The House of Representatives has agreed to withdraw from the Committee on Commerce and Tourism and place on calendar for action at the next session a bill that will establish the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority.
At Tuesday’s House’s session, floor leader Rep. Ralph N. Yumul (R-Saipan) said they have come to a compromise and that he has placed House Bill 22-21 on that day’s calendar for action at the next session. There was no immediate word on when the next session will be.
Rep. Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) said she would like to make sure that the House members will be able to see the supporting document that the bill’s author, Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan), said he has. That document refers to the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s letter that had expressed support for Demapan’s bill.
“And so I do look forward to learning more about the merits of the bill,” she said.
Demapan said the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers had a presentation to the House last Feb. 26, and one of the recommendations was the transformation of the Commonwealth Development Authority into the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority.
Demapan said he had already introduced House Bill 22-21 prior to that presentation and that the economic council since then has followed up with his office on the status of the bill, which has been referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism.
Demapan said 30 minutes before the session that day, Tuesday, the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, transmitted to his office its letter of support to the bill.
He said the Saipan Chamber of Commerce highlighted that the bill is truly a revenue generating bill and it will be providing the new tools and authority to what would become CEDA and realize new diversified investments in the CNMI.
The lawmaker said CDA, the entity that will be impacted through the transformation also supports this bill.
He said the bill is short and straightforward, but impactful in terms of revenue generation.