Legislature to Approve US$556M Budget Tuesday

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The newly appointed House’s Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Bong County District # 5 Representative Prince Moye and the Senate’s Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh, have separately announced that the 2016/2017 National Budget would be endorsed jointly tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20.

The 2016/2017 Budget has been at the Legislature for over four months, and was not acted upon due to the in-house division over the recusal of Speaker J. Alex Tyler, which spilled over to the Senate.

Rep. Moye, the Chairman on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and his co-Chairman, Sen. Dagoseh, said last week that the scrutinized 2016/2017 Budget would be submitted simultaneously to both Houses, on Tuesday, September 20, and are confident that it would be instantaneously endorsed.

The duo made the separate disclosures during the intensive Budget Hearing on the Expenditure Component, which ran from Monday, September 12 to Friday, September 16.
Hearing on the Revenue Component of the Budget was from September 5 – 9.

The thorough and rapid scrutiny of the 2016/2017 Budget – which took about 10 days – was in continuation of the Budget Hearing under the former chairman, Rep. Moses Y. Kollie, who was replaced due to his alliance to recused Speaker J. Alex Tyler.

The Joint Legislative Committee led by Rep. Kollie started the Budget Hearing the first week in June and continued with the Expenditure Hearing in early July, but stopped owing to the internal conflict over the Speaker’s recusal, which led to a parallel session.

Rep. Kollie and four other pro-Tyler lawmakers, including Rep. Sekou Kanneh, Rep. S. Gayah Karmoh, Rep. Mariamu Fofana and Rep. Zoe Pennoh, were replaced on the Leadership Committee.

It may be recalled that the National Budget should have been submitted to the Legislature in April, but owing to constraints, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, through Finance Minister Boima Kamara, finally submitted the 2016/2017 Budget on the May 16, in the amount of US$555.9 million.

After the submission, the 2016/2017 Budget should have been endorsed before the Legislature’s annual break, constitutionally scheduled for August 30.

In the wake of the delay, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued a proclamation, affording one month’s extension from September 1-30 to enable lawmakers to complete their legislative duty.

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