Governor Calvo vetoed Bill 204, which failed last November and was resurrected by the Democratic leadership at the Legislature.
“The reason for my veto is simple. The integrity of the Hay study, which set the salary adjustment for the entire government, should be maintained. This has been my consistent message from the day my office submitted the plan two years ago,” the Governor wrote to Speaker Won Pat in the veto message.
“I argued against politicizing the effort to ensure parity, but the Democratic leadership did just that and bifurcated the bill. And now, with the election 8 months away, we are again revisiting this issue.”
This bill brings our community back to the issue of paying for the talent and drive required to operate the government, and its executive agencies effectively. This is a common practice in the private sector, and in autonomous agencies within the government of Guam. As noted by the administration, as well as in a recent KUAM story, some people within the government — such as the General Manager of the Guam Power Authority and the president of the University of Guam — receive compensation EXCEEDING $200,000.
The idea behind compensation is to pay people for the work they are expected to complete and the weight of the responsibility they are expected to bear. We require talented professionals to manage a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars that ensures tax refunds are paid out in a timely manner, oversee the island’s health and safety, and execute the laws Senators create.
To compete with the private sector and autonomous agencies to attract and retain talented individuals able to bear the weight of huge responsibilities, we must offer appropriate compensation. Not having the right human infrastructure in place means we are throwing money at a problem and, in essence, wasting money. Having the right people means we can fix the problem.
“The resurrection of this issue at this time is nothing but political maneuvering,” the Governor stated. “If the Legislature is indeed sincere in its desire to help, it can easily do so on its own. The Legislature can appropriate the more than $1 million hoarded in lapsed sums to areas where they believe the government’s finances are lacking. Or they can simply volunteer to reduce their own salaries.”

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