Governor identifies $38M additional revenue; PSS may get $2M

GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres identified additional revenue from the Saipan casino tax payments amounting to $38 million of which $22 million is for the retirees’ pensions and bonuses.

In his letter to Senate President Arnold Palacios and Speaker Ralph Demapan, the governor said the $16 million can be appropriated by lawmakers for various agencies and programs.

Torres said $2 million can be allotted for the Public School System which earlier said it was expecting to get around $15 million.

The governor also recommended the following allotments: land compensation, $3 million; Northern Marianas College, $2 million; Public-Private Job Placement, $1 million; Child Care Development Fund, $500,000; Substance Abuse Recovery & Prevention, $500,000; telecommunications infrastructure, $1.7 million; Planning and Development Office, $500,000; Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority Fixed Route Transit System, $800,000, CNMI Drug Court, $100,000, Northern Marianas Trades Institute, $300,000, Office of Management and Budget, $370,000, governor’s office $144,000; Customs $1 million; Department of Public Safety, $350,000; and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. $2.25 million.

In his letter, Torres said the supplemental revenue “again speaks volume [about] the strength of our economy and the viability of our gaming industry.”

He added, “I thank you for your cooperation on this important process of allocating these funds so they have the greatest benefit to our people. I greatly appreciate the Legislature’s intent to use these available funds to target wise investments in our community in order to serve our people and build the necessary foundations for continued growth.”

During the House session on Monday afternoon, Speaker Ralph Demapan referred the governor’s letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means so it can review the recommended appropriations.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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