Guam – Lawmakers spent most of the day in the committee of the whole discussing the contentious bill 437. The measure would allow the governor to use either a lease back program, tax credits, or private activity bonds to fund repairs to the island’s public schools.
The bill originally had no dollar figure amount tied to it however Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz successfully added several amendments with one of them placing the cap at $100 million dollars. Lawmakers estimate that it will require GovGuam to pay $7-$15 million dollars a year for these repairs.
The administration told lawmakers this money would have to come out of the department of educations budget.
Vice-Speaker Cruz however was still concerned so he added an amendment that would protect the healthy futures fund to ensure it is not tapped for these payments. he also introduced an amendment that would prohibit H-2 workers from doing these repairs.
“If we’re going to be spending a hundred million I wanted to make sure that we employed our local people that you saw the article a couple of weeks ago that said that 17 hundred construction workers were laid off 70 percent were local,” said Vice-Speaker Cruz.
The local lawmaker says he is in support of fixing schools but he is still concerned about how GovGuam will make the payments for these repairs.