Adelup will soon have access to Guam’s allotment of American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero spoke with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo about when she expects the funds to arrive and her talks with members of the Legislature on how to spend it.
Previously, the governor said she expected about $664 million in funds. So when the $553 million amount was announced during a press conference Tuesday, some wondered why the figure was lower than expected.
The governor explained that the $553 million is only one of three sets of federal funds on the way to Guam.
One set of funds is the allocation for territories. That’s the $553 million allocation.
The other two are the allocation for non-entitlements and the allocation for counties.
She said that by the time Guam receives all of its American Rescue Plan funds, the amount should be around $603 million.
She admitted that it’s less than expected, but still a lot of money.
The governor said that she expects to receive the territorial allocation soon.
“We are submitting all the applications for these funds. We had already submitted our claims for the allocation for territories, which is the $553 million, and we expect that to come in four days,” Leon Guerrero said.
Locally, the governor has sole discretion on how the funds are spent.
However, she did request recommendations from the Legislature on how they think spending should be prioritized.
She asked for a list of recommended spending priorities which they discussed during a meeting Tuesday at Adelup.
Ultimately, however, the governor has the final say as long as she adheres to the law and federal guidelines.
“And so from our standpoint, and from our process, we are already looking at all the priorities. And we will be moving forward using a guide, and a plan, and a template, for wise expenditure,” Leon Guerrero said.
Although there were reports of disagreements about certain specifics…most notably the amount to be allocated for the new hospital, the governor at least said that she and the representatives from the Legislature were able to have a productive meeting.
“I really felt the sincerity of our public officials, I also felt that there was a sense of unity in addressing economic recovery and addressing continuous public safety to our community,” the governor said.