San Nicolas says he wasn’t consulted; Adelup says HR 1365 still needed

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Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Congressman Michael San Nicolas said his office was not consulted in Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s decision to use local funding for war claims.

The governor held a press conference last week announcing her intent to re-prioritize local funds to fulfill war claims that have already been adjudicated for survivors of World War II.

But San Nicolas said that any work now to change the federal war claims structure that has already been adopted will set the clock back for everyone.

He added that at the end of the day, this new initiative from Adelup will result in all war claimants getting two checks, one from the local government and one from the federal government.

But Tony Babauta, the governor’s chief of staff, said Adelup’s initiative has no bearing on HR 1365 and that in fact the governor is supporting the congressman’s bill.

Babauta, in an interview during the Mornings with Patti show at K57, said HR 1365 still needs to pass because the local war claims funding can only cover about $7 million dollars of the estimated $30 to $40 million in Guam war claims.

Meanwhile, Speaker Tina Muña Barnes said legislation is already underway to allow the governor to re-prioritize local funds to fulfill war claims that have already been adjudicated for survivors of World War II.

By drafting legislation in tandem with the administration, Speaker Muña Barnes says some survivors can immediately be paid while at the same time opening up access to Section 30 funds for Guam that have been earmarked.

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