IN PROPOSED FY ’17 BUDGET
Budget deliberations continue today
The Senate made amendments on House Concurrent Resolution 19-4, which hopes for the Legislature to appropriate the projected $47 million from the business gross revenue tax collected at the end of this fiscal year. Rep. Antonio Sablan (Ind-Saipan) authored the resolution.
HCR 19-4 acknowledges for legislative appropriation the money for land compensation payments, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., LEAC subsidies for CNMI ratepayers, CNMI Medical Referral Program, and the Public School System.
“Pursuant to Article III, Section 9 (a) of the Commonwealth Constitution, as amended and 1 CMC 7201, 7202, and 7203, the governor shall submit to the Legislature a proposed annual balanced budget for the following fiscal year and the proposed balanced budget shall describe anticipated revenues of the [CNMI] and recommend expenditures of Commonwealth funds,” as stated on HCR 19-4.
The Legislature has already adopted HCR 19-1 where $149,452,562 was already identified as the resources available for appropriation.
“The funds collected pursuant to 4 CMC 2308 remain in the non-lapsing account established by the Secretary of Finance until such time that the Legislature makes an appropriation to use the funds for LEAC, CHCC, Medical Referral, Land Compensation Judgments, and PSS.”
Senate Vice President Arnold I. Palacios (R-Saipan) said the money could not be included in the general appropriations since it has already been earmarked for this fiscal year. “This is not part of the fund that is appropriated for the fiscal year.”
The Senate resumes its session at 2pm today hoping to deliberate further and pass the budget so they could transmit it to the House.