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Bill provision stymied in Congress

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 1, 2010) – American Samoa’s Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin’s efforts to halt annual increases in the local minimum wage have hit a snag.

A provision, attached to a bill on the Northern Marianas submerged lands, to do away with the 50 cent increases in 2010 and 2011 is on hold after a republican senator objected to the CNMI bill.

Congressman Faleomavaega says his office told the Senator that this was one of the few options left to the include minimum wage language for American Samoa.

The next scheduled minimum wage increase goes into effect on September 30.

The Senator agreed to lift his hold on minimum wage for American Samoa and CNMI if the submerged lands request was taken out of the CNMI bill.

However, CNMI Congressman would not agree to remove his request to convey certain submerged lands to CNMI.

Faleomavaega says in the interim they are working to attach the minimum wage language to some other bill.

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