A $5 million windfall proposed for Guam Memorial Hospital

Bill by Speaker B.J. Cruz would tap tax amnesty funds

Additional revenues generated from this fiscal year’s Tax Amnesty program will go to the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority as soon as next month—under new legislation introduced by Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz Thursday.

Bill No. 329-34 (COR), as requested by the Bureau of Budget and Management Research, authorizes an appropriation of $5,000,000 to GMHA to help subsidize its operations for FY 2018 and correct deficiencies recently identified in the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services report, which resulted in GMH losing its accreditation.

The measure was introduced following a public hearing held by the appropriations chairman on the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget bills. During the hearing, BBMR Deputy Director Lester Carlson informed the Committee on Appropriations and Adjudication that a separate appropriation bill authorizing $5 million out of the $30 million revenue generated from the Tax Amnesty program would help ensure that the funding gets to the hospital as soon as possible.

Gubernatorial candidates, however, said the GMH crisis requires solutions other than funding.