The Senate has passed on final reading a bill that seeks to remove the mandated medical insurance coverage benefit provided to nonresident workers.
During the 17th Senate's last session on Tuesday, the senators agreed to pass House Bill 17-147 to remove the mandated benefit for foreign workers.
The Senate transmitted the bill to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial for approval.
Then-representative Diego T. Benavente introduced the legislation on Jan. 28, 2011. The House passed the bill on April 24, 2012.
The Legislature determined that with the minimum wage increased to $5.05 an hour, certain benefits provided to nonresident workers should no longer be required.
Previously, benefits provided to alien workers include medical insurance coverage, free housing, food, transportation, etc. because of the low minimum wage.
“The removal of the mandated benefits will create fairness for all employees within the Commonwealth, nonresident and resident workers alike,” said Benavente in the bill co-authored by Reps. Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero (IR-Saipan), Antonio P. Sablan (IR-Saipan), and Ramon A. Tebuteb (IR-Saipan).