Lawmakers tackle fiscal year 2021 budget

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The Legislature went into the Committee of the Whole today to discuss the fiscal year 2021 budget bill

The Office of Finance and Budget presented a reduced general fund revenue projection of around $774 million for fiscal year 2021.

OFB Director Stephen Guerrero said they expect a reduction in General Fund revenues because of the ongoing crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the challenge right now is to find a finite number that would reflect the actual impact of the pandemic, according to Guerrero.

Guerrero said OFB also projects a $2 million reduction in federal revenues, including a $1.2 million decrease in Section 30 money.

Additionally, OFB reports a possible  $10 million decrease in business privilege tax for the next fiscal year but an increase in individual income tax revenues.

Guerrero also projects a huge reduction in special fund revenues, specifically the Tourist Attraction Fund (TAF). During the current year, TAF revenues reached $44.9 million but in the incoming fiscal year that number may be reduced to $18.3 million.

General Fund allocation

Guerrero also presented OFB’s FY2021 General Fund budget allocation:

  • Public Education (around 38 percent) $ 238.1 million;
  • Protection of Life and Property (16 percent) $97.81 million; 
  • General Government Operations (14 percent) $90.12 million;
  • Debt Service (13 percent) $81.6 million;
  • Reserve (10 percent ) $62.5 million; 
  • Public Health (7 percent) $46.86 million.

‘Cut the executive budget’

Meanwhile, Adelup has responded to the Republican Party of Guam’s statement calling for a cut in the executive department’s budget.

In response, governor’s policy director Carlo Branch said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s revised proposal for FY 2021 general fund revenues is $22 million less than the current year and about $60 million less than FY 2017, representing the single lowest general fund estimate since FY 2014.

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