HEARING SET FOR RESOLUTION ON LINE ITEM VETO
Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale has been called before the Senate to testify on the Senate’s repeated move to amend a provision of the American Samoa Constitution that — if approved by voters — will give the Fono, rather than the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, authority to override the governor’s veto.
During the Senate’s regular session yesterday Senator Nuanuaolefeagaiga Saoluaga Nua noted a hearing will be slated this Friday morning and there was no need for witnesses as there is Senator Afoa L Su’esu’e Lutu and Sen. Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono, who are knowledgeable about this long overdue resolution.
However, Senate President Gaoteote Palaie objected to the move and noted they are only Senators in the Fono and their capabilities in previous capacities cannot be used in the Senate. He said they must call witnesses fit to testify.
In response, Nua, who is Chairman of the Senate House Rules Committee called for the AG to testify on the matter.
The measure in question, sponsored by Sens. Soliai, Galeai M. Tu’ufuli, Leatualevao S. Asifoa and Afoa was introduced yesterday in the Senate and assigned to the Senate Rules Committee.
At present, the Constitution provides that no later than 14 days after the governor has vetoed a bill, it may be passed over his veto by a two-thirds majority of the entire membership of each Fono chamber. A bill so re-passed is again presented to the governor for his approval. If he does not approve it within 15 days, the governor must send it, together with his comments, to the Secretary of Interior.
However, the Senate Joint Resolution seeks to amend the constitution, where a bill so re-passed shall “become law 60 days after the adjournment of the session in which it was passed” and delete the rest of the current provision requiring the Interior Secretary’s approval.
Over the past ten years there have been attempts to give the Fono the authority to override the governor’s veto by legislation introduced in both the Senate and House, but only twice did the legislation make it to a referendum for voters to decide upon— both times, voters rejected it.
SENATE RESOLUTION CONVEYS CONDOLENCES TO THE AFUOLA FAMILY
The Senate yesterday unanimously approved a concurrent resolution conveying deepest condolences of the Fono and its people to Mrs. Nora Afuola and the entire family on the recent passing of High Talking Chief Nanai Kalasa Afuola. _The resolution also pays tribute to his faithful service to his family.
The concurrent resolution had already been given to the family at the funeral. According to the resolution Nanai’s parents are the Late Toafaiga Si’usi’u Afuola and Suluiasamoailetalalelei Nani of Vatia. Nanai, born on February 10, 1934, was raised with four sisters and three brothers.
He attended the High School of American Samoa and was employed at WVUV radio station, beginning a long and illustrious career as Master of Ceremonies for many public events.
He served his country in the Marine Corps since 1957 and retired in 1977. He was a translator for the HIgh Court in 1986 and was appointed Associate Judge until his retirement in 1999. He was later appointed as Deputy Secretary of the Office of Samoan Affairs during Lutali’s Administration.
He was a pillar in the CCCAS church in Vatia where he was an active member and served as deacon for 45 years. Afuola passed away peacefully in Hawai’i early in January while surrounded by his family. He’s surveyed by his wife Nora Afuola, 13 children, 26 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
“He will be remembered for his charismatic personality on the microphone and his passion to maintain the Samoan culture and tradition.”
Afuola was an Advisor to the Senate President, Gaoteote Palaie Tofau at the time of his passing. The Senate president is his nephew,