Governor submits spending plan for $118M in coronavirus relief funds

PNC file photo

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has submitted to the Legislature her plan for spending the $118 million in direct coronavirus relief aid received by GovGuam from the federal government under the CARES Act.

The proposed spending plan was submitted to lawmakers for their information and comment, not for their approval.

Because these are federal funds, the Governor has the authority to determine how they should be spent and legislative approval is not required.

At her afternoon news conference Tuesday, the governor said only “a few hundred thousand” of that $118 million has been spent so far.

And she said she is open to changes in the spending priorities.

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“Yes. We’re very flexible about this. If there is something that is maybe a much more compelling need that we did not think about that has evolved, we can certainly re-do some of the allocations of these funds to provide for that need,” the governor said.

Among the spending priorities in the Governor’s plan are:

*$29 million for payroll-related expenses for public safety, public health, and other frontlines involved in fighting the spread of COVID-19;

*$20 million for public assistance payments to qualified residents who have suffered a loss of income from the pandemic; and

*$20 million for grants to Guam’s small businesses.