Governor Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero delivered her third State of the Island Address Monday night. As she noted in her remarks, “COVID-19 stole a year from us, but it could not steal
who we are for one another.” While initial projections by FEMA illustrated that Guam would lose up to 3,000 lives due to COVID-19, the People of Guam came together and fought back two surges of the virus.
Governor Leon Guerrero also outlined her plans for Guam’s economic recovery. In addition to cutting the deficit in half – from $83 Million to $47 Million, Guam, under the Leon Guerrero Tenorio Administration was the only territory to provide direct aid to the backbone of our economy – our small businesses. Furthermore, a nearly $5 Million Rental Relief program was rolled out, making Guam one of a handful jurisdictions who provided relief to the Private Sector.
While many local businesses shut their doors – over 1,500 applicants demonstrated that we are a resilient community and applied for new business licenses during the height of the pandemic.
In 2020, over 600 local residents participated in apprenticeship programs, allowing for $5 Million in tax credits to be invested back into our local workforce.
On International Women’s Day, under the women-led Democratic Majority, Bill 71-36 was
introduced to adopt a procurement policy in favor of Women-owned businesses. Governor Leon Guerrero signaled her support to sign meaningful policy to uplift generations of women.
To local entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike, many of whom have dreaded the permitting process on Guam, today we say Maila Halom – we are open for business! Governor Leon Guerrero has tapped former Governor Carl Gutierrez to serve as Guam’s Permit Czar – removing bureaucracy for the sake of our prosperity. Our People as well as our business community are resilient, but much more needs to be done.
Governor Leon Guerrero has also asked the Legislature to commit $50 Million from the sale of Cannabis so that Guam can end flooding in Tumon, invest in island beautification, cultural preservation and repair village roads. In addition to signing the Guam Business Assistance Act of 2021 into law, Governor Leon Guerrero has also asked the Legislature to eliminate the Sunset Provision of the Dave Santos Act, making the BPT for small businesses 3% – FOREVER.
While over 200 personnel have been added to the local Public Safety agencies under the Leon Guerrero Tenorio Administration, the Governor urged swift passage by the body of her Safer Guam Initiative. Thanks to the vision of Lt. Governor Tenorio and the hard work of our local law enforcement, Guam has seen a 400% increase in drug interdiction. As many struggling residents sufferer from social ills and high suicide rates, Guam recently stood up the first local crisis call center – the first in all of Micronesia. Later this year, Guam will witness the groundbreaking of a new treatment center for substance abuse.
Looking back at the year that our Island of Guam faced, the Governor reflected on a statement by one of Guam’s greatest statesmen, the late Speaker Ben Pangelinan stated “Today, in a time full of cynicism, political sound bites, and press releases, we must remember who we are as a People. We once mastered the navigation of the seas…We survived a world at war…We are the inheritors of an ancient land…We will build an economy that leaves no hardworking family behind…We will leave this land better than we found it.”
Without a doubt, Guam has faced one of the most trying times in our history, but as history has shown, we will overcome this and become stronger as an Island if we do it TOGETHER.
(Democratic Party of Guam release)