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12 23Thu04242014

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Back Local News Limtiaco introduces Bill 276

Limtiaco introduces Bill 276

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FOLLOWING the implementation of the governor’s version of the Guam Competitive Wage Act of 2014, more popularly known as the Hay pay plan, Sen. Michael Limtiaco has introduced a bill amending the law which sets senators’ salaries as a percentage of the salary paid to the judges of the Superior Court of Guam.

Bill 276 removes the connection between senatorial salaries from that of Superior Court judges, changing the provision of the law which states that the compensation of each member of the Legislature shall be paid at the rate per year of 50 percent of the annual salary of a Superior Court judge, and, in the case of the Speaker of the Legislature, the annual salary of the presiding judge.

With the implementation of the governor’s Hay Plan, the salaries of senators were increased to $85,000 per annum.

If enacted into law, Limtiaco’s legislation would peg the legislators’ annual compensation to $60,840, and the Speaker’s salary to $67,600.

Earlier this year, Limtiaco had raised concerns with the submitted Hay plan, pointing out in a letter to Department of Administration Director Benita Mangola that the 32nd Guam Legislature senatorial pay is currently $65,000 and erroneously pegged to the salaries of judges. “The recommended increase is up to $85,000 which is an astonishing increase,” Limtiaco said.

He added: “While I agree that our government’s classified employees’ pay should be adjusted, I do not agree in the increase in senatorial salaries. What was the $85,000 per annum salary increase based upon? A thorough understanding of how this salary recommendation was arrived at is warranted and necessary.”

Declined

Meanwhile, Speaker Judith T. Won Pat has formally declined her salary increase in a letter to the Guam Legislature’s Chief Fiscal Officer dated Monday, Feb. 10.

In the letter, the Speaker said “it is expected that the governor will veto Bill 268, thus the members of the Guam Legislature will be receiving a pay adjustment, which will be retroactive to Feb. 9. I am requesting that the increase pay adjustment not be applied to my salary.” Over the weekend, senators failed to override the governor’s veto of Bill 268.

The Speaker said she chose not to accept the pay increase because of the need to prioritize funding for critical services such as education, health care and public safety.

Sen. Frank B. Aguon also released a statement following the implementation of the GovGuam pay raises saying he will not accept his salary increase.

“Given the financial challenges within our government, I will not accept the increase to my pay,” he said.

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