[USC02] 48 USC CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER III: LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
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48 USC CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER III: LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
From Title 48—TERRITORIES AND INSULAR POSSESSIONSCHAPTER 12—VIRGIN ISLANDS 1954

SUBCHAPTER III—LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

§1571. Legislature

(a) Designation and unicameral character

The legislative power and authority of the Virgin Islands shall be vested in a legislature, consisting of one house, to be designated the "Legislature of the Virgin Islands", herein referred to as the legislature.

(b) Composition; legislative districts; method of elections

The legislature shall be composed of members to be known as senators. The number of such senators shall be determined by the laws of the Virgin Islands. The apportionment of the legislature shall be as provided by the laws of the Virgin Islands: Provided, That such apportionment shall not deny to any person in the Virgin Islands the equal protection of the law: And provided further, That every voter in any district election or at large election shall be permitted to vote for the whole number of persons to be elected in that district election or at large election as the case may be. Until the legislature shall provide otherwise, four members shall be elected at large, five shall be elected from the District of Saint Thomas, five from the District of Saint Croix, and one from the District of Saint John, as those Districts were constituted on July 22, 1954,

(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, §5, 68 Stat. 498; Pub. L. 89–548, §1, Aug. 30, 1966, 80 Stat. 371; Pub. L. 106–364, §1, Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1408.)

Amendments

2000—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–364 struck out "fifteen" after "composed of" in first sentence and inserted "The number of such senators shall be determined by the laws of the Virgin Islands." after first sentence.

1966—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–548 raised from eleven to fifteen the total number of senators in the legislature, substituted provision that the legislature be apportioned according to the laws of the Virgin Islands for provisions spelling out the division of the Virgin Islands into districts, the composition of each such district, and the district and at-large representation breakdown of the senators in the legislature, struck out provision for the casting of a ballot for two candidates by each elector in at-large elections and the drawing of lots to determine placement on the ballot in at-large elections, prohibited apportionment in a way which would deny equal protection of the law, and provided for temporary apportionment until the legislature provided otherwise from the districts as constituted on July 22, 1954.

Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Pub. L. 89–548, §2, Aug. 30, 1966, 80 Stat. 371, provided that: "This Act [amending this section] shall be effective with respect to the legislature to be elected at the regular general election in November 1966, and thereafter."

§1572. Legislators

(a) Terms of office

The term of office of each member of the legislature shall be two years. The term of office of each member shall commence on the second Monday in January following his election: Provided, however, That the term of office of each member elected in November 1958 shall commence on the second Monday in April 1959 and shall continue until the second Monday in April 1961, and the term of office of each member elected in November 1960 shall commence on the second Monday in April 1961 and continue until the second Monday in January 1963.

(b) Qualifications of members

No person shall be eligible to be a member of the legislature who is not a citizen of the United States, who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, who is not a qualified voter in the Virgin Islands, who has not been a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands for at least three years next preceding the date of his election, or who has been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude and has not received a pardon restoring his civil rights. Federal employees and persons employed in the legislative, executive or judicial branches of the government of the Virgin Islands shall not be eligible for membership in the legislature.

(c) Appointment of electoral officers; popular election of members of boards of election

All officers and employees charged with the duty of directing the administration of the electoral system of the Virgin Islands and its representative districts shall be appointed in such manner as the legislature may by law direct: Provided, however, That members of boards of elections, which entities of government have been duly organized and established by the government of the Virgin Islands, shall be popularly elected.

(d) Immunity of members

No member of the legislature shall be held to answer before any tribunal other than the legislature for any speech or debate in the legislature and the members shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of the legislature and in going to and returning from the same.

(e) Compensation and allowances

Each member of the legislature shall be paid such compensation and shall receive such additional allowances or benefits as may be fixed under the laws of the Virgin Islands. Such compensation, allowances, or benefits, together with all other legislative expenses, shall be appropriated by, and paid out of funds of, the government of the Virgin Islands.

(f) Limitations on holding other office

No member of the legislature shall hold or be appointed to any office which has been created by the legislature, or the salary or emoluments of which have been increased, while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected, or during one year after the expiration of such term.

(g) General powers; parliamentary rules

The legislature shall be the sole judge of the elections and qualifications of its members, shall have and exercise all the authority and attributes, inherent in legislative assemblies, and shall have the power to institute and conduct investigations, issue subpena to witnesses and other parties concerned, and administer oaths. The rules of the Legislative Assembly of the Virgin Islands existing on July 22, 1954 shall continue in force and effect for sessions of the legislature, except as inconsistent with this chapter, until altered, amended, or repealed by the legislature.

(h) Vacancies

The Legislature of the Virgin Islands shall by law provide the procedure for filling any vacancy in the office of member of the legislature.

