Oct. 13, 1999
New law allows SC to tap trust funds
Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio has signed into law a measure allowing the Superior Court to make money out of the trust funds temporarily entrusted to the judiciary and to impose additional fines on people convicted of a criminal offense in an effort to ease pressure on government coffers. Public Law 11-105, which was requested by the Superior Court, now passes some of the financial costs to individuals who use the services of the court that are currently financed by taxpayers' money, according to the governor. Offered by Rep. Heinz S. Hofschneider, the new law is intended to boost the court's resources amid shrinking appropriations from the government due to continuous financial difficulties.
Lynch: Arriola has conflict of interest
Chief Prosecutor Kevyn Lynch alleged that lawyer Joseph Arriola violated the Commonwealth Rules of Professional Conduct when he took the job of representing all nine defendants in the illegal gambling case filed by the government last month. In a motion filed in the Superior Court, Lynch stated that the rules of conduct prohibits an attorney from representing multiple clients whose individual cases might run in conflict with one another. Arriola's clients filed individual responses in which they testified that they "knowingly and voluntarily consent to joint representation."
Oct. 13, 2000
DOF, CUC still scrutinizing $12M unpaid bills
The Tenorio administration is still discussing with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. its unpaid billings in a bid to reach a settlement before cutting off power and water services to government offices. Mike Sablan, the governor's chief finance and budget advisor, disclosed yesterday about $1.15 million will be paid soon to CUC for utility billings covering a two-month period. He said the administration has been paying between $800,000 to $900,000 to cover its utility expenditures. He, however, did not indicate how much has been shaved from the government's outstanding balance.
Torres seeks to overhaul local employment and training system
Rep. William S. Torres is pushing for the implementation of a comprehensive manpower development plan in a bid to prepare the local workforce meet the rigorous employment challenges of the new millennium. The legislator is calling for a dialogue between the legislative leadership and Northern Marianas employment and training agencies through an oversight hearing with hopes of establishing better coordination among the entities involved in the development of CNMI's human resources. The congressman is seeking the attendance of such agencies as the Department of Labor and Immigration, Public School System, Northern Marianas College, Workforce Investment Act Office (formerly the Job Training and Partnership Act), and other related institutions.
Oct. 13, 2002
BOE adopts Reading First initiative goals
A plan envisioned to produce proficient and advanced readers among public school students gained full support from the State Board of Education Thursday, with the adoption of the Reading First Initiative goals and objectives. Under the initiative, PSS targets that, by 2008, all students will be proficient and advanced readers by the end of the school year. Also, one of the goals set by PSS is to develop teachers who are proficient in effective standards and scientifically-based reading instruction.
’Separate and privatize Group Health’
A more permanent solution to the present crisis plaguing the beleaguered Group Health and Life Insurance Program would be to separate it first from the Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund and then privatize it eventually. This was the contention of Rep. William S. Torres, who said he actually has a bill pending in the 13th Legislature that seeks to achieve this. That measure, House Bill 13-99 or the CNMI Government Insurance Improvement Act of 2002, was strongly opposed by the Fund’s former legal counsel, Kathleen Troy-Rucker. Fund administrator Karl T. Reyes also rejected the possibility of the Fund liquidating a portion of its international investments to cover the medical referral claims expenses of Group Health, saying doing so would breach the fiduciary responsibility of the Fund’s Board of Trustees.