Guam – Lawmakers heard testimony on a measure that would reduce their salaries from nearly $61 thousand dollars annually to a little over $55 thousand dollars.
Mark “Paps” Martinez testified in opposition to bill 30 saying it’s not good for democracy. Martinez says that state legislatures in the mainland make an average of 64 thousand dollars a year plus varying rates of per diem.
He also pointed out that Guam’s judges have received more raises than senators and make over a 100 thousand dollars a year something Martinez says is unfair because they are co-equal branches of government.
“I want the senators down here to be able to attend every public hearing I want the senators down here to put all their time into it. You have control over hundreds of millions of dollars you decide how it’s spent that takes a lot of study plus you know you’ve got to deal with constituents and people coming down here. You want your senators to put full time into this you don’t want them at the end of the day to worry how they’re gonna make their bills. You have a right to have a family and children you don’t want your senator to do that you want them to come to work and at the end of the day they’ve got a paycheck they can live on so they can put full time,” said Martinez.
The Guam Chamber of commerce submitted written testimony in support of the bill writing that it would demonstrate the legislature’s leadership on austerity and fiscal responsibility.