2 Aug 2006

New US minimum wage bill not applied to Northern Marianas

10:26 am on 2 August 2006

The Northern Marianas will not be affected by a new minimum wage bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The governor's special assistant for economic affairs, Richard A. Pierce, who has just returned from the US, says members of Congress decided to exclude CNMI from the bill.

This was after learning that the CNMI is having trouble paying for fuel to keep its lights on, and businesses are not ready to be forced to incur greater operational costs, they decided it was not in anyone's best interests to raise wage rates at this time.

The bill proposes to increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over three years.