Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 Aug 2017 12am

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    Friday, August 18, 2017-4:27:32A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Senate OK’s MVA funding bill for municipalities

THE Senate on Thursday amended and passed a House measure that will remove the limitation on the amount of funds from the Marianas Visitors Authority Trust Fund that may be distributed to the municipalities of Tinian and Rota for tourism promotion. House Bill 20-4, which now returns to the House, will also allocate 2 percent of the funds for the three main islands.

The bill was introduced by House Floor Leader Glenn Maratita of Rota.

As amended, the bill’s key provisions read:

“§2159. Municipalities of Tinian and Rota. Provided that not less than two percent for each Municipality, but not less than $300,000 each, whichever is greater of the funds per fiscal year from the MVA Trust Fund, shall be remitted to the municipalities of Saipan, Tinian and Rota to be used to implement charter flight tourism incentives, promotional programs, tourism   enhancement activities, beautification projects, island-wide cleanups and to include purchasing supplies and equipment for such projects. The expenditure authority of these funds shall be the respective mayors of each island.

“(b) Reporting. The Municipalities of Saipan, Tinian and Rota shall submit a detailed annual report of the funds utilized under 4 CMC §2159(a) to the Governor, the Legislature, and the Marianas Visitors Authority; provided, however, that the Marianas Visitors Authority shall report all funds utilized for tourism enhancement for the municipalities of Saipan, Tinian and Rota and other tourism-related activities. Furthermore, any expenditures by the municipalities with the approval of Marianas Visitors Authority for tourism enhancement activities outside of the funds covered by 4 CMC §2159(a) shall be reimbursable to the respective municipality that incurred costs associated with tourism enhancement, beautification or other related activities that should have been paid for by the Marianas Visitors Authority.”

The Senate on Thursday also passed House Bill 20-45, introduced by Rep. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero, to establish two new public highways, Route 324 in Laulau, and Route 325 in Kannat Tabla; and Senate Bill 20-41, introduced by Senate President Arnold I. Palacios, to establish the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

In addition, the Senate adopted House Joint Resolution 20-6 which is to support the petition for certiorari and the appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision in Davis v CNMI Election Commission et al, and support the notion that the term NMD as used by the CNMI Constitution Article XII and Article XVIII is a political as opposed to a racial term; and Senate Resolution 20-11 to respectfully request the United States Postal Service to provide additional service windows in the Chalan Kanoa post office.