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Guam senator proposes pay raises in new budget

August 19, 2013

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A Guam senator is proposing that the territory change its budget to add millions of dollars in pay raises for government employees.

Pacific Daily News reported Monday (http://goo.gl/0a9UDb ) that Sen. Ben Pangelinan is proposing to use a combination of funds budgeted for tax refunds and reimbursements for military members who don’t pay local income taxes.

A management and consulting firm said in 2010 that Guam needs $13.1 million to pay for increases for about 6,000 government agency employees. Government-wide, the amount increases to about $18.6 million.

Gov. Eddie Calvo told lawmakers last week to include funding for pay increases.

Pangelinan, a Democrat who represents Barrigada, is chairman of the territorial Legislature’s finance committee. It’s unclear how much his proposal will cost.

Calvo rescinded a plan for the increases in 2011, saying the government couldn’t afford it.

Pangelinan is expected to discuss his proposal with other lawmakers on Tuesday local time.

Pangelinan says the government should have about $9 million available within the budget from funds set aside for tax refunds. The administration says it needs $113 million to cover refunds, but the Legislature’s current version of the bill has $129 million set aside. Pangelinan’s plan to reduce the amount still includes cushion.

Pangelinan said it may be possible to give a cost of living allowance increase to Guam government retirees. But he did not specify how much that might cost.

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Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com

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