21 Sep 2005

American Samoa Senate delays bill to fund LBJ Hospital

9:41 am on 21 September 2005

The American Samoa Senate has put on hold Governor Togiola Tulafono's $10 million loan proposal to bail out the financially troubled LBJ Medical Centre.

Senate President Lolo M. Moliga says the bill is incomplete, because it does not provide the 8% interest rate for the loan

He says it also fails to explain where the money to repay the loan is coming from and does not list the specific debts to be paid by the loan.

Although the loan will be repaid by the government-owned American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority Lolo said there is no guarantee that the authority will have enough revenues to cover payments, especially now with competition from another local company.

Lolo says the Governor will be asked to provide a new and revised version of the loan bill and all supporting documents in order for the Senate to make a proper decision.

The House has endorsed the measure and the Senate's decision comes with only three days left for the current regular session.