House to act on budget bill today

REPRESENTATIVE Angel Demapan introduced the fiscal year 2018 budget bill on Friday and members are expected to deliberate and act on the measure today, Monday, when the House holds a special session at 2 p.m.

There’s only one item on the agenda — House Bill 20-105 or the budget measure.

Speaker Ralph Demapan said they will try to act on the measure as soon as possible so the Senate can begin deliberating on it.

FY 2018 starts on Oct. 1, 2017. Without a new balanced budget before or on that date, “non-essential” government offices will shut down.

The speaker said he is glad that the House has already come up with a budget bill.

“As our economy continues to improve, I hope that we will also realize additional funding. We cannot please everybody, but we will continue to address issues and department needs. Also, the budget is not the only source of funding, there are other sources, the BGRT and the casino, for example, so we will continue to address the needs of agencies and programs,” the speaker said.

He said it is likely that the Senate will have its own version of the budget which will require both chambers to convene a bicameral conference committee that will propose a budget acceptable to both houses.

One of the provision of the FY 2018 budget is the appropriation of $2.8 million for a salary increase for all civil service employees.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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