PALIKIR, POHNPEI – October 6, 2017. The Second Regular Session of the Twentieth Congress adjourned on September 29 with the adoption of resolutions on various nomination and the various programs and services facilitated by the National Government, among others.
On the nominations, the Congress adopted Congressional Resolution (CR) 20-22 to confirm Sihna Neth Lawrence as the Nation’s representative and member on the Joint Trust Fund Committee.
Other board representation measures included CR 20-37 which confirmed Pelma Johnson Mingii as the National Government representative on the Board of Regents for the College of Micronesia and CR 20-44 for Tony M. Tareq as the Yap State representative on the MiCare Board of Directors.
For national representation on the international platform the Congress adopted CR 20-45 to confirm Jackson Soram to serve as the Nation’s Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States of America at the FSM Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Three resolutions were adopted to convey condolences from the Congress to the families of recently departed public servants who had invested and spent most of their lives in service to their people:
CR 20-25, expressed sadness and condolences to the family of the late Ready E. Johnny who had spent over 30 years of services in the field of law for both state and national governments. His final years of service were rendered on behalf of the Nation’s highest court as an Associate Justice of the FSM Supreme Court. The FSM has benefited from his strong leadership in the field of law and his commitment to promoting the rule of law and his mentorship for the Nation’s next generation of attorneys;
CR 20-31, expressed sadness and condolences to the family of the late Tony deBrum and to the government and people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands for a leader who was a voice of the pacific region on the international stage. The late deBrum had served over 50 years in his government in various leadership capacities. The FSM has benefitted from his strong leadership in the western pacific and his commitment to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of island people; and
CR 20-38, expressed sadness and condolences to the family of the late Clement G. Mulalap who spent half his lifetime in service to the people of the State of Yap both in the private sector and the government in the field of law. The FSM has benefited from his strong leadership in the field of law and his integrity in politics as well as his mentoring of the next generation of leaders in the Nation.
As a budget session, the Congress had adopted measures for budget ceilings to cap the amount of estimated funds available for appropriation from the general fund and adopted CR 20-32 to set $108,780,694 as the ceiling for funds available for the FY-2017 ending on September 30, 2017.
A similar intent was adopted through CR 20-39, to cap the ceiling of funds estimated to be available for appropriation from the general fund for the national government for FY-2018 budget ending September 30, 2018. The breakdown of estimated funds for the current fiscal year was set at $77,185,224 of which $70,320,354 would be from domestic revenue and the remaining funds available through the amended Compact: $5,252,250 for the College of Micronesia - FSM and $1,612,620 from Supplemental Education Grant.
For the continued improvement of the Nation’s various development sectors, the Congress adopted the following resolutions to support and to bring to fore those efforts:
CR 20-21, approved a grant of $8.3 million from the Asian Development Bank to fund a project titled “Improving the Quality of Basic Education in the FSM.” A project to designed to improve the quality of teaching through the improvement of primary education learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
The Congress had approved two grants for the states of Kosrae and Yap from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made available under its Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The $500,000 grant was specific to “Improving Airport Miscellaneous Improvements – Design Electric Vault,” to which the Congress approved CR 20-35 for the Kosrae International Airport and CR 20-47 for the Yap International Airport.
Also for the Yap International Airport was CR 20-42, which approved another FAA grant of $1 million to fund the state’s Rehabilitate Runway 7/25-Design project.
Specific to the State of Pohnpei, the Congress adopted CR 20-40 and approved a grant of $1million from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to fund the construction and installation of a 400KW Solar Project in the state and for technical assistance to the Pohnpei Utilities Corporation.
A $9 million grant from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) was approved to fund a project entitled “Enhancing the Climate Change Resilience of Vulnerable Island Communities in the FSM.” The grant was approved through the adoption of CR 20-51.
The Congress approved a grant from the World Bank in the amount of SDR 12,000,000 as additional funding for the FSM’s Connectivity Project. The grant would enable the State of Kosrae to participate in a regional fiber optic cable system with the Republic of Kiribati and the Republic of Nauru and the enabling mechanism was through the adoption of CR 20-53.
The remaining resolutions addressed the various national programs in the sectors of health and education funded through grants from the United States of America as available through the amended Compact.
CR 20-18, approved a grant of $ 250,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support and fund the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs Opioid State targeted response project;
CR 20-28, approved a grant of $ 853,081 from the US DOE, Division of Special Education under Part B of its Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for its FY 2017 cycle;
CR 20-30, approved a grant of $164,968 from the US DHHS-Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund the FSM Maternal and Child Health Services program for the budget period October 01, 2016 through September 30, 2018. The grant is geared towards the improvement of Mothers and Children’s health in the Nation;
CR 20-33, approved a grant of $337,000 from the US DHHS – Public Health Service, to support and fund the FSM Family Planning program;
CR 20-43, approved a grant of $284,160 from the US DHHS - Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to fund the implementation of the FSM Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) plan to reduce cancer burden in the FSM;
CR 20-48, approved a grant of $151,750 from the US DHHS – SAMHSA, to fund and support the FSM Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health (LAUNCH) project;
CR 20-49, approved a grant of $276,806 from the US DHHS – CDC, to fund the FSM Public Health and Healthcare Emergency Preparedness project;
CR 20-50, approved a grant of $106,175 from the US DHHS – Health Resources and Services Administration to support and fund the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention project; and finally
CR 20-54, approved a grant of $665,810 from the US DHHS – SAMHSA, to provide funding for prevention and treatment services related to substance abuse.
The Congressional Resolutions, like the Congressional Acts, have all been transmitted to the President for information and dissemination to the designated recipients.
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