Respicio Bill Would Create Deficit & Debt Reduction Commission

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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.

Read Bill 22 [scroll down past news release to read it]

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.”