HASC to markup funding bill tomorrow
May 9, 2012
The Governor is making his pitch to Congress to authorize the release of $33 million in funding for Guam projects promised in the Programmatic Agreement, and nearly $140 million for critical infrastructure projects. He wrote today to the leaders of the House Armed Services Committee requesting the release next fiscal year. The $33 million in funding is for a mental health facility and a repository to house cultural artifacts unearthed by the military.
“It’s not a significant amount when you compare it to the cost of the military buildup, but it is very significant in another way,” Governor Calvo said. “The release of that funding will be the first release of military buildup funds meant to benefit Guamanians. Congress can send a good signal to the people of Guam that they too are committed to the One Guam commitment by the Navy by releasing these funds. That will tell us that the U.S. government is serious about its other larger commitments to build civilian infrastructure to offset the impact of the buildup on our community. It’s unfortunate Congress suspended this funding this fiscal year. I want it reinstated come October.”
The Governor’s letter was sent to the HASC chairman and its ranking member. The committee meets tomorrow to markup the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013. Governor Calvo is specifically asking Congress to authorize the release of the $33 million already appropriated and authorized under the FY2012 NDAA. The appropriation and authorization, however, fell through when the federal government placed an unprecedented restriction against spending the money without specific Congressional authorization beyond what was already appropriated and authorized.
$139.4M for Critical Infrastructure
Governor Calvo also asked the chairman and ranking member to maintain the $139.4 million in critical infrastructure funding requested in the President’s proposed FY2013 budget.  “Given the ‘strategic pause’ in the military build-up, I strongly urge that now is the time to begin addressing civilian infrastructure to ensure that the island is prepared to accommodate and welcome back the Marines,” wrote Governor  Calvo.
Last week JGPO and the Department of Defense representatives informed Governor Calvo that Japan’s contribution to the Marines relocation from Okinawa to Guam was being reduced from $6.1 billion to $3.1 billion.  A portion of the $3 billion difference was supposed to be low-interest loans from Japan to help improve and expand the island’s infrastructure to absorb the anticipated growth in military population.  Governor Calvo responded that with the clarity on the buildup came ambiguity on the future funding for infrastructure improvements.  He promised to press the U.S. government for clarity and a strong commitment on this funding.  He stated after his meeting with JGPO and DOD officials last week that, “If those [infrastructure funding] commitments [by Japan] are now out of the picture, then I think it’s important that the federal government pick up those commitments to ensure this is a ‘One Guam’ approach.”
Please call Natalie Quinata at 475-9309 or 488-6013 for more information.

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