ADELUP — Last month, Vice Speaker Cruz queried Governor Calvo about pay raises for Adelup staff. The Governor responded with a letter that identified the Governor’s legal authority to give raises to Adelup staff but also asked the Vice Speaker:
“Can you please confirm whether the appropriation authority under which the Legislature spent an additional $725,000 to give raises to its staffers, in excess of the amount it budgeted in Public Law 32-181, is different from or superior to the appropriation authority I have under Public Law 32-181, which includes my transfer authority?”
At the time, the Legislature was in jeopardy of a budget deficit and payless paydays because of senators’ and staffers’ pay raises, and so asked for the Governor’s help.
The Governor’s letter to the Vice Speaker attached a request by the Legislature’s Executive Director, Vince Arriola, for an additional $725,000. Records indicate that only $700,000 was transferred in response to the Legislature’s request.
As part of its recent discussions with the Attorney General on the issue of Adelup’s pay raises, Adelup and the AG also discussed last year’s transfer from the executive branch to the Legislature to cover its budgetary shortfall. The AG has advised Adelup that such a transfer was made contrary to law and that that sum also needs to be returned to the General Fund.
Over a month has passed since the Governor’s letter to the Vice Speaker without a response. “In light of the AG’s advice, and without any legal authority from the Vice Speaker, who is also an attorney and a former judge and Supreme Court Justice, the Governor will also be seeking the return of the apparently unauthorized transfer to the Legislature,” said Adelup Director of Communications Oyaol Ngirairikl.
To avoid severe economic consequence to the Legislature, rather than deducting the full $700,000 from the Legislature’s next allotment, Governor Calvo has instructed DOA to reduce a prorated amount each month for the remainder of the fiscal year. He has further directed the returned amount to the hospital, which is under significant financial constraint.
“I know that this will place the Legislature in a difficult fiscal position going forward, especially in light of their pessimistic outlook on the government’s revenues and their reduction of the Fiscal 2016 budget by $34 million,” said Governor Calvo.
“However, as I was willing a year ago to work with the Legislature, I remain committed to working with them to help them avoid a budget deficit and payless paydays. I just ask that certain members of the Legislature set aside partisan politics and rhetoric to work with us.”

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