CNMI Gov. Arnold Palacios has yet to hire his own chief of staff or name permanent members of his cabinet. 

In a news briefing about the state of fiscal affairs Wednesday, Palacios said those appointments became less important than addressing the financial disaster that is the Commonwealth's deficit in federal and local funds. 

"I wish I could tell you that everything is ready to go and the Senate is ready to do hearings but with this situation we are in I think that took second priority at this point in time because I want to make sure that this government continues to function and provide the public service it is expected to provide," he said. "But it is in the process."

Palacios said he plans to make permanent appointments to his cabinet next week. They're expected to be confirmed by the Independent and Democrat-controlled Senate.

Currently, he said he does not even have the funds to hire a chief of staff. Many current government employees have been reassigned to help his office in the meantime.