Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dominican selected to lead U.S Virgin Islands Legislature

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Senator Louis P. Hill has been selected by his colleagues to serve as President of the 28th Legislature.
Hill, a four-term senator who hails from the Carib Territory in Dominica, was appointed via resolution to head the 15-member Legislative body which is tasked with establishing the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

senator hill
Senator P Hill from the Carib Territory is the highest ranking lawmaker in the US Virgin Islands.

The resolution appointing Hill as the new Senate leader came during a legislative session on Thursday, April 16, 2009. Hill, a Democrat, is part of a majority consisting of seven Democrats and one Independent.

In his first speech to the territory as Senate president, Hill expressed gratitude to all those who supported him and pledged to work with others to do the work of the 28th Legislature.

“I am truly honored and humbled that my colleagues have entrusted me in this role,” Hill said, following his selection. “I look forward to working with all Senators, whether they are in the Majority or Minority, to get the people’s work done.”

Hill was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and voters elected him for three other consecutive terms. He has served in the 25th, 26th, 27th legislatures and held the esteemed chairmanships of the Senate Committee on Finance and Senate Committee on Planning and Environmental Protection – two of the most prominent committees in the Legislature because it deals with the territory’s purse strings and pristine environment, respectively.

Prior to being elected to the 25th Legislature in 2002, Hill was chosen by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Charles W. Turnbull to serve as the Administrator for St. Thomas and Water Island. He served four years in that position before resigning to run for elected office.

Unlike many who have failed on their first attempts at elected office, Hill easily won his seat and has consistently placed high in the number of votes counted on Election Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In Dominica, Hill attended the Dominica Grammar School, graduating in 1978 as the Head Boy. He taught at the Grand Bay Grammar School for four years before migrating to the Virgin Islands in 1982. He later served seven years in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War, Desert Storm, and was awarded the Bronze Star.
senator hill
Senator P Hill with Virgin Island governor de Jongh.

He holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands and Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Maryland.

The Legislature is one of three co-equal branches of the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States, with its own powers delegated by the Revised Organic Act of 1954, passed by the U.S. Congress, which established the islands local government.

The other two branches are the Executive Branch, which is headed by the Governor and is responsible for administering the laws passed by the Legislature; and the Courts, usually called the Judiciary, which interprets the laws passed.

The Senators are elected representatives of the people and pass the laws for the people of the Virgin Islands, subject to the veto power of the Governor. These laws must not be in conflict with any federal rule or law, or in violation of the Constitution of the United States.

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Congratulations to Senator Hill for a truly great achievement. He makes us all proud to be Dominicans.
Congratulations to Senator Hill on an already distinguished career and this greater achievement. He makes the Caribbean proud. This is a proud Caribbean moment - when we can move across the islands and be allowed to perform at our greatest potential and contribute at the highest level - it is a sign of Caribbean maturity. CARICOM, OECS and CSME could learn something from Senator Hill's journey/experience.
Senator Hill is a great example of how a Statesman should act and behave. Congratulations!!!. Now if only our Dominican leaders could act in a similar fashion.

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