Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 27 Aug 2019 12am







    Monday, August 26, 2019-9:38:46P.M.






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Governor OKs pay cuts for lawmakers

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will reduce the annual salary of lawmakers from $39,300 to $32,000.

Introduced by former Speaker Ralph S. Demapan, House Bill 20-197 is now Public Law 20-86.

If the bill did not become law, lawmakers would have received an annual salary of $8,000.

The original version of the bill lapsed into law and became P.L. 19-83 when the governor skipped action on the measure within the 40-day review period.

P.L. 19-83 would have raised lawmakers’ annual salary to $70,000. But its constitutionality was successfully challenged in the CNMI Supreme Court by the Attorney General’s Office.

Lawmakers then passed a new bill that would have retained their $39,300 annual salary, but acting Gov. Victor B. Hocog vetoed it. He cited the attorney general’s opinion which states that the advisory commission that recommended the pay-rate went beyond its constitutional authority when it developed its own Composite Price Index.

Lawmakers passed another version of the bill, but Gov. Ralph Torres said he had to veto it because it was not passed by the required 3/4 votes of the lame duck 20th House of Representatives.

House Bill 20-197 was then introduced and it was passed unanimously by the Senate and by a vote of 17 to 1 by the House.

Also on Wednesday, the governor  signed House Local Bill 20-69 which re-appropriates $25,863 for the new playground equipment for Paupau Beach Park.

Introduced by former Rep. Alice S. Igitol, the bill becomes Saipan Local Law 20-28.