Legislature's opening brief due today on declaratory judgement - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Legislature's opening brief due today on declaratory judgement

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Today was  the deadline for the legislature to file its opening brief with the supreme court. As we reported the democrat majority is asking the supreme court to determine whether money in the Tax Refund Efficient Payment Trust Fund can be used for other purposes other than tax refunds. The lawsuit was authorized with the passage of Resolution 312.  Which was passed during a session lawmakers held on a Saturday. A public hearing wasn't even held on the measure.  

In his opening brief, Attorney John Terlaje says despite a clear mandate under the law, the governor has violated Guam law and has expended the funds from the trust fund to make unauthorized payments on other General Fund and agency-specific obligations. He argues the setting of fiscal policy is a legislative power, not an executive one. He adds the governor does not have discretion to pledge public revenue from either the trust fund or reserve fund for any purpose other than the payment of tax refunds in the manner specifically prescribed by the legislature. Terlaje says the governor must concede that he is violating the law despite taking the position that he has the discretion to disregard the mandates of law as long as he finds a way to pay tax refunds in a timely manner.   

Oral arguments meanwhile are set for April 16.

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