Governor to Seek Modification of District Court Ordered Payment Schedule for DMHSA

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Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo is planning on asking the District Court to revise its scheduled payment order for the Department of Mental Health.

GovGuam has already paid over $4 million dollars in compliance with the District Court’s order. And another $1-million is due by February first. But given the current financial crisis facing GovGuam, the Governor today [Wednesday] said he plans on asking the court to modify its payment schedule.

In all, GovGuam has been ordered to pay just over $11 million dollars in this fiscal year, to satisfy the demands of the Federal Courts Permanent Injunction requiring improvements to the way Guam cares for its mentally ill.

“You can’t squeeze blood from a stone,” said Calvo.

As PNC News reported last week,  the $4 million GovGuam has turned over to the Federal Court has yet to be spent on any of the court ordered improvements to the Department of Mental Health The money can not be used until a Trustee Account has been set up, which Federal Manager Dr. James Kiffer said probably won’t be in palce until February 1st.

Yesterday Senator Ben Pangelinan suggested that the Governor “re-program the discretionary portion” of Compact Impact Funds and relieve the General Fund of the obligation to fulfill the Court’s order. Or, Pangelinan suggested  the Governor “suspend the payments and concurrent with that action, he would  file a petition with the District Court to amend the order and amend the plan.”

Today [Wednesday], the Court appointed Federal Management team filed a motion with the District Court seeking the immediate transfer of monies already deposited to a special revenue account so that the funds can be used to implement their  Plan of Action for the Department of Mental Health.