Senators Pass Bill to Refinance Bonds and Fund Hospital

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Some Senators Objected Because of a Lack of Public Hearing on Spending Provisions 

Guam – After a stalemate Thursday and Friday morning lawmakers passed a bill that would fund capital improvement projects at the hospital using savings achieved from the refinancing of some GovGuam bonds.

 The stalemate was primarily over provisions that were added to Senator San Nicolas’ original bill. The original bill only allowed for refinancing and did not allow for spending of the money that is saved via refinancing. This afternoon lawmakers passed a version substituted by Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. that would spend the money saved by the refinancing on the hospital.

 Speaker Judi Won Pat Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz, Senator Tom Ada and Senator San Nicolas asked to have their names removed from the bill. Those four senators were critical of the idea of spending money without having a public hearing. Senator San Nicolas issued a statement saying that Senator Rodriguez’s bill would spend all $48 million in savings on GMH “before the actual savings would even be realized.” Senator San Nicolas tried to add an amendment that would use the savings to fund things like tax refunds and owed vendor payments however that amendment was shot down.