April 21, 2006

The Kaselehlie Press

Palikir, POHNPEI - President Joseph J. Urusemal has signed a new law to appropriate over $179, 000 from the General Fund of the Federated States of Micronesia to fund post-secondary scholarships.

The scholarship law, Public Law 14-60, was among the measures transmitted to the President after the Second Special Session of the Fourteenth FSM Congress that was held February 27 - March 3 2006, in Kosrae.

Another measure that was signed from the Kosrae session is Public Law 14-59, which amends Title 41 of the FSM Code by adding a new section to the National Food Safety Act.

Under the new Section 1006 A, on Food Labeling, the new law requires that all imported food items sold in the FSM, must be labeled in English.

The law further notes that the new requirement should not "prevent the importation of fresh fruits and vegetables."

The other new laws, PL 14-57 and PL 14-58, are Congressional overrides of certain public projects in Chuuk that were previously vetoed by the President.

In addition to the new laws, five measures from the Special Session in Kosrae have been vetoed based on Constitutional interpretations. Two of the vetoed Congressional Acts were amendments to certain public projects and their funding, while the other three were measures submitted by the Executive Branch:

CA.14-79, to exempts National Weather Service employees from the Public System Act;

CA. 14-80, to appropriate $268,700 for the Congressional election in March of 2007, $60,000 for the Office of the President for the Outer Islands State visit, $131,950 for CIA, and $200,000 for Supplemental educational opportunity grant (SEOG) and Work Study programs; and

CA. 14-84, to permit straight time compensation for hours worked beyond regular hours to the food inspectors and the police.

The President's transmittal letters to Congress encouraged them to, during the next session, remedy the Executive's interpretation and transmit the measures for signature.

In addition to the laws and vetoes, eight Congressional Resolutions were also adopted during the Kosrae Session, and they are:

CR 14-54: A resolution to approve the China Grant of $2.5 million and to divide it equally amongst the four FSM states and the national government.

CR 14-60: A resolution to confirm the nomination of Mr. Jolden Johnnyboy to serve on the FSM Telecom Board of Directors.

CR 14-61: A resolution requesting the President of the FSM to direct the Department of HESA to finalize and prepare to implement an avian influenza pandemic preparedness and response plan.

CR 14-62: A resolution urging the President of the FSM to confer with the United States of America regarding claims of FSM citizens for medical problems caused by US nuclear testing.

CR 14-63: A resolution calling on the President of the FSM to ensure that all FSM states have access to fiber optic communication cable links.

CR 14-65: A resolution urging the governments of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae to consider legislation that will make it criminal offense to intentionally and recklessly cause anther person to contact the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

CR 14-67: A resolution setting the ceiling of funds ($94,651,450) to be available for appropriation during fiscal year 2006.

CR 14-68: A resolution expressing the profound appreciation of Congress to the Government and People of the State of Kosrae for hosting the Second Special Session of the 14th FSM Congress.