Besides approving an Article 12 initiative and a resolution against an estimated $40.7 million in plaintiff attorneys’ fees in a Retirement Fund case, the House of Representatives also passed on Monday six other measures that include allowing video lottery operations in the CNMI and a green light for defined contribution plan members to withdraw their contributions without having to quit their job.
The House also passed a bill authorizing the assessment of fees on tourists visiting Marine Protected Areas such as Mañagaha and Bird Island.
By a vote of 14-2, the House passed at 5:17pm Rep. Antonio Agulto’s (Ind-Saipan) House Bill 18-100, as amended, allowing the operations of video lottery to help generate new sources of revenues to help the Fund and other public programs.
The video lottery bill allows video lottery terminals at certain hotels, golf resorts, and airport departure areas.
Video lottery is a system in which players wager on machines and winners are chosen based on random selection done by a computer.
The House also passed vice speaker Frank Dela Cruz’s (Ind-Saipan) DC plan contribution withdrawal bill (HB 18-46, House Draft 1, Senate Draft 1) by a vote of 18-0 at 3:33pm Tuesday. The bill now goes to the governor for action.
“If the governor signs this bill into law, I can roll over my DC plan contribution from ASC to a Roth Individual Retirement Account, which is one of the top 10 in the nation,” said Wence T. Aquino, a Department of Public Lands land claims investigator III who patiently waited for the bill to pass at the House Tuesday afternoon.
There is still no telling whether the governor will sign this into law.
“This is still under advisement,” press secretary Angel Demapan said yesterday.
The House also passed Rep. John Paul Sablan’s (Cov-Saipan) HB 18-88, as amended, criminalizing the sale and/or resale of products bought from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service or troop store. The bill, which passed by a vote of 19-0 at 2:57pm, goes to the Senate.
House members also passed Rep. Richard Seman’s (R-Saipan) HB 18-25, HD1, authorizing the Division of Fish and Wildlife to develop a system for the assessment of fees on tourists visiting Marine Protected Areas such as Mañagaha and Bird Islands. The bill is Senate-bound.
Also passed by a vote of 16-0 at 5:19pm was HB 18-83, HD1, which provides for the care, maintenance, supervision and administration of public cemeteries. The bill goes to the Senate.
The House also adopted unanimously a resolution honoring the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and the Guam-CNMI Committee for their outstanding service. Commemorative Resolution 18-5 also recognizes Sept. 9 through 13 as “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week.”