If Bill 55-36 (COR), the Fiscal Year 2022 budget bill, is enacted into law, the Government of Guam would henceforth be prohibited from purchasing first or business class airfare.
The provision was introduced by Senator James Moylan who proffered the amendment late Saturday night, as senators were finalizing discussions on the Government of Guam’s budget for the next fiscal year.
The practical and cost-effective measure was introduced after it was recently discovered through the results of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by a private citizen that taxpayers funded first and business class tickets for the Governor’s recent trip to Washington D.C. and Hawaii.
Moylan said that while any individual traveling on government expense can still elect to upgrade their seats, the amendment would assure that the additional costs (or mileage) would be at the burden of the traveler and not island residents.
“I was surprised to learn that the current law allows for taxpayers to fund upgraded seats for government employees, but it is also based on a selective process. Meaning, those with the authority to approve a trip, can also approve the first-class airfare for themselves or whom they elect to approve it for. This isn’t fair, but more importantly, it doesn’t seem right for taxpayers to be funding first and business class tickets in the first place”, stated Senator Moylan.
He added: “Public service is just that…a service. While I understand that taking an official trip is not exactly a vacation, I also realize that taxpayer funds should never be expended to enhance luxury for a select few. If one wants to secure an upgrade, then please do so, but that cost should not come from the people’s pocketbooks. I thank my colleagues for supporting this logical amendment.”
Senators will return on late Tuesday evening to vote on Bill 55-36 (COR).