6 Oct 2010

House speaker to resign; believes casino bill could solve CNMI woes

11:26 am on 6 October 2010

The Speaker of the House in the Northern Marianas, Froilan Tenorio, says he will resign the speakership, but he clarified that the move is not because of his failure to introduce a new casino operations on Saipan.

The former governor said he is stepping down as leader of the lower chamber so he could supplement his income by working part-time at his brother's engineering consultancy company.

Mr Tenorio, however, says Rota and Tinian senators would regret voting down the casino bill at a time when the CNMI economy needs a fresh source of revenue.

He says he also doesn't think the government will even meet the 132 million US dollar projected revenue for 2011.

He says casinos could have addressed the Commonwealth's revenue problem in two to three years.

Mr Tenorio's planned resignation comes as the CNMI government entered its sixth day of partial shutdown today after the Legislature failed to pass a balanced budget.

He says the House leadership is now amenable to the Senate's proposed eight-hour work cut per pay period provided the executive branch lets go of 383 employees.