Oct. 3, 2001
'Crisis justifies increased lobby efforts'
Despite valiant efforts by the opposition, House leaders pulled off the passage of a resolution supporting the Governor if he decides to retain the services of the Washington D.C.-based lobbying group, at least until December this year. Voting 11-5-1, majority of House lawmakers supported House Resolution 12-179, expressing the lower chamber's support to Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio in securing the continued services of Greenberg Traurig as the CNMI's lobbyist at the US Congress “during this critical time.” Those who opposed were Reps. Diego T. Benavente, Heinz S. Hofschneider, Jesus T. Attao, Estanislao T. Torres and Thomas B. Pangelinan.
Reform Party touts scholarship program
The Reform Party's gubernatorial tandem yesterday vowed to restore the scholarship funding level that has excluded non-full-time students from receiving financial assistance over the last two years. Former Governor Froilan C. Tenorio and Dave C. Sablan, 2001 gubernatorial hopefuls, made the promise during the first round of NMC's first gubernatorial fora series yesterday. Working students, particularly those with families to raise, have long expressed concerns that the termination of financial aid for part-time students has put them in a very difficult position.
Oct. 3, 2002
CPA's financial vigilance pressed
The Commonwealth Ports Authority is drawing near to implementing painful cuts in operational costs, unless the agency sees improvement in its level of revenue, which is tied with the rally of the local economy. CPA Board Financial Affairs Committee Chair Ray Cing, in a report submitted to the Board, said that the CPA should be extra careful about its financial situation, especially with the declining ports-related activities. Cing, in his committee report, said the ports authority “cannot afford to be extravagant and wasteful at this time.” This, as the committee also presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2003 airport operations budget amounting to $11.3 million-$9.8 million for the total operating expenses and $1.5 million for debt service payment.
P&S denies CHC bidder's protest
The CNMI Procurement and Supply has denied the protest of a U.S.-based staffing agency in connection with its bid to supply the Commonwealth Health Center with nurses and laboratory personnel. In a decision released yesterday, P&S Director Herman S. Sablan, said the company, New Jersey-based Global Access Staffing Services, “is a local bidder” so it is not entitled to a seven-day deadline allowance given to offshore entities. “We have determined that Global Access Staffing Services (Saipan), Inc. (Global), is a local bidder, and as such, cannot simultaneously claim that it is also a bidder outside the CNMI for purposes of being allowed seven days additional working days for a receipt of its proposal beyond the due date set...Accordingly, we have denied your protest in its entirety,” Sablan said.
Oct. 3, 2003
Senatorial bets trade barbs in NMC forum
Two senatorial candidates took their argument outside the Northern Marianas College forum after exchanging heated words during and after the NMC Associated Students-sponsored question-and-answer discussion yesterday morning. NMC officials disclosed that senatorial contenders-Andrew Salas of the Republican Party and Luis P. Crisostimo of Democratic Party-engaged in an altercation during and after the open forum, which was attended by candidates for the House of Representatives in District 4 and senatorial candidates. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Saipan Tribune that the heated argument began during the closing statement of Salas.
House panel looks into other options
Faced with a request for the Legislature to reconsider the $213.95-million fiscal year 2004 budget, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said yesterday he is open to other recommendations on how to augment the proposed funding level without aggravating current economic realities. Gov. Juan N. Babauta had proposed a $228-million spending plan, some $15 million of which would come from revenue enhancements contained in the Integrated Fiscal Plan submitted to the Legislature in February. The Legislature had rejected the IFP but on Wednesday, Babauta asked the Legislature to reconsider the IFPAlthough he stood pat on the IFP's rejection, chairman Stanley T. Torres said his committee is willing to consider other options.