(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, §6, 68 Stat. 499; Pub. L. 86–289, §2(a), (b), Sept. 16, 1959, 73 Stat. 568; Pub. L. 89–98, July 30, 1965, 79 Stat. 423; Pub. L. 90–496, §8(b), Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 839; Pub. L. 92–389, Aug. 17, 1972, 86 Stat. 563; Pub. L. 93–130, §1, Oct. 19, 1973, 87 Stat. 460.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (g), was in the original "this Act", meaning act July 22, 1954, ch. 558, 68 Stat. 497, as amended, known as the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1541 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1973—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 93–130 substituted provision authorizing the Legislature of Virgin Islands to provide by law the procedure for filling vacancies in the membership of the Legislature, for provisions authorizing the Governor of the Virgin Islands to fill any such vacancy by appointment of resident of the district from which the member whose office became vacant was elected if the vacancy is that of a Senator and of resident of any part of Virgin Islands if the vacancy is that of a Senator at large, and that such appointee shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

1972—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–389 reduced the age qualification for membership of legislature from twenty-five years to twenty-one years.

1968—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 90–496 inserted proviso requiring members of boards of elections, duly organized by the government, to be popularly elected.

1965—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 89–98 substituted provisions empowering the government of the Virgin Islands to fix and pay legislative salaries and expenses for provisions which specifically fixed these salaries and expenses and which required the United States Government to pay them.

1959—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 86–289, §2(a), substituted, in second sentence, "January" for "April", before "following his election", and substituted, in proviso, "1958" for "1954", "April 1959" for "January 1955", and "1961, and the term of office of each member elected in November 1960 shall commence on the second Monday in April 1961 and continue until the second Monday in January 1963" for "1957".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 86–289, §2(b), changed the date of payment of salaries, increased the per diem from $10 to $20, and provided that the per diem paid to members of the legislature for official travel outside the Virgin Islands should not be at rates in excess of those paid Federal Government employees.

Effective Date of 1973 Amendment

Pub. L. 93–130, §2, Oct. 19, 1973, 87 Stat. 460, provided that: "The amendment made by the first section of this Act [amending this section] shall apply with respect to vacancies occurring on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 19, 1973]."

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Amendment of provisions of section necessary to authorize the holding of an election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor on Nov. 3, 1970, effective Jan. 1, 1970, and all other amendments of provisions of section, unless otherwise expressly provided by Pub. L. 90–496, effective Jan. 4, 1971, see section 16 of Pub. L. 90–496, set out as a note under section 1591 of this title.

§1573. Time, frequency, and duration of regular sessions; special sessions; place of holding

(a) Regular sessions of the legislature shall be held annually, commencing on the second Monday in January (unless the legislature shall by law fix a different date), and shall continue for such term as the legislature may provide. The Governor may call special sessions of the legislature at any time when in his opinion the public interest may require it. No legislation shall be considered at any special session other than that specified in the call therefor or in any special message by the Governor to the legislature while in such session. All sessions of the legislature shall be open to the public.

(b) Sessions of the legislature shall be held in the capital of the Virgin Islands at Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas.

(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, §7, 68 Stat. 500; Pub. L. 86–289, §2(c), Sept. 16, 1959, 73 Stat. 569; Pub. L. 90–496, §1, Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 837.)

Amendments

1968—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 90–496 substituted provisions that regular sessions of the legislature shall continue for such term as the legislature may provide for provisions that regular sessions shall continue for not more than sixty consecutive calendar days in any calendar year, with the proviso that the regular annual session for 1959, 1960, and 1961 shall commence on the second Monday in April and shall continue for not more than sixty consecutive calendar days, struck out provisions that any special session called by the Governor shall continue for not more than fifteen calendar days, with the aggregate of any such special sessions during any calendar year not to exceed thirty calendar days, and inserted provision opening to the public all sessions of the legislature.

1959—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 86–289 substituted "January (unless the legislature shall by law fix a different date)" for "April" and "regular annual session for each of the years 1959, 1960, and 1961, respectively, shall commence on the second Monday in April" for "annual session for 1955 shall commence on the second Monday in January 1955".

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–496, §1, Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 837, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective on date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–496, which was approved Aug. 23, 1968.

§1574. Legislative powers and activities

(a) Scope of authority; limitation on enactments and taxation

The legislative authority and power of the Virgin Islands shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with this chapter or the laws of the United States made applicable to the Virgin Islands, but no law shall be enacted which would impair rights existing or arising by virtue of any treaty or international agreement entered into by the United States, nor shall the lands or other property of nonresidents be taxed at a higher rate than the lands or other property of residents.

(b) Government bonds; maximum amount; sale, interest, etc.

(i) The legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands may cause to be issued on behalf of said government bonds or other obligations for a public improvement or public undertaking authorized by an act of the legislature. Such bonds or obligations shall be payable solely from the revenues directly derived from and attributable to such public improvement, public undertaking, or other project. Bonds issued pursuant to paragraph (i) may bear such date or dates, may be in such denominations, may mature in such amounts and at such time or times, not exceeding thirty years from the date thereof, may be payable at such place or places, may carry such registration privileges as to either principal and interest, or principal only, and may be executed by such officers and in such manner as shall be prescribed by the government of the Virgin Islands. Said bonds may be redeemable (either with or without premium) or nonredeemable. In case any of the officers whose signatures appear on the bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officers before delivery of such bonds, such signature, whether manual or facsimile shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such officers had remained in office until such delivery. The bonds so issued shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed that specified by the legislature, payable semiannually. All such bonds issued by the government of the Virgin Islands or by its authority shall be exempt as to principal and interest from taxation by the Government of the United States, or by the government of the Virgin Islands, or by any State, Territory, or possession or by any political subdivision of any State, Territory or possession, or by the District of Columbia. Such bonds shall under no circumstances constitute a general obligation of the Virgin Islands or of the United States.

