1 Feb 2005

American Samoan Senators could award themselves double office expenses

2:06 pm on 1 February 2005

The office expenses fund for lawmakers in American Samoa could be doubled if a bill now before the Senate is approved.

Sponsored by Senators Tuaolo Fruean, and Tulifua Lam Yuen, the bill would increase the funds for Senators and Representatives from 25,000 to 30,000 U.S. dollars a year.

The bill would also increase funds for the Senate President and Speaker of the House to 40,000 dollars.

Currently, Fono leaders earn an annual salary of 40,000 US dollars, and the Swains Representative makes 20,000 U.S. dollars a year.

The increase would be sourced from a 4 million dollar surplus for the last fiscal year and from money left over from the Hurricane Val insurance.

The expense allowance for the Fono is non taxable.