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Marianas Variety: Senator presses Finance on $1M for NMC (May 10, 2019)

SENATE Floor Leader Justo S. Quitugua said he will continue to ask the Department of Finance about the $1 million in casino gross revenue tax appropriated for Northern Marianas College.

Although the money won’t completely get the college out of its financial woes, it will help prevent drastic work-hour cuts for the instructors, Quitugua said.

He added that he has been communicating with Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig since last week.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, Quitugua said Atalig told the senator that the money was “pending” but that it will be transferred “on a biweekly basis to cover NMC’s anticipated shortfall.”

The $1 million is part of the $20.8 million appropriated by Public Law 20-68 which Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed three weeks before Super Typhoon Yutu hit Tinian and Saipan. The law’s funding source is the casino gross revenue tax payments.

Last week, NMC implemented austerity measures in response to the governor’s across-the-board budget cuts amounting to $29.9 million or an 11.6 percent reduction in government revenue.

The college’s austerity measures include a 10 percent work-hour cut or an eight-hour cut per pay period.

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