1 Oct 2008

American Samoa legislators still unable to agree on next year's budget

10:18 am on 1 October 2008

American Samoa Senate President, Lolo M. Moliga has directed the Fono legal team to prepare a resolution to allow the government to continue into the new fiscal year 2009, in the event that the Senate and the House cannot reach final agreement on the 2009 budget.

The 2008 financial year budget ends at midnight tonight.

The Fono leadership had hoped that disagreements over parts of the new year's budget would be resolved yesterday, but three separate conference committees failed to reach a decision after what our correspondent describes as "contentious exchanges" between House and Senate committee members.

During yesterday's Senate session, senators approved the House version of the final budget but deleted all of the changes made by the House and returned the bill

to its original language as submitted by the Administration.

The House rejected the Senate action.

Another conference committee will meet today in an effort to reach agreement