Bill 75-36, which proposes to make several changes to Public Law 35-136, also known as the Rise Act, passed unanimously by the 36th Guam Legislature late Friday evening.
The measure, introduced by Sens. James Moylan, Tony Ada, and Chris Duenas propose the following amendments to PL 35-136:
- Increases the payout of the Rise Act benefit from $800 to $1,000.
- Removes certain requirements such as Mayors and Employment Verifications as part of the application process.
- Extends the timeline of the program by an additional six months.
- Increases the reporting frequencies by the government.
- Eliminates the $30 million cap of the authorized budget.
“The passage of Bill 75 sends a strong message from the Guam Legislature. The measure is a culmination of the community’s voices through social media, online petitions, testimonies, or merely through discussions at family gatherings, coffee shops, dinner tables and water stations at work.” Moylan said.
“Bill 75-36 is a model which the Governor can and should utilize to shape her ‘All Rise Act’ through an Executive Order. It is a commitment to island residents that we hear them, and that with the money in the bank, the administration should start paying out the benefits in the simplest manner possible.”
The measure recognizes the availability of federal monies, specifically from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), to fund this benefit. Federal guidelines were released on July 19 and emphasized that such stimulus programs are qualified expenditures. The Rise Act would not only help many families with pressing needs but would also help spur economic activity.
“The most critical aspect of Bill 75-36 is the removal of the budgetary cap, which would assure that no qualified applicant, who applies within a reasonable timeline, is denied the benefit,” Moylan said.