Calvo, Cruz exchange jabs over GMH financial situation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Calvo, Cruz exchange jabs over GMH financial situation

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The budget may have been passed, but the back and forth is ongoing between Government of Guam leaders. In the one corner, Governor Eddie Calvo...and on the other, Speaker BJ Cruz.

Both sides expressed their disagreement over the numbers at the Guam Memorial Hospital....

Going yet another round, the governor began, "I think the speaker has been very inconsistent with his approach regarding government finances."

The point of contention? The hospital's budget. The administration says GMH was shortchanged blaming Speaker Cruz for not agreeing with the $22.3 million financial projection that the hospital proposed. "With our speaker," Calvo continued, "he, on one hand, is able to spend a quarter-billion dollars in unfunded obligations for the Retirement Fund for expanding benefits and we're looking at repairing a hospital - repairing a hospital so that it can be have equipment such as an MRI, in can stop having a leaky roof, we do not have some sort of an electrical short in our wiring systems."

Calvo's response today comes after Cruz's eighth Budget Basics news release. The speaker stated that the hospital "fails to include nearly $30 million in expenses related to the GMH proposal, namely $17 million in the new Z-wing and related depreciation, as well as $13 million in new clinical staffing and recruitment."

But Adelup says, "The speaker is ill advised," stating GMH requested $36 million while Cruz only approved $9.4M.

Cruz takes another jab at the administration stating, "The Governor's latest statement seems to come out of the same crackerjack box as his response to the U.S. GAO. In Calvo Land, Adelup can ignore $30 million in expenses just because it proves their plan loses money. In Calvo Land, you can ignore that the Legislature appropriated $800,000 more to GMHA in FY18 than the Governor requested, and still blame the Legislature. Governor, the rest of us don't live in a fact-free fantasy. It would be nice if you could visit us sometime."

The governor said, "I wish the speaker was more helpful in coming up with solutions, other than being the devil's advocate - you know you can do that when you are a minority in the legislature but he's a Speaker and as speaker he has to show some leadership and he hasn't shown it to this point."

In recent months, hospital officials have been meeting with the community in an effort to discuss $125 million in proposed Capital Improvement Projects at the hospital - something the hospital hasn't seen in more than 26 years.

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