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PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (July 27, 2001 – FSM Information Services)---The First Special Session of the Twelfth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned its seven-day meeting on July 16, 2001.

The Special Session mainly addressed the budget for the national government, of which the proposed $40,945,190 for operational cost for fiscal year 2002 was reduced to $37,547,590.

The Executive Branch’s request of $14,677,719 was trimmed by $647,494, Congress’s operational cost was reduced to $3,098,700, and the Judicial Branch’s original request was decreased to $974,150.

The proposed FY 2002 Budget is included under Congressional Act No. 12-24 and is awaiting President Leo Falcam’s approval.

Other bills that were passed during the session include:

§ CB 12-18: Re-appropriates $43,250 for Southern Namoneas projects that have lapsed.

§ CB 12-20: Modifies the use of funds previously appropriated for projects in Chuuk and Yap.

§ CB 12-27: Amends existing law that appropriate funds into a Trust Fund for education and health programs in Southern Namoneas to allow withdrawal after July 30, 2001.

§ CB 12-29: Modified lapse date of certain funds previously appropriated under PL-54 for Faichuk Health Center and Public Auditor’s Office.

§ CB 12-30: Amend PL.11-53 to allow the convention to decide date for specific referendum, changes provision for expenses of delegates and staffs.

§ CB 12-31: Changes the allottee of funds previously appropriated for public projects in Southern Namoneas from the Southern Namoneas Development Authority to the Chuuk Commission on CIP.

The Special Session also adopted two resolutions, which are:

§ CR 12-10: Gratitude and appreciation of the Congress to Dennis Belcourt and his family for his services to the nation.

§ CR 12-12: Sets ceiling of estimated funds to be available for appropriation during fiscal year 2002 at 38,000,000.

With a few modifications, Congress also finalized the composition of its Standing Committee as follows:

§ Ways and Means – Chairman, Senator Manny Mori and Vice Chairman, Senator Henry C. Asugar;

§ Judiciary and Governmental Operations – Chairman, Senator Dohsis Halbert and Vice Chairman, Senator Jacob Nena;

§ Resource and Development – Chairman, Senator Peter M. Christian and Vice Chairman, Senator Jacob Nena;

§ Health, Education and Social Affairs – Chairman, Senator John R. Petewon and Vice Chairman, Senator Resio S. Moses;

§ External Affairs – Chairman, Senator Isaac V. Figir and Vice Chairman, Senator Simeon R. Innocenti;

§ Transportation and Communication – Chairman, Senator Roosevelt D. Kansou and Vice Chairman, Senator Henry C. Asugar.

Congress leadership remains the same with Senator Jack Fritz serving his eighth consecutive term as Speaker, Senator Claude H. Phillip his fourth consecutive term as Vice Speaker and this makes the sixth consecutive term for Floor Leader Senator Joseph J. Urusemal.

The next scheduled meeting of Congress is for the Regular Session in October.

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