(ii)(A) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph (ii), the legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands may cause to be issued such negotiable general obligation bonds or other evidence of indebtedness, including but not limited to notes in anticipation of the collection of taxes or revenues, as it may deem necessary and advisable for any public purpose authorized by the legislature: Provided, That no such indebtedness of the Virgin Islands shall be incurred in excess of 10 per centum of the aggregate assessed valuation of the taxable real property in the Virgin Islands. Bonds issued pursuant to this paragraph (ii) shall bear such date or dates, may be in such denominations, may mature in such amounts and at such time or times, not exceeding thirty years from the date thereof, may be payable at such place or places, may be sold at either public or private sale, may be redeemable (either with or without premium) or nonredeemable, may carry such registration privileges as to either principal and interest, or principal only, and may be executed by such officers and in such manner, as shall be prescribed by the legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands. In case any of the officers whose signatures appear on the bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officers before delivery of such bonds, such signature, whether manual or facsimile, shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such officers had remained in office until such delivery. The bonds so issued shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed that specified by the legislature. All bonds issued by the government of the Virgin Islands, including specifically interest thereon, shall be exempt from taxation by the Government of the United States, or by the government of the Virgin Islands or any political subdivision thereof, or by any State, territory, or possession or by any political subdivision of any State, territory, or possession, or by the District of Columbia.

(B) Bonds or other obligations issued pursuant to this paragraph (ii) shall not be a debt of the United States, nor shall the United States be liable thereon.

(iii)(A) The legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands may cause to be issued after September 30, 1984, industrial development bonds (within the meaning of section 103(b)(2) 1 of title 26).

(B) Except as provided in subparagraph (C), any obligation issued under subparagraph (A) and the income from such obligation shall be exempt from all State and local taxation in effect on or after October 1, 1984.

(C) Any obligation issued under subparagraph (A) shall not be exempt from State or local gift, estate, inheritance, legacy, succession, or other wealth transfer taxes.

(D) For purposes of this paragraph—

(I) The term "State" includes the District of Columbia.

(II) The taxes imposed by counties, municipalities, or any territory, dependency, or possession of the United States shall be treated as local taxes.


(E) For exclusion of interest for purposes of Federal income taxation, see section 103 of title 26.

(c) Applicability of laws and ordinances; amendment or repeal

The laws of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands on July 22, 1954, including laws made applicable to the Virgin Islands by or pursuant to the provisions of the Act of June 22, 1936 (49 Stat. 1807), and all local laws and ordinances in force in the Virgin Islands, or any part thereof, on July 22, 1954 shall, to the extent they are not inconsistent with this chapter, continue in force and effect until otherwise provided by the Congress: Provided, That the legislature shall have power, when within its jurisdiction and not inconsistent with the other provisions of this chapter, to amend, alter, modify, or repeal any local law or ordinance, public or private, civil or criminal, continued in force and effect by this chapter, except as herein otherwise provided, and to enact new laws not inconsistent with any law of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands, subject to the power of Congress to annul any such Act of the legislature.

(d), (e) Repealed. Pub. L. 97–357, title III, §305, Oct. 19, 1982, 96 Stat. 1709

(f) Customs duty; duty-free importation; effect on other customs laws

(1) The Legislature of the Virgin Islands may impose on the importation of any article into the Virgin Islands for consumption therein a customs duty. The rate of any customs duty imposed on any article under this subsection may not exceed—

(A) if an ad valorem rate, 6 per centum ad valorem; or

(B) if a specific rate or a combination ad valorem and specific rate, the equivalent or 6 per centum ad valorem.


(2) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the Legislature of the Virgin Islands from permitting the duty-free importation of any article.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as empowering the Legislature of the Virgin Islands to repeal or amend any provision in law in effect on the day before October 15, 1977, which pertains to the customs valuation or customs classification of articles imported into the Virgin Islands.

(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, §8, 68 Stat. 500; Pub. L. 85–851, §§2, 3, 10, Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 1094, 1095; Pub. L. 88–180, Nov. 19, 1963, 77 Stat. 335; Pub. L. 89–643, Oct. 13, 1966, 80 Stat. 890; Pub. L. 90–496, §15, Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 842; Pub. L. 95–134, title III, §301(c), Oct. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1163; Pub. L. 97–357, title III, §305, Oct. 19, 1982, 96 Stat. 1709; Pub. L. 98–454, title II, §201, Oct. 5, 1984, 98 Stat. 1732; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 106–84, §1(a), (b)(1), (2), Oct. 28, 1999, 113 Stat. 1295.)

