JFK owners may opt for cash over tax credits - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

JFK owners may opt for cash over tax credits

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Lawmakers delayed voting for a couple hours as they instead discussed the issue surrounding funding for a temporary school for John F. Kennedy High School students.  Senator Ben Pangelinan and Speaker Judi Won Pat co-authored the emergency resolution that passed on session floor today.

Resolution 312 received 10 'yays' and 4 'nays'; the emergency resolution has senators debating all morning. The measure requests that Governor Felix Camacho seek approval from the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to reprogram Fiscal Year 2010 and prioritize Fiscal Year 2011 Compact impact funds for the lease of a temporary school facility for JFK students.

Said Won Pat, "We're asking he rethink some of the request to also include JFK to make that a priority; we know that parts of that money have been earmarked to take care of some of the schools that were recently built."  Senator Pangelinan noted the reason for the introduction was based on the fact that the Executive Branch did not include funding for the continued lease of facilities in Tiyan in next fiscal year's budget submission.

He said, "Last year we authorized payment of the lease at that temporary site through the issuance of tax credits.  There's indication and correspondence that next year in FY2011 that the owner of the facility is requesting that he will request that he will pay in cash basically for the lease payments in order for the children to remain at the temporary JFK site.

However, GOP senators Telo Taitague, Frank Blas Jr., Ray Tenorio and Eddie Calvo voted against the resolution.  Calvo noted, "The issue we had is that this was called in an emergency basis, there was no public hearing and I think it's important.  That if we're going to request the governor to use Compact impact funds for the interim campus, we need to know the details as to the costs, what that will incurred, as well as the original purpose that the governor saw fit for the Compact impact money."

Although the measure passed, Governor's Legal Counsel Ray Haddock says he has some reservations about it, as it deals with capital improvement project funds. "Depending on what they do we'll take a close look on what the Legislature and make a determination as to whether or not it can be utilized for that purpose," he said.

Meanwhile, Haddock says Department of Education reported that they may need the interim campus in Tiyan for at least two years. He adds that they are now waiting on the final specs from DOE before the General Services Agency can move forward with any renegotiations with CoreTech. Haddock does emphasize to the JFK community that they will not be displaced as the lease was signed for ten years.

It bears repeating that it was not a bill that was passed, but rather a resolution.

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