Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Newly signed laws include changes to the Constitution

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): December 30, 2004 - President Joseph J. Urusemal has signed 12 new Laws for the nation as transmitted by the Fourth Regular Session of the Thirteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia held in October.

Among the newly signed laws are several changes to the FSM Code and a significant amendment to the FSM Constitution on the issue of citizenship.

  1. Public Law 13-65, repeals Article III (Citizenship) of the FSM Constitution, Section 3, for the purpose of enabling citizens of the Federated states of Micronesia to retain or obtain citizenship of another state without being required to relinquish citizenship of the FSM, and for other purposes.

    The President's letter to Speaker Peter M. Christian recognizes that the amendment does not create an affirmative right to dual citizenship, rather the act "eliminates the constitutional barrier to dual citizenship [...]"

    Contrary to a recent Constitutional Convention Proposal which entertained a broader sweep of eligibility, the new Law allows Congress to enact legislation to "define extends to which dual citizenship will be permissible."

  2. P.L. No. 13-54, changes to Title 55 (Government Finances and Contracts) of the FSM Code to create a new subchapter for a Medical Licensing Revolving Fund, and for other purposes;

  3. P.L. No. 13-55, changes various sections in Title 41(Public Health, Safety and Welfare) of the FSM Code, and for other purposes,

  4. P.L. No. 13-56, changes various sections of Title 29 (Commercial Banking) of the FSM Code and creates a Chapter and Section to incorporate the requirements imposed on FDIC-Insured Banks by the amended Compact of Free Association and enact laws governing treatment of dormant bank accounts, and for other purposes;

  5. P.L. No. 13-57, appropriates an amount not to exceed $250,000 from the proceeds of the First Tranche or first installment of the National Government's portion of the PSD loan from the ADB to employ a Certified Tax Accountant and a Lawyer specializing in Taxation Law. These new employments will be with the Division of Customs and Tax within the Department of Finance and Administration;

  6. P.L. No. 13-58, amends a previous law to change certain funds appropriated for projects and programs in Kosrae State, and for other purposes;

  7. P.L. No. 13-59, changes Title 3 (Legislative) of the FSM Code to establish a revised schedule for Regular Sessions of Congress, and for other purposes;

  8. P.L. No. 13-60, amends certain provisions of Title 54 (Taxation) of the FSM Code to allow changes to the tax levy and rates on certain import products beginning January 1, 2005. It also designates the use of certain revenues collected under the same amended provisions;

  9. P.L. No. 13-61, also adds changes to Title 54 (Taxation) of the FSM Code to modify and clarify the penalties assessable against taxpayers for failure to file returns or pay taxes when due. A new section has also been added to provide for the waiver of penalties and interest on delinquent taxes paid during a specified period, and for other purpose;

  10. P.L. No. 13-63, changes certain provisions of Title 55 (Government Finances and Contracts) of the FSM Code relating to national government budgetary procedures, and for other purposes;

  11. P.L. No. 13-64, changes certain provisions of Title 52 (Public Employment) of the FSM Code to modify and clarify the premiums payable to certain public service employees, and for other purposes;

  12. P.L. No. 13-66, changes certain provisions of Public Law No. 13-36, for usage of certain appropriated funds and certain allottees, and for other purposes;

Without signature Congressional Act 13-86 became P.L. No. 13-62. This law amends previous Public Law 13-46 (Operations of the Executive Branch) by changing the amounts previously appropriated for certain purposes.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356