FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (June 8, 2014 – Hagåtña, GU) – Senator Vicente “ben” C. Pangelinan (D), Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Public Debt, Retirement, Legal Affairs, Public Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation, and Land (Committee) has received confirmation from federal officials that GovGuam should expect additional federal Section 30 funds in excess of what was projected for FY 2014. The additional “windfall” funds that have been estimated by local officials to be over $20 million was as a result of two federal entities that have not been remitting “cover over” Section 30 funds to GovGuam for almost two decades.

“We have received confirmation from federal officials that, in fact, GovGuam should be seeing additional Section 30 funds over and above what was projected for FY 2014,” declared Pangelinan. “I am unsure why the Administration has kept quiet about these developments, especially when such things should be shared with the Guam Legislature as it is the body that appropriates funds for government services and projects.”

The lack of transparency surrounding the handling of additional and excess Section 30 funds continues to be a concern for Pangelinan. Over the past two years, GovGuam has received over $20 million, all for which such information was not provided to the Guam Legislature in a timely manner during budget session deliberations for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 and were not considered in the formulation of the budgets.

“This lack of transparency in the receipt of Section 30 funds is one of the reasons why I introduced Bill 309 which attempts to increase transparency in the Section 30 fund process,” explained Pangelinan.

Bill 309, introduced by Pangelinan and Vice Speaker Benjamin J. Cruz, would prioritize any excess additional Section 30 funds, over and above what was projected in FY 2014, toward the following:

(1) paying the remaining 50% to General Pay Plan GovGuam employees which include all non-attorney/teacher/nurse/executive employees;

(2) provide funding to the Guam Department of Education;

(3) hiring an additional 20 police officers;

(4) hiring additional prosecution teams and victim witness advocates at the Office of the Attorney General;

(5) and pay the remainder of the law enforcement retroactive pay increases.

“I continue to urge the governor to push for these additional excess Section 30 funds and to also be transparent in providing timely and relevant information to the Guam Legislature when it comes to updates on the receipt of Section 30 funds,” concluded Pangelinan.

For further information, please contact the Offices of Senator Pangelinan at 473-4236 or email at office@senbenp.com.

 

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