Speaker Won Pat Challenges Governor’s Veto of Bill #516, Says Contempt Claim “Has No Legal Grounding”

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Guam – Speaker Judi Won Pat is standing by her support of  Bill 516 which was unanimously passed by the Legislature two weeks ago and vetoed last week by the Governor.

The measure was meant to authorize a one-year extension on the use of  federal ARRA funds, but it also would have re-directed a portion of funds designated for the Department of Mental Health to UOG, GCC and the Retirement Fund. That is what the Governor objected to saying that those funds were committed to Mental Health by order of the District Court and GovGuam risked being found in contempt if the funds were transferred.   

However in her response, the Speaker writes that the Governor’s claim of contempt “has no legal grounding, and is contradictory to the actions taken by your office with the District Court.

READ Speaker Won Pat’s Letter to Governor Calvo HERE   

Citing remarks to the District Court, the Speaker also argues that the Governor had previously said that the Mental Health Funds were available for use and she asks the Governor for “a clarification on the inconsistency between its statements before the District Court and the Legilsature.”

And she makes the point that the Guam Legislature has already authorized funding for DMHSA through FY 2013 writing “Your claim that we have ‘removed resources’ from DMHSA is misleading and misguided.”

Speaker Won Pat concludes by writing “Beyond the politics of this exchange, this Legislature stands by the intent of this bill. We stand with the retirees, with the legislative and judicial employees and most importantly with the thousands of students seeking better opportunities through GCC and the UOG. AS the Speaker of the Guam legislature and chair of the Committee on Education, I will always support the pursuit of higher eduction. I implore your office to do the same.”

UOG Sets Hearing Next Thursday on Tuition Increase in Wake of Bill #516 Veto

Guam News – Guam News

Guam – The University of Guam has scheduled a public hearing next Thursday afternoon at 2 pm on a proposed tuition increase.

 

The hearing has been called in the wake of the Governor’s veto of  Bill 516 which would have re-directed  to UOG $1.47 million of  $4-million designated for the Department of Mental Health.

However the Governor vetoed Bill #516 because that move would have placed GovGuam at risk of  being held in contempt because the District Court had ordered the money be used to improve mental health services. An attempt to over-ride the veto last Monday night failed.

According to a statement from UOG Spokesman Jonas Macapinlac:

“The University wants to keep tuition as affordable as possible. Not getting this appropriation means a larger financial burden would fall to our students.”

“$1.47M is the equivalent of a 10% increase in student tuition rates.”

” For undergraduates this would mean an increase from $190 per credit hour to $209 per credit hour.  For example, in the Spring 2013 Semester, that would be an additional $228 for students taking 12 credit hours and $285 for students taking 15 credit hours.”

Again, that public hearing scheduled for next Thursday afternoon, October 11, at 2 PM in the Class Lecture Hall on the UOG campus.

The purpose of the hearing, says Macapinlac,  is “to allow interested parties an opportunity to present facts, views, or arguments, or to submit written data or input relevant to the proposed tuition changes.”