Guam - Much different budget proceedings are underway in Hagatna. Instead of representatives from each and every line agency appearing before the Committee on Appropriations, the Bureau of Budget Management & Research is presenting the numbers on their behalf. Today budget estimates for the Guam Fire Department were up for discussion, specifically prioritizing the need for more medics verses manpower.
GFD is requesting funding to bring on board more than 30 new firefighters. Senator Ben Pangelinan said, "We're trying to balance the additional resources that we've identified and if we're adding 30 new and we don't have money for DOE of existing to DOE what does it mean?" Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz added, "Between 32 recruits and three more working ambulances; I'm sorry, but my vote is for three more ambulances."
Lawmakers suggested the possibility of hiring new recruits in phases. In terms of medics BBMR clarified there's a million-dollar appropriation for ambulances in Fiscal Year 2013. Lawmakers also questioned when Guam Fire will finally start charging ambulance fees, BBMR is hoping it will be implemented at the start of the new fiscal year in October.
The Committee on Appropriations also went over increases and decreases in other line agency budgets.