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Calvo warns of payless payday

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"Pass something, and I'll sign it." That's the governor's new plea to lawmakers in the deepening fiscal crisis. Eddie Calvo's remarks come in the midst of a lingering stalemate between the administration and the legislature over how to dig the government out of a $67 million revenue hole created by federal tax reforms.

The governor was not even very particular in what he was asking lawmakers to pass...something, anything...just to get the revenue flowing as soon as possible. "I'm going to sign whatever they send over, but I'm telling you some of the lame-brained ideas, like 1% and 100 days, itIt doesn't change the fact, I told them, that I'm going to continue on the tough decisions that got to be made on cost-cutting," he stated.

What Calvo will not compromise on is his years-long crusade to fund the hospital. He is not willing to solve this new operational revenue crisis without also finding a fix for the perennial budget shortfalls at the Guam Memorial Hospital. "What more dire is a hospital? People live and die there within seconds or minutes, so no I'm not going to separate the hospital and the fiscal crisis of this government. The hospital crisis has been there for years. We had a solution and the legislature kicked the can down the road," Calvo said.

In the meantime, the governor says he will continue with drastic austerity measures such as laying-off limited-term appointments, and planning for furloughs. He also defended his order for 10% line agency wide pro-rata cuts that have come under heavy criticism because of the shutdowns of the Hagatna police precinct and two fire stations.

He says GFD Chief Joey San Nicolas for example had no other option but to cut back on traditionally heavy overtime hours, adding, the only way to make the overtime cut was for him to cut on stations. "If you don't make the cuts and we don't make the cuts, you looked at the March cash flow, we're going to have a payless payday," he said.

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