25 Oct 2008

CNMI's House of Representatives rejects Senate's version of budget

10:39 am on 25 October 2008

In the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas the House voted unanimously on Thursday to reject the Senate's version of the Budget.

The move, due to the cost-cutting provisions included in the Senate's bill, had been expected.

After the vote, the Speaker Arnold Palacios appointed four House members to confer with the Senate and reconcile the differences.

Key concerns for the House are the austerity measures such as "austerity Fridays" and unpaid holidays proposed by the governor and adopted by the Senate.

Representative Victor Hocog says this would place an additional burden on families.

Another Representative, Tina Sablan, says austerity Fridays - or the biweekly shutdown of government offices- is fundamentally unfair and breeds resentment among employees.