27 Sep 2018

American Samoa budget approved by both houses

9:27 am on 27 September 2018

American Samoa's nearly half-a-billion dollar budget has been effectively approved by both houses in the legislature.

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Photo: 123rf

It passed its final reading in the Fono without any changes to its figures, despite some heated debate.

The budget totals $US439.5 million, an increase of 11 percent over the previous financial year.

During final review of the bill, Senator Magalei Logovii raised concerns over $US100,000 proposed in the Governor's Special Programs for the Catholic affiliated-Hope House.

The senator disagreed with money being channeled in such a way, saying it had implications when it came to the separation of church and state.

But Senator Faiivae Alex Godinet, who also chairs the Council of the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, argued the funding was not going to a church but to the only facility on island to care for the elderly and children needing respite care.

Senator Faiivae Alex Godinet also added that the home didn't just care for Catholics but for people of all religions.