Guam – Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio has issued the following report on the Tuesday Session.
READ the release from Senator Respicio below:
August 20, 2013
For Immediate Release
SENATOR RESPICIO ISSUES SESSION UPDATE
(Hagåtña, Guam) Senator Rory J. Respicio, Chairperson of the Committee on Rules, reports that during this afternoon’s Session, Senators of the 32nd Guam Legislature discussed the item listed below. Session is adjourned.
Bill No. 38-32(COR) as Substituted – The Committee on Rules, Federal, Foreign & Micronesian Affairs, Human & Natural Resources, and Election Reform by request of I Maga’låhen Guåhan, the Governor of Guam, in accordance with the Organic Act of Guam.
AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE OPERATIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUAM FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2014, MAKING OTHER APPROPRIATIONS, AND ESTABLISHING MISCELLANEOUS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.
*Passed (8 yeas, 6 nays, 1 excused) Those voting in favor of the bill included Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, E.d.D., Vice-Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz, Majority Leader Rory J. Respicio, Senator Tina Rose Muna-Barnes, Senator Thomas C. Ada, Senator Vicente (ben) C. Pangelinan, Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. and Senator Michael F. Q. San Nicolas. Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr. was excused from voting. Those voting against the bill included Senator Anthony “Tony” Ada, Senator Christopher M. Duenas, Senator Michael T. Limtiaco, Senator Brant McCreadie, Senator Tommy Morrison and Senator Aline A. Yamashita, Ph.D.
· Debra Dueñas – Member, Guam Public Library System Board *Passed (14 yeas, 1 excused)
· John T. Benito – Member, Guam Community College Board of Trustees * Passed (14 yeas, 1 excused)
· Maria Snively – Member, Guam Public Library System Board * Passed (14 yeas, 1 excused)
Meanwhile, the Guam Legislature’s Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Senator Vicente “ben” C. Pangelinan, issued a public statement late this afternoon clarifying and correcting the Governor’s concerns on the Substituted FY 2014 Budget Bill. Pangelinan stated that:
1. The Substituted Budget Bill includes continuing appropriations for Debt Service in Section 6, Chapter I of Substitute Bill 38-32.
2. The Substituted Budget Bill only authorizes the Governor to utilize the existing authority for a Line of Credit for GDOE and Unified Judiciary merit bonuses.
3. The Substituted Budget Bill does not “lock in $7 million away” for tax refunds; rather it prioritizes tax refunds by increasing the amount that the Governor has to set-aside for tax refunds instead of increasing government spending by $7 million.
4. The Substituted Budget Bill provides ultimate flexibility to the governor in prioritizing the Executive Branch, inclusive of Health and Public Safety by providing him a lump sum budget. In addition, the Substituted Budget Bill provides more funding for Health and Public Safety than was provided in the FY 2013 budget.
5. The Substituted Budget Bill includes authorization for the GPD Police Officer Trainee Cycle in Section 10, Chapter V.
Pangelinan (D – Barrigada) explains, “These barrages of propaganda by the governor are only a veiled attempt to portray the Legislature’s budget in a negative light. What this budget does is it funds Hay Study pay raises fairly for GovGuam employees; it restores Cost of Living Allowances for our GovGuam retirees to previous levels; and it assures the taxpayers that $7 million more than what the governor proposed is set-aside for the payment of tax refunds in 2014.”
“If the governor feels the revenues are too high, he could use his line-item veto authority to reduce appropriations, similar to how he line-item vetoed the appropriation in Public Law 32-56.”
UNSWORN DECLARATION: I hereby declare that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief, under penalty of perjury of the laws of Guam, this declaration being sworn and made in lieu of an affidavit pursuant to Title 6 Guam Code Annotated §4308, at the place and date identified herein.