House panel presents $137.73M FY 2015 budget

The House Ways and Means Committee prefiled on Tuesday a bill appropriating $137.73 million out of $170 million in estimated revenues for the CNMI government’s operations and activities for fiscal year 2015.

Under House Bill 18-201 that committee chair Antonio P. Sablan (Ind-Saipan) and five other members signed, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. will get $50.33 million for personnel and operations—the highest budget among eight government corporations and agencies.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. will get the second highest with $41.56 million. The Northern Marianas Housing Corp. will receive $2.44 million; Office of the Public Auditor, $2.06 million; Commonwealth Ports Authority, $1.92 million; Commonwealth Development Authority, $1.29 million; and Northern Mariana Retirement Fund, $612,723.

The Public Utilities Commission did not make any budget submission.

The Judicial Branch will be appropriated $4.63 million; the Legislature, $5.57 million; and the Executive Branch, $4.70 million. The Office of the Attorney General will get $581,212.

For government departments, Public Safety will get $7.19 million; Finance, $4.43 million; Corrections, $3.88 million; Public Works, $3.62 million; Land and Natural Resources; $2.49 million; Community and Cultural Affairs, $1.86 million; Commerce, $922,439; and Labor, $848,794.

The Rota municipal government will get $5.54 million; for Tinian and Aguigan, $5.52 million; and for the Northern Islands, $2.16 million.

Independent programs will get $39.69 million, including $27 million for the Retirement Settlement Fund. For boards and commissions, $1.42 million will be appropriated.

The Public School System is appropriated $32.27 million; the Northern Marianas College, $4.24 million; $1.34 million for CHC subsidy; $1.16 million for the Marianas Visitors Authority; and $172,257 for the PSS Board of Education.

In the bill, Sablan recommended that Gov. Eloy S. Inos reallocate the distribution of the Commonwealth Worker Funds: $600,000 each for PSS and NMC, and $200,000 to the Northern Marianas Technical Institute.

Sablan said the CW funds are subject to appropriation and should have been identified by the governor as available for appropriation.

Inos’ proposed fiscal year 2015 budget is $134.33 million, which is lower than the fiscal year 2014 budget of $135.786 million after he recently signed a $12.386 million supplemental budget law.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at

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