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Government hopes to avoid starting over after bill rejected

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Jan. 19, 2012) – Palau Vice President and Finance Min. Kerai Mariur yesterday said that the administration is not yet preparing to submit another budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012, believing that the budget bill in the Olbiil Era Kelulau can still be worked out.

On Monday, the FY 2012 budget bill was rejected in the House. It is said to be a dead bill and that President Toribiong has to submit a new proposal.

But Mariur is hoping that the House speaker will appoint new conferees from the House to work with Senate conferees and settle differences of both houses on the budget.

"I believe that as of now, they (referring to the OEK) are still working on the budget," Mariur said.

Mariur expects the OEK to review the budget again instead of asking the president to submit a new proposal. As of this time, Mariur said, preparations are underway for the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

Mariur said that the president had already submitted his version of the FY 2012 budget bill to the OEK. If the OEK will ask the president to again submit a budget proposal, it will reportedly be the same version that was submitted earlier.

Mariur suggested that, to avoid waste of time, the OEK reorganize members to the conference committee and agree on another conference version of the budget.

Mariur also looks forward to meeting with members of the OEK to work on the budget.

In an interview with Del. Secilil Eldebechel, he explained that if the OEK applies the rules of proceeding, when a bill reached the conference committee level, and one of the houses rejects the bill, it is considered a dead bill.

Eldebechel made it clear that the budget bill before the OEK is dead and so President Toribiong has to submit another proposal, with a new Funds Availability Analysis.

Eldebechel said that base on what he knows, the speaker will be writing his own communication to the Office of the President to inform that the budget bill is dead and a new proposal has to be submitted.

Island Times © 2012 Island Times. All rights reserved

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