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Thursday, April 24, 2014

2 new laws OK’d to reprogram funds for Saipan, Rota projects

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial signed two new public laws yesterday reprogramming or re-appropriating funds for Saipan and Rota projects, but one of them was signed with reservations and was line-item vetoed while the other one needed clarification.

The governor signed into law former representative Frederick P. Deleon Guerrero’s House Bill 17-305 reprogramming $818,965 from Public Law 11-119, specifically to improve water and sewer services to Saipan’s Lower Base Industrial Park area. The measure is now Public Law 17-90.

Fitial, in his message to the Legislature, noted that there is an amount less than what was appropriated in the bill’s Section 2, “but sufficient to meet the bill’s intent of providing the 25 percent in local matching funds CUC [Commonwealth Utilities Corp.] and the Water Task Force needs as they seek the $2.4 million grant proposals needed to complete the Lower Base Industrial Park area.”

The governor also signed Rep. Teresita Santos’ (R-Rota) H.B. 17-308 into Public Law 17-91, but “with reservations and disapproved an item.”

Santos’ proposal re-appropriates $271,240 from Public Laws 11-79 and 11-119 for Rota capital improvement projects.

But the governor, in his message to lawmakers yesterday, disapproved the re-appropriation of $200,000, to go toward the construction of a slaughterhouse on Rota.

“Section 2(a) is hereby disapproved because insufficient funds exist to cover this project; otherwise, I have approved Section 2(b) because funds exist to further the bill’s intent,” he said.

The governor retained the re-appropriation of $71,240, for the construction of a fence around a water cave on Rota.

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