3 Mar 2009

CNMI leaders hope to override Governor's veto of budget

11:54 am on 3 March 2009

In the Northern Marianas, the leaders of the House of Representatives are still not confident that they have the 14 votes needed to override the Governor's veto of the fiscal year 2009 budget bill.

The Marianas Variety reports the Senate overrode on February 11 the governor's veto of House Bill 16-213 which appropriates 148 million US dollars for the government.

The last time a budget bill became law was in 2006.

The House Minority Leader, Oscar Babauta, says the minority bloc is against the override.

The House has 20 members - 13 are Republicans, three of whom voted against overriding the governor's veto of the earlier version of the budget bill.

Governor Benigno Fitial has said that he vetoed the bill because it did not include the austerity measures he proposed.