AMERICAN SAMOA SENATE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES GOVERNOR TAUESE'S SUPPLEMENTARY

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BUDGET

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (March 28, 2002 – Samoa News)---The Senate unanimously approved Governor Tauese Sunia's $980,000 supplementary appropriation yesterday.

The final decision regarding the proposal now rests with the House of Representatives.

While the Senate retained the total amount of the measure, it re-allocated $100,000 to the Fono's supplementary budget of $150,000. This re-allocation was done at the expense of the Customs reclassification and payment to ASPA for the government’s streetlights.

The supplementary budget targeted funding for nine specific areas, including Flag Day celebrations, Fono budget overruns, income tax refunds, street light utilities and maintenance costs for the Governor and Lt. Governor's official residences.

Funding for the Customs reclassification will come from an Administration proposal to increase Customs service fees (approximately $200,000) and $780,000 from the remaining proceeds of ASG's insurance settlement against Affiliated FM.

Before the Senate cast its final vote on the measure, Senator Te'o J. Fuavai expressed his concern that the supplementary budget specifies only one agency of ASG to receive a salary increase instead of an overall reclassification of ASG workers.

Sen. Te'o requested that his concern be noted in the Senate records and it was so noted.

While Senator S.E. Sala supported the measure, he requested that a full accounting for the insurance settlement spending be made available to the Senate.

According to a government report made available to the Fono during Governor Sunia's address to the Fono in January, ASG received $86.3 million from the settlement.

The first payment was $46.1 million and the second payment was $40 million while income interest was $182,000.

In the distribution of the settlement, the report said:

Two weeks ago, Governor Tauese Sunia signed into law legislation appropriating $25,000 to help with recovery and relief efforts in Tonga, following Cyclone Waka on Dec. 31, 2001. This donation is funded through proceeds of the insurance settlement.

Any changes to the original language of the bill will require consensus of both chambers. If both sides disagree with the other’s amendments, a Conference Committee will be called to iron out the differences.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

For additional reports from the Samoa News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa News.

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