Calvo, Pangelinan at odds over budget - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Calvo, Pangelinan at odds over budget

by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Legislature is still waiting for the detailed biennial budget proposal from the Executive Branch. While Governor Eddie Calvo believes the numbers submitted so far are conservative, Finance Committee chairman Senator Ben Pangelinan is worried the budget proposal will only cause another financial shortfall for the Government of Guam.

"A major concern with this budget is its all based on borrowing," said Committee on Appropriations chairman Chair Senator Ben Pangelinan says he's having a hard time reviewing the biennial budget submitted by Adelup a few weeks ago. The reason: it's a gross budget which lacks the specifics lawmakers need to justify the numbers. The biennial budget proposes revenue projection for Fiscal Year 2012 was estimated at $677.4 million, while the projection for FY2013. The legislation also incorporates a $344 million bond package to pay all of the government's debts, including tax refunds. The borrowing arm is a tough pill for Pangelinan to swallow.

But Pangelinan says bond borrowing is the major concern he's noted so far. "If we borrow that money, then we would have $35 million in debt service for the bonds that are already existing - not the new bonds - the bonds that are already existing. We would have to have $35 million to make payment next fiscal year but that not in the budget without borrowing," he said.

Governor Eddie Calvo spoke before the Association of Government Accountants meeting today on his proposed budget. It's a plan he's presented to credit rating authority Standard & Poor's for feedback. "There's been two fiscal years of going in the wrong direction and that's why it was so important in this initial discussion with S&P this morning is why this administration believes that we are going in the right direction," he said.

Meanwhile, budget oversight hearings have not yet been scheduled, as the legislature continues to wait for the Calvo Administration to submit a detailed version of its biennial budget.

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