Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz has introduced a budget that has lower revenue projections and less spending than Governor Calvo’s FY16 request.
Guam – Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz has introduced a version of the FY 2016 budget that is significantly lower than the Governor’s budget request. Cruz says the Governor’s revenue projections are too high.
“The total increase in the budget is about $15 million from last years in expenditures,” said Cruz. The Vice-Speaker’s version is significantly lower than Governor Eddie Calvo’s proposal “It’s $24 million dollars less in revenue projections and with the additional $13 million it’s $37 million dollars less to be appropriated,” explained Cruz. The Vice-Speaker says this more conservative budget is necessary considering the cumulative general fund deficit of $59.6 million. In fact his budget includes a $13.5 million dollar reserve for deficit reduction.
Cruz says the administration has been applying their anticipated growth rate to numbers that they didn’t actually collect this year. So Cruz is using the same growth rate the administration is using but applying that growth rate to the actual money that GovGuam collected this year. “Every department got more than it received in 2015 the only departments that did not get an increase in 2016 over their 2015 appropriation were three agencies. The Guam Solid Waste Authority the Guam EPA and the Ancestral Lands Commission,” said Cruz. However the Vice-Speaker says he used the same appropriation the Governor asked for for those three agencies.
“I really do hope that the Governor embraces this budget because I think this will help him sell his bond. It will tell the bond market you have the legislature and a government of Guam that’s not like Puerto Rico it’s not getting crazy and continuing to spend continuing to spend,” said Vice-Speaker Cruz.
Lawmakers will begin discussing the bill during session tomorrow. Cruz is quoted in a release saying, “Our approach is simple: appropriate less than we hope to collect, focus new resources where they matter most, and commit to a budget that is realistically achievable and responsible to our children’s future.”