Today, the Legislature has a second chance to put the people of Guam first; something it failed to do when the budget bill was passed.
As the senators go into session this afternoon, they can either own up to their mistake now, or pay for it later – when our people’s safety, health and overall welfare is at risk because of the budget bill’s shortcomings. We also know that there was a manufactured shortfall in revenue projections because Speaker Cruz claimed that the federal government would withhold $10 million in Section 30 funds. He was wrong and his bill wrong.
The choice to pass a bill fraught with errors now lies in the hands of senators.
“Senators, all I ask is that you remember who elected you,” Governor Calvo said. “Are you willing to turn your backs on the people you serve during a time when they need you the most?”
Our people want to feel safe, yet the Speaker’s budget makes it impossible for us to put 33 new police officers on the streets and fill other critical positions within the Guam Police Department.
Senators say public safety is a priority, but they aren’t willing to invest in 45 new much-needed firefighters, which could lead to the shutting down of one or two fire stations in the upcoming year.
When our prison is finally off a consent decree after more than two decades, the Legislature is willing to put us back where we started with a budget that prevents the Department of Corrections from being able to feed inmates and provide medical care.
The Speaker wants to use tourism dollars to finance areas he shortchanges in the budget bill, but he neglects the Guam Visitors Bureau, underfunding the agency that is responsible for bringing millions of visitors to our island.
“Since the start of this Administration, we’ve fought for the people of Guam, and we aren’t going to stop now,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio said. “It’s the senators’ choice – are you going to fight with us, or fight against the people of Guam?”