Guam – Senator Chris Duenas today joined a growing number of Senators who are saying “no” to the $20-thousand dollar salary increase included in the Hay pay plan submitted by Governor Calvo to the legislature last Wednesday.
Senators Limtiaco, Morrison, McCreadie, Cruz, Respicio and Rodriguez have already said they do not support the proposed raise for Senators.
In a release Senator Duenas says “the Legislature recently received an increase and any further increases to senatorial pay is not prudent.”
But he emphasized that he does support the Hay Pay increase for classified GovGuam employees saying “it is long overdue and it puts more money in the hands of our working families.”
Over a year ago Senator Duenas introduced the “Bucks for Buses” bill which called for a roll back of the first senatorial pay increase and would have directed the savings to support the school bus program.
But the “Bucks for Buses” bill was not passed says the Senator and “our school busing system is still struggling”.
Duenas said he is “pleased that some of his colleagues who received the last pay hike are now opposed to the new one.”
READ the release from Senator Duenas below:
Senator Duenas: “Yes to Hay Increase. No to Senatorial Salary Increase.” “Fix school bussing before funding senatorial salary increases.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2014
Hagatna, Guam. Senator Chris Duenas commended his colleagues for voicing concern over the proposal to increase senatorial salaries, a provision in the recent Hay Study submitted to the Guam Legislature.
“Over a year ago, I introduced the Buck’s for Busses bill which called for a roll back of the first senatorial pay increase, the bill was not passed and our school bussing system is still struggling.” Duenas noted that Southern High School rolled back its schedule and starts the school day at 6:30 am due to a shortage of working busses.
“Our kids down south wake up an hour earlier to go to school every day because we did not address this issue in the last legislature. Until we’ve walked in their shoes, I cannot see the legislature giving itself yet another pay raise.” Duenas said he is pleased that some of his colleagues who received the last pay hike are now opposed to the new one.
According to the Guam Legislature Website, Bill 491-31, “Bucks for Busses” and Bill 517-31, “Big Bucks for Busses”, both introduced by Senator Duenas failed to pass muster in the 31st Guam Legislature, remaining in committee till the end of the term.
Duenas said, “I want to make very clear that I support the Hay Pay increase for government employees, as it is long overdue and it puts more money in the hands of our working families; but the Legislature recently received an increase and any further increases to senatorial pay is not prudent.”
Duenas was one of two senators in the last term who forfeited their annual leave payout so that the funding would be available for the busses.