19 Sep 2011

Cuts to other budgets eyed to save allocation for CNMI lawmakers

8:11 pm on 19 September 2011

A Northern Marianas lawmaker says there's enough money to offset plans by senators to cut the politicians' operational budget.

Ray Basa says the two houses of parliament are at odds over the budget with senators wanting to cut the lawmakers' budget and put the money into the education sector.

But he says lawmakers need an allocation to pay for staff and without up to 200 people could lose their jobs.

He says additional funds could come from cuts to the Marianas Visitors Authority's budget and from the sponsorship fees in the new immigration rules.

"It just so happens that we were able to identify a source of funding to be able to restore the legislature's discretionary budget and also be able to give some to the two institutions -educational institutions. That's going to work out. I think it's good news at this point."

Ray Basa says he hopes the budget'll be passed this week.