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Dear Friends,

Conversations during the last few days of reviewing the budget have focused on determining the minimum requirements for an adequate education. The list I referenced in floor debate is the foundation of Bill 162 ( to read the list for yourself, go to my website: )

I asked my colleagues if anyone wanted to stand up and disagree with this list. Everyone stayed seated.

It is a shame that we even have to discuss these details about our schools. Think of it this way: What if we passed a law that says that at Guam International no plane shall take off that doesn’t have wings. Or: no car shall be allowed on the road unless it has wheels. Or for public health: you can’t sell poisoned food in a restaurant. All of these points are assumed. They’re basic. They’re obvious. They’re givens to the conversation. That’s how basic the Bill 162 adequate education list is.

There are two basic philosophical approaches to dealing with the situation that we’re in right now. The first one is to say, “Well we’ve had a series of natural calamities, that we couldn’t control and therefore the challenge before us is to make sure that we don’t lay anybody off and that we always make payroll. If we do that, that’s fine. That is all we have to do.”

The second choice is to say: “Yes, we’ve had a series of calamities, but one of the reasons for the economic difficulty that we’re in right now is because we have a government that is too big and unresponsive. What we must do is reduce the government to an affordable size and make it responsive. We can’t control natural disasters. But, the one thing we can control is how we approach our government.” The second choice has been aggressively advocated by the Republican minority side of the isle.

If we want to just keep stumbling along – just doing the bare minimum – then we’re not going to be able to provide an adequate public education for our students.

We need to provide an adequate public education system for our students even if we have to stop doing other government functions. I’ve stated this before; I’ll continue to press this point on the session floor. The Legislature must start with the top priorities first (education, health, and safety) and then work its way down the list. When the money is gone … we go home.

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts and ideas.



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