Aug. 11, 2002
Gov. Babauta says he’s far from violating law on salary cap issue
Gov. Juan N. Babauta clarified that, far from violating any laws on the salary cap issue, he is still very much within the parameters set by the Salary Compensation Act. Babauta explained that, under that Act, if the Governor wishes to hire a person at a salary that exceeds the ceilings set by law, the law requires him to write to the Legislature and justify why he should hire somebody at a salary higher than the default limit of $50,000 per annum. “And that’s what I have done with the four or five people that I have hired whose salaries exceed the cap. I have followed the law and written to the Legislature and all of those requests for exemption are in the Legislature and until such time that the Legislature acts on it, there is no violation of the law,” Babauta said.
NMI gets more food stamp funding
The United States and CNMI governments have signed the Memorandum of Understanding that would authorize the release of more than $7 million in aid to low-income families in the Commonwealth under the Nutrition Assistance Program. Gov. Juan N. Babauta and Cultural Affairs Secretary Juan L. Babauta signed the MOU on behalf of the CNMI. The agreement involves an estimated $7.1 million grant that will cover the full request made by NAP for financial year 2003. The grant will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services. According to the DCCA Secretary Babauta, the federal funding made available to the CNMI will be of significant help, especially to families facing financial difficulties.
Aug. 11, 2004
MPLA stalls for more time in House probe
The Marianas Public Lands Authority has asked for an extension on its deadline to submit certain documents to the House of Representatives’ investigation committee. Committee chair Rep. Clyde Norita said that MPLA, which was required to submit documents last Friday following a subpoena, asked for the deadline to be extended to Aug. 11. The Department of Health, meantime, which also received a subpoena, was able to turn in the required documents as scheduled, the lawmaker said.
Turner pushes for changes to proposed PTI board
Commonwealth Telecommunications Commission acting director Adam Turner recommended changes to the prospective board members list submitted to the CTC by Pacific Telecoms Inc., the company that intends to acquire local operations of the telecom facility from Micronesian Telecommunications Corp. Turner’s recommendations incorporated the grounds raised by Gov. Juan N. Babauta and CNMI consumer counsel Brian Caldwell, pointing out several alleged deficiencies in the PTI submission. He clarified, though, that his opinion is not that of the CTC, which has yet to decide on the submission. Turner said PTI’s prospective board has no participation of local residents and does not appear to be independent.
Aug. 11, 2005
Senate OKs extension of alien
The Senate passed a bill yesterday that aims to extend for two years the employment of nonresident workers at the Department of Public Health and a one-year extension for both the Department of Public Works and Commonwealth Utilities Corp. The Senate passed House Bill 14-344 during its session yesterday on Tinian. The bill originally covered only the DPH but during the session, the senators voted to include DPW and CUC. The Senate approval only meant an extension of two years for DPH, instead of 10 years as requested by the department. Also, the Senate did not agree to the DPH’s request for a two-year contract for each worker.
120 homeowners take part in energy saving promotion
Their lights are on, but their electric bills will be going down for 120 CNMI homeowners who bought Energy Star ® Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs this Saturday at Ace Hardware in Susupe and YCO True Value Hardware in Garapan. Under the public-private sector partnership to conserve energy, the energy star CFLs were on sale at Ace and YCO Hardware and the CNMI Energy Division was on hand to give away one free CFL for every CFL purchased from the participating hardware as part of the Energy Star ® Awareness Project. “The Buy 1/Get 1 Free Energy Star Awareness CFL promotion was off to a great start and was very successful,” said Energy director Thelma B. Inos.