$162.4M in combined general, ARPA funds
House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota) introduced Wednesday a budget bill to appropriate $109.7 million out of $150.4 million in total budgetary resources, and $52.6 million from the American Rescue Plan Act funds, for the CNMI government operations in Fiscal Year 2023.
With $52,629,343 from ARPA funds and $109,782,265 from general local funds, the total combined appropriated funds is $162,411,608.
In Fiscal Year 2022, the combined general and ARPA funds appropriated was $278.3 million.
Pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution No. 22-2, SD1, the total estimated revenues and resources approved and identified for FY 2023 is $150,415,492.
According to Manglona’s House Bill 22-116, which was co-sponsored by several other representatives, for the general fund, minus the money for debt servicing, this leaves the government $104,374,369 in total local revenue and resources available for appropriation in fiscal year 2023. Including the $5,407,896 budget for the Department of Public Lands, the grand total revenue available for appropriation is $109,782,265.
The budget bill includes three attachments—Schedule A general local funds, Schedule B ARPA funds, and Schedule C combined general local funds and ARPA funds.
For the Judiciary Branch and Legislative Branch, $7,846,992 and $8,965,599 are appropriated from general funds, respectively. No ARPA funds were appropriated.
For the Executive Branch, $19,998,853 is appropriated from general funds and $33,342,696 from the ARPA funds, for a total of $53,341,549.
Rota is appropriated $1,823,109 from general funds and $6,561,086 from ARPA, for a total of $8,384,195.
For Tinian and Aguiguan $1,689,584 is appropriated from general funds and 5,872,308 from ARPA, for a total of $7,561,892.
For Saipan Mayor’s Office, Saipan Municipal Council, and Northern Islands Mayor’s Office, $1,015,733 is the total appropriation from general funds, and $1,904,950 from ARPA, for combined total of $2,920,683.
For board and commissions, $373,317 is appropriated from general funds and $1,184,458 from ARPA funds, for a combined total of $1,557,775.
For independent programs, $30,157,893 is appropriated from general funds and $3,763,845 from ARPA funds for a combined total of $33,921,738.
For other programs (transfers out to agencies) $32,503,290 is appropriated from general funds and none from ARPA.
DPL would get its budget from its $5,407,895 revenues.
Autonomous agencies have a total budget of $261,800,007.
Among the highlights of the bill is that for fiscal year 2023, except as provided in the statute, all public corporations and autonomous government agencies are mandated to pay the 1% Public Auditor’s Fee.
The secretary of Finance shall collect and withhold this fee and deposit the amounts in a special account established by the secretary, separate from the general fund. The Public Auditor shall manage this special account.
The other highlights include the following:
-The annual salary of the resident department heads and resident deputy commissioners of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services of Rota, Tinian and Aguiguan will be increased to not more than $45,000.
-Executive Orders shall have legal force and effect only within the Executive Branch. Accordingly, the governor shall not, via executive order, or otherwise, reprogram or in any manner, exercise any authority or control over the funds appropriated by this Act unless expressly authorized by law.
-The governor, via executive order, emergency order, or otherwise, shall not delegate the capacity or power to reprogram or any other manner exercise any authority or control over the funds that are appropriated by this Act to any person or entity unless authorized by law.
-Absent legislative consent in the form of a House Joint Resolution, the governor shall make no changes to the allocations of outside sourced funds in the ARPA spending plan.
-The amount appropriated for the payment of utilities shall not be reprogrammed, nor shall other appropriations be reprogrammed for the payment of utilities, except for the purpose of covering increased utility costs due to rate increases.
-Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, funds that are appropriate by this Act or any subsequent amendments shall not be used or reprogrammed to pay for the utilities of any elected officials, including but not limited to any utility expenses incurred at a private or official residence.