Bill 17-35 and Bill 18-35 are companion bills focusing on the efforts of increasing revenues to benefit 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. Increasing the assessment fees on authorized gaming devices would allow for a percentage of the proceeds to fund a Transitional Services Center for the Homeless. An estimation of $250,000 to $450,000 annually could help pay for the rental, or other needed equipment to make this an effective 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 the rental, or other needed equipment for this program to be effective.