CNMI LAWMAKERS PROPOSE BIG PAY HIKE FOR THEMSELVES

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 6) – Members of the Northern Marianas House of Representatives have given themselves a huge pay raise and the maximum budget allowed under the islands’ constitution.

The Saipan Tribune reports that the House has cut funding of departments including the Marianas Visitors Authority and boosting the House budget from US$4.6 million to US$9 million.

Included in the House budget are annual salary increases for members of US$155,000 instead of the proposed US$60,000 submitted by Governor Beningo Fitial.

The House also proposes paying the House Speaker US$250,000 instead of the proposed US$175,000

The budget must be approved by the Senate.

Antonio Muna, a financial consultant to the governor says the House budget reflects a ’take-care-of-me-first’ type of attitude, which is unsatsifactory.

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