New law implements legislative pay increases - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

New law implements legislative pay increases

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The Administration isn't just focused on getting government agencies settled, as we've reported they're also working on stabilizing the government's finances in light of a multimillion-dollar shortfall anticipated this fiscal year. Part of doing that included the governor's decision to stop the implementation of the Hay Study. 

While raises are on hold for thousands of government workers, island lawmakers saw an increase in their paychecks.  Senators were making about $55,000 each year, but the discovery of a law that took effect in February 2003 amended their salaries. 

Sean tor Adolpho Palacios said, "The law provides that the salary of the senators is pegged at 50% of the salaries of trial judges. Then the salary for the speaker is pegged at 50% of the salary of the presiding judge, and we realized that the judges had two adjustments."

With the implementation of the law, Speaker Judi Won Pat's salary increased to $67,000 a year, while the rest of her colleagues now receive $60,000. 

Senator Palacios confirms that lawmakers also received a lump sum check of more than $5,000, which served as retroactive pay for the two years they were in the 30th Guam Legislature.  He says that money came from lapsed funds that had been saved through various cost-cutting measures.

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