Pangelinan Resolution Urges DOI to Approve Use of $3.4M in Compact Impact Funds to Fix Untalan Middle School

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Guam -Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Ben Pangelinan has introduced a resolution that urges the Department of Interior to approve $3.2 million dollars in Compact funds to repair Untalan Middle School.

The Department of  Interior [DOI] provides the funds to GovGuam to compensate the island for the impact of providing services to immigrants from the Freely Associated States. last year Guam received $16.8 million in compact funding.  DOI however retains the right of final approval on how those funds are spent.

A release from the Senator explains that his resolution would only be an expression of  “the sense of the Guam Legislature and articulates the Legislature’s recommendation as to where the Compact Impact Funds should be expended.”

The release quotes Senator Pangelinan as saying “Although the Governor had no concrete plans for repairing or renovating the Untalan Middle School campus when he decided to close the school, this provides a real and tangible solution that will address the funding issue for the Barrigada campus.”

If passed, the resolution will be forwarded to the Governor and Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs, Tony Babauta.

READ Senator Pangelinan’s release in FULL below:

PANGELINAN INTRODUCES RESOLUTION TO EARMARK $3.2 MILLION IN COMPACT IMPACT FUNDS TO REPAIR AND RENOVATE UNTALAN MIDDLE SCHOOL

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (January 26, 2012– Hagåtña) – Senator Vicente (ben) Cabrera Pangelinan (D), Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations (Committee) introduced Resolution No. 311-31 (COR) which expresses the Guam Legislature’s expenditure priorities of Compact Impact Act Funds in FY2012 to include the repair and renovation of the Untalan Middle School in the amount of $3.2 million.

The Department of Interior Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) annually grants the government of Guam Compact Impact Funds based on the Amended Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Republic of Belau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Last year, the OIA provided the government of Guam $16.8 million in Compact Impact Funding. This year, over $16.6 million is budgeted for Guam.

“Resolution No. 311-31 expresses the sense of the Guam Legislature and articulates the Legislature’s recommendation as to where the Compact Impact Funds should be expended,” stated Pangelinan.

Approval of the expenditures of Compact Impact Funds are granted by the Department of Interior upon the submission of the proposed uses by the Governor. The resolution will be forwarded to the Governor and Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs, Tony Babauta, upon passage.

“Although the Governor had no concrete plans for repairing or renovating the Untalan Middle School campus when he decided to close the school, this provides a real and tangible solution that will address the funding issue for the Barrigada campus.”

In addition, funding for the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority for pharmaceutical supplies and the Medically Indigent Program in the amount of $4.83 million, for the Department of Public Health and Social Services for pharmaceutical and medical supplies for the Guam Community Health Centers in the amount of $750,000, and to the Guam Police Department for the lease or construction of facilities in the amount of $750,000 were identified in the Resolution.         

“We do not want a situation again like last year where the Governor waited until the last minute to request for the Compact Impact Funding for the purchase of ambulances only when a tragedy happens. We recommend that the Governor and the Guam Department of Education collaborate and request these funds as soon as they become available so that the students, teachers, and administrators can plan to be in their renovated and repaired campus by the beginning of next school year,” concluded Pangelinan.