Gov. Eloy S. Inos signed into law this afternoon a $145-million budget for fiscal year 2016 to avoid a looming government shutdown if Inos had signed a budget by tomorrow, Sep. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
A crowd of Cabinet heads, lawmakers, and administration officials gathered at the governor’s conference room at 4pm to await Inos, who arrived more than a half hour later to read through a draft letter describing his much anticipated budget decision.
The House and Senate had agreed to “modify” Inos-directed hotel tax earmarks that essentially cut $2.5 million from the Marianas Visitors Authority’s budget. That provision remained in the budget Inos signed this afternoon.
The House and Senate also agreed to 5-percent salary increases for “law enforcement” personnel. But Inos—telling Cabinet members that, one, the provision did not raise salaries for personnel on Rota and Tinian, and two, the provision did not adequately source funding for the raises—line-item vetoed this provision.
More details to follow.