References in Text

Section 103, referred to in subsec. (b)(iii)(A), which related to interest on certain governmental obligations was amended generally by Pub. L. 99–514, title XIII, §1301(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2602, and as so amended relates to interest on State and local bonds. Section 103(b)(2), which prior to the general amendment defined industrial development bond, relates to the applicability of the interest exclusion to arbitrage bonds.

Act of June 22, 1936 (49 Stat. 1807), referred to in subsec. (c), is act June 22, 1936, ch. 699, 49 Stat. 1807, as amended, known as the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands of the United States, which is classified generally to subchapter II (§1405 et seq.) of chapter 7 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1406m of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1999—Subsec. (b)(ii)(A). Pub. L. 106–84, §1(a), inserted ", including but not limited to notes in anticipation of the collection of taxes or revenues," after "other evidence of indebtedness", substituted "for any public purpose authorized by the legislature: Provided, That no such" for "to construct, improve, extend, better, repair, reconstruct, acquire, and equip hospitals, schools, libraries, gymnasia, athletic fields, sewers, sewage-disposal plants, and water systems: Provided, That no public", and struck out "and payable semiannually. All such bonds shall be sold for not less than the principal amount thereof plus accrued interest" after "specified by the legislature".

Subsec. (b)(ii)(B), (C). Pub. L. 106–84, §1(b)(1), (2), redesignated subpar. (C) as (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: "The proceeds of the bond issues or other obligations herein authorized shall be expended only for the public improvements set forth in the preceding subparagraph, or for the reduction of the debt created by such bond issue or obligation, unless otherwise authorized by the Congress."

1986—Subsec. (b)(iii)(E). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954", which for purposes of codification was translated as "title 26" thus requiring no change in text.

1984—Subsec. (b)(i), (iii). Pub. L. 98–454 struck out "shall be sold at public sale and" before "may be redeemable" in fourth sentence of par. (i) and added par. (iii).

1982—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–357 struck out subsec. (d) which authorized the President of the United States to appoint a commission of seven persons, at least three of whom were residents of the Virgin Islands, to survey the field of Federal statutes and to make recommendations to Congress within twelve months after July 22, 1954, as to which statutes of the United States not applicable to the Virgin Islands on that date should be made applicable to the Virgin Islands and which statutes of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands on that date should be declared inapplicable, and provided compensation of this commission.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–357 struck out subsec. (e) which related to arrangements by the Secretary of the Interior for the preparation of a code of laws of the Virgin Islands.

1977—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 95–134 added subsec. (f).

1968—Subsec. (b)(i). Pub. L. 90–496 struck out the provisions that the total amount of revenue bonds which may be issued and outstanding for all improvements and undertakings at any one time shall not be in excess of $30,000,000, exclusive of all bonds and undertakings held by the United States as a result of a sale of real or personal property to the government of the Virgin Islands, and with not more than $10,000,000 of such bonds or obligations to be outstanding at any one time for public improvements or public undertakings other than water or power projects, and substituted provisions that the bonds so issued shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed that specified by the legislature, payable semiannually, for provisions that the bonds so issued shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed 5% per annum, payable semiannually, and that all such bonds shall be sold for not less than the principal amount thereof plus accrued interest.

1966—Subsec. (b)(i). Pub. L. 89–643 increased the borrowing authority of the Virgin Islands by striking out limiting provisions so as to require only that the object of a bond issue be a public improvement or undertaking authorized by the legislature as opposed to previous requirement of a legislative authorization for specific improvements and legislative findings of need, substituted provisions authorizing the issuance of bonds that are nonredeemable or redeemable (either with or without premium) for provisions requiring that bonds be redeemable after five years without premium, raised the limitation on total amount of outstanding bonds from a flat limitation of $10,000,000 to $30,000,000 exclusive of all bonds or obligations which are held by the Government of the United States as a result of a sale of real or personal property to the government of the Virgin Islands, and inserted requirement that not to exceed $10,000,000 of the bonds or obligations may be outstanding at any one time for public improvement or public undertakings other than water or power projects.

1963—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 88–180 redesignated existing provisions as par. (i), struck out "The legislature shall have no power to incur any indebtedness which may be a general obligation of said government", and added par. (ii).

1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–851, §2, substituted "rightful subjects of legislation" for "subjects of local application".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 85–851, §10, authorized issuance of bonds for establishment, construction, operation, maintenance, reconstruction, improvement, or enlargement of other projects and payment of the bonds from revenues derived from the projects.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 85–851, §3, struck out "and any supplements to it" after "Upon the enactment of the Virgin Islands Code it".

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–84, §3, Oct. 28, 1999, 113 Stat. 1295, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Except as provided by subsection (b), the amendments made by section 1 [amending this section and section 1574a of this title] shall apply to those instruments of indebtedness issued by the Government of the Virgin Islands after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 1999].

"(b) Effect of Failure To Reach Agreement.—If the agreement authorized in section 2(a) [set out as a note under section 1631 of this title] is not ratified by both parties on or before December 31, 1999, the amendments made by section 1—

"(A) shall not apply to instruments of indebtedness issued by the Government of the Virgin Islands on or after December 31, 1999; and

"(B) shall continue to apply to those instruments of indebtedness issued by the Government of the Virgin Islands after the date of the enactment of this Act and before December 31, 1999."

