Acting governor Eloy S. Inos line-item vetoed yesterday a local bill that ended up re-appropriating and allocating nearly $185,000 for Saipan and Northern Islands projects.
Inos signed House Local Bill 17-52, Draft 1, Substitute 4 into Saipan Local Law 17-13. The new law re-appropriates a total of $184,893.60 for at least six projects and programs.
The original total was $190,218.60, but Inos line-item vetoed a total of $5,325 for three separate programs.
“I approve this measure to support the various programs identified, but disapprove Sections 2(b), (d) and (e) as the business units from which to re-appropriate these programs lack sufficient funds as identified in this legislation,” Inos told Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation chair Rep. Ray Tebuteb (R-Saipan) and House Speaker Eli Cabrera (R-Saipan).
Rep. Ray Yumul (R-Saipan), author of the local bill, said the delegation would have wanted all the items to be funded but if the Department of Finance confirms that there is lack of funds for some of the items, then the delegation has to accept the acting governor’s line-item veto.
“Just like what delegation chairman Tebuteb said, members should have a little restraint when appropriating because there may not really be money for that,” Yumul told Saipan Tribune.
The three vetoed items were offered by House Speaker Eli Cabrera (R-Saipan), Yumul, and Tebuteb said.
These vetoed items were supposed to be re-appropriations for the following: $2,000 to go toward the Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council for the drafting and promulgation of rules associated with the Leadership Memorial Courtyard, also known as the Kios-ku project; $2,000 to pay for the Dandan Children’s Park playground equipment; and $1,325 for the Department of Public Works for right-of-way projects.
The new local law re-appropriates $5,000 for the Northern Islands Mayor’s Office for the First Northern Islands Development Summit.
It also re-appropriates $11,250 to DPW for a mower for the maintenance and upkeep of roads on Saipan.
Also re-appropriated was $10,750 to reconnect power to basketball courts in San Roque and As Matuis, as well as for facility improvements.
SLL 17-13 also re-appropriates $4,658 for business unit number 3397Q, as well as $10,000 for various projects in Precinct 1.
The biggest amount of $143,235.60 goes to various projects in Precinct 2.
“Funds allocated under this Act shall not be appropriated or re-appropriated for any other purpose,” Inos said in his message to lawmakers.