Guam – The government of Guam is in dire financial straits. Gov Guam is facing a 96.5 million dollar shortfall this fiscal year. This according to a memo from the Calvo-Tenorio transition team finance subcommittee co-chair Bernie Artero.
Calvo-Tenorio transition team co-chairman Gerry Crisostomo said, “It’s gonna take a lot of tough choices and a lot of not only tough choices but a lot of different options that are gonna be available to the governor elect and that could be whether we go and borrow money or we go and make the tough decisions to look at consolidating agencies we look at renegotiating some of these bonds that are out there.”
Calvo-Tenorio transition team co-chairman Gerry Crisostomo is referring to the tough decisions that the incoming Calvo-Tenorio administration will have to make in order to deal with Gov Guam’s $96.5 million dollar shortfall for fiscal year 2011. While Crisostomo says that all options remain on the table including the possibility of furloughs one option he says that Calvo will not choose is taxincreases. Calvo promised during his campaign to not raise taxes.
Here is a breakdown of some of the unfunded or unbudgeted cash requirements of Gov Guam:
GMHA = $20 million (additional operations requirements)
Burueau of Prisons = $9.2 million
Unfunded health insurance increase = $20 million
MHSA permanent injuction = $15.2 million
Merit Awards = $1.5 million
GMHA retirement fund = $2.9 million
Department budget shortfalls = $20 million
COLA interest = $2.7 million
Hay study compression unclassified = $5 million
Total = $96.5 million
“It’s a tough way to start off but I’ve been involved with transitions in the past and I don’t see it any different from when Carl Gutierrez took over from the Ada administration or from when Felix Camacho took over from the Gutierrez administration there were obviously fiscal challenges back then,” said Crisostomo. However, he adds that that this is the largest shortfall he’s seen during a transitional period and it will continue to add to Gov Guam’s massive total or overall debt, a debt that is estimated to be around 2 billion dollars.
Meanwhile the governor’s office issued a release today stating “The administration’s fiscal policy team has yet to meet with it’s transition counterpart.” adding that they will provide an accurate report of the government’s fiscal position by DEC. 15th.