues. Aside from the exacerbation of budget shortfalls due to the new tax law, GERS and our bond rating will make it increasingly difficult for us to receive the loan funding being offered by the federal government. A transparent detailed rebuilding plan will need to be forthcoming in short order that also is clear-minded about our true financial state.

“The people of the Virgin Islands expect excellence and demand we solve our problems. That is why we were elected – to lead, roll up our sleeves, get to work, solve problems, and find solutions. This is a defining moment for the territory. We have two clear choices – we can continue down a path of sliding backwards, or the second path is to say ‘Enough is enough! We can do better! We deserve better! Our children deserve better!’ This is a great opportunity to address ongoing challenges, to strengthen the Territories image and brand.”

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