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–496, §15, Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 842, provided that the amendment made by section 15 is effective on the date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–496, which was approved Aug. 23, 1968.

Construction

Pub. L. 106–84, §4, Oct. 28, 1999, 113 Stat. 1296, provided that: "These amendments to the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands [amending this section] are not intended to modify the internal revenue laws. Thus, the bonds authorized by this bill must comply with subsection (c) of section 149 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 149(c)] (which requires the new bonds comply with the appropriate requirements of the Internal Revenue Code)."

Levying and Collection of Excise Taxes by Legislature of the Virgin Islands

Pub. L. 96–205, title IV, §405, Mar. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 89, as amended by Pub. L. 97–357, title III, §302, Oct. 19, 1982, 96 Stat. 1709, provided that: "Any excise taxes levied by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands may be levied and collected as the Legislature of the Virgin Islands may direct as soon as the articles, goods, merchandise, and commodities subject to said tax are brought into the Virgin Islands. The officials of the Customs and Postal Services of the United States are directed to assist the appropriate officials of the United States Virgin Islands in the collection of these taxes."

1 See References in Text note below.

§1574–1. Applicability of laws referred to in section 502(a)(1) of Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Effective on the date when section 502 of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America, approved by joint resolution approved on March 24, 1976 (90 Stat. 263) goes into force those laws which are referred to in section 502(a)(1) of said Covenant, except for any laws administered by the Social Security Administration, except for medicaid which is now administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and except the Micronesian Claims Act of 1971 (85 Stat. 96) shall be applicable to the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands on the same terms and conditions as such laws are applied to the Northern Mariana Islands.

(Pub. L. 95–134, title IV, §403, Oct. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1163; Pub. L. 95–135, §1, Oct. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1166; Pub. L. 108–173, title IX, §900(e)(7), Dec. 8, 2003, 117 Stat. 2374.)

References in Text

The Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America, referred to in text, is contained in section 1 of Pub. L. 94–241, set out as a note under section 1801 of this title. For Jan. 9, 1978, as the date section 502 of the Covenant came into force, see Proc. No. 4534, §2, set out as a note under section 1801 of this title.

The joint resolution approved on March 24, 1976, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 94–241, Mar. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 263, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1801 et seq.) of chapter 17 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

The Micronesian Claims Act of 1971, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 92–39, July 1, 1971, 85 Stat. 92, as amended, which was classified generally to section 2018 et seq. of the former Appendix to Title 50, War and National Defense, and which was omitted from the Code as terminated Aug. 3, 1976.

Codification

Section is also classified to section 1421q–1 of this title.

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 1681 of this title.

Section was not enacted as part of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

2003Pub. L. 108–173 substituted "Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services" for "Health Care Financing Administration".

1977Pub. L. 95–135 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: "Effective on October 15, 1977, those laws, except for any laws administered by the Social Security Administration and except for medicaid which is now administered by the Health Care Financing Administration, which are referred to in section 502(a)(1) (except for the reference to the Micronesian Claims Act of 1971 (85 Stat. 96)) of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America, approved by joint resolution approved on March 24, 1976 (90 Stat. 263), and 502(a)(2) of said Covenant shall be applicable to the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands on the same terms and conditions as such laws are applied to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands."

Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–135 effective as of Oct. 15, 1977, see section 2 of Pub. L. 95–135, set out as a note under section 1421q–1 of this title.

§1574a. Revenue bonds or other obligations

(a) Authorization for issuance; use of proceeds; legislative initiative and binding referendum vote

In addition to the authority conferred by section 1574(b) of this title, the legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands is authorized to cause to be issued bonds or other obligations of such government in anticipation of revenues to be received under section 7652(b)(3) of title 26. The proceeds of such bonds or other obligations may be used for any purpose authorized by an act of the legislature. The legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands may initiate, by majority vote of the members, a binding referendum vote to approve or disapprove the amount of any such bond or other obligation and/or any purpose for which such bond or other obligation is authorized.

(b) Federal guarantee

The legislature of the government of the Virgin Islands may provide, in connection with any issue of bonds or other obligations authorized to be issued under subsection (a) the proceeds of which are to be used for public works or other capital projects, that a guarantee of such bonds or obligations by the United States should be applied for under section 1574b of this title.

(c) Limitations on issuance

Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, the provisions of section 1574(b)(ii) of this title (other than the limitation contained in the proviso to the first sentence of subparagraph (A)) shall apply to bonds and other obligations authorized to be issued under subsection (a).

