The Senate unanimously passed yesterday their version of a bill that the House of Representatives recently passed but increased the bonus for government retirees from $500 to $1,000.
It was Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) that offered amendments to House Bill 22-91, HD1, to reflect, among other things, the bonus increase.
Eight senators approved Hofschneider’s amendments and passed House Bill 22-91, HD1, in the form of Senate Substitute 1. Floor leader Sen. Vinnie Vinson Flores Sablan (R-Saipan) was absent but was excused from the session.
Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota) extended her gratitude to Hofschneider for making that amendment, and to the Fiscal Affairs Committee chairman and members for facilitating a substitute bill so the retirees can finally receive their bonus that had been proposed three months ago.
“And with that, we asked our House counterpart to accept our Senate substitute,” Santos said.
The House recently unanimously passed the bipartisan legislation, House Bill 22-91, HD1, that would allocate $1.3 million in local funds as a bonus for government retirees.
The House bill proposes to amend the Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2022 to establish a business unit and fund the retirees’ bonus.
Hofschneider offered amendments to the bill to correct some of the citations as indicated in the original House legislation to reflect reprogramming and reappropriation.
Last Dec. 14, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres requested the Legislature to allow reprogramming of funds for the sole purpose of funding retirees’ $500 bonuses. Last Dec. 15, the Senate adopted Senate Joint Resolution 22-05, which approved the Torres’ request.
The House did not act on the Senate’s resolution, but instead passed the bipartisan legislation, House Bill 22-91, HD1.