PALIKIR, POHNPEI. November 2, 2020 – The four-day virtual Special Session of the 21st Congress adjourned, as scheduled, on Thursday - October 29, 2020 with Acts to address social programs and public projects across the Nation along with Resolutions to support and fund special health and education programs throughout the Federated States of Micronesia.
As it has done in the past with countries of mutual associations and struggles, the Congress passed Congressional Act (CA) 21-209, to appropriate $100,000 to help funding relief efforts for the October 2020 flooding in Vietnam.
Through CA 21-210; CA 21-211; CA 21-212; and CA 21-216, to change the use and allottee of funds previously appropriated to fund public projects and social programs for the people of Kosrae State;
Similarly, for the state of Yap, the Congress passed CA 21-213 and CA 21-217 to change the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs for the people of the state.
For the state of Pohnpei, CA 21-214 was passed to also change the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs for the people of the state.
Passage of CA 21-215, appropriated $8.4 million for Priority Infrastructure Projects and Social Programs for people across all the four states of the FSM.
Along with the Acts, the Eighth Special Session resulted in resolutions to support and fund various special programs in the area of health and education and it started with the adoption of Congressional Resolution (CR) 21-207. A resolution that approved a $160,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - Public Health Services Administration, to support and fund the FSM Family Planning Program. The grant is to support the implementation of the FSM Family Planning Program, to ensure accessibility of effective contraceptives of choice in order to improve the overall health status of women of child-bearing age in the FSM.
The adoption of CR 21-211, set the ceiling of funds estimated to be available for appropriation from the General Fund of the FSM for fiscal year ending September 30, 2021.
A grant of $181,052 from the U.S. DHHS – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA), was approved through CR 21-212, to fund and support the FSM’s Behavioral Health and Wellness Program (BHWP) for the Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) project. The grant is to fund technical assistance and training activities related to serving the Mental Health Block Grant target population throughout the FSM of adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances.
Through the adoption of CR 21-213, the Congress approved a grant of $101,451 from the U.S. DHHS – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, to fund and support the FSM and its Department of Health and Social Affairs’ (DHSA) Preventative Health and Health Services (PHHS). Specifically, to support the Nation’s efforts toward rape prevention and establishment of support policies to help victims of rape and sexual assault offenses.
The Congress adopted CR 21-214 to approve a grant of $101,451 from the U.S. DHHS – SAMHS to fund and support the FSM DHSA and its BHWP in implementing the Substance Abuse Preventative and Treatment Services.
Two more grants from the U.S. DHHS – Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), were approved to fund and support the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs program on Maternal and Child Health Services. The adoption of CR 21-216 approved a grant in the amount of $187,388 and the adoption of CR 21-217 approved a second grant in the amount of $130,725. Both grants are partial funding for the Maternal and Child Health Services Program for FY 2020.
Through CR 21-218, the Congress approved a $2,844,888.90 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs to fund and support the FSM Special Education Program under Part B of the Individuals with Disability Education Act.
The Eighth Special Session of the 21st Congress convened on October 26, 2020, and adjourned four days later as scheduled, on October 29, 2020.