(Pub. L. 94–392, §1, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1193; Pub. L. 105–83, title I, §124(c), Nov. 14, 1997, 111 Stat. 1567; Pub. L. 106–84, §1(b)(3), Oct. 28, 1999, 113 Stat. 1295.)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in subsec. (c), is Pub. L. 94–392, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1193, as amended, which enacted sections 1574a to 1574d of this title, amended section 1397 of this title, and enacted a provision set out as a note below. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Codification

In subsec. (a), "section 7652(b)(3) of title 26" substituted for "section 28(b) of such Act (26 U.S.C. 7652)", meaning section 28(b) of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands (68 Stat. 508), which was classified to section 3350(c) of former Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, on authority of section 7852(b) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, which provided that any reference in any other law to a provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 shall be deemed a reference to the corresponding provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Section was not enacted as part of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

1999—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106–84 struck out subsec. (d) which read as follows: "The legislature of the Government of the Virgin Islands may cause to be issued notes in anticipation of the collection of the taxes and revenues for the current fiscal year. Such notes shall mature and be paid within one year from the date they are issued. No extension of such notes shall be valid and no additional notes shall be issued under this section until all notes issued during a preceding year shall have been paid."

1997—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 105–83 added subsec. (d).

Authorization of Appropriations

Pub. L. 94–392, §6, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1195, provided that: "There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act [enacting this section and sections 1574b to 1574d of this title and amending section 1397 of this title]."

§1574b. Federal guarantee for issuance of revenue bonds or other obligations

(a) Application to Secretary of the Interior; contents

When authorized under subsection (b) of section 1574a of this title, the government of the Virgin Islands may apply to the Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the "Secretary") for a guarantee of any issue of bonds or other obligations authorized to be issued under subsection (a) of section 1574a of this title. Any such application shall contain such information as the Secretary may prescribe.

(b) Terms and conditions of guarantee or commitment to guarantee; determination by Secretary of approval

The Secretary is authorized, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to guarantee and to enter into commitments to guarantee, upon such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, payment of principal and interest on bonds and other obligations issued by the government of the Virgin Islands under subsection (a) of section 1574a of this title. No guarantee or commitment to guarantee shall be made unless the Secretary determines—

(1) that the proceeds of such issue will be used only for public works or other capital projects, except that $28,000,000 of the guaranteed bonding authority will be used for water producing and power projects, including maintenance and overhaul of electrical generating and distribution mechanisms, and $12,000,000 of the guaranteed bonding authority will be used for repair and improvements of the water distribution and storage systems;

(2) taking into account anticipated expenditures by the government of the Virgin Islands while the bonds or other obligations forming a part of such issue will be outstanding, all outstanding obligations of the government of the Virgin Islands which will mature while the bonds or other obligations forming a part of such issue will be outstanding, and such other factors as he deems pertinent, that the revenues expected to be received under section 7652(b)(3) of title 26 will be sufficient to pay the principal of, and interest on, the bonds or other obligations forming a part of such issue;

(3) that credit is not otherwise available on reasonable terms and conditions and that there is reasonable assurance of repayment, and

(4) that the maturity of any obligations to be guaranteed does not exceed thirty years or 90 per centum of the useful life of the physical assets to be financed by the obligation, whichever is less as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Administrative costs; deposit of fees

The Secretary shall charge and collect fees in amounts sufficient in his judgment to cover the costs of administering this section. Fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the revolving fund created under subsection (g).

(d) Conclusiveness and incontestability; pledge of full faith and credit

Any guarantee made by the Secretary shall be conclusive evidence of the eligibility of the obligation for such guarantee, and the validity of any guarantee so made shall be incontestable, except for fraud or material misrepresentation, in the hands of the holder of the guaranteed obligation. Such guarantee shall constitute a pledge of the full faith and credit of the United States for such obligation.

(e) Interest on guaranteed obligations taxable

The interest on any obligation guaranteed under this section shall be included in gross income for purposes of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.].

(f) Maximum amount guaranteed; time limitations on commitments to guarantee, obligation of guaranteed but unobligated funds, and repayment of unobligated proceeds of bonds or other obligations

The aggregate principal amount of obligations which may be guaranteed under this Act shall not exceed $101,000,000. No commitment to guarantee may be issued by the Secretary, and no guaranteed but unobligated funds may be obligated by the government of the Virgin Islands after October 1, 1990. After October 1, 1990, any unobligated proceeds of bonds or other obligations issued by the government of the Virgin Islands pursuant to this section shall be repaid immediately by the government of the Virgin Islands to the lenders with the agreed upon interest. Should there be any delay in the government of the Virgin Islands' making such repayment, the Secretary shall deduct the requisite amounts from moneys under his control that would otherwise be paid to the government of the Virgin Islands under section 7652(b)(3) of title 26.

(g) Revolving fund; establishment; submission of budget to Congress; payments; transfers from fund to general fund of Treasury; issuance and sale of notes or other obligations for guarantees

(1) There is hereby created within the Treasury a separate fund (hereinafter referred to as "the fund") which shall be available to the Secretary without fiscal year limitation as revolving fund for the purpose of this Act. A business-type budget for the fund shall be prepared, transmitted to the Congress, considered, and enacted in the manner prescribed by law (sections 9103 and 9104 of title 31) for wholly owned Government corporations.

(2) All expenses, including reimbursements to other government accounts, and payments pursuant to operations of the Secretary under this Act shall be paid from the fund. If at any time the Secretary determines that moneys in the fund exceed the present and any reasonably prospective future requirements of the fund, such excess may be transferred to the general fund of the Treasury.

