A spending measure amounting to over $300,000 is up to acting governor Arnold I. Palacios’ review after the delegation passed it in a session yesterday.
The Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation, led by Sen. Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian), in a session yesterday at the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill, passed delegation member Rep. Edwin Aldan’s (R-Tinian) House Local Bill 20-70 unanimously after amendments.
The bill appropriates $368,555 of the reimbursed $1.7 million to the Tinian delegation for the payment of obligations owed by the central government under Public Law 7-31, the law that previously increased government employee salaries. The Legislature then failed to identify the proper resources to fund the new law, pushing both Saipan and Tinian through their respective legislative delegations to appropriate local funding for the deficit.
Of the $1.7 million, $368,555 is appropriated to the Tinian and Aguiguan Mayor’s Office personnel and operation expenses.
Aldan’s bill was further amended on the delegation floor to reflect that the Secretary of Finance has 15 days after the enactment of H.L.B. 20-70 to transfer the amount to an account set up by the Tinian Municipal Treasurer, which shall regulate and control funds appropriated in the bill so that “no activity may spend contrary to this act or fiscal management policies” of both Tinian or the CNMI as a whole.
Aldan further amended the bill to allow unexpended funds under Tinian Local Law 20-12 to be available for expenditure for the operations of the Tinian Mayor’s Office.
T.L.L. 20-12 was enacted by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in early June 2018. It appropriated $100,000 from the local license fees collected from pachinko and poker machines on Tinian. It funded the Tinian Little League as well as the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission.
The bill passed the delegation with a unanimous vote of 4-0.