Guam – The 30th legislature began the last session of their term today. Although it’s typically known as a lame duck session today lawmakers wasted no time in overriding several vetoed bills.
They spent a little bit of time talking about Senator Tina Muna Barnes’ bottle recycling bill in the morning and then quickly voted on vetoed bills before breaking for lunch. Lawmakers overrode bill 466 which is Senator Palacios’ bill that changes some of the requirements and qualifications of the chief of police and police commander. Specifically the law requires that the Governor’s office arrange and pay for the drug, psychological, and polygraph exams required for any chief of police they appoint. It also prevents an appointee to this position from acting as chief until he or she is confirmed by the legislature.
They also overrode bill 372 which requires anyone who suspects child abuse by members of the clergy to report it regardless of whether or not they believe it is privileged information. This includes those in the profession of psychological or medical care as well as any members of any church or clergy. Speaker Judi Wonpat says they will continue to work on a fast pace as she plans on keeping this final session as short as possible. “We’re only really looking at two days and we’re going to be working diligently today and tomorrow and that’s why I’m trying to get everybody in but we’re really looking only at a two day session,” said Wonpat.
The speaker added that they’re also prepping the session hall for the inauguration of the new legislature which will include 6 brand new senators with no lawmaking experience. That’s why the legislature will for the first time hold an orientation for the new senators. “How to basically run their office set their office up get all the things they need any assistance that we can provide we want to also do an orientation for staff writers on bills and resolutions I’m trying to raise that with our legal counsel,” explained Speaker Wonpat.
They will also arrange for ethics training for all the new members. The new legislature will be inaugurated on January 3rd of 2011. The first session of the new year in February.