Mar. 7, 2004
The many faces of ’stateless’ issue
The many human faces behind the “stateless” issue shone in the three separate public hearings hosted by the House Committee on Federal and Foreign Relations this week, with testimonies awash with emotion and sympathy for some 350 individuals affected by what historian Sam McPhetres called a “mistake” in the Covenant. Stateless individuals stood before the committee and moved the crowd with stories of their unfulfilled “American dream” owing to the situation that rendered them without U.S. citizenships. The public hearing held at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe, Saipan on Thursday drew the most number of attendees. Similar hearings were also conducted on Tinian on Wednesday and Rota on Friday.
902 option bared in resolving issue
House Speaker Benigno R. Fitial bared the “902 option” to resolving the “stateless” issue, a recommendation that he said was raised by Gov. Juan N. Babauta during a luncheon meeting between the two CNMI leaders on Thursday. “This is where a representative of the U.S. president gets together with our government representatives and they consider the stateless issue. The matter goes directly to the U.S. Congress if the U.S. president’s representative and our representative agree. So that is another option that the governor and I discussed,” Fitial informed attendees to Thursday’s public hearing on House Bill 14-97. He further explained that the 902 option would be a consultation process between the United States and the CNMI under the Covenant arrangement.
Mar. 7, 2006
Saipan seaport posts nearly $500K in revenue tonnage
The Saipan seaport has reported nearly $500,000 in revenue tonnage in January and February this year. CPA acting board chair Antonio S. Camacho, who heads the board’s seaport facilities committee, said 42 commercial vessels docked on Saipan during the period. Based on the records, inbound cargo totaled 41,866 tons, amounting to $240,735; outbound cargo totaled 11,841, amounting to $68,087. Total revenue tonnage-including P.O.L. throughput ($155,631) and cement throughput ($1,697)-reached $466.151. Meantime, passengers fee collections from Jan. 14 to Feb. 17, 2006 at the port reached $22,947. The government collected some $12,000 from passengers in January and over $10,944 in February.
House backs full payment of poker license
The House of Representatives passed yesterday a measure that would make full payment of fees a requirement for a poker license. The House members voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 15-18, which would require poker license fees to be paid in full prior to the issuance of a license. The proposed legislation also provides that those fees should be nonrefundable. According to the House Committee on Ways and Means, there are currently 1,414 poker machines throughout the Commonwealth. These machines should be providing a total of $16.38 million to government coffers. Currently, the yearly fees are being paid on a quarterly basis.
Mar. 7, 2007
Pete A asks Congress for $1M for CHC
Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio has asked the U.S. Congress for $1 million for the repair of infrastructure at the Commonwealth’s only hospital. Tenorio made this request in a written testimony he submitted to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs last week. According to Tenorio, the Commonwealth Health Center needs $1 million to replace its back-up generator and reverse osmosis water treatment equipment, and to upgrade the hospital interfaces. “The lives of the patients in the Commonwealth Health Center are dependent on stable power and clean water,” he noted.
House OKs entry permit for traveling patients
The House of Representatives has passed legislation that would establish an entry permit specifically for traveling patients. House Bill 15-227, authored by Rep. Ray Yumul, proposes to regulate the entry of visitors who enter the Commonwealth for the purpose of medical treatment. If enacted, the measure would direct the Division of Immigration to promulgate regulations establish a medical entry permit. Minimum requirements for this permit would include proof of the patient's ability to pay for medical services and approval from the Secretary of Public Health to seek medical treatment.