Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, in his capacity as acting governor last week, suggested to Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) to re-introduce and amend House Local Bill 21-6, Draft 1 that would re-appropriate $100,000 to the Rota Island Specialty Crop Association.
Palacios informed Manglona that he and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres support the intent of H.L.B. 21-6 but he vetoed the bill due to his concern over encroachment of duties and functions.
“While Gov. Torres and I support the intent of this bill to assist the local Rota fishermen and farmer’s programs, I must express my sincere concern for what appears to be this legislation’s encroachment of a critical executive function suitably fit for the [Finance] secretary in its mandate that any proposed used of the funds for a loan or grant program or other expenditures be submitted to the Rota delegation chair for review and approval by delegation resolution,” Palacios said in his message to the Rota delegation.
Manglona chairs the Rota Legislative Delegation.
In introducing H.L.B. 21-6, delegation vice chair Rep. Donald A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) sought to amend Rota Local Law 20-8 and re-appropriate $100,000 to RISCA.
“I strongly recommend that H.L.B. 21-6, D1 be re-introduced and amended to grant the secretary of [the Department of] Finance expenditure authority over these funds as it is the more appropriate procedure. For this reason, I must respectfully exercise my constitutional authority to veto this bill at this time,” added Palacios in his message to Manglona.
Section 2(q) of R.L.L. 20-8 states that $100,000 is appropriated for Afanelos Marianas Inc. that would assist the programs for all Rota fishermen and farmers under the expenditure authority of the chairperson of the non-profit group. The money is part of the $1,402,810.12 allotment for the First Senatorial District from its share of the casino license fees under Public Law 18-56.
However, any proposed use of funds for a loan program must first be submitted to the RLD chair for review and approval through a delegation resolution. The delegation chair would then submit a report detailing the expenditures within 30 days after the end of fiscal year 2018.
The current delegation learned that the funds appropriated for AFI remains intact after the group was dissolved and RISCA was formed in its place. H.L.B. 21-6 would have taken the money that was intended for AMI and given it to RISCA.