Continuing Resolution dodges cuts, keeps NMI funding at FY12 levels
Instead of cutting programs the Northern Marianas relies on as the majority has proposed, the House voted recenly to keep government-wide funding for fiscal year 2013 at fiscal 2012 levels – at least for the first six months of the year from October through March. With just two weeks before the beginning of the fiscal year and none of the spending bills for next year acted on, the House “kicked the can down the road,” a phrase that is becoming worn out with use in this Congress. The Office of Insular Affairs Assistance to Territories was scheduled to be cut by 3 percent. The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant, Local Delinquency Prevention Incentive Grant, BEACH program, and John R. Justice School Loan Repayment Programs had been scheduled to get zero funding, but will now continue at current levels. Legal Services Corporation avoided a 5.7 percent cut. The State Energy Program was spared a 50 percent reduction. And funding for water and sewer development, which has soared in recent years because of a 1.5 percent set aside contained in the annual appropriations bill for the Environmental Protection Agency will continue. Last year that water and sewer formula was worth $7. 4 million to the Northern Marianas. The Continuing Resolution now goes to the Senate for approval.