Amended Guam savings program for people with disabilities signed into law
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Tuesday signed into law Bill 247-36, which will help push the implementation of the Guam Able Savings Program.
The measure, which is now Public Law 36-90, was introduced by Sen. James Moylan and was co-sponsored by Sens. Joe San Agustin, Amanda Shelton and Chris Duenas.
The Guam Able Savings Program is an income-derived savings plan for those with disabilities, which comes with taxable benefits and mirrors programs available in many states.
The original law, enacted in 2018, was introduced by then-senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. However, due to many technical factors, the program was never implemented. The new law addresses these concerns, such as assuring that the appropriate government entity has authority over the program.
Moylan said the new law allows family and friends to contribute to a savings account, which the individual can avail as an income with tax benefits.
“Two additional key components in P.L. 36-90 include an authority for the governor to transfer up to $250,000 to assure that the program obtains any needed resources to be implemented," Moylan said.
The program is scheduled to be ready to accept deposits from island residents by Oct. 1, 2022.
"It would be irresponsible to give the Department of Administration additional responsibilities without some leverage with the access to funds if needed,” Moylan said.
The new law transfers the authority of the Guam ABLE Savings Program from the Department of Revenue and Taxation to the Department of Administration. DRT’s concern was primarily related to avoiding any conflicts, as they are also the entity that regulates banking.
“While this new public law may not be monumental on the surface, it is a great victory for those island residents with disabilities,” Moylan said.