Guam – $734-thousand dollars in un-spent taxpayer funds is left over from the 30th Guam Legislature.
Rules Committee Chairman Senator Rory Respicio has argued that the legislature is struggling with finances like many other GovGuam Agencies and it needs those lapsed funds to stay with the Legislature to fund ongoing operations. But not everyone agrees. Former Senator Bob Klitzkie argues too much money is spent on the legislature as it is and he thinks the annual Legislative budget of $7-million dollars should be cut.
The former Senator still maintains a website [ http://www.bobsoffice.org/ ]that reviews his legislative term. And down in the lower right hand
corner of his website is a graphic is a graphic showing how much funding he received as a Senator, how much he spent and how much he did not spend. It shows that he saved, or did not spend, $338,768 dollars and 81 cents. More than 60% of his senatorial budget.
“We had a closed circuit TV to serve as a receptionist, we did everything we could to be frugal and to get the maximum benefit of every public dollar that was entrusted to our office. But mostly it was working hard, and at least as far as the people that worked with me, working smart.”
A list provided to PNC News by Rules Committee Chairman Rory Respicio shows more than $734 – thousand dollars of lapsed funds were carried over by the 15 senators from the 30th Guam Legislature.
“Given my experience,” said Klitzkie, $734-thousand, almost three quarters of a million dollars, is an awful lot of money. And we can do an awful lot of good things with three quarters of a million dollars.”
Senator Respico has argued that these lapsed funds are needed for the cash starved legislature to fund their operations and in an email to K-57 Thursday he wrote:
“Although you are seeing $734k in lapse funds, it doesn’t mean we are in a healthy financial footing. This only represents 10% of our annual appropriation. And, due to cash flow situation of GovGuam, we do not receive our allotments in a timely manner. Same situation for the judiciary.”
“The real answer to what has been referred to as lapsed funds,” responds Klitzkie, “is to just not appropriate so much money to the Legislature. $7 million is way too much money to run a legislature for 175-thousand people.”
Given the alarm raised by Governor Calvo over the cash crisis facing GovGuam, will he ask for these left over funds from the 30th Legislature to be returned to the General Fund?
“I’ll reserve that decision for the legislature,” said Calvo.