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Gregorio 'Kilili' Sablan

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The U.S. Representative for Northern Mariana Islands's At large district, serving since 2009.
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News

Be prepared for emergencies
September is National Preparedness Month – a time to check to make sure that you and your family are ready in case of a typhoon, earthquake, or other emergency. Each week this month we will focus on one aspect of being prepared with some tips and tools from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This week’s theme is Preparing Family & Friends. Does everyone in your family know where to go for safety? Does everyone have everyone’s phone number or e-mail address? Do you have a plan to meet or bring family members to one secure location if there is an emergency? Answers to these kinds of questions can be especially important for children, elders, and persons with disabilities to know. So make a family emergency communication plan. Consider that your entire family may not be together during a disaster and plan for how you will find each other after an emergency. And be prepared for any unique needs of the young or elderly in your family, so they can al











THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS - September 9, 2016
In this issue:  Hearing on Marianas economic, labor issues set for Tuesday NMI minimum wage increases September 30 Be prepared for emergencies! Volunteers help Soudelor survivors rebuild Rota airport to get $2.4 million Opportunities – Federal grants, jobs for/in the Marianas Highlights in the legislative program ______________________________________________________________________________ Hearing on Marianas economic, labor issues set for Tuesday. The House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs holds an oversight hearing this Tuesday, September 13 on the economic impacts of the Commonwealth-only worker (CW) program in the Northern Mariana Islands. I had asked Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) for this opportunity to highlight economic progress in the Marianas and lay out the challenges to continued growth, especially the availability of labor. Governor Ralph Torres and Mr. Alex Sablan, Chair of the Strategic Economic Development











Hearing on Marianas economic, labor issues set for Tuesday
The House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs holds an oversight hearing this Tuesday, September 13 on the economic impacts of the Commonwealth-only worker (CW) program in the Northern Mariana Islands. I had asked Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) for this opportunity to highlight economic progress in the Marianas and lay out the challenges to continued growth, especially the availability of labor. Governor Ralph Torres and Mr. Alex Sablan, Chair of the Strategic Economic Development Council’s CW and Labor Task Force, whom the Committee invited to testify, will make the case for legislative action and lay out the Commonwealth’s efforts to expand its U.S. workforce. The hearing will be streamed live on the committee website at http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=401108.











Minimum wage to increase September 30
The federal minimum wage in the Northern Mariana Islands goes up to $6.55 per hour on September 30. Raising the minimum wage is one way to bring more U.S. workers into the Marianas economy and it may be having an effect. Since the wage began to rise in 2007 the number of U.S. workers (inclusive of workers from the Freely Associated States) has risen from 13,246 to 15,137, according to data from the Commonwealth government. And the average wage paid to U.S. workers has increased from $10,685 to $14,296 per year during this same period of time. Next year the wage increases again to $7.05 and then to the U.S. $7.25 per hour in September 2018. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 2150, legislation to lift the minimum wage further, to $12 per hour nationwide with annual increases after that to be determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.














 
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