Do you think the Guam Legislature needs reform? If so, how? If not, why?
Some candidates are campaigning for votes on a platform of legislative reform. I am not one of them. I think legislative procedures could be improved, but not so radically to call it reform. For example, the Legislature could be more effective with better technical research staff. It would be more representative if it had 21 members (with the same budget). Incumbent senators are held accountable every two years. Freshman senators represent the type of reform people want. Let’s see what the people think.
What do you think the Legislature is not focusing on that it should?
I would like to see more focus on the fiscal impact of legislation. How do policies improve our people’s employment and earnings outlook? We should be looking at the impact of new laws on graduating students, family breadwinners and employers. Also, the Legislature should avoid addressing special or narrow interests, but instead craft laws that establish or clarify broad policy to cover all similar situations.
If elected, what will you do to enhance revenue to – and reduce costs incurred by – the government of Guam?
Federal tax cuts unilaterally reduced Guam’s income tax revenue, and neither economic expansion nor tax increases have made up the difference. Yet we still expect our government to do many things that the federal government, private companies and individuals can’t or won’t do for the public on their own. In the agency oversight and budget process, I would support ways to deliver services more effectively through better tools, training or management. Sometimes these require larger non-personnel budgets. Some services may be cheaper when outsourced, or costs shifted to users. We must ensure that government incentives and concessions designed to expand the economy get quantifiable results.