21 Feb 2007

American Samoa Senate President defends salary bill

10:40 am on 21 February 2007

The President of American Samoa's Senate, Lolo M. Moliga, says it is up to senators who sponsored a bill to raise the salaries of the governor and lieutenant governor, as to whether or not to stop discussions of the measure.

The President was responding to a statement from Governor Togiola Tulafono that he had written to Lolo and the Senate and told them that he didn't need a salary increase and that the Senate's attention should be focused on other important matters, such as the $20 million bond legislation to fund critical infrastructure in the territory.

Lolo says he has not seen the governor's letter but the bill itself is the property of the Senate and the six Senators who sponsored the measure.

Lolo said the main reason the sponsors introduced the bill was to ensure that the salaries of the top two political leaders in the territory were higher than those in government, including the semi-autonomous agencies.