The Guam Daily Post

12 23Sun11292015


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Back Opinion The Legislature is no playground

The Legislature is no playground

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INTENSE. Whether it was speaking on the floor, listening to a senator, interacting with the fiscal team or deliberating during recess, it was intense.

The whole notion of recess, in a deliberative process, is a contradiction.  From a classroom perspective, recess means a break from work – a time to breathe, a time to play, a time to eat, a time to run to the bathroom.

In the law-making world, recess simply means a break from parliamentary procedure. It means a time to argue points, persuade, dissuade, truly think and connect dots.

Deliberative recess is the time consensus is reached.

Recess should be broadcast so that every viewer can understand how we got to where we got.

The budget and bond issues are serious issues. While every decision-maker focused upon keeping supports and services provided, how to do that was argued. Points were made. Comments were thrown. Emotions erupted. There were times I was actually rattled.

The Legislature is no playground.

The bond issue was foundational to the budget issue – at least, I thought so. For me, bond and budget greatly impacted each other. When the bond issue was not inching forward and the clock was ticking even louder, the budget issue became the critical issue.

For the record, it is true I almost voted for the budget bill. I wasn’t party to an override attempt for a budget/$180 million bond bill, but I was ready to raise my hand for the separated budget bill.

It is very fair to state that every senator was very concerned about the budget, the bond, and the future. It is very correct to state that every senator had the people as a focus. It is my humble opinion that the passage of the bond bill was a result of the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership working together – in response to community voices, government obligations, and our financial landscape.

What might have differed is the weight each senator attributed to each of those variables. What might have differed is the degree of trust in Governor Eddie Calvo.

Planning and safeguarding for the future is very important. But just as important is taking care of today.

Due debts must be paid now. As our families will be paying for the bond(s), they would have been paying for the unpaid tax returns and the COLA payments. At least this way, the debt to these workers and retirees will be provided before they die so they may spend their money the way they choose.

Now, we look forward to the reorganization plan. While there has been conversation about legislating government streamlining, we know the government diet has to be determined by our commander in chief.

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