June 23, 2005

By Masaleen Sehpin
The Kaselehlie Press

Among other items approved by the Sixth Pohnpei Legislature during its Fifth Regular Session was L.B. No. 242-05, which upon approval will amend section 3-2 of S.L. No. 6L-16-04, the comprehensive budget act for fiscal year 2005. L.B. No. 242-05 proposes to add a new subsection (6) to Section 3-2 of S.L. No. 6L-16-04, the Comprehensive Budget Act for Fiscal Year 2005, to provide funding for selected Traditional Leaders of Pohnpei to attend the Micronesian Traditional Leadership Conference which is set to be held in June, 2005 in the State of Yap.

Through the Governor's Office, the Chairman of the Pohnpei Traditional Leaders Council submitted a proposed travel budget for nine (9) participants to the Third Micronesian Traditional Leadership Conference. The nine (9) participants is comprised of seven (7) Traditional Leaders and two (2) staff.

Standing committee report 251-05 shows that testimony taken on this matter indicates that the Chairman of the Pohnpei Traditional Leaders Council preferred that two Traditional Leaders and two staff attend the Conference, however, full membership of the Traditional Leaders Council has bee submitted to the Pohnpei Legislature for review.

The Committee on Finance to which was assigned L.B. No. 242-05 has reviewed the request and recommends $6,000 for Traditional Leaders activities, believing that in this way Governor Johnny P. David can coordinate with the Traditional Leaders as to how to best utilize the $6000 for the Traditional Leaders and their staff to travel to the conference in Yap. In addition, the Committee on Finance feels that funding for additional travelers could be accommodated by exercising their respective traditional authority on the people of their respective jurisdictions to contribute the needed amounts.

For the reasons set forth in standing committee report No. 251-05, the Committee on Finance is in accord with the intent and purpose of L.B. No. 242-05 and recommends its passage on first and second readings.

During its fifth regular session, the Sixth Pohnpei Legislature passed L.B. No. 242-05 on second reading on Friday, June 17, 2005, and the appropriated $6000 is to be used for the Third Micronesian Leadership Conference in Yap.