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Kosrae State to host 2012 legislative conference

 PALIKIR, POHNPEI. August 29, 2012 – The Kosrae State Legislature will be hosting this year’s Micronesian Legislative Conference (MLC) from September 4 – 6 in Tofol.  The Conference will review the state legislatures progress on the ‘Call For Action’ that was issued during last year’s MLC in Palikir.

During the 2011 MLC in November, the nation’s five law making bodies gathered in Palikir under the working theme “A Call For Action” and agreed through resolutions to take action on three issues highlighted at the conference that needed the ‘collective action’ of legislative bodies and those issues were:

  1. Human Trafficking;
  2. Tax Reform; and
  3. Compact-Impact.

On the issue of Human Trafficking, the MLC had adopted a resolution for the signatory legislatures to accept obligations “to properly address the issue of human trafficking and consider adopting a legal regime appropriate to their respective jurisdictions.”

The FSM Congress, during its Third Special Session earlier this year in March, passed Congressional Act 17-37  to define crimes relating to trafficking in persons and related offenses and prescribe appropriate penalties for their violation and other purposes, the Act became Public Law 17-38.

For the Tax Reform issue, the MLC had adopted a resolution calling on the signatory legislatures to “commit themselves to acting on the FSM tax reform plan, either positively or negatively and prior to April of 2012, to bring the years long tax reform initiative to a final conclusion.”
As with the Human Trafficking Act, the Congress passed in the same March Session Congressional Act 17-49 to create the FSM Revenue Administrative Act. The legislative measure categorized the administrative rules that will guide the Unified Revenue Authority (URA) in collecting tax by providing guidelines for taxpayers as well as procedures and deadlines for filing tax returns, appeal procedures and record keeping requirements, the Act became Public Law 17-50.
With the Compact-Impact issue, the 2011 MLC resolution noted the law making bodies’ agreement to “support and encourage the President’s Task Force on Compact-Impact initiatives to conduct a survey of as many citizens of the [FSM] living in the United States as reasonably possibly, to determine the actual impact by those citizens on their host jurisdictions, and should support and encourage enhanced education activities to assist [FSM] citizens living abroad.”
During its regular session in May, Congress passed Congressional Act 17-52 for a supplemental to the 2012 National Budget for various outstanding national needs among which included a funding of 200,000 to conduct a “Survey of FSM citizens in the US,” the Act became Public Law 17-52.

While the conference in the State of Kosrae will have other agenda items and issues of discussion, the main focus will be to follow up and review the progress of the state legislatures on issued that were called for action during the 2011 Micronesian Legislative Conference.
The MLC was established to strengthen the rapport between the legislative branches of the five governments and at the same time provide a platform for the legislative bodies to discuss and define solutions for issues of mutual concern.

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Information about the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia is available through the:

P.O. Box PS-3  ?  Palikir, Pohnpei 96941 ?  T:  (691) 320-2324 ? F:  (691) 320-5122
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