Palacios, Apatang meet with Kilili  

Posted on Jan 20 2023

Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, leftmost, and Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang, center, meet with Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) to discuss a range of issues that include the financial challenges the Commonwealth is facing. (OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR)

Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang met with Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) yesterday to discuss a range of issues that include the financial challenges the Commonwealth is facing.

“We talked about a number of items, and I was able to brief the congressman on what we have discovered and continue to learn as we look deeper into the state of the CNMI government’s finances,” Palacios said.

“It was an open and candid conversation focused on how we can move the Commonwealth past the unprecedented challenges it is facing,” Palacios added. “We will continue to ensure that our channels of communication remain open through this administration.”

Their meeting also included a discussion on how federally-sourced resources can be strategically deployed or maximized to help the CNMI. Funding opportunities like the Technical Assistance Program of the Department of the Interior and other federal grant programs were also discussed. Additional issues, including ways that the tourism industry can be bolstered, were also considered.

To strengthen federal support, Sablan recommended that Palacios attend the upcoming U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources committee hearing called by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin. The annual hearing, called the State of the U.S. Territories, gives opportunities to governors from the five territories to provide highlights and discuss priorities items for the upcoming year.

The committee hearing is coordinated to occur around the National Governors’ Association winter meeting, which also includes the Interagency Group on Insular Area Senior Plenary Session.

U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Carmen Cantor had also encouraged Palacios to participate in the IGIA meeting in a recent letter.

“These meetings provide important opportunities to network with [the] White House and ranking federal officials who possess valuable information and resources that may be helpful as you seek to address challenges in the CNMI during your new administration,” Cantor had said.

“I look forward to continuing and strengthening this administration’s partnership with Congressman Sablan’s office,” Palacios said. (PR)

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