Guam – The following statement was issued by the Governor’s Communications Director Troy Torres in response to an earlier release Sunday from Senator Pangelinan claiming he had confirmed that GovGuam would be getting an additional $20M in Section 30 funds.
READ the release from Communications Director Torres below:
Sen. Pangelinan can rest assured that no one is leaving the Legislature out of anything. If he has a certification from the U.S. Treasury that $20 million is on the way, then we will be very happy and we will ask him to share a certified copy with us, because we don’t have one. The Governor’s push for the cover all from the IRS is no secret and it’s also nothing new. This push for the cover all reimbursements has been an ongoing process for several administrations. Are we closer to realizing it today? Probably. Are there any assurances that $20 million or any other amount is coming? No. At least, there’s none that we’ve received. It is really pre-mature for us to announce something that hasn’t happened. That’s called an empty promise. If the Legislature appropriates money that doesn’t exist, that’s also called an empty promise. And it often creates unfunded mandates. Those empty promises and unfunded mandates lead to people waiting two years for the law enforcement increase, two years for vendor payments, four years for tax refunds, 10 years to retire from DOE & GMH, 20 years for salary adjustments for our employees, 20 years for meritorious bonus earned, 20 years for promised compensation, and 20 years to get current on tax refunds. All it takes is one $20 million mistake to bring back 20 years of GovGuam owing the people money.
We are not going to do what he is demanding. We are not going to recognize $20 million in Section 30 money without a note from the U.S. Treasury certifying that the money is on its way. What we do commit to him is that we’ll let the Legislature and the media know if and when that money is on the way. We hope it is. Governor Calvo and his fiscal team are working hard to secure it. But it hasn’t happened yet. That money doesn’t exist in the Guam treasury. The Legislature shouldn’t be banking on it. And we’re not going to count our chickens before they hatch.