Although the Senate Fiscal Affairs is still in the early stage of the budget process for fiscal year 2020, they will try to focus on finishing it on time, said committee chair Sen. Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) yesterday.
He hinted, however, that it is very rare for the Senate not to make changes to a budget bill that has already passed the House of Representatives.
Hofschneider said his committee is going to review the spending measure and meet on it.
The idea of calling in some agencies to the meetings is something that Hofschneider said he needs to discuss with the committee members.
He said he just want to make sure that they get the answers from the questions that they will ask.
The House passed last Thursday the $233.2-million spending measure for fiscal year 2020. The House thumbed down two amendments that could have given CNMI education additional funding.
Hofschneider said his committee will review what the House did, based on the figures for appropriation and what the recommendation that was transmitted over from the administration as to what they wish the budget 2020 would look like.
He said they have a month to conduct the budget process, but he is hoping to finish it as soon as they can.
The senator said they need to have a budget signed into law before Oct. 1 to avert a partial government shutdown. He said the Legislature doesn’t expect that to happen.
“We hope to finish it soon and have a balanced budget and agreed product to be sent over to the [Torres] administration for review,” he said.