Economy, security among top priorities of Guam’s Leon Guerrero administration
The newly elected governor of Guam, Lou Leon Guerrero has set up a transition team in charge of ensuring the smooth passing down of the territory’s gubernatorial office. Led by Mary Okada, she has emphasized on the fiscal challenges the island is facing, and the plans by the newly elected government to maximize revenues, find ways of generating them and the need for expenditure cuts, as a way of addressing the fiscal challenges. The transition chief hinted on their working on the reports from different agencies in order to address challenges they face, hence find short and long term recommendations if needed.
We are likely to see a closer partnership between the governor, the Guam Economic Development Authority and the Guam Chamber of Commerce as part of the campaign promises of opportunity zones, that provides tax benefits to investors in job creating projects in an approved zones, she highlighted its potential to stimulate local economies by tapping into the $6.1 trillion of idle, unrealized capital gains. As part of its effort to restructure the island’s economy, any tax raise has been put on the side before there is thorough economic analysis by lawmakers and collection of an estimated $200 million in uncollected taxes. Along these lines, During the forum organized by Guam Visitors Bureau, now Governor Guerrero expressed her support for the legalization of recreational marijuana, for its potential tremendous gains the island can benefit from it. Although there was no clear outline on how the newly elected administration will legalize it, she expressed her opposition to the legalization of gambling which she considers goes against the family-oriented tourism destination the island is known for, but also in fear of more problems related to crimes and illegal drugs
The newly elected governor recognizes crime has gone up although the number of police officers has not caught up accordingly, with the increasing population. For that reason, she maintained that her administration will not touch on special funds such as the emergency 911 fund, along with the Tourist Attraction Fund; known to play a crucial role in the development of the tourism industry; unless it is directed at the industry’s growth.