May 12, 2006

The Kaselehlie Press

Palikir, POHNPEI - On May 11 2006, the Fourteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened in Palikir for its Fourth Regular Session.

It follows the closing of the Third Special Session the FSM Congress held from May 5th thru 9th.

The Special Session was dominated by preparatory work on the FY 07 budget and other matters Congress anticipated to be brought up during the Regular Session.

Substantive actions included passing a resolution expressing sadness at the passing, and recognizing the accomplishments, of Mr. Gene Ashby, the noted author, COM instructor and long-time resident of Pohnpei.

Other matters considered by the special session and likely to arise in the regular session include clarification of the delay in turning over the Tuna Commission Headquarter, the President's actions related to alleged improper use of passports by a former employee of the FSM Embassy in Washington, consideration of the President's supplemental budget request, update on the MLFC situation, internal division of the grant from the People's republic of China, and the handling of vetoed measures during the Second Special Session.

Congress has noted that the Fourth Regular Session will continue the focus on the FY-07 budget considerations.

A full slate of Public Hearings' is being held to consider the Compact portion of the budget, which must be passed by Congress prior to May 16, 2006. The remainder of the budget must be approved by the end of the session.

The Fourth Regular Session is expected to run through May 24, 2006.