Guam – Help is on the way. And it comes in the form of a bill aimed at funding agencies whose budgets were slashed by former Governor Calvo’s veto of Bill 374, also known as the “or more” provision — an amendment that would have clarified the language on an FY19 budget provision aimed at raising the property tax on improved lots worth a million dollars or more.
But with the property tax amendment failing, freshman Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje is coming out guns blazing in an attempt to secure $11.6 million in alternative Section 30 reimbursements to fund the Departments of Education and Public Works, University of Guam, Guam Police Department, and other agencies. Each of the agencies on the freshman senator’s radar have had their budgets cut by the veto of the “or more” provision in Bill 374.
If passed, Terlaje’s Bill 28 would not only provide $2 million from the general fund to hire 50 police officers this fiscal year, but would also funnel appropriations to the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center for the expansion of Youth Mental Health “first aid” training and suicide prevention programs for first-responders and Education Department personnel and the procurement of life saving equipment for Guam Memorial Hospital.