Friday, August 14, 2009

HB 16-208 UPDATE

I checked today on the update of HB 16-208:

Short Title: NMC NON-RESIDENT NURSING GRADUATES To amend 3 CMC § 4972(b)(2)(i) to waive the two-year work experience
Location/Latest Action: House - Action on Senate Amendment
Date: 07/28/09
References: HEW 01/12/09; S-6/509 H.Comm. 16-265; H-7/28/09 Sen.Comm. 16-175
Contact For Comments:
House Committee House HEW 664-8923
Senate Committee
Author Quitugua, JS 664-8881

I was originally under the impression that the bill was already sent to governor for his signature. Now apparently the bill was sent back to the House due to the amendments including the 100 foreign nurse cap and the one year nurse contract provision. My guess is that this bill is going absolutely nowhere. If federalization does start as expected on Nov. 28th, this legislation is null and void. Although the regulations haven't come out, the CNMI is supposed to be granted unlimited HB visas (unlimited nurses at 45,000/yr.) and no new cnmi-only worker permits can be granted. Also, it is doubtful that the law couldn't retroactively alter old 2 year worker permits. After Nov. 28th, non-resident NMC graduates should be able to obtain HB visas, however with the minimum starting salary, there will be problems with worker morale, old workers under work permits obtaining a much lower salary, and problems with employers doing everything they can not to hire any new workers. It will be interesting.

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