Six incoming Republican Party members who won seats in the House of Representatives are each set to head committees once the 20th Legislature is inaugurated on Monday at the House chamber on Capital Hill. The formal announcement is expected on Monday.
The Republican super majority split some committees and created a few new ones to address social issues in the CNMI.
Representatives-elect Francisco C. Aguon, Donald C. Barcinas, Ivan A. Blanco, Alice S. Igitol, Jose I. Itibus, and Gregorio M. Sablan Jr. are the new lawmakers in the House, while Francisco S. Dela Cruz and Janet U. Maratita are returning members. All representatives-elect ran under the local Republican Party.
The other House members are GOP representatives Edwin P. Aldan, Angel A. Demapan, Rafael S. Demapan, Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero, Joseph Leepan Guerrero, Glenn L. Maratita, and John Paul Sablan, and the independent bloc of Blas Jonathan T. Attao, Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero, Edwin K. Propst, Vinson E. Sablan, and minority leader Edmund S. Villagomez.
Aguon will head the Welfare Committee that was re-named the Human Services Committee, while Barcinas will get Transportation, which was formerly part of the Public Utilities Committee. Blanco will be the Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee chairman, while Igitol will take over the role of the Natural Resources Committee chief. Itibus and Sablan will each chair the Health, and Federal and Foreign Affairs commiittees.
Janet U. Maratita is the incoming vice speaker, while Dela Cruz would lead the Public Utilities and Communications Committee. Both are former representatives in the 18th House of Representatives, when Dela Cruz was the vice speaker.
The leadership had decided that House Speaker Rafael S. Demapan would remain at his post, while Rota representative Glenn L. Maratita will be the floor leader. Tinian’s Aldan will head the Education Committee and Angel A. Demapan would take over the reins of Ways and Means.
Outgoing vice speaker and former speaker Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero will head the new Gaming Committee to monitor the new casino industry, while Guerrero will retain his post as Commerce and Tourism chairman. Sablan, a former Division of Customs Services officer, wants to serve anew as the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation chief.
The incoming House members of the 20th Legislature were briefed yesterday on the activities and program for the inauguration. An inaugural Mass will be held tomorrow at 6pm at Mt. Carmel Cathedral.