St. Thomas Retirees Advocate for Return of Inappropriately Withheld Retirement Contribution

Posted on 05/9/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Advocacy Government of the Virgin Islands retirees, also known on the island of St. Thomas as Government Retirees United for Fairness (GRUFF) saw their advocacy work pay off on March 17, 2014 when Governor John DeJongh signed Act 7585 into law. The retirees had organized themselves late in 2013 to develop a strategy to advocate for the return of a retirement contribution incorrectly withheld from a retroactive salary payment. In February 2014 the St. Thomas based group hired an attorney to …

Single-Payer Health Care System?

Posted on 04/1/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Advocacy Lacking a health insurance marketplace, the U.S. Virgin Islands is considering a legislative proposal to create a single-payer health care system. Nearly 30 percent of Virgin Islanders are uninsured, putting local hospitals under financial strain and leading many individuals to forgo preventive care. The proposal calls for creating a $400 million VI HealthCare program to cover all residents. Proponents say it could be financed with a 5 percent retail sales tax, a 5 percent employee income tax and a 10 …

AARP VI Contributed to Launch of HIE

Posted on 03/26/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Advocacy Español After four years of territory-wide cooperation, the VI Department of Health has finished its organizational work and launched a Health Information Exchange (HIE) Network that will enable all health providers in the Virgin Islands to rapidly and securely share medical records electronically. “Four years ago,” stated Denyce Singleton, AARP VI State Director, “AARP VI was appointed by Governor John De Jongh to the HIE Steering Team. We have since occupied one of the pivotal seats at the HIE organizational …

AARP VI Continues to Push for ‘Visitability Program’ Implementation

Posted on 03/24/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Advocacy Español The wait is over! Virgin Islands homeowners can NOW participate in the program that AARP and its Visitability Coalition partners worked so hard to make available. In 2011 the Visitability Coalition was thrilled when Governor John P. DeJongh signed Act 7320, the Virgin Islands Visitable Design and Incentive Act, which opened the door to making homes structurally designed or refitted to accommodate persons in wheelchairs. But, passing the legislation was only phase one of the battle. Phase two involved …

VI Seniors May Soon be Able to Drive at Night Again

Posted on 03/7/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Advocacy In a Legislative hearing held on March 4, 2014 Senators and concerned government agency heads debated the pros and cons of moving an additional 2 percent of money collected from territorial property taxes to help fund street lighting. The additional 2 percent will bring the total amount dedicated to pay for street lighting up to 6 percent or an estimated $6.3 million for 2014. The Water and Power Authority (WAPA), which provides the lighting, estimates the actual cost of annual …

SCGR Advocates for GERS Solvency

Posted on 02/26/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Advocacy Over the years, AARP VI has worked to educate VI Government retirees about the Government Employees’ Retirement System’s (GERS) condition. That work involved trying to motivate retirees to advocate that the VI government take immediate steps to help the system remain solvent. To AARP’s great satisfaction, two groups have recently formed – one on St. Thomas known as Government Retirees United For Fairness (GRUFF) and one on St. Croix known as the St. Croix Government Retirees (SCGR).  Both are offering …