HAGÅTÑA , Guam —  The 33rd Guam Legislature during session on Sept. 13 sent Bill 312-33 back to committee. Authored by Sen. Benjamin J.F. Cruz, the bill would increase the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $9.20 an hour by Jan. 1, 2017, then to $10.10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2018.

Cruz introduced the bill on May 4 despite the lack of an Economic Impact Statement. Following the previous wage increase that was implemented on Jan. 1, 2015, an EIS was required by law no later than April 30, 2016. However, the Guam Department of Labor only issued its intent to award the contract for the study on June 13. The contract was awarded to Market Research & Development Inc., the sole bidder, for $45,000.

Authorizing agencies approved the contract award on Sept. 7, GDOL told the Journal. The contract requires the study be completed within 90 days of being awarded.