AG’s office, Settlement Fund trustee recommended joint resolution, says Finance chief


SECRETARY of Finance David DLG Atalig issued the following statement on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022:

 “The Department of Finance’s ability to distribute the bonus payments for retirees is reliant upon the joint resolution that will allow Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to reprogram the $1.3 million that will be allocated for each retiree’s $500 bonus.

“The Governor only has 25% reprogramming authority, as per the current budget act, Public Law 22-08. If there is no program that is already funded in the current budget, then Governor Torres cannot just create a program to fund it. In the Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, there are no current funds that allow for retiree bonuses.

“In discussions with the Attorney General’s Office and NMI Settlement Fund Trustee Joyce Tang, Governor Torres and I were advised on the procedure to give retirees this bonus, which is the joint resolution.

“The joint resolution between the Senate and the House of Representatives to allow Governor Torres the reprogramming authority to create a business unit within the current budget, which would allocate $1.3 million from the executive branch to our retirees, was decided as the most appropriate plan.

“To clarify, we are neither increasing nor reducing the current budget level. Furthermore, the funds for this retiree bonus will use the budget allocations from the Office of the Governor and the Department of Finance, and not from any other program.

“Because the Governor does not have 100% reprogramming authority, based on the current budget act, we cannot disburse the retiree bonuses. We are simply asking that the Governor is given the reprogramming authority to allow our retirees to be paid.

“This administration prioritizes the retirees of our Commonwealth. As much as we would like to give our retirees their $500 bonuses immediately, due to Public Law 22-08, the current budget act, the Governor is not able to reprogram the funding for this bonus. I want to reaffirm the importance of the passing of this joint resolution, which will allow us to give our retirees the $500 they deserve.”



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