Governor cautious signing LEAP and Power Credit bills into law

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero

Guam businesses and residents can expect assistance as the 37th Guam Legislature passed on May 10 the LEAP and Power Credit Bills. 

Those bills are 75-37 and 83-37. 

Bill 75-37, introduced by Democrat Sen. Joe San Agustin, provides economic recovery assistance for private businesses, that were impacted as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, through a program, known as the Local Employers Assistance Program or LEAP, by the Guam Economic Development Authority. 

Bill 83-37 was introduced by Democrat Speaker Therese Terlaje. It is a legislative act that appropriates excess revenues from Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 to the Guam Power Authority for a five-month extension to the Prugraman Ayuda Para I TaotaoTa Energy Credit Program with another $500 credit toward its accounts. 

The Office of the Governor of Guam issued a statement on the Guam Legislature’s passage of the LEAP and Power Credit Bills, opposing its “poor fiscal policy.”

According to a press release by Adelup, although Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero supports both bills, the passage of both legislative measures “appropriate more money than is currently available” which is a “fiscal policy that may lead to deficit spending.”

Adelup said, in a press release, that Leon Guerrero “cautioned” lawmakers against unsound fiscal policies that create deficits.

In March, government of Guam agencies collected $10 million above adopted revenue levels. And in April, it collected $8 million above adopted revenue levels but April’s numbers are still pending subject to verification for the final Consolidated Revenue and Expenditures Report, which is released on the 20th. If numbers are verified, then there will be $18 million available in excess revenues from Fiscal Year or FY 2023. 

By passing both bills, the Legislature is appropriating a total of $25.5 million in FY 23 excess revenues. The LEAP bill appropriates $15 million in FY 23 excess revenues as soon as such funds become available, and the Power Credit Bill appropriates $10.5 million in FY 23 excess revenues with similar language. This is more than the estimated $18 million currently available in FY 23 excess revenues. 

While appropriating more in excess revenues than is available, GovGuam’s collections are currently on a good track. It is Leon Guerrero’s hope that collections remain buoyant enough to meet the needs of both the business community and ratepayers, Adelup’s press release said. 

This comes as both bills are headed to Leon Guerrero office for her signature to sign into law.