29 Sep 2010

CNMI committee on budget given a deadline

10:39 am on 29 September 2010

In the Northern Marianas, if a six-member conference committee remains deadlocked on the work hour cuts by 11:30am today, a Senate resolution calling all the 29 members of the Legislature to vote on the austerity provision of the budget bill will kick in.

Without a balanced budget passed by tomorrow, a government shutdown will start on October 1 forcing over 1,400 employees not to report to work.

Another major blow in the ongoing budget talks is the need to include an additional 10.5 million US dollars in required government retirement and health insurance contributions.

Governor Benigno Fitial says the employer contribution rate will be increased from the current 20 percent to 30 percent, an additional 6.447 million dollars beginning October 1.

New employer contribution rates for the government health insurance provider Aetna will take effect on Novembr 1, calling for an additional 4.107 million dollars.