Terlaje: administration sending mixed messages on funding critical hospital repairs
Senators held a public hearing today on a bill to compel critical capital improvement spending for the hospital.
Sen. Therese Terlaje says the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Bill appropriates $10 million for the fixes, but she's been skeptical it'll be spent.
"I don't think the money has been deposited into this fund at this point," she said. "Although the law says it shall be deposited. So we may hear, we're gonna wait until the audit's done, we're gonna wait until we pay $83 million in deficit before this money gets deposited."
The administration has said publicly it intends to use any excess revenue over projecting to pay down the government's accumulated deficit. But Terlaje said she was frustrated with the mixed messages and the fact that no one from the administration showed up to testify.
"What the legislature and the people of Guam need and deserve is a very clear message," Terlaje said. "Are we going to fix this? Even if we're going to build a new hospital, are you going to fix the roof for the next five years or are we going to continue to have leakages, while we have patients in critical care there?"
The bill specifically identifies three critical priorities that the hospital and the centers for Medicaid and Medicare have said need to be addressed: major leaks in the roof, an old and risky electrical panel and a soon-to-be-obsolete Electronic health records system."