Bill to suspend rainy day fund passes unanimously

Senator Mary Camacho Torres (Guam Legislature photo)

A measure to grant the Governor increased flexibility received unanimous support at the Guam Legislature’s emergency session.

Introduced by Senator Mary Camacho Torres, Bill No. 324-35 (COR) suspends the government of Guam’s requirement to deposit monies into the Rainy Day Fund for Fiscal Year 2020.

Under Guam law, two percent (2%) of the total revenues projected for the General Fund must be deposited into the Fund for each fiscal year (5 GUAM CODE ANN., § 22904).

“I think we can all agree that we are in the midst of uncertain times, with no clear idea of the extent and duration of this pandemic,” Senator Torres stated during the bill’s deliberation on the floor.

Torres highlighted that the economic impact of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) will inevitably result in a decline in revenues collected for the General Fund—inhibiting the government of Guam’s ability to meet its adopted revenue levels for Fiscal Year 2020.

“Given these circumstances, suspending this requirement will give our Governor the flexibility she needs and allow her to instead direct those resources toward Guam’s current crisis, in the event actual revenues are collected,” said Torres. “I thank my colleagues for their support on this good-sense legislation.”

An amendment proffered by Torres to allow the Governor the discretion to deposit if she deems appropriate passed with no objection. The measure heads to Adelup where it awaits the Governor’s action.

(press release)