1 Oct 2010

CNMI government shuts down after legislators failure to pass budget

10:51 am on 1 October 2010

The government in the Northern Marianas partially shuts down starting today following the legislature's failure to pass a balanced budget by the Sept. 30 deadline.

Over 1,400 government employees holding so-called non-essential positions are now temporarily out of jobs until the Legislature passes a budget and the governor signs it into law.

Yesterday, Governor Benigno Fitial signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency..

The governor says his executive order invokes his emergency powers to determine and operate the government's essential services under the CNMI Constitution, and to declare what those services entail and include.

He revised his list of services and positions considered "essential" and are therefore exempted from the shutdown starting today.

Most directly provide services related to public safety, health, education and welfare.