Bills on new hospital, health center, and prison signed into law

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Wednesday signed into law bills authorizing the construction of a new hospital, health center, and prison for Guam. (PNC video capture)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Wednesday signed into law bills authorizing the construction of a new hospital, health center, and prison for Guam.

Signed into law were Bill No. 121-36 also known as the “Guam Twenty-First Century Healthcare Center Construction Act of 2021” and Bill No. 153-36 known as “The Department of Corrections Modernization Act of 2021.”

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In signing Bill 121-36, now Public Law 36-56, the governor said it is self-evident that adequate hospital facilities are critical to the health and well-being of a people.

“This is true in the best of times, when our people visit our hospitals to treat illness and seek necessary preventative care when our mothers give birth, and when our elderly need help maintaining their health as they age. As we have experienced firsthand this past year and a half, it is especially true in the worst of times, when, in addition to the diverse medical needs of our community, our island is struck by crisis and calamity,” Leon Guerrero said.

She added that it has been long known that the island needed a new hospital and in the face of the unprecedented global pandemic that Guam continues to battle today, which to date has taken the lives of over 200 of our people, and afflicted over 16,000 more, it is clear that Guam simply cannot wait any longer.

“It is of paramount importance to the perseverance of our people and the preservation of our way of life that we act now, and get this hospital built. Construction of this new facility, as well as new facilities for agencies providing vital healthcare services to our people, fulfills a promise Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio and I made when we first took office to put the health and well-being of our people first, a promise we reaffirm today. Dedicating the necessary American Rescue Plan funds to this endeavor is one of my greatest privileges as Governor,” Leon Guerrero said.

In signing Bill 153-36, the governor said that for years, it’s been known that the Department of Corrections facilities are in dire need of repair and revitalization.

“In an effort to plan and prepare for the eventual funding of such necessary improvements, the Department has engaged in a strategic planning effort that resulted in the publication of its Facility Master Plan last month. This plan provides the basic blueprint for the construction and maintenance that will be funded through Bill No. 153-36, which is now Public Law No. 36-57,” Leon Guerrero said.

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