FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (March 1, 2018 – Hagåtña) – After being called into three separate special sessions last night, at 7 p.m., 9 p.m., and midnight, the Legislature reconvened this morning at 10 a.m. in a special session called by the Governor on Bill 1(5-S). The Governor’s bill was referred by the Legislature to the Committee on Taxation. Committee Chairman Senator Joe S. San Agustin will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m for Bill 1(5-S) and a separate hearing will be held on Thursday, March 8 at 9 a.m. for two other bills aimed at implementing a sales tax, Bill No. 248-34 (LS) introduced by Senator Joe S. San Agustin, and Bill No. 249-34 (LS) introduced by Senator Fernando Esteves. The reorganization bill, Bill No. 247-34 (COR) introduced by Senator Frank B. Aguon, will have a hearing on Wednesday March 7 at 10:30 a.m. The three sales tax bills, the re-organization bill, and Bill No. 230-34 (COR) to lift tax exemptions from banks and health insurance that was previously introduced at the request of the Governor, are still options under consideration.
In the absence of Speaker Cruz, Acting Speaker Terlaje will reconvene the special session tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Despite the threat to government employees of a 32-hour work week, the Attorney General has insisted that all laws must be followed by the Governor in any potential furlough. Senators continue to work on solutions for the $67 Million reduction in revenue from income taxes, in addition to the $37 Million dollars in cuts discussed by the various agencies. Additional information has been requested from the Governor’s fiscal team as to the Governor’s list of 16 revenue enhancement strategies, and public input is sought on the pending bills on Wednesday and Thursday.
“My colleagues and I continue to insist on responsible cuts by the government of Guam, and that revenue enhancement strategies be developed without delay. However, we must listen to the public before going into session on any of the new proposals,” stated Terlaje.
For more information, please call the Office of Vice Speaker Therese M. Terlaje at (671) 472-3586.