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New law restores insurance, DC plan or judiciary, Legislature employees

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Tuesday signed House Bill 21-93 to restore the funding for the judiciary and legislative branch employees’ group health insurance and defined contribution plan.

Authored by Rep. Ivan Blanco, H.B. 21-93 is now Public Law 21-16. It amends Public Law 21-8 or the fiscal year 2020 budget measure to reinstate some of the provisions line-item vetoed by the governor.

P.L. 21-16 will ensure that the legislative and the judicial branches of the government are adequately funded to cover their employees’ defined contribution and group health insurance expenses.

The new law will also lend the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. an amount not to exceed $350,000 to address unmet needs pertaining to housing, infrastructure, and economic development. NMHC “shall reimburse the entire amount to the secretary of Finance,” P.L. 21-16 stated.

When he signed the FY 2020 budget law last year, the governor vetoed the $692,092 for the employer defined contribution plan and the $5.2 million for group health insurance for the legislative and judicial branches employees, saying that the legislative and judicial branches must “account for these expenses within their own respective budgets.”

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