President submits Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

President submits Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Over $100 million dollars in military construction funding could be heading to Guam depending on what action Congress will take on the president's Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal.

$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.

Guam Buildup Office director Mark Calvo says while its still very early to decipher the details on the budget, he says from what he's read, the president's budget looks positive. "He highlights the rebalancing in the Pacific with the Defense Department and how that's a key item in his budget and its important to be funded and then he talks about funding in excess of $140 million, $150 million in projects in Guam again we hope there are more details in military construction projects but clearly the president budget is a positive indication again that the buildup is not on hold because of budget restraints in the nation."

President Obama's budget also includes $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.

In the meantime Lori Faeth is serving in the position in an acting capacity. She says in total $678 million is included in the president's proposal for the office of insular affairs. 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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