Appropriation bills may be vetoed if senators rush them without transparency
The Governor’s Office understands that over the past week, senators have introduced four appropriations bills. Two of these bills skipped the committee and public hearing processes and now are on session agenda.
The Governor reminds senators of his commitment to financial accountability, responsibility, and transparency. This commitment came with a specific promise he made in his transmittal letter to the Legislature when he signed the Fiscal Year 2014 budget: He will veto bills making appropriations that do not contain fiscal notes from the Office of Finance and Budget and from the Bureau of Budget and Management Research. These notes should include statements of impact the appropriations will have against the General Fund and other special funds, GovGuam finances, and the Guam economy.
The Governor may actually support the intended programs and services these appropriations purport to help; however, the process of appropriating taxpayer dollars should be done with more wisdom and discernment than a rush to place words on a piece of paper. All too often, these words become empty promises that lead to decades of deficit spending. As the Governor described in his Budget Message in the Fiscal Year 2015 proposed budget, this is the kind of appropriation spree that in 1993 caused the 20-year deficit that Governor Calvo managed to eliminate in Fiscal Year 2012. We do not want to be back at where we started.
The fact that appropriations bills have so quickly reached the session floor without due process in committee or public hearing also alarms the Governor. The Legislature, lately, has talked a great deal about transparency, even going as far as creating a commission regarding the Freedom of Information Act. Senators should be cognizant about their actions matching their words, especially when their actions involve the rush to appropriate the people’s money without the people ever having a say in the appropriation.
The Governor assures the Guamanian people he remains vigilant in guarding the public trust, and will watch the Legislature’s actions on these and any other appropriations measure very closely.

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