Guam – The first order of business taken up by lawmakers this morning [Tuesday] was an override of a bill that Governor Cavlo vetoed last month, Senator Ben Pangelinan’s Bill 36.
The measure would authorize GEDA to provide financial grants and loans to businesses that have been adversly affected by road construction projects.
But the Governor vetoed Bill 36 saying that GEDA already offers assistance to small and mid-size businesses that have been negatively impacted by road construction.
However in debate this morning, Democratic Senator Pangelinan countered that the GEDA Micro-Loan program does not have the same goals as his Bill 36. He argued that the money is available, saying he has identified $400-thousand that GEDA can use.
“Where is our priority here?” asked Pangelinan. “I can’t see how the Governor can say there is no money and nothing’s happening … When are we going to help our own people.”
However, Republican Senator Frank Blas Jr. questioned whether the resources exist to sustain the program.
Although he said he supports the goal of Pangelinan’s bill he asked “is there going to be enough, is it going to be sustainable,” to compensate businesses impacted by future road projects, beyond the Tri-Intersection project.
The motion to over-ride the Governor’s veto was moved to the voting file for final action later in this session.