Torres signs law to create commission to evaluate compensation of top govt officials


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed into law Thursday a bill to establish an advisory commission on the compensation of the governor, lieutenant governor, mayors, legislators, justices, and judges.

Senate Bill 19-42, SD1,HD2, authored by Sen. Justo Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) is now Public Law 19-51 and intends to review and make recommendation on the compensation of the these officials in the three branches of local government.

According to the new law, within a month of its enactment, the governor will appoint three members to serve on the commission, two members will be appointed by the Senate president, and two members will be appointed by the House speaker.

Commission members will serve without pay but will be reimbursed for reasonably and necessary expenses incurred doing performance of their duties, the bill says.

The commission is given powers to review, study, and evaluate the level of compensation, report and make a recommendation on this after consultation with the governor and presiding officers of the Legislature; report and recommend to the Legislature an accepted composite price index for the period since the initial or last change in compensation for any of these officials; and transmit its report the legislature within 60 days.

The commission will be dissolved 30 days from the date their report is officially transmitted.

Public Law 7-31 increased the annual salaries of lawmakers to $39,300, the annual salary of the governor to $70,000, and the annual salary of the lieutenant governor to $60,000.

The 7th Legislature was the last time the salaries of the governor, lieutenant governor, and legislators were increased.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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