IN HIS FIRST MEETING WITH PALACIOS, APATANG
Kilili: Account for CARES Act funds, FEMA forgiven loan, ARPA funds
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) disclosed over the weekend that he and Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang talked last Thursday about the need to account for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds, the $93 million Federal Emergency Management Agency loan that the U.S. Congress forgave, and the $483 million in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds that the U.S. Congress appropriated for the Marianas in the American Rescue Plan Act.
Sablan disclosed in his e-kilili newsletter that his first meeting with Palacios and Apatang also took up the state of the Commonwealth government’s finances.
Palacios and Apatang had already met with members of the Legislature and the Judiciary, during which they described the CNMI government’s financial situation as “dire.”
Sablan said he also encouraged Palacios to accept the invitation of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to attend a February 2023 meeting with territorial governors on the state of each of the insular areas.
The annual State of the U.S. Territories gives opportunities to governors from the five territories to provide highlights and discuss priorities for the upcoming year. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin called for the committee hearing.
Sablan said he looks forward to working closely with Palacios and Apatang to tackle the many issues affecting the Marianas.
Assistant Secretary Carmen G. Cantor of the U.S. Department of the Interior (International and Insular Affairs) has also encouraged Palacios to participate in the upcoming National Governors’ Association Winter Meeting, which includes the Interagency Group on Insular Area Senior Plenary Session.