Sen. Justo S. Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) has introduced a Senate legislative initiative to allow CNMI senators to file appropriations and revenue-generating bills.
The CNMI Constitution does not allow members of the Senate to file such bills.
Quitugua’s Senate Legislative Initiative 19-04 seeks to allow senators “who may have good ideas” on revenue-generating legislation to introduce them.
Being an initiative, people will need to vote on S.L.I 19-04.
“Members of the Senate cannot file these type of bills. Even if we have good ideas, we cannot do it here [at the Senate],” Quitugua said.
Revenue-generating bills are only allowed to be introduced at the House of Representative. S.L.I 19-04 seeks to change this present set-up and allow both chambers to file revenue-generating bills.
Revenue-generating bills often tackle “anything that has got to do with money,” Quitugua explained. “Examples are the casino law, bills on tax rebates, tax amnesty, and others.”
He said the “power of the purse should not be limited to the House of Representatives, because great ideas relating to revenue generations and economic enhancements can also originate from the Senate.”
But S.L.I 19-04 has an exemption, such as the bill for the fiscal budget of the CNMI government, which will still originate from the House of Representatives.
If Quitugua’s proposed initiative can muster three-fourths of the votes from the House of Representatives and Senate, it will be placed before voters for ratification at the next general election.