Senator James Moylan has reacted to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s statement that the RISE program is an executive department program, saying that the governor is inconsistent in her statements with regard to the RISE program.
“The Governor is picking and choosing when the Rise Act is considered an executive program, and when it is a law passed by the legislature. A week ago, she made it abundantly clear that she could not make any changes to the plan since it was ‘set in law,’ and today she changed her tune, just as she did when she modified the eligibility provision by Executive Order,” Moylan told PNC.
As for the authorized $30 million budget, Moylan said that while the governor’s fiscal team may have recommended that amount to the legislature in 2020, the Governor has “forgotten” that she modified the eligibility requirements for the program last month.
“Hence with government employees and retirees now qualified, the $30 million may not be enough. This is a concern,” the senator said.
Moylan said the public hearings this week on the RISE program are an opportunity for the administration to discuss these issues with the legislature.
“All I ask is that they be transparent, realistic, and consistent with the questions posed by Senators, and most importantly, work with the legislative branch so we can expedite payments to qualified families. This is not about politicizing the issue, but about getting the job done,” Moylan said.
Meanwhile, Speaker Therese Terlaje said she continues to remain vigilant about getting this aid out to the people of Guam that it was originally intended to assist.
“The All-RISE program was created by Executive Order which is why I have been urging the administration to streamline the process through Executive Order. I’m encouraged by the Acting Governor’s willingness to finally work toward addressing the urgency of these payments,” the Speaker told PNC.
She added: “Public hearings are scheduled this week on bills that would amend the RISE Act. I look forward to input from the public on these proposals.”