VIDEO: Washington Report – Slight Reductions in Compact Aid for Guam & CNMI

250

Washington D.C. – The President’s 2012 compact impact request would make slight reductions for CNMI and Guam … $22-thousand dollars less for the CNMI, $191-thousand fewer dollars for Guam.

According to Interior’s OIA Budget Chief Tom Busanich, “these are authorized by the bill to allow these periodic reviews of the number of people—takes awhile to do that, so we’re taking the resources out this year.”

Guam would still get over $16.6 million, the NMI, just over $1.9 million, after a $3.2 million earlier cut based on a big fall-off in FAS residents.
Separately, the NMI sees another drop in OIA requested capital improvement funding, Guam, an increase. “We see the CNMI that this budget requests $9-million $523-thousand dollars for capital improvement projects. This is actually a reduction of $477-thousand over the 2011 level and Guam, conversely, has increase of $1-million $60-thousand dollars, so that their 2012 request is $6-million $86-thousand dollars.”

Guam benefits from poorer grant management in all the other territories. Busanich says the CNMI’s continued backlog of unspent CIP money also plays a role in its CIP reduction.

OIA again seeks $3-million total for brown tree snake in Guam and the NMI to maintain traps and for canine cargo inspection in Guam.

Meantime, OIA’s budget request contains a $10-million dollar transfer from DOD for Guam. “Going to be used for school buses and school transportation needs, as part of the Guam military build-up,” said Busanich.

DOD, itself, is expected to seek funding for improvements to Guam’s water system.

And the President seeks $4.1 million for island renewable energy projects, including NMI geothermal—never funded this fiscal year, after Obama’s earlier $5-million request died for lack of an FY 11 budget.

House Republicans are proposing $100-billion in cuts to Obama’s old budget this week, in stop gap to fund the rest of this fiscal year.

Busanich says the proposal may include some $6.6 million in OIA program and salary reductions.