Guam governor keeps legislators busy but doesn't get his way

After days and many hours of debate and discussion, Guam legislators voted 10-4 against Governor Eddie Baza Calvo's favored budget crisis fix, Bill 245-34, which would have imposed a temporary 50 percent increase in the Business Privilege Tax.

But that was hardly the end of the work day for the lawmakers. Governor Calvo immediately called a special session for 7 p.m., but that was only the start of a very long evening, which saw three governor-imposed if very brief sessions.

“There’s still time to avert this crisis. I am ready to work late tonight if it means that we maintain government stability. If employees aren’t sleeping soundly because they’re worried about their finances, I don’t see how we can sleep,” Governor Calvo said, according to one of many press releases put out by Adelup. “I don’t want to see a 32-hour workweek or a curtailed [sic] government services,” said the governor, who himself threatened the work week curtailment.

The governor instead wanted the legislature to take up a proposal to impose a sales tax sponsored by Sen. Fernando Esteves. According the Adelup release:

"This bill is yet ANOTHER iteration of a compromise. It takes Sen. Joe Agustin’s bill on the sales tax and adds amendments from Sen. Tom Ada, Vice Speaker Terlaje and Sen. James Espaldon, such as lock-boxing the expanded stream for the Guam Memorial Hospital, and reiterating cost-cutting measures. Private sector business leaders also have supported a proposed sale