Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, June 18, 2004

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): June 18, 2004 - Congress adjourned sine die today after approving the proposed fiscal year 2005 budget at $28,360,949. The proposed budget topped the agenda of the session. The approved budget is $653,981 less than the amount President Urusemal submitted to Congress as his proposed budget for the subject fiscal year.

The formula for sharing of Compact funds among the national and state governments was also a top priority of the session, as well as the Infrastructure Development Plan for the period from fiscal year 2004 to 2023. Both measures met the approval of Congress during the last day of session.

On the same line of action, Congress, during the final day of session, approved 10 other bills, 10 resolutions and disapproved one bill. It then deferred action on all other measures that were up for consideration during its 3rd Regular Session. One of the 10 bills that was passed by Congress would establish procedures for the admission of a new state into the FSM.

Six others pertain to the changing of allottees, the use of, and the extension of lapse dates for certain funds previously appropriated by Congress. The bill to establish a new port of entry in the State of Chuuk was among the ten bills approved.

Also approved was an FSM Veterans of Foreign Wars national holiday for those FSM citizens who have served in wars of any foreign nation. Congress approved a bill to authorize the President to designate certain employees of the national government to be eligible for overtime compensation for work during emergencies. Finally, Congress disapproved the bill to allow payment of surviving spouse benefits under the FSM Social Security Act to continue after the surviving spouse has remarried.

Congress approved the nomination of Mr. John Sound to be a member of the Board of Regents for the COM-FSM. It approved the nominations of Mr. Sibriano Barnabas of Pohnpei, Mr. John Chugen of Yap and Mr. Kun Olter of Kosrae to be the National Election Commissioners of their respective states did not approve the nomination of Mr. Winiplat Bisalen for the same position in Chuuk.

The resolutions approving the nomination of Mr. Andrew Yatilman to be the Secretary of the FSM Department of Economic Affairs was deferred as well as a resolution to make the same person a member of the COM-FSM Board of Regents.

Congress shortened the 3rd Regular Session of the 13th Congress through another resolution and denounced unconstitutional practices by the FSM Department of Justice and repeated acts of unlawful prosecutorial misconduct by Assistant Attorney General Mathew Crabtree with one other resolution. It approved a resolution expressing gratitude and appreciation to Ms. Kathleen Rittner for her many years of service, commitment, and dedication in her employment with the Congress of the FSM and created a Special Committee of Congress to investigate alleged conduct on the part of members of the executive branch of the FSM Government that involves corruption in office and abuse of power.

In short, the session was one of the most productive one in Congress' history.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Public Information Office
P.O Box PS-3
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2324/2325
Fax.: (691) 320-5122