Governor: Feds OK with local war claims financing

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said Adelup has been working with federal officials including the Department of Treasury and the Department of Interior on local financing to pay out war claims.

The governor was responding to Congressman Michael San Nicolas who said Tuesday that the administration has nothing in writing with regard to its planned local pay-out of war claims and that the local war claims bill in the Legislature might endanger the passage of his own war claims bill, which is now in the U.S. Senate.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, the governor said a draft letter drafted by the governor’s office and the U.S. Treasury will be sent to the war claims survivors and the Legislature so it will be a public record.

The governor said San Nicolas is welcome to get a copy of this if he wants. She said Adelup has been trying to communicate with the congressman but he has not been responding.

In addition, the governor said Adelup and the Legislature have been in constant contact with the Department of Interior, specifically with Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech, who said there was nothing wrong with paying some war claims using local funding.

She said the local war claims funding plan has already been vetted by both local and federal officials and that there is money in the general fund for Bill 181-35, the legislation currently being discussed in legislative session that would provide funds for local war claims.

The governor stressed that war claims must be paid this year because the remaining war survivors are already frail and dwindling in number.