Speaker Schedules Public Hearing on Duenas’ “Bucks for Buses” Bill

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Guam – Speaker Judi Won Pat has scheduled a public hearing before her Education Committee on Senator Chris Dueanas’ “Bucks for Buses” Bill # 491.

The hearing is set for 5 pm on Monday August 20th in the public hearing room.

Bill #491 would undo the salary increase Senators gave themselves in 2010 and roll salaries back to $55,308 from the current $60,840 a year. That would save about $120,000 annually which Duenas has proposed giving to DPW to help improve the Department’s troubled school bus service.

READ Bill #491 HERE

Just yesterday [Thursday], in response to concerns expressed by Senator Duenas that his bill had not been scheduled for a hearing, the Speaker issued a release saying she had referred it back to Rules Committee Chair Senator Rory Repsicio for re-assignment to another Committee. She said “clearly, Senatorial salaries and school bus operations does not fall within the purview of my Committee.”

A release today emphasized that the Speaker has not changed her mind and “remains steadfast in her position that the bill was inappropriately referred to her committee.”

The release explains that Senator Respicio advised “that if any senator and including the Speaker, has any disagreement with the referral, that they bring it up with the Committee.”

The Speaker said she did that, and informed the Rules Committee Chair but she has not received “formal feedback from the Chairman.”

As a result, in order to avoid further delays,  she has decided to call a hearing on Duenas’ bill.

READ the reaese from Senator Won Pat in FULL below:

Speaker Won Pat remains steadfast in her position that the bill was inappropriately referred to her committee but will call for the hearing.

“As a member of this body and as Speaker, it is important that I protect the integrity of the Standing Rules and laws that govern the Guam Legislature. The Chair of Rules has decided that if any senator and including the Speaker, has any disagreement with the referral, that they bring it up with the Committee. I have done this and I have yet to receive formal feedback from the Chairman. Unfortunately, the Committee on Rules’ next meeting is scheduled for Friday. Aug. 24. To avoid further delays, I decided to have the public hearing despite my objection as per the Standing Rules regarding subject matter jurisdiction, on Aug. 20 at 5 p.m.”  

[ The Speaker’s Office later advised that the Committee on Rules will actually be meeting next on Aug. 17 and not Aug. 24]