Landfill bond bill moved to the voting file

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Senator Sabina Perez introduced an amendment that would have protected the RRF, but it was defeated by a vote of 7-8. (PNC file photo)

Guam – The Guam Legislature convened into a Committee of the Whole during session Thursday to discuss amended Bill 79-35. The legislation authorizes the Governor of Guam to issue GovGuam bonds to finance a third cell at the Layon landfill.

Senator Sabina Perez’s bill authorizes GovGuam to issue one or more bonds, not to exceed $30 million, to begin the construction of the cell before the rainy season.

The senator, during session, said, “We have two choices here, we can either finance the Layon landfill with reasonable terms without raising rates as outlined in the bill. Or we can reject the bill, and pay for the construction from immediate and extreme rate increases.”

A panel of representatives from the Guam Economic Development Authority, Bureau of Budget and Management Research, Department of Administration, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, and Guam Solid Waste Authority was convened to discuss the bill.

Some of the panel members appear optimistic about the bond agreement and GSWA’s ability to uphold their end of the bargain to avoid going back into receivership.

BBMR Director Lester Carlson said that based on GSWA’s fiscal year 2020 to 2024 court-submitted financial projection analysis, GSWA should be able to absorb the debt service obligation without a rate increase.

Following the committee of the whole, the amended legislation was moved to the third reading file.