5 Mar 2009

Lawmakers fail to override Governor's veto of budget bill in Northern Marianas

3:01 pm on 5 March 2009

An attempt in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas' House of Representatives to override Governor Benigno Fitial's veto of the fiscal year 2009 budget bill has failed.

The House needed at least 14 votes in the 20-member house to override the governor's veto of the 156 million US dollar budget but fell two short.

After the vote, Representative Tina Sablan asked House members who voted "no" to the override, particularly those who originally voted on the budget bill, to explain their reasons for the benefit of their constituents.

She said the members who voted against the veto override essentially cast their vote in favor of uncontrolled deficit spending under a continuing resolution.

One of the six who voted "no," Rep Oscar Babauta said he was concerned about the job losses that overriding the veto may cause, and felt the House should "move on" to more pressing concerns.

In response, Tina Sablan said there's nothing on the agenda more important than passing a budget.