The Fiscal Year 2023 budget session is scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon. Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the spending plan, senators will first have to agree on how much money is coming in that they can spend. KUAM news spoke with Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Minority leader Chris Duenas about their views on the nearly $1 billion in projected revenue.

The governor said, "I'm very positive that even at the end of Fiscal Year 2022 when we see the financial audits that we'll definitely very and confirm those projections." She added, "I would say right now its preliminary to say that we accept the projections at this point. I would like to see first of all the back and forth between OFB and BBMR as is tradition when we open the budget process, and see if that's in harmony. And then see why its in harmony if it is. And once we get down to work it will be line-by-line...and you can expect us to be hawkish on that."

A key issue for both the administration and the legislature will be funding the raises that the governor doled out by executive order to teachers, police, firemen, and nurses. The governor says she has the reassurance of appropriations chairman Senator Joe San Agustin, who will preside over the budget talks, that the salary increases will be protected.

"You know, there's been discussion out there about how we sustain these salary increases. it will be sustained by putting it in the budget and moving forward. so he's agreeable and thats what we suspect will happen," she continued.

Duenas stated, "For me, and I know that many of our republican colleagues from our side of the aisle, what we want to make sure is that all the priorities and all the commitments will be funded first and then we'll go in and break it down from there. But anything that's been passed by executive order should now be codified by legislation. we should take those priorities first. Public safety, education and the healthcare raises that have been put out and everything else should come after that."

Senators have until August 31 to submit a budget to the governor.