Torres signs $24M additional budget, PSS gets half


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres enacted last Thursday an appropriation bill that allocates over $24 million to several government agencies, while half goes to the Public School System.

Torres signed at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center Rep. Angel A. Demapan’s (R-Saipan) House Bill 20-147 after extensive House and Senate amendments.

“Today is a good day,” Torres said in an interview with Saipan Tribune. “[It] is a good day to distribute revenue from that we have seen across the islands,” he said, adding that the revenue originated from the casino gross revenue tax for fiscal year 2017. “The more they succeed and the more funding we have, the more we can distribute.”

The legislation highlights an $11.85-million allocation for PSS school repairs and upgrades and the purchase of instructional materials and school buses, while the remaining $150,000 is allocated to the Board of Education. The

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is allocated $2.75 million and will pay for the indigent care expenses of the hospital and its electronic healthcare records system.

A total of $4.5 million went to several land compensation judgments.

The Department of Lands and Natural Resources was allocated $60,000 for the coconut rhinoceros beetle intervention and prevention program on Tinian, Saipan, and the Northern Islands.

A total of $1 million is allocated to the Northern Marianas College, $375,000 to the Northern Marianas Trades Institute, $420,000 to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Child Care Development Fund, $300,000 to the Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation Program, $420,000 to the Office of Planning and Development, $175,000 to the Office of Management and Budget, $150,000 to the CNMI Drug Court, among others.

Rota and Tinian gets $850,000 each for their Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Rota Department of Public Safety, Rota land compensations, and Tinian road constructions.

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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