Members of the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corp. will be in attendance in separate hearings called by the respective committee chairmen in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
They were present when Gov. Ralph DLG Torres testified at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that was chaired by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who introduced S. 2325 or the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act last year.
Murkowski called the committee hearing to examine the state of the U.S. territories where Governors Lou Leon Guerrero (Guam), Ricardo Roselló (Puerto Rico), and Albert Bryan (U.S. Virgin Islands) also testified. American Samoa Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga failed to attend and just submitted a written testimony.
NMBAC members were part of the CNMI delegation that was led by Torres and they attended legislative hearings and met officials from the administration of President Donald Trump to discuss economic and workforce issues in the Commonwealth.
NMBAC president Michael S. Sablan, who is also Triple J Finance and Administration vice president, had testified in the House Natural Resources Committee along with Torres in relation with H.R. 560 introduced by Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP).
H.R. 560, if it becomes a law, would provide improved status to long-term foreign workers that have called the CNMI their second home for years.
NMBAC will also join Torres and Angel A. Demapan, who is the chief of staff at the Governor’s Office, to begin the discussion related to the Section 902 consultations and come up with possible solutions on the challenges the CNMI economy is facing including its effects to the local business community.
The CNMI delegation will also have separate meetings with officials from the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, and Department of Homeland Security on workforce and tourism issues in the Commonwealth.