180 the contemporary pacific • 31:1 (2019) symbolized larger issues in the Com- Commonwealth of the monwealth. Northern Mariana Islands Opponents of the Saipan casino When the period in review began, one argued that voters should have been of the two biggest concerns for Com- able to approve its legalization. monwealth of the Northern Mariana Proponents, however, argued that the Islands (CNMI) leaders and policy- casino legalization went through the makers was the looming end of the proper legal process. The casino bill federal cw (CNMI-only Transitional was signed into law by then-Governor Worker) program, which provides Eloy S Inos, who said that it was the special cw-1 visas that allow non-US only way to prevent the collapse of the citizens to work in the CNMI. Set pension fund. Opponents of the new to expire in December 2019, the cw law challenged it in court, saying that program has provided the bulk of the its passage violated the Open Govern- workers making up the CNMI private ment Act’s requirement that the legis- sector, providing much-needed support lature issue a meeting notice at least to the economy. The other concern seventy-two hours before the meeting. was the November 2018 general
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Feb 28, 2019
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