March 7, 2018
Hagåtña – Two months, numerous meetings and a CreditWatch later, Senators haven’t passed a bill that would take the government out of this fiscal crisis.
The administration today sent a bill to the Legislature that would reduce the timeline of the furlough process from 90 days to 30 days. The contracted timeline would allow the government to stretch what resources it has, allowing us to avert a total government shutdown.
Let’s be very clear: The Legislature’s job is to create policy and appropriate funds for the government. They are the branch of government with the authority to resolve this $67 million fiscal crisis.
The Executive Branch’s job is to execute policies as passed by the Legislature.
“A 32-hour workweek is the last thing I want to do but absent additional revenue these are the actions I’m forced to take,” Governor Calvo stated. “It’s a huge impact to government services and our island’s economy. More importantly, we’re talking about the lives of thousands of people.”
This reduction in cost doesn’t cover the $67 million shortfall but is one of the many cost-cutting measures the administration is prepared to take because the Legislature hasn’t passed a bill.
Sens. Tommy Morrison and Tom Ada, yesterday during senators’ debate on the Governor’s proposed legislation, Bill 1(6-S), reminded their colleagues that we’re looking at an incredible $67 million shortfall in government revenues over the next 6 months.
These two senators, as well as Sens. Wil Castro, Louise Muna, Jim Espaldon and Fernando Esteves have a clear understanding of the enormity of this situation.
Unfortunately, they’re outnumbered.
And if looking at the Legislature’s record on addressing the $30 million shortfall at the Guam Memorial Hospital is any indication of how they are going to deal with this $67 million fiscal crisis, then we have no choice but to make these very difficult decisions. The one thing that does fall under control of the Executive Branch is to make additional cuts.
“Some of these senators don’t want to increase taxes, and they don’t want to cut costs,” the Governor stated. “Guam needs a solution now.”
Governor Calvo is calling the Legislature into a special session tomorrow at 1 p.m.