Guam – Senator Rory Respicio, along with ten other senators, are sponsoring a bill that proposes a public‐private partnership to form a long term strategy for the governmentʹs finances.
Bill 22 proposes the creation of “The Guam Deficit and Debt Reduction Commission.” The commission would be made up of 10 members, including the Governor who would be chairman.
The bill also proposes that the Commission members include the key fiscal and economic cabinet members as well as five representatives from the private sector who cannot be either elected officials or government employees.
Bill 22 requires that the Commission produce its recommendations by the time the new Administration produces its budget proposal for FY 2012.
In a release, Senator Respicio states that:
“As our economy expands and the revenue situation improves, it is important that our government adopt a long term strategy to not only contain the existing debt but also reduce it. There already exists a procedure for the fiscal evaluation of GovGuamʹs operations on annual basis as part of the normal budget process. What is required is a comprehensive strategy to address the problem of increasing debt to stabilize the government’s fiscal situation over the long term.”
“With almost two billion in debt and contingent liabilities on the books, the government of Guam has almost reached the maximum amount it can borrow, as set by the Organic Act. Debt service already costs taxpayers $67 million each year and compounds the problem of arriving at balanced budgets that adequately fund education, health care, public safety and other vital concerns.”
The release quotes Respicio as saying:
“In line with Governor Calvo’s first step to stop runaway government spending, and his position that “the government can’t go on spending at the rate it is spending”, the DDRC will have the mission of developing a long term strategy to stabilize our finances and reduce our government’s overall debt.”