Thursday, October 9, 2008

Glass upper houses

Senate panel wants fewer govt positions blares today's Saipan Tribune headline.

Except in the Legislature.

I thought I was seeing some sense from the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee: relatively painless cuts "from the House-approved 4,200 to just below 3,800 positions." The newspaper quotes a report from Sen. Maria Pangelinan saying that the 409 positions are currently vacant.

In an interview yesterday, Pangelinan said the Legislature should cut personnel costs wherever possible, and strive to fund operations to the maximum. “Funding services benefits all persons in the CNMI and, therefore, is a better option than supporting the economy through public employment,” she said.

Sensible words, but does the report justify the current 240 positions for the Legislature, much less the 290 it recommends? Maybe it's just because we're moving into an election year.


Lil' Hammerhead said...

I think something strategic should be done. Simply not filling vacancies doesn't seem the best way about it. Look at programs of the government and make determinations about which ones will be trimmed down or cut altogether. Do the hard work that needs to be done.

KAP said...

Normally I'd agree, but the House declined to do its job by giving the Executive Branch a blank check to spend as it pleases (With the exception of the 'anti-local' ban on funding a lawsuit against the feds)

If the Governor has got a free hand, just trim the FTE's and let him sort out his priorities.