Legislature Holds Oversight Hearing on BBMR
Guam – Vice-Speaker BJ Cruz held an oversight hearing on the Bureau of Budget Management and Research this morning. He asked various questions surrounding the GovGuam deficit and asked for more documentation.
Despite the $65 million dollar deficit for FY14 Bureau of Budget Management and Research Director Jose Calvo told lawmakers during his agencies oversight hearing that the revenues for GovGuam are tracking slightly higher than anticipated for this fiscal year. “Are we going to be able to realize enough in revenue this year. This year 2015 to be able to address everything that we’ve budgeted for are expending for and also address the deficit from last year?” asked Vice-Speaker Cruz. “And the answer to that has to be yes because if we end up completing this fiscal year as we are tracking and the simple answer and the reason for that is because there’s no cash deficit we don’t have to realize an additional $65 million dollars,” said former Senator Chris Duenas who now handles the Governor’s office’s external affairs.
However the BBMR director had a slightly different take “Well the deficit situation I think we’re going to have a pretty long planning session to deal with that particular aspect of it. If we realize a significant revenue projection this year then we can probably chip away at the sixty-five but I think we’re gonna have to have many discussions on how to approach that or to devise a plan on how to deal with that deficit just as we did years ago when deficits were almost realized annually,” said Calvo.
The BBMR director also said they would have to cut down on expenses.
“We’re doing austerity measures to avoid exacerbating the situation and that’s how we’ve been operating so we’re probably going to have to ramp it up again just to tighten up the belt a little bit more in light of what’s gone publicly,” said the BBMR Director.
Vice-Speaker Cruz is preparing to enter into budget hearings soon as the FY16 budget will have to be passed in the next few months.