Speaker Kenneth Kedi was joined by Clerk Morean Watak in signing four bills into law earlier this week at Nitijela.
The Speaker highlighted the significance of Bill 16 to raise the minimum wage becoming law with the signing. This is the first time since 1999 that minimum wage in the RMI has been increased by Nitijela. It will rise from $2 per hour to $2.50 per hour as a result of the newly adopted amendment to the minimum wage law. Minimum wage will continue rising at the rate of 50 cents per year until the minimum reaches $4 per hour in 2019.
Other legislation that was signed into law this week:
• Bill 5, Government Infrastructure Development Integrity and Sustainability Act: The new law prohibits a new government from changing “any infrastructure development project that is approved by a previous government or administration, including any infrastructure project that is endorsed and funded by development partners and is identified for implementation.”
• Bill 9, Elections and Referenda Act amendment: This changes four sections of the current election law, including deleting the requirement of having a mother or father of Marshallese descent with customary ‘jowl’ to run for Nitijela, and nominations can be mailed provided they are postmarked prior to the due date set by Electoral and can also be “electronically transmitted.”
• Bill 26, Births, Deaths and Marriage Registration amendment: This increases the minimum age for a woman to be legally married from 16 to 18 years of age.
Read more about this in the September 16, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.