The governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands has vetoed a bill that sought to legalize casino gaming on Saipan.
The bill was passed not by the CNMI House but by representatives of the local Saipan legislative district.
According to the Saipan Tribune, Governor Benigno R. Fitial vetoed the bill on constitutional grounds, saying it had been “irregularly introduced and passed without authority, and is invalid on this basis.”
Fitial said the legislature may enact a local law that affects a single senatorial district, but that the legislative delegation of a single district cannot enact a commonwealth law which would affect commonwealth interests.
Another House bill on casinos has been worked on by Rep. Rafael Demapan and other majority members.
Rather than pass a law outright, the Senate wants a referendum on casino gaming, and has enlisted students of Northern Marianas College to conduct a special survey on the subject on November 4.