The controversial Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act has passed.
It passed in the House of Assembly on Tuesday evening (March 27) with a majority 10-2 vote.
Opposition member Julian Fraser and government backbencher Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull are the only two legislators that voted against the bill.
Meanwhile, another government backbencher Delores Christopher was absent for the vote.
Of the 13 legislators in the House, only Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, Mark Vanterpool, Dr Kedrick Pickering, Myron Walwyn, and government backbencher Dr Hubert O’Neal had initially declared their support for the bill.
The other five backbenchers, one At-large government minister, and the two Opposition members had initially objected to the bill.
They said they could not support the bill in its ‘current form’.
Since then, Premier Smith said ‘amendments’ have been made to the bill.
Those amendments were not specified but it appears the majority of who initially opposed the bill are now satisfied with the now-passed legislation.
This means the Recovery Agency will be implemented and the BVI has accepted the United Kingdom’s loan guarantee of £300 million (more than $400 million United States currency).
The Agency will have full control over how recovery funds are spent.
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