Feb. 27, 2004
'No need for oversight hearing on NMC'
House Education Committee chairman Justo Quitugua said yesterday that he has no plans to subject the Northern Marianas College to an oversight hearing, despite information he gathered confirming the institution's serious financial woes. “We're not going to do an oversight. We want to give the college more opportunity to refocus,” said Quitugua. The lawmaker pointed out that it has become a practice that, whenever a big problem arises, affected agencies have a tendency to throw the problem to the Legislature for it to help solve the problem.
Panel sets 'stateless bill' public hearings
The House Committee on Federal and Foreign Relations has set three separate public hearings next week on the bill addressing the 'stateless' status of over 200 individuals born in the Commonwealth between 1978 and 1986. Committee Vice Chairman Jesus SN. Lizama has released the schedule of hearings: March 3, 6pm on Tinian at the Tinian courthouse; March 4, 6pm on Saipan at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe; and March 5, 6pm on Rota at the Rota courthouse. The hearing will center on House Bill 14-97 or the proposal to declare all children of alien workers born between Jan. 9, 1978 and Nov. 4, 1986 permanent residents of the CNMI.
Feb. 27, 2005
Manglona wants LB director position advertised
Senate Committee on Rules and Procedures chairman Sen. Paul M. Manglona recommends putting out of an advertisement to announce the vacancies and the hiring for a Legislative Bureau director and deputy director. He said this is necessary to give qualified local residents “a fair and equitable opportunity to apply.” This, however, is a departure from the usual procedures. Under the Constitution, the director shall be “appointed by the joint leadership of the Legislature consisting of the presiding officers, vice presiding officers, floor leaders, and chairmen of standing committees.”
Tenorio follows up on federal tax law issues
Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio has asked the Department of the Interior to bring up during an upcoming plenary session of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas the issue of a possible loss of revenues for the CNMI and other territories arising from a newly enacted federal tax law. Tenorio, in a Feb. 24 letter to Insular Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary David Cohen, said the enactment of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 poses significant risks to the tax structure and fiscal integrity of the CNMI. In particular, Section 908 of the Act changes the requirements in determining residency and source of income in such a way that persons currently paying taxes in the CNMI would have a tax liability with the federal government.
Feb 27, 2006
DoF: $296K bounced checks uncollectible
Due to inaction, the CNMI government may no longer collect almost $300,000 worth of bounced checks issued to the Department of Finance since 1983. The administration has determined that the total amount of uncollected checks currently under the Finance Department is $599,440. However, $296,230 will have to be written off due to the expiration of the six-year statute of limitations. Gov. Benigno R. Fitial said the Commonwealth Returned Check Enforcement Program, which seeks to resolve many long-standing checks that have been paid to the CNMI dating back to 1983, will focus on the collection of the remaining $303,209.
AGO to tighten rules in issuance of IR permits
Revisions will be made on the proposed regulations on “sham marriage” following a public hearing last week, Attorney General Matthew T. Gregory said Friday. According to Gregory, the sizeable crowd that attended Wednesday evening's public hearing was supportive of the draft regulations, which would tighten rules governing sponsorships and the issuance of Immediate Relative permits. “The participants in the public hearing agreed that we need to be tougher on marriages and scrutinize marriages (between U.S. citizens and aliens). A lot of the individuals there talked about how they knew of individuals that were engaged in sham marriage. They want to some action,” he said. But he added that the issue was sensitive in relation to the degree the CNMI government should inquire into people's private lives.