Governor Torres to host summit in response to fiscal challenges brought upon by COVID-19

Governor Ralph DLG. Torres, in collaboration with Graduate School USA, will host a Fiscal Response Summit from April 23, 2020 to April 28, 2020 with the Legislature, business leaders, and members of the public to address the fiscal challenges in the CNMI caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in a deep and dramatic shift in the structure of our economy and how our community interacts with one another and the world. These repercussions have caused tremendous consequences to employment, incomes and to obtaining the revenue necessary to support essential government services and programs. It is clear that in response to this unprecedented challenge, our community must come together to chart a path forward for its government in new and innovative ways. It is important to ensure that the many voices of our community are heard in the difficult, but necessary conversations about how our government functions,” said Governor Torres.

The summit will build upon the findings of the Governor’s Fiscal Response Task Force, which is composed of members from the CNMI Department of Finance, Office of Management and Budget, and Graduate School USA. Last month, the task force created the Commonwealth Fiscal Response Briefing Paper that describes the fiscal position of the CNMI, the current economic climate, and the factors that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The briefing paper outlines a framework to discuss reforms and a process for leaders within the CNMI to collaborate on addressing longstanding structural issues. 

As an outcome of this work, Governor Torres has invited leaders from across the CNMI, from government, private sector, as well as members of the minority party of the Legislature to work toward finding solutions that aid in the management of government expenditures and improve revenue collections among other possible collaborative solutions. 

Due to the ongoing concerns related to COVID-19 and to continue the CNMI’s practice of social distancing, the summit will take place largely through video conference technology. 

The Fiscal Response Summit will commence on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Members of the public are invited to participate in the plenary session of the summit.

Interested individuals can register to receive information, as well as review the briefing paper findings and the structure of the summit online through the following link

Only those who have registered their contact information on the website will be able to join the opening plenary session.

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