Funding Limit for Direct Cash Relief All RISE to be reviewed | Editorials

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As thousands of Guamanians know – perhaps even fear – the $ 30 million limit for Governor’s economic relief program All RISE raises concerns that the program will not have enough funding for all. those who qualify.

This idea of ​​economic aid began in the Legislative Assembly of Guam, where a program called the Recovery Income Support and Empowerment Act, or RISE Act, was approved last year. The goal was to provide one-time cash assistance of about $ 800 for each eligible person, or $ 1,600 for a couple, at a time when nearly 30,000 private sector workers were either unemployed or suffered hardship. pay cuts as the pandemic unfolded.

The RISE law became law in December 2020 without the governor’s signature.

Several months later, on August 12, the governor issued an executive order authorizing direct cash assistance of $ 800 per qualified person or $ 1,600 per qualified couple under his All RISE program – reflecting the legislation ‘it has not promulgated. The catch, with the governor’s program, is that candidates applying for All RISE must sign a document stating that they can no longer apply for the program that the legislature had authorized under the RISE Act.

In his version of the direct cash assistance program, the governor allowed the inclusion of Guam government employees, GovGuam retirees, and federal government employees and retirees.

This has expanded the beneficiary pool to thousands of people without increasing the amount of money available.

The result?

When the application period opened on Wednesday, nearly 17,000 people flocked to apply online or through the drive-through or walk-in services of the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation.

One of the main reasons the scorecard needs to be dropped off early is that administration guidelines make it clear that there is no guarantee that everyone who qualifies will be paid.

“Payments are not guaranteed. Eligible persons’ claims must be filed with their respective 8821 forms. As claims are processed on a first-in, first-out basis, once the $ 30,000,000 cap for the cash assistance program met, applications will no longer be accepted by DRT and payments will cease. DRT will notify once this cap is reached, “according to the FAQ provided in the administration’s recent All RISE guidelines.

The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration is using $ 30 million in federal funds for this program. There is no reason for him to limit himself to this cap even after expanding eligibility to thousands of people.

The Rev and Tax lines on Wednesday morning reflect people’s level of concern that the program is going to run out of money. There are also a large number of people in our community who are in desperate need of this help – as the federally funded unemployment program ends on September 4 and the cost of electricity, gas, food, rent and other necessities continue to drift further and further away from many people. .

It’s a sad time in Guam to see people with physical disabilities lining up overnight or 90-year-olds lining up among hundreds of others on the first day of the opening of the application period, to fear that program funding will run out.

Most people in Guam know that the governor has the power to set aside over $ 30 million, as almost $ 600 million was provided by the federal government for federal pandemic relief, and before that, hundreds of millions of additional dollars were provided to GovGuam.

And the governor asserted that senators do not need to be involved in determining how federal pandemic funds are spent.

At this rate, with over 17,000 claims filed on day one, and some of the claims could be for joint filers, the $ 30 million will be used up within days, maybe even before the end of the week.

We hope that the administration is listening to the pulse of the community.

A about-face on the funding cap and sacrificing GovGuam’s pandemic spending on non-core items, to make additional funding for All RISE a priority, would be a good turn for Adelup at this point.


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