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Fiscal Affairs panel to approve Senate version of FY 2021 budget bill

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THE Senate Committee on Fiscal Affairs will endorse for passage today, Wednesday, the Senate version of House Bill 21-124 or the fiscal year 2021 appropriation measure.

The committee met at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and will convene again at 2 p.m., Wednesday.

Aside from the committee chairman, Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, the other members present at the meeting on Tuesday were Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua, Sens. Vinnie Sablan, Sixto Igisomar and Teresita Santos.

Also on Tuesday, the House accepted the Senate version of House Concurrent Resolution 21-2, which raised the budget ceiling to $96.4 million from $82.6 million, by suspending additional earmarks, to address the funding needs of government entities such as Medicaid and the Public School System.

In an interview, Hofschneider said his committee had to review all the necessary information from the administration pertaining to the budget projection and other potential revenue resources.

“Those are valuable pieces of information the committee needed to be able to move forward the budget process in the Senate,” he added.

“It took us long to get those pieces of information,” he said, adding that the committee members then had to discuss the information among themselves.

Hofschneider said, “We appreciate the cooperation of the Finance secretary and everyone in the administration for working with the Senate by answering questions we posed during the Senate budget hearings.”

Without a new and balanced budget before Oct. 1, 2020, there will be a partial government shutdown.

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