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Marianas Variety: Bill to exempt NMC from OPA fee (May 3, 2019)

REPRESENTATIVE Roman C. Benavente has introduced a bill that would exempt the Northern Marianas College from paying the Office of the Public Auditor fee.

“Let’s help Northern Marianas College,” Benavente said in filing House Bill 21-40 on Monday.

The law requires all agencies to pay OPA a fee equivalent to 1 percent of their annual budgets.

House Bill 21-40 would amend Public Law 9-68 or the Public Auditor Amendments Act of 1994 to exempt NMC “from the withholding and [OPA] payment requirements.”

In an interview, Benavente said NMC was among those hit the hardest by Super Typhoon Yutu and is now facing many challenges to meet its obligations.

He said if the Public School System can be exempted from the OPA fee, “I think NMC, too, should be exempted.”

H.B. 21-40 has been referred to the House Education Committee, which Benavente chairs.

He said his committee will act on the bill next week.



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