A member of the Leadership of the Senate has clarified that the US$6,000 received by individual Senators is a part of their budgetary allotment, and that the Senate Pro Tempore is soon to speak on said issue.
The ranking Senator (named withheld) in a phone interview with our reporter on Friday, April 24, explained that the money is the first of two installments, and has been delayed due to the recent salary harmonization which affected the Legislature.
The Senator, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Ways, Means and Budget, asserted that the money is allotted every budget year and is intended to be used by Senators for the effective running of their offices.
The voucher for the money according to the Senator was raised through the Legislature’s budget office.
For the past days, the issue of the US$6,000 for Senators has become a topical issue, since Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon disclosed on a local radio talk show that individual Senators have received their overdue office “operational funds”.
Senator Dillon’s disclosure came days after members of the Legislature affixed their signatures to endorse a resolution for the state of emergency declared by President George Weah.
“Where in this world does a Legislature demand or receive bribe to allow funding for its citizens to fight a global virus that is killing the people,” the Senator wondered, adding that, “maybe as the saying goes; once bitten, twice shy.”
Pro Tempore Albert T. Chie could not be reached for comment, nor the chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, Order and Administration.