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Bill to extend deadline for confirmation of SHEFA board nominees

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THE Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation is poised to pass Senate Local Bill 21-9, which proposes to extend from 30 to 90 days the deadline set by the delegation for confirming the nominees to the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance board.

Authored by Sen. Sixto Igisomar, the bill will also strike out the provision that allows for an automatic confirmation of the board appointee if the delegation fails to act within 30 days after the appointment date.

The bill states that 30 days is an inadequate time for the delegation to review the appointments.

The automatic confirmation with a limited time “deprives the delegation [of] an opportunity to review and question the appointees’ qualifications, opinions, and goals once the appointee is confirmed,” the bill also states.

S.L.B. 21-09 states that “if the appointment is not confirmed within 90 consecutive calendar days from the date the person is appointed, the appointment is deemed rejected and shall automatically terminate, the position shall become vacant and the person nominated shall not be renominated.”

The measure also included the nominee’s résumé  among the documents that must be submitted to the delegation.

Right now, the appointee is required to submit a notice of appointment, police clearance, financial statement and receipt or other proof that the nominee has been tested for controlled substances.

In an interview, the delegation chairman, House Floor Leader John Paul Sablan, said they have been having problems with the 30-day deadline to confirm so he supports Igisomar’s bill and believes other Saipan lawmakers will support it, too.

“I am very certain [of] that,” he said.

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