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Bill to prohibit political activities during government-funded trips

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SENATOR Paul A. Manglona on Friday introduced Senate Bill 21-64 to prohibit government officials and employees from attending or engaging in any political activity during government-funded travel.

The measure will amend Chapter 3 of the Government Ethics Code to include a provision that prohibits a public official or public employee from attending or engaging in political or campaign activity while traveling under a trip authorization paid for by the CNMI government.

S.B. 21-64 states that “public officials and government employees have been traveling on government trip authorizations while also engaging in political or campaigning activities on those trips.”

These trips “were paid for by the CNMI government. Without the official part of the trip being paid for by the CNMI government, the public official or government employee would have had to pay for their own flight to attend a political rally or campaign event on other islands or outside the CNMI. In some cases, the official part of the trip is curtailed to coincide with an already planned political or campaign event off-island,” the bill added.

“Government funds should not be used to fund trips that involve any political or campaign activity,” the bill stated.

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