Cruz-Barnes Bill Seeks Discounted Fuels Program for GovGuam Workers, At NO Cost to Other Taxpayers

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Guam – In the wake of this week’s latest fuel price increase Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz and Senator Tina Muna-Barnes have introduced a measure to provide GovGuam workers and retirees discounted fuel , at no cost to the rest of Guam’s taxpayers.

Bill 166 would allow the Governor to enter into contracts with a fuel supplier to provide a group discounted liquid fuel purchase program for retirees, annuitants and employees of the Government of Guam.

Read Bill 166

The Vice-Speaker’s office says the fuel purchases must be made directly with the fuel supplier and specifically forbids GovGuam from entering into a purchase of fuel with a third party intermediary.

A release quotes the Vice-Speaker as saying: “The fact that the Hay Study pay recommendations for government workers were suspended, it only seems reasonable that we find ways to provide some relief in light of the increasing cost of living.”

Cruz argues that “The purchasing power of 18,000 or so employees and retirees should allow the Governor to negotiate a decent discounted fuel purchasing program like many private sector employers already do so for private sector employees.”

The release also explains that the measure would not preclude the Governor from negotiating with private sector employers to expand the program for workers who are not employed by GovGuam.

Read the Vice Speaker’s release on Bill 166 in full below:

New measure seeks discounted fuels program for government workers at no cost to the taxpayer.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(April 24, 2011 – Hagåtña) Responding to the rising cost of fuel, Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz and Senator Tina Rose Muña Barnes have introduced legislation today to authorize the creation of a discounted fuel purchase program for Government of Guam employees and retirees at no cost to the government.

Bill No. 166-31(COR) authorizes the Governor to enter into contracts with any business to provide a group discounted liquid fuel purchase program for retirees, annuitants and employees of the Government of Guam. In doing so, the measure specifically forbids the government from making any private fuel purchases.

“The fact that the Hay Study pay recommendations for government workers were suspended, it only seems reasonable that we find ways to provide some relief in light of the increasing cost of living,” said Vice Speaker Cruz. “The purchasing power of 18,000 or so employees and retirees should allow the Governor to negotiate a decent discounted fuel purchasing program like many private sector employers already do so for private sector employees.”

The measure does not preclude the Governor from negotiating with private sector employers to expand the program for workers not in the government and higher discounts.

“We can’t keep a qualified workforce if our employees can’t afford to get to work. Our measure allows government employees to team-up and save money at no cost to their fellow taxpayers.”Muna-Barnes explained. “The Hay Study has been denied, increments are frozen, healthcare costs are up, and people need help now.”