Speaker introduces measure to provide for continued services at Public Health

Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (PNC file photo)

Speaker Tina Muña Barnes has introduced Bill No. 400-35 which aims at making the necessary appropriations to the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

As reflected in the recently released 2019 Independent Audit of the Government of Guam, there remains $11,518,090 in the Healthy Futures Fund. Bill 400-35 aims to provide $2,772,409 to increase the local match requirement allocated for Medicaid and $8,745,681 for the operations of the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

In a letter dated September 15 from DPHSS Director Art San Agustin, he stated that given the shortfalls outlined in substitute Bill 282, which is now Public Law 35-99, services for our Seniors, as well as services for Guam’s foster children, abused and neglected children, abused and neglected women, as well as our Island’s Homeless shelter would be terminated. Earlier this week, BBMR Director, Mr.Lester Carlson, literally stated to the Legislature, that should DPHSS’ budget not be increased, there would be significant cuts to personnel or services.

“Bill and Ann Muña taught me that as long as there is a need, it is my responsibility to step up and serve. I cannot conscientiously sit there as we neglect critical services to our Manamko as well as our island’s most vulnerable. While some choose to go on the radio and chastise me for doing my homework, I thank our Maga’håga, as well as BBMR and DPHSS for stepping up to the plate to help me come up with a solution. As I have stated – we will overcome this invisible war, but we can only do this TOGETHER!” the Speaker said.

(Speaker Tina Muna Barnes News Release)