Feb. 28, 2018
Hagåtña — Governor Calvo called Senators back into session at 7p.m. today to consider a bill by Senator Esteves.
“We in the executive branch are facing a 32-hour workweek. Thousands of hard working men and women who keep this government running and who serve the people of this island are going to have their livelihoods and their families negatively impacted,” Governor Calvo stated. “My team and I will be working 24-hours-a-day to find a solution — stabilize the government, provide GMH with a dedicated funding source, and help public schools.”
Tonight, Speaker Cruz blamed the governor for three failed bills/amendments that he proposed to his colleagues during Committee of the Whole today. Those bills/amendments never reached the governor.
In spite of senators noting their concern for information vetoed Bill 245-34 without providing a solution to the fiscal crisis that they know was caused by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Senators were expecting to go to bed tonight, and yet our own people will likely have sleepless nights as they worry about 32-hour workweek.
Only four senators voted in support of Bill 245, which would have helped the government bridge the financial crisis caused by recent federal tax cuts, provide a dedicated source of funding to the public hospital, and help public schools. We thank Senators Wil Castro, Tommy Morrison, Louise Muna and Fernando Esteves.
Today, the Governor met with his Directors to share information on the 32-hour workweek for which he signed an executive order.
“The 32-hour work week is a tightening of our belt but it’s not necessary. If we find a solution, I will rescind the executive order,” Governor Calvo stated. “We’re at a point now where we’re having to shut down fire stations, we’re looking at a crisis but we also have the ability to find a solution.”
Following this afternoon’s public session, there was a Department of Education roundtable with Superintendent Jon Fernandez and his team, and the Education Board. They told senators they were hoping that Senators would have acted on some sort of solution, which would have helped DOE.
“The department is in dire straits,” Education Board Chairman Mark Mendiola stated.
Governor Calvo has made it very clear that the Legislature had in its hands the solution to the fiscal issues we face as a government and as a community.