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Hearings on proposed FY 2017 budget start Monday

Again, the hearings will be a joint-Fono budget review
fili@samoanews.com

The Fono leaders have requested the administration for an updated financial report on revenue collection and expenditures for current fiscal year 2016, as the Fono prepares to begin next Monday, hearings on the American Samoa’s proposed FY 2017 budget, for two and half weeks.
 
And despite some House members’ wishes for each chamber to hold their own budget review, this year’s budget hearings, as in the past couple of years, will be a joint-Fono budget review.
 



Land Grant partners with DoA promoting healthy pigs

Over the summer, the Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR, also known as the Land Grant Program) division of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has observed the first positive results of its ongoing effort to address major health issues among American Samoa’s swine population.
 



Toddler dies from severe head trauma injuries, DPS investigating

joyetter@samoanews.com

The Department of Public Safety is investigating the death of a toddler who was allegedly run over by a vehicle early Wednesday morning, in Nu’uuli due to severe head trauma injuries. This is according to Emergency Medical Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity noting that when EMS personnel arrived at the residence, the young boy was unresponsive.
 



Satellite pharmacy opens in Tafuna Community Health Center

Manned by LBJ personnel
joyetter@samoanews.com

It’s a dream come true, for the Department of Health to have opened their own pharmacy, albeit — it is manned by LBJ hospital personnel — as well as their very own laboratory, says DOH Director, Motusa Tuileama Nua. During the ceremony yesterday, Motusa said for the first time the DOH and LBJ have agreed on something — the opening of a pharmacy and laboratory at a community health center to improve patient access.
 



Bill to reduce corporate tax rate passes in Senate, now waiting for House action

Right now: AS has second highest corporate tax rate in the world
fili@samoanews.com

American Samoa has the “second” highest corporate tax rate in the world and reducing the tax rate, could help attract new businesses and investors to the territory, says Treasurer Uelinitone Tonumaipea during a Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing early this week.
 



Budget Director: ASG “on track” to balanced budget

LFO analysis projects over $11Mill deficit at end of year
fili@samoanews.com

With spending level in compliance with local law, the American Samoa Government is on “track to achieve a balanced budget” by the end of current fiscal year 2016 budget, which closes on Sept. 30, 2016, says Office of Program Planning and Budget director Catherine Aigamaua Saelua in her Aug. 11th cover to the governor and the Fono that includes the FY 2016 third quarter performance report — for period Apr. 1- June 30.
 



New budget has directors’ salaries remaining the same

fili@samoanews.com

The current highest salary level for cabinet directors of the Lolo Administration stands at $73,000 while the lowest is $60,000, and these are the same salary levels proposed for the new fiscal year 2017 budget.
 
Of interest is how many of the directors are actually getting the current pay, cited in the budget. During last year’s FY 2016 budget review, several directors — when asked by lawmakers — said that the amount in their budgets is higher than what they were actually receiving at the time.
 



Amata commends NPS for a Century of Conservation

Source: Media Release, Aumua Amata's office

PAGO PAGO — Congresswoman Aumua Amata extended her congratulations to the United States National Park Service as they celebrate their centennial August 25.
 
“I want to congratulate the United States Park Service for their One Hundred Years of stewardship and safeguarding of our most treasured places,” stated Amata. “The work they do is priceless to our nation, who is grateful for their efforts, in preserving our unique and rich geographical and natural resources.”
 



ASG payroll deduction may be reinstated… with a fee for the service

fili@samoanews.com

Reinstating payroll deductions, which were terminated nearly three years ago, has not been ruled out by the Executive Branch, with Human Resources Director Le’i Sonny Thompson telling a House committee about the need for both sides to review the issue and come up with a solution.
 
Le’i pointed out that paying a person’s bills is not the responsibility of the government, and as such the employee will have to pay a fee for the payroll deduction service.
 



Retirement Fund expects to earn $9Mil from its 12-year bond investment

So far — 1st payment has been made
fili@samoanews.com

Retirement Fund Office executive director Talia Fa’afetai Iaulualo says the ASG Employees Retirement Fund will receive about $9 million from its investment in the government bonds, issued by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA).
 



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