$36 million bill sails through Senate


The Senate on Saturday voted unanimously to approve the Governor’s $36 million appropriations bill which gives after-the-fact approval by the Fono of the administration’s spending of surplus revenues from Fiscal Year 2023—which the Fono had not authorized.

All 11 senators who attended the Saturday session voted to pass the bill in third reading:
Poumele, Ma’o, Malaepule, Satele, Muāgututi’a, Togiola, Fano, Magalei, Olo, Ponemafua and Tuaolo.

Seven senators were absent: Fonoti, Tuiagamoa, Tuiasina, Alo, Uti, Soliai and Utu.

ASG’s FY2023 budget estimated individual taxes at $28.4 million, but actual revenues collected was $63.5 million.

Interest income was estimated at $10,000, but actual interest earned was $4.1 million.

Here’s how the surplus funds are to be appropriated:

  • $21.5 million to the Governor’s Office for infrastructure projects in Tutuila and Aunuu;
  • $10.4 million to the Governor’s Office for infrastructure projects in Manu’a;
  • $2.5 million to the American Samoa Medicaid State Agency for the Medical local match;
  • $1.5 million to the Governor’s Office to address audit results on the use of COVID-19 funding.

The bill will now be enrolled and sent to the Governor for his signature.