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FLASHBACK - Nov. 23, 2012

Nov. 23, 2000

Teno vetoes amendment to Youth Congress law

Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio nixed two bills yesterday—one that sought amendment to the law creating Youth Congress and the other granting authority to the municipal council on each island to enact local ordinances and appropriation. In vetoing HB 12-209 or the "Youth Congress Revision Act," he raised concerns that were expressed by incumbent members of Youth Congress as well as conflicting provisions that he said need to be addressed first. "We are all supportive of youth activities, including the Youth Congress," the chief executive said in his veto message to the presiding officers of the Legislature.

BOE seeks AG opinion on teacher representative

Uncertain of the legality of a recent Board of Education move to fill a teacher representative vacancy within the policy-making body, BOE Chair Frances H. Diaz said yesterday the board has taken steps to untangle the legal loopholes by seeking assistance from the Attorney General’s Office. BOE earlier sent out ballots containing names of five aspiring teacher representatives to the Public School System faculty to fill a vacancy left by now Hopwood Junior High School principal David Borja. "The ballots already came back and we counted the votes but when we looked at public law 6-10, the Commonwealth executive order, and the language of our own BOE by laws, we were unsure of whether the process we employed was valid," said Diaz.

Nov. 23, 2002

House seeks resolution to CUC-CDA standoff

The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement drafted to heal the long-standing conflict between the Commonwealth Development Authority and the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation is reportedly in limbo following the CUC Board’s refusal to affix its signature on the deal. The CUC’s reluctance reportedly stems from a last-minute inserted amendment to the MOA that states, “Debtor agrees not to raise its utility rates without first justifying such increases to the CNMI Legislature and obtaining its approval by joint resolution or other legislative measure.” Rep. Joe P. Guerrero, chairman of the House Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communications, said the provision was included in the MOA to satisfy concerns that were raised in the Senate about the possibility of the CUC raising utility rates.

DOLI: Aging labor cases under review

The Department of Labor and Immigration is now reviewing the old pending cases of workers, following findings that some of them continue to seek food assistance from a non-government organization. DOLI Secretary Joaquin A. Tenorio said he has ordered concerned staff to look into the old files to see how many cases remain pending at the courts for years now. “There’s a concern about workers whose cases have not been resolved since about four, five years ago. We’re now looking into this. We understand it’s in the court now but we’ll try to help out,” said Tenorio.

Nov. 23, 2004

Bush sets aside $15.5M to fight BTS

President Bush has signed the Brown Tree Snake Control and Eradication Act of 2004 into law, setting aside up to $15.5 million from fiscal years 2006 to 2010 to intensify the campaign against the economic pest that has plagued Guam and threatens other Pacific islands, including the CNMI. The new law calls for the expansion of interagency and intergovernmental rapid response teams in the CNMI, Guam, Hawaii, Palau, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia. The law authorizes the allotment of funds to improve efforts to control the spread of the snake population from Guam to neighboring Pacific territories and freely associated states; its eventual goal is to eradicate millions of brown tree snakes on Guam.

Continental seeks $500 million in pay cuts

Continental Airlines has announced that it needs an annual $500 million reduction in payroll and benefits costs. This reduction is necessary because the company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since 2001, and expects to lose hundreds of millions of dollars more in 2004, the airline explained in a statement. “Continental must adjust its costs to a level that will let it survive and grow; otherwise, it will have no prospect of returning to profitability under prevailing market conditions,” the statement adds.

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