Guam Governor To Highlights Efforts To Improve Economy

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Calvo will deliver State of the Island Address next week

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 12, 2015) – A continued effort to improve the island’s economy is one topic Gov. Eddie Calvo is expected to touch on Monday during his State of the Island Address at the Guam Legislature.

The governor’s Deputy Press Secretary Julius Santos said the public should also expect Calvo to discuss other topics, including working with the federal government to increase compact-impact funding and a congressional bill to repeal the Jones Act – a law that restricts shipping between U.S. ports to ships built and owned by Americans and manned by mostly U.S. workers.

During last year’s State of the Island address, Calvo outlined his 10-point plan for 2014, which included initiatives to assist the homeless, hire police officers, fix Guam’s roads and improve school facilities.

Santos said the governor would update the public on the 10-point plan, specifically an initiative to construct an emergency foster-care facility for children.

At the end of 32nd Legislature, a bill introduced by Sen. Tina Muna-Barnes, D-Mangilao, was signed into law, authorizing Calvo to construct the facility on land that has yet to be determined by the Chamorro Land Trust Commission.

While the 10-point plan was for 2014, Santos said initiatives that were started and never finished would be seen through until completion.

Calvo also is expected to discuss the federal government’s court order requiring GovGuam to close the Ordot dump and undertake road infrastructure projects leading to the site, Santos said. The issue was one initiative in his 10-point plan the governor wanted to solve.

Calvo planned to sue the federal government in an effort to force it to pay its share of the dump’s closure. During the last legislative term, former Sen. Chris Duenas introduced legislation that would have authorized the governor to move forward with the lawsuit, however, the bill never made it out of committee.

"(Calvo) is disappointed with it. That was one of his missions," Santos said. "He was also disappointed that senators didn’t move quickly enough on it. But he still believes the federal government should pay and be held accountable."

Monday’s speech could mark the last time a governor gives the address at the current legislative Session Hall, Santos noted. Construction and renovation of the Guam Congress Building, which originally housed the Legislature, is expected to begin this year.

"Crossing fingers, he’ll be the first governor to deliver the State of the Island at the updated legislative hall," Santos said.

The public is welcome to attend the governor’s speech at the Legislature’s Session Hall in Hagatna. The annual address will be televised on PBSGuam, channel 12, and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

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