With roughly a month and a half remaining before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, 2019, Sen. Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian) is confident that a fiscal year 2020 budget bill will be out of the Legislature and in the hands of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres before the deadline.
The Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee, which Hofschneider chairs, adopted the fiscal year 2020 budget bill yesterday.
Introduced in the House of Representatives last June 27 by House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan), House Bill 21-64 now awaits full Senate action.
“I am very confident…that the appropriation bill for fiscal year 2020 will be out of the Legislature [soon],” Hofschneider told Saipan Tribune. “We passed [the budget bill] and we are going to entertain it in our next session.”
Hofschneider does not expect any more amendments to the bill when the Senate discusses and acts on it at their session on Aug. 21, 2019.
Blanco told Saipan Tribune that he is pleased to hear that his budget bill has already left the Senate committee.
“[House Speaker Blas Jonathan “B.J.” Attao (R-Saipan)] had advised that the Ways and Means Committee work closely with the Senate [committee] to have the budget passed before the fiscal year ends and move it to forward for Governor Torres’ review and approval,” he said.
“Most importantly, we want to bring back 80 hours and settle any outstanding obligations and services affected by the austerity measures put in place during the current fiscal year,” he added.