Amendments give more money for education and veterans

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Amendments were made during session giving more support to the Guam Academy Charter School Council and more funding to the Guam Department of Education and Guam Office of Veterans Affairs.

Vice Speaker Telena Cruz Nelson introduced amendments during session yesterday giving more support to the Guam Academy Charter School Council and more funding to the Guam Department of Education and Guam Office of Veterans Affairs.

Nelson and cosponsor Sen. Régine Biscoe Lee introduced an amendment allocating an additional $885,000 to the Guam Department of Education for capital improvement projects and $115,000 to the Guam Office of Veterans Affairs for the hiring and training of caseworkers. The amendment passed with a majority vote.

Nelson also introduced another amendment clarifying that $150,000 from the Department of Administration would fund clerical support and administrative full-time staff for the Guam Academy Charter School Council. According to Nelson, the clerical support would include but is not limited to administrative office space, conference room, office equipment, furnishings, and supplies. The amendment passed unanimously.

Also during budget session yesterday, Sen. Amanda Shelton worked to protect two measures in the budget originally requested by her in the budget bill which would provide job coaches for individuals with disabilities and the Summer Youth Employment Program.

Shelton protected an appropriation to the DISID for job coaches for individuals with disabilities, so that they can lead a life of more independence and financial security.

Meanwhile, Republican senator Telo Taitague issued the following statement after an amendment she proposed to fund $1 million worth of improvements to GDOE facilities without threatening services provided by the Judiciary failed.

According to Taitague, her amendment would’ve authorized the use of excess general fund revenues collected in FY 2019 for GDOE capital improvement projects. If collections remain positive for the balance of FY 2019, BBMR anticipates GovGuam will collect above adopted budget levels for the current fiscal year.

Aside from Taitague, senators Louise Muna, Joe San Agustin, Therese Terlaje, and Mary Torres voted against a separate proposal which funds GDOE repairs by “jeopardizing” funds the Judiciary needs to pay for increased health insurance costs and various court programs.

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