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Speaker brings attention to bills stuck at Governor’s office

Speaker brings attention to bills stuck at Governor’s office

Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock yesterday brought attention to the fact that government is still awaiting word on three bills that have long been sent to the Governor’s Office…

Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock yesterday brought attention to the fact that government is still awaiting word on three bills that have long been sent to the Governor’s Office for approval.

Willock gave the reminder in the House Of Assembly before Governor Augustus Jaspert stood to deliver his final Speech from the Throne.

“Honourable members, I must also bring to your attention once more that we have three Bills still not assented to by the Governor, and I have still to be given a plausible reason from His Excellency as to why,” Willock said.

The three outstanding bills are:

1. The Advance Passenger Information Act, 2020, which was passed in the House on June 16, 2020 and sent to the Governor’s Office on July 1, 2020.

2. The Virgin Islands Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020, passed on June 30, 2020 and sent to the Governor’s Office on July 27, 2020.

3. The Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) (Amendment) Act, 2020, passed on July 2, 2020 and sent to the Governor’s Office on July 27, 2020.

“I will say no more on that for now,” Willock said after outlining the three bills.

Government members, as well as residents, are anxiously waiting for Governor Jaspert’s decision on the three bills, especially the Cannabis Licensing Act which the Fahie administration said would bring in much-needed revenue to the BVI.

Recently, Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said orders are already flowing in from interested persons seeking to cash in on the BVI’s medicinal marijuana industry.

“It’s hurting us. I’ve had persons contact me and tell me how many litres of distillate from the marijuana that they want to order from the BVI and how much they are willing to pay for it. So we already have orders ready,” Dr Wheatley said on the October 23 airing of the Honestly Speaking radio programme.

The constitution has not outlined any specified timeframe in which a governor must assent to a bill.

Governor Jaspert will demit office in early 2021.

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