The Honorable Arnold I. Palacios

Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

The Honorable Arnold I. Palacios is the 12th Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, serving alongside Governor Ralph DLG. Torres since January 2019.

He previously served as Senate President during the 20th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature from January 2017 to January 2019 and as Senate Vice President during the 19th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature from January 2015 to January 2017. He has served four terms in the House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 16th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature from January 2008 to January 2010. He also served as the Secretary of Lands and Natural Resources from February 2012 to January 2015.

Born on August 22, 1955, Lt. Governor Palacios was born on Saipan and attended Mt. Carmel School. He attended Portland State University in Oregon and earned his bachelor of science degree in Business Administration/Management.

During his time in the Legislature, he championed legislation and policies on natural resources, environmental conservation, economic development, and federal relations. He was a member of the Governor’s Section 902 Consultation team in 2016, when he helped articulate the CNMI’s position on labor, immigration, and US military buildup proposals. As Senate President, he created the Office of Planning and Development, which establishes development objectives, standards, and principles for the CNMI’s desired land use for residential, recreational, agricultural, commercial, and industrial needs.

As Lt. Governor, he oversees the Office of Planning and Development, the Office of Grants Management, and the CNMI’s permitting agencies and leads policy initiatives on government efficiency, business permitting processes, and regulatory functions. He also plays an active role in the CNMI’s relationship with the Federal Government with discussions on labor viability and proposed military projects in the Marianas.

He is married to Maria Wella Sablan Palacios, and they have four children: Arnold Gerard, Nicole, Tiana, and Eric, and five grandchildren: Naiyah, Aleiyah, Carter, Capri, and Eli.


The Administration

Lt. Governor

CNMI Office of the Governor

Office of the Governor Response to Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed Against the House Judiciary & Government Operations Committee

Yesterday, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor could not proceed with its case against the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee. Although the Administration respects the decision of the Judge, we believe the decision is erroneous by ignoring and misinterpreting law and precedent. For example, in its rush to follow federal precedent, it skipped right over the plain text of the Commonwealth Constitution. Then it overlooked some of the most important protections found even in the federal cases — such as the rule that the legislature may subpoena the executive only when the information it needs is not reasonably available anywhere else. The decision will be appealed. It will be for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide the merits of this civil case.

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