Governor calls for legislature to join in spending cuts, prioritize education
October 18, 2012
Governor Calvo last night submitted testimony in favor of Sen. Duenas’ Big Bucks for Buses legislation, Bill No. 517. Sen. Duenas’ bill is one of only a handful of proposals to cut spending by the legislature. It comes on the heels of a growing cash shortfall and a worsening school bus operations system.
“Sen. Duenas has offered for the legislature to be part of the solution, just as the Governor’s Office and the members of the Cabinet already have cut spending on ourselves,” the Governor wrote. “The $1 million in savings he proffers in Bill No. 517 will go a long way to providing badly-needed school buses that this government cannot afford without this dedication of a revenue stream.”
Senators Get Raises, GovGuam Rank & File Don’t
The Governor, who was a junior member of the legislature when he and his colleagues drastically cut spending there, reminded senators that he, Lt. Governor Tenorio, their senior staff, and many of their Cabinet members voluntarily cut their own pay while cutting spending throughout the Executive Branch. Executive Branch employees under the Governor are living without their Hay Study pay raises and increments, while senators continue to live with their pay raises.
“There’s a serious financial situation and we have to set the example,” Governor Calvo said. “If we’re serious about tax refunds, education, and any other priority, we will put our money where our mouths are and step up. That’s what we’ve done and this is what Sen. Duenas is proposing. I admire him for that.”
Schools & Buses
Cutting legislative expenditures is laudable and follows in the footsteps of the Governor’s actions that have cut millions in spending already to go to tax refunds. Upon review of the legislature’s budget compared to that of each of Guam’s public schools, it appears it costs more to run the legislature than it costs to run all but four public schools. As a matter of fact, you could run Merizo Martyrs Elementary School for three years with the legislature’s budget for just one year.
“When you put this in the perspective of what it costs to run public schools, you tend to wonder where the legislature’s priorities really are,” Governor Calvo said. “Sen. Duenas is on the right track with this one. It should not cost more to run the legislature than it costs to run each of all but a handful of public schools.”
The legislature’s budget also is near the amount it costs to run school bus operations, which would include the payroll for bus drivers, the maintenance and parts costs, and the fuel for these buses.
“It costs as much for the legislature to write 526 bills in a two-year period as it does for over 100 bus drivers to transport 39,000 kids to schools every day,” Governor Calvo said.  “I hope the legislative majority takes this bill seriously and acts on it swiftly.”
Please call Troy Torres at 475-9304 for more information.

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