Guam - The Committee on Appropriations and taxation held a public
hearing late Monday afternoon discussing three measures, two of which are aimed
at addressing concerns over a tuition hike at the University of Guam.
Speaker Judi Won Pat's Bill 523 appropriates the necessary $1.47 million to UOG
through a debt service on the 2002 Bank of Guam short-term loan set to mature
in Fiscal Year 2013.
Bill 524 meanwhile would refinance and restructure Government of
Guam bonds to realize $1.8 million in savings to be distributed not only to UOG,
but to the Mayors Council of Guam and the Tax Refund Reserve.
University of Guam student Jesse Quenga was one of several representatives
present, saying UOG s fortunate to receive the gift of the Legislature's
proactive nature. "So costs may go up but our salaries remain the same, and
we're truly looking for a nice medium where we all can be happy and respect
what's needed from the students. But I appreciate the effort and support 524
and 523," he stated.
Karl Pangelinan with the Guam Economic Development Authority meanwhile
submitted written testimony offering recommendations that the measure change
the structure of the financing to use the business privilege tax credit as
opposed to the General Fund credit outlined in the measure. The speaker's
office also noted she's working to merge her bills with Bill 526 aimed at also
averting a tuition hike seeking to refinance the 1993 general obligations bond
without extending the life of the bond to combine the bills.