Senators take $3M more from tax amnesty to help hospital - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senators take $3M more from tax amnesty to help hospital

Posted: Aug 09, 2018 4:10 PM Updated:

It looks like the Guam Memorial Hospital will be the beneficiary of even more legislative largesse. Lawmakers voted to take another $3 million from the tax amnesty proceeds to pay off the hospital's delinquent retirement contributions. But instead of appropriating the money to GMH, senators decided to pay the retirement fund directly.

Vice speaker Therese Terlaje was among those who are concerned about hospital management withholding the required payments. She said, "This should be criminal in my book. But when they mess up like this and they see the legislature just run in and save them by funding it without any accountability, there's not even been an oversight hearing as to why they haven't paid their retirement contributions. Whose decision was that to pass the retirement contributions. I mean we haven't even seen one dime being taken away from the salaries of the directors who are making over $200,000.

"That doesn't make any sense to me, Mr. Speaker."

The Retirement Fund sued GMH for overdue payments dating back to March. Some employees are unable to retire because of the non-payments.

Senators also voted to appropriate another $3 million in tax amnesty money to the Department of Education for preliminary architectural and engineering work for the new Simon Sanchez High School.

This is the ninth day of debate on the 2019 budget bill, which is the sole purpose for the session.

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