President Barack Obama signed into law Wednesday a bill conveying 3-mile submerged lands to the CNMI and delaying a 50-cent minimum wage increase on Sept. 30 this year and in 2015.
“The people of the Northern Mariana Islands have always believed that the lands and waters surrounding our islands, which for millennia our ancestors used and preserved, belonged to us. A federal court ruling in 2005 said otherwise, requiring that the lands be conveyed by Congress. Now that S. 256 has become law, the lands can become ours again,” Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said in a statement.
At Sablan’s request, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Lisa Murkowsk introduced S.256 in this Congress.
A submerged lands bill was the very first bill that Sablan introduced as the CNMI’s first nonvoting delegate to Congress in 2009.
Also, the CNMI’s minimum wage will remain $5.55 an hour until the next scheduled 50-cent increase on Sept. 30, 2014.
Full story on Friday’s paper.