Senator James Moylan introduced three companion bills: Bill 17-35, Bill 18-35, and Bill 19-35. These companion bills focus on the efforts of increasing revenues to benefit some critical areas of our government.
Bill 17-35 increases the gaming fees from 4% to 10% in October 2019, 12% in October 2020, and 14% in October 2021. Furthermore, the legislation mandates centralized monitoring systems on devices, which would not only provide actual fees due – possibly even increasing the amounts – but also assisting the Department of Revenue and Tax in their collection efforts.
This legislation would:
- increase the amount that the Guam Memorial Hospital receives
- allocate some monies to the Territorial Highway Fund to assist in road repairs
- allocate some monies to the Guam Office of Veterans Affairs to fund valuable needs for our veterans and
- allocate monies to the Department of Public Health and Social Services to fund Transitional Services for the Homeless Program.
Bill 18–35 Establishes the Transitional Services for the Homeless as a “One-Stop Service Center” at the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
With the rising concerns associated with Guam’s homeless population, more action is required from the government in addressing this growing problem.
While there are community programs that provide temporary shelters and support systems, more transitional services are required to assist those who qualify to acclimate back into becoming contributing members of the community.
An Assistance to the Homeless chapter was enacted in the Guam Code Annotated several decades ago, however, annual appropriations were not consistent and unfortunately, many of its objectives were never fulfilled. The services provided must be modernized, and the Department of Public Health and Social Services must be afforded with additional authority to gather together those government entities and instrumentalities that can provide certain services to the Homeless.
Just as a One-Stop Business License Center allows for potential business owners to attain a license by visiting one government entity, a Transitional Services Center should house those agencies that provide government programs such as quest cards, section 8 housing, medical programs, access to employment opportunities, and other government services for those who qualify.
Annual appropriations are required for the objectives of this legislation to be achieved. By increasing the assessment fees on authorized gaming devices, and allowing a percentage of the proceeds to fund the Transitional Services Center for Homeless, it would allow an estimation of $250,000 to $450,000 annually which could pay for a rental, or other needed equipment for this program to be effective.