Governor still plans to implement pay plan - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor still plans to implement pay plan

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Had Governor Eddie Calvo signed Bill 268 into law, it would have gone into affect yesterday. However, just as lawmakers continue to wait for thousands of pages of documents from the Department of Administration, Governor Eddie Calvo says he still plans to move forward with a veto that would ultimately see his plan go into effect by the end of this week.

Governor Eddie Calvo says he still plans to veto Bill 268. "First our people are compiling the necessary information in regards to what we saw are the major issues with the bill and we're providing the information that the legislature asked in regards to details with the plan that was presented by the hay group with the Department of Administration once that is completed, we fully intend to get a veto out on the bill and send it with a message," he said.

Bill 268 was passed by lawmakers two weekends ago. The measure made changes to the governor's Hay plan proposal namely prohibiting raises for the governor, lt. Governor, senators in the Guam Legislature, the attorney general, the public auditors and GovGuam directors and deputy directors. The bill would have gone into affect on Sunday February 9 dependent on the governor submitting a cost breakdown of how hay pay raises would be funded. Governor Calvo says following his veto and barring an override or some court action, his plan will instead be implemented by Friday.

"Again I'm hopeful that the senators will move forward in allowing for the plan to take place and if the senators are to get a pay raise, if they have issues with it, they can do what I've done and what I've done in the past and what I intend to do now is withhold from it and they have every right and every opportunity to do that," he said.

Under the governor's proposal, senators would see an increase of $20,000 - an amount several senators have opposed. Bill 268's author Senator Michael San Nicolas refrained from commenting on the veto threat until it actually happens saying he respects the governor's authority to decide how to act on the bill. And while DOA continues to prepare thousands of pages of documents, it had released the estimated costs of the base salary adjustments of the plan. Both Senator Ben Pangelinan and Vice Speaker BJ Cruz raised concern over the estimates as it refrains from showing any funding for GMH, the AG's Office, the Unified Judiciary , the Public Defender and the University of Guam to name a few. Cruz told KUAM last week "this is going to be a replay of the merit bonuses. Certain departments will get money and the rest have to fend for themselves. There should be sufficient funds to implement it for everyone at the same time."

And whether or not lawmakers ever get the documents from DOA, Calvo says a breakdown will be included in his veto message to lawmakers. "And we are also going to be showing the analysis of again our plan and what it costs and we did it with a full realization of a $7 million appropriation that was granted by the Legislature in this past budget bill and that was the reason for a phased in we're also going to show some of the concerns we had, that if you're going to do a full implementation as indicated in the bill, as of February 9, then we're caught in a very difficult position that come summertime, that we will run out of money and unless the legislature can find new money for us, it's just an empty promise," he said.

Lawmakers passed Bill 268 on February 1st giving the governor the allotted 10 days to take action before the proposed Valentine's Day implementation date. 

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