Panel expects Senate’s version of budget out by September

The chairman of the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee expects a Senate version of the fiscal year 2018 budget to be issued by the end of the month.

Committee chair Sen. Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian) said yesterday that the committee is still working on the budget “as we speak and we hope that we have a product ready for introduction and action by the end of the month.”

He said the committee is going over the numbers with fiscal analysts David Demapan and Perry Tenorio. The appropriations bill allocates the $145 million for the operation of the CNMI government in fiscal year 2018.

House Bill 20-105 HD2 passed the House of Representatives last July 31.

The most contentious part of the bill is the allocation of funds for an 80-percent salary increase for elected officials, which include members of the Legislature, the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the mayors of each senatorial district.

Hofschneider chose to reserve comments on the increases.

The fiscal affairs committee will continue discussions on the fiscal year 2018 budget today in the Senate chamber on Capital Hill, starting 9:30am.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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