With SAR, there’s no cash to manage, transfer to agencies
Aug. 9, 2018
“I understand the intent of the Supplemental Appropriations Revenue when we adjusted the budget, I only ask who has first priority at funds that are collected? Does Department of Revenue and Taxation? Department of Education? As funds are collected under SAR, if DRT doesn’t get the first shot at money … and adequate funds are not collected, we’re going to have reduction in force at DRT.”
— Sen. Joe San Agustin
Sen. Joe San Agustin yesterday shared concerns that the SAR fund that Sen. Mike San Nicolas has tied to several government offices and agencies will be insufficient to cover their needs beyond the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 – that’s October through December 2018.
And while Senators continue to reference the Governor’s cash management authority, the question becomes: what cash? Even with a tax amnesty that allows taxpayers the opportunity to get current on taxes owed for previous years – people are having trouble paying – hence the extension.
The SAR hasn’t had a substantial fund balance in years.
Yet it has been referred to in this budget session time and time again to fund different agencies and even helping to create a “balanced” budget.
Governor Calvo and his fiscal team have warned senators that using the SAR to “fund” agencies is ludicrous. (See line above regarding the SAR fund balance).
“We wouldn’t be in this mess today if Senators hadn’t repealed the law that provided a solution to our General Fund shortfall caused by the new federal tax cut policy,” the Governor stated. “Or if they had thought it out at that point and upon repealing the previous law immediately provide a substitute funding solution. At this point, where we sit, there’s only chaos and confusion.”
If Revenue & Taxation employees are furloughed it also will have an impact on the services they provide to the community.
Since Sen. San Nicolas seems so confident that the SAR will be able to fund a host of departments and offices the Governor on Wednesday, challenged him to fund the Legislature using SAR – the way he’s doing to the Governor’s office, Department of Administration, and Department of Revenue and Taxation.
Sen. San Nicolas hasn’t responded to the challenge – it’s probably because he knows that to do so would place the Legislature in peril of closing its doors the way DRT and DOA may be forced to close their doors several months into the new fiscal year.
One of the Legislature’s two jobs is passing a budget. Contact the Senators today and tell them that the Legislature needs to pass a responsible budget.
Speaker BJ Cruz: 477-2520/1; firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje: 472-3586; email@example.com
Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee: 472-3455; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Thomas Ada: 473-3301/02; email@example.com
Sen. Joe S. San Agustin: 989-5445; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson: 989-4678; email@example.com
Sen. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas: 472-6453; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.: 649-8638/0511; email@example.com
Sen. Frank B. Aguon: 475-4861/2; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. James Espaldon: 475-4546; email@example.com
Sen. Tommy Morrison: 478-8669; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Mary Torres: 475-6279; email@example.com
Sen. Louise B. Muna: 969-9852/9853; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Wil Castro: 969-1225/6; email@example.com
Sen. Fernando B. Esteves: 969-3376; firstname.lastname@example.org