Additional $18.3 million will be deposited into Guam war claims fund; Governor pushing for both H.R. 1365 and Bill 181-35

Although just one more person tested positive for COVID 19 Sunday and two more were diagnosed with the disease yesterday, the governor warned that they, in all likelihood, contracted the disease 12 to 18 days ago, and we've yet to see the full-borne symptoms blossom in those who've been infected since.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has confirmed that she has received notice from Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs Douglas Domenech that Guam will be receiving $69,928,361 in Section 30 funds from the Department of the Interior.

The governor said she has also learned that another $18.3 million will be deposited into the Guam World War II Claims fund—money that Guam’s manamko’ are still unable to access because of a language technicality that Congressman Michael San Nicolas’ H.R. 1365 is trying to address.

According to the governor, the notice of Section 30 fund availability and the additional deposit into the war claims fund underscores the importance for the
Senate to act on H.R. 1365.

If there is no action then the funds transferred to Treasury will continue to sit dormant in the Guam World War II Claims account. To date, the administration estimates that well over $20 million is in the account.

The administration has pursued a local program to advance payments to war survivors with adjudicated claims, recognizing that time is running out for our survivors of occupation.

In the absence of any progress by the Senate on H.R. 1365, the governor said she will continue to encourage the Legislature to pass Bill 181-35 which enjoys bipartisan support.

The governor told the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57 that Bill 181-35 has to pass in order to set up war claims accounts. She said the governor cannot do that and legislation is needed.

The governor also reiterated her support for H.R. 1365 and the congressman’s efforts to clear it through the U.S. Senate.

“As our delegate to Congress and sponsor of H.R. 1365, I have faith that the Congressman will remain focused on this very important legislation. While we are concerned that he may be distracted with other matters, I trust that Congressman San Nicolas is working closely with the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass this legislation when the Senate reconvenes next week. I have written multiple letters to Congress and will continue to appeal for the swift passage of H.R. 1365 when I visit our nation’s capital next month.”