September 10, 2005
$206M budget endorsed
The House of Representatives made its final approval of $206.5 million as the government’s only available resources for Fiscal Year 2006. In a session yesterday morning, the House approved House Concurrent Resolution 14-3, which sets at $217.4 million the total identified budgetary resources for the next fiscal year. Of this amount, $11.2 million will be taken out for the following obligations: Public School System bond repayment, $2 million; capital improvement project $60 million bond repayment, $5.2 million; Marianas Public Land Trust remittance to Northern Marianas Housing Corp. (Public Law 12-27), $1.3 million; and Land Compensation bond repayment, $2.7 million.
CNMI water projects need $29.3M more
The CNMI Water Task Force needs about $29.3 million more to fund its water infrastructure development projects in the Commonwealth. Lt. Gov. Diego Benavente, head of the task force, reported that the group’s total estimated project cost was $49.6 million. Of this, $20.3 million has been secured through allocation of Covenant funding through fiscal year 2006 and special appropriations. Benavente added that future Covenant funds would have to be committed to the task force unless the CNMI received special appropriations, such as that to be provided by a pending federal water bill. The Water Resource Development Act of 2005 would authorize the appropriation of $20 million for CNMI water projects, according to the lieutenant governor.
September 10, 2006
DCP law ‘very good’
A Guam-based retirement consulting firm considers the CNMI’s newly enacted defined contribution law as “perfect” and “clear” but its prescribed contribution rate of 14 percent—10 percent employee’s share and the government’s 4 percent share—is at least 2 percent less than the recommended retirement rate. “I love your plan! It’s perfect. It’s crisp. It’s clear,” said David J. John, president of ASC Trust Corp. during a presentation at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe Saturday night. ASC Trust Corp. currently manages over $150 million assets, representing over 50,000 plan participants in 1,000 plans.
CDA prioritizes bad debts collection
The Commonwealth Development Authority has put on top agenda the collection of delinquent loans, pegged at $86.5 million as of the last fiscal year. CDA, in an analysis of its own financial performance for fiscal year 2005, said the agency’s loan department is pursuing bad debts by taking “seriously delinquent” borrowers to court and foreclosing on properties.
At the same time, the agency tries to accommodate clients based on their individual capacity to pay. “Delinquency will continue to plague CDA’s financial condition, but if we work closely with our clients, we will decrease the delinquency ratio, and monitor a consistent collection activity and structure to meet the clients’ cash flow capability. But we must maintain constant communication with them,” CDA said.
September 10, 2007
Suit questioning NMI policy versus IRs with absentee spouses dismissed
The federal court has dismissed without finality a lawsuit that questioned the CNMI government’s policy to go after people who have Immediate Relative status, but whose sponsoring spouses have departed the Commonwealth. U.S. District Court for the NMI chief judge Alex R. Munson ruled that he agrees with defendants Attorney General Matthew T. Gregory and Immigration director Melvin Grey that, at this time, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction in Mohammed Shajahan Ali’s lawsuit “because there is no justiciable case or controversy before it.”
Copies of Chamorro, Carolinian orthographies now available
The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Chamorro/Carolinian Language Policy Commission is informing the general public that printed copies of Chamorro and Carolinian orthographies are available for reference through the collaborative effort of the JKPL, Children of our Homeland Center Program. This program is funded by Ana Grant, under the direction of Dr. Liz Rechebei. Copies are available at JKPL, Children of our Homeland Center and Office of the Chamorro/Carolinian Language Policy Commission.