September 03, 2012

By FSM Congress News
The Kaselehlie Press

PALIKIR, POHNPEI. August 24, 2012 - Speaker Isaac V. Figir of the Seventeenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has authored three legislative measures to explore alternatives for the future of the nation.

The first measure is a revision of a bill introduced during the 16th Congress to create four additional seats for women in the FSM Congress. Congressional Bill 17- 147, proposes to amend the Constitution to guarantee the representation of women in Congress by creating four additional atlarge seats for eligible women candidates. Speaker Figir has revised the bill to install a temporary special measure provision to guarantee seats for women candidates for a period of 20 years. As a proposed amendment to the Constitution, upon becoming a law, the measure will be placed on a referendum for the people to decide.

In anticipation of the termination of the financial provisions of the Amended Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the United States of America, Congressional Bill 17-148, calls for the establishment of a Joint Committee on the Future of the Nation and its Secretariat to explore alternatives for the nation's future. The composition of the proposed body will mirror that of the former Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiation (JCN) with nine members: one representative from each state, four representatives from Congress - one from each delegation and the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs as a member ex officio.

And finally, Congressional Bill 17-150, proposes an amendment to the Constitution to allow that "in the event of a financial crisis that a state is unable to control," such state may temporarily delegate any powers assigned to it under the Constitution to the national government. Upon becoming law, the measure like the previous amendment to the Constitution, it too will be placed on a referendum for the people to decide.

Speaker Figir's bills are ready for introduction in the next session of Congress.

The Fifth Regular Session Congress as scheduled will convene on September 12, 2012. In accordance with the Rules of Procedures, the session will be for 20 days unless extended or shortened by resolution.

Congress sessions as usual are open to the interested public.