Senators scheduled public hearings for Bill 1 (2-S) during a special session today.
Governor Calvo called the Legislature into session to discuss his proposed bill, which aims to prevent payless paydays, furloughs and reduction in hours for thousands of people.
The Governor spoke with Senators at Government House this morning to reiterate the need to act swiftly to address the reduced revenues caused by new federal policy.
The Speaker’s staff during yesterday’s SES meeting said the shortfall looks to be about $67 million.
This evening, the Governor’s office received a press release saying that Speaker Cruz’s office introduced a bill yesterday that would reduce salaries for thousands of GovGuam employees, and increase BPT by 1 percentage point.
We are reviewing Speaker Cruz’s bill.
Adelup proposes BILL 1 (2-S)
The federal government’s new tax policy cuts business tax rates by almost 50% and individuals by about 3%. This is money that would have gone to the government of Guam. It means a reduction in government revenue, which is what is used to pay for personnel, equipment, contracts, and other costs associated with government services.
Bill 1 (2-S) that Adelup submitted to the Legislature today calls for temporary 2 percentage point increase that would help fill the revenue reduction created by federal policy.
The delay in addressing Bill 1 (2-S) is not ideal, but we recognize the public hearings as a step forward and appreciate any help from the Legislature to ensure we are able to continue providing public services, particularly health, education, and public safety to the people of Guam.
“We would have liked to address this issue today. As noted by my fiscal team, everyday that we don’t take action, we lose revenue for the government. We discussed this several times, including in a meeting between myself and Senators again this morning,” the Governor stated. “I know Senators understand the gravity of this situation, as well as the intent that this temporary measure will ensure stability for our government, and support our hospital and schools.”
Public hearings for Bill 1 (2-S), as introduced by Governor Calvo, and Bill 244-34 are 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Feb. 21.