The proposed FY 2024 national budget bill expects delay in funding from the Compact Review Agreement signed in April of this year.
The budget bill that was submitted to both the Senate and the House of Delegates of the 11th Olbiil Era Kelulau budgets $20 million from the proceeds of the Compact Review Agreement (CRA) to fund government operations in FY 2024 beginning this October 1st, 2023.
The budget also included a language authorizing withdrawal of $20 million from the Compact Trust Fund to fund the government operations in case the U.S. Congress does not pass its own budget before October 1st. The CRA legislation and funding is contained in the United States national budget bill that is currently pending in the US Congress. The US national budget does not look like it will pass before the end of the fiscal year, September 30th and the US government shutdown seemed imminent. The fund is referred to as “stopgap” funding, with expectation that it will be returned once US Government passes its own budget and fund the Compact Review Agreement.
In President Surangel Whipps’ transmittal letter to both houses, he said, “although the agreement is still subject to the US Congressional approval, we remain hopeful in its successful enactment. In the event that the CRA assistance package is not enacted by the beginning of FY 2024, we are taking the appropriate steps through additional funding drawdown in the amount of $20 million from the Compact Trust fund (CTF) as a “stopgap” measure until the funds are replaced.”
However, Olbiil Era Kelulau increased the proposed budget from $111 million to $117 million authorized and $99 million to $112 million. The House with Senate concurring increased the $20 million to $30 million from the Compact Trust Fund to fund the budget.
With economy still recovering slowly and government operations still at pre-Covid levels, the $20 million will cover portion of the expected $35 million revenue shortfall in FY 2024.
Two of the largest expenditures in this proposed FY 2024 include the .75 per hour additional increase in salary for both state and national employees and the increase of $6 million in State block grants, the highest it has ever been.