Tinian lawmakers passed yesterday three separate local bills appropriating and re-appropriating a total of more than $1.7 million for Tinian patients, scholars, and other programs and activities. The bills now go to the governor for action.
By a vote of 4-0, the Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation passed Rep. Trenton Conner's (Ind-Tinian) House Local Bill 18-1, appropriating $40,000 in poker license fee collections mostly for the monthly subsistence allowance of Tinian patients on dialysis, those with cancer, multiple sclerosis, debilitating epilepsy seizure disorder, dermatomytositis as well as post-cerebral vascular accident patients.
Sen. Frank Cruz (R-Tinian), however, offered floor amendments that the delegation adopted. The amendments include ensuring that $27,000 is equally distributed among Tinian patients, and removing the initial proposal to cap the monthly disbursement at only up to $4,500.
“It's long overdue; it should have been paid since July, so we want to make sure the $27,000 is fully disbursed equally among patients,” Cruz said.
His other amendment is to clarify that those patients who have been newly certified would be eligible for subsistence allowance only on the date they were certified eligible and forward.
HLB 18-1 also gives the mayor of Tinian $7,000 to buy two riding mowers; $4,000 to Tinian Health Center for emergency medical referral assistance for patients from Tinian; and $2,000 to replace the airconditioning unit at the Tinian Senior Citizens' Center.
The Tinian lawmakers also passed Conner's HLB 18-2, re-appropriating $36,948 from Tinian Local Laws 17-8, 17-10 and 17-11, for the Tinian Municipal Scholarship.
The delegation, whose members also include Sen. Frank Borja (Ind-Tinian) as chairman and Sen. Joaquin Borja (R-Tinian), also passed Conner's HLB 18-6, appropriating $94,000 in poker license fee collections for patients and other programs and activities.
Of the total amount, $27,000 goes to Tinian patients' subsistence allowance while they're on Saipan; $7,000 for Tinian Little League; $15,000 for the Department of Public Safety-Fire Division's fire truck repair and another $2,500 for fuel; $30,000 for the Tinian Municipal Scholarship; $5,000 for the Tinian Mayor's Office emergency medical referral payments; $2,500 for Freedom Air; $2,500 for Star Marianas; and $7,500 for the Public School System's youth program.