Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 24 Oct 2019 12am







    Wednesday, October 23, 2019-2:48:42A.M.






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House begins work on FY 2020 budget

THE House of Representatives is now looking closely at the governor’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal to make sure that the projected revenue is “correct.”

In an interview on Thursday, Speaker Jonathan Blas Attao said if there is any discrepancy, the Legislature will have time to inform the administration so it can make corrections.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on April 5 submitted his FY 2020 budget proposal to the offices of Attao and Senate President Victor B. Hocog.

The net resources available for appropriation in FY 2020 amount to $147.1 million In the FY 2019 budget, the amount was $171.5 million.

Attao said members of the House Ways and Means Committee, with the help of the Legislature’s fiscal analysts, are now carefully looking at the numbers in the governor’s budget package.

The speaker said they also want to make sure that autonomous government agencies and public corporations whose budgets are “outside” the general fund will submit their own budget proposals to the Legislature.

He said it is important that the budgets for these agencies, including the federal funds they receive, are included in the general appropriations measure for information purposes.

Attao said the House wants to transmit the budget bill to the Senate “at the earliest time possible.” FY 2020 starts on Oct. 1, 2019.

For his part, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ivan A. Blanco said just a few days after the governor’s budget submission, his committee invited officials of the Department of Finance and the Office of Management and Budget to a meeting with House members.

Blanco said all House members will have a chance to review the governor’s budget proposal.

Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, who chairs the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee, said they will have to take a look at the CNMI’s current financial state, including agencies receiving earmarked funds “which can be potential sources of funds for departments that are in dire need as a result of the budget cuts this year.”