Gov. Calvo to Release $1.2M to Judiciary to Avoid Reduction of Court Hours

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Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo will be releasing $1.2 million in past due appropriations to the Judiciary of Guam which will allow them to avoid reducing court hours this coming May.

Court Spokesman Josh Tenorio issued a press release this afternoon with the good news. However, Tenorio says the release of past due appropriations is separate from the salary cuts identified in Bill 507, which lapsed into law this past Saturday. The law affects all non-classified positions in the Government of Guam earning more than $50,000 annually and cuts those salaries by 10 percent. Tenorio says for the Judiciary, that means 23 employees, some of whom may be forced into retirement.

Read the release from the Judiciary BELOW:

(January 2, 2012)(Guam Judicial Center, Hagåtña) – Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido announced today that Governor Eddie Baza Calvo will release $1.2 Million Dollars in past due appropriations due to the Judiciary to avert a court furlough in May.

In a letter to Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido stated, “Your decision to release $1,200,000 of prior year appropriations due to the Judiciary will eliminate the need to reduce Court hours. Therefore, the third component of the Deficit Reduction Plan, which would have reduced the operational hours of the Courts, will not be implemented.”

Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido and Court Administrator Perry Taitano met with Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and his Chief Fiscal Advisor Bernie Artero on Monday, December 31, 2012 to discuss the fiscal impact to court operations by the FY2013 Budget Act and Bill No. 507-31(LS). Unreleased appropriations for prior years owed to the Judiciary amounted to $1.8 Million. All the amounts were incurred prior to the Calvo Administration taking office in 2011.

The release of the $1.2 Million will clear all past due appropriations owed to the Judiciary. In his letter to Governor Calvo, Chief Justice Carbullido stated, “As agreed to in our meeting, upon receipt of the $1,200,000 you have committed to the Judiciary, the Judiciary will write-off the remaining $600,000 in unreleased appropriations due.”

Carbullido restated his concerns over the impact of Bill No. 507-31(LS) which reduced the salaries of unclassified employees employed at the Judiciary saying, “I continue to express my concern over the impact that Bill No. 507-31(LS) will have in undermining the management and compensation structure of the Judiciary. I will be corresponding with the Speaker of I Liheslatura to express my concerns in the hopes that this matter may be reconsidered through subsequent legislation.”