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Last updateSat, 07 Dec 2019 12am







    Saturday, December 7, 2019-5:33:19A.M.






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SHEFA appropriation should be ‘continuous,’ official says

SAIPAN Higher Education Finance Assistance board chairman Oscar M. Babauta is seeking a legal memorandum from their legal counsel Michael Evangelista on the allocation of scholarship funds through Public Law 13-21.

Oscar M. Babauta

He said based on Section 2 (b) of the law, which established SHEFA, the funding for the scholarship program should be “continuously appropriated” not appropriated annually.

The law directs the Finance secretary to continuously put $1.2 million every year into the SHEFA account “so we will continue to have a flow of cash for SHEFA recipients annually,” he said.

He added that SHEFA is not asking for an increase of its yearly funding because “we are pretty much stable with what we have.”

SHEFA, he added, is also thankful to lawmakers for allocating a portion of the annual Saipan casino license fee for the scholarship program.

But Babauta said SHEFA is hoping that lawmakers will clarify Saipan Local Law 21-5 which allotted $470,001 for SHEFA.

He said $250,000 of the amount should be reserved for SHEFA personnel and operations.

Each year, SHEFA gets $1.5 million in poker license fee collections to fund its scholarship program.