(3) If at any time the moneys available in the fund are insufficient to enable the Secretary to discharge his responsibilities under guarantees under this Act, he shall issue to the Secretary of the Treasury notes or other obligations in such forms and denominations, bearing such maturities, and subject to such terms and conditions, as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Redemption of such notes or obligations shall be made by the Secretary from appropriations which are hereby authorized for this purpose. Such notes or other obligations shall bear interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, which shall not be less than a rate determined by taking into consideration the average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities during the month preceding the issuance of the notes or other obligations. The Secretary of the Treasury shall purchase any notes or other obligations issued hereunder and for that purpose he is authorized to use as a public debt transaction the proceeds from the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31 and the purposes for which securities may be issued under that chapter are extended to include any purchase of such notes or obligations. The Secretary of the Treasury may at any time sell any of the notes or other obligations acquired by him under this subsection. All redemptions, purchases, and sales by the Secretary of the Treasury of such notes or other obligations shall be treated as public debt transactions of the United States.

(Pub. L. 94–392, §2, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1193; Pub. L. 96–205, title IV, §407, Mar. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 89; Pub. L. 98–146, title I, Nov. 4, 1983, 97 Stat. 931, 932; Pub. L. 98–213, §4(b), Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1460; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095.)

References in Text

Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (e), means chapter 1 (§1 et seq.) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

This Act, referred to in subsecs. (f) and (g), is Pub. L. 94–392, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1193, as amended, which enacted sections 1574a to 1574d of this title, amended section 1397 of this title, and enacted a provision set out as a note under section 1574a of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Codification

In subsecs. (b)(2) and (f), "section 7652(b)(3) of title 26" substituted for "section 28(b) of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands [68 Stat. 508]", which was classified to section 3350(c) of former Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, on authority of section 7852(b) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, which provided that any reference in any other law to a provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 be deemed a reference to the corresponding provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

In subsec. (g)(1) and (3), "sections 9103 and 9104 of title 31" substituted for "sections 102, 103, and 104 of the Government Corporation Control Act (31 U.S.C. 847–849)", and "chapter 31 of title 31" and "that chapter" were substituted for "the Second Liberty Bond Act" and "that Act", respectively, on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, §4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.

Section was not enacted as part of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954".

1983—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98–213, §4(b)(1), and Pub. L. 98–146, §100(1), made nearly identical amendments relating to the use of the amounts of $28,000,000 and $12,000,000 of the guaranteed bonding authority. The text reflects the amendment by Pub. L. 98–213.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–213, §4(b)(2), and Pub. L. 98–146, §100(2), amended subsec. (f) identically, substituting "$101,000,000" for "$61,000,000" and "1990" for "1984" in two places.

1980—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 96–205 substituted provisions relating to prohibitions on commitments to guarantee by the Secretary and obligation by the Virgin Islands government of guaranteed but unobligated funds, and repayment by the government of unobligated proceeds of bonds or other obligations after Oct. 1, 1984, for provisions relating to entering into under Pub. L. 94–392, after Oct. 1, 1979, of commitments to guarantee.

§1574c. Priority for payment of principal and interest of revenue bonds or other obligations

Each issue of bonds or other obligations issued under subsection (a) of section 1574a of this title shall have a parity lien with every other issue of bonds or other obligations issued for payment of principal and interest out of revenues received under section 7652(b)(3) of title 26, except that issues guaranteed under section 1574b of this title shall have priority, according to the date of issue, over issues not so guaranteed and the revenues received under section 7652(b)(3) of title 26 shall be pledged for the payment of such bonds or other obligations.

(Pub. L. 94–392, §3, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1195; Pub. L. 105–83, title I, §124(a), Nov. 14, 1997, 111 Stat. 1567.)

Codification

"Section 7652(b)(3) of title 26" substituted in text for "section 28(b) of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands [68 Stat. 508]", which was classified to section 3350(c) of former Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, on authority of section 7852(b) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, which provided that any reference in any other law to a provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 be deemed a reference to the corresponding provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Section was not enacted as part of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

1997Pub. L. 105–83 substituted "a parity lien with every other issue of bonds or other obligations issued for payment" for "priority for payment" and struck out "in the order of the date of issue" before ", except that".

Effective Date of 1997 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–83, title I, §124(b), Nov. 14, 1997, 111 Stat. 1567, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to obligations issued on or after the date of enactment of this section [Nov. 14, 1997]."

§1574d. Repealed. Pub. L. 97–357, title III, §308(g), Oct. 19, 1982, 96 Stat. 1710

Section, Pub. L. 94–392, §4, Aug. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 1195, related to grants to government of Virgin Islands for operation of such government and limitation on amount of such grants.

§1575. Legislative procedure

(a) Quorum and method of voting on bills

The number of members of the legislature needed to constitute a quorum shall be determined by the laws of the Virgin Islands. No bill shall become a law unless it shall have been passed at a meeting, at which a quorum was present, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting, which vote shall be by yeas and nays.

(b) Enacting clause of acts

The enacting clause of all acts shall be as follows: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands".

