by Ken Quintanilla
Guam - The Governor’s Director of Communications Troy Torres responds to assertions by Senator Pangelinan, saying he can rest assured that no one is leaving the Legislature out of anything. Torres adds that Governor’s Office did not receive any certification from the U.S. Treasury that $20 million is on the way, but if Pangelinan is in receipt of one, they hope he would would share a certified copy.
“The Governor’s push for the cover all from the IRS is no secret and it’s also nothing new. This push for the cover all reimbursements has been an ongoing process for several administrations. Are we closer to realizing it today? Probably. Are there any assurances that $20 million or any other amount is coming? No. At least, there’s none that we’ve received,” Torres says. “It is really pre-mature for us to announce something that hasn’t happened. That’s called an empty promise. If the Legislature appropriates money that doesn’t exist, that’s also called an empty promise. And if often creates unfunded mandates.”
Torres says the Governor’s Office will not recognize any excess additional Section 30 money without a note from the U.S. Treasury certifying that the money is in fact on its way. The Governor’s Office does however note that it will commit to let the Legislature know if and when that money is on the way, which it hopes.
“Governor Calvo and his fiscal team are working hard to secure it. But it hasn’t happened yet. That money doesn’t exist in the Guam Treasury,” Torres says. "The Legislature shouldn’t be banking on it. And we’re not going to count our chickens before they hatch.”