By Nancy I. Maanao
Sen. Joe San Agustin, working in concert with the administration, arbitrarily doubled the governor's budgetary transfer authority from 15 percent to 30 percent in his version of the budget.
During debate on the budget this afternoon, Sen. Jim Moylan moved an amendment to set transfer authority back at 15 percent.
Transfer authority gives the governor latitude to move funding authority from one agency to another. The governor has used her authority to transfer millions into her executive budget.
Mr. Moylan's amendment passed with the support of Vice Speaker Telena Nelson and Sens. Therese Terlaje, Telo Taitague, Louise Muna, Wil Castro, Sabina Perez, and Mary Torres.
The senators who have normally aligned with the governor voted against the motion: Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and Sens. Regine Lee, Amanda Shelton, Kelly Marsh Taitano, Pedo Terlaje, and Joe San Agustin. Sen. Clynt Ridgell also voted against the motion.