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Vice speaker calls out the governor

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - As a press release came out of Adelup regarding the call for special session Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz was holding a press conference in Hagatna, calling out the governor. "Cut the politics, just cut the checks and get those 6,200 tax refunds out immediately," Cruz demand.

The vice speaker Cruz says all the fuss over Senator Chris Duenas' Bill 187 is much ado about nothing but rather politricks. "This little political game that Adelup and Senator Chris are playing is unnecessary. The reason why I say I'ts unnecessary is the governor knows it's unnecessary," he said.

Matter of fact the vice speaker says a press release from Adelup issued around this time last year was proof that legislation isn't needed to appropriate Section 30 monies for tax refunds. In September 2012 Adelup issued a press release that $5 million in tax refunds would be paid out from an unexpected cash windfall from an increase in Section 30 reimbursements.

"There was no appropriation bill from here, there was nothing from here, he has the authority, in fact he has the responsibility and the duty to use whatever funds he has in the Government of Guam to pay refunds," he said.

Cruz says he and his colleagues in the Democrat majority plan on penning a letter to the governor to drop the theatrics and just transfer the money already. "This is just a little game that his kids up there are trying to play and it's not necessary," he explained. Learn from history, governor. You did it yourself, get it over with and don't embarrass yourself with calling is into special session tomorrow," he warned.

Senator Duenas meanwhile responded to Cruz's comments asking that he ratchet down the rhetoric, saying, "This is not a political game, it's about giving the people the money that's due...I challenge the vice speaker to join us for the special session called by the governor and resolve into the Committee of the Whole and hear why the fiscal team believes why this measure is necessary."  He added if the vice speaker is right and can give them citation in the Committee of the Whole as to why his bill is not necessary, he will be the first to withdraw it.

Governor Calvo's communications director Troy Torres says "If Vice Speaker Cruz is right, we would certainly welcome the governor's unilateral authority to use section 30 revenues without appropriations to pay the people. And in the spirit of working together, we will see whether tomorrow morning if senators either appropriate the money or whether they will agree that the governor can spend it without appropriations. If that's the case, the governor will immediately make the payments for tax refunds, public school and public safety." 

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