Senator Blas To Ask GAO Delegation the $1.2 Billion Dollar Question

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Guam- Lawmakers are preparing to meet with members of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the adequacy of compact impact assistance.

The federal delegation is here on Guam this week to evaluate the impact of migration from citizens of Freely Associated States living on Guam and other areas. Senator Frank Blas Jr., a strong proponent of compact impact funds, says it’s about time GAO officials came to see the adverse effects that is occurring around the island. Blas mentions he plans to have a conversation with the delegation about the over $450 million dollars that’s owed to Guam, based on the estimates provided by the Bureau of Statistics and Plans. He argues the current $14.8 million in compact impact assistance is a “drop in the bucket”.

“In 2009, that cost was at $451 million dollars, not including displacement costs and other costs that according to the Department of the Interior could not be calculated or can’t be included as part of the amounts for the services provided” said Blas. “You were to add up these amounts, it comes up to $1.2 billion dollars. I’m willing to have that conversation with them as well.”

The delegation is expected to meet with the legislature Tuesday at 2 pm in Speaker Judi Won Pat’s office.