Sen. Edith Deleon Guerrero (D-Saipan) asked the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation last week for a list of all revenues intended for the delegation.
Speaking at the SNILD’s first regular session at the House of Representatives chamber, Deleon Guerrero said she was doing some research on SNILD when came across a Saipan Tribune article dated Sept. 23, 2020, “Saipan, Tinian, Rota delegations owe $7.16 million to general fund.”
The article was about Sen. Paul A. Manglona’s statement (Ind-Rota) that the Department of Finance’s detailed accounting of the casino annual license fee fund appropriated to Saipan, Tinian, and Rota showed that the three legislative delegations owe a total of $7.16 million to the general fund.
Manglona said this is so if Finance takes the position that Year 5 of the casino annual license fee funding—$11 million for Saipan and $2 million each for Rota and Tinian—was never allotted to the respective delegations, although Public Law 20-10 specifically appropriated the replenishment of the account from the Casino Gross Receipt Tax from fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
Deleon Guerrero said now that the SNILD is duly organized, her question is what is SNILD’s liquidity to commit fund on SNILD legislation?
“What revenue sources [are] funding SNILD?” asked Deleon Guerrero as she requested for a list of all revenue sources for SNILD. “Currently, are we working with paper revenue or real liquidity, cash in a bank of funds for SNILD?”
She said she is sure all the other SNILD members will appreciate this report.
Without naming who she is alluding to, Deleon Guerrero added that the 100% reprogramming authority is a reality that needs to be dealt with “if we are to move forward with what is best for the CNMI and its people.”
Newly elected SNILD chair Sen. Vinnie F. Sablan (Ind-Saipan) told Deleon Guerrero that her message and concerns are “duly noted.”
Sablan said as soon as he appoints the chairs of the SNILD committees, he will ensure that those questions will be answered and send to her office.