15 Sep 2011

Another government shutdown looms in CNMI

5:22 am on 15 September 2011

A countdown to another possible partial government shutdown has begun in the Northern Marianas.

This follows a vote in the House of Representatives which has rejected the Senate's substitute budget bill that cut and reallocated more than two million US dollars.

Government employees are counting the days until the joint conference committee comes up with a compromise spending package that both houses can pass and send to the governor before October the 1st.

The House and Senate immediately moved into a conference committee, which is expected to settle the budget differences between before the shutdown provision of the constitution kicks in.

A partial government shutdown would result in the temporary unemployment of more than 1,000 government workers, most of them already dealing with a 16-hour biweekly pay cut and delayed payrolls since last year.