Guam – It appears that a deal is near in the negotiations over the Governor’s Supplemental Budget Bill. In his Weekly Address Tuesday, Governor Calvo urged passage of the measure by the end of this week. Speaker Won Pat has called session for Friday. And Budget Committee Chair Pangelinan is optimistic, but he says it probably won’t be all of the $36 million the Governor is looking for.
Governor Calvo devoted his Weekly Address to urging passage of his $36 million dollar Supplemental Budget request saying “there is no way the government can operate without the spending authority I am requesting from the Legislature. This request is known as our Supplemental Appropriations Act for this fiscal year. We need this bill to pass the Legislature by this week in order to avoid any of the negative consequences.”
The Governor told PNC News that his fiscal team meet with the Retirement fund through the weekend to hammer out a deal and he is confident that the numbers are there to support his request.
The measure remains before Senator Ben Pangelinan’s Budget Committee and has yet to be cleared for a vote on the floor.
Pangelinan has been participating in the negotiations with the retirement fund. He told PNC News that the previous proposal to divert $15-million in future contributions is dead. The new deal he says boils down to a 6% reduction in retirement fund contributions over the next 4 months, until the end of the fiscal year, and that should raise sufficient funds.
In his Weekly Address however, the Governor cautioned Senators against making significant changes to the bill, because it might result in a reduction in GovGuam services.
Senator Pangelinan expressed confidence as well that a Supplemental Budget will be passed, but he noted there have already been changes to the Governor’s original proposal, and there may be more.
The Governor may not get all of the $36-million he has asked for, but Pangelinan says the Administration will get what it needs to keep essential services going.
He reiterated that it comes down to what needs to be paid now, and what can be postponed and paid later.