21 Sep 2005

American Samoa's governor may convene special session on LBJ issue

4:03 pm on 21 September 2005

The American Samoan governor may convene a special session of the fono, or assembly, in order to continue discussions on a bill to bail out the LBJ medical centre.

The senate says it will not pass the bill for the ten million U.S. dollar loan until it has more detailed information on how governor Togiola Tulafono plans to fund the repayments, and what contributions the hospital will make.

The LBJ medical centre says it needs the loan to be able to pay off old debts and start the new fiscal year, which begins next month, with a clean slate.

But, there is only three days left of the current senate session and the governor's press secretary, Vince Iuli, says they may not be able to make that deadline.

"Governor Togiola Tulafono is overseas this week. The funds for LBJ hospital continues to be a priority for the governor and his administration because of the importance in providing the best healthcare to our people."

Mr Iuli says the governor can, and may, call a special session of the legislature to ensure the bill is discussed.