Guam News - Guam News
Guam - There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the legislature is supposed to cut $43 million from the fiscal 2013 budget. Currently they are proceeding with budget hearings with the thinking that $43 million will have to be cut, however BBMR Director John Rios has told PNC that the $43 million dollar cut is not for FY 2013.
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On Monday Bureau of Budget Management and Research Director John Rios told PNC that the legislature is not expected to cut $43 million from the fiscal year 2013 budget because the governor's spending cuts task force is working on recommendations for cutting this $43 million. These recommendations, according to Rios, will take time to be implemented as most of them will likely require separate pieces of legislation. "Well that's the first I've ever heard this and that sounds good but until we get it in writing we're proceeding,” said Rios.
Speaker Judi Won Pat says that up until this point the only thing the legislature has heard from the Governor's office is that $43 million dollars needs to be cut from GovGuam spending. "I wish of course that they would clarify that send us something in writing that it's not for this year and that we should proceed as is you know with the budget that they have submitted,” said Speaker Won Pat.
Until then the speaker is proceeding with budget hearings with the idea that $43 million will have to be cut from somewhere. The Guam Community College had their budget hearing this morning and the Speaker says their budget is one that should probably be increased rather than cut. Last year GCC was appropriated $17 million but is only receiving $15 million because of the 15% reserve the Governor placed on all agencies. This year the administration is only asking for $15 million for GCC two million less than last year. "When we talk about institutions departments and agencies that do really well that save money and what do we do we don't recognize them we don't reward them because they've cut back a lot of waste,” said Speaker Won Pat.
GCC is asking for $20 million and President Mary Okada testified that they have barely been able to live within their means adding that if they don't receive their full $17 million dollar appropriation they won't be able to make payroll this July.
Governor's Director of Communications Troy Torres told PNC in an emailed response that "The legislature shouldn't even consider this $43m in the budget, because it shouldn't be subject to appropriation. These spending cuts are cuts to cash spending and should not be considered as part of a budget. Senators shouldn't be eying this money to appropriate it. These cuts are meant to pay down the deficit and to ensure fiscal stability in the years moving forward."
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