Now that the Legislature is focusing on the fiscal year 2020 budget, the Republican caucus has vowed to scrutinize every item in the budget even though the deadline to submit a budget is pressing near.
Sen. Wil Castro, the minority leader, told the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57 that the FY2020 budget has some 500 pages of line items that have to be combed through.
“But we are committed to going through every line,” Castro said.
Earlier, the Republican minority caucus issued a statement expressing concern that there may not be enough time to hold complete and transparent discussions on a $945 million budget.
By law, there must be an approved budget by Aug. 31 each year. The Legislature is currently in session but has been tackling matters not related to the budget. There are only nine days left to approve a budget for fiscal year 2020.
Castro said giving every page of the budget proposal the attention it warrants is going to be a challenge.
“But we are committed and ready to work with the Appropriations Chairman to ensure our government — like the rest of our people — lives within its means,” Castro said.
When asked why Republican Sen. Mary Torres wasn’t included in the Republican caucus statement, Castro did not elaborate, just saying that all Republican senators are invited and given equal opportunity to participate.
Castro also said that four GOP senators — himself and senators Louise Borja Muna, James Moylan, and Telo Taitague remain solid in support of the local war claim legislation but they respect the decision of the majority to table Bill 181-35 for now.