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Fono News


Gov. Togiola Tulafono signed into law last Friday a Senate bill amending the regulations for head lamp illumination and color as well as amending the definition of “license tag” to confirm with current regulations.

The governor wrote in a letter to the Fono that the bill has been signed into law; and that it “will effectively protect the public”.

According to the measure, motor vehicles shall not be modified with any aftermarket colored transparent and translucent substance or materials installed, affixed or applied on or in front of the head lamps, the auxiliary driving lamp, or the auxiliary passing lamp, or combinations of the head lamps, auxiliary driving lamp or passing lamp that would obstruct, reduce or interfere with the visibility or effectiveness of the head lamps, increase the beam intensity, or that would change the color of light emitted.

Additionally, motor vehicles shall not be modified with any aftermarket lighting accessories that may alter the appearance of the original vehicle from the manufacturer. This is to include any lighting alterations, in, on, around or under the vehicle.

Exempted from the amendments are police or authorized emergency vehicles, vehicles equipped for the purpose of warning of hazardous situations, or vehicles equipped with a lighting system intended to mark or signal a solemn procession or occasion, the bill states.

“Aftermarket” is described in the bill to mean, the market for replacement parts, accessories and equipment for the care of the enhancement of an original motor vehicle while “auxiliary driving lamp” means a lamp supplementing the light from the headlamps, such as a fog light or a spot light.


House Vice Speaker Talia Fa’afetai Iaulualo, who is also House Rules Committee Chair, is looking at next week to schedule a hearing of all House members to discuss Congressman Faleomavaega Eni’s proposed federal legislation that would repeal a 1983 law requiring congressional approval of amendments to the Constitution of American Samoa.

Earlier this month, Faleomavaega wrote to the governor and Fono leaders about the proposed legislation and expressed his intention to discuss the proposed measure with local leaders. He also requested an opportunity to confer with the Fono.

At yesterday’s House session, House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale pointed out that the Congressman is proposing an important issue and asked Iaulualo for a conference committee of the House membership to get input from each member.

At the same time, he said, he will communicate with the Senate leadership to schedule a Fono meeting with the Congressman, who will brief lawmakers on the proposal as well as answer any questions from the Fono.

He said the House should have their opinions and comments via their own meeting before a date is set for lawmakers to meet with the Congressman in the very near future.

Faleomavaega has pointed out that currently, before any changes can be made to amend any provision of the 1969 Revised Constitution of American Samoa, it requires, first the approval of the majority of the voters, then the approval of the Secretary of Interior, and finally approval of the Congress.


In a unanimous vote on Wednesday the House approved in final reading the Senate bill to override Gov. Togiola Tulafono veto’s of the $60.37 million as supplemental funding of fiscal year 2012 for the American Samoa Power Authority.

The bill now goes back to the Senate where it will be registered in the Fono journal and sent to the governor.

Currently, the Constitution provides that no later than 14 days after a bill has been vetoed by the governor, the veto may be passed over by a two-thirds majority of the entire membership of each 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 is to send it together with his comments to the Secretary of Interior.

If the Secretary of Interior approves it within 90 days after receiving it, the bill becomes law; otherwise it does not.