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Tourism budget and Special Programs budget slashed for Medicaid & pay hikes

Budget to go through final reading today in House
fili@samoanews.com

Before slashing the American Samoa Visitors Bureau budget and Special Programs budget category by more than $400,000, which has been reallocated for other purposes, the House yesterday approved in second reading the fiscal year 2015 budget.
 
The budget goes through third and final reading today in the House while the amendments — which do not increase the FY 2015 budget total of $424.48 million — go through second reading in the Senate today, along with the entire budget bill.
 



Election Office moves to dismiss appeal over Saulo’s candidacy

joy@samoanews.com

The Election Office has moved to dismiss the petition filed in the Appellate Division of the High Court last week by Tualauta Candidate Lucia Bartley against the Chief Election Officer, after denying a challenge lodged by Bartley, and noting that Vui Florence Saulo has satisfied the U.S. National requirement, in accordance with Article II Section 3.
 



AS-EPA expands services to the Manu’a Islands

blue@samoanews.com

For the first time, the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) has opened its doors and expanded its services to the islands of Manu’a. This was made possible due to a policy set forth by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, wherein he urged his cabinet to extend government services and programs to the Manu’a Islands. In response, AS-EPA hired two personnel from Manu’a earlier this year.
 



Community Briefs

blue@samoanews.com

DoH TO OPEN PRIMARY CARE CLINIC IN FAGAALU
 
It’ll be two weeks before the primary care clinic at the Tafuna Health Center will be taking anymore appointments, as they are currently in the midst of transitioning to their new location in Fagaalu, where the Dept. of Health’s main offices are headquartered.
 



SBA has low-interest disaster loans available for private non-profit orgs

reporters@samoanews.com

Following President Obama’s disaster declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is making low-interest federal disaster loans available to certain private, nonprofit organizations (PNPs) in American Samoa.
 
Obama’s declaration followed a request by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga after Tutuila was hit with severe storms, flooding, and landslides between July 29-Aug. 3, 2014. The storm caused damage in excess of $5 million.
 



Fono News

joy@samoanews.com

BILL FOR GOV & LT GOV’S SALARY BACK TO COMMITTEE
 
The bill to increase the governor and lt. governor’s salaries was referred back to the Budget and Appropriation Committee after Taotasi Archie Soliai pointed out loopholes in the bill. The House submitted a bill to increase the governor and lt. governor’s salaries to $125,000 and $100,000 respectively.
 



U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis: Am. Samoa economy declined in 2013

fili@samoanews.com

An increase in consumer spending — the first since 2004 — helped offset the decline in American Samoa’s economy in 2013, according to American Samoa's estimated gross domestic product (GDP) report released Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
 



Court Report

joy@samoanews.com

FIRST HEARING IN ELECTION PETITION SET FOR OCTOBER
 
The High Court Appellate Division has scheduled a review hearing in an election appeal filed by Lucia Bartley challenging the authenticity of “Vui Florence Tuaumu Saulo’s birth certificate.” Last week, Chief Election Officer Tuaolo Manaia Fruean denied a challenge lodged by Bartley, noting that Vui satisfies the U.S. national requirement, in accordance with Article II Section 3.
 



Proposed law would give Economic Dev. Authority bond issuing capability

fili@samoanews.com

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has submitted to the Fono legislation which seeks to modernize and enhance the bond issuing capability of the American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA).
 
The bill was introduced late last week in both the Senate and House but no committee hearings have been scheduled yet on the measure, which the governor says will help move forward the work of ASEDA,  whose board was reconstituted last year.
 



Community Briefs

blue@samoanews.com

CHECK OUT YOUR CHILD CAR SEAT THIS SATURDAY AT OMV COMPOUND
 
Sept. 14-20 is National Child Passenger Safety Week and the DPS Office of Highway Safety’s Occupant Protection Program will be hosting a fitting station at the OMV compound in Tafuna this Saturday, from 9 a.m. til 12noon.
 



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