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Guam receives $1.5M more in compact-impact funding – Pacific Daily News

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs released nearly $1.5 million to Guam to help pay for services to accommodate migrants from other islands in Micronesia.

The funding is part of a supplemental $3 million released by the federal agency, adding to the $30 million in annual funding for Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, according to a release from Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo’s office.

“I worked with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to protect these funds within (Insular Affairs’) budget, despite proposals within the administration to eliminate the program,” Bordallo said in the release.

The government of Guam receives more than $16 million in federal funding out of the $30 million each year to help cover costs for migrant services.

The Compact of Free Association Act, enacted in 1985, authorizes the U.S. to provide funds for social services to assist the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau. It allows citizens from those countries to come to Guam or the U.S. to work or for school. Unless the act is amended, the compact agreements would end in 2023.

The government of Guam has said the federal reimbursement for the impact of compact migrants has fallen far short of the costs incurred. In fiscal 2016, the government of Guam reported it spent $142 million for migrant services under the compact provisions.

An attempt was made to increase compact-impact funding in 2015, when Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai introduced a bill that would have boosted the annual funding from $30 million to $185 million. The bill didn’t make it through the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs.

BREAKDOWN

How the $3 million in discretionary federal funds will be distributed:

  • Guam: $1,491,000
  • Hawaii: $1,276,000
  • CNMI: $231,000
  • American Samoa: $2,000

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