Klitzkie: senatorial salary raise a bad idea - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Klitzkie: senatorial salary raise a bad idea

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It remains to be seen whether in fact lawmakers will actually make any changes to the Hay pay plan. As we reported, senators' salaries in particular would increase from $65,000 to $85,000, making Guam senators second to California in terms of senatorial pay. And just as some senators have come out against the increase, so has former senator Bob Klitzkie, who believes giving senators a salary increase is not only a bad idea but believes senators shouldn't even be making their current pay.

He told KUAM News, "I would like to speaker won pat take the lead and do the right thing and put that salary increase aside; we have too many problems right now with our schools, hospitals, police, etc. This is not the time for her to be out there leading us toward a salary increase for senators."

It was late last week when Speaker Judi Won Pat told KUAM News she absolutely supported the idea of an increase for senators however whether it's appropriate at this time she says is another question altogether.  Won Pat just today however released a statement on behalf of the Democrat senators saying they are firmly opposed to any senatorial salary increases as proposed by Governor Calvo. She adds they are reviewing the Hay study plan submitted to the Legislature and will continue to look at other pay increases being proposed for the governor, lieutenant governor and members of the Governor's Office and his cabinet members.

As to whether any amendments will be made to the plan, Won Pat says she'll know more information during Friday's Committee on Rules meeting.

Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz meanwhile has since called for an informational briefing this Friday with the Department of Administration's Human Resources Division to explain to senators how they came up with the plan and the changes that were made. The briefing is set for 10:30am in the Public Hearing Room.

Senator Chris Duenas is also against pay raises for the Legislature. The Republican lawmaker says he supports hay pay increases for Government of Guam employees, but any further increases to senatorial pay is not prudent.  You may remember in the last legislature Duenas introduced a pair of bills to cut funding to senators to help DPW with its bussing problems, both bills didn't pass.

Senator Frank Aguon Jr. meanwhile says while the governor may be well-intentioned, he believes his approach to implement the Hay study plan is financially misguided and undoubtedly against their recommendations of implementation and the government's affordability. He further supports the implementation for all classified and unclassified employees with the exception of elected officials, cabinet members and directors. He does, however, support pay increases for mayors and vice mayors.

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