State of the Island Address Thursday at Plaza de Espana - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

State of the Island Address Thursday at Plaza de Espana

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Later this week Governor Eddie Calvo is set to deliver his last State of the Island Address for this term.

Last year Governor Calvo said the government of Guam was better than its been in 20 years. He even announced that the deficit was gone. So what we can expect in this year's address?  "There will definitely be groundbreaking announcements that really put the emphasis on where we're going," he said.
 
And according to the governor's deputy press secretary Phil Leon Guerrero, while previous addresses have focused more about how the past shaped our present situation, expect a different story this year. "And so really we feel that we're at a point where the governor can really just focus on the future to let people know that we've come so far together and we can go even further now that we can invest in our future and invest in programs that we know will help the people of Guam generations from now," he said.
 
Some of these programs include initiatives Governor Calvo has already announced in his Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal such as a universal pre-k program and a new teacher incentive program that would give teachers bonuses if their students have high achievement and high learning. Leon Guerrero says expect Calvo to roll out even more initiatives this Thursday.
 
"Initiatives maybe that in the past we thought we could only dream about, but because we are where we are, because the deficit is gone, because we're managing our cash, because we're paying tax refunds now we're finally in a place financially for us to invest in the future to truly invest in the future," he said.
 
Meanwhile residents can expect a change of venue this year as Governor Calvo will be delivering his State of the Island Address in the heart of Hagatna at the Plaza De Espana. "And we're really excited because the change of venue will mean that not only are public funds not going to be spent on this address, but also it's a chance for the island to come to the State of the Island Address," he said.
 
But the burning question remains though, just how long will the address be? "I think it will relatively shorter than prior speeches," he said.
 
The state of the island address takes place this Thursday at 6:30pm.
 
Speaker Judi Won Pat meanwhile thinks it's unfortunate that the governor has decided to take the address out of the legislature. For as long as she can remember, the address has always been delivered from the legislature during the evening using the Session Hall, the Public Hearing Room and even the parking lot to accommodate people. "But I'm hoping that the State of the Island Address will be exactly what it is, the state of the island and I hope it's not going to be anything political. We want to know what the economy is like, what the financial state of affairs are right now, how are we doing in every department and agency that he has oversight of," she said.
 
Won Pat also wants to hear about the accomplishments and challenges.
 
In partnership with PBS Guam, KUAM will be broadcasting the governor's address on KUAM-TV11 and webcasting it live on KUAM.com.
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