PALIKIR, POHNPEI. April 24, 2020 – The historic online Fifth Special Session of the 21st Congress adjourned sine on April 22, 2020 with the amended Declaration addressed, mitigation funding secured and the passage of the following measures Congressional Acts and Congressional Resolutions.
Congressional Act (CA) 21-116, allotted $670,000 to supplement the FY 2020 national budget for operations of the national government of the FSM. A sum of $250 thousand within the supplemental budget has been earmarked for hazardous pay for qualified FSM health care workers in the nation and those infected countries who are at the frontline of tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
Through passage of CA 21-117, the Congress amended the Fourth Constitutional Convention law to allow a recess to be called by the ‘Convention’ for up to three months due to the coronavirus emergency.
The remaining Acts from the online session involved previous appropriation laws that funded public projects and social programs throughout the various communities and municipalities in four states to either change the use of, or the change the allottees of, funds previously appropriated.
Through CA 21-106, changes were made to the use and allottees of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs for the communities in the states of Chuuk and Yap.
For the states of Chuuk and Pohnpei, CA 21-110 changed the use and allottees of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs for the people of the two states.
And the following Acts were passed specific to the state Chuuk to either change the use of funds or allottees of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs for the people of Chuuk, and they included: CA 21-107; CA 21-108; CA 21-109; CA 21-111; CA 1-113; CA 21-114; and CA 21-115. Through CA 21-112, changes were made to the use and allottees of funds previously appropriated to for priority infrastructure projects and programs in the Chuuk State.
Along with the Acts were four final resolutions from the 5th Special Session, including Congressional Resolution (CR) 21-133, which approved and accepted a $235,000 grant from the U.S. DHHS, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to support and fund the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Projects.
The adoption of CR 21-140 approved and accepted a 22,300,00 SDR (Special Drawing Rights) grant from the World Bank for the purpose of funding the Digital FSM Project, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.
Through the adoption of CR 21-143, a grant of $28,868 was approved and accepted from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to fund and support the implementation of the FSM Sustainable Development Goal’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.
CR 21-142 was the final resolution which authorized the President to resubmit the nomination of Mrs. Shanty Sigrah Asher to serve as the FSM Consulate General in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Speaker Wesley W. Simina wrapped up the historic remote, online Fifth Special Session of the 21st Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia with thanks and congratulations to members for a successful session, especially as it was accomplished through a medium untested in the Nation’s legislative arena.
Vice Speaker echoed the Speaker’s sentiments to the Members and added his gratitude for the collaboration between the Executive and the Legislative during a time in the Nation that is “stressful and unprecedented.”
On April 22, 2020, the 10-day Fifth Special Session adjourned sine-die on a positive way forward for national government as summed up in the Vice Speaker’s letter to the President which he shared “the gratitude of the entire 21st CFSM…(that) we have been able to come together…to work together to present a unified and comprehensive response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We all share the same goals during these extraordinary times, to protect our citizens and ensure we have medical security, food security, energy security…” to address the needs of the people. Vice Speaker Moses noted that “with continued collaboration, we will be able to remain unified as one Nation and we will continue to strengthen our ability to respond to the ongoing health emergency.”
The Vice Speaker concluded his letter with appreciation to the President, “I thank you for your leadership, support and solidarity for our Nation.”
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THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS