“Rather than addressing this serious issue, the Speaker has chosen – again – to side step the matter with another heartless quip. The real issue at hand is that we are going into five months and the Speaker has not held a public hearing on these two lifesaving GMH bills.” – Tony Ada, Governor’s Legislative Liaison
Guam – This morning someone parked a hearse in front of the Guam Congress Building that was covered in signs urging lawmakers to hold a public hearing on governor Eddie Calvo’s bills to raise the gross receipts tax and borrow $125 million to fund the Guam Memorial Hospital.
Although it’s not clear who exactly parked the hearse the Governor’s office issued a release saying, “The hearse is a peaceful demonstration and symbolizes the consequence of the legislature’s inaction to hold a public hearing on two life-saving GMH bills.”
Speaker B.J. Cruz believes this stunt was orchestrated by the Governor’s Legislative Liaison former Senator Tony Ada. Cruz and the Governor have been going back and forth over Calvo’s proposal to raise the GRT from 4% to 4.75% and borrow $125 million on the bond market to fund the modernization of GMH. Speaker Cruz has said that he will not hold a public hearing on the bills unless the Governor can agree to hold a voter referendum for approval of the tax hike. The Speaker says that although he is guilty of increasing taxes in the past he has made it a point to begin following the Guam law that requires that tax increases be approved via a voter referendum. Today PNC asked the Speaker what he thought about the hearse outside of the Guam Congress Building.
“I’m disgusted and dismayed but I’m glad that they found a good use for Tony Ada,” replied the Speaker.
The Governor’s Legislative liaison Tony Ada’s family owns the Ada’s Funeral home and the Speaker was alluding to his belief that the hearse came from that funeral home.
“If that’s Tony’s way of influencing legislation as legislative liaison he might as well crawl in it,” said Speaker Cruz.
Tony Ada responded to this with the following quote, “Rather than addressing this serious issue, the Speaker has chosen – again – to side step the matter with another heartless quip. The real issue at hand is that we are going into five months and the Speaker has not held a public hearing on these two lifesaving GMH bills. I join the Governor and ask Speaker Cruz to schedule a public hearing.”