Austerity measures leave NMSA without funding

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The Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium is one of the facilities under Northern Marianas Sports Association’s care. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

No funding is appropriated for the Northern Marianas Sports Association in the Legislature-approved budget for fiscal year 2020 due to austerity measures.

Rep. Ivan Blanco (R-Saipan) confirmed that the administration’s proposal for the FY 2020 budget zeroed out NMSA’s funding as part of the austerity measures the government has had to take.

“The zero out was in accordance with the administration’s FY ‘20 budget proposal which included budget cuts across, zero out of unfilled FTE’s, hiring freeze of new personnel, etc.,” he said.

Blanco said that the Legislature tried to identify some sort of funding for NMSA through the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, but the move did not get enough support from members.

“We tried to fund it under SNILD, but couldn’t muster enough numbers to support it. We will bring it up again in any new funding source for members’ consideration,” he said.

Saipan Tribune reached out to NMSA president Michael White to request for comments on the lack of government appropriation for the association and he said he has no comment at this time. NMSA executive director Tony Rogolifoi, on the other hand, is still off-island and unavailable to give comments as of press time last night.

NMSA, besides getting appropriation from the government, gains funding from its lottery program. The funds from the lottery are used for the participation of CNMI athletes in off-island tournaments, while the appropriation from the government is allotted for staff salaries and operations and maintenance of the Oleai Sports Complex.

Meanwhile, Saipan Tribune learned that NMSA is struggling to get support for funding request, as it has yet to submit an annual report to the government since the group was established through Public Law 18-49 in 2014.

Section 110 of the P.L. 18-49 states that NMSA is required to, on or before the first day of June 2014, and annually thereafter, transmit simultaneously to the governor and to each House of the Legislature, a detailed report of its operations.

According to the provision of the law, the annual report must include a complete statement of its receipts and expenditures; a comprehensive description of the activities and accomplishments of the corporation during such period; data concerning the participation of women, disabled individuals, and racial and ethnic minorities in the amateur athletic activities and administration of the corporation and national governing bodies; and a description of the steps taken to encourage the participation of women, disabled individuals, and racial minorities in amateur athletic activities.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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