Senators discussing budget reductions for branches, agencies  
Aug. 1, 2018
Hagåtña — Senators went back and forth on the question of what exactly would be cut while discussing budgets reductions at agencies during session. 
Speaker Cruz, following questions on what the reductions would mean for each agency, reminded fellow senators that the report from his committee included that information.
On July 17, 11 Senators voted on Sen. Mike San Nicolas’ bill and effectively rolled back a law that provided revenue source needed to address the $145 million shortfall caused by federal tax cuts, and stripped the Guam Memorial Hospital and Department of Education of $40 million in dedicated funding source.
The 11 senators who voted to strip away a funding solution are: Sens. Tom Ada, Frank Aguon, Fernando Estevez, Regine Lee, Telena Nelson, Jim Espaldon, Dennis Rodriguez, Joe San Agustin, Mike San Nicolas, Mary Torres, and Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje. Their decisions will derail the economy and leave the next Governor and Legislature presiding over the ashes.
But you don’t have to take our word for it.
Sen. Tom Ada on a series of amendments proposed by Sen. Fernando Esteves stated:

“I find it disingenuous to say we’re going to achieve $23M in cuts (because) we’re being very silent but the bottom line is we’re going to have to take it out of personnel. And if that’s the will of the body then fine … Is that right or is that wrong? That depends if you get 8 votes. (But) we also need to make sure that in this budget we put in a provision to start the furlough notices now. Because if we don’t, and if we’re going to wait until the new FY starts and that’s when it gets issued … we might be a day late and a dollar short … because what we’re talking about really comes down to laying off employees.
And I guess that’s the trade-off for if we don’t want to raise the revenues with tax increases then bring down the expenses.
… If you were to eliminate the 26 agencies in the Category 3 level … you still won’t get $23M (in savings) — I mean, just shut it down, tell the people to go home, you’re out of a job for the next year. I guess it looks like we’re really trying to somehow surgically cut out the waste.”

One of the Legislature’s two jobs is passing a budget. Contact the Senators today and tell them that the Legislature needs to pass a responsible budget.  

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