Recently Lawmakers unanimously passed bills introduced by Speaker Therease Terlaje that seek to promote transparency between Government and land procurement.
One of the bills proposes requiring the Legislature to approve purchasing or leasing property owned by the either federal or foreign government in terms of around 5 years.
In response – Governor Lou Leon Guerrero says that although she understands the intent – she says that the bill would only cause unwarranted delay in the new one stop medical complex.
Bills 12 and 13-37, both by Speaker Terlaje, received unanimous approval by all lawmakers during a legislative session held yesterday and are now on their way to Adelup for its final signature before becoming law.
Bill 12 would require legislative approval for the “purchase or lease of property owned by the federal or foreign governments for terms in excess of 5 years.”
According to Speaker Terlaje, the bill looks to “maintain consistency in local policies related to the purchase, lease, sublease and license of real property on Guam.”
Adding that the “absence of a local statute regarding the lease of federally owned property risks incurring obligations without any public input and counteracts a transparent and consistent policy.”
During yesterday’s legislative session – Republican Senator Joanne Brown voiced her support for the bill.
“I think it’s rather unfortunate once again that the legislature has to remind the governor that she is not the only branch of government. And that it’s very important that something as critical and as important as building a new hospital particularly with the large price tag that will be attached to it- its very very critical for the legislature and the members of the legislature that also represent the people of Guam are involved and engaged in this process,” said Brown.
Meanwhile, Bill 13-37 – would make it so that “the people of Guam, medical providers, and the Legislature are informed of the meetings, actions and decisions surrounding the design, lease, and financing of the proposed medical healthcare campus” by making the Guam 21st century Healthcare Committee meetings subject to the Open Government Law.”
“It’s a common sense bill. It’s a public hospital being funded by public funds. It should have public involvement, public participation, public scrutiny,” said Lujan.
In response to the bills passing through the legislature, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero in an interview on NewsTalk K57 with CCU’s Simon Sanchez reiterated the need for the hospital.
Saying that she is trying to work with the original land owners to find ways to compensate them.
However, Governor Leon Guerrero said that the land is important so that they can start the process of the new medical complex.
The governor also shared her thoughts on the passing of bill 12.
Governor Leon Guerrero said, “I see it as a great delay in the progress for a hospital for our people. It’s all around its for the return of land to land owners. I want to make it very clear I’m very supportive of that. Land has always been the wealth of our community and the wealth of our people and I’ve always been supportive of that. But we also have to realize the day. And if we cannot have this land back to the owners, lets have this land for the whole of the benefit of the people of Guam and that is to build a hospital for the benefit and for the improved health for our people.”