Saipan lawmakers passed yesterday a local bill splitting $190,000 in developers' infrastructure tax among five Saipan precincts for their respective projects, with Precinct 2 getting the biggest chunk of $100,000.
By a vote of 14-3, House Local Bill 17-69, House Draft 1 passed the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation. The bill now heads to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial for action.
Rep. Ralph Demapan (Cov-Saipan), author of the bill which gives 53 percent or $100,000 of the total appropriation to his own Precinct 2, succeeded in getting the approval of his colleagues to his floor amendment.
Demapan's amendment lowered Precinct 2's share of the pie, from $130,000 to $100,000, to be used to complete the Niyok Road project and other projects.
That $30,000 decrease in Precinct 2's share boosted the appropriations for Precincts 1, 3, 4, and 5 by $7,500 each.
With Demapan's amendment, Precincts 1, 3, 4, and 5 will get $22,500 each, instead of $15,000 as stated in the original measure.
The expenditure authority of the funds is the Department of Public Works secretary.
After the local bill passed, Rep. Frank Dela Cruz (R-Saipan) asked for reconsideration of the vote, citing the need to address the transportation concerns of people with disabilities as raised by the Independent Living Council, particularly to buy a vehicle to provide service to these individuals.
But delegation floor leader Pete Reyes (R-Saipan) said the request was only to help with fuel payment, and not to buy a new vehicle.
House vice speaker Felicidad Ogumoro (Cov-Saipan) said there's another way to address this concern, and this may be accommodated in the fiscal year 2013 budget bill.
The motion for reconsideration of the original vote on HLB 17-69, HD1 was later on withdrawn.