Aug. 10, 2000
$600K earmarked for Saipan infrastructure projects
Over $600,000 were earmarked by the House of Representatives for various infrastructure projects on Saipan under three appropriation bills passed during the second day of its second regular session. The biggest chunk of the funding will go to construction of covered sidewalks in full compliance with federal accessibility standards for Garapan and Oleai Elementary Schools. The plan will cost $300,000 in government funds coming from re-appropriation of remaining balance from earlier capital improvement projects.
Company offers to improve Seaplane Ramp
Pacific Subsea Saipan, Inc., the company that offers submarine tour, has offered to improve the Seaplane Ramp which it is currently leasing from the Commonwealth Ports Authority in exchange for a long-term lease. But the CPA Board deferred any action on the recommendation and instead tossed the proposal to the Seaport Committee for further study. Pacific Subsea's main reason to expand the leased premises is to be able to carry out effective maintenance of the area, which has been neglected with so much trash left over by small boat owners, according to Stephen Nutting, treasurer/secretary of the firm.
Aug. 10, 2001
Redundant patients’ rights measure junked
A Senate bill that was intended to safeguard patients from the unnecessary disclosure of their health status has been disapproved by Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio for being redundant. In a letter addressed to Senate President Paul A. Manglona and House Speaker Benigno R. Fitial, Tenorio said that he decided to veto the measure as it is identical to the recently adopted Rules and Regulations governing the release and maintenance of patient health care information. “I have been informed by the Secretary of Public Health that he had requested the Legislature from passing this bill as it would affect the operations of the department,” Tenorio said.
Legislature earmarks $77M for CIPs
More than $77 million in government funds have been set aside by the Legislature for several Capital Improvement Projects, as well as the development of the Chinatown sewerage system in Garapan. The money for these projects will be sourced from CDA Bond proceeds and interest, Covenant Section 702 funding, and unused money appropriated under Public Law 10-41, as outlined by two bills that were recently passed by the Senate. House Bill 12-374, also known as the Capital Improvement Projects Act of 2001, allocates a total of $50.19 million for capital improvement projects that may be identified by each senatorial district. The projects must be consistent with those specified in the revised CNMI 702 CIP Master Plan.
Aug. 10, 2002
Babauta directs transfer of DOF worker
Responding to complaints raised by several lawmakers, Gov. Juan N. Babauta has directed the immediate transfer of James Hemley to a position within the Department of Finance that is not connected to legislative accounts or funds. Hemley is a technical financial analyst at the DOF and is the one in-charge of legislative accounts. He processes and handles all fund matters of the Legislature and each of its members. In a memorandum to Finance Secretary Frankie Villanueva, Babauta said that a careful review of the numerous concerns expressed by members of the Legislature about irregularities in the treatment of various requests to the DOF has convinced him to order Hemley’s transfer.
Federal disaster funds out for Rota typhoon recovery
The head of the Federal Emergency Management announced that federal disaster funds have been made available for the Northern Mariana Islands to help local government on the island of Rota recover from the effects of Typhoon Chata’an. FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the aid was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush, following a review of the agency’s analysis of the Commonwealth’s request for federal relief. Following the declaration, Allaugh designated the island of Rota eligible for federal funding to pay local governments 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and the restoration of public facilities damaged by the storm that occurred over the period of July 4-5. Funds also will be available for the Commonwealth for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.