Bills appropriate money to UOG, GCC from tobacco fund

Senator Amanda Shelton (file photo)

Senator Amanda Shelton has introduced two bills that would appropriate $433,000 from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the University of Guam and $238,190 to the Guam Community College.

Guam, along with five territories and 46 states, was allotted funds from the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement that was created by four of the largest tobacco companies in America.

Part of the funds was set aside for UOG and GCC through Public Law 25-187, authored by the late Sen. Ben Pangelinan. The law established the securitization of the tobacco settlement payments to create the UOG Higher Education Endowment Fund and the GCC Endowment Fund.

The investment proceeds from the funds may be appropriated to UOG and GCC while keeping the corpus of the fund intact.

In 2006 and 2008, UOG used the investment proceeds from the UOG Higher Education Endowment Fund to make improvements to the RFK Public Library and for the purchase of library equipment to modernize areas for students, visitors, and faculty. Subsequently, in 2009, GCC used investment proceeds from the GCC Endowment Fund Series 2001 B to improve its facilities and technology.

“With the investment proceeds from this settlement fund, the University of Guam and the Guam Community College can maintain their facilities, improve their technology and update their educational resources to better prepare our students for the modern workforce,” said Senator Amanda Shelton in a news release. “When leaders have the foresight to make investments in higher education, the dividends are students with brighter futures.”