Language now under legislative microscope
Guam – Several public officials were eerily silent by 1:40 this afternoon after yesterday’s announcement by Guam Memorial Hospital administrators that the island’s only public emergency treatment facility is counting on the two percent sales tax law to take effect on October 1st, to help shore up revenue losses and fund corrective management action while Medicare payments and accreditation hang in the balance.
By 1:45 Sen. Regine Biscoe-Lee had responded to PNC that a substitute sales tax repeal bill may be in the offing. Biscoe-Lee’s disclosure follows weeks of heated debate between the repeal coalition and the Calvo Administration, and several public hearings conducted by Speaker BJ Cruz’ Committee on Approprations and Adjudication.
“Given the number of hearings held by the committee, I will review the version reported out by the committee before commenting, but I opposed the Sales tax when it was orginally debated and that hasn’t changed.”
Biscoe-Lee is withholding detailed comment until after reviewing the draft legislation’s language.
The original sales tax repeal legislation was spearheaded by Sen. Michael San Nicolas. Pacific News Center has also reached out to San Nicolas for comment , as well as Appropriations Chairman and Speaker BJ Cruz, Sen. Mary Torres, and a private sector insurance manager. We are still awaiting comment from each.
This morning PNC requested comment from Gov. Calvo, Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, or any Adelup staffer on whether the Office of the Governor is prepared to declare a state of emergency at GMH or it prefers to wait and see if the sales tax survives the repeal effort and injects critical funding into GMH, come October 1st, when it’s set to take affect.
A state of emergency would allow Calvo to fund GMH to the tune of $250,000 per month.
The Calvo Administration came under fire after passage of the sales tax, following legislative hearings revealing lackluster revenue collections and tax enforcement as well as the illegal raiding of special funds protected from expenditure on general fund obligations.