With $664 million in federal aid coming in, Governor asks Legislature for spending priorities

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero (file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has asked the leaders of the Legislature to provide Adelup with their spending priorities in order to make the best use of federal funds coming to GovGuam as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Last month, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, a progressive package that addresses the economic and health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Broadly, this $1.9 trillion relief bill, of which Guam expects to receive $664 million,
is an aggressive plan to provide direct relief to states and territories across the nation, contain COVID-19, and rescue the economy.

In a letter to Speaker Therese Terlaje and Minority Leader Chris Duenas, the governor said that while Adelup awaits additional federal guidance on how these monies can be spent, her administration is formulating a spending plan that will deliver immediate relief to struggling families and stabilize government operations as well as charts a course for economic recovery.

“This includes the construction of a new public hospital and public health facility and an offset for revenue shortfalls to allow government agencies to continue to provide critical services,” Leon Guerrero said.

To successfully transition from crisis response to economic recovery, the governor said everybody must work together under a “One Guam” approach.

“I would like to arrange a meeting with the members of the 36th Guam Legislature to discuss your priorities and ideas to rebuild a stronger Guam and work to incorporate them into a comprehensive summary once federal guidance is received. Prior to this meeting, please send a list of collective priorities to my office by April 30, 2021,” Leon Guerrero wrote.

She added: “The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 meets the historic challenge our nation faces as we recover from the devastation of COVID-19. Though we may have our differences, I know we all have the best interests of the People in Guam in mind. I look forward to your response and productive partnership to build our island back better.”