Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What’s at stake for GMH in Legislative session this week?
A. In session this week, Senators are expected to debate Bill 262 introduced by Senator Mike San Nicolas and championed by both Senator Dennis Rodriguez and Senator Frank Aguon, all candidates for higher office in the upcoming election.
Q. What does the bill do?
A. The bill does three things that would negatively impact the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH), the Department of Education (DOE), and the economy:
It strips GMH of its dedicated funding source of $30M every single year moving forward, and at a time when the hospital needs life saving facility investments and funding to address accreditation and CMS findings.
It strips the public school system of $10M every single year moving forward. These funds are dedicated to facilities repairs and improvements in the classrooms.
It leaves the Government of Guam an estimated $120M- $160M shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year. Not making up for this loss could “derail” our economy according to the Department of Labor’s Chief Economist Gary Hiles.
Q. Who are the players and what are there motives?
A. There are several, each with his own intention:
Senators Mike San Nicolas, Dennis Rodriguez and Frank Aguon: All three are candidates running for higher office. Their motives are personal and driven by the upcoming election. The promise to roll back taxes is politics designed to secure votes, but at a huge cost to GMH, DOE, and the economy. Outside of stripping $30M from GMH and $10M from DOE, if successful, their actions would also immediately place Guam back into the fiscal crisis earlier this year and create economic uncertainty. This would leave a crisis for the next Legislature and Administration to pick up the pieces.
Senator Joe San Agustin: Senator Joe San Agustin is one of 8 senators who had the political courage to address the fiscal crisis earlier this year. His leadership and now public law, stabilized the fiscal crisis and gave GMH the first fully-funded dedicated funding source in its history. As the election has drawn closer, San Agustin has vacillated in his support for his own public law that addresses GMH, DOE, and the massive cash shortfall. We are optimistic the leadership required to leave the dedicated funding sources in place and provide the revenue to fill the revenue gap.
Speaker BJ Cruz: Speaker Cruz was one of 8 senators who showed leadership during the fiscal crisis earlier this year and also provided GMH with the first fully-funded dedicated funding source in its history. He has an enormous responsibility before him, as he is charged with passing a budget for upcoming fiscal year, as well as the moral obligation to fully-funding GMH after 40 years of public service. If the San Nicolas bill passes, GMH and DOE will lose $40M a year moving forward and Speaker Cruz will be forced to pass a budget that has deep implications on the economy.
Governor Eddie Calvo: Governor Calvo has only 6 months left in elected office. While most in his shoes might “let go of the gas” and leave this issue to the next Governor and Legislature to solve, Governor Calvo continues his years-long fight to ensure that GMH has the money it needs to provide better healthcare to working families. Unlike those senators running for higher office who have a personal motive, Governor Calvo has demonstrated that he will do for GMH what is in the public interest. To date, he has gone against the grain of his own political party and supported a tax to fully fund GMH, and demonstrated that he will put the public interest before his own, by supporting legislation that would tax his own family businesses to finally fix GMH.
Q. Why would the Governor go against the Republican Party’s principles on taxes and agree to increasing taxes on his own family businesses?
A. GMH is a life and death issue that affects all families on Guam. Fixing GMH once and for all, requires both leadership and shared sacrifice. The root of GMH’s issues over the past four decades has been funding and Governor Calvo feels a strong moral obligation to provide GMH with the funding it needs before leaving office.
Q. If the sales tax is removed, how do we keep GMH, DOE, and the economy whole?
A. If members of the 34thGuam Legislature do not want to keep the sales tax in place, they must replace it with another funding source that does two things:
Provides a dedicated funding source that funds GMH with $30M, and DOE with $10M a year – every year – moving forward.
Identify a temporary revenue stream that addresses the massive shortfall caused by federal tax cuts, until the economy catches up.
Q. What happens if senators remove the GMH dedicated funding source provided by the sales tax and don’t replace it?
A. The people of Guam will continue to endure the same issues at GMH; GMH employees, doctors and nurses, will continue to struggle with limited resources, aging facilities and financial support; and the hospital will be doomed to repeat a 40-year-cycle of failed funding.
Q. How can I help?
A. Contact your senators and tell them enough is enough, fully fund GMH!
Speaker BJ Cruz: 477-2520/1;
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje: 472-3586;
Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee: 472-3455;
Sen. Thomas Ada: 473-3301/02;
Sen. Joe S. San Agustin: 989-5445;
Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson: 989-4678;
Sen. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas: 472-6453;
Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.: 649-8638/0511;
Sen. Frank B. Aguon: 475-4861/2;
Sen. James Espaldon: 475-4546;
Sen. Tommy Morrison: 478-8669;
Sen. Mary Torres: 475-6279;
Sen. Louise B. Muna: 969-9852/9853;
Sen. Wil Castro: 969-1225/6;
Sen. Fernando B. Esteves: 969-3376;

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