The Senate confirmed yesterday Arnold I. Palacios as secretary of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources where he has worked for a total of 18 years, mostly as Division of Fish and Wildlife director.
“I’m very appreciative and humbled by the Senate’s expeditious action to confirm my nomination,” Palacios said in an interview during a Senate session. He also thanked those who testified in support of his nomination.
By a vote of 8-0, the Senate adopted the Committee on Executive Appointments and Governmental Investigations’ report recommending Palacios’ confirmation. Sen. Luis Crisostimo (Ind-Saipan) was still off-island for medical reasons.
The Senate confirmation came a day after the committee, chaired by Sen. Frank Cruz (R-Tinian), held a public hearing on Palacios’ nomination. More than a dozen testified in person and in writing supporting his confirmation.
Palacios, a House speaker during the 16th Legislature, said he accepted the governor’s appointment, fully aware of the challenges at the department. He said he’s doing his best to move DLNR forward despite limitations in resources.
Palacios was at the initial business meeting of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Advisory Council when he was called in at the Senate session, which started at almost 2pm. He went back to the council meeting after his Senate confirmation that was attended by supporters and colleagues.