Guam - The Guam Chamber of Commerce has made no secret of its opposition to legislation to raise the minimum wage. Today before its general membership meeting, the Chamber held a panel discussion on "The Truth of the Minimum Wage". Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association president Mary Rhodes says it's the responsibility of our government to introduce just legislation that is fair and reasonable.

She announced, "First and foremost an independent economic impact assessment needs to be done - we should not be making easy decisions based on data from the United States from the mainland we need to look at Guam's data, what is the local market wages, looking at and how it will impact our goods and services that our consumers are going to pay for."

She says Guam is at a good position to look at the rippling effects at some of the states who have implemented a raise in the minimum wage and are currently experiencing problems and conduct a hard analysis of what Guam can afford. Dededo mayor Melissa Savares meanwhile says she responds 80-100 people a day with requests for verifications of residence for their applications for welfare, food stamps or public housing.

"We're going to see an increase of this should the minimum wage increase because of course employers will be forced almost to cut hours or to lay people off 0059 and our homeless, we've already seen our homeless have increased," she said.

Vice Speaker BJ Cruz has stated he intends to add his Bill 316 to the next session agenda. The measure would increase the minimum wage $0.95 over the next three years capped off at $10.10.