Senators tussle over cancer fund

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Senator Louise Muña compromised by only asking for half of the balance from FY2018’s HFF so as not to burden other areas that rely on the HFF by taking away from their funding.

Lawmakers last night tussled over funding to the Guam Cancer Trust Fund (GCTF).

Republican senator Louise Muña introduced amendments that would send additional funding to the Guam Cancer Trust Fund (GCTF) utilizing last year’s balance of the Healthy Futures Fund.

The amendments, however, failed leaving the GCTF with only $1 million to service the thousands of cancer patients that rely on the funding.

By law 15 percent of the Healthy Futures Fund (HFF) goes to the GCTF. Despite that provision, senator Muña said the GCTF has not been given its full allocation, decreasing each year, with no allotment budgeted in 2018.

Senator Muña compromised by only asking for half of the balance from FY2018’s HFF so as not to burden other areas that rely on the HFF by taking away from their funding.

“I wasn’t even asking for 15 percent or $6 million, just half of that, or $3 million. $3 million can go to Medicaid and $3 million can go to the cancer trust fund. I wasn’t trying to make one more important than the other,” Senator Louise Muña told the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57.

Muña was referring to Democratic senator Therese Terlaje who wanted the money to go to Medicaid.

“My point was that if there are issues with the trust fund, we should fix them but we should not short-change them,” Muña said.

The Muña amendments failed 10 to 4 with 1 excused from the session. Senators Wil Castro, Telo Taitague, and James Moylan voted in favor of the amendment.

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