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House okays $5 mil spending bill despite some reservations

The House approved Thursday in third and final reading the administration’s $5 million supplemental appropriation for fiscal year 2013 despite concerns raised by at least two lawmakers, who wanted addition information to justify the supplemental.


During Wednesday’s session when the bill went thru second reading, Rep. Larry Sanitoa moved to return the House version back to the House Budget and Appropriations Committee for a more thorough discussion on several expenditures by the Administration including the Fono’s $500,000 appropriation, but the majority disagreed.


Sanitoa later told Samoa News that the $500,000 for the Fono was part of the Legislature’s FY 2013 budget, which was vetoed last year by, then Gov. Togiola Tulafono. Additionally during the 2013 budget hearing, it was explained that this money was for the new Fono IT building.


Sanitoa also says there are other critical issues to be addressed in government and additional information should be provided for further clarification of the supplemental. Sanitoa does applaud the administration for submitting a supplemental with reasonably sound funding sources.


The bill now goes to the Senate, where its version of the supplemental was approved Thursday in second reading with final reading on Monday. The Senate version however has been amended with one major change, calling to re-allocate funds to help with repairs to the ASG vessel MV Sili.


See tomorrow’s edition for more details on the Senate hearing and discussions of its version of the supplemental as well as more reactions from Sanitoa on the House version of the bill.