Governor Calvo Signs COLA, Community Center, Budgetary Transparency, & Victims’ Rights Bills Into Law

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Guam- Governor Eddie Calvo has signed his first bills into law today [Thursday].

Two of former Senator Telo Taitague’s measures were among the measures that were signed. Bill 381 now mandates employers to grant reasonable leave to victims of domestic violence, while Bill 445 mandates government agencies to post their budget submissions to the legislature on their websites.

In addition, Calvo also signed Bill 471, which was co-authored by Senators Tina Muna Barnes and Adolpho Palacios. The legislation now rezones land in Dededo to build a multi-purpose community center for the Ilocano Association of Guam. An $800 thousand dollar federal grant was already awarded for this project.

“This is just the next chapter of again, this positive contribution to our community” said Calvo. “So for me, I’m just so excited to sign this bill into law.”

Later Thursday afternoon, Governor Calvo and Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio returned to a conference filled with COLA class retirees to sign Bill 492. The measure, authored by Senator Ben Pangelinan, now authorizes the retirement fund to use $3 million to pay for COLA retirees. Calvo says the promissory note takes some of that financial obligation away, but promises to work with his new administration to close this chapter once and for all.

“This is a part of the equation, I told them that” said Calvo. “I look towards working with Mike [Phillips] and other individuals in the legislature to be as creative as possible in the most expeditious manner so that we can now pay off the final balances of this and this long standing issue will come to an end and then there will be peace.”

“Thank you very much for signing that. Lets give him another hand” said Retiree Gloria Nelson. She also read a letter to Governor Calvo in which she encouraged him to look into the $4 million remaining in the previous cola band, which has not been paid out.

COLA Class Attorney Mike Phillips also had a few remarks to the retirees on the victories in the court and in the government. “Political remedies of the legislature, and now here in Adelup, are just as important as court victories” said Phillips. “So political victory results in this. The court victory is just one battle along the way. Bottom line is, it couldn’t have been done without you.”

The three bills signed are:

        * Bill No. 381 is now Public Law 30-236.  It mandates employers to grant reasonable leave to victims of domestic violence for court proceedings and medical treatment.
        * Bill No. 445 is now Public Law 30-237.  It mandates government agencies to post their budget submissions to the Legislature on their respective websites.
        * Bill No. 471 is now  Public Law 30-238.  It rezones land in Dededo, allowing for the construction of a multi-purpose community center.  The Ilocano Association of Guam and the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority partnered up to build the center with an $800,000 federal grant.