Hofschneider 1st lawmaker in 22nd Legislature to offer bill

Bill seeks to remove marijuana from pre-employment, random testing

Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) has become the first lawmaker in the 22nd CNMI Legislature to pre-file a bill.

Hofschneider pre-filed two bills last Jan. 12, a day after being elected president during the Senate’s organizational session and inauguration.

Hofschneider already offered Senate Bill 22-01 and Senate Bill 22-02 last year, at the latter part of the 21st Legislature.

S.B. 22-01, which was formerly Senate Bill 21-74, will remove marijuana from all pre-employment testing and random testing by all government employers and the Office of Personnel Management with certain exceptions.

Hofschneider stated in the bill that the enactment of Public Law 20-66, the “Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018,” authorized personal, medicinal, and commercial use of cannabis or marijuana in the CNMI. Yet P.L. 20-66 did not change or amend the drug testing policies of the CNMI government, he said, and still includes testing for marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols in a person’s system as a condition of employment. The bill was not acted upon by the 21st Legislature.

On the other hand, S.B. 22-02, formerly Senate Bill 21-56 will give the mayors of Rota and Tinian authority to concur on all Office of Grants Management and State Clearinghouse applications, programs, and funding for the two senatorial districts. Last month, the Senate passed the bill. The House of the Representatives, however, ran out of time to entertain it.

The OGM-SC was created to establish a database of federal grants being received by the CNMI. These OGM-SC mandates apply to Tinian and Rota as well.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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