Guam – For the first time in CNMI history, the Commonwealth Government has shut down all non-essential government services.
The shutdown took effect a second after midnight this morning [Friday] after the 17th Legislature’s failure to pass a balanced budget by the Sept. 30 deadline.
Over 1,400 government employees holding so-called non-essential positions as defined by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial are now temporarily out of jobs until the Legislature passes a budget and the governor signs it into law.
Fitial signed an executive order Thursday declaring a state of emergency, barring the government from drawing funds from the general fund, with the exception of certain essential services.
His emergency declaration expires in 31 days unless extended. Exempted from the shutdown are civil servants in the fields of public safety, health care, education, and welfare.