A NUMBER of bills are now on their way to the governor’s office for review and possible veto or enactment, including Bill 413-31, the election reform measure.
The measure received 8 “yes” votes, 6 “no” votes and one absence. The Democrats voted in favor of the bill while the Republicans were not in favor. Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes is excused due to her trip with the Guam Visitors Bureau in Russia to promote Guam.
Sen. Rory Respicio, rules committee chairman, said it appears the passage of Bill 413-31 was based on party lines.
“My fear is that we should not send a message that Bill 413 has everything to do with partisan politics rather than wanting to reform the way the elections are conducted,” Respicio said.
He also reminded his colleagues on how they got to this point.
“To say that this went from election reform to the 2010 election is absolutely correct because that’s how we got to this juncture. In the course of going over Bill 413, we’ve heard from the election commission board. We heard about the gross incompetence, or whatever you want to call it, but it resulted in a different outcome that many people believe would be otherwise if the election laws were followed,” he said.
Respicio also cautioned about a possible veto by the governor and is asking his colleagues for an override in the event this happens.
He also requested Sen. Dennis Rodriguez to hold an oversight hearing with the commissioners from the Guam Election Commission within 10 days so that information from the GEC board may encourage Calvo to sign the bill into law.
The other measures passed and their respective votes are:
- Bill 319-31, introduced by Sen. Adolpho Palacios, to authorize private ambulance service providers, 14-0.
- Bill 328-31, introduced by Rodriguez, to regulate special tasting and sampling events for alcoholic beverages, 13-1.
- Bill 377-31, authored by Sen. Chris Duenas, to zone all land returned by the federal government as “agriculture,” 13-1.
- Bill 405-31, authored by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz, to amend the law banning shark finning to include an additional order of sharks, 14-0.