GUAM CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD

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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE June 16, 2000

SECURES LONG-SOUGHT JUSTICE
GRANT DEFINITION THAT WILL
INCREASE GUAM'S SHARE

Congressman Robert A. Underwood's amendment, to include Guam in the definition of 'states' for justice grants, was the only one approved by the House Appropriations Committee during work on the Fiscal Year 2001 State, Justice and Commerce budget bill yesterday.

"The amendment would effectively double the money available to Guam by giving Guam a state share of two grants: the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant," the Congressman said.

"It means that Guam would go from $590,000 under the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant to $1.18 million for Fiscal Year 2001, and from $640,000 under the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant to $1.28 million.

"This is a problem that we've been trying to resolve for the past couple of years and have been trying to figure out a good strategy," he said, adding that after much research, no justification could be found to continue the block grant limitations for Guam. A specific provision to address the situation is contained in H.R. 2462, Congressman Underwood's Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act, but when the opportunity arose in the Appropriations Committee's work on the budget bill for the State, Justice and Commerce Departments, the Congressman took advantage of it. "We figured that this would be a more prudent and effective way to do it," he said.

The bill is expected to go to the floor next week.

"Assuming we get no opposition, we will have to work with the Senate to make sure that it passes into law," the Congressman said.

The Local Law Enforcement Block Grant is used by the Government of Guam to purchase police vehicles and radios, fund police recruit training cycles, equip new law enforcement officers, and automate the Guam Police Department and the Superior Court. According to the Bureau of Planning, which administers the grants, the increases will allow funding of rape, domestic and family violence prosecutors at the Department of Law, among other law enforcement agencies' needs.

Administered by the Department of Youth Affairs, the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant funds are used to make improvements to the juvenile criminal offender housing facility and to hire a juvenile offense prosecutor at the Department of Law. An increase in the grant would enable DYA to implement more family integration and community aftercare programs for juvenile offenders and to fund the salaries of additional probation officers, social workers and psychologists.

For additional information, contact: Cathy Gault at 671-477-4272

Washington office: 2418 Rayburn Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: 202-225-1188 Fax: 202-226-0341 Email: guamtodc@mail.house.gov 

Guam office: 120 Fr. Duenas Ave., Ste 107 Hagatna, GU 96932 Tel: 671-477-4272 Fax: 671-477-2587

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