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Administration and senators battle over budget

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The back and forth between the two branches of government doesn't end in the high court. The administration and lawmakers are now battling it out after the governor vetoed the budget bill.   

Spending $40 million the government just doesn't have - Speaker BJ Cruz making that point in response to the Governor Eddie Calvo's veto of the budget bill late Monday. Cruz stating, "While the Governor might be doing his best 'petulant child in the toy store routine,' I don't believe my colleagues will risk a government shutdown just because Adelup is fonder of temper tantrums than hard truths."

Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje says it came as a surprise, hoping to get override and will go back into session if needed. Calvo vetoed the $959 million Fiscal Year 2018 budget passed by the legislature and issuing this special address.

Governor Eddie Calvo said, "I could not sign a budget that would affect our island in such a way that our people's safety, their health or education would be at such risk." Calvo also pointing the how the budget would add negative impacts to the island's tourism industry, which already took a hit after the recent North Korean threat.

"The last thing we need is for this trend to continue 238 declining economic activity will signal job losses. The spiral maybe difficult to bounce back from and with that said now is the time to arm GVB with the resources they need," he said.

Public safety concerns also brought up. DepCor Director Tony Lamorena says the cuts could lead them back down a path towards federal receivership, saying, "With what was passed there's a shortfall of $2.6 million strictly to fund the clinic services. This could possibly put us back into receivership."

The administration arguing against cutting corners to fund the government. Leaders have until the end of this month to pass a budget in order to prevent a government shutdown. Lawmakers are now working to finalize a date to get back on the session floor.

What happens there - we'll have to wait and see.

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