GUAM - Lawmakers went into special session and immediately adjourned. The Democrat majority has maintained that legislation to appropriate $9 million in Section 30 monies is not necessary and that Adelup was playing political games. Immediately after the adjournment Governor Eddie Calvo ordered the Department of Administration to release $20 million in tax refunds. According to a press release, this includes all $15 million in Section 30 cash in addition to $5 million from regular collections. The money covers 9,106 taxpayers.
"Yesterday Vice Speaker BJ Cruz said the Governor has the authority to use the Section 30 revenues on tax refunds without legislative appropriation. The Democrats went into session today and agreed they do not need to appropriate this money; the Governor can spend it immediately on tax refunds. We gladly oblige," the press release from the Governor's office stated.
"The administration and the Republican minority, however, are disappointed that the other members of the Legislature did not consider the appropriations needed for public schools and for the police, fire, and corrections departments. These are priority areas that needed funding. Since the Democrat senators did not support these measures, the administration will be working with the minority on how best to assist these agencies throughout the fiscal year," the release added.
Following the announcement from Adelup, Majority Leader Senator Rory Respicio issued the following comment ,"This is a victory for tax payers and I am glad that the Governor has finally moved to end the politics and the talk and release those tax refund checks. I am pleased that the Governor agrees with the Democrats, particularly Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz's assessment, that the Governor didn't need legislative authority to pay out tax refunds. The Governor's actions now speak to how unnecessary it was to alarm our people and burden tax payers with the uncertainty as to whether or not they would get their tax refunds. It is my hope that we don't see any more calls for special session or legislation that have now been proven unnecessary by today's events."