Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Wednesday signed eight bills into law covering a range of issues from protecting the elderly to establishing rules for electronic signage.
“The array of measures presented to me—from public safety, tourism, healthcare, regulatory and compliance—demonstrates many areas of priority addressed this legislative session. I look forward to working with the Legislature on measures that strengthen our economy for working families and keep our people safe,” said the governor in a statement to the media.
One measure was allowed to lapse into law — Sen. Telo Taitague’s Bill 5-35, which establishes a task force to plan for the rehabilitation or replacement of Guam Memorial Hospital.
The governor allowed it to lapse into law even though she had reservations about its legality.
In her message to the Legislature about Bill 5-35, the governor cited an earlier opinion from the Attorney General’s office which found a similar bill violated the Organic Act of Guam.
In that case, the AG noted that “legislative power, as distinguished from executive power, is the authority to make laws, but not to enforce them or appoint the agents charged with the duty of such enforcement.”
She also noted that the intent of Bill 5-35 is already being met by the Army Corps of Engineers’ which recently conducted an inspection of the structural integrity of GMH. “The process for evaluating the facility has already begun,” wrote the governor.
In response, Sen. Taitague issued a statement thanking the governor and saying she looks forward “to the task force getting things moving in the days and weeks ahead. As in the case of unsafe conditions which led to the recent closure of the central public health facility, time is definitely not on our side.”
Bills signed into law
- Bill 13-35 – Sen. Amanda Shelton – Protects elderly and disabled individuals from financial exploitation. It is now Public Law 35-50.
- Bill 40-35 – Sen. Telo Taitague – Establishes the Alcoholic Beverage Compliance Fees and Fines Fund. It is now Public Law 35-53.
- Bill 127-35 – Sen. Kelly Marsh (Taitano) – Establishes an Annual Peace Officers Memorial Day on Guam. It is now Public Law 35-54.
- Bill 131-35 – Sen. Telo Taitague – Authorizes proceeds from the Healthy Futures Fund to be used for the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority Line of Credit. It is now Public Law 35-55.
- Bill 150-35 – Sen. Kelly Marsh (Taitano) – Expands the scope of function and membership of the Islandwide Beautification Task Force. It is now Public Law 35-56.
- Bill 157-35 – Sen. Amanda Shelton – Requires convicted sexual offenders whose cases are under appeal to retain their duty to register as sex offenders. It is now Public Law 35-51.
- Bill 172-35 – Sen. Therese Terlaje – Ensures pre-sentence reports and assessments of offenders by the Guam Parole Board prior to release on parole. It is now Public Law 35-57.
- Bill 86-35 – Speaker Tina Muña Barnes – Updates exterior signage laws in Tumon on H resort-hotel zone and defining and regulating digital signs. It is now Public Law 35-52.