Senator James Moylan proffered an amendment Sunday to Bill 282-35 (Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Bill), which would reduce the Governor’s transfer authority from the 30% being proposed in the legislation, down to 15%. The amendment successfully passed 8-7.
In proffering the amendment, Senator Moylan outlined his concerns including that:
1) This was an unprecedented authority being granted to the Governor, as historically transfer authorities have ranged from 10% to 15%
2) Considering the work of lawmakers over the last two and half weeks in finding monies for agencies, providing the Governor with a higher transfer authority would mean that many of these efforts would not materialize into support for the respective entities.
Senator Moylan reminded his colleagues that the administration has not been very forthcoming in their expenditures with the legislative branch, and provided an example of the $10 million which Senators provided for GMH in the FY 2020 budget for infrastructure repairs, and the monies not only never made it to the hospital, but could not be accounted for.
“This budget process is certainly an anomaly when compared to recent budgetary discussions. We need to be meticulous and assure that checks and balances measures are applied, thus allowing the Governor to transfer additional monies around would set a dangerous precedence,” stated Senator Moylan.
“Lawmakers have had challenges attaining expenditure reports from the administration, that it would be irresponsible for this body to allow more of these ‘hocus pocus’ disappearing acts, as we experienced with the monies for GMH.”
Senator Moylan also added, “I would like to thank Senators Therese Terlaje, Telo Taitague, Louise Muna, Sabina Perez, Wil Castro, Mary Torres, and Telena Nelson for their support in assuring that lawmakers just don’t hand over a blank check for the Governor to spend at her will.”
(News Release from Senator James Moylan’s Office)