By Pacific Island Times News Staff
While applauding Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s announcement to extend her administration's stimulus grants under the Prugraman Salappe, Sen, James Moylan said the chief executive's financial plans remain vague.
"I was hoping to hear more details on actual plans and funding sources versus what seemed like a speech more aligned for a political pocket meeting," Moylan said in a statement following the governor's state of the island address on Wednesday.
"What we did not hear tonight were actual plans with what this administration intends to do with federal relief funds, including implementing Public Law 36-53, also known as The RISE Act, and providing qualified residents with $1,000 to assist with rising inflation costs," he added.
The congressional delegate said Leon Guerrero "failed to recognize that her federally funded programs alienated thousands of working-class families who have not qualified for relief, inclusive of the Prugraman Salappe."
In her state of the island address, the governor defended her refusal to tap the Covid-19 relief grants for inflation-relief programs proposed by some senators, saying the federal funds were earmarked only for coronavirus-related responses.
To assist Guam residents' with their living expenses, the governor proposed a $100 credit on power ratepayers' monthly bills.
"The governor spoke about utilizing an artificial surplus to assist families with power bills, yet these are the same funds her finance team urged lawmakers not to touch recently as they may not actually exist. Once again, we need plans and not political rhetoric," Moylan said.
The Republican senator also said he was surprised that the governor brought up a public safety plan submitted by her administration at the end of 2019.
The proposal was never entertained, Moylan said.
The governor proposed to "end parole for those who commit crimes involving sex and violence; stop plea agreements until every judge has heard from the victims of crime or their families;limit the late-night off-premise sale of alcohol; and hold parents accountable for the crimes of their children."
"Yet here we are years later, and it is being resurrected. If the issue was vital, then it should have been prioritized over the years, instead of being buried as it has been. Instead, what was the highlight for public safety was a notation in the increase of the recruitment of law enforcement officers," Moylan said.
"While I understand that this is an election year, such a speech was expected. However, our community is struggling, the inflation crisis is growing, and criminal activity is rising daily," he added.