Weekly Address by Senator Vicente Pangelinan
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
When we look at budgets, sometimes it reminds me of the old childhood rhyme:
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails and puppy dog's tails; that's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice; that's what little girls are made of.
As in all budgets, there's some sugar and there's some spice in this 2012 Executive Branch Budget.
The budget was submitted to the Legislature on April 8, 2011 however, some of the detailed budgets and files behind the FY 2012 Executive Budgets were delivered in the third and fourth week of May with several identified and submitted as late as June 14, 2011.
Due to the time period that the FY 2012 detailed budgets were submitted, the Committee was analyzing and working to finalize the FY 2011 Supplemental Budget Act, now Public Law 31-74.
Our delayed discussions in these budget proceedings is necessary in order for the new Administration to implement their financial plans and requires that we increase the communication and cooperation. We are both committed to this end.
Due to the compressed time frame between receiving the detailed budgets and the passage of Public Law 31-74, the Committee is only able to meet with the Bureau of Budget Management and Research this year during this last week in July to take a closer look at the Governor's priorities as outlined in his FY 2012 Executive request.
In the past week, in a roundtable discussion with non-executive branch agencies, we heard of their priorities and the resources allocated in the Governor's Executive Budget to support these priorities.
In his submission, the Governor has DECREASED funding levels for:
The Guam Department of Education by $10 million;
The University of Guam by over $1 million;
The Guam Community College by over $2.5 million;
The Unified Judiciary by $2.3 million;
The Mayors Council of Guam by $1.3 million.
These are decreases from the current funding levels.
We are now reconvening with the Governor's BBMR for discussions to focus on the Executive Branch agencies that received increases or decreases in their budget compared to FY2011 appropriation levels. The decision to look at the budget according to this criterion is because the Governor's priorities in the Executive Request for FY 2012 are very clear as it pertains to each branch of government and semi-autonomous agencies.
The decrease to the five agencies just mentioned totals $17.1 million dollars and this does not include any funding for organic growth of these budgets such as salary step increases and unfunded contributions to the Retirement Fund.
On the other extreme, when looking at only the agencies in the Executive Branch, the Governor is proposing to increase payroll by $12.1 million over the current FY2011 projected payroll. Of that amount, approximately $9.6 million is to fill 309 vacant positions.
The Governor's request to grow employees in the Executive Branch while providing fewer resources to non-Executive Branch agencies is concerning to the Committee and this Legislature.
The Committee is requesting that the Bureau of Budget Management and Research in conjunction with the Department of Administration review the findings of the Office of Finance and Budget to determine if in fact the information presented represents the priority of the Calvo Administration.
It is my position as Chairman of the Budget Committee that there should be no growth in the size of this government in any branch when taxpayers continue to wait for income tax refunds and we threaten the education of our children.
Thank you and Si Yu'os Ma'ase.