The Governor's Association is urging members of the Olbiil Era Kelilau (OEK) to take action to ensure that state block grant funding will be received by the states and not be further delayed due to disagreements among lawmakers over the implementation of the tourist visa fees.
In a letter date September 12, Association Chairman Yositaka Adachi said there is a looming threat of state governments shutdown as a result of impasse among the lawmakers. The state block grant funding is a part of the legislation that is proposing the reinstatement of the visa fee.
"Any delay in the authorization and appropriation process has the potential of leaving hundreds of employees without pay and will certainly lead to a shutdown of state government service," Adachi stated.
Adachi noted that almost all state block grants are paid directly to the national treasury to the states, many in the form of salaries, wages and mandatory contributions of state employees.
He also raised concerns that the continuing budget resolution has failed to address the needs of the states when it overlooked the state block grant funding. The impasse, he added, also affects the additional Social Security benefits with a potential decrease in the benefits because of the delay in the implementation of the new environmental impact fee (EIF).
The EIF implementation is supposed to fund additional benefit to retirees.
Source: TIA BELAU