Late Wednesday, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero presented testimony to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Build Back Better” plan – a comprehensive economic and infrastructure plan for the future – and what it means for Guam and the specific needs of the island’s people and its future development.
In her appeal to Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva and Vice-Chair Gregorio Kilili Sablan, she expressed support for President Biden’s vision of rebuilding communities like Guam “with infrastructure that creates a foundation for economic growth and equity for the disadvantaged, combats climate change, supports environmental justice, helps lift families out of poverty, and improves the lives of working people.”
In addition to ongoing efforts to protect the health and economic livelihood of Guam and its people, Governor Leon Guerrero spoke to the issues of climate change, environmental justice, and creating a circular economy that manages the island’s waste. She detailed Guam’s Zero Waste Working Group’s efforts and the Guam Green Growth (G3) Initiative. Continuing the theme of State-like treatment, she called for the full Sea Grant status for the University of Guam.
Governor Leon Guerrero also called for extending Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility to Guam and called attention to the urgent public health effects of climate change and plans for a new Guam Memorial Hospital. She also argued for establishing a Regional Veterans Affairs office in Guam and further reiterated her intent to apply for a substantially underserved trust area (SUTA) grant to develop Chamorro Land Trust Commission (CLTC) properties.
As part of her economic recovery plan, she called for a reexamination of Federal Highway Funds for territories to support infrastructure redevelopment, state designation treatment for Guam’s SBA and USDA offices to directly elevate the needs of local small businesses and farmers, and an expedient federal approval process for H-2 workers to support private sector development.
To view the hearing in its entirety and read Governor Leon Guerrero’s full testimony, visit Full Committee Hearing: How the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Plan Can Benefit the U.S. Territories.