Amendment protects Legislature’s appropriation authority

Senator and Minority Leader Telo Taitague (PNC file phptp)

Minority Leader Telo Taitague issued the following statement after 13 other senators supported her amendment which prohibits Adelup from using unappropriated FY 2020 and FY 2021 excess revenues without an appropriation by the legislature.

“Especially at a time when funding for critical agencies and programs are being reduced due to COVID-19, senators shouldn’t surrender their Organic Act responsibility to appropriate limited public funds. My amendment serves as a reminder to senators and Adelup that it is the legislative branch that appropriates funds – and it is the executive branch that uses such funds consistent with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Whether it is to help pay tax refunds in a timely manner or help address expenses related to a public health emergency, this amendment ensures that the legislature and Adelup work together to identify and appropriate any excess revenues that may be available to fund these and other priorities,” Senator Taitague stated.

“At the end of the day, enough senators believed that the power of appropriation shouldn’t be shifted to another branch of government – doing so would be contrary to our separation of powers doctrine. Senators should never be willing to concede this important role to the executive branch thereby ignoring our system of checks and balances.”

(Senator Telo Taitague News Release)