by Mindy Aguon
Guam - With a federal judge's order for the government to come up with $15 million dollars, attorney for several individuals with disabilities Dan Somerfleck is skeptical that the Government of Guam will be able to cough up all that money. The order is part of the government's amended permanent injunction that is supposed to bring agencies like the Department of Mental Health in compliance with federal mandates of care for individuals with disabilities.
Somerfleck says $2 million has been appropriated in the current budget, but that's only enough to cover the first payment. "The payments that follow that first $2 million that there is no budget for currently in our budget, and I think the government is having a lot of calls on it right now for money. So I don't know how between the Administration, the Legislature they're going to make this boat float," he said.
Judge Consuelo Marshall also reaffirmed the federal management team's plan of action, which drew many concerns from consumers and other stakeholders in the community. Many are waiting for the team's next status report in December to see if their concerns were addressed.