The current situation gives him room to maneuver. He can claim severe economic crisis to deny those he doesn't like, and still pay huge attorney fees for a federalization lawsuit, manage subsidies for "volunteers" and do other perky things.
A real budget, backed by a legislature doing its job and keeping tabs on how the money is spent, could be a set-back.
Will our Legislature have the intelligence and back-bone to override Governor Fitial's veto? Senator Frica Pangelinan seems supportive of an override. Her comments shed light on some issues and help decode some of the political statements--the Legislature's budget does make cuts, but in a more thoughtful way, a more specific way, than across the board austerity Fridays.
Representative Tina Sablan seems ready, too. Her comments point to the hypocrisy of the current situation, where some agencies continue to have fluff jobs at an endless rate of growth, for friends of the governor.
But this Legislature contains many of the same men who have failed to protect our resources, have failed to pass a budget for several years, have failed to find a way to stave off the spread of third-world conditions here.
This is the same Legislature that failed to override the veto in January 2009.
Voting against the override in January 2009:
David M. Apatang
Joseph James N. Camacho
Francisco Dela Cruz
Raymond D. Palacios
Justo S. Quitugua
Ramon A. Tebuteb
And not voting (absent)
Edwin P. Aldan
You can verify the list at J.J. Camacho's website--just look for the override vote on HB-16-169.
We need to AT LEAST take one step at a time, in the right direction. We need to do what is right.
I applaud the Saipan Tribune for its daily front page ticker on how long we've gone without a budget. I applaud the 10 Representatives who voted to override the veto last month. I applaud the Senators who speak out on the issue.
This is a very important issue. We need a budget. We need a budget. We need a budget.
We need our Legislature to override the Governor's veto, if that's what it takes to get a budget. And that is what it takes. Otherwise, the "budget" the Governor wants is nothing more than carte blanche-not a budget but a free rein.
Some of our elected leaders are making noises that they may actually override the veto this time. But of course, others still want to support our Governor! What about supporting the people? What about doing what is right? What about having some guts?
I agree (for once) with the comments by Heinz Hofschneider. We need a budget more than we need endless debate on the benefits and detriments of austerity Fridays.
Override the veto.
(And if you want to fix the US budget problems at the same time, try this budget game and learn something, too.