Gov. Ralph DLG Torres remains confident that there would be no government shutdown in fiscal year 2020, even if the CNMI Legislature has yet to pass a budget bill with only 24 days remaining on the clock.
When asked yesterday if he is concerned about the timeline for the review and enactment of the budget, he replied, “No, absolutely not.”
When asked if the bill would be enacted on time to avert a government shutdown, he said, “Most definitely.”
As of publication, the House of Representatives is still reviewing the version of the budget that the Senate recently passed. The House is scheduled to meet in session today.
House Speaker Blas Jonathan “B.J.” Attao (R-Saipan) confirmed that the House will be entertaining the budget. “We will be in session at 2pm [today],” Attao said. “We are going to entertain the budget, whether to accept or reject [the Senate amendments].”
“I am not going to say we aren’t going into conference committee, but a lot in the House version of the budget was maintained,” he noted. “We had a couple of meetings, but we will meet…before the session to make our final decision.”