22 Jul 2013

CNMI lower house passes budget

3:41 pm on 22 July 2013

The Northern Marianas House of Representatives has passed a 123 point 4 million US dollar budget.

The bill takes into consideration Governor Eloy Inos' plans to merge and consolidate agencies with overlapping functions, and gives the governor the flexibility to hire up to 50 additional personnel in the executive branch.

Once the budget bill is passed by the Senate, the Governor is expected to submit a supplementary budget for another 14 million dollars.

The additional money is to meet the government's obligations to the retirement fund and to fund health and life insurance.

The Government hopes to prolong the fund's lifespan with other revenue-generating measures that are also before the Senate, such as casino gambling and electronic gaming.