36th Guam Legislature inaugurated

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The inauguration ceremony for the 36th Guam Legislature was held Monday morning.

After the necessary formalities such as the presenting of certificates of election, the senators of the 36th Guam Legislature took their oaths of office.

Afterward, the first order of businesses was to elect the Speaker.

Although the legislative majority Democrats had already come to a consensus prior, the election of Senator Therese Terlaje was made official by unanimous vote.

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Terlaje then gave her first address as Speaker.

“It is with humility and a deep sense of gratitude and resolve to honor your trust..that I accept the position of Speaker of the 36th Guam Legislature. Those ones before us..who held the Speakership positions were great. When they practiced judiciousness..fairness..and have had the ability to set aside personal motives or agendas to represent the body they swore to lead. These are the qualities I will strive to embody, with your help,” she said.

The legislature then got down to business.

Senator Tina Muna Barnes was elected Vice-Speaker

And Senator Amanda Shelton Legislative Secretary.

The legislature then passed the standing rules of the 36th Guam Legislature by a majority vote.

Afterward, the chairs of the various committees were selected.

Senator Joe S. San Agustin was selected as chair of the committee on general government operations, appropriations and housing.

Senator Telena Nelson was selected as chair of the committee on education, self-determination, historic preservation, infrastructure, border safety, federal and foreign affairs, and maritime transportation.

Senator Amanda Shelton is the chair of the committee on air transportation, parks, tourism, higher education, and the advancement of women, youth and senior citizens.

Senator Clynt Ridgell is the chair of the committee on economic development, agriculture, power and energy utilities, and the arts.

Vice-Speaker Tina Muna-Barnes serves as chair of the committee on rules, public accountability, human resources, the Guam buildup, Hagatna Revitalization, regional affairs, public libraries, telecommunications, and technology.

Senator Pedo Terlaje was designated as chair of the committee on public safety, emergency response, military and veterans affairs, mayors council, and public transit.

Senator Sabina Perez was designated as chair of the committee on the environment, revenue and taxation, labor, procurement, and statistics, research and planning.

And Speaker Terlaje chairs the committee on health, land, justice and culture.

The senators then nominated their party leadership.

There were no surprises on the Democratic side as the official nominations mirrored an earlier release by the party.

Senator Telena Nelson was nominated to be Majority Leader, Senator Amanda Shelton was nominated to be Assistant Majority Leader, and Senator Sabina Perez as nominated for Majority Whip.

On the Republican side, Senator James Moylan was nominated to be the Minority Leader and Senator Frank Blas Jr. was nominated for Minority Whip.

After the party leadership nominations, the first session of the 36th Legislature finally ended with a benediction from Pastor Mark Benavente who called on a higher power to guide the legislature in its earthly duties.

“We pray that you will give them a heart to serve..your heart to serve..and your mind to govern. By your grace will you allow them to live and work with integrity in these privileged positions of the people’s trust,” Pastor Benavente said.

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