Special session for the Fono called for Tuesday

Acting Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga has called a special session of the Fono to convene Tuesday, Apr. 1, “for a period not to exceed five calendar days.” This means lawmakers can work next Saturday — if they choose to — to complete the five calendar days or complete all it’s work before the five calendar days expire.

 

There are four issues on the special session agenda for Fono review, consideration — and hopefully approval. Two of those issues are expected to be addressed by lawmakers by Monday, the last day of the current 3rd Session.

 

One of the issues for consideration during the special session is the confirmation of local attorney Fiti Alexander Sunia as Judge Pro Tempore of the District Court. His nomination was introduced Thursday in the Senate with a confirmation hearing set for next Monday followed by a vote. Confirmation of judges is subject to Senate vote only.

 

Another issue for consideration is the $200,000 for the Summer Youth Employment Program, which is the FY 2013 Supplemental appropriation. The Senate approved Wednesday its version of the bill and sent it to the House with a message to use the Senate version — upon approval of the House — for submission to the Governor’s Office for approval.

 

The Senate version was the subject of a House committee hearing yesterday and thereafter was approved in second reading. Final vote set for Monday.

 

The Administration is also requesting Fono review and approval of the seven nominees to the ASG Employees Retirement board of trustees. While the names of the nominees were not included in Lemanu’s letter, it’s understood that the administration plans to resubmit the same names that were sent early this month.

 

The nominees were Toafala Iafeta, Aloma Aumua-Langford, Faoa Aitofele Sunia; Human Resources director Sonny Thompson; Lauvao Stephen Haleck; Maaelopa Bob Tuiasosopo; and ASG Treasurer Dr. Falema’o “Phil” M. Pili.

 

However, Iafeta was the only nominee who received endorsement by both the Senate and House. (The Senate approved only Iafeta and Aumua-Langford, but the House approved everyone except Aumua-Langford.)

 

The House has yet to vote on the nominees although a hearing was already carried out.

 

And the last issue on the special session agenda is the $625,000 supplemental budget for fiscal year 2014, to fund repairs and rehabilitation of the main highway between Visa Point (around Lauli’i village) and Fagaitua.

 

This measure was introduced in the Fono last month but when hearings were scheduled, the main ASG witness — ASG Treasurer Pili — was off island attending meetings.

 

Since then the bill remains in committees and the Administration is hoping the Fono will act on this measure during the special session. Funding source for the measure comes from the $625,000 that was line item vetoed in the FY 2014 budget.

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