Sen. Jim Moylan, referencing the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations regarding the use of federal direct aid funding at the disposal of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, is urging the governor to follow the CFR and gather public input on the use of more than $600 million.
The following is his letter to the governor:
Dear Governor Leon Guerrero;
On May 17, 2021, the US Treasury released an interim final rule to implement the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act. The rules outline several eligible usages of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, which I am certain your administration has reviewed on many occasions.
I would however like to share an excerpt from the interim final rule, which may have been overlooked:
“Treasury urges State, territorial, Tribal, and local governments to engage their constituents and communities in developing plans to use these payments, given the scale of funding and its potential to catalyze broader economic recovery and rebuilding.”
While I recognize that you have the authority as the Governor of Guam to sign off on documents authorizing the actual expenditure of the ARP funds on the island, I must also reiterate that these are federal dollars. The excerpt provided is from the federal government’s guidelines on how to spend those funds. It is noticeably clear that they deem transparency as well as public input as vital components of the federal program, thus they encourage Governors and tribal leaders to engage their constituents in the process.
Considering the recommendations from the US Treasury, I would like to ask when will your administration be holding its first public hearing on the plans to spend these ARP funds? Also, what is the deadline for island residents to submit their recommendations on the ideal programs they believe would help support Guam’s economic recovery and rebuilding? I am certain that many in the community would be glad to participate.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to a response. If you need a copy of the final interim rules, my office will gladly furnish them. I am copying the Speaker of the 36th Guam Legislature in this letter, as I am certain that the legislative branch would be glad to assist the front office with the public input process.
Senator, 36th Guam Legislature