1 Oct 2012

Government shutdown averted in CNMI

4:47 am on 1 October 2012

The Northern Marianas Governor signed the fiscal year 2013 budget bill into law yesterday preventing a partial government shutdown that would have seen over 1,500 government employees temporarily jobless from today.

Governor Benigno Fitial expressed strong disappointment with the Legislature for its 11th hour passage of the 114-million US dollar budget bill.

He described it as an inflated budget for the legislative branch which cuts funding to critical service agencies such as the Department of Corrections.

Though he vetoed some items such as the 250,000 dollars for Rota to pay retroactive salaries.

But to avoid a repeat of the 2010 partial government shutdown, the governor signed the budget bill into Public Law 17-85.

In a statement, he reiterated he submitted his budget proposal ahead of the 1st of April deadline in the hopes the Legislature would have passed the bill with ample time before the deadline.

He added doing so would have allowed the administration to not just conduct a review of the appropriations, but also make further recommendations to further refine the bill.