Guam’s Government “Barely Able” to Make Payroll
Pursuant to my piece on the growing liquidity problem facing the government of Guam, the news came out today that government just barely managed to make payroll:
Gov. Eddie Calvo called Guam lawmakers into two special sessions Thursday seeking passage of a sales tax, and another measure that would allow him to reduce the time needed to implement pay cuts.
At the end of the day, no action was taken on either bill.
The special sessions took place against the backdrop of a blunt warning from the Department of Administration that there was “barely” enough money to make today’s payroll, and DOA is “uncertain” whether the government would have enough funds for the next payday on March 23.
Just last week, the governor’s fiscal team stated the government would still be able to fund paychecks through the end of this month or in April, if vendors didn’t get paid.
“We just made payroll by the skin of our teeth,” stated DOA acting Director Edward Birn, quoted in a statement issued by the governor’s office. As for the next payroll two weeks from now, he said, “we’ll have to hold back on allotments to several autonomous agencies.”
The payroll warning was issued Thursday morning as senators were in the midst of a public hearing on two revenue bills, each proposing a 2 percent sales tax.