Senate starts picking at FY ’20 budget

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Posted on Jul 11 2019

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The Senate has started to review the House of Representative’s allocation of funds for the fiscal year 2020 budget—roughly less than two months before its constitutionally mandated deadline of Sept. 30, 2019.

House Bill 21-64 has already been given a quick look by the Senate’s Fiscal Affairs Committee chair Sen. Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian).

The bill was transmitted to the Senate last June 28, 2019.

Hofschneider said Tuesday afternoon that he has already asked the Legislature’s fiscal analyst, David Demapan, to start reviewing the House version of the bill, which almost never passes the Senate without further amendments.

“It’s early but…we are going to work really hard to come up with a product as early as possible,” Hofschneider said, adding that he targets a Senate version of the budget bill by the end of July 2019.

The budget, as proposed by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for fiscal year 2020, is 9.7-percent lower than fiscal year 2019’s budget of $258.14 million. This year, Torres proposed only $233.22 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Minus $233.22 million in annual earmarks, that leaves the Legislature with a little over $147.1 million to work on—still over $24.45 million compared to fiscal year 2019’s $171.58 million.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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