23 Sep 2011

CNMI house and senate to debate budget bill

9:19 am on 23 September 2011

An eight member conference committee in the Northern Marianas has pre-filed a $102-million compromise budget bill that now paves the way for the House and Senate to act on the fiscal year 2012 spending bill at 5pm today.

Among other things, the conferees agreed to give the Public School System $30 million and the Northern Marianas College $5.2 million so both could meet their federal maintenance-of-efforts requirements.

One of the changes from the previous day, is a rise in the 29 lawmakers' annual allocation from $72,000 to $78,000.

Conferees also agreed to reinstate a $138,000 leadership account for the House and Senate, and to give the Legislative Bureau $1,441,764, as the Senate had proposed.

The committee has cut the Executive Branch's funding to over $28.33 million, from over $29 million in the House and Senate versions of the budget bill.

If the House and Senate pass the budget bill, the bill will make its way to the governor for his signature, preventing another partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.