The Department of Public Works’ ability to ensure 31,000 public school students get to school or fix village roads is hampered by the Legislature’s budget bill.
Last week, Vice Speaker BJ Cruz presented a substitute Fiscal Year 2016 budget bill, which severely cut the executive budget for the executive branch. In comparison, Cruz’s bill increases the amount given to the Judiciary.
“In addition, the Vice Speaker commented that we made an 11th hour move when we sent information to try to help them make the best decision possible,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “I beg to differ. In a matter of days, the Vice Speaker submitted a bill and it was passed. Unlike the budget bill I submitted earlier this year, there was no public hearing on his substitute bill – and that lack of transparency is the very reason he said he would not vote on a bill to save millions of dollars for the people of Guam.”
Sen. Tony Ada was the lone senator who requested to have the administration’s fiscal team join senators for discussion on the budget.
The governor is now calling on the 13 senators who voted to pass Vice Speaker Cruz’s bill to find ways to address the gaps in funding left by the flawed budget they passed.
Over the next two weeks, information detailing the shortfalls created by this budget and the impact on various agencies will be released.
Below is information on the first: Department of Public Works.
DPW is faced with a shortfall of $760,000. The $18.9 million budget leaves them with just enough money to pay current salaries, fuel cost and utilities – this assumes that water, power, fuel and telecommunications rates remain the same.
“The Legislature’s budget cuts our ability to purchase asphalt that we need for these road projects,” said DPW Director Glenn Leon Guerrero. “We will have a very small budget to buy parts and materials for our fleet and preventive maintenance.”
In addition, the agency recently received $2 million worth of equipment to help fix village roads and address other issues. The plan was to hire a few more people so they can fully use all of the equipment and address concerns brought to them by mayors.
Budget Bill 37-33 (COR)
General Fund GF $6,732,115
Guam Highway Fund GHF $12,226,118
Total GF & GHF $ 18,958,233
DPW Operations Required
General Fund GF$11,403,818
Guam Highway Fund GHF $8,314,432
Total GF & GHF $19,718,250
Total GF + GHF Budget Bill $18,958,233
Total GF + GHF DPW Budget required $19,718,250
Total GF + GHF Shortfall of $760,017
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