March 15, 2018

Hagåtña — The Legislature today passed a bill that helps us bridge the $67 million shortfall caused by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Senators passed Bill 248 with amendments receiving bi-partisanship support.

“We have a road map now and that’s a great start! But there’s more that needs to be done. We’ll work with Senators to reorganize the government. I look forward to working collaboratively to build a more efficient government, and provide security and stability for our people,” Governor Calvo stated.

“I know this wasn’t easy and I thank all the senators who sat through weeks of discussion and then rose in leadership to make the tough decisions.”

Sen. Joe San Agustin, introduced the bill, and Sens. Tommy Morrison, Tom Ada and Wil Castro contributed to reign in the conversation and maintain focus on the fiscal crisis to ensure the continued pressing towards a solution.

“Thank you to these senators from both sides of the aisle who understood that we need immediate relief and who have the vision to look forward to the next fiscal year,” the Governor stated.

Senators who voted to help the government move beyond the crisis were: Sen. San Agustin, Sen. Morrison, Sen. Castro, Speaker BJ Cruz, Sen. Louise Muna, Sen. Jim Espaldon, Sen. Tom Ada, and Sen. Fernando Esteves.

Sen. Espaldon’s amendment to create a lockbox for the Guam Memorial Hospital will help ensure the dedicated funding

“We have a roadmap and we still have tough decisions to make but I remain committed to working with the Legislature. We have an opportunity to make changes and we need to work together to make that happen,” the Governor stated.

The 5% BPT for retail and service would raise approximately $21 million in BPT revenues for six months – that’s what remains in the fiscal year. That leaves $46 million in the balance and that has to come from the expenditure in reduction that needs to be made.

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