by Ken Quintanilla
Guam - Senator Ben Pangelinan and Vice Speaker BJ Cruz's Bill 309 was vetoed by Governor Eddie Calvo. The measure would prioritize the uses of any excess section 30 revenues to include fully funding hay pay raises, hiring more police officers and renovating George Washington High School. The Governor's Office had previously called the bill "completely irresponsible."
In his veto message, Governor Calvo states that Bill 309 seeks to appropriate $22 million in “excess” section 30 fund revenues that allegedly represent a windfall to Guam. Calvo however states that this $22 million does not exist as he has confirmed with federal partners that $7.8 million dollars instead is on its way to Guam with a total commitment not exceeding 15-million to date. Calvo says this is not revenue available for appropriation but instead cash that will be used to pay for tax refunds.
Calvo says aside from the fiscal concerns, “Bill 309 is a misleading and reckless gimmick that serves only to advance political aims at the expense and hopes of hard working Guamanians. This is deficit spending in its plainest form. It is wrong, and I will not tolerate it.”