August 23, 2018

Hagåtña – Hundreds of Judiciary employees without an appropriation and over 1,200 autonomous agency employees will unnecessarily lose increments. 

After many days of extensive review, Governor Calvo is calling for immediate fixes to Bill 323-34, which he has disappointedly allowed to lapse into law, without his signature. 

“While my fiscal and legal teams had many, many concerns with this bill, I do not have the confidence that this legislature has the experience nor the maturity to start all over again with a vetoed bill,” Governor Calvo said. 

Throughout this past year the Legislature has publicly demonstrated both inexperience and indecisiveness with the ongoing budget, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, and the change in federal tax policy.

Earlier this year, the Guam Legislature passed a tax increase to address the gap caused by the federal tax cuts, only to repeal it a few months later.  They also passed a bill to fully fund both GMH and DOE with a $40 million dedicated funding source, but these funds were later completely stripped at the lead of Sen. Mike San Nicolas. 

BJ’s Broken Budget Bill is also unbalanced by tens of millions of dollars, and contains numerous flaws: 

•    Language that unnecessarily takes away increments from thousands of hard working autonomous agency employees at GWA, GPA, GIAA, and the Port Authority. 

•    Language that failed to appropriate funds to the third branch of Government- the Judiciary. This will affect hundreds of employees. 

•    Overstating Section 30 revenue, creating an imbalance of $10M 

•    Missing language that does not allow the tobacco and property taxes to take affect- an additional $17M deficiency.  The budget language contradicts existing statute. 

“Whether these issues were intentional and mean spirited by Speaker BJ Cruz, or errors were made by freshman Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee before transmitting the bill to my office, I’m asking them to roll up their sleeves, and get back to work immediately on addressing these flaws,“ Governor Calvo said. 

Thousands of government employees will be going into the weekend with financial uncertainty.

“Based on the Speaker’s recent statement that he will not entertain another budget bill as well as his contention that a Governor’s veto would lead to a government shutdown, I’ve no other choice but to let this lapse,” GovernorCalvo said. “I ask the Speaker to reconsider this, and I offer to send my more experienced policy staff to walk them through this process.” 

The Governor is urging the Speaker to go into session at the soonest to address these flaws. 

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