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Governor meets with congressional delegation

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Prior to this morning's audience with lawmakers Governor Eddie Calvo also had the opportunity to speak with the visiting congressional delegation. Aside from discussing what he said were the usual discussions on issues involving education and workforce development.

"I told them that the vast majority of our people are for this buildup," he said.

Calvo says he wanted to make sure the message is clear on where Guam stands on the Marines relocation of from Okinawa to Guam and he says he wanted to do that before their meeting with lawmakers. "I did make note that there are few of the leadership of the legislature that are against this military realignment but I wanted them to also understand that they didn't speak for most of the people of this island who are pro-military who want to see this military realignment come to Guam - we feel its good for its economy and we feel its good for Guam's safety and for the safety of the United States."

The governor also reminded the codel of the agreement between the feds and GovGuam about the One-Guam approach to the military relocation. You may recall it's this strategy Robert Work, who is now the deputy secretary of defense, had an integral role in crafting.  The governor is hoping that by informing the codel from the House about Guam's position on the buildup, they will take this message back to their colleagues in the US Senate.  As we reported the Senate Armed Services Committee over a week ago completed their full mark up of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. In it they cut $80 million from Office of Economic Adjustment to fund projects for the Marines relocation to Guam. The senate committee also extended the prohibition on the use of government Japan funds until DOD submits a master plan.

Governor Calvo said the senate's actions as it relates to the buildup are all the more reason why Guam's message should be unified, saying, "I did speak with Chairman Kline and some of the issues that we had last night at dinner he says it doesn't take many it takes a few folks here in leadership positions making some statements that come out as against the buildup that can have a lasting effect there's a lot of folks in Washington, DC including some in the Senate that would like to move this buildup to Hawaii or to Continental United States and there looking for those on this island that can build the case for them ."

The governor meanwhile did cite some examples in which the One Guam approach has been working in terms of federal funding for projects in preparation for the buildup. "Of course it has been  shown in the funding levels out of the house of representatives  in regards to outside the fence investments 124such as the waste-water , mental health facilities and public health lab," he said.

As we reported the governor along with Guam Buildup Office director Mark Calvo attended meetings in Hawaii and California regarding $119 million for Guam for waste water infrastructure and the construction of a Center for Disease Control lab.
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