FSM Congress News, January 22, 2004
PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): January 22, 2004 - Members of Congress agreed today to hold a congressional session in the State of Yap in a later date to be decided. The resolution was unanimously adopted by a heavy and loud voice vote. Senator Figir of Yap introduced the resolution. Congress also adopted a resolution approving a grant to the FSM from the United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention for public health preparedness and response to bio-terrorism.
The grant is for $488,522 for the first year. FSM is set to receive $778,415 during the second year with a separate $703,671 provided for the use of hospital preparedness in the FSM, according to the committee report. The report stated that more funds would be forth coming at a later date.
Congress again discussed the issues surrounding the College of Micronesia-FSM raised in yesterday's plenary. Senator Resio Moses of Pohnpei, Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education and Social Affairs, which has jurisdictions over the College spoke in response to those concerns raised. Regarding the alleged violation of the immigration moratorium when hiring alien workers by the college, Moses said the employees were hired legally and had to be hired from outside because it is hard to find local people who qualify for the jobs. As for the issues surrounding the campus in Chuuk, the senator asked Members of Congress and the President to help officials of the college find ways to resolve the problems which have been there for quite a while. Senator Moses disagrees with the decision made by the Board to raise tuition, which he believes discourages student enrollment at the college.
Among the resolutions and bills introduced yesterday were few expression of profound gratitude and sincere appreciation of the Thirteenth Congress of the FSM to the Honorable Members of the United States Congress, their spouses and staff, who were members of the U.S. Congressional Delegation visiting the FSM for blessing our island nation by their visit. Also one resolution would create a congressional special committee to investigate alleged conduct on the part of members of the executive branch of the FSM Government and one would request that the President direct the Secretary of the Department of Justice to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the purchase of real property in Chuuk State by the College of Micronesia-FSM. Other resolutions concern nominations to the Board of Directors for the National Oceanic Resources Management Authority (NORMA), which included Francis Itimai of Yap, Hubert Yamada of Pohnpei, and Johnny Meippen of Chuuk. The bills were to appropriate an additional $16,341,272 to fund the 3rd and 4th quarter of the fiscal year 2004 of the national government and to bring the FSM's Internal Budget and Finance Procedures into compliance with the amended Compact.
Finally, Congress, through another resolution, plans to extend its 10-day special session for seven additional days.
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