|Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the fiscal
year 2002 federal budget for American Samoa’s primary funding includes
$23.1 million to help fund the operations of the American Samoa Government
and $10.1 million for construction projects. This is an increase
of approximately $50,000 over previous funding which will be awarded to
the High Court of American Samoa, and level funding for construction.
As in prior years, this is only a fraction of the total funding which flows
to American Samoa.
“I am again pleased to announce this slight increase in funding
for the operations of our government and level funding at the high $10.1
million level for CIP’s,” said Faleomavaega. “Together with additional
federal money coming into the territory from the tobacco loan and a couple
of other new initiatives, this money should continue to be of assistance
in helping address the most urgent needs of our local government.”
“The supplements provided by the U.S. Congress were never intended
to fully fund the operations of the local government, as each state and
local government is expected to generate its own revenue. In American
Samoa, however, the United States continues to recognize the difficulty
in maintaining an economy on a remote island with no exploitable natural
resources,” said the Congressman.
The budget for the Office of Insular Affairs proposes an increase
of $500,00 for the coral reef initiative. Although details are not
available yet, some of the funding from this program is expected to be
directed to American Samoa as well. Because of the across-the-board
cut made to almost all federal programs last year, the total increase proposed
for government operations this year is $100,00; however, this is only $50,000
increase over regular funding.
Additional details of funding in other areas will be released as
they become available. The House Appropriations Committee is not
expected to act on the budget until early summer, with the Senate following.
The new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2001.