As part of the aggressive legislative agenda of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), the administration passed a total of 15 pieces of legislation in June 2020 alone.
'In June alone we have had several pieces of legislation collectively passed by all members in the House of Assembly without dissent and quite a few are now waiting on the Governor to assent to them and for subsequent publication in the Gazette," Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has said.
Legislation will aid VI's economy - Premier Fahie
The Premier was speaking at today's July 10, 2020, 12th Sitting of the Second session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duffs Bottom, Tortola, where he said the legislation will now go on to help the people of the Territory and the economy.
While some of the bills have been controversial, the Premier said, "We have revenue generation initiatives such as, but not limited to, what is found in the Gaming and Betting Control Act 2020, Stamp Duty Amendment Act 2020, Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act 2020, Cannabis Licencing Act 2020, and there are more that would be coming," he said.
While both the Gaming and Cannabis legislations faced heavy scrutiny from the Opposition, the Premier said that both sides of the House inputted on legislation to come up with the final versions.
Bills were amended clause by clause and line by line, by both sides even as the Territory is facing challenges with COVID-19, Hon Fahie noted.
Gov't & Opposition had healthy input
"I'm pleased that all members of the House of Assembly had and took their parliamentary privileges seriously and debated the proposed bills," he said.
As a result of those debates and inputs, he said the public was privy to HoA talks on the bills, resulting in community discussions, which he said is a sign of a healthy democracy.
The Leader of Government Business further noted that the House did not wrap up the Committee Stage review of bills until all Members were comfortable, even if it meant staying late at the HoA or persons returning late to give minute by minute input.