Speaker offers compromise to governor's GMH legislation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Speaker offers compromise to governor's GMH legislation

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Speaker BJ Cruz is offering what he calls a "compromise" over  Governor Eddie Calvo's legislation to modernize the hospital.

Calvo questions why lawmakers have yet to act on two bills he's been pushing hard for. One is to authorize a $125 million bond for GMH improvements. Another would increase the business privilege tax from 4% to 4.75% to pay bond debt service and offset the hospital's chronic budget shortfall. Cruz says he will personally set hearings, if the governor agrees to hold a voter referendum on the BPT hike.

"Yes, in the past I have passed legislation without the referendum. But this term I have made it my policy, a commitment to the people, that I understand the law is there. Unless I have the political will and I have the ability to repeal that law," he explained.

"We have a law on the books that says it goes to referenda, it must go to referenda."

Cruz adds that the cost for a special election "pales in comparison" to the additional $40 million taxpayers will pay annually for the tax increase.

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