“Will the agencies receive enough funding to meet their mandates or service levels? No. There’s not enough money for that. Did we prioritize what’s important to taxpayers? Yes we did; education, health, and safety agencies are getting increases and the lion’s share of the budget pie under our plan. This is a balanced budget, based on conservative revenue projections, the payment of tax refunds on time, and the reduction of the deficit.” — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
FY14 Budget Increases Tax Refunds
The Governor submitted his Fiscal Year 2014 budget request to the legislature this evening. He is calling for a 13% increase in funding for tax refunds.
Priority Areas Get Funding Increases
The Governor’s budget request maintains the priorities he and the legislature have set: education, public medical care, and safety. The following agencies will receive budgetary increases of appropriations from the current levels:
– Guam Police Department: $1.2 million increase (of which $800,000 will be mandated to hire additional police officers)
– Guam Fire Department: $2.4 million increase
– Department of Corrections: $0.7 million increase
– Guam Memorial Hospital: $0.3 million increase
– Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse: $1.3 million increase
– DISID: $0.3 million increase
Math Based on Conservative Revenue Projections
The proposed gross General Fund revenue level is $702.4 million, a 1.9% increase over this year’s amount. The increase is based on conservative estimates of organic growth and a trend of the past three years of actual collections. Off the top, $113 million goes to tax refunds. Then, two percent, or $11.5 million is reserved to pay down the deficit. $43.4 million will pay for debt service. The remaining $534.6 million, inclusive of set-asides for other purposes such as tax credits, is appropriated for operations.
Agencies Not Under Governor’s Purview Get Majority of Budget
The Governor’s budget traditionally does not set the budgetary parameters for executive agencies not under his jurisdiction, or the other two branches of government. The executive budget instead pools those resources into one appropriation for the legislature to determine as it receives budgets directly from the Department of Education, University of Guam, Guam Community College, Guam Educator Certification Commission, Public Defender Services Corporation, Mayors’ Council of Guam, Office of the Attorney General, Office of Public Accountability, the Judiciary, and the Legislature separately. The total pooled amount for these agencies is $326 Million, 42% of the total revenues available for appropriation.
Status Quo: Cannot Afford Increments, Hay, 20%
The budget does not include funding for increments, the Hay Plan, or the remaining 20 percent for law enforcement. At this time, the government cannot afford to implement these pay adjustments while outstanding debt to employees and vendors remain in the deficit.
End of Release