by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo has determined that he cannot order the Government of Guam to appropriate money for legally mandated 10% raises for public safety personnel. A number of individuals filed suit against the island's public sector for failing to comply with the law that calls for 10% raises for public safety.
The judge, however, determined that because there was no appropriation given by the Guam Legislature, there is no duty for the governor to implement the raises since there's no money to cover the costs. Judge Bordallo also denied the writ request noting that the court cannot compel lawmakers to appropriate the money for what's mandated in law because of the doctrine of separation of powers.
He also found that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies.
Governor's chief legal counsel James Canto reacted to the decision, saying, "It's unfortunate there is no authority for this administration to fund the law enforcement raises. Moving forward, we will work with the Legislature to make sure our public safety officers get the pay this government promised."