by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The balancing act continues this week as the Appropriations Committee and the Office of Finance & Budget begin to tackle the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The University of Guam and the Guam Community College will have their budget hearings this week as they are semi-autonomous agencies whose budgets are not part of the Executive Branch allocation.
Appropriations chairman Senator Ben Pangelinan says his committee just recently received the detailed budgets for all of the other agencies so the budget hearing process may not be as drawn out as previous years. He told KUAM News, "We're going to have to consolidate and we may not be able to have a budget hearing for each department and agency. We're going to take a look at those detailed budgets compare to the current operations and where we have some questions we'll bring in BBMR and they'll be able to explain those."
The committee has already found concerns with the Department of Education's budget as the current operating budget is $205 million but the Administration has pegged next year's budget at $10 million less.
Pangelinan says lawmakers have given themselves until August 31 to pass the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.