$128M for military construction project s in budget proposal - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

$128M for military construction project s in budget proposal

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - $128 million for military construction projects in Guam has been included in the president's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015. According to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo the appropriation includes $51 million to support steps to establish a fully capable marine air ground task force in Guam. The president has also requested $88.9 million to support Guam, the territories and the Federated States of Micronesia. Including an additional $3 million over FY14 levels for technical assistance to the territories and $1 million for discretionary funding for compact impact. The amount also includes $3 million for brown tree snake control on Guam and $1 million for coral reef conservation efforts.  Bordallo says although she is encouraged by the $128 million for military construction projects, she is disappointed that the budget decreases discretionary spending for compact impact by two million.

She is hoping the Senate will move on the confirmation of Esther Kia'aina as the next assistant secretary for insular areas so Guam will have a sympathetic voice in the administration to tackle this issue.

Included in the President's budget $678.1 million for the Office of Insular Affairs or OIA. Acting Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Lori Faeth says that  in the face of fiscal austerity, the President's proposal will enable OIA to continue to work toward building local government capacity, including skills, training, and education, and leverage resources in order to improve the quality of life in insular communities.

So what does this mean for Guam? $5.8 million has been appropriated for capital improvement projects.

And an estimated $65.3 million payment to Guam for taxes collected in the territory via the IRS "mirror" tax code that are by law transferred to the government of Guam to support its public safety, health care, education and other public services and operations.

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