Governor Bryan Acts on Three Legislative Measures Passed by the 35th Legislature

Asserts Proactive and Necessary Actions to Safeguard Virgin Islands Residents Against Potential Threats

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announces State of Emergency to address energy security needs of the territory.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS— Governor Albert Bryan Jr. today announced his decision to veto three bills recently passed by the 35th Legislature, emphasizing the preservation of executive authority and financial stability necessary for the welfare of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Governor Bryan has vetoed Bill No. 35-0266, which proposed to reappropriate funds and authorize a credit system to manage debts among the Territory’s major utilities and healthcare facilities.

“This bill does not address the immediate financial needs of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA), which requires cash to continue operations and prevent service disruptions,” stated Governor Bryan. 

If this measure was enacted it would place WAPA in a worsened financial position. The Governor has already taken steps to ensure that all outstanding utility bills are paid to WAPA, thereby securing the necessary funds for the authority to continue operations.

Additionally, the Governor has vetoed Bill No. 35-0267 concerning the use of the Budget Stabilization Fund.

Governor Bryan highlighted that the Legislature’s proposal was redundant and reactive, as the fund’s availability during a State of Emergency is already established by law.

“My administration has been proactive in funding the Budget Stabilization Fund since 2020, reinforcing our commitment to fiscal responsibility and readiness for emergencies,” Governor Bryan remarked.

The third veto was applied to Bill No. 35-0268, which sought to amend the procedures for declaring a state of emergency in the Territory.

The Governor expressed concerns that the proposed changes would significantly impair the executive branch’s ability to respond swiftly to disasters.

“The ability to respond quickly to emergencies is a critical executive power. This bill, as it stands, would dangerously limit that ability and put our residents at risk to include the potential loss of life,” Governor Bryan explained.

The vetoed bill also proposed cumbersome legislative contemplative action on emergency expenditures and operations, which, according to Governor Bryan, would hinder timely and effective response to crises.

“Requiring legislative approval for emergency response actions and notification of routine cooperation with federal and local agencies is not only impractical but poses a direct threat to public safety,” he added.

The Governor noted that such a requirement could severely inhibit the Government of the Virgin Islands’ ability to swiftly respond to what the legislation deemed as “man made disasters” and or “catastrophes” which would include terrorist attacks, plane crashes, or mass shootings by requiring the Executive branch to confer with and seek approval of the Legislature before the deployment of resources to respond to any of those unfortunate events.

Governor Bryan’s vetoes reflect a commitment to maintaining the balance of power necessary for effective governance and protecting the well-being of all Virgin Islanders.

“While legislative oversight is crucial, it must not compromise the ability to manage emergencies effectively. We must ensure our laws provide the flexibility needed to respond to the unknown challenges of the future,” concluded Governor Bryan.

See Governor Bryan’s full response to the 35th Legislature of the Virgin Islands here.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure, and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government, and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit