Senator Myron D. Jackson released the following statement today, in response to Governor Albert Bryan, Jr.’s veto of Bill No. 33-0290:
“It is unfortunate that at a time when the people of the Virgin Islands are experiencing a pandemic and economic hardship, they will be faced with having to choose between getting their basic needs met for their families or paying their newly adjusted WAPA bill.
Bill 33-0290 sought to provide protection for ratepayers and accountability to them from WAPA in a time of uncertainty throughout the community. WAPA’s inability to provide accurate billing to its customers cannot be continued.
The Governor’s veto of this bill is not supportive of the plight of the people. The weight of this burden cannot be sustained by this community. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to provide relief to the ratepayers and the community as this bill was seeking to do.
As our community adapts to the difficulties arising from COVID-19, we as legislators seek to make every effort to assist in this process, which may call for further negotiation and cooperation between the government and our citizens.
Over the years, the community has experienced many issues with the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and during these crucial times, we do not need another challenge. We truly recognize these are critical times, and if we all work together, we can get through this. This is a time to put country above self.”