HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The governor of Guam has vetoed a budget bill approved by the territorial Legislature, saying it represents empty promises and doesn't give enough to health and safety agencies.
Pacific Daily News reported Thursday (http://goo.gl/rPkBIA ) that Gov. Eddie Calvo is expected to submit a new version of the bill for the fiscal year starting in October.
Calvo said in a letter to Speaker Judith Won Pat that agencies including public safety agencies are already operating at low levels that affect how services are delivered.
The bill gives health agencies $3.7 million less than what they need based on the Legislature's amendments.
Calvo said he is concerned about proposed salary increases for government employees.
The governor said the $15.4 million in new spending comes at the expense of health and safety, calling it "unsustainable and, therefore, subject to being cut through the fiscal year or in subsequent years."
Calvo said he was also concerned with tax refunds, the general fund and the tourist attraction fund.
The chairman of the Legislature's finance committee, Sen. Ben Pangelinan, said Calvo can use a line-item veto to disagree with certain portions of the budget.
But 10 Senate votes are needed to override the veto and the bill passed 8-6. Democrats and Republicans voted along party lines.
Calvo says he hopes the Legislature considers his objections because he would reward government employees and retirees if more money was available.
"Alas, we must be prudent and responsible, because the taxpayers' well is not endless," Calvo said.
Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com