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First Session of the 37th Legislature will end on time — with two Saturdays added

Rendering of the proposed new fono building.

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Fono is not taking a mid session recess for the current First Session of the 37th Legislature, but instead will convene on the next two Saturdays, therefore ending the current session on Mar. 12th, a Friday.

The Constitution and law require the Fono to convene for 45-session days and in the past years, lawmakers would take a mid session recess — usually towards the end of January or beginning or February — and return to finish up the required session days.

As of Tuesday this week, Feb. 23, there are 15-session days left for the current 1st regular session. And during yesterday’s Senate session, Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean announced that the Fono would convene for the next two Saturdays — Feb. 27th and Mar. 6th.

By convening on these two Saturdays, the Fono will comply with the 45-day session days come Mar. 12th — thus closing out the First Session of the 37th Legislature.

The upcoming Saturday sessions, will start at the usual time of 10a.m for each chamber unless lawmakers decide to start an hour earlier, at 9a.m.

Upon closing of the 1st regular session, the Fono returns on the second Monday in July to start the 2nd regular session.

The Fono convening on a Saturday has been done in past years and many years ago, during the budget push to get a government financial plan approved, lawmakers would even convene on Sundays, but in the afternoon after church services.