Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) appointed yesterday Sen. Pete Reyes (IR-Saipan) to serve once again as a member of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures Board of Directors representing the 18th CNMI Senate. Reyes has served for years on the APIL board starting from the time he was a member of the CNMI House and later on as a senator, including during the 17th Legislature.
Reyes' reappointment comes 10 days since the inaugural session of the 18th Senate.
“I am honored to represent again the Senate at APIL. I have been a [member of the] board of directors through many years while a member of the House of Representatives and as a senator,” Reyes told Saipan Tribune.
Hofschneider said APIL is a very important tool and resource for the CNMI Legislature.
“We stand ready to support APIL policies and collaborate with the APIL members, and hereby appoint Senator Pete P. Reyes to serve as a member of the Board of Directors representing the 18th Senate of the Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature,” Hofschneider said in yesterday's one-page letter to APIL president and Guam Speaker Judith T. Won Pat. The Guam lawmaker attended the CNMI Senate and House's Jan. 14 inaugural sessions.
APIL seeks to foster regional cooperation on a host of issues such as tourism, airlines, environmental protection, and economic development.
Members include lawmakers from the CNMI, American Samoa, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, Yap, Guam, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Hawaii.
In other news, Hofschneider requested Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson to provide the Senate with an update about a law that allows withdrawal of members' contributions from the NMI Retirement Fund and the government's remittance of funds to the pension agency.
The Senate president said there are “many unanswered questions” about these matters.
“It appears the Court has ordered the Retirement Fund to work with the Department of Finance on PL 17-82 matters. The Senate would like an update on PL 17-82 issues and the government's contributions to the Retirement Fund,” Hofscheider said in a Jan. 23 letter to Larson.
The meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 1:30pm in the Senate chamber on Capital Hill.