Committee Chairman Places Priority on Budget Bill

The Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Senator Magalei Logovii, yesterday pushed for the ASG budget for Fiscal Year 2018 to be reviewed first before lawmakers deal with the administration’s revenue generating measures.

He suggested that the budget bill should be brought in now for review after which they can look at the revenue bills.

Senate President Gaoteote Palaie responded that they should first sit down with House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale to discuss a schedule for the budget hearings.

The Senate leader advised Senators not to mix up the budget and review of other administration proposals like the revenue bills and confirmations.

The House of Representatives begins reviewing the proposed revenue bills this morning.

The House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing at 8:30 this morning on the bill to gradually remove the 5% excise tax, slap a 25% tax on second hand equipment used for construction other than roads, tax non carbonated sugary drinks, and changes the tax for alcohol.

Also yesterday, Senators approved in second reading, legislation which specifies areas where campaigning is prohibited on Election Day.

The bill specifies the area where unauthorized persons are not allowed and campaign activities are prohibited on the day of voting to be 200 yards or 600 feet surrounding the polling place.
The bill is to become effective immediately upon passage by the Fono and approval of the governor.

Senators also passed in second reading a bill to punish people found on school grounds during and after hours without permission.

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