Aug. 9, 2018
Hagåtña — The resounding theme of politics over the good of our community rang loud as Senators hacked at the executive branch’s budget and powers yesterday.
It has become abundantly clear that this budget is more about exacting revenge or exploiting the time of the community for votes – senators have consistently ignored the information provided to them that would allow them to make the best decisions for this island and its future.
Even Sen. Mary Torres pointed out during session that regardless of Senators’ personal views of the person sitting behind the Governor’s desk, there should be a respect for the authority and the responsibilities of the Governor’s office.
Additionally, the administration has made repeated requests for information on amendments made on community issues such as property taxes and hotel occupancy taxes that were disapproved then later approved (or vice versa) and have yet to see a response.
“I only have 3 months under this budget. But it seems that these senators, two of whom are running for governor, one running for congressman, and one for public auditor are using this platform for votes or even worse, revenge. Meanwhile, we’re trying to ensure that what stability we have in this current fiscal year continues in fiscal year 2019 – ensuring that thousands of GovGuam employees aren’t worried about furloughs, that government services to our community continues, and our obligations met,” the Governor stated.
“But it’s at the point where they’re cutting off our noses to spite our face.”
Senators have been told time and time again that the Supplemental Appropriations Revenue Fund is not a true funding source. And yet, Senators have tied critical agencies like Rev and Tax, the Dept. of Administration, and the Office of the Governor to that funding source — whilst securing Senatorial budgets by tying themselves to the real revenue provided in the General Fund.
And, of course, this comes after Senators followed Sen. Mike San Nicolas and repealed a bill that would have allowed a dependable funding source. The federal tax cuts resulted in a $145 million shortfall in General Fund revenues for Fiscal Year 2019.
As it stands, some agencies may be looking at a reduction in force, as pointed out by Sen. Joe San Agustin, or furloughs by reducing work hours, as pointed out by Sen. Tom Ada during session.
And the reduction in the hands that do the work and provide the service will have an impact on government services. It is clear that for at least some of these Senators, this budget isn’t about ensuring a stable government and a prosperous future for our island, but about the vote count on Aug. 25 and Nov. 6.
Senators will convene today at 1:00 p.m. to vote on this hap-hazard, and in our opinion, an economy killing budget.
Contact the Senators today and tell them that the Legislature needs to pass a responsible budget.
- Speaker BJ Cruz: 477-2520/1; senator@
- Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje: 472-3586; senatorterl
- Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee: 472-3455; senatorbiscoele
- Sen. Thomas Ada: 473-3301/02; office@
- Sen. Joe S. San Agustin: 989-5445; senatorjoes
- Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson: 989-4678; senatortcnel
- Sen. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas: 472-6453; senatorsann
- Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.: 649-8638/0511; senatordro
- Sen. Frank B. Aguon: 475-4861/2; aguon4guam@
- Sen. James Espaldon: 475-4546; senjvespal
- Sen. Tommy Morrison: 478-8669; tommy@
- Sen. Mary Torres: 475-6279; marycamachot
- Sen. Louise B. Muna: 969-9852/9853; senatorlo
- Sen. Wil Castro: 969-1225/6; wilcastro6
- Sen. Fernando B. Esteves: 969-3376; senatoreste