In a momentous event, invited guests and online audiences gathered to witness the Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson co-sign the Justice legislative package. The official signing of the National Decrees was hosted at the Government Administration Building on Wednesday, December 27, 2023. The historical signing of the National Decree containing General Measures for the Legal Position of officers with police tasks and the new police salary scales, along with the National Decree to enact the legal position and also enact the approved Function Book.
The journey to this significant milestone began in September 2020, when the Minister embarked on the journey of completing the legislative package. Following the legal channels the Function Book was approved on December 21, 2021.
In December 2022, the Ministry submitted the package to His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly who advised that to commit the country to a debt, he must know the entire debt calculation. As such, the Ministry had to undergo a meticulous task to identify the total debt figure including vacation allowances, overtime, and debts owed to social premiums, APS, and SZV. This total amounted to approximately Naf 40 Million Guilders.
The calculations were completed in July 2023, with debt calculation projections up to December 31, 2023. The identification of the debt meant that the Budget 2023 had to be amended to include current and multiannual aspects to ensure consistency with payments to Justice workers.
Simultaneously with the approval of the 2023 budget amendment by the Parliament of Sint Maarten, the Ministry of Justice resubmitted the package to His Excellency encompassing, the Function Book and the enactment Decree, the National Decree containing General Measures of the Legal Position of officers with Police tasks along with their new salary scales and its enactment decree.
On Friday, December 22, 2023, at 4:03 PM, the Honorable Justice Minister Anna E. Richardson personally received the signed Justice Package from the Cabinet of His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly.
On Wednesday, December 27th, 2023, the signing ceremony, graced by the presence of esteemed individuals, radiated with pride as attendees celebrated the relentless efforts of the Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson.
In a poignant address, Minister Richardson shared insights into the resilient approach that led to this victory, delivering fiery words of wisdom and triumph.
This historic event would not have been possible without the unwavering support of St. Maarten’s leadership, particularly the steadfast backing of the Justice Minister by the Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and the Minister of Finance and their respective Cabinets. Their collaborative efforts have played a pivotal role in shaping the transformative changes reflected in the National Decree.
The media, recognizing the historical significance of the occasion, joined in to be a part of history as the Honorable Justice Minister co-signed the legislative package. The public was updated regularly by the Minister who ensured step-by-step updates were disseminated to the staff and the general public throughout the years. The National Decree marks a turning point in St. Maarten’s legal landscape, symbolizing a commitment to progress, justice, and the well-being of those tasked with upholding the law.
According to the Justice Minister, the collective efforts of the journey would not have been completed without the assistance from His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly, the Council of Ministers of St. Maarten, Former Governor Eugene Holiday, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of General Affairs, Council of Advice, Committee of Civil Servants Union (CCSU), ANTEK, SOAB, Peggy-Ann Brandon, Alvin Daal, Tiffany Glascow, Saskia Thomas-Salomon, Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and all Department heads of the Ministry of Justice.