Republican senator James Moylan has written a letter to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, asking the governor to direct the fiscal year 2019 surplus to healthcare and education.
With the potential reduction of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid anticipated for November 21, 2019, Moylan said the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) will be facing additional financial despairs, which is not healthy for an already cash stricken hospital.
“While we have already budgeted ten million dollars for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) for GMH from the anticipated FY19 surplus, with these new revelations on higher projections, we may be able inject additional dollars directly into the healthcare aspect at the hospital. This is critical, and as someone who has spent years in healthcare, we are certain you will agree with the importance of assuring that GMH is a recipient of some of these excess monies,” Moylan wrote.
The Republican senator also wants the surplus to be used for the upgrade of Simon Sanchez Hugh School.
“It was recently stated by GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez that the total cost of the A&E for Simon Sanchez High School is estimated at $5 million, therefore they would be short by $1.3 million. It is critical to get this process initiated. Further, Superintendent Fernandez indicated that the department was also underfunded from the Territorial Education Facilities Fund (TEFF) by $2.4 million. With this in mind, we hope you would consider appropriating $3.7 million from the surplus of the FY 2019 budget towards the GDOE to address these two issues,” Moylan wrote.
He added that while there is no clear picture on the actual amount of the FY 2019 surplus, if there is an excess determined, this should be directed towards pressing issues that need to be addressed at this time.
Responding to the letter, Adelup issued the following statement: “Guam has a cumulative deficit in excess of $80m. That means, even a single year of revenues above expenses may not result in a ‘surplus’ while the deficit remains. Lastly, these numbers must be verified and validated by audited financials.”