Debate begins over biennial budget bill

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Governor’s office asks Senators to vote against biennial budget bill.

Guam – Senators resumed session in the committee of the whole today(Weds.) to discuss Speaker B.J. Cruz’s substitute biennial budget bill.

The measure would adopt a budget for both fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019. This is not the first time that a biennial budget has been proposed. In fact, Governor Eddie Calvo proposed a similar budget for FY2012 and FY2013. However, Speaker Cruz’s budget is smaller than Calvo’s budget for FY2018 by about $33.8 million dollars.  On Monday, the Governor’s office held a press conference urging lawmakers to vote against the bill because of these budget cuts.

“We tried to work with the legislature in ensuring that we would be able to come to a resolution as to the shortfalls from the bill. However, with that being said we come to a point where we are not able to move forward with this substitute version and we would like to call on every Senator in the legislature not to accept the substituted bill 22-34 and to go with the Governor’s original proposed bill,” said the Governor’s Special Assistant on External Affairs Tony Ada.

The Office of Finance and Budget explained their revenue forecasts for the biennial bill this morning and this afternoon the legislature heard from the Governor’s fiscal team on their revenue forecasts for FY18.