CNMI government shutdown warning

8:23 pm on 16 September 2015

With just two weeks till the deadline and no 2016 budget in sight the Northern Marianas has been warned of a possible government shutdown by October 1st.

CNMI Legislature

CNMI Legislature Photo: Supplied

A government shutdown would stall the continuing recovery after Typhoon Soudelor left the CNMI in a state of disaster six weeks ago.

The House and the Senate are deadlocked on the new budget, specifically a US$2.5 million dollars allocation to the Marianas Visitors Authority that the Senate wants used to pay the hospital's power bill and for X-rays for Customs.

The CNMI governor is required by the Constitution to submit a budget by April 1st, and the Senate and the House then have six months to pass it.

Governor Eloy Inos says a government shutdown would include the suspension of salaries and payment for government services.

Tinian mayor wants island economy diversified

The mayor of Tinian in the Northern Marianas is urging his people to look for alternatives to drive the economy with the impending closure of the main local casino.

Joey San Nicolas says the island needs to attract investors, and people will need to be creative in solving infrastructure problems that have impeded development.

He has formed a task force to review the Revised Gaming Act and see if amendments are needed.

The owners of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino say the closure is because a lack of guests and cash flow after Typhoon Soudelor has made it unviable.

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