20 Feb 2007

American Samoa Governor rejects pay increase

7:32 am on 20 February 2007

The American Samoan governor, Togiola Tulafono, has spoken out against a proposed pay rise, saying he and the Lieutenant Governor are among the highest paid office holders among the small states of the United States and territories.

His comments come amid criticism of a Senate bill proposing a 15,000 US dollar pay rise to 100,000 dollars.

Togiola says the present salaries are more than adequate and they should be left alone.

The governor said it's inconceivable to him why the issue should even be considered.

He also says the territory has more critical needs for the fono to consider, such as infrastructure , health care costs, employment needs, the economy and education needs.

The governor has written to Senate President Lolo Letalu Moliga and senators to stop discussions on the bill.