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Mufi Hannemann and his consulting firm hired by ASG for D.C. lobbying

Mufi Hannemann

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An ASG working group appointed by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga to determine the financial impact of the next federally mandated minimum wage hike on American Samoa is finalizing its report.

In the meantime, the minimum wage is among the “negative federal policies” that has led the governor to hire former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and his consulting firm.

In a Sept. 5th memo, the governor appointed a 10-member Minimum Wage Assessment Working Group to “determine the financial impact” of the next 40-cent per hour minimum wage hike effective Sept. 30th for all 17 different industry sectors in the territory. The group was given 30 days from the date of the memo to complete their work and provide a report for the governor’s review.

Responding to media inquiries, the Governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said yesterday from Honolulu that the report by the working group “is being finalized” for the Governor's review and action.

Samoa News had received information that Hannemann was recently recruited as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. for ASG.

Iulogologo confirmed it and explained that Hanneman and his “Consultant Group are working … [on] negative federal policy issues” such as the minimum wage, the federal cabotage law, and the federal 30(A) tax credit which has lapsed, among other things, including other issues such as funding for the airport control tower, a new airport terminal building infrastructure, etc.

Congresswoman Aumua Amata confirmed to Samoa News yesterday that she is scheduled to meet today with Hannemann in Washington D.C., but no details were available on the meeting’s agenda.

As previously reported by Samoa News, the governor is currently in Honolulu to attend the Pacific Basin Development Council, under Esther Kia’aina’s new management leadership. Lolo along with Hawai’i Gov. David Ige have been invited to attend the launching of the Hawai’i leg of the Hawaiki cable system.

Iulogologo said yesterday that, at the launch, the educational component tying Hawai’i and the American Samoa Community College will be demonstrated.