PALIKIR, POHNPEI The 22nd Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned Sine Die this Fourth Regular Session on May 27, 2022 with the passage of the following measures including a new supplemental budget for FY2022, and to address the transition of the President’s Emergency Declaration with the Healthy Border Protection Act of 2022.
Most urgent was a congressional act CA 22-132 to amend Title 50 of the code of the Federated States of Micronesia by creating a new chapter 3 to establish the FSM Healthy Border Protection Act of 2022. The intent of this bill was to replace the Nation’s state of emergency declaration, it includes the establishment of a permanent legal regime, and the setting of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all persons entering the F.S.M. This policy is to ensure the health and safety of the Nation. The bill was passed and takes effect on August 1, 2022.
After much deliberation, the Congress passed congressional act CA 22-98 to appropriate from the General Fund of the Federated States of Micronesia for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022 in the amount of $1,596,377 to provide additional funding for the operations of all branches of the National Government.
Another significant congressional act in direct assistance to the residents of the state of Pohnpei to offset rising fuel costs is CA 22-133, this act is to authorize on an extraordinary basis the share of the extra 20% of net taxes collected during FY2023 be remitted to fuel wholesalers for the purpose of providing a fuel subsidy, and to clarify that Yap’s share of the extra 20% of net taxes collected for FY2023 be redirected into the FSM Trust Fund.
In order to extend the expiration date of the Tourism Sector Mitigation Fund, the Congress passed CA 22-108 to further amend Section 609 Title 55 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia by amending Public Laws Nos. 21-104,120,211,232 & 47, thereby extending the expiration date of the fund to December 31, 2022. The initial purpose of the Tourism Sector Mitigation Fund was to financially assist businesses within the tourism industry ie., hotels, dive shops, car rentals, but was further amended to assist other businesses affected by the pandemic.
Pursuant to international and multilateral treaties where the FSM is a signatory country, the Congress passed congressional act CA 22-110 requiring direct ratification by the Congress.
In regards to the importation of pharmaceuticals into the F.S.M., CA 22-111 requires a valid Pharmaceutical Unit License and product registration approval in order to import pharmaceuticals, and empowers the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration to fine any entity in violation of this act. In another closely linked legislation, CA 22-112 amends Title 41 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia by creating a new Chapter 13 to establish the FSM Safe Pharmaceutical Act of 2022. The act establishes the Pharmaceutical Unit within the Department of Health and Social Affairs, adopts a criteria for the FSM Approved Medicines List and Competent Jurisdictions Designation, establishes a pharmaceutical product registration process, and authorizes the Secretary of Health and Social Affairs to suspend or revoke any Pharmaceutical Unit license or product registration approval for cause.
The remaining Acts were for grass root level projects and social programs in the four states to extend the lapse dates,make changes to the use of funds previously appropriated or to make changes to the allottees of those funds.
The Congress passed the following measures to either change the use or the allottee, or extend the lapse dates of certain funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs for the people across the Nation. The following passed measures specific to the states of Kosrae/Chuuk we have CA 22-100; for Kosrae/Pohnpei/Chuuk we have CA 22-107 & CA 22-109; and for Pohnpei/Yap - CA 22-124. For congressional acts passed pertaining to individual states specific to Pohnpei are CA 22-102 & CA 22-109; the state of Yap with CA 22-97; and CA 22-99 for the state of Chuuk. Finally for the people of all four states of the F.S.M., the Congress passed CA 22-101, CA 22-103, CA 22-104, CA 22-105, CA 22-106, CA 22-113, CA 22-114, CA 22-115, CA 22-116, CA 22-119, CA 22-120, CA 22-121, CA 22-122, CA 22-123, CA 22-125, CA 22-126, CA 22-127 & CA 22-129.
The Fourth Regular Session was originally for 20-days as prescribed by law, but due to issues that remained outstanding with the Congress, the session was extended through Congressional Resolution CR22-130. Through the resolution the Congress adjourned on May 27, 2022. Unless a special session is earlier called by the Speaker, the next Regular Session of the Congress is scheduled for September 12, 2022.
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