UDGET hearings for government of Guam agencies and departments start next week Monday, and Speaker Judi Won Pat is hoping there will be a compromise between the administration and the Legislature with regard to the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
Won Pat stressed the significance of the upcoming budget hearings to the community during her weekly address. She is presiding over the hearings in place of finance committee chairman Sen. Ben Pangelinan, who remains off-island.
Budget hearing schedule:
Monday, June 25
- 9 a.m. – Mayors' Council
- 10:30 a.m. – Office of Public Accountability
- 1 p.m. – Guam Election Commission
Wednesday, June 27
- 9 a.m. – GMHA
- 1 p.m. – Department of Law
Thursday, June 28
- 8 a.m. – GCC
- 1 p.m. – Public Defender Services Corp.
Tuesday, July 3
- 10 a.m. – UOG
Friday, July 6
- 9 a.m. – Unified Courts of Guam
Monday, July 23
- 8 a.m. – GDOE
- 9 a.m. – GDOE elementary schools
- 11 a.m. – GDOE middle schools
- 1 p.m. – GDOE administration
“Gov. (Eddie) Calvo submitted a $772.5 million appropriations budget. This means he anticipates this is how much it’s going to cost to run our government for Fiscal Year 2013,” Won Pat said.
According to the Speaker, the Legislature is working with the administration on a budget “that both branches can agree on and get bipartisan support for.”
“One way or the other, we'll get a budget passed because no one wants to close the government – that's a useless exercise,” Won Pat said.
A major concern the Speaker has is the $43 million in cuts the governor’s fiscal team is working on, which may result in layoffs.
“My concern, as well as that of my colleagues, is that the layoffs will have an immediate effect on our families and will further increase the growing number of families who are living at or below the poverty level, as well as adding to our unemployment rate which is at a record high of 13.2 percent. We will need to deal with these serious outcomes when the time comes,” the Speaker said.
Won Pat is hopeful the executive branch would be willing to negotiate a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and not shut out any ideas.
“What’s important is working together and getting things done,” she concluded.
Residents are encouraged to view the process on television. The hearings are televised live on MCV Channel 13 and GudTV Channel 21.