Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed into law yesterday legislation that amended the language in the Marianas Public Lands Trust fund loan to satisfy preferences recommended by the Office of the Attorney General.
Torres enacted House Speaker Blas Jonathan “BJ” Attao’s (R-Saipan) House Bill 21-71 yesterday afternoon, making it Public Law 21-6.
The new law amends Public Law 21-3, or the law authorizing the CNMI government to enter into a loan with MPLT.
P.L. 21-6 clarified some of the purposes of the loan at the recommendation of the OAG, according to Attao in a previous interview.
Under the new law, the loan shall be used to pay for emergency disaster relief and recovery expenses the Commonwealth government incurred as a result of the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu in late October 2018.
The loan’s purpose also included a reimbursement of expenses that the Commonwealth government shouldered due to the typhoon.
P.L. 21-6 amends the parameters of the MPLT loan. The legislation would allow the initial five-year time frame of the loan to be longer if agreed to. Attao told Saipan Tribune in a previous interview that the language originated from the OAG.
He further noted that Public Law 21-3, or the law that authorizes the CNMI to start negotiating a public debt in the form of an MPLT loan, was enacted with the understanding that the Legislature will pass a bill amending P.L. 21-3 according to the preferences of the OAG.