Finance releases $20.7 million for land-compensation obligations

(Office of the Governor) — On Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, Secretary of Finance Larrisa Larson notified the Office of the Attorney General about the payment of $20.7 million for land-compensation obligations in accordance with Public Law 20-04.

According to Secretary Larson, the largest outstanding land-compensation payments will now be disbursed to the respective estates.

“The administration has prioritized these obligations since the start of their term and met the conditions of the Superior Court order for the payment of the Mangabao estate in the amount of $16.3 million by Aug. 18, 2017. Additionally, because of the government’s increasing revenue stream, we were also able to pay off the other largest outstanding obligations. It has been more than a decade for many of these families, so we are pleased that we can now move forward on addressing our other responsibilities and eventually provide what is due to the remaining claimants,” Larson said.

Gov. Ralph Torres, in a statement during the signing of Public Law 20-4 on Wednesday, thanked the Legislature for passing the bill and expressed his gratitude to the families who waited patiently.

“I believe our government should live up to its promises, and the payment of these longstanding obligations will allow the CNMI to further address government debts in the near future. My administration will continue to maintain our commitment to include future appropriations to address the remaining land-compensation claims on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.”

Secretary Larson added that now that the funding has been released, the attorney general will be responsible for its disbursement according to the terms provided in the court orders.

Source: Marianas Variety

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