(c) Governor's message and budget

The Governor shall submit at the opening of each regular session of the legislature a message on the state of the Virgin Islands and a budget of estimated receipts and expenditures, which shall be the basis of the appropriation bills for the ensuing fiscal year, which shall commence on the first day of July or such other date as the Legislature of the Virgin Islands may determine.

(d) Approval and disapproval of bills

Every bill passed by the legislature shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor. If the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign it. If the Governor disapproves the bill, he shall, except as hereinafter provided, return it, with his objections, to the legislature within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him. If the Governor does not return the bill within such period, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by adjournment prevents its return, in which case it shall be a law if signed by the Governor within thirty days after it shall have been presented to him; otherwise it shall not be a law. When a bill is returned by the Governor to the legislature with his objections, the legislature shall enter his objections at large on its journal and, upon motion of a member of the legislature, proceed to reconsider the bill. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the members of the legislature pass the bill, it shall be a law. If any bill presented to the Governor contains several items of appropriation of money, he may object to one or more of such items, or any part or parts, portion or portions thereof, while approving the other items, parts, or portions of the bill. In such a case he shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the items, or parts or portions thereof, to which he objects, and the items, or parts or portions thereof, so objected to shall not take effect, unless the legislature, after reconsideration upon motion of a member thereof, passes such items, parts, or portions so objected to by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the legislature.

(e) Use of prior appropriations upon failure to pass appropriation bills

If at the termination of any fiscal year the legislature shall have failed to pass appropriation bills providing for payment of the obligations and necessary current expenses of the government of the Virgin Islands for the ensuing fiscal year, then the several sums appropriated in the last appropriation bills for the objects and purposes therein specified, so far as the same may be applicable, shall be deemed to be reappropriated item by item.

(f) Journal of proceedings; contents

The legislature shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same. Every bill passed by the legislature and the yeas and nays on any question shall be entered on the journal.

(g) Transmittal of laws to Congress

A listing of all laws enacted by the legislature each year shall be transmitted with the annual report to Congress required pursuant to section 1591 of this title.

(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, §9, 68 Stat. 501; Pub. L. 90–496, §§2, 3, Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 837; Pub. L. 95–134, title III, §301(b), Oct. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1163; Pub. L. 95–348, §4(c)(1), Aug. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 490; Pub. L. 96–470, title II, §206(d), Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2244; Pub. L. 106–364, §2, Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1408.)

Amendments

2000—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–364 amended first sentence generally. Prior to amendment, first sentence read as follows: "The quorum of the legislature shall consist of eight of its members."

1980—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 96–470 substituted provision requiring a listing of all laws enacted by the legislature each year be transmitted with the annual report to Congress required by section 1591 of this title for provision requiring copies of all laws enacted by the legislature be transmitted within 15 days of their enactment by the Governor to the Secretary of the Interior and by the Secretary annually to Congress.

1978—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–348 inserted provision authorizing the Virgin Islands Legislature to determine other dates on which the fiscal year shall commence.

1977—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 95–134 inserted ", unless the legislature, after reconsideration upon motion of a member thereof, passes such items, parts, or portions so objected to by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the legislature" after "shall not take effect".

1968—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 90–496, §2, increased the quorum requirement from seven to eight members.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 90–496, §3, inserted requirement that when a bill is returned by the Governor to the legislature, a motion of a member of the legislature is necessary for the legislature to reconsider the bill, and substituted provisions that if, after reconsideration by the legislature, two-thirds of all the members of the legislature pass a bill returned by the Governor, it shall be a law for provisions that if, after reconsideration by the legislature, two-thirds of all the members of the legislature agree to pass the bill, it shall be presented anew to the Governor for his approval, provisions that if the Governor does not approve the bill, the bill shall be sent to the President of the United States for his approval, provisions that if the President disapproves the bill, the bill shall be returned to the Governor, stating the President's disapproval, and it shall not be a law, and provisions that if the President neither approves nor disapproves the bill within 90 days after it was sent to him by the Governor, the bill shall be a law as if the President had signed it.

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–496, §2, Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 837, provided that the amendment made by section 2 is effective on the date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–496, which was approved Aug. 23, 1968.

Amendment of provisions of section necessary to authorize the holding of an election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor on Nov. 3, 1970, effective Jan. 1, 1970, and all other amendments of provisions of section, unless otherwise expressly provided by Pub. L. 90–496, effective Jan. 4, 1971, see section 16 of Pub. L. 90–496, set out as a note under section 1591 of this title.

§1576. General elections; time; transfer of Council functions, property, etc.

The next general election in the Virgin Islands shall be held on November 2, 1954. At such time there shall be chosen the entire membership of the legislature as herein provided. Thereafter the general elections shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, beginning with the year 1956, and every two years thereafter. The Municipal Council of Saint Thomas and Saint John, and the Municipal Council of Saint Croix, existing on July 22, 1954, shall continue to function until January 10, 1955, at which time all of the functions, property, personnel, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations and funds of the governments of the municipality of Saint Thomas and Saint John and the municipality of Saint Croix shall be transferred to the government of the Virgin Islands.

(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, §10, 68 Stat. 502.)