Guam - Just before 10:30 this morning Senators went into a 3rd Special Session called by Governor Eddie Baza Calvo. Bill 1-3-S calls for his original $343M bond to pay out all past due tax refunds. Senators moved the legislation to the 2nd reading file and requested representatives from the following agencies to join them this afternoon when they reconvene from recess:
-Department of Revenue and Taxation
-Guam Memorial Hospital
-Department of Education
-Guam Economic Development Authority
-Bureau of Budget Management and Research
-Governor's Chief Financial Officer
-Department of Administration
-Chamorro Land Trust Commission
-Government of Guam Retirement Fund
Special session resumes at 1 o'clock this afternoon. During special session Wednesday, the Democrats removed the bond provision from the Governor's compromise budget Bill 1-2-S. Substitute Bill 1-2-S passed 8-6 with all republicans voting against its passage. Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. is off island. Senator Ben Pangelinan, meanwhile has introduced Bill 305 which calls for his $180M bond proposal. By removing the bond from the budget, these latest developments have brought this process full circle.
Budget/Bond Battle Timeline
Ø August 16th: Session starts with announcement that Governor's $343M bond was removed from his original bill, Substitute Bill 145 was accepted by majority
Ø August 22nd: Democrats approve amendment by Senator Ben Pangelinan to include in SB145 $180M bond ($120M will go to pay past due tax refunds)
Ø August 26th: SB145 passes by vote of 8-7 (All republicans vote No, Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. passed 3 times constituting a No vote. )
Ø September 1st: Governor Eddie Calvo vetoes SB145 calling it "disastrous"
Ø September 2nd: Governor Calvo calls Senators into a Special Session to discuss his new budget, Bill 1-1-S
o Lawmakers during special session voted down Bill 1-1-S. Vote was 7-6.
o Lawmakers then went out of special session and back into regular session where they attempted to override the Governor's veto of SB145. The override failed.
Ø September 5th: Governor Calvo sends Legislature a compromise bill. Bill 1-2-S calls for $239M bond of which $187M would go to pay past due tax refunds and $20M to COLA.
Ø September 6th: Governor Calvo calls lawmakers into second Special Session. Lawmakers moved Bill 1-2-S to 2nd reading file and 14 Senators sign letter to Governor asking clarification with legislation.
Ø September 7th: Governor Calvo responds to lawmakers concerns. Lawmakers return to 2nd Special Session and remove language from Governor's Bill 1-2-S and replace it with contents of newly introduced Bill 304 which separates bond from budget. Bill 304 provides funding for government operations only. Senator Ben Pangelinan introduces Bill 305 for $180M bond to pay past due tax refunds.
Ø September 8th: Governor Calvo calls Senators into 3rd Special Session to deliberate on a new bill proposing a $343M bond to pay all past due tax refunds