by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The balancing act continued at the Legislature this morning with the Judicial Branch asking lawmakers for $29.2 million for the coming fiscal year. Court representatives urged senators to give them the full amount they're requesting, saying anything less will result in cuts in services.
Court Director of Policy, Planning and Communications Maria Cenzon said, "We have cut so much for the past years to make up for the shortfalls that we simply cannot continue at the current level of service that we are providing just simply without the funding that we are requesting. We're hoping that the approval of our request will avoid the reduction in the hours of operation, that we don't have to close every third Wednesday of the month we don't have to lay off staff or furlough staff."
Officials warned that anything less than $29.2 million will have a ripple effect on the community as the therapeutic courts will have to cut services that help save the government millions of dollars each year. Last year the courts were appropriated $24.6 million.
The additional funding the third branch of government is seeking is for unfunded mandates as well as additional funds to keep various programs up and running.