Senator questions administration's spending policy
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Sen. Telo T. Taitague is questioning the administration's spending priorities, noting that the Bureau of Budget and Management and Research’s latest report on the American Rescue Plan Act funds indicated large expenses on superfluous items.
“Anyone who takes a look at some of the itemized expenditures in the latest ARPA report would be confused as to why wooden magazine racks and document frames are more important than taking the steps needed to restore the Public Health facility in Mangilao," Taitague said.
Noting the looming deadline for full disbursement of the ARPA funds, the Republican senator urged the administration to get its priorities straight.
"Their latest ARPA report shows enough money has been spent on weekly planner notebooks and car scent fresheners. Put these federal dollars to better use by fixing our Public Health facility," Taitague said.
She said it would be wiser to invest some of the remaining $200 million into fixing the healthcare facility to cut the government's "needless spending on scattered rental spaces."
“Public Health employees gave overwhelming testimony in support of bringing their services and programs back into one centralized building so they can better care for our people and run the programs that are integral to the health and welfare of our community," Taitague said.
"Restoring our Public Health building should take priority over Swiffer XL cloths and memory foam seat cushions," she added.
Taitague noted that employees of the Department of Public Health and Social Services earlier testified at a public hearing expressing support for Bill 222-37, which would allow the agency to utilize the vacant facility in Mangilao once again.